On Your Birthday

Dear Husband,

On your birthday 10 years ago, we had just gotten engaged. You came into our first shared bedroom to find 25 wrapped gifts on our bed, to honor your 25th birthday.

On your birthday nine years ago we were preparing to get married. We took a trip to NYC to meet Twin halfway between Philadelphia and Boston, and to visit my my sister. We drank hot chocolate in the lobby of our fancy hotel and played connect four in a hipster bar, before I knew what a hipster bar even was. We walked through the Central Park zoo and played dress- up in FAO Schwartz.

On your birthday eight years ago we had just bought our first house. We had our Lola and took her for a winter weekend at the beach house. There, we played Scrabble, you opened the binder of love that I had made for you and we ran along the sand. On the day of your birthday, we ate crepes at Reading Terminal for breakfast. There was lots of cake.

1927823_798171525794_6547_n 1927823_798173551734_1858_nOn your birthday seven years ago I was pregnant with our daughter. I made 28 cards for your 28th birthday.


Thank you, Facebook, for reminding me that we had at least 4 cakes and Red Velvet Cake ice cream. And that is why I will not be posting any pictures of us from that birthday. You’re welcome. 17064_10100214070348194_4831223_nOn your birthday six years ago you were a daddy. Photos of cakes were replaced by albums of photos of our daughter.



On your birthday five years ago you entered into your next decade!

391022_10102099123416734_1699893464_nThe Dirty 30, as they say.

IMG_2415Oh. You think that a cake with M&Ms was all that we did to celebrate?


I surprised you with a Hawaiian themed birthday party. There, I wore a flower bra, we ate my dad’s amazing cooking, watched a video-montage of your life (“Live a life less ordinary, live a life extraordinary with me…”) and we danced in my parents’ basement, which I had previously converted into a “night club”. I had special hot sauce made as a party favor that said something like “Hot and Spicy, Just like Kenny!”

On your birthday four years ago…418293_10102241576374864_1923281684_n…I have no idea what we did. We had a real kid, and she dominated our lives, and photos. Your birthday no longer got two photo albums on Facebook. Mobile Uploads became a thing.

On your birthday three years ago we had just moved into our new house. After weeks of work and renovations, we spent our very first night in our new home on your 32nd birthday.


And, let it be said, you got even cuter with age! And it would be our last birthday as a family of 3 humans.

I posted this photo with this caption:

528846_10103837917843764_1695296194_n Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 6.38.20 AM

On your birthday two years ago we had a night out without our TWO kids. I have no idea where we went, but apparently the drinks were a-flowin’ (see previous sentence). Once again, I must thank the old book of Face for jogging my memory. And for preserving our memories.

1016530_10105860132135114_1544346044_n 1512109_10105858112088304_1805029446_o

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 6.45.54 AMApparently, with two kids I had less time to wax poetic.

On your birthday last year we spent time together as a family. 10495066_10108140221552644_1655682883020582863_o

We had settled in as a family of four, though life had changed more dramatically than we could have ever predicted. We were no longer the same as individuals, nor as a unit; we had been put through the ringer, but we came out of it together.

11708029_10109133865098014_1594393376726032496_oLast year, on your 33rd birthday, I looked to you as my rock. You had stood by me through our toughest times, when others, likely, could not have. I had watched you grow from a round-faced young adult into a handsome, strong man. You awed me every day.

Today is your birthday, and you are not yet awake. You are in bed, in the dark of our room, as our daughter is asleep in her sleeping bag on our floor (she had a “terrible nightmare”). I am sitting with our son, waiting for you to wake up so that I can make you poached eggs with truffles and tell you that I love you.

Because Kenny, I love you very much.

On your birthday this year I can tell you that I appreciate you, cherish you, admire you and am more grateful to you than ever. In this past year we have shared some incredible experiences, having traveled together, seen concerts, eaten gourmet meals, had dance parties with friends and, most of the time, by ourselves. We have had highs and we have had lows, but we have always had each other.

Happy birthday.

10 years ago when I first introduced you to this book and knew that I wanted to have a family with you I made a promise to you, and it is one that still stands.

I’ll like you for always.

And today, and always,

I do.

Happy Birthday, Dear Man o’ Mine

Happy 33rd Birthday, Dear K.

It is now officially 12:00am on January 19 and I just whispered “Happy Birthday” to you, as I watch you sleep beside me.

(I realize that I am currently breaking our electronics curfew, but I am hopeful to earn back my privileges with copious amounts of cake.)

