Grace stayed home today, exhausted from skiing and feeling too puny to go to school. My grand plans for creating one-of-a-kind, intricate and delicate and beautiful Valentine's cards out of vintage paper, ribbon, and whatnot (the kind of Valentine's I always wish I could make but never ever actually do) went out the window as I kept up a steady stream of peppermint tea, crackers, and strawberry jello going out the kitchen and into my daughter.
And so, my present to the family is my time and food. Three-Cheese Lasagna with Italian Sausage (a couple hours of prep, which is why we don't have lasagna that much), salad, and for dessert, Quintuple Chocolate Brownies. The latter has become a Valentine's tradition. They are so unbelievably chocolate-y, rich, and every other over the top adjective you can imagine. The first year I made them, the kids learned the definition of the word "decadent." Really. They are that good. The chickens even got left-over cooked noodles cut up small. I yelled "chick chick chick," they sprinted over to me, and have already gobbled it all up.
Maybe next year I'll do the fancy cards.