Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Be Mine (I Whispered to the Cake)

Yesterday was one of the trickiest days of the year. Regardless of whether you're married, dating, or single, Valentine's Day is an obstacle course of emotional danger, full of pitfalls and possibilities. This year was a success for us and I woke up this morning giddy with a spring in my step because we sidestepped any kind of Valentine catastrophe. Whew. That has not always been the case.

Many of you know the history of romantic gifts--or lack thereof--that have been given to me by my adoring husband over the years. I'm not going to reopen old wounds, and heaven knows he has heard more than enough about these less-than-perfect presents, but let me just summarize by saying I have opened sports bras, designer knock-off sandals (with genuine man made uppers, no less), and even a Myers Park High School Mustangs long sleeve t-shirt which was rescued from a clearance bin at our neighborhood Walgreens. Oh yes, we have had much room for improvement.

For my gift to Clint this year, I went practical and stocked him up on some things he can use for Crossfit. Burpees be damned, he has been so faithful getting up at zero dark thirty each morning and going to work out, and he had mentioned some things he could really use with his workouts.

Every well-dressed workout needs Evel Knievel and Ric Flair shirts, I think we can all agree on that much. I also added some Valentine underwear (not pictured), a fun pair of Georgia Tech socks, some sore muscle relief balm (recommended by the editor at Shape magazine, no less), and some yucky gummy candy that I would never touch, but that my husband loves. Naturally, because this is me we're talking about, I got him a funny, sarcastic card to finish off the sentiment.

After 15 years of marital bliss, there is much truth to this. And since having a decent sense of humor is key to putting up with me on a daily basis, I knew he would be fine with the card. As always, he gave me a sweet card with a lovely message that also happened to have rhinestones on it. The man knows me well.

His gifts were thoughtful, practical, and comfortable. I not-so-accidentally opened part of my present last week and was delighted to find this funky pair of striped leopard print socks which will undoubtedly be great for Clemson football games. Hopefully, they will become my lucky socks.

My big gift was a no-brainer for someone who has been walking with a limp for the last few months. I have been dying for a pair of Ugg slippers, but the cheapskate in me wasn't quite ready to pay for a pair. As I recovered from my broken ankle, the thought of those fur-lined, fuzzy wonders possessed me.

If you don't think these slippers are romantic, slip your feet into a pair and then talk to me. I dare you not to fall in love with the heavenly comfort these babies provide. They will make you swoon.

Of course, we aren't just about gifts around is life in our book, so we used the holiday as a good excuse to ditch our diet and have an amazing meal at Miro, a Spanish restaurant nearby. We love sharing a big skillet of their seafood paella, and it usually takes a special occasion for us to splurge and enjoy it.

It's a big serving of shrimp, scallops, calamari, clams, mussells, rice, chorizo, and all that is good and hearty and tasty. Also, there are peas, so I'm also counting it as a serving of veggies. HA.

As you can see, we hated it. And no, we did not need any containers for leftovers. I personally think we exercised a little restraint by leaving as much rice behind as we did. But that's because we were ready to move on to dessert.

This is it. I'm tempted to lick the screen. The restaurant's specialty is their tres leches cake; not one leche, not two leches, but three wonderful leches (that's actually milk, and I'm told it's a combination of evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream). The buttery cake is soaked in that amazing mixture, and it might be the best thing I've ever tasted. I graciously let Clint have the the strawberry garnish because I don't like fruit getting in the way of my dessert, but we basically licked the plate clean. If you are in Charlotte, go directly to Miro and get this cake. It never disappoints.

So here we are, enjoying another Valentine's Day together. If my math is correct, I believe it was our 17th one. Some have been better than others, some have involved burned pizza and sleeping on the couch, and some are as sweet and happy as that cake. Until next year, Clint, pat yourself on the back. You survived, and it was a success!

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