How Love Grows

Shirt / Skirt / Similar Pumps / Earrings c/o

This little love letter to my husband was supposed to go live yesterday for Valentine’s Day. But I wanted an anecdote that really showcased how our love has grown because the post didn’t feel complete without it. Then last night it came to me… Anel asked me if I wanted anything for Valentine’s Day and I said don’t spend any money on me- just make us dinner, set the table, and clean up. I don’t want to have to think about a thing!

We picked up Amalia early from school and spent the night as a family, playing at home in our sweats. He heated up frozen Indian food from Trader Joe’s (the best) for dinner, and we ate chocolates while watching a movie. It was the perfect evening and I felt so much love in my heart. I couldn’t stop smiling thinking about how much has changed.

It was an enormous contrast from our first Valentine’s Day, 10 years ago, when we went out to a fancy prix fixe dinner in the Manhattan and bought each other extravagant gifts. I love that we don’t have to impress each other anymore. I love that a night at home is my favorite kind of night. And I love my husband so much!

Anel and I have been together for 10 1/2  years and married for six of those. In the grand scheme of things that might not be considered a long time, but it’s the longest relationship either of us have been in, and we’ve changed and grown so much over those years.

It’s hard to believe it now, but we were 24 and 25 years old when we started dating. I was also his boss which is one of my favorite parts of our love story. His go-to joke is to tell people that nothing has changed. #true

But marriage isn’t all jokes and laughs (duh) and when life gets real (buying a house, struggling with finances, having a baby) marriage can get really tricky. If you’re not having arguments or showing your emotions especially during the hard times, then you are a unicorn slash definitely lying.

Although Anel and I work insanely hard on our marriage, we have challenges just like everyone else. In some ways, as we add more factors into our lives, marriage gets harder every year. But in other ways, our love grows stronger and more powerful every day. The honeymoon stage is long gone and even the new parent stage feels like forever ago. Now we’re in a “in the trenches” phase which has forced us to support each other more than ever.

The day-to-day grind can be exhausting, but I can’t imagine our life before we got Bootsie, started Anel’s business, and had Amalia. I’ve fallen even more in love with my husband since we’ve had a child. His whole face lights up when he sees her, and no matter what else he or we have going on that may be bringing him down, he’s able to put it aside and be the best dad ever.

We’ve gone through some really terrible things together, but overcoming those made us stronger than ever. And the fact that he stood by my side and supported me during a rough couple of years where I struggled with anxiety makes me feel beyond grateful.

PS I wrote my favorite post about marriage before we had Amalia, but most of it is still spot on. Photos by Julia Dags.


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  1. Dana said:

    Not to take the focus away from the love letter, but your outfit is absolutely gorgeous!

    2.15.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hahah thank you so much!! I loved it too 🙂

      2.19.19 · Reply
  2. Libby said:

    This is so incredibly sweet!!! {and what a cute outfit 😉 }

    xx Libby

    2.15.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks Libby!

      2.19.19 · Reply
  3. Monica said:

    Love this post!! You 2 are adorable.

    2.15.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks so much, Monica!

      2.19.19 · Reply
  4. Katherine W. said:

    I can definitely relate to the season in life that you are in. The journey unfolds, through the ups and downs, yet your marriage holds strong. It’s a beautiful thing. I love the part where you talked about adding more elements to your life and marriage and those things can make life a little harder, yet so worth it! Happy belated heart day!

    2.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Aww thanks Katherine.

      2.19.19 · Reply