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Stephen – Happy Birthday, My Love

I remember the first package I sent you.
We were newly dating – about two months in.
And this was my moment.

I needed to think through a Valentine’s Day present.
Then I needed to think through your birthday present, for the next day.

This was was the first, dare I say, bold letter I privately wrote to you…
…heck, my first YES-i-like-you-letter I had ever written to a guyyyy.

I dug out all the craft paper I had. Tape. Scissors. And bobbles.
Soon, the printer was spitting out vintage maps and I hand dyed them in black tea.
I put Ben Rector’s “I Like You,” on repeat and began working.

Fact: I worked over 4 hours on those pocket squares & all the things. And yeah, I had a stupid grin on my face the entire time.

The maps were of the cities that had proved to be integral to our friendship.
Phoenix, Pierre, Richmond, & Kansas City.

I pasted them all onto bright red cardstock (duh) and began writing.
I remember thinking, “Dang. Does this man even know how much I like him?!!…okay woah, tone it down Tara.”

Inside that tiny box I took from the office’s extra supply room…did-i-just-say-that-out-loud-cough…I took great care to label each gift appropriately with the “open on…” date clearly marked.

Just because your birthday and Valentine’s (and now our anniversary) are close together, doesn’t mean you should only receive a “catch all” present.
At least, not at this i-like-you-let’s-keep-dating-stage.

Fast forward to today.
You’re the big TWO FIVE.

We both know I probably find 10x more joy out of celebrating you than you even do of your own birthday…
But hey, I know you probably totes rilly, rilly love it deep down.

(Photo by: Tori Watson Photography)

And this birthday, Love?
This birthday you are my husband.
No more long distance. No more spraying letters with perfume – instead, I’ll just wear it for you.

You are my best friend.
You are the one I respect & admire the most.

More than that, I like you.
Quite a lot.

Happy Birthday.

Always Yours,
–Tara M

One Comment

  • Such intentionality. I so admire that. All of those thoughts and feels to make things special come easy for you. What a wonderful gift.


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I’m Tara


As a young girl, I kept a journal and then when Stephen and I got married, we wrote our vows into a journal we shared as a couple. On this lil’ corner of the internet, I want to invite you into our virtual journal’s stories and musings.  I hope you’ll find encouragement and inspiration along the way. You can expect a mixture of our recent photography work & adventures, lifestyle tips, current obsessions, and personal stories of us behind the scenes too! I’m so glad you’re here!

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