(Okay, so yes, it's March and I'm FINALLY posting Valentine's day memories. I hate to not post for the sake of upkeeping the family journal. This is mostly just family pictures and portraits of my perfect child, in case you were wondering. Oh, also skeletons.)
For whatever reason, I cannot ever remember that Valentine's is a real holiday. Which is incredible, considering the amount of negative complaining or excitement on Facebook, ha :) Valentine's Day seems to be an awesome time to celebrate "love" and this world could certainly use some more celebrating of the great people in our lives.
Our family could probably use some more of that celebrating, since I have literally forgotten every Valentine's Day for my husband. That man doesn't get many presents from me. :)
This year, a little more determined to remember something, we celebrated Valentine's started about a week before the actual holiday. For an FHE activity, we wrote up little love notes for our fridge. It was a partial flash back to our love on the walls back in Russia.
Then it was back to the hectic world of life in college until blessed Saturday arrived. With only a couple days of preparation (script writing/ costumes/ actor placement). We were so excited to shoot this little thing.
(For the video click here)
After the shoot, we hustled our butts over to the University of Utah to watch the Utah Red Rocks gymnastic team compete against the Washington Huskies. Man, they were so good.
Hannah and I constantly distract each other whenever we go places, so we missed out on some incredible plays. The curse of the selfie.
This gentleman succeeded in photobombing us. He is favorite.
Taylor's awesome family slept over at our apartment. The fog was so incredibly thick that night (thanks to Utah's fabulous inversion), so we made plans to play hide and seek at a park. We tucked the parents in bed, and us kids headed out. Somehow, the fog melted in the twenty minutes it took us to get there, so we didn't get to play. Instead Taylor and his brother played scary pranks on each other and Hannah and I told each other about creepy nightmares we had. By the time we got home, we were all a bundle of nerves.
What a way to start off the holiday of love. :)
I hardly slept at all that night (thanks to rooming with the baby who babbles, rolls, and bounces on her mattress. I'm a pathetically light sleeper), so by the time morning came, Taylor was the only one on the ball to provide breakfast for everyone.
He is a stud muffin, friends.
He whipped up the traditional Pink Pancakes for his family, and then they were out to head to a missionary's farewell.
That night, we attended another party with my family. My good friend Melanie came towards the end of the party, and spoiled me with these flowers, body spray, and chocolates.
She is a jewel. Knowing that Taylor and I are ever tight on finances, she went out of her way to make it a little more special for us. I am so grateful for sweet friends who look out for others like that.
This year, I finally gave a gift to Taylor for Valentine's Day. It was a letter expressing my love and appreciation for him. The best gifts come from the heart, I think. Also, they're usually free/cheap, and that's totally not a bad thing. We ended Valentine's Day trying to put a super-hyped Chub to sleep and going to bed with an oncoming headache. It wasn't a romantic holiday for us, and that's totally great. Valentine's Day is a awesome day of celebrating LOVE, and I think that was very much fulfilled in expressing love to/from family and close friends.
I don't know how to pivot this post into President's Day, so work with me here.
The next morning, Taylor and I had school AND work off. #SoMuchGratitude. We cleaned up our apartment (which had been fairly trashed after the holidays), and then figured we might as well enjoy Taylor's free admission to U of U amenties before he graduates in a few months. Took us a few years to figure this out, unfortunately. :)
We took an afternoon trip to the Natural History Museum, and it was pretty amazing.
For the first time, I realized how biased history can be. For instance, I noticed how Mormons & religion in general were not portrayed as good things. There was almost a tone of distaste. This didn't make me happy. But I did appreciate all the work and research that went into building such a vast museum and the information gathered for us to learn from.
The dinosaur and ancient skeletons were fascinating.
I was especially impressed by this ancient crocodile. I didn't realize how big they were. It makes me wonder what other big creatures might still be out there to discover.
Taylor's aunt has a theory that the dinosaur days were God's experimental days. She wonders if He practiced making big living creatures before starting on the smaller bodies that we use. Sort of like how little children will play with big legos before their fingers can master the smaller pieces. It's an interesting thing to think about.
How grateful I am to be surrounded by good people, family, and a world of learning.