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!


Christmas At Our House

Christmas extravaganza! It’s a long one…

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We start off Christmas at our house with decorating. I LOVE Christmas decorations. Every year I get something else to add to our collection. I love Christmas decorations so much we even had a Christmas wedding. It truly is “the most wonderful time of the year!” 🙂

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The kids always have their Sunday School Christmas program at church. I know they don’t seem like it in the picture, but they love it! They are always so excited to memorize their lines and have their grandparents come and watch them. It is pretty stinking cute to watch all the kids up there!

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We always makes lots and lots of Christmas treats to give to family and friends. This year we didn’t bake as much. Things got busy and we ran out of time, we didn’t deliver goodies to as many as usual! The pictures above are our annual “gingerbread” houses. We ran out of time for this one too, so we did this a couple days after Christmas. We celebrate the whole month at our house! The kids love this and it has turned into a tradition at our house.

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Our cookies for Santa. This was just part of our Christmas baking.

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Every year I get the kids new Christmas jammies. I usually buy them in November when I am doing my other shopping and just give them to the kids to wear all season long. I figure they could usually use another pair of warm jammies anyways, so this is just an extra little tradition that we have. It is too cute for them all to wear them on Christmas morning and all match! They love their Christmas jammies!! They really get into cozy, warm jammies…they are my kids!

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This year, we had a nice relaxing Christmas Eve. We made Christmas cookies, the kids were able to open their one gift from each other. It is so cute to watch them get so excited to give gifts to each other. The things they come up with are so sweet!

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They were thanking each other for their gifts! Oh my heart!!!

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After opening their one gift we went to Christmas Eve service at our church. Many years the time of our church doesn’t work out with family plans, so we were pretty excited this year we were able to go to our home church! We had a great candlelight service to remind us of the true meaning of the season. After church we finished off the night with driving around looking at Christmas lights! Of course, once we got home we had to set out Santa’s cookies and go straight to bed! Santa was coming and Mom and Dad of the house had a whole lot of wrapping to do! 🙂

The long awaited CHRISTMAS MORNING…

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The kids giving Dad his gift. He loved it!

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I’m getting a thank you hug! They are always so sweet when you shower them with gifts! lol

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One of her favorite gifts…PAINT! She has been telling everyone that her paintings aren’t very colorful lately because she is all out of paint! She only had yellow left! Poor girl…she is so deprived! 😉 It didn’t hurt her to have to wait until Christmas! I think it made her appreciate them that much more!

After Christmas morning at our house. We go to Nana’s (my mom) to spend the morning/day and have breakfast and a big lunch there.

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Enjoying some pretty cool gifts at Nana’s.

Later Christmas night we went to another Christmas party!! This time, Grandma’s house (Mark’s Mom) We opened gifts and had dinner there – I know, we eat a LOT on Christmas!! 🙂 The kids were once again spoiled there too!

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We have so many Christmas festivities! We also have other family parties that we went to before Christmas, work party, school parties, tumbling party, Christmas cards, baking, gifts, and cooking. It gets easy to get carried away with all the “extras” and get too busy and too wrapped up in other things that we forget to relax and enjoy the Advent season and celebrate the birth of Christ. This year, I had to remind myself over and over not to worry about the little things. Not everything will get done. Just focus on the important things. I rather enjoy my family than getting that extra baking done that I was worried about! Even the oldest of the house told us over and over “Jesus is the real reason for the season” Sometimes you need a childlike faith to remind us! 🙂

We had a pretty awesome Christmas time. I think every year gets better and better!