Vitaliy completely outdid himself this year for Valentine’s Day. I love the way he loves. It’s in the way he leads, it’s the way he serves.
It’s always quiet, behind the scenes. With attention to detail. And full of heart. This kind of love, his kind of love, challenges and changes me. With every small act, when I have eyes to see and the heart to receive, I take note. I want to learn to love the way he does. Sacrifice.
My valentine’s gift, though true and done in love, took me 10 minutes at the most to complete. He loved it and it made him smile. His Valentine’s gift to me was meant to span the hours. It was meant to be enjoyed and savored. He served and he entertained. And I sat there, tempted to compare my gift to his and feel unworthy, but that ruins someone’s gift. So, instead, I sat. I enjoyed. And my heart took note.
I thought I’d share it here in case anyone would like to incorporate it into a date idea for yourself.
Recipe: Three Course Meal Date Idea, with a dollop of romance
Set the tone. The first thing Vitaliy did was assure me that all I needed to do was sit back and relax. He put a record on the turn table, poured me some wine, and I proceeded to do just that. Vitaliy prepared the first course while I relaxed on the couch, worked on my powersheets, and chatted with him in the process.
The First Course. Vitaliy started the meal off with a Balsamic Strawberry & Goat Cheese Crostini. We ate slow, savoring every bite. I could tell a lot of love had gone into this meal and I didn’t want to rush anything. We talked. We laughed. New memories were made over good food.
The dollop of romance. In between the first and second course, Vitaliy threw in a little surprise that made my heart soar and my throat tighten. He turned down the music, grabbed his iPad, and pulled up an email from 2004. He proceeded to read me email exchanges from the start of our friendship, the letters that that watered and caused our love to bloom. It was the smallest and sweetest gesture that had a lasting impact. I never want to forget this moment. We laughed. I almost cried. And we celebrated the sweet memories of how we came to be Candace + Vitaliy.
The Second Course. As if the night could get any better or more delicious, Vitaliy served me Salmon with Charred Corn, Jalapeños, Bacon and Lime. This dish convinced me that we started the wrong kind of business. Now, I’m not sure if I should be helping him run a photography business or if we should be starting our own restaurant with him as the head chef. I’m not kidding you, it was that good.
The Third Course. So that he could spend equal amounts of time cuddling with me on the couch as he spent cooking, Vitaliy prepared the dessert ahead of time. And in order to help me continue working towards some health goals of mine, he made it simple and sweet without needing to have any regrets after indulging. We ended the night with Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas that have the texture of bon-bons after sitting out for a few minutes. The evening spanned 3 – 4 hours and it came to an end dreaming about building a cabin in the woods. We scanned this website for inspiration, toasted to the future, all while relishing the past.
I hope someone uses this idea for an evening full of indulgence, love and laughter. Enjoy whoever you are! Cheers!