Holidays, Life

6 Things Learned in 6 Valentine’s Days

We began dating in the summer of 2013, so this is our 6th Valentine’s Day together! To piggyback off of last year’s Valentine’s Day Q&A post, I thought it might be fun to jot down 6 things we each love or admire about the other person. Enjoy!

Meet the petes (4)


He’s a great cook, and takes charge in the kitchen. I’m sure I have mentioned this before, but Justin does 90% of the cooking in our house.  He enjoys it, and he’s truly great at it. He likes to peruse Pinterest for new recipes, and I swear to you, it comes out perfect every single time.  He’s very much unlike me in this aspect, because I tend to get an idea and just wing it.  “How much olive oil?” he’ll ask.  “I dunno” I reply, as I just pour a bunch. He gets so mad! 🙂  He’s been known to take the utensil right out of my hand if he didn’t like the way I was cooking something.  Nowadays, I just volunteer to do the dishes and let the chef have his space!

It’s also funny when we go somewhere and bring an appetizer to share, everyone always compliments me.  I have to correct them, “I didn’t make it, Justin did!”  Rudy & I are his sous chefs — meaning, I’m allowed to cut up produce and drop samples for Rudy.

A photo from Monday night when we made Mediterranean Flatbreads for dinner. Thank you, Snapchat for the perfect little hat! 😉

He’s a hobbiest. One of my favorite qualities about him is how passionate he is with everything he does. He honestly can’t do something 50% — he puts his entire heart and soul into everything.  He turned himself into a carpenter when he made  an arbor, photobooth and guest book sign for our wedding…and then an Adirondack chair for the backyard, a blanket ladder for the living room, and a table/plant stand just for fun.  Most recently, he has picked up photography.  A few weeks ago, we bought a really nice camera and a new Macbook the next day to properly run editing software.  He has been taking photos every night (mostly of Rudy!) and watching YouTube videos to learn more about editing techniques.  He is so excited to be able to take our family photos one day!

This one is no secret at all – He’s very athletic and very competitive.  Growing up, he played every sport – baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, volleyball… and even begged his parents to let him play hockey.  Even still, he is in a golf league half of the year, and a bowling league the other half, with the occasional softball or sand volleyball game in between.  Every bone in his body has coordination and athletic skill. That being said, he’s always competing with his friends to have the better golf score or the higher home run tally. It doesn’t matter what it is, when he’s determined and gives it his all, he’s always great at it.

He’s a whistler.  Yep, exactly like your grandpa probably does, Justin whistles ALL THE TIME.  It’s a habit he picked up from his grandpa. It might be a song or the catchy tune from a commercial, but he does it so often that he isn’t even aware that he’s doing it.  Sometimes I think he does it just to get on my nerves. 😉

He’s romantic.  One month into dating (that summer of 2013), we were celebrating his birthday.  I brought LaRosa’s pizza at his request, and showed up in my sweatpants for a super chill evening.  He surprised ME with a dozen red roses and wine, and we had ourselves a picnic on his bed at his parents house.  It was the sweetest thing–a day meant to celebrate him, but instead he wanted to celebrate our first month of dating. This very same thoughtful romanticism has carried on over six years in many more ways.

Bonus: He does all his laundry in one day. Yes, I mean wash, dry, fold & put away, all in one day. A feat I will always admire.


She’s an Extroverted Introvert. Everyone needs a certain balance between social interaction and “me-time”. Amanda enjoys this just as much as anyone but her outlets to being social are very different than the typical person. She enjoys blogging, watching vlogs, and maintaining a distance with her social connections while still being able to reap the benefits of an extrovert. The idea of going to a party with 40 people triggers some anxiety while a relaxed dinner and drinks with a couple friends is the perfect environment. I am very similar although I may be better at masking it, I would much rather prefer a small get together versus a large event. We are a perfect match because it is really easy for us to vote down the idea of a huge party in favor of a night on the couch!

