Happy Birthday Ben Blair!

March 7, 2013

Text and photo by Gabrielle.

Today is Ben Blair’s 40th Birthday. Forty years. Forty great years!

So we have big plans. The kids are still on school vacation, and this is how we’re celebrating. First, we used a roll of paper to make a scroll listing 40 of the fantastic things Ben has done in his life — memorable things like walking the Brooklyn Bridge, and life-changing things like raising six kids  — and then hung the scroll from the ceiling over our bed so he would see it as soon as he woke. The list was so long that it tumbled down, rolled off the bed and pooled on the floor! When he woke up, we brought him breakfast in bed and took turns reading from the list — and even adding more items at the bottom.

This afternoon, we’ll have sandwiches and tartes from two of his favorite bakeries. And this evening we have a dinner date planned in Caen.

But the real celebration is happening in May: Ben Blairs Fjordieth in Norway! We bought tickets for the whole family and we can’t wait!! The fjords have been on Ben’s travel wishlist since I met him and I’m so glad we’re finally making it happen.

Originally, we loved the idea of turning the trip into an extended family & friends event, but ended up feeling bad about asking people to spend money on plane tickets. For us, it’s a bargain — we bought 8 plane tickets for about $850 (can you believe that?). But a ticket from the U.S. is pricey.

The big surprise for today: We invited friends and family to send video birthday messages for Ben, and Ralph edited them all together to make one big movie. It’s about 45 minutes long and it’s fantastic! It has me laughing and crying from one minute to the next. Instead of gifts, we’ll surprise Ben with the video this afternoon when we light the candles and sing happy birthday. The video is sure to be a treasure for Ben, and it’s a treasure for me as well. I love seeing how much people appreciate and respect this good man I’m married to.

As for me, I didn’t make a video for Ben, but I do want to write a little tribute here.

1) He takes his role and husband and father very seriously. His relationships with me and the kids are his first priority.

2) He cares what the house is like, what’s on the walls, what sorts of books are on the coffee table.

3) He doesn’t have a design background, but that doesn’t mean he just humors me when I ask him an opinion on paint color. He’ll talk through the goals of the space with me and give me an honest assessment.

4) If you read an especially calm, reasoned, and kind response from me, to a rude or irrational comment on this blog, Ben Blair may have written it.

5) Speaking of which, he kindly edits my posts whenever I ask him to. Which is often.

6) Ben Blair is incredibly funny. It’s typically the first thing friends mention about him. The very last moment of my day, as I’m falling asleep, is usually me laughing at something he said.

7) He understands that what he does now will affect our childrens’ happiness as adults. He’ll sit and patiently practice music with the kids because he knows that one day, when they’re grown up, they’ll love hanging out and playing music… or maybe want to start a band when they’re in high school.

8) Ben is modest. It’s almost painful to him to talk about his accomplishments.

9) An example of this: We got married while we were in college and I didn’t know he was on the Dean’s list until after we were married.

10) Ben is accomplished. Did you know he has a PhD from Columbia? That is not an easy thing to earn.

11) He’s an excellent cook. The two most requested meals at are house are The Greek Meal and The Chicken+Mushroom Sauce Meal — both Ben Blair creations.

12) He’s also an excellent driver. I can always relax when he’s driving because he’s so good at it. He just handles a car really well. Even when we drive in the UK and he has to drive on the left side of the road! He does the driving on all of our roadtrips.

13) He sincerely rejoices in others’ successes. I remember a day in our early marriage when one of his friends received good news about getting into his first choice medical school. Ben heard the news and spent the rest of the day on cloud nine.

14) He has a generous spirit. The kids will request movie night refreshments, and my instinct is to buy the bare minimum, but if Ben does the shopping he’ll bring home 3 times as much as requested (which also prevents any kind of hoarding or bickering over portions from the kids). There’s always more than enough if Ben’s around. Life feels generous when he’s in charge.

15) He acts like I’m attractive. Even when I’m not.

