Today is the day!
Chup is forty and I haven't even gotten to the good part yet.
31. I call my husband Christopher. Not Chris. Not Topher. Not Chrissy (although, why don't I?) It's the whole eleven-lettered shabang. But for most of his life he's gone by Chris. Just Chris. So in our life you can identify who knew Chup before me and who met him after. He's Chris to the old friends, and Christopher to the new. Because they knew him before the rest of us, Topher and Lisa are the only ones in my family who call him Chris. To everyone else he is Christopher.
My Mr. Christopher
32. Speaking of my family, we are world-class teasers. We teased each other growing up, we tease each other now. We communicate with tease, and we show love with tease and we get passive aggressive and tease each other to tears. When Chup and I started dating I teased him a lot too. It was meant in good humor, I actually knew no other way to show my interest. But my sensitive Chup reacted badly to it all, from anger to hurt and sometimes heavy confusion. So I've had to learn other ways to flirt with my husband, um, like a neck rub. Though it needs to be said, when he teases me, I swoon. Absolutely swoon.
33. Chup still calls his mother "Mommy" and he likes to go home to Idaho every few months to have her breakfast of eggs and hash browns. He always finishes two plates with a "Thanks Mommy."
34. One year when Chup was in his twenties, his dad ended up with three Harleys and together with Chup's little brother Jeremy they rode from Provo to the Grand Canyon. I never get tired of hearing about that trip, how hot it was, the helicopter ride, their impressions of that huge old canyon.
35. Chup and his brother Jeremy talk on the phone almost every single day. I call their relationship the Secret Brotherhood of Promise, or SBP. I've never seen two brothers so loyal and genuinely interested in one another. It would be sorta annoying if it wasn't so sweet.
36. The first time I was invited to Chup's house I saw a photo of Chup with his arm around a gorgeous, leggy blond with brown doe-eyes. My heart sank. I wondered who she was and what she meant to him. I actually dismissed his ability to be attracted to me when he had women in his life who looked like this. On the next visit I nervously asked who the girl was, "Oh that's my little sister Heather." Heather, hallelujah!
37. Chup is bizarrely talented in so many ways. He can repair your car, he can take pictures of your family reunion, he can take you snowboarding, he can cook you up a plate of hot potato latkes. He speaks impeccable Japanese, he is proficient at speed reading, he plays the bass guitar and has a degree in English. You should see the way he handles chop sticks with absolute precision. The other night he said to me, "I am going to go make some button holes" (on his sewing machine). But if you are asking me, my favorite Chup trick will always be his ability to do the splits:
38. In our house when things get broken there is a saying, "Daddy can fix it." The other day, The Chief broke the absolute stupidest toy in the world, his green plastic, wind-up helicopter being flown by a chicken. I feel like I should repeat that description. Stupidest toy in the world, green helicopter, chicken. On the scale of toys it ranks lower than the tub toys all scuzzed up with soap scum. When it broke I was secretly happy, but The Chief was not. "It's okay, Daddy can fix it," he told me and I am not kidding ten minutes later The Chief reappeared with that stupid toy all specially super glued back together. The chicken's head had fallen off, and now there it was re-capitated.
39. His butt? It's butter. I think it actually has won a few awards. And I'm not talking about the awards I host in my heart.
40. He's only been arrested once.
I could go on, it's hard to stop. This might get easier when he turns 50.
There's something to look forward to...
Happy Birthday My Love! Thanks for being everything.
Photos thanks to Justin Hackworth, Jed Wells and Jess Smiley.
ONE WEEK AWAY!