Happy Birthday, WDF


Thirty-three years ago today, through a complex series of small miracles, Paul landed in the world. And today, in commemoration of that blessed event, we ate hamburgers as big as our heads and took a monster nap right in the middle of the afternoon.

Actually, since today was Sunday and already filled up with church and Bible study and all good things, we did the bulk of our merrymaking yesterday, in celebration of both Paul’s birthday and his safe return from a week of teaching at church camp.

Can I just tell you how much I missed my husband last week? A whole long week of no warm body next to me in a bed as big and as empty as the Sahara. A week of watching movies alone and turning around to share my pithy observations with someone who wasn’t there. A week of killing my own spiders, doing the Icky Spider Dance of Girliness to a non-existent audience. A week of missing the love of my life keenly, and realizing (even more than usual) how blessed I am to have someone so wonderful to miss.

Halfway through the week, I sat down with the birthday wish list I had pried out of Paul’s brain before he left and tried to decide what to get him as a gift. Usually, I ask Paul for a bunch of ideas, settle on one, and buy it. He likes it, he thanks me, and everyone is happy. But this year, for some reason, it just didn’t feel like enough. Scanning the list, I considered the possibilities: disc golf equipment, computer software, gift certificates. Any of them would be met with sweet gratitude by my easy-to-please husband. But none of them seemed right.

Let me tell you about my birthdays. Every year, I make a wish list. Paul takes it, reads it over carefully, and throws it away. Then he searches my heart and mind to discover the one gift that I want more than anything but would never dare to ask for because it’s too expensive, too impractical, too extravagant to even be committed to paper. And he buys it. Like my laptop. Like my digital SLR. Like my scrapbooking desk.

For once, I wanted to be a scandalous gift giver. I wanted to make Paul feel like I feel when I tear open the wrapping and my unspoken dream thingy is sitting there. I wanted him to know that he is loved beyond all reason, beyond mere practicality.

So I searched his heart and replayed our recent conversations in my head until I came up with it. The thing he would never ask for, but I knew he really wanted: a Nintendo Wii. Giggling with glee, wild with anticipation, I picked up the phone and started calling around town to locate the gaming system. Target, Walmart, Game Stop, Circuit City–all were out of stock! I was starting to feel a little desperate. It was Saturday morning and I was nearly resigned to having to order one online when my last call, to Best Buy, hit pay dirt! They had just received three that morning, but they expected to be sold out within the hour. I loaded up the kids and burned rubber and before I knew it I was finally holding the prize in my hot little hand. Having completely abandoned myself to the spirit of wild giving, I didn’t stop there. After a brief consultation via phone with Paul’s brother, who also has a Wii, I threw extra controllers, a recharger, and several games he recommended into the cart as well, and before long we were driving home with the precious treasure safely in our possession.

I can’t remember when I’ve been more excited to give someone a gift. And I don’t know which was better: his amazed reaction, or simply having him back — to kill spiders, to be the big spoon, and to make the joy of living twice as sweet in the sharing of it.

Happy Birthday, love.

May you always bii as happii as you have made mii. (Hii hii!)

20 responses »

  1. Aw! So fun! Scandalous giving is the best! πŸ™‚ Enjoy your Wii! I have yet to play the darn thing. I think that’s good, cause I think I’d be hooked forever! Happy Birthday, Paul! πŸ™‚

    There is a definite addictive element to all these electronic gadgets we have around our home. I suppose I’ve succumbed to the Dark Side now. Considering who I married, it was sort of inevitable.

  2. OK, that last part was so corny it made me giggle.

    Have fun with the Wii. And Happy Birthday to Paul!

    Haha! I love corny (and giggling!) To quote Iris in The Holiday, “I’m looking for corny in my life.”

  3. Isn’t scandalous gift-giving the best? What a wonderful post! I remember when my mother bought my father our very first VCR for Christmas. We still have the photo of his eyeballs about to pop out of his head and his mouth open. For my normally stoic Dad, it was a terrific moment. Great memories!

    It felt GREAT! What a neat memory of your first VCR. I remember what a huge deal that was back when they first came out. When I think about how far technology has come in such a short time, I get a little scared…lol!

  4. What fun!!! Glad to hear Paul had a great homecoming and birthday! πŸ™‚

    You guys come on over and try ‘er out! It’s not WoW, but it’s pretty okay. πŸ˜‰

  5. Go to facebook, I’m sending you my Wii address….Wii can send messages back and forth!!!!

    Oh, yay! I’m still a Wii-ophyte, so I’ll have to get the geek to show me how to add you to our address book tonight. πŸ™‚

  6. You did get it! I’m so glad you were both happy on his happy day. Now let me know how the Wii is. I’ve been wanting to get the boys one.

