Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Inked. And The Story Behind The Blog.

 
 
Finding a starting point for this post was very much like debating which came first, the chicken or the egg. You see, the phrase "I Love You More Than Carrots" is roughly twenty-six years old. Now, before you go thinking "Holy cow. How lame is this girl? She went and got her blog name tattooed on her," you're going to want to hear me out. Because it's true, I did ink myself with my blog name but only because my blog name had inked itself on my life years ago. Cheesy, indeed. However, I had to somehow bring the chicken-and-the-egg reference full circle. Here goes...

Back in 1985, at the ripe old age of 2 and during my ritual bedtime routine, I kissed my Daddy goodnight and told him I loved him. Without thinking, he asked "how much do you love me?" And with my infinite wisdom far beyond my years and obviously serious adoration for the vegetable, I promptly responded, "I love you more than carrots." 
 
Needless to say, that silly little phrase stuck and became something quite special between this self-proclaimed Daddy's girl and her daddy. Letters, cards, emails and phone calls were all closed with the saying. Over the years, "I Love You More Than Carrots" became simply, "ILYMTC" and eventually just "LYMTC."
 
In February 2010, at just 4 months pregnant, I received a phone call at work that I wouldn't ever wish on my worst enemy. It was my Mother, telling me in that voice not to worry but that she was sitting in the ER (and had been for a couple of hours) with my Dad.. who appeared to have suffered a stroke at the base of his brain stem. 

Long story short, every saint and angel in Heaven and even God himself had his hand on my Dad that day. Although his left side was marginally affected, he ended up making an almost full recovery. If you asked my Dad what devastated him most about the residual weakness, he would likely tell you that it was the effect that the stroke had on his handwriting. 
 
I've never met a man with more beautiful penmanship than my father. It was something he prided himself on and out of 1,000 letters, those who knew him could pick out his writing from miles away. He worked his ass off, spending hours doodling on newspapers, hospital menus, napkins.. anything he could get his hands.. hoping to strengthen his left hand. Truth be told? It made me physically sick to see his handwriting look like that of a 4th grader and what made it even worse was seeing how much it upset him. 
 
Eventually, through hours of practice and relentless physical therapy, my Dad's strength in that left side is almost fully recovered. His handwriting, once again, is unmistakably his own. Beautiful and unique. 
 
It was shortly after my Dad's stroke that I knew exactly the tattoo I would get. The tattoo that I had been wanting for years. Ten years, to be exact. 
 
Over the years I vacillated between a few designs: a pheonix on my ankle, the requisite Chinese lettering denoting "faith" "blessings" or "love," on my hip that was ever-so-popular during my high school years, and at one point, I may have even wanted a fairy.. a la Brit-Brit. Thankfully, the nagging feeling of, "something just isn't right, it doesn't mean enough" was enough to sway me from taking the leap and getting inked.
 
Until now. 
I'm now the proud, bad ass owner of my first-ever ink. Written in my Dad's handwriting. Something that means more than the world to me and something I'll be able to look at well, forever and ever.. 
 
And thanks to my addictive personality, I have a feeling this won't be the last. And Dan (the tattoo artist), I would just like to point out that you were right. It did feel just like you were writing with a pencil. A pencil filled with about 7,000 needles.

Later in the week, I'll have a pretty neat McLinky post up and running where I'll write a bit more about my tattoo, the process and how I made my Dad and brother come with me. And I'll even talk about how, at first, The Husband wasn't a major fan but after several hours, totally warmed up to My New Ink and wanted to know if I would seriously ever considering inking his name on my body.  
 
The McLinky will be for all you Loyals out there to link up and tell me about your ink. Thanks to this Mama for the idea as it's been quite the Twitter joke that I'm now a part of the super secret and elite #CMTC or Cool Mom Tattoo Club.

Happy Tuesday, Loyals! 
Hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing holiday weekend! 
Back to the grind...










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56 comments :

  1. beautiful post. I'm such a softie this made me tear up. what a wonderful tribute to your dad.

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  2. I love that you took the time to explain the real meaning behind your blog... and because of that, I love you that much more. Your dad will love this post, I'm sure.

    Can't wait for the link up!

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  3. Awwww, that is absolutely adorable and such a touching story. So glad that your Dad made a full recovery and that you chose to share this sweet story with us.

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  4. I am a needle phobic but I too have a similiar story about my Daddy but my ending wasn't as great as yours. I think your inking is perfect and you will always treasure that special saying now more than ever.

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  5. i love this post. and i love understanding the meaning behind your blog that much more. you can tell you and your dad have a VERY special relationship

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  6. So love this post! I always struggled with my tattoo ideas not meaning enough, either, so I just never got one :(

    You're so bad ass with the new dark tresses, tat, and feather! Luckily, I could spot your "voice" from 1,000 miles away. You're still our AP!

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  7. I love this story and thanks for sharing it!

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  8. That is sweet. So glad your dad came full circle. My tattoos have very special meanings, maybe I'll link up to my old post where I wrote about them!

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  9. I love this! A perfect (first) tattoo!

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  10. I love this! Very special and something you will always have close to your heart.

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  11. From another Daddy's girl, this post warmed my heart. I'm a tattoo fan, s I love this. You'll never regret this ink :)

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  12. Love the story and I love even more that your tattoo has such a wonderful message behind it

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  13. This has got to be one of my favorite tat stories :) I love it! I've always wanted to know the meaning behind the blog and its beautiful! Welcome to the club!! They are quite addicting :)

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  14. Love it. Both of my tattoos have pretty solid meanings too, which is so much cooler than a stupid fairy- that I almost got too. ;)

    You're so blessed to have an amazing dad. So happy he's recovered well.

