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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Journey to Surrender is excited to announce a contest in honor of the upcoming holiday of love.

The winner of the random drawing will be able to celebrate with a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for two, compliments of Journey to Surrender, using a $75.00 American Express Dining Gift Card.

If you are looking for some other ideas for your Valentine's Day celebration, check all our Romantic Ideas.  More ideas coming soon!

Also be sure to check the stories in the comments below for some more great romantic ideas from our readers!!

There are a bunch of ways to enter the drawing, each of which increases your chances of being chosen in the random drawing, and each of which helps get the word out about Journey to Surrender. Use them all!

1) Did you know that Journey to Surrender now has a Facebook page!  There you'll find extra content like marriage-related videos, news stories, and conversations not found on my blog.  So head over and like Journey to Surrender on Facebook for one contest entry. (Click on the "Like" button at the top of the page next to the header.)

2) If you don't already, you can Subscribe to Journey to Surrender by Email for another entry in the contest (new subscribers only). This year I'll be offering some occasional bonus content just to my email subscribers.  But don't worry, your email address will NEVER be shared with ANYONE.  Be sure to validate your subscription via email from Feedburner.

3) Follow me on Twitter @MarriageJourney.  Click the button below for one entry into the drawing. Sorry, new followers only will be entered.


4) Tweet about Journey to Surrender and this contest to your friends and followers by clicking the button below:

Tweet the contest as many times as you like, but only one entry per person per day will be registered in the drawing.  (Note: if your tweets are protected, I won't see them unless I follow you on Twitter. I will make a return follow request to as many new followers as I can, but there may be a delay.) 

5) Bonus #1:  leave a comment below telling us about your own romantic Valentine’s Day experience and get five entries in the contest.  One comment entry per person.  Anonymous entries will not be entered in the contest.

6) Bonus #2: leave a comment on the wall of our Facebook page telling us about your own romantic Valentine’s Day experience and get five entries in the contest.  One Facebook entry per person. This can be the same story or a different story as Bonus #1.

Contest closes at midnight, February 5th and the winner will be announced here on February 7th.  The winner will also be contacted by Twitter direct message, Facebook Message, or email, depending on where the winning entry came from. 

Spread the word!!

38 comments:

Tim Wilson said...

If only I could write about a great romantic experience, but alas that is one of my biggest struggles.... being romantic.

I did however, have one win but it was for our anniversary and not Valentines Day. I got a room in the Ritz in Atlanta and made all the arrangements including where the kids would stay. I then took off work early and drove downtown to check in and took some rose petals etc, etc. I then went home and picked up my wife and we drove downtown all the while she didn't have a clue what was going on. When walking into the Ritz with her I had some smiles from the ones I had an interaction with earlier that day. We didn't do anything but just spend the night and morning together and some walking around the area. It was the best I have ever done and she still talks about it nearly 10 years later. If only I could do something like that again.... I just don't know how to pull it off again, even though I have done it once.

Scott said...

Tim - thanks for sharing your story! I just want to encourage you that there's no reason you can't do something like that again. Even if you did something similar, I promise you that your wife would love it, and it would end up being altogether different anyway.

BTW - Jenni and I did a Valentine's getaway to the Atlanta Buckhead Ritz many years ago. They ended up overbooking the hotel and gave us the Presidential Suite at no extra charge!! That was the most amazing hotel stay we'll ever get to have.

Kate said...

One of my favorite Valentine's Day memories was the year that I was pregnant with our first child. Our dear friends were also expecting. So our husbands dressed up in suits and ties and made us a fancy dinner. Then we watched silly movies about pregnancy and parenting!

T.Blanch said...

For our first valentine's day I created a basket with all his favorite things. I had things ranging from favorite numbers and insects to favorite animal and chocolate. One of my favorite and simple things I put in the basket was seven red painted butterflies with scriptures on it. My husbands' favorite color is red, he likes the number seven, and he likes butterflies.'i salary painted these wooden butterflies that I got from Walmart of micheal's for less than two dollars. I also included a twix: his favorite chocolate & a stuffed cheetah his favorite animal. This was fun to make & my husband was surprised at such a collaborative idea :)

Lindsey said...

