Happy 40th, Hubby

This is written dedicated to my husband, who turns 40 on November, 11, 2011 (11-11-11). To my sweet husband, this is the way we recognize that you love us…

- that whenever you lay a hand on me, it is only with the gentlest touch.

- that you re-arranged your entire life to fit into the keyhole of our happiness.

- that when you look at our daughter, I can see the whole world in your eyes.

- that although you are entirely European, you learn to cook authentic Vietnamese food from scratch.

- that you value love over money.

- that you find behind a parent as the most enjoyable and most rewarding job you’ve ever had.

- that you would give up all the riches in the world just so you can be with your family.

- that we’ve created a life together.

- that we’ve gone from have nothing to our name to building a home and a house together.

- that you’ve supported me through school.

- that you’ve watched me cry and sob and still love me through it all.

- that you can say “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” and still you try to understand.

- that you understand I’m not always like you, and yet you love me anyway

- that you are kind to our cat, Tink.

- that you sacrifice the very core of who you have been just to be with us.

- that you teach me how to be a better parent; how to be more like you.

- that you recognize my weaknesses and still think they are my strengths.

- that you support me in whatever you decision, whatever road I choose to take.

- that you say you would follow me to the ends of the earth, as long as we’re doing it together.

- that you find being in our pajamas and in the same room without saying a word as enjoyable as I do.

- that you proposed to me by giving me a plant.

- that you sacrificed having a small wedding in favor of a big extravagant one because you thought it would make me happy.

- that our daughter calls you her best friend.

- that our cat believes you’re her best friend, too.

- that you are most definitely my very best friend.

- that you make me orange julius even when you’re feeling lazy.

- that you don’t mind that I don’t cook.

- that you’ve learned to speak “Helenese” even when it’s not the most comfortable for you.

- that everything you’ve invested is in us; you have no “Plan B.”

- that you start your sentences with, “When we’re old and gray…”

- that you believe spending time with Lily is infinitely more valuable than playing video games.

- that you remind me to be gentle with her.

- that you tell us we’re both beautiful.

- that you’re not afraid to show you feelings, even when they show how vulnerable you are.

- that you’re a man through and through and through.

- that you have strong arms to hold me steady.

- that you aren’t afraid to express how happy you are to see me happy.

- that you wish you could undo all the hurt that I’ve been through.

- that you would readily sacrifice your life and your freedom to protect us.

- that you’re a father every single man would and should look up to.

- that although you’re not gregarious, you make events and play dates for Lily because she is.

- that you do chores around the house.

- that you love your mom.

- that you believe how important my culture is in our family.

- that you don’t let me make excuses for sometimes wanting to be “less than” what I am capable of.

- that you are my biggest fan in everything I do.

- that you believe in me more than I sometimes believe in myself.

- that whenever I say, “I don’t know if I can do it…” you laugh because that’s the silliest thing you’ve ever heard.

- that I fit into your arms so seamlessly.

- that we’ve been together for over 12 years, and still I seem to learn something new about you all the time.

- that you work so hard to shift your way of thinking to understand the way I think.

- that you help make this house into a home.

- that you know me so well, you listen even when you’re not listening.

- that you’re not just a “Uh huh, yes, ma’am” kinda guy; that you believe I deserve an equal partner.

- that we share the same artistic flare on photography, design, and everything in between.

- that I don’t have to be afraid of telling you my “scary” feelings.

- that you respect my struggles even when you don’t understand them.

- that you never put me down for my feelings.

- that you can get just as angry and frustrated as I can get.

- that you taught our Lily astronomy, math, grammar, photosynthesis, and how the planet works.

- that even when I gained 36 pounds during my pregnancy, you still thought I was the most beautiful creature on earth.

- that you get excited when I have a good meal.

- that you give without ever saying you’re giving; it just comes naturally.

- that I truly believe you can, do, and will love Lily forever, unconditionally.

- that you let me watch HGTV House Hunters even when it annoys the heck out of you.

- that more often than not, you sacrifice your own needs for ours.

- that you are constantly mentally, emotionally, verbally, and physically there for Lily; whether it is with hugs and kisses, or teaching her morals and values, or telling her you love her to bits and pieces.

- that you are happy to see me when I come home from work every night.

- that you think whatever I end up doing, I will be a rock star at it.

- that you’ve always believed in my abilities and capabilities and potential, even when I didn’t.

- that although you’d rather be home playing on the computer, you are rarely home playing on the computer when there is time instead for family time or Lily time.

- that you sometimes still tell me, “You look very pretty today.”

- that you quit your biggest vice for us.

- that you get me my snacks when you go shopping, even when I don’t ask you to

- that you went vegetarian with us so we can all be healthier together.

- that you taught me the value of staying connected with politics and policies; that you taught me the importance of staying aware.

- that you look at us with love.

The way you love us is amazing. The way you are is amazing. I am thankful for every year of your 40 years, because it has led you to me. Thank you for finding me, thank you for saving me. In more ways than you or anyone would ever know. I love you, hubby, and happy birthday. :)

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