I’m posting this today because I don’t feel constrained by Valentine’s Day. I’ve been thinking a lot about my beloved friend and wife and put this together. It’s not lovely writing, but it’s heartfelt. She will be very embarrassed, so you should all go to her new blog: http://chickensatthewindow.blogspot.com/ and do your best to keep her blush rosy until I get home.

Her Highness is a mother of six, wife of one, caretaker of seven chickens, folder of endless laundry, cook of great Thai food, reader of countless board books, and translator of Japanese patents.

She grew up with her family in Alaska, the sixth of seven daughters. She graduated from high school, having experienced much the same thing that many terrifyingly smart girls have to face in school: teasing and isolation. Her intelligence had to have been intimidating for those around her, but I believe she fought to find herself in studies, close and careful friendships and then in a year-long student exchange to Japan.

Upon returning from Japan, she enrolled at BYU. With her intelligence spurring her interests to be very wide and varied, she faced a tough choice. Should she major in Geology? Or should it be Linguistics that she focused on? Perhaps Japanese would be an appropriate major. In the end, she decided to study that which would stretch her the most and cause her to step outside of her comfort zone on a daily basis; she opted to major in Theater Arts, with minors in Japanese and Linguistics.

I met Her Highness soon after she had made her choice in majors. We became friends because of our many shared interests. I found her intelligence and uniquely goofy personality appealing. Her determination to not allow herself to have easy opinions or assume anything inspired me even then. It was only after being the best of friends for several months that I realized how fully she had captured my heart.

Don’t get me wrong, Her Highness is a physically pretty woman. Slightly taller than average, her facial structure is quite classic, reminding the viewer of her Danish heritage. She has always tried hard to live with healthy habits, using her particular intelligence and disciplined thinking to cut through dieting trends to find real, practical principles of health. Thus, she stays in good shape and her excellent health shines through her eyes and smile.

She is simply beautiful inside and out. Not flawless, but it is often in flaws that my love for her grows deeper.  With her determined intelligence, diligent opinions and genuinely kind personality, she is a blessing in more lives than her family’s. I have seen her giggling with our four-year-old over a silly book about dancing rhinos. I have watched as she sympathetically listened to our six-year-old girl’s frustration with her brothers. I see my two oldest boys, eight and ten, and detect their remarkable sensitivity and know exactly from where they got that sensitivity. Her patience, while not endless, is stunning.

As is she. I watch her sleep sometimes and feel my heart getting captured all over again. I consider the hours she puts in at the computer screen, poring through Japanese patents and hammering them into English and cannot believe my fortune in finding such a hard-working and brilliant wife. She works with the cub scouts and regularly berates herself for not doing more, although I can’t see how she could possibly do more or better. She keeps our finances in great shape. She is my partner, my teammate, my equal, my colleague, my best friend for all eternity, my lover, my smoocher, and my sounding board. She is also my inspiration (no, turn off that Chicago song please). Without her I would not have already lived so many of my dreams.

I live my dreams each day I get to see my true love, feel her lips on mine, reflect on how there is nobody else out there that could love me and that I could love the way she and I do, and laugh and laugh and laugh. We laugh over silly jokes, have quiet conversations about politics and literature, walk hand-in-hand in darkened theaters, discuss matters both trivial and of eternal significance, apply lotion to her poor hands, sit side by side at our computer watching Community, live a blessed dream together, and I feel like Clapton and want to sing, “You look wonderful tonight.”