Tuesday, February 14, 2017

it's not all hearts and flowers

I have mixed emotions about Valentine's Day. I'm more of a realist instead of a romantic, so I don't get all gushy about this day. On the other hand, it's fun to have a special day in the middle of the February to give cards (and gifts, if that's your thing) and express your love to family and friends.

(Brian and I on a family vacation in Cancun, 2003)

I remember back to mine and Brian's dating and engagement days...I was working as a secretary at a major pharmaceutical company in the consumer sales division. It was Valentine's Day and Brian had a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered to me at my desk. The older (i.e., more experienced) ladies I worked with were teasing me and saying, "Enjoy it now (meaning the flowers on Valentine's Day), because it won't last!" I was all indignant and retorted, "Oh, yes it will! We love each other!" Those wise women just laughed.

(Banner made by Connie of Crafty Home Cottage)

OK, so they were right. I don't receive flowers on Valentine's Day anymore. But, here it is 34 years later, and our love for each other has lasted. We truly do still love each other. Flowers may fade, but true love lasts forever. Oh crap, did I just make up a cheesy romantic saying? Or have I heard that somewhere before? It just popped into my head.

(Heart made by Carol of Art and Sand)

True love means picking up your husband's dirty socks and underwear off the floor and not bitching about it (OK, you're entitled once in awhile). True love means working your butt off for your family. True love means cleaning up vomit after your loved one is sick. True love means making healthy meals for your family so they are nourished. True love means getting up extra early and starting the other's car and letting it warm up in the frigid weather - so they don't have to. True love does mean saying you're sorry ~ despite what you might've heard from Love Story.

(Lefton heart trinket dish at top ~ a recent thrifting find)

Oh, I could go on and on. But you get the gist. True love is messy. And hard. It takes lots of work. A marriage is not 50-50. It is 100-100. 

(Brian and I on our wedding day in 1984 & by the Rock River in 2014)

Thus all said, I'll be making a big pan of baked ziti with homemade marinara, fresh mozzarella (we're not big fans of ricotta), and baby spinach and kale; plus a green salad with lots of fresh veggies for dinner tonight. And because we rarely eat bread and my husband and son love it, perhaps I'll make garlic bread, too. To up the ante, I just might break out the "good china" (our wedding china which we sadly rarely use) and light some candles.

Maybe I do still have a little touch of romanticism in me sometimes. ;-)
Happy Valentine's Day.


  1. Happy Valentine's Day, Melanie. I think you've become a wise older lady yourself, by what you've said here. You're right about all of it. We aren't very romantic here either; there was no big proposal, we just talked about it and decided to get married. My rings are simple and weren't very expensive. Flowers, etc., are rare these days and always have been. I don't need that stuff to be happy. It's nice to be surprised once in a while but what I really care about is that he is always there for me, puts up with an awful lot of really serious negativity and drama from my family (some of which put a damper on times that should have been happy and special for him too, like our wedding day and our babies' births), he's always happy to spend time with me and he does so much around the house on top of working a good 50 hours every week. I complain about little things here and there but the big stuff is just as I want it to be. I hope all three of you have a nice day. Your dinner sounds really delicious!

  2. I don't have a problem with valentines, we take from it what we like and leave the rest, and we take the best bits so that is good! Sounds as though you enjoy the best bits of it too. Hope you have a good day and many more wonderful years of marriage too!

  3. Have a nice Valentine's dinner with your loved one and the good china ;)

  4. Happy Valentine's Day dear Melanie ~ I think your dinner with garlic bread for the guys served on good China sounds like a plan and it will be a time filled with love, laughter and good food.

    Love & hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  5. What a sweet post, Melanie! Enjoy your evening with your hubby, you are very lucky to have each other! Dinner sounds great, what time should I be there? :)

  6. Very true Melanie!

    Your dinner sounds wonderful, and I hope you two have an enjoyable. ROMANTIC evening (and yes, I think you have some romanticism in you). ;)


  7. I'm so glad some love stories come true. I just don't happen to have a romantic bone in my body!

  8. Oh so true! It's a lot of work and I'm afraid many of the younger generation give up at the first sign of trouble. My husband is much more of a romantic than I am and unfortunately the day he had planned for us was thwarted when I was called in to work. I did make him real pasta instead of the spaghetti squash I had for dinner. Does that count?

    Love the then and now photos- you 2 have hardly changed! I hope you used your good china! Happy Valentine's Day!

  9. Truly, it is the every day that really matters (though yesterday my husband was getting on my last nerve:) I say use that good china more often. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  10. Steve said Happy Valentine's Day this morning and that was it. But, every single day he makes my breakfast, walks with Lulu and me on the beach, grocery shops, cooks wonderful meals . . . I can live with the fact that he isn't a romantic on February 14 because he shows his love every single day.

    Oddly, our son Joshua is a total romantic!

  11. Friend, you nailed it.
    I joked all day in my head yesterday.....if you don't post a picture of your flowers on Facebook, did it really happen??

    Love is more than flowers and chocolate.
    You've got a relationship to be jealous of and so do I.
    Revel in it. :)

    Happy belated V-Day!

  12. Hi Melanie :)

    It's nice to get flowers, but like you said, it's better to have true love that lasts.

    I just finished catching up with you and your living room and kitchen look amazing!! I can't believe what a difference the cutout made. I'm so happy for you!

    I missed you, my friend.

  13. I agree with you 100% Melanie. Flowers on the holiday are lovely, but I'd much rather have compromise and kindness all year long. Flowers are a bonus. ;) Hope your holiday meal was great.

  14. A very lovely an honest post . . . we don't get all romantic or hooked by the commercialism of this holiday, either. A nice dinner, dessert in the middle of the week . . . and a sweet evening together. I find that even though we loved each other when we first dated and were newly weds, as the years went by we find that we had no idea how deep and lovely love can truly be. It's not the big red "heart" filled with chocolate . . .it's the "heart" that beats inside.
    I love that you are decorating with my banner . . . It's nice to see that you like it :)
    Have a wonderful day.

  15. Lovely post, Melanie...and so true. I've always thought it's 100/100, too, and sometimes even more. You just have to be there for each other.

  16. What a powerful and beautiful post about true love !! :)

    I prefer mozzarella to ricotta too! When I make lasagna I use the tiniest amt. of ricotta possible but pile on the mozzarella or pizza-cheese mix instead :)

  17. This post is a lovely tribute to your marriage Melanie. I'm with you. Love is the every day things you do to take care of each other, and has little to do with manufactured romance.

  18. awe I loved this post especially true love is picking up your husbands socks and not complaining about it-Can I get an AMEN! I have started taking a deep breath and counting from one to ten while picking them up instead of complaining, ok in my head I might be saying SERIOUISLY? How hard is it to pick up your own socks and throw them in the hamper?! while i'm counting to ten lol

  19. True love does all those things you say, Melanie. Thank you for one of the most romantic posts I've seen because love is definitely an action verb. And while I've cried every single time I've watched Love Story, that one line always was like fingernails scratching on a blackboard to me.


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