Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mom and Dad turn...something!

I'm not sure the exact number, but I am certain of the date! Today is my mom and dad's birthday! The world rejoices! At least my world. They are the best parents a girl could ask for, my examples, mentors and friends. Not a day goes by I don't think of "how Mom makes it," "what Dad would say," or something to that effect.

So we celebrate! We are not there in body, but we were with you both today, in thought and in prayer and in gratitude.

*The whole barbaric cake eating at the end, I likee. Maybe a new birthday tradition in the running?
*Thanks to Jake, camera man.
*Full disclaimer, the back half was already gone...we ate that for Dave's early birthday dinner last night...but that front half was all for you guys :)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentines Day 2016

2016?? That still gets me.

My favorite holiday (do I say that about every holiday?) feels like it snuck up on me this year. I think life has felt very busy and very fast lately. And I'm bone tired tonight, so no deep thoughts here, but I did promise the kids we'd make Valentine shortbread cookies so... Tradition! It takes very little to make these guys day. Sprinkles, actually. Sprinkles are enough to make their day.

Shortbread Cookies, a Valentine’s Tradition
Aunt Lisa’s recipe, given to Mom and Dad just after they were married

¾ cup softened butter
¼ cup sugar
2 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar, work in flour, add a little more butter if too crumbly, roll out ½ to ⅓ inch, cookie cutter, bake at 350 for 20 minutes

Drizzle glaze over while still slightly warm (powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, food coloring.)
mmm, mm, mm. Buttery, melt in your mouth, perfect bite-sized confections.
 Tonight Riley was "too scared to go asleep" (it hits her every now and then, when she doesn't want to go to sleep) and I heard Joe whisper in the dark, "Riley, I'll sneak out of bed a little while and rub your back." She agreed, and I turned a blind eye to the rule about staying in your own bed after lights off. I think every mother is a sucker when it comes to siblings be kind to each other. "Sure, I'll 'help' you make a present for her," or, "Absolutely you can pick out a candy bar for him." We instinctively do everything we can to help them get along. And there is science to back it up - apparently sibling relationships early in life set the tone for future personal relationships (aka, the tone of a marriage, once the honeymoon stage has worn off.) That is to say, if you tend to yell, fight, back-bite, be passive aggressive, etc with your siblings, that is more likely to be the fall back behavior with roommates or significant others. Conversely, patience, kindness, consideration, what have you - these behaviors also translate. Just a tidbit from my child development classes but a quick google yielded these more scientific, comprehensive results if you are interested:

To be continued...when I feel like keeping my eyes open

Continued, day after (actual V Day!)

This morning we bagged the cookies and made valentines to go with em.
Riley's idea - girl loves her crafts. Joe was on board though.

Even baby got a valentine - Riley stuck a sticker on my belly and gave it a hug :)
Riley also snuck some Valentine's candy and was hyped up enough to tell me after:
Oh, and Grandpa Don gets hugs after gifting them some light-up Valentine's Day balloons. Valentine balloons - I believe that is also a tradition now - we've had them every year since the kids came and they are always a hit.
Joe waits his turn and practices giving hugs haha!
Last Valentines Day we hosted like a million toddlers for a party for Riley and Joe and gave their parents a date night (paying our IOU's to a lot of them for babysitting for us :) but this year we got to put on our big girl/boy hats and go out to dinner, just the two of us. Cheesecake Factory! Which had a 90 minute wait! But, free as the birds, we recklessly got on the list and then just whiled away the time shopping. Was lovely. Wouldn't change a thing. Oh, especially the one endearing moment when the music started skipping at just the right place, for like a solid minute, (🎶now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now...) Good times, good times. And very good food. And even better company.

Wouldn't be Valentines Day without a mushy shout-out to my Valentine! I am so grateful to have such a quality man to share life with. He is a selfless, kind and genuine man and I don't have the words to say how much he means to me but...a lot. He means a lot. 

And I'm nursing a yucky cold (wha?? you have a cold?? but you're writing is so inspired today! right?) so that concludes this Valentine post. 


*Valentine's Past: 2015, 2014, and my personal favorites, 2013, and 2012 because babies.