How Do I Love Thee?

Six days… it feels like an eternity already!

So because I’m missing him I want to share a little piece of who we are with you today.  You simply can not be married to a man like Ryan and not have a dozen quirky little stories…


When I was in high school I was obsessed with poetry… for that matter I wrote my fair share of maudlin prose and even saw some of it published.

My favorite poem of all time was “How Do I Love Thee?by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”

When Ryan and I were dating I discovered that he was not the kind to spout poetry and that was fine with me since I’d had my fill of broody men with poetic hearts.  I was ready for something real… though I thought I would miss the poetry.  When we married I found that poetry never really mattered…

In him I find a man who is solid and real.  Who can make me laugh when I am brooding, who can make me giggle when no one else has ever managed it.


 A man who puts up a fight when I feel like fighting, or who can be tender when I’m feeling raw and empty…


 Who can still make my knees tremble with a simple kiss…


 A man who decided that this poem I had loved  my whole youth just did not quite say what it needed to say for us. 

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about this poem of all things…  You see I was searching the other day for a card to put in the care package I’m about to send him.  I found one that has this poem in it and instead of causing those old teenage feelings of angst and passion to resurface it made me remember something that is just so trademark us.

I told him once how much I had loved that poem and he grinned his silly grin and grabbed my face in his hands.

He looked deep into my eyes and said,

“Courtney, How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!”

“One…” and he kissed my forehead.

“Two…” and he kissed my cheek.

“Three…” and he kissed my other cheek.

“Fooour…” big smootch on the lips… “EVER!”


The man may not have poetry in his soul but he knows just how to capture mine.


Hurry home my love…



P.S.  Oh my… well I just got an email from Ryan letting me know he had read this post.  This is his comment.

“By the way, I do too have poetry in my soul.  Check this out:


“There once was a man from Peru,

Who worked in a world famous zoo,

He tripped on a stump,

And fell in a “dump”,

And now people say he’s the POO!”


I actually just made that up.  Shakespeare, eat your heart out.


All my love,




19 thoughts on “How Do I Love Thee?

  1. That is so sweet…I need to go think long and hard about that, because some of that teenaged poetry echoes in my past, too…hmm…I need to think!  Haha…I’ll get back to you.

  2. Okay, I have tears in my eyes now.  What a sweet post.  And he must have a touch of poetry in his soul, because what he did (kissing your foreheard, cheek, etc) was poetic.  My Randy is the same way.  He is not a romantic at all, but he knows how to “get me!”  Like last week, I had had a long day w/ Parker, and he came home w/ a dark chocolate Hershey’s bar.
    By the way, Parker is sitting in his high chair dancing to the music on here! LOL

  3. thanks courtney for letting me hear your song…that was beautiful…i do love that song!  Your mom, sister and you have beautiful harmony!  I have sang with my mom and sister before but its very rarely that we do it…but its always fun!

  4. Courtney,
    I love that Ryan can read your posts and know what you are saying here. The Internet is a wonderful thing!!!
    While he may not have a poets soul, he sure knew how to capture the poet lovers heart!!! He also knew you would appreciate the zoo poem!!!
    I am keeping you and Ryan in my prayers!!!  

  5. This was soooo sweet!!  I also love poems and writing although I’m not nearly as good as you are.  It is the most remarkable thing when we find the person that God meant for us to find.  I believe with all my heart that God led me to Cory and I believe the same for you and Ryan.  God led you to each other and you make that clear in your writing.  Cory’s not much of a poet either but I remember the very first time he left for a long distance road trip and of course I was upset.  Sobbing uncontrollably.  When I went out to the car after he had left to go to work I found a folded piece of paper.  When I unfolded it, I found that he had written down the lyrics to a song that just fit the situation perfectly.  I sobbed again.  So they may not possess a poets soul but they sure do know what it takes to take hold of ours and never let it go.  ((((HUGZ))))

  6. Your posts continually make me cry!!! I am so sad that Ryan is so very far away from you. His poem is so adorable & sweet and I hope and pray that he will stay safe 🙂 *hugs*

  7. For some odd reason…this page took a million minutes to load!!! Ay-ya-yah!!! I loved the “Ode to Ryan and poetry” post. I used to “play” with poetry back in the day and in the early stages of my hubby & I’s relationship I wrote this poem:
    I’m no damsel in distress
    My life isn’t one big mess
    I’m in control, I’m my own boss
    If you don’t want me it’s just your loss
    I may seem weak, show you I care
    In return I want you always there
    You don’t own me, I’m not your slave
    You can’t tell me how to behave
    But if you can handle me
    I’ll show you heaven wait and see
    Anyway, thought you might get a chuckle out of that poem. After he read it…he couteracted with a terribly cute poem that couldn’t really be labeled a “poem”. It didn’t ryme, it was more a jumble of words in a few sentences. AND he only did it to show he cared about me, which is why it was cute. Just like you….I married a man who isn’t exactly poetic but who still swept me off my feet.
    Your post was beautiful….you have a wonderful way with words. Hopefully, things are going well for you right now. *Hugs*

  8. Awww, this was fabulous!  You have a great guy there.  My Robert does the same silly stuff.  He likes to put it in song though. 

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