Friday, July 22, 2016

Birthday Shoes by Julie Jarnagin

"Give me some ideas for your birthday," my husband said.  
Of course, I gave the standard, "I don't need anything." I really don't need anything, but my husband is a smart man. He knows better than to be empty handed on my birthday.  
Through the course of the day, I named off a few things I might like. Some of those candles we use. Perfume. We'd recently talked about him ordering new running shoes. My own workout shoes were getting worn, so I mentioned that new shoes might be a good idea for me too. 
A few days later, we met for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, a Vietnamese restaurant close to campus. As we were paying for our meal, he looked at me and asked, "What kind of shoes did you want for your birthday?" 
I'd assumed that I'd either mentioned running shoes or that he knew I was referring to our earlier conversation. "Running shoes for working out," I told him.  
He gave me a look that, as his wife of fifteen years, I instantly recognized. "Why? What kind of shoes did you buy me?" 
He tried to play it cool, but I could see right through him. Some advice for the ladies, when you're searching for a husband, terrible liar is a great trait to look for in a man. 
I let him off the hook and didn't ask more questions, assuming he bought me sandals because mine looked pretty terrible from all the walks to the playground with our boys. The next day my husband sent me a text that read: You have a choice. Early present or wait until your actual birthday.
My husband is notorious for not being able to wait to give gifts. The day he bought my engagement ring, he told my mom he was going to wait a while to actually propose. So what did he do? He proposed that evening. 
I, of course, opted to open the present early--because I'm way too much of a control freak to enjoy the build-up of a surprise. 
When our seven-year-old and two-year-old sons helped me unwrap and open the box, I instantly saw a red felt bag with Christian Louboutin in fancy letters across it. 
I'm somewhat of a cheapskate, so my heart stopped. I didn't know exactly how much a pair of those shoes cost, but I knew it was a number that would make me too afraid to actually wear them outside. 
From the bag, I pulled out an adorable pair of black wedge heels that I instantly adored.  
Turns out, that my husband had done a little research on what kind of shoes a woman would love. Christian Louboutin (with the signature red sole) was at the top of the list, and he started searching for a pair. When he discovered that the retail price might give his frugal wife a heart attack, he found a slightly used pair for a more reasonable price (but still more expensive than any other shoe I've ever owned).  
So I asked for a boring old pair of running shoes, but my husband got me a pair of Christian Louboutins. That sums up why being married to Kevin all these years is so great. While I keep my life small, predictable, and familiar, he does things big and throws his whole self into them.  
Kevin, I absolutely love my shoes, and I'll cherish them always. I love you. Julie
New Release! 
Cowgirl in the Kitchen

Just as she's about to make her dream come true, disaster strikes. The only way she can get back in the saddle is to strike a bargain—with a man her family despises. 

Jentry Lawson's dream of becoming a world-class barrel racer is about to happen—until she and her horse are injured in a terrible accident. Forced to move back home to Texas to recuperate, her Dallas-based brother makes her an offer she can't refuse. He needs someone he can trust to oversee the renovation and grand opening of his new restaurant. If she'll take that on, he'll finance her return to the arena. It doesn't take Jentry long to discover she bit off more than she can chew. Swallowing her pride, she asks for help from Gavin Easton—a man her brother despises. But he's the one person who can make the restaurant succeed. 

People in Glover never thought Gavin Easton would amount to anything. Ever since his own restaurant in town burned down, he's taken odd jobs to provide for his niece, whom he is raising alone. When beautiful and stubborn Jentry offers him the perfect job, his first reaction is to turn her down flat. No way he's going to do anything to help her brother! But there's more at stake than his pride. Can he trust his future to the woman whose brother tried to ruin his reputation—and his life? 

Besides, how can he manage a restaurant, when he can't manage his heart?

USA Today Best Selling author Julie Jarnagin writes sweet and inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.JulieJarnagin.comSign up for her newsletter to be the first to learn about new releases and free books:

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  1. Now, you just need somewhere to go to wear them, a new dress to go with it, oh and a handbag and perhaps some earrings just to set it all off! Your husband sounds adorable.

  2. OK, he is the coolest dh ever! Happy birthday!

  3. That is so sweet, Julie! What a wonderful husband you have! Enjoy those shoes!

  4. Wow, Julie, what a wonderful, thoughtful man. Have fun strutting those new shoes!

  5. I loved your story. Your hubby knows how to do a surprise.