valentine's day ideas on the cheap

Wednesday, February 8, 2012  at 8:18 AM
We are on a pretty tight budget.  Daddy is in college (only a year and three-ish months to go!) and that makes things tough.  Christmas is hard on everybody's budget, and then Cricket's birthday is in January, and Hopper's is in February.  Whew!  It's hard for us to squeeze in money (and time!) to make the day special, but I thought I'd share some of the neat things we've done for each other.  Maybe you'll be able to use some of the ideas for you and your sweetheart!

{my own design...I'm in love with the colors}

Our first Valentine's Day, we had been together for about six months.  He had heard on the radio about a contest that a local restaurant was doing.  To enter, you had to write in and tell them in 100 words what was so special about your sweetheart.  He did it, but didn't tell me about it, and even though he didn't win, he gave me a copy of the letter he sent in.  It was so special to me that he had shared his feelings about me with someone else!  And it didn't cost anything to do it!  Honestly, I couldn't even tell you what he gave me as an actual gift.  The little letter was priceless to me.

Our second Valentine's, I stole the show.  We were engaged that year, and we spent the evening with his parents and his brother and his girlfriend, Heather.  I called Daddy's mom ahead of time and asked her to bring the spare key to Daddy's car.  Then, while we were waiting, I asked Heather to help me with something and we snuck away to the "bathroom".  I had bought three or four boxes of cheap little kid valentines at the dollar store, and we taped them EVERYWHERE to the inside of the car.  The look on Daddy's face when we went back to the car is something I will never forget.  I loved doing that for him!  Somehow a few of them got stuck in hard to reach places, so he was finding them for months. 
The next year, we had been married for a few months, and he was working a second job at Hobby Lobby.  After his shift ended one day, he browsed over their card selection and couldn't decide on just one, so he bought me something like fifteen!  He gave them to me over the course of the night.  So sweet!

I guess for the next few years, we weren't as creative, but last year, we sent the boys to Daddy's parents' house and we stayed home and made dinner together.  Then we cuddled up on the couch and watched a movie together.  Someone who knew what we were doing didn't see anything special about that, but we were just starving for time alone together, so that was exactly what we needed.

Right after Valentine's last year, I found these little note pads at Hobby Lobby.

I actually bought the "mrs." pad first because they were out of the "mr." and I was afraid I'd never see them again and I just couldn't risk it.  I took it home and went nuts!  I had so much fun with them that I went back to Hobby Lobby and found the other set and gave what I hadn't used of the "mrs." to Daddy so he could join in the fun.  We kind of slowed down because we were using them so fast, but we are still using them.  We try not the put them in the same place twice, so we never know where one is going to show up.  I hid one in Daddy's pocket one day, but I was the one that was surprised when I found it in the washing machine!!  These are probably my favorite thing right now.  I LOVE these! I got them for about $5 each, but they each have 32 notes in them.  Well worth the money!  Get these.  You will thank me.

This year, we received a few gift certificates for Christmas, and we are saving them especially for Valentine's Day.  We are planning to get out the box of love letters that we've exchanged over the past eight plus years and read them to each other.  So Valentine's Day this year is going to cost us nothing, but it's going to be wonderful!

Every relationship is a target.  We live in a society that accepts promiscuity and expects infidelity, but our marriages are a priceless gift that we have to treat with care.  Every marriage faces some sort of stress, and anything can become a major issue if we will let it.  No marriage is perfect, but mine is precious to me.  We have to deal with a tremendous amount of stress and separation, but my love for my husband has never been stronger or sweeter.  This may sound strange, but I think it's because we have had to look for creative ways to "be" and "do" gifts, rather than buy them.  Sure, we buy small gifts for each other, too, but on a day to day basis, we've not lost the realization that holding hands under the table and sharing smiles across the room is a real gift that money can't buy.

I hope you and your sweetheart have a wonderful Valentine's Day!  Do you have any creative ideas to share?  I'd love to hear them!!

1 comment:

  1. love! :) the writer in me is especially fond of the mr. and mrs. notepads!