A bouquet of flowers just arrived at my office, and they were for me! My sweet husband sent me flowers with a loving card that included our kids as the flower “givers”. He really knows what is meaningful to me.
When I turned the vase around and saw the silver heart on it, I started laughing. It’s very similar to the heart necklace that Dennis gave me for our first Christmas together. The silver heart on the necklace has beautiful diamonds in the middle, but that’s not what makes the gift memorable. Just a few days before opening this gift, Dennis and I were chatting and I commented: “I hate heart jewelry. It’s so juvenile looking.” When I opened his gift, he kind of hung his head and said, “I know you don’t like heart jewelry…” I had some fast talking and reassuring to do! Now it’s a funny anecdote to look back on.
We’ve never been into the big fancy dinner dates for Valentine’s Day. In fact, our first Valentine’s Day as a couple came 10 months into our courtship. We didn’t get to spend the day together because Dennis was attending his aunt’s funeral up in Northern California and I was busy with graduate school. As an early gift, he presented me with three of my favorite movies on DVD: Sleepless in Seattle, Father of the Bride, and Father of the Bride II. I spent Valentine’s Day watching these movies and being grateful for a boyfriend who understood me.
Twelve years later, we have a pretty established Valentine’s Day tradition. I make us steak, sautéed mushrooms, and asparagus. We enjoy some chocolate and red wine and watch Sleepless in Seattle after the kids go to bed. Traditions make things fun and feel familiar. It makes a day that’s commercialized and makes it feel like “us.”
Part of the fun of Valentine’s Day is the kids’ activities too. I came home for the pool this morning and was tickled to see Sienna’s outfit. She had one head-to-toe hearts! The skirt she chose has been sitting in her drawer, unworn, for over a year. When I would try to get her to wear it, she’d claim “It’s for Valentine’s Day!”
This year I crafted the valentines for Teo’s class. Sienna actually picked the penguin craft out of a magazine, but then she bailed on helping make them. I figured pulling together 12 for Teo’s class was easier than 28 for Sienna’s! Also, the candy we used to fill the little baggies that the penguin was going to hold turned out to be too heavy. I decided to make little frosted heart butter cookies instead. Homemade treats are okay at the church preschool, not so much at the public elementary school. So, Sienna took cute little baggies of Twizzlers pieces with a heart tag that said “Happy Valentine’s Day” for her class.
I’m bummed that I neglected to take a picture of the finished penguin valentines! The picture is from the magazine, but Teo’s version had a frosted pink heart in the twist-tie baggie with a heart tag that he signed the back of. So fun!
Another tradition that I’m going to fulfill this afternoon is making cards for Dennis, Sienna, and Mateo at my office Valentine’s Day “party”. We’ve put out materials for folks to make cards for their loved ones for the past four years or so. It’s sweet, creative, and a little silly to sit around making cards with your coworkers.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!