Monday, February 22, 2016

Valentine's Day = 6 out of 10.

You know when things don't always go as hoped or planned?
This photo came out about as awesome as our Valentine's Day:

You guys, our first Valentine's Day was a disaster. We had been dating about 3 months and he thought I was going to break with him after our long car ride home. But that is a story for another time. We've come a long way with learning about each others expectations, desires and needs. Yay us! There is hope.

So fast forward to last week, Valentine's Day 2016. We didn't have major plans going into Valentine's Day but Charles let me know he'd come up with something and he'd fill me in later. It sounded like we were headed out of town (which I love) so I was stoked. Whatever we were doing, I was game. We're mostly on the same page now with these kind of things.

On Sunday after work he told me the plan - we were headed to Palm Springs for two nights. I was pretty stoked. It was different than where we usually go, wasn't a super far drive and sounded relaxing. And I love that he came up with a plan and took care of the details. Off we go..

Ok, this is where things get less than ideal.

Our stay: 7 out of 10.
The hotel was sub par and not as expected. But that's ok. It wasn't bad and we're not that fancy.
Dinner: 5 out of 10.
We roamed the main street for Dinner and had some differing opinions on dinner options (whole 30 makes this tough).
We ended up picking a pretty cool looking Burger Bar but once we got upstairs it was more like a sports bar with mediocre atmosphere. They reeled me in at "Grass Fed Beef" but then they lost me.
We then has the worst customer service we've ever had. Rude, disappeared, wouldn't give us "greens" instead of "lettuce, etc. First time we haven't left a tip. Judge if you want, he was straight up mean and that's not cool. But we made the most of it and continued to roam the area and people watch (there's some good people watching in Palm Springs).
We made plans to redeem this dinner fiasco with breakfast (my fav). We picked out an awesome looking spot and enjoyed the rest of a mellow evening.
Breakfast: 6 out of 10
Turns out they are closed on Mondays. Shoot. We picked spot number 2. I am hot and hungry (bad combo) and they let us know there is a 45 min wait (crap, it is a holiday). But then we think, maybe spot number 1 is open since it is a Holiday. HOORAY, it is! But now it is a longer walk than expected. It also has a 30 minute wait.
Now we start to bicker. I am hungry (never good) and the frustration of our less than awesome dining experiences is setting in. But we shake it off and decide to just kind of wait, in mostly silence.
HOORAY, the seat us after a 5 minute wait.
Ok, cute place and pretty good food but overpriced, trying to be too fancy, the owner was walking around carrying a dog and people were weird. But I am fed and happy.

We then relaxed in the afternoon, picked a WAY BETTER dinner place that had an early bird special for a $20 three course meal and spent a lazy evening watching the Grammys.

Ok, so why did I walk you through all of this?

As far as the plans we made, Valentine's Day was kind of a dud. Nothing to write home about (or instagram about) in the sense of the usual things like a fancy dinner, a great experience, endless laughing together, etc.

And there have been plenty of times that those not so awesome pieces would have ruined it all together for me. I would have been disappointed he didn't know more about the hotel or bummed we didn't pick a nicer dinner place and frustrated things can't just go awesome, etc. I can be pretty serious about my expectations. And lets be real, the comparison game is strong on a day like Valentine's Day. The thoughts like, "Look how happy they look", "They did _________ together", "He got her ________" can take over.

 But my expectations have shifted and I am so thankful for this.

My husband is so good to me. But the way he is good to me is unique and doesn't always look like what everyone else has.
It is the small moments that are a part of our everyday that speak the loudest...
It is the way he offers grace. It is the way he speaks to me.
It is the fun nights we have on the couch at home.
It is the times he shows up to visit me at work.
It is spending his whole Saturday doing an art walk with me.
It is the way he believes in me and sees good in me.
It is the way he cherishes our marriage and works at it.
And so much more.

I am confident I will look back and it wont be the grand gestures or fancy getaways that mean the most. It'll be the longevity of us choosing each other. It'll be the way we grow individually and together. It'll be the way we invested in our family, future children and close friends. It'll be the way we reveal Jesus to each other.

Can I challenge you?

Notice the small things and say "Thank you" to your spouse.
Choose one small but intentional way to love your spouse this week.
Don't compare your relationship to that of strangers on Instagram (or even friends).
Build into the longevity of your marriage. What will last? Focus on those things. 
Communicate. Unmet expectations = frustrations. So fill them in on what you need/want.

All in all, we had a great time together.
Was it flawless? No way. Was it really great time with the one I love? Indeed. 

I am thankful for who he is and that we get to navigate life together. Even when it is less than glorious.

The romantic sunset - it really was beautiful.

Our super mediocre dinner and some strolling through downtown:

We found great coffee and a way better dinner the second time around:

The beautiful view on our final day & tram ride to the top:

And quality time with my best friend. That is what I love.


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