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I cranked up the music because nothing makes cleaning enjoyable but music makes it a little better. It doesn’t, however, drown out the soundtrack in my head: This sucks! I hate cleaning! Why doesn’t it ever end? Stupid dishes! Stupid dirty floors! Why do we have so much laundry? Blergh!

As the Talking Heads sang, “And you may ask yourself, Where is that large automobile? And you may tell yourself, This is not my beautiful house!” I laughed. No, this is not my beautiful house. Except . . . it is. And like they sing at the end, these days it feels like it’s same as it ever was.

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Mark and I spend a lot of time staring at each other. Not the lovey-dovey gazing into each other’s eyes, though. No, as we look at each other across the dinner table, it’s more of the stunned, is-this-our-life, where-did-these-maniac-children-come-from sort of exchange.

It just so happens that we have a babysitter tomorrow night – more of a happy coincidence than any romantic planning. A host at one of the restaurants I called, crossing my fingers I could get a dinner reservation, actually laughed at me. Informed me they’d stopped taking reservations a month ago. We’ll probably go to Chipotle or Five Guys.

It doesn’t matter, though. The full tank of gas that magically appeared in my car this week and the bathroom towel rod that was fixed before I even asked him are more mood-inducing than any overpriced appetizer or corner booth. (Besides, we like Chipotle and Five Guys.)

And, really, what matters is finally having time together. We might even gaze at each other without the background noise of a screaming little person.

I’ve read some great, beautiful posts recently about love and marriage and real life. The day before Valentine’s Day seems a good time to share.

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Five years and two kids in, marriage is beautiful and rich. Romance might be hard to come by, but it shows up in little ways that mean a lot, like taking out the trash and holding hands on the couch after the kids are asleep. Disappointments are a part of life, but forgiveness and maturity make a marriage deep and help us recognize our need for the Lord.
For When Your Marriage Seems Like Nothing Special :: Kayse Pratt

Give me pizza on Friday nights and hamburgers the way he makes them. Keep your magazines and movie endings and mad dashes through airports – just give me an ordinary love. That I can touch and hold and snort out loud with; that I can fight and fume and cry with; that I can trust, and hope, and dream with; that I can warm my feet up against under the covers at midnight. Give me an ordinary love.
In Defense of Totally Ordinary Love Stories :: Lisa-Jo Baker

But here’s the truth: lifelong love is actually most built throughout the hours of the day, all twenty four of them, in the ordinary moments of our humanity. Lifelong love isn’t just for lazy Saturday mornings of coffee and books, it’s not just midnight breathlessness scented with perfume, it’s not just evening dinners with a bottle of wine. Those moments of our lives are lovely and necessary, too, but they’re not the fullness of love either. Love looks like choosing each other, again, in all of the rotations of the clock’s hands, in all of the years we share together, in the seasons and the minutes. It’s glamorous and sexy, and it’s boring and daily.
Love Looks Like 2:07 a.m. :: Sarah Bessey

I used to think highs and lows put strain on a marriage—but now I see it’s more than that. The every day stress of life is what makes marriage so challenging {and so beautiful}. Every day we have to fight the distance that wants to creep in and build a wall between us. I wake up in the morning to Steve making breakfast for our family and give him a little kiss. And bricks come down. Sometimes I slip a little note into his bag that says, “You are brave.” And bricks come down. Every day we have to hold each other, listen to each other, and share our hearts with each other. It isn’t fancy, but it matters. It isn’t complicated but it’s not simple either. Marriages are built in the little, everyday moments of life. Marriages are broken through the everyday strain of life and the drain of the mundane.
Loving Each Other in the Mundane :: Lisa Leonard

And here are a few more posts about love and marriage and real life…

Cheering for the Same TeamWhen Being Stubborn is a Good ThingThe Most Romantic Gesture Ever

What are your plans for this weekend?

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