For some reason, my husband is in a competition with himself. He thinks he has to “one-up” himself every holiday. We’ve been together for 18 years and our first Valentines was spectacular, so you can imagine the three-ring circus he feels pressured to produce each year.  He’s really close to burning himself out. I mean, aside from buying me a seat on the space shuttle while Elton John sings “Rocket Man” from the seat beside me…how can he keep up this pace every Valentines Day?

I’ve tried to talk him down off the “Best gift ever” ledge many, many times. I think I may have gotten thru this year. And, not coincidentally, it was one of the best Valentines we’ve had in quite a long time. Imagine that!

Thank goodness he was swamped at work designing all the plant Monsters for EPCOT’s Flower & Garden show because he had ZERO time to train doves to spell out “I love you, Maryellen” in the sky.

Instead, he heard an add on the radio for a show I’ve wanted to see and secretly bought tickets. I was brought to tears when we drove up to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center and I saw the sign:



It’s one of my favorite things. Sitting in a theater, curtain opens and I get to watch something. Someone or something entertaining ME! Awesome. Kids with our babysitter, sitting next to my honey, watching Witches sing their hearts out…


I was so happy and overwhelmed, I couldn’t wait to tell Mark. We both know baby sign language from teaching it to our boys so I laid my head on his shoulder and put my hand on his leg in the “I love you” sign:



Mark looked at me and smiled. We watched the rest of the show in what I thought was the warmth of our little, unspoken “moment”.

After the show, he turned to me and asked,

“Hey, during the show, why did you give me the Spiderman hand?”



Happy Valentines Day….no pressure.


I know… a lot of people stick their noses up at the “Hallmark” holiday that Valentines has become. I get it…the isles of stuffed bears, fake flowers and crappy hearts that show up in stores right after New Years are NOT romantic but extremely icky.

HOWEVER, getting store-bought valentines in my construction paper heart-decorated shoe box made my 1st thru 5th grade heart soar for weeks! THAT was what Valentines was all about.

I was tempted to go the store-bought route, but I couldn’t fight off the crafty monkey on my back. This year we made lollipop lips and mustaches:





So cute, right? And they sparked such a lively conversation:

Nate: “Mommy, I’m going to give my class lip lollipops because boys and girls have lips”

Zeke: “I’m going to give my class mustaches because boys and girls have mustaches”

Nate: “Zeke, girls don’t have mustaches!”

Zeke: “They will when they grow up. Mommy, how old were you when you got yours?”

Me: “Just a minute Zeke, I’m on the phone with a waxing salon.”


Shhhhh! I’m trying to channel Peter Walsh. Peter? Oh…Peter…? I need you desperately! Come in Peter…

I decided to give my husband the best Valentines EVER!  He’s always coveted our friend’s garage floor. It’s some fancy, schmancy, tri-colored, coating-they-use-on-the-space-shuttle kind of thing. All I know is when I heard it costs thousands of dollars, I laughed really hard. Then when I saw he was serious about wanting to get it, I gave him the “In your dreams when you win the lotto” look.

I did some research and found that this horrible economy would work in my favor for a change. I found a reputable company that said, “Will work for food”. So I hired them.

“Happy Valentines, Mark! I got you your fancy schmancy garage floor.” He was ecstatic.

This is what I didn’t know: EVERYTHING has to come out of the garage. It has to stay out of the garage for 5 days. 2 days to apply the “gold dust” and 3 days to dry. (Sigh.)

I was watching one of the hoarding shows and almost choked when I looked at the screen and then looked out in my yard…AAAAAHHHHHH!

The floor is done and tomorrow will be the 5th day. Let’s see how long it takes for everything to get put back inside. Anyone want to take bets?


AFTER! A speckled masterpiece.

What did I get for Valentines? Absolutely nothing. Someone was too busy with his new garage floor and forgot to get me anything.

I wonder were he’s going to put his bed in the new garage?