Today is Justin’s birthday! He turned 36 and I must say that he looks good as a 36 year old. I mean, he always looks good, but he’s getting more grey in his beard and throughout his hair and I really like the salt and pepper look. He’s like 98% pepper still, but the more salt the better!
It always feels a little funny to gush about my husband in a blog post or on social media because I just tell him these kinds of things to his face, but I do have some gushing to do today so get ready.
We are celebrating 9 years of marriage next month. We met 3 years before we were married so I’ve known him for about 12 years now. If you read our love story (I KNOW I’m slow in adding to it, I’m sorry!), you would know that he and I swiftly fell in love and became nearly inseparable after our first meeting.
We’ve been together through my college, starting my private hair studio, starting the blog, starting the jewelry business, leaving the jewelry business, leaving the salon, pressing fully into the blogging career, his undergrad degree, graduate school, a long distance stint for an internship, another long distance stint for a work program, mountain climbs and adventures, a job that required a lot of travel, one baby, another baby, a third pregnancy, cats, moves, big life events with our families, and so much more. SO MUCH MORE.
We’re different in a lot of ways, but also have a lot of similar perspectives on things, so experiencing life with him in all that that entails has been deeply fulfilling and gratifying. We’ve had challenges, difficult seasons, and had to work through personality differences to come to a meeting place that works for both of us. Neither of us can last long in conflict, and I’m grateful that we generally can resolve issues relatively quickly. We both work very hard on sharing individual expectations we have, from small things like “what does tomorrow morning look like for you?” to larger things like “what can we do differently this year?” so we each know where the other stands.
On a lighter note, Justin is a great story teller, and while he’s not goofy-funny like I sometimes am, he makes me laugh so hard. He’s a hands-on dad and it has been a pure delight to be able to watch him become an even MORE hands-on dad since he quit his job last summer. Not only is he around more because he’s not traveling for work, but he also works from home on Raleigh UAV when he doesn’t have a shoot, and is spending more time with the kids so I can work a bit more. It’s been a big change for our family, but I must say it’s been great. Much easier and smoother of a transition than I expected.
Justin loves adventure, and likes to be challenged. We can look back to certain points in his life and see that, while it looked different at different stages, he’s always pushed himself to do something hard and fulfilling. He left home for the Air Force at about 19, chose a very difficult degree to achieve in college (Aerospace Engineering), graduated from Duke with his Master’s, and more recently has challenged himself in physical ways with mountain climbs and extreme sports. He has profound willpower and is deeply self-motivated. I watch in fascination as I have almost zero will-power (that was evident in my lack of self-control in buying bags and bags of Starburst Jelly Beans over Easter).
I could keep going but I’ll need to wrap this post up at some point so I’ll finish with this: Happy Birthday Justin, you make me happier than I could ever have even imagined, I’m so thankful to be your wife, and I hope you have a wonderful day.
I need to go make him a Key Lime Pie now!