Thursday, February 14, 2013

Give The Day Her Due

I've been a Valentine's day slacker this year. It feels like symptom of a larger problem, one called My Life is Nutso.

But I sit and take stock now and then and decide all over again that I'll take my new kind of nuts. It leaves me sort of exhausted and soul-bruised sometimes, but this is the life I was meant to live - at least today, but probably not forever, because if there's one thing I know for sure it's that as soon as things start to seem normal, a shake-down happens.

I'm fine with that. It lends a certain air of adventure to life. Even if it does interfere with my seasonal decor.

Before 11 pm last night I had exactly two Valentine's decorations out - a fabric heart hanging from the pantry knob that Cory repeatedly removes because it "bugs" him, and my now-brown-at-the-edges newspaper heart wreath.

I'm a disgrace to cupids everywhere.

But I hit my stride late last night and overcame obstacles in the vein of missing tape and smooshed garlands. I strung up every existing decoration I could find from Valentines of yesteryear. It was total hodge-podge, gaudy and wonky.

It was kid perfection.

I'm so glad I remembered. I almost went to bed without it even crossing my mind.

I make plenty of Mama mis-steps, but I like to think that I do holidays some justice. They aren't magazine-worthy or even pin-worthy, but they are always Calvin/Ruby/Silas approved.

They're momentos of my love for them and though they wouldn't doubt it in the absence of crayon-wax hearts, I adore creating these moments just for them, just for us. It always feels like a privilege.

After a very short night with our youngest, he traipsed downstairs this morning and literally gasped. "Mommy! Good job!"

Just like that, all was forgiven. Funny how that happens around here.

Silas is always the one who notices these things most acutely. I love him for it.

We feasted by the light of the fading moon.
We giggled for the heck of it, and because dangling breakfast hearts will do that to a person.

There were gifts, one Mud Love bracelet on each plate, chosen with intention.

The Mud Love people don't know me and I don't know them, but I love the work they're doing. Bracelets and necklaces are made in a nearby town and sell for just $5 a pop. 20% of their profits go toward clean water in Africa. Win-Win-Win! And there are tons of words and band colors to choose from.

 (I spy Christmas decorations still hanging at the windows. What have I become??!)

Silas cried for the first time all year about going to Pre-school because he wanted to "stay home wis all the hots" (with all the hearts)

He's such a swoony love bug.  Especially when he's not thrashing around all the live-long night.

I think we'll keep them up for a while. It seems a pity to enjoy them for just one day. I'm all about keeping the love alive. And they're so dang cheery.

So, here's to the best job on the planet. Here's to tired eyes and wax hearts, circa 2010. Here's to kids who are easily blown away and the sheer, magical gift of being the dynamite.

Here's to hot dates scheduled for the weekend.

Here's to a full night's sleep. (Please, God.)

Happy Valentine's Day, Lovies. I wish I could send you all a homemade box of truffles.
Except I didn't make any this year.

So would you settle for tomato soup?


  1. that first sentence or two? story of my life.

  2. Nice save Shannan! and I love the Mud Love. Keep up the good work mommying!

  3. Tomato soup would be fine. It really doesn't matter as long as there is love and family. Win-Win. Your heart is good.


  4. I love the mud love, too, and we had heart-shaped pancakes, too! xo

  5. Awww,

    Love it all!

    I don't love that Silas cried because he wanted to stay home, but how precious!

    I once left faux winter greenery up for a year! Brad's friend asked "is this Christmas decoration?" (This was in July) and I said "don't be silly! That's north woods decor!"

    I don't think he believed me.

    I will take the soup!

  6. I loved this post. I've never really done anything for Valentine's but this year I decided to go all out (insert sarcasm) and buy prepackaged sugar dougnuts and a little box of conversation hearts for my kids. I cut up a heart to put underneath a glass plate and lit a candle. So simple but they acted as if it were Christmas! Mine are ten and 7 years old! Yesterday I was Mom of the year. Until bedtime...

  7. I have always slacked on VD decor. Something about all the effort for just one day. Christmas is just one day, but has a whole season around it. Try as they might, Hallmark hasn't been able to make a season of Valentine's Day, at least for me. Will check out the Mud Love.

  8. Way to Go Momma!!!!! I don't ever do anything for Valentine's Day, namely because I birthed a kid on this day 13 years ago!!! Ha!!! But I felt that I should do I whipped up a little fiesta in the morning before they got not Pin or Magazine worthy, but it was my heart on a plate and they mostly loved it!!! They're older and a bit harder to please :) hahah I love your wax hearts and would probably love your tomato soup too!!!! xoxox

  9. Love this sweet little decoration, that hard work late at night certainly paid off when you saw the joy of your littles :)

  10. You're a fellow Indiana girl? First time I've happened onto another local blogger. I'm enjoying your blog!

  11. Those pancakes look pin-worthy to me! Yum! I've never been a V-day decorator, but your heart garland might have just swayed me for next year. We could use a bit more fun around here!

