13 Valentine’s Days

by jessicaturner on January 30, 2015

Family love
It’s hard to believe that we are coming on Matthew’s and my 13th Valentine’s Day.

We were just getting to know each other at Valentine’s 2003. He lived in Nashville and I was in school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

There wasn’t texting yet, so we did lots of chatting on the phone, AOL IM, email and snail mail. I’ll never forget that on Valentine’s Day, he sent me a FedEx with a card and Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me CD. It was the first time he had written something to me and I kept it all – even the FedEx slip. Somehow my heart just knew.

First Valentines
Seven months later we were engaged.

I love looking back on how our relationship has grown and changed over the years. Matthew is  my best friend in every sense of the word. He makes me laugh, he challenges me, he cheers me on. I adore him.


Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 8.14.59 AM
Our love has intensified since becoming parents. Matthew is an incredible father and it is a joy watching him teach and love our kids.

One constant in the way I’ve shown Matthew affection over the years is through cards. Words of affirmation are his top love language, and since we dated long-distance for a year and a half, I sent him dozens of cards. Cards were sold at the pizza and sandwich shop on campus, so I would often use money from my meal plan to buy him cards.

With a new baby this year, Valentine’s Day won’t mean a date night. We’ll stay in, make a good meal and maybe snuggle up with a movie.

And of course, there will be cards. At least one each, but maybe more. (Matthew is notorious for buying two or three cards.)

I’m a sucker for beautiful cards and always buy Hallmark cards for holidays. Their writers are some of the best in business and I always manage to find a card that speaks my heart. Plus, their designs are swoon-worthy. (Felt, embossed cardstock, metallics – yes, please.

Hallmark Valentines Cards
While some say Valentine’s is just a made-up holiday, I think it is a perfect opportunity to intentionally say I LOVE YOU.

So this weekend, when you are out running errands, stop and pick up a Valentine’s card for the one you love.

Cards are a tangible reminder of that love – and a way to leave a legacy of that love.

While writing this post, I went up to our bedroom and pulled out a small box of cards that Matthew sent me in our first months of dating. I read every one. Tears streamed down my face as I saw a tangible fingerprints of God’s working in our lives – even before we knew we were in love.

I’m so thankful for cards and the written word. I hope this encourages you to take the time to really put your heart to paper. Our words matter. Love matters.

This post is sponsored by Hallmark, but the trip down memory lane, stories and love of cards are all my own. Family photos by the amazing Alissa Saylor. Click here to see more from the shoot.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Feliciano January 30, 2015 at 9:46 am

you saved the FedEx label…you totally knew.


raffaella January 30, 2015 at 12:21 pm

LOVE this! Congrats to you two! Love the headboard! The pics are so beautiful. You are a blessed mama/wife. Your family is beautiful. I too pick cards that speak to my heart….if they make my eyes well up when reading them, it’s a winner! LOL


Jo-Lynne Shane January 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm

I love this post. I LOVE that you have the first things he sent you. And you KNOW how I love Hallmark cards. :-)


Vickey E. January 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Jessica, such a sweet love story. And those pictures? They are the best yet. So beautiful and they show the affection in your family in such a beautiful way. Just love your sweet famiiy.


Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect January 30, 2015 at 10:04 pm

I love cards – anything written, really – too. Mark’s not big on it, but Annalyn is. This is reminding me to make a list of people I want to send Valentine’s to and buy those cards now!!


Paula January 31, 2015 at 7:15 am

Oh, Nora Jones. So lovely.


Diana Trautwein January 31, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Gorgeous photos, Jess!! Thanks so much. This will be our . . . drum roll, please . . . 51st. Yikes.


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