I know I'm a week late, but Happy Valentine's Day! I seem to have a tough time getting things posted in a timely manner... perhaps that's because the only time I have for working on the computer is once I get in bed at night. And honestly, bedtime at our house is not a treat... Gavin doesn't go to bed very well, but that's a story for another time. Speaking of posting things after the fact, I never DID post about Gavin's 3rd birthday, which was back in November! I may still do that one of these days!!
Back to Valentine's Day, though. Some say it's just another Hallmark Holiday - a reason to spend money. Some say it suggests you should only show people that you love them on this one occasion, and that you shouldn't need to show your love every other day. I think that's a bunch of fooey! Valentine's day is just one MORE reason to show those you love that you love them!
Cliff and I had gone out to dinner together on Saturday, so we had a little treat already and wanted to make our Valentine's day really special for Gavin.
We decorated the house with heart garlands that I made during nap that day. It was something I had seen on pinterest and was so easy! I took red and pink construction paper and stacked four sheets on top of eachother before cuting them in half the long way so I had two long strips from each sheet. Then I folded the long strips in half the long way and cut out three or four half hearts in different sizes and shapes. I ended up with about 30 or 40 cute pink and red hearts in slightly different sizes and shapes. Then I just sewed them down the centers pulling the thread a bit after each heart to leave a little space between the hearts. I sewed 3-5 hearts together on a string, knowing I'd be hanging them vertically from the light fixtures in the house so I didn't want them too long. Then I took a few hearts and sprinkled them out on a red table runner and taped a few up on our patio door along with the snowflakes that have been up since before Christmas. All the pink and red created instant festivity!
One of Gavin's favorite foods is Brown Sugar and Honey Breakfast Sausages by Johnsonville, so I wanted to be sure to work those into our Valentine's meal! We invited a couple of friends over for an early supper and made pink heart-shaped pancakes from scratch with vanilla and cinnamon and real maple syrup that we had made last spring, heart-shaped finger Jell-O, Sliced Strawberries with whipped cream, and Gavin's favorite sausages. The kids had a pink fruit juice mixture to drink and the grown-ups went the traditional route of coffee with our breakfast-for-supper. The heart-shaped pancakes were fun AND delicious and the sausages were a big hit as always!
Gavin was a big fan of the whipped cream and ate it right off the top of his pancakes with his fingers!
Deanna and Madi were great company as usual and Gavin was so glad to have a friend to play with after dinner!
Any extra special reason to celebrate is a good one, if you ask me! But the prep for all of these holidays usually means making a bit of a mess! For over a week leading up to Valentine's Day, our kitchen island looked like this!
We made owl Valentines out of cut-out paper pieces and tucked a roll of smarties under the owl's wing. We colored little hearts for the owl's eyes and wrote a Valentine message on the ow's bellies.
The messages said things like:
I'll OWL-ways love you Grandma!
You'll OWL-ways be my friend, Jake!
You're a real HOOT, Grandpa!
I sadly didn't take a photo of any of the completed Valentines with the message and the candy, but I did create a little tutorial with the pattern I made for creating this owl. I picked out three coordinating sheets of paper for each set of three owls. I created/drew all of the owl's parts separately on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet and then printed it on the backside of all three coordinating sheets. The three plum/polka-dot/argyle owls above are made from three coordinating sheets of paper. We also had three owls in a sort of denim/burlap/rust theme, three in a hot pink and purple diagonal stripe/glitter polka-dot/white polka-dot theme, a set of three in country blue/chicken wire/tan sewing notions theme and a set in aqua-hot pink-orange multi stripe and hearts theme. They all turned out really cute and some were definitely more girly, some more masculine, some more boyish and some more grown-up. If you'd like me to send you the tutorial, just leave a comment asking me to send the tutorial to you or send me an email. It includes the pattern to print on your colored or patterned papers and cut out. I haven't figured out yet how I can attach Word Documents or other files to a blog post. I think I need to load them to GoogleDocuments and then provide the link to you to get them from there.
What's the most funny about making these Valentines is that we made them for my parents and Cliff's parents and our daycare provider and the kids at daycare and a few of Gavin's friends and cousins, but Cliff and I didn't actually get eachother Valentine's cards or gifts this year, which is a first.
However, I got these gorgeous flowers! They're so beautiful and fragrant and wonderful. I'm not normally a big fan of roses, but he knows that daisies are one of my favorite flowers. One of my tattoos is even of a daisy.
This weren't your standard $10 gas station bouquet either. This was a beautifully enormous arrangement with Stargazer Lilies, Red Roses, White Daisies, Asparagus Ferns, and lush greenery. It made our Valentine's day even more special.