I decided after uploading these photos for this post that it is a shame I don't have a picture of me with my other Valentine - the one I married almost 13 years ago. I'm going to have to institute a new tradition of not just self-portraits but of couple portraits or something because there really aren't many pictures of the two of us together and I am just now really realizing that.
A few weeks ago, I took the girls out hiking in the hills in East Dublin to take their Valentine pictures so we could make cards to send to grandparents, aunts & uncles, birth families, and cousins. We had so much fun together (not always the case when I'm wanting to take specific pictures) and the girls were beyond pleased to get to wear their Valentine attire.
The little banner and was from the Target dollar section and it was such a fun little prop. My friend Christina made a large red heart out of foamboard after I showed her pictures of Deborah's heart from the past couple of years. She brought her kids along and we did photos at the same time, sharing props. Rose kept pulling a John Cusack move from "Say Anything" by holding the heart up over her head.
The medium size pink wooden heart was another Target dollar section find. They have surprisingly good props there!
This was the picture I ultimately chose for the front of the Valentine's Day cards. I just can't get over how their personalities are shining through in their expressions and poses (totally their own).
You can see by their genuine smiles just how much fun they were having. I'm pretty sure Rose and Clara were chanting "Shake she bottom" which is a game that Paul plays with the girls where he makes Rose's stuffed bunny shake her bushy tail while the girls crow with glee and Rose chirps "shake she bottom! shake she bottom!" over and over. She doesn't understand the pronoun "her" yet so everything is "she" for the possessive and it's hilarious and I'm going to be sad when she figures out "her".
This was actually my favorite lighting of the day and wouldn't you know it was right at the tail end of the photo shoot when we were heading down off the hill. The girls had done so well for me and been so patient but by this point I think we were all done so I didn't push it to get some poses here other than this quick image I snapped of Rose in the gorgeous light. The rim light around her curly hair making it glow is just my favorite.
On Valentine's Day, we went to the BART station and found Paul's car to heart attack it. The girls were so excited about this and had so much fun taping hearts all over the Civic. We had a number of cars actually stop to tell us that seeing the girls heart attacking their dad's car had "made their day", including two BART police officers in their patrol car.
After that though, we came back home for some coloring in a new coloring book the girls got in Cupid's mailbox (a new tradition this year - we got a little mailbox to set on the kitchen table and put notes, small things in it, etc.) for a few days leading up to Valentine's Day. Rose had woken up the night before with a fever that kept her pretty miserable for most of Valentine's Day itself, poor thing. She even took a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day and by 5:30 was just done. She pretty much refused food all day and was miserable whenever the Advil wore off. It was very sad.
This photo of Rose's eyelashes & curly hair was my favorite of the day. I took it when we were blowing bubbles in the backyard for a little bit. I took a whole bunch of her while she was being still and focusing on her bubbles.
Paul gave us tulips, chocolate covered strawberries and thoughtful cards. He also made me a really cool large serving spoon that he carved out of a piece of walnut wood. The day after Valentine's Day, Paul had to work late so after I put the girls to bed I took a few photos using my artificial light set up in the guest bedroom of some of the beautiful tulips.