Dear Dad, From Your "Not So Little" Girl

Dear Dad, From Your "Not So Little" Girl

Thank you for always believing in me.
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Dear Dad,

Seems just like yesterday I was pondering the terrible thought of never being able to put my hair in a perfectly slicked ponytail, due to you always being the one to do it. When did the spider hiding in the corner suddenly become less terrifying without you being the one to save the day, smashing it with your shoe? I always wondered when I grew up if life would make more sense. Honestly, it just gets more confusing as the years continue. Although the one thing that never changes is you, my rock.

You’ve taught me that discipline, hard work, and “rubbing some dirt in it” when times get rough are how to make it out of this crazy world still standing. But you have also taught me that eating that extra spoonful of ice cream, leaning on a shoulder when life knocks you down, and taking a day just for yourself is essential for your sanity.

Whenever there is heartbreak with that boy who seemed so different, but essentially turned out to be just like the rest, you always make everything seem okay, even if it’s just for a moment. Simply intimidating the boy who walks through your front door so he truly knows who he has to deal with if he even thinks about breaking my fragile heart. Sometimes it seems as though love will be impossible to find due to the fact no man compares to your self worth. But when this love is found someday, you will be right there by my side to walk me down the aisle. I know you never have enjoyed dancing in public (or in general), but you bet we will be dancing to our favorite Heartland song, "I Loved Her First."

I will always be your number one fan. You’re my biggest supporter who never seems to get the credit you truly deserve. I know I haven’t been the perfect daughter at times, and have probably said some things that I don’t mean during an argument… I guess my short temper is something I get from my old man.

The point is that no matter how much older I get, or how many miles separate us, someday, when I have a grown-up job, nothing will replace our relationship. You were the most important man in my life the day I was born, and will be the most important until the day I die. I hope you never forget that.

Love you to the moon and back,

Your forevermore little girl.

Cover Image Credit: My Modern Met

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A Letter To My Best Friend On Valentine's Day

Because you are my ultimate Valentine.
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To my beautiful best friend,

Warning: This letter is about to get extremely cheesy. I am talking four cheese lasagna cheesy. But no one deserves a love letter like this more than you do.

This Valentine’s Day, I want to express my love for you. On this wondrous occasion with which most people express their love to their significant other, I want to tell you, my best friend, how much I cherish our friendship.

SEE ALSO: A Valentine's Day Love Letter To My Girl Best Friends

You are the ultimate love of my life. Boys have come and gone but you remain a constant; for that I am grateful. You have been there for me when my family could not be; for that I am grateful. You have been my backbone, my rock, and all those other clichés people use to describe the people they care about, and yet you have been so much more than that as well; for that I am grateful.

All my love this Valentine’s Day goes out to you, my friend, because you do not receive it enough. You have picked me up out of the dirt, brushed me off, and kissed my wounds more times than I can count, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that, but I am sure am going to try.

Thank you for the midnight cries. Thank you for the midnight laughs. Thank you for ordering way too much food with me and still just eating it all. Thank you for the advice, both solicited and unsolicited. Thank you for telling me what I need to hear, even when it isn’t what I want to hear. Thank you for the silly pictures. Thank you for the stupid inside jokes. Thank you for making bad decisions with me. Thank you for laughing with me and laughing at me. Thank you for the endless memories.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter to the Best Friend I've Ever Had

More than anything, I want you to know that I love you. I love you. You are the family I get to choose, the one I go to when I have nowhere else to turn. You are the one I know I can always run to, whether we saw each other yesterday or haven’t seen each other in a year. You have played a part in molding who I am as a person, and I am so grateful for having such an amazing person affecting my life in such a positive way.

With all the love in my heart,

Your friend
Cover Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.pederson.5/photos

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10 Ways To Take Care Of Your Heart

February is here and it's time to discuss its most important themes: black history and heart disease.

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February is both Black History Month and American Heart Month. Both are incredibly important, especially to me. It's so important for everyone, especially African Americans, to take care of their heart.

According to statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, with one in four deaths being caused by heart disease. In the black community, the rates are much higher, causing 48% of women and 44% of men to die from heart disease. High blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes are all leading risk factors to heart disease.

These are some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your chances of suffering from heart disease.

1. Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!

2. Know your numbers.

Check in with your doctor to see about your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. If something seems a little high or a little low, don't freak out! Just make sure to ask the questions in order to get them to normal. On the other hand, if something seems high or low, don't ignore it, address it!

3. Watch what you eat.

Talk is very cheap people! We (meaning I) must do better about actually changing our diet and not just talking about it.

4. Take your meds.

5. Lower your stress.

6. Quit smoking.

I mean really, why is this even still a thing?

7. Cut back on the salt.

Yes, that means less processed food and restaurants, I know.

8. Know your family history.

Ask your parents and grandparents what your family health history is like. You never know what could be genetically a threat to your life!

9. Find a primary doctor.

I am guilty when it comes to not wanting to go to the doctor. I am not a fan of any doctors, but that doesn't mean I don't need to do better. Find a primary doctor, but make sure it is somebody you like! The experience is always much better when you actually enjoy your visits.

10. Spread the word. 

Teach your family members, especially your kids, how to take care of themselves and lower their chances as well. A healthy family is a happy family!

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