Pour Your Heart Out: A Valentine from the Past

Sorting through a box in the garage, I find pictures from long ago: me as a baby, in elementary school, high school, college, first year of teaching, me as a young mom, my 7 year old as a baby, me pregnant with my second.

So many memories in one place.

And then I see it.

I knew I still had it.

A small envelope, wrinkled and torn, showing signs of age.

Ten years ago, that small envelope accompanied a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day.

They were waiting for me in the school office when I went up to check my mailbox during my break.

I eyed them a bit wearily.

Who were they from?

My mom, maybe.  She was convinced I’d die alone, ever since I walked away from my last relationship. Yes, even at only 24, that was Old Maid territory for her and the pity I heard in her voice whenever I would talk to her on the phone could easily translate into pity roses.

My best friend. We’d had a fight the day before.  Because he said something incredibly stupid about who I was choosing to date these days. I slammed the phone down on him. And refused to pick up when he called back.

My ex. A cryptic email from my ex’s best friend’s wife about if I had heard from him lately had me wondering what was going on.

Some random guy.  A possibility in those days, when my recent New Year’s resolution to not automatically say no had me going on a lot of dates.

The teacher down the hall. Who was becoming a really good friend… and lately, something more.

I walked out of the office and down the hall to my empty classroom, where I set the flowers down on my desk before I opened the card. Away from the nosy office staff and anyone else who would wonder who they were from.

I opened the note and smiled. Just one word was written on the card, but it was enough for me to know exactly who they were from.

Valentines day


“You know that saying, cute as a button?” he had asked me, months before.

After that, “Button” became his nickname for me.

The teacher down the hall.

Who would know that one word would be enough for me to know the roses were from him.

The one who just recently shook his head at me and claimed I couldn’t possibly still have this card.

Not from 10 years ago, on our very first Valentine’s Day together.  No way did I still have it.

10 years have passed. We were married about a year after that first Valentine’s Day. Moved more times that we care to count, had three kids, and gone through ups and downs.

But, I still have it. And it still makes me smile.

He still makes me smile.

If you are new to PYHO, you can check out more details about Pour Your Heart Out. If you are participating,  grab the button from the sidebar or add a text link to your post, and link up below. Don’t forget to visit other linkers!

Thanks for sharing! Share on Facebook1Tweet about this on Twitter10Pin on Pinterest0Share on Google+0Email this to someone


  1. I love this post. Like… Love it. I married a teacher too. But – I love the code – Button. And that you kept it. With a sweet smile – I’m headed to bed. Awesomeness. :)
    Kristen recently posted..I’m Afraid I suck. What if I’m Right?My Profile

  2. what a beautiful post. A sweet memory that brought a tear to my eye and smile to my heart. Thank you.

  3. I’m not sure that could have been any sweeter. What a beautiful memory and it’s great that memory AND he still makes you smile!
    Cam – Bibs & Baubles recently posted..For the PassionMy Profile

  4. What a fun story! Did you read mine about my first kiss? Some of the silly things we do when we we’re kids…
    momof12 recently posted..Guest Blogger – My First Kiss (sort of) by SweetieMy Profile

  5. Gorgeous, romantic post, Shell. 
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Guest Star: Bruna of Bees With HoneyMy Profile

  6. That is the loveliest story I have ever heard. I’m so glas you kept the envelope to bring back that moment.

  7. Ahhhh….I love stories like this.  I’m a big fan of keeping “everything” for memory’s sake.  I’m glad you still have this special one to hang onto.
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    KatrinaThey All Call Me Mom
    Katrina recently posted..is this an age thing or something I have to worry about?My Profile

  8. *cue AWWWWW* Sweet story :)
    jenn @ so this is love recently posted..Old SoulMy Profile

  9. I love those special code words.  We have one we use for each other.
    Oka recently posted..PMM ~ Couldn’t be prouderMy Profile

  10. I am, not surprisingly, a Valentine’s Day Scourge, but this made me smile. What a wonderful memory!
    Sorta Southern Single Mom recently posted..PYHO: The One in Which I Wear My Big Girl PantsMy Profile

  11. It is not fair to make me cry before breakfast. Now I could end up with tear in my Cheerios!
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Valentine’s Day- Looking for LoveMy Profile

  12. It is not fair to make me cry before breakfast. Now I could end up with tear in my Cheerios!
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Valentine’s Day- Looking for LoveMy Profile

  13. So Sweet. I love the romance. He pretty sealed the deal on that Valentine’s Day, huh.
    Making It Work Mom recently posted..Boys – Lesson LearnedMy Profile

  14. I love finding those old mementos. Love it. And it can be fun to think about how far your relationship has come since.
    Kate F. (@katefineske) recently posted..The Vanishing ActMy Profile

