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We love that guy!
Jack, our perpetual boy-at-heart, just celebrated his thirty-second birthday!
Okay. It was nearly three weeks ago but in my defense, I was still in the hospital with Zoey and then, I got busy around the house and trying to keep up with the kids, even with all the great help I had. I did my best to prepare and had ordered a few gifts for him but really, the majority of the day was teaching Henry to gently adore his baby sister:
Practicing his kisses. Not bites or headbutts, his other preferred methods of affection.
And making sure Henry didn’t get into too much trouble (mostly, if he could find food or be near Zoey, he was alright):
Sneaking one of my french fries.
And when all else failed, cradling Henry so he could catch up on his sleep:

As far as birthdays go, it was pretty un-fantastic on my part but any time I lamented, Jack just laid a hand on my shoulder and thanked me for giving him one of his favorite gifts: a healthy baby. And just like that, without even trying, he made me feel like his special day was really all about me.

I wish I loved hospital beds as much as the kids do.

When we finally made a mad dash out of there, we drove the winding road home in the rain, where Jack had to make his own birthday dinner. His choice? Pizza.

Secretly, he may be the fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
And, since I hadn’t even had the foresight to get a cake mix, he had to make his own birthday ice cream sandwiches. Probably just as well. Jack doesn’t really like cake anyway.
Reminds me of the birthday parties of yore for Evelyn and Claire…

Though Jack’s actual birthday wasn’t really thrilling, we were all super lucky that he was able to stay home for a week to help out. He was there to meet the girls when they got off the bus:

Kate and Henry tried to fly Jack’s kite on a gusty day:
Henry learned the fine art of playing cars:
There was plenty of time spent on the swings:

And when they were done, he tossed the swings up and over to make it easier for me to mow because he’s always thinking of me, the kids, and others (and yes, I mowed with a less-than-week-old baby. I like mowing, okay?):

And lucky me! A bath, which is never just a bath when Jack draws it–it’s got flowers and candles and fancy salts and fresh smoothies are delivered to my hand.
Of all the things I love about Jack, one of my favorites is that he’s present. He’s there for the big stuff, sure, but he’s there when it just means swinging in the hammock, tucking in the kids, putting away the chickens when I forget, kissing everyone hello and goodbye as he comes and goes.
Sharing his love of hammocks with the kids.

Sometimes, his goodness is so overwhelming that I feel a bit guilty, like I’m the weak link in the chain of our family but every time, Jack reassures me with such kindness that I’m his equal partner and an indispensable member. He is so humble, so sweet, so wise, so patient…the kind of man that’s almost mythical these days. Jack’s the kind that calls his mother every Sunday evening, willingly serves his friends and neighbors, even if it means cutting into prime relaxation time, who lets his crazy, horse-loving wife (ahem…me) keep a couple of them in the backyard and encourages me to reach for the stars and never forgets to honor my role as wife and mother and woman. He even rescues baby bunnies for crying out loud!

Jack’s the kind of guy who rescues baby bunnies.

With all of those gentle qualities, he still knows how to have rough-and-tumble fun and loves trying new things, from becoming a budding cheesemaker to learning how to play the guitar. Every day is an adventure with him and we’re all looking forward to many more to come!

Hang on, everyone! Daddy’s at the helm!
Happy (very belated) birthday, Jack! We love you!

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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