Friday, January 23, 2009

Blog Invasion

Reader’s note: Carrie’s blog has been temporarily invaded by a guest author, her husband. Since tomorrow (Saturday) is a milestone day for her (hint: her birthdate is 1/24/79), I thought it was only appropriate that her birthday plans are revealed to her on her own blog.

Birthdays have been a big deal in her family, so like most males, I’ve naturally felt a bit of pressure to do creative things to honor her day. Milestones present even bigger tasks. So does planning for someone 7 months pregnant in a cold, icy climate.

Of the many books written about relationships, one of my favorites is this one. (OK, so I admit to inserting this link so I felt like a real blogger). Since a birthday should be a day in which the birthdayee should feel honored and loved, each language will be fulfilled as follows for Carrie on Saturday, January 24:

Acts of Service: One of the fun perks at my place of employment is that we get the day off on our birthday each year. Thus, I think it is only appropriate that Carrie is given the day off from her normal duties. She’ll start the day with our birthday tradition of breakfast in bed. I will then get our son out of bed, fix his breakfast, and he will be with me all morning. Carrie will be free to stay in bed if she chooses, to go to a coffee shop if she chooses, to have a retreat if she chooses…in other words, responsibility will be gone but choice will not. Lunch, if she chooses to join us, will be at noon. She will not be permitted to do any laundry, cleaning, or other items on her to-do list during this day.

Quality Time: From 4:30-10, a babysitter will come to our house and Carrie will be escorted by her husband to a nearby city in our 2002 Saturn. Once there, we will dine here, which is among her favorite places to eat. After a relaxing dinner, we will run a couple of inevitable errands, because that is what we do (this also falls under acts of service, as I really don’t like to shop!). Since errands can bring a bit of stress, we’ll leave some time to unwind by book browsing at Barnes and Nobles. Then we’ll move to the final destination of the evening’s adventure…

Gifts Given: The final destination might not seem like much to many of you. The “gift giving” language is the lowest of the five on my scale, and since I had to exhaust all my ideas for Carrie at Christmas, I’m going to cop out by allowing her to pick her own gift. It so happens that my least favorite place to shop is Carrie’s favorite: Here. I don’t like the place due to the fact that I’ve almost committed crimes while in the return department there. But, that is a whole other blog post as I’ve digressed. Typically, if I shop here with Carrie, I make rules like, “we have to leave in 22 minutes max” or “nothing in the cart that isn’t on your pre-made list of 8 items”. January 24, 2009 will be an exception. In addition to fulfilling her inevitable list, she’ll have $30 to buy anything she wants, guilt-free, and can take as long as she wants.

Physical Touch: Don’t worry, I won’t make this awkward. She’s 7+ months pregnant, remember? When we arrive home, and she is ready for bed, she’ll be treated to a back massage to end her day.

Last but not least is her #1 Love Language: Words of Affirmation. This is where all of you blog readers come in. I know that in some way, whether in person or through her blog, Carrie has impacted your life in a positive way. It is time to inundate her with the blessing of words from people she cares about. To keep this simple and to avoid putting pressure on you to write a book, I am requesting that on Saturday, January 24, each of you would, in the form of a comment on this blog post, affirm Carrie in one specific way about who she is…perhaps a character trait, a skill that she has, something you’ve learned from her, etc. I realize it is hard to narrow it to one, but that is the beauty of combining a community of comments for Carrie (alliteration intended). Thank you for your help.

Happy Birthday, Carrie! I love you, and I look forward to celebrating with you tomorrow. You deserve every ounce of love you will feel this day, and I am privileged to be in a permanent alliance with you. May God grant us many more birthday celebrations ahead . . .

Footnote: A special thank you to my sister-in-law, whose password knowledge and blogging expertise made this post possible.


Carrie said...

That's awesome. ;D

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

How sweet is that?

Enjoy your day, friend. Sounds like your husband is going to do everything possible to make it a special day.

Katie said...

(I would leave a comment tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll get a chance I will leave it now.)

