Sweet Seth

autumn-walkSeth has been so wonderful lately. After a kind of rough patch in October where we talked through a few points of conflict (an important aspect of any healthy relationship), the past few weeks have been some of the sweetest we’ve had.

The weather finally turned cooler a few weeks ago down in the South where we live, so Seth and I took the opportunity to bundle up and go for a nice walk outside in a cozy, historic part of town. I had a warm latte in one hand and Seth’s calloused palm in the other. The leaves started changing, and we talked about everything and nothing.

At the end of our walk when Seth escorted me to my car, he gave me a kiss goodbye and then asked me to wait a second. “I’ll be right back.” He jogged to his truck, grabbed something out of the back seat and then jogged back to me. He wrapped his left arm around my waist and, with his right hand, threw a paper airplane through my open driver door onto my passenger seat.

I laughed, genuinely happy. “What was that?” I hugged his waist. He gave me a quick kiss on my forehead and said with a grin, “See you later.”

He jogged back to his car and got in while I, still smiling and curious, reached for the paper airplane. I unfolded it delicately and read one of the sweetest notes Seth’s ever written me. He acknowledged that he’s not always the most verbally affectionate boyfriend, but he wanted to make sure I knew how much he cares about me. I think I actually teared up a little bit. He’d written me a love note. And folded it into a paper airplane. It was the perfect combination of thoughtful and playful; quirky and sweet.

cinderella-stairsA few days later, after dinner with a group of friends, my high heels – glittery, silvery three-inch heels – were killing me. So Seth carried me up the stairs to my apartment. On the way, one of my heels fell off, so Seth set me down at the top of the stairs, ran down the stairs, picked up the silvery shoe, and ran back to the top of the stairs where he knelt down and gently slipped the glass slipper back onto my foot. I felt like a princess, especially when he scooped me back up again and carried me across the threshold of my apartment.

festival-of-lightsThe next week, Seth surprised me with a road trip, ensuring that he catered to my planning nature by telling me how to pack. “Dress for cool weather, and plan to be outside.” He wanted to keep the destination a surprise, but he is also learning how I operate and is lovingly choosing to adjust his style. He threw in a couple of red herrings (“Pack a hammer and a baseball cap”) just to keep me off track, but he ultimately took me to a lights festival modeled after my favorite Disney movie. I felt so loved, not only that he thought to surprise me with something he knew I’d enjoy, but that he also presented the surprise in a way that catered to me.

Last Sunday, he called me before church just to say “hello beautiful” and to let me know he was looking forward to worshiping with me. We watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and he told me I remind him of Mary because I’m a beautiful brunette who is lovingly supportive, resilient and a Proverbs 31 woman. And the next morning, he sent me off to work with an unexpected text: “Good morning, sweetheart. I hope you have a wonderful Monday!”

A couple of weeks ago, we attended the wedding of some dear friends who attend church with us. It was a beautiful ceremony, and at the reception, Seth leaned over to kiss my cheek and whisper quietly, “You were worth waiting for.”

My eyes widened in surprise, and he laughed, “It was a long wait!” He smiled. “But you were worth waiting for.”

Authentically Aurora

Welcome, Autumn!

Autumn in Boston Public GardenGolden sunlight drifting through the window and the soft tones of birds chirping in the distance – this is how I started my morning last Friday. Since I work a 9/80 schedule, every other Friday I get to slowly ease into consciousness, enjoying the quiet peacefulness of a morning free from social obligations or occupational expectations. It is glorious.

This week, I got out of bed, stretched lazily, and stepped outside onto my porch. Perfect weather beckoned me to spend the day outdoors in the sunny coolness of autumn’s beginnings, so I threw on some spandex and headed to a nearby park for a leisurely run.

Three miles later, I stopped in a grassy meadow to stretch and soak up some vitamin D. Stretching after a run feels amazing – all my aches and tight muscles loosen as my body relaxes into its natural alignment.

I sat down in the grass for a core workout and saw a little girl running playfully through the field with her mom. Looking to my left, I spotted two women in their forties laughing uproariously on a swing set as they reverted to girlhood, swinging as high as they could go, guffawing all the way.

I smiled to myself, stood up, and found a sunny patch in the middle of the meadow. I turned up the music in my ear buds, closed my eyes, and embraced the driving beat of one of my favorite songs, subtly moving my feet in the motion of a solo salsa before finally letting loose with a whole-hearted freestyle dance of pure freedom there in the middle of the sunny meadow and crisp autumn air.

I love fall. I love the colors – the leaves, the fashions; the smells and tastes and spices; the anticipation of coming holidays; the focus on friends and family. It paradoxically soothes me and sets my heart on fire all at once.

So welcome, autumn. It’s been too long.

Authentically Aurora