Monthly Archives: January 2015

Target for Valentine’s Day…One Stop Shopping!

Posted On January 25, 2015| 1 Reply

So I visited my local Target the other day. This has become somewhat of a weekly outing since they graciously opened a new store TWO minutes from my garage! Yippee! I have yet to make it through a trip without spotting a friend, so apparently I am not alone in my complete jubilation of this close to home location. Thank you Target!

I really didn’t need anything, I was actually there only for a return! With my return complete I spotted the Starbucks (genius location….INSIDE the Target store!). It was cold, so I treated myself to a grande hot cocoa. With whipped cream. Duh. While I was waiting for the hot cocoa creator to call my name I noticed these adorable Valentine gift cards at the check out. Adorable.

Starbucks Valentine Gift Card

Images of my kid’s teachers jumped into my mind and I scooped up two. (Mrs. G. and Miss D., act surprised when you open it!). The wheels in my holiday-obsessed mind started turning so I decided to take a (quick) spin around the store. An hour later I left with several must-have’s and a smile on my face.

While shopping, I snapped lots of pictures for you, my blog-reading friends. You can seriously wrap up all of your Valentine needs with a one hour trip to Target. I am pretty sure the nice workers in red shirts thought I was delusional as I rearranged their displays to get the best pictures, but I am willing to take chances to help mankind!

Sit back, sip on your Starbucks and take a look at how Target has all of your Valentine needs covered…….

Valentines for your children to pass out at school: (I found all of these in the party section.)

Valentine Bouncy Balls

Bouncy Balls. 12 for $3

Check out my “Countdown to Cupid” post to see how to use the Bouncy Balls.

Valentine Mazes

Mazes. 18 for $5

Valentine, You Amaze Me! Being Your Friend is Amazing!

Valentine Insects

Insects. 12 for $2

Happy Valentine’s Day Love Bug!  Valentine, You’re as Cute as a Bug! I’m Buggy Over You!

Valentine Tops

Spinning Tops. 8 for $.60

You’re Tops, Valentine! I’m in a Spin Over You! You Make my Head/Heart Spin! Valentine, You’re Tops in My Book! Ahh, the possibilities with these are endless. And they are only 7.5 cents each!

Valentine Kazoo

Kazoos. 12 for $5

Coo-Coo-Kazoo, I Like You! A Valentine for Kazoo! Valentine, You Make My Heart Sing! Happy Valentine’s Day, Kazoo Are a Great Friend!

Valentine Tic Tacs

Be Mine Mix Tic Tacs. $1 each

Revisit my “Countdown to Cupid” post to see how my kids will be using these fun tic-tacs for their classroom valentines this year!

And if you have a craft kiddo, Target has some excellent kits of stickers, foamies & heart shaped cut-outs to create your own valentines!

Valentine Stickers

Are you stumped on creating the perfect Valentine Box this year? Target has beautiful red and white ‘shoe’ boxes ready to go. And kits to decorate them! Done! And they are only $3!

Valentine Box Valentine Box

And check out these ready-to-make kits for decorating the boxes! YES!

Valentine Unicorn Box Valentine Princess & Heart Box

Valentine Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Box Valentine Spiderman Box

Olaf Valentine Box Valentine Dragon Box

No big surprise that Natalie chose this one for her box this year…zebra prints and PINK fur:

Pink/Zebra Valentine Box

Each kit costs between $3.00-4.00.

Here’s another idea for the sweet teachers in your life:

Teacher Valentine NICE chocolates! Everyone loves Ghiradelli!

Target also stocks loads of cheap inexpensive napkins and plastic plates & cutlery. This makes serving that Valentine meal so much prettier! They even took the time to group the pink, white and red near the craft supplies! Target is so thoughtful.

Valentine Paper Products

Or you could step it up a notch and splurge for the lovey looking paper products!

Valentine Paper Products

I found these fun items too. Stickers, sports themed Reese cups, window clings, crayons, giant remote control gummy & candy…so many cute ideas to use on your Valentine Scavenger Hunt!

Valentine Cups Valentine Crayons

Valentine Window Clings Valentine Stickers

Sports Valentine Candy Valentine m&m's

Valentine Remote Gummy Valentine Super Hero Candy

I always gift books. Gotta encourage that reading! Natalie would love this journal… was really cool.

My Life Unzipped Journal My Life Unzipped Journal

And Noah loved the I Funny books and of course anything Minecraft!

