I’ve never been a big pink and white, hearts and doodles, candy and chocolate kind of gal. Well, I’ll keep the candy and chocolate. But otherwise, Valentine’s Day for me was traditionally an ostrich’s nightmare. You know the kind of nightmare I mean: you want to stick your head in a nice isolating pile of sand but find that you can only get the tip of your beak covered. Are you with me? Am I the only ostrich nightmare dreamer out there?
Let’s just say that through my formative schooling years, I never had a significant other on V-Day. My third grade crush (and fourth, fifth, and sixth grade crush–he had a long reign) gave me a Valentine. Pretty sure every other girl in class received one from him as well. Then there was the teenage year when I spent a Valentine’s Day dinner with my family…and a recently divorced family friend…and her middle school daughter. This scenario, my friends, is the antithesis of what we’re brainwashed to believe Valentine’s Day to be.
Luckily for my cynic’s heart, Little Friend happened along. Suddenly, Valentine’s Day was all sunshine and happiness again. I realized that the typical conditions of Valentine’s Day (a tall, dark and handsome date + candlelit table + little black jewelry box with my name on it) could actually be uprooted in favor of some unconditional love. Can’t Valentine’s Day be about everyone we love in life? I, for one, think it should.
(I guess I also lucked out with a tall, dark, and handsome fellow who once upon a time did have a little black jewelry box with my name on it.)
So, as I think about What I Am Into This Month, I can’t help but give a little cheery nod to Cupid’s approaching day of love.
On My Nightstand
“Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra” begins Room by Emma Donoghue. I’ve had this book on my “to read” list since rave reviews first snaked through white headphone wires as I ran alongside the East River in New York City. My mental note, composed between labored breaths, finally materialized when the library procured a copy of the bestselling book for me to borrow. I’ve read the first three paragraphs of Room, and I’m hooked.
Want to Read
Next up on the reading list: The Hole in Our Gospel. World Vision’s CEO Richard Stearns shares his God-driven life story and an exhortation to the rest of us to make a calculable difference in other’s lives. This recommendation comes via my mom, who always seems to know a worthwhile read when she sees (reads?) it.
T.V. Show Worth Watching
I know I’m not alone in this recommendation, but I’ll say it again: Modern Family. I get pretty excited when Wednesday rolls around, and I know that after both babe and dishes are tucked into their appropriate places for the evening, I will have complete freedom to sit (ah, imagine that) and enjoy a witty, quirky, refreshingly honest show. Ok, so most nights I invest in some bonding time between my head and pillow, but I’m still excited to know that Modern Family is being recorded for posterity via the vigilant red “recording” light on the Tivo. (Modern Family, Wednesdays at 9 pm on ABC)
Movie I’ve Seen (In or Out of the Theater)
Social Network makes me want to name a future son Aaron. After writer Aaron Sorkin. He who wrote the best TV series ever to grace the airwaves, The West Wing. He who now deserves to win the Oscar for best screenplay. Oh, how I worship thee and thy pen, Aaron Sorkin. In his best Sorkin-esque fashion, Aaron finishes the movie with a deceptively mundane scene that explodes with significance and understatement and irony if you really get it. Please watch Social Network, and if you don’t get the closing scene, stop back here, and I’ll happily share my small peek into Sorkin’s brilliant finesse.
In My Ears
Here’s the problem. I’m hearing an ominous “tick-tick-tick-tick” noise each time I turn on my car’s CD player. Instead of the dulcet tones of some British patriarch reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I’m listening to my CD player masticate a $40 library audio book. I keep hitting the little eject button. Nothing happens. But I hit it each time I hear the “tick-tick-tick” because I really think it’s plausible that the darn player will magically start working. Presumably before the audio book’s due date.
In more pleasant moments, I can’t get enough of Lucky Diaz’s The Luckiest Adventure. I know it’s an album meant for kids, but I just adore the songs. If I listen to Lucky Diaz enough, I’m sure Little Friend will adore them too.
Links to Note
Project Give:LOVE | Thank you, SortaCrunchy, for championing such a great cause: free printable Valentines with a donation to an worthy humanitarian non-profit. Download the designs and read about Give:LOVE and LOVE146 over at SortaCrunchy.
joy of love | As long as Little Friend is around, I have plenty of antics to photograph (standing on her head, painting on a yogurt beard, kissing her baby dolls, kicking the cat, snuggling with Big Friend). Still, I appreciate fresh inspiration. Joy of Love is serving up one photography assignment per day for the month of February. Today was day number one, and I’ve been stalking the Little and Big Friends in my household to capture “what they do.” Kelly Willette, the eye behind the camera of Joy of Love, also includes photo tips to help turn my amateur attempts into shots slightly less amateur-ish. Want to join me in photographing Love during the month of February? There’s still time to sign up for Joy of Love. (And it’s free. Free!)
Simple Mom | It’s February, and that turn of the calendar page seems to ring a death knell for most New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve panned out already, I really have to recommend you check out a thought-provoking post (with a free downloadable worksheet!) on Setting Reachable Goals for 2011. Forget resolutions, those wimpy, elasticy things we flex half-heartedly around January 1st. These goals suggested by Tsh Oxenreider will have you deliberately investing in the most important areas of life: yourself, your marriage, your health, your money, your children, and your relationships.
What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month
We have two of our favorite people visiting us next month: Nana Nancy and Papa Larry, Little Friend’s chosen grandparents. It’s almost like extending Valentine’s Day into March, minus the candy and chocolate. Although, this gives me an excellent excuse to stash some V-Day treats for later…
And if I happen to see a daffodil or two poking up out of the March muck, I won’t be disappointed.
Many thanks to SortaCrunchy for providing the template for “What I’m Into This Month.”