I have chosen to have zero expectations on Valentines Day, and it serves me well! I’ve decided that now is the time in my life to make every holiday a family holiday, besides what’s so fun about finding a baby sitter just to wait for hours to get into a restaurant? I’m also not a big fan of spending money on over priced chocolates or flowers. I do like going out to lunch, which Josh and I do regularly with or without a holiday. We do use the holiday as an excuse to hit lunch once or twice, but that’s it. Without any of that traditional hoopla, I felt like we had an especially fun Valentines this year.
It is the tradition for the 2nd graders to have a formal Valentines party at the Old Rock Church, across the street from the school. Andy wanted to crawl in a hole when I walked out of the church to take pictures of him and his friends escorting the girls to the “tea”. The night before he just kept talking about how he’d have to “go like this” and he’d put his hand on his hip to “squart” the girls to the party. For not being excited, he sure seemed excited!
In preparation for Andy’s party we made heart sugar cookies the weekend before Valentines. My mom has the worlds best sugar cookie recipe. I knew it would be tons of work, which is why I’ve never made them before, but my mom came over and helped so it wasn’t so bad. Of course the kids had fun helping too! I totally lack self-control so I had to give them away as quickly as I could.
When I was a kid we made boxes to gather the valentines from our friends at school, but these days there isn’t time for extra art projects at school so we are required to make them at home. There is a lot of pressure to make them cute, but I let go of the pressure this year and let me kids mostly make their own. It was a good call. They felt proud of their work. I also didn’t make cute valentines for them to pass out this year. I’ve decided it isn’t worth the work and money. The kids don’t even care who gave them the treats; they just want to eat the candy as fast as they can!
Caleb has his first really big crush. Her name is Talya Newman. We are headed into boy girl territory. In fact, last week the two of them planned to go to the Lego Batman movie after school. It ended up being 6 boys and Talya. The good news is that Caleb seems happier. Most of my best friends growing up were boys and Josh’s best friends were girls, so I’m trying to coach him on “just being friends” and that seems to be what he wants. He was so cute trying to decide what to do for her for Valentines Day! He decided to give her, her best friend and the boy that he eats lunch with, all three, a box of candy so it wouldn’t be too weird.
My favorite tradition for Valentines is our “fancy dinner.” Every year we have peppered shrimp alfredo and dim the lights for dinner. We share things we love about each other and try to make it special. This year we even busted out the china. My plan is always to have a “family dance” after dinner, but this year the kids asked if we could go to the church and play basketball. We’ve been doing that on a fairly regular basis this winter and it’s been fun. On Valentines we ended up at the church with a stage, which was a bonus. We had a half-time show put on by Cara and Ali. Ali loves to be the star of every show and Cara strongly prefers directing and working as stage crew. It is fun to see their personalities.