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Mimosa’s Flowers, Gifts and Gourmet Contestant Winner Celebrates Valentine’s Day With Her Daughter

Natalie Hodges (left), owner of Mimosa's Flowers, Gifts and Gourmet, presenting winner Laura Ead's daughter, Emily, with a bouquet.
Natalie Hodges (left), owner of Mimosa’s Flowers, Gifts and Gourmet, presenting winner Laura Ead’s daughter, Emily, with a bouquet.

For some, Valentine’s Day means more than the love shared between significant others. Laura Eads enjoys spending Valentine’s Day with her family as a whole: to celebrate her birthday, her brother’s birthday and, this year, the love she and her daughter, Emily, share with one another.

For as long as Eads can remember, Valentine’s Day has been a big day for her family.

“When my parents were in college, my dad said it was ‘love at first sight’ when he saw my mother,” Eads said. “When Valentine’s Day rolled around that year, my dad walked up to my mother, gave her a box of chocolates and an ankle bracelet with a heart charm on it and walked away.”

Soon after, they began dating, and as Eads said, “the rest is history.”

Although Valentine’s Day seemed to be the two lovebirds’ day, little did they know, their two eldest children would share Valentine’s Day as their birthday.

“Their first baby, my older brother, was born on Valentine’s Day 1961 at 7:10 p.m.,” Eads said. “Then, two years later, I was born on Valentine’s Day 1963 at 7:10 p.m. For all of my childhood and much of my adult life, my family has celebrated our birthdays and Valentine’s Day in a big way, with all the family (which now numbers well over 20 people ranging in age from 77 down to three months) gathering together to eat and to share Valentines and gifts with each other.”

Laura Eads and her older brother Mark in a picture frame of her mother's.
Laura Eads and her older brother Mark in a picture frame of her mother’s.

Eads recalled how special her childhood birthdays were. Eads mother would bake heart-shaped cakes for Eads and her older brother, Mark. “She would put blue icing on Mark’s cake, and pink icing on mine.”

As she and her brother grew older, they didn’t receive heart shaped cakes anymore, but the house was still filled with love.

“My younger brothers, Jonathan and David, were always part of the celebration that included cakes, Valentine balloons and flowers,” Eads said. “But, that was nothing compared to what happened when the grandchildren started coming into the family.”

Eads’ mother would have Valentine “goodie” bags that included handwritten notes from her for every member of the family on Valentine’s Day.

“The house looked like a florist or a gift shop,” Eads said. “She would often make a special meal of our favorite foods, and there would be lots of laughing and picture-taking by the adults, while the grandchildren were in the floor tearing open their candy and playing with their gifts.”

But, it didn’t end there. Eads can’t remember a Valentine’s Day that her mother didn’t receive a bouquet of a dozen roses from her father.

“When I got old enough to appreciate them, he started giving them to me too,” Eads said. “My husband, Gary, always gives me flowers and chocolates too; so, I am treated like a queen.”

Laura Eads with her husband, Gary, and her three children, Emily, Ethan and Easton.
Laura Eads with her husband, Gary, and her three children, Emily, Ethan and Easton.

Eads cherishes those precious moments and was happy to share her story on Valentine’s Day. But above all, she chose to share her story because of the void she feared she would feel on this day.

“The reason I entered this contest is because my daughter, Emily, is a student at Ole Miss, and I won’t get to be with her on Valentine’s Day for the first time since she was born,” Eads said. “I want the flowers to go to her.”

Ever since Emily was a little girl, Eads would tell her she was her “little sweetheart.”

“She would reply to me, ‘you’re my heart,’ and we have continued to say that to each other ever since,” Eads said.

Eads knew it would be an emotional day, but she said she couldn’t be happier that her daughter chose Ole Miss and is able to experience Oxford.

“I am so thankful that she will be getting her own flowers from Mimosa because I feel like that’s a little hug and love from me since I’m not able to give her those in person,” Eads said. “I have often told my friends that part of my heart lives in Mississippi with Emily, so those flowers are a tangible way for me to share Valentine’s Day with her.”

However, fortunately for Eads, Emily had quite a different plan in mind. This wouldn’t be Eads first Valentine’s Day without her daughter (if she ever has to experience one) just yet.

“My mom has absolutely no idea that I’m coming to surprise her,” Emily said. “I’ve never surprised her like this before. My mom and I have a very special relationship, so I think it will make her very happy.”

Emily surprising her mother for Valentine's Day.
Emily surprising her mother for Valentine’s Day.

Eads said she couldn’t be more grateful that she was able to share her story and give a bouquet to her daughter for Valentine’s Day.

“It is an honor for me to have been chosen to share my story and to share my heart with my daughter on Valentine’s Day,” Eads said. “It has been really fun and rewarding for me to be able to reminisce about my family and look through old pictures.”

And, Emily said she couldn’t be more grateful that she could give her mother a surprise to keep her from experiencing a Valentine’s Day without her daughter.

“Valentine’s Day is a special day in my family. It’s nice for me because, if I don’t have a boyfriend to spend Valentine’s Day with, I can still look forward to it because we are celebrating my mom,” Emily said. “Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love of all kinds. So, if you don’t have a sweetheart to share it with, spend it with family or friends.”


Randall Haley is a social media editor and staff writer for Hottytoddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

Follow HottyToddy.com on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @hottytoddynews. Like its Facebook page: If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss…

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