My wife turns 32 today. April will mark our ten year anniversary of being a couple. June will mark our eight year marriage anniversary. These times together have been the most fun and lovely that I have ever had. She is the most creative, beautiful, and remarkably complicated individual that I know. She has my heart.
I love her.
I love her so much.
I thought, because it's her birthday and I don't do enough gushing about my wife, I would create a list of the 32 things I love most about her.
- If she were a president, she would be Baberham Lincoln.
- When she agreed to marry me, she said 'yes' to our future life. Implied in that answer was also saying 'no' to a return to her home country with her family. Every day I'm thankful that she agreed to marry me but I'm also cognizant of those things she turned away for me.
- She was an art major in college. Before coming to America [Eddie Murphy style], she was accepted and attended a prestigious art institute in Bucharest as a fashion design major. Her favorite art activities? Being creative with Nora and Finn. She's a mom before an artist.
- She's a great mom. She often tells me about the incredible mother that she had. Sadly, her mom was defeated by cancer two years before Ema and I met. Everything that Ema describes to me about the way in which her mother loved well, I see in my wife. She loves our children in deeply profound and beautiful ways.
- She will eat more sunflower seeds than any baseball player you'll ever meet. Seriously. It's safe to say that, in the time we've been married, she's eaten over a million sunflower seeds. I buy her a bag every few days.
- She listens to great music; Noah and the Whale, Paul Simon, the Foo Fighters, and Bruce Springsteen to name a few.
- In fact, she listens to music more than she watches television. If you know how much I LOVE music, you know this is an incredibly attractive trait.
- She's a robo-babe. In Latin, she would be called "babia majora".
- She lets me make her mix cd's. She even listens to them.
- If Martha Stewart was ever looking for a replacement with reputable stock exchange ethics, my wife should be it. She cooks, sews, crochets, and knits really well. She makes quite a bit of Nora's dresses. They are always Nora's favorites.
- She started an Etsy site. She has sold nearly 1,000 hats online (and probably 500+ in stores and in person). It's the intersection of her creativity and entrepreneurship. She runs it all.
- She has never judged me. Or, if she has, she never made me feel judged. She's one of the most loving and gracious people I know.
- She loves Jesus.
- When we were in college, she knew of my love of Notre Dame. After a few months of dating, she took me to my first Notre Dame football game. After college, when she was working as a promotions coordinator at a television station, we were able to sit in the media tent before a Notre Dame game. I sat next to Dick Vitale. She has sent me to many Notre Dame games. She's cool like that.
- NORA: she gave birth to the greatest little girl in the world. Nora wants to be just like her mommy.
- FINLEY: she gave birth to Finn and she cuddles with him daily. Finn tells him mom (almost hourly) that he loves her. It will be tough for a girl to capture Finn's heart away from his mom.
- HARRY: she gave birth to Harry. We don't call him Harry Pouter for nothing. She loves him well and still finds him to be cute.
- She is compassionate. Before she had Harrison, she volunteered each week at the State Street food pantry. Though she's not an extrovert, she served in a role normally given to the more vocal members of our volunteer team. She prayed and encouraged people each week. Often she was left with a heavy heart because of the plight of some of our clients.
- She's a fox. In French, she would be called "la renarde" and she would be hunted with only her cunning to protect her.
- She loves her grandparents. We both share a common bond with our grandparents. One of the most difficult parts about being thousands of miles away from her family is that she hasn't spent enough time with her grandparents over the last 12 years.
- She misses her mom and loves her dad.
- She loves her siblings. She even loves my siblings.
- I have never once witnessed her put her needs before our kids. She's tremendously sacrificial in her love for them. I hope one day they'll realize that they won the mother lottery. I intend on reminding them of that regularly.
- I love her laugh. It fills me with so much joy.
- She's very intelligent. We were in college at the same time but she won the GPA battle (and it wasn't even close). She understands a ton of different things on deeper levels; biblical literature, art history, celebrity baby names, and even has a keen grasp of young adult fiction. She's totally a Twi-Hard. Wait… she really IS intelligent, though.
- She has an uncanny ability at guessing celebrity ages. For example, we will be watching a movie and I will quiz her about the ages of certain celebrities in the movies. She has to guess the ages within two years to get it correct. I haven't kept an official tally but, if pressed, I would guess that she has a 90% or higher accuracy. It truly is uncanny.
- She has never cussed in Romanian. In English… maybe. ;-)
- She is friends with the same people that she met when she came abroad. She's loyal to them.
- She's not vain. She reminds me often about the things that matter most to us; our faith, our family, and sunflower seeds.
- I have never once regretted a day of being married to her. She's a constant in our ever-changing life. The older I get, the more I come to terms with the idea that I just might be nuts. She still loves me.
- She cried because she couldn't go to a Michael Jackson concert in 1992. Jackson was visiting Bucharest. I, too, spent much of my youth idolizing MJ.
- She's magically babelicious.