Two weeks ago, this fabulous man turned 34.
It’s really hard for me to believe that he’s 34, considering that he was only 18 when I met him. He was a baby!
(this picture was actually from 1998, almost 3 years after we started dating. Derek is 21, and I’m 18 here. We haven’t changed a bit. Right? RIGHT??!)
But he’s a good one, let me tell you. I am so very thankful that he’s been such a huge, huge part of my life for so long. I can’t imagine it any other way.
I’ve done a lot of posts about me (um, it’s my blog…so of course there has been a lot written about yours truly!) And instead of doing a typical list of things I love about Derek, I thought I would just write 34 things about him.
1. He is a t-shirt kind of guy. We have seriously gotten into little spats over his t-shirt wearing habit. I know I shouldn’t care…we are both super casual people. But on the rare occasion that we get to go out and I get all cute, I don’t want to see my hunky hubs in a t-shirt he picked up at college or grad school. Luckily, he finally relented, and while he still loves his t-shirts, I can count on a nice polo on a date night, and the t-shirts with words will stay safely tucked in a drawer. (why this popped into my head as number 1 on this list is beyond me.)
2. Speaking of t-shirts, he never gets rid of any of them until they are literally rags. We have a bin in the attic full of old soccer jerseys and shirts. His t-shirt drawer is bursting at the seams. Most of the t-shirts he still wears are from are from 1997-2003. Most of the pre 1997 shirts have fallen apart.
3. I still have every letter he’s ever written to me. Love letters, break up letters, apology letters, funny letters, cards, and on and on and on. There were a lot of letters since we lived in different cities for 3.5 of the 4.5 years we dated.
4. He remembers everything he reads.
5. He is the best at answering the kids’ questions. He answers them so thoroughly, and never gets tired of the constant barrage of questions. Of if he does get tired of it, he doesn’t let on.
6. He’s a great listener.
7. And he’s a genius. No, really, he is. He was ranked 3rd in his high school class of 700 people, was a National Merit Scholar, and has his phD in Chemistry, just to name a few things.
8. He’s probably super embarrassed that I shared all that. He doesn’t really like to be the center of attention.
9. He loves to play video games, xbox to be precise. But he’ll rock the wii with the kids, too!
10. He also loves to play soccer.
11. A nerdy athlete? He’s the whole package!
12. He’s a night owl.
13. He’s a steak and potatoes kind of guy.
14. But he’ll eat anything I make with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. Even when I botch up a recipe, he’ll still eat it happily.
15. He’s not into any professional sports, except soccer. Football…baseball…golf…he doesn’t really care about any of it. But he recorded and watched every last one of the World Cup games.
16. He likes science fiction movies and tv shows.
17. He doesn’t like to read. But I can guarantee you that he read every word of every book he was ever assigned during his education. He didn’t like them, but he read them all and remembered them all.
18. Actually , he does like to read science fiction sometimes. But only sometimes.
19. During grad school, he wanted to learn more about computers, html, and that kind of thing. So he did. He builds our computers, and helps me out ton with the html of this site and my photography site. He’s so technological and very handy!
20. I still have no idea what he does all day at work. I sometimes picture him like a mad scientist, even though in reality he doesn’t deal with chemicals at all even though he is a chemist.
21. When we were dating, he always wore Cool Water cologne, and he’ll still occasionally wear it. When I smell it, the flood of memories that rush back gives me butterflies.
22. He is so patient. He’s patient with the kids. He’s patient with me. He’s patient with everyone.
23. He’s had facial hair almost the entire time I’ve known him. He’s only shaved his goatee once since we’ve been married.
24. He looks hot in a suit. I secretly love it when he has to go to headquarters for meetings because he has to wear a shirt and tie.
25. He loves sharp cheddar cheese.
26. Camryn loves her daddy.
27. Logan loves his daddy.
28. Connor loves his daddy. He’s such a great dad.
29. He believes in me more than I believe in myself.
30. He loves God.
31. He’ll always say yes when asked to help.
32. He does way more dishes than I do, and he cleans the kitchen almost every night.
33. He loves chocolate.
34. He’s the best. And I love with with all my heart, to the moon and back, always and forever.
Happy (belated) birthday, Derek.