A few weeks ago, I stepped into my favorite store and saw Valentine’s Day products strewn up and down several isles. Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas and New Year’s? It often takes a while for me to emotionally recover from major events and celebrations such as the ones we just left behind. But my kids Nicolas and Aria love to celebrate Valentine’s Day and I don’t blame them. It’s just another excuse to have a party at school and get loaded up on sweets and cakes. But this year, we decided that Valentine’s Day was going to be something extra special. It was going to be about extending our love and well wishes to our neighbors, Jodie and Jim. We had enough love to go around and the extra calories from those chocolate treats would also be great to pass along.

Jodie and Jim have been wonderful neighbors since we moved into the area. They’ve been retired for some time now, but they still live active lives. However, in recent months, Jodie’s health had faltered. After several calls to 911 and more than a few trips to the hospital, Jodie is finally on the mend. To celebrate her recovery, my kids and I decided to bake some chocolate cupcakes for her and her husband, and give them a homemade Valentine’s Day card to seal the sweet deal.

As always, my kids enjoyed making the cupcakes. Licking the chocolate stained butter knife and biting into a freshly made cupcake was the highlight of the evening. Their cupcakes, however, had a sweetness far beyond what was in the frosting.

Both kids had hoped that Jodie and Jim would be able to taste their work of love and fully enjoy every bite knowing that it was made with them in mind. They were tickled at the thought of being able to share their love and concern in this way. I was too.

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