John and me in line for a ride at Lagoon this past summer. I have always loved how perfectly I fit right underneath his arm.
I want to tell you about the man that I get to call my husband. He doesn't get a lot of attention on this blog (a fact that he is undoubtedly quite happy about), but today, on our 5 year anniversary, I want to give him some of the credit that he deserves. A couple of years ago I wrote down the story of how we met and fell in love (read that here if you missed it), but today I just want to share some thoughts about this most incredible, beautiful man that I married.
This is a man who does not raise his voice in anger. I have never ever heard him yell.
This is a man who cleans the bathrooms (always), washes the floors (always), and starts loads of laundry without being asked (sometimes).
This is a man who has faithfully risen at 3:00 AM for the past two years to go to work (at one of his 3 jobs, mind you) and who has never complained about it. Yes, he has expressed how tired he sometimes feels, but I have never once heard even the slightest complaint from him about having to get up for work. He just does it, happy to provide for us, and anxious to make me feel like he lives to take care of his family.
This is a man who goes into our baby girl's room at night to smell her. That might sound weird, but I think it is a beautiful illustration of his tender feelings for his baby-- that he just loves the sweetness of her scent.
This is a man who memorizes poems. This was one of the first things that immediately stood out to me about John-- what other 18 year old guy memorizes Ulysses or God's Grandeur or The Tyger? He has dozens and dozens of beautiful poems filed away in his brain. He rarely recites them aloud (and will never perform on command), but one of my favorite memories is of laying on his lap on a beach in Hawaii (right before he left on his mission) while he quietly recited poem after poem after poem to me. I love knowing that I married a man who appreciates and values beautiful words.
This is a man who loves sports. This might seem weird, but it was seriously important to me that I marry someone who knew more about sports that I did. I know a lot about sports. Like probably more than any girl you know. I dated lots of guys who were just casual sports fans and didn't get into it the way I did. I was always bothered by that. I wanted my man to be manly! And in my world that means having that competitive and athletic side.
This is a man who covered his eyes when he was a little boy and women's ice skating was on TV. He was worried that the costumes on the skaters were immodest and thought he shouldn't look at them. This makes me laugh now, and I tease him about it sometimes, but really, wouldn't you love it if your sons did the same thing? I pray that George has the exact same moral compass as his father.
This is a man who changes diapers and cleans up body fluids from our children without even blinking.
This is a man who tells me he loves me every time we talk on the phone. Every single time.
This is a man who loves it when I wear baggy long-sleeved tee-shirts. He notices when I take some time to dress up, and is good to tell me he thinks I am beautiful, but honestly, he has a hard time keeping his hands off me when I am just wearing a plain old tee-shirt. I love that I can feel comfortable and beautiful when I am in his arms.
This is a man who tempers my passion with his calm. And even though I sometimes want him to get all up in arms with me about something, I mostly am just really grateful for his level-headedness and clear thinking.
This is a man who, upon hearing about the way a jerky DMV employee treated me, immediately called and talked (calmly and level-headedly, of course :)) to a supervisor just because it was important to him to stand up for me (I didn't even know he had done this until well after the fact).
This is a man who calls my mom just to chat. (What son-in-law does that?)
This is a man who I knew would be an affectionate and dear husband because of the way he treated his own mom and sister. I have very specific memories from high school of him giving his mom and sister kisses on the head or cheek and thinking to myself that that is exactly the way I would want my future sons to treat me and their sisters one day.
This is a man who can make my heart skip a few beats just by winking at me from his seat on the stand at church on Sundays.
This is a man who eats anything and everything I cook and always expresses his gratitude to me for making dinner. If he particularly likes something I've made he makes sure to make a big deal out of it, ooooing and aaahhing over and over :).
This is a man who makes me feel comfortable in my own skin, who has never ever said one negative word about the way I look. Even when I am 9 months pregnant and feel gigantic, I really do believe him when he says that he finds me just as attractive then as he does when I fit into my skinny jeans. I have never once felt like I am not attractive to him.
This is a man who gets me glasses of ice water whenever I ask (and I ask a lot).
This is a man who saves the best/last bites of yummy things for me.
This is a man who loves to play jokes and tease people. He secretly changed his name to "Bonesaw" in my mom's phone and then proceeded to call her for a few days and leave her totally baffled at who "Bonesaw" was. He used a scary voice and told her he was coming for her and her children until he couldn't keep up the charade any more and cracked up laughing.
This is a man who knows the names of all the old ladies in our ward and makes a point of shaking their hands, calling them "Sister _____," and making them feel like a million bucks. I am certain they all have crushes on him.
This is a man who hugs people. That is something that so many of my extended family members have commented on-- how you can always count on a hug from John.
This is a man who, after spending a few days stewing over the fact that we had almost gotten TOTALLY ripped off by a heating company, felt bad about how frustrated he was with them (though he was completely justified in being so), and one night in our prayer asked for forgiveness for being prideful and thinking he was right (which he was, by the way).
This is a man who is so, SO funny. He makes me laugh all of the time. And not just kind of, sort of laugh-- I am talking like a full on, stomach muscles are sore, eyes are watering laugh. He really does have the quickest wit and best sense of humor.
This is a man who, despite his deep spiritual sensitivity and convictions, is also able to just be real. He appreciates the occasional naughty joke, and he laughs hysterically at the completely inappropriate things that my brothers say. Before I knew him well in high school I wondered this about him-- sure he was the most incredible person I knew, but would he also be a prude and think that some of the things I said were totally out of line? I soon found out that, oh no, he certainly wasn't a prude. And I love that about him.
This is a man who cut up peaches and crushed up ice for me (by hand) after I had given birth to my babies, and brought them to me in my bed so I wouldn't move. He was constantly telling me I was "over-doing it" and would try to get me to lay down whenever I would attempt to do anything for myself. I used to think that men wanted their women to be tough, and I still think that they do in some ways, but I never knew how much it would mean to a man to just be able to take care of his wife. I am so grateful I married a man who truly finds his purpose and happiness in taking good care of me and our babies, and I am learning to be better about just letting him do that sometimes.
. . .
I am not writing this all out to try to paint the picture of a perfect man. He isn't perfect, and we don't always see eye to eye about everything. Maybe you can tell by now that he isn't necessarily the most romantic guy on the planet, and my list wasn't full of all the times he has bought me flowers and taken me on extravagant trips or dates. Those kind of things aren't really his forte, I guess, but I am okay with that. I am okay with that because of how good he is at everything else-- at doing little things constantly and effortlessly that show his deep devotion and love to me and our children. I can honestly say that I am married to the best person that I know. The very best. He is so much more than I could have ever hoped to have, and I sometimes feel inadequate to be his wife.
We have had this conversation more than once-- that I cannot see how he could possibly love me as much as I love him because of the kind of person that he is compared to the kind of person I am (and I'm really not trying to put myself down here-- I know I am a fine person. But have you met my husband?)-- and he always responds by telling me that one day I will understand his feelings for me, that one day I will know the depth of his love for me. But here is the truth:
I already know it.
Even if I can't understand it, I know it. I cannot doubt something that is shown to me time and time again, every single day of my life. His love for me is laced seamlessly and beautifully through the hours and minutes of my life, woven into each and every good thing that is mine. It is in all the things I described above, plus a thousand other little details that, when added together, comprise all of the beauty and happiness in my life.
I hope that he can feel my love back for him just as tangibly.
5 years into our marriage, happier and fuller than I have ever been.