my ian

today is ian’s birthday. i am so incredibly glad and blessed that this man was born thirty six years ago today. here’s some (of the millions of) reasons why i adore him:

-he is the most earnest person i have ever met. he wants to do what is right so fervently. he is not afraid to question norms or defaults in pursuit to do what is actually right.

-he is a crazy adventurer and makes adventures happen. one example to illustrate: a few weeks ago he hiked hadian’s wall coast to coast. this is an 89 mile hike that most who are in good physical shape complete in about a week. he did it in 3.5 days, full-on running the last five miles so that he could catch a train back to london in order to be home at the time he told me he would be home. mind you, this was just a few days after returning from a 16-day, 3000-mile road trip through france and italy with his pregnant wife and two small, spirited children. and there’s always another adventure brewing in his travel planning spreadsheet.

-he is alarmingly good at considering both sides of any issue, valuing different perspectives and opinions, and honoring nuance in any dichotomy. he had a pretty black-and-white upbringing, which makes this quality even more remarkable to me. he is also humble in changing his mind about something when he becomes more educated about it.

-he wants to get presents for his kids on his own birthday. last year he asked for a blow-up bounce house and some pop-up football (soccer) goals. this year he ordered some special surprises for the boys.

-he can (and does) sleep anywhere and will (and does) eat (almost) anything. he’s always up for trying something new.

-he carpe diem-s. while extremely frugal, he spends freely on experiences that he knows will be enriching and worth it. when exciting opportunities are there, he snatches them up.

-he adores his children. pretty much every night he wants to sit with me and just talk about how awesome our kids are. he delights in them every day. he is a fun, silly, loving, thoughtful, deliberate, careful, sweet daddy.

-he is so good at talking with anyone, from any walk of life, and at helping others feel heard and valued. he makes friends with the check-out guy at the grocery store, sparks up super friendly and interested conversations with airbnb hosts, invites his colleagues over to our home to participate in holiday traditions, asks really thoughtful questions of any new person he meets, and is eager to help anyone in need.

-he always performs way better than he thinks he will. to me this shows both his aptitude and his complete lack of arrogance.

-he is patient with me and never gives up on me, even when i am a totally crazy wife.

-he works his butt off scholastically and professionally. he doesn’t do things half-way and he has an insanely keen attention to detail.

-he has a google spreadsheet for everything. often with lots of cool formulas in those cells, too.

-he loves to talk deeply and asks thought-provoking questions. he can definitely hang with small talk but is always seeking to get deeper and learn from others and have stimulating conversations that help everyone to grow.

-he is an incredible balance of pragmatism and spontaneity. 

-he is weird and quirky in the most random ways. this endears people to him uniquely.

-he focuses on what matters most.

i love my ian more than i could ever say. august twentieth, nineteen eighty four brought this world a truly incredible soul. it’s an honor to be his partner and learn from him.

happy birthday, babe.


  1. This is an incredibly thoughtful and beautifully written treatise on a unique soul! You have proven to be quite an astonishing match! What a perfect birthday gift! Love you!


  2. Highly insightful and sensitive writing—even poetic. Wow how well and deeply you love and understand and appreciate Ian. Makes me love him more too! From Dad


  3. Even with a ” pretty black and white upbringing”, his parents must have done an awful (w)right!! Happy Birthday! What a sweet and eloquent post.


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