Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

10 Things That Are Better Than Being In Love (or come close)

I was six, the first time I fell in love. Not much is better than being in love. His name was Ricky, and he lived next door. We hid behind the bushes to share secrets and imagined futures. His was to become a fireman who only helped people and didn’t hurt them.

His dad was a fireman.


It must’ve been 5th grade when I loved Phil a little bit. He lived neaby, and sat next to me in homeroom. We’d lie our heads on our desks and scratch patterns on the underneath side to see if we could decipher what we scrawled.

Later, he fell in love with a girl named Susannah, who, in 2nd grade, asked everybody to sign her cast except me. I don’t think it was on purpose, but it hurt.


I loved my second Ricky a little later, or during Phil. It’s hard to say, as we’d lived next door to one another ever since my family’d moved away from the first Ricky.

Then there was high school in the 80’s, and then college. Hoping. Finding. Not finding. Missing the dance.

The excitement of a new person who sees you. The memory of them brings forgotten loves.

The excitement of a new person that shows you their real self. Of never forgetting them, but moving on from them.

But oh, in the moment of falling in love. Of being in love.

Waiting for a call.

Flushed faces.

Flushed everything.

Who doesn’t love being in love?

And then there’s the other side of it. The walking away from the one who has passion unlike anybody you’ve known. Except, that passion leaks everywhere.

Into fights. Into worry.

Into him saying he’d rather keep you on a shelf for now, to ummm, what, later? Consume?

He never said why he needed to put you on a shelf. You walked away.

The love you find when you’re ready, once again.

10 THINGS that are better than being in love (or at least come close)

There’s not much better than being in love, but the following 10 things come close, at least for me.

#10 better than being in love

Flying solo, across the country to a new, unimagined life with nobody to land on other than your best friend, who is a dog.

Being willing to live a new life is enough. Having the coolest dog you’ve ever known to come home to is even better.

so much more than a dog

#9 better than being in love

Building new roots, new friends, with the help of your best friend, who was so much more than a dog. Finding a home where you cook Thanksgiving Dinner for friends that have never had one before because they didn’t grow up in the US.

Playing Taboo, because that’s what you do after Thanksgiving dinner.

Finding a new thanks in Thanksgiving.

#8 better than being in love

Telling everybody you know to set you up on dates. Filling out a profile online and hitting “publish.”

Deleting it, and writing a new one. Leaving it up after getting out of bed at 3am to take it down.

“Who meets people on the internet? Crazy people, that’s who.” you think.

Decide you’re safe enough. Crazy enough.

Meet amazing people you’ll hold in your memories and heart until your last breath.

You’re hopeful. Hopeful feels good. A bit like being in love.

#7 better than being in love

Meeting the one you’ll marry.

Calling home, to tell your family you’re pretty sure you’re making a baby and a life with this person.

Later, finding out he sent a photo to his family, saying the same.

This is the photo he sent. We look so young! Also, that really is his happy face. Weird, I know.

#6 better than being in love

Getting pregnant, and staying that way. Not telling anybody until you thought it was safe.

Realizing life and pregnancy are never-ever safe, because life is cruel that way, but beautiful all the same.

#5 better than being in love

Watching your husband run to the other side of the room to see your newborn in the hospital.

Moments before, he’d almost missed his birth.


#4 better than being in loveMeeting your baby for the first time. Holding him.

New mommy with baby

OMG look at his teeny tiny legs!

#3 better than being in love

Bearing witness to your baby’s first smile, and all the ones that follow and many that are to come.

Realizing your life means more now than it ever has.

This isn’t his first first smile, but I love how he looks like he’s dancing and snapping his fingers!

#2 better than being in love

Having “mom” as an identity. Quitting your job – which you thought was everything – when your baby is just four days old. Seeing life in a way you’ve never before.

Believing in stardust. The future.

Seeing connections to people all over the planet.

#1 thing that

Being you for a moment.

Seeing yourself. Your body.

Your you-ness, aside from their their-nesses.

Realizing that being in love with your partner and your child is everything, but that it’s nothing if you don’t love you.

Getting that you’ve found a way to love yourself, with wrinkles, a too-jiggly belly, and some past regrets.

Forgiving yourself for everything real and imagined.

Seeing you as you, all on your own.

Realizing that being in love is pretty perfect, and that the love of a child is unparalleled, but that you matter too.

That you love you.

Refraining from making some humorous but true-ish self-deprecating comment.

Just, love you.

That’s better than being in love, and makes the love you do have all that much sweeter.

Happy upcoming Valentines Day, all.

Love yourself.*


*ummm, I didn’t mean “love yourself” like that, perv.**

**although, loving yourself like that is totally fine. The whole hair on palms thing was made up by mean meanies.***

***I’m getting all Clark-like with all these asterisks.

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, in its new format, where it’s mostly the same, but different. Join my new co-host Kenya and I. We love to read your takes on these!

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  • Kenya G. Johnson - Several posts here to click back to. Definitley the “on the shelf” one. I might have read it but I said, “No he didn’t!” like that was the first time I’d heard it. LOL to Robert’s happy face, but I can see it in his eyes. Y’all were so cute! And anything about our babies really comes close to better than anything. Love the picture of Tucker “dancing” and “snapping” his fingers 😀

