Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy 50th!!!

Today is my husband Keith's 50th birthday! I love being married to such an wonderful artist. Most of you have seen some of his stained glass work, but Keith is also a talented photographer (he attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara for a year), a fine woodworker, and an excellent teacher. Basically, he can do anything artistic with his hands. He has sewn me clothing in the past and has been working on a quilt for Timothy's room. He has designed and made most of the furniture in our home, including tables, bookcases, beds, dressers, etc. At our old house, he tore off the back third of the house and totally rebuilt it to match seamlessly with the remainder of our 1914 Craftsman home. He has made me wooden pens, has sandblasted a gorgeous stone into the shape of a heart for me with "I Love You" carved into the surface, sandblasted beautiful thick glass with seashell designs for my parents' home, made clothing for Elizabeth (a bolero jacket to wear with her gown for ballroom dancing), built a Victorian-inspired treehouse for the kids, and made a beautiful cheval mirror for his mother which we now have.

(Adema stained glass window, completed Fall 2008)

Keith's job of designing and drafting plans for custom homes disappeared almost overnight last year with the economy, but he has been working industriously on handiwork of all kinds: tiling bathrooms, repairing or replacing windows and doors, laying a brick patio at my parents' cabin, repairing and retiling fireplaces, painting interiors of condos and homes, and whatever else comes his way. He will be repairing the broken panes in our church's stained glass windows soon, and he just completed and delivered a gorgeous stained glass sliding door for our doctor's and his wife's bedroom; they were the ones who ordered and purchased Keith's huge masterwork of stained glass (above) last fall.

(Brick deck at my parents' mountain cabin)

He is amazingly talented, practically a perfectionist in art and work, and spends time building online relationships with people from foreign countries, especially in East Asia, so he can share his faith with others. He takes an active part in our home school, driving the three older kids down the hill with him so they can meet with their math tutor so that I can have an afternoon free of home schooling once per week. Keith is also learning Japanese with Jonathan at LiveMocha. Such an ambitious pair!

(Keith tiling a bathroom in black and cream marble for a client)

And besides doing all of this work to provide for our family, Keith is also Head Chef in our household. I can make dinners, but Keith creates meals that often rival some of the better restaurants. His English Toffee has become the addiction of many of our friends and family, and he bakes the holiday pies every year for both sides of the family. His soups are amazing; I've stopped ordering Tortilla Soup at restaurants because his recipe is incredible. On Monday he made a Cream of Roma Tomato Soup with roasted tomatoes from his brother's garden, plus roasted garlic cloves and onions -- delicious! In the past, I cooked for the family because I had to, but since I became ill and fairly useless after 4 PM, Keith has taken over most of the meals, and he also involves the kids in preparation and cooking as well. My favorite meal of his is Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken with White Wine Sauce, served with Dilled Red Potatoes, Green Beans Almondine, and either Dark Chocolate Mousse or Boston Cream Pie. Pure decadence!
(Keith's Boston Cream Pie)

So I wish Keith the very happiest of birthdays today: the Big 5-0! I love you and think you're the best!!! I wish I could make you a Boston Cream Pie, but at least the brownies are out of the oven and cooling just for you!


Jane D. said...

what a blessed woman you are to have such a blessed husband!

Susanne Barrett said...

And I know it! :) Thanks, Jane. :)

CC said...

Happy birthday! Have a second brownie for me:)


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