February 18, 2013
“Significance is found in giving your life away, not in selfishly trying to find personal happiness.”
That God would help this Valentine’s Day to not be about me and my expectations,
where a date would have been my ideal,
but about my precious little family, my husband and children, and helping them to have the best time ever.
And you know?
It was one of the best family times we have EVER had.
Well, not in the gushy sense of the word, no.
The enjoyment of one another, the gift of being family.
Pink Cupcake Day.
We have this tradition of cupcake baking baking on Valentine’s Day.
It started 2-3 years ago, it’s easy, and it’s so fun!
We kind of even started calling the holiday Pink Cupcake Day.
I mean, with darling matching aprons from my sister, how could it not be fun?
This is my kind of baking with kids.
[that little icing tube on the far left? it's amazing. it'll make you look like Bakerella.]
And because I know that French parents allow their children to help with adult-ish things…
… but French children probably don’t lick the batter…
Let me just interject in the middle here… that baking with children is the makings of sainthood.
And shows you how far you have to go!
I say that not mockingly, but seriously.
The day we were baking, all three of us in a little crowded space, I smiled to myself because it was a dream come true.
This day of doing fun things with my daughters, involving them in what I was doing, making memories, creating traditions…
It was just good and wonderful.
And then there is the side of reality.
Where there are umpteen “Uh-oh, Mommy!” “Oh nooo!” “Sorry, Mom!”
for the spinkles that spilled, for the mixer cord that got in the batter, for the hands that were covered in sticky mess, for the floor that was a disaster, for…..
And the challenge really is to live in the mess of reality but with the heart of the dream coming true.
It’s almost crazy how tiny little people can make you realize how much you like to control your life,
or how you want everything perfect.
It shows ugly things about yourself.
And how all they care about is whether you loved them and showed them Jesus,
not whether what you did was pinterest-worthy.
To not end the baking day in frustration because of the mEsS!!! that was created.
To not talk sharply because they weren’t being careful.
But to stay calm when it’s disaster.
To say, “It’s okay” and mean it when yet another something spills.
To be able to laugh and enjoy them, even in the middle of the mess…
It wasn’t perfect.
I wasn’t perfect.
They weren’t perfect.
But it was such a wonderful day.
And I was happily exhausted by the end of it all.
A very proud and messy Olivia holds the finished cupcakes.
Hudson’s job was just to look cute, which he is kinda good at. And then he had a bath in the sink while we baked.
While the cupcakes were cooling, we took a few pictures in the back yard.
And on Happy Heart Day itself, I had planned to take the kids to the Big City.
Because we live in a small town, there are perks and disadvantages.
One disadvantage is that our options are limited for activities and experiences.
The Big City is really quite a big deal.
It’s like Country Mouse meets City Mouse.
My kids do not even know what a mall is. No kidding!
We live an hour from the nearest Starbucks.
I love city.
My husband loves country.
So the plans were to take the kids to THE most darling little cupcake shop ever,
then to ride a little train and some fun kid stuff AT THE MALL and head home.
Husband caught wind and thought it sounded too fun to not be involved, so we made it a family evening instead of a mom/kid day trip.
[yes, i desperately need a tan! ]
Introducing: Gigi’s Cupcakes.
Home of the $3 over-sized cupcakes, totally worth their money.
Part way through the day I exclaimed to Zoe, “Isn’t this the MOST FUN DAY EVER?!”
I was having SO much fun.
And she looked at me, raised her eyebrows and said, “You’re funny.”
And it tripped me out that my own little daughter thought my excitement was a little over-the-top.
And then a trip to the carousel and little train…
(we made proper introductions: “Yes, children. This is called a mall!”)
Blurry pictures but showing the happy faces.
And thus ended the holiday, with a tired baby, happy kidders, and a couple more in love after seven years of marriage than ever before!
“The pleasure-seeker is not the pleasure-finder;
those who are the happiest men who think least about happiness.”