And there was much rejoicing
This month, my favorite Joel Kline celebrated his 29th birthday! I’d call him an old guy, but since I’m about to turn 30… I think I’d better resist that urge.
My parents were out visiting for the weekend, so we had a mini celebration with them before his birthday (Memorial Day weekend), which consisted of a quadruple-decker ice cream sandwich, topped with whipped cream and a candle (because he’s so BA, he only needs one candle to represent 29 years). Apparently, he also needed four plates to go with those four layers.
On Joel’s actual birthday the following Friday, I surprised him after work with a little celebration.
I made a two-layer (or double-decker) chocolate cake with peanut butter icing & crumbled dark chocolate Reese’s® cups… Umm, yes, it was delicious. And yes, I can say that because Duncan Hines® helped me with the cake since I was running out of time that day. I forget why. But I’m sure it was a good reason like baby tantrums or laziness. Joel’s present from his parents arrived, so I wrapped it up (left) next to the ones from Evie & me (left). And now you have witnessed the end of my last roll of gender neutral birthday wrapping paper. Time to go to Target!
You’ll notice on top of the presents in that first photo, on the left, a little stack of 3″ x 3″ cards with a bow.
That was my favorite part of this birthday! I sent out an email the week of Joel’s birthday to his friends and family members to send me the answers to one or more of the following questions/requests:
- Favorite thing about Joel
- Favorite or funny memory of Joel
- Picture of you and Joel together (with date & description)
- Advice for the last year of his 20s (serious or funny)
Here are my favorite three responses:
What is your favorite thing about Joel? My favorite thing about Joel is his amazing MAN-ness. It rivals that of the greats, like Chuck Norris and George Washington. Joking aside, Joel -to me- shows one of the most sorely lacked attributes in the modern church. He lives his life with humility. And so many people will minimize that, but it’s something that is immense when pursuing and trying to mirror Christ in your life. Kudos Joel. — Jesse (a friend)
Advice for year 29: For the last year of your 20s, you should take a photo of yourself every day for the entire year and grow an epic beard for that entire year! This will show off your manliness and man confidence to the world announcing that you are alpha male and will take no prisoners! — Jimmy (another friend)
What is your favorite memory of Joel? His third Christmas stands out to be exciting. Joel sat on Santa’s lap a for the first time without crying. He stole the show at Grandmom’s Christmas dinner by wearing a Santa hat and saying “Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!” And was so satisfied with a truck and horse trailer that he laid on the floor and played with it instead of opening his other presents. He loved the train under the tree. He opened ALL the gifts with an enthusiastic “Look at that!” even the nice clothes. — Nada (Joel’s mom)
I loved reading all the responses… it reminded me of all the reasons why I love him so much! And made me laugh a lot too!
Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to send in responses. I know he’s a dude, so he probably won’t mention it to you, but I know he really liked it. If you didn’t have a chance to send in your thoughts, feel free to post them in the comments, and I’ll make sure he reads it. If I get really energetic, I’ll make additional cards for his “Why Joel is Awesome” deck.
HAPPY 29th BIRTHDAY, JOELIO! I love love love you!