I am incredibly lucky to have two very cool but starkly different parents as role models. While I wrote a post about my mom earlier this year, The Original Boss Babe, this one is for my dad.
Growing up my dad’s side of the family was the wild one. They threw great parties, were easy with the jokes, generous and caring in their own way. My dad encapsulates these traits and also taught me a few other important lessons.
The first is a lesson I have come to value more and more. The idea that you can be accomplished without being boastful. My dad was and is involved in many different organizations both as a participant and a leader. He does this all while being a business owner and always putting family time first. I did not realize growing up just how much my dad did because when he was with us it was all about us and I love that.
My dad is a world class swimmer, to the chagrin of all of his kids around Summer swim championship time when we would have to see his 70’s hair in pictures at OSU. He still beats me in the pool but would much rather swim casually. He made team sports fun when we were kids by coaching us or officiating swim meets. Through swimming and the community is provided him growing up he met so many people. Many of whom we still know today. This leads me to the second lesson I learned from my dad, always be nice to people. It doesn’t matter if you are the best, the worst, or somewhere in the middle on a team you need to treat everyone as an equal, be inclusive, and even if you don’t remember a name, always say hi!
Finally, the best lesson I learned from my dad. It is totally acceptable to hang out by yourself. Be involved, be a team player, and then go home and take a nap. You earned it! This man takes self care to the next level and I admire his unabashed commitment to making sure he feels his best.
Initially, I had a meal in mind that was very carnivore heavy. Yet, I changed my mind after our last family dinner. I really like the idea of everyone creating their own ideal mix of foods. Enter: the pasta bar.
Appetizer: As you are getting the pasta bar ready little munchies are essential. These should not be filling as your main course is going to be. Some of my dad’s favorites are Trader Joe’s Dried Okra and cracked pepper kettle chips. Dried okra sounds strange but is seriously tasty.
Main: The pasta bar is a thing of beauty. Your base is two types of pasta. We chose angel hair and pesto tortellini. Then it is all about the toppings! Broccoli, mushrooms, parmesan cheese,and either pine nuts or walnuts. Followed by the sauces. A traditional red sauce, pesto, garlic sauce and accompanying olive and lemon oils. Mix and match or stick with an old favorite. It’s entirely up to the creator. The sauces can also be used as dips for your bread.
Sides: a simple salad goes well with this meal. You can go the traditional route with a caesar or get a little funky with a beet salad. If you have enough people, do both. Good, crusty bread is the final piece of this meal.
Dessert: Age is just a number when it comes to the perfect birthday dessert. Following the theme of choosing your own adventure and treating yourself, an ice cream sundae bar! If you are being diplomatic go with Neapolitan ice cream. If you want to go outside the box a bit, mint chocolate chip is your base of choice. Top with caramel, hot fudge, whipped cream, sprinkles, red hots, and whatever else floats your boat at the time of creation.
Happy Birthday Dad! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do 🙂