It's almost February 1st, which means that Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. While my husband and I both feel that it is overly commercialized, we do enjoy doing something small for each other in the spirit of the day. This year I am working on a box with 100 reasons that I love him written out on slips of paper tucked inside. I also read a cute idea on a different idea blog that I may have to do too. You spread a bag of Hershey's kisses on the floor with a note that says, "I've kissed the ground you walk on. Will you be my Valentine?". (If I do this, it will have to be before he gets up for work in the morning in our bedroom, because otherwise our daughter will have the candies hiding all over our house within a few minutes, and a scavenger hunt for them is not what I had in mind.) He will probably get me a movie, since that is our go-to gift for each other. We both love movies, and you will frequently find us cuddled up on the couch watching one together after the kids are in bed for the night. He also always used to get me some sort of chocolate (since I am a chocoholic by self-admission) but now that I have to buy special chocolates at the health food store (and I'm not even sure he knows where it is), I'm not counting on that this year. Also, it's rare that we are able to go out to dinner on Valentine's Day due to our hectic schedules, so we typically make some sort of special treat to enjoy later that night.
While Valentine's Day can be a lot of fun, who says you need a designated day to express your love for your significant other? Throughout the last almost 10 years, my husband and I have endured all of those standard vows you say to each other on your wedding day. We have seen for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or health, and came out even stronger on the other side of it all, and three years ago we received a wake-up call that reminded us that we need to cherish those we love the most because we never know when they will be taken from us. Sometimes it's way sooner that we ever thought. For this reason, we try to show each other on a regular basis how much the we mean to the other. Here are just a few of the ways that we do this.
- On my days off, I try to have the house picked up from the daily clutter before he comes home. I know that means a lot to him and also he doesn't feel like he needs to chip in and help and is instead able to relax for a few minutes after work. If the baby is down for a nap, I will also brew a fresh pot of coffee and sit down to visit with him until our son gets off the bus because it allows us some nice, uninterrupted time for conversation (which is a rare treat).
- On the same note, I also try to always be sure I look nice when he comes home from work. I'm not saying I am dressed in anything fancy, but I make it a point to be showered and out of my pajamas (even if it's yoga pants and a cute top I have on), put on at least some lip gloss, and have tried to put my hair in a neat-looking ponytail if I didn't have time to do it that day. While I had always attempted to do this (and succeeded most days), one day at Bible study a friend of mine really put it into perspective. She said that our husbands our designed to be very visual, and with all the women that our men come in contact with on a daily basis, we should seek to be something beautiful for them to look at. It's true!
- We don't make decisions without consulting the other person and considering how it will affect them. We often jokingly refer to ourselves as "Team O" (Yes, we are a bit sports-obsessed and competitive!) and strive to work as a team to problem solve, whether it is in regards to getting the housework done, how to manage our schedules, or even bigger problems that come our way.
- As previously stated in this post, we love to hang out together after the kids go to bed. You will often find us cuddled up on the couch watching a movie or catching up on some of our favorite shows that are DVR'd, playing games, or just hanging out and talking about our day. It is rare that we are each doing "our own thing" after the kids' bedtime, but instead use that time to enjoy eachother's company.
- A few of the ways that my husband shows that I am important to him is always taking the trash out (my most hated chore), sending me short and sweet texts throughout the day that say things like "Miss you", "Love you", or "Hope you're having a good day" to let me know he's thinking of me, taking the kids upstairs to play if I'm struggling to get some work or household chores done in the evening, and on Sunday mornings he always make sure the diaper bag is full, that the kids are ready and gets them in the car, and fills my coffee cup for me so that I can have a few extra minutes myself to get ready.
A "love note" from my husband.
Last summer I was slicing cucumbers for a salad and then had to take a quick bathroom break. When I came back, he had wrote "I Love Jen The Great" with the peels, so I had to capture something so random on photo. Yes, I know we are dorks, but are loving dorks!
I could go on, and on, and on, but I will spare you that. The point is this: We should chose to show our spouses love and respect every day of our lives together because that is what builds a strong marriage.
What about you and your significant other? Any special plans for Valentine's Day or any fun ideas you want to share? What about the rest of year? How do you choose to show your love for each other on a regular basis?