    P.S. Katie was so adorable yesterday at church asking me how Julianna was doing. What a sweetie!

    Yes! I threw caution to the wind and did it! (It was a strong wind.) You’ll have to come over with the kids and try it out. I didn’t expect to like it so much myself, but it is totally fun!

  7. What a fun gift!! Omiword, Wii is so fun! I don’t have one but two of my friends do (and I have my own Mii!) And, I tried out Wii Fit this weekend and it is great! Enjoy!! Does anyone else think the crowd at the Wii bowling alley look like Veggie Tales extras? tii hii

    That’s funny–I made the same observation about the “extras” in the Wii sports games! With no legs and no arms and little floating hands, they definitely have a Veggie-ness to them!

  8. Awwww….how sweet!! I so wished you would have taken a picture of what he looked like when he gasped in amazement as he opened such a spectacular gift! You go girl!

    Oh, crumbs! What kind of scrapbooker am I, anyway? I totally forgot to take ANY pictures! Maybe I can get him to put it all back in the box and open it again, right?

  9. Wii are a Wii family too πŸ™‚ We have game-nights in which we play Wii Sports, and have had a blast playing with friends & family when they come to visit (Cori!!). Since there are 5 of us, we have to take turns, but thankfully Ian’s interest in the games is short-lived – for now anyway. But, if you didn’t get it, you MUST get Mario Kart for the Wii because it is a blast, especially if you have the steering wheel. So fun!!

    Congratulations on the giving Paul a surprising gift – and actually finding a Wii in stock!!! It was meant to bii, I guess πŸ™‚

    Hii! Definitely meant to bii! Maybe I will ask for Mario Kart for my birthday gift in August…

  10. I agree with Jennifer, You must get Mario Kart!!!

    and Rose…I think the Baseball game is more VeggieTale-ish…which makes my 4 yr old love it even more!

    I can’t believe she’s FOUR!

  11. Guess I’m a nerd for not being a nerd but I had NO idea what that picture was of. Looked like the call nurse button in the hospital and I went with that since it was about Paul’s bday until you talked about the birthday gift. hehe.

    Ha! It totally does look like a hospital call button, now that you mention it. Who knows where the inspiration came from?

  12. I’ll have you know that I am a local 3-time Nintendo Champion. The small video store near home had competitions from time to time, and I won 3 of 4 tournaments against the 5 other kids who rode their bikes to get there. The only one I lost was to one of the owners’ kids. I am now re-living my glory days through the Wii. Sadly, my skills have waned quite a bit. My daughter is giving me a run for my money, and Caleb’s not far behind. I’m loving seeing Mario, Zelda, and Metroid in their new iterations. Mario Galaxy = Amazing. Mario Kart = Awesome. My kids gaming with me = Priceless.

    And I am loving watching the three of you, loopy with excitement about your new toy! (Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone that I kicked your butt at Wii Bowling the other night… )

  13. Oh, btw, my title wasn’t that astounding. We’re talking original Nintendo in the year 1989 against kids as pasty white as me. πŸ˜€

  14. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! And can I also add, Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!


    So so sweet.

    In other, mostly unrelated news, I thought of you this past weekend. I was at my cousin’s wedding and they had a girl sing a few songs during the ceremony. One of the songs she sang was “Divine Romance”. I was reminded of your post (which, p.s. I can’t seem to find right now) where you referred to God’s relationship with us as “the ultimate love story”. πŸ™‚ It was a beautiful song and it was nice to be reminded of you.

    You just made my day, Courtney! By the way, the post you’re talking about is now one of the tabs on the top of my main blog page (Good News), and it’s still my favorite love story! I’m glad you had fun this weekend. Don’t you just enjoy weddings all the more now that yours is getting so close? I am praying that you and Kyle have a long and blessed marriage, full of all the wonderful things that love has to offer!

  15. Wow! Finding an available Wii on such short notice was a miracle in itself! Extra kudos for you on getting your hands on one so quickly!

    We recently became Wii owners and wii love it! I have usually been hesitant about video games in the house (collective gasp by your crew, I’m sure), but made an eager exception with Wii since it makes us get out of our seat! Now, instead of “controller thumb syndrome” wii get “tennis elbow!” I hope you all enjoy hours of fun together!

  16. What a sweet post! And what a great present!

    K and I are both HUGE fans of the Wii. It’s a blast!

    I read your comment to my post, too. I’m sure it’s hard to be away from your husband for a week. It’s more of a change to your day-to-day life. You’re used to having him around more often. Of course you miss him! It’s most definitely NOT whiny of you to feel that way, and the only reason I was rolling my eyes as I read this post was to keep them from spilling over because I was tearing up.

    I’m a sap. And this was sweet. πŸ™‚ (Swiit?) πŸ˜‰

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