Valentines Day 2011 was a pretty good holiday for the Party of Five. That's a big deal for us. Holidays (no matter which one you choose) typically end up in some sort of disaster with at least one Party member in tears (typically me.) I tend to put so much emphasis on the holiday - having things 'just so' - daydreaming about the holidays of my childhood and how perfect they were (yeah - I do realize the reality is they were probably far from perfect - I just chose to forget that part.)
So I typically plan a nice meal, set a beautiful table, arrange for little gifts or treasures - and then it all falls apart. Someone starts acting crazy. Someone spills their milk. Someone shoves food in their mouth then spits it out onto the fine china ... you get the idea. And my fantasies of a lovely family feast go down the drain, I get mad, Deonne and the kids look at me like I have three heads, and it all falls to pieces.
Not so for Valentines Day this year. I was pleasantly surprised that the kids behaved so well at dinner. I think that might be partly due to the fact that they l-o-v-e-d their dinner. (It was pretty good if I do say so myself.) It might be partly due to the fact that I was recovering from a tummy bug and didn't have a whole lot of energy to fuss over the little things - like Jack holding his little fork in his right hand while literally shoveling pasta into his mouth with his right.
But it all came together.
After our pasta (heart shaped - from World Market) and shrimp, we had the kids open their valentines from us. New valentine pajamas, valentine books, some caramel corn from Cromers, and a little cerce for each child. Jack and James dug into their toys right away - while Anna stuck her nose in her new Junie B. Jones book and didn't come up for air until we made her take a bath and go to bed. (She even refused the homemade heart shaped sugar cookies that I'd made the weekend before so she could have more time to read!)
Deonne gave me a great new baking cookbook that I can't wait to try recipes from - while he received a little book about smoking (his latest outdoor cooking hobby) and a sweet Olivia book where she goes to Venice (one stop we made on our honeymoon ten years ago.)
All in all, it was a lovely holiday. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I'd felt better. As it was, all I really wanted to do was crawl in bed and hide in the flannel sheets - but I made it through the meal and gift exchange.
The best part? When sweet Deonne took over the evening duties - bathing and putting the kids to bed - then cleaning the kitchen - including hand washing all of the china.
How sweet is that?
I hope all of you out there in blogland had a wonderful Valentines day as well!