As well as I know what I want to say, I don't know how to say it. So I'm just going to start with saying thank you.

Dear Dad,

Our relationship hasn't always been perfect... it actually kind of sucked for a while. Sure, when I was 13 years old I probably didn't like you all that much. I also didn't like you when I was 16 and all my friends were driving but me because you were scared to let me get my license. Oh yeah, we can't forget all the times you yelled at me for doing the exact opposite of what you told me to do. But now you're my best friend and I wouldn't trade our relationship for the world (wouldn't even trade it for that new MacBook Pro I've been begging for.)

I suppose there were a handful of times that I wanted to seriously move out (like when I was 14 and got caught sneaking out, so you put an alarm system on every door and window in the house.) But there are an endless amount of handfuls that I would've crumbled without you... even when you really didn't know what to say, you always said the right thing. When that stupid boy broke my heart you made sure I knew that you would "break his face" if I REALLY wanted you to. Or when I wrecked my first car; you made sure I knew you didn't care about the car even though you just bought it the week before. You were there when I came home early from school just because I was sad. You took the time out of your busy day to go on ice cream dates.

I could go on forever, but you get the gist.

I'm not completely sure of who I would be if I didn't have you. You've taught me so much, and I look up to you in about 1,000 different ways. The phrase "well my dad..." comes out of my mouth so often that boys are probably tired of hearing about you.

All because of you I want to chase my dreams. As silly as I thought you used to be, everything is starting to make sense now. I know why integrity and truthfulness are so important. I know why it's important to be genuine to anyone and everyone that you meet, and most importantly you taught me how to treat people with respect. Those qualities are traits that some people don't have today, and I am beyond thankful that you made sure I knew about them.

Although I'm a HUGE tomboy (yeah, thanks for that too) you didn't forget to tell me to act like a lady. You taught me to hold my ground and be a strong young woman no matter the circumstances. That skill alone is what pushed me to get through this past year.

Dad, I've watched you go through so much. I look at pictures, and I remember who you used to be. Yeah, you were great then too... but now you are my hero, my favorite person, and my #1. Not a day goes by that I don't think about how awesome you are.

There's nothing I hate more than disappointing you, dad. You will always be the number-one man in my life, and no one will ever take your place. I'll always have your back just like you have mine.

Someday I can only hope to be half the parent, friend and overall person you are.

So yeah... thanks, dad. I love you.