    “Refraining from making some humorous but true-ish self-deprecating comment” – I’ll try – but the next prompt will be a tuffy.February 8, 2018 – 10:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - To the “on the shelf” one… I’m not even sure that’s the best to click back to. It was the “real” one before Robert and he was mean, but I didn’t even know it, you know? I think there might be other posts that talk more about how cruel he was, but maybe not that much…
      The whole no self-deprecating comment… I have texting with you to thank for that line. Because I was sorta lost on that one but then thought how often we all do it. So thank you for that. And also, I can’t even remember the next prompt. Gah.February 8, 2018 – 10:17 pmReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - “This body of mine….” ugh!February 8, 2018 – 10:18 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OH! DUH. This Body… GAH GAH GAH. It’ll be hard for sure.February 8, 2018 – 10:18 pmReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - LOL! Is it possible to lose 10 pounds before I write it?February 8, 2018 – 10:19 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Well that’s more likely than me losing 10 before the weekend, so I vote yes.February 8, 2018 – 10:21 pmReplyCancel

          • Kenya G. Johnson - I’m going to go to the gym for blog fodder.February 8, 2018 – 10:34 pm

          • Kristi Campbell - OMG now I’m inspired…February 8, 2018 – 11:01 pm

      • Kenya G. Johnson - I just remembered that we only have to write for minutes. Wooohooo! Easy peasy. LOL!February 9, 2018 – 9:16 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Easy peasy for sure. We can just write about this. In fact, this exchange probably qualifies for the few minutes. 😉February 9, 2018 – 9:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi - *
    Ha!February 9, 2018 – 5:51 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Right? Clark didn’t seem to notice though 🙁February 9, 2018 – 10:01 pmReplyCancel

      • Lizzi - You can bet he will have noticed you overthinking it though…

        (The pregnant t-shirt is THEE CUTEST 😂)February 10, 2018 – 4:20 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Aw! Thank you! My friend Sara sent it to me. Her sister, Julie, and I were the queens of the blonde jokes back in the day.February 11, 2018 – 7:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Valerie Newman - I fell in love with you falling in love. Come on, that Tucker smile in #3, sends Cupid’s arrow right to my heart. You tugged at my heartstrings and left me laughing with the asterisks.

    Happy Valentine’s Day.February 9, 2018 – 8:20 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thanks, Val! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours. And yeah, Tucker’s smile in #3 leaves me weak too. Totally. Gah.February 9, 2018 – 10:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - You made me laugh a few times in this post…this is his happy face, your pregnancy t-shirt, your perv comment, your conversation with Kenya in the comments.

    I wonder if Phil or either Ricky know what they missed out on…probably better that they don’t know. It would just make them feel bad.February 9, 2018 – 9:35 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Phil probably is likely very successful… both Rickys are likely in jail (or not, who knows!!!). I guess the pasts of us are that way by design, or so I prefer to believe. My IRL friend Sara sent me that t-shirt when I was pregnant and the first time I wore it in public was the first time I got the unwanted belly touch from a stranger so I stayed with it at home after that. Funny the things we remember.February 9, 2018 – 10:04 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - Cute FTSF with an excellent message of “Love yourself first” and then you will be more forgiving and lovable.

    I had the child without the husband and falling in love. The husband was a child. But I adore my son unconditionally. I miss him soooo much.

    I am working on loving myself. It is a healing process. As for marriage I believe it is such an idealist institution that it could never be executed to perfection therefore I have never taken the big plunge.

    LOL on the weight. Sisters, I have both your ten pounds covered between the flu and the root canal.

    Both my parents have had cancer and my Mom died of rectal cancer so I have learned to love myself today because there may not be a tomorrow.February 9, 2018 – 9:55 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Loving ourselves is always a healing process, maybe. Maybe, we’re conditioned to think less of ourselves than others, which is sad. It seems the only alternative is to be a narcissist, and that’s not good either. LOL to having our pounds covered. I wish it worked that way. A good friend of mine recently had a double mastectomy and not enough body fat to make new boobs from. I wish I could donate my fat to her!February 9, 2018 – 10:17 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - I have extra boobs to donate! How about this Valentine’s Day we all just love ourselves and each other unconditionally and who wants to be heroine addict or meth addict thin anyways.

        Let’s just shake things up and ourselves and each other this Valentine’s Day otherwise the world sucks!!February 9, 2018 – 10:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Me! I’m crazy enough.

    Here’s to stardust and the future. And to love of all kinds.February 9, 2018 – 9:58 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - YES! To stardust and the future, and being just crazy enough. To love of all kinds. <3February 9, 2018 – 10:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @TheGoldenSpoons - I love your list! Makes me remember that I forgot to put “traveling to new places” on mine! 🙂 I have a really hard time with that loving myself part, but I’m working on it – always working on it.February 9, 2018 – 10:05 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I have a hard time with loving myself too, but here’s to working on it. Always.February 9, 2018 – 10:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - How on earth do you find yourself next door to TWO Rickys to love?? Magic. Hopeful is like being in love. And so is everything here. Ah, a good dog. A pregnancy that isn’t safe but you feel safe. Just everything. xoxoFebruary 9, 2018 – 12:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - No idea about the two Rickys but it was pretty perfect, in its own weird way. In high school/after high school, I love three Bobs. I married a Robert who used to be a Bob. Gah.February 9, 2018 – 10:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Great list and really great pics…my favorite — the blonde with 2 brain cells t-shirt – hilarious!!February 9, 2018 – 5:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL thanks, Emily! My friend Sara sent it. 🙂 The first time I wore it in public was the first time I got the stranger touching my belly. I kept it at home after that but still have it because how could I ever get rid of it?February 9, 2018 – 10:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Pat B - What a great list! Your baby does look like he was snapping his fingers.

    Being able to accept oneself, the weaknesses along with the strengths, is important because if one isn’t able to do that, it is difficult to love others completely.

    Thank you to both you and to Kenya for providing these prompts.

    Beautiful post!February 9, 2018 – 11:10 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - So true, Pat. Why it’s easier to accept flaws in others than in ourselves is a mystery but realizing it’s so is a step toward self-acceptance I think. Thank you!February 11, 2018 – 2:49 pmReplyCancel

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