Happy 37, Tim

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If ever I need to find you, I open the back door and call your name.

You were made for the wild. If we moved to farm country and you were tasked with tilling the ground, tending the animals, and building our own log cabin, you'd be more than able to do it. You would probably be happy too - outdoors all day, with the sun on your back and a tool in your hands.

Sure, you're a wiz with computers too. You're great with people (befriending the whole neighborhood is just something you do) and you like exploring new restaurants like I do.

But - you are especially contented with soil in your hands and boots on your feet. You'll prune rose bushes, install floors, weed the garden, and chop wood before...sitting down. When I asked you what you wanted to do for your birthday, I already knew your answer before it escaped your lips, "work."

Your birthday is close to Father's Day - which seems fitting. You have always been an exceptional father, but I saw something new with baby #4. You stepped into the super dad suit and zipped it up.

The baby waves his arms to be lifted when you walk in the room - and you often oblige, putting him in the crook of your arm and walking around our property. At this rate, he'll know the names of flowers, the way of composting, and the ins & outs of home renovations by the time he's two.

Your girls dote on you too. They know the things you like ("working, a clean house, and coffee") and the things you don't ("sticky floors and loud noises"). We were discussing some project recently and our 10-year-old quipped without a hint of sarcasm, "Apparently, he knows how to do almost everything."

As for me, you know I admire you in a very real sense. Even when we spend hours together (which we often do since we are also business partners), I still feel like I never have enough time with you. The first year (or two?!) after having a baby I always miss you something awful because babies have a wonderful and exhausting way of filling up arms and calendars. We'll continue to find our groove though. We both know babies don't keep.

You are wise and strong, brave and true. These words seem too light for the weight that you carry in our home. You lead with prayer, with energy & honesty, with the truths of the Bible that you read faithfully every night.

This morning, when you woke up, I put my hands around my warm coffee cup and asked, "What can I do to make your dreams come true?" I meant it for today, but also for every day.

I want you to know that I'm your biggest fan, your round of applause. Not because I have to be, but because I truly, deeply AM. Because you won my heart at 16 and you keep doing it again & again. Fifteen and a half years later, you are my best and my only.

Whatever you dream, I'll dream too. Wherever you lead, I'll walk right beside you. Mile after mile after mile.

Happy 37, Tim. Every year with you is better than the last.

Happy 37, Tim 1

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