Oh I hate all that “look who’s forty” and “over the hill” crap.

This morning I ordered balloons and then Aidan and I walked into town to get them. I had to ask if they had any balloons for a 40th that were NOT morbid. How about not-even-half-way-up-the-hill (with Heaven being at the top!) No forty black crosses in my front yard today, instead a bright orange teeny-tiny Ipod for a man that works big every day “to keep me in this life I am accustomed to.”

Joel is quite simply…simple. I am not. And for years (mind you I was in my early, early twenties) that drove me crazy. I saw him as passionless and without enthusiasm. Some of what I was seeing was bondage from career change stress and pressure but the rest was immaturity blinding me.


Joel is simple. He is clear. He knows what he likes and what he doesn’t. Thank goodness he likes me. Joel does not blab on and on about himself less he bore his listener. He is amusing and upon occasion very witty – he should talk more, his listeners would love it.
When he does have something to say – watch out, there is no people pleasing insecurity there. If you happen to be in his line of fire – take note, he words to you should be cause for some reflection.

Joel is simple. With paint brush in hand. He may not pick his socks up off the floor as often as I’d like (or ever) but his work ethic is one that will still live on in our great-grandchildren someday. In this sick, self absorbed crazy world he will be able to bless our children with what hard work is and looks like. Trips to Disney will be appreciated all the more as they hold his calloused and terribly cracked hands down Main Street U.S.A. Joel would not know a sense of entitlement if it smacked him across the face (he is SO not French!)

Joel is simple. In his love for me. Joel loves me. He listens to my wildest dreams and even says he will help a few come true. He happily eats the food I put before him and on nights when the fridge is empty and I am covered in garden dirt he will let us splurge and order out. He dances with me (not as much as I’d like!) but he’s not that husband in the corner who’s wife has to dance with someone else. Before children Joel would sit in the bathroom and visit with me while I took my nightly bubble bath – what is up with that? He grabs the silverware that I like when I ask for a fork and has brought me a glass of water more times then I can count. During my labor he was beyond strong, beyond manly, beyond what I thought he could be during those 28 intense hours. And he is willing to do it again! He even knows to bring me bunches of flowers that I can arrange myself instead of a hideous overpriced pre-designed bouquet. And yes, he’s not a big romancer but he does bring me flowers a couple times of year, I can hardly complain.

Joel is simple. He simply and clearly adores his son. Kisses, cuddles, tractor crashes and coloring. Joel is a Father to his son. There is firmness when needed and so much affection and tenderness that Babes will never have to wonder where he stands with his dad.

Joel has taught me so much in the last 13 years of dating and marriage combined. I think most of all he has taken my emotional, artistic personality and helped me round it out a little. He has taught me to get over myself. It sounds strange but true. Happy 40th Birthday Joel, I love you so much. Dinner is going to be great!