Photo by Laura Casner Photography
Today my fantastic husband turns thirty years old. To be honest, I worry that this big birthday is getting lost in the shuffle as we try to wrap up our time in New York and prepare to make the big move. We have not spent much time reflecting or planning celebrations, but I hope Eric knows how very much my heart is celebrating him and his life.
Because we haven't had much time to discuss it in depth, I'm not entirely sure how Eric feels about turning thirty aside from the usual jokes about being old and whatnot. Judging from his letter to Ellie on Thursday, it sounds like he is feeling pretty good, but I do feel like thirty is one of those birthdays that really makes you stop and take stock of your life and evaluate where you are compared to where you would like to be. Although we haven't talked much about it, I sincerely hope Eric is looking back on his thirty years with nothing but pride, a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and joy. He has so much to show for his thirty years. He has a family who loves him dearly. He has been a wonderful provider and head of our household, as well as a present, thoughtful, always-attentive and exceptionally loving husband and father. He is a man who values family, both his own family now and the family in which he grew up. He loves his brother and his sister and his parents and grandparents so, so much, and it is touching to watch him interact with them. He has never shied away from (and in fact, seeks out) an intellectual challenge and has achieved so much academically. His efforts through his school years paid off with three years in Washington D.C. followed by four years in New York City. In these cities, he has prioritized experience and has taken advantage of every opportunity presented to him. In so doing, we have made some unforgettable memories together. Now, he is bravely stepping into unknown territory as we move forward in life, and he continues to impress me in his search for what is right for him and for our family. I know that we are always at the front of his mind and he works so hard to balance his need for challenge and personal fulfillment with our needs as a family, and I love him for that. Eric should be very proud of the life he has lived thus far, and if our years together have shown me anything, it is that Eric (and life with him) will only get better as time continues on.
Every year for the past four years, I have made a list of little things that I love about Eric, and I see no reason why this year should be any different. The fact that this list will bring the grand total of things I have listed that I love about my husband to 110, and the ease at which I have come up with each one of those 110 items, should really show what an incredible guy I am married to. In four years, I have yet to struggle to come up with new list items. Their themes may change as our life together changes (for example, this list will have LOTS of Ellie-related items), but the lists always flow freely and easily. Eric gives me lots of great material to work with.
And so, without further ado...
30 Things I Love About My 30-Year-Old Husband
(in no particular order)
- I love the tone of his voice when he speaks to Ellie. It is sweet and soothing and loving in a way I have never heard before.
- I love that he was so in sync with me while I was in labor. We leaned together, swayed together, cried together. He whispered sweet things to me during contractions that were exactly what I needed to hear.
- I love that he has put up with a job he was less than enthusiastic about for four years so we could spend those years living an extraordinary life in New York City.
- I love that he has worked so hard to take care of all the little details that go into making this new change in our life. I get overwhelmed just thinking about everything that has been on his to-do list in the past few months, but he has handled it all expertly.
- I love that he sings Christmas carols to Ellie.
- I love that even though it is very easy to take the subway to the PATH station from his office, he much prefers to walk that mile both to and from work.
- I love that he loves Disney World.
- I love that he tries to give me "single lady time" - time away from him and the baby to just do my own thing. I don't always want it or take him up on it, but it's nice to know that if I need a break, I'm covered.
- I love that he will advocate and fight for me and for Ellie.
- I love that he only really likes cookies when they are fresh out of the oven (and so, buys the packs of ready to bake cookies and makes them one serving at a time).
- I love that he always strives for perfection.
- I love that he so seamlessly handled all of Ellie's care when she was brand new and I will still laid up from recovery and my kidney infection. It was a stressful time for me, but I never had to worry about Eric or the baby. He handled it all without missing a beat.
- I love the way his face looked when he first held Ellie, and I love how excited he was to tell me about their first eye contact.
- I love that he is constantly introspective.
- I love that Ellie blowing raspberries is one of his most favorite things ever.
- I love that he always makes me feel beautiful. Since getting pregnant I haven't always felt it, but he always makes me feel pretty with compliments and loving looks.
- I love that he has a reputation as "one of the nice ones" at work. He always takes time to really get to know people (partners, fellow associates and staff alike), remembers things about them and brings them up again later. He really listens to people and is interested to hear about their lives.
- I love that in the mornings, when we first hear the baby stirring but before we get up to get her, he often rolls onto his back and lightly rubs my leg. It's a very sweet good-morning.
- I love that he comes up with funny names for the little things Ellie does. Examples: "mad scientist," "turtle face," "trap door."
- I love that he is patient and forgiving.
- I love that he has taken over Achilles' care since Ellie arrived. He takes him outside in the mornings and evenings while I'm feeding Ellie, and it's so nice not to have to worry about that.
- I love that he already indulges me in talking about baby names for a future kid #2. (Don't get excited, this is a LONG way off. I just love names!)
- I love that he wants to learn how to play the piano.
- I love that he is always eager to talk to new people. So many of his stories start with, "I had an interesting exchange with someone today..." and will include him talking to some random person about some random thing in some random place. My introverted self is incredibly impressed by this skill.
- I love when he does impressions. ("Bane" from The Dark Knight Rises is my current favorite.)
- I love that he gets so into Halloween. He was the driving force behind our family costume this year and it really paid off.
- I love that he patiently tolerates the terrible timing with which I often have deep or important thoughts: right before we go to bed. He rarely complains when I decide that bedtime is the ideal time to discuss everything we have to do that week, or big life plans, or any other serious matter that requires lengthy discussion.
- I love that he loves Chicken Helper but doesn't make me eat it if I don't want to (he'll run out to get me something from Panera instead!).
- I love that he thinks of me when he sees something interesting while he's out and about in the city during the day, and will either text me a picture (if possible) or make a mental note to tell me all about it when he gets home.
- I love that he understands exactly how I feel about leaving New York. Leaving this city will never be easy but it really helps to have someone right there with you, feeling exactly the same way.
From the very moment I first saw Eric, I knew I wanted him to be a part of my life. Okay, sure, at that point it was just because he was super cute with great abs. But one way or another he caught my eye, and as we got to know each other, as we grew up together, I realized that he is a man who infinitely betters my world. He is one of a kind, a funny, intelligent, motivated, loving, thoughtful person, and someone I am so proud to call my husband. And this year, as I have come to see him in the new role of father, I can barely even put into words how much I love him and how blessed I feel to have him in my life.
Happy birthday my dear, my football stud, my wish come true, my Eri. I love you.