The Best Valentine’s Day I Ever Had

bestval1The best Valentine’s Day I ever had snuck up on me quite unexpectedly last year as, I will be honest, I wasn’t exactly anticipating a show-stopper. We were going on 5 wonderful years of marriage, had a 3-year-old with Baby 2.0 well on the way, and my idea of a night of bliss was getting to sleep before 8pm. (I know, I know… but in my defense, I WAS pregnant and I was exhausted CONSTANTLY!) It’s not that I was expecting a really bad turn out on this socially acclaimed national day of love, but I’ll be honest – I wasn’t expecting it to top the charts either. I’ve had some really good Valentine’s Days. Like, total chick-flick, bawl all over your chocolate kind of Valentine’s Days….

You might agree once you see the holiday highlights from our own little love story:

Our first Valentine’s Day together was perhaps the most picturesque. My then-boyfriend of less than a year had been gone for months to first to boot camp, then specialty training. We wrote, we dreamed, and when all the stars aligned, there was actually a phone call every now and then! But for the most part we waited. And low and behold God ordained that he would arrive home on Valentine’s Day. Oh my faint heart! It still gives me goosebumps. I drove to the bus station to pick him up and waited with butterflies that could have literally picked me off my feet and carried me away. His bus pulled in and there I stood to greet him, me – his newbie girlfriend – and his family. When we got back to his house there were two dozen beautiful tulips waiting for me all classy-like (you know the kind that come in a long, white box tied with a big bow?) – he had actually called ahead and ordered them so they would be there when we arrived. Oh. My. Soul.

val14Our second Valentine’s Day was less Nicholas Sparks but just as darling to me. We were both in college, completely broke, and still, two dozen roses found their way to my door with the sweetest note. I don’t remember what we did that night – we probably ate pizza in his dorm room – but it was precious because we were together.

Fast forward a few more Valentine’s Days and I found myself married, very much in love, and alone again, waiting for him to come home… again. After months in Afghanistan I had finally received the huge trunk with all of his belongings about a week before, which meant that the original article was soon to follow. Unable to give me much information on where he was or what the timeline would be, Valentine’s Day I was showered with gifts, chocolates and flowers and the promise of the date when I would finally have my Marine back in my arms again, about a week later.

So in light of my previous experiences, you can imagine why I , albeit unintentionally, had not anticipated fireworks this particular year. Our life was calm, predictable, and routine. No more emotional roller-coaster, no more day-time drama. It had become beautifully and wonderfully simple. And it is in this precious truth that I found my gem: the year to crown all years. Although I am a helpless romantic and part of me could swoon just thinking about the years past, all of that passion, excitement and pain has brought us to a place of exquisite reality, a serenity that comes from living our dreams day after day.

val1We didn’t go out that night. Oh no, mama was waaaaay too sleepy for that! My amazing man cooked me dinner, we all exchanged little somethings, and after putting Little Miss to bed we sipped sparkling cider and watched something mindless, probably I Love Lucy reruns (they are my absolute favorite). Oh yes. And I believe I got a foot-massage. (Sweet, sweet bliss!) No show-stopping, heart-wrenching, butterfly-stirring craziness here – just pure and simple, true love in real life.

I have big plans for this year – it is going to be the absolute ultimate: we are going to top last Valentine’s Day! Cut all the fanfare – no mushy gushy, leaving you in tears drama – all I want are my kiddos and my man and the opportunity to remind them all how much I love them, treasure them, and are so grateful that we are all together.

val13We’ve come a long way, and I love our story…. but it has reached a beautiful place called calm – settled peacefully like the waves on the ocean after a storm. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

{What’s your best Valentine’s story? Big plans for this year? Please share! I’d love to hear your story.}

❤ Jasmine

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