My Valentine’s Day Tribute (February 16, 2012)

So in something that is totally unlike me I am going to dedicate this post. I have never been a Valentine’s day girl and I’m not one to be mushy or really expose the soul. But I do believe that we all should be treated special every day of the year and not just on one day. With all the commercialization of the holiday it really takes away from the true message. Instead of saying “I love you” with overpriced flowers, an expensive card and dinner (which most likely was premade to some degree due to the high volumes of people in the restaurants), and the always popular box of chocolates, take some time to think what your significant other would value the most.

Carmella’s first haircut – February 2012.

As I sit here writing, I think in our 13 years together we may have celebrated Valentine’s day a few times in the beginning. More out of obligation to the “holiday” then anything else. I finally broke the ice how I truly felt about Valentine’s day and he admittedly felt the same way! Why spend so much money on one day when there are other things we wanted to put our money towards.

During the past 13 years we have shared so many experiences! Numerous concerts (and memorable events at each one!), vacations all over the country – again each with their special story, including that time in Vegas that someone never checked out of our room and we walked in on them, well, no need for details but you get the idea-we got a free upgrade for that one!, and just enjoying the time with each other. Vacations were a huge part of who we were and what we wanted to do. We knew we wanted to do something big, and started saving, because as you know a college students salary is not exactly 6 figures. After graduating college we set off on our first cross country trip which was more eye opening than anything I could have imagined! Sure there are pleny of pictures of National Parks and special places we wanted to visit but until you are there in person you can never truly understand the full amazement of standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon or being captivated by the Grand Tetons. We met and fell in love with California, which we continued to visit twice a year for two weeks at a time until 2009. Funny how kids change things and yet you wouldn’t want anything else.

The next big trip was our cross country honeymoon trip. Over two months of just us, the car and the open road. We saw the places that we missed the first time around, and of course visited the places that we fell in love with the first time. Some family and friends thought we were crazy for choosing this kind of trip instead of visiting a tropical island and lazing on the beach for two weeks. But in fairness to us we did make it to Key West which is tropical enough for me!

The third big trip was our 1/2 cross country trip which came about by mistake. Who ends up mistakenly driving home cross country you may ask? People that buy too much wine in Napa and realize that to pack and ship the wine back will cost four times more that renting a car and driving back. We had already done it 2 times, what’s another :). Although it wasn’t a trip for sightseeing, we made it home in 3 1/2 days and lost only one bottle of wine!

Sure I miss those times and the fact that vacation is now considered either a 3 day weekend at home or a few days in Vermont is very different than what we were used to. But while we are both anxiously awaiting the day our girls are old enough to fly (or even go for a road trip) to California, we are enjoying the memories we are creating now. Of course most of our memorable events now are based on Carmella’s reaction or what she says instead of things happening to us, like when someone stole the air conditioner from the B & B we were staying at the night before. And concerts have taken a back seat for me now, just due to being pregnant and needing to be home to babysit. But soon enough both of them will be old enough to be left and off we will go!

This past year has been challenging based on my new job and the hours of a CPA along with being married to someone that has co-founded a website and has been working on it for over 6 months now. There are days we are ships passing in the night – me getting up at 4:15am and not getting home until 6:30pm and him shifting gears to work during the day on his business and starting to work on the website at 6:30pm and not getting to bed until 4am. It’s not ideal but its what works for us for now considering we have two college funds to save up for. But we also know that it won’t be forever and we would rather make these sacrifices now while they are young so we can enjoy more carefree time when they are older.

Carmella in a blanket when she was first born at a few weeks old.

None of these are things that I would change if I could. And having someone who understands that these are the things that truly matter – not one day, but every day events is hard to come by. It’s also why in my mind Valentine’s day is a fake “holiday” if you would like to call it that. Sure you can buy flowers and chocolates and go out to dinner, but is that what truly matters? To some people, sure. For me it just doesn’t cut it – you need to have something truly personal and not have it limited to one day during the year. I would rather have a year of happiness than a single day of commercialized happiness.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all, however you may celebrate it. And to Bill, thanks for another amazing year. You are truly and incredible dad and husband and we love you! And yes, I know you are waiting for me to gift you a post for www.zujava.com . Stay tuned – its in the works, my Valentine’s gift to you!

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