Valentine’s, Ben’s birthday, love, love, love…

Oh Valentine’s Day! Our beloved holiday! The sweetest, happiest, most love-filled day of the year. No stress or shopping or elaborate meals, just hours and hours to laugh and cut paper and think of clever ways to show our love for each other. And especially our love for Ben, the birthday boy.

The moment we arrived home from church everyone set to work. Some of us didn’t even bother changing clothes (but doesn’t Erik look cute?).

This was Heather’s first year at our Valentine celebrations and despite telling us she doesn’t have a creative bone in her body, she created gorgeous, clever cards for everyone.

I’m always the least creative one on Valentine’s Day. Mostly I run around finding scissors, glue, more red paper, that cool edge punch… supplying the table with strawberries and clementines in addition to the inevitable sugar overload. And I bake. Dozens and dozens of cookies and cupcakes for our evening doorbell ditching.

Xander was working on a Valentine for a girl he likes. It looks good, yes?

But he was too afraid to deliver it to her on his own and took Gabe along in the car because, “Gabe is liquid courage in a solid form.”

The birthday boy hard at work.

My brother Dan sent these insanely delicious Saint Louis butter cakes from Ann & Allen.

They lasted about three minutes.

I actually made a nice dinner (Ben’s birthday and all) but no one wanted to clear the table. So we ate at the counter and created our cupcakes and cookies delivery list.

I didn’t intend to take a group photo, they just love to pile up.

Yep, that’s how the candle blowing always goes.

The next day we woke up to a sugar hangover, a huge mess,

and so many fabulous cards.

This card from Xander refers to a little known fact (so little known you can’t even google it) that the second son of a second son will have five boys before having any girls. So, we love to tease Heather about her future houseful of boys.

and the inside of Mary’s card to Heather deserves it’s own photo:

It’s a whole lot of love. Not only do I give Valentine’s Day credit for making it easy for us to express love to each other, I think we love each other because we embrace the day wholeheartedly. I became a mother on Valentine’s Day twenty-four years ago, and Ben has filled our home with love ever since. He gets a bit cheated on the birthday blog post, but his double sized heart, his enthusiasm and kindness and joie de vivre set the tone for our family.

Happy Birthday Ben, you fill every day with love.

February 11, 2016



  1. ellen patton

    March 2, 2016

    You know how to enjoy a holiday!

  2. Catania

    March 2, 2016

    Your Valentine’s (and birthday) celebrations are a breath of fresh air. There is so much negativity around Valentine’s day I feel (and so much pressure, so I get it). But I think that a Holiday that celebrates love is exactly what our world needs these days.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your day with us. Beautiful!

  3. jen

    March 2, 2016

    i seriously want to be adopted by your family.

  4. Anne Marie

    March 4, 2016

    The creativity and love and celebrating are just magnificent. I just adore your Valentine’s Day tradition. You inspire me again and again. The devotion and kindness you bring day after day to your loved ones will continue to make beautiful things happen in the universe. xox

  5. Kel Purcill

    March 5, 2016

    I love you lovelies so much!

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