Thursday, 30 May 2013

Sing Me to Sleep

I am so grateful that I have been able to stretch this whole "treasure box" business out over three days because when I woke up this morning, the last thing I wanted to do was to write a blog post. But, then I was like:

Oh yeah! My great granddaddy, William, is covering for me today. 

Gosh darn it, I am really beginning to like this fellow!

 It is very fitting too that the title of his poem, which happens to be my favourite and has caused me to tear up a few times (hello . .. pregnancy!), is titled "Sing Me to Sleep" because sleep is all I want to do today. You see, Baby Girl got me hooked on the series "How I Met Your Mother", and I kind of stayed up late last night waiting for Mr. Level-Headed to return home from class and watched like a gazillion episodes. Why did I not know about this series sooner? It is hilarious! Seriously, I am not a huge fan of comedies, but this one had me laughing out loud with tears streaming down my cheeks. I am not kidding! Then, to top it all off, my not-so-little munchkins had woken up yesterday morning at a whomping 5am, which meant my day started way too early. It was also sunny yesterday so I felt like I had to really make the most of it; therefore, we went for huge walk and took the dog swimming. Also, yesterday happened to be one of those oh-wow-I-feel-great-today kind of days and I guess you could say I overdid it. I did school with the boys, which was no small feat since Mr. Man was off in la la land all day, I baked two desserts for a local fundraiser in support of my friend's Relay for Life team (which we sadly can't take part in this year), I made a chili for supper, I cleaned up the house, and then finally, the boys and I went to the chapel to help decorate for a youth dance our church is hosting this weekend. It was a great day! I felt like me again and not zombie mama, but now I am definitely paying for it. So, with my boys still sleeping and this foggy, rainy morning dampening any desire I may have had to take on the day, I will finally present to you William John Ring's "Sing Me to Sleep", and then I will crawl back into my big comfy bed with a warm cup of peppermint tea and I will give my boys, who just happen to be sleeping in my bed, a great big squeeze.

Sing Me to Sleep


William John Ring

Sing me to sleep where bullets fall,
Let me forget the war and all.
Damp is my dug out, cold my feet.
Naught but bully beef and biscuit to eat
And shrapnel and shells are a la mode.
Sing me to sleep where bombs explode.
Over the sandbags, helmets you find
Bodies in front of you, bodies behind.

Far, far away from Ypres I long to be
Where German snipers can't get at me.
Think of me crouching where the worms creep,
Waiting for someone to sing me to sleep.

Sing me to sleep in some old shed,
The rats are running around my head.
Stretched out upon my waterproof
Dodging the raindrops through the roof.
Sing me to sleep where camp fires shine,
Sticky with muck but never a whine,
Dreaming of home and nights in the West
Somebody's overseas boots on my chest.

Far from the star shells I long to be.
Lights of old King Street I'd rather see.
Think of me crouching where the worms creep,
Waiting for someone to sing me to sleep.

Spending this week poring over my great grandfather's treasures has strengthened my belief that families are indeed the greatest treasures we have. It is humbling to think that the actions of a man I barely knew, who lived one hundred years ago and who was in such close proximity to death for five years of his young life, played an important role in creating me. Without him or any one of the members of my family, "I", as I look and act today, would not exist. Think about it. Every single member of your family (and I am talking about over thousands of years), every choice they made, and every action they took, in some way helped shaped who you are today.Wow! I am so grateful for my family, and I am grateful for all their stories and their treasures that have managed to trickle down into my possession and have helped me to better understand who I am and to better appreciate what an amazing legacy we are all creating together. It may not be a legacy of fame, wealth or power, but it is a legacy of people, people leading seemingly "ordinary" lives with extraordinary eternal significance. Families are forever, and I am so grateful to be a part of this one.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Finding Treasure in a Modest, Brown Wooden Box

Going through my great grandfather's "treasure" box was humbling for me, and very exciting for my kids. Avery could not contain his excitement as he impatiently waited for my father to work his way down to the bottom. From the look on his face, I knew he felt like he was on a treasure hunt and that he had visions of finding                                                    something valuable and something dangerous like a bejewelled sword or an early WWI gun. Inside this modest, brown wooden box, however, were treasures that an old man could not bear to part with, treasures that have very little monetary worth but are priceless to a man who wants to show the world that he was here and priceless to his family that want to know more about his story. As I go through William John Ring's box, I can't help but feel like I am glimpsing into the heart of a man I barely knew and that  by opening this box, I am entering a very private, meaningful space.