I Even Funnier Book Minecraft Construction Handbook

In case your brain is on overload, I am quite certain every kid of every age would love to see this Target Gift Card on  February 14th:

Target Valentine Gift Card

Look at these super cute ideas for the REAL Valentine in your life….

Valentine Hot Sauce

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a trio of hot sauce!

Valentine Deer Chocolate

For the ‘deer’ in your life! I love this!

Valentine Guitar Chocolate

For your rock star!

Funny Valentine Chocolates

Now this is funny!!!!

And this is the perfect way to present your present. I know, it’s too early to crack homophone jokes, sorry!

Valentine Gift Bag

PLEASE don’t forget the card….in my opinion, the most important part of the day! Target has all of your needs covered!

Target Valentine Cards

There you have it…..your Valentine’s Day can be completed in one stop, Target! Don’t wait another day. Shop early. Then relax for the next couple weeks. And if you are like me, save the wrapping, scavenger hunt clues and card signing until about midnight on February 13th!

Live Creatively,










Countdown to Cupid…

Posted On January 14, 2015| Leave a reply

Today marks the one month countdown to Valentine’s Day and who doesn’t love Cupid?! A little guy with wings, sporting a bow and arrow and spreading love…

cupid-with-heartsHe has become pretty popular in our house. I love decorating with red and pink hearts and spending the month being all lovey dovey!

It’s my parents fault. My mom decorated our house…not over the top, just a little red and pink here and there. There were always cards and usually a little gift. My dad sent me flowers and still does! I’m pretty sure my mom reminds him and most likely arranges it, but he signs the card! Many years he surprised me at school. Best feeling ever, to see your Daddy walking towards you with flowers while you are surrounded by your high school classmates. He’s been my forever valentine. Every girl should be so lucky. I still look forward to flowers from my Daddy! Jeremy sends flowers to Natalie. It’s more important that he remembers her flowers than mine. Last year they came via a delivery service and she was so surprised. Look:

Valentine Flowers

The kids are completely involved in making cards for their classmates and loved ones. Homemade cards are the best. This year we are going to send a few over seas to our troops and  to the kids they have ‘adopted’ in Africa. Stay tuned! Look at this pic from a photo shoot I did with the kids in 2009. I used the pictures to make cards for their Grands! Oh how I miss that scrunched-up-nose smile of Natalie’s!

Valentine Photo Shoot

And here’s a look at my babies on Valentine’s Day, 2008…..where has the time gone?!

Valentine's Day

Many moons ago my Uncle David told me about how he and my Aunt Diane would send their girls (teenagers at the time) on a Valentine Scavenger Hunt to find their gift. LOVED IT! I immediately copied this idea for my little valentines! Every year Noah and Nat wake up on Valentine’s Day excited to complete their Scavenger Hunt! Jeremy usually helps with the clues. His are always harder than mine! We keep it simple. Three clues to locations around our house. The first clue is always waiting in these cute envelopes that attach to their chairs:

PBK Valentine's Day Chair Envelope

I bought them from Pottery Barn Kids years ago. Mine is not available anymore, but they have similar ones for sale right now! Hurry! And you can get them personalized!

A new clue and a small gift are waiting at each location. At the final location is their main gift. The small gifts are just that, SMALL! Favorite candy bar, pair of ear rings, a dollar bill! Small. I type up the clues and glue them to little valentine cards. Super easy. Super cute. Last year their big gift was combined….a picture of our puppy. He wouldn’t be ready until later in March, but he was their valentine gift! Yes, we were going to get him anyways, but the timing was perfect and we used Valentine’s Day to make the official announcement.

A few years ago I made these coupon books for their big gift. The kids LOVED them! There were 14 and they had all year to cash them in. They were such a hit that they still hang on the bulletin board in our mud room. I need to recreate this some year. Maybe for 2016….

Valentine's Day Coupon Book for Kids

Valentine's Day Coupon Book for Kids

Notice the hole-punch…we punched once they redeemed the coupon!

Valentine's Day Coupon Book

I was serious when I said they are still hanging in the mudroom!

For breakfast we have pink, heart-shaped pancakes. Pink milk and usually a donut with heart sprinkles. If they have school, I pack a love-themed lunch! And always include a little valentine and treat from their mama!

Valentine's Day Pink Pancakes

Making pink pancakes. She spent years with hair in her face!

