I forgot to tell Judge I had to be at the JOLLE conference until 8 PM on Friday. Oooops. I always forget every year how seriously Judge takes Valentines. Last minute, he canceled his reservation at Capitol Grille and told me we would just cook dinner at the house or grab a bite in Athens. I was kinda bummed that he had planned so far in advance & I let him down.
So, I wasn’t expecting much when I left the Georgia Hotel, but he scooped me up and whisked me away to Atlanta anyway. He gave me directions to where we were going. He lied and told me I had “been there before.” It was thrilling to have zero clue where we were going to end up. I’m a control freak, but I really do love when I CANNOT be in control.
The whole way down 316 we listened to a CD Judge burned for me on the day he asked me out in November of 2010. The night Judge asked me on that date, I immediately left to drive to the Atlanta airport to pick up my older sister for Thanksgiving. I vividly remember driving down 316 listening to Judge’s “Soul CD” in complete shock of what happened on that faithful night. I listened to Hillsong’s “With Everything” over and over. “Let hope rise, and darkness tremble in your holy light…” And was filled with a growing hope of Judge & my life together.
Friday, I watched Judge belt out a song to that same CD as he fought back his tears of gratefulness.
How did the Lord find a man this soulful for me to love? I mean, he was belting out the song to Moulin Rouge like he was on Broadway. My little secret musical junky. I couldn’t have felt more blessed & loved in that moment.
Finally, we arrived for a 10:00 PM reservation at a SEAFOOD place on a RIVER. These are two of my favorite things. Uh, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The venue looked like it was made out of my dreams. We enjoyed a YUMMY dinner at Canoe in Vinnings. We had crab-cakes for appetizers, and crab has never tasted so good. For the main entree I enjoyed pork chops & sweet potatoes and Judge ate pheasant. We had no room left for dessert!
I’m sad we forgot to take pictures that night, because if I may say so, we looked damn good. Judge dressed up in clothes I bought him for Christmas. Can I just tell you ladies, he was wearing cranberry pants, a cashmere beige sweater, creame suede shoes and a button down under that. I couldn’t keep my hands off him;)
Good thing I put on a dress for my “chill night out in Athens.” All the Atlanta ladies were decked out in tight lace black dresses and heals. My indigo lace dress fit the occasion, but I am not so sure about my cowboy boots & leg warmers!
I grabbed these pictures off Canoe’s website.,We sat in that corner booth in the bottom left corner. I felt like a princess the whole time. I cant wait to go back to Canoe when I return from Oxford and eat outside on the water.
Judge is well worth the wait & many Valentine’s Days alone for 22 years. I am glad I fell in love with a beardless man who wasn’t the most suave or charming and who admittedly use to wear sweatpants everyday and had puffy hair. Despite his goofy-appearance, I knew he was
It didn’t take me long into the relationship to throw out the Hollister shirt and K-Swiss sneakers. I bought him nicer, more-fitted clothes at Banana Republic. I accidentally lost his big gold chain & cross necklace:)
I fell in love with Judge’s HEART and character first, but when I looked across the table at him on Friday night I saw the most attractive, well-dressed man in Atlanta. That’s just the icing on the cake.
On Saturday, Judge came to part of the “Literacy for Social Justice” conference with me and met some other people who are passionate about STORIES. He even participated in writing some spontaneous poetry with me under Paul Ayo’s leadership. I loved my Science-guy response to the conference, “I never met so many humans who care so much about other humans being more human.”
I just love the man. He always gently leads me back to who I am and reminds me of the way God made me to be most ALIVE.
The sun-sets on a restful & perfect Valentine’s weekend. Till February 14, 2015!!