A surprise guest post by Brandon Carl

Today's post is something unusual, given that it's not Anna writing it, nor does she know that I'm writing it. Being the administrator of your wife's blog has a few perks. I'm not sure if hijacking a blog is a crime, but given that today is Anna's birthday, I wanted to use it as a platform to celebrate her.

Some of your know my wife well, and others of you have been loyal readers of her and advocates of her recipes. For those who don't know her well, I hope that this rounds out your view of what an exceptional and talented person she is! I know that I'll be reprimanded severely for the embarrassment this point but bring her, but alas, here goes...

If you were to sit down with Anna for the first time over a cup of coffee, you would immediately notice how present she is with you (after running a few minutes late!) Her phone is treated like the second-class citizen it is. She's listening, and asking you a million thoughtful questions. It's not to perfect her art of conversation, it's because she really deeply cares. She finds people fascinating, and always want to know more. Anna's other-centeredness is a rare treasure and something I aspire to! By the end of the conversation, you will feel amazing about yourself, as Anna has probed into the best version of you. She'll come home to me and rave about how lovely you are, and how she can't wait to see you again.

During the conversation, you probably didn't realize many of the amazing things that Anna's done…she doesn't like to self-aggrandize or bring attention to herself. I had to draw them out through months and years of dating and then marriage. You might not know that she's recorded violin on multiple records, one of which was in Paraguay. Or that she busked through Europe with her friends. That she's cooked for dignitaries, and also their pets. Or that for one meal she had to butcher a crate of ducks!

While there are many other things I could continue on about (her cool-hunting, her love of learning, her wanderlust, her hospitality, and her work ethic to name a few), I will only belabor one more! And that is something the world lacks deeply: optimism. From early in our relationship, I've often heard her mantra "you never know what a day will bring". And it's true! Through years of health hardships, Anna's been a steady beacon. The glass is perpetually half-full, even when it's totally empty.

Anna as you blush and read this, know that I love you and how special you are. You make better the lives of everyone you meet! To everybody out there, thank you for supporting my wife on this wonderful journey that is The Yellow Table. Please please show Anna your love in the comments below!