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Today is the wife’s 43rd birthday. A quick ode …

Roughly four months ago we made the move from New York to California. It was semi-scary stuff. Our entire family is in New York. Most of our friends are in New York. We loved our neighbors, our kids’ school. But we decided to try something new; to take a shot at mixing up life.

It’s been great—but hard. Making friends isn’t so easy at this age. People are already established in relationships. They have work and kids and bills and the gym and … and … it’s hard breaking through. That’s a difficult thing: Not having someone local to call; not really knowing your neighbors in substantial ways. On and on.

And yet …

Moving has made my marriage stronger, and my appreciation for Catherine 1,000 times greater. I’ve never relied on someone the way I rely on her. For friendship. For companionship. For chatter and vents. We both work from home, so we see one another all the time—and I love that. She truly brightens my day. I look at her and know how fortunate I am. Not because she’s an amazing cook or an amazing mom. But because, well, she has an enormous heart, unparalleled compassion and empathy. She cares for others more than she cares for herself. And she indulges my nonsense—health anxiety, Hall & Oates downloads, gross toenails.

She’s the queen of goodness.