The day before Ken was to return home from a week away in Europe (it was a business trip, not a for-fun trip), I decided to put together a little welcome home surprise for him. Just to let him know how much I missed him and love him!
My first thought was the buy a Welcome Home banner to put across the apartment, but that thought quickly changed to putting together something handmade. I know he would have loved the banner too, but there's nothing like a homemade card or banner that has been put together by your loved one, special for you.
Instead of going out to buy paper and fancy pens, I gathered a few things I had around the house and started doodling! All I had was some plain lined paper I found in Ken's office and a black RSVP pen. But I made it work. I added a little colour by flipping through my old magazines, ripping out a few fun colours and cutting out each heart. It made a mess of paper and small pieces of magazines on the couch, but it was fun!
Once I had the visual part of the surprise down, I moved onto the tasty part. Ken has a massive sugar tooth, and has a serious weak spot for cookies - so chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven were a no brainer. Plus I love eating raw cookie dough, so I got to munch on that while they baked. I added a few of his favourite creme chocolates from Purdy's for an extra sugar kick.
I once heard on a real estate show that realtors will often put an apple pie or cookies in the oven when people come to view a house to make the house seem more home-y and welcoming. So with the fresh scent of cookies in our home, I was hoping for the same effect. And it worked! He wasn't even two steps in the door before his eyes nearly budged out of his head while he said "ANDI! DID YOU MAKE COOKIES?!?!"
It really is the simple and small things in life. Showing someone you care without even having to say a word has a lot of power. I always tell people that a hand made card goes a lot farther than going to the store to buy one because not only did you have the thought to give them a card, but you took time to make it yourself too! This mostly applies for couples (like on Valentines Day) but I still think in a lot instances, handmade or homemade is always the best.
The photo above is the view he would have seen as he came around the corner to our dining room.
Keep in mind the living room is still a bit of a work in progress. The photos on the wall are very temporary. I feel like I have a lot of blank space there to fill, but I haven't found any pictures that I really love.
He was totally surprised when he came around the corner. He said "awwww so sweet! You even cut out all the hearts!"
I think he definitely felt the love at that moment :) And after a 9.5 hour flight and whirl wind trip through Europe in 8 days, he was more than ready for a tasty homestyle chocolate chip cookie.
The reason I decided to take photos of all of this and let you into our home (and our relationship - kind of!) was because I'm hoping it will encourage some of you to do something small but special for your loved one. A simple love note on their pillow, making heart shaped cookies, coffee in bed - all small but meaningful.
We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that it's easy to take our loved ones for granted and forget how much they really mean to us. But let me tell you, especially when they leave for an extended period of time, it becomes very clear how much you love them. As the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.