Thursday, January 5, 2012

love, actually

i blame the airport scene. the rush into arms. the rose bouquets.
i blame the hallmark store at my local mall, and every song john mayer wrote from 2003-2006.
i blame disney and laura ingalls wilder. and that scene in the field when zack and kelly finally married in the finale of saved by the bell.

i come from a romantic family. from a mom and dad who have date night every friday and still kiss across the kitchen table and behind the refrigerator. from a grandfather who kneels every night on her side of the bed, whispering and praying into the too-cold sheets, neatly made up to his left since that morning in april.

so i believe in the grandeur of it all. of valentines day. of kneeling before fountains and screaming her name into a crowd of pigeons in venice. in spelling out sentiments in rose petals and saving every prom corsage. in staying up late on the phone just to hear the breath of someone too far away.

but i also believe, i think we must believe, in the realism of love. in the day-in, day-out routine of it all. the ho-hum normalcy that starts in a little house and grows, plants itself in the walls, the kitchen countertops, the bed frames and the laundry basket. until one morning the sun hits the coffee pot just right and you realize you've made a home.

in going to bed at nine with just enough energy to meet in the middle for a quick kiss.

in grocery store spats and long car rides home in the dark.

in being okay with the fact that every meal is not going to be a candlelit course of free range chicken and organic field greens. most nights, it's probably going to be cereal on the porch.

in saturdays with no makeup, holding hands across the pew on sunday.

in bringing him the sports column in bed, and letting that be the most romantic thing you do.

in being okay with the idea that every day is not our wedding day. there will be days when i'm mad at you, and you at me. when i'm tired and your back hurts. when i can't see and you can't walk. when all there is to do is sit on the porch rocker and look onto the yard and we wonder where our youth ran off to.

no, we can't always be over the moon. our stars will fall back down to earth. and we'll breathe in the coppery dirt and plant ourselves in this ground. and we'll spend a lifetime and beyond building a beanstalk back up to heaven, reaching and sprouting in spurts along the way. but that's the glorious part of it, the growing and stretching.

i have a little challenge for you:

what's one word you'd use to describe real love? mine is: compromise.

leave it here in the comments or e-mail it {descriptions/pictures are welcome too:}

on valentines day, i'm going to do a little something special with the responses.


Cara-Mia said...

What a wonderful post. I'm extremely sentimental myself, and am happy my fiancé is as well. But this also serves as a great reminder that not everyday will be crazy romantic.

I suppose my one word would be faithful.

Tiffany said...

I love this. I'll take your definition over the Disney version any day! :)

My word is "time." You've got to put time into any relationship!


Emily said...

my goodness this post was wonderful!! I love how realistic you are and I have such a hard time really knowing what true love is not having been in it before and thanks to Disney and the movies its hard to have realistic expectations. I would say in one word real love is selflessness

Candice said...

How beautiful and true this is! I love it.

I think I'd say real love is: sacrifice.

Christi said...

Thank you for this post!

My one word: trust.

nelson said...


exsoloadsolem said...

As always, thank you for the much-needed perspective. Your posts are always so intuitive... Or perhaps your life and mine are oddly similar :)
Regardless, I am so appreciative of you and your openness.

What came to me first after reading your prompt was surprising, but after some thought, is perfectly applicable. In fact, it captures by position on the matter perfectly. My word is fortitude.

exsoloadsolem said...

As always, thank you for the much-needed perspective. Your posts are always so intuitive... Or perhaps your life and mine are oddly similar :)
Regardless, I am so appreciative of you and your openness.

What came to me first after reading your prompt was surprising, but after some thought, is perfectly applicable. In fact, it captures by position on the matter perfectly. My word is fortitude.

Jennifer Rod said...

the first word that came to mind, sacrifice. but compromise is great too.

Kira said...

I love this. I guess my one word would be trust, or maybe patience. That's a good one too.

Lauren Quinn O'Neill said...

You always have such a beautiful way with words. I whole heartedly agree on compromise. The one word that came into my mind was respect.

ginanorma said...

my answer: the Cross

oh how I loved reading this, I always say,
"weddings are the the marriage"

beautifully written!

Kendra said...

I loved this post. My word is: accepting

Amber said...

comprise truly defines love. I think I would also add communication.

becky said...

I found your blog through Kaylia and oh, I am so glad I did! What a beauty you are.

My word is understanding. But I think my second choice would probably be hope.

Sue said...

This is a beautiful post. My word is Selfless.

Erin said...


Without the will never work!

Such a great post hun!

m(elanie) said...

One word to describe real love? I agree with a few of your other readers. Selflessness is what I choose too.

Lovely little post. Happy to have stumbled across your blog : )


Laura said...

Beautifully written, as always. One word for love. Trust. I trust my husband with everything I have and everything I own. Because I have this trust, I feel free to love. Lx

Stephanie said...

I had a few that were similar to other commenters so I'll go with ... devoted.

chambanachik said...

This post is marvelous. It says it all.

And my word?

Vanisha @ Vanisha's Life In...Australia said...

I've just come over from The Many Colours of Happiness, I love the post that you did there! And this one too.

My one word would be: Challenging

Holli said...

Oh I loved this!! What a perfect post! My word for my love with my husband is communication. We can communicate with words, with looks, with a slight touch... it's all in how you communicate.

Mackenzie said...

this took my breath away, really and truly. bookmarking it and putting it on my wall as a reminder. my word: acceptance.

Brissa said...

this post is beautiful. i can't even find the words to formulate a decent comment. it's just amazing how true this is.

Cassie said...


can't wait to see what you do with these words.


Thisisme. said...

Loved this post my sweet friend. Love can't always be hearts and flowers, and I just love the realism of your words.
There are lots of words, but I would say 'caring'.

kate said...

this post was absolutely beautiful. it in itself was a fairy tale. thank you for sharing this honesty and truth with us all. your writing evokes so much emotion inside me i always feel like im going to cry! amazing my dear.

my word would have to be: reckless abandonment.
-to abandon selfish desires, false ideas of what another should be, and to recklessly abandon all walls and defenses and fall into trust and love whole heartedly.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I always love your posts!

Daydream Living said...

Hi Courtney,
First, I wish you and Robert a healthy and happy 2012! It's good to be back and reading your blog, always, always a pleasure to do so.
This was a lovely and great written post, as you may know, I'm a big fan of love, hearts, romance the whole thing (I even coupled two people 6 months ago, 60 and 58 years of age, doesn't know how old you are). Look forward what you will do with the words, my word that came to my mind is Time. It takes time to really understand the meaning of true love.
Big hugs hon, from me to you,
Maureen xx

mandafaith said...


wildchild said...

what an honest and true little post. we just got engaged a few days ago, so i've been thinking about this marriage thing, but just in our dating relationship, our word is selfless. i want it to become jesus though. he'll be the one to make an amazing marriage.

Valerie said...


there are very few times i have ever found myself being 100% me, with no walls, no masks, except with the one that i really, truly love.

p.s. thank you for mention zack and kelly's wedding. :)

Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

real love- giving.
miss you courtney!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

wow- one word to describe love:
Of each other and all the things we do to drive each other insane.

alabama singles said...

This is my wish for you,peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays.So, enjoy your holiday with your family and friends, and make it unforgettable.

the southern hostess said...

Such a beautiful post! You always get it just right. Here's my word: grace.

Shalyn said...

My word- service. I love compromise as well:-)

As for this post- I want to print it and read it everyday. I adore you!

Alli said...

Commitment - It sometimes feels easy and sometimes hard. Just know that you have a a partner who is committed to you and realize that you want to be that committed to him (or her). Compromise is also an EXCELLENT word.

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