As you must know by all the cutesy stuffed animals and decadent chocolates overflowing in every supermarket, Valentine's Day is upon us. It's hard to believe this is my 10th year celebrating the holiday with my boyfriend-now-husband... and even crazier to think of how life has changed.
(Side note: If you're not in the mood for a sappy story... I give you permission to go ahead and skip ahead to the delicious recipe!)
Flashback to 2008. The first Valentine's Day as Doug's said-girlfriend. My life consisted of living a somewhat normal high school experience, except that I was long-distance dating this eh-saying, hockey-playing Canadian. He was in Ontario. I in small-town Iowa. I was also, as my mom always reminded my suitor, "only sixteen." (I believe she used this phrase often as some sort of a scare tactic.)
So on this particular Valentine's Day, my first in a relationship, I was just another teenager, hopeful that the silly holiday would still be fairly romantic even if we were apart. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I definitely wasn't prepared for what came next.
After school on the "big" holiday, I came home to an over-the-top (in my teenage opinion) bouquet of roses on my kitchen counter. As I opened the attached card to see who it was from, as most years it was my dad treating me or my mom on the holiday, there was Doug's name and those three little words at the bottom.
You know, the three words that seem to change everything…
"I love you.”
I love you. I was not ready for this. For one, we had only been officially dating a little over a month and "seeing" each other since the prior August. How can he love me? I am not ready for this. Do I have to say it back? Do I even love him yet? This is too soon. Well, I did as every polite girlfriend would and... thanked him for the roses... and totally ignored the "I love you" part. After all, I was "only sixteen." (Poor guy had to wait in agony until I reciprocated the sentiment some months later--but hey, at least I did it in person!)
Now flash forward to 2017. We're now married with one little boy and a baby on the way. The uncertainties of dating life are behind us along with the seemingly life-changing "I love you's" and the big romantic gestures. But that's okay. This year we will be celebrating the holiday either relaxing on the couch watching a favourite show—or maybe, just maybe, even breaking out a restaurant gift card from Christmas for a night out! After all these years, we've learned that low-key nights are some of the best nights.
So whether you and your valentine are one or twenty-five years in, this holiday doesn't have to be over-the-top romantic. Just spend it together. (Or on the phone or FaceTime if you're long distance dating!)
(However, if my husband is reading this, feel free to whip out a big romantic gesture at any time!)
Also... if you're feeling up for it... try making these super easy homemade chocolates--made with only the most delicious ingredients!
And if you can part with a few chocolates, wrap them up to give to your neighbours, friends, and family to spread the love and this chocolate-y goodness.
Almond Butter Chocolate Hearts
Total Time: About 15 minutes + refrigeration time
Yields: ~24 one-tablespoon-sized chocolates
2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
Almond Butter Filling:
3/4 cup natural almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
Now I want to hear from you! How are you spending this Valentine's Day? What did your first "I love you" look like? Or, try this simple recipe and let me know how it turns out!
Hello, I'm Erin – a follower of Christ, wife, mama of two, and registered dietitian. Welcome to my blog where I write about intentional motherhood, intuitive eating, inspired discipleship, and whatever else I feel like!
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