Wednesday, February 15, 2017

15 Years of Valentine's Days

Matt and I have been celebrating Valentine's Day together for 15 years. FIFTEEN years! It's crazy for me to think about that.

I can only remember a handful of times in college that we went out to eat on Valentine's Day- when we didn't have kitchens to cook in and hit up Red Lobster and Outback Steakhouse with everyone else and their dates. Every other year, we've always cooked in and made the most of a fun night together with no lines, no crowds, and no outside distractions.

This was our second Valentine's Day together (it was 2003 and there weren't digital cameras- or at least not ones that were in our price range)

I love this picture. I have no idea what we are talking about, but his mom snuck it, and Matt's face and expression look so much like Ryan's to me.

I took pictures of food even back then. ;) We made stuffed shells, broccoli, corn and bread (3 starches and a veggie that probably had melted cheese on top)

Our very first Valentine's Day was spent at my house, but I couldn't find any pictures unfortunately. We had been dating for a couple of months. I distinctly remember making chicken parmesan with a side of angel hair pasta because I remember walking in the door from school and getting started on it right away. I also remember having a little dish on the table filled with parmesan cheese and Matt asking if it was vanilla ice cream for our dessert. :) I had a surprise of one of those chocolate candy heart boxes for him, but I took out all of the chocolates and filled it with skittles since he doesn't like chocolate.

Oh, the memories.

So even after all of these years of Valentine's Days- high school at our parents' houses, college at Red Lobster or reserving the kitchen for cooking and coffee table for eating in our college apartments, and then to our 6 years of celebrating as a married couple without kids... and yesterday might have been my favorite Valentine's Day yet.

I woke up early and made heart-shaped pink pancakes for breakfast for Matt and the kids, Ryan helped my make heart-shaped banana bread bundt cake for Matt, Ryan and Natalie and I went to Dunkin Donuts for heart-shaped donuts after lunch, Matt surprised us all by coming home at 4:45 with the prettiest red roses that he had Ryan carry in ("It's FLOWERS, mommy!"), we all walked to the park and played, fed the kids dinner in their strollers on the walk back (you gotta make sacrifices to get to the "you time" ASAP on V-Day) ;) did quick baths for the kids, ate our flat bread appetizer while we read to Ryan (Natalie was already asleep), and then came downstairs for filet and roasted carrots and potatoes. We spent the next hour or more at the kitchen table talking about life and decisions of "the 30s" before exchanging our cards, cleaning up and turning in for the night.

And it was my favorite Valentine's yet. I love doing everyday life with my guy. And I don't gush about him much on here, but he is the best there is and Valentine's Day feels like an appropriate time to gush a little. ;)

Here's our day in pictures: more-or-less an extra Day in the Life post for this quarter.

"Happy Balentime's Day, Nonni!"

Seeing if his leg fits in the warming drawer because why not? (oh and we're potty training, so excuse all of the bare toddler buns)

Music time! Everybody grab an instrument and dance. Always a highlight for these two :)

Peeling carrots for daddy's special dinner

Getting ready, with help from my 2-year-old stylist. And Natalie was pulling up on my legs. Hahah- a little different than our early Valentine Days. ;)

Time for a checkup


Natalie's first donut- girlfriend is like her mama ;)
Trader Joe's for the rest of the ingredients for daddy's dinner!

My mom got the kids these sweet bears, and I had them waiting in the car for them.

"Dis is so foughtful for me!"

During nap time I cleaned the house so it looked nice when Matt got home, marinated the carrots and potatoes, and worked on finalizing furniture for Ryan's big boy room and planning our family vacation for April.

First one to rise!

Getting the table set while Little Miss enjoys a snack.

Walking to the park after Daddy's early-home surprise!

I was pushing an empty stroller for the record. I did at least take Tally after this picture. ;)

Appetizer (Trader Joe's flatbread- looks like this) with balsamic glaze on top- SO good!

Terrrrrible picture! But yummy meal. ;) Filet Mignon was prepared with this recipe (minus the feta and seared quickly on the grill instead of the stove), carrots were marinated in olive oil and honey, and baby red-skin potatoes were chunked and marinated in Wishbone Robusto Italian dressing (looks like this). Everything was roasted at 450 and turned out to be so good! It was a perfect meal for close to no prep time since we were putting the kids down right when we got home from the park.

And one more from our brunch on Sunday. Natalie on the bottom left and right cracks me up. She looks so innocent after refusing to snuggle with her brother for a picture. Love this spunky girl!



  1. It looks like your day was filled with love! <3

  2. I love seeing old pictures like that! So sweet! And those pancakes are so cute!