My husband's beads.

"Will you have 6 kids?" The handsome American eyed me while parakeets chirped by the poolside in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the western tip of West Africa.

I laughed. Was this Hewitt Tomlin's idea of courting me?

32 years and 7000 diapers in October he asked me for a specific birthday gift. Here it is:

My man loves fiercely and his 5 children are his jewels. As of November 2 they are also beads on his masculine, woven leather bracelet.

It is nice to be married to a man whose daily highlights are to chat with his sons in Seattle, D.C. and Chattanooga. Some days I even catch him FaceTiming our daughter who lives 15 minutes away. Our son Lucas who lives at home is his annual companion to Tuscaloosa today. As I am writing this they are seated in the bleachers watching a throw down between Alabama and LSU.

I am grateful that he cares so much.

As a birthday tribute to my man let me say this: thank you!

Thank you for upsetting the calm of our house by your boisterous voice and playful wrestling.

Thank you for every moment you cheered so wildly on the sidelines of our boys' football games that you got thrown off the field.

Thank you for carting our ballerina to ballet lessons and for watching tear jerking chick flics with us on rare occasions.

Thank you for praying for our kids during wobbly teen years and as they now face adult challenges.

May this next year be marked by you experiencing your heavenly Father's delight in you and may you thrive under his attention and care.

To follow May Tomlin's blog, click the subscribe button. To order a copy of her book "Hidden Wings" go to the Books page on this site,

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