To the Love of My Life on Her Birthday

November 9, 2013
Seville, Spain

Many who read about our travels have no idea that there is a story, many stories actually,that pre-date our traveling life. While I will not go into detail here, it is fair to say that you have played a vital role in shaping the man that I am today.

Since it’s your birthday, I’ve prepared some very special surprises for you…beautiful Mozarabic-styled pottery made by our good friends in Granada, a hack in the mountains on Andalusian horses, and even a child-free birthday dinner, as I miraculously arranged a baby sitter in our next port of call.  But despite all of this, how strange is it for me to say that, in fact, I am the one who receives a gift each and every day that I am by your side?

As I reflect back on the nearly eight years that we have been together, a peace fills my heart and soul.  Way back when, you did what everyone told you not to do. You bet your life and sacrificed your career for an unemployed alcoholic when you moved to California so we could try to start a family together. It was through your bravery, and your tremendous faith in me, that led you to see things in me that I could not see in myself. You believed in me and nursed me back to life and your support has been a cornerstone in my recovery.

Without sobriety, the life that I enjoy and cherish would never have been known to me, but without you, my greatest blessing and companion, the love that fills my life with meaning and purpose would simply not exist.

Thank you my dearest Emy for all that you have given me and for never giving up on me. Our love is truly a gift from God and below are the reasons why I Love My Wife:

1) My life is eternally better because you are by my side.

2) Every time I kiss Ollie and Kendley good night and sit on their beds and watch them sleep and listen to them breathe, I am reminded that all of the best in our children comes from you.

3) You are everything that I am not and more; my ability to multitask pales in comparison to your spirit, energy and soul.

4) You have always found happiness in the little things and you have taught me that what society tells us to value the most are usually the things that matter the least in life.

5) You are compassionate and kind and you always see the best in others.

6) You make up stories and go places in your head that I could never dream of. From the time you were a little girl and you thought you were a wolf, you have lived many lives and for that I wish the winds of your creative spirit could carry me away as well.

7) We first traveled and left the world as we know it because of you; without your firm nudge I never would have had the courage to stop working and break free of my own fears to face the great unknown.

8) Your gentleness provides me with a subtle reminder when I am too stern with our children and for that, I am thankful, as you have made me a better Father and man.

9) Everyday you help me to see things during our travels that I never knew existed as you can sit and shut your eyes and smell and feel the world around you.

10) You actually believe that Beast Master is a terrific movie.

11) You are a woman who expresses her love, not with words, but with action, loyalty, devotion and by always putting our family first.

12) Even after 15 months of traveling together 24 hours a day, I never get tired of being with you (I am not sure if you could say the same about me).

13) You are beautiful in everyway.

I asked Oliver and Kendley what they loved most about Mommy and here is what they had to say.


1) I love Mommy because she is sweet;

2) I love Mommy because she reads the Hobbit to me and she sounds funny when she talks like Bilbo Baggins;

3) I love Mommy because she is my best buddy;

4) I love Mommy because she teaches me about the world, animals and plants when we travel and hike;

5) I love Mommy because she lets me wear my Ninja Halloween costume everyday (10 days and counting);

6) I love Mommy because she is beautiful;

7) I love Mommy because she makes me good food and she kisses me before I go to bed;

8) I love Mommy because I fall down a lot and she puts Angry Birds band-aids on my sores;

9) I love Mommy because she loves animals and she takes me to the zoo and aquarium a lot;

10) I love Mommy because she is always there when I need her and even when I annoy her and don’t listen, she still loves me;

11) I love Mommy because she makes me smile and happy.

I love Mommy more than anything!!!!!!!!

Kisses, Playa de Castiñeiras, Spain


When I asked Kendley, ‘Why do you love Mommy?’ she said the following:

“I love Peppa Pig” (who is her favorite person in the world other than Mommy).

“I love Mommy TOO much.”

‘But no Kendley, why do you love Mommy?’

“Happy birthday Mommy; Happy birthday Mommy; Happy birthday” and she started singing and humming.

‘But no Kendley, why do you love Mommy? I am writing something for her birthday and I need to know why…’

Kendley promptly blurted out, “I have to go poopy; I need to go to the potty.”

I smiled and walked her over to the potty and she sat on the toilet and grunted like she always does and I held her hands and asked her one last time, ‘Why do you love Mommy?’

Kendley looked up at me with her beautiful blue eyes and she said, “I love Mommy cuz she‘s Mommy.”

I guess that says it all, my love.

Ollie, Kendley and I love you for you.  The three of us love you with all of our hearts and as crazy as we are, nothing can replace the love that we have for YOU.

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