Monday, July 27, 2009


:years from July 27, 1996 to today

Thirteen years ago today, I married J. You can tell a lot about a man by looking at what he loves, so here are thirteen things he loves and the reasons why they make me love him.
  1. He loves to make me laugh. J loves to tell silly stories, crack corny jokes and generally lighten my spirits. I tend to err on the side of serious, but J brings out a side of me I didn't know existed. This trickles down in our family to make us a more fun-loving bunch than we otherwise might be.
  2. He loves books, maybe even more than I do. A high school friend who was in our wedding saw J receive what was probably his favorite gift: several first edition mystery books by some of his favorite authors. She turned to me and said, "Wow. You actually found a guy who loves to read like you do." I can't imagine being married to someone who resented the way I lose myself in a book instead of relishing it.
  3. He loves football. You might think this is a given, or that it should appear on the list of reasons J loves me. But I am truly thankful that we share a passion for college football. At the first football game we attended, J attempted to explain to me why we were punting. I interrupted to give him my assessment of our offense thus far and assured him I understood fully what was going on. Love at first kickoff.
  4. He loves Vanderbilt. It's not easy to be a Vanderbilt fan and a football fan. This team takes the wind out of your proverbial sails with regularity, yet J is the eternal optimist. He's the one who thinks this time every year, "This could be the year we have a winning season." History does not support him in thinking this, but he thinks it nonetheless. I love this about him.
  5. He loves popcorn and ham & hard rolls. I love this about J because it's one of the things that links him to his family of origin. A bowl of popcorn or a ham sandwich on Sunday are not just meals. They are a way that he remembers - and honors - his parents and his childhood with them.
  6. He loves baseball, but will spend an afternoon or evening with me at the museum. We've each taught the other things over the course of our courtship and marriage. While I love football, baseball is not my game. J has taught me to enjoy a good baseball game. Even better, he takes an interest in the things I love. On our honeymoon, we picked a city where we could attend a major league game and go to an art museum. Luckily, the Red Sox had a home series when we needed it and we got to see Boston together.
  7. He loves numbers. I was an art history major in college. I'm not a numbers kind of girl. But I love that J loves numbers. He loves working with them. He loves the stories that numbers tell. And I love this about him because he is different than me. I love that we can be passionate about different things and still passionate about each other.
  8. He loves music. This is another way we are different. I like music, but I don't love it by any means. J, on the other hand, would have it playing non-stop if he could. I love that he tempers his love for music with his love for me because non-stop music wears away at the edges of my mind and leaves me frazzled and over-stimulated. I love that his love for music has exposed me to music I would never have encountered without him. I love that we celebrated our anniversary at a concert, something I certainly would not choose without him.
  9. He loves our daughters. Not just a little bit. Not because he should. He loves them for the unique girls that they are. He loves their quirks and foibles. He loves their strengths and weaknesses. He loves them in a way that is healing and inspiring to see.
  10. He loves So You Think You Can Dance. That's right. The man who loves football, baseball and all things sports also likes a dance show. I think, like me, he loves this show because it is something for our entire family to watch. We love seeing our daughters dream about being up on that stage someday. We love hearing them applaud or critique a performance. We love the way B's favorite judges are the ones who encourage the dancers. We love the way A's favorite dancer is, of course, a ballerina. We love the way K runs to her room to don dress up clothes in honor of the occasion. And I love that his love for our daughters overflows in this way.
  11. He loves the Lord. J is a wonderful, loving man who wants to be an even better man. He knows and acknowledges his weaknesses, which makes him one of the strongest men I know. And he rests in knowing God can help him be the better man he can be.
  12. He loves my body. Even after three daughters and years of ignoring, if not neglecting, my body. He loves me in t-shirts, in skirts, in whatever. When I'm feeling my grungiest, J leans in and says, "You look great." And he means it.
  13. He loves me. Not the surface Shannon, but the real one. From the moment I met J, I never felt like I had to be anyone else around him. He's broken down walls I didn't even know I had built to protect myself. He's loved me when I'm unkind, selfish and downright unlovable.
May my daughters all be blessed with a man who makes them feel this way. In fact, the greatest gift I think I've given my daughters is to have J has a husband. If they look to him as what a husband should be, they will end up with the right men.


mikkee said...

well, that just made me all teary!

Gigi said...

Yeah. Me too. I want a good cry. WOW! Congrats on 13 years and still being in love!

UKNat said...

That's beautiful, Shannon. Happy Anniversary to Jason and you!

Allison at Anointed With Grace said...

I got all choked up, too. Great post and a great example of what marriage should look like!

Variations On A Theme said...

You keep making me cry! I'll have to reapply my eyeliner! I can say many of those things about David, too, except for ham and hard rolls or making a wife feel beautiful. Wow. What a gift.

jasontruss said...

All these months later, this post is still such a gift to me. Thank you WordGirl!