My Lovely North: Handsome Valentine

For me, Valentine's Day has never really been my favorite Holiday. Yes, it's certainly one of the only that's directly in celebration of our love for one another (which I'm always a cheerleader for!), but I've never truly celebrated it with enthusiasm. Having celebrated the majority of my Valentine's Days blissfully unaware, cynically single or separated from my love by his work on the oceans, I never truly 'look forward' to this love-peppered Holiday, but this year proved new, exciting and very, very special. Feeling a little under the weather a fancy anything hadn't come to mind in celebrating our Valentine's, let alone being romanced over a lovely candle-lit dinner, but Pieter was preparing for just that.

Pieter has always been an extremely sweet and thoughtful person so every day truly holds a reminder of why I love him so very much. This past Valentine's he truly pulled out the stops in preparing an incredibly thought out dinner over candles and listening to our favorite tunes. We opened a bottle of wine from our wedding and got down to the prepping! The menu consisted of baked brie & water crackers with honey and blackberry preserves, deviled eggs and spinach salad with strawberries, candied walnuts, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. Having laughed, chatted and helped ourself to the spread before us, we quickly realized it was a lot of food and just the first half of a whole dinner. We decide to take a couple of hours to enjoy each other's company and start prepping for the main dinner.

After a while of relaxing and cooking, we sat down to very special dinner of Surf and Turf. Pieter had selected a couple of lobsters, small steaks with blue cheese and vegetables. I had actually never had Lobster and rarely eat steak so this was definitely a special occasion. Everything was so beautiful prepared, deliciously tasting and I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with gratitude and love. I snatched up the best one, ladies! This February 14th didn't just make me thankful for my special, handsome Valentine - it made my thankful to be able to celebrate the way we did. I found myself thankful for the roof over our heads, the warm home we've created, the food in front of us and the relationships we've built together. Oh Valentines...you're really quite lovely.

My Lovely North: Our Lovely Weekend

75 days and a husband finally returns home to his wife. Last week I explained what keeps me busy (and perhaps a little bit sane) while he's away. I was so looking forward to his return but with every return we experience together, we both learn that his return is vary rarely a set schedule. True to form, later that day I found out that Pieter would not be returning home, but instead be flying home the next afternoon. The idea of his late arrival, although somewhat familiar, was still hard to take. We must press onward though, and all in all, it was only a matter of hours that would surely fly by with anticipation. As predicted, Pieter's return came faster than we hoped and before we knew it, I was bringing him home.

Every time he comes home, I do my best to take time off of work to spend some much-needed time together and this time was no different. I was able to take off a few days from work and although the weather kept us house-bound quite a bit, we were able to get out to do some wine tasting and have a date at a fabulous local restaurant. We had a fantastic time at the Winter Warm Up - tasting local wines and Hors D'Oeuvres to pair with, followed by dinner at The Cooks House - a restaurant dedicated to local, sustainable cuisine. Let me just say...delicious! Our date nights were very much missed and being able to spend time together one-on-one was so very special to me. It's great to have him back and it was such a lovely weekend, that's for sure.

We were granted with somewhat warmer weather and traveling Old Mission Peninsula was an absolute treat! Living in Northern Michigan surely gives you an appreciation for those warm winter days that are so few and far between. Our time together is always treasured, and I can certainly say that I'm glad we have so much of it this time around. Here's to many more lovely, adventurous weekends together. Cheers!

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