I Don’t Want to be Skinny Anymore.

In January 2013 I was overweight. I had gone to the doctor’s for my regular physical exam and she told me I was almost 140 pounds, had high cholesterol, and was on the path for a slew of medical problems.

The worst part was, I wasn’t even a bit surprised.

I had just finished my college career where my nights were filled with late night Taco Bell/Wendy’s/McDonalds/Thai Food runs to fuel me for those all-nighters. As a senior, pre-med, math major, I had no time to hit the gym and stay active. Throughout college I had come to several crossroads where I realized how desperately I needed to change my lifestyle, not just because of the reflection that I saw in the mirror, but because of my relationship.

I felt unwanted, unattractive, and worst of all, unloved, not just by my significant other, but by myself. I wasn’t happy. As a result, I became a yo-yo dieter. I tried to motivate myself by trying to look beautiful for my boyfriend so he would love me more and not leave me. I convinced myself I was doing it for me, but deep down I knew that wasn’t true. Eventually, he did leave me, and, after graduating, I moved back home for a couple of months while I applied to medical school.

I left the doctor’s office knowing something needed to change. So I made it happen.

Moving home for 6 months after college was the best thing I have ever done for my health. I joined my parents’ gym and went there nearly every day. I became a Zumba addict. My mother became my “personal chef,” turning every nasty healthy recipie into another work of art. I subscribed to the mantra “no carbs after lunch.” I drank so much water, quit my Diet Coke addiction cold turkey, stopped eating fast food, and my only indulgences were healthy sweet treats I found on Pinterest. I never weighed myself, only gauged my weight loss based on how my work out clothes fit me.

By spring, I saw my doctor again for a sinus infection. She was amazed that in a matter of a couple of months I had lost 10 pounds. By August 2012, my sister’s wedding, I was 20 pounds down, weighed 118 pounds, and felt better than ever, but most of all, I was happier than I had been in a very long time.

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What was so different this time? What motivated me to lose so much weight that was different than the 10 times I had tried while I was in college? This time, losing weight and getting in shape wasn’t motivated by an loveless relationship, looking hot, looking great in a bikini; it was motivated by being healthy and becoming happy.

The next couple of months were amazing for me. Not only did I love my body and love my life, I met the most incredible man who showed me love I never knew was possible. I started living and loving life more than before. I went from being the happiest I had been in a long time to being the happiest I have been ever before.

Well, recently I have noticed that the 118 pound bombshell is no more. I started gaining weight again and don’t look nearly as good in a bikini as I had before, and in a nutshell, I freaked out.

What changed? Well, with my wonderful new relationship came new adventures, experiences, and indulgences. I wasn’t exercising as much anymore and my no carbs after lunch policy went out the window. We love dessert and we love bacon. I still eat healthy and the thought of greasy fast food makes me feel sick. My lifestyle changes have stuck with me for the most part, but once in a while I indulge and with it comes more weight. Back then, my only focuses were losing weight and studying for my MCATs. Now, my focus is my happiness and living and loving life and him.

And even though I’m not the skinny lady he first met, he still loves me. But most of all, I love myself and think I’m beautiful. It has been a long, rough path to accept that fact.

Today I got the results of my physical exam from last Friday and my cholesterol is down from 184 to 77.

So, no longer do I want to be skinny. I want to be happy, healthy, and love myself for it.

And the best part is, I am and I do.

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10 Things to Never Settle For in Love

I never agreed with this concept of “settling” to begin with. Why do all women have an incessant need to feel like there are things we need to put up with in relationships instead of realizing the man we’re with simply does not deserve to be with us?

Every woman has been there. We want to settle for second rate and put up with red flags because we think we have to, want it to work, or have been in a situation so long that we feel like we’re trapped. Or sometimes because we think it’s our last shot at love and if we lose this one then when will another one come along?

Well, this is me saying get out. Don’t put up with anything you think you shouldn’t have to. Because if you find yourself putting up with things or doing any of the following, it’s not meant to be. Have faith that the real thing will come along.

