The Ghost of Valentine’s Day Past

Valentine’s Day: Love it or hate it, right?

Eh, I fall somewhere in the middle.  Here’s my take on the day:

If you have a special someone in your life, go ahead and celebrate…but don’t get crazy.

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Carrying a giant stuffed bear around school all day like Taylor Swift in Valentine’s Day= crazy…even if Taylor Lautner was the giver

If you are single, enjoy the day, eat some chocolate, but please–please–don’t feel like you are worthless because you are unattached.  That’s simply not true.

VALENTINES DAYYou don’t have to throw an “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party like Jessica Biel’s character in Valentine’s Day.  But you can if you’d like.

Andrew and I had our first Valentine’s Day together three years ago.  As February 14 approached, we discussed plans:

A: What did you have in mind?

C: Oh I don’t know.  A candle-lit dinner, bottle of wine, Frank Sinatra…

(Fast forward a week or so, Andrew teased me for being cheesy.  For the record, I was doing so on purpose, to be funny.)

A: …Candle-lit dinner, wine, Frank Sinatra, flowers…

C: Hey, I didn’t say anything about flowers.

A: Well, I know, but I just thought it would be nice if you got me some.

😀

How did we end up spending the day?  Valentine’s Day was on a Sunday that year, so on Saturday we cooked dinner together, ate it by candlelight in the living room of my small, but awesome apartment, and exchanged gifts.   I gave Andrew flowers, per his request, and he gave me nicer flowers.  He also gave me a homemade squirrel catching kit, but that’s another story for another day.  I have no idea what else I gave him other than a very appropriate card, only to find out later that he hates greeting cards and would rather have the $5.  That’s the last card I ever gave him.

Sunday afternoon, on actual Valentine’s Day, we went to Maymont, a gorgeous historic estate and park in Richmond.view

We spent a few hours walking through the gardens, climbing trees, and feeding the goats.  When we were ready to leave, we were as far as we could possibly be from the car, so we decided to take a shortcut through a snowy field.  Not wanting my shoes to get wet, Andrew offered to carry me on his back.  Picture perfect, right?

Sure, right up until he slipped in the snow and fell backwards.  My head hit the snow, and I was staring up at the sky before I’d even realized what was happening.  Soaking wet from head to toe, we both laughed in a belly-aching kind of way.  I laughed so hard, in fact, that I let out a fart–a very audible fart.  (Thankfully, it was not the first, and it was certainly not the last.)  At that point we laughed even harder.

And it was just perfect.

Anyone have any good, bad, funny, or embarrassing Valentine’s Day stories?  I’d love to hear them 🙂

Incredibly Easy Pork Tenderloin + Me Time

Recently Andrew and I had the following conversation:

        A: When are you getting together with your college roommates?

        C: February 4-5.  It’s a Monday-Tuesday.

        A: Hmm.

        C: Why do you ask? (Fishing for an “I’m going to miss you!”)

        A: I was hoping it was on a weekend.  I need a weekend to get some things done  

             around the house without having to worry about “quality time.”

Husbands, right? 😀

I tell you this story so that I don’t look like the bad guy when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed some me-time last night while Andrew was out (he had a work related dinner followed by a basketball game.)  No matter how much two people love each other, I think personal time is crucial.  While Andrew was off shooting hoops and talking about rocks (mine engineer,) here’s how I filled my evening: Dinner & Relaxation

Dinner

Herb-Seasoned Pork Tenderloin, Oven Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli

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I would make this meal every week if I were cooking only for myself.  Pork is, without question, my favorite type of meat.  Here’s how I prepared it last night:

1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp paprika

Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and paprika.

3. Place pork tenderloin on the baking sheet and spoon spice/oil mixture over top.  Use hands to make sure entire tenderloin is coated.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

4. Place in oven for 30-45 minutes (Mine took about 35.)

5. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 5-10 minutes (this allows the meat to reabsorb its juices.)

DSCN7279Foil = clean pan and tender, juicy meat

6. Dig in, and enjoy!

Oh man.  This came out perfectly.  I’d like to take credit, but I think it’s just tough to mess up a pork tenderloin.

DSCN7282I slice in at least 5 places to make sure it’s done.  Paranoid?  Perhaps. 😉

With the roasted potatoes and slightly over-steamed (in other words, delicious) broccoli, it was a very satisfying meal.

DSCN7292Mmm.

Relaxation

Tea–Easy Now by Traditional Medicinals, in my “C” mug that my sister-in-law Jenny gave me for Christmas!  TM has a tea for almost any ailment you could imagine, and I generally turn to them before medicine, for better or worse 😉  Their Throat Coat tea is nothing short of miraculous.  Easy Now contains lavender and chamomile, among other herbs, and definitely helps me relax.

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Bubble Bath–Who doesn’t love a hot bath?  Don’t answer that;  I’m sure there are people who aren’t into that.  I’m not one of those people.

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Bubble bath, tea, magazine… perfect.

It’s good to be alone sometimes.  Especially while blogging, when your husband is a super rational, get-things-done kind of guy–

“Why did you take a picture of your tea? <Sigh.> We are raising up a generation of complete egotists.”

Who, me? 😉

Shenanigans in the Shnow

Last night something wonderful happened that reduced us to 12-year-old versions of ourselves: snow.  What is it about snow that makes us so happy?  I am no less excited at the prospect of the fluffy white stuff at age 26 than I was in elementary school, waking up in the middle of the night when snow was in the forecast, and peeking through the blinds to see if maybe, just maybe, school would be canceled.

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This particular snow was even more thrilling because it brought with it thunder snow. Thunder snow has been on Andrew’s bucket list of “cool types of weather to experience,” (really, how long is that list? I think it ends with thunder snow, as I feel confident he doesn’t want to witness a tornado…) and when we heard it last night, he was GIDDY.  Jumping up and down. Spinning me in circles.  Fist pumping.  “YES!! THUNDER SNOW!! YESS!!”  I couldn’t help feeling so happy for the guy.

DSCN7169This just about captures it.

Giving a nod to our 12-year-old selves, we played outside… way past our bedtime.  We had a snow fight.  We threw snowballs on the roof and tried to make them roll back down.  We even made a snowman.  In our awesome neighbors’ driveway…

DSCN7170Hi!  Sorry you live next to two kids with no parental supervision… 😉

When we woke up this morning, the melting process had already begun, but everything still looked beautiful.

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DSCN7180Our humble abode.  In desperate need of a wreath and a pair of hedge clippers.

(Please note the roof over the garage- you can see the impact of last night’s snowball game :))

Until next time, snow!