Valentine’s Day was good.
I had blessing of taking the day off of work and spending it with my little girl.
Valentine’s Day was also a bit hectic due to a couple of things:
First, another hammering of snow the night before = horrendous traffic. While I did, in fact, have the day off with my little bean, I also needed to drive my hubby to and from work while his car was in the shop. Plus, I had plans for Chloe and I to spend the morning visiting a friend on the far opposite side of the Twin Cities.
Despite the traffic, it was a beautiful day. I’m pretty sure I heard it called a Winter Wonderland on the radio no less than 10 times on my lengthy drive, and to be perfectly honest, with the fresh, thick layer of snow weighing heavily on the tree branches, those folks were right on.
Two hours of traffic later, the Bean and I arrived at our destination. On a bright note, Chloe was a champ. She just jabbered away, dumped Puffs and the correlating pile of crumbs all over the back of my car (I clearly wasn’t thinking when I gave them to her), but she was happy, and that made all the difference in the world. It could have been a much longer trip had that not been the case.
We had a fantastic breakfast at the Original Pancake house with my dear friend Suzi, and then it was back into traffic we went.
The rest of the day was somewhat uneventful. I met my hubby over the lunch hour. Chloe and I then went home only to get my car stuck in the driveway. Bless-ed winter wonderland.
This was the height of awesome.
Two retired neighbors and a couple of shovels later, I was finally in my house and had a couple of hours of downtime with Chloe before we headed out for yet another drive to pick my husband up from work. All in all, we were in four hours of traffic that day, but somehow, by the grace of God, I didn’t mind.
By the time we got home, the big fancy dinner that I intended to cook got pushed out of the agenda due to the hectic day and the fact that time had really just gotten away from us.
As a lazy compromise, my husband whipped up some sloppy joe’s. Yes, I really did just say sloppy joe’s…the kind from the can, too. Excellent, right? And yet neither of us really minded because, well, because in the eleven years since we started dating, we’ve never really celebrated Valentine’s Day beyond exchanging cards.
Post sloppy joe’s, I ran outside and borrowed my neighbors two-ton, 1970’s snowblower, to which my neighbor said, “I bet this baby is older than you are!”
Yes, I believe it is, Mr. Neighbor. It was so heavy that I seriously questioned who was steering who!
Anyhoo, I took it upon myself to clear out the driveway because I must’ve lost my mind or something, but I’m telling you, I was determined to not get my car stuck again!
Once I wrapped up that task (and while my arms continued to vibrate long after I had finished pushing the snowblower), I decided to shave my messy, furry little dog Oliver because he just looked like a disaster, which in turn made me feel like a bad human.
Anyway, I’m sure caffeine was involved in this inexplicable burst of unbridled motivation on a Thursday night, but, hey, at least I was productive.
Two days later on Saturday evening, once our busy week had finally stilled to the weekend calm that we so look forward to, I finally got to cook that big, homemade, fancy dinner for my husband. Oddly enough, on that same day a special card arrived in the mail. Much to my husband’s disappointment, it was late.
However, in my book, the timing was perfect, and even more perfect was the card itself, which he designed.
It simply said:
Nikki, I’m so happy to be spending Valentine’s Day with you and Chloe. You mean the world to me, and I’ll always love you. Love, Ron.
Simple. Sweet. Perfect.
It’s amazing the way we can use our words to show our deep appreciation for our spouse. My handsome husband and I have been through our share of heartaches and challenges, but we have never stopped fighting for and loving one another.
There is a fierceness in the way we love each other and have always been drawn to one another, and when our daughter arrived to this world, our lives really began.
It’s not that everything in all the years prior was insignificant; it’s that since the arrival of our baby girl, the past 16 months have been the very best in my life, and I believe that’s been the case for my husband, too. I feel it in every fiber of my being. I couldn’t possibly love my husband more.
He is a phenomenal father. Any fears he may have had about fatherhood disappeared the moment our little girl was placed in his arms, and because I had to have a c-section, it was in his arms that she first found her home. I am so proud of him not only for being an amazing father, but for being a very real partner in this new adventure called parenthood.
He is my best friend.
The one whom I count the minutes until he arrives home.
The man who gets up early five days a week to thoughtfully pack my lunch for work each day.
The guy who pushes me to try harder, to never give up, to be a better person.
The one who makes me laugh like no other.
He is all this and so much more, and so it turns out that this Valentine’s Day wasn’t so ordinary after all.
He is my gift.
P.s. The bean had a good Valentine’s Day, too.