Lordy. Lordy.


My beautiful husband is 40. And as per custom, and because he also deserves the world, I want to immerse him in precious memories and words to honor what a remarkable human he is, what an understanding father he is, and what a supportive partner he is for such a stubborn Shay-born bossy lady.

When he was born in Iowa forty years ago, it wasn’t snowing, but it was cold. So cold for so early in the month. His mom wasn’t aware of the weather outside, because on the inside, in her hospital room, the sun was shining. Paul arrived quickly-in less than a half an hour. And he was bright and beautiful. Since those early moments of his life here on Earth, he has been referred to as “Sunshine” by his mom. And I know his dad, step mom, and step dad would all agree. Maybe not when he was 16, but even now Paul’s smile and infectious banter light up a room.


When he walks in, the party begins, even if it’s a random Tuesday night. And even if you aren’t a social butterfly like me, he still is patient and works to be inclusive with all of his friends.


Speaking of friends, does this man foster irreplaceable bonds with others. I have learned more than once from him that friendship is family.


The family he has brought into our family are special-our kids have so many local “uncles” they can learn on. One for sweets, one for piggy back rides, one for cut downs, one for hugs, one for life talks. How grateful we are for the friendships Paul manages.


He goes out of his way to do anything for his friends-and this is something that our kids will value later.


Now they just wonder why the hell they have to drive to Detroit on a Wednesday night with Tikis attached to a trailer and onlookers honking, pointing crazy at the car. Or why they have to go to Lansing to help sweep up a warehouse. Or even why we have to bag up donations in separate piles for Habitat, the women’s shelter, not Goodwill, not Salvation Army, rather than throwing it all away like mom would just trash all the things.


And although his things might be not organized how one would like, his value in friendship has taught me that it is so much more to life than the things in order. Taking the time to play, to listen to music, to snuggle, to do chores together, to run errands together, to have mimosas: these are the meaningful moments that our kids will remember.


That they are learning from just as much, if not more, than I am. So in honor of his special day, here are just a few very special friendships he has forged throughout the years.


Friends that are mainstays in our holidays, road trips, and daily lives. Friends that I am lucky to love-if loving my husband wan’t enough.


Happy birthday Sunshine. Thank you for brightening our world with your rays. We love you.


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