While newly engaged, and two very busy professionals, my fiancé asked me to swing by to go to dinner. When I got there, he had left a note on the door asking me to come in. When I did, I noticed all the lights were dimly lit with a bouquet of red roses and yet another note! I love mystery, so he was definitely speaking my love language! The note said he was making dinner and not to peak in the oven or freezer, but that I could get something to drink from the refrigerator. Being that I was an outdoor PE teacher he knew I'd be exhausted, so he left a neatly folded long-sleeves t-shirt and a pair of pajama pants for me to change into. Relaxation heaven! After a while he came downstairs to request that I stay seated while he served us dinner (he picked up steaks, potatoes, and asparagus from The Cheesecake Factory, yummo!). We sat and talked, discussed plans for our marriage, ate wonderful cheesecake, and exchanged cards. Both of us were sexually active before we began courting one another. We each had personal committments to God that this relationship would be done His way! I'm proud, and very thankful, to say that that romantic evening we maintained our integrity to our word, and God was faithful to help us do so all the way to our wedding day!

John C. said...

When I was in college I was dating this amazing girl (Laura)... Long story short, she is now my wife.

I surprised Laura with tickets to see John Legend at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. The show was the week of Valentine's Day. She was floored, and has since told me that specific date really showed her a side of me she had never seen (the more fun side I guess.) After that date, we continued to grow closer and closer together and got married just over a year ago on New Year's day.

After getting married, we were both job searching so money was really tight. My words can't describe how tight money was. We decided to keep Valentine's Day low budget because of our circumstances, but we both agreed that low budget does not mean "low key."

I bought Laura a single red rose. I remember being so mad at the grocery store because the single rose was so expensive for our budget (like $5 or $7 dollars!!!). When I got home Laura was really surprised by the rose, because she was not expecting it at all.

We cooked a very nice dinner at our house. We purchased items that would normally be very expensive in a nice restaurant. I believe we had an seafood appetizer, filet mignon and several veggies cooked. We shared some wine we purchased on our anniversary. My wife loves cooking desserts, so she cooked a whole cake using a new recipe from a friend!

One cool thing was we were able to use our fine china, stemware, serving dishes, cake stands, etc that were given as wedding gifts.

After the dinner we both gave each other cards and "gifts." Since funds were tight, we both tried to not spend any money. Not knowingly, we gave each other very similar gifts... we both made coupon books for each other. I can't go into too much detail about the coupons... but I imagine you get the idea.

The key for us was being on the same page in our expectations, and knowing that it is ok to do what is right for us even if that is not going out and buying a dozen roses. At the end of the day we had a great night and think we may keep the tradition going.

-John

memoriesmama said...

Our first married Valentine's Day, we worked different shifts but at the same place. I was leaving for work and noticed a small box balanced carefully on the door knob (I'm still not sure how he balanced it there and then shut the door behind him without it falling off!). Inside was a beautiful ring. I of course saw him as he was leaving work and gave him a big kiss. We then enjoyed a nice home cooked meal after I got out of work.

I also liked your facebook page!

Scott said...

Thanks to everyone for the great stories. Keep 'em coming!

Angie K. said...

When dating my future husband, I didn't have a lot of money as a substitute teacher. We weren't engaged yet, but I knew he was "the one," so the most romantic gesture I knew to do was to go grocery shopping for him. I knew that breakfast is an important start to the day and he often skipped it in his hurry to get to work, so I went to the store and bought several breakfast-type foods for him to keep in his apartment. It felt romantic to me because it was something a wife would do to take care of her husband. (Now, after 17 years of marriage, I need to keep that romantic feeling alive when I'm grocery shopping!) A few years after our wedding, one romantic thing my husband did for me was to plan a weekend at French Lick Springs Resort. We even went horseback riding that weekend (cold in February!) because we had done that on our honeymoon. Romance can be in the big things like a weekend away, and in the daily things like grocery shopping and caring for your family. It is all in the attitude.

Scott said...

Amen Angie!

Anonymous said...

We live in the cold New England area, and camping isn't an option for us for Valentine's Day. My dear husband loves to put up our small tent, and we camp-out in our living room for the weekend. Almost can hear the loons, but not quite. :-) Love him for the past 10 yrs!!!

