"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Monday, February 15, 2010

valentine happenings

Growing up, Valentine's day wasn't much of a big deal. I remember leaving the corridors of the high school and glancing through the glass doors of the main office to see it packed with flowers, stuffed animals and balloons in red and pink all exchanged between boyfriends and girlfriends. None of it was for me. There was that one time my brother sent me a "student council" corsage, but, for the most part, Valentine's day came and went un-notably. Even at home, my dad would grumble about having the calendar dictate a day that he HAD to say I love you, when after all, he'd already asked the woman to marry him!

Once I had children, it seemed like fun to make it a family holiday. I know it typically is a holiday for couples at candlelight dinners, but once there were children in the picture, it made sense that now I had more than just one Valentine. We've made it a point each year to make it a holiday celebrating love in our family. Here are some highlights that made this year special:

Our kitchen "heart attack". We started writing notes to each other on February first and by yesterday, the kitchen cabinets were covered with such sweet messages. It was fun to read what they had to say about one another each day.

Our annual visit from the Valentine fairy. I got a kick listening to the kids and Newel discuss over dinner what she looks like.

Fun dinner and dessert assisted by Celia. We used the cute mini-bunt pan she gave me for Christmas to make these and put a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top.

But, I think funnest of all was the Conversation Hearts card game I found at the dollar store.

Here are some of my favorite questions and answers:

**If you only had time to say goodbye to just one person ... Who would it be?
Newel: "Myself"

**What's your favorite childhood memory?
Janie: "That time that realtor guy came to our class for career day"

**If you found a suitcase full of $100 bills ... what would you do?
Christian: "Go to the dollar store and buy a lot of silly string"

**If you could go back to a memorable time in your life, what would it be?"
Annie: "The day I was born!" (That was a good day for me, too, Annie!)

**What person do you admire the most and why?
Celia: "Mom, because she's got it all together" (Thanks Celia, I'm glad at least some of the apples didn't hurl themselves far from the tree!)

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