I am a romantic at heart.
When my now husband and I were dating, and even when we were newly married, I loved planning little surprises for him, like a picnic on the beach or making up a batch (or two) of brownies just to show my love. Those small gestures make me happy and help me to express my “love language” to him in my own way.
Somewhere down the line however, I stopped planning and surprising my husband with signs of my affection; between keeping up the house, working two jobs, and three kids, sometimes it feels like we operate more as friendly roommates rather than husband and wife.
But this weekend, when we left the baby with a sitter and attended a family wedding, I was reminded, with the help of several generous servings of vodka and cranberry tonic drinks, how much fun it is to re-connect.
And so this week, I’m inspired to focus on a few fun (and easy, because let’s face it, I don’t have all day) to show my husband how much I love him.
Sit next to your husband in a booth. 1 of 13
Yes, this one's a bit sappy, but I still think it's cute and sometimes it's fun to mix it up at a restaurant by choosing a cozy corner booth and sitting side-by-side instead of across from each other. And, it makes holding hands under the table even easier.
Photo credit: Flickr/jimg944
Do one of "his" chores. 2 of 13
I know we are all equal partners these days, but I have to admit that there are some chores around the house that still fall directly into separate terrains. So when I take out the trash or collect the garbage cans, it's my little way of showing appreciation for him.
Photo credit: Flickr/Dru Bloomfield At Home in Scottsdale
Read old love letters from each other. 3 of 13
Looking back at our past always brings a smile to our faces. Whether it's digging out old love notes or scrolling through mushy college-day emails, remembering the moments that brought you together makes the present even sweeter.
Photo credit: Flickr/Peter Hellberg
Plan a "mystery night" once a month. 4 of 13
Each month, take turns surprising your spouse for a special date night out. Keep the secret and build the suspense for an even better surprise. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you may even want to peruse Pinterest for a whole year worth of mystery date night ideas.
Photo credit: That would be us, dating it up on a hayride!
Re-create your first date. 5 of 13
At home or out on the town, try to re-create your first date together. Bonus points for remembering the outfits that you wore.
Photo credit: Yup, us again, back in our high school dating days.
Wake up early to watch the sunrise together. 6 of 13
This could backfire if your spouse is not a morning person, but it's the thought that counts, right? Adding in the prospect of breakfast might help too.
Photo credit: Flickr/BrentOzar
Encourage a hobby. 7 of 13
My husband and I have completely different hobbies. I love nothing more than curling up with a good book and coffee, while he has read maybe 4 books in his entire life. But when I know he's needing a little extra love, I make sure to show some interest in his favorite hobby--woodworking.
Photo credit: Flickr/Charles & Hudson
Bring him lunch. 8 of 13
Nothing puts a smile on my husband's face or makes me feel like a super wife like surprising him with lunch at work. If you're crunched for time, order his favorite meal and have it delivered. Works like a charm.
Photo credit: Flickr/hykeab25
Start a love jar. 9 of 13
I actually did this one year for Valentine's Day--all through the year (ok, ok, so the night before), I jotted down reasons why I loved my husband and put them in a mason jar. On the big day, I read them out loud to him and reminded him--and myself in the porcess--just why I loved him.
Photo credit: Flickr/tessieanne
Do some star-gazing. 10 of 13
This has been my favorite date night so far; spread out a blanket outside, hold hands and watch the stars on a clear night. Perfection.
Photo credit: Flickr/Magnate Lab
Make a scrapbook. 11 of 13
Even if you're not a professional, throwing a scrapbook full of old memories and mementos together can be a meaningful way to show your love. Plus, it's a good way to keep the kids entertained for an afternoon.
Photo credit: Flickr/betsywatters
Encourage man night. 12 of 13
Nothing says "I love you" like letting your man spend time with his friends. And trust me, that time apart is good for both of you.
Photo credit: Flickr/Francesco Rachello
Tape a love note to the bathroom mirror. 13 of 13
Sneak into the bathroom before your man in the morning and leave him a little love note to discover while he's brushing his teeth. Or, go all old-school and tuck a note into his lunchbox. Although you may want to avoid any risque pictures with this one, just in case.
Photo credit: My love note to my husband this morning. What can I say, I've been inspired!