FROM YOUR MOM....
Jude and Sloane,
Your dad is so many great things. I could make this post last for days, but I've narrowed it down to six qualities I genuinely hope made their way into your cute DNA.
He is GENEROUS.
Your dad is so giving. He is first to volunteer when someone needs help and never expects (or allows) anything in return. I've learned to keep my mouth shut when we go to the mall because if I point to something I like, it will be a gift in the future (don't get any ideas, kids). He will contribute to any cause and that is why we'll be receiving a large amount of Boy Scout popcorn in the very near future. He doesn't even really like popcorn (unless we're at a movie).
He is a GREAT LISTENER.
Your dad is the best listener I know... unless there is a sports game playing on the television directly behind you. :) I have discussed so many ridiculous problems with him and he's never once told me the problems are, in fact, ridiculous. Sometimes he offers advice, other times he just nods encouragingly and lets me vent. And once I'm done, he doesn't forget it. Days or weeks will go by and he'll follow-up to make sure everything is OK. Half the time I don't even remember the issue but he never forgets. He is so thoughtful.
He is HUMOROUS.
Your dad is hilarious. He is not the class clown, he's the one making quiet comical remarks to the person standing next to him. I'm so glad I get to be that person--one day you will be too. When he smiles his eyes disappear (just like yours, Sloane)! Life isn't always funny but it's so much better when you can laugh with your family.
He is ATHLETIC.
I realize this is quite different from the other traits, but it's a huge part of your dad's life. While his expertise is soccer, he is a natural athlete and quite good at every sport he attempts (except for co-ed intramural softball, which is something we don't discuss). I know a lot of his confidence comes from his athletic ability, which carries over to everyday life. Not to mention he has fantastic legs. I'm sorry, that may be weird for you two to hear. But it's true.
He is CREATIVE.
Your dad is a financial analyst, which means he deals with numbers and spreadsheets every day. He is great at his job and loves what he does. While his work is very left brain, his creativity outside of the office is what impresses me the most. His thoughts and ideas are so original and he expresses them well. He's a great storyteller and I love watching his eyes light up as he talks. His stories about you two are by far the best.
He is HUMBLE.
Your dad is so humble. It drives me crazy sometimes because I want him to understand what a gem he is. While I take out the trash and expect a standing ovation, he quietly goes about his business and never expects (or wants) a thing. He is an outstanding husband, father, and friend. And if you tell him this he will smile shyly and compliment you back. I'm not sure he's ever simply said, "Thanks." Never, ever, ever take for granted what an amazing dad you have.
FROM YOUR DAD....
SENSE OF HUMOR
Your mother has mastered the art of two different types of jokes. The overly cheesy so it's funny variety, and the sneak attack. The overly cheesy is usually accompanied by an equally cheesy smile, or a laugh that would put the laugh track of a terrible comedy to shame. The sneak attack will come at the end of a normal conversation and catch you off guard. Sometimes you won't realize you've been had until minutes later, but if you recognize the situation as it's happening, she can't hide how happy she is with herself. Both will bring a quick smile to your face.
Your mother doesn't lose. I won't say she cheats, but rules were made to be bent. You might scare a couple of friends early on with torn Candyland game boards or thrown Monopoly pieces (don't let her be the banker), but you could do worse than to attack everything in life with such passion.
We'll have to try to make a list some day of all the commercials that have brought your mom to tears. Google had three in a row while she was pregnant with you guys. However, she's not some sap that will cry at anything. She's extremely loyal to her family and would do anything for them. That includes you. You're lucky to have her, so you can let it slide when she cries at a commercial about E-mail.
There is a small armory of laughs from which your mother may draw at any moment. There is a laugh combined with scoffing that comes out during reality television shows that she definitely doesn't watch. When she's really caught off guard by something funny, a half laugh/half shout will explode from her lungs that will certainly make you jump. When tickled, which she supposedly hates, her laugh follows a bell curve with strong laughter at each end and silent shaking in the middle. They're all a lot of fun to be around, and infectious.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
I hope that you are patient because your outfits on school picture days will see 5 iterations and you'll have to model them for her each time. All kidding aside (no seriously, at least 5), your mother can plan anything and she has a unique eye that will provide some great birthday parties along the way. She'll also be able to find the right mix of letting you be rebellious without seeing you walk out the door looking like part of a gypsy tribe. Your English papers will see the most thorough proofreading of anyone in your class. The downside? Those rooms better be clean.
Your mom has pretty average feet. Your dad has completely out of proportion, hobbit/ogre feet...or paws? Sloane, you seem to be following in mom's footsteps. I don't know how you hold yourself up on those things. Jude, that's my bad. It sounds like you're going to kick your crib through the wall when you wake up. Barefoot water skiing sounds like fun.
While this list was fun to compile, anything you take from your mother will be a blessing, and I'll enjoy trying to identify the different ways you both take after her.