Call it what you will – Valentine’s Day, Love Day, or Single’s Awareness Day (as my students were calling it), but I am a sucker for February 14th. I’m not sure if it’s because it falls smack dab in the middle of one of the coldest, most depressing months of the year, or because it’s a day to get away with things like eating an entire box of chocolates, sending really mushy emails to your husband, or buying Mylar puppy balloons much bigger than Cruz himself, simply to see the look on his face when he walks into the living room. It’s a little extra-ordinary snuck in between a bunch of ordinary – a chance to celebrate the greatest gift of all – whether it’s with your best friends and a round of daiquiris during a girl’s night out, your parents and siblings crowded around a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s, or over a fancy dinner, a bottle of the good stuff, and a few candles to set the mood with the love of your life. It’s a day to celebrate love --- what’s not to love about that?
Yesterday, I brought my first hour Film as Literature students home-baked, heart-shaped sugar cookies (because everyone knows the way to a student’s heart is through food). We told stories of Valentine’s Day - of secret admirers and high school crushes, and ended up watching failed marriage proposals on youtube! One student shared her story of getting dumped on Valentine’s Day in 8th grade (after, and I quote, “I played with his heart that entire year”), and another student shared the story of how his step-dad proposed to his mom. Our conversation and their honest ability to open up only reconfirmed why there should always be room for fellowship in the classroom.
After school, I made a quick trip to Hy-Vee to pick up the necessities: Ghirardelli chocolate chips and strawberries for fondue, that giant, life-sized puppy balloon I was eying for Cruz Man, and wine for my colleagues. I laughed at the sight of my cart, as well as the sight of the stressed, but smiling Hy-Vee florists, all dressed in pink, with rose stems coming out of their ears. I brought my balloon home, staged it next to Cruz’s present just so, and set my camera so it was ready to capture his reaction when he first caught glimpse of his lute. Needless to say, he was a fan…
Cruz got to celebrate Valentine’s Day with his friends at his very first Valentine’s Day party. We worked hard on his treats and this morning, he walked into his classroom, proudly ready to present his work to his teacher. In his festive Snoopy shirt, he looked like Cupid himself…
And there I melted into a big puddle on the floor.
Saturday, we made two different Valentine’s for friends. The toddler-friendly version, and the adult version.
I bought Hy-Vee out of their glass Strawberry Crush bottles. Found a cheesy black and white of Cruz Man, and added a speech bubble through Photo Bucket. Paired that with some leftover ribbon from our wedding and ended up with a simple and cute Valentine to bring to all of Cruz’s daycare girls.
The second was easy. I needed something that even one year olds could eat, and couldn’t resist the adorable heart shaped marshmallows.
Last night, Beau and I started a new tradition of pizza on Valentine's Day night. When we got home, we topped it off with chocolate fondue. We ended the night with new books from Grandma and Great Grandma and one very tired little Valentine.
Another Valentine's Day for the record books. Here's hoping the love of yesterday (or the sugar high) is enough to carry me through the rest of the work week :)