Staying in Love–A Valentine Porch Party

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I decided to interview my husband of 37 years. I wanted to find out how he felt about one of my favorite days of the year.

The Day of Love. 

What better time to talk than during a porch partyEvery morning we get up with the roosters, drink coffee, read Jesus Calling, and pray.

Friday afternoon, I set the stage.

I spruced up the table with ivy, fluffed our red blankets, and put out a new candle.

I made a cake and bought  heart-shaped candy.

I chose a valentine card for him covered in conversation hearts. 

Saturday morning.


I sipped my coffee and carefully posed my question.

“When you were a little boy, didn’t you just love Valentine’s Day?”

He didn’t say a word.

Maybe he didn’t understand the question. 

“After school, I hurried home and dumped out the cards in my Valentine box on my bed.”

No comment.

“I analyzed each one very carefully. I could tell if the sender really liked me by the words on the card. And I loved choosing just the right card for my friends. Didn’t you do that?”

“No. I threw away all the cards that said ‘Be mine’ or ‘I love you’.”

“You never tried to figure out which girls liked you by their cards?”

“No. Never.”

You are the strangest person I’ve ever met.

“Okay. Forget the cards. How did you feel about Valentine’s Day?”

“I hated it. All the pink and white lacy stuff.”

I can’t believe it. 

My husband hates Valentine’s Day. 

Poor Charlie Brown. I could identify with him. If you can’t see the video, click here.

I had one more question, but I was afraid I knew the answer.

“Do you still hate it…now that you’re grown?”

He looked at me and sorta smiled. “Nah. It’s not too bad anymore. I have fun picking out those big, tacky cards for you.” Reaching into the pink dish, he chose a chocolate covered heart.

Then he opened it and handed it to me. 

It was just as good as if he’d said–




Staying in love means you give your heart away–over and over. Click to Tweet.

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Did you look forward to it as a child? Did you analyze your cards like I did?

Any memories or thoughts you want to share?









  1. Monica Morris says:

    I love everything about your blog this morning, Julie! I’ve always been a fan of Valentine’s Day and I love every mushy moment. Your husband sounds a lot like mine – mushy is not his style! I’m not a crafty person, scissors stand up and laugh at me, so the Valentines I loved best when I was a kid were the homemade ones. I still remember one of red construction paper, a white doily pasted in the middle and a cut up picture of a Heidi doll waving at me. One of my favorites. And so are you!! Love your blog, love you!!

    • Monica–you and me and our mushy-less husbands. 🙂

      I can just see your Heidi doll Valentine in my mind.

      Thank you, my friend. And I love your new blog, and you too!

      Big ole Valentine’s hug!

  2. Oh, this made me smile. What a sweet idea! Truly … my smile inched up higher and higher with each question. Boys and girls. Oh, I loved it … and I always tried to figure out who gave me what. I loved making my Valentine holder … big heart with the pocket on the front … made out of construction paper … red. And kids would fill up my heart. 🙂 Oh, my goodness … there’s a message in that. Amen?! xoxo

    • Ohhh, yes, the holders, Shelli.

      You and I are so much alike! And looking back, I probably read a lot into those little cards that was never intended by the sender.

      Yes, big time message in what you just said.

      So much love…and one day, we’re gonna meet and even exchange Valentine’s!

  3. Carm Russell says:

    Other people’s memories like your’s help me to remember it’s still a happy day.

    • So much love, Carm.

      I thought about you when I posted this.

      Praying His love fills your heart in an unexpected way this Valentine’s.


  4. I recently visited my mom and we were going through old photo albums. There were many pages where she had pasted in Valentines she got when she was a child. It was so fun to see the old artwork and fancy handwriting! My mom was an only child, so receiving Valentines from friends and extended family was super special to her. Many aunts and uncles sent her cards year after year. Your blog reminded me of the time when my husband and I hadn’t been married long and I made heart shaped scones. For years when the kids were young he would bring home flowers and candy for them too. Such sweet memories.

    • Ohhh, I love old photos too, Stephanie! I bet you have a beautiful handwriting.

