7:30 AM

Holidays are the worst time to be blogging. All the cliched blog posts pop up, repeating the same new insights we learned last year (and indeed, the year before) and even the most brilliant piece seems a bit tired. It gets even worse when the posts try to be unique, giving a twist to worn-out opinions. The twist is old.

Thus I cheerfully and dutifully begin a post on Valentine's Day - no, it is not original and I won't pretend it is. There is nothing to be said that wasn't said before so I hope there are more enlightening and enlivening things to read in your day. I thought at first to write about contentment and singleness - encouragement for those ladies and gentlemen out there who celebrate Valentine's Day by writing posts about how they should be content about it. I thought so, I mean to say, and decided against it, since the most recent thing I've read about love is Sense & Sensibility and because I'm not sure I have anything to add to the discussion. I'm not sure I'm even in the discussion. When you're sixteen, you aren't quite certain where childhood ends and singleness begins - and I'd rather err on the side of caution. Teenage angst is so overrated.

But while writing posts on Valentine's Day is optional, gearing up for the big valentine bash at our house isn't. (How serious are we? If you measure seriousness by the quantity of sprinkles dumped on the floor - we're pretty serious.) So I decided to perform duty and worry about brilliant blog posts later. Since I am a very organized person, unused to clutter and confusion, I put off making my valentines until the day before - all forty-five of them. Luckily, Daddy fixed the printer so the cards didn't print off aqua blue, and even more luckily, I had a sister eager to work for chocolate. So as we cut out the cards, Floppeth and I chatted about fashion, stolen blog designs and self portraits - the usual. We went a bit deeper and determined the extent and expression of our grumpiness. Then we got on the topic of amor, which was written on the card next to the cut-out of a Hershey's kiss.

"I tried to avoid putting love on my valentines," Floppeth, by way of conversation, noted.

I said something important enough to forget.

"But I doubt anyone even knows what it means," she amended.

On cue, another sister walked in: "Amore? What's that mean?"

"See," I said.

"You don't even know how to pronounce it," Flop said.

"What - ay more?"

Cruel big sister laughter.

"What? What's it mean?"

"Guess," I said.

"Chocolate? Is it chocolate?"



"Love," Floppeth said.

(And to further prove her hypothesis, another sister, coming at the tail end of the adventure, wanted to know the same thing.)

After hunting for a brown marker that actually worked (the final object not really fitting the bill either), I had all forty-eight valentines stuffed in a freezer bag and sitting on my desk. Then came the sugar cookies.

In general, I avoid baking. I love the finished product - and that's what Floppeths are for. I renounce baking and she renounces cooking and between as both, magic happens. But sometimes I tag along for the ride, persuaded by the motherly logic that I need something to do besides write and read. When that happens, Disaster joins in the fun too. Or Incompetence. Or both.

I succeeded in getting the butter and sugar in a bowl and fitting the cantankerous electric mixer with its beaters. I am justified in using a word as big as cantankerous. It just is. If one beater isn't in the right hole, the other one refuses to go in. A world of difficulty. And then there's this embarrassing trick it has of not starting unless it's plugged in. Thankfully Floppeth was feeling too cheery to tease me much about my culinary faults. And thankfully she was there to inform me that one had to press the start button ten times in rapid succession before the mixer decided to turn on. What would I ever do without you, darling? - that said to my sister, not the mixer.

Meanwhile one little sister kept snappin' photos ("for your blog, Bailey - oops, I keep forgetting to call you Tigger*"). She would focus the camera, someone would move and she would double over with uncontrollable cachinnations as a result.**

We were engaged only a few days before and I expect it to last until another sister takes my place. Isn't he the cutest little Marine man?

I forgot to mention salt. Salt is something we girls have trouble with. Salt is something Floppeth forgets to put into bread, turning it into a tasteless experiment of yeast and honey. It's not worth repeating, though she thought so. Salt is something I fear I overmeasured and dumped into the cookie dough. My fears were consummated after getting a lump of very salty cookie dough.

"Mine tastes good!" Daniel Franklyn contradicted.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

*Due to the lack of nicknames for some of our family members, we are currently in the process of renaming each other. I am Tigger, from my propensity to bounce; Sarah is Snap Pea (Snappy for short and very appropriate for our amateur photographer); and Hannah is Sweet Hannah Vanilla. They will last no longer than this post.

**This is an inside joke among my mother and Floppeth and me. I had just looked up from Sense & Sensibility and hadn't quite recovered from all the big words used. Thus I spent most of the evening translating. I could not resist using cachinnations, which means loud and immoderate laughter.

