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A Very Special Valentine's Day Recap

Valentine's day has never really been such a special holiday in this family. My husband doesn't believe in the holiday. He believes it's a complete marketing scam to get everyone to spend money buying gifts and other "nonsense", as he calls it. This is something I've known about him from the very first start of our dating days so, I never expected for this year to be any different. However, coincidentally, he happened to be off from work and so was I. To my surprise, he invited me to brunch with him. Although I was super caught off-guard by his newly pronounced romantic gesture (he will totally disagree and say this had nothing to do with romance), I quickly replied to his offer with a definite yes! As some of you may understand, me being the mom that I am, I was overfilled with joy and excitement about the idea of finally having a one-on-one date with my hubby. It didn't even matter whether he acknowledged that it was V-day or not, the point was we were going to have some time to devote just to each other.

On the other side of things, since my husband doesn't like V-day, I had decided to make the holiday more about my relationship with my daughter this year and every year going forward for that matter. I remembered many Valentine's days as a child after our parents divorced, my sisters and I were living with my dad. My mother would always make sure to come visit us on this holiday and bring us each a teddy bear with a card in which she wrote an individualized special note for each of us. She would always tell us that we were her Valentines, even when we knew she was in a relationship with someone. I cannot speak for my sisters but, for me, my mother taking the time to do that, made the pain of not having her by our side in that moment of our lives, go away. Even for just that one day, it really made me feel important to her, like I hadn't lost her completely, and the hopes of someday being together again would stay alive. I wanted to start this tradition with my daughter as well. I figured if each year, I make her my Valentine, as she gets older, she won't feel the pressure of having to have someone to make her feel special and loved. I don't want my daughter to ever feel like she has to be in a romantic relationship with someone in order for her to feel like she is important on Valentine's day. In my opinion, the most intense, real, and filling love that could ever exist is between that of a mother and her child.

The day before Valentine's Day, I walked into Dollar Tree to find a simple card for my husband (Yes, although he does not celebrate the holiday, I always make sure to give him at least a DIY love letter, a card, or some kind of keepsake.) and hopefully find some good leftover items to create a gift basket for my daughter and my nephew. My sister and I had already planned to meet at my dad's apartment the next evening so that the kids can spend time together and we can share V-day gifts. We literally made this holiday ALL about them and we couldn't have been more excited!

Thankfully, I was able to find a good amount of things to add to the gift baskets for the kids. I'm beyond obsessed with Dollar Tree and all the varieties of items you can get at just $1. These cute baskets were filled with stuffed animals, candies, stickers, heart-shaped chocolates, and so much more. All for under $20, yes for both baskets! Conveniently, I remembered to make each basket as similar as possible to avoid any fighting between my daughter and my nephew. (There at that terrible two's age where they want everything the other has.) I just kept them more in tune with their personalities and the things they like. For example, for the stuffed animal, I got my daughter an elephant and my nephew a lion. I got her a Frozen heart-shaped chocolate box and him a baseball heart-shaped chocolate box.

On Valentine's Day morning, I woke up nice and early ready to start my unusually eventful day. I got my daughter ready in her Valentine's day outfit and dropped her off at daycare with her special treats for her friends. (Also purchased from Dollar Tree, one box of 12 lollipops with a Frozen themed V-day card for each.) Next, I arrived back home and began to get ready for my brunch date with my husband. We decided to try out a place near by that we had been told about by my younger sister. We went to "The Flour Shoppe Cafe & Bakery" and just as it's rather plain name suggests, it is nothing close to what one would imagine for a romantic date. The place is very small and cozy but, the smells that emanate from the kitchen will totally distract you from the fact that you are sitting less than an arm's length away from the total stranger dining next to you.

Upon entering, we were greeted by an employee behind a glass counter filled with all kinds of beautiful desserts. She handed us two menus and pointed to an empty table perfectly big enough for just the two of us. After about 10 minutes of looking through the menu and staring at each other clueless as to why no one had come take our order yet, we realized that we had to go up to the counter and place our orders ourselves. This sure was different, I thought. Nonetheless, my husband walked up and placed our order, they gave him a wooden cooking spoon with a number to place on our table. I ordered the breakfast mac & cheese and my husband chose to try the steak & eggs with two turkey patties on the side. To drink, I ordered a cappuccino and Chris had a regular cup of coffee. We waited a pretty long while for our food however, the place was practically full with the small maximum number of guests they could seat. Once our order finally came out, (someone actually brings out the food to your table, by the way), I realized it was definitely going to be worth the wait! Everything looked so delicious. Just to be clear, I am not big on trying new things and I was so excited to try this dish when I took a glance and sniff at it. I took the first bite into my pasta and it was absolutely exceptional. I've never had or even imagined of eating over e-z eggs on mac & cheese but, this was so delicious. Oh and the home fries were exactly how I like them, crispy and crunchy! After finishing our meals, we were way too full to even look at the desserts. Next time, I'll be sure to leave some room to try some of their sweets!

Later that afternoon, my sister, cousin, grandma, and I met at my father's house with the kids. We all exchanged gifts and spent a nice time watching the kids enjoy their presents. Even my cousin, Celine's godmother gave each of the kids a gift and my sister gave us all a rose. As my sister and I sat there watching the kids, we discussed how much every part of our lives have changed since becoming moms. Seeing how we had made V-day about making our children feel special, loved, and happy just made us realize how different things are for us now. It no longer matters if we go on a nice romantic date or if we are given a beautiful gift from our spouses. Everything is about our babies. Yes I know that isn't always good or healthy for us as women but, we know that we won't be able to do this forever. Someday (sooner than we expect) our babies are no longer going to want to spend holidays like this one with us. We prefer to cherish and embrace every moment we can get with the kids now, while the opportunity exists. Honestly, I think that is also what made Valentine's day this year so much better than any other. In the past, this holiday was always a little daunting and full of unmet expectations. Now that I can share it with my nephew and daughter instead, there is no room for disappointment. Instead, the day is overfilled with a sense of joy, love, and appreciation for one another...

...Sew This is Life!

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