I am on the hunt for some heart shaped pasta for our valentine dinner this year. I am certain it exists! Or I might make these fun pizzas that I found on Pinterest:

Heart Shaped Pizzas

This year we will be in Idaho on the 14th, so Cupid will have to travel. Must. Be. Prepared. Early. The kids love eating on heart plates and using fun cups. You can shop for some super cute stuff at Pottery Barn Kids. Or, buy some red plastic cups and decorate them with valentine stickers. Use pink plastic plates and make these treats for dessert…..again, thank you Pinterest!

Heart Shaped Rice Krispie Treats

Last year Noah decorated a box for his school valentine exchange. It of course had a sports theme. We saved it! Here’s to round two for his box:

Sporty Valentine Box

Natalie’s class decorated envelopes at school, so mama was off the hook. I am thinking this year she will want to create something over the top cute. Probably covered in gymnastics stickers and glitter! I’m on pins and needles!

In years past the kids have handed out some cute valentines. I either failed to snap a picture or the pictures are lost in cyber space! Last year Noah did the Pop Rocks with a sticker that said, “Valentine, you rock!”. And Natalie, who has a slight gum addiction handed out packs of gum with a sticker that said, “I Chews You”. When Noah was in 1st grade I bought red cut out hands from the teacher store and we glued a pocket hand sanitizer to the palm. On the fingers he wrote, “Have a-Handtastic-Valentine’s–Day-Noah”. I cannot believe I did not take a picture of it, it was adorable! And he did all of the writing himself! Here is a link to buy the handprints. When Natalie was in Pre-K, her class was the Monkey Class, so we obviously bought the banana shaped candies and tied bags that said, “I’m bananas for you!”. I mean really, who could pass that up?!

And thanks to Pinterest here’s a peek at what my kids will be handing out to their classmates this  year:

Tic Tac Toe Valentines

And here are some of my other fave finds on Pinterest: You can find the pins on my Pinterest page and follow the link to the creative minds behind these designs!

Bouncy Ball Valentine Hershey Kiss Valentine

Bouncy Ball Valentine Sucker Valentine

I start talking to my little love bugs about their valentines in mid January. That gives them plenty of time to change their mind a few times! We start creating a couple weeks before their class party. I do not like to wait until the last minute and feel pressured! Plus, my kids like to spread out their projects over several days!

And I don’t forget MY valentine either….we don’t go crazy over this holiday, we keep it light but meaningful. I stole this “52 Reasons I Love You” from Pinterest a few years ago. I ordered a ‘vintage’ looking set of cards and printed my reasons on heavy card stock. Punch two holes in each card, bound it together with a couple craft rings, embellished it with a few stickers and some pretty string and BAM! It has a permanent spot on J’s bedside table. Ahhh.

52 Reasons I Love You Valentine Card Book 52 Reasons I Love You Valentine Card Book 52 Reasons I Love You Valentine Card Book

52 Reasons I Love You Valentine Card Book

Spolier Alert to J if he is reading this…. here is what I am making for him this year:

Red Hot Valentine in a Mason Jar

Again, check out my Pinterest page for the details of this pin.


OK, so I hope this post helps put you in a Cupid State of Mind! Think pink!

Live Creatively,








What a Year It’s Been!

Posted On January 9, 2015| 3 Replies

I am still in denial that 2014 is over, but I guess it is time for me to embrace 2015. I like new beginnings. Starting fresh is good. Change can be powerful. It can also be scary. 2014 was a great year for me. I have a lot to be thankful for. Maybe that is why the dawning of a new year is a bit unsettling. There are 365 days of unknown upon me….. I will pray that God guides me through them with dignity, grace and strength. I wish the same for all of you.

Sit down for this announcement, as I am sure it will catch you by surprise: I do not have any ‘traditions’ or decorations for New Year’s! I know, it is tough to believe, but it’s true. We don’t eat sauerkraut and pork or black eyed peas. I’m OK with taking the garbage out and I’m not spooked if I happen to shed a tear or two….who knew there were so many new year superstitions! I cannot tell you the last time I made an actual resolution. New Year’s day is the signal that I can start to disassemble Christmas and that the kids will be heading back to school.