Carrie, I have enjoyed our online blogging friendship so much. If I have to narrow it down to one trait that I appreciate about you I guess it would be your overflowing care for those around you ~ those close to you, far away, and ones you've never even *met*. Your caring nature has shined through this blog and blessed me many times over. Happy 30th Carrie!!

Philemon 1:7

Carmen said...

Wow, Eric! Great job, Carrie is going to love her day. I'm already starting to think about what I can post for her tomorrow.

debra said...

Happy Birthday Carrie!

Tracy said...

I'm not sure I'll be online tomorrow so HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!!!

Carrie, I've learned TONS from you. I have recipes with "Carrie's This or That" written on top scattered around my kitchen, I've got tips jotted on post it's with "watibg" scribbled on the bottom (for reference!). You've challenged my green thinking a bit (just a bit). But what I really appreciate is your ability to be honest in your opinions without sounding harsh or cruel- just sure of what you think!

I've never missed a post (even if I don't comment) and can't wait to read your response to your husband!

Ginger said...

Wow! What a great husband. It sounds like you have everything covered!

Susan said...

Eric, you are very creative! Cannot wait for tomorrow. Narrow it to 1?

Bevy said...

SWEET!!! Sounds absolutly wonderful. I enjoy reading your blog almost every day. Thank you!

Linds said...

I won't be on tomorrow so Happy (early) Birthday Carrie! I so appreciate your honesty with us and love just reading your posts and seeing your heart! Hope your birthday is great! Sounds like it will be fun!

Christy said...


I enjoy your blog so much. I hope you have a wonderful birthday. God bless you as you are striving to become more like Him.


Stephanie said...

Happy Birthday (a day early)! I enjoy getting to know you better through your blog. I appreciate the thought you put into lifting up all parts of your life (marriage, parenting, finances, going 'green', etc.) to God. You have inspired me to think and act based on several of your posts. Thank you for taking your time to share what you know, and are in the process of learning.

What a great, creative gift from your hubby! I hope you enjoy and are greatly blessed by it. And don't forget to share if you make some fun Target purchases! :o)

gail said...

mr. carrie (eric),
great job on the blogging. love your ideas of honoring her in every love language. your love pours out thru your words to that special wife you have.

happy 30th sweetie! the 30's are great years. since i won't be on much tomorrow, i just have to say that you were one of the first bloggers i connected with when i found this amazing bloggy universe 16 mo ago. you provided ideas, hints, tips and help for me as i stumbled around. you left me comments and encouraged me. i so appreciate your kindness to someone who you didn't even know, who had no clue as to what she was doing.

enjoy your day! and again, happy b-day. gail in idaho

kristin said...

Nice work, Eric! You make your sister proud! I'm sure Carrie will love her day without work, and with so much blessing showered on her on top of that!

Have fun tomorrow! I'll try to write a note to Carrie tomorrow and give a call too.


Frances said...

What a wonderful day of loving!! That restaurant looks awesome - too bad there isn't one around here for me to try! Enjoy...

Carrie, I have also enjoyed our "online blogging friendship", as Katie put it before me. Something about you that really impresses me is your responsiveness: you take the time to let others know they are appreciated by responding (in word or deed) to what they've shared/given of themselves. Thank you for all of your responses to me!


Anonymous said...

Umm...hello, that was the sweetest thing EVER!!! Who are you, Eric?! What a splendid way to start your birthday weekend!! I love it!

Have the most fabulous birthday ever, my dear friend!! I love you!


Krista said...

I'm going to leave my comment today as well.

Carrie, happy birthday. I remember that you sent me a Valentine carnation once in high school. You were always so kind to me. Thank you. The Lord truly used you to bless me.

milissa said...

Such a sweet & thoughtful husband you have! Happy Birthday Carrie. I hope you enjoy your national holiday! :)

I really appreciate you sharing your life via the have motivated and inspired me on a regular basis. I enjoy reading your blog and it is one I check everyday. Oh and I love the swaps and am so thankful I had a chance to participate in the last swap and "meet" your real life best friend. :)

Happy Birthday to you!

schatzi said...

Happy daughter Stephanie shares your birthday..she will be 23.

Blessings and prayers for the next coming year.


