Happy Valentine’s Day!

Firstly, a great big congratulations to the 230,000 couples that are projected to get engaged today! Best wishes for many years of happiness, health, fun and laughter. Be sure to enjoy planning and preparing for your big day – believe me, it goes by so fast. Oh, and if you need any suggestions for a fabulous provider of all things wedding stationery, I know of a stellar company with a collection of the very best!

The Holiday
My mom called me on Monday. “So, are you two planning something fancy for Valentine’s Day?” she asked. If by fancy she meant ordering a pizza instead of cookies, and then homework with the kiddos, followed up by dishes and laundry, why then, yes! We’re planning the fanciest-schmanciest Valentine’s Day ever! This is when she inserted one of her reminders that I need to stop and smell the roses and carve out time for special things even when we’re in the midst of busy lives. Very true.

Now, in all fairness, Ryan and I have celebrated about 17 or so Valentine’s Days so far. We’ve done the super fancy dinners in downtown Minneapolis, the quaint little Italian restaurant followed by a movie, an evening at the Guthrie, a weekend getaway to a resort up north, and even a nice dinner at home with wine and fancy desserts. I’ve received flowers, bouquets of red roses, jewelry, teddy bears, and a fountain pen. So I certainly have no reason to complain about a low-key year.

As I pondered Valentine’s Day with a couple busy school-aged kids, I wondered, how does one shoehorn a celebration into an otherwise busy work week?

The Plan
The kids are jazzed. They scurried off to school this morning with Valentines and little bags of candy treats to exchange with their friends. “Can we make pizza tonight, mommy?” Maggie wanted to know. “What if we made heart-shaped pizza?” I offered. This was a hit. “Are you going to stop at the bakery, mommy?” Jack hopefully inquired, those little freckles looking all adorable as he smiled shyly. They each have their favorites that they get once in a blue moon. Raspberry and chocolate mascarpone tarts melt Maggie’s heart, and Jack’s weakness is German chocolate cupcakes. Yes, I’ll stop and grab their favorites, including a “Death by Chocolate” for Ryan. I promised them pizza and a movie tonight (once homework is done, of course!). A viewing of the animated tale Brave is on the docket tonight!

Nope, not the wine and roses that life once was before kids. But that’s okay. The important thing is making it special, even if it’s with the little things.

Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with postponing celebrating for a day or two. Saturday? Just mom and dad, Les Misérables, and a glass or two of wine at our favorite restaurant afterwards.

Whether your love is brand new or has stood the test of time, remember that even on Valentine’s Day, love doesn’t have to be an expensive or elaborate endeavor. Just make it thoughtful.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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