With all of that being said, as a year ends and new one begins, Jeremy and ask our kids to reflect on the past year and dream about the new year. For the past several years we have asked them to fill out a little questionnaire I created called, “What a Year It’s Been”. We sit together and talk about their answers. After the new year’s is completed we read the one from last year. There usually aren’t many surprises as we keep them posted in the mudroom throughout the year. Here is a look at the newest one; 2015:

New Year's Questionnaire

The kids look forward to this and take it pretty seriously. I save the old ones and add them to their yearly files (a blog for a different day!). My favorite was the last thing I added this year, “Promise to Myself”. We encouraged them to think about what they really want to change about their own behavior, their outlook on life or themselves in general. They each answered about being kinder to their sibling! We shall see! You can download it here: Kids New Year ?.pages

As they were busy writing down their answers, I was answering the same questions in my head. It’s amazing how much reflection and hope can be conjured up by a few questions. Funny thing is that a couple of days later I read my friend’s blog, Fourth Grade Literacy Lovers.  You can follow her on Bloglovin.  You don’t have to be a parent of a 4th grader or love literature to love her blog. Her last post was all about living with purpose. She has inspired me to choose a word for 2015. A word that will describe the year I want to have. My friend chose ‘purpose’ and there is no doubt that she will lead a life of purpose all year. So I have been really thinking about what kind of year I want to have. Happy. Connected. Loving. Healthy. Thankful. Patient. Magnificent. Honorable. Reflective. I want so much from 2015. I’ve decided on WORTHY. “Nothing is worth more than this day”….this is the quote that my Aunt Nancy adopted when she was battling for her life. She passed away a few years ago from Pulmonary Fibrosis. Ugly disease. She gave me a bracelet inscribed with that saying and it has resonated with me ever since. I was a young mom, my dad was sick with cancer and I was dealing with a lot. Wearing that bracelet and seeing those words reminded me that once today is gone I cannot get it back. I want my 2015 to be Worthy. Every day, worthy. I want my husband and kids to feel worthy. I want there to be worth in the decisions I make, the friends I spend my time with and the way I make people feel. Worthy. I was gently reminded earlier this year that tomorrow is not a guarantee. Today needs to be worthy. Today, tomorrow and all of the tomorrows yet to come…….what’s your word going to be?

If your family is like mine, then you are constantly trying to find ways to communicate with your children! I hate, “fine”, “good”, “yes”, “no”. I want REAL answers to my questions, don’t you?? I am hoping this cool book will help:


I found it in Chicago a few years ago, but just gave it to my kids this year. Every day has a question for them to answer. It will take three years to complete. Here’s a look at the inside:


So you begin with filling in the year, answer the question and so on. It has been really fun so far. You can buy them here. I think it will be neat to look back through once they are punk teenagers! I leave them in the kitchen so we can fill them out during meals! Fun!

Since I am making my kids write each day, I thought I should do it as well. I am going to start a Gratitude Journal. My blogger friend from Fourth Grade Literacy Lovers gave me this idea too! My sweet friend, Mick gave me a new journal for my birthday. It will become my GJ. Let’s face it, we all have a lot to be grateful for and when you put things in writing they become more real. I use to keep a daily diary as a teenager and didn’t have any trouble writing down EVERYTHING that happened every day of my life. It was my own version of therapy! Here is my plan….

1) I will journal a couple times a week.

2) I will use detail. Not just make a list. DETAIL.

3) I will focus on people and not things.

Wish me luck! And for those of you who despise pen and paper, there is a Gratitude App. Download it for free here… excuses!


Live Creatively,


Goodbye December!

Posted On January 5, 2015| Leave a reply

Another December and Christmas has come and gone. I am always amazed at how quickly this season goes, I wish I could slow it down. Yes, the elves get annoying at times and my patience is tested every time I sit in traffic or have to set foot in the mall. But I actually love the chaos because it reminds me that life is short and chaos is good. So I drive around with my Rudolph nose and antlers attached to my car (you know I’m not kidding); the radio set to the Christmas station 24/7. We watch Elf and Frosty a few dozen times, I bake way too many cookies and wrap enough gifts to circle the globe at least twice. I do it all to keep the magic alive. It really is a season of magic. Surprising someone with a special gift, hearing your kid sing the “12 Days of Christmas” while mixing up the words and the homemade Irish Cream my neighbors supply us with each year…Christmas rocks!

Here is a peek at how Team Mathis spent the month of December….

