in print!

mollie makes mama
mollie makes mama
I’m always honored to be in print and this time you can find my A-frame tent the newest issue of Mollie Makes Mama (along with other great thinks from other mamas). I’ve seen them over at Barnes & Noble, but I also just ordered my copy online here. It’s a really great issue full of inspiration and lots of eye candy! I’m thankful to be able to contribute to it.

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romancing each other for valentine’s

love day 2014
The past few celebratory days (e.g., our birthday, Christmas, etc.), we just give each other a house thing present or something store bought, which there’s nothing wrong with that and those presents are fun too, but there haven’t been too many handmade gifts of late. 1) We both have our hands full. 2) Free time is hard to find these days. Thus, when we were talking about Valentine’s, we both talked about how we miss those handmade gifts, but because of time, we both understood.

Ben is such a sweetheart and he had a nice little surprise up his sleeve for Valentine’s. After we had spent time cuddling and celebrating with the girls, we got our own quiet time together. First, we spent time eating a special meal I made for the occasion, and then he gave me my gift. He busted out this red paper and started reading me “Tus Pies” by Pablo Neruda, in Spanish of course. I love it when he does that! Naturally, I couldn’t understand it though I knew pies and could make out some things here and there, so after he read it in Spanish, he read me the English translation. It’s a pretty hot poem and if I could blush, I totally would have.

The surprises just didn’t end there and with the whole “tus pies” theme, he handed me a big painted pink box (no wonder the garage smelled like spray paint!) and when I unwrapped it, I saw the cute shoes I had been eyeing. Then after that, there was one more surprise, and he busted out some oils because he was going to give me a foot massage! Seriously, he’s such a romantic! I was pretty giddy from being spoiled.

love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
I was so stuck for awhile on what to make (or give) Ben for Valentine’s, so this idea didn’t come to me until the day before and thankfully that night he was at his Rare Fruit Growers Association meeting, so that gave me time to work on his gift. I had purchased an invisible ink pen with a black light a few weeks prior and decided that making him a “Round the Clock Invisible Valentine Card” with lots of sweet (and naughty) messages would be fun surprises for him. So on Valentine’s morning, right as he was walking out the door for work, I handed him a brown paper bag with his surprise.

I was excited knowing his messages would start at 9:00 am, so I knew he’d text me once he got started with the first one. It’s funny because he texted me saying he could tell there was a message and he was trying hard to read the indentation, and that he didn’t realize to use the black light until after. D’oh! He’d text me almost every hour after he’d get the newest message and it was fun staying connected that way throughout the day. It was a simple gift, but I just wanted Ben to know how much I love him!

I know some people are jaded about the commercialism of February 14th, but it’s still fun to have a day set aside to go the extra mile. I appreciate the everyday ways of showing love and I appreciate the extra miles too.

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love day happenings of 2014

love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014

love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
love day 2014
First thing in the morning, Ben individually asked each of his girls to be his Valentine with a card and a gerbera daisy. The first three each said, “Yes!” and took their flower and gave him a hug. Things went south when he asked the baby, “Glow, will you be my Valentine?” while holding out the flower and card. Immediately, she said, “NO!” and pushed the flower and card away. He asked her one more time and she gave him the same refusal. Ben and I were just laughing at the spunk of that little girl. Oh well! Ben even asked me to be his Valentine with some flowers from the garden (those are my favorite kind) and of course I definitely said yes! Four out of five ladies isn’t bad I guess.

Since the girls had the day off for the President’s Day holiday weekend, they spent the whole day making gifts for each other. It was the sweetest thing! They had already been working on it during the week, but the still managed to spend another whole day making more things. These girls are extremely thoughtful towards each other and us. I spent the day baking some treats for them and trying a new recipe to make for dinner that evening.

Ben came home and we had our room ready for our celebration. True and Brave hung up the gold glitter garland I got from Minted, along with their heart chain garland, I had our cinnamon roll cake on this pretty cake plate ready it was calling out all our names (Glow kept dipping her finger in the frosting)… it looked so yummy. Presents were strewn all over the bed and everyone was buzzing with exciting because we just like celebrating!

