Sometimes I wonder whether the little things that I do for my family make a difference. Does anyone notice? Does anyone care? Those things really feel important to me, but does it matter to anyone else who lives under my roof?
For example, take Valentine's Day on Tuesday. As I've done the past many years, it was time for our annual Valentine's dinner. I brought out the linens and crystal, planned a several course, kid-friendly menu and we enjoyed a lovely dinner by candlelight.
Well, at least I thought it was lovely, but I'm not sure about anyone else.
I can't help but ask.....
In twenty years (or even 20 hours), will Anna remember that I made her favorite double chocolate cupcakes with marscapone cream filling and ganache? All from scratch. Not a cake mix or can of frosting in sight.
Will Henry know about the half hour it took to get the damn heart-shaped jello jigglers out of the pan, dripping little drops of melted red jello all over my arms (The box says "immerse pan in hot water for 15 seconds and flip to release." Yeah. Right!)
Will anyone care that I ironed (I repeat - i.r.o.n.e.d.) the tablecloth??? PLEASE! Pleeeeaaassseeeee. Will someone at least notice that I ironed the tablecloth?
I think that when - day in and day out - spare time is in short supply, then it's hard not to ask why.
But as soon as I STOP with all the busy-ness and simply take time to remember what is most important to me. Well, then the answer is right there....
Damn right it matters. Of course it matters. I may not know exactly how or why right now, but it probably matters more than I can imagine.....
When I was growing up, my mom made us a candlelight dinner every year on Valentine's Day. We'd get off the bus after school and we'd be ushered directly to the basement to play until dad came home. Then we'd rush up the stairs to the dim flickering light and the good china and more forks than I knew how to use and jello molds with whipped cream and fancy desserts.
It was beautiful. And it mattered. So much - - then and now.
I think of those dinners every single time I light a candle for my own special family meal. And I remember when our little foursome creates a new tradition or memory. And I recall on the "every-days," as well as the special days.
This past Tuesday, the kids may not have raved about how well-seasoned the chicken was, or how it perfectly complemented the side-dishes, or how unwrinkled the tablecloth was. But they will remember that I took the time to give them something special.
Homemade - - because I love them beyond words.
Handmade - - because they are so worth every ounce of effort I could possibly muster.
For my Valentine's dinner, several of the recipes came off of my Pinterest board - my obsession. I love it, and mostly because I use it!! I probably refer to something on one of my boards at least once a day. I've decided I no longer need to renew any of my magazine subscriptions. Everything I would have clipped from a magazine (and then would bury somewhere in a file cabinet) is now at my finger tips.
So, here are a few of the things from our Pinterest menu. You can click on the photo to go to the original post/recipe. (That is really important to me. I am all about sharing on Pinterest, as long as the original site gets the credit!!)
We started with Baked Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara.
|We all loved this recipe. Super easy and they tasted great. The only thing is that it took almost double the time to bake. But it was absolutely worth the extra 10 minutes!!|
And Coconut Basmati Rice
with Roasted Brussel Sprouts.
|Our new family favorite. Anna especially. She requests them for a bed time snack.|
And for dessert....
Plus, the extra cream from the strawberries filled the cupcakes, made with my absolutely favorite chocolate cake recipe. Over-the-top fabulous!!!
(I guess if I had any questions about whether my kids "cared" or not about making them homemade treats, Anna resolved the issue with this grin.....)
Oh, and did I mention.....
Anna's birthday is less than a month away (omg!!), and the party supplies have begun arriving.
My dozen-page agenda and to-do list is finalized and I've started staying up late to make these:
and this (minus the wine, of course)....
Stay-tuned. Homemade, handmade, late nights and all - -
It's going to get DIY-exciting around here!