Valentine’s Day…

As we celebrate yet another Valentine’s Day, in the midst of the onslaught of Hallmark driven commercials, I wondered what I could do to celebrate love in a meaningful way. As I thought about my family, I realized what better way to honor the generations of love, than to share some of our quirky, unique, and altogether unpredictable interactions and stories…on the internet!

So first, the name. Hell’s Belles is a direct reference to my grandmother Bonnie Belle Haskin. A Steel Magnolia if ever there was one, after undergoing a triple bypass surgery the first thing she asked for when she came out from under anaesthesia¬†was her lipstick. Heaven forbid we celebrate her recovery before she had her face on. Truly a force of nature, my Mom is cut from the same cloth, and inevitably, so am I. When the three of us were together, gales of laughter ensued-much to the chagrin of my ultra serious grandfather Virgil. He would sweep into the room and implore us to quiet down with the only big guns in his arsenal…”Hell’s Bells Bonnie!”. At that point, we knew something he didn’t…we had already won the battle. Once he’d broken down enough to acknowledge we were interrupting his peace and quiet, it was practically an admission of defeat. First rule for all men-don’t admit our behavior is affecting you. Stay cool, stay calm…stay in the tv room. As the Southern Belle’s who have impacted me most, it seems fitting that we poke a little fun and acknowledge we raise a little hell in between the sweet tea and lipgloss.

Every year, I would look forward to a Valentine’s Day card from Grammie and Papa (always selected by her, but also signed by him) with a few dollars of “mad money” slipped into the envelope. Having lost both of them, I feel their absence most keenly on holidays. I found one of the cards she sent me years ago in between the pages of a book I was unpacking this weekend and truly felt her there, reminding me that our relationship is ongoing. That notion was continued today as I opened up a card from my sweet father, that had a button on it for me to sport around the office that says “Yep, I am loved”. ¬†So my hope for you today is that you are surrounded by small reminders that you too are loved, and have left multiple impressions on many hearts. Let’s celebrate love, not because Jared the Galleria of Jewelers tells us to, but because it is what makes our time here worthwhile.

I hope to share the perspectives and anecdotes that have shaped my life, and bring a little humor along with it. Thank you for reading, this will be an epic adventure!

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