Because I Don’t Need Flowers to Feel Loved

posted by Andrea | 06/16/2014

i dont need flowers to feel loved

Today is my birthday — 29 years old! 

I love birthdays; however, I’m pretty sure today will simply be another very normal day in the Dekker house.

  • I’ll wake up early to finish a few things in the mudroom because I’m meeting with a company who might be designing and installing a closet system for us.
  • I’ll take a quick peek at our online bank statement to make sure the mortgage payment came out today.
  • I’ll enjoy the various people leaving birthday wishes on my personal Facebook wall.
  • We’ll eat leftovers for lunch, and then I’m getting my hair cut and colored — a little lighter for summer I think.
  • I’ll probably clean pee off the floors and spit-up off my clothes at least 2 or 3 times.
  • Then I’ll do some yard work or take Nora and Simon for a walk if the weather cooperates. If it’s raining, I might get groceries instead.
  • When I get the mail, there will most likely be a card from my grandma and from Dave’s grandma (because neither one ever forgets birthdays!)
  • We’ll load up the kiddos for a quick dinner out at a local restaurant (using free birthday coupons) and stop by another local spot for a free slice of my favorite cheesecake (another birthday coupon).
  • Then it’s baths, PJ’s, and snacks (for the kids, not me!)
  • Then I’ll convince Dave to turn the basketball games off and let me watch an episode of The Office on Netflix — while I skim through emails and do a bit of blogging before heading off to bed.

There will be no flowers or gifts, but I’m certain I’ll be smothered with slobbery kisses from Nora, a bunch of drool from Simon, and a smooch or two from Dave.

Yes, this is basically what every day looks like for me (besides the birthday cards and free birthday coupons) but that’s OK, I don’t need flowers or gifts or a surprise party to feel special and loved on my special day.

birthday mama

Yesterday was Father’s Day — Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there (including my dad, my grandpa, Dave’s dad… and of course, Dave!)

We actually didn’t see either of our dads or my grandpa yesterday as everyone was busy doing other things with other people.

We didn’t do anything extra special to celebrate — although Dave did get a bunch of cuddles from his two favorite kids and free custard from Culver’s thanks to a Father’s Day e-coupon.

No gifts, no parties, nothing out of the ordinary (no flowers for Dave either) — just a normal Sunday with church and naps and relaxing.

happy father's day

Father’s Day and my birthday — although they are both very special days, they really aren’t any different from every other day. Not because I don’t love Dave or because he doesn’t love me. Not because we don’t care about our fathers. Not because our families don’t care about my birthday. Not because we didn’t have the time to celebrate. And certainly not because Dave can’t afford to buy me flowers.

It’s simply because that’s how real life is.

Contrary to what you might see in movies, on reality TV shows, in magazines, or on Pinterest, real people with real lives don’t get lavishly pampered every single birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or other special date on the calendar.

Real people don’t get fancy parties and expensive gifts for every occasion. Real people don’t get YouTube videos documenting a secret surprise that has been in the works for months. Real people don’t get whisked away on a luxury vacation to celebrate their special day.

The real people I know rarely even get flowers ;)

Yes, there are exceptions to this rule (I know real people who REALLY love to pull out all the stops for special occasions, and it’s fabulous) however… for the most part, I personally feel like the media and various marketing efforts set real people up for so much disappointment when their special days turn out to be normal days… just like all their other days. 

Believe me, I get it.

My top love language just so happens to be “gifts” — so yes, I LOVE getting and giving gifts as much as anyone else. I love the idea of getting flowers or a special surprise; however, I also realize that Dave is NOT a gifts person. He’s more of a “let me wash the dishes and play with the kids all day” kind of person.

I know Dave loves me whether or not I get flowers or any other tangible gift to show it. And honestly, who’s going to complain about clean dishes and a few hours without kids bugging them every second? Not me, that’s for sure!

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Yet the media has us convinced that unless we get an elaborate party, an extravagant surprise, an expensive gift,  or at the very least, flowers, we are getting slighted. After all, if the special people in our lives really love and value us, they would take the time and spend the money to do those things for us. Right?