16) He wrote this. (Wouldn’t it be great if he started updating again?)

17) He’s fearless. We wouldn’t be here in France if it wasn’t for his fearlessness and sense of adventure. We wouldn’t have moved to Greece when we were newly weds either. Those ideas would have been appealing to me, but I would have been too scared to actually make them happen. Living abroad is challenging, and I couldn’t do it without him.

18) He takes chances on me. He believes in me. When I would invest time and energy into this blog, before it became my job, he never questioned it.

19) He’s comfortable in his own skin. He doesn’t pretend to be what he’s not.

20) He’s a good tennis player. And a good athlete in general. In high school, the top coach called him the best overall athlete in the school. (And because of his modesty, I didn’t learn that little tidbit till we’d been married for years. One of his friends told me.)

21) Ben is beloved by his friends. If something good happens to them, they know he will be happy. If they’ve run into trouble, they know Ben won’t judge and will want to help.

22) Ben had bright red hair when we married, but it has faded over the years. Now that he’s grown his beard out (it’s been a year and a half now), it’s been fun to have a ginger around again!

23) I share them on Design Mom, but the Olive Us movies are really Ben’s domain, Ben’s responsibility, and Ben’s creation. He works super hard on them.

24) He takes the kids swimming. I dread trips to the pool, but the kids love going so much! So he makes sure it happens. He taught the oldest 5 to swim and he’s teaching June now.

25) He actively seeks to learn new things. He’s currently reading photography books so he can master our camera.

26) When I met him, he was the President of the Bean Society. It was an unofficial club at our university where students had a monthly meeting to honor beans (and legumes of all sorts). They would sing songs about beans. Write poetry about beans. Invite professors to speak at the meetings on Beans & Philosophy, or Beans & Literature. There was a Bean Society Newsletter.

27) Ben works hard to help our kids develop their talents. Ralph has been working on a Zombie Movie (here’s part one), and Ben will help him carry props to the location, assist with camera work, and be helpful in any way he can. Note: It’s not a school assignment, it’s just something Ralph is excited about. So Ben puts in the time and helps him make it happen.

28) He forgives me daily.

29) He befriends my friends, so that when the phone rings and it’s Laura Mayes or Laurie Smithwick, he’s as delighted to talk with them as I am.

30) He picks up new languages like it’s no big deal.

31) Sometimes, when we’re hanging out as a family, Ben will say: Okay. Pushups everyone. And all the kids (plus Ben) will do pushups.

32) From very early on in our marriage he’s actively worked to make this a balanced partnership. We’ve had turns trying out traditional roles, but mostly our marriage has been an effort to reach our goals and get the work done — regardless of who does the work. He embraces the role of parent and housekeeper as needed. He embraces the role of breadwinner as needed. I know our arrangement wouldn’t work out for every couple, but it’s been great for us.

33) Related, Ben is a vocal feminist. He’ll identify cultural problems and help me put words to maddening situations when I’m too frustrated to think rationally. He’ll talk about these issues with our kids over the dinner table. I’m so grateful he takes issues I care about seriously.

34) He dreams big. He’s already thinking about our next adventure. Should we build a house? Move to a developing country so our kids get a more well-rounded view of the world? And he loves thinking up big ideas. We have lists and lists of businesses he would like to start or products he would like to create.

35) Speaking of which, some of his ideas have grown and thrived, but others haven’t. He doesn’t dwell on the failure. He just keeps moving forward. Keeps working hard.

36) He loves futuristic technology. He love robots. He’s completely fascinated by The Singularity.

37) His favorite TV shows are Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, Rick Steve’s Europe, and Breaking Bad.

38) One time, Ben and 8-year-old Ralph were driving to a cub scouts meeting. Ralph asked him what the word was in A Christmas Story. The word when the boy drops the bolts during the tire change and says, “But I didn’t say fudge.” Ben answered quickly and frankly that the word was fuck. That it was a word we didn’t use, but that Ralph didn’t need to be worried about it.

