Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Gratitude With Diane Lane on Valentine’s Day

15 Feb

You know, I was never one for elaborate celebrations or grand gestures of love on Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked being the highlight of someone’s thoughts and getting some chocolate, or a nice card with hearts on it. I still liked knowing that I was on someone’s mind.

And I never made a huge deal of it so as not to put added pressure on whoever I was with at the time. But a card, a nice meal, some chocolate, some laughs, and a genuine hug that expressed heartfelt connection and intimacy was all I needed.

I look back now and remember times when I was younger and felt lonely, when grandiose productions of others professing their love made the loneliness bigger. I remember the Aquatnet days wanting that candy gram and plastic flower to be presented in class, you know, from that special someone. Now they have it on Facebook or Instagram for the whole world to witness this romanticism. Some people share just to be genuine and open up their book of life, letting us read a small page of it, others do it for showboating-look-at-me reasons, cheapening the heart and romance.

When you’re younger these things seem important.

But I realized how gratitude on Valentine’s Day is just as important as love.

I may not have gotten the red-carpet treatment, but I was able to share moments of life with people I loved. Babysitting for a friend over the weekend so that they could have some kid-less alone time and feel like normal people again made me smile. Getting a card with the best kindergarten spelling and Crayola Crayons masterpiece from my daughter filled my heart. Playing Valentine’s Bingo, cupid’s arrow, making kids at school smile and being helpful in my kids’ classroom hit the spot. Eating a steak dinner, I didn’t have to cook for myself brought a smile to my face. Finishing the night with a small band, playing some good tunes, while sipping a margarita felt nice. Ending the night with Haagen-Daasz chocolate ice cream and watching Netflix a definite plus.

A day and night filled with non-Facebook worthy moments, but special nevertheless.

During all this, I was reminded of Diane Lane in that movie Under The Tuscan Sun. I love Diane Lane. In the movie she talks about how she wanted a house, a home, dinner parties with family, being with people she loved, kids running around, laughter … that would have made her happy. Fast forward to the end of the movie when someone asks her if she remembered what she wanted when she first moved to Italy. Does she remember? She smiles as it hits her. She had a house, a home, dinner parties with people who had become her family, people she loved and that loved her, kids running around, not her kids but kids that brought her joy anyway, and laughter. She realized she had it. Happiness. They both smiled.

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🙂

Valentine’s became a day of gratitude, grateful for all the small acts of kindness and love that gave the sun more shine. It could have been a regular Tuesday for anybody, but it was my Valentine’s Day adventure, and I felt love from those that mattered most.

 

 

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Sandbox List Adventures 26: Secret Agent Spies and Love

15 Feb

It’s always about hiding in corners, tip-toeing so they don’t hear you, sneaking up, finding the antidote, having MacGyver moments with a stick of gum and two toothpicks, fighting the bad guys, and saving the world.

This is the life of Little Guat 007 and his sidekick 008, who is still in diapers.

In truth I had no idea where he got this concept as I’ve never exposed him to James Bond or Mission Impossible, but I can guess that it’s a combination of his love for the Justice League and the Playing Spies episode of Word World. Either way, there’s always espionage-like missions where they crack the Jenga code, solve the ABC Alphabet Foam Floor Puzzle, tie me up with the purple Minnie Mouse jump rope, rescue Dora The Explorer, and save the secret Hungry Hungry Hippos Marble Treasure.

It’s pretty intense.

We have these secret missions at least once a week, sometimes more when it rains over here. I really didn’t think I could add any more juice to these missions, but then my son saw the commercial and then it was on.

For a limited time only. Limited engagement.

That always seems to add a sense of urgency and so … it was on. In our latest Sandbox List Adventure, we mastered our spy skills and became the best 007 secret agents we could with the help of the Spy Exhibit at the Reagan Museum. Overall it was an awesome way to spend Valentine’s Day … taking down pretend bad guys and celebrating with chocolate afterward. Lots of it.

