As a side note here, I totally get the whole home birth movement, and more power to those women. However, since Jason was 12 pounds, his brother 10, and my brother 9 (I was a tiny bean compared to all of them, at 7 lbs 12 oz), and since Jason and I both have huge, round heads, we are definitely going the hospital route. We aren't taking chances. [I'd apologize for the tangent, but I can never say I'm sorry for talking about us having babies! Hasten the day, Jesus!]
I decided a long time ago that, since Jason is not the type to enjoy a surprise party, I would do something a little bit more his style to celebrate his 30th birthday- honor him in a way that people can enjoy without putting lots of awkward social pressure on him. So, I am posting here. This is my tribute to celebrate three decades of truthfully the most amazing man I know.
I was enamored with him the second I stumbled across his blog, but having spent nearly four years seeing him grow into a mature and wise man whom I love more every day (even when we fight! In fact, especially when we fight, because he's increasingly humble and repentant) makes me unable to even fathom that which I might say of Jesus' work in this man I am honored to call my husband 30 years from now, Lord willing that we live that long.
So, without further ado, enjoy this photo montage celebrating the life of my beloved husband, Jason Jay Hagglund. I love you, Sexy Mojangles!
#30 - Beloved Son
I LOVE these two pictures. Wasn't he such a cute baby? The top one is Jason with his dad, Roger, rockin' the '80s stache. The bottom one is his mom, Sherry, having some snuggle time with her baby boy. The one with his mom, in particular, makes me a little breathless- to see the man I am married to as a little toddler, vulnerable yet safe in his mother's arms... there aren't words. I get choked up and can't talk, or, apparently, type. How odd to think that there will be pictures like these of Jason and myself with our little boy, and someday he'll be married...
#29 There's a Reason Why Jason Married Tami-No-Pants
I'm probably going to be in a bit of trouble for this one... but come on! Hilarious! As most people close to us (and, I guess EVERYONE now) knows, my nickname from my roommates when I was in Teach For America was Tami-No-Pants. It means what you think- I don't like wearing pants. When I'm home, I like to walk around in my underwear. Jason is the polar opposite of me- he's a few degrees shy of being a never nude (Tobias Funke fans, anyone?). Still, as these photos from his youth prove, he wasn't always this way.
As an aside, I love that last pic, because he still stands exactly that way with his hands on his hips, even as a grown man.
#28 - Two words: Seattle Seahawks. Ok, two more- BOO YAH!
I love the Seahawks. I mean, LOVE them. After Jesus, there are few things I love so much as a good football game, and the Seahawks are my favorite. I will loathe the cheating refs from Superbowl XL until the day I die (another thing Jason and I have in common- mutual distaste for a sports writer who dogged on that Seahawks team is a large part of how we met!). The fact that my beloved man was sportin' the Seahawks love so young just amplifies my love for him ;)
#27 - Mariners Nut
Jason will be the first to tell you that, while football is my favorite sport, his favorite sport by a long shot is baseball. Before he had better ways to spend his time (on, you know, a wife and stuff) he was the guy who poured over Mariners blogs and statistics. He'll go on (and on and on and on and on!) about why batting average is an almost useless statistic, and why OBP (on base percentage) yields far more useful information. I give him a hard time about it, but I actually love this about him! He's a nerd for baseball, and being the rabid sports enthusiast that I am, it only makes me love him more. The man's favorite book is Moneyball... never heard of it? Only nerds have. It's ok. :)
The above pic is special, because one of the first things J did when I moved here to Seattle (from North Carolina, where I'd been teaching for two years, though I spent the entirety of my life before that in eastern Washington state) was take me to my first Mariners game. We were cute in our matching M's caps!
#26 - First Date
Jason is great for remembering details. For one, he remembers important dates in our relationship better than I do. Even better, though, is that he often remembers things I say and surprises me with some sweet gesture later. Case in point- this picture was taken on our first official date, on the waterfront in downtown Seattle. He remembered me saying at some point that I love fresh seafood, so when I flew out to meet him in person in January of 2007 he surprised me with a date at Ivar's (one of Seattle's more popular local chains, known for its delish seafood). He didn't go cheap and take me to the fast food version of Ivar's, though- he took me to the one down on the pier. Smart man knows me well- it was local, with fresh seafood, a Seattle staple restaurant, but also unpretentious. We wore our hooded sweatshirts (in my defense, I boarded a red-eye flight from Seattle to Atlanta about two hours after this pic was taken!) and no one cared.
