Saturday, May 25, 2013

Oliver Bear turns 4

Dear Oliver,
Today you turn 4 years old and I can't believe how fast it's gone, how funny you are, and how much I love you. Four is a big number, it's almost all the fingers on one hand and you are so excited about getting to be a 'big boy'. This is in important term, as you keep reminding me that you are a 'big boy' and not to call you my 'baby'. But right now, kiddo, you are the baby in the family.
You are such a cute kid- people who see you coming ruffle your hair as you walk on by because you are so cute. "He's so cuuuute" people say to me. I know exactly what they are talking about. You are.

You love to play. Trains are your favorite right now- Thomas the Tank Engine is a big deal for you, but you're starting to get into things like Legos and Star Wars but only because Dad and James are, I think. Your best friends are Elijah Cosby and Westley Roberts- but because you have a hard time saying "l", you pronounce them "E-wai-jah" and "Wes-wee". It's. Adorable.
And because you're an easy-going guy, who will do anything that looks fun and have a good attitude about it all the time, everyone loves having you come over to play. You get along great with all the kids and when something is not right, you are full of righteous indignation. Sometimes.
Sometimes you can be a pill.
Sometimes you push all your big brother's buttons just to get him in trouble.
And that's annoying.

You love to help me cook. If I'm in the kitchen, you want to be there too, helping me make whatever I'm making. I think you'll be a great cook one day. You also love to wear the Captain America kitchen apron. It's a bit big, since you're tiny, but it's so cute. You're like a puppy. Big Head, tiny body. Irresistible.

You love to ride bikes, draw volcanoes with chalk, read books, snuggle, watch movies, eat popcorn, look at bugs, find things, dress-up like a pirate, and do most outside things.
I say "most" because there is one thing you hate.
I personally do NOT understand this, but you HATE HATE HATE big areas of water, swimming, even floating in a water-floatie just makes you angry with fear, and you end up screaming yourself hoarse. Every.Time.
This will not go on. I'm just letting you know now, so when you find yourself reading this years down the road, you will thank me for putting you in the strictest swimming lessons I could find. You. May. Not. Drown. Not while you are my child. So, while you'll probably hate me all summer, at least you will be alive.

We love you, Oliver Bear! You're my sunshine, a funny little love, a sweet boy, a swarthy pirate and a punk, but always we love you to bits!
Happy 4th Birthday to you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's Dad Day

It's Dad Day today.
I've decided to celebrate my Dad every May 8th, instead of waiting until Father's Day because of two things:
One, today is the day that one year ago, my father passed away
Two, he is such a cool guy, that I think 2 days should be used to talk about how neat my Dad is.

Who else could ever play Santa Claus?! My Dad was the best. Even after his original suit got stolen (! I know, WHO steals a hand-made completely velvet and fur Family Heirloom Suit?! The Karma is staggering),
He still played Santa for years! 

This picture has something my Dad loved to do: cook meat on a grill to perfection. You can see the grill in the background. He was also a big fan of smoking. Meat, that is. 

In addition to being a grill-master, my dad was also incredibly adept in the kitchen. He was tremendous with pastries. Here he is with James when James was only one. I love how intensely focused they both are.

This beauty shot was taken by my parent's good friend in Canada. It is my favorite Simpson Family picture of ALL TIME.

My dad always loved a good running joke. Captain Morgan.

It was rare to see my Dad without his trusty RayBan Wayfarers. In fact, they became a bit of a trademark.

I made this Quilt for my Dad. It was his family quilt that he could use in Dialysis so he could keep warm, and keep us all with him. He did not actually use it for that. Which, in all honesty, I'm a little bit perturbed about. But I'm sure he had his reasons- NONE of which ought to be that there was burnt-orange in the fabric. I tried to stick with as much Maroon and White as I could.

Mom took this photo, but it has all Simpson Children in it (Jacob is on a Mission, so he has to make do with being in a frame).

I love this photo.

Lest I forget, my dad loved to play in the dirt and get dirty. Even more, he loved getting everyone ELSE dirty too. Especially if he got to use cool tools to do that. Exhibit A: tiny diggers at the SLC Zoo. Yup. Sand Fight. 

More Zoo.

Dad was great at taking photos. He was always ready with a smile and (rarely) complained. At least, I never heard it.

It's been exactly one year. I don't feel like he's 'GONE' in capital letters. I still feel like he's just 'right there', like, I could call him from the next room and he'd bellow, "What do you want?". Occasionally I feel sad- sad that I can't just talk to him on the phone, ask for advice, hear the latest (bad) joke, or him gloating about what he's eating for dinner. That part is awful.
I still have photos, memories, e-mails, handwritten notes. And that's good.
alright, now I'm crying.
I miss my Dad.
But I know it's not for forever.