Tag Archives: love

Christmas gifts

Last night, I wrapped all the gifts we have to give so far. (We have a couple more things to pick up and then we are done shopping and ready for the gifting!)

As I wrapped each package, I found myself very carefully choosing which paper to use for which gift. See, I love the different patterns of wrapping paper.

When we would go to Grandma’s house on Christmas, I remember marveling at all the different papers used to wrap gifts that had been carefully chosen for loved ones. Still today, when we gather at my parents house, I can’t wait to see what wrapping paper comes through the door when my brother’s family arrives and is added to what my husband and I have already added to what Mom and Dad have placed under the tree.

Last week, I took Santa photos at a private event. As such, I got to be privy to what people asked for Christmas. Being mostly adults, the request for “world peace” seemed to the automatic answer. (To which Santa would reply, “That’s a beauty pageant answer.”) Once prodded, most followed up with a new car. Ah, adulthood. The requests are fewer, but the price tags bigger.

I forget now what most of the small children wanted for Christmas. One went into how his brother is in the hospital and everything he wanted was for his brother. My heart was full of love for this little boy, and I said a quick silent prayer for his brother. On a night of fun with friends, his mind was elsewhere. I understood. I think we all do, because we’ve all been in his shoes at one time or another. That’s life… but I’m sad he was feeling that way at such a young age already.

I love giving gifts, each one very carefully chosen, based either on want or need. I want the recipient to know how much love was put into choosing the item. I still have some gifts from the past tucked away in my cedar chest, kept to remember the love I felt in it having been chosen to give to me.

As the gifts are piled up under the tree, in their beautiful, colorful and different papers, I know in the end its less about the items and more about the meaning of Christmas, and the love that winds through every gesture, decoration, hug and emotion.

Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue
Wrap your presents to your darling from you
Pretty pencils to write I love you
Willie Nelson

A long line of love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

At that statement, you either just rolled your eyes or smiled and nodded. Perhaps a little bit of both.

I’ve been away from home for work the last few weeks, and I flew home to spend this day with my husband. But instead he’s in Oregon with his family, as his Dad’s been in the hospital. So ironically, I’m spending today all alone at home with my two cats.

But. That’s okay. I don’t need this day to tell me that my husband loves me and that I love him. I don’t need roses and chocolate to know we are each others everything. I have our history, our today, and our future to tell me that. I have a solid base of friendship that we’ve built upon over years. I have the dreams we dream, both big and small. I have the knowledge he’s only a phone call away, no matter what.

But more than that, I come from a long line of love. I knew when I said, “I do.” it would be for life. I would draw from the strength and lessons learned from all those loves before me and around me.  We got married in the same church  my parents and grandparents got married in… and today we have the support of friends and family to lift us up any time we hit rough patches.

And rough patches DO happen! Be they between us or around us.

Take today as an example. Having a sick parent is HARD. Especially when they are all the way across the country, dictating us be apart. A big stressful thing of it is that I can’t be right there to support my husband, and I know there’s been countless times all he’s wanted is a hug.

But we’re pulling together nonetheless with all the nuances of life around this, and we have been able to lean on friends in the spaces between to help us take it one day at a time. We’ll get to the other side of this stronger and having learned from it.

Learning from our past and each other is huge to build a solid future. No, we can’t predict the future… what events are to come or how we will react to them. But I do know I have one heck of support system — that long line of love — to lean on as anything and everything comes our way. And that’s priceless.

It’s all of THAT love that I pause and honor today.


I debated sharing this here, but I might as well. Anyone who knows us in real life has asked us, “So how did y’all meet?” And they’ve received that really uncomfortable silence, because its not an easy story to tell.  Nonetheless, when SheKnows Media did a call out for unorthodox relationships that work, I decided to submit our love story.

I know better than to read comments, but in response to one of the comments on this story, I suppose having conversations over dinner with my parents are considered stolen moments. I’ll make sure and tell them that. Ha! Anyway, our story is ours and I love it, even the “ugly” parts.