This is our 23rd Valentine’s Day together. It’s not even a holiday that we choose to celebrate BIG because isn’t every day supposed to be “love day”?

I must admit, though, that there is one particular Valentine’s Day that stands out to me that I would probably claim as my favorite. It was our second one. We were poor college students living in a small, East Texas town. We were likely heading in the same direction of celebrating this Hallmark holiday the way we did the first year…with a sheet cake from Walmart and a couple of forks.

But for some crazy reason our good friends, who were celebrating their first Valentine’s as a married couple, invited us over for dinner that night. We went to their tiny garage apartment where we sat around their table, like grown ups, and ate a simple but yummy, home cooked meal while talking about school and church. The conversation led to how we would spend the rest of the evening. Go rent a movie at Hastings? Play a board game? Or splurge by spending our last $20 that we had between the four of us. We chose the last option because we like to live on the edge. 😉

Once we agreed to go all in, we created our best game plan. We split, guys versus girls. Each team got $10 to spend on something to do that evening. I don’t even remember what the reward was for the winner, but it was enough motivation to get us fired up. We went our separate ways with an hour time limit before we would meet back up to present our plans.

I have no idea how the conversation played out for the guys, but she and I jumped in my car and were off to Walmart. On the way, we excitedly chattered about what would impress our men the most. We knew that they both loved basketball and Rocky, so we decided to create our own half court in their living room. We bought an over-the-door basketball goal and a package of slice-and-bake chocolate chip cookies, because you can’t lose with warm cookies. We quickly headed back to throw the cookies in the oven and then proceeded to move all of their living room furniture into their bedroom and kitchen. We miraculously located a Rocky CD and had it blaring when they arrived.

The guy’s jaws dropped when they walked in. They proudly expressed their satisfaction with our plan. But I think they were even more impressed that we managed to move all of their beastly living room furniture all while baking cookies. After a game of two-on-two, they presented us with their offerings. In the course of an hour, they composed a heartfelt poem and produced two, small wooden jewelry boxes for us to paint. Ladies, say it with me now…”awwwwwww!”

Box with hoop.jpg

Do you see the basketball hoop inside?!?!

It was simple but it was sweet. And it’s hard not to smile BIG when I think about that night. It just goes to show that you don’t need a lot of money or over-the-top plans to have a memorable celebration with people you love.

“The best nights are usually unplanned, random and spontaneous.”

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