Feb 1 I decorated our house for Valentine’s Day with some simple banners, a heart-shaped picture frame, and a festive candle. I sat a bowl out, filled with some favorite sweets.
On actual Valentine’s Day I had big plans to make it magical for our kids
a cute surprise waiting at their seats with a special Valentine candy
hearts hanging from the light over the table
hearts sprinkles down the center of the table
personalized cards sitting in their seats
all 3 meals for the day centered around a heart and/or red theme
How it actually played out is a different story.
Due to multiple financial “surprises” in the first part of the month, it felt wise to trim down any holiday-related spending (even a date night for me & the hubs). I purchased a heart-shaped Reese’s for each of my kids and that was the extent of it.
I made the kids each their own Valentine acrostic, with words describing what made them so special (really it was just a piece of colored construction paper folded in half and my handwriting in Sharpie marker. No stickers or glitter or anything with personality).
The weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day were emotionally and mentally exhausting for me so Valentine’s Eve I just could not muster up the energy to sit and cut hearts out of construction paper all evening. I opted to veg on the couch and go to bed early.
Valentine’s Day afternoon I walked with the kids and the dog down the street to our new favorite sledding spot, and the kids enjoyed some sled time with neighborhood kids. This happened while my husband tried to address the possible reason the “check engine” light came on in our van.
And meals? I made blueberry muffins, but that was because there wasn’t really anything else we could eat for breakfast. I put them on a heart-shaped plate so it looked like I was on top of things. Lunch was a smorgasborg of various snack-y things that, when put together, made a fun meal. This was also done because we ran out of bread and our car was not drivable. Dinner was homemade sloppy joes, with veggie straws and apple slices. Dessert was my grandmother’s pound cake recipe that my girls and I worked on together earlier in the day. We topped it with some thawed frozen strawberries.
To me, this Valentine’s Day was so wrong on many levels. It was not the picture-perfect day I had hoped it would be. I felt like I dropped the ball as a mom …
… that is, until one of my children said, “This has been the best Valentine’s Day EVER,” and another said, “my favorite part of the day was spending it with you.”
Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of how I place unnecessary expectations on myself to perform. My kids don’t need store-bought cards, gifts, and candy. They don’t need decorated and themed tables. They just need my presence and attention. That is what makes them feel the most loved.
And now that the kiddos are tucked in bed and (mostly) asleep, the hubs and I are going to veg on the couch and watch documentaries on Netflix (my love language).
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends.