Today I’m celebrating my wedding anniversary. 2004 was a year to remember. The 9/11 Commission Report was published and all anyone could talk about. (Don’t let me get started down the 9/11 rabbit hole…) More importantly, we lost Old Dirty Bastard to a drug over dose, may he rest in peace. Million Dollar Baby won best picture that year at the Oscars, and yes…Michael and Mandi Holden were married.

This is one of my most favorite pictures of my husband. It perfectly captures his personality: loving, selfless, patient, stoically handsome, carrying our family through…albeit, slightly annoyed.
That pretty well sums up my man! I’d be habitually irritated too if I were married to me. I’m a difficult woman. With a passionate Italian temper. It’s ok. I make up for it in other areas, but that’s a different post.


In honor of these 9 years together, I have compiled a list of the 9 best things about him. ( 9 seems like a random number, but it can be special in its own way…it is the last single digit anniversary we will ever have, that’s significant right?)

9.) He always smells good. Seriously. I’m intoxicated with this man. I know that seems cheesy but he must have his pheromones on LOCK because homeboy always smells good. After work? You bet! After the gym? BRING IT. Morning breath? Well…that may be questionable but you get the general idea. I always sleep on his pillows when he’s gone because they smell like his funky bed head…too much?

8.) He always fixes everything around here. If something breaks or falls down or crumbles, I never fear because I know that the hubs will figure it out. He is a manly man whom I can always depend on. Even if he doesn’t know how, he always finds a way. I probably take advantage of this quality a bit too much. I’m such a girl in this way…it’s kind of pathetic.

7.) He shares in my Disneyland obsession. This is a unique trait to have because its very dorky…but I like it. Besides his fanatical loyalty (and quite possibly first love?) to the St.Louis Rams, Disneyland falls right into line as the chosen destination of daydreaming for the Holden’s. We freaking love going there and talking about going without our kids WAY more than we should. We are not snobs about much in life, but when it comes to vacation destinations…Disney is our standard. A little lame? Maybe…but it keeps us young. 🙂

6.) He is a phenomenal singer/dancer/performer which some of you may not know. He has the skills of a seasoned pro and breaks it down to an absolute art form. Some of his favorites include, “My Milkshake” and “Pocket of Sunshine” And ANYTHING by Hall & Oates. Someday I’ll catch it on video and I promise, it’ll leave you breathless. What’s a sweeter sight and sound than your husbands Adam’s apple vibrating to the tune of “Un break my Heart” by Toni Braxton? (Our favorite road trip jam) He’s so good, it hurts. Look for him on The Voice.

5.) He is hysterical. Seriously. He makes me laugh all the time. Like stupid laugh…when you just giggle over dumb stuff because the laughter has been set in motion and you can’t stop it. I love to laugh with him. Unfortunately this mostly happens at inappropriate times like church.

4.) He loves my crazy family and puts up with all of our loud and dramatic antics. He sits back and buckles in for the ride and I love him for it. He has let almost all of my siblings live with us at different times without any hesitation and has loved them as his own siblings. This has meant the world to me since I am so close to them.

3.) He is always proud of me. This one I can never quite grasp. No matter how ugly, gross, enormous or unworthy I feel, he is always proud to have me on his arm as his wife. Nothing has made me feel more beautiful or confident in my life than the unconditional love of this man.

2.) He is the most wonderful father to our children. He loves their mama. He plays with them. Snuggles with them. Talks to them. Provides for them. Teaches them. Disciplines them. And most importantly is a wonderful example to them.

1.) He loves Jesus. Like, really, truly seeks to please God, wholeheartedly everyday. While I am often spiritually freaking out and riding the waves of doubt, he is always trusting God and putting his cares and worries into His hands. Even when he doesn’t feel solid and secure, he is always anchoring me back down into a solid foundation that I need. He has integrity that I’ll never have. He keeps his word even when I don’t. He has been the best husband I could ever ask for and certainly not one I deserve…but I’m glad he is mine.