Okay, if you haven’t picked up on this yet, these are in reverse order (to be fair, I did say that in #1).

Favorite thing #9 isn’t a thing, except for the effect she has on me. My wife. My best friend, my soul mate, my lover, my partner, my co-adventurer, my children’s mother, my biggest fan, my vision of true beauty. And yes, I’m only talking about one person. My Shauna.

She embodies the essence of what I’ve said the last eight days about real friendship, family, helping people come alive, and exploring. She even understands my primal need for cinnamon buns and really good food. I mean, really. Who could ask for more?

I can’t really put into words what it does to me to wake up every morning next to a woman who believes in me, heart and soul; who shares my values; who cheers me on; who carries my pain with me; who is stubborn enough to stand up to me; who has such spunk and personality; who helps me become who I really am; and who’s so ravishingly beautiful through and through.

I’ve bought two cards for her since we met in 1992. No, don’t worry. I’ve made all the rest (one Valentines Day I bought one and it made her cry and NOT because she was so touched by the gesture). She wants stuff right from my heart, right from my creative core, and I’m happy to oblige. This year what I gave her for Mother’s Day (yesterday) was reminiscing about all the great things we’ve experienced together, from a walk in the park in autumn (so romantic) to the birth of our children. It was full of “remember whens,” and I said in closing that I was looking forward to ten thousand more “remember whens” lovingly at her side.

There is only one thing on earth that bumps Shauna to number nine, and He’s not a thing either. Tomorrow, folks.