EDMOND — Michael Mitchell showed up for his wife’s prenatal ultrasound dressed in a pink shirt, excited and full of love for the baby girl he sensed would arrive soon to rock his world.
“I just knew it was going to be a girl,” he said, smiling as he recalled the months that he and his wife, Annaleise, prepared for their first child’s arrival.
Mitchell, 32, said by the time baby Isabella made her debut in September 2010, he had thought of many experiences he hoped to share with her.
After her birth, he was inspired to create a blog where he expounded on many of his ideas, dreams and wishes for daddy-daughter time.
“I was smitten with the kid from the moment she came out into this world. I was head over heels in love,” Mitchell said. “I thought ‘this changes everything.’”
His blog, called “Life to Her Years: Dad’s Tips for Adding Life to a Daughter’s Years (LifeToHerYears.com)” became enormously popular with men and women who loved his creativity, thoughtfulness and obvious love for his little girl.
Mitchell, of Edmond, said the blog inspired his new book “Life Lessons for Dad: Tea Parties, Tutus & All Things Pink (Broadman Holman Publishing, $14.99).”
Tips featured in the book are concise and they range from the practical — “Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic-inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens” — to the charming and sentimental — “Take lots of pictures together. You never know when one of you won’t be around to smile for the camera anymore” — to the wonderfully whimsical — “Make time to play with blocks together. You stack ’em up. She’ll knock ’em down.”
Mitchell, admissions director at Oklahoma Christian University, said his first thought about the book was that it would be a great gift to give to his daughter.
He said he didn’t realize that his inspirational words in the blog and book would reach far beyond his own family to inspire many others.
“I started doing it for me and I had no idea that it would take off,” he said. “I still get excited when people say this has touched them in some way.”
Mitchell said he initially sat down to create postings for his blog about seven months after his daughter’s birth.
He said he wanted to create short, pithy postings that would be interesting to people but not too lengthy since he was quickly learning that lots of parents don’t have a lot of time to read a long blog posting or anything else.
He said he was surprised when he came up with a list of 100 postings in just a few hours.
“I had all this stuff rattling around in my head about the kind of dad I wanted to be and what I wanted her childhood to be like,” Mitchell said.
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