I love this picture of us, in part because it was the first one of us together, but even more so because I'm reminded of the various details that went into Jason carefully planning this date. Since it was our first, he wanted to make it special. And he did, even if I accidentally saw the e-mail confirmation of the Ivar's reservations :) Ok. Enough gushing. Oh, but bonus- check out the Zags gear. Yet another reason we're soulmates :)
#25 - Hard Working Man
One reason I love Jason? When he knows what he wants, he works hard to make it happen. He knew almost right away that he wanted to marry me (that picture was taken just after he proposed). We were talking marriage before we even met face to face. The second time I saw him in person, 2 1/2 months after our first date, and only 9 months after first stumbling across his blog, he was on one knee, proposing to me. He worked 90 hours a week for the better part of a year in order to buy my ring, move me to Seattle, and pay for our wedding. Don't get me wrong- I worked really hard, too! But teachers can't make a lot of extra cash, so Jason took it on himself to work hard and get me here with him.
To this day, when I look at my ring, I am reminded that Jason made a conscious decision to work really hard and put a diamond on my finger. He didn't go the cheap route and order some online special (a mistake he made with a girl he proposed to before me but didn't love), and he didn't hide behind lame excuses about diamonds being greedy and worthless and get me some plain band. He decided that he loved me and he wanted to put a beautiful ring on my finger and he was going to work his butt off to make it happen.
I love that. I never cared much for diamonds, and to this day if I never own another piece of diamond jewelry I'll be more than fine. But my ring is special. It's not about size (though it's a nice one!) or making a statement; it's about the fact that when our Lord Jesus said to Jason that I was the one, he worked with integrity and honor to make me his wife. My ring represents all of that.
#24 - Goodbye, Ghettro!
Speaking of working hard, there was a time in our marriage when the Ghettro (ghetto + Metro) was my car. Jason hated it, especially because in one of Pastor Mark's sermons he remarked that a man who loves his wife doesn't let her drive a Geo Metro (because, you know, they're a death trap on wheels!). Pastor Mark was joking, but Jason took it to heart and decided that there was no way he was going to let that remain my car, so once again he busted his tail in multiple jobs so I could drive something safer. I was working as a nanny at the time, while trying to recover from a herniated disk, so he also wanted to get me into something that was less jarring on my wounded back.
I still don't drive a fancy car, because we don't believe in taking out car loans (we believe they exist, but we think they're a waste of money! Pay in cash! If you can't afford it in cash then you can't afford it! That's our motto, and it's why we have no credit card debt, or any debt other than student loans). Anytime I feel sorry for myself that I don't have a cute new Honda Civic Hybrid or Honda Insight I remember what I used to drive and thank God for a husband who works hard!
#23 - Avid Amateur Photographer
I just realized that at this rate this will be a gazillion thousand word post, so I'ma make 'em shorter.
This picture is on there because I love that Jason still likes to take pictures on film cameras with manual controls. A bit of a dying art. I also love this pic because he looks super hot.
#22 More Photographer... And Other Reasons ;)
Sure, he's taking pictures with his manual camera in this pic, too. And yeah, the view from the lake house where I lived for two years (Lake Gaston in northeastern North Carolina, for you who are curious) is pretty great. Neither of those are why I love the view in this picture, though :)
#21 - He Thinks I'm Beautiful... And He's Human!
I remember this well- he was looking at me and got a bit husky and said, "You are so incredibly beautiful. I can't believe I get to marry you." Then we fought because I put on lip gloss and he hates kissing me when I have it on my lips. Ah, the humanity!
#20 - He Thinks I'm Cute When I get Mad
He thinks it's funny when I get mad at him and make my angry face. He's not in this one, yet this picture always makes me think of him because I took it at his request, so he'd have my "angry face" saved forever. Only a husband can think that face is cute!
#19 - Seeing the Atlantic Ocean Took His Breath Away
When we finally got to a good, long stretch of beach and stood on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, he was quiet. No false bravado. He recognizes that he's small, our God is very big, and something like the vastness of the ocean reminded him of how blessed we are to know and serve the Creator.
