Some pictures of my papa:
Old pictures from October Conference 2008
All my life, I have known I have a special place in my papa's heart. When I came to him with a question or just wanted to hang out, I felt like he was so pleased to have my company. I felt like I was his buddy, and sometimes I even imagined I was his favorite daughter.
The coolest thing is that each of us five girls is his favorite daughter. My papa has a wonderful gift of being a father to daughters--we all get to be Daddy's Little Girl, and I believe we've all relished it.
My papa is gentle and generous.
I remember once telling him that I wished I could eat a whole bag of potato chips myself. He said he wanted that too, once, and the first thing he did when he got his license was go buy a bag of chips and eat them in the car, all by himself. But he said it wasn't as fun as he'd thought it would be...that sharing is, in fact, much more satisfying.
At first I found that hard to believe (really, potato chips!), but as I thought about it, I realized maybe it would be kind of boring to have it all to yourself. If it were one of those enormous bags.
When dinner was nearly cleared off the table, we didn't typically have leftovers that I can remember. And sometimes there would be one piece of something left, like the last drumstick (those were always everyone's favorite chicken part), and if my papa saw one of us eyeing that last piece as he reached for it, he'd offer it to us. Or sometimes, if everything was cleared, and we were looking woefully at the empty table, my papa would slip his last bit of food onto our plates as he got up to clear his place.
My papa never teases in ways that could hurt feelings (not ever on purpose, at the very least). He tried to be very considerate of our feelings. Once in a while he needed reminding from my mother that we were especially volatile in particular times of the month or about particular topics, but he did better than most men ever do. The only times I ever felt like he was being insincere on purpose was when we'd throw a little pity party to no effect, having only this response from him "Sor-ry!" He'd say it in a sing-song voice, kind of nasal and whiny, and he'd smile a little because he knew he was NOT sorry. And we'd huff and scowl and storm away. Sometimes even saying "No you're NOT sorry!" (and he'd quietly chuckle).
But you know what? That totally cracks me up now.
When I married Michael, one thing that definitely attracted me was his gentleness. To me, that is a sign of a real man. A man who is gentle is loving, considerate, Christ-like.
In the winter time when we were dating (courting), Michael would stomp down the snow in a path in front of me so that I'd have an easier time walking over it. He always gets the door for me; at first, I felt like that was unnecessary, and I tried to repay the favor by getting doors for him, but he explained that it is a privilege for him to treat me with courtesy and open doors for such a lady as me...so I have happily obliged ever since.
Michael gets up and fetches a glass of water for me if I ask, even if it's because I'm just too lazy after having barely settled into a comfortable position.
And in yucky times, Michael rubs my back and holds my hair out of the way while I throw up, even though he really has a hard time being around vomit.
Michael doesn't like to wake me up in the mornings, and it's not because I wake up badly (he'll tell you, I'm fairly friendly in the mornings...at least to him). He just likes to give me as much sleep as he can because he knows it's always needed.
And he is excited about our family-- he loves Ender, he loves being his father. He loves me as his wife and as the mother of his children. He loves to press my stomach and wait for this little darling to move (not yet!). And it melts my heart when he talks to her and tests the name "Scarlett Estelle."
These are just a few of the characteristics of Michael that make me so excited to have a daughter. She will definitely be Daddy's Little Girl.