you belong: valentine’s day

I talk about this A LOT on here because I know it’s so important! A sense of belonging in the home. Everything I’ve read shows that it’s the little things we do that create this. But that without it children can grow up with a myriad of emotional issues, even if there’s no presence of abuse or apparent neglect. A safe place to land, a consistent caregiver, and unconditional love are where it’s at! It’s not the fancy trips, or what toys they have or clothes they wear. Luckily it’s much easier than all that!

I know parents who are amazing at this, who have traditions coming out their ears and are always up to something fun as a family. Whether it’s a donut run on Saturdays or an (outside) flour fight when they make pies for Thanksgiving. A special birthday song, or a one on one trip when they hit a certain milestone.

Creating our own immediate family’s culture has taken a lot of work! Sometimes it feels like pressure and obligation and those are the moments I remind myself WHY we do this.

It’s made me hyper aware of what other parents do around us and I get so much inspiration from it! I guess the point of this intro is that I hope you know that these efforts do not go unnoticed by me, and to also keep up the amazing work!! Each small act of love weaves together this amazingly important environment that kids thrive in!

So this is the inspiration for the YOU BELONG series. In Alison’s Brand School she talks about how to create a successful brand, and without it seeming reductive — dare I say that a family has it’s own brand, too? And the trick to being successful according to her is to be consistent and then do something to occasionally delight. This is why I think Holidays are the perfect place to occasionally delight and our daily routines create the consistency kids thrive off of.


I’ll be sharing a few super easy things you can do in your home to occasionally delight each month! Just to get ideas rolling for my own self or hopefully to help or inspire you in your own homes.  If you have ideas of things you do in your homes for this holiday or any other, let me know I’d love to add them!

  1. LOVE LETTERS: Write a Valentine for each of your kids telling them all the amazing things you love about them. What you hope for them as they grow. A list of the funny things they’ve said the past year. I keep a note in my phone and anytime they say something good I drop it in! This printable is darling as well! A perfect yearly interview you could keep and watch them grow through the years!
  2. IN THE ROOM: You know you’ve succeeded when your kids wake up with a “Whoa!” and blowing up 10 balloons in their room is the easiest way to do that. Most people do this for birthdays, but I think you can get away with it any holiday you choose! Another fan favorite is covering their door with the rolls of crepe paper so they have to bust through it. The smiles on their faces is worth it, I promise!!
  3. ONCE A YEAR: Having something that kids only get, but can always expect once a year is why Christmas is so freaking fun. (And also the presents) Maybe it’s a special treat, a dinner out, a movie you watch just this one day a year.
  4. GET IT ON FILM: One thing I hear as a parental regret from friends (and myself) is that they wish they had more on video. Asking your kids questions about mom and dad’s love story, or just doing a little yearly interview is something they will cherish forever. My kids ask to watch family films at least once a week. My only tip is FILM HORIZONTALLY. You could also film your love letters to them! If you need ideas for questions, might I suggest our viral video. 😉

5.  COOKIE CUTTER: It might sound stupid, but having something as easy as a cookie cutter goes a long way! Cut out shapes for food. Trace paper for decor or cards. When you wake up the day of the holiday and realize you haven’t planned a thing, you can always make heart shaped toast. HA!



family culture


We are kind and gentle with ourselves and others.

We do not need to be perfect, but we always show up.

We are on the same team and we are each other’s biggest fans.

We respect ourselves and others and the belongings of ourselves and others.

We work hard and we clean up after ourselves.

Our best words are thank you, please, you’re welcome, I’m sorry and I love you.

We can always start over with each other. Have a do-over, or a reset.

Life should be fun and filled with laughter, and if we’re not having fun, let’s examine why.

We keep our agreements and we are honest.

We love and celebrate what makes us unique in our family and in the world.

We always listen to problem solving ideas.

We gift experiences over things.

Routine: We pray and study uplifting things together everyday. We have 1 hour to watch or play on our screens. We eat well balanced meals and take care of our bodies, and we eat as a family with all screens put away and turned off. We get plenty of sleep. We clean our own spaces each week and the spaces we share. We work for our money and privileges. We look for ways to help others and we wake up with fresh courage every single day.