Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Love You Day (and Laurie David's Book -The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time-)

Don't worry, be happy.  
About a week after Valentine's Day, my youngest daughter, Sophie, decided that we did not do enough to celebrate that particular holiday. She insisted that we needed to celebrate "I Love You Day" in grander style, with decorations, hearts, and a fancy dinner. Once Sophie gets something in her mind, she makes sure that she (or you) achieves it.

So, I decided that we would have I Love You Day on a Monday night. Monday is the the only night during the week that we can really sit down as a family and eat dinner together. Every other night of the week is devoted to some activity, and my husband doesn't get home from work until 7:00 usually, which makes it impossible to eat as a family unless we all eat at 9:00 PM (which unfortunately sometimes does happen). I cherish the Family Dinner. I love watching the girls' faces light up when they talk about their day. I love when my husband and I laugh at something ridiculous one of the girls does.

In her cookbook The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time, Laurie David argues that this underplayed event is actually crucial to our sense of connectivity as a family. AND she argues that we should have fun doing it (the book is peppered with great games to play with your kids, poems and stories to read, thought-provoking quotes to use as conversation starters - as you can tell, I seriously adore this book; you should order it. There's also a great companion website to the book here, featuring recipes, stories to share, and a blog).

Laurie David's The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time. The game here is "Name Your Sandwich." 
So, for I Love You Day, we decorated the table with a red tablecloth and candy hearts, I made Red Roasted Sausage and Blappleberry Pie, and we all made each other I Love You Hearts. We cut the hearts out of regular paper, and on each heart, each family member had to draw one of the other family members and then write why he or she loved that person.

This girl has great cutting technique AND hair.
Besides the fact that I look like a giant crab flipping people the bird, this is pretty cute. 
My husband's were the best. 
A special dinner doesn't have to be perfect, neat, planned out way in advance, with gourmet food. It just has to be special and memorable. Have fun dreaming up your own family dinners! A/J

Be Happy, Live in Love, Love Me
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