Valentine’s Day and company

This was our 15th Valentine’s Day which for me is as or more important than our upcoming 15th wedding anniversary.

I suffer from Valentine’s Day anxiety every year. Should I plan something? Is he planning something? Should I tell him that I want to plan something to make sure something gets planned or should I let the chips fall and see if he comes through and plans on his own, and possibly I end up feeling let down because I didn’t make a plan? So many, many variables and in my world it’s an important holiday that has nothing to do with my last name.

Okay maybe a little bit.

Valentine’s Day overlapped with our President’s Day weekend trip to Berlin this year. A week before the big day Jason and I made a joint decision to leave at noon on Friday–thus ensuring that our romance would be thoroughly chaperoned for the entire weekend.

Awesome. A weekend trip in the minivan with four kids hyped up on chocolate. I was pretty sure the 7 hour car ride was going to be unfortunately void of any heavy petting or unscheduled make out stops. Bathroom stops aplenty, but it wasn’t shaping up to add any romance to my life.

But that’s okay because I had previously hatched my own little Valentine’s plan that had nothing to do with the February 14th weekend. While I was in Paris my girl Christy and I came up with a brilliant scheme that would absolve us from having to plan the V Day date while still making sure our men (and ourselves) ended up totally spoiled and delightfully surprised.

And so I began to gather trinkets for Jason’s box. I bought a gold lock and key from the hardware store then had it engraved with “J & A Forever.”  We all know the only thing better than jewelry is cheesy engraved jewelry. I added some chocolates, a little Eifel tower, a calendar for March with three of the days X’d out…you get the picture. Everything in the box hinted at an upcoming vacation.

The day before Valentine’s Day Jason took me out to lunch for an early celebration. Honestly, I was so wrapped up in what I was giving him that I didn’t really give lunch a second thought. It’s not like we were going anywhere special, as far as I was concerned the entire weekend was simply postponed.

I was just about to get out of my car at the restaurant when my handsome man pulled up beside me and rolled down his window. “Wait in the car,” he said, “I’ve got a surprise for you.”

There is more power in those six little words than I care to admit. I think I started tearing up and pitting out before he even parked and got back to the car. Were we going to skip lunch and go make out somewhere? Had he bought me flowers? Chocolates? Made me a mix tape? Named a star after me? I had talked myself out of any expectations, which is the only smart thing a girl can do in these instances, and was therefore stunned that he had remembered me.

That sounds ridiculous but it’s totally true.

He climbed in the passenger side with a brown paper package and closed the door. A brown paper package, four more words every girl loves. I tore the paper off and…there it was.

Jason had spent last Saturday morning at the framing center matting and framing my undergrad diploma. He hadn’t just framed it, he’d gone through over a dozen years of loose photos and hunted down pictures from my graduation day, taken in the prehistoric-non-digital era, and double matted them with the diploma in one gorgeous gold frame. Then he wrote me a letter. Letters from Jason are kind of like unicorns so when I get one it’s a big deal.

When Jason asked my dad to marry me my father had one stipulation: that I finish my education and get a bachelors. Jason took that promise to heart and after he graduated with his bachlor’s, he stayed for an entire extra year, even though he was already in his mid-twenties and anxious to start graduate school, and worked at a water softener job so that I could stay and finish my education like he had promised.

That’s love. Doing something hard because you love someone, waiting the long wait because you love someone, remembering that their future is as important as your future…that’s love.

Honestly, after his amazing and heartfelt gift my little upcoming vacation felt pale and whimsical. Then again, whimsical is one of my favorite ways to do love so I  mushed on. On Friday at noon I parked myself in front of his office 5 minutes early, quickly recorded a little reworded diddy with my uke and posted it to him on youtube, then waited.

See diddy here…

He kind of loved it.

Our weekend wasn’t anything like most of our Valentine’s Day celebrations because we were barely alone. The kids were jumping on our bed and turning on the light by 6:30 every morning, there might have been a few fist fights and at least 8 melt downs, most of them involved the children, and for the first year ever there were no flowers (kind of had issues about that but I worked through them).

Love doesn’t always have to be some new adventure, it doesn’t have to be edible or showy or involve ice train tickets to Paris. This year I remembered how much Jason loves me. It was enough.


  1. Oh, how I miss you! I loved, loved, LOVED, your song…I’m glad to hear that Jason seems to realize what a gem he got in you! FYI- spent my Valentine’s Day laid up in bed…with the flu! I know, not nearly as exciting as it sounded at first 😉

  2. Loved your song! I grew up on John Denver so it was even that much better. Ü

  3. That was the cutest song ever!!! So neat you can play the uke!

  4. Love the romance you two have goin’! Loved the kids in all their glory in the back while you forged ahead with your awesome ditty! You guys rock!!!