Cheers to a New Season

8:43 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling pretty guilty for dreaming of far away fall. Summer heat was dragging on me and the oppressive, heavy kind of humidity that is at home in a Michigan July the way that bugs are at home in a pool or books are at home on a shelf, was getting overwhelming. I stared lustily, yes lustily, at a sweatshirt that I was dying to wear. A basic grey thing with FRANKFORT blazing across the chest in bright pink letters. I have been waiting all summer to publicly announce my connections to my favorite place on the planet to anyone who can read, yet there it has sat in my closet, unloved and unworn.

I felt guilty because summer lasts in Michigan properly for only about two and a half months. Then the cold sets in and we begin our battle with construction and snow. And I feel guilty because right next to the sweatshirt I want to wear are the tissue thin white t-shirts I stare at lovingly all winter long. The ones I'm wearing right now. The ones I loooove. Am I really so eager to give those up?
  
Well, yes. I'm ready to brave the unknown for the chance to taste something new.
Speaking of leaving something behind, Ryan has a birthday coming up. He will be charging into his fourth decade come Saturday.

Ryan's not one to take a step backwards. He's full on with everything he does, but I'm not. I crave the past, and kick the concrete wall every time I try to step back and reclaim something that was left there.

Not Ryan though. He moves forward, every step of the way. He won't miss this previous year because he's not afraid of the next.

I really wanted to make this post about Ryan. Birthdays are a big deal to me and he's a big deal to me, so I have to do it up BIG.

So happy birthday Ryan. You're a rock star. You're an adventurer. You roundhouse kick tradition in the face. You say the right things.  You let me talk all day and night. You might not always be listening, but you're a smarty-pants and always remember to say "uh-huh" and "okay" at exactly the right time.

You work hard. Everyday. You give everything for the things you believe in, and I am so blessed to be one of those things.

When things knock you down, you don't so much as stagger. You never stumble. I admire your ability to take something bad and make it something awesome. 

You have passions and you don't let anyone get in the way of them.

You have ambition, the absolute most attractive feature in any person, and you utilize it and attack it well.

You treat people with respect and kindness. You do right by people and keep your promises. When you make a commitment, you keep it. And yet, when people treat you wrong, it doesn't change the way you treat them right. And it doesn't make you wary of the next person.

You affirm, precisely when I need it, that this is our life and we'll live it our way.
And there's nothing more right than that.


You have taught me so many important things. I grew up with you, went from a teenager to a college student to a young adult and the entire way, you gave me equal respect.

You have loved. So incredibly, you have loved.



This could become sappy and embarrassing because I'm very emotional, so I'll leave it here: you have collaborated with me on the greatest thing in my life, our life together.
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In 2008, Ryan and I took a trip to Arizona. It was my first visit and my first vacation with my new boyfriend. We went on my first motorcycle ride. It was late afternoon and I remember so vividly whipping through the wide, curving streets in Sun City, wearing a too big leather jacket that flopped in the wind. And I remember hanging on tight. But mostly I remember thinking this guy is going to take me to adventure. This could be my whole life. Everything will be different with this man.
And it was. It is.

Ryan, you are an exceptional man. There is no other way to characterize you.

Happy Birthday, Ryan. I think I speak for everyone who knows you when I say you deserve every good thing that comes your way. You deserve to make a hundred wishes when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake and you deserve to have every one of those wishes come true.

Happy birthday.

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