Do you only look for romance in the big things in life? Or do you see it even more in the little things? Today, author Tabitha Bouldin is sharing a story of something that might seem mundane and normal, but was romantic to her.
I love the idea of romance in the mundane, every day, little things.
But picking out a single moment that speaks to me, that took me a minute.
Since I’m an author, let me tell you a story.
I am terrified of deep water. To the extent that I was unable to learn how to swim.
This fear has played a big part in my life. It has hindered me and held me back time after time.
I didn’t want our two boys to experience the same fear, but I did not have the ability to teach them how to swim.
My husband did. He knew my fear and he understood what it meant for me that the boys learn what I could not.
Have you ever decided you didn't want to get to know someone better because of a first impression? Sometimes, when you finally do, you realize that person is the best friend--or even boyfriend--you've ever had. Today, Molly Noble Bull is joining us to tell about her first impressions of her husband ... and the fun way she overcame them.
Charlie and I have been married for many years. Yet I will always remember how it all began.
We met in college, and I was impressed by the fact that he was the president of a popular student organization I knew. But I was eighteen. He seemed much older, older than the college boys I knew.
It wasn’t that he looked older, but there was a maturity about him I couldn’t ignore. Though he was kind, polite, and handsome, I thought he was probably a veteran. Since I wasn’t interested in dating older guys, I didn’t consider him a possible boyfriend.
Still, he seemed interested in me.
I not only looked young for my age, about fifteen, I was probably one of the least mature freshmen on campus. But one of my friends had a mad crush on Charlie Bull. She talked about him all the time. The more she talked, the better he sounded.
My children still say "ew!" when they see my husband and me kiss. And I'm okay with that.
Don't get me wrong. It won't keep me from kissing my husband when they're around, because well ... we like kissing ... and because they need to see a marriage that's healthy and strong so they can grow up to have one of their own, too.
But they're also still four and six. And they don't need to be kissing anyone but parents and family yet. And those are pecks on the cheek.
They have their own way of expressing love, though.
As I posted about last week, we celebrated our anniversary. And I have to admit something. Gift-giving is one of my main love languages. Seriously. I thrive on being able to find the perfect gift for someone.
This year, as I scratched my brain, trying to figure out what I could get my husband that he'd have no expectations of, and would appreciate, I remembered an idea I had a while back.
Let me explain.
My husband LOVES baseball. More than I will ever understand.
Seventeen years really isn't that long in the scheme of things.
It's not even half my lifetime thus far. Not two decades. Nowhere close to how long my grandparents were married.
And yet, with each passing year, I'm pleased how our number keeps getting larger.
Tomorrow is our 17th wedding anniversary.
Our marriage has in no way been perfect--are any? But it's been filled with tons of sweet moments, leaning on each other through hard times, learning lessons together, crying and laughing together, and more moves than either of us expected when we started this journey.
So many times, we remember the big moments in our relationships. The ones that were life-altering like a first date or first kiss or proposal. But author Peyton H. Roberts is our guest today, and she's talking about the magic that happened BEFORE that moment. Read on. It's super sweet.
My favorite part of any love story is found in the unexpected, sweet moments that lead to a first date. I’m fascinated by the convergence of location and circumstances that bring two lives together at just the right time for magic to swirl in and change everything.
For my husband Nick and I, that moment unfolded several months before our first date. As high school seniors finishing up college applications, momentum was shifting from our current normal at home with parents and siblings to our next big steps out into the world.
That year, Nick and I were serving as leaders in a large, social church youth group. If serving sounds like work, it didn’t feel like work, because 30 of our closest friends were along for the ride.
Finishing high school before social media and texting meant if you wanted to know what was happening, you had to show up places. Consequently, everyone came to everything. Over the course of senior year, our class of student leaders became a tight-knit group of friends. We sat together in the cafeteria, spent weekends at lake houses, and traveled in packs to sporting events and concerts.
I love this man so much. When I agreed to do life with him, it's a decision I've never regretted, nor will I. That being said, he's not "my everything."
Are you shocked?
I scroll through social media and see people posting about how their guy is "my rock," "my life," and "my everything." And I cringe. It's not that they aren't being sweet. I just think that's a good way to be let down.
Can we be brutally honest for a minute? Seriously. Have you noticed that all the romantic things are aimed at women?
Okay, okay. I get it. Women WANT romance. But you know what? Guys need to be treated special, too.
No. They probably don't want jewelry or flowers or sappy romcoms. But that doesn't mean they need to be left out, either.
I've noticed this trend in our world where it's like everyone expects women to be treated better than men. And I, for one, hate it.
So, what to do about it?
When you think of romance in relation to rooms in the house, I can almost bet you won't think about the laundry room. But our guest today does. Read on to find out how Shannon Taylor Vannatter found romance in her laundry room.
So, in our house is a tiny bedroom. It should have been 10 foot by 10 foot. But since the furnace and washer and dryer were in the hallway, they moved the wall into the bedroom. Which made the bedroom 10 by 7. In the early years of our marriage, we had a twin bed in there for guests. But since guests usually came in twos—my husband’s dad and step-mom or my two cousins—it didn’t work very well.
