Be a Leader, Not a Follower
That’s what is tattooed on my left arm in my dad’s handwriting. Growing up, my dad, Lee Perry, taught my brother Luke and me always to lead the pack. Don’t ever try to be someone you’re not. Be your own person, and make people want to follow you.
I always loved this because I never pretended to be someone I wasn’t. I am who I am; if you don’t like it, well, there’s the door.
Back in the early 90s, the cool thing to do was cut your hair short. Like, really short. One person started doing it, then another, and so on. But then there was me, loving my long hair and not caring if it was not in style. I’ll never forget the era.
I would stand strong on stuff like this, and my dad really influenced me to be the person I am today. Even my momma says, “You are so much like your dad. You are a Perry in and out.”
My maiden name is Perry, and the Perry family is just that. We are who we are, and when my dad grew up with his brothers, people knew not to mess with the Perry boys. My pap, Dwain Perry, taught his sons and daughter to always stick up for themselves and also treat others as you would want to be treated. My dad brought us up the same way. I was never bullied in school because of this and would defend anyone being picked on.
A father has such a huge impact on our lives. I believe they set you up for your future — what kind of person you become, and your choices in picking a husband. My dad was the type of dad who not only taught me to ride a bicycle but so many others as well. He taught multiple people how to water ski, how to ride a motorcycle, ride a bicycle, how to drive standard, and even how to drive a dump truck. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, “Hey, your dad taught me how to water ski!” or “Your dad taught me how to drive!” My dad is one heck of a teacher and oh so patient. It makes me so proud when I hear people say this.
Dad taught me to drive and wanted me to know how to drive standard also — in case there was ever an emergency when I officially got my license. He taught me how to change a tire, again, in case of an emergency. We would sit in our driveway with my Subaru Impreza (that I still own to this day), and my dad would walk me through how to change the oil in it. Months later, I would change it for the heck of it in my bikini just because I thought I was such a cool cat knowing how to do this. The bikini just added a nice touch while doing it. Dad did NOT teach me that part. HaHa!
I grew up with a father who was very involved with my life. I grew up with family nights and watching my parents get along for the longest time. My parents respected each other, and they laughed together. Luke and I were their top priority and made our childhood truly a remarkable one. I knew someday how I wanted to raise my family and what kind of man I wanted to pick.
I wanted a man who would respect me. I wanted a man who could do it all, just like my dad. I wanted a man who would come to my rescue when I needed him. I wanted a man who would tell me I was beautiful and loved me how my dad loved me. I wanted a man to tell me I could do anything I can set my mind to and push me when I needed to be pushed. I wanted a man who could someday teach our kids with me how to ride a motorcycle, drive standard, and teach our daughter to change her oil someday. And guess what? I found one — a true gem. Now, changing the oil part for our Kenzy will no doubt happen, but I don’t think her daddy will allow the bikini part.
I couldn’t have picked a more remarkable man than my husband. He is not only an amazing husband but father too. We just got done telling Kenzy last night that when she picks a husband someday, I want her to pick someone just like her daddy. A man of grace and honor. A man who will treat her with the utmost respect. As I am saying this to her, Chris is telling her when she brings him home to meet her dad, that he will be cleaning his guns that day. (Ya know, the famous dad warning.)
My dad tells Chris he can’t wait for the day Kenzy brings a boyfriend home. He says, “Son, now you will know how I felt when Andrea brought you to meet me, but she will always be daddy’s little girl.” (Dad didn’t need to clean shotguns, he was a Harley guy, and it showed. Chris was nervous just looking at him, but now he knows dad is just a big soft teddy bear on the inside and would literally do anything for anyone.)
My dad is one of the hardest workers I know!
Chris still teases me that when making decisions, I still have to call up my dad to ask him what I should do. It always and will always fall back on my dad. Never question your father; they will always be right. I’ll never not be too old to ever call my dad when I need him, and every time I see him, or we talk on the phone, the last thing he says besides, “ I love you” is “If you need anything, you call me.” Every girl needs a daddy like this. A man you can count on, no matter what. Always and forever.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and father figures out there. Even awesome stepdads and fathers-in-law who also impact our lives. *Wink, Wink Mark Metzger, and Robert Rook!*
Chicken Cordon Bleu Stromboli
• 2 cans of Pillsbury Pizza dough
• 1 lb. sliced chicken from deli
• 1/2 lb. sliced ham from deli
• 1/2 lb. sliced swiss
• 1/2 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and open a can of pizza dough.
Spread evenly on the cookie sheet. Layer on chicken, ham, and cheeses for two layers total.
Top with the last can of dough and pinch seams.
Brush on a little oil on top of dough and sprinkle on some Italian seasoning. (optional)
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or the dough is golden brown.
Next we are going to make the sauce.
• 1/3 cup butter
• 4 cloves of garlic minced
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 2/3 cup milk (I used 2%)
• Salt and Pepper to taste
Place butter in a sauce pan and melt on medium heat. Add garlic, saute for at least 2 minutes.
Add flour and mix. Then slowly add milk while stirring constantly.
Continue to stir until the sauce thickens about 1-2 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
I added a bit of sauce inside my stromboli, but you don’t have too.
Serve it on the side with the stromboli.