Today is our 14th wedding anniversary and actually the 19th year of knowing each other. We met on July 22nd, 1995 on a sorority boat cruise and that night we fell really hard for each other over knee socks, Boys II Men, teaching Sunday school and chemistry. Our love story started out like those in movies full of romance, lust and adventure, but our 14 years have also been tough on the two of us and our marriage. We've been tested time and time again with challenges that could have torn us apart but instead they brought us closer and reaffirmed that we really believed in our marriage enough to make it work. We've done the work and we still do, every day. He's so worth it.
On our anniversary, I wanted to share 14 reasons why I love my husband...
1. He's a true romantic. He has been from the very beginning and I adore that about him. Writing songs for me, making special musical playlists, leaving notes to surprise me and even planning a wedding in Vegas are just some of the ways he's been romantic over the years.
2. He drives me nuts. Sure, it can be in a bad way like when he buys something on our credit card and only tells me HALF of the actual amount he spent, he leaves 3 crackers at the bottom of a box and he leaves his big shoes where I trip over them....but mostly, it's in a good way. He challenges me to be patient and understanding. He teaches me about myself and I've learned to really except who he is and what makes him unique.
3. He still gives me butterflies. We may not be Kim and Kanye, but we have a crazy love that keeps us still really attracted to each other. Those kisses in the kitchen, holding my hand when I don't expect it and even just getting out of the car in his suit, it happens. Butterflies every time.
4. He loves me for me. The good, the bad and everything in between. He accepts me for who I am and loves me in spite or because of it. He's loved me at any weight, with any job and whether I'm up or down. He loves me with no tan and even when I over do it and look like a lobster.
5. He knows exactly how I feel about losing Zack. He loved our Zackie as much as I did and we are the only two people who truly know that loss in our life, in our home and in our family. From the beginning until the very end, we have been through more than most couples. Losing our son is a bond that will always connect us, in ways that are impossible to explain.
6. He's a great Dad. From the minute Ty was born he was a natural father, in every way. There were so many times when I would be so flustered getting the three boys out to run an errand, but Paul would pack everyone up and take them all to Sunset Grill or Home Depot for some "boy's time". He barely packed a thing and didn't get remotely stressed. The boys adore their dad and I love seeing how each of them have some of the very special qualities that I see in Paul.
8. He an incredibly generous man. Paul will sacrifice his own needs for others, give the shirt off his back and give back to the world in a way that has always inspired me. He's the man who plans to visit the school on our trip to Jamaica, volunteers with several organizations, had a tradition of taking homeless men out for Christmas dinner and would give up his own needs for someone else. He wouldn't hesitate to give his last dollar to someone in need and he has really taught me the importance and the rewards of giving back to others.
9. He's finally on Twitter (@tjzdaddy) and I think that it is totally adorable. He might not "get" social media, but he's trying...for me.
10. He takes great care of me. As a feminist, I wasn't sure that I would ever want to be "taken care of", but I do. Not in an oppressive way, but I mean truly being cared for and cherished is an amazing thing. It's those little things that shows me that he not only loves me, but really cares for me. It's when he makes my tea in the morning or fills the car with gas before he knows I have a long drive. It's when he gets my suntanning chair ready when it's sunny or even pours me a glass of wine and really listens to me, when it's been a rough day. We've had struggles. Many. But we've always been willing to do the work. Sometimes it's taken longer to find out exactly what work needs to be done, but thankfully, it's never been too late. We continue to try to be our best for each other.
11. We know each other's history. We've been each other's past. We met when we were 22 and 25 and almost 20 years later, we've lived half of our lives together. There's something amazingly sacred about living through those many years together and growing up together into the "grow ups" we are today. We know the ins and outs of each other's personalities, the way we tick.
12. He loves the same music I do. We have 14 years of songs (thankfully not all Prince) that represent everything that has happened in our lives together. There was a time when R.Kelly was the playlist of our lustful beginnings, but over time we've always seemed to find the songs that really mean something to each other, mark a milestone or even just celebrate what we have. I can't wait to listen to our 14 year playlist on our date tonight!
13. He's so talented. He even launched a new business and website "Talent Clicks" that totally blows me away! Paul's one of LinkedIns most connected, has spoken at several world-renowned conferences and impressed me at every turn. I'm so proud of all that he's accomplished and I can't wait to see where his incredible skills take him next! All I know is that I'll be cheering him along the way.
14. He's the one. The only one for me. It's that simple. He's the only one who has my complete heart and has for 19 years. The way he looks at me is pure magic and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Happy Anniversary, Paul!
You are the most amazing man I know and I can't wait for the rest of our life together. Through it all, it's always been you and only you.
Your Babes xo