Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day in a Nut Shell

Some of you may remember my woes about Valentine's Day that I shared last year.  I'm very anti both the commercialism of the day and the whole social pressures of having a special "Valentine" and on Valentine's Day.  I think it's absolutely ridiculous.  (I apologize to any of you who are very into Valentine's Day.  This is simply my personal opinion.)

At the same time, my heart has some strings attached to this particular "holiday" (I cringe to even refer to it as that).  As I also mentioned last year, my dad (having 3 daughters) always made it a priority to show his daughters (and our mom/his wife, of course) just how much he loves us.  (Click here to read how he did this.)  I'm so appreciative of the way that my dad taught us what a true gentleman is like, in every sense of the word.

So for our family, my husband and I really wanted to pass on some of the same ideas of love and being a gentleman/lady, but also emphasis where love comes from and the only example of true love that we have - Christ.  

Last year I worked hard to do this.  Valentine's Day celebration consisted of a breakfast made by my hubby (and son), dinner out with just Andy (pre- Valentine's Day)a surprise visit to the church to deliver a special gift of love to my husband, cupcakes given to our neighbors, packed gift baskets to homebound/sick individuals from our church (done with our church), and a special dinner at home for the three of us with special dishes, homemade cards, and a few yummy homemade treats.  All of this was mixed in with lots of prayer and Scripture reading, which made our whole celebration much more... redemptive.  I wrapped up Valentine's Day 2011 with the feeling of not be able to wait until next year - to make it even better!

This year was very different, and in some ways I felt like I failed (compared to last year).  Life happened a little more than it did last year around this time and, well... we adjusted and did things a little different.  And in the end, it ended up being a really fun day.  

Before Valentine's Day, we had the opportunity (for the second year in a row) to participate with our church in packing gift baskets for individuals who are elderly and unable to attend church, are sick, or have been away from our congregation for other reasons.  This was a wonderful time to lovingly serve and care for those in our congregation that not many of us see on a regular basis.  

Two days before Valentine's Day, Andy and I were able to go out for dinner (just the two of us!).  We're so thankful for wonderful friends from our church who love to watch Jadon!  We got some much needed time together, but didn't have the Valentine's Day craziness at the restaurant.  

Soooo... Valentine's Day.   My husband was incredibly thoughtful.  Getting up in the mornings has been so difficult for me lately (but I do it).  Tuesday morning, he let me sleep in (until 7:15... that's sleeping in around here).  He and Jadon had a breakfast of french toast and scrambled eggs prepared for all of us to have together.  We spent some time reading Scripture and praying together and then we ate and opened our cards to each other.  The morning was more leisurely than a normal Tuesday morning, but alas... life goes on.  Andy left for work, and Jadon and I headed out the door do run some errands.  
Jadon enjoying his french toast and eggs.
Loving his Valentine's Day balloon (from the dollar store).  This and one of those washcloths that you put in the water to expand were what we gave him for Valentine's Day... not a bit of candy - and he was thrilled!
Jadon's cards to "Mom" and "Dad"


Andy's sweet and thoughful gift to me
My little valentine and I ended up at the mall at lunch time and I opted for us to have our lunch together in the food court (something that he and I have done 2 or 3 times ever... so this was a very special treat for both of us).  Jadon took a very good afternoon nap, and then life really got busy.  No wonderfully prepared dinner for three with the nice dishes this year.  Instead, we had a frozen pizza (a little sentimental for Andy and I) along with a few other special sides for our dinner.  Then it was a quick clean-up and out the door we went to a college basketball game.  A wonderful young lady that we know plays on the team and this was our second time getting to see her play.  All three of us love going to see her play, and it was a wonderful way for us to lovingly encourage and support her in her last home game of the season.  It was such a privilege for us to be there!  
Making his Valentine's Day card to bring for our friend playing in the basketball game

So, all in all... not the Valentine's Day celebration that I would have meticulously planned out (if I had found time to meticulously plan the day out), but it ended up being a really fun day.  And this is just the point.  February 14th was not special because of the flowers and candy that were given in our house.  (Andy did not get me flowers, and I didn't give Andy a bit of candy.)  It wasn't special because we had a wonderfully prepared meal to enjoy.  It was special because we put in just a little bit more effort to enjoy one another, encourage others, and give Christ all the credit for the example he set for us to follow in life and in love. 

Sharing a "family kiss" right before our little valentine headed to bed
~ Carrie ~

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