Cut to ; Valentines week 2014

The stakes have never been higher.

I've been dating Cash since the summer, and every single hour of every day since, I've thought/talked about him incessantly.

Every conversation I had included his name at LEAST once. Yall it was downright obsessive (if you read the how we met blog - you know.)

and my poor friends and co-workers had to grin and bear it. Saints, all of you.

SO, since it was not only our first V-day together, but it so happens that I've never had an official valentine, ever. I was that horse-girl in class that never got those corny candy grams every year, nor a date for the dance (its fine, im fine. ) and even after then, I always was single around that time of year for one reason or another.

I wanted to go big to celebrate being with this amazing human and also put a *promise* ring on it and big gestures were my specialty.

I thrived in planning out the whole day, including little details that will make it feel like one of those teenage coming of age epics of the ages. Because who doesn't want that, right?

I'm a romantic, starving artist who had been pinching pennies to save up for this day.

Explicitly told Cash not to plan anything, and in the days leading up, I could barely keep it all a secret.

While working another underwhelming shift at the coffee shop, Mickayla and I were sharing what our plans were.

She and her boyfriend Micah started dating around the same time, and we were all forming a bond that was still fresh, but would last for a decade.

  • its worth it to know for later, Micah is a macho lookin guy. Like the type you'd imagine was a personal trainer or something - dudes ripped.

"What do you have planned?" Mickayla eventually asks me (and I'm ready.)

'I have it all mapped out.' my eyes widened like that arrested development meme - you know the one.

'I am going to surprise him with a parasailing tour....THEN we will go to Daylight mind Cafe and have brunch, after that Im sending him off for a few hours. Im going to deck out the house with chocolates + roses, and plan a cute lil picnic at the beach lead by a trail of love notes and more roses." Cue blank stares from everyone.

-"Oh! and I have a message in a bottle too." I added, probably a bit smuggly.

The days leading up, we were in the car driving the long windy country roads of south Kona, andCash tries to guess what my surprise is, to no avail.

Finally, he turns to me dead in the face and asks "Its not anything to do with heights is it?"

....& Im not proud of this.... "No, no no of course not." He sighs.

"Good. No heights, and no sharks"

Got it.

Famous last words.

Valentine Day Morning..

We head into the coffee shop to pick up a latte before we start the day. Of course we come for the discount at the cafe we work at, so we get in line, and after ordering, my plan was to secretly check us in and then reveal what the secret was.

Cash is waiting for our order and as i'm leaving, I see Mickayla and Micah round the corner - to my suprise.

I say hello and tell them i'm going to check in, be right back - that kinda thing. Everything is going perfect...

But by the time I got back, there was a mood shift.

"PARASAILING?" He angry whispers, as we stand in a crowded coffee shop. Shit, he figured me out before the caffeine hit.

"How did you know?"

- "Micah told me!" "whyyyyy You know I'm afraid of heights and now I have to do it in front of our friends, and Micah, too?"

"I didn't know they'd be on our tour! It will be fine!" "I promise you will have fun! I've done it before, its not scary."

*Cue grumbles under the breath*

Now to pretend everything is great and fne, while I drag my boyfriend reluctantly down the pier with our friends.

Fear Factor has entered the chat.

So we watched couple after couple go up in the air while zooming around the Kailua-Kona bay, listening to the waves crash and excited squealing of the other passengers. There's a good breeze, blue skies, sparkling water, just a beautiful day to be suspended 200ft in the air. Did I mention I paid extra for the extra height and photos? You betcha-ass I did.

Soon it came time to force my boyfriend to face his biggest fear in front of our macho man friends, as a romantic, gesture?

They strapped us in, we leaned back as instructed, and held on for dear life as these twenty somethings released us to the mercy of the wind and tides. When we got up there, it was overwhelmingly....quiet.

No choppy waves, no boat motor, chatter, traffic - just silence and a steady dance with the wind as we take in the view around us.

I notice a mama humpback whale with her fresh calf below us in the bay and point it out to Cash hoping it would comfort him.

Apparently, having massive wild animals below you isnt a comforting thought for some people as they imagine their perilous plunge below, noted. But before long he was able to relax and begin to enjoy the ride. Finally, we were having fun together and it seemed we were headed to the right track again.

Unfortunately for me, that's when the twenty-somethings decided it would be a fine time to fuck with us. What behooved them to do this, Ill never know, but they grabbed the rope that tethers us TO THE BOAT and began to shake it back and forth. As they do this, it in turn, shakes us around. This is not good for me, and as they did this, im frantically making the X mark with my arms like they taught us in the safety briefing.


-they reel us in. Back to your regularly scheduled 'Im pissed but I have to be polite right now" face.



After the initial incident, we managed to make it through an overpriced and crazy crowded brunch and back to the car before the fight.

Cash begins to scold me for valid reasons, and at this point I am feeling a bit like failure and a lot overwhelmed. I cried.

At some point, Cash says "Well what do you want to do now, then?" and because Im stubborn I say "I have put too much into this to bail now. I am going to drop you off, and we are finishing this *Bleep*ing day, Okay? Good!" - remember I AM a romantic....

In the next hours I did everything I set out to do. The house had roses everywhere, chocolate strawberries in the fridge.

I have the trail to the beach by the back of our house sprinkled with yellow roses and envelopes, each with a photo of us and a note. Once you got to the end and collected all the notes, they spelled out I LOVE YOU / BE MINE. There was a blanket with chilled wine, my message in a bottle poppin out of the sand, a ring wrapped in a box and a cool new pipe cause we're stoners.

I did this in small, but loving, rage.

'How dare he yell at me, on valentines day no less, he's gonna feel like a real dick for that when his ass gets here' I think to myself as I put finishing touches on everything and head out the door.

Once we got back to the house, Cash had apologised for the blow up, as expected, and I of course forgave him for it. I'd like to say I also apologized, but knowing me, I probably did not. My smug ass lead him up the stairs and opened the door, presenting phase 2 of my plan. A home littered with petals, candles glowing, presents on the bed. He insisted on showering before I took him on the hike down to the beach - Ill allow it.

As he does that, I fix my makeup and wait by the door like our excited puppy who was also there. Once He's ready, I lead him down my path of trinkets and memories, watching so intensely at every sign of validation. + Im NAILING it.

We get to the beach and I gift him my bottle, a love note and poem professing my eternal love for him, and all that good stuff.

And I achieve my goal: Tears. I got tears & Happy ones this time.

We enjoy some wine and embrace each other as the waves crash around us, sun baked black sand in our toes and love in our eyes. I gave him the amber ring I had ordered on Etsy, that fell apart 6 months later, and enjoyed the embrace of my true love.

My forever valentines. I knew then that this person was going to be my husband one day.

And now, as I'm typing this on our 10th valentines day together, I can assure you I no longer celebrate special occasions with adrenaline. But since then, we have made a fun tradition of one person planning the activity for the day, and the other gets to plan dinner. Sometimes its exciting and others we just try to be present together.

We continue to challenge each other, face hardships head on, and through it all...

Love wins.