Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2014 in Master Suite

Today started like any other day. Woke up early and gathered with the family for scripture study. Breakfast. Mr. 4018 got ready for work and left with the older girls to drop them off at junior high. I went through the regular morning ritual with the littles:

Get ready for school. Clean up your breakfast dishes. Stop fighting with your sister! Get ready for school. Brush your teeth. Do you need help with your hair? Get ready for school. Grab your jacket. Are you ready to go? Get ready for school. It’s time to go. Why are you still in your pajamas? Get ready for school!

In the middle of all that fun, I heard someone walk in the front door. We have had some random guys wandering around the neighborhood lately – through closed gates into backyards and up to back doors, so at first I thought some crazy person was about to attack us. Always nice to start the morning with a good scare.

I had to figure out who was sneaking into my house. Do you know who I found? Mr. 4018!

That stinker acted like everything was normal all morning long. He even let me make him a lunch and send him off to work. He had his computer with him and was stressing about the girls getting out the door on time so he wouldn’t be late.

Then he walked back in the door and surprised me with the announcement that he had taken the day off of work and had no where else he needed to be.

Best. gift. ever.

I have NEVER seen him keep a surprise from me this well. Ever.

When we were engaged, he gave me a birthday week because he couldn’t keep a secret. hahaha He bought me a gift, couldn’t wait to give it to me and then felt bad that he didn’t have anything to give me on my birthday. So he got me another gift and couldn’t wait to give it to me. Then he felt bad that he didn’t have anything to give me on my birthday. That happened a few more times. Maybe that’s why he’s more of a last minute gift guy now.

So thanks to my husband’s fabulous surprise, we had the greatest Valentine’s Day in recent memory. We didn’t do anything earth shattering, but we got to spend the entire day together. It’s days like this that remind me why I love this man.

How did you celebrate?



Family Valentine’s Party

February 1, 2014 in Great Room

I love Valentine’s Day.

Love. It.

Sure, you have to pay 4 times as much as usual for flowers and chocolate. Okay, greeting cards are expensive and cheesy. Maybe the pressure can get a little high to plan the perfect romantic evening. And then there’s the whole “It doesn’t mean as much if you’re doing it just because of a date on the calendar” argument.


Haters gonna hate, but I think any day devoted to expressing your love to the people closest to you is a good thing.

Who says you need ridiculously expensive flowers and chocolate and high-pressure dates to have a great day???

My favorite Val’s day tradition is our family party. It started when the younger kids wanted to exchange valentines like their big sisters did at school. So we set up bags next to the dinner plates and everyone passed out their little valentines.

We loved it so much that now we do it every year… except the year Chuck was in the hospital with RSV and pneumonia on Valentine’s Day. Ah, family life. Never a dull moment.

Family Valentine's Day celebration

It always starts with a fun dinner. One year we did a big breakfast for dinner complete with biscuits and gravy, hash browns, fresh fruit with homemade whipped cream, eggs, juice…. it was divine. Whatever we eat, it’s always something everyone loves.

We decorate the table and make sure there’s a spot for everyone’s valentines. I love the monogram bags we made last year. The bags were Christmas clearance items I bought for pennies. I cut the letters and hearts out of cute scrapbook paper with my silhouette and just glued them on. Easy, cheap, and cute – my favorite kind of craft!

I bought those cute little boxes of chocolates that you can find for a dollar or two, and set one at each place. For a “centerpiece” we sprinkled candy down the center of the table. Appetizer, decoration, and dessert in one!

Family Valentine's Day celebration

We read our valentines, eat yummy food and treats, play fun games, and have a fabulous night together celebrating how much we love each other.

Of course, I love to celebrate with my sweetheart, just the two of us – and we will – but who doesn’t love an excuse to celebrate just being a family?

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day???

We Love to Celebrate!

January 2, 2014 in Great Room

chuckFirst of all, how did I NOT watch Chuck when it was on TV? Definitely my new favorite Netflix find. Plus as an added bonus, I get to catch a few glimpses of Matt Bomer while I wait for the next episode of White Collar. Win!

Now on to what’s really on my mind today… I remember an article floating around awhile ago about how moms that do too much need to dial it back a bit so the rest of the moms don’t have to feel bad. I went searching for the article and it’s actually a lot older than I thought – almost a year ago. Did you see this?

Can we bring the holidays down a notch?

I have to admit I’m really not a fan of this article. Yes, some people may go a little overkill, but why not? Life can be so hard. Why not take advantage of any excuse to celebrate?

If you’re doing it to keep up with everyone else, just stop. If you really love breaking up the drudgery of life with fun days, there’s no reason to take it down a notch. Just do what you love!

butterbeerWe like celebrating random days like having butterbeer on Harry Potter’s birthday and eating with our hands on disposable tablecloths on “no dirty dishes day.” Did you know National Kazoo Day is a real thing???

I love making fun memories with my kids while they’re little enough to think it’s fun to do silly stuff like that. In fact, I think I do more for the random wacky holidays than the big ones. Leprechaun traps and bunny tracks? Not for me. Waffles for dinner on Waffle Day? Absolutely.

Of course, there is already plenty for a busy family to do that takes up our time. So even though we like to add fun celebrations, we like to keep them simple enough that they don’t add a bunch of stress.

sleepOur New Year’s Eve celebration was really simple and really fun with plenty of yummy food, fun games, and LOTS of laughing. The girls tried to stay awake long enough to ring in the new year, but they didn’t quite make it.

Tomorrow is Festival of Sleep day. Maybe to make up for all the sleep we lost on New Year’s Eve? The kids have to go back to school, so we can’t sleep in, but I’m seriously considering an early bedtime as our choice of celebration. Does that sound fun to anyone else?



Friday, January 4 is Trivia Day and my kids are HUGE fans. Their favorite dinner conversation is “Family Quiz.” We ask each other questions about family members and learn lots of fun things about each other that way. Like “Who does Beth have a crush on?” and “What did Mom and Dad do on their first date?” Everyone guesses what they think the answer is, and then whoever the question is about has to give us the real answer. I’m not sure if Beth will give us the answer to that one, though. She’s pretty protective of the identity of her latest crush.

How will you celebrate?

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