Friday, February 15, 2008

Why I love Valentine's Day - by Melanie Cain

This one's for you Aunt Ellen! (Diane)

Okay, I'll be honest, I haven't ALWAYS loved Valentine's day. It was never a really big deal in our house growing up and I remember being really jealous of my friend Amber every year because she was always decked out in new red or pink clothes and had new Valentine pencils and trinkets for school from her family on V-day which seemed like lots of fun - and I remember loving the class parties and passing out Valentines but it never went on my list of "Fav's" as far as holidays go. Even when I got married to my WONDERFUL Valentine it was never a BIG deal for us. We were comfortable with our love for each other and the fact that we tried to prove and show that daily instead of just on one day out of the year and when we DID try to go out the restaurant's were always packed and NOT worth the wait in our opinion. Also, I HATE February. I hate it. I actually hate January AND February for the same reason. It's PAINFULLY cold and Christmas is over so there doesn't seem to be a reason for the coldness anymore and (in most previous years) it doesn't even really snow, but it's so cold that the existing snow doesn't melt and just gets muddy and dirty and gross, then there's the foggy and disgusting air...I could go on and on but you get the idea. ANYWAY, it was just never a big deal for me. Fast forward to three and four kids later....I say to three and four kids because for some reason I didn't start making Valentine's day a big deal until we celebrated it with three kids. I really don't know why, maybe things just clicked and I thought "hey, this day could be fun afterall!" who knows... anyway, I remember a few years ago buying heart shape pankcake molds (they look like cookie cutters but are made of metal and have a wooden handle so you don't get burned) and thinking about how fun it would be to make those for the boys, so I woke up early and did and they LOOOOVVVVEEED it. Then, the next year we added some chocolate covered pretzels and strawberry milk to the breakfast scene, heart shaped pb&j's with a surprise note in the lunch box and so on, and so on.... Now, I look forward to this day ALL February long and it gets me through the yucky-ness that I loathe in this awful 2nd month of the year (going to AZ for two Feb's in a row has helped too) and my kids just LOVE this day. Plus, I've come to the conclusion that any day a mom with 4 BOYS can shower her family with girly pink and red and kissy stuff is a good day in my book! SO, in a nutshell (HA - I mean a novel!) THAT is why I love Valentine's day.

Yesterday seemed to get here REALLY fast though so I felt a little unprepared house-wise for this day-o-love, especially when I wanted everything to be perfect. Add to that, my hectic morning with the snow/school incident and things weren't off to the greatest start. BUT, things did get better. :) We made pink pancakes for breakfast with Strawberry Milk and I gave the boys some DARLING little mailboxes (that were in the dollar-spot at Target a few months ago) with their names on them and a little heart valentine note inside from me. They have LOVED these and spent a lot of their day writing each other notes and putting up the flags. (one of our most FAVORITE families has these little mailboxes for their kids and I've always thought that was the cutest thing so when I saw them at Target I nabbed them!) and I gave the big boys each a t-shirt from their school because the school colors are red and black so it was perfect. Gabriel got a cute little puppy in a bowl (don't ask me why it was in a bowl because I just don't get the connection - but hey, it was only $5 so I'll take the free bowl!) that he LOVES. We had a quick and normal lunch and managed to get the house cleaned AMAZINGLY in time for our traditional candle-lit dinner. I made heart shaped meatloaf and put some garlic/herb mashed potatoes in a bag and squooshed it out into a heart shape on our plates. We topped it off with steamed asparagus (thanks Charlotte!) that only Mark and I enjoyed, but the kids took a thank-you bite at least, and for dessert we had Strawberry Jello with Cool Whip. (I had planned on heart shaped cupcakes but just couldn't pull it off in time). My cute visiting teacher Kelly brought me a bouquet of beautiful flowers and my husband came home with treats for the boys and a gift certificate to a spa to get my nails/toes done or any other of their many services, and some money to spend on just myself - which the boys tried to talk me out of... they failed. :) We got Daddy a digital photo frame for work and his own red t-shirt from the boys' school because he really wanted one too. All in all, it was a REALLY good day. Last night Sam was sad that it was almost over and told us that Valentine's day was his favorite holiday. Mark said "even more than Halloween?" Sam said "YEP!" and we said "even more than Thanksgiving?" ...."YEP!" and finally the kicker... "even more than CHRISTMAS?" to which he said "YEP!" and then quickly decided that actually all of the holidays were his favorite. Still, I figure if he liked it more than all those holidays even for a second then today must have been a pretty good day. I hope that I succeed in showing my love for my beautiful family every day, and I love that I can shower them with pink and red and hearts at least one day a year!

above is a picture at Breakfast. (they are making hearts with their bodies in case you were wondering)

The potatoes and meatloaf in the picture look a litte gross. But it really looked neat in person!How cute are these boys in my life?!! Seriously!

This was Joshua's Valentine box for school. I remember as a child that our Valentine boxes were always a BIG event. (and it just occured to me that I didn't mention this in my novel about my childhood V-days above!) My dad helped us make the coolest boxes. One of our favorites was the Grandfather's clock - I'll have to search for some pictures... Anyway, Joshua wanted to do a basketball hoop so we used his basketball hoop/laundry basket thing from Ikea and that is where the kids put his Valentine's. It turned out really cute, he did a great job.


SM said...

That is so cool!! I love the mailboxes and heart dinner!! You have the cutest boys!! Great post! You gave me some ideas for next year!!

Lisa said...

WOW! OK, you give me hope that I can like Valentine's day, because personally, I thin it is SO LAME! GIrl, you went ALL OUT! Good for you, I'm SUCH a slacker!

Anonymous said...

Melanie, you did great!! I was able to get the table decorated but I ordered in chinese! to stressed to cook. You are a wonderful mom and wife!!:) charlotte

Shar said...

yeah, your boys ARE so cute, (in answer to your question) and, do you think they know how lucky they are to have a mom like you? they probably think it's like that at everyones house huh?

Trish in Texas said...

Oh, I am so totally with you on the February winter slump. When we lived in Utah, that was the hardest time of year for me. You just feel like it's going to be cold FOREVER.
Anyway, such a cute post. You are such a sweet mom! Your boys are so lucky to have you. And I absolutely loved those mailboxes! If I come across something like them I am going to snatch them up for next V-day. So cute!

DIANE said...

Whew. There is hope for this family after all. Thanks for going for the holiday cheer. Believe me, it will pay off years later when you have totally spoiled rotten children. (Just kidding Kandis). Anyway, your entry once again gave me hope for America. What a great day you gave your family.

Christine said...

I need to put more work into Valentines next year! Your boys look so handsome!