Throughout my life, I have heard snippets about Bill's life, and I have a few faint memories of him, but by the time I came along he was a very frail man, confined in a wheelchair. I know he and his brothers owned a boat yard in the North End, and his treasure box is filled with receipts for boats he bought and sold. I also know that he married a woman named Minnie and they had three daughters and one son. Minnie had contracted polio at some point in her life, which weakened her legs. One of the most touching stories I have heard about Bill, along with the belt story I told yesterday, is that he strategically placed wooden pegs on the walls of their home so that Minnie could lean on them and move around. From what I gather, William John Ring was a quiet man. It sounds like he loved his wife, his daughters and his grandchildren. He was a sailor, a speed skater, and, as I just recently discovered, a poet. I pray that someday I will have the opportunity to sit down and talk to my great grandfather when my journey here on earth is through, but for now, I will continue to piece together who this man was through the stories I hear and the "treasures" he left behind.

Some of the mementos this "treasure" box holds include his army issued comb, mirror, and straight razor, which the boys loved! We also found coins in a change purse from Germany and France. There were two pocket watches, one of which dad and Zoe were able to get working again, pocket knives, buttons from his uniform, and a few medals and ribbons.

Baby Girl's favourite "treasure" is a tiny catalogue for men's suits. After examining Bill and Minnie's wedding certificate, Zoe discovered they were married in 1920 and since the catalogue was dated the same year, she surmised that this is the catalogue he used to order his suit from for the wedding. She thought it was adorable that he kept it!

The treasure box also holds a ton of photos from the war, and it is interesting to note that most of these pictures are from the beginning of the war, probably from a time when Bill felt most optimistic and slightly excited about the adventures his teenage self was about to embark upon.

William John Ring in his uniform, or at least we thought so until about an hour ago . . .  tee hee! We assumed this was my great grandfather because of the ears and the shape of his face (c0mpare with older photo), but upon closer inspection of the soldier in this photo, my father realized that this man's uniform has sergeant stripes, and Bill was only a private. So, here is a photo of a young, nameless soldier, who resembles Bill, and who was clearly important to him because his picture was placed in the "treasure" box:

Folks, I think we can learn a valuable lesson from this. First, a writer should always double check their "facts" and second, everyone should write names on the back of their photos. Seriously! Go do it now!

I don't know, though, I really think this may be Bill. Not only are the ears and the shape of his face the same, but look at the nose . . . hmmmm. Clearly, I need to do a little more investigating.

Anyhoo . . .

My great grandfather and the other Canadian soldiers travelled on a ship called the Caledonia to get oversees. He belonged to the 26th Battalion. According to a Christmas card we found that was Army issued and the soldiers sent home to their families, the 26th Battalion fought in the Battles of Ypres, Kemmel, St. Eloi, and La Somme:

This photo reads: "on the hurricane deck watching for submarines"

Here they are posing with a machine gun. The photo reads: "ready for action!"

This is the torpedo boat, The Princess Alice, that escorted them into Plymouth:

This is a picture of the men lined up to "shower" on deck. My boys love this picture because of the naked guy under the tarp . . . tee hee!

This is a training ship the Caledonia docked beside as they entered Plymouth. Look at how many soldiers are on deck!

These pictures are of Dover Beach:

This is the train that took the 26th Battalion to East Sandling Camp:

This photo reads: "my comrade in battle"

Since this post is already quite long and my boys are starting to tear the house apart, I am going to have to save my favourite poem for tomorrow. Yes, I am annoying like that, but I will leave you with the final stanza of a poem titled "A Sailor's Prayer". Unfortunately, the paper this poem was written on is very worn and water-stained; therefore, I can not make out most of the poem. Thankfully, though, the last stanza is clear as day, and I think it is a fitting end to this post because it shows a dramatic change has occurred in the young soldier, William John Ring. Where the pictures suggest a naive teenage boy enjoying his first journey oversees with other equally naive young men, who are eager for their first taste of battle; the poem, on the other hand, gives us a glimpse into the mind of a frightened, young man who is worn out, probably very dirty and hungry, and wants nothing more than to get home.