Christmas Cards: As you know, I love cards. Adore them really. I start thinking about and designing our card in November. Early November if I must be honest. I usually finish it up around Thanksgiving and my goal is to have them in the mail by December 1st. I don’t want to worry about them once December hits. All month I try to be the first one to the mailbox to retrieve any cards that might have been delivered! I leave them in a copper bucket on the coffee table all year long. For real. All. Year. Long. And they get looked through a lot during the year. So please keep us on your list! I used Minted this year and was over the moon happy!

Christmas Cards from


Zoo Lights: We live a hop, skip and a jump from the best zoo in the world. The Columbus Zoo! The lights they string up for the holidays are mind-blowing. I swear we keep our membership up to date just to gain access to the Members Only Night for the lights! Santa always shows up and he even brings his beautiful bride….we like to decorate cookies with her.

Columbus Zoo Holiday Lights


Ugly Sweaters: Jeremy and I have hosted a few Ugly Sweater parties of our own, but this year we celebrated a friend’s 40th in our ugly attire. And they had a Photo Booth, SCORE!

Christmas Ugly Sweater Party


Holiday Recital: Noah’s voice lessons paid off as he took the stage for his music school’s recital. He belted out “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas” while wearing his Grinch shirt. Poor boy had to go first so he wouldn’t be late for his soccer game, but it didn’t phase him. Bravo Noah!



Wreath Creation 101: My friend Nicole talked me into making our own wreaths this year. While at a flea market (she’s a flea lover too) we found these adorable tin ornaments. “Let’s use them to make our own wreaths.”, said Nicole. And so we did. Glueguns, garland, wire cutters and a big mess later our wreaths were done. I am not anticipating anyone beating down my door begging me to make them one, but I will enjoy the fruits of my labor for now!

Christmas Wreath


Gingerbread House: Ok, this is one of my favorite things to do in December. I buy our kit (who really makes their own….who?!) the year before when they are super cheap after Christmas. I store it in one of my Christmas bins and have it ready to go when the spirit move us! I don’t buy extra candy or icing, we use only what comes in the kit. Keep. It. Simple. Every year our house gets prettier and prettier. And I swear the kids eat as much icing as they slap on the house! Sugar belly!

Gingerbread House


Salvation Army Bell: This is our 2nd year for ringing the bell. We ring at our local Kroger and make it our mission to chat with everyone who comes through the door. It helps that we hand out treats when people donate! Ch-ching! It’s a good reminder for the kids that GIVING is better than RECEIVING.

Salvation Army Bell


Cookies: We bake the same cookies every year. The recipe is one I have been using since high school and I swear by it! Butter cut-outs. Not sugar. Butter. And Pillsbury’s Creamy Supreme Frosting.  Noah would spot an impostor frosting immediately. Natalie wears more flour than she uses and I am always left with the clean up. But we have fun. And the cookies provide me with breakfast for a good week at least!


Christmas Cookies

Mischievous Elves: I will be honest, I had to look up how to spell ‘mischievous’! Apparently I have been pronouncing it wrong my entire life! Oops! We adopted our Elf on the Shelf when Noah was three. Natalie was one, so she was clueless that year. Hermey (named after the dentist Elf in Rudolph) was boring at first. He simply moved from place to place. Noah would find him when he woke up and if he didn’t move, well we could explain it away pretty easily. Not so much anymore! Our family now cares for 8 elves. Yes, 8. I am still not sure how that happened exactly. Jeremy will be rolling his eyes about now! I have an entire blog post in the works for these little guys….stay tuned!

Elves    Elves

Teacher gifts: Noah and Natalie’s classroom teachers are wonderful. I wanted to do something special, so I looked to one of my faves: Erin Condren. Using their favorite colors I ordered the ‘classic on-the-go notebooks‘ personalized with their names. They were a hit! I added a pack of the ‘colorful markers‘ because to-do lists are much more fun when written in purple! Here is a picture of mine: LOVE IT!

Erin Condren Notebook


Visiting St. Nick: I am thankful that my kids still believe! We all look forward to visits with the big guy. I love hearing what they ask him.



School Parties: If your children’s school is like mine, then you are given exactly 30 minutes to pull off a party to remember. Complete with games and snacks and maybe a craft! Yikes! And if you have more than one kid you are splitting your time between two classes. This year I was in charge of games for Noah’s class. I made up a Christmas trivia challenge which the kids did really well with. And we played a memory game. 15 holiday items on a tray…..give them a minute to stare and memorize. Cover it up and give them a minute to write down as many as they can remember. Highest score was 12! I was impressed! 4th graders crack me up! For Natalie’s class I provided the plates for snack and snuck in to see the last 10 minutes of her party. I will switch roles for the end of the year party…..gotta keep it even, right?!

