TWENTY ONE YEARS.

That’s how long I have been married to my best friend and soul mate.  I know…sounds sappy.  But, it’s true.

So, in honor of our 21st, I’m listing 21 things I love about Gary.  Feel free to stop reading if you feel the need to hurl.

1.  I love that he loves Jesus first.  Okay, got that out of the way.  Shew!

2.  I love that he always puts my needs first like when I want to eat out, he usually lets me choose where.

3.  I love that he wears the same shirts over and over to work and never asks me to iron them (although..shout out to me because I ironed EVERY SINGLE SHIRT in his closet yesterday.  Your welcome)

4.  I love that he lays his workout clothes outside the bedroom door at night and quietly sneaks out in the morning to dress so he won’t wake me up.

5.  I love that he sleeps with his phone when he’s travelling with it turned on in case I need to reach him.  And, he knows from experience that if he doesn’t answer it I WILL call hotel security and report him missing and I WILL give them permission to go into his room to look for him (still sorry about that, honey…and apologies to the hotel in Vancouver for seeing him in the shower)

6.  Speaking of travelling, I love that he ALWAYS asks/tells me about business trips before he books a flight or hotel.  He just likes to make sure it’s okay with me and it always is.

7.  I love that he wants me to travel with him on those trips and lots of times I can.  The trips we have been on are amazing!

8.  I love that he takes me to places he’s been before just so I can experience what he felt the first time he was there.

9.  I love that he reads silly accidental texts with me and laughs so hard he can’t breathe.

10.  I love when he laughs so hard and can’t breathe and then he gets those awful “burp ups.”  Okay, I don’t really love those, but I’m getting used to them.  Remember…TWENTY ONE YEARS

11.  I love  when asked about his favorite Christmas memory of 2013, he said “watching you love Christmas this year”  oh. my. word.  That stole my heart…again.

12.  I love that he never discourages me from any crazy dream I’ve ever had.  Like..”Hey!  Let’s be nomads for three months and live in different hotels and houses in New Jersey.  Gosh.  Doesn’t that sound like fun??”  He said yes, and we did it.  And it was AWESOME!

13.  I love that he has a PH.D. in statistics.  He is the smartest man in the world.  I’ve been telling him that for years, folks, and I think he is starting to believe it.

14.  I love love love watching him work.  I’ve been going to professional conferences with him for years and nothing makes me prouder than to stand back and watch him talk rheumatology and drug research.  Seriously, I could watch him all night!

15.  I love that he has a quiet spirit.  He sits and reads his Bible every morning and prays over our children.  When a problem arises and I’m complaining, he asks me to pray about it first.

16.  Speaking of spirituality, the man is dripping with grace and mercy.  And my favorite quote that he says is “If we don’t teach our children grace and mercy, who will?”

17.  I love that in college he learned to ballroom dance with me and to jitterbug.  Then, we took dance lessons after the first two kids were born and had a ball.  We were terrible and I couldn’t stop leading, but we sure do have fun on the dance floor.

18.  I love that he never ever lies to me.  No matter what.  One time, I had a terrible rash on my face that I was convinced was getting better.  I asked him if it looked better and he said no.  I was so mad, but realized at that moment that he will always tell me the truth.

19.  I love that we both have the same dream to live in an RV and travel from one warm campground to another. And we will do that.  I promise.

20.  I love that he knows when the kids are driving me crazy and I need to go out.  Like the time I threatened to smack the kid’s face off and threw skittles at them and they called him at work to tell him.  He came home, looked at me and said “wanna go get thai food?”.  Yep…he gets it people.

21.  I love that 21 years ago he looked at me…a young BARELY 19 year old college sophomore and said “I do”.  The sweetest words ever spoken.

Gary, I do again and again.  Love you so much.

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