  12. We were living in parallel Valentine universes. I had nothing done - no decorations, no gifts, no nothing - until Wednesday night/Thursday morning. We had a great day though.
    Thanks for the Mud Love link! Those are going to be showing up in some Easter baskets this year!

  13. Your posts always make me smile : ) And those Mud Love bracelets . . . oh, yes, Easter basket material for sure!

  14. Wish i lived closer so i could come swoop in and grab the kiddos, while you crashed for some uninterrupted sleep! Those littles are lucky to have you! Have so much fun on your date! Hope Cory likes the apron! HA! Love you!

  15. That's the wonderful thing about hearts, they're never out of place, unlike some holiday decorations (I'm lookin' at you, Christmas tree).

    Thank you for the referral to Mud Love! I am pinning that to come back to buy some at a later time!

  16. You are making such sweet memories with your little ones - I love it! Now off to check on those bracelets...

  17. Love it! Love the love. Heart-shaped pancakes and strawberries? Please. Cupid wishes he was as cool as you.

    Thanks for the mudlove link! My dear friend has a daughter who recently adopted 4 siblings from Africa and a son who pastors a church called Agape (which is printed on one of their bracelets), so I've passed the word on, too. You just never know who needs to hear what's rolling around in your noggin, FPFG! (me. it's me.)

    Care to share what you printed on the other two? Because I'm super nosy. And a little bit of a copycat, too, if I'm being totally honest. ;P (That's right. A winking tongue-out smiley...the creepiest of them all, perhaps?)

    Have a fantastic weekend!

    1. I asked the kids for an unrelated project to choose one word that meant a lot to them. Calvin chose Emmanuel "because I like that God is always with us". Ruby chose Peace because she just learned about MLK Jr. and can't get enough of him. ("My favorite people are Jesus, Martin Luther King, and Robert.") (haha - love.) Silas was/is a wild card...I wasn't sure that he would "get" the concept of choosing a word. I figured he might say "Light Bulb" or "Light Switch" or "Mrs. Hoodiggy". Alas, he immediately chose "Sing". And it was perfect.

      So...they didn't have "Emmanuel", but "Fear Not" seemed a fitting substitute.

      And I chose "Beloved" for me, because it seems I am, and I like being reminded.


  18. Just ordered from Mud Love! THANKS! My 'perfect' Valentine's was take out and then in my jammies on the couch with my man for a West Wing marathon....and of course a decadent chocolate dessert!

  19. You are a great mama.
    I am losing my mama card for every single holiday this year...and I guess last year too.
    I don't know when things will ever be good again. I can't find the sun.

  20. I also just ordered bracelets and pocket rocks from Mud Love - beautiful! Thanks for letting us know about this wonderful company! I love your writing as always...and KANSAS?? Where did you go? (We are in Wichita - wish we could meet for coffee someday :)
    Blessings to you!

    1. I was near Wichita! I was at Meg Durksen's Craft Weekend. So much fun!

  21. Depends. Does the tomato soup come with grilled cheese? :)

  22. i am so hanging out here more often.
    your self talk sounds like mine only WAY better...xo

  23. beauty.
    and send me the soup, sounds perf.

    checking out mudlove right now!

  24. I could nоt resist commenting. Well written!

    Heгe is my ωeb blοg; Chemietoilette

  25. You must've forgotten about the "lovely" Valentine decor I made for you and hand delivered last year?! "L.O.V.E" covered with vintagey valentiney paper? :)

  26. So sweet and so cute. I am always so thankful when I make time to come over here and read for a bit! And congratulations on being feature on Apartment Therapy - your kitchen really is fantastic! Take care and blessings, Laura P.S. I hope you have gotten more sleep!

  27. Hi! I just recently found your blog through The Lettered Cottage and can't find the post now where I fell in love with your whole house and then those awesome Wooden Letters that say "Clean" in your bathroom. Can you please, please tell me where you got them - or did somebody make them? Seriously. I have pinned your whole house. So much inspiration. Thank you!!

  28. love those bracelets....
    lydia wears her cuff that i got from becky every single day...even sleeps in it. priceless. who knew it would mean so much? it says "God is always with me"...she picked out what she wanted it to say.

    Lord, i pray she believes that truth...he is ALWAYS with her...and he has always been her constant.

    i stunk up valentines day this year...served them pizza by candlelight before we headed out to small group. not very valentinish but they loved it. kids are so much more simple than we are.

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  30. This is Hannah from MudLOVE! Thanks for the shout out! So many of your peeps have been finding us through you. We'd like to send you a thanks. Where can we send it to? If you want, you could send the info in an email to Paul -

    You have a beautiful blog, I'll be back!