      And heart shaped scones. Is there anything more romantic? You’re right. I just remembered my husband did the same thing for our children when they were little. I always thought it was the sweetest thing. I’d forgotten. Thank you for reminded me.

      Much love to you today.

  5. Julie,

    I love your photos and message. My husband, Tom, is not muchy but he is so romatic. After almost 67 years he still surprises me. We’ve had some rough spots but the care he takes to surprise me on Valentine Day, other special days and just because I love you days.

    I don’t think the Valentine cards from my elementary school days meant much at the time. The relationships of all the other days of the year are strongest in my mind and hold the most memories for me.

    • Judy. 67 years. I’d love to meet y’all! Wow!!! How beautiful is that–67 years together. And he’s still tender.

      I’m sure I was just overboard with my Valentine’s cards way back then, analyzing them to death.

      Thank you so much for sharing your VDay thoughts!

      Tell Tom I said hi. 🙂

  6. Carm Russell says:

    I don’t expect He will fail me! He has always been with me. Wait till you see my
    post for Friday. It’s almost a “His Mysterious Ways” story. I sent you an Instagram message with a bit more. Hugs to you!

  7. Julie Gilleand says:

    I always loved picking out the kind of Valentines Day cards I would fill out and exchange at school and loved each and every one I received too. I got to relive it through my kids when they did theirs for school and while mushy is not for them either, they did enjoy the fun of it. I remember, though, having to coax them a little to write some out even for kids (especially girls) in their classes who they didn’t like very much. The rule was to give everyone in the class a card, so that no one would feel left out. I think they liked best the ones that came with a treat though! My favorite V-day memory, though, is when Rod and I were in our first marriage to each other and just for fun we both decided to get perms — together — at the same place and time, lol. Well, I had long hair so mine did alright, but his being must shorter, well he ended up looking like he had an afro, lol. I actually thought he looked like Mr. Kotter with his mustache and all!! We had the nerve, even so, to go out to dinner that night and show ourselves! The kids had a good laugh at their weird parents over that! I’ll bet the ladies at the salon did too after we left! Now we’re older and wiser and married a second time and since our new anniversary is 2/11, we just lump together Valentines Day with our anniversary and celebrate both together. By the way, we didn’t choose our anniversary date on purpose to be around the holiday. I liked 2/11 because it was my grandma’s birthday. Rod noticed that 02-11-09 was the same numbers as our original wedding date of 11-02-90! Same #’s just inverted! That’s what sealed the deal for choosing that date.

    Happy Valentines Day, you two!!

    Leafy 🙂

    • marci says:

      Hi Leafy, How observant of Rod to notice the way the numbers fell – same numbers just different order. That is so neat! And romantic! Happy Aniv- tomorrow. Seems like a fun time to have an Aniv. I loved that when we were kids, all the kids in class gave to all the other kids. It’s nice we got to relive some of that when we had kids. I always enjoy your interesting writing, and your shares. 🙂

      • Julie Gilleand says:

        Marci’a, Yes, Rod loves numbers. I do too but I don’t think I would have ever thought of that!

    • LOVE this story about your new ‘dos, Leafy!! Of course, you know I want to see a pic!!! It sound like something that might happen in a romantic comedy. 🙂

      Hope you’re having a wonderful anniversary–heck, why not dress alike and get perms again. Wouldn’t that be fun!

      Maybe it’s a boy thing about not liking Valentine’s Day. I don’t think my son got all mush over it either.

      Y’all have fun.

      So much love~

      • Julie Gilleand says:

        Julie, oh gosh I don’t know if I have a picture of both of us with those do’s. I might — somewhere. Thanks for the Happy Anniversary wishes. He just sent me a vase with flowers to my work as a surprise! I have longed for so long for him to send me flowers. He used to do it during our first marriage, but never this time around. Today was a prayer answered (yes I prayed for something like this!) and dream come true. The vase even had a cross on it. I posted it on Facebook earlier. Such a blessing. Thankful for my guy 🙂

        • Sweet! Sweet ! Sweet! So happy for you~~~~

          Will go to FB right now!

