Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

If you’ve been married for as long as I have, you’ve come to realize that the most romantic of dates are not necessarily on February 14th at an overpriced restaurant with a prefixed menu.  Besides, how can one ever compete with the doe eyes, forced giggles, and hand feeding that often accompanies these evenings?

I prefer loud company, a hearty, well-priced meal and the genuine laughter that comes from a romantic dinner with the kids.

Romantic Valentine's Day dinner ideasTo create a fun and relaxing evening with the family, I change things up a bit by turning our living room into a five-star eatery. I hang curtains at the doorways, remove or push back most of the furniture, and bring in a card table and chairs. By covering the table with a nice cloth, lighting some candles, and adding a flower or two and some Chris Botti CDs – viola! – it’s the perfect dinner in, no reservations required.  I’ll prepare a nice Italian meal for my husband and me, and a box of my kids’ favorite mac and cheese (garnished with parsley for that little something extra). Our tradition has always included a new pair of PJ’s and chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert; after they’re all sugared up, we send them to bed a smidge early.

After the kids are down, we grab a nice bottle of wine, a couple of the remaining chocolates, and a ton of warm blankets — and head outside. While watching our breath and a few small stars, I give my husband what I call the verbal Valentine’s card. I tell him all the reasons I love him and love our life. (The memory of this lasts longer than a card).

Happy Valentine’s Day,



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My husband and I have known each other for 12 years and been married for seven, and for the better part of that time we have counted our blessings. Among so many, we feel fortunate for the financial means to alleviate some of life’s basic monetary stresses. But that security has meant that years sometimes pass by without our buying each other presents or more importantly, small tokens of appreciation. We’ve always said we didn’t need anything — or if we had wanted it badly enough, we had probably already gotten it. So Christmas, birthdays, respective Mother’s Days and Father’s Days, anniversaries, and any other gift-giving holidays have passed with little more than a card, a wink and a smile. Our practicality took precedence, but in retrospect perhaps it took some level of romance with it.

So this year — our seventh anniversary — I’m reneging on our deal. I want to show my husband how much I still love and feel connected to him.  I want to give him something meaningful that doesn’t have a hefty price tag; that means an iPad, fancy trip and sparkly watch are out. I’ve considered a completed photo album, silk pajamas, a custom CD, a dinner made from scratch, or a screen saver with our kids picture. The price tag doesn’t matter as much as the thought.

As our anniversary approaches, I’ve decided I’m going to show my husband just how lucky I am to have him in my life. I’ll start the day off by serving up a full bowl of Lucky Charms cereal (I’m not a morning person), followed by seven lottery tickets, carefully placed along the dashboard of his car. When he enters his office, he’ll find a vast collection of horseshoes, dice, (faux) rabbits foot, stars, shamrock plants, playing cards, stars, and any other symbol of luck I can come up with. That night, after we put the kids to sleep, we’ll cozy up and watch his favorite 007 James Bond movie and later conclude the evening with his real gift — a personalized star named after him that I ordered from Star Registry. This clever certificate comes complete with registry information, a star map with coordinates, and an astronomy book. 

As I reconsider the ideal of practicality over romance,  I’ve begun to realize that what keeps people connected is to continue to connect- not always with gift, but with tokens of love and affection.

Maybe I’ll even make something special for dinner that night. Lucky him.


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