Then I went frame hunting in eight different stores. I bought frames three different times thinking I'd found the perfect option but then realized I didn't have what would work best in the space I had designated for the project. My extremely simple idea turned into something almost paralyzing because I wanted it to be perfect. That ugly, ugly goal of perfection. Ugh! Fortunately in my quest to find the "perfect" frame I did stumble upon some vinyl wording on clearance that actually was... perfect! I found my very simple, very basic 5x7 frames and was finally able to head home and hang my work! An evening with the ladies at church and a great discussion about decorating our homes (thanks Kahala!) and I finally got up the nerve to just hang the stuff and go with it!
Incidentally, I had originally planned to make message frames just for the kids but then I thought about it for a few minutes. My "love language" is Words of Affirmation, and bless my hubby's heart... he doesn't know how to speak my language very well. So I decided, in a moment of inspiration, that both he and I needed to have message frames as well! And even if he forgets to leave me little messages, I'm hopeful that the kids will enjoy including me. For the little photo shoot of all the first messages I wrote I decided I wasn't going to leave myself out, and I even wrote a little love note to myself. It was a fun kick-start to our little love project. Here's what the family saw once it was all on the wall:
I recognize the writing is a bit small so here is what I wrote on each of them:
Daddy: I love you because you work hard for our family.
Mommy: I love you because you are sticking to your plans and goals.
Ben: I love you because you set a good example with your tidy room.
Brady: I love you because you are always kind to your sister.
Toby: I love you because you give good cuddles.
Molly: I love you because your giggle makes me smile.
My kids were tickled when they realized I wasn't just hammering and hanging random things on the wall. In fact, after Brady read the frame with the message to him in it, he held his head a little higher and walked over to the couch and sat down next to Molly and put his arm around her and snuggled her for a while. It was, dare I say it? The perfect reaction! Exactly what I was hoping for.
Now this is how the project works. The color and standard "I love you because" message is printed and framed. Then we use a dry erase marker to write on the glass inside the frame and we have ever-changing public love notes right inside the door of our home where we can all see it first thing when we get home. The kids have grasped the concept swiftly and enthusiastically. Here are a few of the notes they've written to each other since I hung the frames a few days ago:
Brady to me:
(My personal fav so far) from Daddy to Ben:
Toby to Molly:
Daddy to Toby:
Toby to Brady:
And the kids' favorite, from Brady to Daddy:
As it says in one of my (and my grandma's!) favorite hymns "There is beauty all around, when there's love at home!" Beauty and love! That was the goal.