Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We Heart Valentine's Day.

I love Valentine's Day.
I really do.
I didn't used to.
I hated the stress of it, the thinking of a perfect gift,
the overpriced cards, the going to the pricey romantic dinner out,
etc etc etc.
We decided oh, about 15 years ago, to
forgo the pricey meals and gifts... and I couldn't be happier!

Now we always do what we call a "Sweetheart's Dinner" to let 
our little knuckleheads know we love them lots too.
( and I don't want them to think Valentine's Day is only for two people
in love, but rather a time to tell/show others we care about them!)
The boys really look forward to this every year.
I stink in a lot of parenting areas, so I am glad I (try to) make up
for it a bit with this groovy dinner and the countdown before hand :)

We had our felt chair envelopes like last year, which we put little gifts and coupons in each day,
 but this year we added in these sweet mailboxes.
I found them in the Target dollar spot, and put our names on each.
The boys LOVED getting our notes to them, and they even got in
on writing notes to each other too. (I adored them writing these to each other more than anything!)

I decorated with an aqua and red bunting banner.
I wanted it to be fabric.
I had paper already though, and paper,
I know how to handle paper.

Here it is:
Alden was my confidence booster as always, ooohing and ahhhing over it.

On the 14th we added this lights and twig display. It looked much cooler in person. (I think.)
Maybe I just enjoyed using a hacksaw in my Valentine's preparations...

Then there was the cake... oh my heart. I saw this idea on this BLOG The author is SUPER and she even wrote me back right away to help me with some questions I had about her recipe. It is a chocolate chip cookie dough cake. If you go look at the original, she made her cake from scratch. Um... no thanks. I am too scared lazy. I used a box. (she said that was ok. see? I told you she was super.) You make the cake, you make some chocolate chip cookies. You save some dough, and roll them into little balls. (we threw raw egg caution to the wind and used the same dough. Everyone is still alive.) Then you pack the dough balls and some frosting into the middle, frost the outside, smoosh (professional chef term) the cookies around the edge and BAM... Your kids and husband will think you are amazing. (and PS I did make my own frosting, and if I can do it, you can do it too.)  So, go... go make this cake for them soon. 

Everyone also got a little place setting with some cute little gifts, and the boys all had steak (YUCK.) I feasted on asparagus and brussel sprouts.

All in all, the evening was a huge success, and the highlight for me was this...
My three little men had each written Micah and I the SWEETEST Valentine Cards.
I love that.
and them...

Friday, February 08, 2013

I missed the birds...

I failed this morning.
Lest you think the title is related to
my using the "bird", it is not.
(though as a youngster I was constantly flipping off other
drivers in defense of my mom... this was unbeknownst to her. She could never figure out
all those blowing horns or nasty glares. Hey, if you drive so bad an 8 year old
has to shoot you the bird, you are the problem.)

Back to this morning.
The boys went out to wait for the bus.
Em calls in "Mom, come look, there's BIRDS!"

I sighed.
I was reading an article on xanthun gum.
What is xanthun gum, and why is it in our food?

I looked at Micah, who is only home at bus time on Fridays,
and said, "Can you go look at the birds?" It was definitely said with
an air of  "I get to 'go look' at everything, every morning, when you are not
here. Your turn." I didn't say that, but that was the spirit of my keeping my arse firmly
planted in front of the computer.

I am reading about food additives, I justified.
To make THEM healthier.

Micah, who knew not my inner mommy debate, came back in and said, "You should've
seen him. Emerson was out there watching those birds with a sketch pad in his hand,
 drawing them as fast as he could. It was awesome."

I grabbed my camera, eager to capture the moment.
"Oh, sorry bud, he is already done."

So whilst I read an article, that will be available online forever, or until the internet blows
up from too many photos of Kim Kardashian's backside, I missed it.


I missed watching Emerson in a moment where he was
showing us a glimpse of himself, one of his passions.
For an article on xanthun gum.

Mamas, don't miss the birds.