This year, we celebrated Valentine's Day as an entire family. I took the lead from my sweet friend, Tracie Loux. Their family loves big and celebrates big and they created Family Love Day a few years ago.
Overall, Jamy and I have never really been big fans of Valentine's Day, the annual Hallmark Holiday filled with roses and baby's breath, cheap chocolates, and your favorite restaurant filled to the brim with reservations. I used to think all of that was romantic. But now romance looks a lot like watching him do the dishes, helping me fold the laundry, and tucking kids into bed for the 5th time at night. It looks like walking through hard stuff and staying committed. It looks like yoga pants rather than heels and joy in the mundane everyday. Daily faithfulness rather than once a year teddy bears and carnations.
So I started thinking, what if we can use this holiday to communicate our deep love and affection for each other as a family? What if we use it to celebrate what real love really looks like?
Starting February 1st each year, I post a heart to everyone's bedroom door each day, noting something I love, admire, or cherish about them. And this weekend, we celebrated big. We got the kids simple gifts and spent special time together as a family.
On Valentine's night, Jamy cooked a gourmet meal with everyone's favorite requests (Isabelle asked for pork steak, I asked for apple chutney, and Jackson asked for Daddy's famous homemade mac & cheese). We all got dressed up (I even broke out the heels) and had an amazing dinner, sharing around the table the things we love about each other. It was perfect.
I want to teach my kids young what real love and romance look like. Around our house, we don't hide our affection. The kids walk in on a kiss in the hallway or a slow dance in the kitchen. And they get lots of snuggles, hugs, and kisses from us. I don't want my daughter longing for a cheap carnation on Valentine's Day or my son to think a heart-shaped box of chocolates communicates true love. I want them to feel secure in the love they have at home and grow to learn that real love is about sacrifice and commitment.
Family Love Day was a good reminder to cherish these faces every day and find little celebrations all around me.