A Reason to Celebrate

Valentine's Day. It was never a Holiday I payed much attention to growing up, good or bad. Sure, I couldn't help but notice all the hearts, flowers, cards and chocolate being advertised everywhere, but it was not something I pined after, nor celebrated. It was just, well, you know...another day!

Then I met Joel. Along with many other things in my life turning upside down, (or should I say right-side-up) came a new appreciation for this day. Hey, even though you could technically do it any day, who doesn't want an excuse to spend a romantic evening with the love-of-your-life! 

So, along rolls 2013, and the  combination of a slow week and the need to keep my mind off of other things, I decided to go all out with a fancy, restaurant quality, four-course meal. That shopping trip was fun! Though I cringed a bit at the grocery bill, I was pleased with myself for finding everything I wanted for decorations at the Dollar and Thrift store. Imagine my elation a few days later when a friend offers to lend me a fancy, romantic-themed dinnerware set. Coupled with some pink taper candles and crystal holders I received as a bridal shower gift, flowers from my honey, and framed pictures of us, I had a set-up I dare any restaurant to rival, at least on a personal level, that is!

We enjoyed leisurely eating our appetizers, sipping our drinks, opening cards, and reflecting on how blessed the last 2-1/2 years have been that we've known each other. The candles glimmered, texting was shut off, the background music was set to our favorite love songs, and our little treasure played sweetly in her exersaucer next to us. Being a family was savoured to the fullest

Warmed Brie with a berry and toasted almond topping. 

Chocolate covered strawberries and bacon wrapped
 BBQ mushrooms.
Joel went to go throw our steaks on the grill, (Yes, in Subzero temps!) and I got the second course ready. Joel's favorite 'French Onion Soup' went under the broiler to brown the cheese, and I drizzled the sweet vinaigrette over our spinach, strawberry, toasted almond salads. The steaks came off right as these were finished, so we just decided to eat them all together!

By the time we were finished, we were too stuffed to think about dessert, so we decided to proceed with the rest of the plans for our evening. Leana was dropped off at the neighbor's, (the first time for us to leave her!) and Joel and I strapped on our skates and headed for an hour of good ole' fashioned ice skating at the new rink in town. I had been dying to get out and enjoy a winter activity at least once this year, and it was the perfect opportunity. Sweaty, sore, tired, but happy, we picked up Leana, and headed inside to finish off the evening with dessert and an exhausted crash into bed.

As I lay there drifting off to sleep, I thanked the Lord for the gift He has given me in the strong, steady man by my side. God knew exactly what I needed, and how Joel's strengths would perfectly complement my weaknesses. Beside being my best friend and the love-of-my-life, we are team-mates in this journey called life. Arm in arm, we face the joy and trials of life together, traveling onward toward that same goal. What's not to celebrate about that!


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