Wes and I met when we were 23 and by the time I realized I wanted to marry him a few years later I thought that 23 was so late in life to meet your husband. I thought about all the years we didn’t know each other and wished that we’d met earlier. Seven and a half years, two moves, one wedding, a dog, and a baby later I realize that 23 is so early to meet your partner. I spent more of my twenties with Wes than I did without. Looking back at pictures of us from early in our relationship I’m amazed at how young we were.
That picture is from our trip to Yosemite for my 24th birthday. Wes needs a haircut and I still haven’t lost the baby fat in my cheeks (I’m sure it had nothing to do with our relatively new relationship and spending entire weekends cuddling on the couch without takeout and wine). I’m happy to say that I have not seen that sleeveless shirt since our Half Dome hike.
This is what we look like now. A little older, a little wiser, and holding a baby instead of looking like one.
I’ve been joking a lot about how Wes gets complimented all the time on what a great father he is simply because he changes diapers in public, or carries Stella while hiking. Sometimes I get a little heated because he is an amazing father and husband but changing a diaper is really the least of it. After Stella was born and I was kind of a mess he went into super Dad/spouse mode. He made dinner, played with Tsunami, changed all the diapers (I think it wasn’t until day four or five that I actually changed one myself), kept me hydrated, forced me to sleep, and gave me endless encouragement. I think a lot of couples are a little opposite to help keep each other in check. I bring out a little crazy side in Wes and he keeps me from going too crazy.
We used to do big grand things for birthdays (Six Flags, Yosemite, surprise parties and visitors, sky diving), but the last few years here have been more low-key. This year we joined our friends to hike the Lani Kai Pill Boxes (Wes carrying Stella, of course) and then a few hours on the beach. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was a great day nonetheless. Not everything has to be a Grand Gesture.
There was a youth group hiking that day and one guy had a guitar so I asked him to play Happy Birthday and sing to Wes. The happily helped us out.
Happy Birthday, Wes. Thank you for keeping me sane. I know it can be difficult at times. I love you. Stella loves you. Tsunami loves you.