Valentines with a twist

This year it’s valentines with a twist. What’s the twist you ask? Well, how about a dose of sickness to go with it. Nooooo!!! Friday night my in-laws came over for our homemade pizza buffet and I was proudly announcing how well our family has been this Winter; in stark contrast to last year. Boy, was I in for it. By Saturday night, Brendon was hit by some type of terrible cold with fever and on top of the sickness, he’s in the middle of growth spurt. A real treat.

You know how I say, I don’t mind the “sleep all day, party all night” stage with newborns. Clearly I have forgotten what it is like to be woken up several times through the night by a crying human for three straight days. IT. IS. BRUTAL Or maybe I am just getting too old for this song and dance? My friend Payge was talking of glorious 10hrs of sleep a few weeks ago. When will this happen for me??!!! But okay, you got me. He is sick. I give him that.

Last night really took the cake. Son enters room at probably 1am loudly cry talking, “my hair smells!!” That one I was not expecting and yet the fun was not over. We had another 3am wake about the leg pains. Oh the joys of parenting. But anywho, on with the show!

The valentines show that is!

This year, I started the boys’ class valentines in early January. I thought we were going to be moving by first week of February and like all previous pending moves, my creative spirit went on hyper drive. I of course, started surfing the web and came up with a couple front runners using planes and army men, which I’m sure would’ve been a hit with the classmates. Then….I watched a Ted talk on becoming a zero waste family.


Inspiration valentines and source of the free printable for the top.

Ya, No. We can not do that. We are consumers, but it was very eye opening and made me realize how far hubby and I have come from our minimalist D.I.N.Ky ways. So this year, My goal to reduce, reuse and recycle turned into corralling the many legos littered around our house into cute valentine packages. I had everything except the little bags – cost $2.50 with coupon. Cheapest valentine idea to date and I think they turned out pretty well. The boys wrote their names on the back and they weren’t even bothered by me giving away their legos. A sign they do indeed have too many.


McNulty Lego Valentines

I like to reminisce the days of my youth when we gave out paper valentines, each classmate’s name written by us, not mom, on the envelope and stuffed with a few loose conversation hearts. The fact that our parents had minimal involvement and also that we didn’t care about germs and unwrapped candy, speaks to how much more complicated we’ve made our lives over the last 20 years. But, I’m a pinterest mom, so I really don’t have much room to speak.

Batty valentine

Bored kids have the best ideas.

Just last week the boys made construction paper valentines for their teachers. All on their own, when they were bored and I was unwilling to give them screen time. They were adorable. I of course did not get a photo, but here is the second bat that Brendon made, much like the one he made for his teacher. John made a self drawn and cut out heart from pink construction paper, complete with a little note written on it, especially for Mrs.B. And he wrote the whole thing. I should mention John is READING!!! and really, really reading. I forgot how exciting it is when they first start reading. Truly magical.

This troll down memory lane to say, next year, my goal is to be more hands off on the whole class valentine ordeal and let the boys have more creative say and making of the valentines. It’s a goal. We’ll see how it goes.

Pencil Pouches

And of course, you know I love to do something for those teachers, who dedicate their professional life to educating our mini humans. This year – homemade pencil pouches, my favorite colored pens and some chocolates.


Devotional for Moms

You might remember seeing this book cover on my Facebook page a few months back…


I was part of a launch group for this book, which turned out to be a fantastic experience for me. One of my sisters once said to me how lucky I am to find opportunities and different deals – such as a newbie photographer to take our photos when we were first married that turned out really well for a fraction of the cost. While there may be some luck to it, I think much of these opportunities come about with my willingness to take uncalculated risks and overcommit myself without a second thought. The latter being way more common than I’d like to admit.

How this launch group participation went down: The author and I have a mutual friend. Our friend thought I’d be interested in reading a well written, funny book about the trials of early motherhood and giving my (lots more than) two cents about the content. I said whole heartedly yes in an instant.

Did I know how long the book was? No.

Did I know the timeline in which I was to read said book (one chapter a day for the duration)? No.

Did I consider all else I had going on in those months with family, work, marathon training and side projects? No. I. Did. Not.

And this my friends is how I “luck” into opportunities. I was so blessed by the stories shared in the launch group, all facilitated by the chapters in this devotional. (I had no idea it was a devotional when I said yes. I thought it was a novel. Ha! I’m a crazy mess sometimes.) The easy to read chapters are each a different layer of motherhood, told as tales from the battlefield in a funny and sometimes humiliating way, we can all relate to. If you can’t relate, you probably won’t enjoy the book. Just a warning. Be ready to laugh at yourself. Be ready to do some serious soul searching too. I hadn’t realized how raw some of my feelings still were 15 years of marriage and two kids later.

I had big plans to write this blog about the book before Christmas, but running and work took over. So here it is now. On the eve of Valentines Day. Do you have a pregnant mommy friend or family member in need of a unique baby shower gift? A lady friend who has a couple small curtain climbers, who might wonder if she’s alone in this maddening sea of motherhood? Or yourself? Maybe you could use a laugh along with introspection and diving into God’s gifts during this uber challenging season of life. Oh yes, there’s God in this book. Lots of God, but in a good way. Don’t run away non churched ladies. You too will love this book. Hehe. I wish you were here to hear me with my big laughs trying not to spit out my sip glug of wine. 

I highly suggest devoting (pun intended) time to this book. And for a little surprise, there’s even a Momdorsement by yours truly in print! IN PRINT!! I completely forgot the launch group was vying for spots in the book. She warned us as only McKinley can, to bring our ‘A’ game on review writing day. Being a friend of a friend, I honestly didn’t think mine would make the cut and completely forgot to check for it when my first release copy arrived. Here it is….and I completely stand behind what I have written.


Now get on those accounts and get yourself a copy. 😉