belated valentines

last night i attempted a first for me - beef pot roast. what you should be saying is - why is this college gal making the main course of a Sunday dinner back at the farm? well, good question. I wanted to surprise my housemates with a "sweet" dinner.

See, growing up valentines day was a big deal. Sure, i brought home the bounty from my elementary, heart-shaped envelope with candy and innocent love messages. That was special, but not as much as our family's valentine's day dinner. It was always beautiful and perfect. the candles, pink and red decorations, the hand-made cards with poems waiting on each place setting, the pink tapioca and heart shaped cakes with sweethearts decorating the top....i hope you have a picture in your mind of this wonderful occasion..

so this year, i wanted to replicate this for my house, because we've kind of become a family of sorts and we don't often give quality time to reflecting on how blessed we are... hence the pot roast. i wanted something different, something more homelike. and when i left my house after christmas, my mom send a beef roast from the locker. (there's something about good, Iowa, locker meat that just beats all that pre-packaged plastic from the grocery store... something that says - i'm homegrown and quality)

i started planning everything in my head and sent letters out to all their parents to get them to help... i won't get into the details, but my point is this: how do women do it? i put in the roast yesterday at 8:30, adding vegetables and spices throughout the day. i started decorating and setting up at 4:30 and after dinner was over at 8:30 I was completely wiped. To top it off, I was so nervous about the dinner that i spaced off during a current events quiz in my comm. class.

the thing about a surpise is that people don't know what to expect, so they expect something. it could be totally different than what the surprise will actually deliver. i was nervous they would be disappointed.

everything was perfect, though. from the stories we told to the table settings, to the food, to the gifts, to sitting on the ground around the coffeetables because it was the only thing long enough to seat all of us.

it was another amazing reminder of how we are blessed and loved and put in community for a reason.