Growing up, I probably assigned the same kind of meaning to Valentine's Day that most everyone else did. As a kid, it was a fun day that might involve some extra candy and as I got older it became single awareness day. Although, I don't think it was as painful as that title described. I just can't recall a Valentine's day with any significance prior to meeting Bryce. Even after we met, I think we were always in agreement that is just wasn't worth spending our time or effort on it. I know it sounds cliche, but it is a manufactured holiday and while we usually relish any opportunity to eat out, we hate the idea of waiting for hours to eat because everyone else has to do it that day too. If that sounds lazy, it gets worse once you are married. Utah County (where we live) is a dating...er...I mean college town. Its super important for the college crowd, particularly the pre-engagement portion, to celebrate VD (that sounds like something else but I am getting tired of writing out Valentine's Day so get used to it for the rest of this post). For so many of them, VD doubles as DTR day and so they have to do everything they can to make it great. When you are married, there are other days that just have more meaning, like your anniversary, day you got engaged, even birthdays mean more than VD. So, it is kind of nice to leave VD behind, and just pick it back up when I get to start helping my kids prepare cards and candy for their school friends.
VD changed forever for me 5 years ago though. I am pretty sure it was a Monday. I woke up feeling sick. I was just dragging and instead of going right from the bed to the shower I went downstairs and started munching on saltines. I bet you get where this is going. I should have too. We had decided about a month earlier that maybe we should start trying to have a baby. I assumed the trying part would be a 6 month to 1 year process so I just wasn't thinking that was the problem. I finally did get going in to work, bringing my crackers in with me. My co-worker Suzy saw me nibbling on crackers and as we were doing our morning talk/weekend catch-up, I told her how I was feeling. She casually asked if I could be pregnant. I immediately told her no but the question made a sort of alarm go off in my head and I just knew right then that I was pregnant. At lunch I went over to Target thinking I might try to find some kind of VD gift for Bryce. I had no idea what to do or what the expectation was so I wandered around the X-Box games but I just couldn't get the pregnancy thing out of my head. I wanted to know so bad. I left the store with a couple of tests and some random item I can't even remember now, you know, so I wouldn't be the weird girl buying just pregnancy tests. So what to do now? I couldn't wait to take one, but our house was in PG several miles north of my office in Provo. I couldn't do it at work of course. I thought momentarily about using the Target restroom, but that was a bit too "Where the Heart is" for me. I drove to my mom's house in Orem. There was no one home but the door was open and I ran in and took the test. The box says something about waiting two minutes for results, but I watched as that plus sign instantly and glaringly appeared. I was shocked and shaking. I really think I felt similar to how teenagers feel when faced with this. I was 24 years old, but I never REALLY thought I would be a mom, let alone have that just 9 months away. We had only been married 5 months. It was just unbelievable. I gathered my "things" and got in my car, still shaking, heading back towards work. I started to relax, get happy about it, and then cry. I had to tell someone. I called Bryce. I told him I had a VD gift for him and that I wanted to bring it buy his office. He said he was going into a meeting and would be there probably the rest of the day. I told him I would just wait until we were at home later. I hung up my phone and I think I screamed! My mind was just racing trying to process all of this. I went back to my office and tried my best to work but it was soo hard to focus. I wondered if my co-workers already knew somehow. My thoughts were so loud I felt like everyone could hear them and my shaking, lack of focus, and massive grin were betraying me. I made it through the day by avoiding everyone I possibly could!
I don't remember the details of the rest of the day as well. I think after things sink in those feelings are less tangible and the memories fade. I remember giving Bryce the positive test that night and saying Happy Valentines Day as I handed it to him. I remember him jumping off the couch and lifting me in the air. I remember feeling amazing. Sharing the news with him was the first glimpse of a feeling I ever had of being a parent. It wasn't just us anymore. We had started a family and there was no turning back.
The months to follow were some of the most challenging of our lives, and something I never would have expected. About 6 months after VD, Maeve Lillian was born and what followed was the best 5 months of my life.
I can't remember what day I found out I was having Isaac, or the day I found out about this one. Maybe I wouldn't have remembered Maeve if it hadn't been on VD. But it has caused every VD since to have a different kind of meaning. It is the day that I found out I would be a mother, and in a way, the day we became a family. That day changed everything. We still don't celebrate or anything. I make Bryce his favorite desert and give him a VD card. There is no going out or anything which I still prefer. But now and forever the day will always remind me of the greatest blessings I have.