Kendra said...

Eric - that was very sweet! Even Mr. Creative himself was very impressed!! I hope you have a great day celebrating together tomorrow. We'll try to catch you at some point, but it may be difficult to get you without a cell. :)

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Hi Carrie!

It's not Saturday yet, but I wanted to wish you a very happy 30th birthday!!!! What a sweetie you have for a husband!

Charli said...

I'm very early because of the time difference - but I promise it's Saturday in England!

Carrie, we've never spoken but I just wanted to tell you that I adore your blog and your sensible, witty, practical advice and comments. I hope you have a brilliant birthday with your sweet husband!

annacoumos said...

Happy Birthday Carrie! You're love for God is so sweet, and very evident. You are honest and it is obvious you live for the Lord and make every effort to honor Him. Have a fantastic day celebrating your birthday!!

Mary Ann said...

Happy Birthday, Carrie! Sounds like you will have an awesome day.

I love your focus on simplicity and just how normal and down-to-earth you are. :-)

Enjoy your day with your husband. This was very sweet and considerate of him!

Wendi said...

What a thoughtful husband you have!

I think that the biggest impact you have had on me is to think more green. I still have a long way to go, but you have the wheel turning for me.

Wishing you the best day. Happy Birthday Carrie!!

Hayley said...

Happy 30th Dile!!
Eric really cracks me up....I loved the part where he linked to Target saying it was his least favorite place to shop but your favorite....take your time there today!! LOL!

Oh, I could go on and on about the many things you have gifted to me, roomie, but the one that stands out most is your UNFAILING love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the desire and longing to know Him so personally each passing day. Thank you for instilling this desire in my heart...I learned by watching you.

I said I could go on and on, so I light up a room when you walk into it with your precious, child-like smile, and your heart as big as they make it impossible to be in a bad mood.....and you are an optomist, NOT a pesemist (like me). You are full of life.....and I am blessed to have you in my life!

Have a great day!

Liisa said...

Happy Birthday Carrie!

I have so enjoyed reading your blog and the inspiration I have received from you. I most appreciate your openess. You allow people in to see the real you and that is so special.

Blessings on your special day!

P.S. Eric you are so sweet!

angie said...

Words of Affirmation are so important for women. How wonderful for Eric to take this step to fill your comments box with genuine affirmations from your friends. I'm sure he will add his "2 cents" in a more private forum.
Since I know you only through your blog, I like how all of your posts are intentional. No ramblings on about the day...just sharing about a topic that is important to you. I love the variety of your topics. You are personifying the traits of a Proverbs 31 woman.
Most of all, I like how your "voice" comes through in your writing.
Enjoy your birthday and welcome to the 30's.

Stephanie Schierholz Fibbs said...


Welcome to your 30s :-). I'm a few days ahead of you and can tell you it's off to a great start!

You are one of my longest and best friends. I am so thankful for your friendship during the last 18 (?!) years. In that time, I have been inspired by your confidence, by your spunk and willingness to try new things, by your incredible amount of organization, by your craftiness and creativity, and by your love. People are drawn to you, and you are so willing to give of yourself and your time.

I love you, and I hope you have a wonderful day today and a fabulous year of 30.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

I really can't pick out any one thing about you or your blog that I like more than any other. I like the whole package of you.

Have a wonderful, blessed day!!


thehomespunheart said...

Hi Carrie -

Happy Birthday!! :) I love the post and the idea of gifting you via the Five Love Languages!!

There are many things I appreciate about you - but the thing that stands out to me right now is your patience with Nathan. It struck me so clearly when we were together and has made me want to be more patient and speak with a kind voice to my children.

Love you -

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog. You do a grand job with it. Have a super day. Eric will have a tough time beeting this birthday.

Mom and Dad said...

Happy 30th Birthday, Carrie!
It isn't possible to limit our words of affirmation to one! There are so many things we love and appreciate about you ~

C - caring (about people and the environment) and compassionate (cute, too!)

A - athletic (we have fond memories of watching you play basketball and soccer!)

