It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a daddy’s girl through and through. It has been that way as long as I can remember. My dad is one of a kind. I cannot even begin to describe the pure perfection of a father that he is. Let’s just start with childhood and work our way forward. When I was younger, my dad didn’t miss one sporting event, dance, or mental breakdown I had throughout my grade school to teenage (well really any) years. He has always been there to pick me up, wipe my tears and cheer me on.
I remember in 9th grade, I had just started high school, my dad and I were shopping at our local mall. We came out of one of my favorite stores, Vonmaur and I noticed some older “popular” kids all hanging out together outside Vonmaur. I quickly grabbed my dad’s arm and said “dad, I think I am done shopping we can go home now” – first of all ME done shopping – that is crazy talk! My dad probably knew it at the time, but didn’t say a word about it. He just looked at me and said “okay, let’s go grab some dinner”. The truth was I was embarrassed as a new freshman to be seen at the mall with my dad- silly, right? I think about that small decision I made still to this day and it makes me sad. Sad that I was so worried about what others may think of me, sad that I wasn’t confident enough in myself to show off the fact that I enjoyed hanging out with my dad, and sad I missed out on extra time with the sweetest man on the planet.
Well fast forward a couple years and a few confident boosts later, and a new “tradition” started. Every year from the middle of 9th grade till the middle of my college career my father and I would take yearly bus trips to Chicago to go on a shopping trip around Christmas time – bless his heart. He would get on a bus with me and 50 other women, bus 3 hours to downtown Chicago, shop for 8 hours and bus 3 hours back. 1 man, 50 women. Now, I would say he was “taking one for the team” but my parents were divorced, so I am pretty sure being on a bus with 50 women wasn’t all that bad for him- haha! Shopping was his least favorite thing to do but spending time with me was his favorite thing to do- so he did it with a smile on his face, year after year. And that is just the type of man he is. He recently just brought up how much he missed those shopping trips so we plan to start again this coming Christmas.
Adulthood was no different, my dad was supportive every step of my undergraduate college career, which lasted longer than most – he stood by my side and encouraged me to keep going till the very end. I did it, I graduated, and I had never seen my dad beaming quite like the day I received my diploma. Fast forward 2 more years and I started my graduate classes, he stood by my side and encouraged me through all 3 years of that as well. The day I received my Master’s Degree I think was one of the best days of his life. He has always told me to forget what people say, do your best – and nothing else matters. He’s a simple man, and that’s what I love most about him, he’s genuine, generous and oh so thoughtful. I could not have had a greater man by my side growing up. I am so blessed.
The day I got married, my dad, like every other occasion, stood by my side and walked me down the aisle and lead me to my husband, Jay. Jay is a lot like my dad – caring, genuine, nurturing, honest and loving. I have been so incredibly blessed by these two loving and patient men. My dad’s speech was like nothing I had ever heard, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house – he’s just so tender hearted. He will always be my best friend, my “number one stunna” and the man I can always trust, lean on and believe in. Thank you dad, for being the greatest human on the planet and for loving me the way you do. I love you “daddy-do”
On the topic of weddings, I don’t know about you but I am always “stumped” on what to wear and what not to wear. Summer weddings are all about COLORS – don’t be afraid to add in different color combos to summer weddings. I have rounded up my favorite summer wedding reception dresses on the blog today that also double as PERFECT summer vacation dresses. You will find out quickly that I am not one who likes to buy a dress for one specific occasion – I am a planner (and a cheap butt) and I like to be able to wear something to several different occasions to get the most bang out of my buck. The best thing about summer dresses is they never go out of a style – these summer dresses will also be perfect for next year’s Easter festivities, bridal showers, or spring wedding season!
All dresses listed I either own, have ordered (and am anxiously awaiting their arrival) for my upcoming trip to Punta Cana or are on my summer wish list. Just click on any picture below for a direct link to each item.
For a little stylejams inspo – click link below: