On September 1, 1980 my life was forever blessed by the birth of a tiny baby. I'm pretty sure I wasn't even conceived yet, but I'm also pretty sure God had me in mind when little Danny J. Stump was born to John and Ann. This tiny baby didn't stay very tiny for long, and soon he was obsessing over sports stats like Jake obsesses over cars. He collected zillions of baseball cards that are still in our attic and at his parents house ("guaranteed money in the bank some day"). He was the man in middle school, ruling the basketball court, football field and track.
And then one day he met a pretty girl. They became fast friends and that friendship slowly grew. She watched him play basketball in high school, and break his hand playing football his senior year, and she realized how much she cared about him. They went to the winter formal together and held hands. They got married one summer day, and the pretty girl thought she couldn't love him any more than she did at that moment. But then they started to share their lives together and she realized how blessed she really was. They hardly ever fought, and even though his mom had spoiled him (love you, Ann!), he still remembered to do the dishes every once in a while, and always took out the trash.
Then they had a baby, and the girl knew by looking at Dan's face that he would be an incredible father. She was right. He has the perfect mixture of what a dad should be...wrestling with his boys, disciplining them in love, and never letting them go to bed without kisses from daddy.
He is a fantastic teacher, whose students love him and proved by their scores on the state test that they learned a ton from him. He is an awesome role model for the junior high guys that he coaches in football and basketball. I'm excited to bring our boys to his games again this year. They're so proud of daddy, as am I.
Thank you Ann, for giving birth to your little boy who turned into my big man. You and John did an incredible job of raising him, and I am truly grateful.
And thank you Dan, for loving me and our babies more than you love ESPN in high def on your 50 inch plasma. We love you, too. Happy birthday, dude.