Wrong!

I have absolutely nothing against buying flowers, giving gifts, planning surprises, or showering those we love with extra special things on their extra special days — but I also know that those material things are not what really matter, nor do they offer any reflection on how much we are loved.

They are simply marketing… and probably a little bit of “keeping up with the Jones’”.

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So tonight, I will go to bed one day older — with no flowers or gifts or parties to think back on. I am not sad about this, nor do I feel I was slighted in the least.

It was just another normal day. A day no different from every other day, but filled with the people I love most.

Cheers to finishing out my twenties with a bang!

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52 comments

  1. Siobhan

    06/16/2014

    Happy Birthday :)

    [Reply]

  2. Lou

    06/16/2014

    Happy birthday! You are a very wise young lady. Enjoy those cuddles and slobbery kisses. They are best gifts anyway!

    [Reply]

  3. Vickie

    06/16/2014

    Happy Birthday! You are wise beyond your years!

    [Reply]

  4. Leanne Heern

    06/16/2014

    I LOVE Gifts, too… but my husband sounds like Dave– so, I just buy my own…and he always, graciously, lets me get out to do fun “by myself” things without little boys present on both “special days” and ordinary Saturdays! I love that about him :-)
    and while I like gifts… as I grow older (I’m almost 44!)…I find it really is the “thought” that counts… the homemade cards, a facebook message, an unexpected text that really means something to me. One year, my mom and dad wrote me a letter about the “day I was born”… I treasure that far more than any other gift I’ve gotten from them!
    Happy Birthday, Andrea! you certainly put a little sunshine into my life almost every day! I appreciate the work you do and the message of your blog!!
    have a blessed day!

    [Reply]

  5. Payson

    06/16/2014

    Happy Birthday Andrea! I hope you have a wonderful day (even if it is normal)!

    [Reply]

  6. Heart and Haven

    06/16/2014

    Or maybe it’s that he knows you & reads your blog…and is afraid to give you a plant you’d have to take care of, or something else you’d just consider “clutter”. ;-)
    So instead he’ll give a “safe” gift of service by cleaning the kitchen and playing with the kids.

    Hope you have a happy birthday, enjoying your day with your precious family!

    [Reply]

  7. Faye

    06/16/2014

    Happy birthday Andrea! I really appreciate your outlook – so true! And I also wanted to let you know that THANKFULLY I am receiving your emails again in my inbox! I guess Feedburner finally fixed the problem – I missed about a month of regular feeds from several blogs I love – but it’s back!! And I’m so happy! Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

  8. Alyssa

    06/16/2014

    Happy birthday! I am with you all the way on this. Except for Christmas and Thanksgiving, my family doesn’t make a big deal out of most holidays (my choice). Last year my husband spotlessly cleaned the house top to bottom and it was the best gift I’ve ever received!

    Also – your posts are coming through my e-mail in a normal font size now, woo hoo!! I noticed another reader mentioned they were getting e-mails they hadn’t gotten previously… I don’t know what the blog people did but I love it!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay for the normal font size! and yes, the blog posts via email have been somewhat problematic for the last couple of months. I’ve been told it’s something Yahoo did, but I’m not sure what or how to fix it. Glad to hear things might be working themselves out!

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  9. Jeanine

    06/16/2014

    Happy Birthday! I’m sure it will be special just because you’ll be surrounded by two beautiful and healthy children, not to mention a handsome man! Gifts are also my top love language, and I do like to give really thoughtful gifts to my family members, so it’s hard not to have expectations on my special days. I’m afraid that I haven’t quite gotten around to the attitude that it really doesn’t matter. After all, I’m only talking about two days out of the whole year (Mother’s Day and my birthday). I’ve come up with an idea that I think will be helpful for my men (husband and three sons). I’ll tell them to pick something from my Amazon (saved for later) cart. I have at least 150 items in it, so it will still be a surprise. Now that I think of it, they could also pick from my Etsy cart:) My daughter usually makes me something, so that’s always great!

