i don't know exactly why i love this photo so much, but i just do. (thank you to my cute sister-in-law, grace, for taking it and letting me hijack it!) i know you can't even properly see our faces, but i think it's the fact that it's a 100% candid moment. and that we're both in separate conversations but still interacting with each other. because (and yes, i know it's cheesy and all) it feels like nicolaus has become another limb of mine as we move through this thing called life together. even when he's not around me, i find myself turning to tell him something or reaching out for him. i've grown so accustomed to having him near and i like that.

but i think the biggest reason i like this photo is the feelings of nostalgia it brings. three years ago, when nicolaus and i first starting hanging out on the daily basis, he slowly asked me: "will...you...be...my...[as i was pushing him to spit it out and ask me the question, i was feeling so confused because i thought that this boy i had been hanging out with for the past two weeks straight was already going to ask me to be his girlfriend]...valentine?" haha i was pretty surprised/relieved when "valentine" came out and the whole thing was pretty adorable.

to celebrate our first valentine's together we went to my brother and his then-girlfriend-now-wife's first heart-shaped pizza party. it was the first time most of my friends met nicolaus, and i think it was pretty obvious from the excessive giggling/flirting going on between the two of us that this boy was different. the whole night was such a success (plus i think something like 8 of the 10 couples ended up marrying each other) that it turned into an annual tradition.

so this last weekend, we went to our fourth valentine's pizza party together. our relationship might be past the constant giddiness stage, which was a whole lot of fun, but i have to say, i really like where it is now. we know each other's strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes and quirks and habits. i'll always have a soft spot for those sweet memories of our early dating days, but i can honestly say that i wouldn't trade this level of comfort and trust and closeness for any sort of butterflies.