A Sailor's Prayer

by William John Ring

Take me back into the land
Where they don't scrub down with sand,
Where no demon typhoon blows,
Where the women wash the clothes.

God thou knowest all our woes,
Feed me in my dying throes.
Take me back - I'll promise then
Never to leave home again.

Of all the stories of his I have heard and the momentos of his that I have held, nothing has given me a better glimpse into the heart of my great grandfather like his poems have, and for this, I would have to say that these poems are indeed the treasure buried at the bottom of a modest, brown wooden box.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Lest We Forget

Baby Girl spent the weekend doing a project on the Battle of Ypres for her Social Studies class. The assignment was to pick a battle from either WWI or WWII, and Zoe immediately knew which one she wanted to do. It sounds funny for a fifteen year old girl to have a favourite battle, but if you asked any member of my family what battle interests them the most they would probably all respond the same way - The Battle of Ypres. Our fascination with this battle derives from the fact that my father  holds in his possession a belt that his grandfather, William John Ring, always wore, but rarely talked about. This is no ordinary belt. This is a German belt, and it is a belt William, or Bill as he was known, acquired almost one hundred years ago in one of the trenches of Ypres. According to the story, somehow my great, grandfather, Bill ended up in a trench with a dying German soldier. I assume the battle must have ended, and the German soldier asked Bill for a cigarette. My great grandfather gave him one, and there they sat together, quiet because they did not speak the same language, and probably pretty solemn since these were the dying soldier's last few minutes of mortality.This image has always touched me because unlike all the black and white footage we see of bombs going off and guns being fired, this image is remarkably human. They were just two young men, supposed "enemies" now sharing a trench, shaken up from the horrors of the day, smoking a cigarette together. It pleases me to know that my great grandfather did not lose his compassion in the war, and it pleases me to no end that he made this dying German soldier's last few minutes on earth a little more comfortable. After the soldier died, my grandfather took his belt, carved on it "1914" and "Ypres", and then proceeded to wear this belt for the rest of his life. Bill knew that this battle was one of those significant moments in his life, and he never wanted to forget it. Why did he feel it was so significant? I will probably never know the answer to this, but I like to think that it is because this was the day, the battle, that my great grandfather, William John Ring, decided that no matter what horrors the war inflicted upon him, he would not allow them to rob him of his humanity.

My great grandfather, Bill

His belt. The belt buckle when translated reads: God is with us.

The engraving - 1914 Ypres

On Sunday night, when the kids and I went to visit my father to pick up the belt for Zoe's presentation, we were thrilled to discover that not only did my dad have the belt in his possession, but after his own mother had died a couple of years ago, he was given a box that his grandfather, Bill, stored his most treasured possessions in. My kids were giddy with excitement! Inside we found tons of war memorabilia, pictures, documents, ribbons, medals, and one of the greatest treasures of all, some poetry he wrote during his time at war, which happened to be the entire war (1914-1919). Poetry! I never knew my great grandfather was a writer. How cool is that?

If you would like to read more about my great grandfather, William Ring, and the treasures we found in his box, check out these posts:


Happy Remembrance Day!

Monday, 27 May 2013

One Wet, Blustery Weekend

I think it is fair to say that we have had our fair share of rain, and that it is time for us to welcome back the sunshine . . . sheesh! There is only so much a person can take. In spite of all the rain, though, we still managed to enjoy our weekend. We kicked things off with a Harry Potter movie marathon, the menfolk put up Thing 4's crib, we ate copious amounts of these yummy muffins, we napped, the boys built Lego, Baby Girl worked on a project, and finally, I was given the movie star treatment. All in all, I think it was a pretty good weekend.

The wind and rain made for a pretty scary ferry ride on Friday afternoon.

The pooch was CONSTANTLY wet and therefore, very stinky! Have I told you lately how much I adore my puppy when I am pregnant?  Sorry Scout!

The Menfolk taking a break in their work so as not to miss the captivating and sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thrilling Jimmy Neutron . . . tee hee! 

Thing 4's crib all set up in our room. It is still up in the air how much Thing 4 will actually sleep in this contraption, but the joy it brings me every time I walk by it is worth all the inconvenience of how cramped it makes our bedroom.

