Best New Orleans Dad Finalists

We were amazed at the nominations we received for our Best New Orleans Dad contest. Of all of the inspirational stories and encouraging moments of local dads with their children that were shared, it was extremely difficult for the New Orleans Moms Blog team to narrow down the submissions to the top eight finalists. NOMBFD

Voting is now open! To vote, please leave a comment below with the name of the finalist you feel should win Best New Orleans Dad!

The finalist below who receives the most votes by Thursday, June 12th at Noon CST will be the winner of the Best New Orleans Dad contest and win the awesome prize package giveaway worth over $700!

Michael Hart

Michael Hart{Nominated By: Kimberly Hart} When my husband, Mike, and I decided that he should stay home with our son, I don’t know that either one of us knew how much he would love it. The economics made sense; the net benefit financially after paying for childcare was minimal, and we loved the idea that Danny would have a parent around full-time. Almost eight months after we brought our son home, there are no words to express how great of a dad Mike is. He and his “little buddy” spend all day together playing and learning. When I come home, Mike will often show me some new goofy rhyme or dance or silly face that makes the baby burst into giggles. He is so caring and nurturing, and yet so goofy and fun. Danny is lucky to have a Dad like Mike. When asked how he likes being home with Danny, Mike often says “the pay is awful and the hours are terrible, but I love every minute of it.” But it’s not just how wonderful Mike is with Danny that makes him a great Dad, it is also how supportive he is of me as a working mother. As an attorney, I work a lot of hours. Mike never complains when I have to put in some additional hours at night or on the weekend, even though I am sure he needs a break (especially now that Danny is crawling like a wild man). More than that, he sends me pictures of Danny all day. I will often get a picture of Danny and Daddy at the store, or playing, or snuggling during a nap. Even better, once a week, Mike loads Danny up and brings him to work so that we can have a “Baby Lunch Date.” I look forward to this extra time with Mike and Danny all week, and it means the world to me. In addition to being a wonderful example for and caregiver to Danny and an incredibly supportive husband, Mike is also very supportive of other parents around him. You can often catch him trading tips with other dads and moms about the best diapers, products, family outings, etc. As we approach his first Father’s Day, I struggle to come up with ways to thank him, and show him how much we appreciate him. Whenever I compliment him or thank him, Mike just waves it off, saying of course he does what he does, Danny is his little buddy.

Matthew Caire

Matthew Caire{Nominated By: Megan Caire}  So many things come to mind when I think of the father my husband is and has become. In September of 2011, I told my husband Matt that he was a father. Upon finding out that we were pregnant, Matthew was ecstatic. I will never forget the love and support he showed through two crazy pregnancies and more importantly, two long, painful births. The excitement and calmness he showed when we found out we were pregnant with number two when Zoe was only 9 months old. I still cannot fathom how he put up with me during the labor of our 10 pound second daughter Gemma (my nurse was also a saint!). Not only is Matthew Caire an amazing father to his two little girls, but he is also a “dad” to many men at Archbishop Rummel High School (the fatherly role he stepped into first). Matt began teaching at Rummel six years ago in the history department. Now the head of the religion department, Matt influences men to follow Christ in their daily life. I know many Raiders have not only considered him their favorite teacher, but also looked at his as a confidant and friend. We cannot go anywhere without hearing some young man tell him hello! He has led many campus ministry nights, coached the bowling team (two-time state champions), and heads the Rummel contingent on the March for Life. Matt is also, along with myself, a youth minister at St. Philip Neri Parish. At home, he is the proud father of our two beautiful daughters, which I know terrifies him. Even though at times things may be tough financially, Matt always says nothing can replace the time he is able to spend with his family. He can often be found in his daughter Gemma’s room at 1AM rocking her back to sleep after her nighttime bottle. Other nights, he is snuggled up in bed with Zoe reading her a bedtime story. There is nothing he would rather do then spend the day with his girls. Matt often cooks, cleans, does the laundry, and runs errands with the family. After long days at work, he is never too tired to play horsey, little people, or ball. He will do anything to put a smile on his daughters’ faces. Matt ensures we pray with and for our daughters on a nightly basis blessing them as they head off to bed. I could not ask for a better man to be the father of my children and my partner in life! He is not only the best father to our daughters, but he is the most amazing teacher and friend. I know he does not hear thank you enough, not only from me, but many others who are blessed to have him as a part of their lives. He usually helps me write everything and proofreads for me, so hopefully this accurately portrays what a wonderful father he is to Zoe, Gemma, and his students.

