Today, love thoughts shake in my head like Conversation Hearts in their box, and I hold hope they’ll spill out and create a row of just-right words.

But the thoughts keep right on rattling, and you can’t rush these things. And if they flew out Conversation Heart style, we’d likely end up with a pastel post like,

“I’m crazy 4 U. Time 2 dance.”

Or, “Text me, cutie. Will U B mine?”

Yike n’ stripes, as my papa would say.

Not good at all.

The just-right words will have to wait.

So I cut free-form hearts. Watch Lala arrange markers and listen to her talk sing-song.

And I look around with my lens at all the love that covers our house, made after school with my girls, without a plan, with what we had on hand.

I see evidence of little hands that push pen hard across paper, that grip scissors and trace heart cookie cutters of different sizes and glue layers together to create ornaments for our Valentine tree, garlands for anywhere.

Little labors of love.

Until deeper thoughts shake their way out:

“Reach 4 it. U R cool. Love U. “

Speaking of love (because we were, in case you nodded off with the sugar crash), I loved the recent giveaway contest. Thursday, I reached into the salad spinner bowl and picked out two Beautiful Giveaway winners. And they are… Polly Hoyt Nance and Kathy Peabody! I will be emailing you to find out your choice of photographs and will get your beauty in the mail to you post haste. Can’t wait for Kathy and Polly to have one of these pieces in their very own homes. Thanks again to Spree, of cooking-spree.comaka my mama)! And congratulations, you two!

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