Look at us. Three years younger. Three years skinnier. Sigh. Tracie has naturally become three years exponentially more beautiful. (At least) And we both have become three years happier.
I was looking at pictures stored in my email, when I came across these. They were taken, as you surmised, on Valentine's Day, 2005. No, this is not my post for Valentine's Day. We'll be flying to Texas that day, so we're having our Valentine's this Saturday. More on that at a later date. Think of this as a snippet of "The Tracie and Austin Story" as told through Austin.
In this picture, (taken at Uncle Craig's house, where I was living at the time) we had been officially dating for a month and ten days. (We became "official" on January 4). I was developing love, she was developing like. (:)) As those who have read her blog know, it took Tracie a little while longer than I did to know what a beautiful perfect wonderful exciting eternal etc. thing we had going. She knows now.
So, being the smitten-with-an-amazing-new-girlfriend boyfriend I was, I planned a great Valentine's. The plan was to take her on a scavenger hunt, to 12 places already significant to us. (I don't remember the complete list. Places like our first date, our first kiss, our second kiss, where we met, etc.) at each location was a rose with a bit of poetry, talking about the specialness of the place, and a clue to where the next rose was. At the end of the hunt was going to be a NEW memory, somewhere in the canyon where i would build a fire and we would roast hot dogs and cuddle, etc. (I had also received a haircut that day, to enhance my natural cuteness).
But, as we know, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. (Especially the plans of mice. What mouse plans more than "get the cheese, try not to die. Get the cheese try not to--" -*SNAP!*-) First of all, the flowers I brilliantly bought for her (roses, of course) had wilted. I suppose I should back up a bit, and say that I had the clever idea to buy my girlfriend roses a week before the big V-Day, thus ensuring I wouldn't have to pay the price of a decked-out 2005 Cadillac Escalade for 12 murdered flowers. So, I left them in the refrigerator, where they of course were quite content to live among the milk, vegetables, and that tupperware of food I wouldn't dare eat but couldn't throw out. Until, the day before Valentine's, they decided they'd grown quite cold, and decided to freeze and die. I don't remember why I didn't do it, but my terrific cousin Carissa drove me down to Provo where I finally found someone selling roses. Of course they were crappy roses, and I sadly said goodbye to my children's college fund, and bought Tracie a dozen. I decided to use the crummy frozen flowers as the ones at the drop off points, and would have the beautiful, healthy (albeit crappy and expensive) dozen waiting for her at our destination. Well, while depositing the roses at their hiding spots, some at Tracie's parents house, one at Olive Garden, one at Orem High School, it started raining. It didn't stop raining.
So, I improvised. I took Tracie on the scavenger hunt, we stopped at about 8 of the stops, and ended at Uncle Craig's house. I built a fire, and we microwaved the hot dogs, accompanied with some chocolate and Martinelli's.
I knew from her reaction at our less than perfect evening (she was graceful, fun and hilarious) that things would all work out, even if dang old mother nature got in the way. (Also, the fact that she made me breakfast with pink heart pancakes, and a candygram (no one's ever made a candy gram for me!) helped too.)
I've held a long belief, forged by sad experience, that Valentine's Day is of the devil. But, after sharing one with Tracie (and ever since) I think St. Valentine knew his stuff after all.
I love you, Tracie!