Happy Birthday Daniel

Today is Daniel’s 33rd birthday and I love him so much it makes me feel crazy and weepy and so grateful I could fill a book with reasons I can’t live without him. And maybe because I’m an emotional 8-month-pregnant woman, I feel compelled to write down a few of my favorite things about my favorite guy. (I’ll warn you now: this post is filled to the BRIM with mushy gushy sentimentality that might make you roll your eyes or throw up. I can’t help myself.)

Daniel and Andie at their wedding

I love his contentment. I love that he’s not constantly, chronically searching for more, better, enough—like I am prone to do. Which is not to say that he doesn’t strive to grow and be better; he just moves through life with much more peace and acceptance of the here and now than I ever do. And what’s maybe more striking about his nature is that you realize when you’re with someone who is content and satisfied on his own, that you just might be enough, too.

I love how thoughtful he is, and the way he always pauses to see both sides. For years I thought he was trying to be a contrarian, or playing devil’s advocate, when he’d ask me to take a minute to see something from another person’s perspective. I’d get frustrated when he didn’t immediately validate or agree. Now I recognize that this instinct in him to think about everything from all angles is what makes him so understanding and empathetic. I can only hope our son is as compassionate—and as critical a thinker.

Daniel and Andie in Hawaii

I love that he finds the joke in everything, a trait I believed he got from his dad, until I met his mom and realized that she, too, is quick to make you laugh. Daniel is playful and silly and his ability to see humor in (almost) everything makes our lives feel lighter, even if and when they aren’t. I’m happy just thinking that our son will come into a home with so much laughter.

Daniel and Dee Dee

I love the way he loves Dee, my parents’ pug, who we are both admittedly out-of-our-minds in love with. He takes care of her in the most astoundingly patient and nurturing way. He kisses her, lets her lick his nose well beyond a normal level of comfort, and he will walk with her as long as she wants—and when I sometimes ask him how he doesn’t get infuriated and force her to turn back—he tells me, “but she loves walking and smelling the leaves. She lets me know when she’s ready to come home.”

Dee Dee

I love that, for all of my chaos, intensity, and impulsivity, Daniel is calm and steady and measured. He’s the even-tempered one, the patient one, the one whose very presence is reassuring.

Happy birthday, Daniel! I love you.

Thank you all for allowing me to go nuts and gush.