Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to my hubby!!!

On February 9, 1974, my favorite person in the whole world was born. 10 months and 14 days later, I was born but it wasn't until January of 1998 that our paths collided! We both lived, worked and played in the same circles but never officially met. Then, on that fateful day in 1998, my life was drastically changed...for the better.

Tomorrow, Dan will turn 35 years old. Tomorrow, he will receive many birthday greetings from all across this country. People will send him messages on Facebook, emails and cards to wish him a very happy birthday. Many will express their appreciation for his ministry or friendship. Family members will reminisce about the day he was born. I will spend the day thanking God for blessing my life with this wonderful man! So, in honor of this special day, I am listing 35 reasons why I love Dan for each year of his life!

1. He puts lotion on my feet anytime I ask! I don't remember when this started but it is one of my favorite things about him. He even gave me a lotion warmer one year so the lotion would be warm when he puts it on my feet.

2. He never opens the mail because he knows it is my favorite thing to do every day. This always makes me laugh around his birthday because he even leaves birthday cards and gifts unopened. I have to make him open them.

3. He always gets up first and doesn't wake me until he is done with his shower. Neither of us are morning people but he always takes one for the team and lets me sleep!
4. He has impeccable character. Ask anyone who knows him. Sometimes he has to be boss and make tough decisions and do what is entrusted to him but his character is NEVER in question.

5. He always browns the ground beef. I absolutely HATE this job!!! I avoid cooking things with hamburger meat just because I hate browning the ground beef.

6. He is an incredible daddy! I never ask him to change a diaper, he just does it. He gets up at night just as much as I do. Bedtime is his specialty. Jonah adores those last few minutes at night with his favorite guy! He takes his daddy role very seriously and no one has to ask him to do what is needed. He would rather spend time with Jonah (and me) than anyone else on the face of the planet. We take priority...not many wives and children can say this.

7. He is a great student. We moved to Fort Worth for seminary and he completed a 91 hour Masters Degree in 2 years with a 4.0 That normally takes 3 years. He did this while working. He is now working on his doctorate and at the rate he is going he will finish earlier than most people who started the program with him. He makes great grades even now while juggling a family and a church position. (It stresses him out that professors don't post grades regularly so he isn't sure what his GPA is. All he knows is that on a pass/fail scale, he is passing!)
8. He still loves our yappy, annoying dog. There have been many times in the last few months that I would have given Max to a stranger on the road but Dan would not allow that. He still picks him up and loves on him every day. He takes him outside to play and talks to him just like he did before Jonah arrived.

9. He updates my IPOD. I have no clue how to do this. Just ask him...apparently I messed up his Itunes account today! Ooops!

10. He shops with me. Yep, he knows my significant need for retail therapy and goes anytime I ask. He never complains or acts miserable. He just enjoys letting me enjoy my favorite past time.

11. He surprised me with a Digital SLR a few months after Jonah was born. Dan knows and appreciates my love of photography and knew I would NEVER purchase this for myself. Now, 2.5 years later, I still love it and so appreciate him surprising me with such an awesome gift.
12. He is honest to a fault. Sometimes I wish this weren't true but I have to love him for it. He speaks his mind regardless of the consequences for himself. He stands up for what he believes in.

13. He can laugh at himself. The ability to laugh at ones self is one of life's greatest gifts.

14. He explains my MAC to me. He told me for 2 years I needed one because he loves his so much. Now that I have it, I constantly ask him questions. He might regret talking me into the MAC now.

15. He is great with people. People naturally gravitate to him. He doesn't lose his temper or yell. He isn't snippy with people and he doesn't say things he has to apologize for later. In 11 years, I can think of less than 5 times that he raised his voice. 3 of those weren't even in my presence. He told me about them later. And, when he does raise his voice, it is just a small increment above his normal speaking voice. He is SO not a yeller!

16. His work ethic is amazing. No one can ever say he is lazy or asks his staff or church members to do something he wouldn't. He has only missed one church work day in 6.5 years at this church. He only missed that one because we were in Disney World. He doesn't call people to set up chairs and tables...he does it himself. I remember when he was on staff at Erlanger Baptist Church, he would be late for dinner all the time. It never failed, when I called him he was usually helping the custodians finish what they were working on that day. He doesn't see anything as beneath him. He gives 100 % to everything he does.

17. He kills spiders and bugs. This works well for me because I am scared of all things creepy-crawly!

18. He conforms to a crowd when necessary without compromising his integrity. (see picture in LSU shirt below for proof!) He would never compromise his belief system but he also realizes there are times you should go with the flow and be part of whatever is going on for the good of the group.
19. Little kids love him. Whereever we go, kids attack him with hugs and high fives. He has been a part of SMACK and VBS for 6 years and has never once lost his cool with those kids. He recognizes how impressionable they are and the extreme importance of influencing them for the Kingdom of Christ at such a young age. He gets down on their level. Not all adults can do that.

