For the love ...

I have found that the things I LOVED the most as a kid are basically the things I dread as a parent. Case in point - Valentine's Day. 


We have to get Valentine's for everyone. Times three. 

What in the world? Who decided to have all these kids??

(And, thanks, Mom... for the years of all the crap you did that I thought magically appeared!)

I feel like we do something different every year - store bought, home made, combination of both - and for some reason I'm already over it. (I'm basically the Grinch of school celebrations.) (The reason is simple, I'm lazy). (Because it's not really that hard.)

But just in case you are as lazy as me - here are some ideas I came across on my trek for easiest/gender neutral/Valentine ideas... some after the kids picked their favorite from options I gave them. Which means, I already have it done for next year. #overachiever ;)

Starburst Valentines from Yellow Bliss Road
These are the ones the kids picked this year - took us 15 minutes from start to finish!

Kool Aid Valentines from My Name is Snickerdoodle

"Write one" Valentines from Life with Fingerprints

Bag of Chips Valentines from Meet Penny
Y'all. This is GENIUS. I bow down to her. 

Valentine Bookmarks from Positively Splendid

Target also has cute options in the dollar spot!! And going with the classic kit is always a good choice! Happy Valentining!! 


Divinely Designed...

Friday afternoons are my absolute favorite. The kids hop in the car full of energy and excitement because the weekend has officially begun. We are creatures of habit so Friday usually means afternoon screen time, some delicious snacks, discussions on family movie night and a bubble bath for me after surviving another week. 

As we were talking about weekend plans Emersyn added, "I need to decorate a tissue box for class Valentine's and bring it to school! We get to vote on the most creative and one person will win for each class... I am TOTALLY going to win!" 

After we all got settled in for the afternoon, Emersyn started gathering supplies because she is in her happy place when it comes to anything creative. I flipped open my computer to consult with Pinny and see if there were any fun and easy ideas for us to decorate this box. 

Emmy took one look and said, "No thanks - I know what I want to do."

And y'all... she didn't stop for the next few hours. 

You may look at the box and see a whole lotta chaos. But when I look at that box I see determination, ingenuity, creativity, confidence and pride. And a few custom heart smiley faces.

With each new thing she added, she got more and more excited. 

"Look, Momma, I'll color these parts with GLOW IN THE DARK marker and then everyone will be so surprised when we turn off the lights!" 

"I know! I can cover the "Kleenex" with this flower I made!"

"Oh my gosh - I can make a HANDLE!"

And she just kept on creating. The only thing I did was tear duct tape and help her hot glue the decorations and that was more because I didn't want her to burn herself than she not being able to do it. 

She reminds me time and time again that instead of living up to some fictional standard... to create your OWN standard. This girl didn't need Pinterest - she IS Pinterest. 

She is just like this box... divinely designed and hand crafted with love by a creator with vision and love and confidence in the finished product. She teaches me all there is to know about taking pride in your work, believing in what you are doing and not being afraid to do something a little different than what's been done before. 

Oh. And that duct tape really can fix anything.



I'm clearly on top of things in 2018 since the month is almost over and I'm just now posting about NYE. This is more about me having the  memory in one place and less about giving everyone up-to-date insight into our lives!

We decided to host a celebration at home this year since my brother and nephew were in town! The happiest my parents ever are is when all the grands are together in one place!

We got all gussied up in our "casual best" and were ready to ring in a much needed new beginning.
(Because can we all agree that 2017 was just.the.worst.)

This was my 19th new year with this guy...I've officially spent more of my life WITH him than without him and while not every minute has been perfect, every year keeps getting better. 

Every one killed the "bring your favorite appetizer or dessert" game... 

and the guys clearly texted each other and said, "Hey... wear your zip up Columbia vest!"

The agenda included lots of fun conversation, tons of yummy food and enough wine to keep us warm. We brought out the Cards Against Humanity goodness while the kids ran around doing who knows what and all made it outside in time to ring in the New Year in the legitimate FREEZING weather. 

Although I didn't take near enough pictures - the "photo booth" was a big hit... 

as was the sparkling grape juice!

May 2018 be filled with tons of fun with friends...

and celebrations where everyone looks at the camera on the FIRST TRY!

Let's do this 2018!!


The Gift of Time...

Since they got their big giant gift of Disney in November, the kids knew that Christmas was going to be "small" this year. They got two gifts under the tree from us - personalized books filled with pics of that amazing Disney trip and one more thing that they asked for. To add a little something extra, we decided to give them "date certificates" of an activity that went with the present. 

Radley asked for a board game so we got him Jumanji + movie tickets to see Jumanji with us. (Which also included alllll the popcorn he could eat.) 

