I wasn’t too jazzed about the idea of turning 31. Well, not *not* jazzed–just basically neutral about it. I mean, it’s not exactly a milestone. As my brother put it, “Now, finally you can…um…have only 4 years to wait before you can run for president?”

But better to have a birthday than to not. And my only expectations were to have a nice day. No work, no chores–just eating and napping with my little man. All of those things did happen, but I also happened to wake up on my birthday to a lovely surprise.

You see, Ross only wore his wedding ring for about a year after we got married. He chose a band that just wasn’t very comfortable, so he stopped wearing it.

It never bothered me that he didn’t wear a ring, but, if given the choice, I would’ve liked him to. So when Ross asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I asked if he would consider wearing his wedding ring again–or at least *a* ring. He made some sort of non-committal noise and we didn’t really talk about it much after that.

But on Monday morning he gave me these:

Yeah, those are an Empire Strikes Back reference. And they are perfect and I love them and he promises to wear it always.

Best gift I’ve ever gotten. Best birthday ever.

My baby bird

Ross and I always exchange presents on Christmas Eve Eve, just because it’s our last chance to spend time alone before things get crazy with the holidays.

This is what he gave me this year. He sure done good.

Just what I needed to hear

This evening we were in the thick of the unholy hour between the baby’s dinner and bedtime while trying to coordinate who was going to do what in preparation for our dinner and getting the kid off to sleep. Trying to process that along with all of the work and tasks that need to be completed between now and when we board a plane for Iowa at 7am on Friday morning caused me to stop in my tracks and take a deep breath.

Ross stopped, looked at me, and said, “What can I do to help you?”

It’s so rare that we hear *exactly* what we need to hear, but this was one of those moments.

Husbands (particularly mine) are good things.

Shaking it off

“I’m a shell. I have nothing to offer anyone right now.”

This is what I said to Ross as I sat crying on the couch in our basement this afternoon.

I’m not happy with how I’ve been approaching pretty much everything in my life these days. I greet every request with exasperation, sometimes outwardly, always inwardly. I’m defensive, passive aggressive, and mopey.

And really, no one is more pissed off about it than I am.

I have a beautiful, healthy child, a wonderful, smart, hard-working husband, and not only a job, but one that I love. I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

So it’s high time I shut up. So here I am. Shutting up.

From here on out I’m going to do my best to focus on the great parts of my life, refusing to let the mess of the everday suck up so much of my energy. It’s not worth it. I spend so much time anticipating the next thing that has to be done that I’m not allowing myself to be present in the moment at hand. And before I know it, I’ll look up and JR will no longer be my little boy, and I will have spent his babyhood fixated on the mundane rather than the miracle that he is. And that’s not fair.

He’s enough. They are enough.

Nostalgia heartache

During my freshman year of college, my friends and I listened to Pat McGee Band‘s Shine on repeat for about 7 months.

I walked into the office this morning and heard it playing – probably for the first time in about 6 years. It instantly took me back to sitting in my dorm room listening to Haven’t Seen For a While over and over again, brooding over how much I missed Ross who was all the way in Blacksburg.

It’s funny because I don’t really listen to music like that anymore. And because as I was curled up on my bed crying, Ross was probably gathered around a computer, laughing with his friends to this.