Valentine’s Day is getting to be almost as big for Katie as Christmas around here! We’ve been having so much fun making Daddy his present and planning our fondue party. She is actually counting down the days. She had even been looking forward the to neighborhood Valentine’s Day crafting afternoon (held today) and kept asking all day when it would be time to go to the clubhouse for the event. Valentine’s Day has always been a little lower on my holiday radar—our marriage anniversary is much, much more important to me in many ways—but really this year I am feeling the excitement.

We did a bit of pre-school work this morning yet spent the majority of our time finishing our quilt and listening to music.

The kiddos check out the quilt before we start working on the corner ties.

Katie begins the tie-quilting process. She has truly helped at every stage of this project. As we worked on all the ties today, I reviewed with her our whole process. “What was the first thing we did to make this quilt?” and so on. After we had discussed each step and how many days it has taken, I asked her, “Was this a quick project, or did it take time?” She answered that it took time, and we discussed how homemade gifts that take time are an extra-special way to say “I love you” to someone. We talked about how, every time Daddy uses his quilt, he will think about the time it took us to make it, and how each moment of that long time was spent thinking about him and loving him. It will warm his body and his heart.

Eric practiced his sitting, and, in a very cool moment, took his first major crawl actions on Daddy’s quilt. He has been scooting with more and more vigor, but this was the first time I have seen him successfully crawl for a few seconds on his knees—and it was on the quilt. Perfect memory….something else for Bill to think about as he cuddles up in it.

Mommy wants to devour my cuteness. 😉

This afternoon, it was time to head out to the neighborhood craft party. Katie was cute. She said, “Mama, I am excited about our date! Eric can come, too!” I had been planning on having him come anyway, yet it warmed my heart to hear her want to include him of her own free thinking. We decided to walk there and back to get exercise. It was a beautiful day.

Katie was literally dancing (and skipping and running) her way along the sidewalk. She was so happy, so excited. This picture was taken shortly before she shouted, “I LOVE EVERYTHING!!!!!”


There were four stations set up in the clubhouse, one of which was this pop up card. The activities were well planned and all of them together took about forty-five minutes for us to work through. Eric bounced around in my Bjorn harness, happy as a clam to be watching…and trying periodically to eat the scissors. Gotta watch that boy… 😉

Oh yeah…and I would be remiss without adding this part of the story. On the walk there, we passed by a few groups of middle schoolers walking home from school. Many of them were fine. The teacher in me looks them in the eye, greets them, acknowledges their humanity.  It was going well, until we passed a clique of girls. The day was bright, I was holding Katie’s hand, smiling, thinking of how much I love my children and my life. I gave an extra head bob to them as they passed, smile on my face.

From a few steps away I then heard the unmistakable chip-on-the-shoulder-everyone-but-me-is-sooo-stupid tone, addressed to a girlfriend: “What’s SHE smiling for?”

I am 31-years-old but felt instantly like I was thirteen and back in 7th grade. Ugh. I got punked by a middle school girl. What?!?! Where did my high school teacher armor go? I think my time away has made me soft again, defense systems down. It was hard to shake off…oh, the humanity.

In my own classroom, I would have used some sarcastic humor to diffuse that ‘tude, but today part of me felt like turning around and saying, “Hey, I’m smiling toward you because it is NICE!! Nice, have we heard of nice? I am smiling because I love life and don’t look for reasons to complain…because I love my children…because we are walking to go do something FUN in the nice bright afternoon!”

So yup, I was punked by a 7th grader today. Yay me. Fortunately, I was able to laugh it off after playing at the park for a few moments with my daughter before our crafting activity started.

Both kiddos sacked out early tonight, and with our quilt done, that means I might have some time to catch up more on my digitizing-our-photos-from-days-of-yore project.

Lesson for Katie today: no matter what they say, dance down that street with your smile on. Leave the haters to their own non-companionable thoughts. Smile anyway, and remember that your belief in life being good and backed by Love is all true. Do not give in; keep your light no matter what they say.