5 ways to show love beyond Valentine's Day.

Many are surprised when we tell people that we don't celebrate Valentine's Day.  When they react with such shock on their faces, I can't help but apologetically say, "Our wedding anniversary is February 18th so no use celebrating twice!"  But the truth is we never celebrated it when we were dating either.  

Plus, my favorite part about Valentine's is the day after, when all the chocolates are on sale...

Showing others we love them doesn't need to be limited to this one day.  
Here are 5 ways to show love on those around you regularly, not just on a designated holiday.

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1. DISCONNECT. BE INTENTIONAL. 

It's so easy to be distracted by our phones buzzing away with new likes on our latest Instagram post or a tweet from your favorite celeb. Hoyoung and I are so guilty of checking our phones immediately when our phone lights up with a new email notification - it's hard to disconnect when you run your own business. But in the grand scheme of things, when there is a real person in front of you, how can anything else be more important? Show someone you care by disconnecting from your phone while you spend quality hang out time, have a conversation over coffee, enjoy a movie, anything you can do together! 

2. COOK A MEAL. 

I don't think there is anything better than a home-cooked meal to say, "I care."  Whether you are a good or bad cook, the time and thought put into cooking something that will nourish the body is such a wonderful gesture of love. Or cooking together is fun, too! 

Baking with our nieces has really been fun and memorable. Pouring things into a bowl and mixing up the ingredients are so exciting for them and, of course, they love the sweet treat afterwards. It's such a small thing to Hoyoung and I but a big affair for them at the ages of 2 and 5. I know that quality time with them like this while their young will help our relationship with them deepen as they grow up. 

3. SERVE EACH OTHER. 

There's this idea floating around in my head from when I was a little girl. My parents would indirectly tell me, "When you graduate from college and are a grown up, make money and do what makes you happy."  Growing up as a 0.5 generation American, I understand my parents' wish for me to be successful financially and happy.  I don't think this idea is wrong, either, as they mean it with the best of intentions. I'm not yet a parent but I know that all loving parents want their child to be happy as mine want me to be. However, the older I get, it's become painfully obvious that this idea is so selfish. Making money and doing whatever I please has made me happy for maybe a moment, but it doesn't bring lasting joy.  Service to others, putting ourselves last, has given us great joy that is never momentary. Friendships in which we serve each other have been such blessing in our lives.

4. A HANDWRITTEN NOTE.

I personally love handwritten notes because they're such a quick way to send love, already personalized because it's in your handwriting! It could be as simple as leaving a sticky note with a short message.

I especially appreciate handwritten notes when they're from Hoyoung. He would much rather type an email to me because it's faster, easier, and he's all about efficiency. When he hand writes me a letter or note, I know he really took the time to care for me in this small way. 

My favorite handwritten gift was a journal given to me by Hoyoung a couple of days after we were married. He had started journaling from planning out his proposal, throughout our engagement, and his last entry was on the day after our wedding. It was such a sweet surprise and it would be what I would save from our place if it ever caught on fire. 

5. JUST SAY IT. 

If you have ever been to the great city of Austin, you've probably seen this wall before.

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People line up on the corner of this street to take photos in front of it! It's not the prettiest handwriting nor is the lime green color of the wall all that complimentary to skin tones. So why? 

Because simple words sometimes make the biggest impact.  
Don't be afraid to just tell your loved ones, "I love you so much!" 

 How do you show loved ones you care?