Happy Birthday, Babe!

13576829_10209726198062742_3651700631496807898_oYou know what day it is?  It is my wife’s Birthday!  Last year I did a list of reasons I love my wife that had an arbitrary total of 44 reasons. You can read that list here.  I have chosen not to do a list again this year, opting instead to just add an item to it.  It’s not that I can’t come up with, O, let’s pick another random number like 45 reasons I love her.  I could.  Easily!  I just want to focus on this item I am adding to that list from a year ago.

45. We are going to rock the next chapter of our lives.

Yep. I said it.  We are going to be that amazing couple people look at whose children have gone to college and are just walking through life without a care in the world and the world on a string.  We will have people asking what our secret is and how they can be more like us.  Who knows, we might get asked to write a book, do lectures, and even host a theme cruise because we just have it all figured out!

*SNORT*

I don’t think we are going to see things at that extreme, but I think we are going to be pretty awesome in this next stage.  There might some people who want to learn from us who feel like we do have it all figured out, but they will be wrong.  That’s OK.  We know it, and we aren’t afraid to show it.

So, I want to speak to my wife for a moment now.  Please silence your cell phones and try not to leave your seat or cause a disturbance.  I do allow flash photography, but politely request that you refrain from shouting out suggested poses.  This is a serious moment.

Tammi,

We have known each other a long time – seriously it is like 32 years or so. That is insane!  In all of those years we have grown to know each other very well.  We have seen each other at our best and at our worst.  Tears have been shed in fear, grief, pain, happiness, joy, and sometimes because it was a Tuesday.

So many memories, and I treasure them all because they tell a story. It’s a beautiful story about two people who fell in love with no idea they were in the shallow end of the pool.

Today is your birthday, and I want you to know that as crazy as I was about that young(er) lady who walked down the aisle almost 22 years ago, I am so much more head over heels with the young lady I am still married to today!

As the years have gone by, I have watched you try new things and succeed, and try things that did not, but in all of them I saw your excitement over something new and unexplored.  It’s just like when we say it is time to choose a vacation spot.  For you, getting ready to start getting there is more than half the fun!

We are getting ready for another adventure as we take Jess to college in a month.  I know it is going to be hard on you while at the same time you are so excited for her.  I’m just going to be a mess for all of us.

Life is changing, and so are we.  I’m thankful that we are going to do it together.  I will get to be there with you every year that you have a birthday but get no older (Really. It’s not even fair!).  I’m thankful that I get to see you get excited, experience things, and then learn from them.  I get to be a part of your life.

13690941_10209850451529001_594576326055113612_oI say every year that I got the gift the day you were born, and it is true.  What I am also seeing now is that the years that are passing by are taking us to a place where we have not been hoping for, but have been preparing for.  We knew an empty nest would happen and that it would bring a sadness with it, but we also knew it would bring new opportunities to use the things we have learned.

Where is that going to be?  Not sure.  I just know that whatever we do, it is going to be awesome, and that is why the completely arbitrary 45th reason I love you is that we are going to absolutely rock this next chapter of life!

I love you, Babe!  You are the best!

Tom

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Tammi’s Birthday List

10426674_10206390359148854_4589637103014081036_n
Who couldn’t love that smile?

Well, I know it is not considered proper to announce the age of a lady, so I will not do that. On this, my wife’s birthday, I am simply going to choose to list 44 reasons why I love my wife. If you read anything into that, it’s on you. I am innocent of any type of skullduggery. Well, here goes!

