For Valentine’s Day we got- another blizzard.

Shocking, I know but great for snow forts!

Every great snow fort needs a classy door.
Every great snow fort needs a classy door.

I have already posted my feelings about today’s holiday and they have not changed one bit.  In fact, I am ever more convinced with each passing year that romance is overrated.   It seems most often a private expectation of the type love people think they should receive from another and I think true love should be free of such needless expectation or pressure.

For the second year in a row we have the boys here for the holiday and the next week too.    We will pass the day, snowed in with three dogs, one PISSED OFF cat, and two amazing little men.

This year was not completely gift free at our home, I got all the men-children new socks.  I decided socks are like foot hugs, that last all day.

I’m guessing that being snowed in with animals and kids is not most people’s idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day but for me there isn’t a single thing I would add to the equation.

I might subtract the freezing cold blizzard but you know what?  Being stuck inside with this bunch is endless entertainment.  The boys yell at the TV like I do and we have no shortage of crafts and projects to keep us entertained.

The littlest monster decided yesterday that he is the “Underwear Wizard.”  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this particular mythical creature- it involves a felted wizard hat and every pair of boxers he could find, worn on various parts of the body in ever changing configurations.

I cannot come close to describing how much I love having them around.  (Though I have tried many times.)  I lucked out in the stepson department.  At six and eight years old; they are always extremely affectionate and kind to me.

They listen (most of the time,)  they are inquisitive, polite and involved.  I always have two extra sets of hands willing to help me with whatever task needs doing.

I am struck by the amazing people they are becoming.   There is no greater joy than bearing witness to them as they grow, learn and change.  My husband has given me a gift worth more than a handful of flawless diamonds; the opportunity to be a part of their lives.

I don’t mean to imply that is it always easy, fun and rainbows.  There are hours filled with frustration, discipline, occasional fits, illness and constant reminders about manners and awareness.  BUT it is without a doubt the most rewarding thing I have ever done with my time; especially with all I gave up back home- just to have the chance to be here now.

On a day when so many people have big expectations for grand gestures to reinforce their romantic bonds; I find myself completely content.  Filled the love of our little family.  Warm and cozy; waiting out the storm together.

Five years ago I could only dream that our family would be this complete and happy.  True love is a funny thing, it takes time and constant awareness to nurture another person and even more care to foster good family bonds.

It is a commitment to put the needs of my family above my wants, while remembering that self-love is the soil that nurtures the family seeds.   For things of beauty it takes time to grow, bloom and become all they can be.

These just started to bloom yesterday, there tulips for my three men.
These just started to bloom yesterday, there tulips for my three men.

I am so grateful for all these little things that will make this day so memorable for me.  Not because of some grand gift or gesture but because of the simple things that fill my life with love all 365 days of the year.

And it was free.

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