So: stupid Hallmark holiday

Woman holding heart, close upIn the Mortroski Midcentury, we’re not big fans of today’s Hallmark holiday. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s cards only between us.

That doesn’t mean we don’t share the love with a whole lot of other people.

For me, it’s not a party without cupcakes. And if you check out my LinkedIn profile, my coworkers expect me to show up with them. So holidays mean cupcake baking the night before the “party” (and when I say party, realize that it’s a bunch of art directors and writers with beers and snacks, nothing fancy).

So, I got to work:

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I spent part of last evening with Duncan and some friends…

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(my secret to fluffy white cupcakes is high speed mixing for exactly 2 minutes)

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(my other secret weapon: a cupcake portioner so I get the 24 cupcakes out of the batter that I need)

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getting baked

Bruce was also busy last night. Because of our other projects around the house, we didn’t get the wine bag we needed to get done started or finished last weekend. So Bruce decided to take on that task and it wasn’t very easy (Bravo, Bruce!):

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Bruce had lots of supervision: Godiva (brown), George (yellow), Guinness (black)

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Cursing at Morty and the fabric

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the final product — a bag of wine from the 3G Network for their pal Tracy (isn’t it pretty?)

Meanwhile, I got the cupcakes out of the oven so they could cool off.

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24 plain old white cupcakes. boring!

And iced them up, knowing they would disappear in mere moments.

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festive sprinkling and finished product. fun!

Today’s creative department Anti V-D Gathering was a smashing success. However, unlike some parties we have had or attended, no cupcakes were thrown or actually smashed. Most were in fact eaten as everyone complained about the stupid Hallmark holiday and all the chocolate around the office that was causing them to break their New Year’s resolutions and/or Lenten sacrifices.

After all of that frivolity, what’s on the schedule for tonight? An elegant dinner of leftover chili with a side of festive home projects! The ordered online curtain rod arrived today so perhaps we will have a Valentine’s Day curtain rod hanging! Or maybe a Valentine’s Day fireplace caulking! Yeeeeeeehaaaaawwwww!

In the Mortroski Midcentury, we do Hallmark holidays right!

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So: Valentine’s Eve confession

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February love letters for moreloveletters.com

On this Valentine’s Day eve, I’m going to share a big secret with you: I write love letters. They’re to someone other than my husband, Bruce.

I write them frequently too. Usually once a month, but several times a month if I’m asked. And sometimes, when the spirit moves me, I write them and leave them places. In those annoying pockets on an airplane. In restaurants. In a dressing room. In a magazine I abandon at the airport. In a hotel lobby. Sometimes even at work. And I always have some sort of notecard or paper plus my trusty assortment of Sharpies on hand for emergencies. Shhh. Please don’t tell or you’ll blow my cover.

You see, I’m a secret (love letter) agent. I enlisted back in September during a typical dining al desko lunch break. I watched a TED talk featuring a woman named Hannah Brencher. She founded an organization of love letter writers called moreloveletters.com. So I joined it.

Once a month, Hannah’s team asks me (and scores of other people all over the globe) to share words of love, hope, support, friendship, inspiration, motivation, and care with people we don’t even know and will never meet.

Here’s what Hannah says about her organization:

“We’re going to tell you that we write and mail love letters, handwritten love letters, to strangers in need all over the world. We’re going to invite you to request a love letter for someone in your life who needs one. And we’re going to insist that you step out of your own shoes of Comfort & join us. You are going to think we are a bit crazy. A tad loopy. But you’ve been looking for a website that leaks love all this time… so we aren’t worried you’ll leave us.”

You’ll probably want to check out moreloveletters.com on your own if you want more details. No point in cutting and pasting their content here.

I’d like to say I’m not in this for myself and that my heart is completely pure and selfless while I write. But it’s not. What I really liked about joining moreloveletters.com was that it was an easy way to take a few minutes out of my busy month and do something nice for someone who really needs to a boost.

Selfishly, I usually write the love letters during lunch at work when my day is going particularly wonky and I need to remind myself of what’s really important. On those days when I need to breathe. When I need to think and not speak.

Perhaps if I was a smoker, I’d take a smoke break. Instead, it’s a writing break. Taking those few minutes to pen some encouraging words and tell someone that they matter and that things will get better for them, makes me feel better too.

Writing the letters has also made me more aware of the power of the pen. Of course, people can write terrible, hateful things. Things that they’d never in a million years say to that person’s face. But you can also write wonderful things. Loving things. Hopeful things. Uplifting things. Joyful things. Comforting things.

So on this Valentine’s Day eve, I ask you to do one thing for me tomorrow. You love birds might not have a lot of time, but do it anyway. Even if your heart is hard because romance hasn’t gone your way lately, go about your day with love.

When you pick up your morning coffee, thank your barista with a smile.

Greet your coworkers like you’d want to be greeted by them.

Hug your kids and furry family members extra tight.

 

And on this silly Hallmark holiday, maybe consider leaving a little anonymous note where someone who really needs a boost can find it. You’d make someone’s day. And yours too.

 

PS: Please don’t worry about Bruce. He will get a real “from the wife” Valentine love note sometime tomorrow even though he hates this made up event. Remember, I like writing.