Birthday Wishes: A Love Letter To My Husband

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday.

Last year at this time I was dragging him to Vegas for an epic birthday party, complete with a suite and lots of booze. It was as if we knew the upcoming year would test us in so many ways and be so hard that we needed to let off some steam.

This year is different though. I will struggle to bake him a cake, as Lupus has made lifting my arms tough. The kids will make him home-made cards, and he’ll attend a work party for something totally unrelated and I’ll wait up for him to get home so I can kiss him goodnight.

Since his birthday last year he has taken the reigns of this household and become a superman of sorts. Juggling kids, work, and a very sick wife.

He’s managed it not just with ease, but with what he likes to call ‘style and grace.’ He has brought me bags to the hospital of mismatched socks, the wrong underwear, and lotion I didn’t even know we had under the cabinet. But damn if he didn’t try to get it right. He’s made sure the kids were properly dressed for school, even if the kindergartener insisted on wearing two different shoes and the 2nd grader refused to have his hair brushed.

He’s cooked us all dinner while playing silly games. Clucked like a chicken at the table to make us all laugh while Mom was in pain. And read, and read, and read out loud to us all as we cuddled in yet another hospital bed.

In this year I have seen many things. I have seen friends step up to aid my family, I have seen others retreat from the fierce reality that was our lives. But more than anything I have seen this man I married, this scruffy, once long-haired, punk rock boy… be the man he is destined to be.

He’s the guy that gives his wife airplane rides.

Its possible Aaron and I have gotten out of hand tonight

And then tells her how beautiful she is with an orange spa mask on her face, meant to calm the zits popping up from steroids and too much medication.

He’s the guy that insists we all cluck like chickens at the dinner table, and eyes me mischievously when he announces the Icelandic chicken goes BJORKBJORKBJORK.

He’s the guy that promises to spoon feed me pudding in my invalid-ness and whisper how much he still loves me, no matter what. And then write me this:

I will love you in a house.

And I will love you with a mouse.

And in a box.

And with a fox.

and when your funky.

and when I’m drunky.

If I get nothing else this awful year, if I get nothing else ever in this lifetime… I want my husband to get his wishes and dreams. No one deserves them more. And I am grateful every day for the amazing man by my side. Who I’ve watched come into his own over these past 15 years.

It’s sort of lame to say I’m proud of him…because I’m not sure pride is the right word.

I feel like I am witness to a great man. A good man. A man who values his family, and his friends, and his wife. And lives up to expectations where so many others fail. So many times we are disappointed by people. He’s not one of them. And I can confidently say after a year of hell, he never will be one of them.

So many times he could have easily and rightfully buckled under the pressure that was our year. Not only did he stand tall, but he rocked it. He managed to take care of the kids, the house, his job, and his very sick wife with laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. And love. Lots and lots of love.

When people come to visit our home, many of them leave saying the same thing:

There is a lot of love in that house

And they are right.

And it’s because of him.

Happy Birthday Aaron. My love. My hero. My husband. My Superman. My everything. May this next year bring back booze and parties and fun and even more laughter. And I’ll try to throw in hookers and donkeys and blow…but in the meantime I’ve arranged for you to go skydiving on December 31st, 2010. Because we’re ending this year by defying death.



  1. kait b. roe says:

    you defy death everyday, so does he, and so do your kids. thanks for sharing this singular man, even if only virtually.

  2. Oh, my. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day and hope to write something similar to my husband in another thirteen years. Love to you both!
    .-= Tarable´s last blog ..Reverb10- Community =-.

  3. You two deserve each other. And you know I mean that in every possible positive way.

    Happy Birthday Aaron.
    .-= Adriennevh´s last blog ..Winter Frost =-.

  4. We all need to focus on the everyday magic that hopefully exists in our lives vs. always looking outward at what we crave and desire. There are “American Beauty” world views all around us so long as you peer through the appropriate lense.

    I don’t know Aaron but I wish him a wonderful Birthday and continued blessings.

    Cheers, Mark.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to an obviously wonderful husband. That is what marriage is all about – for better or for worse. I’m so sorry that you guys have had to face “your worst” this year, and I pray that things will get better for you. I grew up with a Dad, who was there unconditionally for my mother and his family. It’s a huge gift to you and your children. You make a wonderful, positive team.

