Why We Don’t “Do” Valentine’s Day


Recently, I had a conversation with some others about Valentine’s Day.

The conclusion: We all think it’s dumb.

I’m  married to the love of my life, and we stopped “doing” Valentine’s Day many years ago.  Continue reading “Why We Don’t “Do” Valentine’s Day”

How the Gift of Hospitality Keeps On Giving (me ulcers)


Once upon a time (in a far away land) I took my first ever Spiritual Gifts Assessment Test. I don’t even know if that’s the official name, but I capitalized it all proper, so let’s roll with it.

This assessment revealed to me I had the spiritual gift of hospitality. It made sense to me – I loved entertaining, loved cooking for others, and loved keeping the house tidy should anyone feel the urge to stop by.

As years continued to pass, I assumed (red flag) hospitality would always be a “gift” of mine. I would always excel in making others feel welcomed, adored, and treasured in my home, with little to no effort on my part. After all, it was a gift. Continue reading “How the Gift of Hospitality Keeps On Giving (me ulcers)”

“I Don’t Know How You Do It”

victory choice

Last week, I sent my people a little email that resonated big time.

First of all, if you’re asking yourself, “Why didn’t I get an email?”, it’s because you haven’t  told me where to send one. So do that now. I’ll wait.

Hey Val, I want some Friday inbox love!

* indicates required

Email Format


This email resonated so much with those who read it because it’s something we’re all dealing with in one way or another. Continue reading ““I Don’t Know How You Do It””

The Simple Things: A Really Big Deal


Today was a lovely, weird day.

I’ve got a strange tickle in my throat and some uncomfortable pressure in my ears. I chugged special tea and slathered on my essential oils, though, because we had stuff to do today.

Little Miss had a dentist appointment this morning and we had to head to town, but not before I put bacon on the skillet on the stove, then walked away and completely forgot about it. 

It smells like I diffused “burned bacon” essential oils in our home… Continue reading “The Simple Things: A Really Big Deal”

Meal Planning Made Easy

When it comes to meal plans, I’ve done it all.

Before we had kids, and especially when Hubs and I were first married, I created all kinds of new-fangled dishes (even trying to be creative with stale chips when we were broke) and followed recipes for no other reason than to make an impression.

I was all about making sure Hubs had the cooking-est wife on the planet.

Then something happened after we had children. You can only have cereal and frozen waffles for dinner so many times before it stops being an “occurrence” and becomes a lifestyle. Continue reading “Meal Planning Made Easy”

The Christmas Letter I Should Have Written

Christmas cards are one of my favorite holiday traditions. I used to write a sassy  fun letter every year, and I’ve taken only a couple of years off here and there, but this year was a little pathetic. We had no family pictures, not even any kid pictures (Instagram will have to suffice), and a bullet list of highlights instead of a letter.


Here’s the letter I should have mailed…but thought it easier to blog instead. Continue reading “The Christmas Letter I Should Have Written”

The Emotional Dangers Of Decorating: Grief & Holidays

I walked into her room and asked if I could talk to her. It was one of my [many] humbled-mother moments.

Earlier, I had been getting the Christmas decorations out and situated, and in her excitement, she wanted to hand-make, and display, her own decorations throughout the house.

I drew the line firmly – maybe a little too firmly – when she brought out a string with pink, purple, and white ribbons stranded across it. Continue reading “The Emotional Dangers Of Decorating: Grief & Holidays”

A Plumpin’ Pumpkin Pie

I don’t know what’s happening in the universe, where I would publish three kitchen-based blog posts in a row, but we’re going to roll with it.

I mentioned in this other post how Dad bakes pumpkin pies from actual pumpkins, and I was always super impressed by that. Then I started doing it myself, the first time being mostly unsuccessful, though I’ve only gotten better since.

I remember when Mom gave me her cookbook that had Dad’s super-secret pie recipe in it. Dad wasn’t all that thrilled Mom gave me the book, and had to make sure he had a copy of his beloved pie recipe. Continue reading “A Plumpin’ Pumpkin Pie”

The Recipe Your Family Will Fight You For (Apple Pie)

Earlier this week I posted about all the awesome pie productivity I had, and mentioned recipes were forthcoming.

I then realized Thanksgiving is ONE WEEK AWAY. After I recovered from my mini-anxiety attack (just kidding. Kind of.) I thought I should probably post the recipe in case any of you would like to prepare this as part of your holiday dessert, and quickly become the favorite member of the family.

Just sayin. Continue reading “The Recipe Your Family Will Fight You For (Apple Pie)”

Weekend A La Mode

a la mode weekend

Let me start by saying this weekend went nothing – n o t h i n g – like I had planned it.

I was supposed to go to a Mom’s event Saturday morning, have company over Saturday evening, go to church and then go shopping Sunday. None of that happened.

We (as in the whole family) came down with a coughing bug, and basically any time I speak, think about speaking, or blink my right eye, I go into a coughing fit. It’s the absolute worst in the mornings after I’ve been laying down all night, and it takes several hours for my lungs to calm the heck down. Continue reading “Weekend A La Mode”