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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day has a specific “image” so to speak.

The typical ideal of Valentine’s Day.

And so many times, Valentine’s Day arrives and your life, your situations, your day doesn’t fit into that idea that we and so many others have for it.

And then … we are so disappointed, sad, depressed.

Valentine’s Day has always been one of my most favorite holidays!

I love everything about it.

Flowers.  And those oh-so-typical roses.  Love them!

Hearts.  I love the shape.  Love it!

And love.  I just love love!

Even the commercialism of it all.  I love the way it is everywhere!

But, that’s not to say that all my Valentine’s have been roses and candy and love.

So very very far from it.

Very far.

I mean … grab a compass, learn to find the North star in the sky, unfold a map, and power up your GPS ’cause you’re a looooong way from a love songs and love swept Valentine’s Day, baby!!

But, there was no way I was willing to let the situations of my life at the time make me feel bad.  No way!!

Each year, I am determined to enjoy the day!

And, the best part … it’s easy!  And fun!

Here’s what I have learned, and if you’re not living the Valentines Day dream today I’d like to encourage you to embrace this as well  …

Make your day about celebrating love.

And you don’t need a dreamy sweetheart to do that.

And even if you have one, that sweetheart is human, which means there is room for error, and your day might not be greeting card perfect.

Celebrate love where ever you can find it   …   family, friends, children, relatives, neighbors   …   celebrate them in your life   …   count those blessings   …   share that with them, let them know how much you love them, or at least appreciate them.

Celebrate God’s love for you in all the ways he has blessed you.  Those blessings are there, they are.  Find them.  Start small if you need to.  Be grateful that you had teeth left in your head to brush this morning.  No, really, sometimes, you just can’t seem to think of the blessings … so, go ahead, start small.  It will grow, you’ll get better at finding them.

Celebrate you.  Love yourself.  How else can anyone love you if you don’t love yourself?  They can’t.  Not really.  And you shouldn’t expect them to.  So love you.  A romantic candle lit dinner is a ridiculous expectation if you’re single.  But, a dinner of your most favorite meal, or most relaxing evening, or the silliest dinner you can think of … perfect!  Enjoy!

Here ya go … to help get you started … finding love in the least expected places …

Cereal … and love … and heart-healthy cereal

Love in a just opened can of pumpkin

And one of my most favorites …

A reminder of love … and to eat your vegetables

No, really though, one of my most favorite things in this world is the way fresh green beans, snapped, make a perfect heart shape!

How cool is that?!

Did I mention … I love the heart shape!

See … not so hard, is it?!

Now, I’m going to go spend my Valentine’s Day taking care of the monkeys as usual, washing the dishes that have piled up in the kitchen, hopefully turn 4 fully ripened to the point of unattractive brown mushyness bananas into banana bread or muffins, then clean the kitchen yet again, try to have dinner on the table on time, all still while juggling the baby, try to get some very last minute Valentine’s Day wishes out to all my far away loved ones via email and ecards, finishing up the three loads of laundry that need to be done, very likely eat dinner with the girls without Texas Guy who will likely work late tonight, and then go to bed tired hoping the baby will learn to sleep through the night before she is 15 years old.

But, I love that we have a home to live in with paid for utilities so I can wash dishes and do laundry.

I love that I have little monkeys to fold the laundry with me.

I love banana bread – Love it!

Love spending time in the kitchen cooking with the girls.  Love that even though it takes longer and is a bit messier, someday they will be cooking for me – Love that!

I love that I can send Valentine’s wishes over the internet – due to earlier procrastination, lack of funding for paper cards and postage, or a desire to save a tree or two.

I love that Texas Guy has work because we love being able to pay bills.

I love that I get to spend bits of time with my baby even if it is while I was trying to sleep.  Someday, I will miss it, terribly.

…  And I love that you read and enjoy my blog posts even when they probably don’t make much sense because I’m typing this while thoughts of ALL the many many things I need to be doing are rolling around in my head and the children are jumping off the furniture.

Love that!

Love you!