With Valentine’s Day coming up I know there will be plenty of opinions floating around the internet regarding who is pro “Hallmark Holiday” and who is so against even recognizing that the day exists on the calendar. I understand where people are coming from, it is really hard to justify celebrating a holiday that has been overly glorified by every aspect of consumerism. But then again, the romantic in me really doesn’t mind taking one day out of the year to focus on the person I get the privilege of loving and caring for the rest of my life.
I know that quality time, date nights, and the general freedom to celebrate each other whenever and however we wanted is something that my husband and I completely took for granted in our pre-children life. Looking back on those much simpler (and quieter;) days I want to scold the girl who would spend countless late nights and hours stressing out expending energy into endeavors aside from her new marriage. But then again, having kids has made us cherish our date nights all the more. It does make the time out together that much more intentional because there are usually babysitters involved and planning ahead in our calendars.
While date nights out are all well and good, we are really trying to reign in our budget this year. With a new little one on the way and lists being made for the future, one of my goals for this year was to be more premeditated in planning at-home date nights. It’s so easy for us to get caught in this rut of scrolling through Netflix and just vegging out together. Sometimes that’s needed, but sometimes it can also get way too cyclical and becomes not nearly as special. Something we always loved doing together while we were dating was cooking a good, fun, exciting meal together, cracking open a bottle of wine and watching a movie. That’s a routine that has unfortunately gone by the wayside in the past couple of years and I’m hoping with this newfound outlook on the at-home date night I can revive our old ritual and make it a regular habit once again.
Last Saturday we did just that and made one of the first “fancy” meals we ever made together. Years ago I found a recipe for Gorgonzola Crusted Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon in a cooking magazine while in the waiting room at the dentists office (actually, I think it may have been Southern Living…not entirely sure and don’t want to mis-reference). Since finding that recipe we have really honed in our method for searing steak to our liking that has made it such an indulgence to eat. We paired that nice chunk of meat with some classic garlic butter sauteed string beans and oregano dusted garlic bread. We even busted out a little cheese tray for a pre-dinner snack while we kept our little one company during her (early) dinner and for dessert I made dark chocolate + coconut oil dipped strawberries with whipped coconut cream. Then we watched The Intern and aside from not being able to share a bottle of wine together…it really was a pretty perfect date night!
Happy Valentine’s Day! No matter how you plan to celebrate or not – I hope the day is special and you can find love throughout the little moments.