This is my beautiful wife. Today is her 31st birthday, which is pretty cool since its a prime number, and not cool at all because it reminds me of Reggie Miller (and I hate Reggie Miller). We started celebrating her birthday by me leaving home at 6:15 this morning to go ride my bike with my friends for two and a half hours. Aren’t I romantic?
We went to Q’doba for lunch (trust me, this might not get better) and then went “treasure hunting” with my dad and our kids. And tonight we’re going to a movie and out for a delicious dinner at 2 Chez, because its nice and I work there so we get half off. Isn’t that romantic and creative?
We have been reminiscing about the last 10 years of our lives together (our 10th anniversary is in 6 days), and here are some of the highlights:
Remember when we were fat and ate Burger King double cheeseburgers with large fries and large Dr. Pepper’s regularly?
Remember when we went to California for a job interview at a church and you left the oven in our one bedroom apartment on at 200 degrees the whole week in Phoenix with the air conditioning off in the middle of summer?
Remember when said church said that we weren’t “easy on the eyes” behind our backs after the interview, and we were offended even though they were right?
Remember when we towed your ghetto-mobile on a five-foot chain through the city of Phoenix behind a mini-van, and then it broke down on the way back from the shop?
Remember when we moved from California back to Illinois with no jobs and lived with my parents for 6 months?
Remember when I was a salon receptionist and you were a church receptionist and you used to call me to talk about our interesting lives?
Remember when we bought our first house and we moved our stuff across town in an open trailer in a snowstorm?
Remember when I quit a really good job with Youth for Christ because I had a conflict of conscience and in six-months I had jobs as an assembly line worker at Caterpillar, then a delivery driver for Domino’s, and then as the Assistant Manager of the Cash Store?
Remember how you loved me despite these bad career decisions?
Remember when we collectively lost 120 pounds on Weight Watchers, then returned to visit that church in California and nobody knew who we were on Sunday morning?
Remember when we found out you suffer from depression and we made it through, together?
Remember when we decided that we were going to move to the Middle East and volunteer for four months and didn’t take enough money to survive four months?
Remember when we walked out of our apartment in Jordan and there was blood running down the outdoor stairwell and we had no clue what was going on?
Remember when we walked everywhere to save money even though you hated it?
Remember when you got a phone call from a princess, and it wasn’t a joke?
Remember when we sat alone in the “sitting room” of the palace and felt completely out of place in our thrift store bought nice clothes while waiting to meet said princess?
Remember when Lara asked you if you ever thought about becoming a Muslim at the Islamic school we taught at, and you said no, and then you asked her if she ever thought about becoming a Christian, and she said yes?
Remember when we had just paid for a year of rent in an apartment near the school and then found out we didn’t have jobs the next year, and then we fought for our jobs and got them back?
Remember when I took your Arizona State History class for you when you went back to school online?
Remember when we found out you were pregnant?
Remember how we never slept more than 6 hours again?
Remember when we found out you were pregnant again, the same week we decided that we were probably only going to have one kid?
Remember how nothing is the same as it was when we started this journey, and we still love each other, and still find ways to laugh together?
Here’s to 50 more years of remembering, and never forgetting, where we’ve come from and where we’re heading.