Today this wonderful guy is 31: 

(He's the one getting served by all the much smaller, much more children-like people)

If you don't know Kevin very well, or if you do know him but aren't married to him (we can't all be so lucky), I'd like to share some things about someone very amazing:

Thing #1:

Kevin is a truly wonderful dad.

He spends a good part of every day playing games, wrestling, coloring pictures, being a horse/spaceship/student/sick doggie at the vet/2nd grader/etc., and snuggling with our two little girls.  Since we work from home, he regularly counts his blessings that he has the opportunity to be involved in their lives.  I've never known someone to take so much time with their kids; who feels guilty at the end of each day for not spending enough time with them.  It's so important to him.

From left to right, top to bottom: Hiking and getting a big wet one from Hazel; Playing his favorite game in the whole world, hands down;  Trying not to look too excited at Maynard's Vineyard in Arizona (He would lick Maynard's bald head if given the opportunity, or just make out with him); Escorting his mommy (who he loves, so much) down the isle at his sister's wedding rehearsal; Trying to be comfortable in front of the camera with me, his wifey; Hanging out in the boat with his girlfriends (being on the boat is up there in his top 5 favorite pastimes.  FYI); Swimming with his family; Being the best dad ever; A memorable Christmas for Kevin (BTW, Lego Harry Potter is played on this much more than Halo or NCAA Football.  He's just that kind of guy).
Thing #2:
Kevin is an amazing husband, lover, and best friend.  
Some examples of this are:

1. He brings me coffee in my favorite cup, in my bed, nearly every morning.  (If you don't drink coffee, imagine someone bringing you something awesome--like $100--every single morning.  With a smile.
2. He's a great listener.  He'll sit and listen to me ramble on and on for a very long time.  He even knows what I've been talking about and offers advice.
3. He buys me things like dresses, jewelry, and original art for special occasions.  And he buys me flowers when he knows I need a lift.  And he'll get me things out of Victoria Secret (obviously this is for him too), but everything he picks out is my size and style--totally cute.  AND we've almost been married for 10 years and this hasn't slowed down.  Be jealous ladies, be jealous.
4.  He likes to "pop my back," or give me these big, long hugs where he puts his arms around my lower back and squeezes me really tightly.  There's usually a kiss at the end.
5.  He charges my cell phone for me and finds it when I don't give a rat's a** about being available.  He's also very patient about this fact.
6.  He is supportive about everything I do.  For example, he encourages me with school even though it adds extra responsibility and pressure to him, and he responds emotionally to my writing and art.
7.  I trust him, love him, and hope to always be his girl. 

These pics are from his family b-day party last week.

Thing #3

Kevin loves to be where the party is going on.

Although he is shy at first, he'll risk it to be in the middle of a bunch of people who are full of energy.  Something like New Years in Vegas is idea of a great time.  He loves loud, loud, loud music and people crowding one another, laughing and having the time of their lives.  For this reason, he loves concerts.  I think that his background as a drummer (playing drums means LOUD music playing and a LOUD beat and HUGE energy output) gives him this incredible natural high when he is in a small space with tons of people.  He'll get so excited that he literally starts jumping around and does this huge, ninja-turtle smile.
It's adorable to watch.

 Thing #4:

Kevin loves to laugh, and make other people laugh.

A good day for Kevin is writing obscene texts with one of my sisters, usually Aubrie, Heidi, or Dayci.  (By obscene, I mean they say things like, "You're a jerk, freaking poop-head" or something like that).  Then he'll choke, he's laughing so hard, writing back and forth with his buddy Derek--let's see, the other day it was about Derek measuring a canvas print with his... well, you get the idea.  He actually made me stop what I was doing so he could (try) to repeat what Derek said, through his tears.  Later, he'll wrestle with our girls and they'll all be cackling until someone bangs their head against something, and then he'll be bouncing around, making me laugh as we cook, or work together.  The best part of a good day for him, would be watching some stand-up comedy at night, after the kids go to bed.   

Some of Kevin's current/past favorite comedians/funny shows are:
Arrested Development
Kids in the Hall
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock
David Cross
Comedy Central Standup
The Simpsons
Family Guy
Jim Gaffigan
Steve Martin
Bill Cosby

Playing Bocce with his buddy, Charlie.
Thing #5: 

Kevin loves, not just likes, the following random things:
  • Hispanic culture.  More specifically, the accents, skin color, and hair of the women.  He gets all wobbly and distracted around this type of girl.
  • Bjork and Iceland.  Loves the singer (favorite albums are Vespertine and Medulla) and her home town.  I've been trying, without success, to plan a trip there for many years.  Someday.
  • Long, brown hair.  Score!
  • Football.  Watching it, playing it, throwing one, talking about it, listening to people talking about it, wearing jerseys, going to games, and anything else I didn't put on here.
  • Teaching and Leading.  He's very good at this, like, is fantastic.  
  • Creativity.  Feeling the artistic flow and giving himself over to it.
  • Confidence.  Whether it's in himself, a model he's shooting, or just some person.  He recognizes it in people and not only admires them for it, but responds to it.
  • Rebelling against the system.  He likes to make waves and question everything.  
  • Boxer briefs.  Only strange people who desire to be uncomfortable would wear something different.  
  • Original Artwork.  Nothing is more annoying to him than mass-produced artwork.  He likes exclusivity, originality, and the energy that can only come from the artist's hand.  Which is one of the reasons we have only original art hanging in our home. 
  • His photography clients.  He really does.

He loves his girls and niece, Eva, and nephew, Jordan.

Thing #6:

Kevin is super sexy.
In fact, he is only getting sexier with age.  We can't all be so lucky.  I love his eyes, which vary in shades of green, his morning hair, his tattoos, his arms and hands when he gets dressed up in all his rings and bracelets, his scratchy face, and, well, everything else.

Thing #7:

Kevin is like glue, no, superglue.  He holds people together.
My family went through a couple of really rough patches while Kev and I have been together.  With a family full of kids who had been walked out on by not just one, but two fathers, Kevin's presence has always been a reminder that there are good men out there.  It sounds like an easy thing to know, but trust me, it isn't.  Without his calming and loyal influence, things could be a lot different right now.  We're all so thankful for Kevin.  We're all loyal right back.  And I know I can speak for his Missouri family who misses him and are so proud of his accomplishments, his creativity and passion, and his kind and heroic heart.

We love our friend, brother, lover, uncle, son, grandson, and daddy.  

And I love you, sweetheart, always.