Wednesday, February 11

My Valentine

When we were dating - only a few weeks actually - my first Valentine's Day with Matt was like any other dating couples - it was about infatuation.  I loved Matt's ability to make me feel special. He always came up with the most exciting, adventurous dates.  We went to places in Chicago I never knew existed.  Initially, my love for his spontaneity caused me to fall for him...hard.  When he graduated from college a year and a half before me, our long distance relationship was tough. But he was always so good at whetting my appetite for the next time we would see one another. Valentine's Day 2003 started a month before, with pieces of postcards coming in the mail.  Each one had something written on the back.  When I received the last postcard, I was able to decipher the message.  It was a riddle.  I'm ashamed to say that I can't remember what it said, but I'm certain the meaning was disgustingly sappy.  A snow storm kept me from driving to Kentucky that weekend, so I did what any college girlfriend would do - I used my credit card to purchase a last minute plane ticket.  Matt's dad picked me up in Louisville and I surprised him with a Valentine's visit.  We got all gussied up and he took me to a fancy Italian restaurant somewhere in Cincinnati  Well, at least we thought it was fancy.  Until we got there, and everyone in the joint had jeans and sneakers on.  As if the embarrassment wasn't enough, they sat us in the center of the room.  I felt like everyone was staring at us.  But, we didn't care.  We were young and in love.

Valentine's Day 2004 was another milestone.  We were just a few months from getting married.  I was working two jobs, making my last attempt to get good grades before graduating college.  Matt was in between jobs in Kentucky - trying to scrounge up as much cash he could before supporting a wife in a few months.  I don't remember if we saw each other that weekend, but I know I sent him a card that said "Enjoy your last Valentine's Day as a single man."  Sweet.

Since getting married, each Valentine's Day has become less dramatic (less expensive) and more about enjoying the deep love we have for one another.  

This Valentine's Day, I'm celebrating Matt as husband and father.  He is a loving leader in our home.  He loves Annelise with a passion.  And he loves and cares for me daily.

We love you Matt!


Lee and Candace said...

That was sweet Rachael! I remember those long distance Valentine's Days. I remember one year Lee was driving to see me from Moody and was several hours late. We didn't go to dinner until about 10. As much as I was upset he was late and our time would be cut short, it was so worth it!

MR. NEAL said...

ahhhhh, you love telling everyone the sappy stuff dont' you? thanks for being my loving wife and i look forward to many more v-day's with you! LOVE