~eunice b
tigergal01 @gmail .com

Creative Dreamer said...

My favorite Valentines was last year when my husband booked 3 hotel rooms in a city halfway between us and my sister, her husband and son, and my mom. We stayed in one room with our baby boy wile my mom graciously took our 3 older in the hotel room with her. Then my sister and her hubby and baby boy stayed in the third room. We enjoyed meals that we premade and ate in the lobby of the hotel or the free breakfast and snack by the hotel, only eating out for one meal the whole weekend. We loved renting movies to watch, swimming in the pool, visiting a museum, enjoying family, and each night, having special "alone" time with my hubby.

Wilbur Holz said...

On our first Valentine's Day we were in the Twin Cities and I asked a friend for a recommendation. He suggested Gluek's, downtown Minneapolis. So, I made reservations. We got all dressed up to go out, suit and tie, nice dress. I then tried to find the restaurant and proceeded to get lost. We arrived about 45 minutes to an hour late. We walked into Gluek's, again we were dressed in the finest from our student closets. Gluek's is a bar and restaurant. Awesome food, great beer, but we were just a little overdressed. She still said yes a few days later. It is one of those inside jokes we still remember and laugh about all these years later.

kristy said...

i liked on FB, subscribed to email, followed on T, tweeted @oldsewnnew

thanks for your blog!

kristy.rustyzipper at gmail.com

Bill Standish said...

Last evening I 'liked' the Facebook page and posted a story on the wall, but it has disappeared. Is there a glitch somewhere?

Bill Standish

Bill Standish said...

Since Rose and me were married in February, 26 years ago, I would have to say that the next best thing to getting married on the 14th was the week later...February 22nd. It was a frigid Winter Day after a few days of sloppy weather. I well remember the Dodge Station Wagon my folks had as it was known to have the door locks freeze up so one had to climb through the back hatch over two sets of seats to be able to drive the car. So...I thought I would be smart the night before the big day and leave the driver's door slightly ajar so I could open it. That worked fine, until...I went to drive to the drug store and realized that the door latch would not function because it was frozen. My drive was interesting, steering with one hand while holding onto the door with the other. I think I actually tried using a hair dryer to thaw the latch when I got back home, but memory may be failing me. It was indeed a frosty, but bright Wedding Day. In our hearts we were warm and the blessing of Jesus Christ has enabled us to grow and thrive all these years. We make sure that we arrange an inexpensive time away for our Valentines/Anniversary celebration. The children are warm and cozy at home with the two wood stoves going while we take along a Fireplace DVD to at least set the ambiance! The important thing is to keep close to the 'fire' of God's Word and Spirit so that our hearts and souls are kindled with His life. Being Christ-disciples it is crucial to allow ourselves to be consumed with Him, for Him and by Him in order that He brightly glows from us leaving humble ashes as a reminder of our lives being surrendered to Him. In this way our Valentines and Anniversary are celebrated with Christ as the flame, the Holy Spirit as the energy and the Father being well-pleased. Our cost is ourselves. The rewards...priceless!

Scott said...

Bill - your post is on the FB wall. Make sure you select the viewing option "all posts" and not "top posts." I just switched the default to show all posts.

Roseycheeks said...

My husband's birthday is on Valentine's Day so we get to have 2 celebrations every year! We usually celebrate his birthday on Valentine's Day with me making his favorite meal and having cake with our family. Then we go out to dinner, just the 2 of us, later in the week. What makes our time together romantic is the way my husband makes me feel-secure, loved, and attractive.

Lee Ann said...

We don't always do a big fancy dinner out on Valentine's Day, as restaurants are super busy, but we make time for each other in some form or fashion.

One thing we've done the past two years, usually some time near Valentine's Day, is take an overnight getaway. We live near Santa Fe, and one of the B&Bs there, in a 150-year-old adobe compound has off-season specials. We plan a walking tour or museum visit, a nice dinner, and maybe a drink somewhere if there is some good music playing, but mostly we just enjoy being together. It's a pretty low-priced way to reconnect and have fun!

Nicole said...

