So, Valentine’s really do come in all shapes and sizes…

My daughter is my Valentine every year. Even when my husband was around, from the minute my daughter was born, she was my dear little heart. When it became apparent on my daughter’s first Valentine’s Day that my husband was not a good man, I decided right then and there that I didn’t have to have romance to have a true valentine. She and I have rituals, like heart shaped sandwiches and pancakes, or stamping I Love You on toast. We order Papa John’s heart shaped pizzas every year. It is a carb fest of hearts, and funnily enough, candy does not play a big role in it.The featured image is our stamped I heart you pancakes.:)

We start the day off with her opening presents and she usually has 5 or more to open. I give her something, my mother gives her several things, my aunt send a package, and so does her God sister. Her dad gives her a little something, or gives her money towards something. And, sometimes our uncle from Atlanta sends her a check. So Valentine’s is a big score for my kid!:) After that, we have breakfast and go do a fun activity and usually eat somewhere fancy like Capital Grille to celebrate. If not on the actual day, close enough to it.

This year, we overslept and did not make it to church, so we did the whole present and breakfast routine. Then we went to Capital Grille and then to American Girl store. This year, mostly everyone gave her money to pick out her own things, so her dad met us at the mall and paid the difference on one of the items she wanted and then he took her to a movie. That was really good for her heart because he hasn’t been to see her in 2 months and she is hurt by that.

As they were making plans to go to the movie, I texted a friend I haven’t seen in more than a few months to see if she could go to the movie. I could not believe that she didn’t have plans with her guy and she could actually make it! I met her in the same mall where I was and she and I sat at a restaurant by the movies and I had a mimosa (which is rare) and she had a few drinks and we just enjoyed catching up. Then we went to see How to Be Single.

So, she was actually Valentine #2 for the day. I called her my galentine. I thought it was funny. I digress. The movie was funny, a bit too raunchy in some parts, but hey Rebel Wilson was in it, so I wasn’t exactly shocked!:) Over all, it was so emotional and thought provoking. It made me think of how much I want a male romantic valentine, but I counted myself lucky to have 2 valentines to spend my day with, my daughter and then my friend. It dawned on me then that a valentine can be just someone who loves me and who I love back and that I am not the only single woman on this day at the mall (though it felt that way).

But as I was headed home and some old skool LL came on the radio-“I Need Love”, I realized that I could be my own valentine. And that kind of went along with the theme of the movie to an extent, especially towards the end. I have always searched and yearned for love in different forms. I am a love bug of sorts. I want to be liked/loved by friends and I want to have a loving relationship with my family members but I long so much to find the love of my life.U  Honestly, besides the love of God, the greatest love I can have is for myself above anything else.

I am really beginning to discover that I am a lovely and attractive woman and that though I may not have a partner to validate that, I am worthy. I am loving. I am lovable and I am going to be okay. I am my own valentine every single day. I love myself enough to eat right (mostly) and to workout sometimes twice a day. I love myself enough to realize my flaws and to try to change. I realize that I am a work in progress, and the fact that I keep pushing and trying and loving and believing no matter what, says something for who I am as a person.

I have the love of God. I have the love of my daughter, mother, cat (l0l) and my friends. But beginning to truly value and love myself is the greatest valentine I can ever receive. I am not all the way there, but I am closer than I have ever been. I may not be the valentine that I am looking for, but until I find him, I will cherish myself and my loved ones and be happy with the love I have in my life now. Because to be honest, I am loved and blessed beyond measure. My cup runneth over…

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