Happy Birthday, Love!

Tomorrow is Kyler's 30th birthday, so I thought I'd write up a post just for him. And, I thought I'd do it the day before his birthday, because I am anticipating absolute ape-baloney* tomorrow (*ape-baloney = over-the-top, hectic, busy, craziness).

See, in all our infinite wisdom (aka: repeated, extreme over-achieverness), we thought we may as well add a double-birthday party/cookout to an already slam-packed Sunday. Sounds like us. Please pray for my husband. Tomorrow the youth and young adults are in charge of the entire service, beginning to end. This is the second year they've done the service, and last year's was a spectacular success, in my opinion. Kyler has been working his tail off in preparation for the service, including the message that he'll be giving.

In addition to the service, tomorrow is the Sunday we recognize all of the graduating high school seniors, on stage and with a brunch after each of the services. This is usually at least a two-person job, so I'm wondering how Kyler is going to be giving the message, baking the pizza rolls, hanging the signs, putting together a veggie/dip tray, and setting up for the brunch. Oh wait, that's what
I'll be doing, during the message. Haha! Silly me. :)

I'm not done yet! I have a two-hour vocal rehearsal directly following the service for the women's retreat coming up at the end of May.
Then we can high-tail it to Kyler's parents' house to set things up for the cookout. I am so looking forward to visiting with friends, eating yummy hot dogs (that I constantly crave, but am only allowed every once in awhile...), watching the kiddos go nuts on the slip 'n' slide, and attempting to play volleyball in this body that looks as if I swallowed a volleyball. But it will be craziness, friends. APE. BALONEY. Pray, pray, pray.

So originally, I said this post was about Kyler. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, my husband is the most extraordinary blessing God could have bestowed upon me, and I'm ashamed that I take him for granted as often as I do. I cannot even begin to describe how deeply I respect him, his devotion to Jesus and ministry, and his unwavering commitment to his family. I am so proud of all he has accomplished! As anyone in ministry knows, his is not a 40-hour week. At best, he juggles what could easily be three full-time jobs, and does it without complaining. Seriously, people. The man has rarely been known to utter a word about how completely exhausting his work can be. He spends all day planning for, meeting with, praying over, and loving on middle-schoolers, high-schoolers, college students, and young adults, and somehow still manages to have enough energy to come home (at 2am many, many nights), and tell grouchy, exhausted, ungrateful, stretchmarked, haven't-showered-in-three-days-or-shaved-my-legs-in-a-week me (in my too-short pajama pants, oversized, spit-up and stain-covered t-shirt, and haphazard ponytail) that he loves me and thinks I'm beautiful.

This amazes me.

Don't get me wrong, the guy has plenty of faults and quirks, like we all do, and our marriage is very much a work-in-progress, but far be it from me to turn a blind eye to the blessings I have. So, in honor of his birthday, I thought I'd list some of my favorite things about Kyler:

He loves Jesus more than he loves me.

He is such a devoted Daddy. It is so fun to watch him play with and love on our boys.

He is truly "wild at heart" (the book describes him exactly). He
loves being outdoors, exploring, hunting, fishing, hiking, swimming, you name it.

I love how excited he gets when we cross the canal onto Cape Cod. He rolls down the window and smells the air, and there is a noticeable giddiness as we get closer to the beach. It is the only place (thus far) that I know he will genuinely relax.

He is unabashedly, ridiculously romantic.

He frequently takes unfair criticism about ministry and leadership decisions, and rarely says a word in return.

He has such a close relationship with his parents, and I can already see him forming some of those same bonds with our children.

I have so much respect for how tirelessly he works to see God glorified. He's incredibly smart, and could do a million jobs with excellence, but chooses youth ministry.

Kyler loves to cook, and he's quite good at it. He hates to clean up the dishes, but he does it anyway.

With Kyler, the more options the better. As much as this drives me crazy, I think it's really cute.

He has the patience of a saint. No, really.

He makes countless sacrifices so I can stay home and raise our children.

He loves to bargain shop, and he's much better at it than I am. Our grocery bill is actually
lower when we plan and shop together.

He is 100% band nerd and loves talking about marching band. In fact, I think our first conversation revolved around band. I love that we can be geeky together that way.

He is a fiercely loyal West Virginia University Mountaineer.

The boy can

When we first married, we agreed that we would visit Texas at least yearly. He has made sure I've been there at least twice that much, even as our family has grown and it has become more challenging. I love that he values time with my family just as much as I do.

He is simultaneously the most disorganized, chaotic
and particular, precise person I have ever met. It is the most baffling contradiction of our relationship. Seriously, I am in awe of the things he can pull off (with inspiring excellence) for someone who procrastinates as well as he does. :)

He gives great hugs, whenever I want them, and even when I don't (but I really do).

He is hands-down the most gifted person at interpersonal relationships I have ever met. Somehow, he knows exactly how to reach a person right where they are and make them feel welcome, encouraged, and loved. God has used this gifting in more ways than I can count, and likely many, many more than we will ever know on this side of heaven.

There are so many more things...


A few pictures, just for kicks:

oh my goodness - so adorable

oh. so. handsome.

world's best Daddy


Happy Birthday, my Love!
I don't deserve you, but I am so glad God has given you to me!

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