Birfday Bidness

As you guys might know, last Thursday was John’s 31st birthday and West Elm in Houston whipped up this amaaaaaazingly DIY-riffic cake for him. #edibletapemeasure #umyeahtheressawdust

Every year we write birthday posts about what we got each other and this year John actually got (well, is getting, since I’m letting him pick it out) a nail gun (more info on that when we get it). So because I don’t have photos of him holding up various presents like we’ve shared in former years like this post from last year) I thought I’d over-share slash cheese it up on a Tuesday afternoon with a little brain dump of seven things I love about John (surprise, honey!). #warningitssappy

After all, this is definitely a week for being grateful. And since this whole blog is basically just a diary of our lives, I thought it was about time that I shouted a few cheeseball-but-true things from the rooftops. Which is not to say that we never fight (if you believe that I have a talking ceramic animal to sell you) but although we’re far from perfect, I’m so glad he’s mine. Here’s what I’m thankful for:

1 – John’s love of Clara and his patience with her – even when I’m about to lose my mind he’s my rock. I love how imaginative he is with her and I don’t think there’s anything sexier than walking into a room and seeing your hubby whipping up a wooden sandwich with your daughter at her play kitchen that he built for her. Or lazing around wearing matching shirts and discussing the merits of a table saw versus a hand saw. Am I right?

2 – His ability to love a small chihuahua just as much as I do… even though when we adopted Burger John said he “looked like an alien” and acted like the dog would be my thing. I think by that weekend Burger had him whipped. And that, my friends, is a guy who is comfortable with his dude-dom. I’m telling you, walking a tiny dog is the sign of a real man (it might be a good test of marriage material to those still dating… will he man up and take the leash…?). There’s not an ounce of I-won’t-do-that-because-it’s-not-manly-enough-and people-will-see-me in John (probably thanks to him growing up with three sisters) and I love that about him. He’s confident. He doesn’t look around sheepishly. If the dog needs to go out, he takes him out. If I need lady-items from the supermarket and he’s doing the shopping, he buys them for me. I won’t say he doesn’t blush and hide them in the bottom of the cart, but he gets things done. And I love it.

3 – That he kissed me first. Anyone who knows us loves this tidbit since I’m the loud outgoing one and they picture me pouncing on him… which also happens – but he pounced first. Yup, he’s a man of action. And he’s shy but confident, which might be the perfect combo. Plus I gotta say that I love the way he dresses. Some girls are into giant built guys who can scarf serious quantities of beef jerky, but I couldn’t be more into tall, dork, and handsome. Basically when John threw on this shirt with this sweater a few months ago, I swooned. It’s little things like his love of old wooden boxes or his excitement to fire up a new tool (he gets a gleam in his eye like a kid opening a new toy) that get me all giddy. It’s like his excitement is contagious. All of this rambling is to say: dude’s got style.

4 – His brain. There are many sexy things about my husband, but his quick wit is unparalleled and he makes me laugh until my stomach hurts at least once a day with some spur-of-the-moment quip that leaves me wiping the tears out of my eyes from cry-laughing. To anyone who knows us, John’s sense of humor is one of his most defining characteristics (along with his whip smart brain full of seemingly limitless trivia knowledge). Heck, he’s so smart that even though he has the answer 99% of the time (be it DIY or life related) he somehow makes me feel like I figure out my fair share of things too. How does he do that?! It’s sheer brilliance. Also he looks pretty darn good in pumpkin sunglasses. Just sayin’.

5 – His devotion to me and our family. He makes us feel safe, loved, and appreciated – I honestly couldn’t be more grateful. I’ve had relationships in the past that felt like I was chasing that person more or trying harder than them, but John makes me (and Clara) feel secure and cherished and I could almost cry talking about it. Sorry, I warned you guys this would get sappy…

6 – His calloused project-loving hands and his sweet smile (this might veer off into TMI territory, but he has the best lips ever). #backoffhesmine #putabirdonhim

7 – His willingness to help me with “one more thing” and to lay in bed at night and brainstorm our next project when I know he might rather be watching TV or out for a run or… you know, getting friendly… while I’m running my mouth about some idea instead. I couldn’t be luckier that he’s happy to be “in the trenches” with me every day. It’s amazing that he has his own interests (he can train and run a half marathon) while still staying involved with us and not checking out.

I think some folks might question what kind of man runs a DIY blog with his wife about paint and fabric and family and my answer is: a real man. I love that he can build Clara a dollhouse and code our entire website and has even built a deck for our family – although he has no background in any of that stuff. He figures things out as he goes and he’s not afraid to jump in and learn new things. And I love that he’s not scared to weigh in on my hair-brained decorating sprees instead of saying “you handle the girly stuff and I’ll stick to the power tools.” He truly makes me feel like we’re a team and we’re in it together and as a result our house feels like us. I honestly have no idea how I got so lucky. I promise I didn’t hypnotize him or anything.

In summary: he’s the one. Mah man. And he makes me happier than bees riding bicycles (and those make me pretty happy). Happy 31st birthday, babe! Thanks for everything and then some.

And so ends my lovefest for el hubbo. What are you guys grateful for? Any birthdays going on in your house? Who’s getting what?

