Valentine's day with big kids

Now that the calendar has ventured into February, I'm keen to say something about love and hearts and sparkly, pink glitter. Personally, I tend to leans toward the state of a mind that Valentine's Day is a made-up, greeting card holiday. But my kids love it, and I feel duty-bound to try to make a tradition out of every little thing so they'll forget those times when I was a screaming lunatic and locked myself in my room because THREE HUNDRED SOCKS ON THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR.

Plus, Valentine's Day can be a bit of let down for teenagers, particularly girls. I've realized of late that Rebecca is a hopeless romantic, and hopeless romantics especially love Valentine's Day. And sometimes, you've just got to help a hopeless romantic out.

From the time our kids were little, Sterling and I have celebrated our kids with a special Valentine's breakfast. We decorate the table and use heart plates, and I gather a few small, lovey gifts to put next to each place setting (and by lovey, I mean clothes for the girls and something weapon-like for PJ). In years past Sterling has made pink, strawberry milk, pink scrambled eggs, and heart shaped pancakes alongside hashbrowns and bacon and any other fatty breakfast concoction we can dream up. One year we even hung pink and red and white streamers and balloons in the doorway to the kitchen so the kids could run through. It was very . . . celebratory.

As the kids have entered high school (with early morning activities), we've had to adjust the festivities (because no one really enjoys a Valentine breakfast at 5:15 AM). I think this year we will have a Valentine dinner the night before (Thursday night) -- but we'll be serving breakfast for dinner, which is one of my favorite things in the entire world. So I'd better get thinking about decorations and menu items.

This recipe for Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon French Toast with Strawberries seems, well, divine. 

Or these Mini Puffed Oven Pancakes with Berry Sauce. I've actually made these before and loved them, but be sure to double the recipe because the kids need a lot to fill them up.

 via OurBestBites

via OurBestBites

Oh Happy Day has an entire list of fun ideas. I'm kind of hip on Heart Balloons in a Closet. It's a simple but unexpected surprise to brighten up my family's day. 

These fantastic fruit stickers have been making their way around the Internet for a few years now, and I'm thinking of printing some out for lunches. Nothing says 'high school cool' like lovey fruit stickers. 

I'm also considering this heart t-shirt. They had some hip, raglan-sleeve heart shirts for a while, but they seem to be gone. Need. Raglan. Valentine. Shirt.

And for my daughters who are far, far away? Love these printable love cards by Jones Design Company. 

 via JonesDesignCompany

via JonesDesignCompany

Sharing a little love on Valentine's Day is a fun, memory-filled tradition for our family. And since that family is currently winging its way out the door -- I plan to live it up while the getting is good! Hearts for everyone . . .