I'd like to think that after almost 9 years together – with 6 of those in pure wedded bliss – that there isn't much to know about Mark. I've heard the family stories more times than I count and even the crazy tales from his friends are becoming familiar.
But as Mark and I reminisced about our first Valentine's Day together, I learned something new. I'm his first and only Valentine. It's not that he hadn't dated or had girlfriends – just no one special on that one day in February.
I have to say that he sure does know how to pick them, especially if that first one was any indication. Mark was living in L.A. at the time, and I thought it would be great to escape the Indiana winter to spend the week with him. Problem? The Indiana winter. I had too many flight delays and cancellations to count, spent the night in the Memphis airport and arrived on little sleep. I was in tears when Mark picked me up because, after all of that, my luggage was missing. He was none too happy either because he had gotten a ticket from a bike cop at LAX. His mood soured more when he had to cancel our dinner reservations at a seafood place in Santa Monica were canceled because I only had jeans and a sweater, my luggage arriving at 10 p.m.
And that was the start. As life and love have proved for us, it's an adventure but one we love to take and, if anything, there's always something to laugh at.
This Valentine's, though, Mark decided to keep things a bit more low key – and I had no complaints. Not one. Of course, he knew he planned an evening that had me written all over it.
Stop No. 1: The running store. He gave me a pile of cash, relatively speaking, and told me to pick out whatever I wanted. It might have been bittersweet since I was definitely not running that day but I took the opportunity to pick out a tank to wear this summer. The Hot Shot tank from Moving Comfort was too cute to resist and, in an eerie coincidence, it was the color Mark used in a pre-V Day poem he wrote for me.
Stop No. 2: Dinner at Panera. It was absolutely blustery on Saturday, with sub-zero windchills and 40 mph gusts, and hot soup was the way to go. Plus, bread. And coffee.
Stop No. 3: DeBrand's Fine Chocolates. The holy grail of Fort Wayne.
We shared a two-scoop sundae with crispy peanut butter and raspberry toppings. It's our go-to special night treat, and it tasted amazing. As did the coffee ... always more coffee.
A few months ago, I might have said the best way to celebrate Valentine's Day would have been to run together but I am not so sure. Saturday was the perfect night and, the best part, I still got to wear leggings.