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Dear Russell:

Today in honor of your 33rd birthday I'm making you scrumptious chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight. With fruit smoothies for dessert. Even though I have a busy day ahead and will be gone for most of it and hate to cook when I've been out all day. 

Now you know how much I love you! 

Also I'm going shopping for you and even though you begged to give me a detailed list of items you would appreciate (all hunting related - shocking) I am still going to try to surprise you. Be prepared to fake excitement, new clothing may be involved.

And be ready to tell your birth story to the kids because it's a good one. They'll love to hear how 33 years ago today you were born in your parents truck, delivered by your Dad into your older brother's coat while he and your older sister stood outside in the gas station parking lot, only half way to the hospital. Everyone thought you had a birth mark on your forehead until it thankfully wiped off and they realized it was just engine grease.

I do believe that exciting start to your life was just a sign of the kind of guy you'd be; always in an adventure, with a great story to tell. That's because you love life and live it to the fullest. You're charismatic and energetic and optimistic, and nothing gets you down. You are also generous to a fault, compassionate, and ever-forgiving, which is a good thing because who knows just how much money I may spend on you today?

Did you know I like you a lot? I do, and I can't wait to see you tonight and celebrate 33 years of YOU!

Love Jodi

p.s. Just a reminder of what to do after you get your presents tonight...

Russ's 30th birthday after I super-surprised him with his dream gift.
This dream gift.


  1. Happy Birthday, Russty Nails, I love ya!! Trish

  2. Happy Birthday Russ - we love you!! DKH&E

  3. I love your writing Jodi. Will make a few comments on Russ's birth, although you, (or Erik) may wish I hadn't.

    Russ came so fast! Cara was 2 and Erik 4, we were all in front seat of our 3/4 ton 4wd pick-up. We pulled into the closed gas station in Molalla just in time for Gary to run around to my side, open the door and catch Russ. The kids never got out of the truck. However, They seemed oblivious to what was going on, probably because we had dragged them out of their beds at 10:30pm. Cara want ed to know where the baby came from. I asked Erik if I could use his coat for his baby brother.....and.... after he looked at the newborn, looking messy the way newborns do. He said, 'No, he'll get it all yucky!' Russ was wide-eyed and looking all around as we drove on to Silverton hospital wearing a pillowcase for a blanket.