Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s the night before another Valentine’s Day at the English Garden. This year, it’s a rollercoaster ride of ice, snow, adrenaline and strategic delivery plans. It’s my 8th V-Day as the owner of my own florist. My first 33 Valentines were spent in my parents’ flower shop. I’d like to say that I’ve come to my senses and am now writing my great American novel from a tropical beach somewhere, but no, I’m still burning the midnight oil in the family industry. But after all these years around roses and balloons and teddy bears, I can say that one thing has changed- my appreciation of just what a Valentine is.Growing up in a florist, Valentine’s always meant long days with little sleep and lots and lots of roses. Flowers were the family biz and it took all hands on deck to ensure a successful holiday. Aside from de-thorning roses and tying countless bows, Valentine’s Day held little meaning for me, as my family, for religious reasons, didn’t celebrate it or any other traditional holidays. I didn’t grow up exchanging Charlie’s Angels and Scooby Doo Valentine cards with classmates or wishing that the cute boy in class would give me a box of sweetheart candy or maybe if I was really lucky- a rose in a budvase.

Of course now at 41 years of age, I’ve celebrated quite a few Valentine’s since my first one at age 18 when my college boyfriend Andrew gave me a teddy bear and a beautiful bouquet of roses from OuiBits Flower Shop (where I worked when not attending classes.) Each one has been special and sweet and the holiday has grown in meaning each and every year. So restless after a 16 hour day at the florist and wide awake from the anxiety of hoping that every order delivered tomorrow is perfectly executed and joyfully received, I’m sitting with my laptop and a very conservative pour of scotch thinking about what Valentine’s at the midpoint of my life means to me. I might not have arrived at the perfect definition, but I think it’s a start.

A Valentine Is……

 

Having a perpetual ray of sunshine in your life like my amazing Vivienne

Having a perpetual ray of sunshine in your life like my amazing Vivienne

Having a real firecracker for a Mom

Having a real firecracker for a Mom

The people in your life who help you get your groove on

The people in your life who help you get your groove on

 

Finding an ally who can be your greatest cheerleader and your truest critic and do both with honesty & love.

Finding an ally who can be your greatest cheerleader and your truest critic and do both with honesty & love.

That pal that thinks you look smashing with a chocolate moustache.

That pal that thinks you look smashing with a chocolate moustache.

 

Friends who are blond & dangerous

Friends who are blond & dangerous

 

A daughter so incredible that you wish you had more than one life time to spend with her

A daughter so incredible that you wish you had more than one life time to spend with her

Building a successful company that feels more like a family than a business

Building a successful company that feels more like a family than a business

A friend who calls you Rita just because you like it

A friend who calls you Rita just because you like it

Knowing that adorable couple who help you know the meaning of "smitten"

Knowing that adorable couple who help you know the meaning of “smitten”

Celebrating winter's last hurrah (we hope) with fellow snowbunnies

Celebrating winter’s last hurrah (we hope) with fellow snowbunnies

That member of your team who selflessly shares her talent & on occasion her perfectly cooked lunch.

That member of your team who selflessly shares her talent & on occasion her perfectly cooked lunch.

People who find common ground and friendship over a perfect slice of cheesecake

People who find common ground and friendship over a perfect slice of cheesecake

 

Finding that friend who helps you build the perfect playlist.

Finding that friend who helps you build the perfect playlist.

That member of your team who never misses a detail.

That member of your team who never misses a detail.

Furry pals whose only requirement for undying love is bacon

Furry pals whose only requirement for undying love is bacon

Someone to play dress up with

Someone to play dress up with

 

A girlfriend who is worse at holding her liquor than  you are

A girlfriend who is worse at holding her liquor than you are

Finding colleagues that you want to break bread & do business with.

Breaking bread and doing business with people you both like and trust

 

A colleague, running buddy, fellow mom who challenges you to be better at everything you do

A colleague, running buddy, fellow mom who challenges you to be better at everything you do

Girlfriends who make you feel hip

Girlfriends who make you feel hip

 

A buddy who prefers a trip to the pumpkin patch over the spa.

A buddy who prefers a trip to the pumpkin patch over the spa.

 

Loved ones who make you feel on top of the world even when you're not looking out at Paris from a ferris wheel

Loved ones who make you feel on top of the world even when you’re not looking out at Paris from a ferris wheel

An amazing Dad who isn't afraid to get in touch with his inner Taylor Swift.

An amazing Dad who isn’t afraid to get in touch with his inner Taylor Swift.

 

A sister who makes you look beyond the horizon to see the world for all that it can be.

A sister who makes you look beyond the horizon to see the world for all that it can be.

Friends who help you discover your inner cowgirl.

Friends who help you discover your inner cowgirl.

 

That buddy who can change a tire, nail a board and always come to your rescue

That buddy who can change a tire, nail a board and always come to your rescue

A superwoman friend who drags you to her 5:30 am cycling class and then meets you for dinner & drinks the very same evening.

A superwoman friend who drags you to her 5:30 am cycling class and then meets you for dinner & drinks the very same evening.