Friday, February 14, 2020

Sara and Melissa talk about....Romance!

We recently started a new column series to get more personal with our readers. This month, we're talking about romance, since it's Valentine's Day! We're open to topic suggestions, so please don't hesitate to share those in the comments. We'd also love to know if you can relate to anything we've said or hear your own thoughts on the topic. So don't be shy. :) We look forward to getting to know you as much as we're letting you get to know us. You can find our first post here, in case you missed it last month.

Melissa Amster:

As of last week, my husband and I have been together for 18 years. Our 16-year wedding anniversary is next month. When it comes to romance, we don’t rely on flowers and chocolate. Instead, it’s the little things we share that keep our marriage thriving. The number one most important thing in our relationship is laughter. We engage in humor all the time, whether it’s sending funny articles and videos that we know the other will enjoy, sharing inside jokes, doing impressions, joking about something our kids said or did, etc. We love being able to make each other laugh. It’s a natural high for us. Even when there are tough times or someone is having a bad day, just sprinkling some laughter in is enough to buoy us.

Our wedding...16 years ago!

In the beginning, there were typical romantic gestures, like a special date night surprise, going dancing together, making bubble baths, doing stuff for each other’s birthdays, etc. For a date early in our relationship, my husband took me for a carriage ride around downtown Chicago and then for dinner at Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock building. For our one-year wedding anniversary, he re-created that special date and also gave me a necklace he designed and had a jeweler make. (I still wear it all the time.) I also had surprises in store for him on our anniversary. I planned activities that would remind us of our honeymoon, like going to a restaurant similar to Benihana--prior to us keeping Kosher (there was one at our resort), playing billiards, going dancing, and having drinks at Bahama Breeze (although mine wasn’t alcoholic at that time because I was pregnant with our first child).

Nowadays, we go on dates, but we usually just get dinner and go bowling or to see a movie. (Sometimes we’ll see live theater performances, as well.) However, I planned a surprise activity for his birthday this past winter. We went to an escape room for the first time and it was a lot of fun. It brought back an element of excitement from early in our relationship and we also got some inside jokes out of it. Now that our oldest child can babysit his siblings, we get out a lot more often and even go on double dates with other couples sometimes.

I am in love with my husband and the spark in our relationship is still going strong. I’m thankful for him every day.

Since this is a book blog and we are celebrating Valentine’s Day right now, I wanted to mention a few romantic novels I’ve enjoyed in recent years, as well as one that slipped under the radar a long time ago.

1. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
2. One Day in December by Josie Silver
3. Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
4. The Boyfriend Swap by Meredith Schorr
5. Sparing the Heart by Tracy Krimmer
6. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
7. A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber
8. Twin Piques by Tracie Banister

Slipped under the radar:
Room for Love by Andrea Meyer.
It published in 2007. I loved it and I don’t think it got the attention it deserved. (Probably because I didn’t have a book blog back then.)

I would love to hear about your favorite romantic novels. Please share them in the comments section below.

Sara Steven:

I’ll be honest- I’m having a bit of a bah humbug Valentine’s Day holiday this year. Having dealt with health issues since the beginning of the year, and still ensconced within the throes of it, visions of red hearts and pink “I love yous” has taken a back seat to doctor’s appointments and medical exams. It’s funny how quickly a moment or an event can change one’s perspective on things. In researching ideas on how I wanted to approach this month’s topic, I found correspondence between my husband and I circa 2008. This was from before the wedding, before the second child. Before the health issues:

From me, to him:

I love to watch you. I love to watch your habits and the little things you do. Like the way you hold your fork and the 5 seconds it takes you to actually taste food in your mouth, and the facial expression that comes after it. That's a classic Kevin, right there. When you walk away from me or towards me, I love to watch the type of gait you have. It's this self assured step with a little bit of boy mixed in there. It's really cute. I love that you always have to be touching me, in some way, when we are together, whether it's a hand on my back, or entwined in my hand, or when we are on the couch, not even cuddling, our feet have to be touching. You are an AMAZING man baby. Thank you for being the way you are, and thank you for being mine. :)
I love you. Have a good day at work today. :)

And from him, to me:
What I love about YOU, Sara, is that you can send something like this to me, and it's so touching and wonderful that I have no idea how to respond to it. I'm sure there were a few things I did yesterday that you could add to this list, but those things along with all the other things you mentioned here, are all because of you. You are the reason I'm the way I am. This morning I was reflecting on how good I feel and how much more like myself I have been lately. I realized, though, that I'm not like myself at all. I can't say that I'm feeling like I used to so many years ago, because I'm feeling better. Way better. I have all of the same silly playfulness and fun-loving spirit that I used to have, but I also have much more confidence, and resolution, and respect in myself and others. Most of all, though, I have love. I have love that I never knew existed, and cannot live without. I'm complete and happy and healthy and I feel so incredible. I owe that all to you. You are my best friend, my partner, my girlfriend, my lover, my're my everything. As sappy as it sounds, I don't think a word exists for what you mean to me. I think there's just a feeling that exists for it, and I'm so happy that you feel it too, so you know what I'm talking about. I love you Sara. Thank you for completing me.

Our honeymoon, almost 11 years ago!

It’s not that I don’t still feel that way. I hope he does, too. Only, time has progressed us, catapulted us into an entirely different dimension than 2008. Sweet love notes have been replaced by sticky notes, or notes sent through text. Responsibilities have compounded, with moves and new jobs and two children. Our date night for Valentine’s Day this year will be his accompaniment to another doctor’s appointment, this one roughly an hour from where we live, not counting the Phoenix rush hour traffic. We still hold hands, and while we don’t whisper sweet nothings into one another’s ear nearly as much as we used to, I don’t know anyone who can deliver a much-needed joke when I need it, not like my husband can. He’s Wit On Tap. He’s also stepped up, picking up where I’ve had to slack, steering the kids and making dinners and doing as much as he’s able to, to help me out. My visions of red hearts and pink “I love yous” is knowing I have someone in my life who would literally do all he can for me, in order to ensure that I’m healthy and all right because I am that important to him. To me, that’s the real deal, right there. And really, what’s more romantic than that?

Whether you’re in a new, budding relationship, or one that’s seen a few miles, or maybe you’re spending time with your girls on a Galentine’s Day extravaganza, any and all of it- I hope you have a wonderful time spending the 14th of February with the people who mean the most to you.

Your turn! Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section. We look forward to hearing from you.

1 comment:

Dianna said...

I like your new series! We had a quiet Valentine's Day -- made steak and mashed potatoes and had dinner with the kids.