I remember driving on, but then pulling off to the side of the road, sitting in silence and marveling at the beauty of creation as the sun set, lighting the sky on fire (as captured in the second picture). It was so beautiful he couldn't drive anymore- he had to stop and drink it in. I love that about him.
There's a picture of us together, at the same spot from the first picture of the beach, thrown in for good measure :)
#18 - He's A Hottie!
Those are my 3 favorite engagement pics. Why? Because he looks way hot in all of them, that's why!
#17 - He's Always Seen Me For Who I Am In Christ
This picture is full of smiles, but man, it was humiliating. It took me FOREVER to climb to the top of this gorgeous bluff on Banks Lake in central Washington state. I was 330 pounds, and everyone else finally got tired of waiting for me and went on ahead. I didn't let anyone see, but I was ashamed and in tears. Jason stayed with me and reassured me that he loved me and he'd stick with me and help me get to the top of that mountain if it took us all night.
Today, I weigh a lot less and don't think I'd have much trouble making it up that same mountain. Praise God that Jason's love for me isn't contingent upon my health; that said, I'm grateful that his love isn't merely unconditional. Unconditional love would say, "Tami, you're morbidly obese. I love you just as you are. If you want to keep killing yourself, go ahead, I love you no matter what." Jason's love is better, because it reflects Christ's love. He does love- and always has loved- me right where I am, but that love includes the exhortation to worship Jesus and get healthy. I'm thankful that I am getting healthy, and that Jason is getting to experience the joys and benefits of a healthy wife. It's not that he deserves it- it's God's grace no matter what. That said, I'm still glad that God's grace to us includes me losing weight and getting healthier and, hopefully, living a long, active life together.
#16 - He Still Gets Choked Up About Wedding Day
Jason's not a big crier. But he was full of tears spilling over the day we married, and, almost three years later, he still stops every now and then when he sees a wedding picture of ours and says, "You were so incredibly beautiful on wedding day." He tells me I'm more beautiful now (smart man!), but it always makes my heart a little more tender. I wasn't happy with myself on wedding day, weighing over 300 pounds, but knowing that Jason thinks I was and am beautiful reminds me that it's about so much more than how I looked! It's about our lifelong commitment to one another, a commitment we were overjoyed to make.
We could hardly wait to be married, just because it would be set in stone that we were going to spend our lives pursuing Jesus together. Whenever I feel bad about how much I weighed on wedding day, I look at our eyes, see them shining with love, and remember that not only does my husband think I'm beautiful in those pictures, but that precious day did seal our commitment to one another, before God and man, and I'm blessed to be spending my life with this incredible man.
#15 His Kisses Take My Breath Away!
That wedding picture is my favorite. It captures well my heart toward Jason- that I can get lost in him with a simple kiss. The one below it is precious, because one of my favorite things about Jason isn't just that he kisses my lips and makes me weak, but that he frequently will tenderly kiss my forehead. There's something so vulnerable, yet so comforting, about that. It reminds me that I am precious to him, his treasure. Women ache for that kind of love, and in Christ I have found it with a husband who adores me. I'm one blessed sister!
#14 Our Honeymoon Pics All Have Him With a Hickey On His Neck
Two words: funny. business.
#13 He Detests Che Guevara
Che Guevara was a murderer- he should be associated with genocide, not heroism. Jason despises the hype, where people focus on the anti-establishment attitude and idolize a man who committed atrocious acts against human beings. Che Guevara is no hero. Jesus is a hero. Jason gets that.
#12 I Get To Know The Silly Guy In Him
Most people think of Jason as a mostly quiet, albeit very well spoken and articulate, man. He is certainly all of those things! He's also a silly loon, and other than our future children, no one else gets to see that side of him! You can get a small hint from these photos (I will be hearing about posting these, by the way! All in love, my dear, all in love!)
#11 I Also Know The Deep, Thoughtful Man In Him
Jason could be accused of many things, but thoughtless is one accusation that would never hold any water against him. Jason knows what he believes, why he believes it, and, even when it drives me nutty, serious consideration into the gamut of ramifications is prerequisite to him ever changing his stance on something! I can't tell you how many arguments we've had about things so simple as to whether to make the pancake batter a little more thin than the recipe calls for. At the end of the day, though, I'm blessed to be married to someone who reminds me that it's important to be thoughtful and intentional... and, after nearly 3 years with me, he's learning that being flexible is pretty darn beneficial, too :)
#10 He's A Tender Hearted Servant
I know I am a silly girl, but I enjoy having things that come in sets stay in full sets. So, when this glass of milk went kaboom, my set of 8 perfect short glasses to go with my 8 perfect tall glasses dropped to an imperfect set of 7 glasses to go with my now-marred set of 8 glasses. Just a horrible mess!
