My Dearest Darling Bucko,
|One of our earliest dates. At the Dallas Arboretum. |
May 2003. 19 year old Casey.
As I write this, you are still 29. Still in that youthful decade of self-exploration and discovery. But tomorrow is a big day. Your birthday. Your 30th birthday.
It's pretty incredible to think that when we met, we were still teenagers. Freshmen in college. No true responsibilities. Unsure who we were. Even less idea where we were going. But we went there together.
|(1) Mardi Gras in New Orleans. February 2003 before we were dating.|
(2) Skiiing in Angel Fire. December 2005.
(3) Swing dancing in college. Sophomore year (2003/2004?)
(4) SMU v Baylor football game. Fall 2005.
Here we are, 11 years later. And you are 30. No hiding from adulthood now. Not that we could before. The twins are asleep in the other room. I'm 6.5 months pregnant. You have a successful finance career. We have a mortgage. A car payment. 401ks. Clearly adults already.
|Daddy with both his boys. September 2013.|
We grew up together over these years. We discovered who we were, individually and as a couple. We grew closer to God. We grew closer to each other. We learned about responsibility, and bills, and mortgages, and budgeting together. We learned the importance of family. We've seen friends come and go and have learned who it is we can really count on. We are growing into the people God intended us to be. Learning our purpose. Learning our place. And we've done it all together. Stronger because we were together.
I know you always said that by 30 you would have enough money to retire from running your own hedge fund. And that lofty goal didn't work out. While retiring together sounds pretty nice, I'll happily put that off for a few more years (or even decades) for the opportunity to continue watching you grow as a man and as a father.
So now, we will enter into your next decade together. You have worked so hard this past year. Balancing God, our relationship, your demanding career, and fatherhood isn't easy but I have seen you do it smashingly. I have seen you make incredibly positive changes in yourself and in your attitude. I have watched you grow closer to God. I have seen your priorities shift and change to welcome two beautiful little people into your life. I have been so impressed by your commitment to do better. My heart overflows with love for you. I love you more today than the day you proposed. More than the day we were married.
|Engagement Photos. July 2006.|
I feel so content, so safe, so secure, in the life we have built together. This security makes everything else seem easier. Doable. I know that this next decade will be amazing. As long as we stay strong together. Our relationship is strong. We have found our groove as parents and worked hard to align our priorities: God, each other, our kids.
I feel so privileged to raise three boys with you. I'm so glad they are boys because I know that our sons have the most outstanding role model they could ask for. Tripp, Davis, and our third little bundle are lucky little boys. They are incredibly blessed to have you as a father and your example as their first introduction to The Father's love. I would be the luckiest mom in the world if our sons grow up to be like you!
|Three boys in Burberry. Father's Day and Baptism Day. June 2013.|
I know that you aren't a huge birthday person. I think birthdays should be celebrated as your very own special day to do and eat whatever you want. It's your day!!! And should be all about you. You, not so much. Over the past years you have humored me and let me throw you big parties like the Back to the 80s Bash, the Black and White Masquerade, the Luau, and the first (of now many) elaborate poker nights. I know you prefer a lazy weekend to party prep so I appreciate that you let me celebrate you!
|Clockwise (1 and 2) Black and White Masqurade. |
(3) Poker Birthday
(4) The Luau
(5) Back to the 80s Bash
(6) A few of the guys at the luau
Well, this year I think a new reality is setting in. No big bash this time. No dealing with all the attention. This year, we start new birthday traditions as parents - dinner at home, homemade cake, and a few friends getting together (but no actual party) over the weekend. This year we have 15 month old twins. And I'm pregnant. And a few things fell through the cracks. Like party planning. So I apologize. Please know this oversight is not a reflection of my love for you or the value and importance I put on this milestone birthday.
|Family photo. July 2011.|
So on this very big day, I want to tell you how very loved you are. You have enhanced my life. You brighten my spirit. You have helped me flourish. I am better for knowing you, for loving you and for being loved by you. I hope you can say the same.
You are my rock. My comfort. My home.
I love you. And today I'm celebrating you -- even without all the hoopla!