What love looks like on an ordinary day.

Love on an ordinary day. (Prepping candy canes for the garden.)

When I was a young girl, I bought into the idea that “real love” was demonstrated by the grandiose gestures of diamonds and carriage rides. According to the movies and cheap romance novels (that I sneaked because they were banned in our house), the man always had the perfect compliment. The woman never struggled with her self-esteem. And, oddly, children were never around to mess up a moment of good passion. I thought I knew what love looked like on an ordinary day, not just the extraordinary days. Then, I grew up, fell in love, and entered reality.

On Thanksgiving afternoon, my younger daughter and my husband began the annual holiday excavation.  Together they uncovered and slid and pushed and carried boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations from the attic. The center of the garage was soon filled with towers of boxes that would transform our home into a Christmas wonderland. It took a couple of hours to pull everything down. The garage was cold; the attic was colder. Neither complained. They were enjoying their time together, just the two of them, working as a team. That’s what love looks like on an ordinary day.

As the boxes were shuffled about, C and I worked in the kitchen. It would be our first traditional Thanksgiving feast in over a dozen years– so many years, A doesn’t remember ever having one. Many years ago, in response to “What would you like on Thanksgiving?” my husband replied, “I don’t want you in the kitchen. Let’s just do appetizers all day.” It was the same the following year, and the year after that. And, a new tradition was born. For years, we have gathered in the living room over appetizers, games and puzzles. This year though, we decided to change things up and we gathered over turkey and mashed potatoes at a formally set dining table. The girls wanted to do it,  “the way Grandma would have done it.” A change which gave me the gift of some time alone with C, my almost grown daughter, who will be starting her own traditions someday soon. It was time to talk about college and the future and relationships and…life. That’s what love looks like on an ordinary day.

Yesterday, my husband, quiet as a Christmas mouse, began the stringing of the lights. Every year, he strings lights up and down the front of the house. He strings them across the backyard fence and across the cottage roof-line. He decorates the small deck off the dining room and places lighted decorations along the paths and in the died-off garden so that when I look out the window, I “get a pretty view, too. Not just the neighbors.”   He drags his ladder to and fro without so much as a whimper of complaint. He does it because he knows I like the lights. And, as he unwound, tested, and hung the lights, the girls and I unpacked boxes and reminisced and laughed together. Together, we prepared for the Christmas holiday. That’s what love looks like on an ordinary day.

Last night, my husband and I were scheduled for some “date time” while the girls had  plans for some fun “sister time.” (I love that they’re not just sisters, but truly best friends!) Leftovers sat on the counter, self-service buffet style. My battery was running low, the muscles in my back ached, and my head was toying with a headache. I sipped on a strong cup of coffee with the intention of actually being present during our date. In the other room, the girls and my husband watched an episode of “Psych” together. The coffee wasn’t working, but given the amount of coffee I am known to consume in a day, this should have been no surprise. I asked my husband if he would mind if I took a 20 minute cat-nap on the couch before we headed out. No objections, and despite the TV noise, I went out faster than I can type “o-u-t.” When their show ended, I was awakened by the noise of plates being rinsed and loaded into the dishwasher. I sat up and tried to find my bearings. I felt more “out of it” than I had before my nap, and it was barely 7. My husband looked at me, love in his eyes and said, “Let’s get you upstairs. There’s always tomorrow.” He kissed me goodnight and told me to just take care of myself as he turned out the light and headed back down to hang-out with “his girls.” That’s what love looks like on an ordinary day.

Sure, carriages and diamonds are nice, but “ordinary love” makes any day extraordinary.

What does love look like on an ordinary day in your life?

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20 thoughts on “What love looks like on an ordinary day.”

  1. This was the perfect read for me today, your home sounds so lovely and I always think that the lucky ones in life are the ones who can SEE that they are lucky, who can FEEL happy when it comes and smile at it. You have this gift! c

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  2. How incredibly beautiful. I love this post. and indeed that IS what love looks like. It shows up. It is steadfast. it is there in the trenches—in the valleys, the mountaintops and in-between. Thank you SO much for sharing this post and your extraordinary ordinary day(s).

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    1. ” It is steadfast. it is there in the trenches—in the valleys, the mountaintops and in-between. ”

      Love the way you expressed that, Kate! Thank you so much for popping in and sharing your comment! I am so grateful for your visit and happy my words touched you.

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  3. First off, aw. ♥

    Second? Stolen glimpses of pride and love at a little guy growing so big, so fast. The question, “Do you need anything? Want to get away for a little?” Arms thrown wide for at-random hugs. These are a sample of what love tends to look like in (extra)ordinary life for me.

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    1. ♥ back.

      And, l love the “Do you need anything> Want to get away for a little?” Those two questions mean far more than roses in my world.

      Thanks for sharing what love looks like in your extraordinary life.

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  4. The beauty of this is that you see love for what it is, in the ordinary moments, with special attention to detail. That’s what it’s all about. It’ll fuel you when things get tough and it will bring you much comfort and joy for years to come, and especially as kids get older and begin leading their own lives. A mother’s heart is filled with these small, memorable moments. Thanks for helping me remember mine, and how truly blessed we are!

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    1. “It’ll fuel you when things get tough and it will bring you much comfort and joy for years to come, and especially as kids get older and begin leading their own lives. A mother’s heart is filled with these small, memorable moments.”

      So true, Cindy! It is the small stuff that fills my tank best.

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  5. Hubby letting me have alone time in my room while he takes over the house duties is a big sign of love. In recent times of prolonged illness, the children bringing food and snacks with love notes on the plate say “I love you” in a way that needs no further explanation!

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  6. I’m thoroughly enjoying joining you daily on your blog and reconnecting with u and your family Blessed is what comes to mind as I read it. My youngest can’t remember me cooking a traditional thanksgiving meal either. The last 5-7 years we have eaten at some very beautiful hotel buffets- though some have been very good – it’s still not the same as homemade So next year we are going to do it. Cook the meal. Maybe will test drive it at Christmas – anything is possible.
    For me, love on an ordinary day, is feeding myself good healthy nutritious fuel (can you tell I hungry right now) and being grateful everyday for the beauty that surrounds me. Like watching my daughters sing after inhaling helium from Sam’s birthday balloons – its always lovely to see them being friends- my husband giving me heartfelt positive affirmations – that’s always lovely. Sitting outside enjoying the day – that’s love on an ordinary day.

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  7. i feel like i write this for every post, but i absolutely adore this one. so, so, so true… and so incredible. it’s the love on the ordinary days that is the best love.

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