I took this picture so I'd never forget this moment- the glass fell, I started crying as I tried to clean it up (I already admitted I'm a silly girl, ok? And no jokes about crying over spilled milk are necessary!), and he tenderly took my hand, led me to sit down on the couch, kissed my forehead (remember #15??), and wordlessly began to clean up. Such a sweetheart!
And, because I love you all, I'm not including pictures of it, but when our sewage system backed up (tree roots blocked the main line) in this same apartment, and the plumber literally pulled a Who Flung Poo?: Spots on the Wall all over our bathroom, guess who refused to let me clean it up? Yup. My darling husband! In my defense, I tried, but I kept gagging, and so he would have none of it. That is masculinity right there ;)
#9 In His Mind He's a Pro Athlete
If there were such a thing as a genie in a bottle, and Jason got three wishes that had to directly benefit him (no lie- he's the kind of guy who would immediately look to bless others. Probably me first, but still- he's selfless that way!) I think somewhere in those three would be that his profession is star pitcher for the Mariners. I love this picture because you get a little glimpse into a fantasy that gets to come to the surface a wee bit when he lets his guard down :)
#8 He Thinks Date Night Is REALLY Important
I remember this night well- Jason, on a date night, insisted that I just had to experience the beach in downtown Kirkland. We lived on the eastside at the time (for you non-Seattleites, east side means east of Lake Washington, which borders the eastern half of Seattle; it's where Bellevue / Kirkland / Redmond [ie Microsoft] / Bothell [where we lived for our first year of marriage] are), and when he worked for a dinner/catering delivery service he would often marvel at the way Lake Washington came alive at night, with the skyline of Seattle dotting the horizon, and he needed me to experience it with him.
He'll be the first to admit that he struggles to be creative with date night planning, but it's simple things like this- taking me somewhere he loved so we could experience it together- that remind me what a wonderful man he is. I think that's why God blessed him with a woman whose idea of the perfect date night is a Mariners game, replete with garlic fries and a Pyramid Hefeweizen on tap, then coming home and playing the new Super Mario Bros on the Wii together with steak hot off our grill :)
#7 He Puts Up With My Incessant Picture Taking...
He looks happy in these pictures, but, really, in all of them he was rather annoyed and so over me taking pictures! But, he puts up with it, and he's increasingly less reticent to admit that he's glad we have pictures documenting our life together :)
#6 ... But Sometimes I Capture His True Feelings On Camera
Just because he does like having the pictures doesn't mean he enjoys taking 'em. He's toning down his displeasure in this one, if you can believe that!
#5 He Looks Good All The Time
These pictures were just taken two days ago, and only an hour apart. I was a bit sad at first when he came home with his hair so much shorter than I expected, but then I was comparing the before and after pics and realized that he's super hot in both, though he barely looks like the same person! Still... I've said it before and I'll say it again- Jason's a hottie!
#4 He Drives
When I was in college, pretty much the greatest driving compliment given me was that I drove with the confidence of a guy. And yet-- there's something so sexy to me about the man being the one who drives! Jason does. It's hot.
#3 He's Gonna Be A Great Daddy
I've dreamed of being a mama since I was a little girl. I knew that the man I married had to be prime daddy material, and Jason is just that. I can't wait to be his baby mama ;)
#2 He Loves Jesus First, Then Me
So I can't include a picture of him with Jesus, but this is one of my favorite ever of us. Because Jason pursues Jesus, he is humble, repentant, and an incredible husband. I thank God for him literally every day.
#1 He's A Turnin' 30
If you couldn't figure it out, this picture was taken one year ago today, celebrating the last year of Jason's 20's. This year, we get to celebrate his entry into his 30's.
Jason, you are an amazing husband. I am blessed and honored to spend my life pursuing Jesus with you. I hope this little public foray into the joy of marriage with you blesses and honors you. I adore you, Jason Jay Hagglund! Praise God that 30 years ago today he chose to bring you into this world! I love you!