Classroom Christmas Party Classroom Christmas Party


Charity Work: I am lucky enough to know some amazing people who started a charity, Families For A Cure several years ago. Their mission is to raise LOTS of money to help find a cure for cancer. I hate cancer, but that is a post for another day. This year our family nominated Noah’s teacher for a brand new Experience Grant. Miss Deck is a cancer warrior and very deserving of the grant. Through the grant she was sent to NYC for a weekend. I am going to blog all about her trip and FFAC very shortly, so please keep reading. It was an honor to be one of the planners of her trip and to be there to present it to her.

Families For a Cure


Annual Kid’s Christmas Party: These gorgeous ladies have been in my life since way before kids! We use to gather every Christmas for an adult party….fancy dinner, drinks, pretty dresses. Then the children invaded! Now every year we get our families together for a little holiday cheer. This year we bowled! Kids loved it and no one’s house was trashed! Good times!



Christmas Eve: This year we mixed it up a bit. Normally we get all gussied up in coordinating outfits and attend church. We sing carols and light candles. It’s a time to focus on Jesus and the true reason for this season. Instead, this year we stayed home and were blessed to have a wonderful meal and visit with Jeremy’s brother and his family. His family includes my 3 year old niece whom my children completely adore and her brand new baby sister. It was our first time meeting Miss V. She is perfection. And being with family we don’t see very often was a good reason for skipping church!

Reindeer Food


Christmas Morning: I know all kids love Christmas morning, but there is a little boy who lives with me who is off-the-hook crazy when it finally arrives. He has been known to wake us up at 4am. This year we had the kids bunk together and promise not to come downstairs until at least 6am. You guessed it….at 6am sharp Noah ran into our room squealing, “Santa came, Santa came!”. It was hard to contain his enthusiasm, but we somehow convinced him to snuggle us for an hour before we let him wake his sister. He shared later that he had awoken every hour since 1:30am and had snuck downstairs at some point to scope out the gifts! One of these years he is bound to catch Santa in the act! Natalie, still half asleep posed for a few pictures before settling in on the couch to slowly open her stocking. I happily report that this was the first year that she managed to open all of her presents in the same day. The girl moves at her own pace! Noah on the other hand, has everything open, out of the boxes and broken in before breakfast is served!

Christmas Morning


December 27th: 12/27 is a holiday in our house. It’s my birthday! If you read my Birthday Blog you already know how I spent my day! 42 is a grand age and I am thankful to my friends and family for  making another December 27th so memorable! This year we took a belated trip to paint some pottery. My family knows me well!

Painting Pottery


Family Photo Shoot: Miss Lori Williams once again preserved my family on film! We had a full Mathis Family shoot. It was cold, the kids were great and as always, Studio Williams delivered with one-of-a-kind pics! She always makes us look so good!

Family Pic,

Harlem Globetrotters: This was FUN! We went with a few other families, sat where we could spread out and enjoyed the antics of Big Easy, Sweet J and Too Tall! Amazing how they pulled off a win in overtime 😉



New Year’s Eve: Normally we spend NYE with several families. The kids run around like hooligans. The parents attempt to squeeze in a few conversations between breaking up fights and cleaning up spills. It’s glorious and we look forward to it every year. This year we all seemed to be going in different directions and so the get-together did not happen. The kids were bummed (and so were Jeremy and I!). We hit the slopes for a day of skiing instead. It was awesome! We skied, shared candy bars during lunch and sipped hot chocolate afterwards while waiting for Natalie to regain feeling in her fingers! Skiing in Ohio is C.O.L.D. After warm showers, we settled in on the couch and watched the crazy fools in Time’s Square. Natalie passed out on Jeremy’s lap at 10:30 and Noah begged me to put him to bed at 11:00. So for the first time EVER, Jeremy and rang in the new year just the two of us. This girl is not complaining!

Skiing, Mad River

Whew, can’t believe we accomplished all of that in just 31 days! Hope your December was just as grand!

Live Creatively,





I Partied Like it Was My Birthday!

Posted On January 1, 2015| Leave a reply

I LOVE Birthdays!

