"Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I always will
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to I will

And if I ever saw you
I didn't catch your name..............

Love you forever and forever
Love you will all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart................"

(Partial and possibly out-of-order lyrics from the song "I Will" by Lennon and McCartney - one of the songs in our wedding.)

Today is Johnny's official birthday and he is 37. He is all the way in Arkansas tonight. Even though we celebrated with friends at Shiva last week, I wish he were here. At the party I gave him a bag full of books and a card with the following mushy inscription:

"I always wanted to marry an avid reader and a musician. God blessed me with that and much more than I deserve. Happy birthday! I love you."

This is true. Thinking back to past boyfriends and crushes, they were all musicians/music lovers/readers. Not all of their accompanying characteristics were quite so becoming at the time but hey, I have many less than becoming traits of my own. During my single years I secretly (or not so secretly) started to become skeptical that:

A) A guy "my type" existed that was not co-dependent nor "just a friend."
B) This non-existent guy would find me attractive and interesting.

Lo and behold, leave it to God, I found the guy in existence at Second Baptist Church, the nightly Logos service to be exact. I walked in late (typical) in a door far from the stage and as I meandered around the huge sanctuary to my normal seat on the left hand side of the room I noticed there was a different drummer. Not Todd Bragg of Caedmon's Call but a dark-haired guy. As I walked closer, "Hmmm, a cute drummer. Who is that?" The next Sunday I walked in late (again) and saw this same drummer sitting alone close to the back of the room. The strangest feeling passed over my heart like I knew him. I knew he was kind. I knew he was different. I knew I would meet him. I even went so far as to feel I would get to know him well, very well. Then I began to feel as if I were crazy and dismissed the thoughts from my brain. A few weeks later at work an old friend, Kemper Crabb, called to talk to my boss. He said, "Hey Jenni. How's it going?" I said, "Just fine Kemper, how about you?" He then said, "Peaches and cream. So, do you want to go out with that drummer?" Me: dead silence and internal freaking out. How in the heck did he know I was interested in that drummer?! I calmly said, "What drummer?" He calmly said right back, "John Simmons, the new drummer at Logos." I said, "Oh, I don't know him." From then on many of my thoughts were of John Simmons.

Kemper introduced me and Johnny a month or so later at Logos and then about a month or two after that Johnny asked me on our first date in the parking lot of Macaroni Grill after a dinner for a mutual friend. He was so laid back about it that I was shocked but of course I said yes trying to sound equally laid back. The date was to his friend Frank's birthday party. I remember rushing home from work to do a literal, quick, clean sweep of my old studio apartment behind Empire Cafe. We drove in his cute, old, black truck and I was rather quiet but for once I did not feel shy or awkward. In fact, I felt right at home. I felt comfortable being quiet as we drove over miles of freeway watching the sun set. Johnny talked the whole way and I loved how his voice sounded. I liked this guy. "Thank God," I thought. We had Mexican food, celebrated Frank, and also imbibed two melon margaritas each. As the old cliche goes, the rest is history. It is difficult for me to think backwards and remember times without Johnny. Sure, I remember but as Johnny and I have become one flesh, so my memories have beckoned Johnny within and I picture him there to some extent though it is hard to explain. Perhaps it is a meager glimpse of God's perspective without the constraints of time.

Much more than I deserve:

~ John Scott Simmons.
~ Johnny to me.
~ He is handsome and adorable. Please God, allow our Calvin to look like his Daddy.
~ "He loves the sound of wind in the white-trunked aspens and I love him for it."
(Written in my journal while we were sitting in the Glorietta prayer garden in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, New Mexico.)
~ He loves mountains.
~ He loves Colorado.
~ An avid reader indeed. One of our first dates was to Borders bookstore; he bought me a book and scored big points. The book was Creed or Chaos by Dorothy Sayers. More big points.
~ We often read alongside each other on our couch while he rubs my feet.
~ Recently he was fascinated by unique birds visiting a small lot behind our apartment building. He then did online research for an hour to discover the birds were blue herons.
~ He also loves the little birds named grackles. I, Granola Girl, married Nature Boy.
~ Not a guitarist as I thought I would marry but a drummer. I love when people inquire, "What does your husband do?" I beam and say, "He is a drummer." By the way, he ROCKS. He won't admit it but he is mucho talented.
~ He truly does love me unconditionally. I'd like to say I've been a perfect-little-pleasant wife for a year and a half but folks, I am Moody, Good Lord. Johnny forgives me.
~ He likes Indian food. An early "test" was an outing to Shiva in Rice Village, my treat. We sat in the 2nd booth from the front adorned with hippie "love beads." He enjoyed the food so much he then deemed it the best food ever created.
~ He is not just weird but ODD. He performs "gay" dances and songs and other weird mantras and most times I laugh though he sometimes annoys the hell out of me. I am definitely the more serious counterpart of our marriage but I have my moments. (I am Kitty Ann's daughter after all.)
~ Oh how he loves the Lord Jesus. If it were a contest he would put my Faith to shame but by God's grace it is not a contest.
~ When I talk about getting in shape he says things like, "Please keep your curves. I don't want to live with a boy like those skinny models."
~ He loves Liturgy.
~ He is not my clone but complements me and helps me become a better person just by being Johnny.
~ He makes a mean web site. ( and
~ He loves his family and mine.
~ He loves our cat, Buddy, whom I adopted.
~ He loves his friends more than they know.
~ I am his wife! I was looking through our wedding pictures this week recalling the wonder of January 11, 2003. It was truly like a dream. That night in our hotel room we were starved as we did not partake of much of our reception fare. We ordered room service: a cheeseburger and 2 glasses of red wine. We split the burger, drank the wine, and for once Johnny nor I had to drive home as we did when dating. The night of January 11th we were home. He is home to me housed in the overarching love of Christ.

Happy birthday, Johnny. I love you!

{This blog entry does not even come close to doing justice to Johnny. Like I've said, he is my favorite person. If you know him, you know why.

Also, yesterday two of my good friends were born: the above-mentioned Kemper and my engaged friend Kierstin. She first took me to Shiva when we were both single. We went on Valentine's Day in rebellion of sitting at home. I should write a whole entry about Kierstin. You know, I think I will in the near future. She was one of my bridesmaids and I will be one of her bridesmaids in September. I've seen her dress - she will be absolutely stunning.}


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