Denten is 33 years old today. His birthday requests were simple and modest. All he really wanted was a new bike rack for Suby. I love when he’s easy to please!
In honor of the guy I married, here are 33 things about Denten:
1. He's mine. Forever and beyond. Perhaps you already knew this, but it's rather important to me.
2. Our first real date involved calling for elk on Cedar mountain. I chose to focus on the romantic fact that we were alone in the forest and not the fact that we were calling out very weird sounds to attract large animals that might one day grace my walls. Oh, shudder. Yes, he was wearing plaid flannel and my, I found him attractive.
3. He is a two-time High School Basketball State Champion. And a legend of some degree in his small hometown. Go Redmen!
4. His hunting weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. He has hunted (and killed) with a rifle, but has since switched gears. My dad says it's because of his native roots. I think it's also because it's more of a challenge. When we lived in New York and he didn't have the hills of Southern Utah to roam, he joined Columbia's archery team. For some reason it was a lot easier for me to support aiming at that target than at a four-legged furry animal. And it's not because I'm any sort of animal-rights activist... I would just prefer that they live somewhere other than with me once they're dead. Archery fits with the deliberate side of Denten. Patient, calm and methodical.
5. Denten thinks before he speaks. Sometimes he thinks for a long time and my brain starts yelling, "just spit it out!" However, this positive trait has given him little, if any, reason to regret what comes out of his mouth. He does not jump to conclusions. He makes decisions thoughtfully. He is straightforward.
6. His physical injuries have included mild sprained ankles, jumper's knee and a separated pinkie finger. Basketball, running, football...
7. He wanted to be an orthodontist when I met him. I'm kinda glad he changed his mind, for selfish reasons. I think legal talk is way more interesting than talk of the mouth and teeth.
8. He is an Ironman.
9. He is a member of the Navajo Nation and is incredibly proud of his heritage. So much so that he has chosen to serve native people as his profession.
10. Denten has a super soft spot for his little girl. He thinks she is the most gorgeous thing that ever walked the earth and if she plays it right, she can get him to say yes. This is potentially very dangerous.
11. He served a mission for the LDS church to Catania, Italy. He spent the entire second year of of his mission on the small island of Malta and had wonderful experiences.
12. While he is often content in his present circumstances, he is always looking ahead, making plans and striving for more and better than currently exists. This is true in our family as well as professionally.
13. He knows how to knit. You very well may have seen him wearing a hat of his own creation.
14. He also cooks. Dare I say better than I do. He takes his kitchen creations very seriously. It is wise not to comment or suggest when he's in the zone.
15. He misses Max. Max Soha's, that is. The only Italian food that has come close to being acceptable to his fine pallet. In fact, the quality and variety of food in New York City is what he misses most. Unfortunately, this is not enough to ever get him to move back there.
16. He doesn't complain.
17. He used to go dancing at clubs quite frequently, and has serious moves. I only got to witness a few times as most of his dancing shenanigans occurred when we were living on separate sides of the country for a summer, but let me assure you- the guy could rip it up on the dance floor.
18. He would be perfectly content living in a small cabin deep in the mountains being a hunting or fishing guide. Unfortunately for him, he married me. I could have been quite content staying in Manhattan... we compromise.
19. Denten eats ice cream almost every night. Always vanilla with some sort of mix-in. He's on a chocolate chip, walnut kick lately.
20. He has a testimony of his Savior and serves him willingly.
21. His family is priority number one, both the one he lives with now and the one he grew up in. He would defend his siblings to the death.
22. He enjoys peanut m&ms more than most other candy.
23. Denten is not a frivolous spender. He does not require a great deal of material possessions. His penchant for quality, however, has increased significantly in the last 10 years.
24. Photography is one of the hobbies that fills his limited free time. He teaches himself, experiments, researches and any of the photos you have been mildly impressed with on this blog have been his handy work, not mine.
25. Dent dreams of driving a big truck one day. He has postponed his dream so that I can drive Dutch. Ironic seeing as I would be happy driving Suby for the rest of my life but three carseats simply don’t fit well in there. So he drives Suby every day and while he doesn’t love her like I do, see number 16.
26. He had 9 different grandparents alive when he was born. He can personally remember four generations of family on his father’s side. Grandparents and his relationship with them are high on his priority list.
27. Denten wears dress clothes to work. Dress pants and shirts, usually a tie and sports jacket.
28. Denten is not a schmoozer. He will not talk a person up and down trying to sell something.
29. He wants the very best for his children. He loves them fiercely and would leave no stone unturned in order to take the best possible care of them. It is not a wise idea to get in his way.
30. He loves me too. He is supportive of my small dreams and ambitions. He is encouraging and never meddling.
31. He is dedicated to his work-out regimen and when I am ready to fall on the couch at night, he’s off to run or ride his bike. He does a great job at not having his workouts interfere with time with his kids.
32. He once drove an armored truck, has worked at a group home for young sex offenders, served as security for the local middle school and worked graveyards at a youth center.
33. His political views began to grow when he left Cedar for the Big City. He leans a little left but is able to see both sides of an issue better than most I know. Whether it’s his heritage, his education or simply his character, he is open-minded and rarely judgmental.
I’m aware that I lead a charmed life, mostly due to this guy, our relationship, the decisions we have made together and our faith. He was ready to get married much earlier than I was. I’m glad he was pushy. Heaven knows where I’d be if I had missed out on this one. I love him to pieces.
This smile came toward the end of a very long, physically exhausting day.
Seneca is just out of the picture, cheering wildly for her daddy.