I love love. I can't help myself. Love it. Please sign out now if a couple short paragraphs of chocolate-covered amore will inspire nausea or homicidal tendencies. We won't judge. In fact, I imagine some of my sisters have already excused themselves...

I'm sure the reason I think love is so perfectly grand is that I have such an inspiring partner in affection. In addition to being my husband, Mr. One is: handsome, brainy, witty, kind, determined, competent, my first real boyfriend and the only man I've ever truly loved. He utterly and completely swept me off my feet when I was 17, and set such a high bar for romance, that in eight Valentine's Days that passed between our first kiss and our wedding, the only person to ever out-do him was himself. So, today's post goes out to the Prince of My Heart, the Love of My Life, the inimitable Monsieur Un.
Top 5 Valentine Memories
(in chronological order)

1. 1998 -- (Yes, I met my husband in the 90's. I know. We're old.) Mr. One orchestrated a magical treasure hunt around campus. Throughout the day, he hid cryptic clues and beautiful flowers in portentous places, like the spot where my parents met and the scene of our inaugural smooch. I must have been completely head-over-heels, because somehow by the end of the night, I was convinced he could cook.

2. 2001 -- I flew from grad school in England for a dreamy visit in Chicago. Love is absolutely the only thing that could possibly inspire an otherwise sane person to a) visit Chicago in February, and, b) sincerely believe that it was the Best Trip Ever. Considering how much time we spent talking on the phone that year, the visit probably saved us some money, too...

3. 2004 -- I watched my grandfather officiate at the wedding of a dear family friend outside the Conservatory at Golden Gate Park. Her beautiful ceremony inspired my own romantic eureka!
i.e., "Maybe the reason you haven't fallen for any of the terribly fall-worthy fellas you're dating is that your heart is, as ever, otherwise occupied." Duh!

4. 2006 -- New York City. Our first V-Day as Mr. & Mrs.

5. 2010 -- Mr. One surprised me with a perfect replica of the spendy bed I'd been drooling over, made with his own two hands in our friend's basement.

I understand that Valentine's Day is a silly holiday. And I am well aware that Mr. One is both a Republican and pathologically unable to put his socks in the hamper. But man, can that man rise to a romantical occasion. And what a lucky girl I am for yet another reminder of just what a lucky girl I am.