A personal initiative to live more appreciatively

Saturday, January 14, 2012

#52: My Father-In-Law

My in-laws and I spent time together for my father-in-law's birthday. It made me think about how much I love birthdays...how wonderful it is to take the time to celebrate the lives of friends and family members. In that vein, today I am thankful for my father-in-law.

One aspect of my father-in-law's personality that I love is that he is a huge fan of horror movies; as someone who appreciates everything Halloween, this has always been a commonality between us. When he came once to my brother's annual Halloweek-- a week long build-up to Halloween during which we watch a scary movie every night-- Dennis said to me, "You are so lucky to have this man as a father-in-law." I couldn't agree more-- and not just because he can talk macabre with the best of them-- but for so many other reasons.

I have vivid memories of the early weeks of my relationship with Kegan, and both of his parents were very welcoming of me into their home, and ultimately into their family. I've always found it very cool that Kegan's dad and I are a lot alike. I don't know if many daughter-in-laws can say that about their father-in-law. Or that their father-in-law is a HUGE fan of Lady Gaga.

About a week before Thanksgiving, before I started this blog, we had an attempted break in at our home. We were very lucky that it was only an attempt-- the would-be-robber never actually made it into the house (luck we like to attribute to our cats, defending their territory). The next day my father-in-law drove all the way out here, on his anniversary, to help Kegan reinforce locks on our windows. That day Kegan and I were counting our blessings, and his father was at the top of that list. At Christmas he researched and ordered me a digital camera, a gift that was actually from Kegan, because he's an expert at all things technological. While I was thankful to Kegan for the gift, it felt like it was from him, too, because he took the time to make sure that I received the best camera. These are just two recent selfless acts of his; there are 8 years worth of them. He is kind and generous, fiercely loyal, and has a huge heart. I really loved watching him with my nephew, Matthew, today. He's such a sweet grandfather, and I can't wait to have my own children and watch them build their own relationships with him.

Aside from all of his wonderful traits and the fact that he's such a great father-in-law, I am also thankful for the father that he is to Kegan. Like any son, Kegan's relied countless times on his dad for encouragement and advice, both of which are abundantly given to him. Kegan's often shared with me how grateful he is for how hard his dad always worked. My husband easily has the strongest work ethic of anyone I have ever known, and I think that comes directly from growing up with such a  hard-working dad. Actually, that may be what I am most grateful for about my father-in-law. Beyond having the strongest work ethic of anyone I have ever known, Kegan is simply a great man. And I truly believe a man models himself after his father. Kegan's father made him the man he is today, the man who is an amazing husband and will someday be an amazing father himself. I am forever indebted to my father-in-law for this. I celebrated him at his birthday party today; I will celebrate him, always.

Andy Brown and me, taken moments after getting down to "Poker Face"

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