 

I knew President's Day weekend would bring in the crowds to the museum, so I thought we'd be spies on Valentine's Day and it proved to be pretty sweet.

I knew President’s Day weekend would bring in the crowds to the museum, so I thought we’d be spies on Valentine’s Day and it proved to be pretty sweet.

 

Once we got our tickets we did our Wonder Twins activate handshake and headed toward the exhibit.

Once we got our tickets we did our Wonder Twins activate toe tap and headed toward the exhibit.

 

We got our secret agent stickers and prepared ourselves for the movie and spy history lesson.

We got our secret agent stickers and prepared ourselves for the movie and spy history lesson.

 

First we were informed of some rules, which my son took pretty seriously.

First we were informed of some rules, which my son took pretty seriously.

 

Then we got a few lessons from a couple of real spies.

Then we got a few lessons from a couple of real spies.

 

Then we learned about secret compartments.

We learned about secret compartments and listening devices.

 

And then we learned of even sneakier ways of spies.

And then we learned of even sneakier ways of spies … never knew a glue stick could be so versatile.

 

Then we realized that we had to beef up our criminalist briefcase. My son informed me we needed to go buy more spy tools as we only had our plastic screwdriver and wrench.

Then we realized that we had to beef up our criminalist kit. My son informed me we needed to go buy more spy tools as we only had our plastic screwdriver and wrench.

 

After the tool lesson,  we went to the technology area and checked out the satellite spy cameras. It was my favorite exhibit.

After the tool lesson, we went to the technology area and checked out the satellite spy cameras. It was my favorite exhibit.

 

My daughter's favorite part was the laser used to eavesdrop on people. She was there awhile.

My daughter’s favorite part was the laser used to eavesdrop on people. She was there awhile.

 

My son got a kick out of the voice changer and hearing all his secret identities.

My son got a kick out of the voice changer and hearing all his secret identities.

 

They enjoyed all the exhibits, however the lazer maze was their favorite.

They enjoyed all the exhibits, however the laser maze was their favorite. We did all our secret agent Mission Impossible Ethan Hunt moves to get passed the green lasers you always see in the movies.

 

With this museum having all kinds of spy history it's no wonder that they also had information about The Berlin Wall.

With this museum having all kinds of spy history it’s no wonder that they also had information about The Berlin Wall.

 

Being able to touch this was a pretty special moment.

Being able to touch this was a pretty special moment.

 

After soaking up that very special part of history we ran across another exhibit and decided to keep exploring. However, no pictures were allowed inside, but I can say that going inside Air Force I was pretty cool.

After soaking up that very special part of history, we ran across another exhibit and decided to keep exploring. However, no pictures were allowed inside, but I can say that being on Air Force I was pretty cool.

 

After all that spy stuff and airplane business, we thought we'd stop to rest. Seeing this pub-like eatery next to the exhibits inspired lunch.

After all that spy stuff and airplane business, we thought we’d stop to rest. Seeing this pub-like eatery next to the exhibits inspired snack time.

 

It also gave my son a chance to give me his Valentine's Day surprise. His handmade I Love You card rocked.

It also gave my son a chance to give me his Valentine’s Day surprise. His handmade I Love You card rocked.

 

But him telling me "I have a surprise for you. I made it myself." And then me seeing it. Dude. "I give you my heart, mom"  Duuuuuude. That was the best ending to our 007 spy mission impossible kind of day.

But him telling me “I have another surprise for you. I made it myself.” And then me seeing it. Dude. “I give you my heart, mom.” Duuuuuude. That got him some extra pieces of chocolate. Yeah most definitely. It was the best ending to our 007 Spy Mission Impossible kind of day.

 

 

Love … Costanza Style

12 Feb

 

Image via TBS.com

Image via TBS.com

 

Just in case some of you forgot that the biggest love day on Earth is set to take place on Friday, thought I share some Costanza wisdom with you.