Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

We've come to enjoy the tradition of celebrating Valentine's day early. Both last year and this year it was because Carson's schedule didn't allow for us to do anything on the day itself, but it's worked out well and might become a tradition. We celebrated the night before.

The day before we celebrated, I went to Carson's office after work to discuss our plans. We usually see each other for about 15 minutes a day (I wish that weren't true!) so we normally communicate plans through text or email, but this way was so much easier and we got to spend time together! After going through options (had to be indoor, didn't really care to go to the art museum or botanical gardens, did we want dessert out? [we were thinking milkshakes]) we decided that a simple dinner at home was the way to go this year. It's cheaper, less crowded, and you can talk without eavesdropping on neighboring tables (not that we would...). We came up with things to do at home (Carson wanted to write poems, but we didn't have time) so we wouldn't treat it like a normal night. 

We bought most of the food at Trader Joes this year and found some fun options.
We decided to each pick something to make just like a real restaurant.
(Carson picked steak and potatoes; I picked asparagus and Marsala pasta, and we had garlic bread. We also bought some frozen chocolate lava cakes but as I'm writing this we still haven't eaten them.)

We began with spinach artichoke dip, because between the time Carson picked me up from work and the time we had dinner were light years apart. We don't usually get appetizers at restaurants, so while we began dinner, we popped this in the microwave. It served to ease my stomach's rumblings, and it was nice to talk over the crunch of tortilla chips.

While I ate, Carson chopped up potatoes to boil and I tried to capture the moment without getting the clutter of the top of the microwave.

We didn't start anything else until the potatoes were boiled, but we made a Marsala sauce (Marsala wine was the reason for going to Trader Joes in the first place) and it rivaled the ones I've had at restaurants. We used this Food Network recipe.

When we had everything in the oven or just simmering on the stove, we quickly changed. We thought it would be fun to dress up, even if we weren't going anywhere. It felt more like a holiday and less like a random Thursday in sweatpants. 
This prompted a photoshoot. While the background is less than ideal (but does allude to the fact that we made dinner this year), this is my favorite photo.

Carson loves to make faces like this, ruining otherwise lovely pictures. I love it and hate it.

And a zoomed out one to show our footwear. I'm not sure why Carson rolled his pants up either, but you sure can't do that at a restaurant!

 Here's the Marsala pasta. I chose asparagus to go with this - we put it in while we were changing and forgot about it, so it was a little crispy. By the way, this sauce was excellent on the steak and probably would have been good with the potatoes but I didn't eat them because I was full.

I grabbed a bunch of candles for a candlelit dinner.

It was fun! We had a great discussion over dinner, which wasn't remotely romantic (we discussed the book of Revelation... haha!).

And then we decided to give each other gifts! Carson gave me a big piece of poster board with candy on it, using the names of the candy to fill in the blanks for a little message, earlier in the day.

I found this book for Carson at Barnes and Noble and thought it would be fun to do together. I also gave him black licorice and heart shaped Reeses.

And in addition to the candy message, I got a grater and an apple slicer.
Since we've been married, I've talked about how much I want an apple slicer. I don't know why, because they're pretty inexpensive and I could get one anytime, but every time I go to eat an apple, I wish it was sliced, and without the risk of slicing my hand. The grater? We had a really cheap one for a few years, but it rusted on the bottom and for some reason we kept it and it got rust stains everywhere. I'd finally had enough of rust stains on our kitchen towels and counters, so I threw it out in a fit of rage (I don't really remember my mood, but I'm guessing). So I bought another one which broke (it had a plastic handle). So these were perfect gifts.
Oh! He also bought a single pink rose. I forgot to take a picture of it though.

We settled in to watch a show after the gift excitement wore down. Carson asked if he could wear sweats and I told him he'd look better like this. I was very wrong (side note: he tied his tie like this on our first date and danced like a crazy person, no alcohol involved).

It was all in all a very successful Valentine's Day.

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