1) I love you - simple enough but make sure you are saying it and meaning it! You know that wedding dance tradition where all of the married couples hit the dance floor and then the last ones out there give advice to the newlyweds? I remember the couple that was out there the longest for us . . . it was Jerry's parent's neighbors, Norma and Loreto. I remember what Loreto's advice was to me. He said, "Always say 'I love you' before you go to bed. I know a lot of people will say that you shouldn't go to bed angry but sleep is important and sometimes you need to sleep on problems before you resolve them. Just don't forget to say, 'I love you' even if you are angry." He was such a smart man.
2) You really turn me on - a few weeks ago Jerry found some old pictures of us in the basement and brought a few of them up for me to see. He seemed a little down because he doesn't have the same body or hairline that he did when we started dating 14 years ago. I smiled and said, "You know . . . that's the boy I fell in love with but you most certainly are the man I always dreamed I'd marry and the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. You really turn me on." I don't think I realized that guys worry about that stuff, too. I know that women worry about getting bigger, older, grayer and becoming less attractive. Jerry tells me all the time how beautiful he thinks I am and how much he's still attracted to me - it's important to tell him as much as possible, too!
3) I really appreciate all you do to provide for your family - this is a biggie. As a part-time SAHM, there are days when I wish I was at work instead of at home with my 4 kids. Everyone has those days and sometimes it's hard not to take it out on the other half who is coming home after NOT dealing with screaming kids, spilled drinks and "I WANT" all day long. However, if you have a husband who works to put food on the table, a roof over your head and clothes on your back then you should thank him for doing so as much as possible. Not all women are as lucky and you need to make sure that he knows you understand that his job is important to you and you understand he works hard.
4) You're a great father - sometimes I find myself telling Jerry how to be a father. I've learned that I don't know how to be a father because I'm not one. Mothers and fathers are different and it's important that the kids get both styles of parenting at some point. I'd hate to think that I would ever make Jerry doubt what a great dad he is to our kids. I think it's important to let him know I notice the amazingly sweet and caring things he does for our kids as well as how much he loves them and is helping them to become awesome people!
When we were both sleep depraved and trying to get the twins to sleep at 3 am or when we were sleeping on the floor in Nate and Danika's room on "puke patrol", we said it.
When we were overwhelmed with sadness at the loss of a loved one or when we were stressed out about where the money was going to come from for a bill or grocery trip, we said it.
When I was laying on an operating table getting ready to meet two new additions to our family or when we were cleaning a trashed house after an awesome party, we said it.
When we were waiting at the bottom of the steps for the kids to come charging down on Christmas morning or when we were piled 6 of us in a bed on a Sunday morning, we said it.
We've started to say it more often now . . . just because. I want him to know that I feel that way every day . . . even when he knows that I'm feeling a little overly nostalgic and missing old friends, I want him to know that there is NO doubt in my mind that he is the one that I want with me on this crazy, insane, super exciting, overwhelming, amazing ride.