I just want to tell you about an amazing man; a man that I’m lucky enough to call my husband.  He has seen my crazy and still loves me for it, he is devoted to his sons and his family and his faith.  He likes to tell me that I saved him, but really, folks, he saved me.

Today is Joel’s birthday!  Happy Birthday, Babe!!

To celebrate, I’m going to take you on a short trip down memory lane with me and share some flashback photos of my super hunk.

Going waaaaaaaay back, to one of our first dates.  Believe it or not, he took me fishing.  My hero loves to fish.  He might secretly have been testing out how tough, rugged and outdoorsy I could be.  Come on!  Who is he kidding; I have two brothers and a father who fished for survival.  This girl can hang with the mountain-est of men.  Huckleberry Fin has nothing on this:

After passing my fishing test, it was his turn to meet my buddies.  This was in no way a test for him; he did pass with flying colors on our actual first date when I invited him to see a movie with me…and my brothers.  Any other guy would have told me to take a hike!  Joel won over the brothers and made it to round two: the guy friends:

Joel sandwich?  Yep – passed.

My siblings have always been wonderful to Joel.  Throughout the years we’ve done camping trips, concerts, backpacking trips (of which I passed out on the summit thinking it was altitude sickness…nope, turns out it was morning sickness!).

They never threatened to beat him up if he didn’t take care of me or anything like that.  I think they just knew he was a good guy and that he would treat me like a queen (excerpt from Margo’s Maid of Honor speach: Joel treats her like a Queen!).

Oh!  Did I mention he loves to fish?  Stream fish, lake fish, fly fish.  There is nothing hotter than neoprene waders and duct taped galoshes.

Wait, yes there is.  A man in a suit.  Classically handsome, this one gets me every time.

That grin and those babies?










Flash forward to our world with kids.  These precious little angels.  The most amazing gifts we’ll ever be able to give each other.

Yep.  Even after all of these years, he can still make my heart skip a beat (or two).

My Dear Joel,

I knew you were the one when, on our first date, I glanced at you out of the corner of my eye and had a vision of us, elderly.  When you turned to smile at me, I saw our future in your eyes, the salt & pepper in your hair and the laugh lines on your face.  My future life flashed before my eyes and all I could see was you.

Happy Birthday, Babe.  I love you!