In December my hubby and I celebrated the eighth anniversary of the day we began to date. So much had changed since that day, and as today is John's birthday I decided to write an open letter to him.
Today marks the eighth birthday that I have had the privilege of celebrating with you. You're another year older; but you're still as gorgeous as ever you were.
It has been said that as people get older, birthdays begin to hold less excitement for them. I am sure you will agree that the excitement doesn't lessen with time; it simply changes. Now that we are adults, the excitement is more to do with the people we share our birthday with, rather than the birthday itself; as well as milestones that we reach and remember at each one.
Over the years since we began dating, we have celebrated a fair few extra special 'firsts' - and your birthday is no exception to this.
In 2009, we celebrated your birthday as boyfriend and girlfriend for the first time.
In 2011, we celebrated you turning the big 3-0, complete with a surprise party and you having full control over our Xbox for your whole birthday. I don't know which was a bigger deal to be honest!
In 2012, we celebrated your birthday as man and wife for the first time. It was a dream come true to become your wife, and buying you a husband card and selection of gifts made me feel so happy. I really thought could never be matched.
In 2014, we celebrated your birthday whilst in the midst of a countdown to our first rainbow baby, and the following year - in 2015 - we celebrated your birthday with our gorgeous daughter. Buying 'daddy from bump', and 'daddy from your little girl' cards surpassed the feeling I felt buying a husband card. My heart was full.
I feel so lucky that it is me who has been around to share in these awesome birthday memories with you. Now, in 2017, we are adding another fantastic memory to that list. This year, we are celebrating your birthday as a family of four. This year, we have two beautiful daughters to wish you a happy birthday.
I look forward to your birthday every year, almost more than my own. I love that celebrating your birthday always involves some of my favourite things - buying, wrapping and giving gifts; organising parties, or days out; and of course more recently, sharing the whole experience with our beautiful daughters.
Having R - who is a massive daddy's girl - around the house certainly makes my life interesting. Everything is all about you! Her joy, and undeniable love for you is amazing. I am so glad that we are able to include her in all aspects of our lives - especially the celebratory parts.
This year has been the first year that she has begun to really understand what events such as Christmas and birthdays are all about. We have had so much fun choosing your presents together, both online and also when we popped out to the shops too. I am grateful that - for once - she hasn't told you what all your presents are. She isn't great at keeping secrets, especially not where you are concerned.
You'll be pleased to know that she even helped me to wrap them, too! So don't mind the wonky tape, loose ribbon and bows that aren't quite central. It's not perfect, but it's special because she helped to do it. I know that her wish to 'help' won't stop there. She will probably want to 'help' you open them, and I know you won't mind. You will let her, because you're a soft touch when it comes to your little girl - just one more thing that I love about you!
I hope that having your two gorgeous girls and me around for your birthday, the presents that we so carefully chose for you and whatever else we get up to today, make your birthday as perfect as it can be this year.
I love you, forever and always, John.