He just handled it so well. No stress. No getting mad at Ralph for asking. He took all the fear and power of that word away in an instant. (Kind of like saying Voldemort.)

39) Which reminds me, our kids are comfortable asking Ben anything. Or bringing problems to him. They know he won’t get riled up, he won’t get angry. He always starts by assuming the best of them.

40) Concerned that our family prayers were turning into rote statements, Ben drafted a sort of outline of the things he hoped our family would focus on in prayer. Things like:

Let us not forget, or lose sight of how strange and beautiful is life, how much we love each other, and that a part of us will die when any of us dies. Having each other gives us an anchor in this world.”

“Help us to be creative, to seek great things, to build, to dream, to film, to write, and to finish. To give what’s demanded by the project we are working on.”

Help us to have reverence for life, for each other, for other views and perspectives.”

Help us to be good. Help us to help those who are suffering, to comfort those who stand in need of comfort. And to celebrate the victories of others.”

Every so often, before family prayer, we’ll review Ben’s outline and refocus our efforts. It’s an evolving outline and the whole family contributes to it and adds their thoughts. We don’t quote from the outline, but let it inspire our thoughts as we pray.


What a great person. I love him dearly and know I hit the jackpot when I married him.

Happy 40th Ben Blair!

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{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diana March 7, 2013 at 9:43 am

A lovely tribute, Happy Birthday!


2 Pamela March 7, 2013 at 9:49 am

Happy Birthday Ben Blair! (do you just call him “Ben Blair” all day? I would..love it!)…he shares my sons birthday…18 today! We leave on the Oscar Wilde on Saturday for a week in Ireland..hope you share more of your recent trip!! :)


3 Cheltz March 7, 2013 at 10:01 am

I loved reading this! So many reminded me of my husband — (aren’t husbands and fathers great?) Congratulations, Ben Blair!


4 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity March 7, 2013 at 10:03 am

Happy 40th Birthday Ben Blair. I love the first 30 – and am looking forward to reading the next 10. My husband edits my posts too when I ask and I much appreciate it. I love that you are fearless and have had some inspired ideas for the Blair family. Here’s to many more wonderful years!


5 Margaret March 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

Happy, happy birthday, Mr. Blair! And what a lovely tribute, Gabrielle. Hooray for 40!


6 mom in mendon March 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

We LOVE Benjamin Wallace Blair.


7 Kyran March 7, 2013 at 10:07 am

Happiest of days to you both! I knew this man had to be somebody special from the first time I shared a cab ride with Gabrielle and heard her say, “Ben Blair.” :-)


8 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:47 am

I remember that cab ride!


9 Kelly March 7, 2013 at 10:09 am

Happy Birthday Ben Blair from random strangers in blog land who love to hear about your beautiful family and the life you have made. Cheers!


10 Julie March 7, 2013 at 10:13 am

Oh, Gabrielle, what a beautiful tribute! And what a lucky guy Ben Blair is to have you write this up. I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating!

P.S. I don’t often say hello, but I am BIG TIME fan of Design Mom!


11 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:47 am

Thank you for saying hello, Julie!


12 Pam G March 7, 2013 at 10:15 am

Happy Birthday, Ben Blair! You and your husband Ben have an inspiring partnership and I always look forward to reading about your family’s adventures. A lesson I’ve learned from you is to be just as excited to see my husband now as I was when we were just beginning our relationship. You help remind me to keep seeing what first drew me to my husband. Now 3 kids later, I can still glance over at him and remember us as that young couple wandering around Barcelona talking about what books we liked. There’s a quote of Toni Morrison that makes me think of how you feel about Ben. “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. I saw you and made up my mind.” From what you express, you and your husband help make each other better each day. You’ve definitely risen in love!


13 Kristen March 7, 2013 at 10:15 am

I LOVE this! And have heard the best things about Ben Blair from mutual friends, Jason and Melissa Nielson.


