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Our First Valentine’s Day to Today’s

Valentine's 2003Way back in 2003, Beautiful and I had our first Valentine’s Day together. I was only 24 (barely) and she was only 18 (almost 19) and we looked so young, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to hear that the wait staff thought we were young high-schoolers.

I’d pretty much stopped spending all money on myself for a month and wanted to take her to a Mongolian place down in Ybor City called The Dish. You get all of your ingredients in a bowl and your choice of noodles or rice and they throw it on an 8-foot-round hot plate and put your choice of sauce. Basically, if it sucks, it’s your own fault for picking ingredients that don’t go together.

We were there for hours and then walked around to look at the shops and other restaurants, bars, and clubs. Deciding we had seen enough of Ybor, we left.

Look at how short her hair was! It’s never been that short again. I’ve asked – several dozen times – but I will always have that memory of that super-cool cut that knocked me off my feet a decade ago.

Fast forward

Some years, we (or at least I) didn’t have anything to get her on such a special day, so the “special day feel” of Valentine’s has wavered over the years . She likes flowers, but those die after a week and get tossed. She likes cards, but those get read once, maybe twice, and then get tossed or put in a shoebox.

No, I married a practical woman; a trait I wouldn’t trade the world for!

Back in October, we celebrated our 5th anniversary. We went to Niagara Falls to celebrate our butts off in the freezing cold just days before they shut the falls down for the winter. I desperately wanted to get her a replacement engagement ring. After we factored in the travel expenses, the hotel, activities, and time away from work, we had spent a ring’s worth, so doubling it didn’t sound like the best of ideas.

Even now, we’re too pragmatic to just drop the coin on something like this without a reason. I’ve been smart in my feeling her out for how much we can comfortably spend on such and such, this and that; for weeks now! I finally got an idea that now might be the time, but I also know that Beautiful likes to pick things out. It’s half (or more) of the journey for her.

Yesterday I broke it to her that I wanted to get her a new ring for two reasons: I wanted it to be some financial and visible reflection of how much I love her, which the old rings are definitely not and; I wanted to get her a ring with 5 stones on it to mark our 5 years. I explained that I’d been on websites for jewelers, diamond brokers, and local stores with jewelry sections educating myself and trying to find one that matched my wants and what I knew would be her aesthetic standards.

We sat down together last night and discussed our morning for the next day. We had planned on Sunday that we’d go out today while people were at work to go to Target to create a registry for our licensing party for when we finally get licensed. We’d both momentarily forgotten that Tuesday was V-day, but I thought it would be romantic and I’d already been planning to take her to a store that had some rings that she liked about a year ago.

It doesn’t get more romantic than using a store scanner to register baby and toddler things, does it?

Anyway, she loved the rings I showed her (I think), and asked what price I was thinking. When I told her, it was the good shock that came over her. I knew we have it and I told her that she deserves it, but making it stick that it is a good decision is another matter.

I guess we’ll see later today!

Happy 10th Valentine’s Day, Beautiful!



  1. Megan Murray says

    Oh my goodness! How sweet! I can’t WAIT to see the ring you two choose.  Happy Valentine’s Day to you both! Enjoy it 🙂

  2. A wonderful tribute to your 5 years of marriage. Your soft side comes out every once in a while. It is truly something magical you have together. I hope that your lives continue to be blessed.