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Quality Time Together

So, a few Sundays ago Hillary and I had our normal Sunday morning routine of breakfast at home, some coffee at Starbucks, then on to church. After church we were trying to decide what to do for the day. It was a nice day out and we knew we wanted to be outside together. That’s when my mother called and said that my father was feeling a little under the weather and wanted to know if I could come down and unroll a bale of hay for the cattle. Hillary agreed to come down with me, so we planned to feed some hay, go for a little hike, call it an early evening and come home for some pizza and a movie. As you probably guessed by the first sentence, that is not how the afternoon went. We made it down to the farm, were having a lot of fun, and decided to try shooting some B-Roll videos with Hillary’s iPhone. I got the tractor and hay, Hillary got a four wheeler and rode along in front to keep the cattle away as we made our way out into the field. Unfortunately, once we made it out and were about to unroll the bale, a hydraulic hose blew on the tractor and started to spray hydraulic fluid out and into the air. I shut the tractor down and thought, “well, there goes our nice evening. This wont be a quick fix.” Not to mention we still had a large round bale of hay to unroll and cows waiting. Hillary asked if we could just unroll it by hand. I thought “No way. That thing weighs about 1200 pounds!” She walks over to it and gives it a shove and, to my surprise, it kind of rocked a bit. I ran over and joined her and together we were actually able to start unrolling it like a giant roll of paper towels. Soon we made it 50 yards, then another 50 yards, then finally we were down to a tiny roll that we could just kick out the rest of the way. If anyone could have been around to watch, I’m sure they would have found it pretty comical. I know I laughed a lot. Then on to the task of fixing the tractor…which was a much less comical time with not a lot of laughing happening. But Hillary was right there helping, riding the four wheeler back to the shop to get tools for me, helping turn wrenches and most importantly helping me not get overly discouraged when it seemed like nothing was going to work. But it didn’t just seem like nothing was going to work…it really didn’t work and I didn’t get it fixed. We spent several hours out in the field and started to run out of light and had to just call it quits and try again another day.

Quick side story. I really like to tell stories, and I tend to do a lot of: “I had to tell you THAT story, so now I can tell you THIS story.” I think it drives Hillary crazy from time to time because she listens to this long in depth and detailed story, then thinks that was the end when really I’m just hitting the half time show. The story I originally wanted to tell her has not even been started yet. That’s basically what I’m doing to you all here. This is your half time. Okay, so I told you all of that in order to tell you this story:

When Hillary and I first got married, we went on a trip (not sure where to, I just remember driving) and started talking about our “love languages.” We read some of the “5 Love Languages” book and took the online test. Turns out that we have the exact same love languages; quality time and physical touch. I was so happy knowing that her main language was quality time as visions of us out backpacking and adventuring together went through my mind. I had no idea that quality time could have different meanings to each of us. I’m pretty sure that as I was daydreaming of being out on a small river in some kayaks having “quality time,” Hillary was daydreaming of being cuddled up under a blanket on the couch with a fire in the stove eating some dessert and talking about our day or watching a tv series together. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that there was a difference in our personal definitions of quality time for quite a long while. It’s probably because Hillary is so patient with me. But I finally caught on, and now I try to make a solid effort to have several days a week where we just relax, cuddle, talk and even watch a tv series. I know that is one way she feels my love, and I want to show her that her happiness is important to me. As for me, that Sunday out in the field as Hillary and I were unrolling a very large and heavy hay bale and she was helping me try and fix the hydraulic hose; that was my quality time. Hillary never once complained about being out there. She stayed with me, handing me tools, bringing me water, and keeping me from getting overly frustrated at the difficulty of something that should been much simpler. That was clearly not the evening I had originally envisioned for us, but I don’t think I would have changed any part of that afternoon. Although it didn’t go very well, I did get to both see and feel Hillary’s love for me and we we able to grow in this constant journey of discovering our “quality times.”

So I guess to wrap this up, I am curious if any other couples out there have the same love languages, but interpret them differently as Hillary and I do? If you’re very different in your love languages, how do you try to show love to your other half? Please leave a comment and share your story with us!

PC: Ruth Susanna Photography

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