Before I got married, I honestly hated Valentine's Day. I know, I know, that seems impossible right? Well I did, I did not like all the gifts that were given to me by so many guys, I just felt overwhelmed. In fact, there was one year I just stayed home from school and refused to have anything to do with it, but guess what, those guys showed up at my house anyway! I had cordial cherries coming out my ears!
When I got married, almost 12 years ago, I really started liking Valentine's Day, not because I wasn't overwhelmed, but there was not any angry guys because I gave something to someone else. I had only one guy, and that was awesome!
This year, Valentine's was spent very differently. We decided to not go with the flowers and to avoid the chocolate and the little date that we normally do.
We planned to attend a few different events that were about loving others, rather then just each other.
On Saturday, I gathered with several people from across the Ozarks at Panera bread to get ready for an event at the Ozark Fairgrounds for the Well Fed Neighbor Alliance. I met some great people, that care about the community as much as I do, and we discussed what we could do to help secure food for the people in this area, as well as create jobs locally.
In 1914 Missouri was a very prosperous area, we produced enough for ourselves and for export. Now, it takes an incredible amount of importing to feed ourselves, which puts us at risk in our communities if for any reason we could not get those imports. Realizing this, I got involved with the well Fed Neighbor Alliance, to work with others that love their neighbors and their communities enough to make sure that we can feed each other. I am thrilled to be part of the first 1000 gardens in Springfield, and I hope that we can get a community garden started in each neighborhood and have a tool lending library in each neighborhood association for those in the area that need that assistance. You can read a short article about Saturday here.
After that event, I went back home and got my children and husband. We went to the Discovery Center as a family and spent a great deal of time doing whatever my children wanted to do. I even pet the giant hissing cock roach. Which my youngest daughter begged me to do. We picked up a few educational materials for our unit of the solar system.
After we finished there, we went over to Big Mama's for dinner. The waiter that we had was great and the food was excellent. We wanted to make sure that we went to somewhere local so that we can help our own economy, rather then building up a huge franchise or helping China's economy grow. It was nice getting to be in the back porch area as a family. It was as if we had our own private room. (We were there and gone before the dinner theater started). They have an excellent quiche that the children just loved.
We then returned home and put together our model of the solar system that we picked up, and put the star dome on top of the center and looked at the constellations on the ceiling in the living room.
As our children made valentine's for each other and us, Aaron and I took a moment to talk. The last two weeks have been so busy for me, that it seems like it just flew by. February is a special month for us. We met 12 years ago on February 5th. Aaron's birthday is on the 12th, and then of course Valentine's Day.
I am glad that we made it a family day, and that we also did something to support our community. While I will agree that it is important to have date night as a couple, I think it is also important to teach our children that love is service, and that service can help us strengthen our community and our family.