I couldn't stand the look of the crib being empty so I dug out Avery's old baby blanket, my favourite doll growing up, Laura, and Zoe's baby doll, Nameless (Baby Girl wasn't into dolls so much)

These are our new favourite treat, Applesauce Oatmeal muffins. They are simple to make gluten-free (just substitute flour for gf flour and add some xanthum gum), and once you add some chocolate chips, they are heavenly!

It took him two days, but Avery built this coliseum for Lego City.

An aerial view of the seating arrangements and the Orc battle.

The Emperor's box. I have to add that Avery is over-the-moon pleased his latest creation, and I have to admit, it is very impressive. He thought of everything!

And finally, my favourite part of our wet, blustery weekend was my spa treatment. I don't even know how this came to be, but the pampering went on for an hour and it was awesome! Zoe painted my toenails, Avery massaged my hands and then later painted my fingernails, and Elliot brushed and blew dry my hair (even though it was already dry).

This kid is a riot! Here he is blowing on my toes to make them dry faster.

And that's how we not only survived, but enjoyed, a very wet, blustery weekend with five Websters, a Skov, and a wet, stinky dog all couped up in a tiny blue house for two days . . . eeek! Miracles do happen . . . tee hee!

Happy Monday!

Friday, 24 May 2013

The Honeymoon May Be Over, but the Dreams Sure Aren't!

I guess last week was the honeymoon phase of my second trimester. I felt awesome! I was never sick and I had lots of energy. I cleaned the entire house, I baked treats and I felt like my old, optimistic self again. Pumped from hearing Thing 4's heartbeat at the doctor's office, I even allowed myself to entertain the notion that yes, we are indeed having another baby. We decided on our names and we started collecting baby items. But, the honeymoon is over.

This week I feel overwhelmingly tired. I have been pukey, nauseous, and headachy. I think the worst part, though, is that I am feeling uneasy once again about the outcome of this pregnancy. I read somewhere that a woman does not fully recover from the heartache of a miscarriage until she is holding another baby in her arms, and I am really starting to believe it. I keep rereading our baby story to reassure me that yes, our time has come, but then I have these terrible moments, when the doubt and the fear creep  back in, and I think there is no way I am going to end up with my happy ending. How sad is that?

Last night I had another doozy of a dream. While we are on the topic of crazy pregnancy dreams, let me tell you, I think this pregnancy wins the prize. EVERY night I dream that I am working, whether it be weeding a garden, running a marathon, working out, or finding a lost child, which for some reason involved me scaling the walls of a five story apartment building. These dreams last all night long and the work never lets up. I wake up feeling exhausted! But, I never dream of my baby.

Then last night, I dreamt I had the baby. I was in the hospital, but people kept giving me jobs to do. I had to take care of all these people and I kept telling them that I needed to get back to my baby, but they just kept piling on the work. Finally, I finished my work and I remember looking at my watch and thinking:

Ahhhhhhh! I have never even nursed my baby and she was born 8 hours ago!

As I made my way to the nursery, I encountered construction. I had to take an alternate route, which again involved scaling walls and some crazy trapeze artistry. It took forever to locate the nursery, and when I finally arrived I learnt that I had to go through clearance. I needed a special ID card, which I did not have, and I had to undergo all these tests to determine that I was indeed Thing 4's mama. While I was waiting for all credentials to be approved, they showed me a picture of my baby and she was gorgeous (yes, Thing 4 was a girl in this dream). She had a Santa Claus sleeper on, lots of dark hair, big chubby cheeks, and a long, black goatee . . . . eeeeek! And I thought she was beautiful. I remember even commenting that I knew she would have a goatee. Crazy!! But, I never did get to see my baby. Somehow this dream ended and I moved onto yet another one of my working dreams . . . ugh!

