Monday, February 17, 2014

Be mine

A year ago Jason and I were enjoying a romantic snowboarding weekend in Park City. As the snow froze me to my core I was mentally preparing myself to face the harsh winters in Sweden. Instead of stocking up at the outlets on shorts and t-shirts for an Arizona summer, we ransacked the sweater racks (still wishing I hadn't passed on that beautiful red wool coat) gearing up for a European winter. On our last run down I remember thinking to myself, the next time we ride we'll be on the Swiss Alps.  And a year later fate and faith finds us smack dab in the middle of one giant sheep pasture eating pavlova and referring to our swimsuits as togs. Life is just plain bananas sometimes. So Valentine's day...once again I'm realizing just how big of a deal holidays are in the states and just how not a big deal they are here. I miss the aisles of heart shaped candy, I miss Old Navy's entire line dedicated to Valentine's day clothing, I miss pinning homemade valentines to my pin board then buying a generic box of spongebob cards at the last minute, I miss hating staying up all night making valentine's boxes, I miss the class parties, I miss the heart shaped french braids and all the moms trying to one up each other and all the stores trying to milk out every last dollar. I really truly miss it all. But we still managed to make the day special. In a way it's sorta fun to create a holiday from scratch here.  We were still able to pull off our pink hot chocolate after experimenting with a few ingredients that weren't available, and at the going rate of $1/strawberry I had to get creative with our strawberry crepe breakfast. But change can be oooooh soooo goooood.

Whoever said "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" obviously never tasted these.

They thought I had forgotten to heart attack their doors so they were excited to wake up in the morning and see it. Carrying on the same traditions makes it seem like we're not so far from home.

I always have a small gift waiting on their breakfast plate. They played with these wooden swords for three days straight, which is about 2 1/2 days longer than any other dollar store gift. And Kylie has only been wanting hair chalk for, oh, say...the past 3 years. For some reason hair chalk has never managed to make it's way onto my shopping list. So she was thrilled.

We had to rush out the door to make it to the school assembly where Maddox's class was presenting. They did such a great job and the video clips they shared were just adorable. The second one is my favorite. And just when I think school has gone and robbed me of my sweet Maddox, he goes and rearranges the toothbrushes so that ours can be together. He's still mine after all. Ryder was so excited it was raining so that he could wear his boots. Who am I kidding, he wears those boots everywhere regardless of rain. At least now it's acceptable. (and please note the sunny skies after school in the pictures above, this weather I tell you...)

I was pleasantly surprised when Jayden and Maddox both received an award. Clearly they were both thrilled.

Instead of attending class parties, Ryder and I decided to spread the love one sugar cookie at a time. What can I say, food (particularly sugar) is my love language. We delivered them to Jason at work, friends, neighbors, teachers, the principal and front office staff because quite frankly they are all such gems. They don't have cookies like these here and I'm so glad I could open their eyes to the caloric bliss known as frosted sugar cookies.

cutest sous chef this side of the Milky Way

We carried on with our fondue dinner tradition. Only this time I finally found a cheese recipe that was edible and Jason was actually home in time to enjoy it. This was my favorite Valentine's dinners yet.

Kylie turned the roses into a science experiment. A pretty science experiment. It's so nice having a garden that grows more than just cactus.

Kylie and Maddox were so sweet to heart attack our room the night before and they all wrote us cute little Valentine's notes the day of. I also kept finding bits of chocolate on my pillow that Maddox was so kind to surprise me with. After about the third chocolate he snuck on there he finally came to me and said, "geeze, we keep doing all these surprises for you and all you did for us is give us one little present?!" For doing nothing absolutely all day I sure was exhausted by the end.

Valentine's day has evolved from a romantic holiday to a family holiday and having the air under our roof thick with love for each other is the way it should be.  But Jason and I always make a point to sneak away during the weekend for a little romance too.  We went out for Chinese food then strolled around the botanical gardens at Hagley park admiring nature's handiwork, catching an open air performance of some sorts and talking about how good life has been to us. It truly has. So grateful for my Valentine and all our little cupids. Honest to goodness, they make my life completely rad.


Tyson and Dawn Jolley said...

That was one eventful Valentine's Day! I couldn't have imagined a better one! Too cute! I love all of your cupids too :)

Janessa said...

I just love what your holiday celebrations have evolved into over there. You get to enjoy each other with some wonderful, homemade celebrations. And I'm sure all the NZlanders love being introduced to some American traditions. Especially when it involves food. Glad you and Jason fit some romance in there too!

Unknown said...

My heart was warm and fuzzy reading this!! You are such an amazing mom!! I think I'm gonna steal a few of your traditions!! Was so great seeing you and Ryder today! <3 Megan xxx

Jodee said...

oh man, those faces holding their very exciting awards!
I totally agree, Vday is such a fun family holiday. And what a sweet family you have to share it with.

Chelsea said...

Mmmm I want the cheese fondue recipe! You managed to arrange quite the smorgasbord given your limited grocery choices. You are such a great mom! I'm cracking up at Maddox and his "geeze only one little present" comment!