you are loved“You are loved.” How many times a day do you hear these words? How many times a day to you say them to the most important people in your life? Hopefully, it’s a lot. If not, start with a love-filled holiday to jump start a new cadence in your life!

I love Valentine’s Day, and I love what it means and what we can do to celebrate the holiday.

I hear the nay-sayers that hate Valentine’s Day or choose to celebrate Galentine’s Day or even boycott the whole commercial holiday altogether… I get it, I see you.

I, however, LOVE it!

I enjoy looking for a little sweet perfect gift for my loved ones and even get excited to help make the school boxes and address the cheap little Valentine’s cards. I may even get more excited than my boys.

The highlight of this holiday for me is something that I have done for decades at my job. I lead a small group of 4th and 5th graders. This group changes each year as the new ones join and we graduate the 5th graders to middle school. We meet twice a month and do service projects, check in with each other, work on friendships, and grow spiritually too.

A few weeks before Valentine’s Day, I contact the parents and give them an assignment for our group meeting that is closest to Valentine’s Day. I ask them to write a letter to their child explaining to them why they love them and what they love about them. They are to email or send it to me in an envelope so their child can open it, all while keeping it a secret from their child.

I host a “You are LOVED” Dinner each year for the kids, complete with a fancy Italian dinner (reminiscent of Lady and the Tramp), and serve the kids an Italian feast. The food is good, and I have been asked for my recipes, but the meal is not the highlight.

The group plays games and shares Valentines and sweet treats too, but the main event is when I hand out the letters to the kids. This is one of my favorite moments every year, to see the kids open the letters written by their parents.

I stand back and try to snap a picture of each kid as they read why they are loved in their letter. Some of the students read them in a hurry and ask to be excused to go wipe their eyes while others read carefully a few times before putting the paper back in the envelope.

You are LOVED, and it is so important to know that. We need to know it and so do our children. We debrief as a group and share how those letters made them feel and then work on a letter back to our parents as to why we love them.

I have had divorced parents each write a letter to their child and seen the child weep that his mom and dad agree on one thing – that they love him. I have had a birth mother write a letter along with an adoptive mother and see the child overcome with emotions that she is loved by two moms. This exercise for my students has been paramount for them.

It does not have to be a Valentine’s Day exercise to tell those that we love why we love them; we can do it any ol’ day of the year. We just need to do it. We need to share with those that we love THAT we love them. We need to say it, we need to write it, and we need to show it.


Whom are you going to tell today that you love them?

Looking for date night ideas with your significant other this week? Check out our Valentine’s Date Night ideas post. Also, take a peek at our Date Night Roundup guide for Louisville! Hire a sitter from our good friends and the Date Night Roundup title sponsor, The Quality Childcare Circle!

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I am a Buckeye by birth, but LOVE Louisville. We have cheered for those Louisville Cardinals for a few years when my stepdaughter played basketball in Louisville and fell in love with the city! I live in Ohio with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially a Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa) since May of 2022 and have 2 grandsons with a 3rd on the. My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage, we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand.


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