my valentine.

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Friends, what a pleasure to have my ode to love posted over on the Marion House Book today!

This is my third post for Emma (see the first here, and the second here) and I’m honoured and inspired every time I have a chance to share that space – especially when the charming and highly talented Kristin Sjaarda is involved, which she was in this case.

While you are perusing Emma’s beautiful blog, I’ll be here, making these waffles for my house full of sweeties, drinking hot tea, and waiting for the appropriate moment to dive into a pile of luscious sugar cookies from our local bakery (now? What about now?).

And wishing you a day filled with love.

 

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as it happens.

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Our summer ended abruptly and sadly just before Labour Day.

I won’t go into the details, but we were left reeling and panicked with worry over someone we love; and even now, roughly six weeks later, everyone having settled into a quasi-routine with this new normal, we are living with a degree of heartache which will, I feel, possibly diminish but never quite disappear.

As it happens, though, I woke up this morning and realized that we are just over a week into my very favourite month of the year – all of us (and all of you too, no doubt) having navigated September like so many hamsters on wheels, careening slightly from one moment to the next – and that there is some mindful celebrating to be done.

This is our month, friends, to give thanks and acknowledge joy and look forward with some gladness.

Just before we leap in to all of that goodness, I hope you’ll permit me this brief backward glance, a grateful goodbye to one of the dreamiest summers on our family’s record and a salute to the September that was – just as it was.

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The garden was out of hand – in the best possible way.

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New views were discovered, and new paths taken.

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The training wheels came off.

We ate dozens of salads and piles of cake and drank glasses and glasses of Pimms.

We shared amazing moments with family and friends.

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We made a pie.

My young son went to school for the first time.

The leaves began to turn.

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And this dress sits glimmering in my cupboard, biding its time until the next celebration…any minute now.

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hearts and flowers.

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I have spent many a February 14th thinking about love and romance.

Lipsticked and red-stockinged, outrageously shod, fur-coated, occasionally melancholy, rarely single, and often annoyed by the crass commercialism of it all, I have always had a kind of perverse fondness for marking Valentine’s day in one way or another.

In theory, I do like the idea of spending a whole day wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve, making grand declarations, overspending on the wine and the food, getting down on bended knee.

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But in actual fact, I am not overly comfortable with any of those things, and I have been infamously irritated when on the receiving end of them in real life. When it comes to romance, I shy away from the grand gesture. I don’t like being boxed in.

I never have.

Ask me about love these days, though, and I will unsheepishly tell you that I can’t get enough. Love from my sweet and complex children, and from my husband, who is those things and so many more.

Life with these three and their love is essentially the glue that holds me together

(and there it is, friends, my heart on my sleeve).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 
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