Happy Birthday Catee!

We have been very delinquent in updating this blog and promise to do a better job moving forward.

Tonight, I (Dave) am writing a post because Catee is away in Africa for work - this time she is going to Kenya, Burkina Faso and Mali.  

A lot has happened both with the house and with our lives.  I'll post some updates about the house in my next post and Catee will write more about her new job with Family Care International when she returns.

Today, I wanted to write to my best friend, my companion, my wife.  Today (June 12th) is her birthday and sadly we are not able to spend it together... but, we are used to that at this point.  Unfortunately, we probably have spent more birthdays apart than together - Catee always seems to be either in Haiti or Africa for our birthdays.

Catee and I had our one year anniversary two weeks ago.  Since we just bought the house, we decided to save some money, stay close to home and spend the weekend in Montauk.  It was a special weekend because although it was very low key, we didn't do much planning and the weather was pretty shitty (lots of ran and unseasonably cold), we had a wonderful time and it reminded me of why I love my wife.  

Leading up to the trip Catee and I were both too busy between our jobs and managing renovations to plan much, so being the planner I am, I was a little nervous about not making dinner reservations or planning more.  So, we went with a hotel reservation, a desire to show my wife where I spent my summers when I was little and a vague idea that we wanted to go surfing, but that was about it.  We arrived and it was pouring, cold and the Montauk I remembered from my childhood now looked very different. But, instead of disappointment, we made the best of it and had a great time as we always do.  We ended up exploring parts of the island I had never seen,

we went for a run in the rain along the beach, 

and surfed in freezing water.  

To some this might sound like hell - and until I met Catee I would have also thought it was hell - but for me it has become bliss.

I was re-reading our vows from our wedding and I thought it was worth posting them here today on Catee's birthday and a year and two weeks after our wedding.

I love you when you are leaving,

leaving to go work,

to go to the store,

to go to yoga,

to go to South Sudan.

Catee in Sudan - if you can read Spanish check out this blog entry by Catee http://www.elmundo.es/blogs/elmundo/cronicasdesdeafrica/2010/03/26/jonathan-el-afortunado.html

But, I love even more when you are returning.

I love you because you push me to be better.

I love you because you think I can be better.

But I also love you because you just love me for how I am.

I love you when you beat me mercilessly at scrabble - I promise to play scrabble with you even if you beat me every time

I love when you snowboard, floating through trees, 

Catee shredding at Snowbird, Utah

hiking up peaks, leaving me sweaty in your trail

Catee leaving Dave in her tracks while climbing Mary's Nipple at Grand Targhee, Wyoming

I promise to be your partner in crime, your fellow adventurer and to follow you up every peak and down every shoot.

Catee and Dave (sweating) after Climbing Mary's Nipple at Grand Targhee, Wyoming

I love your love for untracked powder and the road less traveled.

I love you when you talk passionately about public health - especially how fired up you get when talking about harm reduction

The guy in the middle is Paul Farmer (if you don't know him try Wikipedia or read Mountains Beyond Mountains)

I love your love for a challenge, whether its a marathon or an emergency missions in Africa.

I love that you challenge me to be a better person, not a better person who I am not, but a better me.

Happy birthday Catee.

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