Happy 29th birthday to my husband

I thought for a while today about what kind of post I could write to commemorate J's birthday, and then realized, you know what? You've all heard enough from me. So I asked a few people if they could tell me their favorite thing about J so I could post their thoughts on my blog. And they delivered. And I didn't even have to threaten them. These are the things people love about you, J: (Happy Birthday!)

My favorite memory of Justin was the night The Black Udder took on their ultimate feat. It was a week before we graduated from high school. It had been a long standing tradition to spray paint this giant rock that sat at the entrance of the school. Kids would secretly paint it in the middle of the night. Well, spray paint was so 80's, so we got a little more creative. The 3 of us (The Black Udder) decided to take heaps of sod, that had been torn up at the church in an effort to put a new side walk in, and sod over the rock so that it would look like a giant lump in the grass. Back and forth from the church to the school with trash cans of heavy sod. We laughed like crazy! Then the cops came. It got feisty. Apparently the law enforcement of Woodbridge has no problem with teenagers and spray paint but extra grass....is going too far. In the end we lost the battle. We were forced to dump the sod in the woods and sweep off the rock. It was the most adventurous night, just me, Geoff and ....oh, wait, Justin never came! It was Kristen. Justin was too lame to come out on a school night to have a little fun with the Black Udder. Boo Justin. And poor Kristen wasn't even in the group. She risked walking for graduation just to try to recognized by our superior membership committee. But where were you?? - Eileen P.

J's Uncle Bobby and family sent this amazing photo tribute:

Tiger Beat tigerbeat

Turn Ons: Puppys dogs, long walks, sunsets, bluebirds, white birch beer

Turn Offs: Tuberculosis, unibrows

I guess one of my favorite memories was driving back from winter break with Justin and my college roommate, Diana. Diana was infamous for getting pulled over for speeding...and very early on in the trip, we got pulled over on the Jersey Turnpike. And as Diana and I were scrambling in the front seat to find her registration, etc., Justin was in the backseat pretending to fight the policeman w/ his Darth Vader piggy bank that he had gotten for X-mas.

Also humorous, was the time he found my sister's breast pump at my house in CT. Yeah, that was awesome. Right out of a sitcom stereotypically awesome. I'm sure if I haven't told you this story already, you probably can see it play out in your mind. But he picked it up and started playing with it and repeatedly asked what it was. I didn't want to really draw attention to it, and figured he'd put it down and forget about it. But of course he couldn't. So he kept examining it and then he asked if it was for the baby...and i was like 'well...kinda...indirectly." "No...seriously...what is it? Why won't you just tell me?" "It's my sister's breast pump." And with that the breast pump was dropped to the ground. - Kristen McC

Although the story is a little fuzzy on my end it goes something like this... Justin comes over to my place, plays the card game asshole, wanders outside, pukes in the bushes and then passes out smack dab in the middle of the driveway... where I'm pretty sure my parents find him a little while later (and narrowly avoid running him over) upon returning from something or other... All in all a pretty damn good night! - Geoff S.

My favorite thing about Justin is the fact that’s he’s so enthusiastic about all the things that are important to him in his life and he’s not afraid to let other know about it: aka TB, Birds, Cara, etc… - Manpreet H.

(J's labmate and our good friend Nate sent me a comment but I can't post it here because children sometimes read.)

I like how he loves to get naked in dark rooms and stand on tables, but runs for cover faster than a greyhound if someone turns on the lights....faster still if that person who turned on the lights also has a camera in hand. - Tom O.

Number 1 is that Justin and cara are so in love --so happy--having a great life amnd will continue to have a great life. Number 2. Justin is serious, focused, yet with a great sense of humor. The combination of scientist and bird nut makes for an interestin son in law. - Fred R.

Besides all of the wonderful things that dad said, all of which I completely agree with, Justin takes wonderful care of you, he always asks to help with anything that needs to be done, he has increased our knowledge of birds (especially bluebirds, which we had at the Bay without even knowing it) and he can make technological things work. - Kathy R.

My favorite memory of justin was when i first met him and it was at that christmas party during that ...difficult...time so i felt like i really had to scrutinize him carefully and put him through the ringer and i think after just a few minutes (perhaps it was only one :) of talking to him i pulled you aside and said "cara, i LOVE him". i was a total failure as the scary "what are you doing/ what are your intentions with my friend" friend. he passed the boyfriend test with flying colors. :) ...and another memory just occured to me too...at justin's first ashby court---naked swimming---pj making---house party he ended up sitting on the floor of the dining room playing guitar for a small crowd of people WELL into the night...it was awesome. like a campfire in your house...which was exactly what had been missing at the previous parties... - Sarah E.

I'm always excited to hear about his newest personal growth challenges (like giving up elevator riding, or running all the streets of Chapel Hill). - Sherry K.

I love how Justin works day in and day out with a wonderful bacteria, Tuberculosis, and yet is scared of crickets...especially flying crickets. He reminds me that we don't always have to be rational adults and that even some of the smart ones have fears. Happy Birthday J! - Becky O.

(If you'd like you can add your own thoughts in the comments sections and I'll keep updating as I get more emails...)