A Different Sort Of Valentines

“This Valentines will be a bit different this year, kids!”

I said as we were leading up to Valentine’s Day this year. I have perhaps created a monster for holidays around here.

The kids typically know what to expect on Valentine’s Day. A few goodies at their breakfast seats, a heart laden table of decorations, homemade cards from their daddy and me, pink strawberry milk that my Vitamix makes oh so pink, and a fun breakfast.

However, I began to explain to the kids a few weeks in advance that this year since we chose to do a bit of a service project on Valentine’s that mama couldn’t swing our “usual.” On this particular 14th day of February we decided to host some of our favorite “older friends” for a luncheon.

As I tucked the kids in bed on the night of the 13th, the younger ones began asking if I was about to “go get everything ready” for our Valentine morning. I reminded them that it wasn’t going to be the same this year. We had my grandmother’s china and silver to get out, a big pot of black bean soup to make along with bowls of fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and avocado to prepare. Not to mention the Valentine program the children still needed to rehearse for.

The morning came and the first sleepy head poked into the den and said, “It s Valentine’s. How is it coming?”

“IT” meaning their Valentine’s special Day. Did this child not get the memo!?!

I didn’t even know what we were going to eat for breakfast? My brain was on the pesto grilled cheeses for the luncheon and the raspberry spritzers we still needed to prep. And “What about party favors? Oh WHERE did I put them?”

I looked into the kitchen and saw our 2nd born and faithful breakfast maker trying to decide what to make for b’fast. He sounded a bit like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh and said, ” I guess we’ll eat oatmeal.” This is when I began to get a bit sad that our Valentine’s Day was indeed “different.”

Then something magical happened — we put our heads together, asked my friend Betsy for a recipe she had mentioned the night before, checked the refrigerator for all the ingredients, and voila! A special breakfast occurred in a matter of minutes.

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits with a Coconut Granola

In the meantime as I was rummaging for the party favors I found the heart crayons we had melted the day before for a craft and some treats that never made it to their stockings….. voila!

I then looked over at our breakfast table and began seeing homemade Valentines placed at seats. The kids had made them without me knowing. Voila!

And then the children began bringing in wrapped gifts that they had had done for each other. What?? On their own, without any prodding from Mama? Voila!

How about this Valentine gift? Apparently I wasn’t the only one using a Christmas stash for Valentine’s.

In the end….. the luncheon all came together, we were all humbled at the chance to serve the ladies and it was the most special Valentine’s Day ever. Sometimes I just need get out of the way, sit back, and watch the joy of family coming together to love and care for each other. Voila!

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