Family · Perspective

Valentine’s Day

We’ve rolled into February. On January 30, I nearly had an anxiety attack looking at the schedule for this month. I fended it off with a quick two mile run after I dropped the kids off at school. Just. Breathe.

February – Groundhog Day Treats at School – Two Saturday mornings of basketball – My 6m Check-Up at the Neurologist which requires 15hrs of driving roundtrip for 30 minutes in the clinic- Wedding in Fayetteville, AR – Trip for work to Orlando, FL – Kids – Work – Carpool…

And Valentine’s Day?


I’m being bombarded by ads of women in sexy lingerie and gifts shaped like hearts while sappy songs about mushy smushy love serenade me on the radio. Bleh.

I’m truly happy for people who love Valentine’s Day. It’s never really been our thing. Even when we were still dating we didn’t really DO Valentine’s Day. I did not marry this man who I love passionately for his level of romance.

College Valentine’s Day on year 3 of dating (2004) – Wendy’s d2zedifh1n0ecqk4Drive Thru, couch at the Hartford St. rental house, Cops on TV. Nothing says romance quite like a $0.99 carton of chicken nuggets! Mushy type of love? Not so much. It does make a humorous story that made me roll my eyes then and makes me smile now.

In my younger adolescent years, I dreamed of getting flowers just “because’ but I found that not really a reality. I’m not excited about gifts.

I thought I wanted a guy to go to Rom-Com movies with me. Honestly, my sisters and girlfriends are better company for that!

And if I’m being honest, I don’t really like things that are heart-shaped for myself. I’ll draw that shape all over pictures for my kids, but for me, nah.


In my reality, what I enjoy is a spontaneous night out – even if it is just for groceries and dinner sans kids. I won’t go into intimate details – the world wide web isn’t a private place to talk – but suffice it to say, I don’t need to be showered with extra love on 1 out of 365 days. We pay attention to each other and work through our less-than-stellar moments. He’s my best friend and I’m his. We enjoy being together.


Will I get a card for Valentine’s Day? Maybe. It’ll be signed from him and the kids. I’ll get each of the kids a shiny helium-filled balloon for the day because those things are special moments for my kids. I might even drape myself in something ridiculous that sits in places that are inappropriate to talk about… or I might not. I’m doubtful that the date on the calendar will be the key red or green light for my husband. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be over-the-top or actually, any different than any other day.

After writing this all out, I’m going to drop Valentine’s Day from my list of stresses and concerns this year.

I’m choosing to focus on all the other days we have together and I’ll treat Valentine’s Day as just another day on the calendar. I’m sure I’ll channel surf right on past the mushy songs. I usually do. I’ll bypass the chocolates and ignore the air brushed awkward looking women in weird contorted positions wearing nothing but underwires and v-strings (Yes Vicky’s Secret… I saw that ad).

We’ll likely eat at home with our kids that night and talk and laugh about the day. We’ll address the issues as they come. As friends, husband and wife, parents and as a family, we will keep it simple. It works for us.

Family · Parenting




Ah the joy of the Christmas vacation from school…

I’d like to freak out on  thank the amazing and unassuming sales lady who offered my children these free balloons on a solid 18″ plastic stick in the mall on Monday.

We just went to get a package of socks for my husband with a gift certificate and a few last minute late Christmas gifts. We were day-after-Christmas sale virgins. What in the what?! Who knew it was like the running of the bulls?

The mall was packed. I was frazzled by the time we reached the checkout line of our first of four stores. The same woman almost ran me over with her stroller three times. It was like stroller road rage. We get to the checkout and this sweet 20 year old asks my children “Do you want a balloon?”

Exuberant yes from Thing 1 and Thing 2! I think “how nice of them to give away balloons!”

From store one to store two I am playing tetherball trying to keep my loving littles from pelting other determined shoppers speed walking thru the holiday hustle. By the checkout at store #2, I am ready to confiscate the metal detector and dollhouse that were so excitedly received on Christmas due to the behavior of the balloon holders.


It’s like dodgeball to get from the second store to the car without pummeling someone with the beloved balloons.

Frazzled mom and dad put the offending purple and orange balloons in the backseat….  where my kids find them again this morning to go to town.

What the flip?! Was it seriously not cold enough the last few nights to deflate those suckers? By mile four of our morning car ride, they are beating each other balloon-style, my four year old is howling, and my six year old is overreacting defensively to everything his sister is howling about.

But we do love balloons. Looking back, I should have held my hand up nicely as a non-verbal stop sign when the nice young sales clerk offered the balloons.