Preparing for Valentine’s Day

Preparing for Valentines Day

We are just a few weeks away from Valentine’s Day so I thought I’d start the conversation.

Valentine’s Day will never be the same for us. February 14 is now Rose’s birthday too! Thankfully, Vitaliy and I never put a lot of weight on Valentine’s Day anyway. In fact, when we were dating, we boycotted the holiday and purposely celebrated a different day. We are such rebels! But now we’ve embraced the holiday and enjoy any excuse to celebrate love. This year we’ll get to celebrate the love we share as husband and wife and the new found love we both have for Rose. A day of love paired with Rose’s birthday – it’s going to be an epic Valentine’s Day weekend!

We’re going to be doing the Whole 30 this February so we’re going to have to get creative. No chocolates or baked goods. I decided to go back through the archives for some inspiration. Here are a few ways we’ve celebrated in the past.




Valentine’s Day Dinner Party with Delighted Co.
Delivering Notes with a Kiss
A Count Down to Valentine’s Day

This year I’ve made a big effort to set realistic goals for myself. I had no idea what life would look like once Rose arrived and I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I figured motherhood would be overwhelming enough. I’m now feeling more and more comfortable in my new role, but I feel like I learned a valuable lesson – less is always more. This even applies to goals, expectations, and my daily to-do-list. In keeping with this, I hope to apply the same idea to Valentine’s Day this year.

We’re going to be celebrating Rose’s birthday on February 13th so she has her own day to herself (I’m a Christmas baby so I can relate). This way Vitaliy and I will also “hopefully” be able to have a little one on one time at some point on the 14th. But I like any reason to celebrate and I love countdowns, so I’m going to use the advent calendar idea but turn it digital and make a few changes. Join us on Instagram for a Valentine’s Day Countdown! Small and simple ways to intentionally love your spouse leading up to Valentine’s Day – #pictiliolovenotes.

9 Years, In Sickness and In Health

9 Years Together

I promise to love you in sickness and in health. Those were part of the vows we promised to one another 9 years ago today.

When I spoke those vows 9 years ago, I honestly imagined the “in sickness” part would apply to us much later in life. I imagined one of us aging more gracefully than the other and the stronger one taking care of the weaker. I envisioned gray hair, weak bones, and wrinkles. But I was wrong.

Year 9 of marriage was definitely a test of loving through sickness. It’s easy to love in good health. But when one partner has nothing to offer the other, when there is not a mutual giving and receiving, that is the point when real love has the opportunity to deepen and grow yet stronger.

Along with the normal impact giving birth has on your body, I suffered two injuries when delivering Rose in February. This resulted in a very painful, long and hard journey that followed. A journey I did not envision when bringing my newborn baby home. The only thing I was capable of doing those first few months was feeding Rose, and even that was difficult in most positions. But Vitaliy did more than just rise to the occasion.

Going through his own personal challenges of becoming a dad and grieving the absence of his parents in such a momentous time of his life, to say he was struggling would be an insufficient description of his state of mind. So, what do you do when one person is sick and the other is feeling weak? This is precisely why love is not a feeling, but a choice. And why marriage is a solemn vow.

Vitaliy did as he has been instructed by God to do, he laid down his life for me. He put his own needs and feelings aside, and he tirelessly served me and Rose. Morning, noon, and night. Day, after day, after day, he made the choice to love. Never complaining and never asking for anything in return.

Everything I have learned these past 9 years of marriage, I have learned from Vitaliy. From his example. I watch the way he loves me, and I try to push back my selfishness, and mimic him. His love continues to soften and change me. I hope I can love him as unconditionally through the years as he has loved, and continues to love, me.

Vitaliy, though you often doubt your leadership ability in our home, let this be a written and verbal confirmation of all that you do. Jesus was the ultimate example of a leader. One who loved and served and ultimately laid down his life for us. But aside from God’s word, nothing has taught me more what that means and looks like then the way in which you love me. From all that I’ve heard about your father, I can see that he too was an example of this kind of love by the way he cared for your mother. I hope we have a son one day who will continue the line of loving husbands. But for now, I’m thankful to know that Rose will grow up knowing what to look for in a man by watching how you love her mommy so well. I’m one lucky gal. Love, your CP.

Previous anniversaries: 8 Years; 7 Years

Make Marriage Happen with Lara Casey – Part 3

To round out our week with Lara Casey, I asked her to share one of her favorite date ideas with us.

We believe there is a strong case for date nights and that each one is like making an investment in your marriage. If you need some inspiration, you can check out our date night feed here. And as new parents who have to be much more creative about date night, we are always welcome to new ideas. Thanks for sharing, Lara!

With a busy toddler, date nights are pretty low-key. We love going to Whole Foods for dinner as a family or getting a babysitter and going by ourselves. The simple act of getting to talk together, face-to-face, is a gift. For us, date nights used to be fancy dinners, and now we relish the gift of time more than anything. No matter where we go, just getting time together allows us to re-connect and grow as a couple.

Lara truly has been such a wealth of wisdom in my life. Her blog, book, conference, and powersheets have really helped Vitaliy and I live with more intent and purpose, making the important things happen in our lives. Every time we fill out our powersheets, those are the months that are lived with clarity, peace, and purpose. If you are struggling to make your goals happen in life, business or marriage  – please go visit Lara’s website, buy her book, and start your first set of powersheets. You will not regret it! You can read more about our experience using them, here.

If you missed Lara’s other posts, you can find them below.

Make Marriage Happen with Lara Casey – Part 1

Make Marriage Happen with Lara Casey – Part 2

Photo by Lauren Kinsey

Lara, Ari and Grace