Preface 1: A few weeks ago Ben told me out of the blue that he thought we could do a better job making a bigger deal about holidays. And I agreed. I’ll blame it on having tiny babies or being pregnant for the last three years of holidays but we’ve let the small ones slip out almost entirely.
Preface 2: Growing up, other than Christmas, Valentines was our most celebrated family holiday. Given that I’m not a stuffing or turkey person, I looked forward to Valentines even more than I did Thanksgiving. Each year we celebrated with a big family dinner. I can’t tell you what we ate but everything was always decorated and each place setting included a little gift (and I can tell you most of the gifts I received growing up from V-day).
We had just been dating a month when Valentines rolled around six years ago and Ben got to join us for my aunts Valentines dinner and I loved to see it was a tradition my grandma has passed down to her daughters.
And so, February 14, 2017 marked our little family’s very first Valentines Dinner Party.
The Decor: I stuck with things we had for the table and layered some pink fabric with lace and tea lights for a table runner. I set our regular white dinner plates on red chargers and served raspberry lemonade in wine goblets and sippy cups. I decided my wow factor would be something Lincoln could appreciate so instead of an elaborate dessert or fancy side dish, I picked up a carfull of balloons. There was one at each chair, including the high chair, and then others just scattered throughout the kitchen.
The Gifts: Each family member got a little pink or red item of clothing, a card, and a handful of age appropriate treats. Yes, I did pick up a shirt and chocolate bar for myself but Ben had another surprise waiting for me too 😉 I also saved our January Book-Roo subscription that was wrapped in the cutest festive paper so the board books were the perfect addition for Lincoln and Adelaide who were not super excited about new red clothes 😛
The Menu: We love this salmon that is SUPER easy so we did that, roasted broccoli, and take & bake french bread. Super easy, little cleanup. For dessert Lincoln and I made brownies and, after Adelaide went to sleep, we whipped some cream and added some red food coloring for a festive touch.
The Traditions: We went around the table and said things we loved about each other and then Ben and I rapid fired all the things we loved about Lincoln for a few minutes. One of my very favorite parts of the whole day was watching Lincoln’s face change as he listened to his parents talk about how wonderful he is. His eyes got brighter and his smile got bigger and by the end he was exclaiming “yes!” after each endearing comment. It was a good reminder to me to tell him specifically things we love about him each day.
And lots of pictures:
^one of Lincoln’s little treats because I had it left over from Alt Summit and he loves Nutella almost as much as his mother
^stickers, teddy grahams, fruit pouches, and Valentines from grandma and grandpa
^a peek at the decor and our family motto for 2017
^Ben got beef jerky instead of chocolate (I got chocolate 😉
^I had everything set up for when the kids woke up from naps and Lincoln’s eyes when he saw all the balloons ranks in the top 3 moments of the day. I then let him eat his Nutella sticks before we went to the library for the afternoon.
^I had to include the next two pictures as well, even though they’re so similar, because her faces 🙂
^the books from BookRoo come wrapped each month and half the fun is opening each gift. A sweet friend gave us a subscription as a thank-you last thanksgiving and we loved it so much I asked if they’d give you guys a discount – use code MCKNIGHT for $10 off your order ^the hair that I will never be able to tame
^stealing his books since 2016
^perks of having Ben work all weekend, we had him home all day for Valentines
Hope you had a wonderful Valentines!