1. Someone who makes you feel like you have to change. Any man that makes you feel like if you lost weight, exercised more, ate different, acted more maturely, dressed differently, or do anything else that is just not inherently you, you would be loved more is absolutely 100% not worth your time. Because a man who thinks you need to change one way or another will never accept you for who you really are and will therefore never truly love you inside and out. The reality is a man who wants you to be someone else is looking for someone else.  It is so easy for us to make men like this question our self worth and make ourselves not feel good enough, and who wants to live like that?

2. Someone who makes you question whether or not they love you. If a man makes you question if they truly love you, then they do not love you enough. Plain and simple.

3. Someone who does not accentuate the true you. No one deserves to take away the true you away from you. If you feel like the man you’re with dims your sparkle even the slightest, you are with the wrong man. Someone you are meant to be with will only make your sparkle shine brighter and make you feel like the amazing woman you are.

4. Someone who places conditions on your relationship. Whether that means waiting a certain amount of time for you to be together or a certain life event to take place. If it’s not meant to be right now, chances are it’s not meant to be ever. You deserve better than that.

5. Someone who doesn’t make you feel safe. Listen to me carefully: If he ever does something to make you feel unsafe, even if it’s just one time, get away. It doesn’t get better, only worse. And every woman deserves to feel safe in the arms of her man.

6. Someone who doesn’t treat you differently regardless of who you are around. Whether you are out with your friends, his friends, his family, or at home, you should still feel the same love, affection, and vibes from him. Now I’m not saying he should be as PDA as you are during private time, but he should still be sending you those warm vibes and he should make you feel like you belong to him. If he is giving you the cold shoulder, not reaching for your hand as you are him, and treating you like you’re not even together, you should question how can someone who truly cares about you is even be capable of that. And if people are unsure if you’re dating, that’s not a good sign either.

7. Someone who tries to convince you out of your beliefs. Our beliefs and morals are what we live by. No one has the right to take them away from us. Whether it’s religion, political affiliation, even music choice, someone who actively tries to convince you to align your beliefs with theirs or consistently tells you you’re beliefs are wrong, is not someone worth being with. And note there is a distinction between a good healthy discussion and actively convincing and manipulating.

8. Someone who tries to separate you from your friends, family, and loved ones. It is normal when we’re in a relationship to become more distant from our loved ones, but what is not normal is your significant other actively trying to distance you from them. These people have been with you through thick and thin and love you unconditionally. They don’t deserve to lose you because of someone else. This includes your man telling you not to hang out with your guy friends (ones that you legitimately have no history with and he doesn’t want you hanging out with them purely because he is a dude). This means he doesn’t trust you and trust is everything in a relationship.

9. Someone who tries to use tangible objects to manipulate your emotions. No, presents do not buy love. They do not make up for arguments. And no one should be able to buy themselves out of an argument or try to make you love them more through gifts.

10. Someone who talks down to you and makes you feel like any less of a woman. You are great. You are amazing. You are incredible. Anyone who makes you feel anything less does not deserve you.

If you are putting up with any of these, you don’t have to. Remember that you are incredible and don’t deserve to be treated this way. Instead of wasting your time and energy in this relationship, spend it in faith knowing the real thing is out there and the longer you waste your time in this relationship, the more opportunities you are wasting out there looking for the right one.

xoxo
Avi

10 Things Guys will Never Understand about Ladies

The other day my boyfriend looked at me and said, “I don’t understand why girls need so many shoes.” I just stared at him in disbelief that he couldn’t understand something that was so inherently female. But this was right after he bought me the most gorgeous pair of Cole Haan’s, so I let it slide.

I couldn’t blame him really. Being a lady is something so awesome, it’s beyond comprehension. I thought back to how many times over the past couple of months Boyfriend said something along the lines of, “why are girls…” or “how come girls are so obsessed with…” and it’s made me realize how many things there are about ladies that guys will never understand. Here are just a couple of them:

1. Needing a giant closet

This one has a simple answer. To store all of our 40 dresses, 30 shirts, and cute work clothes (yes, not all of our dresses are considered work clothes). Oh, and just because we are smaller than you and own tank tops that are smaller than your dress shirts, we do not need a smaller closet. It doesn’t work like that.

Closet not drawn to scale.

Closet not drawn to scale.

2. Using conditioner

No, we cannot use your 2-in-one-shampoo-and-conditioner because the conditioner aspect is non existent for us. Call it physics, call it chemistry, whatever you want to call it, we can’t use it the way you do. And you know it’s true too because when you use all of our conditioner up we end up looking like this:

ugh.

ugh.

