Today is Ben’s 40th birthday! He’s not a big fan of aging, but fortunately, he’ll be young at heart forever, because that’s just the kind of person he is. He brings such a light, joyful feeling of fun wherever he goes, and every day, I feel so thankful I get to spend life with him. In honour of his 40th birthday, the girls and I put together a list of 40 facts about Ben that others may not know:
1) He brought the “Lord of the Rings” books along on our honeymoon for me to read. He was okay with marrying me before I’d read them, but it was understood that I would need to read them as soon as possible after our wedding!
2) He’s been told many times that he has a great “radio voice”.
3) He eats fruit, yogurt, and homemade granola for breakfast every single day, except on Saturdays, when he makes pancakes for everyone, ending with a couple of cheese pancakes for himself (which looks as gross as it sounds, but he has the most satisfied look on his face as he sits down to enjoy them!)
4) He has endless plots in his head for all the books he’s going to write someday.
5) Ben juggles whenever we need our kids to sit still to have their nails trimmed.
6) He is very easy-going and will eat whatever I make. We were married for five years before I found out that mushrooms are one of his favourite things to eat.
7) He almost died when he was born. He was all blue, but was able to be revived.
8) Decided 10 years ago that he didn’t need to take a second helping at meal times, and has stuck to it ever since.
9) He never remembers lyrics to songs, but just makes up his own.
10) He has a scar on the back of his head from when he pulled a highchair on top of himself when he was little, and a scar on his ear from when a girl bit him during a college soccer game.
11) He has been banned from donating blood because he passed out afterwards too many times. (He always likes to clarify that it’s not because he’s bothered by needles, it’s just the way his body responds each time.)
12) He loves eating jam/cheese/ham sandwiches.
13) He started drinking coffee when he did his Masters eight years ago, and has never stopped.
14) Has always been proud of having three names and winning the longest name contest in college. It was his goal to name our kids very long names, as well.
15) He collects sports jerseys from other countries.
16) Is much more nostalgic than I am, and has a very hard time getting rid of anything.
17) Is very active in his sleep, and woke me up in the middle of the night by punching me in the head on our honeymoon. He has tidied up the room while sleeping, but my favorite will forever be the time he leapt out of bed, crouched by the door in a Spiderman pose, peeked out into the hallway, and whisper-yelled, “There’s someone in the house!!!”
18) He will never tell us when he’s not feeling well – I’ll just hear the Advil container rattling in the far corner of the house.`
19) Is the best gravy and mashed potatoes maker ever.
20) Most common expressions included: “We’ll worry about it when the time comes”, “Stop stressing Mom out”, and “You can never show someone too much grace.”
21) Loves watching Star Wars or Star Trek, but will also happily watch and sing along to all the songs on High School Musical or Phantom of the Opera.
22) Dreams of being on The Amazing Race Canada, as soon as he can figure out how to make his backstory sound emotional/controversial enough.
23) Has an uncontrollable, extremely contagious giggle whenever he is highly amused by something.
24) Is a far better cook than me because he just makes everything up and doesn’t follow a recipe.
25) Does the best accents and voices, although he refuses to do a repeat performance of “Poonja”, a lady he made up one night when he was exceptionally overtired and wrapped himself up in bed sheets. But “Five Little Monkeys” is always read with a Russian accent.
26) Once gave someone a fake phone number, rather than tell them he didn’t actually want to keep in touch.
27) Is allergic to antibiotics, and turned a lovely shade of fuschia for a week the last time he took some.
28) Has written a 50,000 word novel, but hasn’t gotten around to editing it yet.
29) Loves trying any kind of unusual sauce, dressings, dips, or seasonings, and potlucks are his favourite way to try many different foods all at once.
30) He’s always in the middle of a book, preferably fantasy, but he also enjoys reading anything about leadership or mentoring.
31) Even though he’s over six feet tall, he has short legs, and gets most of his height from his torso.
32) Is a light sleeper, and gets up every time one of the kids calls during the night, while I sleep through everything.
33) Makes up “Pete Stories” every weekend morning when Everett wakes him up, just as he did for our girls when they were little.
34) Enjoys every kind of sport, from hockey (his favourite) to yoga (to humour me!)
35) Enjoys any music with acoustic guitar, but is always ready for a kitchen dance party to the girls’ favorites, including anything Disney or Taylor Swift.
36) Will never set his alarm at an even number – it always has to be some random number like 6:43.
37) Was an extra in a movie when he was a kid, which happened to be one of my favourite movies when I was a kid!
38) Enjoys hot baths with his Kindle reader in a Ziploc bag.
39) Loves trying adventurous things like sky diving or repelling down cliffs.
40) Won an Elvis impersonation contest. As I was making this list, it struck me how all these things seem so normal to me, and yet they’re just all the funny little things that make Ben who he is, and I want our kids to know them and remember them. I also realized that most of them could be summed up by saying Ben loves to try anything fun, new, and unusual. He doesn’t get set in his ways, and is able to have such a cheerful, easy-going attitude because he stays flexible, and is always open to trying something new, while still valuing the old, if it’s worth valuing.
He is balanced, wise, slow to speak, but quick to cheer up and encourage. Every time he walks in the door, the whole atmosphere of our home changes. I’m so proud of him for all he’s experienced in the 40 years he’s enjoyed so far, and I anticipate many great things in his future – either because they will come to him, or because he will create them.