• What I want on Valentine’s Day

    Love isn’t easy to define. You can say it’s a feeling, or a lifestyle, or just a bunch of neurons going off in your brain. What I believed about how love should be shared has changed a lot since I was a teenager, but I still believe that what it really means is that you’re there for someone when it really matters.

    Venus Trapped in Mars

    I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day regardless of my relationship status, but I’m all for telling all of the people I love that I love them. When I started writing this post, I was a little stumped. I wanted to write something in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, but it felt odd. My husband knows I love him, but what would someone else want to know about it? Then I discovered Sarah & Helene’s Link-up, so I decided to make it a two-part post for you.

    Why I love him

    The way I love my husband is different from the way I love anyone else. We met at a get together and started dating. That didn’t last long but we ended up as friends. One night in June, I let him take me to the movies and there was a spark. All of a sudden we were engaged! It took me some time to realize how awesome he is, but I’m glad to say it happened. Now he’s my best friend, my boss and the guy who delivers my cupcakes.

    He went out this morning to get me one from Crumbs.
    He went out this morning to get me one from Crumbs.

    I love him because he surprises me with things I like even though I hate surprises. Last year on Valentine’s Day he contacted my boss to ask for a day off. Next thing I know, I’m packing for a long weekend in Las Vegas.

    Las Vegas 2013

    I love him because of that that time we drove to Wal-Mart at night when I wanted a snack. We left with only milk and donuts. He told me that we’d have to eat them all that night. Fast forward to about 10 pm in our car, sitting by a pier. We have finished all of the donuts and milk. It was romantic, I swear.

    Photo via Wikimedia.
    Photo via Wikimedia.

    I love him because he is my biggest fan. He motivates me when I need it and supports me when I have my own things going. He reminds me that it’s cool to be who I am, but also drops hints when I need to be a better person. He tells me to stand up for myself and helps me remember what’s important in life when I forget.

    What I really want to do on Valentine’s Day

    There’s not much more I want in my life than I have now. So when I think of a special day, my mind comes back to the time we normally spend. Here’s what I have in mind for today (in no particular order):

    Snuggle on the couch. Watch a movie. Make tacos for dinner. Exchange cheesy cards. One year I actually made him a card that said “You are my cheese.” That’s just how we do. Gifts are great but the things that show you were really thinking of me are the best. Cupcakes are always on that list.

    This year, I’d like to publicly share my attempts at a Valentine’s Day card in the form of haiku’s. Feel free to save and share the images. They’re also available on Pinterest and Facebook.

    valentine-penguins-1valentine-chocolate

    valentine-snow-frosting

    Leave a haiku in the comments (about love or anything, really)and I’ll create an image for you. (This might help.)

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • happiness marcus the elder quote

    What are your vacation moments?

    atlantic city
    At Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, N.J.

    Whenever it starts getting cold and the holiday season approaches, I start thinking about what has been going on in my life. The New Year is on my mind.

    One of the big changes in my life for 2013 was that I started working with my husband. This means a lot of time in the same apartment, staring at different screens. We have been kind of busy so this weekend we decided to take a one-night trip to Atlantic City.

    The first thing that happens on a trip like this is that we get in the car and rejoice that there’s no TSA or airport to deal with. (I still hate packing! It’s a real problem.)

    Let’s call it a road trip because what should have been a two-hour drive actually took four. That was all right. One of us is driving and the other is DJing. It’s a trip to spend some time together after all. We wanted to get away for a day or two, before anyone really noticed we were gone.

    We go without our families, we put our obligations on hold. Despite the ridiculous, mid-day traffic in New Jersey, we have a good time getting to our destination. He lets me choose the music. We talk about politics, the economy, the future. I talk about that guy from Duck Dynasty who was in the news. We entertain ourselves and say sweet things instead of yelling at people slowing down on the highway.

    We stay at Harrah’s for the night. Our goal was to check in and go swimming. We relax in a hot tub with a bunch of strangers instead because… vacation. We check out of work mode for those hours — it’s all about us.

    happiness quote

    But vacation is not life. That doesn’t mean life is not good when we get home. It doesn’t mean we didn’t have good moments before getting in the car.

    A few days ago, a friend and I discussed how people are able to choose a partner* and then live with them for the rest of their lives. There’s the cliche five-year itch and the marital bickering from knowing too much or getting too comfortable. She asked me how couples deal with seeing the worst of each other over time.

    What do I think, you ask? Yes, it’s wise to continuously do things for each other. It’s good to give, even when you don’t feel like it. But what really help are the “vacation” moments. Not the physical act of leaving your home. Instead, it’s free and only takes as long as you want. That is, you have to remember that the good moments happened at all. It’s easier to remember the negatives. It’s easier to joke to your friends about the cliches because like any stereotype, the truth is there.

    I’ve been seeing these “memory jars” posted online, which really makes the idea literal. Basically, you put a note in a jar whenever something good happens, big or small, and then you read all of the notes at the end of the year. I think it’s a great idea to bring to a relationship or just to do for yourself.

    I might give it a try, and remember being on vacation all year ’round.