Yesterday we celebrated the day of LOVE. What does that mean to me? Red roses, candy and hearts? Mmmm, sometimes. Yesterday it didn't take any of those forms (well, okay, I couldn't resist the candy). And yet it was one of the best Valentines Days ever. Why? It progressed as any other normal day does. And then, last night, as we were gathered around the dinner table enjoying a pretty normal meal, it hit me. This is what love looks like. A normal, get up, make breakfast, fix lunches, hurry out the door kind of morning. Lots of hugs, kisses and 'I love yous' sprinkled in. A couple of calls from my husband, just because. More hugs and kisses after school. Listening and laughing with the kids on the way home. Yes, a couple of arguments between siblings added, just to keep things real. Homework (didn't quite feel the love there), more hugs and laughs, as we prepared dinner. The kids asked for 'dinner in the dark' which means dinner by candlelight. We talked and giggled through the meal. By the end of the day, I was tired, but totally in love with my kids and my honey all over again.
As I reflected on our day I thought about how many women were feeling disappointed after the day of love didn't produce all that they dreamed it would. I remembered a time that I might have ended a Valentines Day feeling the same way. Not because of a failure on my husband's part, but because of my unrealistic expectations (usually in the form of him needing to read my mind). One of the greatest lessons I have learned, in most situations, is: no expectations, no disappointments. Not that I plan to be disappointed by others, but sometimes what I expect from them is so pathetic or unreasonable. If I can just let go, I am often pleasantly surprised.
I was thinking about my marriage and how both of us have pleasantly surprised one another over the years. For example, my husband is a neat freak. He loves everything put away and orderly. While I am a generally organized person, I don't have the urge to color/organize my t-shirts as, ahem, some people do. In fact, the one place in the house that tends to get, well, let's just say a volcano of clothing seems to erupt frequently, is my walk-in closet. Which is actually an oxymoron because at no point can you actually walk in. It is my own personal landfill that occasionally gets bulldozed when I am looking for a matching sock or two. In the 6 years we have lived in this house, my dear man has never said a thing about my closet. I've seen him cast a few glances which were followed by a slight shake of the head, but that is it. What a guy! He loves me enough to just let it be. He knows that I work hard to maintain an orderly home. He loves me enough to let me have an area of weakness; a place to just be me.
One area that I have pleasantly surprised him would be in the area of outdoorsmanship (my own personal word). While I am a total girlie-girl, I also love being outdoors with my husband. I enjoy taking a spin on the 4wheeler, going for walks in the woods and occasionally shooting the .22 (that's a gun with very little kick-back ... after all, I have to protect my purse carrying shoulder!) Last year I did a "never." I donned full camoflage and joined the rest of our family on a hunting excursion. Why?! I don't know, other than I wanted to show that I would do anything for the man of my dreams. Was it fun? Well ... sort of. Trying to keep a two year old quiet and still inside a 4x6' box stand with 4 other people was not nearly as fun as finding pants on sale. BUT, the end result (and picture) was worth it all. I earned enough HONEY POINTS to go outlet shopping for a week and we made a great memory as a family. Most of all, after 11 years of marriage, I could still impress my prince charming.
While I still have too much pride to post a picture of me in Mossy Oak camo, I am willing to show off my marksmanship abilities with this photo. LOL