Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Daniel is 30!*

In honor of my husband's 30th birthday, I thought I would share with you 30 things I love/admire about him. This list was easy and difficult to write all at once because their are so many great things about him - it's hard to narrow it all down. But here is a Brief Glimpse into Daniel:
  1. He's hot. Have you not seen his eyes or his fabulous smile? Either of them melt me, but combined I am a puppy dog. They're what caught my eye years ago - it was all the rest that intrigued me...
  2. His sense of humor. While it's quite possible that no one besides Zoe and I think he's hilarious... he makes me laugh like no one else can and so I consider him the funniest person I know.

    Photos by Danielle Radon

  3. His optimism. Invariably, when a situation arises Daniel chooses to see the lessons learned, the opportunities available and the light at the end of the tunnel. He is my light, and when he says everything is going to be OK, I believe him.
  4. His intelligence. Whether it's his aptitude for languages, his knowledge of politics and current affairs, or his uncanny ability to quote movies verbatim - I have always loved my husband's mind.
  5. He's a great writer. I can get lost in the words that Daniel writes. Adventure, intrigue, science fiction, fantasy, comedy - he draws you into the worlds and characters he creates.
  6. He's a talented actor. Although he never actually acted until he moved to Bakersfield, he has a natural ability to connect to his characters and fellow actors on stage and he is a pleasure to work with because of his commitment to his roles and the shows he chooses to do.
  7. He's thoughtful. This one seems so self explanatory, but let me give you some examples: When I was really sick a few years ago, he ordered plays for us to watch from home since I was too sick to go out. When we were first dating and I told him about how my grandfather used to take me to old Japanese films, he gifted me a Rashomon DVD. When he sees I'm completely exhausted, he takes over with Zoe and sends me to our room so I can rest. He's mindful of what I need to make me happy or feel better and he makes sure I am too.
  8. He's charitable/giving. Daniel is the guy who cannot turn away helping people. Be it someone on the street who needs spare change or someone he's only barely met (ME) whom he lends enough money to pay for a semester of community college and books. Where he sees potential and/or need he helps if he can.
  9. He's hard working. Whether it's a theatre production, his day job, his writing or changing a really horrible diaper, Daniel juggles it all and I am so proud of him.
  10. He's well read. I tease Daniel about our vast book collection that spans three rooms and 10 bookcases, but I adore the fact that he enjoys books so much and that he exposes me to them. Some of my favorite moments are of him reading Terry Pratchett or Hitchhikers Guide to me.
  11. He's open minded about just about everything. He's taught me to hear both sides and not necessarily come to a conclusion condemning the other side, but to try to understand it instead.
  12. He's always seeking more knowledge through newspaper articles, books, language courses, people, etc. Because of this, he is a great conversationalist.
  13. He's not afraid to be different and he embraces/admires people who do likewise. 
  14. He's creative. Whether it's creative problem solving, coming up with something to do, or making up funny songs to sing to me and Zoe - Daniel's creative mind is always turning and makes my life more colorful and enjoyable.
  15. His language skills. In college he took Japanese and Chinese and studied abroad for both. He has shelves of language books and tapes in Norwegian, French, Vietnamese, etc. He tells this silly little joke about a panda in Chinese - it's always a crowd pleaser.
  16. His laugh. Nothing makes me happier than hearing him laugh, except maybe hearing him and our daughter laugh together. It's infectious.

    Photos by Danielle Radon

  17. His dancing skills. He might not be Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, but he loves to dance and he's fun to watch when he does.
  18. His voice. It's been a while since I've requested this since we're always so tired by the time we get into bed, but Daniel used to give me these mini concerts once we were in bed and trying to fall asleep. Wonderful moments that I will cherish always. His singing voice has resonance and his speaking voice gives me chills of familiarity and warmth of comfort whenever I hear it - especially after a long day.
  19. His passion for teaching/informing. When Daniel and I first started dating, he was constantly drawing graphs and diagrams for me to explain what he did at work on a daily basis. I loved it because my talents lie in the creative/linguistic areas not the mathematical or scientific, but he still saw me as someone who had the aptitude to understand. I couldn't explain what he did to you, but he was able to give me a sense of understanding. He does this whenever the opportunity arises, whether it's helping someone with their Chinese pronunciation or explaining how a program works - I think Daniel's other calling in life is teaching.
  20. He isn't into football, baseball, basketball or hockey... but he does have an interest in fencing and martial arts.
  21. He's patient - with me, our daughter, the crazy dog children, the rude neighbors across the street, etc. While I can be a little "spirited", he approaches stressful situations with ease and understanding that everyone responds to.
  22. He's a true gentleman. I never thought I'd care that much if someone opened all my doors for me, pulled out my chair, led me into a room - but he does and it makes me feel special.
  23. He's articulate. Daniel is comfortable talking one on one and to large groups of people. I admire that he doesn't get all tongue tied like I do and that he can be so entertaining. He's a natural speaker.
  24. He's humble. I don't think Daniel fully realizes how amazing and capable he is - and if he does, he's certainly not smug or conceited about it. 
  25. He's never done drugs. I know that sounds a little odd, but it has always been very refreshing to me that my husband has never smoked pot or done any other drug despite being around people who did. 
  26. He's well travelled. Well, he's been to China, Japan and Belize... but this one time, he was left by a bus in Inner Mongolia. It's a crazy story that he tells with a great sense of humor... and how many people can say that? I look forward to less adventurous travels in the future.
  27. He's a loyal friend who calls some very talented, thoughtful, good people his friends. "A man is known by the company he keeps." I had the pleasure of first meeting some of Daniel's oldest friends a few months into our relationship when he took me to Texas to meet his family. I knew I loved Daniel then, but seeing them all interact as we sat drinking beer and coffee, witnessing their mutual admiration and enjoyment of each other, and getting a glimpse into who they were as people made me love him even more.
  28. His love for his family. I've been around people whose families yell and scream and there's always drama. That is not the type of family Daniel comes from and again, seeing him interact with his family in Texas made me love him even more than I did before we made our first trip out to San Antonio. Seeing him interact with my family and embrace them as his own - completely sealed the deal for me. He loves his family and it is clear that they all love him.
  29. He's a wonderful father. There is no one else I would rather partner with in such an important life step as having children. Daniel is the kind of Dad I think kids dream of having and I know Zoe and Finn are as blessed to have him as I am.

    Photos by Danielle Radon

  30. The way he loves me. Really, there's nothing more to say for this one.

Happy Birthday, love. The world is a better place with you in it. Welcome to your thirties!*

* - Well, tomorrow is actually your birthday but we have this appointment that probably would have prevented me from writing and posting this on the actual day.

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