why I love valentine's day

This is my first Valentine's Day as a married lady. And even though I didn't find my valentine until I was 28 (gasp) and married him at 29 (just under the wire, I know), Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays.

I know tons of people who despise the holiday because they feel it creates unrealistic expectations, is fueled only by commercialism, and draws unnecessary negative attention to those who are single. There are also plenty of people in relationships who also choose not to celebrate or recognize Valentine's Day as a holiday for the aforementioned reasons and more. I say to each his own, truly. I don't think anyone should celebrate a holiday they feel forced into or don't find enjoyable.

For me though, throughout the years--and yes even as a single lady for over a decade--I've always embraced Valentine's Day as an opportunity to show my friends and family a little extra love. It also helps that I love anything pink and sending mail. When Bulls-eye's Corner (aka the $1 section) at Target changes over to Valentine's Day decor I get absolutely giddy. Contrary to those who feel like Valentine's Day is forced love, I like having a day designated to celebrate all the love I'm lucky to have in my life. For me it's fun to make ordinary days special. Plus, who doesn't love getting a love note in the mail?

For our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, this morning I got up and made us heart-shaped pancakes with berries. Rather than going out we've opted to make a nice dinner at home tonight. We will be enjoying delicious salmon, rice, asparagus, and sparkling cider, followed by some red velvet cupcakes.

I whipped up the cupcakes last night (from a box because I was missing one ingredient for making them from scratch) and took most of them to the PetSmart staff this morning. They take such good care of Zoey and I wanted to show them a little love and appreciation. Of course Zoey proceeded to knock the box of cupcakes out of my hand as soon as we got up to the counter. Thank goodness I put them in individual baggies or they would have been a total loss.

This year is also my first Valentine's Day with kiddos. On Saturday we were with the boys and brought a $5 valentine kit from Target with us. They could hardly wait to get their little hands on all the heart stickers and cutouts. We got everything set out on the table before their bath so they could see all the supplies. Once they were clean and dressed for the day, valentine making could commence.

Aiden made a whole stack of valentines for Spider-Man, R2D2, Chewie, Lightning McQueen, Dory, and more. While Brennan opted to make just three valentines: one for grandma, one for his mom, and one for Dale. I was so happy they had such a good time.

I'm grateful for my husband, stepsons, parents, siblings, extended family, and dear friends who love me and the little family Dale and I are creating together. For those of you who enjoy Valentine's Day, I hope it's been a good one for you and those you love. For everyone else, Happy Taco Tuesday!

feature image via Julep

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