Sunday, February 15, 2015

Best Valentine's Dinner Ever

This Valentine’s Day was extra special. Patience and I ate at a new restaurant we absolutely loved. Unlike most restaurants, we were greeted at the door by two waiters and the chef herself. They all smiled as the taller of the two waiters showed us to our seats. White lights glistened over our little bistro table as soft piano and violin music played in the background. A single white candle burned in the center of the table. This was no ordinary eatery though. The menu was handwritten. The cook poked her head out from the back often to make sure things were going smoothly. And before long one of the waiters ended up in my lap for the rest of the meal!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, our Valentine’s meal was at home this year. The kids and I sent Patience off to get her nails done, and while she was gone we turned our living room into the Harris Bistro. We named it the night before and JulieAnna made a sign and a menu. We had also bought premade chicken alfredo, shrimp cocktail, and red velvet cake from Costco, so chef JulieAnna would not have to do any major grilling or stove work.

Chef JulieAnna checking the main course in the oven.

Once Patience had left Wesley and Sawyer got their waiter clothes on. White button up shirts, khaki pants, red ties, and slick back hair dos. JulieAnna dawned her Valentine’s apron we bought the night before, and slipped the pasta into the oven. We hung the lights in the living room, brought in the bistro table-for-two in from the porch, and hung sheets over the kitchen entrances. With romantic music playing from Pandora, I changed into my sports coat and dress shirt and waited outside for Patience to arrive.

I met her at the driveway. She was all smiles. (I think she was onto us!) I told her I had gotten reservations for the best new restaurant in town. We made our way to the front door where we were greeted by the abundantly excited restaurant crew. Sawyer, with a towel hanging from his forearm, was the first to greet us.

Sawyer, the head waiter, practicing carrying plates

“Welcome to the Harris Bistro,” he said grinning from ear to ear, “May I show you to your seat?”

As I said before, the setting was beautiful, and the service was precious. JulieAnna plated all of the food and would send Sawyer out often to check if we needed refills on our sparking cider.  The food was delicious, which was the main reason the smallest waiter ended up in my lap eating the rest of the evening. To say it was the best Valentine’s dinner we ever had would be a huge understatement.  We have spent time waiting in lines before on other Valentine’s Days. We have had nice meals with great service. We have paid too much for food, and other times gotten a lot for our money. Despite all of our previous experiences, the dinner last night in our own living room was hands down the best of them all.

My waiter and me

I guess that’s why I am writing this blog. For people like us. Normal families who live on a budget and do not always have the opportunity to spend Valentine’s Day at a fancy overpriced restaurant. Maybe you are like us, and don’t even have a chance to leave your own children for the evening very often. I want to encourage you to not let it stop you from making the most of what is right in front of you. You’d be surprised what you can do with some white Christmas lights, some candles, some music, some premade food, a little imagination, and a lot of love.  

My beautiful date


  1. This is the sweetest thing ever! What an amazing dinner and such a creative family! I wish more families were like this, including mine. Lol. I really enjoyed reading this! Y'all are so precious!

  2. Thanks Sarah! It was a lot of fun and I think meant the world to Patience. Thanks for reading too. That's why I'm writing, because we are just an ordinary family trying to make the most of life. I know you guys have a great family too! I am just trying to inspire normal people like you and me to make lasting memories.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.