Galen crafted matching headbands for all the girls, Mairi Rose rolled candles, together they created a mess of glitter that extended the entire first floor and beyond.

A couple of years ago I started the tradition of taking photos of Steve and I together on Valentine’s Day, not because I’m ridiculously sentimental about the holiday or anything like that, because I’m really not at all (though we also have a tradition of making cinnamon rolls and that I am attached to).  It’s just that having a specific day means it’s more likely to happen and this is as good a day as any other to serve as a friendly reminder.

It’s such a simple idea, but looking back I’m amazed at how revealing it is; the photos captured are so very specific to each point in time.  Two years ago we were planning our vow renewal.  Our youngest child was reaching a more independent age, leaving us with a bit of time for the first time in 13 years (!), to be frivolous, silly, flirty.  I had just gotten over being really ill and we were both just so ready to focus on enjoying each other and life again.  Last year was moving slow, big bellied, full of excitement, but more of a quiet and comfortable expectancy.  She was essentially our honeymoon baby.  In many ways it felt like starting all over again, only this time we were able to enjoy it in a way that we weren’t capable of with our first child, while we were so busy trying to learn how to live together and be a family.

And this year- a day late*, rather frazzled, somewhat haggard, kid made accessories, clingy-cranky baby way over-due for a nap, but still crazy in love (perhaps with extra emphasis on the crazy…see below).  I had thought I would take some time to really make an effort and do my hair nicely and put on make-up.  I must have been completely delusional.  I think I managed to scrape together five minutes, total, including dressing.  I was mostly just happy that I managed to brush my teeth.

I started making my dress, oh, about a year ago now.  And then I had a baby… and it sat and sat and… sat….  It’s the Sis Boom “Jamie Dress”, with modifications to make it a nursing dress (tutorial here.  I substituted ribbon for old bra straps).  Since we are trying to save money I thought I could finish this up and it would be a little something to make things special.  Instead of an act of love, I think it may have come across more as making myself crazy while trying to sew a dress on Valentine’s morning, because my earlier attempts were thwarted time and time again, while subjecting everyone else to my crazy self.  Which wasn’t quite what I intended.  Sometimes the big picture is a little lost on me.  At that point I just wanted it to be finished and wearable for the future.**

* It’s possible that on Valentine’s Day proper I was a bit on edge and that by the time dinner was on the table I was ready to be completely done with everything in the world and everyone within a certain age bracket.  As an undeniable signal of my total and absolute defeat I had already changed into my pajama pants.  Throughout the day as I was metaphorically ripping out my hair, usually while the baby was literally ripping it out, my husband would occasionally look at me with maniacal gleam in his eye and exclaim, ” Day of L-O-ove!”.

** There is a rumor circulating that in these pictures the nursing opening is being held up with safety pins.  I refuse to confirm or deny said rumor.


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