As I prepared myself for all I had to do the night before, I remembered a quote by Elder Uchtdorf.
The problem was (and usually is) that I couldn't exactly just call and cancel all of the commitments that were making it difficult for me to rejoice. Sophia was student of the week and was looking forward to bringing Mom, Dad, Puccini, and her violin to school in the morning for her final little show-and-tell session. I had volunteered to pop popcorn all morning for the 5th grade weekly fundraising effort in the cafeteria and Chloe was really looking forward to finally having her turn since I haven't had a chance to volunteer yet this year. Class Valentine's parties for Chloe and Sophia were all afternoon and I had signed up to bring veggie trays. Bria had two very important violin rehearsals and a church Young Women activity. And I had a work assignment to photograph the play that is currently showing at the university.
As I was thinking about it, I realized I didn't have to cancel everything to refocus on what mattered most. I just had to refocus on what mattered most and change my attitude. My entire day was already devoted to my children--the ones I love most. While I was a little sad that I wouldn't be able to have a date with my husband, we had already anticipated the crazy day and gone out to eat at our favorite restaurant the night before and had a lovely time together.
So, I resolved to rejoice in the fact that I had been given a wonderful opportunity to serve and to love my children this Valentine's Day. Even if my house was a mess.
We started the day off bright and early with our Valentine tradition of breakfast and books. Actually, it's more like dark and early up here, but the days are getting longer, and for that I'm grateful. (Though the darkness is my excellent excuse for having crappy pictures of this tradition every year.)
We made strawberry smoothies (though I had to send The Maestro on a quick milk run after he blew snow for an hour) and fried eggs. Which I tried to make heart shaped, but failed. I'm just not meant to make our food heart shaped, I guess.
Bria received the book The Fault in Our Stars this year and was thrilled. She keeps telling me how much she's dying to read it (and to be honest, I am too) but it has a long waiting list at the library.
Chloe received Tuesdays at the Castle. She has been more into Fantasy books lately, and I have been recommended this title for her several times. She thought it looked good and is excited to start it.
Given Sophia's friend struggles of late, I thought that The English Roses (which is totally by THAT Madonna) would be something she liked. And last night, after I got home really late from photo call, she crept down to my bed and told me all about it. "I read my new book, Mom, and I really love it."
After we hurried and ate, we gathered up snow gear, backpacks, violins, and even the family dog and set off to school.
It was so sweet to watch Sophia play her violin for her class and show off her puppy. I didn't get any photos because I was too busy making sure Puccini didn't get into too much mischief, plus she was pretty nervous at first and I think the whole school heard her squealing as we walked into the building.
Joel took Puccini and the violin home while I went to the cafeteria and started popping a ton of popcorn. But I got to spend some good quality time with this cutie patootie fifth grader, so the fact that I smelled like popcorn oil for the rest of the day was completely worth it.
After popcorn, I had about an hour to run home and get a few things done and scarf down some lunch. Then I ran back to the school to bring veggie trays for Chloe's and Sophia's classroom parties. Sophia really likes me to stay and help with those parties and is always so disappointed when I don't, so I did. And we had a nice time together.
I did duck out before school was quite over so I could run to the university and pick up the camera I needed for photo call. Then I picked up The Maestro from work and we headed home for about a half hour before I had to take Bria to all of her violin rehearsals. But I must say it is always nice to spend driving time with her and listen to her talk about her life (she's always been a chatterbox). And it's also nice to sit and listen to her play for a couple hours, too. It was actually a really high point in my day.
Once I took her home, Daddy got to have some quality time with them while I ran off to photo call. Which took over two hours because it was a very technically extensive show and setting up each shot took quite some time. But I still had fun with my new attitude, and I made a little extra money to sock away for the trip to NYC The Maestro and I are taking soon.
I had a truly wonderful Valentine's Day with all of my little valentines.
Thanks, Elder Uchtdorf.
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