Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Father's Day Tribute to My Husband-to-Be

This started out to be the first post of our vacation with the kids, but as I thought about it, it seemed very appropriate to dedicate it to the man who is my partner, who will be my husband and who has become an amazing father from whom I have learned much. I think my daughter Hannah expressed much of what I feel when she wrote the following tribute on her Facebook page this morning: "Happy Father's Day, Mark. You've stepped into our lives and blessed my father, my siblings, and my little family with your love. You've brought so much beauty and light into our lives by simply just being you, and we love you for it."

Mark has told me a number of times that he always thought he would be a good father, and he has shown, over and over, that he was right. He takes the time, teaching me, to *be* with the kids, to share their interests, to laugh with them.

Mark took this picture of Aaron and Bailey (Jean's dog) when we picked the kids up on Friday

He is also very generous with them, without spoiling them. On Friday night, as a complete and total surprise, he (Mark would insist I say "we") gave each of them an iPod Touch, primarily so that they would have a way of communicating with us and visa versa. It was Christmas in June.

Yesterday morning, we set out for Disneyland with Levi, Aaron and Esther. It was supposed to be a surprise, but we're pretty sure word leaked out. They've never been to Disneyland. I've never been to Disneyland; and Mark sure as hell has never been to Disneyland. We had been planning to take them to the Oregon Coast this year. But after Mark's diagnosis, he decided he wanted to take them to Disneyland. And so we're on our way.

The kids could not get enough time with their new iTouches.

We pulled into Las Vegas at about 3:45 Utah time, and the kids immediately got into their swim suits. A couple of hours later, we headed over to the Strip (another new experience for both me and the kids). They were wide-eyed (as was I) and had fun pointing out all the limos. Their favorite (and Mark's) was a block-long Hummer.

We ended up going to the Bellagio for dinner.

Ceiling in the lobby

Esther was cold so wrapped swaddled herself in her dinner napkin. Mark added the hood for good measure.
(I liked what a friend said about the temperature in these places: "It's cold enough to hang meat in!")

A goofy selfie
The scene outside the hotel when we came out after dinner

I am so grateful to have Mark in my life. And I know my kids are, too. Levi has started calling me "J-Dad" and Mark "M-Dad." Happy Father's Day, Mark.

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