With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to give my husband a gift this year that was a little different from the usual “I love you” accompanied by a card.
I decided that for the two weeks leading up to the big day, I would do special things to show him how I feel.
Inspired Note: If you are looking for just one good idea for February 14th, I hope that you find something here that will let your significant other know just how much you care, too.
Taking into account that my actions would need to be out of the ordinary for him to even notice, these are some of the ideas that I came up with to say, “I love you,” without using words.
* Day One – Friday – A Night In
With a late night arrival home planned, I will have fresh sheets on the bed, his favorite homemade cookies and drink on the nightstand, the newest must-see movie on pause, and his pajamas laying across the bed, with his slippers on the floor.
The bedroom will be dimly lit, the dog will have already be taken out for the night and the kids will be upstairs in their rooms.
* Day Two – Saturday – A Lazy Day in Bed
Since he has hard a long, hard week, I will treat him to a day in bed watching a TV series marathon of his favorite show and playing our all time-favorite card games. I will prep for this day by pre-planning a place for the kids to go and getting them packed the night before. I will also have either rented or gathered the various seasons of the series from our collection and found a deck of cards.
The day will start early with me shuffling the kids off for the next 24 hours, followed by breakfast in bed. Then we will spend the day and night watching TV, playing card games, and eating pizza in the comfort and peace of our own bedroom.
Inspired Note: The beauty of this plan is that when I get bored, I can sneak away since the special treat is not actually for me and he probably won’t even notice.
* Day Three – Sunday – The Great Outdoors
With much rest behind him, I will send him out for a day of playing with the guys. I can pre-plan an outdoor activity for the group, anything from riding motorcycles or ATVs to fishing. All I have to do is reserve the time and place, stock a cooler with their favorite drinks and hearty lunches, and off they go.
* Day Four – Monday – Start the Week Off Right
As soon as he gets home from work, I can get his keys from him and take his car to get an oil change and service, run it through the car wash and fill it up with gas. By taking the kids with me, they can get some homework done while we wait and it will give him an unexpected break when he walks in the door.
* Day Five – Tuesday – Organize his Dark Dungeon of a Closet
Once the kids are off to school, I can start cleaning and organizing his closet.
In the past, he has liked it when I:
– wash clothes that are in the hamper or on the floor,
– put up clean clothes,
– transfer his dry cleaning to the plastic hangers,
– gather the dry cleaning that needs to go out (along with the wire hangers that are recycled),
– organize his hanging clothes by work shirts, golf/weekend shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, pants, jeans and outdoor clothes (home improvement projects and yard work),
– give his work shoes a shine,
– wash his tennis shoes,
– organize his ties and belts,
– sew on missing buttons,
– spritz wrinkled shirts with water, throw them in the dryer for 20 minutes, then quickly put them on hangers and back in the closet,
– refold any items that are out-of-place on the shelves,
– throw out empty boxes, dry cleaning tags, receipts and other trash,
– empty out his suitcases and nest them inside each other,
– start a bag of items to donate to charity, and
– vacuum and dust.
But the most important thing I can personally do is get my stuff out of his space.
* Day Six – Wednesday – Quiet Dinner of His Favorite Dishes
I can make this dinner special by cooking a couple of his favorite dishes in the following categories – appetizers (2), entrée (1-2) with sides (2), dessert (1) and a couple of variations of his favorite drink. These dishes do not have to complement each other, they just have to be his favorites. For a little extra bonus, I will get the kids on their homework upstairs with explicit instructions to get ready for bed once they are done.
* Day Seven – Thursday – Play a Game of One-on-One
After a quick dinner, I can grab the basketball and challenge my husband to a few games of one-on-one on our new basketball goal that until now has sat untouched. Then we can cool down by taking a walk around the neighborhood, enjoying the milder spring-like weather.
* Day Eight – Friday – Finish a Looming Project
One of the most frustrating things for my husband is when he is elbow deep in a project, but then he runs out of time on the weekend to finish it. Coming home exhausted every day from work and seeing that looming responsibility just adds to his stress.
Therefore, I can pick up where he left off on one of his easier, yet more visible, projects and surprise him with the stunning results. This can be anything from putting a second coat of paint on the walls to re-caulking the bathtubs to cleaning grout between floor tiles or even sanding, priming or painting the new cabinet that he made.
One thing I have learned over the years is that many of these projects do not require a special skill; they just aren’t what I consider to be fun.
* Day Nine – Saturday – Guy’s Day or Night Out
Another fun way to let my husband know that I respect his need to go out with the guys is to get them tickets to a concert, sporting event or just to see a live band at a local club. I can talk to the other wives to help decide what would be the most fun activity for their group.
I should also check into other available perks, such as back-stage passes, tour of the ballpark, reservations at a nearby dining hot-spot, or setting them up for a great tailgating experience.
* Day Ten – Sunday – Game Day Festivities
While I might not always sit down to watch the game with him, I absolutely enjoy watching them on the flat screen at our local restaurant. With this idea in mind, I decided to plan a day of pub-hopping on game day.
We can play pool and darts, while sampling a variety of beers, eating nachos and wings, and cheering on our favorite teams all day long.
Inspired Note: For that little extra surprise, we can take a fun picture of the two of us at each place, then make a collage and frame it.
* Day Eleven – Monday – Clean Out the Garage
While this chore could potentially be a weekend long project, there is a way to get quick results over the course of a single day. With a bit of pre-planning, this is how I was able to carry out this feat in the past.
Inspired Note: If you take this on, your goal for the day should be realistic. The chances of a really messy garage getting completely organized and cleaned up in a day are relatively small; therefore, focus on moving large items out first.
Pre-planning should include:
– donation pick up from a non-profit organization,
– having a truck on site for an end-of-day run to the dump,
– getting friends to pick up any items that they want prior to cleaning day,
– trading-off car pooling responsibilities for the kid’s extracurricular activities,
– purchasing storage systems and bins, and
– hiring an extra set of hands to help with the heavy lifting.
Cleaning day tasks include:
– piling up donations on the driveway for quick loading,
– throwing trash in the truck for a run to the dump,
– installation of storage racks,
– grouping like items to be stored in labeled bins, and
– sweeping out the remaining dust and debris.
Inspired Note: Make sure to take pictures and keep a running list of the items you are donating for tax purposes.
If you were successful with opening up some space, see if it is possible to get his car in the garage when he arrives home.
While this day runs fast and furious, the amount of “discussion” over what to do with each item will be minimal if you hire an extra set of hands instead of using your spouse’s, thus making you infinitely more productive.
* Day Twelve – Tuesday – Night of Friendly Competition
Needing a break myself from day 11’s activities, I can rent a couple of video games and challenge my husband to a friendly, no-thought required, taking us back to yester-year competition.
* Day Thirteen – Wednesday – Yard Maintenance for a Beautiful Spring
While still enjoying the high from everything that I will have accomplished on Monday, I can suit up in my grungy outdoor clothes and get to work prepping the yard for a beautiful spring.
Some of today’s activities can include:
– edging the yard,
– weed eating around beds,
– de-weeding flower beds,
– mowing the yard and bagging the clippings,
– spreading pest control on the lawn,
– spraying weeds in the yard (which are immensely more visible in the dormant grass),
– treating ant beds, and
– picking up after pets.
* Day Fourteen – Valentine’s Day – Big Kiss
With all the activities that I will have completed over the last two weeks, my husband will understand that I love, respect, and appreciate him and the effort he puts forth at the office and at home.
Early on Valentine’s Day morning, I will roll over and just give him a big kiss.
My actions have done all the talking.
Here’s to another Inspired Minute!