Every year around this time, I think about love. After all, it’s pretty hard not to when you’re surrounded by roses, chocolates, lovey dovey cards and hearts plastered everywhere you go. (Side note: I love all of it). Over the years as I’ve gone from a towheaded toothless girl to a messy-haired grown up, I’ve been blessed to have love in my life. Some of it was meant for a lifetime, while other types of love only lasted for a season. Some I’ll never forget and others I’d like to bury deep in the ground. But regardless of whether or not my jaunts into love will last for a minute or for forever, I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to feel love.
You see, I may be a forever optimist or a hopeless (while somewhat klutzy) romantic, but I truly believe that love is all around. While it can be manifested and found in grand gestures, sweep you off your feet romances and perhaps a sparkling piece of jewelry, it is most often found in little things.
To me, love can come in the forms of people, relationships, pets and interests. But for the sake of not boring you, I’ve summed up my thoughts on love below…
-Babies. Running around with my two crazies (also known as my nephews) is one of my favorite things to do. They slay me. Occasionally I try to tell them no, you can’t have every toy you possibly want or seven cookies a day, but it’s really hard—especially when they say please. Between you and I, I’d give those little boys anything in the world they wanted. (Just don’t tell their parents).
-Yet to be born babies. Breaking news: my big sister is pregnant with her first baby—another boy! And while logically I know it’s hard to tell how cute a baby is from an ultrasound picture, I’m pretty sure this little mister is going to be a heartbreaker. The icing on the cake? They’re naming him Donald after our grandpa. A man who happened to be tough as nails, had hands the size of bear paws, a twinkle in his eye and a heart that held so much love it’s a wonder it didn’t burst.
-Family. If you haven’t figured it out by now, my family is massive. Between all sides, there are more than 23 aunts and uncles and 60 first cousins. That’s kind of a lot. Growing up, we were peppered with hugs and kisses, family parties, treks into the mountains and lots of cousin bonding time. And while it’s safe to say that my family may be a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to the chaos that comes along with it, they are some of the finest and most loving people I know. And I’m grateful for each and every one of them.
-Friends. I’m not bragging, but I have some lovely friends. Some are people I’ve literally grown up with, while others I met in college or when I forged my way into the professional world. And while we may have met at different times, one thing remains the same—I love these people.
-Music. Music is love. It’s raw emotion and storytelling and it speaks what words cannot always say.
-Sour patch kids. I know this seems like an odd thing to love, but sour patch kids (the new berry flavored ones) brighten my day. And while sure, a sour sugar-covered candy shouldn’t have that much of an impact on me, I’m not ashamed to profess my love for these sweet little treats.
-Montana. I’m often asked when I’m going to leave Montana to pursue other adventures. And I must be honest: leaving would likely be one of my biggest heartbreaks. When prodded, I often echo the six little words said by Brad Pitt’s character Paul in A River Runs Through It, “Oh, I’ll never leave Montana, brother.”