Regular readers of my site know that I’ve made it an annual tradition to pay tribute to my immediate family when they hit a new birthday milestone. This year we have Colin hitting seven and Aria turning the page to five – both in May. Also, our labs Abby and Chatham will turn 9 and 8, respectively. Their birthdays roll around this Spring. Then there’s yours truly, who caps it all off in early June by officially stamping myself as late 30ish when I turn 38 on the 6th.
But first it’s my beautiful bride, Andrea (or Andi to me, you and everyone else who knows and loves her). Today marks her “?” birthdate. Yes, she’s the only one whom I leave the age off these pages out of some warped sense of chivalry. That being said, she’s somewhere in league with me but I’m definitely her elder, so that ought to give you a little hint at triangulating her temporal position.
The years don’t matter anyway. I think both she and I have held up pretty well and we have received numerous compliments from people of late who assume we are younger than we really are. It’s all in how you feel, and I think Andi and I both feel pretty youthful. We have a young family and a healthy spirit that helps guide that core towards happiness. Despite the occasional stresses that life tosses our way (for instance, my current joblessness), we keep it all together by making sure to laugh and have fun. In my mind, we haven’t aged a bit – even if this picture says otherwise.
Anyway, I really can’t say enough about the amazing job Andi does in keeping our family unit bound for glory. She does it all. In addition to the numerous household chores that confront us daily, she’s an accmplished singer who leads a Soprano section at the local church while also taking on paying gigs providing vocal accompaniment for funerals and weddings. And where our beautiful songbird took to the stage and blew me away a couple years back as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music, she is following that performance up with a double-header this month. Last weekend, she costarred in a community theater production of The Love Boat – a fun little folly that was recast as a musical theater renditon of the beloved 70’s dramedy. In two weeks, she’ll take to the stage as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz. And already, I see the anticipation in Colin and Aria as they look to their Mom to transport them to a land far, far away.
Through the myriad of household chores, rehearsals and regular waitressing duties, Andi always finds time to settle for a spell and recharge with her family. In fact, her birthday wish was to have a nice, casual family outing this Saturday – on one of her few rests from rehearsal – to bring the kids to Build-a-Bear and cap it off with a birthday lunch. It’s not fancy but neither are we and if anything, it underscores what really makes us tick. That we are happiest when we are together.
This past year has been a tougher one than most. I don’t mean to shadow Andi’s day with gloom but the reality is that I am 7 months into my layoff. We have firm hopes that this year will bring forth good tidings. But no matter how far this rough stretch of road travels, the journey ain’t half bad when we’re in it together.
And it’s on days like this – when I can look to my wife and celebrate everything that she brings to my life – that I realize just how good I’ve got it. She’s extraordinary in every way and I love her more and more with every day.
Happy Birthday Andi!!!