I have to start off by saying I think I have the best Dad in the world! He's the first one to admit he's nowhere near perfect, but in my opinion, he's pretty close ;)
I've made a lot of special memories with my Dad over the last 23 years... some are more vivid than others obviously, but they're still special. One of my favorites has always been going fishing in the early morning before he headed off to work. After Lissa was pooped on by a bird one time, it became a 'just Dad and Hill outing' :) Even though I've never been a morning person, I really enjoyed getting up and going fishing. I remember we always listened to Guardian or Petra (our "cool" music) cranked right up (guess that's how we woke up!) and sometimes even leaving the tape in and volume up just to give Mom a little surprise the next time she used the car ;) Sometimes... (ok, it was probably every time!) we stopped at Tim Horton's so Dad could get a coffee and I got a hot chocolate. Those were some special trips, Dad and I'll always be thankful that you were willing to take me with you on your fishing trips and I'll never forget your patience as you tied yet another lure on my line because I got the last one stuck in the mud or tied in with the reeds!
One other very significant time we had together was when we went to Uganda together. It was so special to have Dad share my passion, and see him be stretched in ways he never would have expected. What an incredible experience to be able to introduce him to my African family and show him around Mbale :) Thanks for beeing such a good sport and for displaying a willingness to step out of your comfort zone for the sake of spreading the Gospel. I loved seeing you so fired up after we had gone out with our teammates sharing our testimonies and saw people coming to Christ!
Another thing that I love about my Dad is his "soft side" and compassionate heart. He's always full of sympathy and always looking for ways to help people. He's a great listening ear and has a deep and genuine love for people.
Dad's also quite a trooper when it comes to the dates I drag him on... from taking me to the zoo to going to concerts, he's always willing to do anything to make me happy :) Here's two of my favorite pictures from one of our zoo dates..
Dad sure has taught me a lot of life skills over the years as well... how to throw a football and a baseball, how to drive, and how to love God with all your heart. Thank you Dad for the countless times you've given up your newspaper to play catch with me, put down a book to let me sit in your lap, and most of all, thank you for teaching me how to be a shining light to the world and love others as God loves us!
I love you Dad! Hope you had a fantastic birthday! I'm looking forward to making more memories with you in the years to come! :)
(any guesses who the better skater is??)