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Our vision is to inspire, empower, educate one another through ongoing community exchange. One of the ways we would like to do this in 2014 is through our Friday Community column, in a monthly series called In Your Words. We reached out to our guest writers to ask them a question.

Read what they have to say and share your answer in the comments below.

This Month: What is your favorite Valentine's Day Memory?


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My husband and I refer to February 14 as "First-Date Day" and not necessarily Valentine's Day. In 1998, we went on our first date on Valentine's afternoon. Not because it was a holiday, but because it was a week after we first met in college. He bought me a strawberry ice cream cone, but the date was the beginning of something so much sweeter. 

Kristin Taylor - 152 Insights to My Soul 


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Valentine's Day, 1997, I was in pre-labor with our first child. On the most romantic day in the calendar, after a visit to the OB who refused to admit me because he didn't want to induce, as you might imagine, I was quite the romantic date. Fortunately, my beloved truly loved me, held my hand, endured my misery with me, and kept a sense of humor we both desperately needed. Two days later we became family.

Chelle - Treat Me To A Feast


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Every Valentine's Day for the past 10 years, my father-in-law has sent us a package from Mr. Valentine. Crafted from faded deed construction paper, a little "heart man" complete with folded pink arms, pops out of the package delivering our family Valentine's wishes. It is such a silly little thing, but a wonderful tradition I love :)

Amy Renea - A Nest for All Seasons


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Hands down, my favorite Valentine's Day memory was the year 2002 when my fiancé (now husband), Brent, called me as I was getting ready for work early that morning. He was sitting in my driveway and asked if I'd unlock the front door, but then stay in my room as he set up a few things. At his prompting, I opened the door to find him in a Goodwill-purchased, pink leisure suit and dancing a somewhat choreographed routine to Otis Redding's, Love Man. So hilarious! When the song ended, he led me to the breakfast table that was decorated with heart-shaped pancakes and strawberries. What a way to start the day! And what a way begin what has been such a fun and happy marriage. Happy Valentines Day 2014!!

Becky Crenshaw - The Word of God and a Cup of Joe


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While there isn't a specific year when Valentine's Day stands out, I have very fond memories of it as a child. Beginning in January, every Saturday my mom would take my sister and me to a family friend's house and make our own Valentines along with 7 or 8 other ladies. The Saturday before Valentine's Day, we would have a potluck and exchange our homemade Valentines. There was always good food and good laughs, and of course, it was so much fun to see the finished products of everyone's unique and personal cards! On Valentine's Day morning, my mom and dad would always give us a bag of goodies, which usually included assorted chocolates, festive socks, a Beanie Baby, perhaps, and a balloon. It certainly made me feel loved!

Denise - Blonde Moment of the Day


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My favorite memory from Valentine's Day is of the mailbox my mom would help me and my siblings make each year to take to school to use for collecting cards from our school friends. My mom is rather talented, so our mailboxes were always so beautiful. The mailbox would include a card from her and my dad. To this day, they still put a card in the mail to each of us.

Beth Stiff - Simply Beth


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My favorite Valentine's memory is from a couple years back. My husband had moved to Iowa for his job and I stayed back with the kids so that they could finish out the school year. He came home to spend Valentine's with us. He and the kids made me an Italian dinner from scratch. I had so much joy watching him cook with the kids for me. And then we all ate by candlelight! The kids still talk about how much fun they had and want to do it every year. To this day it's one the best Valentine's ever.

Alecia Simersky - There's Something Different


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I remember when I was in my teens, I came down the stairs on Valentine's Day morning to find teddy bears sitting on the kitchen chairs. My parents had bought one for each of us kids. Oddly, the gift moved me. I remember feeling quite relieved that they still saw me as a child who would want a teddy bear on Valentine's Day. It was a moment of revelation for me. Even though I was in such a rush to grow up, I really didn't have to.

Noelle Rhodes - Coffee with Noelle


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One of my favorite Valentine's Day memories is the year I got a Walkman. I'm pretty sure I was in junior high (or close to it) and just at the age where i started really having my own taste in music. My older cousin had recently shown us her Walkman when we visited with her family over Christmas. I remember being completely enamored and impressed. We never got really big gifts for Valentine's Day, so a Walkman, which was about equivalent to a small iPod today, was huge! I remember being really excited and like my world of music was wide open.

Jennifer - Swing Whistle Zing 


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