I can't say I have the best track record when it comes to getting Andy amazing gifts for Valentine's Day. In my defense, I think the boys have it easier when it comes to this holiday. Andy seems to get it right every year. Roses, roses, and more roses. How can he go wrong? And this year, he even topped it off with a set of champagne glasses.
Let's recap my Valentine's Day history just a little bit here. In 2010, there was the burnt chocolate cake fiasco; a story that I will never live down, and one that Andy continuously loves to tell. In 2011, I really aimed to do better. At that time, we had a strong routine of having bacon and eggs every Saturday morning for breakfast. I would cook the meal, and Andy would go on and on about how much he loved bacon. Going on that lead, I gave Andy a year's subscription to the bacon of the month club. What I didn't take into account was the timing of that gift as we were just embarking on our 9 month vegetarian streak. I gifted the bacon, and then immediately requested a refund, which then eventually voided my gift. I didn't follow up with anything else that year.
So that brings us to 2012. The 14th arrived much sooner than I would have liked. We celebrated by going to the theatre to watch The Vow, definitely my choice and not Andy's. The movie was followed up with dinner at Rose Angelis. We had dinner at Rose Angelis in 2011 for Valentine's Day and intend to make it a yearly tradition. When it came time for the gift portion of the evening, I had to confess that my gift wasn't ready just quite yet. Like I said, the day arrived sooner than I had anticipated. I did my best to promise Andy that it was something homemade, and that took time, but not to worry, he was going to love it. I have a tendency to build up the "awesomeness" of any gift I give, and usually end up getting more excited to give mine to receive one. Everyone in the Phillips family can attest to this little quirk of mine.
So here we are. It's March 10th, and I'm happy to say that my Valentine's Day present to Andy is officially complete. As I'm sure you all know, Andy completed his first Ironman triathlon race in 2011. It was kind of a big deal. I wanted to do something to commemorate the day, in addition to my awesome video of course, and thought this might be the best way to go. I had seen many online stores and options for getting a professionally framed race bib, picture, and medal package. Those professionally framed pieces also cost about $300, and as much as I love Andy, $300 was a little more money that I wanted to spend on something like this.
So I enlisted Dad's help. We toured Hobby Lobby, and decided on a rather large shadowbox ($20). They also had custom matting there that could be custom cut, to fit the items that you wanted to place in the shadow box ($18). And the word "custom" is key here. Not something that can be done immediately. Something that took time to process and order. So while I waited, I started to lay the framework down for the finished product.
Here is the finished product. When I finally laid everything out, I did decide to have a small plate engraved with Andy's name, race name, and finish time. I was originally going to make my own, but in my test run, it didn't look as sharp as the finished product seen below. But for all of my racing friends that are considering paying the money to have something professionally done, I would highly recommend trying to do it yourself.
So I guess a .333 batting average for Valentine's Day presents isn't all bad.
Me: Happy Valentine's Day. (handing gift over) Do you think you can guess what it is?
Andy: Oh wow. So.....you took my medal?
Andy: Just kidding honey. I love it.