Saturday, March 3

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Could I share a little history lesson on Josh's birthday? Yes? Okay -- I'll try to keep it short. :-) Josh and I started dating in the fall of 1998 while we were both students at Cedarville University, and I've been celebrating March 3rd [with gusto!] ever since I threw a surprise birthday party for him that first year. That was [way] back in 1999...the first birthday we celebrated as a couple. I think it was that first year that "birthday week" was born.

You see, Josh is not shy about telling people it is his birthday. He usually starts warning people right after Christmas is over -- just so they have plenty of time to prepare for the next big holiday. A 90-day shopping window seems adequate, right? Well, that year was no different. He had been preparing me for months with hints and flat-out requests for something special for his birthday by the time March rolled around.

Although I didn't have much of a budget to work with [not much has changed!], I decided to do something special by putting a little gift in his mailbox every day for a week leading up to his birthday. I remember splurging on this really cool lava lamp for one of his gifts. We still have it! Anyway, on March 3rd, I invited him over to my dorm's co-ed lounge and surprised him with all of our friends, a cake, singing, the works. If I remember correctly, I think it was after an orchestra concert. Funny memories! I love surprises, so I think I was almost as happy as him. :-) I have some pictures of that party somewhere around here, but I'm not exactly sure where...Maybe one of these days I'll find them and post one for everyone to see us in our early days. :-)

Anyway, we've come a long way since then, but I still look forward to celebrating my sweetheart's birthday to let him know how much I care about him. We still do birthday week, and I have fun thinking up little surprises for him. Last night, I made him a very special PB&J sandwich [his after-work standard], complete with glowing candle, for him to eat at 12:05am this morning to kick off his birthday.

One year before we were married, I found a poem that I wrote out in calligraphy and framed for Josh. It's now hanging in our bedroom, and I'm going to type it out here because I still love the words.

Love, by Roy Croft
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am because of you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you
are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that only you can bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help
dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done
to make me good
And more than fate could have done
to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it by simply being yourself.
Perhaps that is really what it means to be in love.

The line about exposing the "beautiful belongings" of my heart always makes me cry because it's still one of the things I love so much about Josh. He has always made me feel so special, so loved, and so valued. It's no wonder I look forward to his birthday with such anticipation so I can have a week-long excuse to make a big deal about this wonderful man I'm married to.

So baby ... Happy Birthday. You mean the world to me, and I'm so happy to celebrate your life. I look forward to many more birthday week bashes!



Lauren said...

How sweet!! I totally remember that birthday party... I was there!! Good ole' Maddax co-ed lounge!!! Those were good times! Happy Birthday Josh!

josh said...

Wow, I can't stop smiling. March 3, 1999 was great. Today is even better. Now I'm going to get a tissue...

Love you

Lil_LPerry said...

You are so sweet - it's so nice to see your love for your hubby :) Isn't it wonderful to be married to the man of your dreams??? I think it is. I hope Josh never forgets what a blessing he has in you!

Shelley said...

I think I was there....:-) Was I? Happy belated birthday Josh...oh wait! It's for a week!! Yea!! What a beautiful poem Jen. Thanks for sharing!