We don't have a lot of Valentine's Day traditions, but the three we do have we take very seriously.
1. Mom makes a giant heart treat for each member of the family age 2+. Growing up my mom always made us giant rice krispie treats, which I did the past several years with our family. But the kids don't love rice krispie treats so a lot of times they would end up stale and need to go to the garbage. This year I decided to make giant heart sugar cookies with their names on them. I made extra's this year and brought one to each of the three sweet ladies I visit teach. And Maren came over and decorated one for her hubby. (Maren, you did a fantastic job decorating!). And as a side note, we all shared a little with Annabelle but I knew that if I made her a giant one I'd most likely end up eating the majority of it because she's so little and I don't want her to have that much... so I thought I'd better not. That's why we have the 2+ age rule on this tradition.
2. Mommy writes love letters to each member of the family and Daddy writes one to Mommy. I LOVE this. This is my favorite thing about Valentine's Day. It would be great if we could all write love letters throughout the year, but often times we get busy doing other things and forget. So I'm very grateful to have this special day set apart so that I can express my love to each member of my family; and it's nice to get a love letter from Scott too(generally two weeks leading up to Valentine's Day I'll give him gentle, subtle reminders. Last week I said something like, "Now honey, don't forget that I need a love letter on Valentine's Day and if I don't get one I'm sure it'll be a terrible day"...pretty subtle huh? :)).
I heard about this idea in a class I took at BYU probably 4 years ago. One of my classmates told us that her father had written her love letters every year since she was a baby and kept copies of them so that when she turned 18, he compiled them all together in a notebook and gave them to her as a gift, which she cherishes. I decided that day that I would do the same thing for my children and husband. Here is a picture of all of our love notes over the past several years.
3. Scott and I switch off each year planning Valentine's Day. Basically whoever is in charge figures out meals for breakfast and dinner and will plan something else out of the ordinary; ie a date(that should be ordinary shouldn't it, but it's hard w/three little ones and no family around), massage, heart attack(where you cut out lots of hearts from construction paper and write sweet messages on them and place them in a fun location for your spouse to see), etc.
Scott was in charge this year. We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast in a cute heart shaped pan(the cinnamon rolls were the kind you buy in a can and bake at home; so yummy!), we ate papa murphy's heart shaped pizza for dinner, and I'm going to get a back massage this evening! Wahoo!! Yesterday when I delivered one of the heart shaped cookies to Colleen, she said that a couple of her grandkids were coming over today to play and asked if Charles and Elisabeth could come over too for a few hours! So Scott and I dropped them off around 230pm and then we went to the dollar theater with Annabelle and watched Twilight(this was my second time and Scott's first...and he liked it, though he may not admit that to just anyone). Annabelle did great the first half, she mostly nursed. The second half I stood up in the back and watched the movie while she crawled around the nasty floors and played with the light fixtures. I'm a terrible mom huh? Oh well, at least she was content and I could still watch :). Colleen gave each of the kids a Valentine's treat in a cute little valentine's box, and she also gave them each a new book that she had gift wrapped! Colleen has a train set and a doll house so both my kids were in heaven! When we got home they asked if they could go back again tomorrow.
Happy Valentine's Day!