Like lots of men, The Water Man loves to say Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday and to an extent I agree. But I have to tell you, I LOVE holidays! I will use any excuse to celebrate, especially a day to give people love notes and tell your tribe how much you adore them. So made up holiday or not, I love to indulge.
This year we are spoiled with our first Valentine’s Day getaway, y’all know how long we waited for an overnight so now we take one any chance we get. This is the first year we have gotten a special night to ourselves and we won’t be gone on the actual day so we will still celebrate as a family. As much as I look forward to romance with The Water Man, I cherish these years we get to spend holidays as a family. I know the day will come too soon that we are not included in their Valentine’s Day plans, which is so rude and I can barely stand the thought. So let me live in denial and share some of our favorite ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family.
We usually start the morning with donuts! We started this little tradition before the kids, but this is probably their favorite part of the day, especially with the pink and red sprinkle fest that is the donut shop on Valentine’s morning! The Water Man is teaching My Sunshine how to be a true southern gentleman so he helps him pick out flowers for his sister and I and daddy gets us flowers too. I leave little surprises through the house like cards for my love and something little for the kids. This year I got them books and stickers. I spent under $10 but they will be so excited. Balloons are also a favorite! Mother’s Day Out and the grandmas usually handle the sugar needs so I skip the candy because I still have to do bedtime that night.
Speaking of night time, we make a special dinner to celebrate. I usually make a variation of our favorite Fettuccine Alfredo pasta with steak or crab legs. We stand around the kitchen cooking together while we munch on bread and oil and finish up with dessert. Sometimes I make dessert and sometimes Randall’s does. Either way, it’s fun to spend an evening together with the people who mean the most. Because I have so many fond memories of our Valentine’s Day family dinners, this is one of my favorite nights of the year.
Years ago I had to teach The Water Man that you have to give cards. He never use to give me cards and I had to explain to him how important they were because that is where you write all the mushy stuff! What I did not expect was what The Water Man taught me about cards; the art of the handmade card. He is the very best card creator. I hate to give away all of his secrets but he has taught me his craft and we thoroughly enjoy these cards. Sometimes they are good old fashion love letters and sometimes they are inappropriate stick figures for my eyes only. These are priceless, funny cards. Life is short, have fun for the love of marriage! He also helps the tiny humans make me very appropriate cards and those are precious too!! Store bought cards have nothing on us!
Another homemade favorite is one of my creations and we call it the love jar. I don’t remember where I got the idea or if I made it up, it was before the days of Pinterest so it might be an original but I just don’t remember. The first love jar I made was a true labor of love. I gave The Water Man a decorated mason jar full of reasons why I love him for Christmas one year. This one was a lot of work because I made a reason for every day of the year, that’s 365 reasons why I love him written out on tiny strips of paper and folded up in the jar. That is a lot. I had to get creative and it took me a while to work on the list. It was everything from serious, to funny, to private. Things like “I love you because you have the yummiest lips”, “I love you for how hard you work for our family” “I love that you never give up on me” and “I love your bad dance moves”. He got to open one every day, it was a fun gift and he loved it! I made My Sunshine a love jar for Valentine’ Day one year too. He keeps it on his dresser and he’s always asking me to read them to him or he “reads” them to me. It is the sweetest.
And finally, I will just go ahead and turn in my fun, young girl card and openly admit I am the old married gal with this one. Some years we are low key and we compromise with the old movie and massage. We put the kids to bed, open wine, I get to pick a sappy chick flick and he happily watches it with me while getting a back rub. Win, win. We’re old. Ps, this technique will also get him to watch Grey’s Anatomy and Dancing with the Stars. This method will not get me to watch another gold mining show from Alaska.
We still manage to nourish our relationship and obviously Valentine’s Day isn’t a game changer. But it’s fun and while your littles still want you around, include them. Laugh and enjoy these years before they turn into the terrors that are serious teenagers with crushes and heartaches, that think you’re uncool! Better yet, they wipe their own butts so moms of teens, show them some love too! Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!