She lets guilt peel her out of bed at 6:15a as she didn't prepare anything special for the kids for Valentine's day.
She makes her way downstairs while the dogs weave in and out of her legs to get outside. She brews coffee and turns on her work laptop.
She pulls out some frozen sugar cookie dough and attempts to roll it out and use heart shaped cookie cutters. As it doesn't quite work, she opts for sprinkling red, pink, and orange-colored sugar on top of each cookie drop.
She sits down to answer a few work emails while the cookies are in the oven - only to realize too late that she lost track of time and now the first tray is of cookies are dark brown. She tosses the second tray in and sets the oven timer.
She kisses both kids good morning and helps them downstairs. "Its Valentine's Day, my darlings. That means we have to hug and kiss all day!" she says enthusiastically. "Can I have a cookie?" they ask eagerly. She succumbs to cookies for breakfast, it's a holiday after all.
During breakfast, she helps her son write the first letter to his name on valentine notes for his day care class. He asks, "Can I make one for my baby sister?" Later, she gets choked up when taping the note in her daughter's baby book under the words, 'your first valentine 2013'
She catches a glimpse of the beautiful valentine of her friend's babies hanging on the fridge and has a pang of guilt for not having it together enough to make one of her own babies to send to family and friends. She grabs her phone, and is yet again, thankful for the Red Stamp app as she whips up a Valentine to text and post to facebook in an attempt to pretend like she is one of those moms that has it together.
She bundles the kids in coats and hats and lumbers out the door balancing kids, valentines, and her purse. She gets the baby strapped in her car-seat only to watch as her son slips in the snow. She calms her son and heads back into the house to change his pants now soaked in snow and slush.
She stops at the local deli to pick up a bag of party mix for the daycare valentine's day party. She talks excitedly about the party in the truck in hopes to keep her son from fussing at drop off time.
She makes her way home to toss a rump roast in the slow cooker and spends the rest of the day working, changing diapers, and wiping down sticky baby fingers. She forgets it Valentines day.
After lunch, she realizes the baby has ripped off the head to the monster in the musical valentines card from her sister. She remembers it is Valentines day.
Instead of an elaborate activity, she scribbles a three-step treasure hunt on paper hearts that lead to the bathtub. She resolves to set up a 'valentine bath' which is both fun for the kids and practical for her as its 'bath day.'
She loads the baby in the truck and heads to pick up her son at day care. She swallows her pride as he shows her the valentines he received from other kids including not only notes but also baggies filled with candies and pencils from moms who have it together a little more than her.
She gets through the late afternoon until a tantrum caused by the missing head to the musical valentines card. On hands and knees, she finds the missing monster head and reattaches it to the card. She glances at the clock and wonders when her husband will be home.
She smiles as her husband hands a dozen roses to their son and whispers, 'go give these to Mumma.' She laughs as her husband hands another dozen to their baby daughter and she tries to take a bite of them. She only stabs herself with a thorn once as she puts two dozen roses in a vase for their kitchen table.
She enjoys the first four minutes of dinner with her husband and two children. Then she spends the rest of dinner attempting to reason with a picky toddler and scolding the dogs for taking the baby's food from her outstretched, offering hand.
She watches as her son runs around the house completing the treasure hunt which leads them to the decorated bath. She sits in peace with her husband as they watch their kids giggling and playing together in the pink-colored bath water.
She cleans up the kitchen, feeds the dogs, thanks her husband for feeding the cats, and throws together a surprise for the mail person.
Sleepily, she heads up to bed wondering if there is such a thing as Valentines day. And when she lays down, she thinks back on the good of the day. The baby open-mouth kisses, her son saying, 'you know what I wanna give you? A kissa and hugga," the taste of a slow-cooked meal, her husband's light kiss on her neck. She thinks again, maybe there is no such thing as Valentines Day - maybe its really that everyday is Valentines day.