My dad loves to think outside the box, and his way of conceiving new ideas and pushing the boundaries of thought has left an indelible mark on the minds of his children. He is a completely devoted husband and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the best part of his personality shows forth when you talk to him about these two subjects. He was the first person to show me how to swim the butterfly. He was the maniacal boat driver that left me wary of going tubing forever! (Yet I still love to wakeboard... haha! Can't wreck that out of me! Although... he tried. Once he just left me all by my lonesome in the middle of Lake Mead after a run, afloat in my gear. At twilight. I just had to lay back and talk to God in the sunset for half an hour while he and the kids packed up camp back at the beach. Good times). My dad never lets a good subject for debate rest, particularly if it involves architecture or Mitt Romney.
When I went to Europe in summer '07, it was as if he was always there; everywhere I went I observed cool buildings and artworks that I wished I could show him, because he's so good at pointing out to me what's so ingenious or copycat-errific about them. By the end of that study abroad all my classmates practically missed him, too-- I was unafraid to share with them the lens through which I view the world, which my dad in particular gave me (my co-traveller Ashley just confirmed that to me this weekend- we went to the National Gallery together and she said she wished I had gone with her on her latest trip to Belgium, cuz she missed all the times I would remark, "My dad loves glass walls that do this..." or, "My dad thinks architecture can be inspiring without gargoyles stuck all over it!" etc.) I love him especially for the way he and my mother both raised me with a special eye for things that just shine. For ideas, people, buildings, flavors, sunsets, stories and adventures that make life so dang worthwhile. It is the never-ending search for the new and exciting that I hope to be able to pass on to students, friends, and loved ones throughout my life.
My dad is a great man who works harder and with more honesty and commitment to building the kingdom than anyone I know. I love him. I'm really grateful that he has continually lead our family on a great and glorious path. I know I just showed you this photo, but it really is my favorite, so you get to see it again. I love it because it symbolizes my favorite part of my relationship with my dad- the way he puts me on an equal level with him, allowing me to see the beauties and mysteries of the world as he does, while encouraging me to form good ideas, make good observations, and ask great questions, too.