Today is my husband's birthday, and I've been thinking a lot today about how special he is to me and how much he does for us. I probably don't show or tell him nearly enough how amazing I think he is and how much I appreciate all his hard work. I know that many wives feel the same way that I do about their husbands - that their husband has got to be the best one in the whole world and that they just happened to be the lucky one that snagged him. But I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell you a little about my husband and publicly show why I respect and cherish him.
Chad wakes up pretty early each morning - it's not in the wee hours like some husbands have to do, but it's still a consistent lack of "sleeping in", which he almost never gets to do. He sets three alarms on his phone in order to manage this. One of them is the sound of a duck quacking. This is one of the many reasons why I love my husband. They go off in 15 minute intervals starting at 5:45am. The first one is because he likes waking up and knowing that he gets to go back to sleep for a few more minutes. The second one is so he can lay awake in bed for a few minutes and accustom himself to the morning. The third one is so that he has a deadline. So even when I keep him up til midnight the evening before talking about this or that, he still gets up and gets ready for work. He never ever complains about this. He doesn't even say, "I really don't feel like going to work today." He never even thinks about making an excuse to stay home or go in late (despite my best efforts ;) hehehe), and even when he is legitimately sick, he goes to work unless it is something really really horrible that is keeping him locked in the bathroom. He does like his job, and that does help, but he is not a morning person at all (at all!), so this is a big feat. Let me tell you, I have liked my job before, but I still complained all the time about having to go there. Even on the days when he has a million problems and is stressed to the max and he DOESN'T like his job, he doesn't complain. This is a huge example to me of the determination of a husband who desires to provide for his family. I know our children will witness this one day and it will shape their own lives and that is an incredibly special feeling.
So, almost every morning he kisses me awake somewhere between 6:30 & 6:45am. He has to do this because I sleep soundly right through all 3 of his alarms (you have to remember I grew up in a house immediately beside a railroad track, and if you can sleep through a train that sounds like it's going to come barreling into your home at any moment, its horn blaring numerous times all the while, you can sleep through anything). I almost never hear them. (There was one Saturday that he forgot to turn off said alarm and then forgot to bring his phone back to bed with him and I awoke bolt upright in something of a panic, completely convinced that the noise I was hearing was our cat choking on something awful - like a thumbtack or other similar small, dangerous object that he'd managed to get a hold of during the night - and that surely I was going to find him lying dead or bleeding to death on the floor of our office where the horrible noise was coming from. But no, happily it was Chad's duck alarm, quacking away incessantly, that I had managed to hear from two rooms away with both doors shut). So when he kisses me awake, I groan and complain about how it's already morning, and he always patiently sits down on the bed beside me and hugs me until I wake up a little. He does this almost every morning. Sweetest husband ever. It's one of my favorite moments of the day. (This reminds me of a Zooey Deschanel quote which I assure you he's never heard: “In an ideal world no one would talk before 10am. People would just hug, because waking up is really hard.” It's true.)
I fight the urge to go back to sleep (even when Chad tells me that I should) and get up because I like to wave goodbye to him. It's something I always saw my parents do and it just stuck with me. He drives away and I wave goodbye, and he turns his truck light on so that I can see him waving back in the dark. I love seeing him wave and blow me a kiss and drive off to the job I know he loves. I know he loves this goodbye moment, too, because on the days when I'm running a little slow and don't quite make it to the door in time, he always sits out in front of the house for a second and waits until I get there, and on the few occasions that I am running REALLY slow and don't make it to the door at all, I always get a very nice apology text for whatever he thinks he's done to get him in the doghouse. Poor guy, he is the absolute sweetest.
Not many couples get to work together, and I can see how working together could be an issue and in some cases create more problems than it would be worth, but I'm lucky to get to spend a few hours Monday-Thursday, helping my hubby out at his office. It's not my dream job just going by the job description, but the fact that I get to be right there with my hubby makes it completely worth it. I love to listen to him problem-solving, working out his weekly truck schedules - where to send his drivers, answering crazy detailed questions on the phone, making people happy, laughing at something funny that happens with his brother-in-law (my brother, Chris, also works at the office).
