Today I want to celebrate Russ and hope you will too! Take a moment to comment and wish him a Happy Birthday and tell him how wonderful he is or share a fun story... he would love it!
Things I love about Russ
Russ and his car
The other day I cleaned Russ’ car out. I’ve always known Russ has a little clutter problem, but this was beyond belief. I found an array of garbage strewn about, but some specific things I uncovered were an empty Triscuit box, a plate, a glass, a cup, 2 coffee mugs, a travel coffee mug, 3 newspapers (still in the bag), about 15 burned CD’s – some in paper cases – some just floating around the car, crumpled up Chic-Filet coupons, a Diet Pepsi can (I’ll claim that one) and 19, yes 19 water bottles – mostly full of water. All this junk was highlighted by the spilled white paint (now dry) in the backseat, and a funky baby powder scent that the detailers accidentally sprayed in the car. The crazy thing is, I don’t think Russ even notices. The paint spot has been there for years, and the baby powder lives on even though the car was detailed more than a year ago. He shamelessly drives around town, picks people up from the airport (even guest ministers!), and simply loves the fact that his car is totally paid for. I am a little concerned about the water bottle collection (we’ve already talked about this), but for some reason I think I would be more concerned if his car was always spotless… it’s just not him. ☺
Russ and coffee
Russ has always liked coffee; very strong coffee. I used to go to Utica Square in Tulsa and visit him when he worked at Starbucks. I think I drank coffee just to visit him. While I could care less about good coffee, he's definitely particular about it, perhaps because he was a Barista for a while, perhaps because he just knows what he wants. Anyway, one day recently, he came out of Starbucks with an Iced Carmel Machiatto. I was surprised as his usual order is just plain old drip coffee. I asked, "You wanted a Carmel Machiatto, huh?" He emphatically responded, "Oh, only because I had a giftcard! I would never ever pay for this!" Something about this made me laugh and I know Russ and I can be a bit too frugal sometimes. A Carmel Machiatto is sooo yummy, and also complete rip-off (is it over $4 for a Tall?), and while he rarely enjoys a special drink like this (even though he likes them), I know he would buy me a $10 drink if I wanted it. I would have a hard time paying that for a drink, but you know what I'm saying. Anyway, the house wouldn't be the same if we didn't have a pot of coffee going in the morning and late afternoon. I give him a hard time about being an addict, but I actually like the fact that he's cofee-savy. It suits him.
Russ and Noa
Nothing makes me love Russ more than watching him with our daughter Noa. Noa Jane is a Daddy's girl to the core and it is definitely because she has a great Daddy. Upon returning from work, he can't wait to see her and when she hears his voice, all she wants is Daddy. One of my favorite things to watch is how he dances with her. You might be getting a picture of a slow, sweet, Daddy-daughter dance, but that's not at all what I'm talking about. They rock out! Noa's got moves! And their infectious laughter puts a smile on my face every time. I'm so thankful for a husband who understands the beauty of family life and I can't wait to have more children with him.
Russ and the church
When I first met Russ it was easy to see that he was a gifted person. One specific gift that stands out is his ability to lead people. If you know Russ, you know that he has a knack for telling people what they don’t want to hear and presenting it in a way that somehow brings about change in their lives. I always joke that he can successfully ask anyone to do anything and I have a hard time picking up the phone to order pizza. He definitely has a way with words. The great thing about Russ is that he’s not a manipulative person he’s just that good with people. Russ loves people. When I was growing up I remember my dad (also a pastor) enjoying the “unlovables” the most and I always wanted to marry someone like that. Russ shepherds people in that kind of a way. And while he’s compassionate, he’s very decisive, as a leader should be. I love to run everything by him because he typically knows what needs to be done in a situation. He can weigh the pros and cons like no one I’ve known (half the time I can’t even come up with a list of pros and cons) and I trust his judgment, as I know most do. When we embarked upon this pastoral journey a few years ago I was more concerned about my role than I was his. I was never worried about his ability to lead the church, much less to love the church. He is a good pastor… a good shepherd… a man after God’s own heart.
Russ and food
Russ loves food (don’t we all?). This was actually a big connection point for us when we were just friends – our common ground, if you will. While I love eating, cooking is not my favorite thing to do and he really cuts me some slack in my lack of preparation sometimes (side note: I’m not a bad cook, I just don’t enjoy it very much). Anyway, he is such a creative person. I’ll look and look and look for something in the pantry to make and find nothing, probably because I don’t want to take the time to throw it together. He’ll come up with some of the best dishes and actually take the time to be creative with it. This is the most amazing thing to me… the effort… a lot of effort. Every possible utensil is used in the process. The kitchen looks crazy when he’s done. But, he genuinely enjoys it. And although he doesn’t return food to the fridge, and constantly gets you-name-it all over himself, he is a good cook and I love to eat his food. ☺
Russ and housework
This morning Noa and I fell back asleep on the couch and when I woke up, I realized Russ had straightened the whole house. While this doesn’t necessarily happen every morning, it happens enough to comment about it. One thing that he almost always does is make the bed. I’ve never really asked him to, and I certainly don’t mind doing it, but it seems to be taken care of before I get to it. Sometimes I’m amazed that he helps me out with those kinds of things because it is contrary to his messy nature (open his desk drawers at work and you’ll know what I mean). I’m the one who has to have everything perfect. But help he does. He still hasn’t mastered the art of closing cupboard doors when he’s done with them, but one day I realized that maybe my job was to be the cupboard door closer, and that’s way easier than making beds. And, if one day he wasn’t around, I would probably open the cupboard doors and leave them that way for a while, just to feel him near.
Russ and his best friend
Ummm… that would be me. ☺ I wish every woman had the opportunity to be married to someone like Russ. It was a long time coming, but definitely worth the wait. He takes care of me. He knows me. He sees the best and the worst. Russ is my husband, my lover, my confidant, my friend, my leader, my dream come true, my role-model, my protector, my provider, my priest, my prophet, my helper, my baby’s daddy, my sounding board, my counsel… Russ is my very best friend. He always was. He always will be.
Happy Birthday Babe!
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