And so, once again, I woke up feeling uneasy. I just want to hold Thing 4. I just want to count his or her fingers and toes and make sure he or she does not have a goatee (this is so bizarre). I just want to know for certain that everything is okay. I think in a couple of weeks when I am finally able to feel Thing 4 kick and squirm that I will feel a little more at ease, but until then, I will just keep on praying. I will just keep on hoping, and, unfortunately, I will just keep on dreaming . . . tee hee!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Oh, and since this post was a little too bleak for my liking, here are some random pics of Zoe and Avery that I found on the computer this morning. I love my kids! They always manage to put a smile on my face.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

A Little Sunshine Amidst All This Rain


Yep, according to my Weather Network app all this rain is not letting up any time soon, and this is very troublesome to me. What is a mama of two highly energetic boys to do? Not to mention, my constantly wet pooch is really offending the intense, bordering on super weapon-ish, olfactory senses of this pregnant mama . . . blech!
I can barely stand to be in the same room as him! But, it`s as if he has totally forgotten our conversation about our temporary break up and insists upon sticking to me like glue. Here he is laying on my chest. He`s just lucky that his overwhelming cuteness factor is able to knock down his overwhelming stink factor a couple of notches.

Well, here is what this mama is going to do because, in all honesty, compared to the devastation that occurred in Oklahoma this week due to a nasty weather system, I have very little to complain about, and so I am going to focus on the positive. I am going to list some of the pretty awesome things that have happened this week here at Shenanigans Inc.

*** On Saturday, my adoring husband, who just finished two ten week courses for his MBA, had his first weekend off in like twelve weeks, and what did he decide to do on his first Saturday to sleep in, and probably his last for another ten weeks? He got up and told me to stay in bed! Gosh darn it, I love that man! He made the boys' breakfast and he brought me breakfast in bed. I laid there eating, reading, and snoozing until 11 am. I truly am one spoiled mama!

***On Sunday, my boy became one of the big kids at church (much to his sister's dismay), and so I spruced him up so that he could look like one of the big kids (even though he is not very big)

Isn't he handsome? As much as I loved seeing Elliot all grown-up-like at church on Sunday, what made me even more excited is that I bought the entire outfit for $20 at Value Village. $20?!?!?!?! Yep, shirt, tie, belt, pants, and black shoes all for $20. Gosh darn it, I love saving money!

***On Monday, I was once again craving some Mongolian Beef and Broccoli from the Wok Box, and so Mr. Level-Headed and I took a drive in town to pick up some supper for everyone. It was delicious, but sadly, that night I up-chucked the entire meal. I was devastated because I thought I would never be able to eat my favourite dish again, but I am pleased to announce that the very next day I was able to scarf down and keep down the Mongolian Beef leftovers!  Phew! As you can tell, it's the little things in life that keep me smiling.

***On Tuesday, I made a big decision. Over the past couple of months, I have begrudgingly watched my beautiful house plants wither up and die. It seems the only ones able to hold on in spite of my blatant disregard for their well-being are my Christmas cacti. As hard as it has been to toss their lifeless bodies in the compost, what seems to be even harder is to remember that they need water. Sounds simple, but trust me it is not, and so with a wee bit of disappointment and a whole lot of relief, I decided not to put the garden in this summer. Right now just making sure my own kids get enough sunshine (which the weather is not helping out with at all), food and water plus an education is all I can seem to handle. I felt bad, initially, about this decision and then it occurred to me that instead of garden, fresh veggies I am growing a baby this summer! Sounds like a pretty fair trade, right?

Sorry, Mr. Flower.

***On Tuesday, I also visited with a friend of mine who gave me a beautiful crib for Thing 4. A crib! I really want to set it up right now in my room, but I think Mr. Level-Headed will poo poo on that idea because let`s face it, it is not a very level-headed idea at this point in the game, but I am really get exciting! This pregnancy thing is really becoming real for me. In fact, the other day as Mr. Level-Headed and I were driving back from the Wok Box, I looked at him and squealed:

We`re having a baby!

Sometimes it just  hits me out of the blue, and I become giddy. The panic has not hit yet, but I am sure that it is right around the corner, and pretty soon I will be sobbing:

How are we ever going to do this!

But for now, I will take the giddiness!

Also, making it feel real is the fact that I have had to say farewell to my regular pants and hello to the stretchy comfort of pregnancy pants.  Ahhhhhhh . . . comfort!

(love the elastic band!)

(again, notice the stinky pooch staying oh, so very close to his mama . . .  ugh!) Oh, and I should note that yes, I do wear a long shirt to cover that lovely elastic waistband . . . tee hee!  I had Baby Girl worried for a bit. ;)

***And finally, on Wednesday, a friend of mine came over for tea, muffins and some chit chat. There is truly nothing better for a homeschooling mama than to share an hour or two with a fellow adult over a steaming hot cup of peppermint tea and some adult conversation. Actually, the only thing that could possibly make it better is if that steaming hot cup of peppermint tea is being served in the brand new mug your friend made and gave to you!


