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Mark turns 50

In no particular order, here are the top things that the kids and I love about Mark as he turns 50.

No long blog post, no long love letter. Just the things that we love about him, and who he is:

My favorite things:

The trip to Paris after we got engaged.

The day I told him I was pregnant with Sawyer.

The day he cut up rose petals and put them all over the floor and all over the bed.

The times when he would light a fire, pull a mattress into the living room, and we'd sleep in front of the fire all night.

The day I knew I was going to marry him, and the peace I've had from that moment on.

The way his face lights up when I walk into a room. Still.

Flowers every Friday night. And then, skipping it, so he could be home to help with babies instead.

The way he takes kids to museums, or the beach, or swimming, just for fun on a Saturday. And sure, why not? He takes extra kids, too.

He's always up for anything. Always.

He's nice to kids. All of them. He treats them like people, not like kids.

I've never had to take the garbage out. I don't even know where it is. Or what day it goes out. 

I've never had to get a car registered. Or pay for car insurance.

He likes Batman. And he wears Batman boxers.

Reading Heavy Metal Magazing. And not being ashamed of it.

He hasn't slapped, yelled at, punched or injured anyone in my family, despite extreme provocation

He thinks he's a normal guy and that all guys do this.

His nickname in college was Stoner Boner. And now, in my family, they call him St. Mark.

He does laundry. All of it.

He saves me from speeding tickets. Every single time. He takes defensive driving for me at least once a year.

He always carries babies on his shoulders, or kids on his hips. Still. Says that baby drool is good for his hair.

He sleeps with kids in the bed and never complains. Still.

Saved Sander with his patience and midnight walks. He never lost hope, never got angry, never said, "Why us," never lost the path. Just took a screaming baby for walks when he needed it, and was grateful when the baby got better.

Loved Matthew like his own. From the time we took Matthew to the circus while we dating, until the day Matthew left for the Navy, Mark was there when Matt needed him. And still is. 

Eats everything I make and loves it. Whether it's gourmet or rice and beans. 

Sawyer's favorite things about his dad:

His patience: He is always keeps his cool and doesn't yell.

His intelligence: He's one of the smartest mathematicians I know.

His integrity: He always keeps his promises.

His perserverance: He never, ever gives up.

Always being there when I'm upset or anxious.

Him being interested in the same things that I am and not complaining about havingn to listen to things I talk about.

He listens to my opinions and makes decisions based on that, and he takes what I say seriously.

Sawyer's favorite memories: Camp Alexander: He helped me with all of the merit badges, and just him being there and trying to help me as much as possible. 

Schlitterbahn: Him taking me on all of the rides there.

Six Flags: Him making me go on all of the rides, even though I was scared, and making us go really early and get there when the gates open and running through the park to get to the short lines.

Barton Springs: He always did somethings for him, and some things for me, and we all had a great time.

Him making me go on the Steel Eel at Sea World, even though I was terrified and cowering in my seat.

Him helping me with fishing merit badge and helping me catch fish.

Sander's favorite things about his dad:

When Daddy walks in the door, the first thing I do is yell "Daddy!" and jump on him. I love to hide and jump out at him when he walks in.  He picks me up and carries me around the house. 

I love to roughhouse with him. I do this every day. I jump on him, try to steal the remote control, sit on his lap and ride on his shoulders.

I love to go to places with him. I loved going to Barton Springs because it had a playground and a train and we always watched everyone in the water and went swimming. Daddy took us all the time, and it's the reason I miss Austin.

I like to go to all the amusement parks, too, like Six Flags and Schlitterbahn and Sea World every summer. He takes me on a lot of the rides and he's a lot of fun. 

He helps me with Cub Scouts.

Last weekend we went to the beach at low tide and we found all sorts of starfish and stuff. I got tired and cold, and Daddy carried Scout to the car and then Daddy came back and carried me all the way back to the car, even though it was a really long walk and I'm pretty heavy.

He's also the best engineer in the world. 

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