#410 Valentine’s Day.

This was quite possibly my favorite Valentine’s Day ever. I woke up when Ben tried to creep out a little before 7 this morning and was struck with the idea to do something a little more special for today. I knew he was up to something and would be gone for a little while so I slipped into the office and made a bunch of little notes to leave for him all over the house—everywhere his daily routine takes him, I left him reminders of what I love so much about him. Here are a couple of the ones he’s found so far, but there are lots more to be discovered tomorrow:

I got back in bed after I finished my covert plan then woke up a bit later to find peach and antique white roses in 5 different vases in the kitchen, in the office, everywhere. Red roses are cliched, but these were perfectly springish and beautiful. I was thrilled that he bought flowers even if everyone in America gets them on February 14. I do so love the tradition of it.
He even made a little bouquet for Annalee at her desk:
Every guy in the world remembered to give his love flowers today, but not many remembered his girl’s co-workers. To up the ante, Annalee’s husband Chad showed up after lunch with a big gift box dolled up from the antique mall for Annalee and I was really surprised that he had something for me too! A cool piece of art that he insists I hang in the kitchen immediately:
Let me interrupt this blog to show you what confident men look like:
After the fellers returned from their run to the grocery store for some lunch things, we all ate together in our kitchen with the windows open and agreed that no restaurant could have topped it.
Maybe the most impressive thing about today was that I finally, FINALLY made a cake that turned out well. It wasn’t raw. It didn’t overflow in the oven. It was nothing short of a miracle for me. Thank you, Emily for The Joy of Cooking! Without you it wouldn’t have been possible!
My first-ever successful cake!
Then I finally took a shower and put on real clothes. We had to take a cheesy posed photo for posterity:
Shorts! It was 72 degrees out today!
Then Ben cooked steaks and I made grilled squash, my dad’s homegrown corn on the cob, and salads and we ate until we had to unbutton our britches.
After dinner, he gave me a few sweet little gifts. A few Christmases ago he promised that for every special occasion he would give me a book, as books are some of my favorite objects in our home. They’re meaningful, they’re surrounding me on the bookshelves in my office every day. Every time I read these books, it will bring me back to the time and place when it was given to me. Tonight he gave me a book called Love Letters of Great Men, a little chalkboard we can leave each other messages on in the kitchen, and a little box of chalk to go with it. Best of all are the notes he writes me inside these books he gives. Tonight it read:
To my dear sweet wife on Valentine’s Day,
I hope I always make you feel loved. I hope I can always say sweet things to you. If I ever fail, open this book and know that I love you more than any of these men could have ever loved their Valentines.
Love,
Ben
His gifts are always so thoughtful and never pretentious. I would rather have these precious things than anything on earth. Truly.

The good news is, the cake tasted just like it looked. I can sleep knowing I’ve learned something new today. I hope your Valentine’s Day was sweet. Goodnight, dear readers!