Also, I literally just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how much of your life we have now spent together. I still can’t figure out how to do it. It is much easier to figure it out with me; We started dating when I was 20 and I am about to turn 30, so that means that I have spent 1/3 of my life with you. But you have lived 3 1/3 years longer than I have, so I guess it’s some fraction slightly smaller (or actually the denominator would be a larger number, right?). I just really hurt my brain. And I still don’t have the answer.


that was quite the silly way to start a post that is bound to be sentimental; How could it not be? What we have endured since your last birthday has been staggering. Since your last birthday we have had some of the worst times of our entire lives. We hit the lowest lows, as individuals and as a couple. But today, on your birthday, I can say that we are better than we have ever ever been before. Because we finally figured it out; the secret has been this: You understand me now, and have let me be more me, I understand you, and have let you be more you, and we have found a new definition for “us”.

But let us move on to you. When we got engaged, your grandmother told me that you were a “true blue boy”. That you are, and so much else. You are good. You are patient. You are compassionate. You are quirky. You are talented. You are kind. You are silly. You are generous. You are selfless. You are forgiving. You are caring. You are dedicated. You are hardworking. You are creative. You are ours.

This afternoon, on our way home from our quick shop, we heard The Eagles “Take it to the Limit” on the radio. You were telling me about how the song caused so much conflict within the band that it forced them to break up, but then you started talking about our story with that song.

You laughed as you remembered how I “used to force us waltz together on the third floor of the townhouse to this song.”

When I think back to those old days (which must be very old, considering we moved in together within 7 months of starting to date and were engaged within 8) I am overcome by memories of those first days and weeks and months. We talk not infrequently about many memories (like how you told me, very early one morning, very early into our relationship, that you had a wish for the future to have and raise real miniaturized jungle animals) but there are others that are just coming back to me now. And I think I am going to tell you, but not the world. I tell the world plenty. (Smiley face emoji. I don’t have emojis.)

In thinking about trying how to wish you a happy birthday, I wanted to express how grateful I am for you.

I wanted to try to explain that thing that has no words.

There is a montage of memories playing through my head right now, and I am actually smiling, in bed, next to you, as you sleep. You do not know that it is your birthday (nor do you know that I am breaking curfew, eek!) but I can’t help it.

Just the way that two minutes after you dropped me off from our first date I send you a mobile AIM message (Right?! Remember those?!) saying “You’re amazing.” I couldn’t help it.

And I still can’t help it.

And here is why:

It was almost two hours ago when we decided to go to sleep. We have some very soft, plush new bedding and we talked for awhile and listened to music and you read a book on Taoism as I researched “small den room layout” and then, as we do every night, you put on our special sleep track, which lulls us both into slumber. But I was antsy and stubborn so as you shut off your light and closed your eyes, I took my iPad and headphones so that I could watch tonight’s episode of Girls on HBO Go.

And halfway through the episode (an episode that

1. actually made me laugh out loud, which is rare


2. almost led me to email my friends about my upcoming birthday bash (it’s still months away, but I gave them a year to save the date) and say, “Do you know the party scene from the latest Girls? You know how Hannah and Elijah were dancing like crazy maniacs to Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz “Get Low”? That’s what I want my birthday to be like. But then I thought better of it.)

Sneaky blogger trick: you can avoid sending said emails by just blogging about them. Wink emoji.

I noticed that you fell asleep holding my hand. And when I tried to untangle our fingers, I couldn’t. Try as I did, I couldn’t get your fingers to separate from mine, as they were woven together, your hand heavy with sleep on mine.

And that’s us.

You can’t untangle us.

Sometimes we stretch our rope, sometimes it gets kinked, but we never come undone.

And that is because tying myself to you is the best thing that I have ever done.

You have showered me with support, shown me incredible courage, allowed me to grow into the woman I want to be, and, most of all, you gave me my children. Our children. Half you, Half  me.

You deserve happiness always, K, but today especially. Today (after I finally go to sleep!) we are going to eat cake for breakfast. Today I am going to take the kids so that you can go bouldering. Today we are going to order pizza and give you gifts and dance to your songs.

And I hope that today is the worst day of your year, as I pray that it only gets better from here.

I think back to one of my favorite songs and realize that the words could not be more perfect:

The night we met I knew I needed you so
And if I had the chance I’d never let you go

Happy, happy day, to the best man I know. I love you.

Heart emoji.

And Many More…

Happy Birthday, dear Daddy.
We are so proud to call you ours.
And, even though you are now an oldie,
you are very much, and always will be, a goodie.
We love how you sing us lullabies,
and give us back rubs,
and light up when you see us.
We love how you are patient,
and so kind,
and how your goodness radiates from deep within.
We love how you make us proud,
and make us smile,
and make us feel lucky to call you ours.
Wishing you your happiest year yet,
With love,
Mama, Baby, Lola and Ziggy
Can we please have another piece of cake?
Or two?