Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday.  The following post is for him.  (But rudely, first I will talk about me)
Birthdays have always been special to me – like reallyimportant.  (Of course, selfishly it’s always my birthday that’s particularly important.)   My expectations for my birthday were always extremely high.  I didn’t realize until recently how much of a perfectionist I am, but oh I am! – and with birthdays I have a particularly low tolerance for deviation from perfection.   I remember crying on my 16th birthday.  Why? I can’t remember exactly, but 16 is supposed to be an epic birthday and I was disappointed.  I was around 23 or 24 years old when birthdays slowly became less important to me.  In my mid-twenties I had a low-grade sorrow that this special day no longer held the same value.  But I got used to it.  I celebrated turning 30 with a bunch of friends and that was great fun.  Then 31, 32, 33 came and went.  At 34 I had just given birth to twins a week prior, I was nursing whilst eating cake, receiving gifts I knew I wouldn’t be able to use for who-knows-how-long.  Thirty five was looming and the twins’ first birthday was coming.  I stated to my girlfriends, “Ineed a party for surviving the twins’ first year!”  My twin mom friend laughed knowingly and encouragingly.  A few days later I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  One week post-op was the twins’ first birthday.  Ryan and I went out to Earls for my birthday.  He was drab.  I had no idea he knew I probably had cancer, as we were awaiting the pathology results.  Birthdays….
So for my 36th birthday I wanted to CELEBRATE!!!  The importance of birthdays was reignited.  There was so much to celebrate.  Being alive! My one year survival.  It was huge!  With Ryan I planned a party for the weekend after my birthday and my expectations were also HUGE.  I was disappointed when the actual day of my birthday was low-key.  Oh I’m sorry, Ryan, I’m a hopeless creature when it comes to my birthday.  And the party was great, but we had a bunch of people over and to be honest a quiet gathering is probably a better bet for me going forward…
All this to say: birthdays in our family matter deeply to me.  I had a great time throwing Rayna a party in March.  And in working to set aside perfection (hopefully I’ll do better at my 37th birthday) but in need of celebrating well: I’m excited for Ryan’s birthday (hopefully he is too!!!).
 I will start the celebration here! (and it will continue to the next post, the forgotten battle, in a different sort of celebration)
I love my husband deeply and dearly.  He has given so much for me.  He places me first time and time again.  He is a gentleman and at the same time he loves me fiercely.  We’ve celebrated much in our lives together and we’re not going to stop celebrating now.  Grab a glass and toast this amazing man I’m privileged to call husband.
Happy Birthday, Ryan.  It is my hope that your birthday is filled with the joys that a birthday ought to have.  I hope and pray that your year ahead finds you the strength you need for your mornings (oh the strength to rise to your mornings!), the wisdom you need for your days, the fortitude you need to endure the nights.  My hope and prayer is that this year finds you richer in the soul, richer in relationships, and that it finds you satisfied in ways that are both new and exciting. 
Ryan, you are a natural at living boldly and confidently.  As Isaiah 40:31 promises new strength, may you find new strength this year to live boldly and confidently! I’m with you, 100%, wherever your dreams and hopes take you. 
What a blessing to write this post.  38 and celebrating hon! 
I love you!
Love Cheryl