3. Taking a long time to get ready

While you all you have to do is put on a nice shirt and jeans and throw some gel in your hair, we have to pick an outfit (which takes twice as long as it takes you to get ready alone), do our hair, then our make up, and then do it all over again when it’s not perfect. At the end of the day, don’t complain about it because we’re trying to look perfect for you.

4. Why the flowers you give us die

Who pulled them out of the ground to give them to us in the first place? You killed them, not us.

Ok. No problem.

Ok. No problem.

5. Why we love cuddling

We like to be held and loved. It feels amazing and it feels even more amazing when we do it with you.

6. Shopping.

Owning a million pairs of shoes and dresses, donating them and getting more is one of the best parts of being a lady. We know you’re jealous.

Another reason why we need a giant closet.

Another reason why we need a giant closet.

7. Spending endless hours on Pinterest

IT’S LIKE AN IMAGINARY WORLD WHERE YOU CAN PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR HOUSE, WEAR ANY PIECE OF CLOTHING, EXERCISE WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING, EAT ONLY HEALTHY FOOD, AND LAUGH AT EVERY RIDICULOUS THING. And no, you cannot have one. Girls only.

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8. Our obsession with babies, puppies, kittens.

Because they’re adorable. And by the way, we think you’re insane when you don’t agree.

9. Getting fit and skinny

We have to get bikini ready, fit into tight dresses, and look Barbie perfect. There’s a social pressure for us to be as beautiful as possible that guys do not have. This involves Special K diets, no carb diets, working out on the stationary bike (or the excer-cycle as Boyfriend likes to call it), eating clean, and any other crazy food fad diet you can imagine. You guys either have super high metabolisms and can eat 3 Baconators without thinking twice, or get a beer belly and no one would think anything of it. Sometimes we get jealous of you… then realize how much cuter our clothes are then yours and we get over it.

10. Getting married, the wedding dress, the ring, having babies.

We have a biological clock and are on a time crunch here! Get a move on it and if you like it put a ring on it! And as for the ring,the wedding dress, and the wedding, we’ve been thinking about all of those things since we were seven years old and dressing ourselves up in our mom’s white table cloth. It better be perfect!

Dum dum da dum... dum dum da dum...

Dum dum da dum… dum dum da dum…

Bottom line:

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xoxo
Avi

 

Lessons I’ve Learned from my Best Friend…. And Chelsea Handler

I just finished reading Chelsea Handler’s book “Uganda Be Kidding Me,” (by recommendation from my best friend, Jill) and wow, I don’t remember the last time I was in tears laughing so hard from a book. I quickly learned that this was not a book I should read at work. I’m sure the people in the ER don’t need to listen to a 20 some year old’s high pitched laugh while they’re sick with the Flu or are in the middle of a GI Bleed.

In any case, surprisingly enough I learned a lot from Chelsea Handler! A lot of these things I already knew though because I had learned them from Jill.

This is Jill.

This is Jill.

Let me start by saying Jill is my everything. She is totally the kind of girl I would take home to meet my parents, just so they would know that I do indeed make great life decisions. She’s the person I seek guidance from in all things. I have told her numerous times that I want to tattoo “WWJD” on my wrist, until she so sweetly in that very Jill way informed me that I cannot do that because that acronym is already taken.

This book is about the several trips Chelsea Handler has taken throughout adulthood from Botswana to Switzerland. But she never goes anywhere without her best friends, specifically her best friend Lesbian Shelly. Their relationship is much like mine and Jill’s in that Shelly is a lot like Jill, minus the lesbian part.

Jill and her fiance. Just to clarify, Jill is not a lesbian.

Jill and her fiance. Just to clarify, Jill is not a lesbian.

So between Chelsea Handler and Jill, I have learned many life lessons. Here are just a few of them:

A best friend is someone you can call in case of emergency. At one point, Chelsea Handler brought home a new puppy that overnight tore apart their whole house. Chelsea immediately woke up Shelly and asked her what to do. I remember one time I dropped candle wax all over my dresser because I accidentally closed the window on a burning candle. It got all into my eyes, down my dress, and all over the carpet. I texted Jill, “umm. How do you get candle wax out of stuff…” and she said “oh dear, we’ll figure it out.” I was so comforted by the fact that we were now in this together.

