I love doing things for my kids. I love surprising them with little treats. I love to see their faces when they get something unexpected, whether it's time on their electronics, a trip to town, a special treat or a dollar for being extra helpful during the day. I love making the holidays (and other important days) special for them. Not just Christmas, but the little holidays in between. I try to find things we can do that are simple but that can become fun traditions every year. Each year on the first day of school the Backpack Fairy comes and leaves them something for their first day of school and a treat to eat when they get home. On St. Patrick's Day the leprechauns come and leave them a treasure hunt to go on. At Thanksgiving we write in our Thankful book and this last year we started a thankful tree. A few years ago I decided I wanted to start doing something at Valentine's Day too (we call it love day). There is nothing I love more in this world than my family. I always got the kids a little treat but I wanted to make it a little more fun and special. I found an idea online and changed it up a little to make it the way I wanted it to be. Starting on the 1st day of February I leave them each a treat of some sort in their Valentine baskets. Sometimes it is home made, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes there is a note I leave them too. Last year was our first year in this house. We have no mud room so I made a hooks for the kids to hang their coats and backpacks on when they come in. So I decided this was where I would put their baskets too. I found some at the dollar store that they decorated with a few stickers. Then we hung them on their hooks.
Each day I put something in there for them. Last year I noticed that they started taping up the notes by their hooks so they could see them. Some of them left their notes up all year. It made me realize that to them it was more than just a treat. It really did make them feel special and the handmade notes meant something to them. This year they are doing the same. I love that simple things can bring such joy. Along with that we try to find something we can do each day to show some one that we love them. Being aware of one another makes a big difference in how we treat each other. I am so thankful for my family and each of my 6 little valentines (although they really aren't that little anymore I am realizing). Almost 14 years ago when all this started, I had no idea what was in store for me! There have been some really rough days and sleepless nights. There have been tears, fighting, frustrations, and major changes. Things that a person could never prepare for. But there have also been joys, triumphs, celebrations, laughter, sharing, accomplishments and so much more. Motherhood has opened my eyes and my heart in a way I never thought possible. Yes, Valentine's Day is just another commercialized holiday that the stores use to make money off of us, but I love that there is a day (or month in our case) set aside to celebrate love.