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16 impressions

  1. LOL! I want to come spend Valentine's Day at y'all's house. :)

    I was awake for awhile today before I even remembered what day it was. Well, I actually didn't remember on my own--a sibling mentioned it. *ducks head* ;)

  2. Your Floppeth is not one I would call reliable...what kind of sisters do you have? Do you know how ridiculous those names are?

    Haha - knew you'd use those words...now if only I'll remember it - perhaps I can look a little more intellegent. :)

    Love ya!

  3. Haha, I had to look up "cachinnations" in the dictionary. I like it. I'm going to try and use it in a sentence soon! Thank you for broadening my vocabulary. ;)

  4. Love "cachinnations" ... I think there are probably only about six people in the whole world who could accurately define that word; I'm glad I'm now one of them. ;-)

    You get affected by the big words in old books too??? You should have read my journal entry after I read Jane Eyre for the first time ... I came back and read it a few days later and said, "What?"

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Love in Christ,

  5. *smile*

    I so enjoyed reading this! Be not discouraged, you're not the only one who encounters mishap every time she pulls out the baking supplies. I avoid it... at all costs. :)

  6. I love hearing about your life! Valentine's Day sounds like a lot of fun at your house. =) I think I'd panic if I had to make my Valentines just a day ahead of time, though...and 45 of them at that!!!

    Oh, and your fiance is adorable! ;-D

  7. You are all most welcome to come celebrate Valentine's Day with us! Hugs to all! :D

    Erin - I couldn't forget, but just in case it was possible, my Daniel Franklyn wandered in with a "Happy Valentine's Day!"

    Bethany - Insulting my sisters, are we? Do I have to boot you off the comment thread too? ;o) Love ya.

    Sara - I learned it from a biography on Martin Luther, of all places. Isn't it scrumptious?

    Vicki - Jane Eyre?!! I'm totally IN LOVE with that book right now. I could send you a boxfull of extra chocolates just for mentioning her.

    Mia - I think we should form a club. Bakers Anonymous. Or something. But wait. That'd be for baking addicts. Never mind.

    Julia - Alas, one of my best friends stole his heart only this afternoon. He said he'd wait till he grew up, though. She was touched. I am devastated. A terrible Happy Valentine's indeed. It's like Marianne Dashwood and Willoughby all over again.

    You girls just made a most wonderful day even more wonderful. *HUGS*

  8. Ok, just read your comment on my blog and laughed so hard that I had to come back and tell you. You, my friend, are hilarious. You turned a forgettable comment into one of the best that I've gotten in a long time.

    And yeah, probably not bakers anonymous, but seeing a psychologist about these baking traumas of ours could be highly beneficial. ;)

    Happy Valentines to you too... enjoy your evening!

  9. Yes, one of my new favorite words is "vicissitudes" ... http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vicissitude
    Bailey, I think that the mark of an excellent writer is often to point out and wittily avoid cliches. Good for you! =)

  10. Ditto on the holiday blogging. I avoid it. But I think your post is very sweet. Bethany's apron is adorable... So is the little Marine man (killer smile!!!)

    A very lovely Valentines day, indeed. I received a most gorgeous bouquet from my Daddy. <3 <3

    Yay for big words! I must admit, I haven't looked that one up as of yet, but I shall. My sister and I are taking Mrs. Morecraft's classes on Thursdays. She is most definitely expanding my vocabulary!

    Really loved the photos. Can't wait for your next article. Reading the latest post on "Bailey's blog" every night before I fall asleep has become somewhat of a habit. One I very much enjoy. Thank you.

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    P.S. You're super entertaining. :]

  11. Didn't notice your definition at the bottom there. *facepalm* Loud, immoderate laughter. I can already see the functionality of such a word. Hummm... ;)

  12. Bailey, I love this post. Hearing about busy preparations never gets old for me.
    And I love-love-love your kitchen! It's so open and airy, with beautiful colors. Also I love the red dining room. And I love your younger siblings, they're so cute! I also love that big word you used. I hope I figure out how to pronounce it.
    See? Your post inspired feelings of love! Happy Valentines Day.

  13. Shelby - Sarah (a.k.a. Snappy - I'm right - her nickname didn't last) will be flattered at her pictures being admired. I'm flattered that I'm the last thing you fall asleep to at night. Your dreams must be strange. =) *HUGS*

    Aemi - *GRIN* You're so clever. It must run in your family. =) I have to agree with you on every point - kitchen, wall color and stinkin' cute siblings.

  14. So Girl With Bun is Bethany, and Girl With Bobby Pins is Bailey?

  15. Bingo. You have a sharp eye for bobby pins. ;o)

  16. You seem to have a history of not plugging in appliances ;)

    I enjoyed Valentines day to the highest power! It was great spending it with you :)
    oh, yes, if "amor" is Italian, it might be pronounced "am-or-ay". I'm pretty sure it's not French, though...


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