Monday, January 24, 2011

A Change of Heart

I never used to be much of a fan of Valentine's Day. In fact for a long time I despised the holiday. Oh sure I've been dating and/or married for the last 15 years of my life, so its not for lack of having a companion that I didn't love the holiday. Rather, I think having a partner on Valentine's Day caused me to have an unhealthy expectation of what the day should mean or should be.

Sort of like New Year's Eve.  You know, there's this big expectation that New Year's Eve, like Valentine's Day, should be special and fabulous and one of the best days of the year, when really, it's just another day.
So you come to expect flowers.  And then when you get flowers, well they aren't the right flowers.

Or you want to go out to dinner, and in the beginning your gentleman doesn't make reservations.  So you drive around for hours with a steadily decreasing blood sugar level, and by the time you find a restaurant to take you in you are sobbing because you snapped at said gentleman and caused a fight.

So the next year, he makes reservations, but it wasn't at the right restaurant.  You wanted to try the hipster new restaurant on the other side of town. 

Gosh, this girl sure sounds like a spoiled brat, doesn't she?  That's what holidays like Valentine's Day do to some girls in their twenties.  And so after a few years, you both give up on celebrating and you quietly ignore the holiday for a while.

Then something magical happens.  You reach your thirties and you are a bit more mature, and a bit wiser. 
You're a mother now, and you realize that a carnation can melt your heart, and a glued together hodge-podge of a  preschool craft makes you smile and you proudly hang it on the fridge.

And forget going out to dinner.  Let the twenty somethings fight over a table.  You'll make filets at home and eat dinner together in peace after the kids go to bed.
 You hang pink and red hearts all over because your little girl loves the house to look festive.
And you realize that this Valentine's Day stuff ain't so bad.  In fact it's downright fun.  You're older now, and a bit wiser, and can appreciate the joy that simple little things like waxed paper hearts and red bows can bring.
Thank goodness. 
Happy Valentine's Day
(It's a little early, I know, but we're feeling in the mood around here)

Arts & Craft Projects from Top to Bottom:
Collage 1: Salt Dough Hearts (as made last year here), but the one Taylor is wearing is actually a gift from our friends the Gallaghers; Borax Crystal Hearts (recipe here)
Collage 2: Waxed Crayon Hearts originally found project here, but Shannen also made them here 
Collage 3: Valentine Book Wreath found here 
Collage 4: Heart Paper Garland tutorial here and glitter votives are just made by brushing glue on votive holder and rolling in Martha Stewart craft glitter. 
Collage 5: Well that's just my sweet girl, and I don't think you need a tutorial on how to make one of those ;)

I'm linking up to Heather's Life Made Lovely Monday



  1. Oh so pretty! I especially love your nailpolish. Where is that from? :)

    And yes, it used to be so much pressure with Valentines Day...

  2. I couldn't agree more. For years now, BF & I stay in on NYE and Valentine's and refuse to "celebrate" like they tell us to! Such pretty photos.

  3. I couldn't agree more. For years now, BF & I stay in on NYE and Valentine's and refuse to "celebrate" like they tell us to! Such pretty photos.

  4. the first few paragraphs of this post sounded EXACTLY like my own thoughts on NYE and valentine's day. i don't know if it's blogland and all the cute crafty things out there (or target's festive decor), but i have been a little bit more excited about valentine's this year. maybe i just need to embrace the cutesy-ness of it instead of the uber-romantic side... we shall see...

  5. Thank you for sharing... I'm searching for crafts for the daycare kids and my daughter (my sons are OVER doing crafts with me... boo hoo!). Every year I do something special for the kids and husband on V'day. But I've never decorated for it. Now maybe I will!

  6. I can go out on another day and you can enjoy it with the kids too! I make a red themed dinner for the family each year. I love the tee your daughter is wearing in the last photos...adorable...I want one like that! Happy Val's Day!

    Valerie :)

  7. I'm a big ol' softy over Vday! Always have been. Reed usually does a great job picking out a restaurant for us and giving me something special. But now that we have a little one I enjoy making a fancy meal at home for us all and opening a great bottle of wine. My only requirement is that he doesn't forget flowers for me!

  8. Yes, yes, yes...all of it. Decorating the house today with red and pink hearts for my girl that likes the house to be festive. :)

  9. Hooray! Great ideas, Andrea. We'll be trying the crayon heart one this afternoon. I fear Charlie will only choose orange hearts, but maybe I can sneak in a few red or pink, too. Thanks for all your great ideas. You rock, Mama!

  10. I love the bandaid peeking out of her shoe!

  11. Beautiful ideas Andrea!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Your home looks filled with love and ready to celebrate!
    Enjoy the day

  12. We usually do something simple and at home for Valentine's - especially now that there's a baby in the house! I am in love with your mantle decor. I'm going to have to try to pull something together for mine now that I've finally taken down the Christmas stuff (I'm a disaster, it's true.).

  13. love the evolution of expectations! i'm with you on that. now, we have a val. day dinner WITH the kids (and of course our own adult time is budgeted for as well). my parents modeled this with us and when i was in my teens, i knew my love and worth was rooted in my family. i didn't have to feel sad like the rest of the girls i knew if i didn't have a date.

  14. Dare I say it... perfect post. I loved it, you just hit the nail on the head!

  15. this is such a cute post! never thought of it quite that way.

  16. You are so stinking crafty! Everything looks so pretty. Where do you find the time and energy?? I bought the heart punch last week but haven't gotten any farther. I think I need a teacher - wink, wink :-)

    Miss you and hope to see you soon!

  17. It does change, doesn't it? I love your pictures and ideas-and the reminder that it's okay to make things fancy for the kiddos who like it :)


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