          And if you find any pics, you gotta share them. 🙂


  8. Patricia Martin says:

    Julie, (: I read, analyzed, and kept almost every one of my Valentine’s Day cards! Christmas is my favorite holiday, but I loved Valentine’s Day because of all the candy and treats I got–I try to eat more moderately now–though I do not always achieve it. ): I like Valentine’s Day, though, since we have loved ones that are widows, I do my best to not overly emphasis celebrating romantic love. God gives us the best, most perfect, and satisfying love of all (He really is everything to me), so Valentine’s, to me is not just about romance, but about celebrating all kinds of love. I am so glad that my parents and you and Rick get to enjoy a romantic holiday! Do your mom and Gene celebrate? What are Thomase’s thoughts on the holiday? Will this be his last Valentine’s Day before he and Brittany tie the knot? ((:

    • marci says:

      I love what you said, that Valentine’s is not just about romance, but all kinds of love. As you mentioned there are so many widows, wondering if anyone sends them a card or a flower or candy,etc. I can see how it might be a hard day for them. That gives me something to think about.

    • Patricia. That settles it. We’re sisters! Twins! You and me! You analyzed your cards too.

      Such beautiful thoughts about V-Day. So like God to think about widows and make it about His love. XOXOXO

      All I know about Thomas and Britt is they are planning to marry in Nov. I don’t know a date or place yet. Of course, Thomas doesn’t talk a lot. Surely he’ll let me know!!

      Big Valentine’s Day hugs from your twin sister in GA.

  9. Good post and good idea! I am kinda afraid of what my Joe’s answers might be:) He isn’t real romantic, darn it. I wish he would be but…..after 48 years of marriage it is what it is. I know he loves me so that’s fine. It seems that alot of big holidays end up disappointing since I blow them up in my mind. I have to STOP that:):) Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s!

  10. marci says:

    Valentine’s Day memories. This was so nice. What a great little romantic thing to do, for you and Rick. So sweet. Your questions, I think I probably did like Valentine’s day at school. It was fun getting the little packs of cards and deciding who to give which card. The teacher would make a list of all the kids in class to hand out to everyone, to make sure that everyone got a card from everyone else. I liked that. And we got to have a party. There was always one mother that made the best cupcakes! It was fun seeing what was on the cards and who sent them. Yes, I think we put more stock in the cute saying than a lot of times the sender intended- especially if the sender was a boy! I am not sure what we will do for Valentine’s day. I am not sure Chas will remember.. and like Pinky, we have been married 48 yrs. He does have his moments when he surprises me though, and I am so touched. Glad for what you and Rick have, and I hope when you are married 50 yrs, you will still be having your porch parties. God bless, and as always, thanks for giving me something to think about. Blessings! xoxoxo

    • So sweet, Marci’a.

      I’d never thought about porch parties after 50 years together. Thank you. Every day is something to be grateful for. I’m honored to have you and Pinky comment–after 48 years of marriage, lots of wisdom in those years.

      Your V-Day memories sound so much like mine.

      Big hugs today xoxoxoxoxoxox

  11. How do I FEEL about Valentine’s Day? It’s a day to profess your love. But, really, I try to do that every day so V-Day is no different. But the world makes a big deal out of it, so hubby and I do a little bit too. Like he buys me flowers (which I love) and I make him a steak dinner (which he loves). It’s the little things…nothing big or fancy. Like an unwrapped chocolate heart. ; o )

    • I’m smiling, B.J.

      You’re absolutely right about every day being a day to profess love. Great point–and you ARE that kind of friend.

      It’s not about the price of the gift–at least, not for me. And they always start playing lots of commercials advertising diamonds at V-Day.

      It’s the little things. I so agree, my friend.

  12. Kim says:

    Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday! It is such a simple, fun day. It holds none of the pressure and busyness that comes with so many of the other holidays.

    I decorate because its fun.

    I bake the cut out sugar cookies that I never have time to make at Christmas.

    I cook a nice home cooked meal because I like to cook, and eat. 🙂 (Beats restaurant crowds every time.)

