Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy valentine's day!

Confession: I have always actually really liked Valentine's Day.  I think I've only actually been in a relationship for a couple of them my entire life, I hate chick flicks (with few exceptions), and I don't buy into all the commercialism and hype, but I just really like the idea of a holiday dedicated to loving people.

Photo by Colby Moore

For me, Valentine's Day is a day to shake off what dust may have settled on my relationships--with Tyler, friends, family-- and have renewed sense of gratitude and wonder at the love and care we extend each other. This year, in particular, after seeing so many friends struggle in their relationships, or watch their relationships end, I'm exceedingly grateful for Tyler and our marriage.

Last year, for Valentine's Day, I made him a book of over 200 things I love about him. I haven't looked at it in awhile, and I thought this year, I would post some (just ten, don't worry!) that I'm especially thankful for right now.

1. He's one of the funniest, silliest people I know. I love that we can put away our worries for awhile, and just be goofy together--whether that's quoting stupid movies for hours, or dance parties in the living room.

2. He's amazing with kids. Watching him around his neices and nephew, I see one of my favorite sides of him. Someday, he's going to be an incredible dad.

3. He's super smart. I love giving him crap about beating him in Wordament, but I'm pretty sure he's actually more intelligent than me by a long shot. I love that we can have conversations about things that matter.

4. Since the first time I rode in his car, he has opened the car door for me, without fail, every time. I have some feminist friends that would roll their eyes at this, but I appreciate it.  I realize that he does it because he wants to show care and respect to me. It's one of many gestures that I've come to treasure the longer it goes on.

5. He loves my family + my family loves him. Some of my favorite moments of my grandpa before he passed away last October involved him and Tyler joking and laughing together. He treats my family with the same respect he gives me, and seeing them interact is (cheesy as it sounds) one of my greatest sources of joy.

6. He's the most verbally affirming person I've ever met. He tells me every day (usually several times!) how much he loves me, how beautiful/amazing/funny/etc I am--and he means it. It never gets old, or tired, because I can see in his eyes how much he means it at any given moment.

7. He makes the best hot wings EVER. (Hey, sometimes the way to a girl's heart is through her stomach, too.)

8. He supports whatever crazy dream or hobby I have at the moment. Knitting? "Let's go buy some yarn!" Photography? "Hey, Best Buy has a sale on DSLRs!" Thrifting? "We can stop Relics if you want."  Downton Abbey? "I bought you season 3 on BluRay!" One of the best things about our relationship is that we both realize that we have separate interests, and we don't try to be into all the exact same things, even though we like taking part in them with each other. It's a great balance.

9. I can count on him. It's one of the things I most often take for granted, I'm ashamed to say. If Tyler says he's going to do something, he does it, regardless of importance. He's a man of his word, and since I've known him, I've never seen him go back on it. He has integrity, and I'm realizing what a rare quality that is.

10. He loves me, fully and truly, and he loves me the same regardless of whether I'm having a good day, bad day, sick day, whiny day, excited day, motivated day, unmotivated day, b*tchy name it. His love doesn't waver. He loves me on days when I'm hard to love, or even be around. He loves me more than he loves anyone, or has ever loved anyone, even when I can barely love myself. This is one thing I'll never be able to explain. I'll also never be able to express my gratitude for it. It's overwhelming.

I hope you have reason to be grateful this V-Day, whether it's for a significant other, or a friend or family member. One thing I know for sure--you're more loved than you know. We all are, even when we don't deserve it. So let those people you appreciate know what you love about them today. Use this holiday as an excuse to love well.  Happy Valentine's Day.

Photo by Colby Moore

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