44. The best-tasting roast beef to ever come out of a crock-pot.
43. My vitamin container would never be full.
42. All the opportunities I have had to do home renovation!
41. The roll of her eyes when I tell a bad joke. (Because I am sure she loves all the jokes and is simply feigning disgust in hopes that I will continue to fill her life with laughter.)
40. She exposed me to Downton Abbey, and she was right!
39. Her beautiful brown eyes that just make my heart melt.
38. The way she says “bagel”. She thinks I make fun of her, but it’s cute.
37. Her eye for design in our house. She is amazing.
36. Her “happy dance” when she is excited about something.
35. The way she takes care of people when she sees a need.
34. Her organizational abilities. (Really, people. She is worth hiring to come into your home and help you with this stuff. You should see her sock drawer!)
33. The joy she shows when taking pictures and recording the memories of our family trips and events.
32. Her planning skills for vacations. (We do a good job together on this one, but she is Awesome!)
31. The joy that just poured out of her when she told me we were going to have our kids.
30. Her sacrificial spirit when it comes to our family.
29. That she only likes the red jellybeans.
28. Scheduling. (Seriously, It’s like there is a gene or a gland or something that I don’t have and she has one bigger than my fist!)
27. She trusts me.
26. The way she laughs when you even mention the movie “Old Dogs.”
25. Her forgiving heart.
24. She went out with me for the first time 24 years ago in September.
23. Her mutual agreement that we do not play board games due to the inherent family dysfunction they bring into a family of first-born type personalities.
22. Without her I would never have known the importance of a bed skirt – maybe not even the definition…
21. 21 years of marriage next month
20. Chicken Parmesan in the crock-pot. Yep. That good!
19. The way she dreams with me about our future, our home, and our plans.
18. Her forgiving spirit.
17. Her desire to grow in Christ.
16. She gave me two great kids
15. She shows me unconditional love and support.
14. Her “pushes” to get me out of my comfort zone and do new things. (Disclaimer: This should not be viewed as a free pass to gut my closet or anything else.)
13. How she doesn’t rub my nose it when I am wrong. (+95% of the time, and I probably deserve it about +99% of the time!)
12. Late night talks that end with us just falling asleep without knowing it. (Maybe that’s not a good thing on my part…)
11. The way she just fits in my arms.
10. Her laugh.
9. The respect she gives me.
8. The way she lets me take care of her.
7. That she brings me breakfast at work from time to time.
6. She agreed to be my wife.
5. All the time we have spent and will spend working together on projects.
4. She is generous.
3. She is a hard worker.
2. She loves me.
1. She is my best friend.

 
Of all the items on this list, that last one is probably the reason that we are so happy together. She is an amazing lady, and this list just scratches the tip of the iceberg that is Tammi. I’m a blessed man to be sure.

keep-calm-happy-birthday-babe-i-love-youTammi, I wish you the happiest of birthdays, and with all the craziness of life right now, I want you to know that I love you very much, and I cannot begin to tell you the joy you fill me with. If it were not for you, your support, and your love, I would probably not be what I am today.

They say that for every good man, there is a good woman behind him. Well, if I’m a good man, it is because you are at my side where God intended you to be as we journey life together. Having you there allows us to be in tight relationship and helps us stay on the same page – even if I have to have you help me read the big words!

This year, I pray that God will bless you in many ways. That He will show Himself strong to you, that your trust in Him would grow easily, and your comfort in Him will be complete. I’m glad that as we walk, our Relentless desire is to grow closer together as we grow closer to Him.

Happy Birthday, Babe! I love you!

A Very Good Thing

10534681_10204206015501628_1184979595712247813_nHe who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. – Proverbs 18:22

Last night my wife and I did something we have not done in a few years.  We got supper and drove out to Old Mission Peninsula Park and enjoyed our supper on the beach.  This is something we did when we first started dating, and it became a tradition that at some point each summer we would make the trek.  Usually the dinner consisted of pizza from a shop on the way.

Tammi suggested we get Grand Traverse Pie Company for supper this time, and with the promise of pie, she knew she had me in the bag.  Unfortunately, without my knowledge, there was also a pickle in my bag, and my sandwich was soaked with that nasty flavor. (Sorry, not a pickle lover. Never have been and never will be…).  I guess it showed that we were a little rusty from not doing this for a few years.

The best part of the trip was just hanging out with my wife and talking.  Life has been too busy lately, and while we each hate that it happens, we get a little drawn apart.  It was good to have some time to talk about what has been going on in our heads, catch up with each other’s hearts, and do a little dreaming together.  That is something we have always done well together, but lately conversation has primarily been about the daily functions and necessary downloads of schedules and pertinent information to the next 24 hour period.

I am hoping for some more good time like this in the next week as our kids are at camp.  We miss having them around (I have to do the horses in the mornings), but it is good practice for remembering what it was like when it was just us (no horses) before kids (no horses).  I am glad to say that I am not worried about it.  When God gave me my wife, He definitely gave me to good thing that I needed.

Through our years together I have grown because of her in many ways.  I have my own reasons for wanting to grow in God, but one of them is my desire to be the man that she deserves.  Just in being my wife she makes me want to be a better husband.  I fail sometimes (please do not approach her for statistics), but I know that I am better in most ways than I was almost 20 years ago.

So, I just wanted to share how blessed I am feeling today to have this wonderful lady in my life.  Have a great rest of the weekend!

PS – The horses are not that bad.  At least when they let me catch them…

Relentless Growth -> Grow Deep -> Grow Strong