William, Charlie, Ikey, Benny, Henry

William, Charlie, Ikey, Benny, Henry

Friday, February 22, 2013

All you need is love...

William loves a celebration more than anyone I know, so I wasn't a bit surprised when his first words upon waking January 2nd were, "What's the next holiday?" I almost hated to answer...we barely made it through Christmas. With gifts laying about, the stockings Betsy and I decided to make left unfinished, and the tree still standing, the very last thing I wanted to consider was hauling out Valentine's decorations. We agreed to no Valentine's discussion until February 1st, and William patiently watched the days inch closer on his "High Five" calendar, giving me a little time to switch gears.

I really wanted to keep things fairly simple. Last year we constructed felt Valentine's envelopes for all the kids (even the two on the way) and I had stuffed a few trinkets and surprises inside for our Valentine's breakfast. It was fun, but I felt like maybe Valentine's Day would start to resemble a smaller version of Christmas stockings. This year I decided to ditch the gifts and focus on card-making and sweets.

I prefer living in a small town, but really, REALLY miss the convenience of Target, Michael's, and Party City when there's creative work to be done or a party to plan. My life doesn't allow much time for trips into Madison, so with a little help from Pinterest and the Baraboo Wal-Mart, our Valentine's wheels were put into motion.

Valentine production: Day One. Watercolors, aluminum foil, and stickers...William decorating his cards.
Valentine production: Day Two. I failed to snap an in-progress photo with six painty hands sitting at the table, but the little boys did hands (and baby feet) so they'd have cards to pass out, too.
Next, plenty of sweets and treats! I found these homemade gumdrops on Pinterest and thought they were cute. William and I made them together and packaged some for friends.

Sugar cookies with Ahmie! Mmmm...best cookies ever.

Charlie was so proud. What a big shot.
The kids love to descend from their beds and find a fully decorated kitchen and tabletop, so we decided a Valentine's breakfast with card exchange was a good way to celebrate. The rules were simple...everyone needed a mailbox or some sort of Valentine receptacle, and everyone had to bring a Valentine for each person in attendance. Even though our breakfast was a family-only affair this year, it  still worked out well.

Mailboxes and envelopes galore...6 adults, 6 kids.

Here come the troops...William's valentines ready to distribute, Benny and Ikey reading Valentine books while we wait.
Filling envelopes!
Charlie Bear

Benny Boo
Hanky and John John...my "twins." Betsy made them the most adorable matching heart onesies!
Just like brothers!
While the little boys took naps, William and I delivered his friend Valentines...

I'd like to say the day ended with a romantic dinner for two, but you know that's not possible! Instead it was red velvet cupcakes with our kids and a great Badger game once everyone was in bed. (Sidenote: I get asked for my red velvet recipe a lot...it's from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Cookbook. Use her cream cheese frosting, too...page 303. I hate to brag, but  they're dynamite. Make them. Today. You won't be disappointed.)

Hope you had a love-filled day!

Happy Valentine's Day! With love from us...


  1. I love that you guys do a Valentine's Celebration too! One of these years you will have to come to our kids play date Valentine Party!

  2. Hi there, recently discovered your blog. I actually live in Madison and have a toddler and 5 month old twins! I can't for the life of me imagine how busy you are!
    Your family is adorable!

  3. I loved your latest blog post, Emily! And what creative ideas to make Valentine's Day extra-special for all of the special men in your house!