Day 95: Surprise Dessert

January 3, 2012

On Sunday, we celebrated New Year’s by eating at Chili’s. After we finished our food, I excused myself from the table, approached the hostess, and asked her for a pen and paper. When she gave me them, I wrote this on the paper: “Just because I love you. –Chauncey” (Let “Chauncey” be my alias for the blog. Let’s call you “Francine.”) Then, I approached our server with the note and asked her to bring us the brownie and ice cream dessert with my note placed on the side.

When I returned to my seat, you asked me what I did. I shrugged my shoulders. You jokingly whispered, “You got up just to flirt with the server then?” I whispered in response, “That depends on which server you’re talking about.” (I know—those are terrible jokes.) Then you said, “Seriously, what were you up to?” I laughed nervously and my face turned red. The server honestly took 10 minutes to bring out that dessert and you grilled me the entire time. I nearly gave up the surprise to make you stop.

When our dessert finally arrived, you said, “Oh, Chauncey! You did this for me?! Look girls, dad bought us a dessert just because he loves us!” As you girls were eating the dessert, I asked if I could have some. You said, “Oh, did you buy this because you love yourself?” I said, “Didn’t you read the note? It says ‘Just because I love you, Chauncey.’” You laughed as you handed me a spoon.

When we got into the car, you leaned over to me and whispered in my ear, “I’m happy out of my tree that you did that for me, but I’m happier that you’re teaching our girls how guys should treat them.” As you said this, I reached around you and tapped you on the head with the book I was holding (yes, I see the irony in that). You grabbed the book from me, smacked me on the head (notice the lack of proportionality in your response), and said, “Are you ever serious? . . . Really, though, thanks for the dessert.” You’re welcome, Francine.


Day 85: Family Day

December 23, 2011

You hate hiking with a passion. But when we were dating, you gave hiking a shot for me. I took you to a waterfall, which was at the end of 3 miles of uphill walking. Although you hated the walk, you loved the waterfall and the flowers I picked for you along the way. After that experience, you told me you would never go hiking again. We’ve hiked many times since!

Yesterday, I decided to work through the evening so I could take our family out on a hike during the day. How is this an act of love, since you hate hiking? Well, I picked an easy trail (or so I thought) with a cool destination: the ruins of an abandoned castle. Everyone, including you, was excited about doing this and happy that I took the morning/afternoon off of work. In fact, maybe I should clarify: you don’t hate hiking altogether, just the tough hikes; you even like hiking when it’s easy.

I unknowingly took us to the wrong trailhead, so we ended up hiking two hours up switchbacks with 3 kids under 5 and without finding the castle. I carried one or both of our older kids most of the time and you carried our youngest the entire time. We kept thinking that the castle would be over the next hill, but we were always disappointed.

Finally, we stopped for a snack at the top of one of the hills and enjoyed a tremendous view. Some bikers stopped to talk with us, so I asked them about the castle. One of them said we had 1.5 miles to go as he pointed to the top of a ridge in the distance. I asked him if there was an easier way. He said, “Yeah, you can drive to it” (!). Then he clarified by saying that you can park within a 10-minute walk of the castle. That must’ve been the place I thought we were going.

So, we hiked to our car, then drove to the other trailhead. We walked literally five minutes on a dirt road to get to the castle. The castle was awesome! Our girls had a great time climbing on walls, walking in fireplaces, and talking about what kind of princess used to live there.

To reward everyone for being so great even though our hike turned out to be tough, I took us all to Chili’s (which served a double purpose because we made it our oldest’s birthday dinner).

I wish I could take you out on a hike alone (and I will someday), but such is our station in life. We don’t mind so much, though, because we love spending time with our kids.

PS: I just talked to you about our hike. You said you had a blast.