What a gift he is to me each and every day.
He will say this day is no different than any other day.
But I know differently.
It is the day God brought him to this earth. It is the day his journey began, the journey that would eventually lead him to me. This is the day his destiny of being a loving husband and a devoted father to four kids was born.
To me, it is a day of celebration.
Obviously I have not known him all 40 years (though I have heard enough stories to get the gist of who he was before me :).
But I can easily ponder and reflect upon 40 fond memories I have of him...
Oh, since this is a family blog, I will not share any of the intimate memories. :) Those are just for him and me...
- The day I came home and found a message on my answering machine with an apology for hitting me on the head with an umbrella (accidentally) and an offer to get together some time. My heart was racing...
- Our first date when we went to Applebee's for dinner then went dress shopping for me for an upcoming church event
- The church Christmas event (soon after) where we attended, acting as if nothing was different. The "singles group" went out afterwards, we instead retreated and just talked about life.
- The night he attended my school's Christmas program...it was like date three or four? That is pretty brave.
- The way I jumped from the couch (while sick) at my parents' house when the phone rang, so eager to hear his voice, over Christmas break
- Looking at engagement rings at JCPenney's while taking a couple of my students out for dinner
- Turning around in my empty classroom the day after school dismissed to find him down on his knee with a ring in his hand
- Standing before the church, declaring our love for one another, during our wedding, except he couldn't talk. Emotions overcame him. (Or maybe it was the fear in the realization about what he was about to do :)
- Our first argument as a married couple. In Memphis. We couldn't find our hotel. And nobody would stop and ask for directions. :)
- Running out to buy Toy Story on video the weekend it was released (while on our honeymoon) because it was the first movie we had seen together
- Driving to Alabama with barely enough money to fill up our car to say our final good-byes to his stepmother who had died unexpectedly (and getting to meet some of his family for the first time)
- Moving into a duplex right next to my sister and her husband, grilling out together on the tiny back deck
- Telling him on our first anniversary that maybe I was ready to have children. (All color drained from his face)
- Our first trip to Disney World as husband and wife, riding Tower of Terror together.
- Calling him on the phone to tell him that we were pregnant. After I took 7 pregnancy tests of course.
- The day he called to let me know that he was fine after his car had hydroplaned into the ditch on the interstate.
- Moving into our first house, having my first baby shower, and coming home to find that he had lost his job...all in a week's time.
- The birth of our son. We did not know what gender our baby was, and the doctor just assumed we did. We both yelled, "But what is it???"
- The first time he left for a business trip after our son was born. I literally held onto his leg and begged him to not go as I realized the responsibility I would have as a parent if anything happened to him. We got life insurance shortly afterward.
- Watching him pull our oldest son (as a young child) around the yard on a rake
- Him holding my hand as the doctor examined a small lump and determined that it would need to be removed (it was nothing serious, though we wouldn't know that for a week or so)
- Announcing to him that we were expecting again as he rocked and read to our chubby faced firstborn
- Accidentally driving into Mexico then trying to find our way out on a trip to San Diego
- Hearing him yell, "It's a girl! It's a girl!" before the doctor even had a chance to say anything. I don't think the doctor ever forgave him for that.
- The way he held me after the loss of my grandfather (a first for me)
- Hearing his voice over the intercom at school one day as he tried to read me a sweet love letter. He couldn't do it. Overcome with emotion again. :)
- My first snorkeling experience on our first family trip to the beach (the kids stayed with his parents an extra night so we had a little time alone). We found out that fish LOVE frozen peas.
- Watching him snorkel with sharks (he was in a cage of sorts) at Sea World
- Telling him that I thought we should adopt. I still remember showing him M.'s picture and seeing his big smile. She had his heart at the first smile.
- Our first trip to visit M. in Guatemala. She was not nearly as excited to meet us as we were to meet her. She hid under a crib and refused to come out. She eventually warmed up to me but if he stepped anywhere near her, she screamed and retreated.
- Watching him baptize our oldest son at church, June of 2006
- Putting M.'s feet on the ground in August of 2006 in Houston at the airport...she became a citizen of the US at that moment. To celebrate, we fed her McDonald's french fries.
- The day we were given two possible baby boys from Guatemala to adopt. I was torn between the two. He had no doubt which one was our son. A few months later, J. came home. He definitely is the personality that we imagined him to be...
- The day he called me at school to let me know he had just come home to find our home being burglarized.
- Riding the street cars/trolleys of San Francisco and walking along the wharf
- Hiking Mt. Magazine, standing on the highest point in Arkansas, for my birthday one year
- Finding out that he had been selected as a 40 Under 40 winner for Northwest Arkansas. Always proud of his accomplishments!
- The day he brought our sweet pup home. It was a surprise for the kids. I think we were both smitten from the first moment we met her.
- Eating a Giordano's pizza in Chicago, then walking along Michigan Avenue back to our hotel for our 15th anniversary
- Now. I look at him, snoozing away. And I marvel. God is good. I don't know what I did to deserve this (let's face it, I didn't do anything!). But nevertheless, I am thankful for His blessing in the gift that He sent my way with this husband of mine.