The day where it's totally okay to be ooey-gooey-lovey-dovey is here. It's Valentine's Day, and I LOVE IT! I woke up this morning happy, smiling and full of love. I even sang Carl our favorite Ingrid Michaelson song (and no, my voice doesn't sound like a choir of angels, but that's not the point now is it!)
I know there are loads of people out there who moan about how utterly ridiculous and unnecessary Valentine's Day is. The most popular phrase is: "it's just another excuse for Hallmark to make money. You should tell your partner you love them EVERY day not just on this one day of the year." And to that I say a big fat BAH HUMBUG! Don't buy a card then! Maybe I'm just a sentimental schmuck, but I LOVE Valentine's Day just as I love all of the other holidays. And just because there's a 'special' day of the year where you take EXTRA time to show your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend how much you love and appreciate them, that DOESN'T mean you shouldn't do it the rest of the year as well. Carl and I fight daily over who loves the other more, hug and give loads of eskimo kisses and even surprise one another with little thoughtful tokens of appreciation throughout the entire year, but we still enjoy a special day that provides us with the excuse to be a bit more 'ooey gooey' than usual.
But even before there was a Carl and I, my Mother used to ALWAYS make Valentine's such a fun holiday with her quirky gifts. Every February 14th my sister and I would wake up to a special basket hanging from our bedroom doors. And it would never fail, inside was always the most awesome/adorable/practical gift. There was chocolate (duh!) which was normally in the shape of Hershey's Kisses, but as tasty as chocolate is it was never the main attraction. Every year Mom always got us the most funky Valentine's boxer shorts or pajama pants she could find. They were always different, always a bit more dorky/adorable than the last pair, and we always wore them to bed the rest of the year. I love this tradition so much that it's something I'll definitely be passing on to my children. By the time they're 18 they'll have a sock/underwear drawer full of these funny little shorts just as Sonya and I did. I can't wait.
This year, because I was off from teaching and had lots of free time yesterday, I decided to Valentines-ify our house. I love decorating for holidays and doing crafty little things anyway, but this gave me the opportunity to use this bunting template that I found a while ago and cut out/create my own bunting masterpiece (I'm going to be having lots bunting at our 2013 wedding, which I'll be making myself, so this gave me the opportunity to test it out and see if I'm any good). If you're looking for a more in depth tutorial demonstrating how to assemble paper bunting click here, I found this site really helpful too! In addition, I also made my own conversation hearts and stuck them to and fro, prettied up some beautiful pink flowers my mother-in-law brought me on Sunday and put out an adorable little booklet that I made for Carl about 7 years ago when we were still doing the long-distance thing. For those of you who don't know, we went a year and a half without seeing each other at one point, and I especially found it difficult being so far apart. Everyone kept telling me 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' but to be blunt, that optimistic crap just wasn't cutting the mustard. So, soon after one of his visits I made this little photo book out of paper lunch bags and sent it to him in the mail. At the time it made me feel better to write "goodbye baby, but not for too long" and "it's not the end, it's only the beginning." What's more, we love looking back at it now. I sometimes wish that the me from back then could see us now so she wouldn't cry so many nights wondering: will we every be together without an entire ocean in between us? I feel so blessed to be where we are now. Happy, together and embarking on our adventures. It really is a cute little love story, even if I do say so myself. * insert "Awwwwwwe's" here*
The hubs had a stock pile of vacation time to be taken so he booked the day off and we enjoyed a relaxing day together. We woke up late, lounged around the house, exchanged our small gifts and cuddled. After we got dressed (please note that my attire was coordinating with the holiday haha) we ventured off to our favorite bakery, enjoyed yummy cake (I had Pecan Pie. Mmm) strolled through the city centre where he bought me 3 roses (I've NEVER got roses before so I was absolutely tickled pink) and headed back home to eat a home cooked meal that had been simmering away in the crock-pot while we were out gallivanting.
This year I did things a bit different in terms of my gift. I got him Hershey's Kisses (mostly because ever since I took him to NYC where he visited the Hershey's store in Times Square he loves them and they're not really sold in England. However, I managed to find an American candy stall that stocked them so he was in luck...ironically, this is also where he got my yummy 3 Muskateers for me. Ha! Great minds think alike, eh?) Aside from the chocolate, I found a really creative idea on Pinterest for a DIY Love Card Deck and decided I really wanted to make one. The best part, it was virtually free! Had we had an old deck of cards lying around I would have used them, but as we didn't I ended up just buying a cheap deck. The rest of the project required my printer, tape, a Sharpie and a good hour trying to think up 52 things I love about him (not that it was hard to find 52 reasons, it was just time consuming trying to be creative and not write boring/predictable goo like "I like your eyes, I like your nose, you're kind...") I'm as pleased as punch with how it turned out, and I think this was Carl's favorite gift. He sat there grinning from ear to ear this morning as he flipped through all 52 things I love about him (even if somewhere around the #39 card I may have accidentally skipped a card and messed up the rest of the counting from then on. Ah well, so what if there happens to be an outcast card with no number on it... no one will ever know...only you and the other couple hundred people who read this post. Ha!) I love that this deck of cards, like that photo book I made 7 years ago, will be something that we can look at later down the road and smile. I think after we have children, maybe for our 10th wedding anniversary, I'll do this again. I'm excited to see what new things I love about him and how our relationship will have grown even stronger with time.To finish off our Valentines night we're about to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie. I've enjoyed today. It's been the most low-key Valentines that we've shared yet, but it has been my favorite. Regardless of the fact that we show each other how much we love one another on a daily basis, it's nice to have a 'special' day to elaborate a bit more. And, it was our very first Valentines as Mr and Mrs Anderson. May there be many, many more :)
Whoever you were with, whatever you were doing, I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day.