    I give or send those silly, cheap kid Valentines to siblings, parents, grandparents, girlfriends… Just because. It’s fun!

    I am a simple girl. All I need is a card. Period.

    • Kim, I loved reading this.

      Such a great idea about baking cookies b/c we have more time now than at Christmas. I know you’re friends and family feels The Love!

      Thank you. And you know, my word for 2016 is SIMPLE. 🙂

  13. Marcia says:

    This post really made me smile–all the way around. My husband would respond in the exact way. In fact, when I asked him, he has no memories of childhood valentines. His response, I’ve slept alot since then:-) He is a great guy and shows his love in the ways that may be small to others, but huge to me. I grew up in a family where Mom made a big deal of the day. There again, not huge, but very special. We ate by candlelight as a family with a table set with the “Sunday dishes”, a lace tablecloth and a meal that was thought out–not luxurious– there were six hungry kids to feed. The centerpiece was an arrangement of six small wrapped gifts. Mom always planned the meal around a homemade dessert. She made the best pies, so perhaps it was pie and after indulging, we would open the gifts one at a time. I had forgotten this memory, but writing it has filled my heart with a smile. You see, Mom is no longer with me for me to recall this memory and say thank you, but I know she would be pleased that I can now say, “Thank you, you were a good mother to me.

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Marci’a—

      This is so precious. You have such a grateful heart.

      I can just see this scene in my mind. Such a beautiful way to honor your mother. So much love. Makes me wish I could go back and have my children little again….

      Thank you. Thank you.

  14. Anna Haney says:

    I am a day late. Sorry.
    Valentine’s Day, even all those years when I was single, never really bothered me. When I was a kid, what bothered me the most was the stress of having to create a Valentine’s Box for school. Mine was usually sloppily covered with tin foil. For years I would send cards to lots of folks—ladies at church, my friends, kids of my friends, relatives. I would read the romantic cards and pray that one day I would have one like that sent to me.
    As a teacher, I had a love/hate relationship with the holiday. The kids were keyed up all day and in many instances, we’d end up with a snow day on the day the Valentine’s Party was scheduled.
    The best Valentine’s Day I had was the year we got engaged. Don came to my house and brought me maybe a box of chocolates. He said that this day honored romantic love, but Jesus had given us the best example of love and he and I were so blessed in that we knew the love of Jesus, we had friendship love, and now we had romantic love. I cried. That Sunday, I was the lay speaker at church and even mentioned that speech when I gave the offertory prayer,
    I used to hear people say that they loved someone even more after so many years together. At the time, I had no earthly idea how that was possible. Now, however, I understand.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you, dear friend.

    • This is just beautiful, Anna. As soon as I got to the Valentine Box, I was smiling all over. My MIL always made my childrens’ V-Boxes b/c I have to try reaaaaaaaly hard with arts and crafts. So, I get it.

      I never thought of all of this from a teacher’s POV. And I’m sure children with hurt feelings and upset if they didn’t get a card from someone would make the day rather difficult.

      What you said about Don…my word, If this isn’t the most romantic thing in the world?!!!!! Ohhhhh, wow–sounds like it belongs in a movie–the good kind, full of heart.

      Thank you for sharing, and tell him your friend in GA is cheering!!!!!

  15. Like Anna, I really remember the task of designing and creating a box for the valentines, much more than the actual valentines themselves. It truly was a bit stressful in that we didn’t have a lot in the way of supplies so I had to be creative in my use of whatever I could get to work. Tinfoil was something I used a lot too! I do recall carefully reading the words and deciding who got which one. This year our oldest son has asked me to take him shopping for his girl friend for Valentine’s Day- I’m excited to see what he decides this Day should be about!

    Much love to you!! My own Rick would be very much like your Rick- but they still find ways to share their love with us, don’t they? Love you, Julie, so very much!

    • Vicky, such sweet times–going with Nolan for V-Day shopping. I remember doing that once with our son. Such a beautiful memory.

      Absolutely. Our Rick’s have different love languages than we do, but their love shines through, nevertheless!

      <3 <3 <3

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