We could really back it up all the way to November, when Flar agreed to attend the United Marriage class with me. During the class, G & M warned us that moving away from Distance to Intimacy would require moving through Conflict. We learned a lot about how each other ticks; we learned a lot about how each of us falls short, and even saw some glimmers of light about things we're occasionally getting right. We've had a lot of tears together and apart since we started this process.
In December, Flar broke up with Gaucha.
At the end of January, Flar restored contact with Gaucha, hopeful of reconciliation or closure.
At the beginning of February, Flar's company was finally given the loan approval necessary to move forward on a pivotal commercial development project. This was an answer to prayer, and there is still lots of prayer needed for the courage of the investors to follow through on their initial willingness to invest in this project.
Flar is hopeful that he will be going to Barcelona (where Gaucha is currently following a path that led to the ultimate disagreement with Flar) very soon.
I have started attending Revive, at The Mat, for wives of husbands who struggle with issues of sexual integrity.
That brings us to last weekend, when we agreed that I would be in charge of Flar's 50th birthday celebration, and he would be in charge of Valentine's. We entered the week on a very tight budget, working together on Sunday to figure out how to make the checkbook stretch until payday on Friday. I managed to throw together a nice birthday party at home, with yummy food from the Kidney Diet cookbooks and a delicious Inside-out Bourbon Ball cake. I scrabbled together a gift budget mostly out of my work money, and leaning only a little bit on the ever-stressed credit cards. We had Ro and Knight and Scarlett and Bébé and Vincedaddy over. Dinner and cake were delicious. After dinner, Flar opened presents: books, DVDs, an HDTV antenna, a decorative iPod dock, and a 50th anniversary Barbie doll. We watched House Bunny before a late bedtime.
Yesterday, I left the house right aroung 7:30 with Tigger, to go to the Quad C chess tournament, held in the north part of Lexington. We were there until just after 5, giving Flar plenty of time to do whatever he had in mind for the day. At one point in the afternoon, Flar called to see if we could make sure not to be home before 6. Tigger used up all his chess thinking in the first game, against an opponent whose rating is twice Tigger's. He almost managed to flag his opponent, whose clock had only 1:29 remaining at checkmate. TIgger only won 1.5 points, but his team once again took first place. They will be playing in the State four boards.
When we got home, Flar was sitting at the (clean -- not like I left it) kitchen table, and there was something baking in the oven. Tigger headed upstairs for bed - he was bushed. I joined Flar in the kitchen, where he had set out wine and brie. There was french bread baking in the oven. And Flar had iced down two bottles of Diet Dr. Pepper for me. :)
That was our appetizer. The next course (the most scary to me, picky eater that I am) was zucchini and parsley soup, served cold. It turned out to be quite delicious. After the soup course, the main course was bacon wrapped filet mignon with a red wine and portobello mushroom reduction sauce, asparagus, and Brennan's scalloped potatoes. Everything was prepared perfectly, and it was all delicious. I drank a little too much wine, because it was quite yummy, and we both decided that dessert would have to wait a bit.
After dinner, I put away leftovers while Flar prepared the bedroom. When I walked in, the room was covered with 30 red balloons and red streamers falling from the chandelier all over the room. He had lit a fire in the fireplace, and a rose scented candle on my bedside table. There was a card on my pillow, and 30 pieces of Almond Roca scattered over the bed. This was our 30th Valentine's Day together. In the card, Flar wrote that we are perfect together. I honestly can't remember the last time he wrote something so positive in a card, it was beautiful.
And the miracle was laying in the middle of the bed. Mom gave Flar a copy of Fireproof for his birthday. I've bought a copy of The Love Dare, and I told Flar my thoughts about watching the movie together, and then reading and following the book together. I would never ever have guessed that Flar would include the movie as part of HIS valentine's day plans!
We laughed, I cried (did I hear him sniffle?) and he averred that it was somewhat predictable. But we both stayed awake, and we shared the Almond Roca, and we snuggled for bed.
This morning, we got extra snuggle time before I left for church, because we had planned for Flar to go to the 11:55 service with me. That meant I could leave for church just in time for serving during the 10:22. He met me at the nursery door at 11:50, and we attended the rocking out message of love.
In all, an amazing, romantic, loving weekend.
I am loved.