Today is special. Really special.
Every year as spring dawns, we celebrate the day my wife, Amanda Lynn (Wigington) Cooper, took her first beautiful breath. And even though I wasn’t actually present that first Mandy-fied April 7, it still ranks at the top of my list of all time favorite calendar moments.
Today is a milestone birthday for Mandy. But instead of just telling you her age, I thought I’d take this post to share with you one thing I love about this woman for every year she’s been alive (and sorry, no numbering, you’ll just have to count).
Just a few of the many things I love about the birthday girl…
…the way she still turns my head every time she walks into a room.
…how she never wanted to marry a pastor, but plunged courageously ahead when this accountant felt propelled into full-time ministry.
…her quirky inability to screw the top back on a medicine bottle.
…her endless, and often unnoticed, expressions of love for our three children.
…her radar-like sensitivity to the continued (and often crazy) leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
…how stunning she looks when she wakes up in the morning (and how grateful I am that it’s next to me).
…her flawless restocking of our home’s coffee inventory (she knows the language of my heart is caffeinated).
…the way catching her eyes can still make me feel all funny inside.
…how her presence in my life has made me exponentially better than I actually am.
…her unwavering clarity in a moment of crisis.
…her culinary exploits (it’s a miracle I’m not fatter).
…her ability to always find the bargain (there’s a 93% chance she’ll return my birthday present and re-buy it when it goes on sale).
…the way she never backs down from a crazy idea.
…her endless supply of Jackie Onasis sunglasses properly perched on top of her head.
…her support for my action movie addiction when I know she’d much rather be watching HGTV.
…her unmitigated desire to serve people. Any people.
…her unique ability to creatively envision exactly how a room should be laid out and decorated.
…her unwillingness to be intimidated by things she doesn’t understand.
….the way the setting sun reflects off her olive skin.
…the way so many of her dreams have un-begrudgingly morphed into undying support of mine.
…her relentless passion for hurting people (or dogs, or injured birds, or baby rabbits…).
…her take charge and kick butt attitude.
…her overactive sense of smell (at times an unfortunate gift).
…the fact she chose me and my geeky round glasses (her vision isn’t as good as her olfactory sensors).
…the way she could still grace the cover of any fashion magazine.
…coming home to find her on an extension ladder or hanging off the roof with a hammer or some other random power tool (thank God someone can fix things around our house).
…the way I see guys pretend they’re not looking at her when she walks through the mall (yeah, she’s with me).
…her disdain of losing (which makes family game night very entertaining).
…the way she wildly cheers for our kids without caring what the other parents think.
…her relentless ability to finish a project (if you want something done, ask Mandy).
…her iced tea addiction (hey, there’s a lot worse things to need rehab for).
…her crazy ability to stretch a dollar (she was born to be a pastor’s wife).
…her unwillingness to take no for an answer (a characteristic we’ve strangely noticed in our 5 year old son).
…her choice to still be there when I come home each night.
…the way she laughs (literally out loud) at Steve Correll and Will Ferrell (“I feel like I’m on crazy pills!”).
…watching her try to learn how to use new technology.
…when she pretends to like the presents I buy her (all while plotting their best return value at Kohl’s).
…the way she puts her makeup on in the rear view mirror while she’s driving.
…the way all of you can’t believe how many of these things you’re counting because you honestly thought she was about 26.
…her undying love for God and His church, even when it’s scary and painful.
And the list could keep on going, but she’s just too young! Happy birthday my love. Thank you for being my greatest gift on your birthday.