Thank you so much Elizabeth for the visit and the mug. They made my day!

So, as you can see, in spite of all this rain, things remain fairly sunshiny here at Shenanigans Inc. I just hope we can keep this up for the next five days . . . eeeeeek!

Stay dry everyone.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Happy Birthday, Mr. Man

On the weekend, we celebrated the birth of this dude:

He is so adorable! This is my favourite picture of Elliot because it sums up his entire babyhood: snuggled up close to his mama and entirely unimpressed with the world.  

I have been trying to figure out what I should write about Elliot for his birthday post, and it is hard because I feel like Elliot's story has already been told.We all know about his colicky babyhood, his dare-devil toddler antics, and his unique perspective on the world that makes him oh, so very hilarious and yet very insightful at times. So, I decided last night, in the wee hours of the morning, to simply profess my love to this guy and to celebrate the bright future I see before him.

Elliot, and I have a very special bond. Being such a difficult baby, a busy toddler, and a high-needs child, he has really forced me to stretch as a mother. He has taught me compassion, patience, and love. He has taught me to not sweat the small stuff, to be ready for anything, and most of all, he has taught me to love myself in spite of my faults. Like no other child, Elliot seems to have a way of drawing out my bad side, the impatient mama who is quick to yell and lose her cool, but like no other child, he simply accepts her and loves her. When I lose my cool, Elliot will often wrap his arms around me and ask if I need to take a break. When the other kids tease me because of my quick temper or all the times I make mistakes like forgetting to pack a lunch or to remind them about something important, Elliot is always the first to remind them that I am trying my best. I have only learnt compassion, patience, and love because this is how Elliot treats me. He doesn't expect anything from me. He just loves me for being his mama. Elliot truly is a remarkable person!

When we asked Elliot how he wanted to celebrate his birthday this year, he told us that he wanted one friend over to spend the night. We were shocked! Avery was disgusted.

But that means you will only get one present!

Elliot then explained that he only wanted one friend over because it would be less stressful for him. According to Elliot, having more than one friend over means you spend more time worrying if everyone is having fun or getting along than having fun yourself. Good point! And so on Friday night, Elliot's best buddy Isaac came over for a sleepover, and we took them to see Iron Man 3. They ate frozen pizzas and cupcakes and drank copious amounts of Kool-Aid. This was the easiest birthday party in history, and Elliot enjoyed every minute of it!

Some of Elliot's favourite things right now include:

-the Xbox
-Nerf guns
-popcorn, popcorn, and more popcorn,
-a can of Coke, which his grammie keeps on hand at all times in the event that he may stop in for a visit
-pizza pops, again another treat found at both of his grandmothers and always kept well-stocked in the event of a visit
-the Hobbit movie
-playing army
-comic books

AND . . .

-his Ipod Touch, which enables him to "facetime" with friends

Elliot's future goals:

1. To serve a mission
2. To marry a girl who believes in God (his words)
3. To raise a family

How cute is that? Ever since he was little, Elliot has always talked about getting married and having kids. I love how simple and yet how meaningful each of these goals are. They say so much about Elliot. For being such a young guy, Elliot has a lot of faith and he has a strong testimony of God. Elliot also loves nothing more than the peace, security and love that can be found in a family. Elliot, I know how much each of these goals mean to you and I am confident that you will achieve each and every one of them.

(It is also interesting to compare Elliot's goals with those of his sister and brother. Zoe wants to become a doctor and marry a quarterback from BYU, a Latter Day Saint university in Utah, who will later go on to play for the New England Patriots.  Avery wants to become a professional soccer player, marry a supermodel, and move to Spain . . . tee hee!)

Elliot, I can't believe how grown up you have become. I love how much family means to you and how you insist upon all of us curling up to watch movies together (with popcorn) on a frequent basis. I love how kind you are to your friends and how enthusiastic you are when you play with your brother. I love your energy, your imagination, and your intensity! You are an amazing boy, and I am confident that you will become an even more amazing man when you grow up. Like I told your sister and brother on their birthdays, I didn't think it was ever possible, but I love you more today than the first day I laid eyes upon you.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Man!