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  10. Lindsay

    06/16/2014

    My birthday was yesterday, and it was pretty much exactly what you described! Just like every other day.. and it makes you realize that every day is special, and we are so blessed to live the lives we do.

    [Reply]

  11. Shailaja

    06/16/2014

    Happy belated birthday :) Lots of love and a warm hug :)
    Keep sharing, keep inspiring, keep bringing smiles … as always :) :)

    Best birthday gifts: Straight from the heart warm birthday wishes from the ones who REALLY care, birthday kisses and hugs from the near and loved ones, silent moments of personal reflection towards a year spent well and spent as HE designed :) :)

    [Reply]

    Shailaja Reply:

    :D Sorry, Not a belated… Happy birthday dear :)

    [Reply]

  12. bj

    06/16/2014

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREA!!! I am so thankful our Creator created a wonderful being 29 yrs. ago, what a gift to all of us who read your blog and those who know you!! You are a blessing to many, many people! Our greatest gift we receive everyday is HIS love! Enjoy your birthday with your family!

    [Reply]

  13. Lynn

    06/16/2014

    Happy Birthday! I have so enjoyed your blog and this article was no different. Have a wonderful day!

    [Reply]

  14. Grand

    06/16/2014

    Happy Birthday young lady. I loved that you shared your real life with us. Life just happens and everyday should be celebrated and that is what you do. I love all your post.

    [Reply]

  15. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    06/16/2014

    Happy Birthday to you, and Happy Father’s Day to your hubby. I completely agree with this post. I would much rather have my husband shower me with love each and every day than make a big deal on just the “special” ones. We try to celebrate each other on a daily basis so that when the “holidays” come, they feel like just another blessed day. Great post!

    [Reply]

  16. kelly

    06/16/2014

    Happy Birthday! How fun that your husband gets to be around on your birthday, and I hope you enjoyed a wonderful “normal” day today!

    [Reply]

  17. Tamara

    06/16/2014

    Happy, happy birthday!

    Thank you for being real. Our Father’s Day was spent demoing the master shower. A very necessary task. Not the relaxing at the ballpark he might have preferred. And his gift was purchased two weeks ago with gift cards–a replacement drill for that one he’d had for years that no longer worked. Great but not a “real” gift either.

    [Reply]

  18. Marie

    06/17/2014

    Happy Birthday! I agree with the don’t give me flowers. Tell me/show me by doing other things. Lighten my load for the day. I also would rather go somewhere like Culvers than out for a big fancy dinner(that usually costs way to much and can be disappointing). I will admit though that one year my DH got me a lilac bush that I had talked about wanting to add to our landscape and every year when my birthday rolled around I thought about that sweet gesture.

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  19. karen miller

    06/17/2014

    Happy Birthday a day late-sorry! As a single mom of fifty let me tell you how much you are already blessed. It seems like you are a wonderful person inside and out. Enjoy your life and your family every moment you can!

    [Reply]

  20. karen miller

    06/17/2014

    I just reread what I wrote. I am a single mom who is 50, I have a 13 year old daughter. I don’t have fifty kids! LOL

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha, Yes, I totally understood and did not think you had 50 children :)

    [Reply]

  21. Eric West

    06/18/2014

    Happy birthday! My Father’s Day was a lot like Dave’s. I relaxed and played with my daughter and her friend. I lounged by the pool for a bit while the kids were swimming and then I took a nap on the couch with my daughter snuggled in next to me.

    The best gift for me is time to spend with the people I love.

    [Reply]

  22. Linda

    06/18/2014

    Happy birthday, Andrea! I happened upon your blog a couple of days ago and have loved the posts I have read so far. Thanks for sharing your talents!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Linda — happy to have a new reader!

    [Reply]

  23. Elena

    06/19/2014

    I get where you’re coming from… however, I can’t not give my mom, who has birthed and raised 7 children, something special for her birthday, Christmas or mother’s day. I feel like in today’s society, if one has the capability to tell someone dear that they are special (it doesn’t even have to be expensive), it means something.

    Happy Birthday!!

    [Reply]

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