This past Saturday was Nicholas' birthday! My sister-in-law, Katelyn, has been visiting us the last several days. The three of us started his birthday out with an early breakfast at Snooze, followed by coming home and opening his birthday gifts. Katelyn and I baked a Mary Berry cake recipe—vanilla with chocolate buttercream—and we drank decaf coffee and ate cake after Nicholas blew out his twenty-nine candles. We played Dominion, one of his birthday gifts, and spent a cozy evening inside, with rice and crispy orange shrimp for supper. On Sunday, we went to church, got tacos at Tacodeli, and then headed out in the sunshine to Zilker Park to watch puppies play in the dog park and get a walk in. That evening, we played some more Dominion, ate sloppy joes for supper, and FaceTimed his family. It was a wonderful weekend celebrating Nicholas.







Each year, around this time, I write him a love letter.

If you're feeling reminiscent (as I always am), here are the links to previous birthday posts:

25 years | 26 years | 27 years | 28 years

To my husband,

Marriage with you keeps getting better. As a newlywed, I housed some fear of the familiar rhythms, worried that when the newness wore off we wouldn't know how to act. Almost immediately I saw how those sweet, familiar rhythms are like creases in fabric, little bits that get softer and easier with each re-folding.

This was another year filled with waiting and expectation, but it was also a year of fun with you.

And when we found out about the baby, with tears in both our eyes and feeling your tight hug, I knew (as I've known since the beginning) that this new chapter of parenthood was going to be wild for us, but also the best, because it was with you.

Jan Karon writes about a marriage in the same way I feel about you, in A Common Life:

"Perhaps what she liked best was that he always looked comfortable wherever he was, appearing glad to live within his skin and not always jumping out of it like some men, like James, her editor, who was everlastingly clever and eloquent and ablaze with wild ideas that succeeded greatly for him, while with Timothy the thing that succeeded was quietude, something rich and deep and....nourishing, a kind of spiritual chicken soup simmering in some far reach of the soul."

Yes, this will be a year of change for us, with this new life arriving somewhere halfway through it. But like I mentioned in my post about this new year, it's also a continuing on. In the midst of newness and baby kicks and dreaming of the future, you're the one I want to relish it all with.

I love how you greet the baby every morning with a "Hi, baby. I love you."

I love how joke about me looking "so big" with my growing belly, witnessing this baby growing before our very eyes.

I love how you compliment my cooking and appreciate time I spend in the kitchen.

I love how you're getting excited about cloth diapering and non-toxic cleaners and non-toxic nail polish along with me.

I love how you've already offered to switch sides of the bed so I can lay on my left side and you can hold hold me when the bump gets big.

I love how you wake up with me every morning and you always make sure I get to work safely.

I love how you share your interests with me—Netflix shows, new games, or interesting podcasts you listened to.

I love how you are very much your own person, but also how we've grown together in our marriage.

I love you.

I'm so thankful for our life together and that God chose you to lead and love our family.

Happy twenty-ninth birthday, sweetheart.

P.S.—Here's a picture of a cute puppy we FaceTimed on his birthday.