tomorrow is for thank you note writing

After my post today, I was flooded with birthday wishes! My Mom sang "happy birthday" into my voice mail - she has the cutest, prettiest voice. My Dad texted me from his classroom. I sent my very first (and possibly last) text message, thanking him. I received e-mails, MySpace comments, e-cards, comments here on my blog, and phone calls from friends. I admit I didn't do much today except sit around in my pajamas, sip tea, surf the web, and unpack gifts from my parents. This involved blue glass, promising novels, birds, ceramics, and a lovely return address stamp + black, royal blue, and espresso brown inks.

Johnny arrived home from teaching drum lessons with the contents of our mailbox in hand: cards from my Mom-in-law & aunt Pat, and the new Sigur Rós 2-CD set - Hvarf/Heim - from our friend Chris! My brother called, and gave me a Dead Can Dance album via iTunes. I love when he shares music with me - I can't wait to discover this [old] band.

I distinctly remember saying to Johnny, "Don't go overboard on my birthday, OK?" He did not listen. He handed me a bag full of gifts and a sweet card. In addition to the acorn from my parents' front yard, he also spoiled me with:

* Sky Blue Sky by Wilco.
* Easy Tiger by Ryan Adams.
* The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby.
* Blackstock's Collection: the Drawings of an Artistic Savant.
* The Gospel Road featuring Johnny Cash.
* And a box of Lotta Jansdotter labels.

I feel humbled. I do not need one single thing, yet thoughtful birthday wishes & gifts from loved ones do bless my soul, they do. I'm thankful for each and every item to enjoy this week and beyond. But more than gifts, I thank God for all of my friends, near and far. I thank Him for my family who are better to me than I deserve.

I continue to marvel at my husband. Far beyond the spoiling, he is the definition of a great man. I thought I'd never find him, but then I did. He is the kindest of men, sweet, wise, brilliant, patient, talented, and very odd. He is by far the nicer spouse. I'm not worthy to give premarital advice, but one thing I can say is to picture your boyfriend/girlfriend very sick or not on their best behavior. Would you love them? Forgive them? Would you care for them when you didn't feel like it? Would you stand by their side? Johnny does and I love him for it.

When we called ourselves friends yet definitely flirted, we had dinner with my Mom at Empire Café. Afterwards, on an air mattress in my studio apartment, she stated, "He's the one." I asked how she knew? I already knew, but I needed maternal affirmation. She said, "He ordered chocolate cake and Shiner Bock, and it was the way he looked at you. He's the one." Tonight I will look across the table at Johnny in the same café, around the table to our friends and our Godson, and thank God for His goodness to me. It's been rough since the summer, but He's never been far away. It's gonna be a good year, I tell you.

My brother says his Godson is the cutest baby ever, but I don't know. Our Godson Judah is pretty stinkin' cute. Here is an Easter 2007 photo by his Daddy, our friend Omar:


Christine said...

I love everything about this post. You do have a good man, Jenni. And it makes me smile that you have felt so loved on your birthday . You bless SO MANY lives, and you have blessed mine for almost a decade :)

jenni said...

Thank you, Stine. :)

lauracrow said...

happy birthday, jenni! this was a lovely post. it's so nice when people are able to count their blessings!
ps. judah is a cutie!!

jenni said...

Thanks, pen pal! Judah is even cuter now - I'll have to take an updated photo.

robyn a. jones said...

i'm sorry for the late birthday wishes, but people always say that you know when you meet that person... my mom and i had the same conversation that you did with your mom and he looks at me the same way... it's so different than my past relationships and the most wonderful thing i've ever experienced!

jenni said...

Robyn - is this love bird of yours the cute guy on MySpace? E-mail me an update!