Neither Chris nor I are big Valentine’s celebrators; in high school, I once convinced a couple friends to show our disdain for the commercialized holiday by dressing all in black, the antithesis of all things Valentine. My mom even got us black carnations to complete our look (I think her order actually amused the florist and gave a desired break from the monotony of pink and red.). Of course, in high school, people rarely think you’re making a Pointed Statement when you do things like that; they just think you’re being dark or brooding – or, in the case of a guy that I might have had a little unrequited crush on, that you’re so upset about the unrequited part of that crush that you’re driven to despair. Sigh. So misunderstood.
But many years, a husband and two children later, and I still am not big into Valentine’s Day (Ego crushing for aforementioned crush, I’m sure.). One of the funnest (Man, I was an English major and I always forget how that whole “fun” superlative thing works – is it more fun? Funner? Oh, forget it! …One of the most enjoyable….) Valentine’s Day we had was before we left to come to Nigeria. A small crowd of people gathered at our house, where we spent the evening enjoying a lovely dinner and some time of praise and worship to the True Lover of our Souls.
Still, what I am into is hoping that we can make some fun memories for Judah and Jovelle, that we can develop some traditions that they will look forward to, so that’s enough to make me set aside my black garb and break out the red paint and hearts… and what do you know, this red and pink thing isn’t so bad. 😉 🙂
So we started our day with (dried) cherry muffins (with the top cut out in a very questionable heart shape that would’ve been more obvious if I had gone the whole frosted cupcake route and not the reduced sugar muffin route (Hey!! Stop comparing my muffins to these cupcakes!)) and strawberry yogurt with Valentine’s sprinkles. And a Bible reading about God’s love, of course. 🙂
Judah really enjoyed the day – in fact, he even got pink eye just so he could look more festive. (Poor Judah has had one sickness on top of another for more than a week. We are hoping to break out of our quarantined conditions by next week.) We did a little toilet paper heart stamping, which I thought he would love…
…but after a few half-hearted stamps, he was ready to move on to what might be the crafty thing he seems proudest of. We had a strip of posterboard left over from another project, so we turned it into a little Valentine’s Day headband, a la Thanksgiving Indian style, with pipe cleaners and hearts attached to it. Judah painted (globbed?) glitter glue on it, and he was SO proud of it. I might be a little biased here, but he was absolutely adorable. He wore it all day, taking it off only for his nap, and when he finished making it, he practically sprinted out the door and said, “I need show O-chelle!” (Our neighbor, Rachelle, a very sweet high schooler that Judah adores.) I never would’ve thought that such a simple creation would have resulted in such joy and pride. It was absolutely endearing and heart warming.
My favorite creation of the week was this fun magazine collage I saw online. Judah leafed through magazines looking for red and pink, then I cut his findings into hearts that were placed around “tree trunk” hand/arm tracings. Who would’ve thought something so simple could look so cool? (And you’ll have to trust me that it does look quite cool.)
Our celebration ended with a dinner of red velvet pancakes that were surprisingly brown/ black. And speaking of surprising, I was quite underwhelmed by them – it was kind of like eating chocolate cake for dinner (I know, right?! Me, not digging cake for dinner.)… which wouldn’t be so bad, I guess, if I hadn’t been expecting red velvet. You know, like the name says. Anyway, I’m glad we didn’t waste our chocolate chips on it since we suddenly decided not to include them when the batter wasn’t looking great. And the meal was salvaged by Irish sausage amazing-ness that we brought back with us from… wait for it… Ireland. Yes, that’s right – they’re that good that we hauled them through 3 countries. (If you have never eaten Irish sausages before, there is really no describing how amazing they are. I would even go so far as to suggest that a trip to Ireland might be in order so you can eat them. And enjoy the beauty, blah blah blah.) We finished the meal with some watermelon, heart shaped Jello jigglers (a gift from a neighbor) – though I did suggest that maybe we should vegetables for dessert based on our main course.
Anyway, it was a fun day – though Jovelle found that she could hardly stand the excitement. 😉 🙂