Well, I'm wordy, and no one has time to read 34 reasons I love Beau. (See here, here and here for examples of why a simple list of ten can be way too much for this verbose gal). I could easily think of 340 reasons he's the bees knees, but here are 17 instead. One for every two years? Sure. Why not.
1) The dad you are. Seeing you with our Little Man melts my heart. You beat me to the diaper change on our guy's first day of life, and you continue, every day, to be the very best father you can be.
2) You make me laugh. You just get me and my strange sense of humor. I think I laugh with you more than I have with any other person. You're dang witty, mister, and I appreciate that trait so very much. I think laughter is so very healthy and it means so much to me that we can look at serious things like parenting, responsibilities, work, etc. and laugh or fool heads off. (Like in this picture where even during our vows, you made me laugh...)
3) Your brain. Smart is sexy. You are smart. You know what basic logic says about you, then. The conversations we have astound me. I recall I once mentioned I didn't get the difference between a regular engine and a diesel engine. After a lengthy lesson, I can say I now do. You're not just limited to engines. Politics, finance, current events, space exploration, history-- it doesn't matter-- you know what's going on and you never make me feel less for asking.
4) Your red shirt. Yeah, yeah, you know I actually kind of hate that red shirt. But, I love that you don't care what people think about you or that hole filled red shirt. (I typed holy, but I didn't want to give you any ideas on why you should continue to wear the thing.) You are you and you don't really want to be anyone else. I love that. In today's world, that's hard to do. I love that Little Man will get to see that, and hopefully he'll emulate it. He will, though, probably hate the shirt too.
I'm not going to glorify the shirt by including a photo. That, and I don't think I have any...
5) Your job. OK, there are aspects of your job that I really dislike, but I love that you do it without complaint and you provide so willingly for our family. I know that you work hard and you make personal sacrifices for us. They do not go unnoticed, nor are then unappreciated.
6) Your priorities. Little man had a college fund before he was born, we married only after knowing that marriage wouldn't change the "us" we cherish so much, and we live within certain means so that we have the (almost..come on stock market, be good to us...) certainty of a long comfortable life together. Really, I guess what I'm saying is that Little Man and I are your obvious priorities and that's pretty cool.
Balloon rides in the mountains? (Almost) check. A trip to NYC to see a brand new show? Uh-huh. A babymoon planned three days before departure? Done that. An afternoon at the beach with an infant on a whim? Sure. A hike in flip-flops? Why not? you are fearless and spontaneous and I am neither of those. You're kind of my hero that way. (When I'm not complaining about hiking in flops or how I need more time to pack, plan, etc.)
8) You let me be right...even when I'm not. I'm hard-headed and a little headstrong. You let me be that and don't argue or fight with me when I know I'm right. (In most cases, there is no right.) A lesser man would want to one-up me or prove me wrong. You know that I'm usually mortified when I figure it out on my own. I think you're kind enough to not make it worse. (Thank you.)
9) Your ability to jump in with both feet. Remember when you bought two liters (!!!) of vanilla from Mexico to go with the ice cream maker you thought would be fun to have? (It is!) There was no small step there--we were going to have vanilla enough to make ice cream whenever we wanted (for the rest of our lives, it seems!). Both feet for the plunge. I love that. There's no timidity with you when you want something. That was true when we started dating. You called the next day (no three day rule for you!) and didn't beat around the bush and play dumb dating games. You were upfront, real, and all in.
10) Our conversations. I look forward to our road trips and other extended times together because we always have something to say to each other. Sometimes they are silly conversations, sometimes they are deep, sometimes they are memorable and sometimes not, but they always make me feel engaged in us. Here's hoping we can easily withstand twelve hour car rides to the Cape for the next 50 years without an uncomfortable lull.
11) You read. Lots of people couldn't care an iota about this. I, however, think it is downright sexy. It also contributes handsomely to # 3 and #10. On our first date we talked about books. I read the two you recommended and was impressed that you had read them and enjoyed them. It is so important to me that we bring Little Man up in a house with books so he can foster a love of reading and learning. I'm so glad you're on board with that. It's also way cool that you have good taste in books so we can enjoy #10 about some of the less finance-y ones. (Because no matter how good you say they are, I have zero interest in them.)
12) You nested. Not when we were about to have a baby, but when you realized I was a keeper. All of a sudden you needed to have things to make your house comfortable, a home. I don't think you even realized what you were doing, but I could see it. It's sweet and charming that you wanted to make your home comfortable for me. And when it became our home, you never, ever made me feel like it wasn't mine. In your vocabulary it just stopped being "my" house and became "our" house.
13) You let me be me. I know I'm not perfect. I know I make mistakes. I know I can be difficult. You have never, ever made me feel any of these things. You've never tried to change me or make me feel bad about who I am. When you fell in love with me, you fell in love with my flaws too. More so, you support my big ideas: Hey, Amy, you want to put our lives on the Internet for complete strangers to read? Sure, go for it. You'll do a great job...
I hope that I have been as gracious and loving and let you be you. I think because of #4 I maybe have. Though, I might not have been as quiet about it as I should have been.
14) The nook where I sleep. When I curl up next to you and nestle my head in that nook between your shoulder and chest, I am home. That is my all time favorite place in the world. I feel safe and loved right there. It is my happy place.
15) Your handsome mug. OK, OK, I had to get a little shallow on you. I think you are one fine man. You're too humble to know how attractive you are, and I won't embarrass you by going on and on about it. With that said, I will spend the rest of this sentence letting you know that if you never want to wear a shirt again, you don't have to. (And that's not a ploy to get rid of the red one, I promise!)
16) You're a chocoholic, too! Aside from your father, I've never met a man who has a bigger sweet tooth than me. If I eat ice cream, you have a bigger scoop. Cake? Yep, you'll have seconds. Not only do I often know dessert will be ordered (yippie!!), I also know that I'll never feel like a fatty for eating it. (Maybe this should have been #1. It's pretty important.)
16) You appreciate me and tell me so. When you are out of town for work and we FaceTime, you always ask me how I'm doing and tell me that what I'm doing--staying at home with our Little Man-- is hard work and is important. You understand. Very few men do. I know that, and I count myself lucky every single time you voice your understanding.
So, Beau. On your birthday that's full of bill paying, dentist appointments, and a screaming reflux-y baby, I want you to know, from the very bottom of my heart, you mean the world to me. I'm pretty dang lucky to have you as my other half.
Happy Birthday, my love.
p.s. I know you probably hate this as much as you love it (and maybe more...). Sorry, but the world deserves to know how awesome you are.