Today I want to devote the entire blog post to my partner and daughter, Jordan. She had a birthday yesterday, and I just would like to shout from the roof tops how special she is to me and others. Each year we acknowledge each other’s birthday here on the blog, but this year I want to give her the entire post.
Jordan and I have always had a very calm and easy relationship. We never really had that awkward period where we struggled to maintain peace and sanity with each other. It has just always been easy. Sure, when she was in high school, we might have had a tug once or twice, but nothing really major.
The only time that I can think of that she defied me is now a remembrance that brings smiles to our family’s faces because it was so “not Jordan.” When she was three or four, I took Jordan and her brother Cory to see “Goonies.” For some reason, she just wouldn’t behave in the movie theater, and I had to take her out and have a good talk with her. That is the only time that I can remember her to not obey her dad or me outwardly. I know she quietly agitated her brother when we weren’t looking, but I think that’s normal. Whenever it was necessary to punish her, we withheld dessert. That was true punishment to her.
Most of you don’t know this, but when Jordan was 17 and in the 11th grade, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. She had surgery and had part of her colon removed, and she has a big old scar on her abdomen to prove it. So, for more than half of her life, she has been dealing with that disease. She made a conscious effort to remain stress-free, because stress is one of the things that can cause a flare-up.
She also made up her mind back then that she would not let this disease control her life, and it hasn’t. She continued to play volleyball in high school and went on to have a wonderful experience as a sorority girl at the University of Georgia. During college and post-grad, she rode her bicycle across the country three different times to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity in New Haven, CT.
This fundraiser was put on by students at Yale University, and she helped raise over $600,000 and is the only participant to ever ride all three routes. (Since then, the fundraiser has been discontinued.) She was also one of four riders featured in a documentary about the ride, and if you’re curious, it’s available here. Yale funded this video which was made by a student film crew back in 2006.
Later on the two of us had the chance to ride our bicycles together in Africa. She and her dad started from the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris enroute to Dakar, Senegal with a company out of Holland. Just a few days into the trip, he became ill and had to have surgery in a French hospital. When he could travel, he flew home, and I then loaded up my bicycle and met up with Jordan and the group (mostly Europeans) in southern Spain.
We rode through the Sahara desert, camped in tents, and made it to Dakar. I was definitely the weak link in our duo, and she encouraged me, took care of me, and helped me make it through that grueling experience. She thinks back about it and says our ideas of the trip are totally different. To me it was grueling challenge and the hardest thing I have ever done, but to her, it was a wonderful fun-filled adventure.
She has run a half and a full marathon. Here she is running a marathon in Washington, DC.
Her bike rides across the country were instrumental in her meeting the love of her life. She was in Hawaii visiting a friend she had made on one of the rides, and she met the man who became her husband. This is their engagement photo that appeared in the New York Times when their marriage was announced. You can read it here.
(photo by Eric Graf)
Together, they have built a beautiful relationship, and now together are raising the most adorable little girl.
Jordan is a natural mommy, and she loves every minute of it.
She has traveled the world and has improved the lives of people around the world through her volunteer efforts. And when she travels, children just are drawn to her. In between building, digging, painting, she will be carrying a child while a few are following her.
Here on the blog, she is the strong one behind the scenes. While I might be writing the majority of the posts, she works on the tech end of it as well as deals with correspondence, advertisers, contracts, and payments on a daily basis. This is definitely an equal partnership.
So, friends, please join me in wishing Jordan and very Happy Birthday! I can’t imagine my life without her.