Guys! I’m super excited to start a new mini-series for February called Love Letters. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought it would be kind of perfect to kick off a month-long series of posts from some fabulous guest bloggers. Each Monday this month they’ll be sharing a story—and not all of them are the typical boy meets girl, cue fireworks kind of love story. I’m bursting at the seams with excitement, so I’ll just let Jessica speak for herself…

Hey new friends! Jessica here from Monster Cakes to celebrate this month-o-love with you guys. I’m a writer and a feeler who lives for coffee and rainy weather. My crazy clan includes my hunky firefighter husband, our beloved dog child (a pit bull named Marz), and our baby girl currently growing in my belly (due April!). February is extra mushy for me because my wedding anniversary is on February 1st, so I was more than happy to spread the love when Jen asked.

I used to think my love story began when I spotted my husband’s blue eyes across the room, found the guts to introduce myself, and melted when he smiled and said “we’ve already met” in that charming voice that would soon become my anchor. Or maybe it was the first time he kissed me, the moment I knew I loved him two weeks later, or on that hill overlooking the city when he proposed by candlelight.

These moments are beautiful and picturesque, but after 6 years of marriage, I now realize they are not where my love story truly began.

The real love story – the true hero of it all – began when the tummy flutters subsided, the mundane moments of daily life took over, and the reality of two flawed people living under one roof kicked in. When trials I didn’t dream would ever cross my path attempted to swallow my marriage whole. When trying to make ends meet and ‘living off love’ stopped being charming. When marriage brought out some ugly sides of my personality that I didn’t know existed.

Because when the shine wore off and life got real, and we both looked each other in the eye and decided to try harder and push through it, love decided to flex its muscles and fight. Love became more than a feeling – it became a choice. And what is more beautiful than that? Each year, I am continually amazed at the beauty, depth, and courage of our love story.

I wouldn’t know how strong our love is if we didn’t have to climb the mountains, if we didn’t have to choose love when it was the last thing we wanted to do, and if we never allowed ourselves to discover that a more quiet love found within an ever-growing friendship is better than temporary fireworks. This love isn’t sparkly, but it’s unimaginably fulfilling and has made all my dreams I never realized I wanted come true.

My favorite part of our love story is no longer the way his eyes sparkled when we first met – it’s the way they fill with compassion, see past my flaws and imperfections, and choose to love me anyway.

When people ask me about our love story, I know they want to hear how we met and got married, but I just smile knowing that the real warrior in our love story actually began when the storm clouds rolled in, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When did your love story start?

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.