Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lordy, Lordy...Jill is 40!

Please go over & wish my friend, Jill, a very happy 40th birthday today! Her sweet husband, Doug, planned a big surprise party for her today & all her blogging buddies are teaming up to wish her the very best Birthday EVER! Jill, hope you enjoy your day & make the most of it. 40 is not so bad, although I thought it was at the time. I've since changed my mind...it's 50 that will kick your butt, LOL.

Jill's very sweet DH has written a wonderful tribute to his wife & I'm posting it here for you all to read & admire. Jill, I think he loves you very much!

From Doug:

Birthday’s can be difficult. Milestone birthday’s can be devastating. To some more so than others, but to most people…they really seem to matter, to an extent, anyway. (How’s that for covering both sides of the fence?)

That is most people, except my wife Jill @ Who Could Ask for Anything More. Today is her 40th birthday and my co-conspirators I call BFOJ’s (Blogging Friends of Jill’s) have allowed me the distinct honor of being a guest columnist.

My hope is that wherever my wife goes within her circle of BFOJ’s today, she will see this message and know how much she means to me, not to mention how much the BFOJ’s think of her for letting a grizzled hack like me hijack their fantastic and very personal blogs.

Rather than do the traditional acronym exercise (J = Jazzy!) or the “40 Things I Love About My Wife” entry, I thought I would share the four most wonderful things about Jill -- the things that make me love her more every day.

She loves my older kids – Not everyone who marries into a new family will connect with the entire crew, but Jill never missed a beat. With my older kids, she accepted them and loved them – at first simply because they were my kids – and now because of who they are. She treats them with kindness, respect, gives them guidance on chores and other responsibilities, but is very respectful of their mom and never tries to “mother” them. She educated herself about Bay’s food allergies and is very cognizant of his limitations when planning and preparing meals. Rarely a day goes by that she doesn’t make a special version of our family meal just for him. Many times Jill has invited Kendra to come along to the salon to get their nails done. At 11 years of age, Kendra has always gravitating to older girls and more mature activities and this is a special way for them to spend time together.

She loves my parents - I can’t say I was ever really “close” to my folks in the sense that I sought them out for advice about life. So I wasn’t sure how that dynamic would play into my relationship with Jill. She has such a kind heart for that generation and quickly threw her arms around my folks and loved them unconditionally. Since we first met, my Mom has passed away and my Dad has endured a mountain of health issues. Through it all, Jill has been a steady, loving partner. In fact, on the occasions when my Dad visits, we have to make some alterations to the house to accommodate him, his wheelchair, his walker and his personal needs. Jill not only goes with the flow of the décor disruption, but lovingly plans meals that my soon-to-be 82-year-old father doesn’t get as often as he would like. It’s amazing how a simple plate of fried eggs and bacon can light up a proud man. My favorite time of our visits is in the evenings. Jill typically beats me home from work and when Dad is in town, they have usually already cracked open a new bottle of wine. Dad isn’t afraid to ask for service and Jill takes great pleasure in keeping his glass full. It is a precious time.

Her patience – Full disclosure: patience is not my strong suit. In fact, it is probably my greatest weakness and barrier to volumes of peace and happiness. That said, I find myself much more patient in the last four years in so many areas of my life (hmm…coincidence?). If you look up the word PATIENCE in the dictionary, you see a picture of Jill. Despite the chaotic nature of our house, I have rarely seen her react with desperation. In fact, I just see her continuing to raise the bar. As my patience has improved, she gets even MORE patience. Her thoughtfulness and patience with Adam is uncanny…not that all mothers don’t have that nurturing gene…but even after a solid 10 minutes of whining about something that I find unintelligible…Jill merely says (for the umpteenth time)…”Adam, use words to tell Mom what you want.” She is amazing.

She makes our house a home – Imagine buying your first home together…and it’s already 27 years old. Granted it was in good structural shape, but the majority of the décor was stuck in the 70’s. Over the past two years, Jill has developed a beautiful vision of how our house should look…how it should become a home. We started with dark wood throughout and some of the most exciting beige paint you could imagine. We’ve progressed to vibrant colors, amazing window treatments and bright open spaces. The original kitchen was hideous, but is now a show place. The powder room was engulfed in mind-altering striped wallpaper but now looks like a museum exhibit. She goes bits and pieces forward as time and budget allows and every step of the way she is filling the gaps of her master plan. We’ve both said that this home is the first, last and only one we will ever buy and we joke that our next stop is either the Retirement Home or the Funeral Home. We want a home in which we can build family traditions and memories and one that the kids will want to bring THEIR kids to. We want to grow old right here. Together.

There are obviously many more things that make Jill the woman to whom I have given my heart and want to give my life. She is the woman I dreamed of marrying. She is sweet, but tough, Honest and direct. Kind and loving. She gives without request or expectation. She nurtures with care and patience. She loves unconditionally.

Truly…I am blessed. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.

Aren't they the cutest couple?! Jill, eat some cake for me today! I hope to meet Jill at the end of this month here in Birmingham, when some other blog friends are coming here to shop & have some fun. I'm so looking forward to that too.

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9 friends stopped by:

Nunnie's Attic said...

I read this over at Kat's place. How sweet was that letter?? A good man, good man!

Have fun when they visit and take lots and lots of pictures!


Lynne said...

What a great tribute Doug wrote to Jill. Thanks for posting it.

And Happy Birthday Jill!

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Isn't that romantic? What a wonderful birthday present.

My Sweetie writes me poems for my birthday...gotta love a man that will do that too.

Cottage Magpie said...

Awwwww! Snif! That's so awesome and inspiring, I'm so glad you shared it with us.
~Angela :-)

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Rhoda- Thank you so very, very much for posting this today. I am truly blessed by a wonderful husband AND by many wonderful BFOJ's like you! I can't wait for our get-together next month. You've helped make my BIG 4-0 wonderful! Hugs to you!

Rosemary said...

What a nice thing to do for a wife.
What a good guy.
Happy Birthday to Jill!

Cottage Contessa said...

Happy Birthday Jill! What a wonderful man to write something so heartfelt and romantic for his wife, and to allow the world to share in it. He's a keeper for sure! Rhoda, it was very sweet of you to dedicate your post to Jill's birthday. You, my dear, are a true sweetheart!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Cre8Tiva said...

wow...what a guy...blessings, rebecca

justabeachkat said...

I took part in this too. Wasn't Doug a sweetie pie to do this?! And we all love Jill.