Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Hearts Week - Valentine's Day 2014

Valentine's Day is celebrated throughout the week in our house.

It's a combo of reasons, mainly surrounding Jack's coaching/practice schedule. Tonight, for instance, I'm taking a break from paying bills and updating the monthly budget and tax return stuff to write this blog all while Jack is working away as he coaches in Winfield, America. Earlier tonight my highlight was the sheer glee of two little babes watching "Jungle Book" on DVD (their Valentine's Day gift from us), as they love love LOVE that Disney classic.

My how times have changed. :) 

Our week kicked off with decorating a heart-shaped pumpkin cake, a la grandma. Mackie was in charge of red hots; Brax was in charge of sprinkles; we all were in charge of eating its scrumptious glory.

Two days, later Pinterest paid off as the kids and I made Valentine-inspired treats for Mackie's half-birthday celebration at preschool. These were a spin off of the popular peanut butter blossoms - except it's a cherry-flavored shortbread cookie with Hershey kiss on top. Bliss, I tell ya! (except for the marascino cherry juice stains I still am trying to scrub off of my kitchen countertops!). 

Yesterday, Mackie had her party at preschool. And, feeling pretty awesome from the Pinterest success earlier in the week, I found my inner Martha Stewart and was pumped to make these.... (strawberry jello hearts with plain gelatin-sweetened condensed milk mixture around the hearts)

Despite my attempts to follow the recipe exactly as it was worded, the cute heart-shaped jello treats turned out like this...

Yep, epic fail, Family Fun magazine. Epic fail. Mackie tells me everyone ate them and thought they were yummy (with the exception of one little boy, "who's really picky mommy, he only ate his cookie!") And it got much, much better (hint: sarcasm). I miscounted Valentines and shorted two of her preschool friends (thank you, teachers, for having extras on hand!). Mommy had her own little selfish meltdown right before the party as we all tried to rush out the door and make it in somewhat decent time. And both kids decided to have their own form of meltdowns to which I thought we weren't ever getting out the door.

Let's just say there was a lot of mom guilt, tears, and big hugs and kisses as I sent Mackie off to her party....and Brax off to the sitter.

Today, the kidlets and I had a great day with some extra sweet treats - both in the sugar form and love form. We enjoyed stickers and smoothies while grocery shopping today. They enjoyed their fair share of candy at my office, with Brax's Early Ed teacher, with grandma's gifts, with cinnamon rolls for breakfast. 

But the best part by far was just being with them and doing a few extraordinary things to put some extra sparkle in their day. Jack and I enjoyed giving each other quirky, $10-$12 gifts (our typical budget to each other, which usually results in crossword/cryptoquips, chocolate, twizzlers, coffee, Mt Dew - except that he went over on budget this year!). We hope to enjoy a date night in the near future (taking sitters now!) and simply enjoy hours of conversation between the two of us.

Valentine's Day isn't enjoyed by everyone. Maybe it's because we as a society have commercialized it too much. However, for us, it's another day that we can really focus on God's LOVE for us.....and how He turned our hearts toward Him and show that LOVE to others.

Happy Heart Day, everyone!

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