Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day!

All day I kept thinking about how lucky I am in this life to be Bill's wife and Katie's mommy and my parents' daughter and my Nana's great-granddaughter, and on and on. I felt so loved today, and I feel very fortunate to have so many people to love in return, people who love to absorb and feel magic, to make themselves in harmony with the parts of life that are beautiful.

This Valentine's Day weekend has been one of the best in my life. After a day in the snow with my loves yesterday, my heart was already filled to contentment.

Yet Bill, being the perfect husband for me, continued to make my Valentine's Day magical. He gave me another amazing gift today: time to meet with my philosophers group in Murrieta. A couple of months ago, a fellow Toastmaster invited me to become a part of another group that meets once a month. The group is conducted like an 18th century salon, structured yet informal at Gene's house. Bill watched Katie this morning for a few hours while I went to exercise my mind and to see if I want to make the salon a regular activity. I am the youngest in the group by ten years. Then there is one 40-year-old, and then a few people in their 50s, and the remainder are well over 60 and into their 80s. I was one of three females there today, and sixteen people came. I have not enjoyed a conversation in a group like the one I had today since my university days. I felt so much at home. I would have thought I would have been nervous or even intimidated, but for some reason, I had no fear and was able to jump right in. I just really loved being there. I have always felt more at home with people much much older than I (ha ha obviously, see my husband choice), with a few important exceptions. Today we talked about the role of love in human progress. We began with trying to define love and then to decide whether love was integral to being human and how love relates or does not relate to the role of logic in our lives. The topics diverged to forgiveness (a theme I have been pondering in depth for a couple of months now) and then musical and philosophical dissonance vs. harmony. Every member of the group brought a different approach to the topic, and many were witty and told some hilarious jokes. I do not really go out anywhere by myself---ever. I do not ever do girls' nights out, or even run down to Starbucks alone. I love being with others, but I loved the moment of independence today, of driving somewhere to an adventure that was like a little treasure just for me. I haven't experienced that for a long, long time. And I loved being able to come home and tell Bill all about it, about all the people I met today, and what we thought about.

I could not have asked for a better or more thoughtful gift today. This weekend Bill gave me a snow day and a philosopher's salon...Bill really knows me so well, and I love that he chose unique presents. I told him that I didn't even need a card or anything else, but he surprised me at dinner with a music card and a heart-shaped box of chocolates. He is so sweet and chooses experiences as gifts that remind me of the best parts of myself. These two days have helped to put me back in touch with some of my essence, which I lose touch with now and then in the busy day to day tasks of running a home and caring for others. He gave me the gifts of playtime and intellectual vitality this year. Probably the two gifts I needed in my life the most right at this moment...

I love Bill so much, and I love that he often knows me better than I know myself. To really put the icing on the cake, I discovered when I got home that he and Katie made videos for me on his iPhone and e-mailed them to me while I was gone. One video was of Katie saying, "I love you, Mommy" and the other was Katie saying, "Happy Valentine's Day." Seriously, how tremendously lucky I am to have Bill as my husband and valentine? This man knows how to celebrate...

In the afternoon, my parents came over for a fondue party! I made cheese fondue (emmantaler and gruyere) with: bread chunks, potatoes, chicken and apple sausage, apple slices, and blanched broccoli. And then we had chocolate fondue with: pineapple chunks, banana slices, strawberries, pound cake, and marshmallows. I love fondue, and it seems to fit well into a Valentine's Day celebration. With sparkling apple cider and lighted candles, our little party was complete. The afternoon air was perfectly soft and warm drifting in through the windows, and the sound of the waterfall outside added extra ambiance.

I could not have asked for a more perfect weekend!!!

Here are some pictures from today's celebration:

Katie opens her valentine from Mommy and Daddy...

Mommy and her little valentine girl....

Fondue party!!!!

Katie dances in her room, having just put on her dress for the party. She was twirling about and looking at her dress in the mirror.

Cheese fondue and accompaniments.

Chocolate fondue and Katie eating a strawberry with Amie.

My valentine husband.

I am so lucky to be married to this amazing and loving man. I know that everyday, and I know no other potential mate could ever have loved me the that way he truly does...