A week with Ford tech for Father's Day

When I was asked if I wanted to do anything with Ford Ottawa for Father's Day, I jumped at the chance. We've been talking for about six months now about getting a second vehicle. Our top contenders were the Ford Escape and the Ford Focus. The Escape has been eliminated from the short list and I've added the Ford Fiesta as of last week when I saw the non-hatchback version - super cute! We really like our SUV and want a small, more fuel-efficient second vehicle. Sadly, the C-Max is not in our price range. (Bummer! I sure loved it!)

As you might have noticed, I'm a little late writing about Father's Day. I'm perpetually late these days, to be honest. Although, I did get Matt his Father's Day present early - as in the same week as Mother's Day. Let's just say I way overestimated how long it would take to come. Father's Day part two will be a whole week of taking a car we may purchase for a test run and the thing we both want to check out the most? The tech!

Matt's been talking about Ford's technology for years. Each time I've used one of the Ford vehicles for trips, he's had to look it over, but this is the first time I'm not taking the car and leaving him. It will be right in our driveway for a full week for him to peruse to his heart's content. And I'll be right there by his side.

All this talk about driving a Ford got me reminiscent. I have a lot - a LOT - of Fords in my past. In fact, not counting my current vehicle - which has the distinction of being my very first brand new car purchase ever - my favorite and least favorite vehicles to drive were both Fords. 

My favorite was the Ford Bronco II. In fact, the SUV we have right now handles so much like that Bronco II, that might be why I enjoy driving it so much. The Bronco II was my first standard transmission and I actually learned to drive stick in it. Actually, it wasn't mine. My brother had a very unfortunate knee injury which meant he couldn't drive standard for quite a while. So, he gave me his Bronco II and I gave him my Ford Tempo. The trade was fairly even. The truck didn't have A/C anymore and the Tempo didn't have much pickup. ;)  Once I got the hang of driving stick, that truck was a dream to drive. I finally understood why people enjoy driving vehicles with standard transmissions. Everyone should learn...including Matt so we can finally buy one!

Image Source: Wikipedia

The least favorite car is probably a predecessor of the Ford Tempo. And, like the Tempo, it is not a jewel in Ford's design and performance history, I'm sure. Even Scott Monty would probably have trouble marketing the Ford Fairmont circa 198-whatever year it was - '81 or '83, I think. I drove it in the mid '90s, so it had aged a fair bit. I told my mom it would go zero to sixty in five minutes. I would even lean forward in the driver's seat as I went up hills (Tallahassee is a hillacious city!) and willing the car to just please go.

I also drove a Ford Taurus for a while. I didn't even care that I was 18 driving a family sedan. It was a nice car and it had a keypad on the door so I could lock my keys in the car and not have to worry about getting back in. That feature and the miles to empty (this was in the U.S., not Canada) saved me numerous times.  

So, I'm really looking forward to using Ford technology again in the Ford Focus [PDF] and spend a week poking around and really getting to know what the car can do.  

The evolution of a father

From the day he was born, always willing to give up a finger to keep him happy even when you could barely keep your eyes open.

It wasn’t long before the finger wasn’t enough.

Eventually, he developed a taste for the finer things in life. Like “coffee”. (Tim Horton’s cappuccinos do not count as coffee.)

Of course, over the years, you developed a firm hand at discipline.

But there was never any doubt - from day one to now - how much you love this beautiful boy.

Thinking of my father today

Dad isn't one for having pictures taken. Mom must have snuck this one in while he was distracted with the newspaper.When I was a little girl, I used to look up at my daddy with awe. He was so tall. I loved it when he would put me up on his shoulders as we were walking home from our neighbor's house. The things I remember doing with Dad consist of yard work and projects around the house - he taught me what wrenches and pliers were and the difference between a Phillips and a flathead screwdriver. I was his assistant on many building operations. I don't remember him playing with us or roughhousing after we were too big for him to throw in the air, but I remember lots of projects.

In my teenage years, Dad and I had some pretty rough times. We also had some long, long talks about politics, American history and other heavy topics as well. When we weren't disagreeing, we got along really well and he taught me so much during those talks. One piece of common ground for us was FSU Baseball. Occasionally, I'd try to understand as dad marked each play on his game diagram. I never did catch onto it, though. We'd both enjoy the antics of The Animals of Section B (in the grandstand) as they sang Oh, Canada every fifth inning as tribute to a favorite ESPN announcer from Canada. 

At one point during those turbulent years, Dad said to me that we were too much alike. It was his theory that we butted heads because of it. I didn't disagree with him back then, but the older I get, I seem to be a little less like him and more like my mom. I don't mind being like my dad, but I'm glad that it's balanced with the influence of my mom. (Dad agrees; we've discussed it.)

Dad was a real trooper during my wedding - it helped that he liked the photographer.Being far away from my mom was hard, but we talked all the time. Being far away from my dad is hard, too, but we don't talk near enough. We aren't as close and I don't think he likes talking on the phone - mostly because he's cheap (his words). I enjoy my relationship with my dad now more than ever before. We don't always agree, but I've grown up enough that I don't take it personally. He has too. ;) I love that Dad makes more effort than ever before to reach out to us, his children. It's doesn't come naturally for him, so I appreciate his efforts to stay in touch.

This year, Dad is alone for the first time on Father's Day since my younger brother - the last of us - just moved out of town. Knowing him, he won't be bothered at all about this, because he's not into all these commercialized holidays. But I'm missing him and thinking about him today anyway.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! 

I'm so thankful for my son's father

It's Mother's Day and I'm already starting my Father's Day post.

Why?

I'm so glad you asked.