    Wishing him and you many more happy memories together!

  6. Oh. I don’t even know what to say, except I am broken down reading this post. Love is beautiful, and you, my friend, are surrounded by it. Just gotta keep pushing past the ugly.



  7. Erica Jones says:

    Wow. That post almost made me cry. I hope the one I’m about to marry will grow to be half the man your husband is. I’m so inspired by y’alls love for each other. Thank you for giving me something to look forward too.


  8. WOOO!! Happy Birthday to Aaron! You are both lucky to have one another, and to love one another.

    My very best wishes to you and your family.


  9. I got incredibly choked up reading this. It’s beautiful.

    Happy Birthday Aaron!
    .-= Colleen´s last blog ..Baby Its Cold Outside =-.

  10. The Chinese chicken goes Wok! Wok! Wok!

  11. Totally crying. And toasting both of you.

  12. I will love you in a house, with a mouse..that is simple yet so beautiful and honest…(cue tears).

  13. “I feel like I am witness to a great man.”

    Indeed, you certainly are. Such a wonderful post. Thanks for letting us see what you see.

    Happy Birthday Aaron!
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..He Still Shines On- Like the Moon and the Stars and the Sun =-.

  14. Oh you bugger – you made me cry. I know the love you too have for each other. It’s amazing. You are both very very lucky and blessed to have such a solid, loving relationship.
    Happy Birthday Aaron. Sending you both lots of love from your favorite SFC. 😉

  15. That was just beautiful. Now I want to go and hug my husband and tell him how much I love him.

    I just like saying it.

    I can see her in that swan dress just a flapping her arms in solidarity.
    Ok, maybe not. But I’ll do it as to a testament to represent joy and living in the moment.

    I need musical help. Cue Mr. Rufus Thomas
    .-= Gena´s last blog ..Listing To Rain and Other Thoughts About Lonlieness =-.

  17. It is awesome to be able to witness the love you have for each other. Happy Birthday Aaron!

  18. This brought me to tears, not of sadness, but of joy.
    Love is real and you two have it and I’m so glad that you do.

    May next year be a blessed one for you both.

  19. Oy, you marrieds.

    *stifles tears*


    .-= Alana Joy´s last blog ..Quality Over Quantity- Screw The Ratio an open letter to the women I love =-.

  20. Thank you once more for sharing the beauty and strength of your family with us. I lost someone I loved who did buckle under the illness and am glad to have found someone who also never will. It means everything when our bodies turn on us to know that our love endures, even as our lives transform. Happy birthday Aaron, and soon to you & Nicky. x

  21. Fogspinner says:

    Well thank you for making me cry. Your year has, in many ways, mirrored the last two years of ours, with the exception that we knew this was coming at us “eventually”. You said all the things I wish I could have so well. I just am not so wordy. 🙂 Thanks for putting it all to words…

    And, Happy Birthday Aaron. I hope you have a great one!

  22. I’ve got something in my eye…
    *tear rolls down cheek*
    .-= The Animated Woman´s last blog ..The BULLY =-.

  23. Beautiful post!

  24. “i’m smarter than the tricks played on your heart, we’ll look @ them together then we’ll take ’em apart. adding up the total of a love that’s true, multiply life by the power of two”

    happy birthday, man. watching the woman you love suffer is a crazy upside down brand of hell. but you are obviously one of us that can see the heaven of it as well. heaven in the light in her eyes when you’re the happy she gets. i honor you both! bring on the booze & blow!!!

  25. hillgrandmom says:

    Beautiful post! *eyes blinded by tears*

  26. *sigh*

    Happy Birthday Aaron!

    Here’s to hoping next year brings the opportunity of a Vegas hangover for you both 🙂
    .-= 24 7 Victoria´s last blog ..Restaurant Review – Del Posto =-.

  27. Very sweet and touching ;).

  28. Awwwwwww! Happy Birthday, Aaron – the great thing about getting older is that you’ll never have to live through 2010 again!
    .-= Velma´s last blog ..In Which My Point is Lost and Anxiety Disorder Rules The Day =-.