I have such respect for what my husband does at work. He contributes there in ways that no one else could. He has a unique perspective and he has really helped to grow the family business that his parents started. He's worked there ever since he's been allowed to work in his teens and has grown into his current position. His normal hours are 7:00am - 5:00pm Monday-Friday, but I often don't see him home until after 5:30 and even 6:00pm or later some nights. He also works almost every Saturday from 9:00am-Noon. He puts in the hours and effort. Chad and I are so blessed that his parents decided to start their family business because it has provided Chad (and me) with an opportunity to have a constant, steady job. Chad has taken that opportunity very seriously, and put in serious time and serious effort into his position. He does his job amazingly well because he has taken a ton of time and energy to build the skills required for it! He almost never reads for fun anymore, but he will read manuals, financial books, articles online, and a ton of other sources just so that he can teach himself a new skill in order to do his job better. He has worked so so hard for everything that we have and I am so proud of his work ethic. 50 to 60 hour work weeks are tough. That is a lot of time to be working. But he puts in the time with us afterhours, too.
He doesn't just come home and crash. We work together on all of our crazy house and yard projects. He pays the bills. He teases the cat. He brings me home flowers and chocolates "just because". He figures out how to fix the fridge himself when it breaks and there is water all over my kitchen floor so that we can save the money of hiring someone. He has made 3 wise investments in rental properties that help us out, too, (1 of them is directly beside the business and will, sometime in the next year, be torn down in order to make way for a new warehouse that his growing business requires) but these rentals require even more time and energy afterhours and on the weekends to maintain. He stops what he's doing to come pull things down from the high shelves for me even when he's busy doing something else. He hangs pictures where I want them. He mows the lawn every week so that I don't have to because I'm scared of our steep hills. He gets the milk. He fills my car up with gas. He gets up in the middle of the night to check on the noise I thought I heard coming from the basement or to check and make sure the front door is locked. He does all the grilling (I'm marinating Salmon tonight for his birthday dinner, and he is going to grill it himself because I don't know how and I'm afraid I'd blow us up). He makes corny jokes all the time. He is an amazing person. I have an amazing amount of respect for him that I'm constantly working to show.
Ephesians 5:33 (NLT) says: "So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." That's the famous call for a man to unconditionally love his wife. My husband does a great job of showing this to me, and I have to admit, I show him LOVE, too, all the time. I always tell him how much I love him. He knows I love him. But God's call for the wife is to RESPECT her husband. Just as a wife expects her husband's love to be unconditional, so should the wife's respect be! UNCONDITIONAL. Even if he doesn't deserve it. Even if he isn't respectable. Luckily, it's extremely easy for me to feel respect for my husband because of all he does, and I hope I show it enough. I need to say it out loud to him way more often. Hopefully this post expresses the intense respect that I have for him, and would have for him, even if he didn't work or "try" half as hard as he does.
Everything isn't perfect all the time, just as nothing can be. There are some sacrifices. We don't get to take long vacations because of his work requirements. I love vacations - a week long at least, to the beach or mountains. I always did this once a year (at least - occasionally more than once per year) with my family growing up. Not so easy to do now when Chad is part-owner of a business. We still can take weekend trips - or maybe 4 days, but full weeks are hard to pull off. Probably will be for quite some time. But occasionally, if we plan it right we can still get away - Later this month we are going on vacation over Thanksgiving with my family in Gatlinburg for 4 days and Chad surprised me and rented out the same cabin we took our honeymoon in for 2 extra days! Count them!! That's SIX whole days!! One day short of a week!! I'll take it!! :)
I'm so glad that I have the husband that I do. I can't imagine a man better, more genuinely sweet and kind, harder working, funnier, and fun to be with. And to top it all off, he's super hunky. What's a girl to do but fall madly in love and follow him to the ends of the Earth? I can't think of a happier love story.