Category Archive:Traditions

4th of July 2016

Your #1 Fan post on February 20th, 2017
Posted in 4th of July, Family, Novalie, Snowcones, Traditions

The 4th of July was one month and two days after my double mastectomy. I was still very much in recovery, but I love the 4th of July. I was going to make it work. It was low key and quiet. Filled with a few of my favorite things. Family. Snowcones. BBQ. Fireworks.

My all American baby girl.

I made Novalie take a picture with me because I got dressed, did my hair and put makeup on. Big accomplishments for me this 4th of July.

Our snowcone flavors just happened to be red and blue…not on purpose.

Can’t leave Olive out of the 4th of July celebration. She had a red bandana on at one point, but fought endlessly to get it off.

BBQ chicken with grilled onions and peppers, avocado and tomatoes. It was delicious. 

I lined our table with fireworks for our table decorations. 

We got a big multi pack of fireworks. I was cozy and warm bundled up in a camp chair happily watching Kevin and Novalie set off fireworks.

Sparkler fun.

It was quieter than our usual traditions of going to the parade and swimming. We did get in our traditional snowcone, bbq and fireworks. Considering the circumstances I was under, I will call our 4th of July 2016 a definite success!

~Happy 4th of July!~

End of 7th Grade

7th grade came and went so fast. So fast. Novalie had a great year. She made honor roll all four quarters. She has a great group of friends that have managed to stay drama free all year. She joined band and learned to play the flute. She found archery and fell in love with it. She is funny, smart, creative and just a joy to be around. 7th grade was such a great year for her. We were sad to see it end.

End of the year band concert. The beginning band sounded amazing! Novalie looked so pretty and poised. She was nervous, but did great! My heart swells so big watching her in band. It brings me so much joy.

Novalie and two of her best friends, Brooklyn and Faith. They all learned the flute together.


After the band concert. This is Novalie’s group of great friends minus one who didn’t make it to the concert. They have spent their 7th grade year together laughing together each day at lunch, in classes, hanging out after school, texting. They are the sweetest. It is such a blessing for Novalie to have had these good friends during 7th grade. Everything in Novalie’s life goes smoother when she is happy with her friend situations.

Novalie and her BFF, Emily, at the end of 7th grade. It is our tradition to get snow cones the last day of school. Since I was going to be in the hospital on the last day of 7th grade, we went 2 days earlier.

Last day of 7th grade!

This was a stressful time for Novalie with me having cancer, a major surgery and in the hospital. This picture just warmed my heart and let me know that while all this other stuff is going on, she is laughing and happy. On the last day of 7th grade, she went home with Emily and did their tradition of rootbeer floats with her family. Those two are always laughing together and I was so happy to see her laughing on the last day of 7th grade. This picture sums up 7th grade perfectly. It was full of joy and laughter.

She had a fantastic 7th grade year!

Spring Break 2016

Spring Break has become one of my favorite weeks of the year. Novalie and I get to spend quality time doing fun stuff together we love. Our Spring Break staycation has become a treasured tradition.

Like I have mentioned before, our car rides to and from our activities are my favorite. We talk about anything and everything. History, politics, social situations, what we love, what we don’t love, goals, hopes, dreams, funny stories. I love it all. It is my favorite.

Her traditional Spring Break Build-a-Bear. This year she went with Supergirl since we have been watching the new Supergirl series and love it.

We spent one day at the aquarium. It is definitely Novalie’s happy place. I love the peace and calm that comes from sitting in the shark tank watching them swim by.

Her beloved great white shark. Many people commented on her all shark outfit, it was fun! I hope my unique shark loving girl never changes.

Enjoying her shark tail sucker!

My sister and kids came over one of the days to go skating. They had a sweaty good time.

Our traditional meal at our favorite place, Benihana’s! It was dreamy and delicious like always.

Spring Break Beauty

Our traditional, yearly visit to paint a porcelain figurine. Novalie pained this beautiful angel and I painted a bowl.

We got some walks in with Olive.

It was a fabulous week and we were sad to see it end.

~Happy Spring Break!~

Valentine’s Day 2016

Your #1 Fan post on February 29th, 2016
Posted in Archery, Novalie, Traditions, Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day was extremely low key this year.



Traditional Valentine’s Day mailbox surprises.


She LOVED her arrow necklace!  Perfect for her since she is now doing archery full-time.


Nothing says love in our little family like cheese-y things do.


Traditional heart shaped rice krispie treat.

We finished the night off by eating brownie sundaes.

Valentine’s Day was simple, quiet and full of love.

Christmas 2015

Your #1 Fan post on January 20th, 2016
Posted in Christmas, Family, Novalie, Santa, Traditions


Once again, we were blessed with Santa finding us!  The Christmas mouse left Novalie sparkly pink gloves for leaving some cheese out for him.  The Christmas mouse is such a fun, simple tradition.  I am glad one of Novalie’s friends told her about the Christmas mouse many years ago.


This spread from Santa is my favorite.  Novalie is super duper into all things sharks right now and it was so fun for Santa to search for different shark theme gifts.  Two shark stuffed animals, shark poster, shark headphones, shark book with DVD, shark sweatshirt, pants and socks.  She also got a mini glass shark and shark teeth earrings.  So fun!


I think she liked the shark gifts. Loved them. A lot.


Santa found the rest of us too.


I mean….someone wrote a book just for me.


Olive enjoyed her stocking items too.

(I am not sure why I don’t have any pics of my mom, but she got her traditional Sudoku books from Santa.)


I would expect nothing less from Kevin in a wrapping job.  It wouldn’t be Christmas without an odd wrapped present.


Happy girl.


Traditional Christmas morning breakfast.  It doesn’t look like much food, but it sure is an ordeal to get it all ready at the same time.  I love breakfast. By the time we (really Novalie) are done opening presents, we are all pretty famished and ready for our breakfast feast.


The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys and relaxing.  I feel like I said this last year, but I have to say it again.  Novalie didn’t ask for much this year, just a doll accessories traveling kit that she really wanted.  Still toys.  I thought maybe last year would be the last year for toys, but I am happy to say that is all she wanted this year too.  I love that about her.  She is definitely finding her teenage attitude, but she is such a little (heart and soul wise….she is as tall as me!), innocent simple kid.  Her imagination is still going strong and she can spend a good amount of time in her room lost in her imaginary worlds with toys.  I am in no hurry for her to grow up and grow out of toys, so it makes this momma’s heart happy to have her still very much childlike little girl.  And that really shined through Christmas day.  I love Novalie.  She makes my world go round.


We played her new Jurassic World Monopoly game.  I have to admit that I do not know how to play Monopoly.  I even read the instructions and I just don’t get it.  For reals.  So we played it with the rules of her Monopoly Jr. game which I do get.


Another one of my favorite gifts she got was a set of 10 canvas boards and a set of nice acrylic paints.  She did her first painting above on Christmas day.  She is a good little artist!

With all the stress, work, sickness, tiredness building up to Christmas, it all came together and the magic of a Christmas morning made all that icky stuff disappear.  We truly were blessed to have a Christmas tree full of presents, more than enough food to eat and a little family that were together warm, safe and happy with the gospel of Jesus Christ to enrich our lives on the morning we celebrate His birth.  It was pretty simple and perfect.

~Merry Christmas 2015!~