Friends, welcome to Sweet Sponsor Sunday’s Special Father’s Day Edition!
What is Sweet Sponsor Sunday? Well, if I had to pinpoint the most important thing I’ve learned in my ten years as a marketing professional, it would have to be the power of word of mouth advertising. It is so much more valuable than paid advertising, and infinitely more meaningful.
I believe in supporting fellow business owners who are doing great things. I believe in the power of reciprocal advertising and all of its benefits. Small businesses are the heartbeat of America. I have known many small business owners during my life, and they are by far some of the most down-to-earth and hardest working individuals I have ever known.
On Sundays, Sweet Melissa’s hosts Sweet Sponsor Sundays and showcases organizations that we believe in and who have taken the time to support us, and we ask that our sweet friends show our wonderful sponsors some love!
Today, we are changing up our Sweet Sponsor Sundays to showcase someone very special, my husband and the father of my sweet boys!
Fifteen years ago, I had the privilege of meeting my husband, and my life was forever changed for the better. I grew up in an unstable environment, and when I turned sixteen, I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and start working. I decided to apply to a local theme park and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I took my little brother with me for support, dressed in my best khakis and yellow dress shirt, and headed to the HR office of the park. I applied for a job in the Games Department, and thankfully for me, Games was full but Rides had an opening. I was placed in the children’s area on a roller coaster, and I was thrilled. I had the time of my life that first summer working at the park. I met amazing people who are still an incredibly important part of my life. I worked long hours, but I learned how to work hard, how to provide great customer service, the importance of time management and responsibility, and most importantly, commitment.
I couldn’t wait to come back to work again the next summer. I was promoted to Supervisor that year and was looking forward to another fun summer. My weeks were again filled with long hours and hard work, but I loved it! I met so many new friends and we had a blast working together and hanging out after work. I think of those days so much and smile! Although all of us looked forward to the end of the summer because that meant the end of daily operation, I know I can speak for many of us who worked there that we didn’t always look forward to the end of the season. I missed the park when I wasn’t there, and I missed my friends. The park was an escape for me; an escape from my instability in my home life and from the challenges I experienced growing up. I truly enjoyed it.
It was toward the end of that second season when I was working at one of the children’s rides by myself during the last three hours of the night. From 7pm to 10pm, we were pretty much by ourselves working the last rotation at each individual ride. That was sometimes a grueling rotation depending on the ride we worked. On the night that changed my life forever, I was working at a small children’s roller coaster. It was tough work, but it was fun too. This coaster was usually a child’s first, and watching their smiles was awesome. I can’t honestly write this and say it was fun all the time though, but it was usually a pretty great place to be. That particular night was nice and cool (it was early Fall). Around 9pm, the carrying manager of the children’s area decided to come pay me a visit to see how I was doing. He stayed for a while and helped me run the ride for about 20 minutes. He was older than me, and I was a bit intimidated. I knew of him but didn’t really know him very well. He was part of a different clique of people at the park that I wasn’t a part of because I was new to management. He and his friends were all older than me and on their own. He also had a way with the ladies, or so I heard 😉
Since that initial meeting, he and I hung out a bit more during breaks at the park or after the park closed at night. He would come by and visit every once in a while when I was working a ride, or help me with end of the night closing tasks. It was during one of those nights in the office after the park closed that he wrote his pager number on a sticky note and gave it to me. It took me several days, but I finally worked up the courage to page him (that sounds so funny now) and he called me back a couple hours later and we ended up talking into the night for over four hours. We realized we had so much more in common then we initially thought, and I was thrilled when he asked me out on our first date. It was planned for a few days later, the day after Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Prior to our date, I was planning to visit my family at my grandparent’s house for the holiday. They warned me that they were all feeling bad with stomach issues, but I ignored the warnings and visited anyway. I made it through the actual Thanksgiving holiday unscathed, and woke up the day after excited for my date and still feeling good. Later in the evening, as I was getting ready, it hit me…the nasty, unforgiving stomach plague I caught from my family. In just a matter of minutes, I was on the floor feeling AWFUL. I couldn’t believe it! He was already on his way to pick me up, and had to drive 35 minutes to get me…there was no way I could cancel. I was determined to go out, so I attempted to eat a few crackers, drink some ginger ale, and hoped for the best. I couldn’t keep anything down. When he arrived to the house, I was sitting on the floor. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he walked in. Looking back on it now, it’s kind of funny, but I’m sure at the time he was not amused. He asked me if I still wanted to go, and I said yes…and I’m sure he was hoping and praying I’d say no. We had planned on dinner and a movie, about 35 minutes from my house. I laid down in the car all the way there and only drank a Coke at dinner. I missed most of the movie because I was so sick. We did talk a little bit, but mostly about how sick I was. At the end of the movie, he took me home, and I apologized profusely. I knew he’d never call me again after that, and I was disappointed that I made the decision to continue with the date. I went to bed, feeling sad and mad at myself.
The next day, I stayed in the bed most of the day. I missed work which wasn’t like me, but there was no way I could go. I was feeling sorry for myself and still mad at myself for ruining my date. Around 6pm that evening, my step-mom came in my room and told me he had called…just to check on me! I couldn’t believe it and was so happy. He told her to have me call him later. I did, and to my surprise, he asked me out again. I couldn’t have been happier.
As the familiar saying goes, the rest is history. We started dating exclusively within a couple of weeks, and dated all throughout college (I went away to school and he attended locally). We had our fair share of highs and lows (still do!). We fell apart and came back together. I was a wreck when we weren’t together, and missed him terribly. It was during those times I knew he was the one for me. We had so much fun together, and I looked forward to every day with him. After ten years of dating, he asked me to marry him in the most special way. My late Grandfather was very sick and had a grave prognosis. Everyone knew how important my Granddaddy was to me, so my now husband decided to have my Grandfather hand me the box with the ring in it at the dinner table at my Aunt’s house. It was in a Life Saver’s box (which represents how his Dad proposed to his Mom), and he asked me to marry him when I opened the box. My sweet Granddaddy was able to be there for it, and I am so grateful for that. He passed away just a month later, and I am so happy that he was able to be a part of one of the happiest moments of my life. My sweet husband knew just the right thing to do. I didn’t need a fancy proposal; I just needed a memorable one. It was perfect and meant the world to me.
We’ve been married for almost six years now. We have three sweet boys who are our lives. They are the smartest, cutest, sweetest, most precious little things and we are just in love. My husband is a wonderful father to them! He is very patient and he is kind. He teaches them so much every day, and plays with them…truly plays. He is in the floor or outside with them every day. He is present, and that is the most important thing. They love their Daddy so much. Their little faces light up when they see him, and I am so thankful to have such an awesome partner to raise our sweet boys. I couldn’t imagine a better life than what we’ve created.
I’m so thankful I made the decision 16 years ago to apply to work in the Games Department at the amusement park, and am so glad I was hired by Rides instead. I never would have met my husband, and would not be sitting here today reflecting on how much I love him and how grateful I am that he is the father of my children.
Dear M, thank you for 15 great years, for our sweet beautiful boys, and most importantly, for loving me. You truly are a great husband and wonderful father, and I am appreciate you more than words can express. I love you!
Becoming a Daddy For the First Time:
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