Since Valentine’s Day is this weekend I feel the pull to write a love post today. So I will.

But it’s not going to be a mushy, lovey-dovey one (although I sure do love that valentine of mine, hubba hubba…Claire don’t roll your eyes).

No. Today I want to post about my birthday. Because in going through these pictures I am teary-eyed with gratitude for the beauty of love.

(So wait, maybe it is mushy after all.)

I’m talking about the kind of love that doesn’t care if you turn into “mean mom” sometimes, or if you have crazy ideas that are hard to keep up with, or that you mess up over and over again. The kind of love that forgives and looks for the good rather than focusing on the bad.

That unconditional love is what I felt on my birthday a couple weeks ago.

It makes my heart swell up to look back at this kitchen table all carefully set to celebrate the crazy mother of the family:

Can you see the smile on Lucy’s face? The excitement in her action, ready to celebrate her mother? Can you see the table carefully laid out by my valentine, even thinking of cereal for those who would rather have that than the traditional (delicous) omelets he makes me on my birthday (and Mother’s Day) each year?

Can you see that darling first clue on a scavenger put together carefully by my birthday-fun-planner daughter? (maybe not up there, but let’s get a better look below…)

Then let’s talk about these two on the left below who FaceTimed me first thing from the blue skies of Florida, and what about those fancy-cut strawberries (again from my valentine) to go with the omelets?

The sweetest, thoughtful letters sent from my away-daughters, who thought of me early enough to get them in the mail to arrive in time for the big day:

The carefully Brailled note from my awesome Brailler (who doesn’t like Braille, but knows that I do):

There was love that came in from Max and Abby too, love them so much.

One of my favorite gifts was that this girl spoke in church:

It was a gift to me, because it was all her up there. Oh she wanted Dave and I to help her, and we talked through ideas, but she just turned 17 for crying out loud. We told her we knew she could do it.

And she did.

It was a small victory in shifting the “locus of control” and that was a gift in and of itself.

One of my favorite parts was watching her lean over with a smile to tell the next speaker she did a good job. Who knows what she said but the body language behind those masks was a beautiful thing to me. I love her.

The world was oozing out some love that day too as we biked around and through it with Josh after dinner.

I am so grateful for all this beauty I can hardly stand it sometimes.

Our neighbors brought over their love too (they always do, have I mentioned we have incredible neighbors? They were out of town for Claire’s bday so they brought her love too).

There were so many acts of kindness, gifts brought by, birthday lunches and a hike with friends on the days surrounding the birthday to celebrate. (and then how about Sedona…the best present of beauty and love...yowzas).

I think birthdays are the times when you realize you better tighten up your bootstraps and get better at dishing out love because love makes the whole world go around.

So there you have it, a valentines mushy post about the beauty of love. I feel so spoiled that I got so much of it on my birthday. There were no big material gifts. But I felt more love than I could fit into my heart.

Here’s to filling up Valentine’s weekend with that kind of love.

The kind that expects nothing in return.

That listens.

That forgives.

That looks people in the eye and puts away resentments and the phone and distractions and just loves.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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  1. What a day! Are you kidding me? Who gets a love letter in braille!?? I’m so glad you were so beautifully celebrated, a lot because you are such a great giver of love yourself!

  2. Thank you. I needed the reminder to dish out love to those around me. Appreciate you sharing your thoughts always!

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