She can “Wing it.” Directions. Instructions. Manuals. Throw them out the window! Amanda can wing it with the best of them. I always have too much of a fear of the outcome to stray from the beaten path that I never even try. I admire the fact that Amanda can start a recipe or project without clearly defined instructions and somehow make it to the finish. I know she can see my face cringing every time we start to cook and there isn’t a recipe. Or if she just scoops some flour in without an exact measurement. Even with this relaxed approach we somehow make it to the finish line. I’ll have to admit that more often than not the results are pretty great, and the added gray hairs make me look more distinguished.

She makes me always want to improve.  We have both come a long way in the 6+ years that we have been together. From new jobs to new houses and everything in between. However I can honestly say that I would not be in the place I am today without my wife. She really drives me to want to improve myself every single day. Before we met I just didn’t have much motivation to change. I lived at home with my parents, went to work, partied and built up a pretty substantial credit card bill. I didn’t know what I actually wanted to do with my life and I was honestly too scared to take any steps to improve it, and then we started dating. Within a month I was moving into my first apartment, not together, but on my own while we navigated the early stages of our relationship. Fast forward 3 years and we were moving into our own house together! My credit card was completely paid off, down payment was saved, and I couldn’t have done any of that without her motivating me along the way. She brings out the best in me and motivates me to help improve our life as much as we can every day.

Her Love Language is Words of Affirmation.  “I love you”. Sometimes just hearing those 3 words offers just the reassurance that she needs to get by. Or maybe she’s having a rough day and she just needs a little encouragement to get over that hump. I am not always the best communicator, but when it comes to this I at least offer some advice and be supportive in the best way that I can. Amanda relies on this communication because  she can easily take a scenario and overthink it until it is completely unrecognizable from reality. I can relate because I have a tendency to worry too, but I typically just internalize it which is probably not the most beneficial approach. My love language is Acts of Service. Whether it be a small task such as putting the dishes away or something on a larger scale it is always important for me to feel like we are part of a team. Knowing what aspects of love your partner identifies with can go a long way in strengthening your relationship. So darling, “I love you and everything is going to be alright!”

She enjoys the “Little Things.” Whether it be a walk around the block, a nice bubble bath, or snuggling on the couch with Rudy, Amanda really appreciates the little things in life. We all go through the daily stresses of work and obligations but at the end of the day, f you can’t sit back and enjoy the bright moments then you are missing out. I have taken a total of 3 baths at our new house in about 2 ½ years. It’s probably because I am so tightly wound that I just can’t let myself relax and actually enjoy it. My wife can truly appreciate those 20 minutes of Zen before going back to the struggles of the real world. I envy that. She can also fall asleep in 5 minutes while I lay in bed for 2 hours thinking about a test answer I got wrong in the third grade, but that is for another blog.

She will be a great Mother. If there is one thing that I have learned in the past 6 years, it is that one day Amanda will be an amazing mother. She has a passion for caring and it truly shows just watching her interact with our friends’ children. We were devastated this past year with two miscarriages that really took a toll on us. They were both experiences that we surely will never forget (and don’t want to) but every day gives us a new chance to finally achieve that dream of becoming parents. As we continue to try for our rainbow baby I am comforted knowing that once that day comes, our baby will have the best mother in the world. I have already accepted that I am going to have to be the “tough” dad because our child is going to be beyond spoiled by their mother; a job that she is going to love.

I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we are pretty lucky to have found each other.

Tonight, we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day at home, and making heart-shaped ravioli from Costco for dinner.  I’m (I say “I’m” but we both know how Justin likes to control the kitchen) also baking an Oreo Cheesecake for my brother, since his birthday is today and we are celebrating tomorrow with family.  We exchanged our cute little gifts last night — because we can never wait for the actual holiday — but my favorite gift of all, is getting to spend the rest of my life with one hell of a good man by my side.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! XOXO

Amanda’s gift to Justin
Justin’s gift to Amanda
The card was a book, which he personalized!


Our heart shaped ravioli dinner!

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? Drop a comment below.


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