Every trip around the sun should be celebrated.

Candles. Friends. Presents. Balloons. Hugs. Cards. Cake. Laughs. Love.

My official birthday is December 27th, but I tend to start celebrating early and keep celebrating past the 27th. Why not?! My friend Megan nailed it with my card this year, check it out:

Birthday Card

She also sent me this incredible hat that was chosen by her husband….he knows me well.

International Harvester hatMy daddy drove an IH tractor. It was red. It was big. It was a treat to ride with him.

My 42nd year began at midnight on 12.27.14. Jeremy wished me HBD while we watched “Safe Haven”. I knew it was for sure my bday when he agreed to my movie choice! I told you birthdays are good! A few minutes later I received a couple texts from Minnesota. Megan and Mark were sending me BIG birthday love! Fast forward a few hours and I was woken up by my silly kids with more birthday greetings! Birthday snuggles are way better than ordinary day snuggles.

Like many other soccer moms around the world, my special day was spent watching Natalie and Noah play. Natalie was up first and got whipped! Her team was short on players (Noah even stepped in to play goalie for them), but in spite of the score they came off the field smiling! We took a break for lunch and were joined by Jeremy’s folks and his brother, sister in law and two totally adorable little girls! Lunch with four kids is always entertaining! After lunch it was Noah’s turn on the pitch. Jeremy was filling in as Coach for the game as the head coach and many players were out of town. My boy scored a sweet goal early in the first half. I know it was his gift to me! Unfortunately the other team decided they needed to score more goals than our team, so Team Mathis was 0-2! But they are the cutest soccer players in all of Ohio, for sure!


Cards…one was sweet, one was not. Guess who gave which card….? My husband is a stinker.

If you think this oneBirthday Card is funny, you would love the Christmas card he gave me! Here is the sweet one: Birthday Card

Yes, that is a picture of me with my glasses and tongue sticking out! Apparently this is how Natalie views me!




My gift was a pretty watch…well done family! (Natalie is going to make an excellent Price Is Right prize model some day!)


My in laws were very accommodating on my day of birth and agreed to keep the kids for a sleepover! Yay for birthdays! Here we are attempting to take a ‘nice’ family photo to commemorate my birthday:

IMG_6387 IMG_6388 IMG_6393 IMG_6390

FINALLY everyone cooperated and my MIL was quick to capture a decent one! A threat may have been uttered!


Jeremy and I bid them farewell about 4:30pm and headed to the LEPD shooting range to party with a few of my favorite people and lots of ammo! I may wear leopard shoes and have shiny red nails, but I am a country girl at heart! Targets, lead, triggers and bulls eyes… was a quite a party!

Just me and my .45 putting a few holes in a Christmas tree…


Sharp-Shooter Shelly taking a break from some rapid-fire to pose with me!


I love how Doug, the range officer is totally photo bombing us! And try not to notice that stray chunk of hair caught in my glasses!


The couple that shoots together should also sleep with one eye open! 😉

Here’s the whole Birthday Shootin’ Gang….


Don’t we look good in our fancy eye protection?

As you can imagine, putting bullet holes in targets can make you hungry. We locked up our weapons, cleaned the lead off of our hands and headed back to Chez Mathis for some grub and libations. The Grey Goose was flowing and the beer was cold. In true Mathis Style a game was played. Tonight we chose ‘Cards Against Humanity‘, one of my all-time faves. I forget who won, it was either Angie or Keith (probably Angie…I think she cheats somehow!). This hand warranted a picture to immortalize it:

Cards Against Humanity

This game could not be more UN-PC!

After a one-of-a-kind rendition of “Happy Birthday” I made a special wish and blew out my candle. That yumm-o cake was made by Angie. Seriously, contact her for your cake needs. You can thank me for years to come…..

Salted Caramel Cake

I am not sure how it happens, but it always does….the Beer Pong table comes out of hiding and we instantly subtract about 20 years from our current age and get a little crazy! And since Beer Pong takes way too long, we switched over to Flip Cup! Bam! Girls struggled, but never gave up! Look at my very fun friends about to spill perfectly good beer all over my floor:

Flip Cup

It was late by this point and since I love my friends, I changed this one to black & white!

Turning 42 was joyous. I could not have asked for a better 24 hours. Wish I didn’t have to wait so long for birthday number 43! At least I can start planning my party, right?!

Happy Birthday To ME!

Live Creatively,