Twenty-two years ago I was celebrating New Year’s eve with friends — and the next day I was head over heels in love with a man whose birthday we celebrated that night. I’m not sure that I ever believed that I could fall in love the way we did. It may sound cliche, but I had never felt that way before in my life. In our first year together, I lost my craving for sugar, (I’m a sugar-aholic), I couldn’t stop smiling, and I was certain that this was forever.  Whenever someone asks me how I knew he was the right person, I tell them that it was the fact that we made each other better people.  We are like yin and yang, not only because he is white and I am black.  I am a better person because Michael Scott not only accepts me for who I am, but encourages me to be ambitious and reach for my dreams.  He challenges me intellectually, he supports me even when my ideas are crazy, and he can keep up with me on the athletic side — or even beat me when it comes to skiing or mountain biking.  He pushes me out of my comfort zone and gets me to experience new things. When we married in 1995, he was supporting me through graduate school, and we have both made sacrifices for each others’ careers.He is truly a partner in raising our sons, and he is absolutely dedicated to giving Andrew and Brandon the best in life.

Now this doesn’t mean that our lives are perfect. In fact, we tend to learn more from and about each other when we are in conflict. We both have strong personalities and aren’t afraid to stand our ground. But we also know how to forgive, move on, and learn from our mistakes.  I’m back to eating candy and I don’t smile all the time, but I love Mike even more with each passing year.  As he turns 50, I hope that we have another 50 years ahead of us.  Happy birthday Michael Scott!