7 Things I Love About my Wife (It’s Her Birthday)

Terreeia Rauffman and Maria Killam on Valentines Day last week!

Terreeia and I have known each other for almost 20 years. We’ve been married for six. I first posted about our relationship here. And then talked about our first date here.

So here are 7 Things I love about my Wife:

She is the most romantic person I’ve ever known

Terreeia’s first love is hospitality. She has won awards for her ability to manage people and create teams. Therefore, organizing my 50th birthday party last summer was easy for her.

She wanted to surprise me with the perfect gift (I don’t pretend that I like something, well I do for about an hour and then I say, ‘Can we return this one?’. . . I don’t like waste, is this terrible??? Eeeek, tell me quick) and I found out later she spent weeks and weeks trying to find me just the right gift (for this very reason, she was NOT interested in the returning part on my 50th birthday).

She looked at puppies online and was just about to get one but then had my sister Elizabeth do some probing (with me) and I worried that it was too soon to get one since we do travel so much.

She even had a piano expert come out to the house to see if we could fit one somewhere because I used to play years ago and I loved it (We really need a bigger house first).

In the end she bought me a beautiful, thick gold band for my wedding ring finger because I’m wearing a lot of gold now and I kept trying them on (I really love it and it was not returned).

It was the best birthday party I ever had. Everyone who loved me showed up and it was truly one of the best days of my life.

Terreeia would NEVER be the one to suggest that buying a new roof, (for example) should be a replacement for Christmas/Birthday/Valentines present, no way.

You don’t have to have money to be romantic.

She’s a Gourmet Cook

I haven’t stepped into a grocery store in years (well barely). I am truly lucky to have someone who cooks for me. She makes the most amazing marinara sauce, I’m always sad when I finish my bowl of spaghetti. And her vegetarian shepherds pie is one of my favourites.

Since I’m a vegetarian and she is not, she says there are so many things she can cook that I’ll never experience but our friends do when they come over.

This is a deconstructed Nicoise salad she whipped up for an outdoor lunch on our deck in the summer.

Making food like this is effortless for her.

Terreeia is an amazing coach and communicator 

It’s pretty hard to coach your spouse so she doesn’t try to do that very often, but she has amazing clarity and  can easily get to the bottom of a complicated situation and call it what it is.

Bad good or otherwise.

If there’s a difficult email that needs to be written, that’s always Terreeia’s department.

Terreeia and Maria

Terreeia handles all the logistics for our Specify Colour with Confidence events when we’re travelling and manages the back of the room during the course.

She gets up for 10 minutes to talk at the beginning of my events and the rest of the 3 days people wonder when this wise woman is coming up again, to train us all for a day or wonder out loud how they can get their own Terreeia in their business.

Her compassion and non-judgemental personality shines through with everyone whom she interacts with.

And I have good news, you can. She is available hourly for one-on-one coaching at admin at mariakillam.com

I love that people love her and get who she is by just being around her for a very short time.

I love her kind heart and nurturing soul

I always feel so loved around Terreeia.  Since I’m the creative one in our business and the writer, I love how much she supports me in everything I do.

When I need her to pick up flowers for me last minute, it’s important that my cell is nearby because it starts pinging with pics and her going “Hey, where are you? Can you tell me now which ones you want?” eeeep.

I love that she lets me be in charge of the decorating

She loves my taste and pretty much lets me do whatever I want when it comes to decorating the house.

Master Bedroom

Even the year before we went to Italy together, she had some friends that invited her so I said “Honey, the entire house needs drapes, so why don’t you go to Italy and I’ll get drapes installed.”  I know many of you thought I was crazy to do that, but that’s how decor-obsessed I am.

She loves her Vegetable Garden

I’m in charge of the flowers, and the vegetable garden is her domain. She grows garlic every winter, here in the first picture below, she had harvested them and laid them out to dry.

On the right are the garlic scapes we had in a meal shortly after she picked them!

The first year we had our raised beds installed, Terreeia tried square foot gardening. And it was amazing the amount of produce we got out of the garden that summer.

I love watching her working away in that garden. She gets so much pleasure out of it.


I love that I’m married to my best friend

We scrap like everyone else, and sometimes it’s especially hard because we also work together but our values are the same and that’s the glue that holds us together.

She’s generous, forgiving, loving, kind, and a great listener. I love you my sweet Terreeia. Happy Birthday and thank you for being in my life.

Related posts:

3 Lessons I Learned While Installing my Garden 3 Years Ago

First Rule of Design, Boring New Equals Timeless Later

3 Things I Learned About Myself in Italy





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  1. Happy birthday Terreeia! :insert bouquet of beautiful flowers here:
    Wishing you a wonderful new year, filled with joy. Thank you Maria, for sharing her with us in this way.

  2. Belated Happy Birthday Terreeia. You two are blessed. Now if only my partner would allow me to make all decorating decisions…grrrr!


  3. So sweet and thoughtful. I had to announce to all my family how touching you put a post all together. Many partners have learned that decorating decisions can be a sensitive subject for their significant other 😉

  4. What a lovely tribute, Maria! It was such a pleasure to meet Terreeia at last year’s workshop! Happy, happy birthday Terreeia! Ok, I think she has a lot in common with my husband, Shad… dinner next time you both are in San Francisco?

  5. What a wonderful tribute to Terrieea! I’m still bummed I didn’t get to meet the two of you when you were exploring Boston and Cambridge last summer.