Friday, February 14, 2014

with love from The Rice Ranch

I make no apologies for being the biggest kid on the planet when it comes to holidays- ESPECIALLY Valentine's Day. It's in my top three favorite holidays, right up there with Christmas and Easter. I looooooove Valentine's Day.


 ^^^^^^  just had to throw those in there for emphasis.

I changed my blog banner today- did you notice ? I may or may not have spent one full hour designing it - cropping, pasting, fitting cupids and doily hearts and roses into a grid on to form what I hope looks like a vintage Valentine with my girl in the corner of it. I think I texted seven people when I was finished, asking them to take a look at what I made... something tells me I should still be in a second grade classroom somewhere, waiting for my friends to open their handmade Valentines that I stayed up all night assembling. But alas, I am 45, and so instead, I funneled all of my creative and maybe over-excessive passion for this holiday into my blog banner. Please consider it my special Valentine to you. You're welcome.

I took pictures of the Lilybird on Wednesday night before church in her red dress and sweet Valentine's bow (from @jujubee_creations on Instagram, whom I'll be blogging about very soon!). These ended up being some of my very favoritest pictures of Lily ever, so I hope you don't mind if I go ahead and post all forty two billion of them. She is so darn cute, it's hard to narrow it down to just one or two ! But I'll try....

I did the same with Hayden today (minus a dress and bow) . I got his outfit on eBay a few months ago, and I have been beyond impatient for this holiday to get here so he could wear it. (If you remember seeing him wear it in pictures at Christmas time, please forget about it for this post, okay ?)

My Valentine's table is set tonight, and all that needs to be added is a big pile of pink heart pancakes and some orange juice. As per tradition, we will play That's Amore from the Babe soundtrack (the movie about the pig, in case you wondered) as the children come downstairs to see the candy-strewn table. Each child gets a sticky note under his or her chair, promising something fun  - a trip to the dollar tree, or a pedicure by mama, or a date with dad... Each note is age appropriate, so there have been a few "good for one girlfriend of your dreams" post-it-notes in the past, for teenage sons. Let's just say that Cupid delivered on those, and now I am two sons less at the Valentine's table this year. Sob.

This post is just a little preview of what's to come. Tomorrow I'll take pics of the kids at the table, and of course the pink heart pancakes, and I'm sure I'll take a few of my Big Date... I promised my favorite and only grandson I would take him out for hot cocoa and cookies tomorrow, and I'll probably bring Lily along too. Stay tuned for part two of this post, which will include those photos and a video or two as well.

Before I post the rest of tonight's photos, I have to share the sweetest little love letter that just came into my inbox ...

Dear Lily,

Rumor has it that there are quite a few, more like quite a million, young men that would love to have you for a Valentine.  SO, I actually told my mommy that I would even pose for a picture just for you if you would be my Valentine.  I don't do pictures like you do.  I am not too eager to be photographed.  And I sort of like to turn my head the other way when my mama is telling me to say cheese.  I know what I am doing; don't tell anybody.  But I put my best pose forward for you my dear love.  And your name is the only name I say other than mama and dada.  I won't even say my siblings names.  You have been on my heart since the first day I saw you on that computer screen when we were just babies.  I get SO excited every time my mommy shows me your pictures and all those videos.  My favorites are the ones when you are dancing.  I could watch you dance all day and night long!  You are one special young lady.  You will forever have my heart!  Would you be my Valentine?  I included my picture putting my best pose forward.  And I included a picture of my cute baby brother too hoping he will help me get a yes.  I know you may have many young men coming for you, but you will be the only one I am asking.  xoxo



Aren't they just TOO cute ??? Of course, Lily said yes ;)

Sammy is snoring loudly in the distance, and I am fading fast too I will dump these photos and call it a night....

One more thing - if you blog about your Valentine's Day, will you leave a link in the comment section? I would LOVE to take a peek.

With love from The Rice Ranch.... HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY !!!


  1. Happy Valentines Day, Dear Friend


  2. Very creative header, table, you really do Valentines Day in a great way! And the pictures are absolutely adorable!

    Happy Valentines Day!

  3. Love the new header. Hope all your Valentine wishes come true. xoxoxox

  4. Oh so love the pics of Hayden and Lily!! Priceless!!

  5. Oh Patti! You made Benji's day for sure!! He is going to be shocked to see his face on Lily's blog and a big YES from her!!! :) And he is going to LOVE looking at these most adorable pictures of Lily. No kidding that he will only say Lily above all his families' names. His siblings are still trying to get him to say theirs, ha. All the kids will have fun seeing this. The pictures of Lily are just beautiful!!! She always poses so perfectly!

    Your Valentine's table is gorgeous. I hope your whole family has a blessed day celebrating. And I noticed the header right away yesterday and loved it! xoxo

  6. Lily you are beautiful and your mama made a gorgeous Valentine's header!! We love Valentine's too!!! :0)

  7. Um, whoa, I think Lily just aged like two years, she looks like a little girl now instead of a toddler. Why do these kids keeps growing on us??? Love Hayden's outfit. And Benji? Oh yes Lily, he is a keeper.

  8. I love your joy over Valentine's Day! I fell in love with your Lily but enjoy reading about your larger than average (by 9.8 kids!) because I am a mom of 7. I posted about our not so picture perfect Valentine's Day at Happy Valentine's Day to your beautiful family.

  9. Your joy for Valentine's Day is awesome! I fell in love with your Lily but enjoy reading about your larger than average family (by 8.8 kids!) because I am a mom of 7. I wrote about our not so posed picture Valentine's Day at Happy Love Day to all of you.

  10. I think your tradition of the breakfast is awesome....and the Babe song gets me every time! Here's my blog about my Valentine's:

  11. Loved this post. The post on grace was perfect for me since I was falling apart every other minute - too much on my mind, juggling therapy, being a mama, a wife, doctors appointments...

    I blogged about valentines, more of a celebrating the ones we love. This week was congenital heart defect awareness and it marked 6 months since David's repair.

  12. Will you adopt me???? And of course, I blogged about my big Valentine date...but in a much more sarcastic fashion. I have been missing my "Patti" lessons. (-:

  13. Love it all, Patti - I may have to steal a few of these ideas for next year! It has been some time since I've visited your blog (haven't had any time for blog reading lately, even though yours is one of my favorites!). Lily has grown and is just a gorgeous little girl!

  14. I seen this on your IG and just couldn't help, but smile. I think all holidays are a big deal. Here's my blogpost about our Valentine's day

  15. Patti, I love these photographs and your new house looks amazing! Buy or rent? Was it you who wrote in your birth story that you were sad because someone told you people with Down syndrome resemble each other more than any family members? I can't get over how much Lily looks like her dad in these photos. Her hair is so beautiful! And your baby boy is just precious. Happy late St. Valentine's Day.

  16. Love your table, I must copy next year:)

  17. Love this and your love for valentines day! Here's our day!!! It was heavenly loving on our baby boy!


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