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Valentines of Years Gone By

2016 February 12
by Becky

It was parenthood that made me, a formerly outspoken hater of all things February 14th, someone who worked tirelessly with my child on heart-shaped crafts and special red-tinted breakfasts to celebrate ye old Day of Valentine.

Looking back on my former glory, it’s heartwarming to tell you I’ve done nothing this year but cut out a few last-minute hearts and set out glue for my kids and their friends to do with as they please. Ethan’s class didn’t do a celebration, so I decided to just skip it. It feels fantastic.

This year there will be no heart-shaped cakes.

Valentines Day Heart Cake with Sprinkles
This picture, taken Valentine’s Day 2013, was part one of THREE posts I did on the holiday that year. Three posts?? I’m embarrassed. The cake project was purely an excuse to test buttercream frosting recipes and make decorations with my Silhouette machine, but still…I’m ashamed of my giddiness for the Hallmark holiday. (Or maybe I’m a genius? Cake and frosting for the win?)

We made these insane birdseed Valentines two years ago.


“Easy” yes, but also messy. OK, looking at them now I’m kind of falling in love all over again…maybe there is still time…

And there was the year we made matching shirts for Ethan and our favorite DC neighbor Lyla.


They are so little here, it’s incredibly hard to believe they ran all over the city together this fall. Maybe I can dig out Ethan’s shirt for Finn because I’m certainly not making another one, poor second child.

No matter how scroogey I’m feeling, I’ll always fondly remember Ethan’s very first valentines, made with watercolors and his favorite animal, elephants. We handed them out at his little Parents Morning Out class—he was so proud.


Watercolor Elephant Valentines

I suppose next year, when Finn’s a little older, we’ll get out the supplies and make 20 of something. Ethan will be in Kindergarten so there will be no escaping the class Valentine exchange…meaning we’ll need two sets of projects. The five year old and two year old versions. Sounds like a lot of creativity for the middle of February.

So I’m calling this my gap year.

Everyone seemed happy this morning, digging through my kluged-together art supplies. Even Finn was in his element, uncapping and recapping markers while Ethan glued his specially requested BLUE hearts onto pink paper. The leftover gold card stock, leftover from Finn’s first birthday, was a big hit. Glitter—always the crowd-pleaser.


I’m sure we’ll do our traditional heart-shaped cinnamon rolls on Sunday, and I may indulge in a few candy hearts. Just to be patriotic. Good thing Stu has finally stopped feeling guilty about not planning anything for this holiday…it used to be a dance around “does she really hate it or is this a test” where he’d panic and bring home overpriced flowers at the last minute. I’m just not a Valentines kinda gal.

But it’s fun for kids.

Here’s hoping you have whatever kind of Valentine’s Day you like!

2 Responses
  1. February 12, 2016

    My daughter’s school “encouraged” homemade Valentines. But when she saw the box with Elsa and Anna at the store? There was no going back. We were one of maybe five or six out of 25 families who went the store-bought route. We did make Valentine cards for the grandparents. Maybe next year I’ll have a burst of creativity and productivity. Or maybe we’ll just let Hallmark take the holiday and run…
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  2. February 14, 2016

    Mmmm. I want that heart-shaped cake.
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