My husband asked me to marry him on valentine's day! He was driving me to Pittsburgh for a job interview and to visit his friends at Grove City. We stopped to eat at Grove City and he was unusually quiet, so I knew something was up :) We then walked onto the Grove City college campus and he gave me a fancy gift bag with a spatula in it...this is a reference to the movie UHF, where there is a commercial with the tagline, "What better way to say 'I love you' than to give a spatula?" Then he proposed on the bridge over Wolf Creek (like a true Grover!) with his grandmother's ring. It was one great day :)

KamiMari said...

On one of our first Valentine's Days (while still dating) my husband arranged for us to go to Medieval Times. He paid for the upgraded package with preferred seating which I loved because we were so close to the action. Well part way through our knight started throwing carnations into the stands for the ladies and threw one right to me. I was so ecstatic! I later found out that my husband arranged that, which made me feel so loved and appreciated. It wasn't the huge gesture but the small one that really stood out for me.

Kelli said...

My birthday is the day after Valentines Day, so our V-Days are usually pretty low-key. I always figured it's two days in a row to celebrate each other, so I try to make VDay more about him, and we try not to spend much money (just as a general rule).

But a couple years ago, my then-fiance (now-husband) told me to get dressed up because we were going to my favorite lunch spot (even though it was a casual cafe... he said he wanted to "show me off"). He was very sweet the whole day, showering me with compliments and flirting and teasing me as if we'd just started dating.

While we ate lunch, he mentioned in passing that he needed to stop by work for a little bit to record a spot he'd forgotten (he worked as a radio DJ during college). So we drove to the station, and on the walk in, he stopped and said, "shoot, I left something in the car - you go on ahead." (This didn't raise any suspicions for me because it was something that made sense at the time :P). But when I unlocked the door and walked in, there were red and white paper arrows on the floor with messages like, "You're my best friend - I love you more than anything - I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you - etc," leading me to one of the studios, which he'd decorated as a Valentine's wonderland with glitter hearts on the walls, floor, and tables, a big "I love you" garland, a vase full of beautiful red roses, and an adorable stuffed puppy holding a heart. It was so sweet, I cried! I felt so special... since my birthday is the day after VDay I had never really gotten a typical, cheesy valentine's day surprise like that. Needless to say, when he came in after me I gave him a HUGE hug and kiss. He told me how excited he was t marry me, and listed a bunch of reasons he loved me and was thankful for me. Turns out, he actually *did* need to record that spot, but it was mostly just an excuse to get me there.. so I helped him with it and we had such a good time together. I felt so loved, needed, and cherished.

THEN, after I thought the day's surprises were over, he took me home to find all my friends and family at my house for a surprise birthday party! Again, I felt so special because they all took time out of their Valentine's Days to come celebrate with me. It was truly a perfect day :)

Anonymous said...

My hubby asked me to marry him on Outer Banks in 2006 on Valentines Day! He wrote me a letter and gave it to me when he took me out to a special dinner that evening, right before he popped the big question. It is very special to me since I'm such a "special dates" person. It was so romantic of him! :)

sewfancy(at)gmail(dot)com

Misty (Snowlady) said...

I liked your page on Facebook and subscribed to get emails.

Special Valentine's Day: Several years ago on Valentine's Day it started snowing. Hubby picked me up from work. He didn't want me driving home with all of the snow we had by the end of the work day. Then he decided we would head to Red Lobster for dinner. It's not a restaurant of his choice but knows I love it. He was definitely thinking of me on that Valentine's Day.

7ae40dbc-4441-11e1-bdbd-000bcdcb2996 said...

I have never had a Romantic Valentine's Adventure but would love to create one with my fiance.

Scott said...

I've really enjoyed reading all the great stories!

I'm sure there are more out there, so let's hear them!

Karen said...

I think one of the most romantic nights we ever had was when we went to New York for our honeymoon, 2 years after we got married. We didn't have a big wedding, we had just went to the courthouse and done it one day so we didn't get to write our vows or anything.
Before we left for New York we had decided that we would write our vows to one another and say them to each other on top of the Empire State building on the night of our anniversary.
So although there was so many people up there at almost midnight that night, we did it, and it was the most beautiful thing ever. When we started reading them it was if everyone just disappeared. It was amazing and I still to this day carry our written vows in my purse with me everywhere I go.

