I love Valentine's Day.
The whole "holiday" has gotten such a bad rap because of obnoxious pink candy aisles in Walgreens and Hallmark cards that sing Taylor Swift songs at you, but all and and all, I think it's nice to take some time and reflect on the love you have in your life.
I'm very grateful this Valentine's Day. I had to wake up extremely early to cover a class in the center of Moscow and Ben not only came with me, but woke up early and made me his amazing Apple Cinnamon Crepes. Oh, it was such a sweet treat and made the hour long metro ride so much more enjoyable with warm, sugary apples sliding around in my stomach.
Russians don't celebrate Valentine's Day, so Ben and I have been alone in our Love Day except for a small cafe we stopped in for lunch. I caught the waiter a few times smiling at us, and after awhile he shyly came over with this heart shaped macaroon and set it on the table. It was such a nice gesture and so much more appreciated when you live in a country where the people tend to keep their smiles to themselves.
I feel like since coming to Russia, I have felt so much love all over my life. Obviously, Ben and I have grown so much closer since embarking on this insane experience together, but I also have felt a lot of love and support from my family and friends. So many people, from distance cousins to people I haven't spoken with since high school, have sent me messages of encouragement since I made my decision to live abroad and it has just meant the world to me. It has been a very loving time in my life.
So these are my thoughts on Valentine's Day. One of my student's brought me a strawberry and brandy cake-- my first gift from a Russian! Russians are notorious gift-givers... if you walk around the streets, you'll see an obscene amount of people with flowers or presents, so I felt extra excited to be included.
I hope everyone reading this had a day filled with love. In anyway it may have come.