Last week we announced that one lucky reader would be the winner of a $50 gift certificate to La Cuisine, a specialty cooking store here in Old Town Alexandria. To enter, we asked you to share with us what the most romantic thing is that someone has done for you.
To say we were blown away is an understatement. The stories of thoughtful gestures that poured in were enough to give us pause, and with Valentine's Day just around the corner, we wanted to share several of these stories with you. Who knows, maybe it will even inspire you to do something special for your sweetie.
But before we get into that, we'd like to extend a heartfelt congratulations (pun fully intended) to the contest's winner, Laura, with her story of sweet notes from her husband. Her whole comment is the first story featured below. We hope she can pick up a few Valentine's Day essentials with the $50 prize. Maybe she'll even try out a few of the heart shaped cookie decorating tips we shared last week.
Okay, back to romance. I thought it would only be fair to kick things off by sharing my most romantic moment with all of you. If you're a regular reader, you may have picked up on the fact that Alex isn't a planner and he isn't exactly the most organized person on the planet. (Case in point, our atrocious basement.) But on our first anniversary, he shocked me by presenting me with a letter that he had written on our wedding day, which talked about the emotions he was feeling that day and how much he was looking forward to our life together. Wow. No seriously, WOW! Now, after nearly ten years of renovation hell wedded bliss, I'm still in awe. Not only is that intensely thoughtful, but he had the foresight to plan all of this out! I'm one lucky gal.
Here we are on our honeymoon in St. Lucia, October 2002.
But I'm not the only lucky gal (or guy) out there. Here are a some of the ways some of you are shown that you're loved. From the simple and thoughtful to the downright selfless, we hope you enjoy them as much as we did:
- In the midst of a rough point in his battle with depression, I came home on Valentine's night to find that my husband had made love notes and left them on the floor and stairs. He didn't even have the energy to buy a card, but those notes were more precious to me than anything Hallmark could ever market.
- The most romantic thing my husband did was to write me a love letter right before we got married, promising how he would take care of me. I just read it 15 years later, and he lived up to all his promises.
- The most romantic thing that my husband has done was to drive my dad to his chemo treatments while I was teaching and couldn't get off. Not "romantic" in the sense of the word, but showed a ton of love.
- The most romantic thing my fiance has ever done for me was when he first told me that he loved me. He gave me some riddles to solve, that, when unscrambled, contained the letters ILOVEU. It was all very sweet and red roses were also involved.
- The most romantic thing my fiance has ever done was when he started buying food that only I like for his apartment.
- One of the more romantic things my husband has done, of late, is at Christmas I went to the Old Town Trader Joes to get some Peppermint Joe-Joes (my fave) and they were OUT. My husband tracked down the LAST TWO boxes in the northern Virginia area, had them hold them at the counter, and picked them up across town. I found them wrapped, under the tree.
- The most romantic thing that my significant other has done for me is come home early from a boys camping weekend to surprise me after getting home from a cross country flight that was very delayed.
- The most romantic thing my husband ever did for me was on our first real date. He was cooking dinner for us and knew I'd been doing Weight Watchers for a while, and that it was really important to me to be eating healthy. He had actually looked up WW friendly recipes and calculated all the points for our Valentine's Day menu - I was so surprised!
- Poetry left on my doorstep, with flowers and soup on day i was under the weather.
- When my husband created his vows for our wedding, he wrote ones for my 5 year old daughter as well. He presented us each with a ring and pledged to love and care for the both of us... 'til death do us part. Two more daughters later, and he's never stopped treating his house full of girlies with that same commitment and adoration.
- My husband gave me a Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt to go on. Very Sweet. He had little clues as to where to go (which ended up being all of my favorite places within a day's drive). It ended up at one of our favorite restaurants with a box of chocolates and a rose.
- My husband does all the expected: cards, flowers, gifts and hugs. But the sweet little thing he does is to bring me home a cupcake. For no reason other than he knows I love a good cupcake. He works in an office and once in a while they will give each person on the team a Sprinkles cupcake to celebrate something. He will not eat it (even though he LOVES cupcakes) and take special care to wrap it up and bring it to me. That's sweet.
- There is nothing like having the man you love, and who loves you, wash your hair for you after having reconstructive surgery on your arm and you cannot even tie your shoes. Love is simple when it is easy. When times are challenging, that is when real love shines.
Can we all just sigh a collective "awwww" together?
As Hugh Grant's character so eloquently puts it in the movie Love Actually:
"...General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion...love actually is all around."
Did any of these stories tug at your heart strings? Did you miss out on the contest but today feel up to sharing the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you? Cupid and I would love to hear all about it.