Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

Monday, February 14, 2011

Today is the actual Valentine’s Day, but we already celebrated and made this the most epic, multi-day Valentine’s Day ever.  This is the restoration tour and anything else just wouldn’t have been in keeping with the celebratory nature of our whole relationship right now, anyway.  

The play was wonderful yesterday.  The dinner was pretty amazing as well, if I’m allowed to brag on myself.  Oh yeah, it’s my blog, so I can do whatever I want on here!

We have an urban grocery store called the Bistro Market downtown near our loft and they have a good seafood counter, so I got everything there.  I also picked out a good white wine and served her in courses.  My favorite were the steamed snow crab legs, but all of it was very good and my wife LOVES seafood.  

Today, we had to work (darn Monday) and I had flowers and a box of chocolates delivered to her, but that was just the formality.  The weekend was our day – wait, two days – to revel in the joy we’ve found.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So, last night and this morning went even better than I could have predicted, and we haven’t even gotten to our actual Valentine’s Day celebration yet!  

I told Ceecee after dinner that I had gotten the ebook about relaxation massages and that I wanted to give her one.  I did everything just like it said.  I warmed up towels, warmed up the massage oil, lit candles, and put on a cd of relaxation music.  I told her to just lie down and I would take care of everything.

Later, after she went to sleep, I spread the confetti all over the loft and placed the piece of paper with the “Official Notice” on the floor as though it had been slid under the door from the outside.  I knew she would find it in the morning and she did.  The idea was that she would get up, find the confetti everywhere and feel happy.  Then, she would pick up the notice and get scared that it was something bad, but quickly realize what it REALLY  was.  

That was exactly how it happened, and she loved it, but she playfully gave me a hard time for scaring her.  It really did look like a court paper at first glance.  

Later this afternoon, we are walking over to the theater to see Beauty and the Beast, and then I’m cooking at home tonight.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It’s been extremely slow at Macy’s.  Part of it is the weather.  Part of it is the time of year.  Part of it is that I work the evening shift and most of the furniture sales happen during the day shift.

That’s ok.  I’ve been using the time to get ready for Valentine’s Day.  

While it’s slow, I’ve been searching websites for creative Valentine’s Day ideas and I’ve found some great stuff.  I don’t want to do the usual card, flowers and go out to dinner this year.  I want to do something in keeping with the changes in our lives and our marriage.

I want to show my love to my wife in a deeply personal way, that touches her soul.  I don’t want to just do the obligatory, “It’s Valentine’s Day, so I have to try to impress her with what I buy,” I want to give her a gift of myself.  I want to make a memory this year.

One site I found is www.theromantic.com.  This is Michael Webb’s website, and I found him through Mort Fertel.  He has all kinds of great romantic ideas, not only for Valentine’s Day, but for any day of the year.  He also has a number of ebooks for sale, and I bought and downloaded some.  

One of them tells specifically how to give a full body relaxation massage.  One of them is a collection of romantic coupons that can be “redeemed” throughout the upcoming year.  I sweet talked a lady in the jewelry department of of one of the little metal watch boxes that say, “you and me” with hearts on the sides of them.  You’re supposed to get one when you buy a certain kind of watch, but I got one to put the coupons in.  

I printed them off on some red, pink, and white sheets of paper and cut them out.  I took the leftover parts of the paper and made some confetti out of it.  The best part, though, is the idea I found of serving her with an “official notice.”  

On a heavier stock piece of paper, I typed “Official Notice” in large, bold print at the top.  I then tried to make it look like a legal summons by stating, “in the matter of the marriage of…” and starting each paragraph with “whereas.”  Each of those paragraphs was actually a declaration of one of the many reasons why I love her.  

Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year, so we’re going to mainly celebrate it on Sunday, instead.  We don’t like to fight the crowded restaurants and we love to cook, and Ceecee has asked me to make her a seafood dinner this year.  We are also going to a theater production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” on sunday afternoon at our local University.  It’s my wife’s favorite Disney movie, so the timing is perfect!

One of the things that made this year’s Valentine’s Day so special (even though we said we weren’t going to make a big deal out of it this year) was the way we’ve improved at speaking the languages of love.  I’m referring to the series of books by Gary Chapman which started with “The Five Love Languages,” and expanded from there.

In “The Five Love Languages,” Dr. Chapman identifies five categories through which people give and receive love.  He believes that individuals have a primary love language, much like we have a native language that we speak.  In many relationships, the two lovers have different primary love languages which leads to break-downs in being able to communicate the love that they truly do have for each other.

The five languages of love, according to Dr. Chapman are:  physical touch, acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation, and quality time.  Mine has pretty much always been words of affirmation with quality time as my secondary language.  Ceecee’s used to be gifts, but now is in close competition with physical touch.

I care very little about receiving gifts and Ceecee has never been one for words.  Understandably, that led to some problems earlier in our marriage.  When she would buy something for me, she meant to show love, but I didn’t understand that, because I wanted words and time from her.  When I would write her love letters, I meant to show love, but she didn’t get the message.

When we got back together, we realized that love couldn’t be on our terms.  If we were going to love properly, we needed to give what the other needed, not what we would have wanted for ourselves or what we were comfortable with.  Although it wasn’t natural for Ceecee to speak my love language, she chose to learn to do so.  Even though gifts don’t mean nearly as much to me, I realized that my love for Ceecee has to drive me to meet her needs, even if I don’t always understand them.