  15. Aww… What a sweet story! I still have the card form the first flowers my Hubs bought for me, too. But he’s far better than I — he keeps my phone number, on a scrap of paper the night we met, tucked in his wallet. {sigh}
    Vinobaby recently posted..I Should Have Been a French ParentMy Profile

  16. You still got that spark!!
    Julie recently posted..What’s YOUR love story?My Profile

  17. Oh Shell that’s just the sweetest story – brought tears to my eyes. Here in Denmark we don’t really celebrate Valentine but I still have the card I got with 10 roses delivered on my job when we had been together for 10 months.
    Heidi /I’m with Leia recently posted..Snow shineMy Profile

  18. such a fabulous story!!!
    christina recently posted..All that MattersMy Profile

  19. What a romantic story! I love that you knew each other well enough that one word meant everything on that card. Yay! for keeping it all these years :)

  20. This is a really sweet post:) Happy early Valentine’s Day!
    Pamela recently posted..Openness and Reservation: Understanding the Value of Both Disclosure Styles in a RelationshipMy Profile

  21. Oh my heart, Shell – adorable, lovely, and all that is good about love! 
    Galit Breen recently posted..Together QuietMy Profile

  22. Love the romance of this. {swoon}
    Alex@LateEnough recently posted..Love Is LoveMy Profile

  23. Sweet memory and what a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it. I love when I dig up something special unexpectedly.

  24. This made me tear up a little. Such a beautiful and precious memory!! I keep all of my greeting cards too. I love looking back on them from time to time.
    Teresa recently posted..First ultrasound for baby #3My Profile

  25. I love that you kept the card all these years, the first term of endearment for you. I’ve done the same with cards and letters my husband has sent me – almost 30 years worth. I should put them all into some sort of album…. hmmm. 
    Tara R. recently posted..DerelictMy Profile

  26. I’m gonna go ahead and blame hormones on this one, but this totally made me cry :) So cute! I love it! (And I’m totally the type to keep stuff like that, too.)
    Lady Lazarus recently posted..undomesticated goddessMy Profile

  27. Okay, button?! I think your husband just scored some major points with all of us. I know he did me. That is the sweetest nickname! So awesome that you still have that card. I have a box like that too. Now that the girls are a bit older, I share some of it with them. The things that give them to back story to how their daddy and I fell in love.
    Kristen recently posted..The Luxury of a Nightmare…My Profile

  28. This is just the sweetest! I love that you kept – and were able to find – that Valentine. I’m terrible at keeping things (ironic, since I work in a museum), but I do still have a few memories tucked away in my desk.
    Caitlin MidAtlantic recently posted..EnoughMy Profile

  29. Awe love love it!! And yes, definitely something to keep!!
    Emmy recently posted..How To Use an Old Window for DecorMy Profile

  30. Awe, so sweet and it’s awesome you still have that!
    Cindi recently posted..Happy Trails: RIP ChrisMy Profile

  31. Ahhhh. That’s so sweet. Button. I’m glad glad glad they weren’t from your Mom or some random guy. (This from someone who has never met you or your Button face to face!)
    Jessie Powell recently posted..Cruel SummerMy Profile

  32. How sweet!  I still have everything the hubs has ever given me, he is still shocked when I remind him of things like this!
    Barbara recently posted..Wine LoveMy Profile

  33. Oh my word so sweet!! I love this!
    imperfectmomma recently posted..Going outMy Profile

  34. I love this story so much. :)
    Lisa recently posted..PYHO: Dear MaggieMy Profile

  35. I so love that you kept that all this time! my hubby has this habit of leaving love notes on my pillow and I have a box where I keep them. it’s amazing how much this touches Him. something so simple as the writing and treasuring of keepsakes, yet forms a bond so strong.
    RoryBore recently posted..WW/Poetry Workshop: The SonnetMy Profile

  36. Oh my gosh, this reminds me of the first Valentine’s Day card I got from my now-husband! It was the year I had moved to work in NYC, before he came out to live with me, and it was the sweetest card ever. Now I’m going to go home and look for that tonight, too. :) Thanks, Shell – I loved this story!
    Jocelyn | ScooterMarie recently posted..5 new favesMy Profile

  37. That is just the sweetest!

  38. I LOVE that you kept the card!  I have every small scrap of paper, every post it note, every letter my husband has ever written me.  The written word is gold.
    Where is the ME in Mommy? recently posted..What I Think About: The R WordMy Profile

  39. How sweet is that. I love it and the nickname. He must be from the south , that is so something we would say round here. I keep stuff like that as well. I have this letter Gene wrote me once when he was doped up on pain meds from a surgery on his other hand. He is not all out there with it usually and apparently these meds loosened him up a bit and he just let it all fly.
    Angel recently posted..TTUT I am all over the place..My Profile

  40. Oh, very very sweet!   I love that he just wrote the one word and that you knew who it was from.    And I’m sure I’m a little slow, but I LOVE your new blog design!  It’s a perfect fit for you! 
    Grumpy Grateful Mom recently posted..Family PoliticsMy Profile

  41. How lovely! You know I just started a post about the first flowers my husband ever gave me. I dried them and they stand in a tiny vase and I cannot believe I am lucky enough to have them and remember those days.

