Post Sickness Celebrations!

After approximately 3 weeks of living with the Plague with a Capital P...we had ourselves three solid days without vomiting or any other sorts of other explosiveness, so I figured it was time we did some celebrating!

I LOVE loving on my family on Holidays that come with fewer expectations, than say some others.  I know that Valentines Day is commercialized...but my kids don't have the "gifty" expectations that come with Christmas - or even their birthdays.  All I told them the week before was that I love Valentine's Day because I LOVE loving on them...PLUS, Valentine's Day is Grammy Quint's birthday...AND they were coming to spend the weekend with us!  So, how much cooler and awesome could the weekend be than that?!

We were healthy.
Loved ones were coming.
A friend was even going to come to spend the night!
Those three things alone make life worth living!  Ha!
It's the little things, man, that make life Epic.

And so...
The boys and I lived in the kitchen for a few days - cooking and making messes together...making cards and little gifties in secret....planning a fun menu with all of Grampy and Grammy's favorite foodies...throwing up a decoration or two here and there...and we just had ourselves a good old fashioned:  "Happy Late Birthday to Grampy, Happy Valentine's Birthday to Grammy, and Happy Plain Old Valentine's Day to the Rest of Us!"

In lieu of a traditional birthday cake, on Friday evening, we let everyone build their own tortes with cut up cake, brownies, strawberries, pudding, melted frosting, reese's cups, and homemade whipped cream.  Everyone had their own little fluted glass which made things feel more festive and special...and everyone got to be their own artist...which my boys thought made things a lot more fun, as well!

The boys had a friend spend the night on Friday night, which has kind of morphed into a spontaneous yearly tradition, of sorts.  We never have sleepovers with friends, so this was pretty special.  We played a few card games at night, and then the boys crashed to the basement to play some of their own games, listen to Adventures in Odyssey, and just visit with each other all bundled around each other in sleeping bags and bunkbeds.  I find little boy conversations hilarious.  And I find Micah to be darling.  He lives with one, very calm, very sweet older sister.  When he comes to our home, he is a celebrity and is just about practically mauled during the entire duration of his stay.  He has zero breathing room, and he is such a good sport about it.  I literally have to remind my guys to give him some elbow room.
In the morning, I made Mom her favorite lemon poppy seed scones with lemon curd, and I had a few fun surprises set out on the table for the boys when they came upstairs.  Nothing expensive, nothing amazing...just a few tokens of love and fun.  I have never bought them those individual boxes of fun cereals before, so they thought that was pretty cool.  And I also gave them each their own solid candy heart.  I love how tiny, little things can turn an ordinary day into something fun and special.  I also love how many times I just said the word fun.....

After breakfast, I broke everyone up into teams to play a bunch of Valentine Minute to Win It games.  We played Large Ones (meaning us oldies) versus the Littles (meaning all of the Hoolie boys).  We played "Face the Cookie" where they have to get an Oreo from their forehead to their mouths; valentine heart stacks, valentine candy corn stacks, mad libs, word searches, unwrap a hershey's kiss with mittens on and eat it relays, sucking up valentine m&m's through a straw and dropping them into a bowl....all simple, mostly candy themed games, courtesy of Pinterest... in which my madre and my padre were super cool sports, as usual...and in which the Littles beat us by one. measly. point!  No prizes -  just the satisfaction of beating us fair and square.

We had a Valentine's High Tea for lunch -- minus the soup, which I believe comes with a true Tea.  I made homemade soft pretzels and chocolate chip cookies - more of mom's fave foodies...and then we had just a bunch of other simple foods:  egg salad sandwiches, strawberries and chocolate, crackers and cheese, sparkling cider, etc.  It's amazing how a little tablecloth, $2 cider, and sandwiches with the crusts cut off of them make things feel more special and festive.

Micah left for his house shortly after.  Mom and Dad headed downstate to visit my little brother, as well.  And we kicked it off to church where we rescheduled services to try and escape the crazy blizzard that was predicted for the following day.

Something about mixing things up, and having things at a different time with kind of last minute planning to get everything thrown together made things feel completely different. It was a blast, and I kind of loved hanging out with so many of my favorite people on one of my favorite days.  Afterwards, we got a super quick bite to eat on the way home together, and on the drive home all four kids fell asleep in the car.

The day was packed.
The day was full.
It was sweet.  It was special.
And little boys fell fast asleep with love tanks overflowing...

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