It was one of my goals to blog about Valentine's day BEFORE February was over. I made it with 20 minutes to spare (thank you Leap day!)
First up - the Valentine Party!
I have some wonderful friends. People that enrich my life more than I can even express into words. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such incredible people, and to be able to call them my closest friends.
A few of these friends put on some pretty amazing shin-digs most every year. One family throws an Easter Egg Hunt and furnishes literally HUNDREDS of eggs, scattered about their beautiful and spacious back yard. It is so fun for the kids to go and hunt for eggs, and treats and for us to mingle with our friends. We love it! Another friend throws a family Halloween party that we literally count the days to every year. 2011 didn't disappoint - she even hired a MAGICIAN to entertain us! (He was SO funny!) She rounded out the evening with a bone hunt, glow in the dark pumpkin bowling and take home party bags for the kids. Personalized even, with a special Halloween book for Nick, since he was too little for the other things. Seriously, I love these people!
I'm sorry. I really am going somewhere with this...
SO... I decided, since Valentine's day is my favorite "mini" holiday that I should throw a LOVE day party - for fun, and partly as a thank you for all that these and other wonderful friends do for us throughout the year.
It was SO MUCH FUN! We had a candy buffet, a photo booth, and a craft. We dined on Sam's Club pizza, and our guests brought the rest of the yummy food. A Caesar Salad, a Pasta Salad, French Bread, and Root Beer floats with licorice straws!
When it was all said and done Mark and I felt so humbled and blessed for these people in our lives. We truly had a wonderful night, and can't wait for next year!
The candy buffet. Complete with water bottle "love juice", blue, pink & purple cotton candy, red/tan fortune cookies, jelly beans, conversation hearts, chewy candy sticks, and DARLING little pretzel heart sticks (from one of the guests) Can someone please tell me how I didn't notice the ugly styrofoam plate on the table?!
Just a close up, in case you didn't see the ugly plate :) My friend saved me the pain of another project by letting me borrow her wood with the holes already drilled, perfect for my little chewy skewer thing-a-ma-jigs.
In this picture you can see my sorry excuse for home-made pom poms (I WILL perfect this skill by the next party). You can also see the soda bottle labels on the back counter. 6 labels for .97, and I didn't have to use my ink! I Found the XO printable online (DID use my ink for that one). My favorite is the darling 4 year old waiting patiently for me to take a picture so he could finally get his cotton candy!
The group. Aren't they cute?!
Making hearts with their hands
Nicholas after the party - with his "People, if you set me right next to a table full of red heart suckers, I WILL grab one, figure out how to unwrap it and go to town" face.
The Photo Booth:
First up, was this darling family, they were first because of the little mustache'd princess in the red hat. She was ALL IN, on the photo booth idea, and waited patiently for her family to come and get on board. She also called me "Melody" because that's her "princess" on a barbie movie (according to her mom) and asked if she could play with our Castle. (*melt) I think I would like to keep her, and she can call me Melody and we'll play in the castle all day long.
5 girls (their oldest was busy) - aren't they perfect!
They didn't know their dad made that hilarious face! HA!
I just love them.
One of my most favorite families. She is SUCH a dear friend.
The boys are the best of friends to my bigs.
They make me smile.
Count the boys! We're lucky enough to live right by these wonderful people.
They are the best of friends to my littles. (or I guess it would be my "middle" and "little")
Will is almost smack dab in the middle of the two youngest. 8 months younger than one
and 6 months older than the other. They are his dearest friends, and she is one of mine.
I don't think they knew about their dads' crazy face either! HAHA!
Wow, that's a lot of kids. We have a LOT of kids...I mean, we're not the Duggars, or anything - but I swear when they all pile out of the car, it's like they just keep coming and don't stop! They are cute though.
Even with goofy props, and serious faces! :)
We also had the pleasure of visiting with our darling "newest" neighbors, who popped in to say
hello because their 4 nephews were visiting for the weekend
and they wanted to introduce them to the boys. My boys LOVED meeting them. They
even stayed afterward to help clean up for a party they didn't even EAT at!
Just an hour ago, this sweet couple was outside in the freezing snow, shoveling our driveway, and walkways! Sam came into our room, and said "Mom, someone is outside shoveling our sidewalk"
SOO SWEET! I'm kicking myself that I didn't make them stop by the photo booth at the party.
Alrighty, I'm gonna speed this up a little. Though I'm sure by now you're only still reading this if you're my
mom or my sister. :)
*Our LOVE DAY Mantel*
.....Mantle/Mantel? Which one is it? I've seen it both ways...I think we've had this discussion before... oh, right...speeding this up...
Valentines for my Sweethearts.
They were so excited to wake up to their treats! I made them lunches with Hawaiian punch, Red Jello, heart cupcakes and heart shaped sandwiches for school. They loved it! (note to self: clean smudge on wall above counter, near outlet...yuck!)
Treats for my *REAL* Valentine. I saw this darling soda fountain sundae idea on pinterest. It was so fun
and easy to make. I made one for Mark, a few others for some wonderful friends, and some for the kids' teachers.
By the time I got to making some for the boys I was pooped, so I cheated and just put their taffy on top of the m&m's - they didn't mind a bit, and it looked *almost* as cute that way anyway!
cute happy boys.
Not sure why this is sideways. These are what Gabe gave his class. Gumballs with a note that says
"Valentine, I 'chews' you!" in red, pink & white.
Sam's version with a little blue and black thrown in
Our traditional Valentine candlelight dinner. New addition this year: Red plates and bowls!
Someday I'm going to paint the ugly candlesticks...
My best friend. He spoiled me rotten, but my favorite thing was the handmade card
he brought home. Stick figures and all, it lives in my heart.
I really adore this beautiful person.
One of the best parts of my day? When Gabe came in my room to say good-night, and thanked me for the "BEST VALENTINE'S DAY EVER, and told me it is his very favorite day.
Mine too. ;)