    XO

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  15. I love this post/story. *sigh*

    I love tattoos, but when they have special meaning? They're more awesome.

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  16. I love this. I've always wanted a tat but can't figure out something meaningful that I won't regret. When I saw the pic on twitter, I loved that it was in your dad's handwriting but now I know the depth behind that part? I think it's even cooler.

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  17. This is so cool! I love meaningful tattoos. My older brother has his daughter, when she was 4, write her name on his chest and then he went and got it tattooed so he forever has her adorable 4 year old hand writing on him.

    Thanks for sharing :) and so glad your dad has made a full recovery!

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  18. Oh my gosh, I love this!! I totally teared up. So awesome. Hugs.

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  19. Cutest story ever! And the tat link-up?? I'll totally join!!!

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  20. What a sweet story. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. So touching. So cool. So well written.

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  22. Great story AP....so heartwarming and special:-)

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  23. I'm so glad you posted this story! I love your tattoo and the meaning behind it. :D

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  24. Love!!!! Let the addiction begin LOL.

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  25. What a precious story. When I saw you hint about it on Twitter, I was eager to read what it was all about (the tattoo and the phrase), but I wasn't expecting this. So, so sweet. :)

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  26. Love this story, love the tat.

    I had a similar ritual w/my late step dad. Well, we didn't write letters or cards... but in 1989 when he married my mom everynight before bed we said "see ya in the booty head!" I have no idea what the original phrase was, or if there was one? But I said it to that man for 20+ years and it was the last thing I said to him when he was laying in his hospital bed the night before we let him go... although heavily medicated, he nodded to me; I know he heard me. You can bet I will say this to my children someday!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Never thought I'd tear up at a post about a tattoo, but girl, you made me do it. Just thinking about your sweet daddy practicing his handwriting sent me over the edge. What a wonderful way to remember your special bond. :) xo, a fellow Daddy's Girl!!

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  28. this was so special to me. especially since i lost my daddy and most recently, my granddaddy. i am planning a memorial tattoo for them both. xxx

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  29. I'm never crazy about wrist tattoo's but I think the idea behind it and everything your father has been through makes this a really touching tribute. I think it was a great idea, and I'm sure he will love it as well.

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  30. So sweet! I knew when you said you were getting it inked that it had to mean so much more than just the name of your blog. Truly special to have this with you forever. And thanks for the mention, love!

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  31. I LOVE the meaning behind your blog! That's such a precious story =) It took me YEARS to figure out what tattoo I wanted too...and where to put it. I would look at women in their 60's and try to picture them with a tramp stamp or a tattoo on their ankle. For years I just couldn't see it. When I could picture a woman in Panera with wrist tattoos, I went the next day and got mine!

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  32. Woot Woot! Welcome to the CMTC! Love it! But then you already knew that ;-)

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  33. This is such a sweet post. I have to admit that I'm not a tattoo person, but I'm a sucker for the ones that truly have an important meaning behind them like yours does. Love it and so glad to finally know the meaning behind your blog name! So sweet.

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  34. What a beautiful story! So glad your dad has made such a remarkable recovery and kudos to him for his hard work to get there!

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  35. awesome - and i'm not a fan of tattoos, but i'm a big time daddy's girl too, so i 100% get it. love the meaning behind it.

    my dad and i say "every day of the week"....which basically means... "i love you always".

    glad you are blessed with such an awesome father!!!!

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  36. Love this post, so beautiful. I have been waiting to hear the story behind the tattoo, so touching

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  37. Love it!! I am a big believer of tatting the important things in life. & Beautiful story behind the blog.

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  38. What a sweet story. I am not one who typically likes tattoos, but if they have a meaningful story behind them (you know, something more than a butterfly on your hip), then I'm all for it. It sounds like your tattoo was well thought out and full of lots of love. Very neat :)

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  39. I must say I usually don't agree with tattoos. They just aren't for me..but this story definitely got me.

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  40. I have to say i got teary eyed while reading this post! i love your tattoo and everything behind it! it makes me wish mine meant something more special. I have a little 4 leaf clover for good luck on my thigh... but your tattoo is awesome!!

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  41. what a sweet heart warming story. I love the tat and the fact that your dad wrote it.

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  42. Beautiful story. And yes, you ARE a badass. The end.

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  43. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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  44. This was wonderful! I got a bit teary. :)

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  45. I knew there must have been something special behind such a unique name, but I had no idea it would be this special. I love it. Thanks for sharing.

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  46. Well I am over here tearing up. I'm such a softie...and a daddy's girl. :) I love the meaning behind the tattoo and the blog!

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  47. Such a great tattoo! I have a tattoo that I got on my 18th birthday in highschool that has zero meaning and now I really want to get one that actually has meaning! Great post and beautiful story!

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  48. Love, love, love it! I'm an ink girl and the meaning and story is the best part :)

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  49. love this story, and the ink! you'll always have a great story to tell when people ask of the meaning :)

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  50. So I am behind on blog reading! But I absolutely love this! LOve that you got a tattoo and love what you got and why! I have always wanted a tattoo and am too skerred! I want a peacock feather on my wrist or a bird on the back of my neck!

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  51. tears welled up in my eyes! what a touching story!

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  52. What an amazing story... I'm glad you posted the link to this one in your year end summary.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~Laura

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  53. I saw your photo on instagram and it caught my interest. I love the story of your tattoo! So touching and significant.

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Thank you for reading ILYMTC. If you have any questions about a post or want to get in touch with me (or any of the cast of characters here at ILYMTC) email me at iloveyoumorethancarrots(at)gmail(dot)com.

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