Have you seen that quote that says "every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite"? I love that quote and I feel that very strongly.
However, it's not always beautiful. Sometimes I thinking blogging gives off this perception of idealism or perfection. The reality is much, much less so. It is easy to blog about things when they are good or even great. When he does things that make him husband of the year it is very comfortable to write about. On the other hand when things are not so great it is much harder and feels too personal.
Bret brought home flowers for no reason one day last week. It was a really nice surprise and the first time he has bought me flowers in YEARS.
I could just tell you that it was just a spontaneous gesture of his love. The truth is that we had not been getting along really well for the past month or longer. No argument or issue in particular. We just were losing our temper more quickly, bickering over little things, and generally annoyed with each other. It happens sometimes. Sometimes it is just for a day or two other times for weeks. It has taken us years to learn that it is just part of living with someone for over 11 years. We are just not going to get along sometimes and that is OK.
The challenge is to work towards breaking the cycle and moving past that phase. So at the beginning of the month I mentioned to Bret that Valentine's Day was coming up and that I really wanted us to try and get along better. I suggested that we try to be nicer to each other kind of as our preparation for V-Day. Then I left it at that and focused on doing my part.
It has worked out really well. I think both of us has realized how much we take each other for granted. I also think we forgot how the little things really can make each others day go so much better. Bret didn't home for lunch one day after a long morning of surgery so the boys and I went and dropped off lunch for him at the clinic. I have been trying to stop nagging, give him time when he gets home from work to unwind, and just trying to be considerate. He has been doing things around the house without being asked, helping with bath time, cleaning up after dinner, complimenting me more, and spending less time on video games.
It probably sounds funny to say that we are working on being nicer to each other but for us it works.
The past few weeks have gone better than I could have hoped and we are both enjoying this "good" cycle. This morning for Valentine's Day he was ready with a gift that he was excited to give me. I think this is one of the first times it wasn't a last minute purchase and regardless of what it was I was happy that he thought about me ahead of time. He did really well. He got me a new Vera Bradley purse and picked it out by himself. Even better...I love it.
This year for Bret I tried something new. He gets a small gift each hour of the day today starting with his favorite breakfast before his 7 am meeting. Here is what he has in store for today:
8am- Chapstick to condition his lips for later :)
9am- A framed picture of his family for the office to remind him of his blessings
10am- I took a mini fridge to his office and set it up
11am- I filled the fridge with diet soda and he gets to open the fridge at this time
12- His favorite Subway melt cause he knows how to melt my heart
1pm- a funny CD to listen to because he always makes me laugh
2pm- Peanut butter crackers for a snack to keep at the office
3pm- I am taking his truck to get it washed and will have it back by this time for him to see
4pm- I bought him some lottery tickets because I am the luckiest girl in the world to have him as a Valentine
5pm- I have his favorite beer at home waiting for him
6pm- I made his favorite dinner
7pm- I made his favorite pie for desert
8pm- A cigar to enjoy in the hot tub
9pm- One last beer to end the evening on a great note
I know it sounds like a lot but it wasn't really. One little shopping trip and I got everything I needed. None of it was very expensive (except the fridge and it was on sale which is what gave me the idea) and most of it was just my time. So far today he has been a really good sport and I have really surprised him a couple of times. He was really excited (and very surprised) about the fridge. The look on his face really made the work of the day worth while.
This is our 12th Valentine's Day together. Some have been better than others. A lot of times we had no money so our gift to each other was doing something nice, giving our time, or sometimes a hand written note letting each other know we love each other.