Valentine's Day

Since John and I met in May and were married the following January, all of our Valentine's Days together have been as husband and wife. It's weird to think I didn't even know him on Valentine's Day 2003, and then on Valentine's Day 2004, we had been married for just over a month. And it's hard to believe this will be our seventh Valentine's Day as a couple. The seventh anniversary of our first date is May 31 and these last seven years have truly been the happiest years of my whole life. I am probably the most expressive person I know (with the possible exception of my niece, Karlie, who shares so many of my genes!). And yet I cannot begin to put into words how thankful I am for John and the life we share. God has been so good to us. In my world, every day is Valentine's Day. Seriously. (I hope I have not made you gag, but it's the truth and I'm thankful!)

Over the years John has surprised me more than once with chocolate and roses. One year he surprised me by bringing home a beautiful gold jacket he had picked out for me. And we joke about how three years ago he gave me a new house. (It wasn't really a Valentine's gift. We just closed the sale on our present home the day before Valentine's Day and after we signed the final documents, John looked at me and said, "Happy Valentine's Day, Darling." The joke was that he wanted to buy the house a little more than I did at the time.)

Our first Valentine's Day we went out for a fancy dinner. But John takes me out to dinner pretty much every weekend and it's not crucial to me to eat out on a night when everyone else in town is eating out. So, early on, we decided that we preferred not to fight the crowds and long waits of dining out on Valentine's night. And I don't think we have done it since.

Our church hosts a Valentine's event every year for couples and attending that has become our Valentine's tradition. We always have a vocal artist and a Christian comedian. And we laugh till we cry. I don't know about you, but I love to laugh. Laughter is good. This year our entertainment will be Melinda Doolittle and Jeff Allen. It's a very relaxing way to celebrate Valentine's Day. And I always look forward to going.

This year I'm looking forward to it even more. My brother and sister-in-law (Chris and Cheryl) live an hour away and have five kids (18, 15, 13, 5 and 12 months). If anybody I know deserves an adult night out, it's the two of them. Before I moved to Murfreesboro, I spent a lot of time with Chris and Cheryl and their kids. These days, with our busy lives and the one hour drive, we don't get to spend nearly enough time together. And it is even rarer for the four of us to do something as couples.

So ... I suggested they have dinner and a night out with us this year. I'm going to make lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic cheese bread, and cheesecake with raspberries. And after dinner we'll go to the church for the Valentine's Celebration. I am looking forward to the four of us spending an evening together. It will be special to do something with them and for them. I'm looking forward to the pleasure of their company. But I'm looking forward to giving them a night out, a delicious meal, and an evening of laughter more than anything!

Whatever your plans, I hope you have a great Valentine's Day too! I'm looking forward to seeing many of my friends Sunday night at WOC. If you don't attend WOC and want to come to the event, I think you can still get tickets at www.wochurch.org.

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