Orange Juice, ETC

The blog of Elias & Theresa Carlson

Tag: Valentine’s Day

There is Grace in the Dead of Silence


This Valentine’s Day is a bit different than most. Theresa and I had anticipated spending it on a beach somewhere in Southern California, where even in February it will likely be sunny and 65 degrees. Instead we are holed up in North Idaho watching the little creek out back swell with freshly melted snow. We’ve traded sunshine, savory tacos, and a group of the finest friends one could hope for, for snow, shepherd’s pie, and the warmth of a tight-knit family.

We live here now. Here being Priest River, Idaho, population 1,700-ish. Probably for good. We knew we’d end up in North Idaho someday, we just didn’t know exactly when “someday” would come. Whenever the topic would arise the conclusion was always that the timing didn’t feel quite right, and in fact we often prayed together that we’d know clearly when to make the move. When we got the news about Dan, as odd as it sounds, it was an answer to prayer. What better reason to move now, with no hesitation, than this? It’s certainly not the way we’d have chosen for things to work out. But there is deep blessing in even the most terrible situations if you are willing to look for it.

And that brings me to the point of this post. It is Valentine’s Day after all. And in the Miller household that means crafting things with your hands to bless the ones you love. The Miller house is filled with these little mementos, bowls filled with hand-carved wooden hearts, intricate quilts on the walls. The places Theresa and I have called home have slowly filled with similar relics that we’ve made (or occasionally bought) for each other. Most days we don’t give them a second thought. But sometimes I’ll catch myself admiring something Theresa made for me and a little smile will spread across my face.

This year, I’m crafting this post for Theresa. So that someday as she sifts through old posts on our blog, as she sometimes does, she’ll see this post and remember how much I love her.

Theresa, you can’t imagine how deeply and constantly blessed I am to have you as my wife. You have made my wildest dreams come true simply by loving me so well, and as a result, enabling me to become the person I was created to be. Our marriage has been, and continues to be, a most incredible adventure. How could we have known what a whirlwind of joy, uncertainty, excitement, trepidation, pain, and beauty would unfold in our lives over the last three years?

In the midst of it all, your love has been the rock on which I’ve steadied myself in moments of doubt. It has changed me, bit by bit, for the better, chipping away at the selfishness and aimlessness I so often struggle with. It underpins all of the best parts of me, strengthening and feeding them. It is an incredible thing to wake up each morning and know that, try as I might, I may never be able to love you as well as you love me. This knowledge overwhelms me, and humbles me. It transforms me.

You are my blessing in this difficult time. Without you I would not be a part of this beautiful family. I wouldn’t have the privilege of walking alongside you and your family as your father deals with the realities of cancer. And believe me, it is a privilege. I have so loved watching you serve your mom and dad these last few weeks as we transition into this unexpected new phase in our life. Your heart to love and serve was tailor made for times like these, and it is incredible to watch you love so well. You are an incredible wife, sister, and daughter, and you make the lives of those around you immeasurably richer. I know you don’t always feel that way, but I can see it and so do the fortunate few who can say they know you well.

I love you more than words can say, but hopefully these few words can give you some idea.

Happy Valentines Day.

Happy Valentines Day!


Happy Valentines Day to you! Remember these from last year? Send one today to your family, friends, and acquaintances to let them know you love them.

We love YOU, thanks for joining us on our adventure.

Instagram Valentines

You float my boat

Today on our way to Idaho Theresa got it into her head to play around with a new app called Phonto. It allows you to add text to iPhone images. Since it’s Valentines day we thought it would be fun to create some Instagram-ready Valentine cards for people to send to their loved ones. Just save these images straight to your phone and send it along to that special someone. All of these photos were taken by the two of us. Enjoy!

Of all the fish in the sea

Roses are red

Fawnd of you

Cats meow

You otter be mine

Your lovin gets me high

I think your great

You make my heart race

Holy moly, me-oh-my, you’re the apple of my eye

Happy Valentines Day to all of you! I know many of you think that valentines day is just a ploy to sell cards, chocolate, and overpriced roses but I hope to change your mind… I believe that Valentines day is an opportunity to show the people you love, and those that love you back, how much they mean to you.

My family has a tradition of making handmade valentine gifts (examples here). We look forward to Valentines day every year, planning our projects for each other long in advance. These gifts mean so much more than roses or chocolates.

This year Andrea had the brilliant idea of having one of Elias’ photos from the trip to New York we took together in the fall, printed on fabric to make a pillow for our parents. We used Spoonflower to upload our photo and have a piece of custom fabric printed.

We were so happy with the outcome. You cant see it very well in the photo but we used a piece of bright pink silk on the back of the pillow so it would be like a little valentine surprise.

I hope you all have someone wonderful in your lives to love today, family, friends, significant others. In the words of Joseph, I hope everyone at least gets a hug.