20. He cleans yucky leftover dishes out of the fridge. Old food grosses me out. (Oh, raw food grosses me out too!)

21. He had a wedding cake for my birthday cake one year. He knows how much I love wedding cake so he called a bakery and ordered a one tier wedding cake for my birthday. I thought it was the sweetest, most thoughtful thing ever until I found out they charged him a wedding cake price. $85 for an 8 inch round cake. JEEPERS!!!!! I could no longer enjoy that little round piece of Heaven with that knowledge.

22. He preaches the best funeral I have ever heard. Morbid? Maybe! But, unless you have heard one of his funerals then you just can't understand. He caters every funeral to the individual and makes it about that person. It is a true celebration of their life. It is amazing to see him do this with people he doesn't even know. It is a gift!! It never fails, after every funeral he preaches, someone (sometimes 2 or 3) asks him to preach their funeral. He really is gifted in this area.
23. He is very technological. He saves our family and our church a fortune on computer services. He can figure most anything out with just a little time. Well, except how to change our wireless password at home. It is still 43 odd letters and numbers.

24. He waited a month after we started dating to kiss me the first time. He knew he was holding my heart and wanted to be very careful with it.

25. My family likes him...a lot! I used to joke that they liked him more than me. I don't joke about that anymore because I'm pretty sure it is true! :-)

26. He values my opinion.
27. Put him in any group and he can find something in common with whoever he is talking to. I have actually heard him conversing with someone about chicken farming. No, he has never been a chicken farmer but he is a student of life and finds out all he can about every subject just in case it ever comes up. He siezes opportunites to learn about new things every chance he gets.

28. He watches chick flicks with zero complaints.

29. He mops the kitchen and bathrooms all the time. This is one of my least favorite household chores and he does it gladly. Sometimes he doesn't sweep first and that causes me great stress but the majority of time it makes me very happy.

30. He recognizes his mistakes and freely admits them.

31. He recognizes and agonizes over the responsibility God has given him to lead this church. He makes no flippant decisions. He prays for his staff. He prays for church members. He prays for God's will to be done in this place. He seeks God's will and direction rather than his own. He puts his own desires to the side to follow God's leading. He stays here even though other places call with lots of opportunity because he knows God still has work for him to do in Vidalia. He doesn't follow calls for prestige, opportunity, money or status...he follows God! When the time comes for us to leave here, there will be no question in my mind if it is the right decision because God's will is his ultimate priority!

32. He does this squinched up thing with his eyes and nose when he sees me across the room that speaks volumes to me about what he is thinking. And, that look always lets me know that I'm his girl and that always makes me smile!

33. I think he is one of the most genuine and sincere people I know.

34. He loves, cherishes and honors me!

35. He loves God more than me! This bothers some girls. Not me! I knew from the beginning that I would be second in his life. It is for that very reason that I love him so much!!!
I love you, Dan! I hope this year is your happiest year ever! I'm so happy to share this journey with you!


Anonymous said...

Our worship services are so spirit led and full of humility. Thanks pastor!

Avery's Mommy said...

aww what a great idea!


Penny said...

That was so sweet! My husband's birthday was Thursday, too bad I didn't think of this. But, I would have to list 54 things (not that I couldn't) and that would make a REALLY long post! :)

Andrew, Audra & Drew said...

That's one of the sweetest lists I've ever read. Happy Birthday, Dan.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dan!!You and Nicki and Jonah and Max, mske the perfect family!!

Tommy said...

You are a gifted communicator, a great musician and a terrific friend. I am glad you are in Vidalia.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday brother , you deserve it, we truly are blessed to have such a caring minister in our church ,God is using you in some amazing ways!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dan, every one of these 35 items sound just like you, and they remind me again of how special you really are. God bless you! And now, please come live with us in Birmingham. PLEASE!!

Anonymous said...

I love everything about you but mostly it's all about your "hair" - guess who?

Jami Ainsworth said...

I loved sweet. If you don't mind, maybe I should do this for my husband for valentine's. I would do it for his b'day, but it is two days after mind and mine is just a week before Natalie's. We are much for focused on her that time than ourselves!

Spydermonkey said...

Reason #1 made me vomit a little in my mouth!

Three things I love about Dan:
1.) His love for slippers
2.) His love for Mirah Carey and Kelly Clarkston
3.) His love for zippered golf shirts

We love you Dan.....have a great birthday!!! We can't wait to hear your list on Nicki's birthday....

DebP said...

I finally got to read all 35. How special! We are so blessed and so thankful God led you here. You have heard where pastor's actually stay a very long time in one place!!!! Dan, I hope you know how we feel. Have a wonderful day tomorrow and Happy Birthday again.
Wow, I didn't even mention Jonah once. Ha!

DebP said...

Yeah, I did it:)! Jonah said that several times tonight!

NeNe said...

I can't believe #1 - he hated feet when we first met him.
Hope you have a FANTASTIC Birthday. Your card is going in the mail today. We love you!

winstead family said...

so sweet! i feel like i know him now! :)

Sara Madalin's Mommy said...

Ok, Nicki. I just got around to reading this. You made me cry. Sorry I'm late, but Happy Birthday Bro. Dan. I NEED to talk to you.


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