In my Mother’s Day post this year I talked about how easy it is to forget to express gratitude on a day-to-day basis to the ones we love most. So I'm taking the next six weeks or so to do just that for my husband. He's not going to see it until Father's day as a surprise gift. I want to show him that even when I don't say it I'm still thinking about how thankful I am for all the ways he impacts our lives - large and small.

* * * * *

Dear Matt,

May 9 - I'm thankful for your thoughtful gifts on Mother's Day, including time you spent with our son so I could have a few hours of me time.

In the hospital, just a few days old and only daddy's finger will calm him down.May 10 - I'm thankful that you're so willing to occupy Brandon to give me time to fix my face without interruption each morning.

May 11 - I'm thankful that you are so sensitive to the needs of my family, no matter what the cost.

May 12 - You have such a witty sense of humor that keeps me laughing even through difficult times.

May 13 - Your support of my evenings out at Book Club means a lot.

May 14 - I'm thankful that you're such a handy guy. Our fence is going to look so nice when it's done.

May 15 - I'm thankful that you are so diligent about keeping our car in good working order - and filled up with gas.

Tired boys resting their eyes - just for a few minutes, of course. That glider is very comfy!May 16 - I love watching the games you make up to keep Brandon occupied. And I adore that you sing to him - about everything.

May 17 - Your tender, loving care of our son even when he frustrates you makes me so happy you're the man I share the partnership of parenthood with.

May 18 - You are such a nice guy who cares about doing the right thing even when it's hard. I love a man with character.

May 19 - I'm thankful that after 12 years, we still come home everyday and share all the little tidbits that happened when we were away from each other. I love talking to you and laughing with you.

May 20 - I love when I get to come home after Book Club and you're up waiting for me.

Daddy's hand is a tasty treat - and also it makes a good teether!May 21 - I love that we can have bad days, snipe at each other and once the storm passes, it's over and we're buddies again having fun. Life with you is fun.

May 22 - I'm thankful that our life is (mostly) peaceful. We complement each other well.

May 23 - I'm thankful that we agree on decor and home layouts, because if you had liked what we saw today I would have taken you to get your eyes checked! :)

May 24 - I'm thankful that, even when you're not that enthusiastic about a particular activity I want to do with Brandon you still make the effort to spend and enjoy time with our family.

May 25 - I'm thankful that you are such a detailed and conscientious person with everything you do.

May 26 - I'm thankful every time we have to make a decision that it's usually easy for us to do - even if we sometimes have to hash out different angles. In the end, we usually come to the same conclusion.

May 27 - I love hearing how you handle work situations or read your correspondence. I wish I wrote as well-justified and reasonably worded replies as you do!

May 28 - I appreciate that you're willing to work with me to help maximize the time I get to spend with Brandon even though it means your commute is a little more complex.

May 29 - I appreciate you willingly and meticulously making sure that the trash is taken out, the litter box is clean, the dishes are done and the house is vacuumed - all the chores I don't like to do. (Not to mention a few dozen other things you do all the time as well.)

May 30 - I'm thankful that we work well together, creating an equal division of regular chores so neither of us is too overwhelmed.

Sick little man cuddling with Daddy.May 31 - I'm thankful that you don't mind cooking. Neither of us enjoy it so it's nice to share the misery.

June 1 - I appreciate how hard you work to keep our yard maintained.

June 2 - I'm thankful that you're good with technology. So many things you've set up have made our lives easier and more connected.

June 3 - I love watching you teach Brandon - whether it's how to get a thrill from throwing Dawg down the stairs or how to pull up his pants. You are a good teacher and he's lucky to have you.

June 4 - I love that you have about 100 nicknames each for me and Brandon. Half are sweet and half just make me laugh.

June 5 - I love that you keep a level head about our son and his development.

I wanna be like Daddy!June 6 - I appreciate that you're doing more to learn about what to do with Brandon in various stages and circumstances.

June 7 - I love that you will show Brandon your "toys" and even let him play with them - occasionally.

June 8 - Your intelligence and ability to organize and "fix" systems and processes are two things that always impress me about you. You're quiet and reserved but there is a lot of depth in you that people don't always see right away. I've known it forever and I'm glad to know that part of you so well.

June 9 - Your kindness and generosity to other people makes me want to be a better person.

June 10 - I love how you tease me about the books I read - No matter what I'm reading. You: "Whatca readin'? Is that a book about forbidden love or permitted love?" Me: "Always forbidden. Permitted is boring."

June 11 - I appreciate that we can talk through issues that come up calmly and rationally. You have a calming effect on me and I like the person I am because of it.

Teaching Brandon about Canada's favorite coffee shop - Tim Hortons. Now we have to hide our cups!June 12 - Though you prefer to plan things when you are fairly certain an unanticipated variable isn't going to derail your intentions, Brandon's entrance in our lives has made you more flexible and open to changes in the plan.

June 13 - You have an infectious laugh. I love to hear it when you find something truly funny.

June 14 - You send the nicest emails at times when I need them the most. Your encouragement means a lot.

June 15 - I am thankful that we can be perfectly content spending the evening together side-by-side at our computers in the office or watching a movie together in bed. Simplicity is highly appealing.

June 16 - I love our banter as we go through the evening together. You're my fun buddy!

June 17 - I'm thankful you don't mind that I tease you incessantly and that I can occasionally make you laugh.

June 18 - I'm thankful that our son sees us have fun together.

June 19 - I love that you're into typically "boy" things like construction, RC cars, Lego and technology. I won't be surprised at all if Brandon takes after you.

June 20 - I'm thankful for you, Matt. What you do is only relevant insofar as it is a reflection of who you are - and who you are is an amazing person that I love.

I knew very early on in our relationship that you would make a wonderful father and you've proven my theory true over and over since before Brandon was even born. It's hard to know objectively if you're doing a good job or not as a parent. I'm probably biased but I think you do a fabulous job!

Happy Father's Day, Matt!