1. A few weeks ago I overheard a conversation between Matt and some other guys about how 35 is considered the prime age for male distance runners. Matt ran cross country in college but has since developed different habits like sleeping and snacking on squirt cheese. I wondered aloud (innocently, I promise) what he would be like as a runner in his prime. The next day he ran five miles. It’s only been a few weeks, and he’s already a running machine. I find that both devastatingly attractive and depressing. As he grows leaner, I shall only get rounder, at least for the next five months or so. Alas.
2. Speaking of my growing belly, Matt Parker is delighted at the prospect of fathering four—and even (Lord willing) five—children once the baby comes and we are able to move ahead with our plan to foster-to-adopt a sibling that more closely resembles Mariah. I’ve met more than one man who seems to view children as little burdens to be endured. Within five minutes of our return from a recent anniversary trip, Matt was on the floor teaching the girls to play marbles. I love that.
3. Our dog trainer recently informed me that if Matt Parker ever chose to switch professions, he could put her out of business. We were at an herb garden in Fredericksburg this week where a cat suddenly appeared and followed Matt around for half an hour, meowing and purring as if he’d been reunited with a long-lost friend. Perhaps I should acquire one of those garden statues of St. Francis of Assisi surrounding by adoring animals and paste Matt’s face on it.
4. Matt Parker can do hair. He manages a decent part and pigtails on Merrilee, is much faster at both beading Mariah’s braids and taking the braids out than I am, and uses the dog clippers to do a darn fine Schnauzer cut on Leonard and to cut Miles’s hair, too.
5. Matt Parker always believes that things will turn out GREAT, even at times when circumstances suggest the opposite outcome. This can be frustrating, but I wouldn’t change it. I’m the one who identifies all the possible problems, which brings some balance. Matt is much nicer to be around.
6. Matt Parker loves his mother. And my mother. And mothers everywhere. He’s just one of those sweet, respectful boys that mom really hopes you’ll marry.
7. Matt Parker enjoys visiting new places and trying new foods. When he opens a menu at a new restaurant, his goal is often to try something he’s never heard of. I am just the opposite when it comes to food. If I ever do venture out and order something different, he responds by ordering something he knows I like, just in case things don’t work out and we need to swap. Who wouldn’t love a guy like that?
8. Matt Parker’s Christian faith is both introspective and publicly practiced. He keeps a journal. He reads all the time. He is the most humble man I know.
9. Matt Parker accepts people the way they are and wherever they are in their journey of faith. He doesn’t run from unpleasant situations, even when they involve crying women (I’m told men really dislike that), angry teenagers, convicted felons with long histories of violence and substance abuse, awkward moments with Mariah’s birth family, or all of the above. In spending one day with my extended family, we could potentially encounter all of this—and more!
10. Matt Parker geeks out over Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Even though I act irritated, I find this adorable.
11. After eleven years, I truly feel that Matt Parker loves me more today than he ever has. He has this amazing ability to cast a certain glance or pay just the right compliment that makes me feel that I am, to him, the only woman in the world and dazzling beautiful. I can only hope and pray that our little girls will be loved so selflessly and completely someday.