This year, during the snow day, I realized that part of what made it so beautiful was that I used all five love languages with Ceecee.  Of course I gave her gifts for Valentine’s Day.  I gave her physical touch with a full-body massage.  We spent quality time together.  I cooked a special dinner for her and pampered her (acts of service) and I gave her many affirming words by writing them on cards and by saying them to her.

The next day, she printed off a love letter that she had written to me.  It was full of affirmation and words of love and committment.  While it’s not a natural tendency for her to do something like this, she knows that it means a great deal to me.  The truth is, there’s nothing she could have bought in any store at any price that would have meant as much to me as the words in that letter.

Inasmuch as Ceecee and I both intended to have a low-key Valentine’s Day this year, a well-timed snow day and our generally fun and romantic marriage kicked in and changed that plan yesterday. 

Last year, Valentine’s Day was on a Monday and we took the 13th to spend as our day just as a practical matter.  This year, we weren’t planning on doing much, so we figured Tuesday evening would be it.  I was planning to cook a seafood dinner (at Ceecee’s request – like last year’s), and we were going to maybe exchange small gifts.

Then the snowstorm moved in and we got the call Monday morning that there was no school.  So there we were with a whole day, and the day before Valentine’s Day no less.  I had already bought most everything, and we have a cool grocery store a block from our downtown loft, so it was no problem to pick up anything else we needed.

Obviously, we decided to expand our celebration.  Mimosas and brunch are always a great start and we watched the snow fall while watching Les Miserables, one of our favorite movies.  Then there was a full body massage, lunch, a walk to the Bistro Market for a local brew, more relaxing, and I started cooking. 

I had bought some small, silly party favors and a box of “Tangled” valentines and I kept leaving things for her to find around the house.  I also had a gift or two to give her and a Hoops and Yoyo card.  We ate our seafood dinner, cuddled on the couch and watched “Shall We Dance?” A chick flick, no doubt, and we both cried at the scene where he comes up the escalator with the rose, even though we’ve seen it multiple times. 

It was a beautiful day, without diamonds or store-bought extravagance.  The extravagance is in our hearts, and we love freely and lavishly.  On the one hand, Valentine’s Day isn’t that big a deal now because we celebrate our love everyday.  On the other hand, if we get a free day and a chance to celebrate it more purposefully than usual, I’ll take that every time!

This one’s extremely personal, but if I didn’t want everyone to read it, I wouldn’t be posting it on The Restoration Tour.  It’s also getting close to Valentine’s Day and that’s a stressor for some of you, so let me jump in and share some thoughts.

Last year’s Valentine’s Day was pretty over the top by normal standards, but since it was the year of the restoration tour, it was destined to be an all out celebration of romance and love.  (For more on that, see the posts “Lucky February 13” and “Lucky February 13, part 2,” dated July 22 and 23, 2011)  This year, it will be a lower budget, slimmed down celebration, but love will still be front and center, and the romance will be all about knowing my wife’s heart.

We’ve learned that giving doesn’t just mean buying something, and that gifts don’t always come from stores.  They come from really knowing the other person and intentionally doing what would mean the most.  That can involve using any of the Five Love Languages (see Gary Chapman’s excellent book for more on that), and it mostly means caring enough to pick up on the little clues and following through on what your true love wants and needs.

If you’re not creative, just go online and search “Valentine’s Day ideas” and you’ll be amazed at how much great stuff you’ll find.  Then tailor the ideas that appeal to you according to your level of comfort and what would really mean something to the one you love.  Make them personal, make them genuine, and don’t be afraid to have fun.

Below is the text of the “Official Notice” I wrote to Ceecee last year.  I got up during the night and left it to look as though it had been slipped under our door.  The idea came from the web.*  I just wrote my own words.

OFFICIAL NOTICE

You are herby notified of the following action:

In the matter of the marriage of C(full name omitted) and B(full name omitted)

To wit:  That by virtue of your indescribable beauty, wonderful spirit and personality, and pure and precious heart, that I (hereinafter referred to as your loving husband) am bound to you in love forever

And whereas you have stolen my heart by the ways you look at me

And whereas you have entrapped my heart with the way you treat me

And whereas you have captured my heart with the words you say to me

And whereas you have entwined my heart with cords of love by your touch

And whereas you have set my heart on fire with your kiss

And whereas you have brought joy to my soul with your smile

And whereas you have fulfilled my longings. satisfied my soul, and made my dreams come true

And whereas you have made me laugh more freely, love more deeply, feel more fully, and be more alive than any person ever could

I hereby serve this official notice upon you that I will love you with all that I am, body, soul, and spirit, from this day forward, and will make it my life’s goal to have the same effect on your heart and soul and life that you have had on mine, and to be the man who will demonstrate the meaning of love to you always.

Subscribed and sworn before you on this 14th day of February, 2011

My commission never expires

Signature omitted

* I think the idea for the official notice came from Michael Webb, but even if it didn’t, his website www.theromantic.com is a great place to get ebooks, sign up for tips via email, and get plenty of great ideas, not only for Valentine’s Day, but for a lifetime of love.