Animals are life. If you’ve ever seen Chelsea Lately, you are probably already acquainted with Chunk Handler, Chelsea’s adorable dog. She is so in love with him that he flies on her private plane and Chelsea will fly commercial. Chelsea also believes that Chunk is the spirit of her mother. Well, the only other person I know that is nearly as obsessed with her pet is Jill. I don’t think Jill thinks Henrietta is her mom, although I have seen Henrietta and Jill’s mom (who by the way, has a sense of humor to rival Chelsea Handler) together and they are two peas in a pod. I mean, who wouldn’t be obsessed with this adorable face?

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Don’t be fooled by her ridiculous good looks.

Every conversation with Jill consists of what Henrietta is up to these days, what she’s doing now, and how she can’t stop talking about me. If you talk to Henrietta in front of Jill, Jill will fill in the voice for Henrietta, and it always makes sense.

“Hi Henrietta! Remember me?”

Jill’s response: Hi Meow-vanti!
Henrietta’s response: HI(SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS)!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and for your Birthday and Christmas, you just might get a card from Jill and Henrietta. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

All things can be fixed with laughter, alcohol… And a razor. Whenever Chelsea finds herself in a pickle, her first solution is to find the closest Bloody Mary or margarita. They found themselves in the middle of Africa on a horrible resort where the coolest thing to see was a squirrel. Chelsea’s response was, “we didn’t fly all the way here to look at a squirrel,” and they proceeded to tell the tour guide to take them home so they could drown in their miseries.

The last awful series of events in my life was when I had gotten into a car accident, had a consecutive number of horrible days at work, and locked myself out of the house twice over the period of 3 days. The final time I locked myself out of my house, was right before mine and Jill’s Monday night girls night. I had just driven an hour back home from work only to realize that I had lost my key again. I was sitting in my front yard, inside of my car (not knowing that my house key was underneath my seat the entire time) on the verge of tears. Jill told me to just come right over even though I had nothing with me and desperately needed a shower and to shave my legs after working in the ER for 10 hours. Once I got there, she handed me a glass of wine, a towel, a razor, and one of her dresses. By the time I stepped out of her bathroom I felt like a whole new woman! Jill literally has the reset button on me. I guess you could say I’m her Gigapet.

Manners are our friends. Chelsea Handler having no manners needs no explanation and this book has so many wonderful examples of that, like being rude to tour guides, not powering down her cell phone before take off, and answering the door without bikini bottoms. Her friends are always there to steer her in the right direction. As for me, Jill has always reminded me to use my manners. Like the other day when she burped and said excuse me and I said nothing, she repeated, “I said excuse me.” And I, as any normal person would do, stared blankly at her as if I thought I knew the appropriate response in this social situation but all that came out was “goo.” Jill reminds me on a regular basis that I was actually raised by a pack of wolves and she’s in the process of re-raising me now. Thanks Jill.

There is no such thing as a dumb question. One of my favorite parts of this book is when Chelsea asks her sister, Simone, something that had been troubling her. “Simone, I need to ask you something but it has to stay between us. Is the moon… the sun? Like, are they the same thing?” After her older sister answered her question, Chelsea requested she not repeat that that had just happened Simone responded, “it’s ok Chelsea. You not knowing is a poor reflection on me.”

Everyone needs that person you can ask dumb questions to. Jill is mine. Yesterday I asked her “why are there so many cats?” She politely responded with an actual historical answer. I didn’t even know there was a history behind cats. Maybe she was just making it up, I don’t know. But Jill could feed me any lie and I would believe her entirely. If that’s not true love I don’t know what is. Later that day we also had the following conversation:

“Jill, do Pilgrims still exist?”
“What?”
“Like, how come when people introduce themselves they’ll say ‘I’m Irish’ or ‘I’m Indian’ but no one says ‘I’m Pilgrim’?”
“No, they don’t exist anymore.”
“What do you mean no? How can a whole race of people disappear??”
“It’s not a race. It’s more like a status. A Pilgrim is someone who crossed the ocean to come to America during the 17th century.”
“Oooooh! Well, my people crossed the ocean to come to America too. Am I Pilgrim?”
“No, Pilgrims with a capital P are the white people that came to America. But you’re ancestors are pilgrim with a lower case p!”
“Wow, Jill. That’s the most racist thing I’ve ever heard.”