14 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:48 am

We sure love the Nielsons. They are the best sort of people.


15 Jennifer March 7, 2013 at 10:19 am

um..wow. I don’t know your husband or even you (other than just having recently subscribed to your blog) but from your post I can tell you have an amazing husband. Happy Birthday to him!


16 Mary March 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

What a sweet and lovely post. Happy Birthday Ben!


17 Madeline March 7, 2013 at 10:32 am

What an incredibly sweet, thoughtful, and loving post!! Happy Birthday Ben!!! I can tell you are not lacking for love :)


18 The New Diplomats Wife March 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

happy birthday ben blair – i was wondering when the fjords were coming! have a wonderful celebration!


19 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:49 am

We’re so excited! Next steps: find someone in Norway to help us plan our itinerary.


20 Lisette Wolter-McKinley March 7, 2013 at 10:45 am

My favorite: he forgives me daily. Ultimate sign of a truly wonderful marriage and a humble man.


21 sandyliz March 7, 2013 at 10:53 am

Happy Fjordieth Ben Blair!
It sounds like you both have wonderful, loving partners to share your adventures :)


22 Jock March 7, 2015 at 11:58 pm

You’ve maaegnd a first class post


23 Ginger J. March 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

Happiest of birthdays! A wonderful tribute!

(And it’s given me ideas for my Gingerbread Man’s upcoming 40th birthday! Thanks!)


24 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:50 am

Oh. Do the scroll! It was such a fun way to remember all the great things that happen in a lifetime.


25 Petra March 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I love reading your tributes, and it’s probably true that Ben Blair’s birthday is a bigger deal to you than it is to him (with his modestly)! You complement each other so well, and I always find it heartwarming to hear about couples whose relationships are so centered in love . I hope the whole day is a very happy one for all of you! I chuckled at your #24 – I am exactly the same, and so grateful that my husband has the patience and the nerves to take the children to the pool! Also love #4, #15, and #28 – and feel grateful to have a husband like that too.


26 Ann March 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I really am interested in this special trip because I did not even know about the Fjord until you started planning it way back. I had to ask my husband about it and he thought it was very cool. Enjoy!


27 Fiona March 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

It is my birthday today as well. I have already had friends over to share a slice of chocolate cake, and made hummus for myself, for the first time – a simple new skill to carry me into my new year. You have Inspired me to write my own list of (35) fantastic things I have achieved. Also I just picked this up in the comments – is his middle name Wallace? That was my maiden name, and hence my sons middle name. Happy birthday to your husband


28 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:51 am

Happy Birthday, Fiona!

And yes, Ben’s full name is Benjamin Wallace Blair. His father is Robert Wallace Blair. His grandfather was Wallace Blair.

Such a great name!


29 Fiona March 8, 2013 at 6:31 am

Ok so perhaps his maternal great grandmother was a Wallace. My uncle is a Robert. Robert Catherwood Wallace. My grandfather (Reginald Catherwood Wallace) immigrated from Scotlamd to South Africa in the 1930′s.


30 tere March 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Happy Fjordieth b-day Ben Blair!
This is such a beautiful list and show a grateful and lovely marriage, the foundation of your family. I can’t imagine myself without sobbing while writing something like this for my husband. <3


31 Laurie March 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm

“Life feels generous when he’s in charge” is one of the loveliest things I’ve heard someone express about a partner. I like that in a person, too. It’s a good way to move through the world. Happy-day-Ben-Blair-was-born to both of you.


32 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:52 am

Hi Laurie! I love seeing your name here. And I agree. It’s a good way to move through the world.


33 kate March 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

How unbelievably blessed you all are to know what a great man you have in your life. Happy birthday to a good man.


34 Robin March 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Happy Birthday to Dear Ben. One of my favorite people in the whole wide world.
Love you guys. Extra hugs and kisses to Ben today.


35 Megan M. March 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm

What a gorgeous tribute! All of it! It is so inspiring to read how much you love each other after so many years together.

