A lifetime ago, my husband and I were newly married and celebrated ONE Valentine’s Day together when it was just the two of us. Then we began adding children. I don’t really remember, but I’m guessing the first one we celebrated as parents, we probably took our sweet firstborn on a date with us. But following that year, we began to need babysitters to keep our infants and toddlers if we wanted to enjoy an actual date night.
I’m not really sure how many years into the gig we figured it out, but at some point, we decided that celebrating Valentine’s Day ON February 14th was more stress than it was pleasure. Finding a babysitter on THE most prized date night of the year was nearly impossible. So we, being stress-avoiders, and ingenious problem-solvers (ha!) decided to move our Valentine’s date night to another night around the 14th but never on the 14th. I’m not so attached to a DAY that I couldn’t be flexible – so long as I got some time with my man.
And so, February 14th became our ‘family date night’. I have been preparing a nice meal, complete with dessert and sparkling juice (for kiddos – parents get wine!) for many years now. Most often, us girls dress up in our fancy dresses. During dinner, we all make many toasts so we can *ching* our wine glasses, and one of the most precious moments of the evening, daddy gives each of his girls a Valentine’s Day gift.
With the changes in our ministry life over the years, Mitch happened to be out of town last year ON the 14th and ministry is happening again this year ON our special day. We roll with the punches, and celebrated last year before he left on his trip. This year again, we scheduled our family date night early, celebrating earlier this week.
As much as I love a perfect, well-planned and well-executed evening, that doesn’t always happen and this year looked like a bit of a dud. Not that we didn’t have our dinner, but we had to pull an exhausted Robin from bed and Journey actually slept right through the meal. We did our best to pull off a semi-fun family evening – great meal and gifts for the girls. Mitch and the older girls even watched a movie afterwards. I ended up crashing for a while though and missed dessert. Sometimes you just shrug your shoulders and say, “Ah, well. I’m so in love with my life – in it’s beauty and imperfections.” And so I bring you a brief photo reel of our evening… in all it’s imperfect glory.