Monday, March 18, 2019

Valentine's Week and Beyond

We had such a fun Valentine's celebration this year!
We started out the weekend before Valentine's Day at a chocolate tour in a tiny town not too far away from us. They have a darling town square and over two dozen of the businesses around the square participate in an annual "chocolate tour," in which they hand out chocolate desserts and then those attending can vote on their favorites!
We had so much fun sampling different chocolate concoctions and just experiencing something new together. Thankfully they gave us goodie bags to bring the samples home in, because that was a lot of chocolate!
We discovered a cute little community theater while we were there and learned that they would be performing The Secret Garden the following weekend...so we made plans to come back and watch!



The next day was Sunday.
I take care of the big meal after Church, but Sam likes to make a fun little evening meal for everyone on Sundays and this time he surprised us with a heart dinner. He made heart shaped pancakes, used red dishes, and asked that everyone wear red. Then he taught us a Family Home Evening lesson and for part of his lesson we made valentines to hand out.

Valentine's Day came on Tuesday, of course, and the boys woke up to cheesy hand-drawn valentines I had made them to go along with their Clif bars and orange juice. We rounded out breakfast with more heart-shaped pancakes, and then the kids were off to school.



They had early out due to parent-teacher conferences, and they came home with overflowing Valentine boxes and stuffed copious amounts of candy into their "pots of gold" to save for later.
Then we tackled the cookies.
We worked together to make sugar cookies (okay, let's be honest...I made the sugar cookies and the boys helped cut them out for about 5 minutes). Maxwell threw a tantrum when I would only let him eat a pinch of dough instead of the huge handful he desired (check out those crocodile tears!), and then we drove around delivering the cookies and valentines.






I made Guru's quesadillas for dinner (always sentimental for Sam and I!),
and then we tucked the boys into bed.
Finally, we enjoyed warm molten lava cakes with ice cream and exchanged our valentines to each other.
Sam wrote me a very creative letter as if he had been stranded on a desert island in the 1600s
(seriously, guys, that man can take on a unique character's voice more effortlessly than I can believe).
I gave him a framed mosaic made from 2,352 pictures of our life together thus far!
I can't really take credit--I used EasyMoza and all I had to do was upload pictures and my design.
It is so fun to look at though, and I am totally amazed by how their algorithm can detect the dominant colors in the pictures to form the mosaic! The boys loved studying it the next morning as well.

That weekend we went back to the same tiny town to watch the performance of The Secret Garden, and it was such a fun production. The theater's claim to fame is that Elvis performed there back in the day. It's small and quaint and really just right up our alley.
(You know it's a small town when the ticket lady stands at the front of the theater before it begins and says, "I'm the janitor too, so if you have any garbage I'll be coming around during intermission with a bag to collect it.")
We typically find ourselves seeking out quaint country scenes over the flashy lights of Beale Street.
It's a different side of Memphis than most people know,
but it's one we've come to love.

Since then we've celebrated Pi Day (I made an assortment of sweet and savory pies, including this recipe made into a pie...if you're looking for an awesome lemon crumble pie, look no further!) and St. Patrick's Day (with 5 sick boys and an array of Irish food).
I'm thinking I really ought to plan a celebration for the first day of Spring too, because
I am SO HAPPY Spring is here.

SO HAPPY.

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