Anonymous said...

My most romantic Valentine happen over 20 years ago when my husband boyfriend at the time came to my job and proposed to me in front of all of my coworkers and boss.

LSWYankee said...

On the 3rd year of marriage, I decided that I would try a scavenger hunt for my hubby. So, while he was away at work, I put together clues and scattered them all around the apartment. Each clue with a note about how I loved him and a small favorite treat. Since we had only one car, the first clue was in the car, leading him to a quiet dinner, a quiet evening with games, a shower, and you know the rest. It was a sweet evening that could be done on a shoestring budget.

Wesley Farnsworth said...

Back when I was dating my wife I went out and got a small heart and painted it red. Inside I place several small items that I had purchased for her then delivered it to her with a card and a small teddy bear.

Wife-In-Progress said...

3 yrs ago on Valentine's Day my husband & I got married. We didn't have much money at the time and had a vacation/couples retreat stay given to us for our wedding that was happening in a few weeks, so we "stayed home" together for a few days. This may sound silly, but since I loved the show "Full House" as a kid, I always said that I wanted to go to "Chuck E. Cheese's" for my honeymoon like Michelle said when she thought she was marrying DJ's boyfriend, Steve. My husband was sweet enough to allow that to actually come true. We had so much fun with everything even though we did have to stay at home - we were still able to go out to places during the days he had off from work. We had a romantic candle light dinner (with McDonald's kids meals - by choice mind you, not because we couldn't afford anything else - we just thought it would be cute lol). And we went a few other places during that time, one of them being 2 hrs away from our home. On a different note, our car did catch on fire on the side of the highway on our way back from the 2 hr away trip and I'm not sure if that was a sign of anything to come (just kidding), but we still enjoyed our "Valentine's" plans none-the-less. The only thing we like to try to keep up from all of that is having a romantic candle-light dinner sometime around Valentine's day, no matter if it's McDonald's kid's meals or a very well planned out steak dinner.... I just believe the most important part of ANY special occasion is not what is done or where you do something, it's how you choose to enjoy it with the one you love :)

Wife-In-Progress said...

I didn't want you to think I tried to post an anonymous post using my blogger name wife-in-prgress, so my name is Ashley B. in case it is needed

Lizbeth said...

This will be our first Valentine's day together because my husband and I had a long-distance relationship for 3 1/2 years before getting married and therefore, we had valentine's dates on the phone. We have been married for almost eight months.

Footnut said...

I do not have a romantic husband so something like this would surely help.

Cherl said...

Romance in our house is not found very easily. My husband is really just your typical card and chocolate kind of valentine guy. He is however awesome at helping around the house, doing what he can with the kids, and he also makes sure that at least once a year we get to have a weekend away alone. So although I do not have a big story to tell about how my husband shows love to me, he helps in other ways all year long. While sometimes I wish he were more romantic, I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world :)
Cherl Royer

Theresa said...

My favortite V-day was when my husband gave me a "past,present, and future ring." He got down on one knee and told me that he has always loved me, will now, and always will. So romantic.

S.Parsons said...

Last year, my wife and I made the decision that we were going to make time for us. We have not only our usual weekend-night together, but we selected Wednesday to be our night as well. On Wednesdays, we have tacos - EVERY WEDNESDAY, and that has become our "code word" for our intimate time together. We spend the days preceeding and after sending sexy texts to eachother. We have made up our own version of Would You Rather...., we have discovered role-playing through the texting, or we just let one another know we are thinking about them. There is a great phone app called "Pair" that's free. It allows for you and your spouse to be the only two to be "paired" thus, the two of you are the only ones who can receive the messages. It is password protected and eliminates the possibility of sending by accidend that rather personal post to a co-worker,your parent or your child.

a ji o ji suno ji said...

Thanks for these detailed reviews! I almost bought the Essence mascara at Ulta this weekend after hearing your rave, but it really bugged me that it doesn't come in sealed packaging. Did that bother you? It's not so much that someone might have used it, but if people open it to look at the brush, etc., that it might go bad more quickly. I'll be curious how your tube holds up.
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