R - redeemed (we are thankful that you asked Jesus to be your Savior at a young age)

R - respected

I - introspective and inspirational

E - encouraging and efficient

We love you very much, and we are so proud of you! Happy, happy birthday! Love, Mom and Dad

Kendra said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CARRIE!!! I hope you have a fantastic day being pampered and cared for by your husband. I appreciate lots about you but will focus on your calming nature. Sure, you are very excitable :), but overall you bring such a presence of peace - the way you interact with Nathan, talk to others, share your heart on your blog, etc. Thanks for being a great sister-in-law!!

Marc said...


I have never written on a blog before, so I am feeling a lot of pressure right now! Anyways, I hope you have a stellar birthday today.

Eric, well done with the hacking in job. That was impressive. The thing that I appreciate most about you, Eric, is your hacking in abilities.

Now for the actual post: The thing that I appreciate most about you, Carrie, is your genuine love for others. It is clear that you value relationships, and more specifically, the depth of those relationships. You invest time and energy into the people whom you love, strengthening the bond that you share with them. Thank you for being an incredible example in that area!

kelseylynae said...


Over the past couple years that I was able to have the privilege of being in your home and spending time with your son and working for your husband....and seeing your house from my dorm room ;)....a huge respect for you grew. Anyone who ever entered your home could feel that it was a peaceful, restful, and safe place. You've created that.

I also feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity in a small way to see you be a mother and a wife. I hope that I can be as loving, patient, intentional, respectful, and creative as you are in both of these areas. (And if my children turn out half as wonderful as Nathan, I will be blessed!!)

I hope you have a wonderful birthday. Eric, you're good to her...but I was thinking maybe next year you could have her do a ropes course to the gift (ya know, one in which she has to painstakingly find her way to different stations to get clues in order to get a key that is never found?! Just a suggestion :)

I pray you are blessed this day, as you have been a blessing to know.

Carmen said...

Happy Birthday, Carrie! I hear the 30's are really the best years. Ever since reading Eric's post yesterday I've been thinking of so many wonderful memories with you and so many things I love about you. I'm going to leave you with two but please know there are 100s of wonderful things to said about you.

First of all, when I think about embody that to me. When I'm trying to make things in my life simpler, I find myself thinking "what would Carrie do?". You truly make the most of what God has blessed you with and I want to be someone who makes the most too.

Second, I know you don't always feel like the best mother and at times being a mom has been challenging but I see that you are quite an incredible mom. Like your sister said, your patience with Nathan is inspiring and his sweet spirit is so reflective of his mother. He and baby 2 are blessed to have you as there mother.

Enjoy your day! Love you!

Carla said...

Happy 30th Birthday Carrie!
(I will be joining your thirties club in one month!)

It sounds like you are having and will continue to have a wonderful birthday--thanks to your thoughtful and creative husband!

It truly has been awesome to know you these past 10 years or so. You are an amazing mother, wife, daughter, friend, etc...amongst other things. I don't get to read your blog all that often, but every time I do, I am so inspired by what you write and your creativity shines through so bright, as well as your love for the Lord, your family, your friends and people in general. Thanks for your inspiration and for being such a thoughtful friend!

Have a blessed birthday!

Love, Carla

Anonymous said...

My dear,

Happiest Birthday to YOU, Carrie Lea O.A.!!! May you have a birthday that brings you to tears of joy, a heart of hope, and a mind at peace. Thank you for being here for me - I love catching up with you each week, sharing our joys and struggles. Can't wait to hear about your big weekend!

Love you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Carrie:

It was so good to chat with you a bit this morning.

I hope your day is turning out to be as wonderful as it sounds.

My first thought when Eric suggested that we think of one trait about you, was "unique". You are truly your own person and always have been very caring, creative, considerate, kind and patient.
I'm very proud of you, Carrie.

I love you,


Leah in Iowa said...

I remember our first "virtual meeting", and finding out we had a few things in common. But what a joy to finally meet you in real life! I'll never forget that day in the SH, and then a few months later when we brought our hubbies along. Great memories, even though we've only been together twice. Ever!

I know Eric will follow through on his promise to make this a most memorable birthday for you! You are so deserving of each other! Enjoy your time away!