Emmy wanted an art portfolio and we were happy to oblige and throw in a date at U Paint-It to go along with her goodies. 

Landry wanted new gymnastics clothes which we gladly paired with an afternoon at one of our local trampoline parks so she could show off her new skills. 

Isn't it the same for everyone? We all just want the gift of time with each other. Friends, family, loved ones... knowing that someone has made time for you is pretty much the best gift in the world. 



Here's a glimpse of what's been going on the past six weeks... 

Christmas is obviously about more than just the gifts but sometimes that perfect gift comes along and... 

and sometimes you get the perfect gift in TWO sizes!

I forgot this was even on my phone and now I never want to go a day without looking at her fierce face. 

And that wig. Y'all. 

The kids got me the coziest blanket (but actually it's a twin comforter) for Christmas and I really just want to quit everything and permanently move to my couch. 

But I eventually managed to move, throw the kids in the car and head to Waco where I got to hang out with some of "finest found"... 

and also wonder how in the world I'm "in charge" of children. Seriously - where do they all come from? ;) 

We did a post-Christmas shopping trip to get the girls new shoes. Y'all. Landry was walking around in the shoe on the left. Ummmm... please make sure to submit my nomination for mom of the year immediately. 

We had a teensy little get together for New Years and managed to snap a picture on the first try of the group that made it all the way past midnight!

After all the crazy of the holidays it was nice to get back to some time as We5Kings... we headed for an afternoon family date... any guesses on who won? #queenofthekingPINs

I laughed when this filter gave my mug a face... because basically coffee is my companion. 

Landry got a surprise playdate with one of her favorite friends - their faces when they saw each other were just priceless! 

One day I accidentally dressed like Willie Nelson. 

And then we took kids on a hike. 

And then we discovered that Emersyn had some "companions" of her own that needed to leave. So she got a fancy visit to the "spa"... 

They finally headed back to school and were super thrilled about it... 

and I made my coaching debut with Emmy's basketball team. We worked on fierce faces but ultimately just mastered lots of giggling. 

Landry solidified her obsession with chips and salsa... 

I went on my 30th MSC FISH retreat... 

We discovered new trails in town... 

and I got to spend some one on one time with this girl and Jesus. 

I brought out a vintage Gigi sweatshirt ... 

swooned over the cutest bedtime sight I've ever seen...

and hugged this kid extra tight on giving his all and doing his best. Even though his immediate reaction was, "I've done this four times and only have a participation ribbon...." the point, dear Radley, is that you never quit trying. 

And that's us in an instant!


Tiny Tales Thursday...

Our night routine has changed a little over the years but one thing that has been consistent is family prayer time followed by us each sharing something we are thankful for. Ryan started that tradition when Emmy was just a baby and every.single.night. I look forward to what we all contribute.

Sometimes it's serious, like Pops doing well after surgery. Sometimes it's silly like a visit to Nit Not after a lice breakout. Always it's very real things that we are grateful for in that moment. Last night as we were going around the circle, Emersyn piped up...

"I'm thankful for Mary for saying yes to God and having baby Jesus... and I'm thankful for Mommy saying yes to God and having us and being our Mommy."

And I'm thankful for you, too, Emersyn King.



I sat down today to play catch-up on this neglected space but my darling computer had other plans as noted by the blue screen and inability to upload any pictures. My laptop seems as tired as I do these days. 

Instead, I'll take the next too-many-words to talk about my word for the year.


2018 is going to bring about change for We5Kings. Specifically, me... but if I change then essentially the whole family changes because, well, #mompower.

Big changes. Little changes. A few changes. Lots of changes.... who knows? That much I haven't really figured out. Here's what I have thought about...

I am going to change the way I treat myself. Plain and simple. We are all our own harshest critics, right? Well... sometimes I am the WORST at comparing myself to... MYSELF. So I'm going to change that.

I am going to change the way I use my time. Too much of my free time has turned into brainlessly scanning social media, getting caught up in the most grandiose headline, or going down a rabbit hole of videos. What a waste of brain power.  I'm setting some reading goals, some family goals and some quiet time goals that will serve me much better in the long run.

I am going to change the way I spend. Let's see what happens when I stick to the ACTUAL list. When I just say no to the cute valentine shirt that the kids clearly don't need and quit making excuses for that drive thru drink. Maybe we'll be rich... or maybe just less poor. HA!

I am going to change the way I communicate. Less behind a screen. More in person or in writing or on the phone. Whoa. That's crazy talk.

And the list will continue... change can be scary and hard. Change means no longer doing something that you've done before. Change means taking a chance... who knows what else change we will do... but I'm excited to find out!