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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bee Mine

I hope you've had a lovely day!  The British don't fuss over Valentine's Day quite like Americans. So we imported partygoers and hosted lots of American moms and small people for a playgroup Monday. The boys were doormen for a while. Big Brother was excited to read to toddlers, Big Sister was happy for a house full of mostly girlfriends, Baby Sister was proud to introduce her little friends to her siblings, and Biggest Brother got to snuggle a baby.  I had a great excuse to decorate extra and early and serve mimosas, too.

Biggest Brother and I wore red, Big Brother wore a favorite t-shirt with "Mom" in a heart and the girls wore heart dresses and pants. During the last minute preparations for the party, Big Brother was crafting this for the door. Seriously. He made miniature heart shaped bunting on twine that spells welcome. Truth be told, I could have used him emptying waste baskets, but this is so super. This was how he decided to spend the last minutes of his first free Monday off school before his house was overcome by toddlers. I hung it from the vintage chocolate box on our door and will keep it forever. Where do they get this love of a theme? I cannot imagine.

A new friend (who just moved here from Chicago) arrived all decked in red with her girls in red tulle skirts and tops that said "LOVE." She was a little sheepish coming in saying, "I couldn't resist getting all dressed up - we love a theme!" Another new friend. I am a lucky girl.

Then last night, an old friend (who has lived in London twice) sent a HUGE box of treats with her Valentine. He visited and that was lovely, too. The abundance of thoughtful (and beautifully wrapped) presents from their family was so touching. Just her exquisite handwriting on a piece of paper is a Valentine to me. My girlfriend knew how little pink heart fanfare there would be here. So she sent it with her husband. She knows exactly what we're missing, or don't have, or have never seen before but should be devoted to. The children all went to bed clutching surprises from their Virginia friends. Big Sister has clung to much of the ribbon for much of the day. I'll get it back so it can adorn a package for you one day.

I sent my friend's husband and the Mister out the door to the pub last night carrying a little pink heart bag filled with treats for her family. On Valentine's Eve. I'm fairly sure those 2 guys were the only ones to arrive that way to our pub. Two dads who have welcomed 8 children over 9 years, they're pretty secure with themselves. And can endure most any embarrassment wives or children might spring on them. Especially while enjoying a beer with each other in a pub. In one of their favorite cities. Catching up. Just the guys.

Today was even nicer. Many thanks to everyone who remembered us as your goodies made our day. The pig was back on the table at breakfast. It just seems funny and festive to see him there. I sense a tradition in the making.

The children surprised me with precious Valentines. Big Sister's was made at school and kept hidden until this morning, Biggest Brother gave wonderful "copuns" and Big Brother said he'd miss spending some of the day with me while he went to a friend's for lunch. The Mister had a huge bouquet delivered.

My day really began shortly after midnight when I had the opportunity to wish Baby Sister a Happy Valentine's Day. Since I was awake, I sent a quick email to the editor of our former town's local news website. Full disclosure: the editor was our next door neighbor and his dad is the kind man who hugged me in our backyards while I cried about the house getting new owners. Minutes later, I got an email back asking if he could reprint my blog post.
Well, of course!  Appearing now on La Grange Patch, it is indeed a Valentine to La Grange, our friends there, and our beloved home.  And I'm sending one to you, too.  All the best this year and always. Bee mine, friend!

1 comment:

  1. Just read your wonderful Love Letter from London. It was such a joy to read! Funny enough, B had created a valentine for Big Sister and wondered how I could get it to London. So she is certainly missed- always sweet to see how their tiny minds work. I do so hope that you are enjoying London- it certainly sounds like you are!

    Shannon Gannon