Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Day to you, whether you're a lover or a hater!

Valentine's Day - very few people are indifferent to it. They love it or hate it. The haters talk about how it's a "made-up" or "Hallmark Holiday", or even the cruel history behind it.

I take it for what it is now... a day of hearts, funny or sappy cards, and chocolate. What's wrong with that? Not a damn thing. I enjoy every holiday that comes around, and since winter is a pretty bleak time of year, a little extra romance can warm you right up! And, of course, it's not just about having a significant other. I have always loved Valentine's day, even when I was single... I don't just love my partner, I love my friends! I love my coworkers! I love putting stickers with hearts and lip-prints on funny Valentine cards. I just embrace the whole dang thing. And I love it!

However, I am not a roses and dinner kind of girl. Restaurants are always ridiculously crowded, and I am not a fan of roses unless they are growing in my yard! Luckily, my Valentine 'gets' that about me, and we've been celebrating in our own way. I bought him some shoes, a shirt and a belt (which I gave to him as they were delivered ... we're not good at waiting!), and he gave me a gift certificate for a massage and facial, which I had done on Saturday. I had not had a massage in years, and I've never had a facial. It was two hours of absolute, relaxing bliss! I felt glow-y all day long and the massage therapist worked on my IT band until it was loose and not causing me any aches or pains anymore. It's the most relief I have felt in that leg in almost a year!

Yesterday I felt like crap most of the day (but let's not talk about that). I did manage to rally around 8 p.m. and I started making these shortbread/salted caramel/chocolate bars. It was a little daunting, since I had never made shortbread and the dough was all kinds of weird. Also, I had never made caramel from scratch. But, I wanted my sweet Hubbin to have a special treat (after all, he cleaned the entire house yesterday when I wasn't feeling well, and put all the groceries away for me, too!)... Luckily, they turned out pretty good. Not perfect, and very messy, but delicious.

They took a few hours to make... make the shortbread, let it chill...bake it, let it cool completely.... make the caramel, let it set...and finally, top it with the chocolate! So in between all those steps, I made us each a Weight Watcher's Frozen Hot Chocolate - wow, these were divine!

I managed to find some fun, red straws to make them a little more Valentine-y, and surprised him with one while he was studying.

This morning, we exchanged cards (I gave him two because I was torn between a lovey-dovey one and a silly one that described us to a T!)

He also helped me get my lunch together today, as I was running really behind...and he ironed my clothes. Those are the kinds of things he does all the time, not just on Valentine's day, and I appreciate it more than any massage or facial (but don't get me wrong, I really, really liked those, too!)...

I brought some of those delicious bars for my sweet coworkers...

And tonight I can't wait to get home and snuggle up my big Valentine and my two little ones, too!

Life is beautiful and we're all lucky to be living it. You are loved. Have a wonderful Valentine's day, whether you 'celebrate' it or not!

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