Vroooom Vroooom y’all!

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I was kind of a jerk the day I got my first car.  So, my #FirstCarMoment begins with my Ma fussing at me in line at Golden Corral.  Not a Golden Corral Buffet.  Just the regular kind. Because we are classy like that.  It all kind of happened like this…

Before we left to go to my 16th birthday dinner I was convinced that a car was going to be outside the house. I am not sure why I was so sure about it.  Ok, actually I do know why.  Because I was spoiled.  I can admit that. But, please don’t tell my kids because I am not nearly as generous as my parents are.

So, when we walked out and there was no car my balloon instantly burst.  I tried to hide my disappointment (I think…) but when we drove by the bank that was selling my dream car (a 1993 Calypso Green Mustang) and it was no longer parked in front I am sure I was pouting like a bullfrog.

I got it together and we ate and had a pleasant time. After we left dinner, I was driving of course, my parents suggested we cruise through the used car lot in our little town.

As I pulled around the building I couldn’t believe that my little Mustang was parked right there.  Talk about adding insult to injury. (Man, I was I little jerk!)

I slowly drove past it, when I noticed a huge banner that said Happy Birthday and it was full of balloons. (Yes, my childhood was directly from an 80s movie except way more countryfied.) I couldn’t believe it! I jumped out and jumped into the car. Actually, that isn’t totally true because the movie soundtrack playing in my head at the moment (probably something like Take My Breath Away…) was interrupted by my parents being unable to find the key. Still, though, I was like a movie star.  At least in my own mind.

I loved that car and I drove the crap out of it.  I went parking in that car. I cruised my town in that car. I grew up in that car.  It was my baby and I washed it by hand and never let it go through the car wash, since my God Father Rod told me that it would damage my paint job.

Eventually my senior year of high school I traded it in for this:

Although, I loved the feeling of the wind through my hair, I never loved my Cavalier like I did that first Mustang.

There is just something sweet about your first car that you can never recreate.  That moment of freedom you experience when you pull out of your driveway all alone the first time. Suddenly the world seems all yours.

My Cavalier was amazing and reliable. Until it wasn’t.  Although that was totally my fault.

I was driving down I95 between DC and Richmond when I blew that baby up.  Not because I was driving too fast, but because I didn’t maintain it.  The engine was totally out of oil and I was totally out of a car.

I look back to those days of being young and dumb and I am shocked at how much I took car maintenance for granted. I guess I thought my Dad would do all the work forever.

Now that I AM the Dad, I have traded my sports car days in for keys to an SUV.  I mean, how else is this family of five going to be able to get around?

I think of Asher getting behind the wheel and although that is at least 12 years away, I hope he will be more responsible than I was.

I had no idea that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is seen as the 100 most dangerous days for teen drivers.  I can’t say I am surprised though! I think of all the risks I took and I count my lucky stars. And that was in the days before the distraction of cell phones were even added into the mix.

With around 12% of the millions of accidents each year being attributed to tire issues I see that I need to do more to insure my family’s safety on the road.  I live on a four lane highway so, trust me, I see first hand horrible accidents every so often.  We have to make sure that our families aren’t part of them!

I check the tire pressure on my wife and I’s cars every Sunday afternoon.  That is something that my Dad has drilled into my head to do.  And I will make sure my kids do that as well. I need to, however, be more vigilant about the tread on my tires.

Often, we look for the best sale on tires, but there are certain things you can’t evaluate just by price. Michelin has been in the tire business for 125 years (say what!??!) and they are all about preventing the around 125,000 accidents that occur due to inexperience drivers having tire issues.

My #FirstCarMoment was amazing and I want my son’s to be as well! So I will trust only the experts with my tires.

After all, keeping these three safe is one of my biggest jobs as a Dad!

My babies! So proud to be the Pappy of these three. #blessed #joy #kids #father

A post shared by Michael Bryant (@thepurposefulpappy) on

  • Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Michelin for this promotion.  I have received compensation for my participation, but my first car memories are my own.

Random Moments Make Beautiful Memories

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for AVEENO. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I feel like lately I have been able to witness some things that the average person doesn’t get to see.  If you have followed this site for awhile you know my Grandmother had a pretty severe series of strokes over the past few years. Amazingly, however, she recently celebrated her 91st Birthday and I wanted to share a moment of #UnscriptedBeauty from the day.

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This picture shows Four Generations of love.  You see Bellamy’s hands, my hands, my Mom’s, and my Grandma’s.  To bring it all together, the blanket under our hands is one my Grandma made for my Pop.  My Pop was a long distance trucker, so that blanket traveled many miles.  This picture is beautiful and it moves me every time I look at it.  Not many people get the honor and privilege of sharing a connection through so many generations.

This has all been on my mind because of AVEENO.  I had the opportunity to do some reading about how most parent’s favorite moments were ones that just “happened.” Those little snapshots of life that you look back on and really feel like a moment was captured that sums up a time in your life.  The picture of our hands is one of those for me.

If you look at my Grandma’s hands it is hard to believe that they are 91 years old!  That is because she was always careful with her skin. She worked hard and loved the sun but she always took time to make sure those hands were baby soft.  I can still remember how great they felt when she took my hand in hers and we walked around.

I want to thank AVEENO, not just for the awesome basket they sent me, but also for the chance to reflect on these precious moments of #UnscriptedBeauty.  I hope you will take a moment and head over to www.aveeno.com and check out their entire product line.

As an added bonus, be sure you enter AVEENO’s #UnscriptedBeauty Contest.  It is easy! Capture photos of the beauty in your life throughout the month of June! Post your photos on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using #AVEENO, #UnscriptedBeauty, and #Contest. For Facebook posts don’t forget to tag @Aveeno.

One winner will be selected in July to receive a photo-shoot from acclaimed photographer, Danielle Guenther, as well as AVEENO products! Go and win y’all!!

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Pappy’s Day Will Be Here Soon!

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All I am saying is, these three better be getting me something AWESOME for Father’s Day! I am mostly kidding, but despite the fact I have an amazing wife who would never forget Father’s Day, I have an irrational fear that the day will come and it will be treated like every other.

I’ve been wondering why that is and actually getting a little frustrated with myself about it.  Why is recognition on some day that was probably created by Hallmark so important to me?  As I pondered it, I feel like it isn’t about me.

I am lucky.  I am told all the time that I am a great day and people around me are so supportive.  However, I get stressed about Father’s Day for OTHER Dads.  So many Fathers are parenting in a bubble.  No one notices how hard they work or they are constantly criticized. They are told by the media they are stupid and incompetent and many Dads want to be better, but they don’t feel like they can be.

 In years past I have made a point to feature Dads every day who are putting all they have into parenting.  I really wanted to do that this year, but with Bellamy’s arrival it just didn’t pan out.  But the fact that I ONLY think to do that around Father’s Day is lame as well.  I see myself as someone who Champions Fatherhood, yet I am not shining the spotlight on good Dads like I should be.

So pay attention to this space.  You will soon see the faces of men who are working hard to make the next generation happy, whole, and productive.

Thank God for good Daddies.