We have come through quite a bit in the last year and our focus has been almost singularly on Zane. So, in honor of Mr. Spicy's 36th birthday I would like to shift the focus to him and list 36 things I love about this man, in no particular order.
1. He continues to rescue stray cats and kittens who become stranded in our backyard, sometimes bringing them food or water, even though this has backfired on him in the past and ended up costing us a small fortune.
2. He can talk to anyone and when he asks people how they are, he really wants to know the answer.
3. He is already an amazing dad. Better than I could have ever hoped for. Zane is one lucky little boy.
4. When we travel to Spanish-speaking countries or just to the corner taqueria, he boldly speaks what Spanish he knows while I am still silently trying to parse together an acceptable and grammatically correct sentence for fear of sounding like an idiot.
5. I brought a cat and a dog into our marriage and he has always loved and cared for them as his own.
6. When we got our youngest dog and he persisted in waking in the middle of the night and whining to be let out for the entire first year, Mr. Spicy got up every night, sometimes more than once, to let him out. And he was kind to him in the process, which is more than I could have done.
7. When Zane was first born and was jaundiced, Mr. Spicy went with him for every blood-draw, comforting Zane and allowing me to sleep.
8. When Zane was under those awful lights at the hospital for his jaundice, Mr. Spicy held him for hours, his arms kinked into the plastic bassinet, supporting his son so he wouldn't feel alone.
9. He got into a heated argument with the Dr. on-call while I was in labor, determined to protect me and to allow my wishes to be heard.
10. He knows what he wants and will persevere until he gets it.
11. He is strong, both in character and physique. (Have you seen his biceps?!)
12. He loves to travel and explore - and he lets me do the research and planning.
13. He LOVES to dance. (He was teaching swing and salsa dancing when we met - yum!)
14. Even though he loves dancing and was in high demand with the ladies back in the day, he chose not to learn the Argentine Tango. He felt it was a dance he specifically wanted to save to dance with his wife some day. He's been hounding me to take Tango lessons with him since we were engaged. (Why haven't I done this yet???)
15. When we are having a hard time or there is tension, he really wants to talk it through. And he will mull over these discussions for days.
16. He calls me "Beautiful" more than he calls me by my name.
17. He shed tears when Zane rolled over for the first time.
18. He loves the ocean and he has shared this passion with me.
19. He dreams big.
20. He is a great swimmer and doesn't mind when I cling to him in fear when we snorkel. (I don't really do this anymore - much)
21. He is a fierce protector of those he cares about.
22. He is driven to excel at all he does.
23. He is crazy smart.
24. He always smells yummy.
25. He takes his current role as sole financial provider for our family really seriously. He works his butt off to make sure we are taken care of.
26. He treats me as an equal in every way.
27. He values what I have to offer our son and tells me all the time what a great mom he thinks I am.
28. He once gave me a book he made of one hundred quotes about love (borrowing from Neruda's 100 Verses of Love) .
29. He is a poet, through and through.
30. He is also an engineer, through and through.
31. He loves fixing things and making things better.
32. He loves to teach and is a phenomenal teacher.
33. He once serenaded me.
34. He lets me sing at the top of my lungs in the car and tells me that he loves it (even though I know I don't sing that well) - and he is the only person I have ever felt safe enough to do that with.
35. In every way he has given me a home.
36. And well....just look at him:
Happy 36th Birthday, Mr. Spicy!
I am still so grateful I am the one who gets to wake up next to you on your special day, and the first to celebrate with you every year.
I love you.