Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Tribute to Howell for His 30th Birthday!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Prepare yourselves, this post will gush—a lot. Howell turns 30 on Monday, and I wanted to honor him today with my 30 favorites.

1. That he pursued me even when I was coy, cold, or flat out rude. It's truly God's grace! (And that he pursues me still today--with flowers, and sweet notes, and FaceTime when we're apart.)

2. That he embodies patience—all.the.time. I can’t wait to see him with our children. He is an amazing example of what it means to imitate God’s “slow to anger” characteristic.

3. That he prays for me every night.

4. That he likes to travel. We have so many great memories from London to the Caribbean to San Diego and all over Texas and New Mexico.

5. That he makes the coffee every morning. I know coffee pots are simple, but seriously, y'all--I just can't do it!

6. That he puts the dishes away after I run the dishwasher and that he does the laundry on days that I can’t and takes out the trash without me asking—not because he has to but because he loves me, and he knows it’s one less thing for me to do.

7. That he helps me clean house frantically every Wednesday as we get ready for life group.

8. That he snuggles with me every night.

9. That he keeps his beard because he knows how much I love it—and how handsome I think he looks with it.

10. That he supports my dreams. He created a One Note after the ACFW conference for what “we” need to do on this road to publishing—not to mention the endless hours he sat by me as I read (or wrote papers) for grad school.

11. That he holds my hand—when we're riding in the car, as we walk into the grocery store, when we sit on the couch. I never get tired of his hand in mine.

12. That he loves to worship—raising his hands, lifting his voice.

13. That he loves to read and learn as much as I do.

14. That he serves and is a leader at church.

15. That he loves to give money to others. He is an incredibly generous man!

16. That he sends me bitmojis of his adorable bitmoji-self that make me laugh or smile.

17. That he takes me to Sonic at 10:30 p.m. in our p.j.s because I’m craving a peanut butter fudge shake.

18. That he loves my family and my best amiga as much as I do.

19. That he pushes me to be the best version of myself I can be.

20. That he has a complicated spreadsheet for our finances (complete with our “net worth” and “liabilities” and “liquid assets”) that is titled and saved as “Stewardship of His Money.”

21. That he makes me laugh until I cry with his sarcasm, his one-liners, and his silliness.

22. That he lets me have the last bite, the last piece, the last sip—he always puts me first.

23. That he reads everything I ever write and offers his help.

24. That he knows me and sees me and loves me still.

25. That he stays up with me to watch Downton Abbey on a work night when I know he is tired.

26. That he builds me fires—and spends hours cutting wood for our future fires.

27. That he leads me and is always a rock of stability—if I feel uncertain or need direction, I can trust his leadership and gladly submit to him because I know he has my best interest at heart.

28. That he brings me Sonic cherry limeades or coffee or lunch when I’m at work just to see me and say hello and steal a kiss.

29. That he believes God for the future of our family—some days, his faith carries me.

30. That he loves and honors God with all that he does.

I’ve said before that I feel so lucky to be married to Howell, and I know, I know—our marriage functions well because of our commitment to communicate and forgive.

But some days, I really just feel lucky—to be the girl that got everything she could have imagined and more.

I think about the young man who brought me Starbucks after my Medieval Lit class when I know he only had $20 in his account.

I think about the man who wooed me relentlessly and ruthlessly and proved to me that faithfulness and loyalty still exist.

I know the movies are false—that marriage isn’t always a fairytale.

But sometimes it really is. And it’s not the stuff of fairytales necessarily, but it’s surreal and supernatural—and I consider myself blessed beyond words.

Happy birthday to the greatest gift God ever gave me.

Happy birthday to my forever partner and best friend and soul connection.

I am eternally thankful for your birth, and I can’t imagine my world without you in it.

I love you, babe—with all my heart!

Happy 30th!

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