Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day (aka Family Fun Day) 2012

This year's Valentine's day was completely internet-inspired (thank goodness for Facebook and Pinterest, right?!). One of my favorite recipe and craft blogs (Our Best Bites) posted this idea for little Valentine love notes and I thought it was the perfect way to start off "Love Month" (February 1st, for us) and get us in the loving mood. So (as suggested), I bought a few mini mailboxes from Target as well as some treats and stickers (to make it extra fun), then Travis and I printed off and filled out the love notes for each other and the girls, and "Voila!" our Valentine's were complete! 

The girls, Grace especially, really enjoyed waking up every morning to see what was in her mailbox. She loved hearing what our favorite things about her or memories of her were, and hearing what Travis and I loved about everyone else too (and of course, eating m'n'm's--her favorite treat--wasn't bad either ;) ). It was such a tender experience to sit and think about what I really love about each of my family members and the good times we have shared. And as a bonus, I unintentionally got Travis to write a love note to me daily (score!). 

Another website I follow (called The Power of Moms) shared another great idea called We Love to Be a Family Day (and some other fun ideas too). The author suggested picking 7 activities that your family loves to do, writing them on a schedule, and then doing them for Valentine's day (or any family day), and taking pictures to record all of the fun. Again, I thought it was a great idea, and loved the concept of making Valentine's day a family day, not just a romantic date for Travis and I. So, I brainstormed and came up with a list of some of our favorite things to do right now and then made up this schedule:

I'm currently on a cooking and baking craze (and think every holiday is more fun when special food is involved), so this activity was one of my picks. :) Cinnamon rolls are currently our favorite breakfast so we had those, and made it Valentine's-y by adding some bacon and heart shaped strawberries (thanks Facebook and Pinterest!)

 Up next on the schedule was the library. (In case you didn't know ;)) it is snowy and cold here in Cleveland in the winter, and so we're sometimes hard pressed to find fun things to do out of the house when we get cabin fever. I stumbled upon this open playroom at the library this Winter and it has been a Godsend! The girls love to go there, and we often do several days a week.

Bethany loves to try to put things together:

And Grace has been really in to building with blocks lately:

Here she is happily knocking down my tower ;) :

Bethany is in to these bead toys right now. If you could hear the audio in this picture, you would hear Bethany going "ahhh" as a sound effect for the beads falling down. Too cute!

 Then we were off to the park (for a quick trip, since it was freezing!)

These girls love to swing! Travis was pushing Grace by her feet and she thought it was hilarious!

We came home and had some lunch (mac n cheese, the girl's current favorite), and then had a tea party with the girl's Pooh stuffed animals (Grace loves to have tea parties these days, and Bethany loves to destroy them ;) ).

After lunch, we had naps/rest time, and played for a little bit before we headed off to Danny Boy's for our Valentine's dinner. I had heard great things about this restaurant and had been wanting to go there for awhile, so when we found a coupon for it the other day, we decided to make a family Valentine's dinner date out of it.
It did not dissapoint! The girl's devoured their cheese pizza, and Travis and I savored every bite (which wasn't even half--leftovers baby!) of our classic club croissant with yummy cajun fries and BBQ chicken pizza. Some of the best pizza, sandwhiches, and fries we've ever had for sure!

Grace with a happy full tummy :)

Being silly with mom:

And since it's a Holloway tradition to watch movies and eat popcorn, we did just that next.
Bethany really got in to eating popcorn for the first time and we all enjoyed watching a new Veggie Tales movie.

Bethany loves to share (and pretend share) her food with others, and had fun feeding Travis and I some popcorn. It was so sweet!

Like I mentioned before, holidays are even better when special treats are involved, and this time that special treat was this chocolate sour cream bundt cake (from a new favorite recipe blog I follow), made Valentine's-y with heart sprinkles and m'n'm's. Super moist, rich, and chocolatey, this cake was a definite winner (and quite possibly the best homemade chocolate cake we've ever had)!

Grace LOVED this cake, and immediately asked for seconds:

Then to work off some of that cheesy and chocolatey goodness we had consumed, we did a little Ring around the Rosie...

Surfed on the ironing board...

and went on airplane rides (one of Bethany's favorite things to do). 

We made the activites extra fun by "checking them off" with a sticker when we completed each one. (We never got to the draw a picture activity, but that's ok. Like the article said, it's not about getting them all done, it's just about having fun!) 

Then we tucked the kiddos in bed and Travis and I had a little slow dance and reminisced about our first Valentine's day and other fun times we had when we were dating. 

We had such a great time on our Family Fun Day! Hope you all had a Happy Valentine's Day too!


Crystal Carlson said...

How fun Jenny! Look like you guys had an awesome day! Thanks for sharing all the links--you know I'm always on the hunt for good recipes & fun blogs :)

anita holloway said...

What a great, fun Valentines day! Thanks for the good suggestions! Bethany's hair is getting really curly! Sure miss you guys! Counting the days!!!