Ryan Landry

Ryan Landry{Nominated by: Kathryn Landry}  Ryan should win “New Orleans Best Dad” because he makes sure our daughter knows and experiences what a great city she lives in. Although Piper may only be 10 months old, she has already experienced Saints Football, Mardi Gras, festivals, live music and even Wednesday’s at the Square. Due to my work schedule, Ryan picks up our daughter from nursery every afternoon and spends his time with her bringing her swimming or going to the aquarium or the zoo. I love that he wants to help her explore and experience so much. While Ryan is great with Piper, he also contributes to the community. He has shaved his head for St. Baldricks and raised money for children’s cancer for the past three years. He also co-founded a Saints support club called the “Who Dat Social Club.” Through the WDSC, Ryan organizes a trip for an away game every season to support the Black and Gold on the road. The WDSC also does various fundraising for local charities. Ryan has also been great with all of our friends and family member’s children. He is the first to jump in the bouncy house to play with the kids or to play sports with them. I can’t wait to see how Ryan grows as a father and how he will help raise our daughter to be a wonderful, giving person who loves this city. The photo attached is from this year’s St. Baldrick’s event at Finn McCool’s. It is pre-shaved head and the fro is real.

Logan Lirette

Logan-Lirette-NOMBbestdad{Nominated By: Jennifer Lirette}  Logan works so hard to provide for our little family. I’m (his wife) currently in the midst of a high-risk pregnancy, and he’s been working extra days and longer hours to pay for our medical bills. He also comes home and does most of the housework, and he makes sure to spend as much time as possible with our toddler when he’s home! Our little boy just had his 2nd birthday party, and Logan went all out on the decorations, including a big dog house that he made from leftover cardboard boxes.He wanted our son to have the best birthday party! Logan also volunteers for the Woman’s New Life Center (a non-profit organization in Metairie that helps mommies and babies) as a committee member for their big fundraisers. In March, he was recognized as the Hardest Working Team Captain for their annual 5K – he single-handedly raised $3,000 for the event! Logan is also a team player at work and receives superior evaluations for customer service and has been awarded Employee of the Month 2 months after starting the job. Logan puts his heart and soul into everything he does and truly deserves to be honored as the Best New Orleans Dad.

Eric Suhre

Eric Suhre{Nominated By: Nicole Suhre} My husband is not just the best Dad, he is Super Dad! Eric is a web developer and photographer. During the work day, he is working with the fantastic team at Innovative Advertising to build business for local and national companies. On the weekends, he is a freelance photographer, turning memories into art for New Orleans and Northshore families. From the day we brought our son Xander home, Eric has always been up for diaper changes, bath time and playtime. He can make our son giggle and laugh like no one else can. For two years, when Daddy is in the room, no one else is. His super skills are all the more impressive when you know that he also battles Cystic Fibrosis every day. My husband shows my son every single day what it means to not let adversity stand in your way. Over the years, he has been a board member, volunteer and advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He was part of a group that helped found the Tulane Family and Advisory Board for the Tulane University Cystic Fibrosis Care Center to address family and patient concerns. Eric battles and fights for his health daily but never uses it as an excuse. He embraces it! If anything, he works harder than any dad I know to be present in the moment – to be a loving husband, a conscious parent and partner, and to be the best dad he can be to Xander. Eric and Xander are best friends and is truly a man that our son can look up to and be just like as he grows up. I feel such joy knowing my husband is teaching our son to never take anything for granted and how to become a good, kind (Super) man.

 Clayton Revere

Clayton Revere{Nominated By: Candace Revere} I am nominating Clayton Revere for the Best New Orleans Dad. Clay and I married on June 3rd, 2003 and just three short weeks later, he was deployed to Afghanistan for a year. Upon his return, we were blessed with our first born February 2005. He stayed by my side during the entire pregnancy and birth. During my pregnancy, he would cook dinner, rub my feet and my back. When our son was placed in NICU, Clay never left our side. He stayed at the hospital with me and assisted with my daily care post C-Section. At the same time, he visited the NICU to check on Jonah. He never left our side, barely slept and never complained. Shortly after, Hurricane Katrina hit. For several months after, he was called to serve Hurricane clean up. He packed his bags, kissed us goodbye and gracefully served not only the New Orleans region, but the State of Louisiana. Our second born, Jacob, arrived 2007. From the moment he was born, Clay stayed and cared for all of us in the same manner as Jonah. He’s been a loving husband and doting father from the start. In attempt to further provide for his family, Clay started Law School at Southern University in August 2009. He took on this task in addition to working full-time and being a soldier with the Louisiana National Guard. For the past 5 years, he has been dedicated to his family, job, country and school. His mornings have begun with waking at 5 a.m., working all day, commuting to class in the evenings, and coming home between 10 and 12 at night Monday through Thursday. In between, he took care of the yard, played ball with his boys, read them stories, sang them songs, helped me in the house, remodeled the house, and even helped get the kids to school every chance available. He was scheduled to graduate Law School last year, but that was interrupted by his deployment to Kuwait. Being the amazing person he is, as soon as he returned in December 13, he picked right up at his job and school in January. He has since retired with 20 years of military service and is scheduled to complete school this summer. He never does anything for himself, nor does he complain. He drives the oldest car, a 1990 Camry, so that the kids and I have a dependable vehicle. His wardrobe is minimal so that his children have clothes. He has been high-rank in studies, carried several classes and has never boasted. Rather, he gets embarrassed when I brag about his achievements. He plays a vital role not only for New Orleans, his country, state, family, work, but for society was well. His actions and life teaches everyone, not just children, to be servants, givers, hard-workers, to accept life’s challenges without complaint, but with dedication and determination. I know that my children will be great fathers because they have the ideal father as a model.

