How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

Today, Valentine's Day, Graham and I did not exchange chocolates or flowers. We are not booking a babysitter and going out on a date. We're having spending the evening with our kids, checking out the valentines they got from their friends and making chocolate-covered strawberries. After they go to bed we're getting some Indian takeout and probably watching American Idol. Are the kids cramping our style? Nah. After all, if Valentine's Day is about love, what greater love is there than the love of a parent for a child?
I've already written on SV Moms Blog about why I love Graham. But Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete for me without saying something about the love I have for my kids.

14 Reasons I love Natalie:
Because she's my oldest;
Because she's my only girl;
Because I never dreamed I would have a girl with green eyes and golden curls;
Because she looks so cute with her tongue sticking out whenever she's concentrating really hard;
Because she cries at every full-length movie, from Cinderella to Cars;
Because brushes her teeth and washes her face in the morning without being told;
Because she's a wonderful big sister to her brothers;
Because she can spend hours and hours drawing picture after picture, just like I used to;
Because she never complains that her friends have more toys than she does;
Because she genuinely wants to make us happy;
Because she still likes sitting on my lap;
Because she says she wants to live with me for ever and ever;
Because she never gives up at anything she does;
Just because.

14 Reasons I love James:
Because he's my middle child;
Because he looks so cute when he sucks his thumb;
Because his cheeks are so soft and smooth and round;
Because he looks so funny with his one grey tooth (from his accident on the concrete last year);
Because I never dreamed I would have a boy with such thick, long lashes;
Because he has such an inquisitive/curious/nosy mind;
Because he always looks out for his twin brother;
Because he can sit for hours on end looking through a book;
Because he cries real tears when he thinks I'm angry at him;
Because he insists on dressing himself, no matter how long it takes him;
Because he likes to cuddle with his daddy while watching soccer on tv;
Because he's the only one who always greets his daddy when daddy comes home from work;
Because he would kiss my feet if I asked him to (and sometimes when I don't);
Just because.

14 Reasons I love Philip:
Because he's my youngest and last;
Because he's so cheerful;
Because he looks so cute with his cheeky little grin;
Because I never dreamed I would have TWO beautiful boys, so alike and so different;
Because he adores his big sister;
Because he stops biting his lip every time I ask him to (even though he goes back to biting it a second later);
Because he doesn't care that his toy motorcycle doesn't have a front wheel or handlebars, he loves it anyway;
Because he doesn't care that his beloved blanket is pink, a "girl's color", he loves it anyway;
Because he will eat almost anything I put on his plate;
Because he jumps into the swimming pool with a smile on his face;
Because he wants to give a hug to every dog he sees;
Because his eyes light up when he smiles;
Because he loves to snuggle in the mornings with his mama and daddy;
Just because.

Happy Valentines Day!

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