I know that after C's birthday this weekend I'll be posting all about her special day and the fun-crazy-awesome times we had with her, but before I get into all that I wanted to post about our Valentine's Day. It was uniquely wonderful this year...
I love February because of the emphasis on love, but I've always disliked the notion that we splurge our loved ones one day out of the year with flowers and chocolate etc. Don't get me wrong- I love flowers (especially tulips!) and chocolate (especially Dove & Lindt) but it seems more important to make the whole month about caring for those you love, as we should do anyway. My visiting teaching companion reminded me of this when I went over to her house. Every morning her kids wake up and look around the house for a paper heart. On the heart is a little note from their mom telling them something she loves about them, then they hang the hearts from a ribbon and use it as decoration for all of February. I love the idea of constant "love reminders" and want to use a similar tradition for the years to come. It's also simple- not extravagant- and thoughtful-not hurriedly purchased the day before Valentine's Day out of obligation (again- I'm not criticizing anyone because I've totally been there!!).
This month I've thanked the Lord over and over for my children and husband because I couldn't possibly love anyone more than I love my family. We've had to stick together this last year and find happiness within our home despite the heavy burden of Jonathan's unemployment. There were good and bad days, but we have never loved each other less. So I was especially grateful for February this year as it reminded me that while happiness is a choice, love is a blessing.
Anyway, on Valentine's morning Jonathan told me to sleep in and scurried off to the kitchen. We promised each other no gifts this time, just can't afford it and gifts are silly anyway ;) well, I secretly made him a card despite my promise and picked up a little tool from Home Depot as a surprise. It was so hard for me to not get him something to show my appreciation for him. He has been so unbelievably patient with me and my hormones lately (darn you birth control and period! yep that's right I am in no rush to have another baby just yet!) Turns out he also couldn't resist...and he brought me crepes and tulips in bed- two of my favorite things:) It was sweet and simple and I loved him for it. We went on with our day and blew up balloons for our kids. Those two were having a BLAST with the balloons and it was very entertaining to watch them throw, hit, bite, squeeze, and roll all over those balloons (gotta love how easily pleased young kids are).
Jonathan's phone rang and he answered it while walking away into our bedroom. I thought nothing of it until a few minutes passed and he was still gone, then it hit me. This is the call. The call we've been waiting for but forced ourselves to believe it wouldn't come until next week. I walked towards the bedroom and then I heard him laugh. My heart lept up in my chest and I knew he had received good news. I know that a 6 month long job doesn't seem all that great to some, but for us- after the hell we've been through- it is a Godsend. 6 months of paying our bills, feeling happier, and me returning to my stay-at-home-mom status is pure bliss to us. And now Jonathan will have experience on his resume. I've learned that it is such a difficulty for fresh young graduates to get into the working field because of lack of experience. Well now he will have some and hopefully be offered a full-time position in the very near future. We could not stop smiling the whole day!!!
All day long the sun shone gloriously bright and warm, so we walked to the park down the street and couldn't stop hugging and kissing our children and occasionally tearing up out of pure joy. Now I know that our summer will be wonderful and less stressful than this last year has been. Now I can miss my husband during the day and be happy to see him at night. Now we can grow in our callings that we love so much without the fear of having to move. Life is so hard to understand with its ups and downs...but I know that blessings always follow when you strive to live righteously. This has been the hardest year of our marriage but also the most humbling. I would not change it.
We spent the rest of the day making cupcakes and this fudge for Charly's party, and it was heaven. I love that my man likes to bake with me ;] My fudge did not turn out nearly as pretty as it was supposed to, but it tastes delicious! I was so glad that both kids took long naps that day and that was the best gift they could give me. Also, we made 75 cupcakes. I'm not kidding. I hope our guests like cupcakes...
When the kiddos woke up it was still warm outside so I said, "Jonathan, I want to go to the craft store and just look at all the pretty things in it." Normally he would not let me do this- too dangerous! But on this day he said, "Okay! let's go!" Ah....he is the peanut butter to my honey. So off we went and we spent a long time at that craft store....I love getting inspired for projects there. We came home, put the darlings to bed, and cuddled up on the couch to watch our new old show on Netlix- "Breakout Kings" It was a *perfect* day, and we really needed one of those.
I hope that our lives can return back to normal now...by normal I mean pleasant with a few bumps but no BARRICADES if you know what I mean. I had nightmares last night that we faced more trials and never lived happily ever again- boy was I relieved to wake up and realize it wasn't true! I know that the Lord doesn't stop tribulation coming your way just because you got over the last one, but it would be nice to have a break....just for a little while...just so we can heal and enjoy our days together in the sunshine.
Happy love month everyone :)