25 years of Daddy D

My husband, Drew, is the big 2-5 today! Almost to 30. Halfway to 50… and he’s kinda freaking out about that one. With how crazy our lives have been, and the dreams we’re still reaching for, it’s been hard to really sit down and plan out his big birthday celebration. So instead, I thought writing him a sweet little blog post would fill him up and show him how much he is cared for and loved. I could have written a big mushy love note from myself, but I decided instead to hear from those who have been impacted by Drew. Sadly, I did not have the time (or space to write) from every. single. person that Drew has shown his obnoxious but lovable personality to. There is probably at least 100, if not more, than who I have heard from- SERIOUSLY!!! But this is at least a start. I asked 25(ish) people this question: What is your favorite thing about Drew OR what is your favorite memory with/of him. I was pleased to get the heartfelt messages mixed in with the “Yup.. that’s Drew!” memories. Take some time and read about the INCREDIBLE person I get to spend the rest of my life with!

-J

“I love his heart for others, and the love he gives for our youth. Life truly wouldn’t be the same without him!”- Payton Decker, cousin, youth student

“Drew’s heart for worship is my favorite and his desire to always bring people together!”- Andrew Bates, friend, fellow Youth Pastor

“My favorite memory with Drew is when I was like 11 or 12 and me, him and a few others went on a spring break trip to Minnesota for a few days. I had a lot of fun with him those 3 days and I feel like I got closer to him and he kinda felt like a part of the family at that point.”- Ben Kelly, brother-in-law, youth student, Beastmode

“My favorite thing about Drew is his passion and love for doing life together. With all different types of people (family, friends and new people that enter into his life.) As an introvert who’s found a lot of contentment in being around less people, I am really thankful for people that are always there. For those that want to listen and know more. For those that want to share their life with me. Drew is one of those people. I also think Drew asks really great questions.”- Nick Kelly, brother-in-law, friend

“My favorite memory with Drewbie is when he was my softball coach. All the time spent with me teaching me all I needed to know- pitching, hitting and catching. He worked and worked with me and when he became my coach, it meant the world to me.”- Brianne Doland, sister, youth student

“My favorite memory is the time that weird kid ate like 3 large pizzas at the Youth Alive event at Central Intermediate and then sat in the back of our 16 passenger van. He threw up on kids in front of him who then threw up on the kids in front of them… and so on and so on. Carrie and I were in the front seats so we had big windows to roll down and breathe fresh air. But Drew was in the back with the teens and was the only leader back there with them. So it was up to him to gain control of the situation. He was yelling for everyone to calm down. But he was also yelling that if anyone threw up on him he would be punching faces (he was just kidding of course, he would never do that) but while he is yelling this he is gagging and dry heaving from the smell of rancid puke everywhere. He was sooooo mad. It was great! Yet he is still in youth ministry.. now that is love and commitment!”- Jason Minikus, friend, mentor, Pastor

“My favorite thing about Drew are his jokes for sure!”- Alan Jackson, youth student, not a country singer

“My favorite thing about Drew is that he’s down to earth and always down to to do something fun or boring as long as he’s with the people he loves. He’s a loving and caring person who would do anything for anyone to help them out (but he will be late.) He’s always up for an adventure and enjoys making people smile and laugh. The thing I love most is that he’s my brother. My favorite memory with Drew was this past hunting season when he shot a nice, big doe and he thought the coyotes were about to get him. The pure joy on his face and excitement in his voice after we found the deer will stay with me forever. Before that he called me and told me to tell Papa to bring a gun because the coyotes were out and he was nervous. It had me rolling and I thought to myself, only Drew would ever think the coyotes were after him.”- Ryan Doland, brother

“My favorite thing about Drew is how much passion he has for God and how he is able to speak that into my life and many other’s in the youth group. He is someone who I always know I can talk to in good situations and bad, and he knows just the right thing to say. He’s easygoing and funny, which makes youth fun and humorous as well as learning more about God. He’s welcoming to everyone also, which is awesome because not many people are like that. I’m so blessed to have Drew in my life not only as a youth pastor, but as a role model and mentor as well!”- Hannah Jacobsen, youth student

“Drew taught me how to play guitar and write music! He is the reason I am still playing today.”- Noah Belt, friend

“I’ve known Drew for a little over 4 years. One thing I have learned with him is that you can never be fully prepared for what might come out of his mouth. He was in an internship at the church and had the duty of announcements. In a Pastor’s mind this should be a pretty safe task. One of the announcements that day was for a women’s conference. As Drew was doing the read for the event and said, “Women’s conference,” he followed it up by adding subtly “estrogen fest.” I was mortified but was again reminded, with Drew you should always be ready for a surprise. Happy birthday Drew!”- Aaron Keller, friend, mentor, Pastor

