I'm Stefanie and I grew up crafting decorations with my older sister for every holiday.  We didn't have any fancy supplies or Martha Stewart back then—just construction paper, scissors, crayons, markers, and rubber cement.  However, for Valentine's Day we did have paper doilies. I loved making things for Valentine's Day!  I specifically remember making a large, woven, paper heart in second grade to hold all the valentines I received.  This memory prompted the creation of the "heart-stockings" tradition years ago when my children were little.  You know the huge build up to Christmas and the anticipation you experience as a child?  And then the let down as soon as Christmas day is over?  I hated that feeling as a kid, so I decided to give my kids (and me) something to look forward to in the slow, cold months of January and February.  I also wanted them to focus more on giving instead of receiving.  Hence the heart stockings were born and February—the month of love—and Valentine's day were forever changed for our family.  It's an exciting, service-promoting, love-increasing, family-building tradition!


                                                     

Candace is one of my amazing, talented sisters—I have a bunch—but she is the one who has made this all happen.  She has mad computer/graphic design skills as well as a lot of common sense, creativity, and practicality.  She has helped to make my ideas a reality, plus she always has great ideas of her own.  She is my wise, equal partner on this "heart stockings" journey. (PC: Lindsey Shaun Photography)