Friday, January 28, 2011


As of January 15,
that's how many years my lover baby's been on this earth.
Can you believe it?
I can't.
But I suppose that's just because I missed the first little bit of it.
And when I say a little bit, I mean most all of it.

It makes me sad some days to think I missed out on the first 22 years of his life.
I wonder what it might have been like to know the nearly white-haired little wild child...
to meet the simultaneously shy and unsettlingly confident high school sports star...
(talk about breezing by the insecurities and unhealthy level of self-awareness characteristic of those  tumultuous teen years)
to spend time with the fresh-off-the-press Italian missionary trying to assimilate into the BYU bubble.

I wonder if I'd have wanted to be little Parker's play mate...
if Mr. RHS might have tried to date me...
if I'd have caught his eye that first day in Provo the way I did in ten months' time.

Yes, I wonder.
But I don't worry.
Because even though we've barely finished scrawling the first pages of this little love 
I feel like I've loved him my whole life
and I'm 99.9% certain he feels the same way too.
(the 0.1% margin left for doubt comes when 
A. I try to do my make-up in the car because I'm already 10+ minutes late and get mascara all over his mirror, then argue defensively that it wouldn't have happened had he warned me about the speed bump.
B. Get hair wax on his favorite suit because I am, again, multitasking in the car because I am, again, 10+ minutes late.
C. Leave mascara-stained tears all along the shoulder of said suit.
D.  Wriggle my way over to his side of the bed and plop his arm over me, waking him from the deepest sleep because I NEED to be cuddled.
E.  Insist for over an hour that he was the one who threw away my YW's reimbursement receipts and hound him to remember back to where else he might have put them if, as he claims, he did not throw them away.  Then come back with a sheepish sorry after finding them in the pocket of my purse, the place he told me to look first.
The list goes on and on.
I'm a wonderful wife.
I know.)
But because I have not even 0.1% of my time spent wondering why you're so wonderful sweetie, I'd like to share with the world 24 things I've learned and come to love about you in your 22, 23, and now 24 years.

1. I love that you like to partially make the bed each night before you crawl in to go to sleep because, unlike me, you hate being tangled up in a messy bundle of blankets and sheets.  
And while you used to think I just had a nasty habit of taking up 99% of our bed, you now realize that happens because you hug the right side and me, the barnacle that I am, has to inch over that far to cuddle with you.  I laugh when you sing "Meet Me Halfway" to remind me I can just meet you in the middle.

2.  I love that you hate when I wear too much make-up.
Which, to you, is anything more than eyeliner and mascara.  
I'd be offended were it not for the fact that you remind me constantly that I am one of the few girls you've ever met that, you claim, looks just as beautiful if not better without it.
I believe you sometimes, then other times I think it's just because you hate the idea of any of it rubbing off on your immaculately kept clothes.

3.  I love that you LOVE to cuddle.
You've often reminded me you like cuddling better than kissing.
It took me awhile to get used to that when we were first dating.
You're different than most boys Parker B,
and I think it's really sweet.
The only downside to this little quirk,
you're the best kisser I know.

4.  I love the fact that you basically live off Chip Mates cereal.
For those of you who don't know, 
Chip Mates is essentially generic brand cookie crisp.
And as much as I hate to admit it,
it is, indeed, delicious.

5.  I love that you're a perfectionistic Photoshop pro.
And you all thought we just always looked this perfect. 

6.  I love that you're always a helper and appreciate the value of hard work.
Every time we trek down to Rockville you tell me about the time you spent there working your grandpa's farm with your family.
I wish I'd have known him,
wish I could've met him even just one time so I could say thank you.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Because this is one of the reasons I've loved you from the start.

(And because I know this is largely due to the good influence of your Dad & Mom too,
thank you, thank you Tristan & Kristy!
I pray we can pass this put-your-shoulder-to-the-wheel attitude to our kids someday soon).

7.  I love how you say you don't understand people's obsession with "shows."
The last thing your life revolves around is the television
(unless the Cougs are taking the court or rushing the field).
Yet I have, on more than one occasion, had a good little giggle over the way you try to casually ask whether or not Glee's on tonight, if I'm looking up the latest episode of Modern Family on Hulu, or if 30 Rock's back from the holiday break.
You're not a TV junkie, true. 
But you do take a quick hit every now and again.
And even though you like to play it off as though you're just enduring it all for my benefit,
you have to admit...
you kind of love it too.