“Drew always made situations really awkward and uncomfortable. He was always trying to set me up on dates with different people and would make them really awkward for me. Well, when we went to visit some family friends in Burlington, we visited a church, and I saw the drummer who I thought was pretty good looking. I even made the comment, he kinda looks like Adam Levine! (Stupid idea to say this in front of Drew.) So Drew looks at me and says, “Well now I have to go up to that guy and tell him what you said.” I replied, “Drew, no please no.” Well, we end up going to get some food and this hottie drummer ended up going to the same place. The moment we walk in, I B-line it to the back of the restaurant because I know what Drew is about to do. We walk in and he says, “My friend Lindsey thinks you’re attractive and look like Adam Levine.” I was SO mad at Drew because yet again, he made my life really uncomfortable and awkward. Well, a few weeks later, that drummer hottie started messaging Drew for my number. The rest is history. We are now married and with a baby on the way! So, to wrap this up. Drew always made things so uncomfortable and was hell bent on finding my future mate, and he actually got it right. Thanks Drew, for making me extremely uncomfortable because it was the best uncomfortable experience of my life. Happy birthday my dude.”- Lindsey Petersen, friend

“Drew is an overcomer! He beat the odds just as I did! The way he carries himself should be something young people should look up to, and not to mention that dude is comedy!”- Colton Lippert, friend

“Watching him with Oliver. He’s such an amazing father and how wonderful he is as a youth pastor.”- Stacie Doland, mom

“My favorite memory with him is last breakaway when I finally accepted God’s calling. He was the first person I told and he was so happy for me and talked to me about what that calling means. His love and support for me in that moment meant the world to me.”- Kelton Forbes, friend, youth leader

“I really enjoy playing music with him, he’s my favorite person to play with. I always enjoyed playing with him on Tuesday nights. He’s a great friend and real as heck.”- Dylan Blanchard, friend

“Too many good and bad memories to pick just one so I want to say my favorite thing about Drew is his heart!”- Jody Decker, grandma

“I took Drew hunting for the first time. I started to field dress a deer and Drew said he was going to be sick and started running for the cabin.” Bob Decker, Papa

“I’ve loved playing music with Drew. It’s one of my favorite memories and one of my favorite things about him. We’ve been doing it for what seems like forever.”- Blake Lathrop, friend, Youth pastor, mentor

“My favorite thing about Ol’ Sleepy Eyes is how he is equal parts encouragement and sass. Never have I come across a friend that has such a heart for unity and togetherness, the way he pulls so many of us leaders together is a true encouragement to me. But don’t let that fool you, the sass is real despite his sleepy, subdued, slightly blazed exterior. To find a friend that keeps me on my toes with witty come backs and roasts that are undeniable is a gift to all mankind. Plus, game squad on fleek with the two of us teaming up.”- Christina Waldo, friend, fellow Youth Pastor

“I appreciate how encouraging you are. You are a true friend. I remember waaaaaaaaaayyyyy back in the day when I hardly knew you. I always thought you were so cool. Always playing guitar and writing songs. I thought you were the coolest. Anyway, I still think that!  You’re way too cool to be my friend!”-Jacob Waldo, friend, fellow Youth Pastor

“My favorite thing about Drew is that he will drop anything for anyone. He is such a good example of a God-Loving man who is here for the kingdom and not just himself.”-Katelyn Penticoff, friend

“I would say my favorite thing about Drew is that passionate love he has for Jesus and his family. The first memory that popped into my head, not necessarily my favorite, was when Drew kissed me on the mouth outside of Peppers..”- Nick Penticoff, friend, not his lover

“My favorite thing about Drew is his credibility. I would say that he walks the walk but doesn’t talk the talk, in the sense that he follows what God has for him, has an understanding of His grace for us, and is extremely humble during his journey. He isn’t boastful about his “religious accomplishments” so to speak. He has people he allows to speak into his life that he takes wisdom from and constructive criticism. To me, his humbleness, creates credibility. If Drew came to me and said Hannah, I see things in your life that isn’t beneficial or what the Lord has for you, I would listen. I wouldn’t ignore or brush off what he would say, because I know there would be wisdom behind it and he loves Lucas and I and wants the best for us.”-Hannah Pietan, friend

“My first memory of Drew is when this kid shows up in his skinny jeans and his guitar and proceeds to play it in my basement. I always liked that Drew would/will have a conversation with me. From day one meeting him. Yep, love my son-in-law!”- Terri Kelly, Mother-in-Law

“My favorite thing about Drew is how hard he cares, and how hard he loves. As his friend, and as his boss at his THIRD JOB, seeing the long hours he works to provide for his family is humbling and inspiring. And he’s always there putting in the work to maintain his friendships and keep everybody together. Relationships are important to him and it’s very clear. I also like playing Xbox with him.”- Tyler Brinker, friend, boss, fellow dragon slayer

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