Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

The most memorable Valentine’s Day I ever had was…

Finish the Sentence Friday

The most memorable Valentine’s Day I ever had was when I was 16.  Or maybe this one, if you help me out.  Here’s why.

First, some background.

I love my husband.  I know that he loves me.  But holidays?  Not a strength.  He’s just not good at them.  Or…he’s not that good at them with me.  With Tucker?  He’s amazing.  Massive “ahhh” points for a dad who orders his little boy a random item because he fell in love with it at a friend’s house, right?  The fact we later had to call poison control because the toy “accidentally blew up” and the innards weren’t listed on the box doesn’t distract.

Robert claims that birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and the like were never a huge affair while he was growing up.

In contrast, I grew up with a mom who wrapped and gifted me presents from my dolls, my stuffed animals and from my pets.  Imagine the excitement of a seven-year-old unwrapping something from her favorite (really ugly) doll.  You’re totally like “Big Dolly gave me a gift, too?”  Part of you knows it’s from mom, but you want to believe that Big Dolly, Egg the Humpty-Dumpty stuffed animal and Junior the (actual real) dog remembered your special day.

And no, it was NOT because real human-kids refused to come to my parties.


Obviously, hubby and I had to have a serious talk when we first started dating. I explained that I grew up in a home where I received presents from my stuffed animals.  Sadly, he thought it was weird.  But, because I am kind and patient, I spelled it out for him.  “Think of what you should do for Valentine’s Day.  Now, multiply that by 10. Now, multiply that by over-the-top times four and that’s how big you do Valentine’s Day, my birthday and any other holidays that involve giving me presents.”

Spelling it out for him didn’t really help.  Once we had Tucker, I’ve no longer cared as much about over-the-top birthdays and holidays when it comes to me.  I’m a good, un-selfish mom that way.  True.

Anyway, Robert and I are low-key about Valentine’s Day.  Usually, we’ll exchange cards, I’ll make a dinner that requires actual cooking, Robert will listen to me when I tell him not to bother with flowers, and, if the moon’s aligned with the sun and it’s not midnight and Tucker is asleep, we’ll have us some loving.

I digress.

I could tell you that the most memorable Valentine’s Day I ever had was when I was 16, because that was the first time a boy liked me enough to give me perfume and say that he loved me (which, in hindsight was probably not exactly true and more of an attempt to defile me).  But, I won’t.  Because that boy no longer matters.  And, in many ways, neither does celebrating Valentine’s Day.  To me, anyway.

However!!  It matters to Lindsey and Nick.  This special-needs couple is celebrating their four-month wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day.

How can you make this Valentine’s Day memorable?  Easy!  Make it not about you.  Show this amazing couple that they truly are loved and supported by a village bigger than they’ve ever imagined.

Valentine-NickLindseySend a Valentine’s card to Lindsey and Nick:

Nick and Lindsey
c/o Patricia Fowler
General Delivery
Silverton, OR 97381

Or, send them a message via Linda’s blog.  She’ll print them out.

For your amusement, here’s a real photo of me at my seventh birthday party.  I promise you that there were presents from Big Dolly, Egg and Junior.  My mom’ll vouch for me.


Finish the Sentence Friday is hosted by the following awesome bloggers.  Seriously, check them out.

Dawn’s Disaster (Twitter, Facebook)
Next week’s sentence is  ”I get so frustrated when…”
That one, my friends, could be a funny one.

Vote?  Just click the button on your left and the contest page will pop up.  All you have to do (PLEASE?), is scroll down the list, find Finding Ninee (it’s number 54 or something – thank you HUGE), and give me a nice pink heart vote.  Come on, you know you want to spread the love.  It’s almost Valentine’s Day after all.  And you already know that Robert won’t be showering me with gifts and attention.  And neither will Big Dolly.  *sniff*
Please vote every day until Feb. 13 at 7pm!

