My parents took their kids and their kids’ kids to Jamaica over Christmas. Don’t worry, I’m not about to spin you an SAT math question about how old the 3rd cousin of my brother’s mother-in-law is. This is not that kind of post.

This is a post about love.

Mom and Dad got us all together in Jamaica because they love us, and they want us all to love each other. They should be quite pleased, then, because we do. And we had a wonderful time.

This isn’t a post about that kind of love.

Thirteen years ago I saw a laser-eyed, dark-haired stranger across a room, a face I immediately realized I had always known. Last month, I watched him chat with my father, tease my mother, bicker with my son, counsel his daughter, and talk baby-talk with our niece.

In the thirteen years I’ve known this man, there has been better and there has been worse. A whole lot of each.


But mostly there has been love.

So as I celebrated a love-filled Thanksgiving with a family for whom I am wholeheartedly grateful, I couldn’t help but realize that once upon a time, many years ago, I hated family vacations. All that togetherness traumatized me, made me claustrophobic. I longed for aloneness. I craved to be apart. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my family, I just didn’t want to love them all at once in the same time and place.

The one thing that has changed, the one crucial thing, is that I found peace, happiness, and, yes — here’s that word again — love, with my husband. A peace that allows me to contentedly occupy the same zip code as my entire family

Which is totally cool.

And the way that we commemorate that love around our house is with the purchase of completely meaningless hoohas and tschotckes. We’ve followed this practice since our wedding, where we picked up a bejeweled wire gecko on St John. It has carried on though a wooden grizzly from Montana, a tin armadillo from Brenham, a black on white oil painting from New Orleans, and a purple pig from Schulenberg.

That is why, on the island of Jamaica, the one memento Eric and I came away with is this giraffe carving. We are completely aware that there is no living, breathing giraffe on the island of Jamaica. Not even in a zoo.

Of course, we had many other objects of whimsy from which to choose, very tropical objects. Jamaican objects. Non-African objects.

We chose the lip-locked giraffes. Because nothing spells love like g-i-r-a-f-f-e.

Have a good week, y’all,





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21 Responses to How do you spell love?

  1. Ann says:

    Your posts on love always remind me to take that extra minute with my husband each day. Thanks for that Pamela.

  2. you did it again! nice…
    and i am still (well, soon not to be…) stressed by family vacations. spending more than 8 hours in a row with my wife’s family has been known to give me hives…

    • Pamela says:

      My friend, family gatherings are a reason for strait jackets as far as I’m concerned. I’ve always been such a scrooge about it. But I’m partially reformed/healed :)

  3. You guys are so cute….and you most definitely have love written all over you. I’m so happy to know you guys and honestly feel as though you’re a great role model for relationships. You really are.

    Thirteen just happens to be our lucky number so I know this is just the start of more great things to come.

    You guys sort of look like intertwined giraffe’s in that top photo….and I mean that in the most kindest way possible. You both are awesome.


  4. Meghan says:

    Adorable. I can feel the love from here — you guys do it right. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us. ♥

  5. Vidya Sury says:

    L.O.V.E. the post. Love you and Eric and your family. Hugs!

  6. Eric Hutchins says:

    As I think EVERYONE knows I am your biggest fan and I love just about everything that you write. But every once in a while you write something that hits so close to home, is so important to me and reminds me of just how lucky I am. This was one of those.
    You being in my life, sharing yours, and your family with me, being able to have experiences together like this, is just beyond words for me.
    You are a gift to me and I am grateful.
    The giraffes are AWESOME!

  7. I adore your giraffe. For us it is tango pictures and wooden carved lovers and dancers. Nothing says love like tango for us! I think having things like this are vital to the relationship!!

  8. Terri Sonoda says:

    I loved this! Some couples are just too mushy…well, depictions thereof online anyways. You and Eric, however, are absolutely delightful to read about. Your mush is heart-warming, but real, and it is a treat to read about your lives together. Thanks for sharing! I can’t help but smile when I look at those pictures and read about your adventures together.

  9. Eric Hutchins says:

    Fight? Huh? Whattttt? You are like a little kitten :)!

  10. […] until hours later, when I picked the card up for the tenth time, that I got it. Of course! The Jamaican kissing giraffes that we bought as our Thanksgiving souvenir only two months ago. The same giraffes that were […]

  11. Tracie says:

    I love your giraffe sculpture. It is so cute!!

    Love is a beautiful thing. I’m glad you have it in your life.

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