Normal on the Road

My parents invited us to go on a spring break trip with them to Florida…of course we said YES! Can’t pass up a fun family trip!

Since I’ve been a mom, I say I WILL NOT drive in a car with children for more than 12 hours at a time. If the drive is longer than that we will fly! This trip was estimated at 13 hours (over my limit, mind you) BUT tickets to fly on spring break are not so pretty, so I compromised! Having to drive 13ish hours to go sit on a warm beach and relax (as much as you can with 3 kids) was going to be well worth it!

We like to drive during the night on long trips. Kids can sleep, traffic is great and all is well on the road. We were making pretty good time, UNTIL we sat in traffic BARELY moving for an hour! It was mostly fun while it lasted. It was warm and sunny, we had the windows down, kids were dancing/talking to people in other cars around us. This was about 10 hours into the drive.

It was all good…making lemonade out of lemons.

THEN, the kids crashed! I have no idea how many hours it was but there comes a point when we are all done! The fun was over in the car. Now I had to work overtime to make tired kids happy! We end up stopping WAY too often to let kids potty, someone has their foot on someone…the list goes on!

I wasn’t thinking this at the time but… That’s all a part of the road trip experience! You don’t get that on a plane. There you have to listen to some crabby stranger. There is something about being in the car stuck with your whole family when you’re tired and crabby that makes you all bond a little more and memories are made.

We do have fun in the car. I would actually say most of the trip is fun. I pull every trick I have out of my ‘mom hat’ …we do flash cards, read books, color, watch movies, sing songs, play silly games that I make up, eat A LOT of snacks (try not to drink too much…that makes more potty stops! :) )


It was a 15 hour trip on the way there.

We made it!

I would have to say that we were shocked how good the kids were! We were mostly worried about the baby of the house (she isn’t as experienced of a traveler as the older kids plus the fact that she has pretty much mastered the temper tantrum!) She did great and had some pretty awesome naps.

So, really the car trips are kinda like our life in general…mostly good, fun, full of memories, with a little bit of junk that we would rather not deal with. We choose to focus on the GOOD!

I highly recommend a road trip with kids! If you are thinking about all the work, planning, headaches…

I say CHIN UP BUTTERCUP! It really isn’t that bad! You might actually have fun anyways! :)

The whole car singing/screaming to the same songs over and over, whinny kids, your arm falling asleep while you hold your baby’s hand just to make her happy is really just  Normal on the Road. 



I never was a huge fan of Valentine’s Day! I never thought it was that romantic to get flowers and candy on the same day that millions of other women do! I always tell my husband that our anniversary means so much more to me, so don’t buy me expensive things on Valentine’s Day!

I have grown to like Valentine’s Day more over the years. I don’t know if I am just getting older or sappier? We do like any excuse to have a party and to celebrate in this house. Over and over God tells us to “love one another”  so why not celebrate the LOVE all around us! Everyone in our lives could use a little more love! I don’t think of it being just a day of romance. We have a LOVE Day!

We have fun celebrating in our house….

I started off by writing the valentine’s notes the night before and getting the decorations on the table. (I don’t spend much money on this at all!!! I save party decorations and supplies from years before and use those. I just put what I have together and try to make it work. It’s good enough for them! The craft was made out of paper and toilet paper rolls (we can collect those pretty easy :) ) The lunch was little heart pizzas and heart cookies. We did get the kids Despicable Me 2 DVD. They have been wanting it since Christmas. So we were able to enjoy the movie together in the afternoon. We made daddy a hand made card with all the reasons why we love him. Made cupcakes for dessert. I made a dinner at home that I knew the dad of the house would love, loaded chicken nachos. Then, after dinner we played the games that I made and brought to school. So, those were reused. A day full of fun and I used most things we already had!

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The baby of the house painting some pretty LOVE decorations!

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Of course I had school Valentine’s parties to attend. We did some fun crafts and games with the kindergartners!

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We had our at home lunch party (the 2 older kids go to school half days. It gives us more time to have fun in the afternoon!) Here the kids are working on their heart shaped pizzas. I made the heart pizza crusts while they were at school. to make this go faster, since I knew they would be hungry!

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I like how in this picture it says “I love you” on the wall right by her head!

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Pizzas finished! The funny guy in the house decided to make eyes with his pepperoni! (everything is a joke to him! :D)

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Our butterflies with heart wings. I think they turned out pretty cute! (Notice the creeper! lol)

We definitely had a house full of LOVE this Valentine’s Day!

Then…I was TIRED! :)

Minnie Mouse Party!

So, if you know our family, you know we like Disney a little bit! ;)  Little girls and Minnie Mouse just go together! I knew for a long time that this little girl would be having a Minnie Mouse first birthday party…

I had a rough pregnancy with this baby. One of the times I was sick in the hospital was at 19 weeks. My gallbladder finally gave out and I had my gallbladder removed. Of course I had several ultrasounds done that hospital stay. We were so worried about the baby’s health and we not only were reassured that she was healthy, we found out we were having a girl! I was so sick and it was exciting to be able to dream about what our daughter might look like, how I would decorate her room, making bows for her, and her first birthday party!I knew then, she would have a Minnie Mouse first birthday! I knew she wouldn’t care. She would be happy with whatever I did.

She had fun, we all loved to celebrate our baby turning ONE and having a great year with her. I know she doesn’t remember a thing, BUT I DO!

These are the invitations we sent out. I designed them and my wonderful husband created them. We make a good team! :)


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I LOVED the cakes. They were perfect!! They were made by Laura Winter and she did a great job!

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Where the birthday girl will open her presents. The gorgeous quilt was made by a cousin, Karin Ritchie.  My mom had it made when Sadie was just a baby. It now is the quilt on her bed.


THE BIRTHDAY GIRL!!  She had to have a custom Minnie outfit! The shirt was made by In Stitches. I made the tutu and bow.

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Everything was so exciting!

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Digging in!

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OH NO! She was a little sad she dropped her cake! She had plenty to eat/destroy!

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Yep! Covered HEAD to TOE!