    And by the way, you totally are cute as a button!
    Brittany recently posted..Jellyfish Pinata {Tutorial}My Profile

  42. Tears. This is beautiful, my friend. Love it.
    Practical Parenting recently posted..Discipline Without AgressionMy Profile

  43. Aw! What a happy post! I love it.

  44. I love it! I keep a lot of my old cards and letters too. Sometimes, it is so fun to go on a walk down memory lane.
    NJ @ A Pocket Full Of Dinosaurs recently posted..Misadventures in the darkest hour.My Profile

  45. This is so sweet Shell! I’m glad you still have the card. What a wonderful keepsake to have. 
    Jess recently posted..Wild And Crazy NightsMy Profile

  46. Aw, that is just so sweet. :-)
    Jen recently posted..The Secret SackMy Profile

  47. So sweet! Now I want to rumage through my basement in search of memories.
    Julia recently posted..The Happy PlacesMy Profile

  48. Shell this is so sweet! I love that you kept that card to look back at now.
    Kimberly recently posted..A Glimpse Of Our FutureMy Profile

  49. Awwww! So sweet! I love this post. I bet it made him smile that you had it. :)
    Adrienne recently posted..When your parenting isn’t working…My Profile

  50. Love it! I always tell my husband that all I want for any holiday if for him to write me a note :) 

  51. I am not surprised <3

    I missed it again this week…I dont' know why I thought it was on Thursday. I'm going to catch it next week assuming I can manage to type it. Been sitting on my PYHO for awhile. Stinks being raw.
    Happy Puffy Valentine Hearts to you!

  52. my heart just smiled…I love your nickmame and how he still makes you feel…it’s a wonderful thing, to love and be loved.

    I am so glad you are loved like that…and that the cute is still going strong. xo
    Kir recently posted..Just Be Enough: The Celebration!My Profile

  53. Aw, this is so incredibly sweet!  I love that you saved it and I’ll bet that really touched him!  I’ve saved everything that Tim has ever given me, including the very first pair of earrings he gave me on our first V-Day together (the same day he told me for the first time that he loved me).  I made the mistake of letting Bella wear those earrings to school one day and I never saw them again.  I was so heartbroken.  And I’ve learned my lesson to never share sentimental things with my daughter!!!
    Helene recently posted..Want to Know Wednesdays…Celebrating the Small VictoriesMy Profile

  54. awww that is so sweet :) true love stories are always awesome!
    brittney recently posted..12 more days!!!My Profile

  55. Aww that made me smile. I always keep stuff like that, just for these reasons. 
    Venassa recently posted..My 25 QuestionsMy Profile

  56. I love this! My husband and I first started dating at Valentine’s as well…so February is a special month for us. Glad to hear he still makes you smile!
    Natalie recently posted..Tuesday ThoughtsMy Profile

  57. that’s so sweet you still have it! I’m so worried about becoming a hoarder (thanks to A&E) that I throw too much shit out that I should keep
    Not a Perfect Mom recently posted..The First CrushMy Profile

  58. Aww, that is so sweet! I found a box like that recently myself and wow, what a walk down memory lane.
    KeAnne recently posted..What Not to Buy Me for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  59. Awww how cute. ANd of course you would still have it!!! That is a great story to share with your grandkids one day. :)
    Lourie recently posted..Getting My Craft On…My Profile

  60. Precious precious precious!  Love those stories!  I still have all the notes my husband got me.  I’m hosting my first link party on Friday (February 10) about love stories – dating, engagement, marriage, or lessons learned.  Would love to have you link this up!
    Christine Trevino recently posted..Love Story | Part IIMy Profile

  61. SO sweet. :)
    tricia recently posted..the many faces of N.My Profile

  62. So sweet! Kind of melts your heart:) I save stuff like this too and when we get a minute to look back at the past it puts us right in that very moment!

  63. very cute! I recently found an old poem from ten years ago too that I’m thinking about blogging about today. It’s Thursday here, but it’s still Wednesday there, right?
    Cass recently posted..NewMy Profile

  64. Awww. That is so sweet.
    Jennifer recently posted..StillMy Profile

  65. Ahh, love! Especially when you’re falling into it. One of the best feelings. I find myself wanting that feeling again and then wake up to the realization that when I was in that space I prayed, dreamed, wished to be in this space.
    Tayarra recently posted..Me and themMy Profile


  1. [...] I am again, Pouring My Heart Out with Shell.  Have you ever taken the opportunity to pour your heart out with her and her [...]