Happy Fjordieth Ben Blair! :)


36 Caroline Perrin March 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Oh, how beautiful! All are awesome attributes, but I especially love numbers 13 and 14. And the line, “Life feels generous when he’s in charge.” That is inspiring to me. Happy birthday to Ben Blair!


37 Anna March 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Observing your happy marriage via the interwebs makes me happy, what great examples you are. I wish Ben Blair would guest post sometimes, I’d love his perspective because he seems awesome. (p.s. I am loving the Olive Us videos … The recent one of baby June made my heart swell and want to go hug my 2 year old immediately. )


38 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:56 am

I will pass your guest posting request on to Ben asap. And your compliment about Olive Us as well!


39 KatieB March 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm

My absolute favorite part of Design Mom is your honest love for your husband. It is so not a cliche. As are so many things you put out to the universe, but not bitching about a husband wanting sex or the fact that you do all the housework etc. etc. are such a breathe of fresh air. Why not love our husbands to pieces and forever?!! No matter what the rest of the media is saying. Thank you.


40 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:57 am

“My absolute favorite part of Design Mom is your honest love for your husband.”

That made me happy to read. Thanks, Katie!


41 caroline March 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I can see his face when number 13 happens… it’s true…i’ve seen it ! ;)


42 Giulia March 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm

happy birthday ben blair!!!!!!!!!!!!!


43 Amy3 March 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Happy birthday, Ben Blair! Your list is a beautiful gift – not only to him but to those of us who are inspired by your loving example. You’re lucky to have each other!

This has put in my mind of things I love about my husband. It can be easy in the chaos of the day-to- day to forget to observe and appreciate the qualities I fell in love with. His birthday is a month away and I’m excited to put together with my daughter a list of 45 things!


44 ami@naivecookcooks March 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm

such a great idea!


45 Joan March 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

The way you speak about your husband always makes me want to be more appreciative of MY husband. It’s lovely.


46 Renee March 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm

My husband’s birthday is today too (39)! I’ve been following your blog for so many years that I actually remembered when I woke up this morning that you had a birthday in your house too. Happy, Happy Day Ben!


47 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:58 am

How fun, Renee! I hope your husband had a wonderful birthday. High five for March 7th!


48 Shannon { A Mom's Year } March 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

You’ve found a treasure in Ben Blair, although he’d probably say he’s the lucky one. :) Wishing him the happiest of birthdays!


49 KellliO March 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm

How tender that you shared this with all of us! Happy Birthday, Ben Blair! I hope you do a dance.


50 Frank Purrkins March 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Thanks for reminding me of the many similar attributes my SO shares with Ben Blair! Happy 40th to Mr Blair.


51 Carla March 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

A hairdresser friend lamented to me recently about how sad it is to listen to so many of her clients complain about their husbands as they sit in the chair. I love, love, love that you are celebrating your husband with adoration, respect, gratitude, honesty and devotion. You’re blessed, but so is he!


52 Lisa | Happy By March 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm

To be a wonderful person is one thing. To happen to have a wonderful partner is another thing. To write on your blog about how wonderful your wonderful partner is, takes this thing to a whole new level. This was a great opportunity for us readers to understand more of Ben Blair, since he is such a big part of your life and your blog. Happy birthday BB and may you have an adventurous, fun, kind, creative life! I am sure you splurged on birthday rituals Gabrielle, like only your family can do :)


53 Jennifer March 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Happy Birthday, Ben Blair! Today is my 40th too! What a great day in 1973!


54 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:59 am

Happy 40th, Jennifer!


55 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay March 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Happy Birthday Ben Blair!!!!!!!!!!


56 Dianne March 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Happy Birthday Ben Blair! What a lovely post-makes me want to do better.


57 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 5:59 am

Thinking about Ben Blair or spending time with him makes me want to be better too.


58 Azra March 7, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Happy birthday Ben! He sounds like a great person. You are lucky to have him and of course he is very, very lucky to have you.