~ Leah

Kristin said...

Happy Birthday, Carrie! I'm glad we had the chance to talk this afternoon, but I still wanted to write to you too. I haven't had the chance to see what others have chosen to write about, so I'm not sure if this will be a repeat or not. One thing that I really admire and appreciate about is the priority you place on rest and solitude. You don't neglect your time to get refreshed purposefully and to pull away from the many demands that are on you. I struggle in that area and really think you do a great job at making that a priority.

I know we were only supposed to pick one, but the other one that came to mind right away is how you are such a great example of a "gentle and quiet spirit." You have such a sweet heart and it comes through in all you do and say.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday and feel very celebrated!


Mary said...

Happy birthday, Carrie! I hope you enjoy your day. I enjoy your blog and getting to "know" you for so many reasons. I can only imagine how cherished you must be by the friends who know you best, as you somehow manage to impart a bit peace and joy to me every time I read your blog, even in the midst of adversity. I find it such a blessing. Have a very happy 30th year!

Abbey said...

Hope you have a wonderful day! I'm so glad we share a birthday- what fun!
I have really enjoyed 'getting to know you' these past few years. Your faith is truly inspiring to me and I enjoy reading your ideas and goals for becoming a better wife, mother, and christian.
I hope you had a fantasic birthday!
Abbey :-)

Jody said...

I hope you enjoyed your day and your wait at HuHot wasn't too long!

Eric certainly made a wonderful occasion for you. Maybe I should have Doug read this for ideas!

Anonymous said...

Carrie, my friend -

Happy Birthday! I have always appreciated your thoughtfulness - a kind note at just the right time, the perfect gift for each holiday, and a listening ear when I've needed it the most.

I can't wait to see you in March!


Rally said...

Happy Birthday Girlie! I was really impressed with Eric's post and what he had planned for you. I hope it was a special day.

As for a comment: You are one of the most steady people I know. My favorite part of our friendship (and there has been many) is the sweet time with the wild- honey's. I loved seeing God work in each of our lives individually.

Love you and Happy Birthday!

Rachel said...

Happy Birthday, Carrie! I hope you had a great day. I don't know you IRL, but from your blog I really appreciate your thoughtfulness, simplicity and living purposefully.

Amy said...

Aw, Happy Birthday, Carrie. What a great guy you have! I am sorry I missed this post earlier- I hope your birthday was wonderful!!!

Mom2fur said...

Oh, my gosh, if you ain't a keeper! What a sweet way to honor your wife on her birthday. I bet it was the most amazing one she ever had!
Mongolian Barbecue on top of everything!

Rebecca said...

Hi Sweet Friend! Happy Birthday! I so appreciate your honesty. It's been a joy to be friends with you for so long! You are a treasure, and I've enjoyed walking through many seasons of life together.

With much Love,

Jenny said...

I am sorry I am sending a belated Happy Birthday! Hope it was a wonderful day.

Ewokgirl said...

I'm late to this party, but I didn't want to miss out. Hope you had a happy birthday!

I've enjoyed reading your blog for so many reasons. You seem to have a gentle spirit about you, and you write so positively. Your honesty in your writing is refreshing. You've challenged me in some ways with just being a better steward of what God has given me, as well as rethinking why I do things. I've no doubt that those who know you in real life are doubly blessed!

Vanessa said...

Happy late Birthday. I didn't get a chance to post until now but I figured it was better late then never!

I wanted to contribute and let you know that altough I only 'know' you through this blog, I can tell you are a very genuine person. You life is simple and beautiful and real.

I hope this year is one filled with more and more love and knowledge of the Lord.

- Vanessa

Anonymous said...

I hope your day was as fantastic as you are my friend! Eric, you did an AMAZING job making sure that Carrie's 30th bday is one to remember!! Carrie, there are many many things to list about things I appreciate about you, have learned from you, and traits of yours that I admire! Since I haven't seen you for a few years I will list the one thing that I miss the most right now...your laugh!! It's the best :) I hope your 30's are off to an amazing start!!! Love you! Burchy