Friday, February 12, 2010

Love....and Valentine's Day

I love Valentine’s Day. It’s a chance to celebrate love. With your spouse, your parents, your siblings, your children, your pets. Yes, I said pets. You DO love them, don’t you?

I was working on homework and listening to the radio this afternoon, and was amazed by what I heard people calling in to comment on about the approaching lovefest. Many of them expected their spouses to be extravagant and romantic, they wanted flowers, candy, a nice dinner, diamonds and pearls. No, they didn’t want – they demanded.

Uh…did I not get proper Valentine’s Day etiquette, installed while I was in the factory? Diamonds? Pearls? Heck, I’m happy with a card and dinner.

I was thinking back over the past 10 years of Valentine’s Days and was surprised. Do you know what I remember? Are you sure you can handle it? Are you sitting down? It might surprise you.

I remember our first year together, we had been married a few months, and we spent our first Valentine’s Day in the ER. My husband had gotten bite by a dog earlier that day. I think we had a hamburger for dinner, but I’m not sure.

And the year after that? And the next year? And the next year?

Nothing. Zilch. Zip. Nadda. Absolutely nothing. (Sorry honey!)

I’m not a big jewelry person, my husband has bought me 4 pieces of jewelry in 10 years. The necklace he got me for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary 2 months ago. The diamond ring he bought me 2 years before that. The new wedding ring I got for our 1st anniversary, and the engagement ring he bought when he asked me to marry him. But those four pieces mean something to me, they are special. I don’t know how special jewelry would be if I “required” some each year.

Flowers are nice, but after a few days they wilt and die. So I usually get Tulips in March, because they are my absolute favorite flower, and he knows this.

Dinner, yeah, we usually go out to eat. Not typically anywhere fancy, usually Carinos. Because it’s one of my favorite places to eat at. And we exchange cards. But that’s it. No big tokens of love, no jewelry, no diamonds, no pearls.

According to the ladies on the radio, he doesn’t love me like he should.

That goes to show what they know, or maybe what they don’t know.

Love isn’t found in diamonds, or pearls, or flowers, or fancy restaurants. Love is found in the little things. It’s in the details.

It’s in the things that John does without even thinking about it. Like wiping the snow off my truck this morning so I could go to work, and letting me sit in the nice warm truck while he got all wet and snow covered. Like, in starting dinner when he gets home early. Calling me just to say hi. Laying in the bedroom at night and telling me how happy I make him. Letting me cross stitch past bed-time. Letting me stick my cold hands to his warm back when I get into bed at night. His love is simply there, in everything he does, whether he means for it to be or not. It’s there.

No, he doesn’t buy me diamonds, or pearls, or take me out to extravagant dinners. He doesn’t have too. I would be perfectly happy staying home and eating cereal for dinner and running around the house in my pj’s, and he knows that too.

He knows that I don’t “require” certain behaviors, or gifts, or fancy meals. He knows that I’m simple and easy to please. He also knows that I love him the other 364 days a year too. He doesn’t have to buy my love for another year today, he already has it. And if he never bought me another Valentine’s Day card again? That would be OK too. Because I don’t need Hallmark to tell me that he loves me, and it makes my heart ache, that those women on the radio do. They take those “men” in their lives for granted. And if those “men” were suddenly gone, they wouldn’t miss the diamonds and fancy dinners on Valentine’s Day. Or maybe they would.

I would miss all those things I mentioned earlier, the phone calls, the hugs, the voice messages, the emails, simply I would miss him.

So my question is this – What is Valentine’s Day? Is it about the diamonds and pearls? Or is it about celebrating your love?

While the day should be a blessing, I believe that to those many important men in our lives, it is a chore. Maybe it shouldn’t be. It’s not to late to change that, you still have the chance to show your significant other, that they mean more to you than the gifts. That those “gifts” aren’t a requirement. That maybe, just maybe, he means more to you than what he can buy you. That you love him for him, not because of what he gives you.

Besides, I don’t think any diamond necklace could top him giving me his heart. Do you?

