It has been about four weeks since Valentine’s Day … the day of love. My darling husband totally earned a gold star on that day for his efforts! I will reveal that this year, of the previous seven Valentine’s Days we’ve celebrated together, was the best one yet! I was left giddy by his thoughtfulness.

Today, on my desk, was an envelope (obviously a greeting card) addressed to My Love. The message printed inside the card read, “Each day I love you more.” Of course, this dear man included a handwritten, mushy message for me. One line that stuck out was, “a wonderful sense of calm.” I couldn’t agree more.

We have worked so hard to reach this place of serenity. You see, this is a second marriage for both of us and the statistics are not in our favor with 67% of all second marriages in 2012 ending in divorce.

Way back when, I recall us saying to each other that this was it. If our couple didn’t succeed, we would throw in the towel. Quit the game of relationships. Our hearts were broken the first time around and to endure that trauma again was to be avoided at all costs. Certainly, the two of us have gone through some really tough times and tried to quit each other, but in the end stayed true to our declaration to couplehood.

Comparing relationships to gardens is my thing and having tended to our garden for the last seven and half years, I have witnessed the increase of joy and pleasure in our entire family. Did you know a standard apple tree does not produce fruit until it is between 6 and 10 years of age? Imagine watching that little seedling over the seasons! Year after year of watering, fertilizing and pruning … only to end the day with no fruit harvest. You’ve dreamed of homemade apple pies and have such a desire to create them from the apples of your very own tree. In today’s world, when you can simply purchase a pie at the store, what’s the point?

It’s true what they say about happiness being cultivated through your own efforts. Master gardeners teach that providing proper care for your apple tree will contribute to its vigorous growth and timely fruiting … year after year. Awesome! The time and effort that was put toward our relationship is now paying off. The tree has blossoms on it for the first time. What an amazing journey we have been on! Together, we are masters of our marriage and have learned how to properly care for our couple. We can only imagine what the “vigorous growth” will look like because the peace and love we feel in our home is deeply rooted. From now until the very end, we have our couple to harvest from. Spring is two weeks away and I can feel in my soul that beautiful, juicy fruit is in store for us by summer’s end.