To my valentine

You + me, at Mallory and Michael's wedding.

Hey, Guion:

I glanced over at you in church this weekend and thought for a moment about how immensely privileged I am to be your wife. As of today, we’ve been married one year, eight months, and two weeks. It’s flown by. I feel like we just moved here together, just bought a car, just learned who is a blanket hog (ahem) and who is simultaneously bossy and brooding when stressed (me, clearly, because stress rolls off you like water off a mallard). I’m always asking you silly questions like, “Do you remember walking down the aisle? Do you remember what a fail my bouquet toss was? Do you remember that watermelon we had during sunset at the cabin? Do you remember the immobile snake in the middle of the path?” Just because I want to be reminded that it really was almost two years ago, that it really did happen.

Marriage to you is more enjoyable with every passing day. Deep down, I half-expected the excitement to wear off a little. We’d settle into a routine, like they do in all those novels, and we’d have a pleasant, passive life together. How grateful I am that that’s not the case! It’s a Hallmark-y thing to say, but every day with you is exciting. It’s exciting because you’re fun and loving and generous in all the right ways, but it’s also exciting because I feel like I’m still getting to know you. You are full of surprises.

I love watching you do the things you love, whether it’s playing music, brewing beer, writing poetry, or even just talking about doing all of those things. You enter no project half-heartedly and you inspire me to be braver, freer, stronger. I love watching you work. You are humble and competent and generous. I am daily amazed that a man of your caliber would be willing and even eager to love me.

And so Valentine’s Day seems a little superfluous, frankly, because I don’t think I need a day set aside to be reminded of how much and how well you love me. You love me in all the little ways that I never thought I would want to be loved. Somehow, you knew that I felt loved when you emptied the dishwasher; when you started the tradition of holding my hand during the Lord’s Prayer before the Eucharist; when you let me talk about the intricacies of canine psychology for an hour; when you kiss me without warning; when you show me gentleness and patience when I do not deserve it.

I love you, dear. Thanks for showing me how to love well. With you, one little room is an everywhere.

Love,
Abby

. . . . . . . . . . . .

The Good Morrow
John Donne

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.
. . . . . . . . . . . .

HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HIM?

I mean, LOOK AT THAT FACE. Also, he made me a steak dinner with fingerling potatoes and sauteed collards. We drank malbec by candlelight and then I beat him in speed Scrabble. He also surprised me with a huge, lush bouquet of lilies, my favorite. He is irresistible. Is being married to him THE BEST? Definitely.

Guion, thanks for a perfect evening. No woman is as lucky as I am. I feel the truth of that statement every day.

Monday Snax

I decided to send a few belated Valentines and used my copperplate nib so I could go all-out with the flourishes. Happy V-Day from the two of us!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Guion and I have enjoyed a particularly laissez-faire holiday and went out for dinner on Saturday and then tonight, he’s promised to make me filet mignon with fingerling potatoes. Who needs chocolates and roses when you have the best husband ever? That’s what I want to know.

And this week’s Angela quote, even though it’s not true about me:

(ALSO WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT MY LIFE-LIST? THERE ARE ONLY TWO THINGS ON IT (YOU INSPIRED ME TO MAKE ONE, BUT THINKING BACK ON IT, ALL OF YOUR ASPIRATIONS ARE LIKE ‘GET PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORKER AND DONATE EARNINGS TO CHARITY’ WHILE MINE ARE LIKE ‘EAT 10 HOTDOGS IN ONE SITTING WITHOUT THROWING UP”)
–E-mail from Angela

That said, here are some Snax on a bed of red rose petals:

The Cheapskate’s Guide to Making Valentine’s Day Plans. Still don’t know what you’re doing yet with your lovebird? Let Mint’s sarcastic flowchart help you out. (Mint)

Google Art Project. If you use the Internet at all, then you already know about this, but I’m posting it here because it BLEW MY MIND. Google Art Project. OMG OMG.  I just went to the MoMA on my lunch break, and then I strolled around the Palace of Versailles before checking out a few paintings at the Met. Yes. This is basically Google Street View for art museums. It’s not without its drawbacks, but it really is an amazing prototype. Have fun! (Google)

Missing Summer. Sad about how cold it still is outside? Then these photos might make tears come to your eyes; they certainly made my eyes get misty (even though today we’re going to enjoy a high of 61!! This calls for a garish number of exclamation points!). (Clever Nettle)

Fly Me to the Moon. Danielle has a conversation with one of her students about what it is that astronauts actually do. Hilarious. I miss getting to hear these stories around the dinner table at 208. (Gallimaufry of a Girl)

Period Films! Um, yeah, I’ve probably seen all of these. At least three-quarters of them. And I’d watch them all again today. A collection of stills from period films, just because. (Where the Lovely Things Are)

John Stezaker. An artist who merges vintage photographs of people with vintage landscape postcards. Sounds dull, but the results are actually quite fascinating and beautiful. (Freckle Farm)

Princeton, 1969. Great photographs from a Life magazine feature from 1969, which was the year that women were admitted to Princeton. I loved the images of these young women and their fashion aesthetics, but it also made me think about how little college students have changed in 40 years. (Miss Moss)

Sadie North. Another gem Miss Moss found from the Life magazine archives. I hope I’ll be just like this woman when I’m her age. Look at her on that bicycle and mowing her lawn and snuggling that baby! Who says that old age has to slow you down? Not Sadie North. (Miss Moss)

Reviewers on Reviewing. Interesting and clever thoughts about the state of book reviewing today, considering Zadie Smith’s new post as the book critic for Harper’s. (The Book Bench)

Six Expressions that Hollywood Will Turn into #1 Movies. Because you know they will. (Best Week Ever)

Rifle Paper Co. 2011 Sneak Peek. Really love the palette and design for this stationery/notebook line. (Rifle Paper Co.)

Sights & Sounds: Sam Beam of Iron & Wine. Did you know that Sam Beam did all of the cover art for his albums except for “Creek Drank the Cradle”? I didn’t. That’s one talented, bearded, whispery musician, and here’s his interview with the ladies at Design Sponge about his artwork. (Design Sponge)