Happy Valentine's day, loves! No matter how you're celebrating, I hope all of you have a day filled with lots of love and laughter (wink*) and of course, chocolates!!
When I was a kid, there was nothing more I looked forward to on Valentine's day than dinner with my family. Every year, my dad gave would go to a special candy shop and fill a small red heart box for each kid with an assortment of our favorite candies. My mom would put them out at our assigned seats at the dinner table and there was never a more beautiful sight than those pretty red boxes wrapped in cellophane staring us down during dinner. My mom would give my dad, and my dad would give my mom, a larger version of the heart box. I remember being sooo excited at the thought of one day getting the big heart box from my own husband! (Ooohh the little important things in the eyes of a child!) But until then, I felt pretty special that my daddy was my valentine just like he was my mommy's.
My dad also always, always gave my mom jewelry - he loved giving her jewelry. And even though dark chocolate nonpareils trumped a necklace any day in my book (then, not now of course), it was a gesture that was amazingly reassuring to me as a kid to see my dad give my mom such beautiful things - it was a visible sign how much my parents loved each other (because as kids, you don't see all the little, less obvious acts of love they did for each other each and every day). Still and always will be, in my eyes, so romantic!
As we ate our candies for dessert, my mom would tell us the story about how she once as a kid ate some of the jordan almond candies from her sister, Kathi's, valentine box. When Kathi told on her...she was sent to her room and was so upset she that she secretly bit the blinds (so that they would have teeth marks) on Kathi's side of the room. This story made me love my mom even more because I always thought she was such a rule follower - it was funny to hear that even she got in trouble as a kid!
What I'd do to hear that story one more time... <3
One of my funniest memories is when in the 2nd grade a certain boy chased me around the playground trying to give me a Valentine's day card that I refused to accept (because boys were gross, of course!)! He finally stopped when I told the lunch aid that he was bothering me...and he subsequently went back to his desk, erased my name and gave the card to another girl! They went on to "date" the majority of elementary school! Ahh how fickle is love even at 7-8 years old...
My first real Valentine was my 6th grade boyfriend. I remember how excited I was to have a boyfriend on this glorious (well of course I thought it was glorious then...I had a boyfriend!) holiday! He gave me a gold necklace with two interlocking hearts and a single rose. I think I gave him heart boxers (a suggestion from my mom) and Abercrombie woods cologne (because that's what all the hot guys wore back then, right?!) Side note: I actually was his date to his senior prom in high school...and I wore the heart necklace!
High school Valentine's days actually make me laugh to think about. I went to an all girls high school where it was literally every girls dream to have their boyfriend send them flowers at school. So much so, that I swear some girls sent themselves flowers so they wouldn't feel left out. The front office literally looked like a florist with the hundreds (i kid you not) hundreds of flower arrangements. It actually was quite comical!
Did anyone else ever have to observe "the breakup window?" You know, when you're dating someone and in your mind its over...but you can't break up with him too close before or after said holiday? I did, once...I remember feeling so guilty about him taking me out to a fancy Italian dinner! And cringing at the flowers he sent. Luckily, we were broken up by St. Patrick's day!
Besides the ones I've spent with Nate - our first one he took me out to a big fancy dinner in New York and the next morning, cooked me heart shaped pancakes for breakfast (cue: aww!) - I actually don't have many other real memorable memories of Valentine's days past. I don't remember the ones I was single for, or the ones I was casually or seriously dating another guy. And thankfully I don't have any horror stories (although I kinda wish I did because those are always fun to tell)! Because to be honest, in the scheme of things, they didn't matter...
(I guess I can say that much more confidently now, as I am sharing my first married Valentine's day with my soul mate! I love you, Natey!)
Anyways, Nate and I actually are planning to spend our first married Valentine's Day just like any other Tuesday night...except with a better than usual dinner: lobster (ravioli's), wine, cheese and chocolates! And I wouldn't have it any other way!
Ironically, I will be making Rachel Ray's "You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Sauce" for the ravioli's - which is the best and worst thing I've ever made Nate according to the Newlywed-esque game we played at my Bridal Shower. My mom taught me how to make it the summer after college, right before I moved to New York and started dating Nate. And I guess, it worked!
(BTW I highly recommend trying out this recipe...you won't be disappointed!)
I'm curious, what are your favorite Valentine's day memories? I'd love to hear some stories...
P.S. A big hug and kiss to all my faithful readers out there! Thank you all for your love and support in reading, following, pinning and commenting on my blog! You guys are the best!
P.P.S. How cute is that google video?