18 years ago this month, my sweetheart and I went on our very first date. We were 16 and it was Valentine’s Day. He brought me the cutest little stuffed gorilla. He held my hand and opened doors for me. He made me feel like I was the ONE, which is a pretty cool feeling for a teenage girl. He’s told me that his only regret that night was his choice of movie – Ace Ventura. Not sure what the thought process was there… As you can imagine, it’s quite frustrating for a teenage boy when he leans over to sneak a first kiss, and the obnoxious fellow on screen unveils the “worst case of hemorrhoids ever seen!” Doh! Well, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for stuffed gorillas and Valentines.

And I’ve long since forgiven him for the movie choice, since he truly embraces my little quirks… When I’m quilting, for example, I usually listen to music through my ear buds. And I sing aloud. Out LOUD. Listen, I don’t have any vocal training. After 7 years of orchestra, I’m fairly certain I’m tone deaf and completely incapable of keeping a beat. So when I start singing, it’s no treat. But I love it, and I am without shame when I’m belting out my favorite diva hits while cruising through an edge to edge design on Violet. There might even be dancing… It’s not unusual for me to look up from my work and find my love watching me, with a crooked grin and unmistakable, sincere love in his eyes.

It’s the same look he gets when I’m deep in the middle of figuring out a new design (like I have been every night this week), and he tries to talk to me. Sometimes I look at him like I’m listening, but I keep typing; often I mumble and nod at whatever he says until I notice that he’s gotten very quiet. Then I focus on him. He’s always got that same look on his face – complete adoration. He should be annoyed. Jealous, maybe, of my attention. But that’s not how he’s made. And it’s contagious… It makes me love my work self too. When seen through his eyes, that girl’s pretty neat.

Just sayin’… I’m pretty sure I’ll always love February.