UPDATE: John discovered the post! Finally! After doing a project in the basement, uploading photos, and editing a video (all while I sweated profusely at the computer). Here’s his reaction.

Psst- Want more lovey-dovey posts? We have a bunch of them here. And for those wondering how we resolve decorating disputes, here’s a post about that for ya.


  1. Renee says

    Awww, that was so incredibly sweet! You guys are lucky to have one another :) Makes me think of my hubby too – I sometimes have to pinch myself b/c I have no idea how I got so lucky!

  2. Michelle says

    Do you realize you just mentioned sex twice in one day? You win major brownie points for fearlessness in the face of TMI. (I no longer think of you as an extra-handy June and Ward Cleaver.)

  3. Neal says

    This was super adorable. :) Happy belated Birthday, John! Hooray for November birthdays – four of my cousins have birthdays this month and mine is tomorrow!

  4. EmilyThompson says

    What a lovely post, so nice that you guys are growing together. Loved your words in the comments about not settling, that’s something every teenage girl needs to internalize!

  5. says

    Sherry! You are so sweet! Being thoughtful is the best and this was seriously SO thoughtful!! I love #1 the most. I love nothing more than seeing how much my fiance loves our daughter and how he takes care of her and is completely wrapped around her finger. It melts my heart just thinking about it. I love when he calls us “his girls.” Aw. Anyway, I think Clara needs a sibling now, share the love <3

  6. Holly C says

    I think that like you I have found the one true one for me! My husband and I have been dating since we were 15 and in highschool (I know cute right ;) it’s been 10 great years) and I am so thankful for that. He is truly the sweetest most caring guy I know. He tries to hide it until he’s more comfortable with people (I wish he’d just let it shine because it’s the best part about him) but he is still the best. All 6′ of his ridiculously dorky,smart, handsome self. The thing I love most is that he will do anything for those he loves, including chasing butterflies with my 2 year old niece. Thank you for sharing the love you have for your husband because it made me think about how great a guy I have as well! Happy Birthday John!

  7. Reagen says

    What a wonderful post. With everything that goes on in the world and the whirlwind that has been your family’s trip to DIY Blogger-famousness (even though I know you’ll say you’re not) it nice to see that you keep it real and right. You both acknowledge the flaws and fabulousity (okay so that’s not a word but whatever) of each other and only seem to be the better for having one another in your respective worlds. I haven’t found my “John” yet but reading posts like this keeps hope alive. And while I know you can’t order men out of catalogs like we all sometimes wish we could, I definitely think that if it were possible your description of your man would definitely be filed under “Keeper”. Best of luck to you both as you continue on to what I’m sure are many more awesome adventures!

  8. says

    Sherry – This is probably one of my favorite posts you’ve written. After all, this house you’re fixing up would not be the amazing home that it is without the people you love in it! You are one blessed lady! :) Thanks for sharing & reminding me how blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband!

  9. Jas says

    Gosh you guys are too sweet!
    You are giving us single girls really high expectations! Any secret tips to find my own John in New York?!

    • says

      My biggest tip is never to settle! I dated a guy for a long time before John and it was serious but I just knew he wasn’t IT so even though pulling the plug and starting over again seemed daunting, it seemed like taking that risk brought me to John. So thankful!


  10. Sarah says

    Happy bday John! This post was beyond wonderful. Marriage isnt easy, but it is so worth it and fun! So many ppl are so quick to degrade their spouse…thank you for this encouragement! And as I was reading, I kept thinking of my hubby…and then had the thought that I should tell him myself! :-) Heres to many more!!

  11. Dalenna says

    Thanks for sharing your list!! It is so nice to hear from another sappy wife out there (we get teased for how in love we are sometimes. I have a John too and he is wonderful. We are best friends as much as husband and wife. I love the comment you made about waiting for the perfect fit. We were 28 & 35 when we got married but I tell him all the time that he was worth the wait.

  12. Amy says

    Aww, this reminds me of my hubby! The fact that he’s not concerned at all with being “manly” is one of the things I love most about him! The other guys in my family are always joking about taking away his “man card” and he just shrugs his shoulders!

  13. says

    When I told you guys on Saturday that you guys remind me and my boyfriend of ourselves, I really meant it. I know you guys get sick of hearing people compare themselves to you, but I just adore the fact that you guys are always honest about your relationship–even to the rest of the world.
    That being said, this post was fantastic and it reminded me of all of the reasons (stupid or not) that I love Tim so much.
    Also, I noticed how much John talks about Clara when we were in West Elm the other day and I thought it was adorable (lol). Anyone who has a man who can have that much love for their little girl and their wife is definitely amazing, and I’d love to think that it’s not that rare, but I honestly believe that it is. I just thought it was funny that when I whipped out my snow globe he immediately started babbling out a story about Clara and how much she loves them and how she broke the first one. Haha. It made me hope that my family will be that wonderful one day (until then, we have cats).

    OKAY I’m not going to write any more narrative, I just realized how long this post got. Hahaha.
    Anyway, happy (belated) birthday, John–and Sherry, WONDERFUL post! So heartfelt! <3


    • says

      Aw you’re so sweet! I love that he went into that random Clara-broke-ours tangent. So funny! I think she needs to be a few years older the next time we give her one to play with… haha!


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