8.  I love that you never speak poorly of anyone.
A wise friend of mine shared her resolution to speak more of ideas and less of people.
I loved it!
What a refreshing thought?!
That conversations don't always need to involve a discussion about a non-present party to be provocative, insightful, or interesting.
And when I thought of the people I know who seem to have already mastered this course on good conversation,
I thought of you,
and how being with you has made me a better person too.

9.  I love that you come home heartbroken over a bit of bad news at the dentist.
I know you're going to hate this one because "heartbroken" does not connote "tuffness" in your mind,
but you have to understand,
I think this is ADORABLE.
It's not like you even had a cavity
(which we've never, and hopefully won't ever have).
Just a weak spot or two on your enamel.
And you came home that dooms-day determined to take any and all preventative action to keep it from developing into anything more.
I gave you a bit of a bad time for it,
so when I came home with the same diagnosis just a day later, 
you tried to play the exclusivity card to keep me from the full-prevention "program" you had all ready and set to go.
Luckily you decided to be the bigger person and let me join.
And please know that,
even on those days I'm a bit belligerent about your calling me out for my inconsistent flossing,
I am so, so glad we're fluoride buddies.

You're going to be the best dentist someday.

10.  I love that you always, always kiss me when you come home.
I love that that's the first thing you do after walking through the front door.
It makes me think that,
 even after the longest and most difficult day,
you're happier just for having me back in your arms.
And let me tell you,
there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

11.  I love the way you justify never kissing me in the middle of a movie.
I know you do cave sometimes, 
but it's only when I demand it.
And I am 99.9% certain you keep your eyes open the whole time.
And by whole time, I mean the 2.7 milliseconds you invest in your lackluster and apathetic peck.

I used to wonder why marriage made it so that you couldn't be bothered with even the littlest kiss.
And then I realized,
your wimpy kisses don't mean you don't love me,
you just really hate missing ANYTHING
(most especially because our ghetto DVD player doesn't have any way to track back and see what we might have missed).

so yes, 
I'm grateful now.
Because let's be honest,
I ask WAY too many questions as it is.
And if you caved to all my kisses,
who'd be there with all the answers?

p.s. Also funny...the way you refuse to give any "real" kisses after you've brushed your teeth.
I'm still trying to understand why you're only wary of sharing my germs just before you fall to sleep...

12.  I love the fact that you can have a six-pack in just a week's time.
Yes sweetie, I do love this about you.
I mean really;
what kind of whack-job wife would complain that her husband's just too hot???
Not me.  
Never me.
I do, however, resent the fact that this doesn't go both ways.

13.  I love the fact that you have the most ticklish little piggies.
Again, I realize you don't believe this tickle tribute is at all fitting for a man,
but sweetie,
your little piggies cry "Wee! wee! wee! wee! wee!" anytime I'm within even an inch of them.
(Picture the latest and greatest Geico commercial.  Parker's piggies to. the. tee.)
Not to mention the fact that your face is the picture of unforgivable and unforgettable agony whenever you're made to suffer through one of my personal pedis
(which is in no way a comment on the foot-friendliness of my massages.
I started charging for those scrub sessions at the age of 5).
so as much as you hate to hear it,
I had to say it.
Because who can resist seeing the tuffest of tuff guys just a little vulnerable?

14.  I love that your most mischievous laugh sounds exactly like Scooby Doo's.
You laugh like Scooby Doo.
You do! You do! You do!
And it is so, so cute.

15.  I love the fact that you are the most talented wonder of a wakeboarder I've ever known.
Known personally.
I threw that in because I knew you'd be blushing by the time you you'd made it to the fine print.
seriously though.
You. are. amazing.
Did I ever tell you about the first time I ever watched you board?
Lake Shasta. 2009. 
You land a tantrum no problem on a teeny tiny ski boat wake.
My BFF leans over and asks,
"Does this make him like 100 times more attractive to you?"
I giggle, give a little blush, and whisper back,
"You have no idea."
Yes sweetie, I'm singing your praises.
And no, there's no mute button tonight.

16.  I love that you love a good challenge.
i.e.: catching my eye, stealing my heart, somehow convincing me life couldn't ever be better than this.
Ok I'm kidding.
I'm not sure anything you achieved so easily qualifies as a challenge.
What I really aimed to express here deals with what I said just a moment ago,
you. are. amazing.
Whether you're turning my world upside down out on the wakeboard,
scaring me to pieces with your mountain biking stunts,
or blowing my mind with how quickly you've mastered maneuvering through the snow, 
you're making me wonder what on earth I did to deserve you.

