We celebrated Valentine's Day a couple of days early. I took Friday the 12th off of work, for a couple of reasons. See, I'd planned a surprise for my folks. Our home is overrun right now, and they never do anything for themselves. It's a crazymaker for them. So, for Valentine's, I booked that weekend for them at a nice hotel in Glenwood Springs, which is far enough away to be a good getaway from everything without being a long drive. I also included a gift certificate for a nice Valentine's dinner, so that they could go out without worrying about the price.
I'd called ahead to the hotel in Glenwood Springs, to see if I could get into it early and set up a gift basket, bubbly, and some flowers for my folks. Not only did they allow me to do that, but they'd also upgraded their room to a suite! Woo hoo! My folks never take time for themselves. This was going to blow them away!
So, Friday the 12th, I met up with Ranger early in the morning. We were going to exchange gifts, then drive to Glenwood Springs together to get everything set up before my folks were to arrive.
Ranger gave me the most adorable teddy bear, a giant box of truffles, and three of the sweetest Valentine's cards I've ever seen. We had a unique problem this year -- every card we looked at seemed to say something so true about our relationship. About our history, our struggles, our deepest feelings....there was no way to pick just one. He also wrote sweet notes to me in each one, expressing even more than what the cards could say.
Then, it was my turn. I gave him some hazelnut chocolates (he loves hazelnut), two cards, and the book I mentioned before. You know, the "How I love you" one that you fill in yourself?
First, I showed him the cover. He read, "How I love you," and said it was so sweet.
I said, "But wait! There's more!" I opened the book and fanned through the pages. His jaw dropped as he saw all the writing in it. He took it from me, amazed.
"Is this what you've been saying you're 'working on' all week?" he asked, flipping through the writing.
"Yes," I said. I pointed out the last two pages, which were completely filled with writing. "This is what I was doing when you called last night."
He gathered me in his arms and buried his face in my shoulder. With my arms around him, I felt him trembling as he started to weep. "Thank you, thank you," he whispered.
He took my face in his hands, to look directly into my eyes. "No one has ever, EVER, gone to so much trouble for me," he said. "For just me. To make me feel loved." I wiped the tears from his cheeks, and we sat close as he read some of the book.
Soon, we climbed into the car together and headed down the road. It was a nice drive, about an hour and a half. Soon, snow was falling on us. We watched elk near the road, careful to slow so we didn't hit any. I wanted to call and warn my folks about heading into snow, but couldn't give away where I was. So, I had my sister pretend she'd seen it on the weather online.
Ranger and I picked up some flowers at a shop near the hotel. My mom called about then. "We're on our way now," she said. "I just wanted you to know, we're so excited! Thank you for doing this for us!"
I told her to be careful, then we headed into the hotel. The front desk people were expecting us and gave me the key to the suite. It was spectacular! Full of lovely antiques, with a separate sitting room for them. We set up the basket on the couch, filled the ice bucket to chill the non-alcoholic bubbly, set out two champagne flutes, and the vase of roses. In the flowers, we put a card that said, "Decor by Blogget and Ranger." Then, we made our escape to our favorite restaurant, about a block away.
About 30 minutes later, my phone rings. "You went all-out!" my mother was exclaiming! They'd just walked in the door of the suite and were completely overwhelmed.
"There's a gift basket! And flowers! And some bubbly! Do we get to keep those glasses?"
"Yes, you do," I said, laughing. I don't hear my mother delighted very often, especially not by something I've done lately.
"And they upgraded us to a suite!"
"Yes, I know!"
She stopped. "Wait...how do you know?"
"They told me when I called about getting into the room early to set things up."
"You did all this! I thought the hotel did! How did you get it here?"
"I drove up. Ranger helped me. In fact, we're still here."
"Here? You're here? You went to so much trouble! Where are you?"
"Eating lunch down the block. Then, we'll head back."
"Be careful," she said. "It's snowing here."
I had to laugh. I was watching it snow, too. We said our goodbyes, and I let them get to their quiet weekend away. They'd been searching travel books for things to do and had planned to explore the area the next day. That night, they'd have their romantic dinner in the same restaurant where I was having lunch that day.
Later, my mother would call me to tell me how incredible it was to them to be able to open a menu and not look at the prices. They'd never done that before. They got all that they wanted, and the bill came to 5 cents over the gift card amount.
The following day was dedicated to Daughter. Son had made plans with his girlfriend, but Daughter doesn't date yet. So, she invited her friends who didn't have boyfriends to a movie and dinner at our house. The highlight of the evening was to be the chocolate fountain. The girls couldn't be more excited!
This is how my Valentine's Eve was spent with the decibel-busting sounds of teenagers in my house. Ranger and I spent the evening in the kitchen, cooking up goodies for the crowd. We were peas in a pod! We daydream of cooking together, sharing the kitchen. It was hard work that night, but close and delightful. The chocolate fountain got a little messed up, but the girls didn't mind just dipping fruit and marshmallows into a bowl of melted chocolate.
Son even got home early and joined in the fun. His gift to his girlfriend kind of touched Ranger and me, too. He wanted to give her a flowering plant. And not just any plant. It had to be the same type of orchid Ranger had given me, just after we met.
"I remember when he did that," Son said. It was nearly two years ago. He had remembered and waited to do that for someone really special to him. That we'd made an impression on him -- that Ranger had -- was very meaningful to me.
Valentine's Day, I gave the gifts I'd picked up for the other family in my house. On a hunch, I'd picked up a little something for my sister. Good thing. As I'd suspected might happen, my thoughtful (not) brother-in-law had stiffed her for Valentine's. I couldn't stand to see her empty-handed, no matter how terrible she's been to me lately.
It was a weekend of happy tears, laughter, hugs, closeness, and sheer delight. I couldn't have dreamed of better.
12 hours ago