At the end of the day , I don’t even need anyone else. Jill pinky promised me that if we out-live our future husbands that we can live together as old ladies and become lesbians. And, well, pinky promises are blood.

I guess Jill will have more in common with Lesbian Shelly that we thought!

Happy birthday, Jill! I love you so much!!! I don’t know what I would do with out you! And I can honestly say, I don’t know what would become of me if I didn’t have you.

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xoxo,
Avi

“The Collector” by Nora Roberts

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Why does Nora Roberts have a reputation to be some sort of “naughty” author? “The Collector” is probably the 7th or 8th book I’ve read of hers and she is absolutely amazing! Her writing transcends all generations so women from their early 20s to their late 90s can enjoy her stories. Sure, there are some “naughty” scenes and kissing and mushy love, but what well-rounded book doesn’t have that?

In “The Collector,” Lila is a house sitter-blogger-writer that witnesses a possible murder-suicide from her high rise apartment in NYC. Upon doing so, she ends up intertwined with the crime as well as the handsome artist brother of the victim, Ash, to discover the truth about what happened that night. They go on an adventure taking them as far as Italy to figure out the truth. What they find puts them in dangerous situations as well as a romantic relationship. Someone who is used to instability throughout her whole life, Lila finds stability and love with Ash, something she battles along with the dangerous criminals who put several members of Ash’s family in the grave. It’s a wonderful murder mystery and love story at the same time and one that I couldn’t put down if I tried!

Roberts recognizes that every female reader wants to place themselves in the shoes of the heroine. I’ve read several books where I didn’t like the main character and couldn’t stand being her in this imaginary world, so I would just stop reading. But Lila is doing exactly what I aspire to do: follow your own, unconventional path.

Lila created her own profession as a house sitter and sits for clients with gorgeous apartments in downtown NYC. While she hangs out and goes place to place, she’s also a moderately successful young adult-fiction writer as well as a blogger. The book recognizes she doesn’t make a ton of money doing what she does, but it also recognizes that Lila loves her life.

That’s exactly how I aspire to live my life. Sure, I didn’t decide to be the traditional indian daugther and become a doctor. I made my own path, graduated with a math degree, and now I aspire to be a teacher while blogging and writing books. I also want to travel the world and live from other people’s points of view.

And I wouldn’t mind kicking some assasin butt along the way. I think I got the chops for it! What do you think?
xoxo
Avi

Why Juan Pablo is Easily the Smartest Bachelor Ever

Ah, Juan Pablo, easily the most hated Bachelor in Bachelor history. The one who made totally superficial comments and let every woman know “it’s ok” to “trust him.” We fell in love with him when he was on Desiree’s season so much that they brought him back for our viewing pleasure for an entire season. And boy were we pleased. In fact, up until the overnight dates, we were all pretty happy with how things were going, even though we were pretty sure he was going fall in line with his predecessors and pick the nastiest woman of the season, Clare.

So what happened?

We gained so much trust in Andi, which is exactly what the producers wanted since they knew she was going to be the next Bachelorette, that we lost sight of our trust in Juan Pablo and reality t.v., and with it, our sense of reality.

But putting Andi’s experience aside, Juan Pablo is the smartest bachelor to ever grace the Bachelor mansion. Here are 3 reasons.

1. He didn’t pick Clare

Which, let’s be honest, is exactly what we all expected. Bachelors have a hideous track record of picking the worst choice of the season, all the way from Alex Michel and the non-Trista Amanda Marsh to Jake Pavelka and the awful Vienna Giradi. All of Bachelor Nation sat and cringed the second we realized how much Juan Pablo favored Clare over everyone else, including perfect Pediatric Nurse, Niki. We couldn’t help but visualized what a wicked step mother Clare would be to sweet Camilla. When ABC took us to meet her family, we watched in shock that her family could somehow be even worse than her and no wonder she’s the way she is. But then something magical happened; as soon as we realized it was in fact Clare that was first off the boat walking to her break up, we all collectively jumped for joy and realized, it really is ok!

