Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m an Adult Now

Well, it’s official, y’all. I think I’ve finally become a real, mature adult.

It’s taken a few decades to get here, but I can honestly say that I truly recognized my maturity on this Valentine’s Day.

Ryan came home from work yesterday, a little freaked out after talking to other females he works with and hearing their expectations for Valentine’s Day. They asked him what he had planned for his wife, and he told them he didn’t have an extravagant plan. (He failed to mention that last weekend he had been trying to line up a sitter so we could sneak away somewhere for a little getaway).

My husband is really amazing that way. Valentine’s Day has never been a real thing for us. When I was younger, inexperienced in life and love, I wished for romantic Valentine’s Day surprises. When I was about 12 or 13, I decided I wanted a Valentine’s Day wedding because I thought it was the most romantic day of the year. When I discussed this plan with my aunt Sharon around that time, she pointed out that when you marry the right person, ANY day is the most romantic day of the year. So that plan fell by the wayside. Still, I sent Ryan telepathic Valentine’s Day messages that I wanted all of the wine and roses and chocolate and jewelry I could get, but never vocalized my desires because I wanted him to know all on his own what I wanted. He’s always delivered a small surprise: always chocolates, sometimes a small piece of jewelry, sometimes flowers, sometimes all of the above. But he’s notorious for surprising me with spontaneous romantic gestures on random days throughout the year. He doesn’t need a calendar or a big-label greeting card company to tell him when to extend a romantic gesture.

This morning I made my trip to shop for valentines for my family while they were at school and work. For Ryan I had decided on candy and frozen pizzas. Sounds weird, I know, but he’s been asking for pizza all week. So I thought if I bought frozen pizza, we could have a romantic pizza snack to ourselves after the boys went to bed. I bought the boys each a little box of candy- more than enough to supplement the sugar highs they all brought home from school- and called it a day on my shopping.

I was in the kitchen making a very non-exciting dinner of oven-fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and homemade mac and cheese when my tall, handsome valentine walked in the door laden with grocery bags, a liquor store bag, and… a premade deli pizza.

I bust out laughing. He was so confused until I pulled his “valentine” out of the freezer. We congratulated ourselves on thinking so much alike, and he handed me the liquor store bag with not one but two bottles of my favorite wine. Then he started to unload the other grocery store bag. When he pulled out three miniature boxes of chocolates identical to the ones I’d purchased for the boys, we both started to laugh.

Friends, that moment- the moment of knowing that celebrating Valentine’s Day in the simplest way, with my four guys who piled on top of me yesterday morning and declared me their “Princess,” my favorite wine, chocolates, and frozen pizzas on the same night Grey’s Anatomy is on, is the only way I care to celebrate Valentine’s Day, ever- that moment was so clarifying.

I became a real adult today.

And it feels damn good.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends.




What’s a girl to do with all this Chocolate??

Eeek.  Did I really just go a whole month without posting?  I never expected that I, of all people, would be able to go a whole month without saying much.  And yet, I’m not quite ready to talk about anything that’s going on around here these days.  Nothing except chocolate, anyway.

Several years ago, when Ryan and I first moved here, his Grandma Merrow passed on her chocolate molds to us.  I’m not a fantastic candy-maker, and I don’t do it often (maybe a few times a year), but having that little piece of Grandma makes me feel a little closer to her when I get out the molds.  And a couple of weeks ago while Ryan was out racing, I opened the freezer to find about four bags of half-used chocolate that I wanted to make into something before they began to taste like the freezer.  

I started with an 8×8 pan of chocolate chip cookie bars.  Why not regular cookies?  I guess I was feeling kinda lazy that day, and rather than getting cookie dough all over my hands, it was easier to just pour all that batter into the pan and toss it in the oven.  Plus, the bars usually come out all gooey and not-quite-baked in the middle, and we both love that part.  

After those went into the oven, I set to melting three different kinds of chocolate: milk chocolate, white chocolate, and dark chocolate.  


Once the chocolate was melted, I poured it into these molds that Grandma gave us that make the perfect peanut butter cups.  My Aunt Sharon went nuts over these peanut butter cups at Christmas time, so I sneaked a couple into the freezer for her.  Since I planned to put peanut butter in the middle of two layers of chocolate, I let the molds set in the freezer between steps.


I used the white chocolate chips to melt and fill with peanut butter too, because Ryan doesn’t like white chocolate as much, so I knew those would be safe.  


And finally, for my parents, I melted down the dark chocolate (leftover from my Valentine’s Day gift to myself: homemade chocolate-covered strawberries!) and filled it with Marshmallow Fluff, to make a candy similar to Mallo Cups, one of their shared favorites.  Those will be safe from Ryan too, since he likes neither dark chocolate nor marshmallow fluff.  

The chocolate is cleared out of the freezer now (aside from the few pieces I’ve been saving to share with my family) and the molds have been put away till the next time the spirit moves me to be creative.  Judging from my lack of blogging lately, it’s probably safe to say it won’t happen for awhile.


Till next time!