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!



The Best of 2013

As I thought back to our last year, I was thinking it would be so easy to sum up 2013 for our family. It was a pretty good year, no extremely huge life changes, we were all fairly healthy, etc. Then, I started looking through my pictures! It took me a half hour just to get through January-April!

I couldn’t believe all the little things that I just completely over looked when thinking about our year! It made me realize I need to make sure I remember the “little things.” (Another reason why I want to make more time to blog this year. For my family, to preserve our memories.)  Most of our lives are full of the little things. So, we try to make the most of them. Enjoy them, embrace them, some of them we have to work through, struggle through, but a lifetime is made of the good and the bad. I choose to focus on the good.

I want to count my blessings in 2013…


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January 2013, the baby was crawling everywhere!!


Lost her first tooth!

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February 2013, we went to Keylime Cove for a weekend, with Mark’s parents.

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March 2013, we went to Florida for Mark’s sister’s wedding! It was a beautiful wedding and a nice long weekend spent with family on the beach!

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Also in March 2013 (I know…we were vacation fools! It just worked out that way! 🙂 ) We went to Disney World on a family vacation with my parents and sisters. We LOVE Disney! I will have to write more on that later!

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Still in March we had a nice big snow fall. The baby was able to go out and “play” in the snow for the first time. She liked it until she fell face first into the snow!

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Just some of our Easter fun and celebration.

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May, 2013, the oldest graduated preschool!

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Our nephew was born and made me an aunt and Mark an uncle! So sweet!


In June, our baby turned ONE!!!

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My mom, sisters and I hosted our first family reunion for our Ritchie family.

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In June and July, we had too much summer fun to even list! Our days were spent outside, eating popsicles, playing in the sprinklers, jumping on the trampoline, bike rides, swimming, walks, exploring…

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We had a birthday boy in July!

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I ran my first mud race…it was WAY more fun than I thought it would be! I was not thrilled that my husband “made” me run it with him. When we finished, I asked when we could run another one! 🙂

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We always love a trip to the mountains!

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We now have a kindergartner and a preschooler.

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Our niece was born! We now have a nephew and a niece all within four months! Love those babies!

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Our boy had his first season of soccer and he LOVED it!

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All dressed up for church.

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We had a few cute little monsters for trick or treating.

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A trip to our local orchard.

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A beautiful fall season!

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Our oldest did awesome in her first tumbling recital!

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We had snow already and it didn’t slow down after the new year either!

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We had a fun trip to northern Michigan over Thanksgiving break.

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We had a big birthday girl!

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We had a great Christmas with a ton of festivities. More on that here 

This doesn’t even put a dent in our pictures of 2013. Looking through all of these, I think how a lot of times “the days are long, but the years are short”  How true is that! I can’t even believe everything that actually happens in a year! Especially with little kids. I mean, my baby was crawling this time last year and now, she climbs and talks like a toddler…amazing!