valentine's giving....i'm in!

i was writing a comment on another blog the other day and that thing happened where my comment got longer and longer until i realized that i needed to do a post on my own blog instead of drowning this nice blogger girl with all my words....
you know?
has this happened to you?
if not, don't tell me.
let's just let me go on thinking this is a perfectly normal occurance.

the question she was asking,
(and that i was carrying on about)
was "what is your best valentine's day?"

so here i go....

i think good, happy valentine's days started for me about three years ago.
i mean, i remember celebrating as a kid...that is a good memory.
but, once i wasn't a kid anymore, i was always working at the flower shop.
i think i have mentioned before that before i was a mommy, i was a floral designer.
well, that just made me hate valentine's day.
i was always stressed and sweaty.

i didn't love watching everyone scramble after the predictable valentine's gift.
i started shunning valentine's day with the excuse that it put too much pressure on guys.
but what i was really doing was protecting myself from being let down.
if i had no expectations on valentine's day i wouldn't have to feel unwanted and unseen.

i pretty much stuck with that whole deal for a long time.
then, three years ago, i remember Leslie (my favorite red-head) encouraging me to make a special family dinner.
that is what her family had done and then she had made the tradition her own.
that's when it started.
i started taking charge of what kind of LOVE valentine's day was celebrating.
i love LOVE!
i have a TON of love!
why not celebrate that?
so i wiped my mind all clean and started fresh.
i started letting my kids help decide what to have for dinner
mac and cheese one year, chicken pot pies the next and this year...homemade heart shaped pizzas!
i took on getting a special valentine gift for each of my sons (last year was spiderman sheets!)
and gave reedo the task of getting one for his babygirl (i think he got her a special dress)
we made it about our family's love.

i love valentine's day now.
reedo may be into a celebration with just us, or not.
but i am celebrating the way i love my family.
and that's enough.
i stop thinking so much about being unseen and start remembering that someone see's my every effort and every hope.
that's where my love comes from.
and when i let it, that real love flows right through me and into reedo and my boys and my sweet girl.
as long as i don't get in the way.

so, with that idea in mind, i decided to do leslie's advent of love this month.
in earlier years, i have not wanted to offer that to our family since i didn't want to set myself up for disappointment...
but this year i am gonna take one more step in this journey away from shielding myself from hurt and toward concentrating on how i can be the one to give the love....you know, give.
here it is.
a little envelope for each person on each of the 14 days.
i may not get one note.
but, as you as my witness, i WILL NOT CARE ABOUT THAT.
i will concentrate on writing my own.
i will open my eyes wider to see the reasons i really love my family.
i will give them my love.
i will.

i am linking up with life made lovely mondays today
click over and check out the loveliness....


this time last year....

i have a date tonight.
with a super cute guy.
so no time to blog,
but i just have to share one thing.
my kids got to hang out with some of their favorite people today.
the same thing we did just about exactly one year ago.....
so here is photo of last year AND this year.
i love these people.
enough to take all five of them to rubies for breakfast
and then to the park for the rest of the morning.
i love my life.


a preview and a winner!

thank you all for your amazing encouragement.
i am so blessed by your kindness.
thank you for reading the reed life.
the winner of my "love banner" is....
Cherish of Kiwi Freckles (you should check out her awesome blog!)
i hope you love it as much as i do, Cherish!
thank you for being you. ( i will email you)

and just to keep you on your toes....
here is a photo of ella grace as a preview to my coming tutorial on cake and cotton!
do you want to know what it is????
ella is hiding it in her hands.....
can you see it?
can you tell it involves book pages? (of course)
oooooooooo! such a mystery!
keep your eyes out!
cause a happy little project is coming soon.....


'round here

we have a new friend.
i had to get a whole cabinet organized before she came.
see her down there?
isn't she so pretty and BIG!
(please don't say that about me....)
she is a little stressful to me right now....being new and all, but i will get to know her better soon enough.

remember when i washed and dried a whole load of laundry with a black crayon?
last easter?
you probably don't.
if you care for a refresher click here.
(side note: i just re-read that post and the link to the "stuff christians like" post.  um, you HAVE to read that linked up post. i cannot read it without crying. it speaks to my soul EVERY TIME.)
well my SPECIAL vintage tablecloth from my sweet little sister was one of the casualties.
and look what it has turned into!
beauty for ashes, i tell you....
those little cafe curtains make me....
happy to do dishes (no idea why i would ever write that...dumb)
happy to be alive in my kitchen (better).

and if you look up....
valentine's day threw up all over this area!

these hearts were inspired by Shannon's post.

this doily garland was sorta my idea,
but when i was making it i kept thinking about Amy and how she MUST be making this too.
it just SEEMS like her style.

i love this tin i found at cost plus world market!
especially the "take your place" part.
i am always looking for my place.

i went to smart and final today.
just thought i'd share.
and don't judge the peter pan peanut butter.
the baby loves peter, ok?
she calls it "peter butter"
she holds it and stares at it in the store, while SITTING in the basket.
need i say more?

we have been going through a flat of cuties a week!
do your kids love um as much as mine do?
they are so easy to peel.
even ella can do it.
ANYTHING these people can do without my assistance is miraculous to me.
also, bowser loves um too.
isn't he darling?

look what came last night!!!!!
my bake it pretty order came!
why am i so happy about these!?
they just give me a swing in my step!
how much MORE likely will it be that i leave diet coke in the dust,
if i have an iced tea with these straws to take that poison's place?

by the way,
i explained to the children that those straws are MINE.
and if i am ever gracious enough to share it will be a VERY special occasion, indeed.
i think they got the picture.

i also ordered these from the same place as the straws.
and this bakers twine.
and these birdy clips were from cost plus world market too!

thank you so much for all your comments yesterday!
it's so amazing and strange and even sorta embarrassing how this blog has evolved.
i started out, with no confidence or understanding of blogging.
i thought i could just share pictures that i took with my new camera.
but wow!
God has taught me so much about myself through this little adventure.
He has given me words to share even though i am not a writer.
and He has encouraged me through your feedback and comments.
i am so surprised.
what a gift.


best of the reed life 2010

four hundred posts.
one year.
is that all?
it seems like more.
the reeds can sure cram a lota life into 12 months!

thank you for being my friends and watching me grow
listening to me when i am freaking out
and when i need to vent
and when i am brilliant
and when Jesus speaks right to my heart and i just HAVE to share it with someone!

i have a gift.
i am sad that it is just one.
i wish i had 500.
but then there couldn't be a WINNER.
and i know you want to be a winner, don't you?
i decided to make you a banner...again.
this time it is a banner straight from the mouth of God!

"He has taken me to His banquet hall, 
And His banner over me is LOVE.
Strengthen me with raisins,
refresh me with apples, 
for I am faint with LOVE."

Isn't that really what my little blog is all about?
snacks? raisins and apples....check.
and every good thing that comes out of my life is Him...my beloved.
allowing even me to participate in His main purpose.
do i always choose Him?
But He takes me to his banqueting table anyway.
So my one year anniversary banner is a banner of LOVE for YOU.
it is made to remind you that HIS banner is over you and you are His.
plus it is Valentines day!
so it is made of pink and red and aqua vintage fabrics.
the fabrics and word are very special to me and i hope they will be to one of you too!

so to "win" my gift, please tell me your favorite post or thing about
 the reed life
(maybe i can learn a little something today too!)
under "what do you think?"
and for another chance to win,
become a follower and tell me about it under  "what do you think" too.
i will choose a winner on Friday!
so hurry! hurry!
and will get it to the winner as close to Valentine's day as possible!

for now, enjoy some of my favorite "reed life" moments.....