For 10 years, I was a hairdresser. For 7 of those years, I had a beauty shop at my house. Once I quit doing hair, we turned my old shop into a bedroom and it eventually became our son’s room. When guests come, he sleeps on the couch in my office or spends the night with a friend. The tiny bedroom became a junk room – a catch all for seasonal use items, craft supplies, and stuff we didn’t use anymore but was too good to throw away. Eventually, there was a path through it.
When our furnace and air conditioner called it quits a few years ago, we got a heat pump, air conditioner unit. A few months ago, we turned the old furnace nook into a linen closet. And finally after planning to do it for four years, we recently cleaned out the junk and I now have a tiny laundry room.
I love it. I REALLY love it. I painted it yellow because if I’m doing laundry, I want a bright, happy color surrounding me.
We can shut the door when we’re watching TV and not have to turn the volume up so high. I can run the washer and dryer at night and we can sleep without hearing zippers clank. There’s a folding table, so I don’t have to haul the towels to the bed to fold them. I have a drying/wrinkle free rack. There’s room for extra canned goods and craft supplies. There’s room on the wall for a fold down ironing board—even though I never iron. And there’s storage. Storage is one of my love languages since clutter rubs my OCD the wrong way.
My folding table used to be the countertop in an old general store in our tiny town. When they tore it down, my husband asked the owner if he could get a few items. We got the old store countertop and a wooden shelf with bins. A marking on one of the bins says: Velvet 5 cents. The shelf stores gift bags, paint, light bulbs, cleaning and pool supplies, an extra crockpot etc. My husband is planning to build doors for the shelf with chicken wire and fabric, per my design, to hide the clutter. I love chicken wire. And I love fabric.
I bought cute signs to put on the wall. The curtains are some I made several years ago for my kitchen. But we remodeled and opened the kitchen into the family room and went with more neutral colors, so they didn’t work there anymore. I’ve always loved them and they fit my laundry room just fine. The blocks show wood rocking chairs, wicker furniture, tea pitchers and geramiums. It says, front porch sittin, screendoor views, sweat tea sippin, neighborhood news.
And sewing is a whole other thing. My sewing desk is supposed to arrive in a few days. In front of the window will be my sewing nook. I don’t sew clothes, but I love making curtain toppers and comforters. I’ve always had to haul everything to the kitchen table to sew. Very soon, my sewing machine will be ready to use any time. I’m excited about that. Especially since I have a trunk full of fabric I’ve bought over the years for various projects or just because I liked it and couldn’t leave it on the bolt.
And the nook in the hallway where the washer and dryer used to be is now a coat closet. It’s big enough to hold all our coats in a centralized location in the house. And there’s floor space for storing all those seasonal items. And more storage on a shelf above.
It’s not all finished yet. There are still items strewn about the house, waiting to go to our shed, friends, or goodwill. For a while there, it looked like the junk room exploded into the rest of the house, which really pinged my OCD. There aren’t doors on the coat closet yet. My cute signs aren’t hung up yet. My ironing board isn’t on the wall yet—I do all my ironing in the dryer anyway. I haven’t stained the storage cabinets to match the folding table yet. But we’re getting there.
Why am I sharing this on a blog about romance? Because my husband tore down walls and cabinets, moved stuff five times, redid plumbing and electrical, and put down flooring to make it happen. He hates home improvement projects. But he did it. Because I wanted it. And he loves me. To me that’s the height of romance.
For a chance to win a copy of Shannon's new book, A Texas Bond, leave a comment below. Have you ever found romance in a room that might not be considered romantic (keep it clean, please)?
Award winning author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter writes contemporary Christian cowboy romance and has over a dozen published titles. A romance reader since her teens, she hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as she demonstrates that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does.
She gleans fodder for her fiction in rural Arkansas where she spent her teenage summers working the concession stand with her rodeo announcing dad and married a Texan who morphed into a pastor. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband and son, flea marketing, and doing craft projects.
Connect with her:
Recently, Shannon joined Scrivenings Press as co-owner/acquisitions/content editor.
A Texas Bond
(Book 3: Texas Hill Country series)
Finding his family is only the beginning…
He came to find the children…
Will he stay to win her heart?
Learning he’s an uncle shocks Ross Lyles—but after years of handling his brother’s bombshells, at least this surprise is a blessing. A pair of five-year-old blessings Ross is determined to meet, if he can convince their aunt to give him a chance. Fiercely protective, Stacia Keyes is worried he’ll try to take the children…and lassoing her trust is harder than he ever imagined.
Available at Walmart from mid-Feb to mid-March. Or online:
A Texas Bond - ChristianBook
A Texas Bond - Amazon
A Texas Bond – BarnesandNoble
Twenty years. That's a long time, right? Well, on February 7th, it was our 20th "date-iversary."
Maybe not everyone knows the day of their first date, but I do.
You see, it almost didn't happen. It had been spontaneously scheduled the semester before, right after my now-husband broke up with another girl. But we didn't know each other that well then. When we came back after Christmas, we started hanging out more. And by the time February rolled around, we'd decided maybe this date meant something after all.
Then, his car broke down.
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.