My typical response is a quick roll of the eyes.
Sometimes, I get photographer's block, too. On these nights I look out the window and see that darkness has fallen and realize that I have yet to take my picture for the day. I'll say to Chad, what should I take a picture of tonight? Once again, without hesitation, Chad stands tall while offering his cheesiest smile and prepares to be my subject of the day.
My typical response is
Well, Chad, guess what? Today is your day. This one is for you.
Yes, I realize that your birthday is not until tomorrow, but you know my rule about no blogging on the weekends. . . and well, you know how I am about rules. So today, on March 9th, I celebrate your birthday. . Chatter style.
Chad, you know that I am not a person who believes that there is one specific person in the world who is the perfect marriage partner. I have never been one to believe that we all must spend our entire lives search for that one person who is our soul mate. I've never bought into the idea that happiness will be elusive until we meet that one-specific-perfect-person who will meet all our needs. If fact, I'm guessing you could have made this marriage thing work with almost anyone.
But you know what?
This life we have. . . this life you've given our family? It's more than I could have ever hoped or dreamed for. Chad, you give so much to our family, but the thing that I'm most thankful for? I'm so thankful that you have made our home a place that is wonderful to come home to. A place that feels safe in every sense of the word. From the first day we became Mr. and Mrs., even if we were facing challenging times, I have always known that home was a place where I would feel peace. A place where there would be rest. A place where the stresses of the world disappear. That is the greatest gift you could have ever given to me. . . to all of us.
Chad, you do it without even trying. Peaceful is just who you are. Anyone who knows you understands that while you are a man of few words, the words you say mean something. You are quiet in your strength, but when it is necessary. . . you have no problem speaking up. Knowing that has always made me feel safe. . . protected. . . loved.
Of course I didn't know you when you were young, but from what I understand you have always been this "chill" person. The kind of person who just rolls with the punches and does what needs to be done. In the more than decade that I have known you I don't think I've ever heard a complaint out of you. From the long hours you work every single day to the roller coaster it can be to be married to me. . . you are what every family needs. . . you are a constant.
Chad I am so grateful that I get to do this parenting thing with you, but more than that, I'm thankful that I get to do life with you. Thank you for being my biggest fan. For standing behind me, no matter what the circumstances and whispering I believe in you. . . there are no limits. Thank you for making me laugh and helping me to be silly. For balancing out my tendency to be serious. Thank you for walking alongside me through everything that life has brought our way. Thank you for never making me doubt your commitment to me or our family.
A price tag can not be placed on all that you give to our kids. The way you interact with them on a daily basis. The way you are an active participant in the every day provision of their needs. The way that you know them. . . really know them. The way that you get down on your knees and teach them about everything. When I see you kneeling outside with Charlie and Chanelle and all three of you have pruners in your hands--all seems right in the world.
But more than anything. . . you are giving them such a gift in the way that you love me. I have such confidence in the way Charlie will love his wife someday, because of the example he has in you. And I have such confidence that Chanelle and Meadow will never settle for less than they deserve, because they have watched the way you have joined with me.
Just try to put a price tag on that. . . it can't be done.
Chad, (you know) I could go on forever. There is so much to celebrate about the person you are. More than I could ever write in a blog post. I guess if I had to sum it all up, I would say this. . . I believe that when all works as it should, marriage provides an opportunity to make us better. And Chad? You have made me better.
Thank you for that.
Thank you for making our house a home.
I Love you.