valentine

A Kindness Story.

The kindness of this flower. 

 

It's vibrant hues, it's shape, it's beauty; draws in the spectators and it's admirers as they  inhale deeply with their senses. 

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What a beautiful reminder of living. To struggle, to grow, to bloom, to encourage. The cycle of living. The kindness of living.  

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The kindness that is time. The hours and seconds we've been gifted. The way we choose what to do with those seconds, the ways we choose to live or die with every tick and tock. The kindness to choose and the kindness to notice that both the choosing and the seconds are offerings to the great Time-Keeper.

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Realizing that the seconds used up in un-kindness is greater than the seconds spent being kind, is a bit terrifying. But what a very kind thing it is to keep offering us more of something that we usually waste. Like a toddler who asks for more cookies, but has yet to touch the ones on his plate. 

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And then there's the ultimate kindness: God. His kindness remains un-blemished. It makes bright pink Valentine's roses look like colorless paper mâché.  

  

  

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Aside from this greatest kindness, there is given to some of us, a kindness extended that we also do not deserve very much. 

 

Its a kindness found at the beginning, when God understood that, although He was more than enough to fulfill mans every desire and need, there maybe should be another companion to share in God's kindness with.  

 

And so marriage was born from the dust, and kindness could be shared.  

 

And so, darling, as we reflect on the love we have for one another today, let's never forget that it's because of kindness that there is even love at all.  

 

And the greatest kindness I've received, is sharing God's kindnesses with you. 

Valentine's Traditions

Will and I have never really celebrated Valentine's Day, but when we had Liam and Lily we started a few traditions that have been so fun for us to do together as a family every year! (not to mention the kids feel so special and have so much fun) ❤️

First thing I've always done is get them Valentine's shirts. Ever since their very first Valentine's  ... I wonder how long they'll let me do this. 

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We always make them a fun breakfast and decorate the kitchen. I went a little over board last year but it was so much fun, I couldn't help myself. 

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We also get them small gifts. $5 or less type of gifts. But they're always appreciated and loved so much.  

For dinner, we go to Chick-fil-A. If you have never been to Valentine's Day dinner there, you are missing out. They decorate the tables and it's super cute. We always have the best time! Making Valentine's an amazing day to celebrate family has been the best and we love it so much. We also save money. We don't do elaborate and fancy dinners (even though there's nothing wrong with that) ... and we don't need a sitter... because it's a family day! 

 (just found out kids it free at PDQ on Valentine's Day) ❤️

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There's nothing I'd want, and no where I'd rather be than with my husband and my kids on Valentine's! so make Valentine's a family day this year, you won't regret it. 

Do you have Valentine's traditions?! 

 

Love, Amber ❤️

A love undeserved

I can't remember the first day we met, but I know we were just babies. My birth, just 3.5 months after yours in the same hospital. (I think most couples can't say they were born in the exact same place just 100 days apart.) My first memories of you are from our preschool days. You would sit and play with the hot wheels cars on the road carpet and I would watch. I don't find it coincidental that we ended up side by side in our class picture that year.

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I remember you at my sixth birthday party. I remember the big bonfire we had at my grandmas farm. I remember being chased by you during a game of hide and seek in the dark. Even at that young age, I noticed you. You were so handsome.

I don't find it coincidental that our paths crossed permanently in 1995 when our families both moved into the same neighborhood. I remember constantly riding our bikes together, playing basketball, and video games at each other's homes. You were quickly becoming one of my best friends and the crush I developed only got stronger thru the years.

We've celebrated the last 15 valentines days together. Our first kiss was Valentines 2000 at age 16 after 8 months of being a couple. Our engagement was on this day in 2004 at age 20 and the proposal at "our spot" in the rain was perfection.

I always knew we were meant to be. I love our story and I love the life God has led us to. The love you show me is undeserved. You are the best friend I've ever had. You are the person I've laughed most with and cried the hardest with. I've spent my whole life with you and I still can't get enough. I don't think anyone is more proud of their husband than I am. I can't fathom a day without you in it.

We've allowed God to give us all of these little valentines. These children have each possessed a piece of our hearts and there's always room for more. I never imagined how much more I could love you because we allow God to bless us with children. It is the most freeing and most connecting feeling.

I am mostly thankful for THE EXAMPLE of love in our lives, our Heavenly Father. Whose love we openly receive but hardly deserve a morsel of it. Compared to the measly crumbs we give to Him, we are daily humbled by the outpouring of love and mercy He showers us with each and every moment. It's why we can love each other so fiercely. It's why we can love our children with His love in mind. It's why we can share with others the beauty that comes from living enveloped by His love. To be His valentine. To be His hands and feet in our little love story. To share with others that true sacrificial human love between a husband and wife does exist in this crazy, cheating, divorce-loving, adulterous world. We are the minority but we are among the happiest humans. Because we only have eyes for each other and together, our eyes on God.

I love you, my one and only Valentine. Now and always. Your, Alicia

Ps. Where are our prom pictures?...!!!?

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