And yet,
you're blind to the truth everyone else sees.
You insist you're still a novice
with many new moves to master, heights to reach, and snow to shred 
before you'll ever even begin to think you've accomplished anything remotely remarkable.
Why be good when you could be great?
I love that that's your approach to everything in life.
It's refreshing.
And rewarding.
Especially when you apply it your husband-ing.

17.  I love the fact that your two beloved babies bikes cost more than the combined total of our his & hers wakeboards, snowboards, and laptops.
Expensive hobby, no?
But it makes you happy.
And that makes me happy.

And you wanna know what makes me even happiER???
That they're now boarding in your brother's garage.
I love not having to wrestle my way into our pantry,
wriggle into the single teeny tiny space by the sink,
or trip on a dirty tire while racing out the front door.

Yes...I love this.
I love it a LOT. 
(and I do sort of love tagging along too...)

18.  I love hearing the real reasons you look forward to being a dentist.  
I know no one will believe me when I say it,
but with you,
it's not about the money.
You really do care about helping people.
And you are a firm believer in the idea that healthier lives are happier lives.
A little idealistic?
But that's what going to make you such a stud in the field.
Not to mention the fact that you are fascinated by the idea of working with your hands.
I think you're convinced dentistry's a creative field.
And I think that's super cute.

so here's to a crazy year of big classes, big tests, and even bigger interviews.
I believe in you Parker B.
Thanks for bringing me along for the ride. 

19.  I love my memory of the one and only time I've ever seen you cry
and I love that those tears came because you couldn't stand seeing me so sad.
Don't worry sweetie.
Those were the tuffest of tears.
You stayed calm, quiet, and quite composed as you held me in your arms.
I never would have known had I not noticed the moonlight reflected in your misty eyes.
I remember I cried harder for having made you sad.
And you, again, took me into your arms
and held me until my quiet sobs subsided.

You didn't care that it was snowing;
didn't care that I had on your one and only coat;
didn't care that you were already hours past your bedtime.

You just cared that I knew that you cared,
that you loved me,
and that you weren't going anywhere.
not now.
not ever.

And sweetie,
I knew it.
And once I knew it, 
I realized
that forever with you 
wouldn't ever be long enough.

20.  I love that you love kids.
I've already explained this one away one too many times,
but can I just tell you how absolutely ADORABLE it was watching you hold little Ava this last weekend?
You looked just ecstatic every time she smiled up at you.
And you must've made about 10+ animated comments on her strong little baby legs to me, Carson & Ashley, and anyone else within a 10-foot radius on the walk from Sunday School to Sacrament Meeting.
I about peed my pants when I watched you trying to get her to walk down the pew.
"Parker!  She's just 4-months-old!  She can't even crawl."
"But she can walk!  All I have to do is help her swing her hips.  She does the rest all on her own."
Oh sweetie.
You are so cute.
But let me tell you now.
If you plan to leave me home with 4-month-old walking babies you've trained,
you won't have a home to come home to.

21.  I love that you are not-so-secretly proud of your baby blue eyes and natural blonde hair.
I can't tell you how many times you've raised an eyebrow or shot me a questioning look after I've made the comment that I do, indeed, have blue eyes too.
 You are a silly boy Parker B.
And although I beg to disagree with the idea that baby blue is the only shade of a blue-hued iris,
I'm glad you're proud of your God-given good looks.
I'm pretty proud of them too.

22.  I love that you unpack the minute we arrive home from an overnighter, weekend getaway, extended vacation, or any other quick trip.
I don't love, however, that you expect me to unpack with you.
I like to ease back into home life
a.k.a. I'm usually zonked and a little lazy after said trips and just want to plop into bed and fall straight to sleep before I've even brushed my teeth
(which is yet another practice you frown upon
and yes,
one I always regret come morning).

23.  I love that you love the Gospel
and especially love that you so love to sharing it.
Your 14 & 15-year-old Sunday schoolers seem to love you almost as much as I do.
And you never employ the use of bribery like I do with my Mia-s.
(which means you're being judged on merit alone.
impressive Parker B.
very impressive).

24.  I love, love, love, love, love that you love me.

Happy Birthday Parker!
May your Social Network, Settebello gelato, snowboarding, and honeymoon suite birthday have been everything you'd hoped for and more.
I can't wait to see everything your 24th year has in store for you, 
mostly you, 
and kind of me too.
Love you my love.

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