Dear Husband,

I saw you tonight. Like, really saw you.

Our little family was cuddled up listening to you read a bedtime story. I watched as your face scrunched with expression and your voice changed to match each of the characters. I smiled as our boys giggled at your animation, and I caught the wink you threw my way when I giggled, too.

In that moment I saw you, and I couldn’t help but wonder . . . how long has it been since I’ve taken the time to truly appreciate you like that?

Sure, I see you every day.

I see you return from work covered in dirt and I cringe as you track mud across the floor. I see you take off the socks that never quite make it into the hamper, and I see the honey-do I’ve reminded you about that still remains untouched.

I fixate on so many trivial things about you, but I don’t often make the effort to see you for the blessing you are.

In our early years, I used to watch you in awe, thinking how lucky I was to have you and wondering what on earth I had done to deserve you. I’d admire your backside in that worn pair of work jeans and stare at the twinkle in your eyes that appeared when you were amused. I’d smile when I saw the corners of your lips turning up, because your joy brought me so much of my own.

Back then, I breathed in everything about you and memorized all of my favorite parts of you. Now, I so often forget to look.

But tonight, somewhere in the middle of that mundane bedtime routine, I saw you again.

I saw how well you love our family—how well you love me.

I saw the skill with which you swept up our runaway toddler and wrestled him into pajamas as he tried to squirm away. I saw the admiration in our sons’ faces as you read the same book for the third time in a row. I saw the way you lovingly planted kisses on each of our foreheads before turning out the lights. I saw the tired in your eyes from a long day but the way that you gave us the very best of you anyway.

And in seeing you tonight, my dear, I opened my eyes to all that you do for us day in and day out.

There’s so much to appreciate about you, like the way you sneak the kids out of the house some mornings so that I can sleep in, or how you always know the right words to soothe a toddler meltdown.

There’s the way you never stop trying to make me laugh even when I’m in a sour mood, and how you always step in when you see that I’m overwhelmed—which honestly, is more than my fair share of the time.

There’s the way you tirelessly provide for our family and make each of us feel like we’re the center of your world.

And there’s the little things that make big statements of love, like the way you scrape my windshield after it snows or how you always save me the cheesiest bite on the nacho plate.

This life of ours may be full of chaos and craziness, but what a shame it would be for me to lose sight of you in the middle of it all.

When I truly stop to see you—to list the ways in which you make my world so beautiful—my heart swells because your goodness knows no bounds. As lucky as I thought I was to have you in our early days, there’s no doubt that I’m infinitly luckier to have you now.

I see you, sweet husband, and I am so grateful to call you mine.

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward