In our house we do wet and sloppy. We do short and sweet. We do wild and crazy. We do gushy and sappy. As often as we can. Which means that every time my husband has a birthday, I document the occasion with a list of reasons I love him. Yesterday he turned 26, and so I wrote 26 reasons. And I thought I would share some of them with you...
1. I love you because you bear us up, you hold us together, you keep us in one piece when it feels like it’s coming apart. I have never felt that need so deeply as I did this year when Oliver and I were both in the hospital. I needed you to be strong. And you were. I needed you to be steady. And you were. I needed you to be bigger, and broader, and taller than the fear and exhaustion. And you were. You bore us up on your shoulders. You carried us through the week... and the weeks that followed. I love you for that.
6. I love you because you are patient with me. When I’m stressed you take a deep breath for both of us. When I drive your car into a wall, you laugh. When I burn dinner, you offer to take us out.
8 I love you because you are a man that other men respect. I’ve seen it. I will never forget a party we were at when a crude joke was told. I watched other men look to you and follow your lead. I watched wives wish their husbands would respond like you. I’ve seen the embarrassment on some of their faces when they don’t. Men respect you, and not because you take the easy way. Because you do hard things, you handle difficult situations.
10. I love you because you do the dirty work. You have manned up to the very grossest tasks in our home. Plunging toilets, cleaning out moth larva, dispensing of moldy food hiding in the refrigerator. You do it. You gag while you do it, but you do it. I would be lost without you.
14. I love you because you are just so handsome. I mean, really. Babe. When you are all scruffy, and wild haired, and working in the yard. When you are cleaned up and trimmed up and sitting next to me at a fancy restaurant. Either version I am so in love with!
15. I love you because you care how things look. Not in the shallow, meaningless way so many people do... But in the way where you want the experience of something, visually, to reflect the quality of it. That reflects in your work. That reflects in how you dress. That reflects in your amazing visions for our home.
20. I love that you ask to stay on the phone while I read our son his goodnight story. Last week you were gone until well after Oliver’s bedtime, but when we called you to tell you goodnight, you stayed on the phone for the entire story. Your love is like that.
21. I love you because you are good at arguing and you play fair. I remember our first fight. I don’t remember what it was about but I remember the feeling I had after. I felt surprised. Surprised at how you kept your cool. Surprised at how you hung in there until it was resolved. Surprised at how calm you were. Surprised at how you listened. Surprised at how comfortable I felt with us after. I’m not saying that I like to argue, but if I were going to argue with anyone, I’m glad its you. I like the way you argue.
24. I love you because you are kind. One of the silliest, but most meaningful instances I can think of was when I was seven months pregnant. I had outgrown a lot of my early maternity clothes and I was just feeling downright ugly and uncomfortable. I remember losing it one afternoon about how I looked. By the time I’d poured out my heart to you about it, I was redfaced and wet with tears. You dropped what you were doing, handed me a kleenex and immediately took me to the mall. You bought me way too expensive maternity clothes and had me change into them in the bathroom. You didn’t have to. But I’m so thankful you did.
26. I love you because you walk with God. In the story of Noah, the distinguishing mark between him and the rest of humanity was that he walked with God. And that made all the difference for his family. Literally, life and death for them. You walk with God, Love. And any way I can encourage or pray or help you to continue, I want to. Oliver and I need that from you. I am so blessed and so thankful that my husband walks with God.