Looking at the calender I am realizing today is the last day of February. Looking around our living space I get a little sad about taking down the last signs of Valentine's Day. Looking in my heart I feel the need to stretch love-day into love-month and then into love-year and then LOVE-LIFE.
Here are few snaps of our February celebrations:
We kicked things off the beginning of February with a fantastic annual Valentine-making tea party event hosted by one of my dear aunties. The food is fancy (and mostly pink), the conversation is girly, giggly and delicious and we all get a head start on making some hand-crafted cards. This is a much better plan than scrambling the night before... Which never happens to me! (hahahaha) Yeah, right.
Deck the Halls
I have not always managed to get anything pink, red, or heart-covered put out around the house before Valentine's day because it always feels like we are just done with Christmas and New Years and then *boom* it's February. But things worked out this year and I was in the mood to jazz things up.
Nothing really fancy - a package of doilies left over from last year tied or clipped here and there, a pink ruler with a doily attached, Target dollar-aisle bakers twine that was too cute to put away, a stack of love themed books earmarked to read this month, and a clothes-pinned photo garland featuring our girl Rebecca.
The garland is my favorite and I am not ready to take it down. I had spent some time before her funeral finding photos for the memory board that would there. As I found each one, I printed it because they were all so precious and I couldn't bear to simply email them off to the people putting the board together and close the file. I wanted them all hanging up around me, right then. When January was over I couldn't put them away so they became this pretty garland. A celebration of Rebecca definitely goes along with a celebration of love.
This love day thing takes some preparation and forethought, I tell ya! Sending treats to school for 2 parties, Making valentines for 3 classes and 3 teachers, A MOPS group craft, cute lunches to compensate for all the allergen-filled treats the older two couldn't eat... It sounds like a lot, but I loved it all. The sweet looks and thank-you's from my munchkins made it worth it. Which goes to show that no amount of preparation and forethought can truly prepare you for the blessings (and craziness) of motherhood.
Flower-pot Valentines for MOPS, a happy preschooler with his love-day loot, 2 love potions, 2 chocolates and 2 love notes from mom for lunch boxes (I cringe when I think of them getting too old for all these - maybe not the chocolates), Picture-riddle valentines with cocoa packets for classmates, A hearty heart-y lunch (strawberries, clementine, hamburger, red pepper, cherry tomatoes and ketchup), classy crafts and stripey washi tape (obsessed), cutesy teacher packages tied up with string ('these are a few of my favorite things'), and class-act strawberries dipped in chocolate and ready to party.
She deserves her own category here. The girl is a Valentine's Day rock star! Other the the fundamental design steps, she made all her own and most of her brothers' class Valentines. She fretted over whether asking all the boys in her class to 'Be my Valentine' was a proper thing to do. She had her clothes picked out a month in advance (hanging in the closet with a sign tied to the hanger that said 'Were on Valentams Day'). She even had opinions on which coat, gloves and hat were best (pink, mismatched on purpose, flower pinned on). But her trophy was her Valentine mailbox for which I only take credit for in the helping of safely cutting the box and the wrangling of wrapping paper in the hard to manage spots.
I watched her help T-boy bungle all his stuff out of the car and watched her feet march those pink and red heart socks into school with her load of goodies.
I thought, "By George, I think she has got this!"
Maybe next year I'll just sit back and let her handle it all! [grinning]
I made out like a bandit on Valentine's Day. My best friend brought me pregnancy-proof and Paleo-friendly treats all wrapped up in vintage linens. She knows me so well.
I walked into my mom's room on Valentine's day and saw this 'Love' sign sitting on her trunk and immediately said that I loved it. She laughed and said that was good because it was for me. She knows me pretty well too.
There was darling packages from Nana for the kids along with a book for them to share and a cozy throw rug. The candy was from my little sister. I guess she knows my husband's sweet tooth.
Girls Vs. Boys
This is a concise view of the difference between boys and girls. The first is a valentine drawn by one of Bee's friends and was found in her backpack. It is all cupids and flowers and birds and bunnies. The second came from Tboy's backpack and was drawn by him. His has birds too... but that girl duck has a chain-saw and a broken heart.
I rest my case.
All in all, February reminded me of how lucky I am. Lucky to be loved and to feel love. Lucky for every experience that stretches me to love more. Lucky for a month of hearts, sparkles, cuddles, stories and laughs Lucky for our fair share of tears and normalcy to round it out. Lucky to carry this happiness with me the rest of the year and to aim for the rest of my life.
Maybe love and luck are a lot about looking. Looking at what you have with thankfulness. Looking for what you can do with willingness. Looking at people with kindness. Looking inside yourself with honesty. Looking ahead with faith.
And maybe it is about smiling at what you see.
Sappy Smiles in NE