  29. Andi Narvaez says:

    Wow Erin. What a beautiful post. Coming from divorced parents its bit difficicult for me to believe all of this can be true but it so is. It’s weird to say that after what you have gone through, you are still one of the most blessed (and I say that not reliiously because I’m not, but in the way I’ve come to understand that term) people I know — even if it’s mostly through blog posts — but if you’re getting plane rides and Icelandic chickens at the dinner table… You are 🙂

    Happy birthday Aaron!! I’ll be there soon for a piece of that bundt cake.
    .-= Andi Narvaez´s last blog ..CALL FOR INTERVIEWEES! Stay together for the kids- How the relationship between PR educators and professionals shapes the destiny of future PR professionals in a fast-evolving- world 20 =-.

  30. Wow. What an amazing man. If only every person were this kind. Thank you for the public love letter. It brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart.

  31. Ok, now I love you both. Seriously. I have been in awe of you, Erin, since I first twitter-met you last year. And yeah, I’d marry Aaron. 🙂 But you should meet MY wife sometime! Just keep her and Aaron apart, as that would be a powerhouse duo.
    .-= Davidgs´s last blog ..Angry Birds! =-.

  32. So incredibly beautiful and touching. Happy birthday.

  33. This is awesome. Happy Birthday to your awesome husband.
    .-= Rachael´s last blog ..Love =-.

  34. Ah Mah Gah. Started getting misty with the plane-ride photo. Totally cried farther into the reading. Love and devotion like this is so beautiful.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Aaron, Happy Birthday! You are truly living up to your name’s meaning: Bringer of Light.

    Felicitations unto you both. May the next year bring awesome.

  35. Aaron is very, very good people. So proud that I know him. So proud that I know you both, actually.
    .-= Lara´s last blog ..Check Me Out! Somewhere Else =-.

  36. What a heart-wrenching, lovely post. I have tears in my eyes for you and your family. I particularly love the point about how you are witness to a great man – I feel the exact same way about my husband and because of that it makes the occasional disappointment in other things seem so much less significant than they perhaps would otherwise.

  37. That is themost lovely thing I have read in a long time – I could feel the love pouring out of the words. You are a lucky woman but on the other side of the coin he is a lucky man to have such a loving wife.
    I wish you many more years of birthdays and love!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..So you wanna come visit =-.

  38. As I sit here wiping the tears off my face, I think how “envious” I am of your life and all the blessings you have, including lupus and especially having a wonderful man, a REAL man, in your life.

    While I have been deeply in love, I don’t think I have ever had that privilege in my life and I wonder if I ever will. I sit here and reflect, if I were asked to trade my good health to be loved, cherished and to laugh like that…? It’s something I would definitely entertain.

    You are a very, very lucky couple and I adore you both!
    .-= Marla´s last blog ..Life After Kids w- Devin Mills 112010 =-.

  39. You are wonderful. You are cherished. You are loved. What the two of you have, I am just beginning to embark on. I wish you both the best and a beautiful 2011.

  40. That is lovely and inspiring. Thanks for sharing! Andrew (To Love, Honor, and Dismay)
    .-= Andrew McAllister´s last blog ..Dismaying Story 133- What If He Didn’t Actually Break Up =-.

  41. Oh. I love it. Happy birthday to both Vests this past week!
    .-= Rita Arens´s last blog ..A Reader Touches Me =-.

  42. What a beautiful post! Seriously you invoke such emotion in me with your writing! I’m fortunate enough to be married to a crusty,sarcastic, tough as nails on the outside sort of guy, a fellow who would crawl across hot coals if it would mean making things better for me. Guys like these, your Aaron and my Mike are a rare breed indeed.

    Happy Birthday Aaron!
    .-= Jean´s last blog ..My Best Friend Fish Big Splash Twitter Party =-.

  43. This is beautiful. I love that you truly have a partner and friend.

  44. Oh so yes.
    You are both blessed.
    Sending love and prayers and more love to y’all.

  45. love is greater then every thing,jan i love u soooooooooooo much,and plz who read this text plz pray for me plz,need ur prayers to achieve my love,without any problem .need ur prayers

  46. I love it !! Its really touching, your so lucky both for each other. May you be bless as always.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erin Kotecki Vest, Kathy Jacobs, MFA Mama, Lisa Armstrong, Joanna Ciolek and others. Joanna Ciolek said: Now I need to write a "get off your ass" letter to mine Darn it >> RT @QueenofSpain: I wrote a luv letter 2 my husband […]

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