59 Azra March 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm

One more thing… great job with the movie Ralph! I can’t wait to see part two.


60 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 6:00 am

Ralph will be over the moon that you watched it and liked it!


61 Regina March 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Happy Birthday to Ben Blair!

Thank you Gabrielle, for such a wonderful and inspiring tribute. It not only makes me think of how I love my husband, it makes me wonder if I am loving well enough to have such a list written about me!

Have a wonderful celebration!


62 allysha March 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Happy Birthday, Ben Blair.


63 julie March 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm

You are very blessed Gabrielle. Happy Birthday Ben Blair!


64 Emeline March 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Happy Birthday Ben Blair!!


65 Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker March 7, 2013 at 11:53 pm

I love that you wrote a list of 40 things that he’s done. My husband turns 50 next month (and I turn 37 next month!) He has done some amazing things, including having been taken off a train in the middle of the night at machine gun point in Yugoslavia during their civil war, bathed in the Black Sea, worked for the circus (as their marketing director), puppeteered on several movies, and more. It would be fun to write a list like this, because I’m sure there would be 50 more stories he could tell me afterwards about his life that I still don’t know (he likes to tell me new things about himself every so often; he says it is more interesting that way, instead of telling me everything at once!).

To add 50 things I love about him on top of that would be great, too!

A couple of weeks ago I found an entry in an old journal of mine (in the MTC, after I received a Dear Jane from my recently returned missinary who had been home for 2 days). To comfort myself, I had written a little list of what attributes I had hoped to find in my future husband. I then moved on and focused on my mission.

I had completely forgotten about the list until I found it while looking for something in that journal. To my delight, my husband has every single one of those qualities!


66 Design Mom March 8, 2013 at 6:01 am

Wow! It sounds like he’s had a wonderful life. It will be fun to list out 50 of the highlights!


67 Andrea March 8, 2013 at 6:01 am

What a lovely tribute! Just reading through that list makes me want to be a better person. Thanks for sharing it:).


68 Irenka March 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

Wszystkiego najlepszego Ben!
I was very moved by your tribute and felt so much love reading it! Thank You for that!


69 Martha March 8, 2013 at 7:32 am

wow! he is truly amazing! and so are you.


70 Zoe - SlowMama March 8, 2013 at 8:55 am

He sounds like an amazing person to know — and to be married to. Lucky you (and him!) And wow – the Fjords — can’t wait to see some pics.


71 Alexandra March 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

How sweet! I also love the “fjordieth” illustration and I will never not laugh at the cleverness of the entire thing :)


72 Carly March 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

Happy birthday, Ben! I still remember the day I met you, when Kacy brought you to our house. You were totally my favorite of all her high school buddies. Thanks for always being so nice to me even though I was the obnoxious little sister who had to tag along with you guys!


73 Michelle March 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thank you so much for sharing Ben’s beautifully-crafted thoughts on your family prayers. What great reminders, and so eloquently written to boot!


74 Jody March 8, 2013 at 9:54 am

So lovely and moving. Ralph and Oscar are destined to be the best of men.


75 Shannon { A Mom's Year } March 8, 2013 at 11:32 am

I just read the ones you added–I want to be more like Ben Blair! I laughed at #38 because I totally changed the subject when that came up. Good for Ben for wading right in. If you move to China, let me know and I’ll come be your neighbor. :)

(P.S. Has Ben even taken the Meyers-Briggs test for school or work? I’m thinking he must be an ENFP with the sacred-profane thing he has going on: Breaking Bad AND beautiful prayers…I love it! Also, if you don’t mind, when will Ben let any of the kids watch Breaking Bad? My oldest (14) is nearly desperate to watch.)


76 Shannon { A Mom's Year } March 11, 2013 at 7:10 am

*ever taken :)


77 Design Mom March 11, 2013 at 8:41 am

I don’t think he has — but the sacred-profane observation is fascinating.