2. He told Clare like it is

Yes, maybe it was an inappropriate thing to say to someone. But the only reason Clare made such a big deal about it was because she was trying to get Juan Pablo to say he loves her off camera and he didn’t, which in my opinion is even more inappropriate. A man will tell you he loves you when he’s ready, not when the cameras are turned off. Moreover, Clare was only getting what she put out. Don’t go to someone’s hotel room at 3 o’clock in the morning saying let’s go “swim” in the ocean even though we’ve only hung out 4 times and then get upset when he says something like that to you. What else do you expect? Sorry sister, he’s not in love with you and that’s your own fault.

3. He took his opportunity on reality t.v. as reality

I get why everyone is upset. I too followed Juan Pablo’s journey for love for 3 months and was a little disappointed that there was no proposal and not even an I love you at the end of it. But Juan Pablo was given the opportunity of a lifetime and he took advantage of every moment, ensuring that his relationship could continue after the show was over. You all may have seen someone dodging the question of whether or not he loves Nicki, but I saw a man that was being berated about whether or not he’s in love, having to justify why he wasn’t, and couldn’t wait for the entire experience to be over so he could really get to know his girlfriend and fall in love with her on his own time. The Bachelor is not very conducive to falling in love and anyone that is “in love” by the end of the show is most likely just making good t.v. Juan Pablo isn’t “slapping the hand that fed him,” he was simply treating his reality t.v. show as reality itself, something, if more Bachelor couples did, that would drastically increase the success of love on this show.

Sure Juan Pablo had his ups and downs and upset Andi and Sharleen enough they wanted to leave. But no Bachelor is perfect. And let’s be honest, what Andi thought was him being self centered and self absorbed may have just been a dude trying to get into her pants. Think about it.

I say people should stop hating Juan Pablo so much and instead focus on how ABC ripped us off and picked Andi as Bachelorette next season. FREE SPIRIT FOR BACHELORETTE 2014!

xoxo
Avi

You Make me Feel Like I’m Living a Teenage Dream

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/daily-prompt-its-friday-im-in-love/

Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love

by Krista on February 14, 2014

Remember your first crush? Think about that very first object of your affection. Oh, the sweaty palms. The swoony feeling in your stomach. Tell us the story of your first crush. What was it about this person that made your heart pound? Was the love requited? Change the names to protect the guilty or innocent if you must! No judgement here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s so funny to think back to that very first person you ever laid eyes on and had all these crazy fantasies. You take one look at them and see your life in fast forward. You picture coming home to them every day after work, cooking in the kitchen as they wrap their arms around you, surprising you with flowers, kissing them goodnight, snuggling on the couch watching t.v., midnight walks along the river. All those wonderful fantasies that clearly only live in your dreams.

Then you snap back to reality and realize you’ve never talked to this guy in your life, he doesn’t know your name or your existence, and will probably never see him again. But that doesn’t stop your 12 year old mind from picturing you with him for the rest of your life.

Creepy!

That happened to me many, many moons ago. But I’m not sure if I would call it a crush. That’s nothing more than an object of your affection, someone to input into pre-existing fantasies that have been swirling in your teenage hormonal mind already.

A true crush is someone who can make those fantasies come true. Every last one of them. Seems totally unrealistic right? Those are things you only think about as you fall asleep or while you’re dreaming, not things that would actually happen in real life. That’s what I thought too. Until I met my first real crush.

Which wasn’t until about 3 months ago. I waited 24 years, but he finally arrived. When I first laid eyes on him, I think it was written all over my face just how incredibly hot I thought he was. I knew absolutely nothing about him but the teenage fantasies already started to flow. Sweaty palms and all, but he was just glad I didn’t smell like curry.

We talked for an hour and half but what felt like only 5 minutes. And then we danced while my stomach was still churning and my heart was beating to the bass of the salsa music. By the end of the night, oh I was definitely infatuated.

And then a week later, I was in serious daytime-drama-teenage-fantasy-crush-mode.

And over the course of the next 3 months, he made every one of those teenage fantasies come true.

And they just keep getting better.20140214-153447.jpg

I know it’s Valentine’s Day, but this is what every day feels like with him.

xoxo
Avi