Yesterday, I came home from work, sat on my bed, and felt the room go whoosh around me. I think maybe it’s this time of year, when time seems to get sucked through a kind of continuum that forcibly makes the hours seem shorter and the to-do list appear longer than humanly possible. Or I suppose it could just be me. I’m working on my stress/anxiety/worry/catastrophizing management. Winter just doesn’t lend itself well to the part of my brain that craves sunshine after 5 pm. However, it does lend itself well to the part of my brain that likes to drink red wine after 5 pm (because what else do you do when the sun goes down?)

Marlo has been sick all week. I understand that having a sick dog is entirely different from having a sick child, but since a sick dog is all I’ve ever really known, it’s been enough to turn me into a pacing and slightly irritable mother (of sorts). What began as terrible hacking evolved into full-fledged kennel cough and the sound of Marlo’s dry-heaving does not the magical holiday soundtrack make.  She’s on the mend and will be perfectly fine but I have reason to believe that my ears will be bleeding for at least 4 to 6 weeks.

I tell you these things so you can understand the context in which I am sharing some pretty important information. You see, I'm not always a very lovely and patient person to be in a relationship with. Yet somehow, even with my incessant grumbling and penchant to seek wine for companionship, I managed to convince the world's most wonderful man that he should spend time with me. And I thought you should know that today is this wonderful man's birthday. Thirty-three years ago today, he was born and I think this a fact worth sharing/shouting/obnoxiously blogging about. While I’m probably a bit biased, I have to tell you that this guy has one of the most sincere hearts you will ever encounter. He is fiercely loyal, kind beyond measure, and a gift to me in ways that I am continually discovering. He has loved me wholly and consistently from the very beginning and has never wavered (even though he really, really should have because have you seen me hangry?) and he has done so with such faithfulness and integrity. He requires that I be the best version of myself and has no tolerance for gossip or unnecessary criticism. He is humble and honest and has annoyingly good hair. He is ridiculously patient, deceivingly creative, and has the metabolism of a 17-year-old boy. Also, he genuinely loves Marlo and helped me google her disturbing symptoms at 1:30 AM last weekend when my internet was refusing to cooperate. Both of these things are worthy of very shiny medals.

So, I don’t mean to brag, but I’m thinking my boyfriend is probably at least a little bit better than yours. Also? We already have the same last name (plus or minus that extra "L"), so there’s that.

Happy Birthday Rob. I hope you read this, turn nine shades of red, and then think about how much fun we are going to have celebrating your awesomeness today. Thanks for being exactly who you are. Thank you for allowing me to be exactly who I am. I'm so very glad you were born.