To say we had an amazing day today is to put it mildly. We woke up early to make it to Shlitterbahn in time for the opening. The boys and I were rearing to go. To our great amusement, en route, we noticed gathering dark clouds and a drop in the temperature. Yup, we got rain. Which we really couldn’t feel bad about seeing as how desperately Central Texas needs rain.

Regardless of the occasional rain that fell upon us while at the water park we had a blast and played hard and played nonstop. I love that as My Boy gets older he can appreciate and enjoy similar things. It surely makes going to an amusement park more enjoyable, for all of us.

I can’t even count the times I looked over at my beau and felt incredibly grateful to be sharing my day with him and Little B. I love that these deployments have taught me to cherish every moment, to truly feel the blessing that comes in sharing our lives together. Sometimes I wonder if our path had taken us somewhere else if twelve years later we’d be this appreciative, this kind, this grateful. I’d like to think so, but I’d also like to think that as hard as these deployments may be, that we’ve gleamed positives from them as well.

On our way to Schlitterbahn this morning a forever friend posted on my Facebook that she’d heard on the radio the meaning behind my use of the acronym SHMILY with Brooks. Brooks and I have used SHMILY for the past several years. It’s been so long I can’t remember exactly when we began but we did so after reading about SHMILY in our local paper, which must have reprinted it from another source.

Here is the long story, if you’d like the particulars:

It really is a sweet story and I hope you’ll take a moment to read it. Quite simply, the phrase SHMILY stands for See How Much I Love You. A sweet couple began using SHMILY in unexpected places, to surprise each other, and remind each other of how much they cared for each other. Their goal was to think of creative places to leave the phrase, and in doing so, would probably rekindle those feelings of deep love that we so keenly feel at the beginning of our relationship but that sadly many of us lose as time progresses.

For Brooks and myself, SHMILY has been another footnote in our love story. And a unique way to “secretly” express our devotion to each other. Up to this point I think most people have been oblivious to the meaning of the word although many have probably figured it out to some degree.

Every time my beau surprises me with a simple SHMILY the butterflies in my chest get to fluttering and I am reminded keenly of all the reasons why I love him so much. It’s a poignant reminder that no matter the distance, nor time, our love will help carry us through.

I am incredibly thankful that Brooks loves me the way I need him to, that he enjoys expressing it in ways I enjoy, and that he tells me continually, in so many ways, SHMILY only being one. I’ll forever be grateful for that and count myself truly blessed.