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - Awwww. I’m crying. Why’d you make me do that? Lovely, lovely piece. Thank you for being my blogging friend. You are an awesome person. BTW, news stations were here today. Newspaper ran it on the FRONT page in this morning’s paper. I hope they get a few Valentine’s from all over. Right now, the newlyweds are giddy and grateful. They can’t believe they deserve so much attention. Again, Wow. I have no more words and my keyboard is getting wet.February 8, 2013 – 9:09 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Aw. Stop or you’re going to make me cry, too! And WOW, to the newspaper running their story. They’re going to get so many Valentine’s cards! How awesome for them. I can’t wait to see photos of them wearing huge smiles surrounded by tons of cards from all over.
      XOFebruary 8, 2013 – 9:17 pmReplyCancel

  • christine - You were one lucky little girl to have such a nice mom. (I’m assuming your stuffed animals didn’t give you gifts to make up for a lack of friends at your parties.) Surprising your husband didn’t understand your subtle hints. 🙂
    What a sweet thing to do for NIck and Lindsey.February 8, 2013 – 9:46 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - I know, right? And ha! to not having friends at my parties. Funny because I wondered if I should have clarified that she didn’t do it because nobody liked me (maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, but they did come to the parties).
      And I hope Nick and Lindsey get more Valentines than they know what to do with!February 8, 2013 – 11:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Kristi, you were adorable as a little girl and what a cute story from your youth. Thank you also for sharing the love story of Nick and Lindsey here. I went over to her mom’s blog (the link you included) and left a message and am now following. So thanks a ton for sharing that, as well as linking up with us again!! 🙂February 8, 2013 – 9:49 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Oh, so cool that you’re following. I am a total sucker for special needs kids finding true love. I think it’s one of the biggest concerns all special needs moms have – wondering how functional and how able to be in a relationship, etc. their babies will one day be.February 8, 2013 – 11:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I love that you got presents from your furry friends! What an awesome mom thing to do. I’m going to have to remember that…I like your Valentine’s Day idea better than celebrating with my one and only. Not because I don’t love him. I just really don’t like to have to be nice to anybody, because it’s a certain day of the year. It brings out my passive-agressive side!February 8, 2013 – 10:21 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Yes, remember it and copy it. I’ve already done it for Tucker. He doesn’t “get it” yet, but he will, one day and think “holy shit! my dog gave me a present!” which is just awesome.
      And yeah, Valentine’s Day is kind of dumb for so many of us. We should be extra-thoughtful for the heck of it. Now that’s romantic. And not because Hallmark said so.February 8, 2013 – 11:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Josie Bisett - Haha! Your Mom spoiled you rotten you lucky lucky seven year old! Loved the drawing of you getting prezzies from your toys Seriously, your blog illustrations are hilarious! I appreciate your spin on this FTSF and the super thoughtful sentiment. Happy Valentines Day to you and Robert. And Happy Valentines Day to Nick and Lindsey! 😀February 8, 2013 – 11:18 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Ha you, Josie! She did, indeed…
      And thanks for the Valentine’s wishes. $20 says Robert doesn’t even know when it is, yet. And SHIT speaking of, I’m supposed to make really cute ones for my kid’s class. Guess I better get on that. 🙂February 9, 2013 – 12:52 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer P. - Wow. I will send a valentine. You are so talented to be able to write moving things with funny things and I love the birthday hat “I love me.” Such a perfect thing for a 7 year old to display.February 9, 2013 – 12:08 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks, Jenny! Love that you caught the birthday hat. 🙂
      I was actually SUPER crazy shy at 7 (and a lot of the other years but I eventually got over myself) but wish I were confident enough at 7 to feel that way. It is as it should be, in the drawing 😉February 9, 2013 – 12:54 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - First of all, LOVE that photo of you. And as much as I don’t do Valentines Day as a married adult, I want you to get a over the top one. I pretty much got Easter baskets until I got married and moved away. So lets say my last Easter basket was at age 26. I still miss that! And I absolutely will send a card to Lindsey and Nick. That is SO sweet.February 9, 2013 – 8:05 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Kenya, that’s awesome that you got Easter baskets until you were 26. Seriously, I’m jealous.February 9, 2013 – 4:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - OMG, “BIg Dolly” gave you a present! That is so sweet- your mom is the cutest mom in the whole world! That picture is perfection- the expressions on both your faces! Love it.
    Also, what a cool opportunity to help that couple celebrate. I went to the link, and that is just so awesome. OK, friend, I will save the rest of my comments for our “private” conversation! 😀February 9, 2013 – 3:04 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Big Dolly was pretty considerate, actually. For a doll.February 9, 2013 – 4:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - That’s so sweet…going to send a card to Lindsey and Nick right now! (We don’t make a big deal about Valentine’s Day either…as long as I get some chocolates, I’m happy.)February 9, 2013 – 5:06 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks for sending them a card! And I hope your chocolates this year are especially amazing.February 9, 2013 – 6:46 pmReplyCancel

