My husband and I started dating 16 years ago today. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was never really one of those girls that screamed in pure excitement when something amazing just happened to myself or a friend. But, that night, that night my heart was elated.

16 years.

I was asked a bit ago what does love feel like. It took me a few minutes to gather my thoughts but even when I answered I don’t think I did love justice. Over dinner on Saturday night I looked across at my husband and suddenly knew unequivocally, irrevocably, unexplainably that I knew what love felt like.

We have been through hell and back, then back through hell over and over and over again these last 16 years. I’d come to a point many times where I told him I couldn’t give him what he deserved so he should leave me. He instead would take hold of my hand and provide the strength to believe. Love always protects, always perseveres.

With all of my faults and failures my husband is quick to be first in line to shout to the rooftops about how great he thinks I am. He pushes me to be better, celebrates every success, and cheers every time I get closer to fulfilling my dreams. Love always hopes.

I’ve never claimed to be a good person. I have done some pretty stupid, dumb, and idiotic things. Jeremy and I know that life can be complicated by struggles and needs. We know retaliating will divide us, something we will not allow. So we’ve learned to forgive and not focus on the past. Love is patient, it keeps no record of wrongs.

I have had some really icky health issues for most of our marriage. On most days, it can be frustrating. I remember the winters in Boise when I couldn’t get out of bed to save my life. Or the time I had the H1N1 and was miserable. Or when I was concussed. He is always there nursing me back to health with a hot bath, a massage, homemade chicken noodle soup. Love is kind.

Belittling is very dangerous in any type of relationship. It leaves some deep-rooted scars. Sometimes though life happens and you forget that so you pick and nag about things you think your partner can do better. Then you have to forgive or ask for forgiveness. Or both. Jeremy and I have found out it isn’t worth it. Love it does not boast, it is not proud.

I don’t know if it is from our upbringing but talking about feelings really wasn’t our go to. It wasn’t until the last two years that we’ve buckled down and started to communicate more effectively. Explaining how we feel, being honest to each other instead of bickering at every little thing has brought us so much closer and stronger as a couple. Love is trust.

I know people are familiar with that bible passage. But, it’s completely true. If you think that still doesn’t explain what love is, go here and read more a little more about what love is to me. I can also add more to that here…

Love is missing your partner before they’ve even left.

Love is loving someone exactly as they are. Not willing to change their identity to suite your purpose. But willing to cultivate their identity to suite God’s purpose.

Love is being goofy together, having the giggles with, running up to them to hug them for no reason, and caring when you’re angry.

Love is when you can sit beside someone and say nothing but felt like you had an entire conversation and everything in the world seems right.

Love is when you realize home isn’t a physical place anymore rather in the arms of a person.

Love is a crazy adventure that you want to explore with the person you wake up thinking about and the person you go to bed dreaming about.

Love is an absolutely magical feeling.

Luga, after 16 years there isn’t a shadow of a doubt how much you love me. I am so very blessed to have a man who loves as deep as you, as unrestricted as you, as full as you. I know we’ve had quite a bit of bumps in the road compared to “ordinary” couples. But, I wouldn’t have done it any differently because we don’t have an ordinary love. Today and for always, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Buon anniversario, zucchero! Fino alla Luna e ritorno. xoxo

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