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” ~1Corinthians 13:1-8

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”
~Henry Ford

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


chance- n - 1. the happening of events without apparent cause; luck 2. an unpredictable event 3. a risk or a gamble 4. a ticket in a lottery 5. an opportunity 6. possibility or probibility

second - adj. - 1. coming after the first 2. another of the same kind; other

Now that you have had your vocabulary lesson for the day. You knew I would get my sarcasm in here somewehere. :)

Chances. First. Second. Last. We have all heard them, we have all used them, and we have all given them. Baseball players have three chances to hit the ball before they strike out. Some parents give three warnings before punishing their child. They are all chances to get it right, to make it right before it's too late.

This morning as I got to work and opened up my internet as MSN loaded, I was reminded of how there aren't always second chances. Sometimes, you only get one chance to get it right.

My husband forces me (read asks me) if I want to watch Deadliest Catch, I pretend to be indifferent, but the entire show is really cool. It's like take the world to work day. Makes me look at crab in a whole new way. Anyway - last season, one of the Captians on one of the regular boats had a serious health scare. He had a blood clot in his lung. This isn't often something that you walk away from. He was told that his lifestyle had contributed to this problem. He was told to change his life - quit smoking - eat better - less stress. He attempted all of this, for about 24 hours. Then decided that he knew better than the doctor's, that he knew the bigger picture and that he would undoubtedly be given another chance. A few days ago, he found out differently as he suffered a major stroke and died. There was no third chance.

My dad had a heart attack in April of last year, which completely changed his life forever. He is retired at 52. Not by choice, but because of the damage that he suffered because of the heart attack. He attempted to change his lifestyle, but like anyone who has ever tried to do that, it is hard. He quit smoking, he had finally started watching what he was eating better. More than just paying attention to sodium. Until sometime around Thanksgiving. He and my mom have been under a lot of stress. They both quit smoking and they had smoked for 30+ years. My father had gotten over the grouchiness and was "normal" again. My mom - yeah, she was still in that grouchy no patience phase. They had been fighting and stressing - and decided to start smoking again, or kill each other. Hmmm...what do you think that the smoking is doing? Makes me wonder what his blood thickness would be reading now...after he has been smoking a few months again. After reading the story on MSN this morning, it got me to thinking - what chance is he on? Is this his second and will there be a third, or is this his last?

Thankfully those aren't questions that I know the answer too. That's between him and God. And while I agree that when it's your time to die, you are going to die, be it by heart attack, car accident, or breaking your big toe and it getting infected and dying from blood poisioning, or demons attacking. (whoa...been watching way to much Charmed.) It's his life, and his choice, and his chance. I do believe that God is like any other parent, he only gives you so many chances to get stuff right, and then he moves on. He already knows what you are going to do anyway.

We face chances all the time, at work, at home, at school, driving, eating (after you have had severe food poisioning that you nearly died from), health. How many chances have I wasted? How many have I screwed up? How many have moved on? How many times was there only one chance? My husband had a severe wreck, that changed the way he drives forever, is he working on his second chance, or his last? No one really knows. The important thing - not to waste them. Especially if it could be your last.

To read the story click here -----> Phil Harris - Deadliest Catch

"Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do."~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first. "~ Frederick B. Wilcox

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Review: The Long Way Home

I have taken on a new little project. Reviewing books. A friend set me up with doing it, and this is my first review. As I read the books I will be posting a review here as well as several other places. So for the 3 people who read this blog, enjoy the reviews.

The Long Way Home is the second book in the Homelander series that continues to follow Charlie West. Charlie woke up one day and an entire year of his life was completely gone. He had no memory of the events of the past year; the murder of his friend, his association with the Homelanders, or falling in love with the girl of his dreams. Andrew Klavan has does a great job of pulling you in and keep you guessing until the end. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. Klavan does an amazing job of writing to a young adult as well as a 30-something. He throws in “life lessons” that we all need to be reminded of from time to time; believing in yourself, having faith, and the power of friends. There are twists and turns and surprising revelations by Charlie as he searches for the truth and for the year he lost. This is an amazing tale of having faith and believing in yourself. I am looking forward to continuing reading the rest of the books in this series. This book was provided by Thomas Nelson


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