As for Breaking Bad and kids, ours are definitely not allowed! In fact, I typically have to have Ben screen them for me ahead of time. When the episodes get violent, they get really violent. And they subject is definitely heavy, adults only stuff.


78 Shannon { A Mom's Year } March 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

Thanks, Gabrielle. I will continue to stand firm. :)


79 Arika March 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

This is awesome! He sounds like a fantastic person! And cheers to you for listing all of his wonderful qualities!


80 Angela DeMuro March 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Happy Birthday to Ben Blair!


81 Christine S March 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I wish I could hit ‘Like’ on this. Because I do. I like this very much! Thanks for sharing this will all of us. And, Happy Birthday to Ben Blair!


82 Deb March 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm

What a wonderful list! HB Ben! I love #39… That he starts by assuming the best in your children (and everyone, it sounds like). Maybe this is a key to building confidence in children? Your children seem very well rounded and are obviously supported in exploring what they love to do. Where do you credit the self confidence?


83 Darci March 8, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Wow…you are married to my husband (less the ph.d and The Bean Society) – how awkward. The only problem with being married to such a great guy is that you can’t ever complain about him, no one will listen…am I not right?

Thank you for the scroll idea….my “Ben Blair” turns 50 in October and I am starting the list now.


84 cbloe's mom March 9, 2013 at 10:32 am

Sooooo beautiful.
Ben is truly a rockstar.
It is so great to see a couple who truly love and admire each other.


85 Suzanne March 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

Beautiful on so many levels.


86 Liz March 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm

We have the same birthday, BB! How cool is 3/7/73? I could not imagine that there was another Blair as inspiring and wonderful as you, Gabrielle. It sounds like you hit the jackpot. Many happy celebrations to come.


87 Callie March 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm

What a beautiful tribute to your husband!! I admire your marriage & your family so much! I love how you call your husband your favorite person! :)


88 Emily S. March 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm

You know we are big, big, big Ben Blair fans at our house!!!! Wes the biggest of all of course! Wish we could see you all more…Happy Birthday to our dear friend. Hugs and kisses! (I figured since Wes already made a ridiculous birthday tribute – I would do a serious one :-)


89 laura @ hollywood housewife March 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

This is one of the best things I’ve ever read about a spouse.

“Life feels more generous when he’s in charge.” This is EXACTLY how I would describe my husband, too. And now I’m gonna go kiss him.


90 Chris Gunn March 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I would really like to meet his mother. There should be classes available about how to raise a son with these qualities.


91 Elena March 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Yes!!! agree completely.


92 Tania March 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm

OMG, I so want to marry Ben Blair! But lucky my Brad has so many similar qualities (even the ginger!). Beautiful words Gabrielle … I was late for work reading it all.


93 Elena March 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Wow, Gabrielle. Ben Blair is just as amazing as you! I loved reading this, it was so honest and beautiful. You really did hit the jackpot. Happiest of birthdays to a great man!



94 Em March 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm

This is just beautiful. Happy birthday to Ben Blair!


95 Cara March 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I just found your blog through Pinterest and Love it! But noticed you are heading to Norway in May…I live in Norway so am happy to offer any tips however I live near the Swedish boarder so the only fjord i see is the oslo fjord. And yes, I am absolutely wondering how you got 8 tickets for $850. That is what I pay for me and me alone if I am LUCKY.


96 Design Mom March 16, 2013 at 7:00 am

Hi Cara! Thanks for your comment.

I’m totally looking for someone in Norway that can help us plan an itinerary for our trip. If you’re interested, or know someone else who would be perfect, I would LOVE the help.

And the 8 tickets were purchased from RyanAir. We’re flying from a little airport North of Paris. We’re excited!


97 alexis_gentry March 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Makes me teary. What a wonderful list. Thank you for sharing with us!


98 Mary April 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm

My Goodness, Gabrielle Blair. You are certainly blessed to share life with someone with such depth, fun and wisdom. So glad to hear that.


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