Happy birthday, Babe!

birthday

As you all know, I’m crazy.

About my husband, I mean. Crazy about my husband. Slow down.

Almost 16 years ago, this shy, handsome fellow stepped out of his car to meet me for the first time. He’s been letting me disturb his life ever since.

birthday

I’m so thankful for a special day each year to celebrate him for who he is. Not just celebrating him as a dad (though he’s the best there is), not just celebrating he’s still married to me (but seriously, phew!), but celebrating the day God brought him into this world and filled his spirit with dreams, (way too much) logic, tenderness, and just enough stubbornness to be my match.

Yes, on September 30th, some number of years ago, Hubs – or as some of you know him, Brent – was born. Say it with me: Happy birthday!

So the entire rest of this special birthday week (all three days of it), I celebrate you, Babe.

I celebrate your commitment. You stand behind your word, you do what you say you will, and you know your word is just as valuable as your intentions. Your promises are as good as gold, and I love your dedication to me, to your kids, and to your God.

I celebrate your sense of humor. My favorite thing is making you laugh, and sometimes even if I make you laugh by screwing up, it’s worth it to to see you put your hand over your chest, and raise your eyebrows as your shoulders heave from laughing.

I celebrate your values. You’ve overcome things in life that would turn others to the dark side. You, however, used them as stepping stones instead of road blocks, and you’ve based your priorities and placed your values on what matters. You have tremendous discernment in determining what does and does not need space in your life, and you go after them with the right intentions.

I celebrate your sacrifice. The kids and I always know we’re loved and appreciated by you, you work your tail off to provide for us, and you sacrifice your time and interests to make sure we’re all nurtured in the ways we need it. How many times have you come home from work to see a look on my face (or a twitch in my eye) and you simply hand me the car keys and kiss my forehead? You do so much for me I don’t repay, you do so much for the kids they can’t repay, and you never hold it against any of us. You simply keep sacrificing. I can’t tell you how much I admire your selfless expressions of love for us.

I celebrate your friendship. Not just with me, though you are the best friend I’ve ever had. The friendships you’ve maintained for the majority of your life are with people who know the real you, and see you’re a friend they want to keep by their side. I’m not alone in noticing your attributes. Your friends will attest to these same character traits I’m celebrating here, and I can tell you they celebrate them all with me.

I celebrate your practicality. Yes, I said I celebrate it. Just for these three days, though, because most of the rest of the year it drives me bonkers. It is, however, one of your traits that makes you you, and there have been multiple occasions it’s helped me determine some of life’s most elusive answers. So let’s celebrate it. One time.

I celebrate your strengths. You have so many. In addition to the obvious physical strength you harbor (opening jar lids, carrying our Costco contraband, holding the kids and their belongings, and anything else I can stack in your arms), you have tremendous mental strength as well. I especially love when both come together to kill a spider (or a moth, or some other ferocious, disgusting creature with more than four legs). When you set your mind to something, though, you dig in. Even if you don’t like it, you want to see it through. You’re tougher than me, in so many ways, and I celebrate you for that.

I celebrate your quirks. Maybe I should say I celebrate your uniqueness. Quirks like leaving wet towels in the living room, or leaving dirty dishes on the counter cannot – and will not – be celebrated. But I celebrate how very different you are from me, and how very uniquely God created, gifted, and assigned you. And you are so very gifted, Babe!

I celebrate, most selfishly, He assigned you to me. For life. There is no one else strong enough to carry me through the darkest days of my life. No one else brave enough to walk beside me and pull me back in when I started to chase a wild goose or two. No one else patient enough to remain tender and still when I simply needed time and assurance. No one else crazy enough to handle my quirks, bad habits, or snark, and still want to give me a kiss each night and an “I love you” before bed.

Today, and every day, I celebrate you. Happy birthday, Babe. I love you, I’m so grateful for you, and I’m blessed to have married my hero. Here’s to your next year, and everything you’ll accomplish.

Starting with not leaving wet towels in the living room.