We all sat down on the floor of our room as the girls ate dinner and we all opened presents as they ate and talked about everything they made. They made so many cute and creative gifts for each other, and it kept on going and going and going. They had boxes full of handmade goodies! After they passed out their presents, Ben and I gave them our presents for them, which were personalized journals (from here) and walkie talkies. Then we had them all hop into bed to light the heart sparkler on the cake (bought from Danni’s shop). Glow was petrified of it, but the other girls were loving it. We all indulged in some deliciously gooey cinnamon rolls, gave more hugs and kisses, and then it was off to bed for the kiddos because Ben and I needed our own special time to celebrate each other.

It was definitely a good day of celebrating our littlest loves and our love for each other! I’m thankful for the sweet hearts of my girls and Ben. I’ll share what Ben and I gifted each other in another post tomorrow.

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our love-ly days through the years

love day through the years
2008. True and I made cupcakes together, and I made love notes for Ben to find all day long.

love day through the years
2010. Ben made the day quite special with all his kisses.

love day through the years
2011. Another Love Day filled with surprises he left all over the house, and I made us a teepee where we ate our special dinner and cuddled.

love day through the years
2012. Another year that we were spoiled by Ben.

love day through the years
2013. Grandmama was in town, so she got to celebrate Valentine’s with us. It was a super busy time for us last year, but Ben still made sure to display love towards all his girls. I’m almost sure I totally didn’t do anything for him at all.

I’m thankful for the blog because it’s fun to be able to look back and see how our family has grown and the different ways we have celebrated. I’m not sure what happened 2009, but I couldn’t find a post on it or pictures on my computer. Maybe we fought?! HA! February 14th also happens to be my mom and dad’s wedding anniversary, so maybe we did something with them. A couple things have been consistent throughout the years… Ben always gives all his ladies flowers and we always have sushi for dinner.

Oh! Now I remember 2009! We were so busy that day that we decided to go out to eat sushi, and (crazily) thought our favorite all-you-can-eat sushi joint shouldn’t be that crowded. Yeah right! That was a bad idea and we learned never to eat out on Valentine’s Day again. We know it’s a totally commercialized holiday, but it’s still fun to use that day to show our loved ones how much we love and appreciate them. Celebrating love is always a good thing!

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our nye dance party

new year's eve dance party
new year's eve dance party
new year's eve dance party
new year's eve dance party
new year's eve dance party
new year's eve dance party
new year's eve dance party
new year's eve dance party
We’ve been doing our NYE dance party for a few year’s now. I think when we started it was just True and Brave. This year, the girl’s requested we do a theme inspired by Jem and the Holograms. They had wanted Ben and me to dress up like Rio and Jem for Halloween, but things were busy that we never got our act together for it, so they asked if we could do the 80′s Jem and the Hologram party for NYE, so we happily obliged.

We gathered wigs during Halloween time and I found my hot pink (way too tight) one shoulder dress at the thrift store. I think our getup looked 80′s enough. The girls just wore their “fancy” dresses from Soul’s birthday (from FabKids); a couple of the girls got side pony tails and tada, we were ready for the 80′s! Last minute, I ran to the dollar store, picked up these star mylar balloons and funky glasses and we were set. Plus, we already had a strobe light and fog machine (yes, we really already own those things from previous celebrations) and we were definitely going to have a rockin’ new year’s eve celebration.

Ben made us our traditional NYE black eyed pea dish and spicy garlic shrimp. We all had a nice sit down dinner first, then after, we cleaned up and got ready to party. The girls had a blast with the loud music we were bumpin’ and they danced the night away. Glow was a little apprehensive about the weird lights and fog that she just sat on the side and didn’t really want to get into the action. We kept dancing, and dancing, and dancing, and the it got so foggy that we set the fire alarm off! Despite the constant ringing, the big girls kept on dancing (with their hands over their ears), while Ben tried to air out all the smoke. It was pretty hilarious, but the party must go on! After we were all feeling pooped out, except that Brave because she can keep going, we called it a night and put on our pajamas. Ben and I tucked the girls into bed (this is all way before midnight, but it had to be midnight somewhere right?!) and we settled in our room for a movie. Ben and I did manage to stay up just until midnight, gave each other a kiss, then went to bed.

We took video of the girls going crazy with their dance moves and I love watching it over and over again. They are so funny! We asked Brave, “Brave, where did you get your moves?” She replied, “From me.” That’s our girl, just so matter of fact.

How did you ring in the New Year? Do you still wait up until midnight or are you already snoozing before the clock strikes twelve?

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