  • The Next Step - Super awesome blog post – I think I love everything about it! I too grew up in a house where present-giving was a big deal, and my husband though it was ridiculous. We still don’t see eye-to-eye on that one, but now my “gift” to him is always that he doesn’t have to buy me a gift. But I make a big deal out of the girls’ birthdays and Christmas. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the story of Nick & Lindsey – I am going to follow the blog and send them a card!February 9, 2013 – 7:18 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks! Glad I’m not alone in saying “forget about the gift!” because really, this house has too much stuff in it and somebody is going to have to sort it one day.

      thanks for following Nick and Lindsey!~February 9, 2013 – 10:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - It’s good that you and your husband seem to have an understanding about gifts and special days. My expectations are always way too high and I get disappointed. I feel so selfish. My post for Monday is 10 gifts my husband got me that really weren’t what I wanted – part of Monday Listicles. I asked him to remind me of some and he had a big list. Oh gosh. I’m such a turd. I’ve been following all the other comments on your post about finding balance. I really think cutting down on the # of posts is a great idea. I know a lot of people will miss you, but even just cutting back a couple days would give you so much more time. Good luck!February 9, 2013 – 10:14 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Aw, Kate!
      I think part of the reason we have an understanding about gifts has to do with our ages. Even just a few years ago, I made it VERY CLEAR that he had to get me a “push present” when our son was born and that it damn well better be a good one (he did – a lovely bracelet from Tiff’s). Since then, though, I look at my only son, at my jewelry and wonder what the point was with these gifts. First, some of them were expensive and I’d rather have that money in Tucker’s college fund. Second, the most beautiful and special and pricey ones in the bunch are worn so infrequently that it seems selfish to even own them. Does that make sense?
      Anyway, I’m not actually going anywhere. Just posting less 😉
      Thanks for hosting the FTSF!February 9, 2013 – 10:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Hey Kristi, I’d like to link to your blog to alert people to this cool project. Can I steal the image for it? You know, I do so love the pictures! I’ve now found a way to get one on my blog. That is, if you agree….February 10, 2013 – 7:57 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Hey Rachel,
      Do you mean the one of cartoon Tucker and I in the airplane? Sure! I’ve added a Finding Ninee URL to the bottom (you know, in case somebody steals it from you). Thanks for helping to spread the word! Let me know if you want me to email it to you.February 10, 2013 – 9:30 amReplyCancel

      • Rachel - Yay! Yes, the one with the airplane. I can copy it from your site, so no need to email it. Thanks!February 10, 2013 – 10:00 amReplyCancel

        • admin - Cool! You should let Linda know too – she’ll be super excited 😀February 10, 2013 – 10:13 amReplyCancel

  • Meredith - This is such a sweet, cool idea. We aren’t huge on Valentine’s either, and what a great way to use the day to bless other people. Awesome! And the picture of you as a little girl is so, so adorable!February 10, 2013 – 4:00 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks, Meredith! I appreciate the visit and the comment!February 10, 2013 – 5:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Mama Meerkat - That’s so sweet!

    My Valentine’s celebrations are usually decorating for Mini, because there *must* be decorations at all times, and doing crafts with her. I’m a single mom, so no romantic stuff to bother with!February 12, 2013 – 6:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Joy - Awww, I love this post about Lindsey and Nick! <3

    And your picture is soo cute!!February 17, 2013 – 4:20 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Lindsey and Nick ended up getting television interviews and everything – so cool! Linda did an awesome job promoting this. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the photos of them getting tons of Valentines. 🙂February 17, 2013 – 8:42 amReplyCancel

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