Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day: Then + Now

Eleven years ago Jonathan and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day together.

Sitting on the couch in a tiny one-room apartment that cost us less than $400 a month {you read that right}, I watched him cook in our meager kitchen. We were engaged and counting down to our June wedding, blissfully unaware of how easy life was.

He put his finishing touches on the romantic pork chop dinner he prepared, and carried two plates to the coffee table that held tall, flickering candles. Once he set the plates down and I commented on how good it looked, I prepared myself to chow down. I settled into the couch, lifted my leg to cross it over the other, and kicked my plate. The pork chop and potatoes went flying onto the low-grade carpet, and I immediately started crying.

At this point I assume we picked up the pork chop and blew the dust off, because what else are you going to do? I don't remember much more other than my husband-to-be holding me tight and letting me know it's okay when things aren't perfect. And for eleven years after that night, he's been reminding me. Our relationship has continued this trend of imperfections, and we're constantly learning to either move around the flaws or welcome them.

Valentine's Day 2017 was a little different. After a busy day of work, rushing to make the kindergarten party on time, and a crazy afternoon of fielding questions from three voices that never stop, I heard his truck. I peered through the window to see Jonathan step onto the gravel drive holding beautiful red roses. I gasped and asked the kid closest if he could see what his dad was holding. Owen's answer? "Your butt." Yes, things are different now.

Jonathan's cooking skills have greatly improved since the Great Pork Chop Incident {though I can't say the same for my clumsiness}. Last night he treated me to a plate of linguine with shrimp scampi {Ina Garten's recipe is here}. However, this time he made three plates, plus two extras for those not feeling the lemony noodles. It was an incredible meal and much better than anything a local restaurant could have offered. After taking Nathan to piano lessons, cleaning up the kitchen and kids, and collecting about 342 candy wrappers, it was once again just us.

My husband loves everything about me, imperfections and all, and he has spent eleven years helping me do the same. I won't get a five-star meal or floral surprises every night, but I love him for being a constant source of support, reassurance, and care. I love the amazing guy who first noticed me at the softball game and the incredible husband who shares my life. Last night we laughed like we've known each other a lifetime and we talked like we'd just met.

Thanks for a sweet Valentine's Day and a sweet every day, Jonathan. Also, the dinner wasn't half-bad.

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

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