Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Traditions

Valentine's Day is coming up in just a few more days. About a half hour ago, I finished helping the three youngest boys do their class Valentine's Day cards. By the 70th card, it was getting a bit stressful and I was glad to be done. It did, however, make me start thinking about Valentine's Day plans and the fact that I have made none yet for this year.

I love Valentines Day. It's one of my favorite holidays. We never miss a year celebrating it. On our second Valentines Day as a married couple we accidentally started a tradition. We were very young, I think only 20 if my memory is correct, we lived in California, far away from any family or close friends, and had a newborn and an 18 month old. We couldn't (and wouldn't at that time) leave the kids, and our 18 month old (Drew) was a little under the weather, so we couldn't take them out with us. We decided to put them to bed early, and order take -out. We laid our newborn (Emanuel) in the swing where he passed out for the night, lit candles and enjoyed our Applebee's meal from the comfort of our little dinning room table. It was absolutely perfect. Just because we were together, alone and enjoying real time with just each other. We talked, mostly about the babies, about our future, our hopes, dreams, and the things we were excited for. That still remains one of my favorite memories ever. Albert's too...
Ever since that year, we have kept that tradition, even though we've reached the point where we can get out for dinner together (that newborn and that 18 month old are now teenagers, and fabulous babysitters). We have changed things up a little bit as we've added more children..we do try to take the kids out for Valentines Day a few days ahead of time. Not every single year, but most. And the other thing that isn't exactly the same is the take-out. Sometimes we cook a meal at home. Some years we cook it together, and some years one of us cooks for the other. And I think that there have even been a couple years where we did end up eating out. But none of that is the real tradition. None of that is the part that matters. The tradition is that every Valentine's Night, we put our kids to bed early (or just upstairs with a movie and their own fun treats, like maybe pizza for the older kids) and we light candles and spend time just the two of us. We let our phone calls go to voice mail and enjoy each other. We talk, mostly about our babies, about our future, our hopes, dreams, and the things we are excited for, which this year includes our new little girl, who will be making her appearance in about ten weeks, give or take a couple. We don't miss our tradition, even if we're out of sorts with one another, like last year when we spent most of the day in a raging argument. The night was still perfect, the arugment from earlier in the day totally forgotten. Some years we exchange gifts, other years we don't. Some years we exchange really, really great gifts. And some years, its just simple little things- like one year I made Albert a scrapbook, or he may pick up flowers and a little bit of chocolate on the way home. But big gifts, little gifts, just cards or none at all really doesn't change anything about the night. The amazing, beautiful, awesome part of that night is just the time we spend together, connected together, focusing on how much we love each other- focusing on where we've been and where we want to be. And celebrating the miracle that our family has become over the last several years.
For now, I posted some pictures of my favorite little Valentines. Just for fun! Not really because it had anything to do with the post. I know it always seems like I take tons of pictures of the little ones and not so many of the bigger kids but that's because its usually during the day that I take the camera out and play around with the younger kids to pass time. I have intentions of doing the same in the evenings with the older kids- but often homework, dinner, getting ready for the next day and things of that nature get in the way and we end up not doing it. We'll have to work on that...

So what about you? Do any of you have important Valentine's Day traditions? Or big plans for this year? I want to hear about them.


Anonymous said...

My birthday is two days before Valentine's...some years Ed doesn't remember either...some years I get to go out for dinner...usually don't do all that much.
Know that I'm always here praying!
Hebrews 6:17-20 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Prayer Bears
My email address

debi9kids said...

Great pics Ang! (have you seen my new header?) LOVE seeing pics of all of your beautiful kiddies.

Your tradition is EXACTLY like ours. We never go out, even though we can, and instead always choose to have a quiet night home alone (although this year, Stephanie has said she wants to prepare dinner for Russ and I...sweet, huh?) I love having the night TV, no distractions. Just each other :)

Nana said...

Do you really want me to tell you my Valentine tradition Ang? You asked!!

It's me, the remote and a box of chocolates (or cookies, or ice cream...or maybe it's "AND" cookies, AND ice cream). Same tradition I've had for the last 10 years.

However, I might spice it up and spend it with your sister. But...lately she seems to have dumped me too. Most likely my companion for the evening will be Little Man.

albert & angela fontenot said...

Well Nana- thanks for the gloomy comment. For those of you who don't know, Little Man is my sister's ugly 5 pound dog. It's truly the worst looking creature I've ever seen. My Mom likes him though.
If anyone out there in cyberspace knows of a single, sincere, happy and personalbe man between the ages of 50-60 give or take a few, please email me about hooking him up with Nana. She's quite a catch!

Nan said...

Notice the lack of response for those out in cyberspace. Chocolate it is!

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