If the sun refused to shine, I’d still be loving you. When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me. - Led Zepplin
It's a big day around here.
Fifty years ago, on June 14, 1967, my husband came into this world; and three years ago on this day, he and I were wed in a small ceremony under sunny skies.
In recent years, my guy and I have agreed to stop exchanging birthday presents, instead saving our money for vacations and concert tickets (next up, Panama and Red Hot Chili Peppers!). So on this special day, rather than something wrapped in a box I instead present, in no particular order, a long list of the things I love most about my sweetie - fifty items to represent Joe’s half-century on the plant, plus three more to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
53 things I love about Joe
He makes me laugh, often to the point that I'm crying and crossing my legs. Joe is also the funniest guy he knows. He repeats his jokes and laughs at them, which makes me laugh. As my son said about Joe, “He’s king of the Dad jokes.”
Though his son lives a couple of hours away, Joe works really hard to stay connected with him. Joe and my bonus son have a loving, fun relationship. Joe is really one of the best dads out there.
My son was 18 when Joe and I married. Joe, having step parents himself, knew how to forge a loose, friendly, and supportive relationship with my son. When I visited Adrian in LA last spring, he reported missing Joe, which made my heart sing. Joe is also one of the best step dads.
Joe gets along with my ex-husband, which makes family events easy and more fun. Joe and my ex have been known to take on home improvement projects together, to belly up to the same table at whichever bar our son was performing at, and share meals together. (Here's more on that.)
My man loves and respects my family. He often asks after them when a couple weeks have gone by without seeing them.
Joe spends time with my dad by hitting the golf course and driving range with him.
Joe has been known to bring outrageously sized poinsettias or other flowers to my mom on holidays.
Joe brings me flowers, too, which I always adore.
At the end of every phone conversation, no matter how brief, Joe tells me he loves me.
Joe also often sends me I-love-you emails and texts, just because.
Joe is a great sport when my step son and I team up to good-naturedly give him a hard time – especially about turning 50. “You’re almost half-way to 100,” his son said last year, and I couldn’t stop laughing. Joe laughed along with us.
He makes me gluten-free blueberry pancakes whenever I ask him to – and they are SO good.
Joe is extraordinarily handy! He fixes our cars, builds decks, installs fences, repairs our appliances. Rarely do we need to hire outside help because he figures most everything out.
My husband is so handsome and is very stylish. He looks particularly yummy when he’s tan and has on a blue shirt. Plus, he still has a full head of hair!
Always head of safety at our house, Joe ensures the house is locked up tight each night.
This man is tall, which not only makes me feel petite, but also means he can reach everything on the top shelves throughout our house.
Though Joe is not the dog lover I am, he now lives with two Beagles, takes care of them when I’m out of town, and goes to behavior classes with me and our pups.
When I decided to become a life coach, Joe was behind me a hundred percent.
While I was in life coach training, Joe agreed to be coached by one of my classmates so he could better understand what I was up to.
When life feels overwhelming or he’s stewing over a situation, rather than stay stuck on it, Joe doesn’t hesitate to seek therapy.
Loving to travel, Joe is up for any vacation I suggest.
When we do travel, Joe and I have a deal. I do all the planning and leg work to get us to where we’re going. Once we arrive at the airport, Joe takes over until our return. He handles my luggage, fetches me drinks, figures out money conversions, and searches out gluten-free food so I can safely eat.
Joe is one of the most kind-hearted people I know. He’s generous with words, time, and dollars.
My man plays guitar! This is one of the first things about him that I fell in love with.
When Joe proposed to me, he had an elaborate and romantic plan – and it involved him not only playing guitar, but also singing a favorite Bob Dylan song.
He opens doors for me.
He doesn’t hesitate to help with house work.
Often, at the end of the day, my guy rubs my feet.
Joe unfailingly remembers our important dates and is always up for celebrating our milestones.
When he rides roller coasters, he drops REALLY LOUD F bombs.
Taking Nyquil results in hilarious side effects. Joe usually passes out pretty quickly, but will rouse an hour or two later, completely stoned, to say something like this: “Holy shit! Those marsh mellows are huge!”
He often leaves me mushy love cards on my pillow.
If I’m watching TV and Joe walks into the room, he will be immediately drawn into whatever is on the screen. This guy has seen a lot of Sex and the City, Friday Night Lights, and Gilmore Girls.
He also doesn’t care what movie I choose to see at the theater – he’s always in.
I can’t do math, so imagine my delight when I learned Joe has mad math skills. The other night I found Joe hunched over at the dining room table, muttering and scribbling. “Whatchya doin’?” I asked. His reply, “Trig.” He was trying to sort something out regarding the fence he was installing.
Even though Joe can do crazy math, he often makes errors with simple arithmetic.
When we first started dating, Joe would always shave before spending time with my parents.
Not only is Joe good to my family, he’s also good to my friends. When we got together, Joe integrated with my friend group and treats them all as if he’s known them as long as I have.
My man is a self-made man. After graduating from high school, he bought a bad suit for an interview at one of West Michigan’s bigger companies. He was hired because he was the only one who showed up to the interview in a suit. Since then he’s moved his way up the ranks, doing more than he ever imagined possible.
Both of Joe’s parents died in the first year of our relationship, and I never met them. Joe often tells me I channel his mom, which I take to be the highest compliment. A mama’s boy, he always speaks so lovingly of his mom. But, I think he had his mom fooled because there are definitely some bad-boy stories involving his dad.
He loves the water! Just like when he plays guitar, his entire energy shifts when we’re near the ocean. If there’s a surf board or snorkel gear involved, he’s like a kid. He’s fearless in the water.
With a deep appreciation for all kinds of food, he’s very happy with whatever meal is put before him.
With a sweet tooth that never lets up, he’s always exceedingly happy whenever my mom puts dessert on the table or I agree to share a banana split with him.
Joe totally lets me get away with princess behavior and seems to love me just the same.
He’s emotionally brave in so many ways – and that right there is incredible.
With a voice that radio DJs should be so lucky to have, I love to listen to my man talk – especially in the morning when his voice is extra gravelly.
When Joe is feeling goofy, he puts his arm around me, dips me backward, and lays a big kiss on me. When I’m back on my feet and giggling, he assures me that someday he’s going to pull off that move.
Even though Joe loves music, he only ever listens to NPR when he’s in the car.
He’s pretty much a bleeding heart liberal – the only kind of man I want to be married to.
Hopelessly behind when it comes to pop culture and technology, Joe is often delighted to discover a new app, but then is disappointed when the rest of us have been using said app for months.
Joe is always appalled at my lack of safety when it comes to crossing the street and sharp knives, but he never turns off the electricity when changing out light switches and outlets, and is often barefoot when maybe steel-toed boots are what’s really required.
Joe talks to himself when working on projects. Sometimes that, too, involves many F bombs.
Many nights when I’m in bed reading, Joe will lay next to me a play guitar. Isn't that the best?
Happiest of birthdays and anniversaries to my guy!
You are so loved.