a week's worth of odds & ends

7:54 AM

It's been quiet here this past week. Birdie and I have been terribly sick so it's been nothing but coughing, runny noses, medicine and general yuck for us. We did manage to snag some donuts on wednesday, I finally hung our family photos from our shoot with the incredible Yvonne this past fall and since I was feeling better on thursday I thought it would do us all some good to get some fresh juice in our tired bodies (I know, I know, juice AND donuts but what a sick mama wants a sick mama gets). Oh and I made Valentines with Birdie! She didn't contribute too much this year, other than kissing the cards but I thought our families would appreciate that little touch. 
Speaking of Valentine's day I've been thinking so much about love and marriage, or more specifically our love and our marriage. The way it's changed over the years, the way we continue to make it work. And it has changed so much. My daddy always used to tell me that the love of a couple married for decades is so much richer and more beautiful than first explosive, passionate all encompassing love you feel those first few weeks and months upon falling in love. And now I've come to know what he means myself. The love that grows between us as parents and as part of a family is so different from our young love. It's no longer just about us. As much as I love to fondly look back on our "summer of love" where we did nothing but sleep, make-out and eat it's much more moving to see the strength of our love now amidst a baby, amidst bills, chores, life changes, career changes, health issues, faith issues, family issues, and everything that is life. Anyone can be all romance and bubble baths when your only responsibility in life is school and a minimum wage job. It takes real hard work to find the time to really love your partner in the tornado that can be adult life sometimes. 
Love has come to mean something altogether different and altogether wonderful now. Love is bringing home Domino's pizza and roses on a monday night because it's been a terrible, no good day and that was just what I needed. Love is tag-teaming bedtime because it's so much easier when we do it together, no matter how badly each one of us wants to be off the hook just this once. Love is laughing together at 1:30 am at the end of a "when everything that can go wrong will go wrong" day, because there's nothing else left to do. Love is reminding me to ask my parents how my brother is doing after his surgery because he's not "my" brother he's our brother. Love is collecting the half-eaten trash off the deck that the darn cat got into once again so the other person won't have to. It's saying "stop what you're doing I have to read you this" as you wiggle closer to me in bed. It's "I can't say bye yet because I've missed you so much all day." It's "I'll feed her, put her down, play with her" today so you don't have to. It's "let's just go out for dinner today" or "let me clean up tonight." It's the perfect cup of coffee arriving on my nightstand in the morning before I've had a chance to wake up, it's remembering to fill up the car, it's picking up my favorite magazine at the grocery store, it's all those little things and so many more. 
Valentines can often make you feel that you need all the chocolates, cards and fancy dinners in the world to make that person feel special when really all it takes is saying/showing "I got you babe." No one else in the world knows his favorite pair of socks, brand of hot sauce, jazz musician, how many pillows he likes to sleep with or his passionate disdain of dog-earring books. It's the way half of my heart and brain is carried inside this other person's body that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's the way I worry before he does and I can read his excitement through a emoji-less text message (this takes true talent, trust me). To me there's nothing more true or romantic than this:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)
e.e. cummings

In the end it's never about those grand gestures, no matter how lovely they are. Instead, it's about all the little things we do for each other every day to show that "I've still got you." A sleepy "I love you" after lights out. Or just a short little moment of hand holding in the car, the warmth of your hand slowly melting into mine. 

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