Small Things, Big Love:: A Valentine’s Gratitude Challenge

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Small Things, Big Love:: A Valentine's Gratitude Challenge 
February always gets me thinking about love. It’s Valentine’s Day month and whether you love, hate, or don’t even celebrate it, it’s the holiday that gets us out of that collective post holiday season slump. Spring Break is around the corner and by now, most of us have broken any New Year resolutions we’ve had and are ready for another candy holiday. {Just me?!}

Children Change Everything, Even Valentine’s Day

Pre-kids, I wasn’t super into Valentine’s Day, though I will say that I’m always about an excuse to celebrate life and spoil the people I love. Dinner out, maybe a gift, and obviously a lovey-dovey social media post were all on the agenda.

Since having my babies, this holiday has become largely about crafts, homemade Valentines, and baking red and pink treats together. And since my oldest child has been in school, it’s a scramble to make or assemble the cards and treats he’d share with classmates and his teachers.

Also, if I’m being REALLY honest, love itself looked quite a lot different pre-kids. And sometimes, while I love holidays with my kiddos, I miss those days. The days when the romantic love my husband and I share was all encompassing; something we could just relish and luxuriate in.

Love is far more mundane now.

But dare I say it:: it’s still love. And when I take the time to really SEE the love in every small thing, it still makes my heart skip a beat.

Seek Love in the Big and Small Things


Maybe this Valentine’s Day isn’t about the “big love” for you— maybe it’s about the small things.

Maybe instead of bringing home a bouquet of overpriced flowers, it’s a landscape project, mowing the lawn, or covering the plants during a freeze. {Any act of service may just be how your partner is showing you they are showing up for your family.}

Maybe instead of gifting each other with expensive perfume, it’s grabbing your partner’s preferred brand or scent of deodorant or shampoo when you’re out grabbing toiletries and you know they’re getting low on it. {It may sound silly, but it’s the act of thinking about your partner, lightening their mental load, and easing even a small burden. Thoughtfulness? That’s a small way to show big love!}

Maybe instead of dressing up to the nines and styling my hair and makeup for date night, it’s my partner letting me know he thinks I still look smokin’ hot in my sweats and messy bun. {Not gonna lie, sometimes I still enjoy getting dolled up for a date night on the couch watching Netflix, though!}

Maybe instead of a hard-to-get reservation and a splurge-y dinner out , it’s a meal shared in our own kitchen surrounded by our kids and our dog, in OUR home, this little world we wanted and created together. {Reflecting on how the choices we made brought us to the life we have always makes me feel proud– and grateful.}

Maybe instead of long, passionate love making all hours of the night, it’s sending the kids to their rooms with their tablets and grabbing an afternoon quickie.

Maybe instead of poetry and long professions of our love, it’s just always saying “I love you” before bed.

A Grateful Mindset Can Change Everything Too

Being a mom taught me to find joy in moments big and small. And this is a lesson I can take to my marriage, too.

What if your day to day love in all these small things isn’t actually as mundane as it can feel? What if it’s part of the richness that comes with staying the course in a long term relationship, living life with a partner, and just embracing the change your love will endure as the decades and each parenting stage pass?

I’m choosing to embrace all the small things that add up to big love this Valentine’s Day and all month long. And I challenge you to do the same!


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Mary B. is a lifelong creative, dreamer, and joy seeker. A midwesterner at heart, she was born and raised in northern Illinois and attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, receiving her B.F.A. in acting. Mary then worked as a sometimes actress/model, and also found a great love of hospitality and working with the public as a server in fine dining restaurants. Mary met her husband in 2007 and they wed on a beautiful September day in 2012. They welcomed a son {January 2014} and made the momentous decision to uproot their lives and move to Rosenberg, TX in 2016. Since then Mary and her fam have welcomed a daughter {June 2017} via successful VBAC, adopted the cutest, crabbiest rescue Shih Tzu, made amazing connections with other transplants and Texas natives alike, and fallen in love with Texas! Mary has also become a full time stay at home parent, and now works part time teaching ESL online {very early morning!} to students overseas. She self-publishes on her blog, Accidentally Texan, and her writing has been published on a few major media outlets. In her free time {free time--ha!} Mary loves to read, cook {and eat ;)}, work out, swim, travel, and spend time with her family. Mary believes emotional connection is the root of humanity and our collective purpose in life. Follow her on Instagram @accidentallytexan,.

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