That "Hallmark Holiday", Valentine's Day

I'm not going to lie, it's been a hard past month. Zach and I both lost our Grandfathers within weeks of one another, leaving us stunned and hurt. We've slowly gotten ourselves back to normalcy after making our way to Florida for his Grandpa's service, and now helping plan my Grandfather's service for March. My Grandfather wrote to me once saying "Families teach us to love, and sometimes they teach us how hard it is to love. In either case, loving is a life skill that turns us into effective human beings. Loving makes you strong. It carries life giving power." So, this post is in honor of the most witty, well-spoken and well loved individual I've ever had the honor of knowing, my Grandfather. 

"Hallmark holiday" is a term used to describe a holiday that exists primarily for commercial purposes, rather than to commemorate a tradition or historical event. Valentine's Day is considered one of those holidays where it's given more hype than it should because due to a high volume of commercials featuring jewelry and chocolates. Plus, we all see the 'Love' section at Target and get suckered into buying all the things they have to offer. (Or is that just me...?) 

Today I am sharing some of my favorite photos from sessions that melt my heart every time I look at them. The last image is one of the last photos I personally took of my Grandfather. It's the epitome of what family teaches us, to love and support each other during our best moments. 

I challenge you this Valentine's Day to see it not as a "Hallmark holiday", but a chance to let the ones you love know you're thinking of them through a phone call, brunch, over a box of heart shaped donuts or through genuine quality time.