I’m nearly a week late with this, but I’m a firm believer in what I like to call ‘birthday week’, so this works.

A few days ago, my husband Dave turned 30.  Next year it’s my turn.  For whatever reason, this birthday is generally labelled as a biggie, often depressing.  When we were younger, we remember thinking 30 was old. Fortunately, as with most things, Dave has just taken it in stride with an amazing attitude and it just doesn’t phase him.  He’s healthy and happy and has a life that he loves.

I first met and took immediate notice of Dave at the beginning of grade 10.  We went to different schools and he was a year older, but I met him playing volleyball one evening at a youth group event.  Dave was having so much fun and everyone loved being around him.  I did too.  We still laugh about the first time he called my house and left a message on the answering machine offering to pick me up “on the way” to youth group (which was actually a solid 30 minute detour) and then his voice seriously cracked when saying “bye”.  Poor guy…. we listened to it several times :)  It wasn’t long at all before my 15 year old heart was dreaming of being Mrs. Wilkinson.

We would go on little ‘dates’ to Houlton to fill up his parents’ van with fuel after church on Sunday evenings.  He’d always buy me my favourite chocolate bar when he’d go inside to pay.  He’d also drive on his 4 wheeler for an hour in the freezing winter months to come visit me at work for just a few short minutes.  He was always doing little things like that to let me know he was thinking about me, and he still does.  He’ll often come home with a little treat for me, or some kind of gadget that he found that will fix one of my small everyday frustrations. And when my niece, Ryian was born, I flew out to Calgary for a whirlwind 30 hour trip to photograph her.  I had left my vehicle at the airport so that I could drive myself back to Woodstock after arriving back in Fredericton late at night, and yet, he was there at the airport with the kids in their PJs to welcome me back.

He really has been my best friend ever since the very early stages of our relationship way back in high school.  We definitely had our drama, our ups and downs, and even a couple of years apart after high school.  When we were apart during those difficult couple of  years, I missed him, prayed for him, and thought of him daily.  I wanted to marry him, do life with him, and have babies with him more than I had ever wanted anything else.  I saw him drive by one night as I was pulling out of my parents’ driveway.  Naturally, I followed him until he got the hint and pulled over :) Two years later, we were getting married in a field one amazing July evening.

I cannot imagine my life without Dave.  Although no one is perfect, I swear he’s the closest thing to it.  The other night our little family of four was all piled on to that same old 4 wheeler from years ago, and as we drove around the back fields in the warm evening sun, I was overwhelmed by just how blessed I am to have this life that I always wanted.

I feel that a ‘Top 10’ list is in order for this special birthday occasion.  So here they are, 10(ish) of the things that I love most about Dave…

  • He keeps getting better and better each year (and bonus, better looking too!) which makes me excited for the future.
  • He’s such a hard worker, and has a thankful attitude about being able to work. Very rarely a complaint.
  • He’s so darn handy and has used his carpentry skills to renovate the house, build me a studio, and make gifts for the kids. He can assemble or fix just about anything too.  Toys, septic issues, tractors, random things I bring home from yard sales, etc.
  • He’s a helper. He loves helping people and often gives up his evenings or Saturdays to help someone else.  And he does a lot of housework, mows the lawn, deals with the trash, and even does some cooking.
  • Everything is more fun if he’s around. Watching a funny movie, camping, eating, whatever… it’s just better if Dave is there.  And he has this really great, infectious laugh that I thoroughly enjoy.
  • He is a very talented acoustic guitarist.  I find this very attractive.
  • He’s a peacemaker and is quick to forgive and move on.  There are rare times this can be annoying actually, but it’s always a very admirable quality.
  • He’s the perfect mix of the strong, manly, ‘man of the house’ type and a tender-hearted softie who cried at both of our children’s births.  I had never felt more love towards him than when I saw him holding our new babies, teary-eyed and beaming with joy.
  • He’s loyal to me and our family.  No question about it, this guy is committed and you can count on him, even when life is hard. And you never get a sense that there’s anywhere else he’d rather be than with us.
  • Definitely one of my favourite things, he is an amazing daddy to Levi and Ruthie.  Not only did he contribute some terrific genetics, he is very involved in their lives… so helpful, playful, and protective.  It’s obvious that they adore him and they have every reason to.
  • And, it just wouldn’t be fair to not mention that he gives the best hug/back rub combos. And lets me put my freezing cold feet on him in bed. And makes me fires when I’m cold, even if it’s May. And he’ll eat anything I make and think it’s good.

See? The closest thing to perfect. This list is definitely not complete, but those were some of the first things to come to mind. Levi, Ruthie and I sure love this guy and feel pretty lucky to have him in our lives.  Like I said, everything is more fun when Dave’s around, and we’re awfully happy that he is.

Happy 30th Birthday, Dave.  You’re awesome. And smokin’ hot ;)


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