You know those difficult conversations? The tearful kind with Texas-size lumps that form slowly and painfully in your chest? I had one of those the other day. It was a good talk, just difficult to begin or articulate. I was having a day when everything was making me cry. Blame it on hormones or that inevitable new year evaluative state that we all find ourselves in right about now, but regardless, I felt a huge shift swelling deep inside of me. The shift had taken the form of opportunity, like I'd been trying not to drown for a year, staying barely afloat, and for once someone was reaching out a hand to pull me out of the water. The opportunity was to grab the hand and trust it, but I felt scared and unsure. I felt like the opportunity was 2016 and the hand was my own. Everything inside of me had been moving quickly forward with ideas, excitement, goals, and momentum, but everything on the outside appeared to be floating at a standstill. My whole life appeared to be floating actually and it has for years. It took me a couple of days to realize that this stagnancy was the source of my grief. So I cried and Scott and I had a conversation.

The beautiful thing about love, and the conclusion we came to that day, is that regardless of how lifeless everything around us seems, there will always be a quiet beating heart pulsing through the two of us. We are the heartbeat. We are the pulse that keeps this life afloat and the only breathing, living thing that can reach in and pull us to shore when we need it most. I'm just so glad I've had someone like Scott to doggy paddle with the last three years and that we seem to be swimming in the same direction.

He doesn't know this, but for the last nine months when I think about how much Scott loves me, I think about cherry coke. There was an unseasonably warm day on the Oregon coast in March where we sat on a blanket for hours working up a quenching thirst for something cold and refreshing. We collected all the change we could find and between my wallet and Scott's pockets we came up with the exact amount we needed to get one can of soda from a vending machine. I wanted cherry coke. He wanted original. After some grumbling and then passively giving in, I agreed to let him get the one he wanted. Back on the blanket the sun had started to set. We settled in comfortably and he reached into our bag for the coke, opening the can and offering it to me for the first sip. It was cherry. He smiled at me with this larger-than-life look in his eyes that spoke loudly to the quiet ways in which two people are in love. The quiet ways in which the heart beats. Thump Thump.

Happy Birthday Scott. You are the love of my life.

Oregon Coast | Hailey King Photography | Portland Oregon lifestyle photographer | haileyking.com