Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Be Mine.

For each of us, holiday's hold special meanings, unique traditions, lasting memories. Valentine's Day is more than just "an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions" or "a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards" for most. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) For me, Valentine's Day means:

A Sunday Secrets filled with love, hate, regret, and plenty of hearts. Unfortunately, it seems as though PostSecret wasn't feeling the same way I was today - happy. Apparently, lonliness won out this year even if reading the chosen cards was a reminder of just how lucky I am to be happily in love with a boy who buys me PostSecret books and even reads them with me. Like I said, I'm lucky.

Lucky to have a boy who takes me out to eat (all the time) and even buys me dessert... though we both know (all too well) that I shouldn't be eating it. A boy who won't get mad (not too mad, at least) when I leave our movie tickets at the restaurant. A boy who lets me take his picture twenty-three times across the dinner table. A boy who has learned to laugh and roll his eyes at how messy of an eater I am. A boy who jumps in line at the store to pay for my things... just because. I'm lucky to have Ryan.

A traditonal but oh so cliche movie date. Last year's choice? Well, Valentine's Day. This year? No Strings Attached. If you haven't caught on - I've got a bit of a girl crush on Natalie Portman. (Not that Ashton Kutcher is hard to watch for an hour and fifty minutes, either) The movie wasn't a dissapointment. It was clever, cute, funny, mildly innapropriate but mostly cute. Basically, it was perfect.

Valentine's Day also means showering those I love with well, more love than usual. Aiden is always at the top of my love list. We spent a night writing out names on Penguins of Madagascar Valentines - they came with pencils, too! We spent an evening reading the cards he got, eating the candy and drawing "thank you pictures" for his favorite cards like ones featuring secret agent hamsters. But this year, Aiden wasn't my only valentine under the age of six.

Cue: the two cutest sisters I know. Sometimes we play Rapunzel (even if our "hair" makes us look like a band of gypsies), sometimes we pretend we're Ariel in disguise and wear red dishcloths as wigs. Today? Today, we celebrated Valentines. We smelled roses, we put lillies in vases, we tied balloons on our lunch chairs, we ate Hershey Kisses, and snuck candy hearts from the candy dish. If anyone was loved this Valentine's Day , it was my girls. Poor Ryan spent his Valentine's Day being strung around the Dollar Tree and Giant in search of the perfect flowers, balloons, bags and candy.. even if the balloons ultimately just flew out the door, anyway.

Unfortunately, Valentine's Day also means working three jobs at once. Designing flowers before heading off to serve dinner to thirty couples each night. Cutting my fingers on thorns and then making feeble attempts at hiding the cuts as I deliver desserts to table after table. What a holiday.

Valentine's Day means crushed rose petals on the floor (and in my boots), dozens of roses in eight and a half inch vases, overpriced arrangements, ridiculous card messages, and boxes of chocolate truffles.

Valentine's Day means too much pink and white chalk, lots of ground pepper, creme de cassis cake, an overflowing reservation book and a tired Jen.

This year, Valentine's meant "cheer up" treats from my little sister. A pillow pet for me, Backstreet Boys for Aiden, a bag full of candy and kool-aid for Sean. Unfortunately, that meant tissue paper skewed across my bedroom floor and stepping on piles of gummy candy as I tried to brush my teeth the next morning. Even still, I just adore Lindsey. (And Elsie, my penguin.)

But we all know that there is one February holiday that means as much as Valentine's Day to me (well, maybe a little more) - THON weekend. In the next three days and eighteen hours, there are socks to buy, bags to pack, sneakers to break in, and sunglasses to wear. There are cards to make, sleep shifts to schedule, and last minute donations to collect. With Ryan's help, I've got sunglasses off my list. Now only everything else to find, buy and stuff in a duffle bag... at least I won't have to stuff the duffle bag in dancer storage, right?

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