Happy Birthday and yes you do have a great wife! Hmmm by chance does she have a sister that is single??? Great boot. Congrats and thanks for the picture! What is your thoughts on the AE black shell? It looks pretty good to me from here. As did those black shell Leeds that were posted the other day. Also if you don't mind me asking did FedEx require a signature when they delivered them? I just realized that when I got my last shipment from AE they now use FedEx and did not require a signature. Which could be good, and bad... Damn I had the UPS guy trained to wait till the end of his route to delivery to me so that I was home. Ouch! Have you tried stripping them with Renomat? http://www.hangerproject.com/closet/saphir-reno-mat-cleaner.html#.UF449I1lR2w I don't like to use much if any product on shell except for brushing but every 6 months or so on the walnut shell will use a very thin coat of Saphir cognac wax. I purchased the cordovan clear from Saphir but have never used it. After ordering the Alden defender not sure that I ever will. Good luck, hopefully you can get them back to the original color.