Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Then and Now

18 years ago, Valentine's Day was filled with anticipation, hope, a little anxiety, and so much excitement as it was my first with Todd.  We started dating two weeks prior to Valentine's Day in 1994. I can picture that first Valentine's Day and all of it's details and the raw emotion associated with it. Todd and his roommates decided to make myself and their dates dinner. They got dressed up in the nicest clothes they had at the time, cleaned their apartment (a one time thing), set the table and made us a candlelight dinner. That dinner is still something we laugh about - spaghetti, creamed corn, and mashed potatoes. Three guys trying to woo three girls, college style. It was a magical night just as everything is magical when it is new.  That night led to 18 more years worth of nights - some with candlelight dinners, none with the culinary combination they made that night, nights alone, nights with one, then two, now three children. 18 years with the love of my life.

After that 1st Valentine's Day, we never really put emphasis on the day. Maybe because we couldn't top the no budget perfect night that once was or that our "dating" anniversary was two weeks prior. We just never got caught up in the Valentine's Day hype. And I am totally fine with that. However, having kids changes it a bit. They love holidays. All holidays. Especially those filled with candy and hearts and love! We still keep it small, but we buy Valentines, and candy, and a cute treat for them. They love handing out and receiving Valentine's at school and I love the innocence the holiday is for them, especially as I know the simplicity of the holiday is short lived. I hope they always love it for what it is...a day to celebrate those that love you and those that you love.

This year, Todd is out of town and I wanted to send him a little something. We always agree not to give gifts to each other, so this year, the kids and I had a photo shoot. I was a little out of my element trying to take pictures in a makeshift family room studio. I prefer working with natural light outdoors and prefer lifestyle photos, which I did capture a bit. I took what we had and put it together in a slideshow set to music and he was able to see it in Bogota, Colombia!  Here are some of the photos I used for the slideshow...you can see the love in their eyes. They knew they were doing this for Daddy! This is for Todd, and for all those that show their love to our children everyday - their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Happy Love Day!

Trying to get an almost three year old to pucker up on command!

I had an idea in my head of what I wanted this to look like. It took many attempts and I don't know that I really accomplished it. I'm not used to shooting indoors and the lighting was not my friend. Eventually, we took it outside!

I love the sweet moments captured when they think you turned the camera off.

These pictures and this style are a work in progress for me. But, we worked too hard on them not to share them with those we love!