Paul LaRosa III

Paul LaRosa II{Nominated by: Noele Jones} Paul and I met in January 2012 and started dating shortly thereafter. I made the decision not to introduce him to my children until I felt comfortable that he would play a positive role in their lives and of course, that their father would be supportive of this. Unfortunately and tragically, their father (Matthew) passed away in February 2012. I decided to wait until Easter of that year to introduce Paul to my three kids. I have never regretted that decision. From the moment I saw him pushing my youngest on the swing set, to watching him play with the older two in the pool, I knew that he was something special. Every day since then, he has proved to be just that. He is supportive, caring, fun, loving, and strong. He loves my kids as if they were his own. He shows up at sporting and school events and cheers them on. He reminds them of their manners when they forget. He always takes care to let them know he is not here to replace their father, but there to be a friend, a confidant and a support whenever they need it. One moment that always sticks out in my mind is Veterans Day of last year. Being a busy full-time working mom, the significance of the day completely slipped my mind and I treated it as I would any other school night, busily preparing dinner, helping with homework and packing lunches. Paul was over and asked me if I talked to the kids about the day. I shook my head and returned to dinner. It didn’t click until Paul left the kitchen what he meant. It was Veterans Day, and my kids’ father was a veteran, yet somehow I overlooked this. Paul didn’t. He came back into the kitchen where my oldest were doing their homework, and he had Matthew’s Army medals and certificates with him. He sat down at the counter and explained the importance of the day to the kids and went through every page reading the medals and certificates to them. This is only one of the many moments that I knew God had placed Paul in our lives for a reason. His words and acts of love are visible every day. I can see it when my kids prefer to talk to him over me, when they request hugs and kisses from him at bedtime, and when they run to him when he gets home from work. He is as good to them as their own dad was, and I could not have asked for a better man to love me and my kids.

Derrick Courville

Derrick Courville{Nominated By: Tessie Courville} He would never admit being as wonderful as I know that he is. My husband, Derrick, has dedicated his life thus far to protecting others. He served in the US Marine Corps as an attack helicopter pilot for over 8 years selflessly fighting for all of our freedom in Iraq. He went on two tours that together lasted almost two years. He was proud to be a Captain in the Marine Corps. In 2010, when we found out that we would be parents, he instantly became a father in his mind. We discussed what would happen when he would be deployed again because it was inevitable. He could not stand the thought of leaving his child for that long. Even though he had never even met her yet, he decided to change careers. To leave the job security that he had so that he could be more present in his daughter’s life. He applied and was accepted to medical school at LSU in New Orleans. He has been working tirelessly for his family’s future for the past three years. All the while being an amazing father and husband. He protects our family with the same passion that he protected our country. He is successful because of that passion and leads by example showing our daughter what it means to work hard. Teaching her how to live and love with every ounce of her being. Showing her that anything is possible. He has a heart of gold and would do anything for his friends or family. He was an amazing leader in the Marines and a father figure to many junior Marines. Always making them laugh, and reminding them of the lighter side of life. He is the best Daddy I could have ever imagined for our Evangeline. His love for her is like none that I have ever seen. The endless repetition of Disney movies doesn’t scare him one bit. He sits with Evie and watches, wiping tears away from his own eyes at the sad parts. He will be a great doctor, continuing to protect and provide for all that enter his life as any great father would do. He deserves so much more recognition than I alone can give him.

Now it’s your turn to decide which nominee above is the most deserving of the title Best New Orleans Dad!

Please leave a comment below with the finalist above who you feel should win Best New Orleans Dad.

Voting will be open through Thursday, June 12th at Noon CST.

The finalist receiving the most votes will be named Best New Orleans Dad and will win an awesome prize package giveaway worth over $700!

nomb-fathers-day

(1) Robe from LoomedNOLA (value of $90) :: (2) Belt and tie of choice from Nola Couture (value of $113) :: (3) 6 Fire Wire Flexible Grilling Skewers and 4 Fire Wire Double Prong Stainless Steel Skewers  (value of $43) :: (4) Sidecar Dopp Kit from Kalencom (value of $90) :: (5) $150 gift card to Le Foret :: (6) Private tour for Dad and 10-15 friends, including a pint glass and t-shirt from Covington Brewhouse (value of $30 per person) :: (7) Gift basket from Sweet Olive Soap Works including Loup Garou Shaving Soap, a bar of Bay Rum and a bar of Whistling Dixie Beer soap (value of $20) :: (8) 3 “best of Storyville” tees: Whoo Dat, This Fish Cray, & NOLA Seasons (value of $68) :: (9) $50 gift card to Jamba Juice :: (10) $50 gift card to Elmwood Fitness Center’s Running & Fitness Store :: (11) Round of golf for 2 from Audubon Park Golf Course (value of $70)

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