Friday, May 27, 2016

DAY 1725... Aniston's Preschool Graduation

I am a sucker for any type of celebration.
I love absolutely everything associated with celebrating.
The food.
The memories.
The tears.
I am too emotional for my own good so there are always tears.

I was so excited for Aniston's preschool graduation.
I LOVE watching my children accomplish their goals,
or my goals,
and to grow older and learn more.
It doesn't even matter what it is!
I just eat it up!

At this point in my life I feel like everything they accomplish is an accomplishment for me as well.
I am totally the parent who has the big 1st birthday to celebrate even though the child will never remember it simply because I need to celebrate the fact that I kept a baby alive for an entire year.
I survived an entire year of her going to preschool.
I survived an entire year of having a child in school.
I am capable of doing this,
and capable of doing it well,
just like she is.

Aniston has grown so much this year.
Not only has her handwriting improved,

but she learned so much about everything!
I love looking at the difference between her two first and last day papers.
I'm glad she no longer wants to be a puppy when she grows up,
and I'm super impressed that she has already graduated from cartoons to live action favorite movies.
She constantly reminds me that the sun is a very hot star.
She knows her letters and numbers.
Her social skills are 1000 times better than when she started,
and she actually loves going to school.
She thinks she is very grown up now that preschool is over.
I turned around while driving her home from her last day and this is how she was sitting...

Who sits like that in a car seat?

She requested Pizza Pie Cafe,
or Craigo's as we still call it,
(Craigo's forever!!!)
to celebrate her final day of school.

she is eating a salad.
My kids are such good eaters!!!!!
And just look at Beni's hair!!!

My Mom and Ryan were able to come to the graduation,
and all the pictures I took are blurry of them and Ani.
I am sooooooooooooo bummed!
Ryan kept Beni company on the little bench while we waited...

Such a good uncle.
And he is now officially a senior people!!!
Very exciting!

Benson wanted first use of the lei's that Nana brought for Aniston.
I was really excited that my Mom brought extra lei's for Aniston.
My family moved to Hilo, HI during my first year of college,
(don't worry, I visited several times.... it was AMAZING)
so all of my siblings have had the honor of being showered with lei's during their high school graduations.
Since I didn't,
I'm glad that Aniston can.

Aniston was so "professional"  and wouldn't even look at us because she was trying to be so serious!
I just loved that they played the graduation song as she walked in.
Of course,
that's when the tears started flowing.

This video is super long,
so I won't be offended if you don't watch it.

I absolutely loved when they spotlighted Aniston.
They spotlighted every child,
and although it took a little while,
it was worth the wait.
I'm not sure what's better...
The fact that she considers donuts a vegetable or that she considers her best friend to be Benson.

So scholarly...

We LOVE Miss Kari! 
I am so excited Aniston will have her for Pre-K next year too!

Miss Alex and Miss Sydney,
two of her other teachers.

Aniston really was blessed with great teachers!

She was so excited!
I cannot wait to compare this picture to her high school graduation pictures in 14 years!

We will also have to recreate this picture in 2030 when she graduates high school.
Seriously though,
26 years after I graduated high school,
my first born will graduate.
I feel so old!
I cannot get over how beautiful Aniston looks in this picture!
I feel so blessed to have such a beautiful daughter.
I may not still feel that way when she is in high school,
but she is so beautiful!

After her graduation,
we went to Kiwi Loco per her request and celebrated some more.

She loved her graduation present.
This creepy elephant purse that she really wanted.
Good thing it was 50% off because I never would've paid full price for that thing.
But she loves it!

give this girl sprinkles and some fro-yo and she'll be your best friend for life!

I can't believe she has already finished her first year of preschool school
Only 14 years until she graduates from high school!!!
And no...
I'm not counting down the days because I can't even imagine my little Ani leaving me!

I don't care that it's blurry.
Thank you for coming Mom and Ry!

 Someday we will perfect taking pictures as a family...
Right now it's pretty rough...

Congrats Aniston Kate!
We are so proud of you and can't wait to see who you will become!
 You are amazing and we love you!

DAY 1723... 18 Months

I cannot believe that it has been 18 months since Benson joined our family.
It really seems like he was always a part of us,
 like it was never suppose to be any other way.

Here are 18 of my favorite things about my sweet boy.

1. His dance moves.
They are literally off the charts.
He will dance to anything,
but he is a HUGE Nelly fan.

2. His huge blue eyes.
He knows how to work you with those sweet eyes too.
You can totally tell exactly what he is feeling by simply looking into his eyes.
They speak for him.

3. The way he wrinkles his nose when smiles.
His wrinkly nose is absolutely adorable!
Aniston use to do this too when she was younger,
and I am so thrilled that he picked up on that too.

4. His hair.
he has always had awesome hair,
since he's had hair,
and it never fails to disappoint.

5. His cuddles.
Aniston was not cuddly when she was a baby,
but Benson will cuddle all day long and I cannot get enough of it!

6. The way he LOVES books.
To say that he loves books is even an understatement.
He would read books all day long if he could.
And he gets so excited whenever he finds "Go Away Big Green Monster."
So excited!

7. His little voice.
He has really started expanding his vocabulary and it is so adorable when he talks. 
Even when he is yelling, "That! That!" while pointing at whatever it is that he wants.

8. The way he cries when I leave the room.
I know that this is sad,
and there are times when it cane be a little annoying honestly,
but he just loves me so much and I love feeling that love.

9. His eating habits.
I have been blessed with babies who eat so good!
They aren't picky,
they clean their plates,
and they just love food.
Benson is even a better eater than Ani.
It's amazing!

10. The way he claps whenever someone finishes a prayer with "Amen."
As soon as he hears that "Amen" he claps and cheers.
It's kind of the best at church.

11.The way he loves his sister.
Benson worships Aniston.
He tries so hard to do everything she does and his love for her just melts my mom heart.

12. The way his eyes light up and he runs into Spencer's arms when Spencer walks through the door.
He gets so excited to see his Daddy,
and I know that means even more to Spencer than it does to me.

13. The way he moos every single time he sees a cow.

14. The way he celebrates everyone and their accomplishments.
Spencer and I tend to makes big deals when our children do what is asked of them,
and Benson has picked up on that. 
When Aniston makes a good decision and we express our happiness about that,
Benson will cheer her on too.
When Spencer throws an amazing hole in disc golf,
Benson will cheer him on.
He is so supportive and encouraging.

15. The way he cannot sleep without his blue blankie.
He really is my little Linus.
This can also be a little annoying and a bit an an issue when his blankie is in the wash,
but he loves that thing.

16. His obsession with sunglasses.
He LOVES sunglasses!
If he sees them,
or if anyone else has them,
he needs them too!

17. The way he makes me laugh every single day.
I feel like every 10 minutes Benson does something that makes us laugh.
Sometimes he does it to get a reaction,
and other times he has absolutely no idea what he's doing.

18. The way he says "love you".
He has started saying it back to us when we say it to him,
especially when we lay him down for a nap or bed,
and it is so wonderful!

I am so obsessed with Benson!
I truly feel blessed to be his mom!
Here's to the next 18 years!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Three Things Thursday... Naming Your Children

Naming your children is an insane process.
It's the name that they will know and have for the rest of their lives.
With the current trends and popular baby names,
I sometimes shake my head.
It's terrifying picking out a name for your child.

Here are definitely 3 things that people never told me about naming my children.

1. Your husband (spouse) has veto power.

I'm pretty sure that I had my children's names picked out since I was 5.
Of course they changed over the years,
I only wanted 7 kids named after the 7 dwarfs for a couple years,
but I was pretty sure that I had chosen the perfect names for my future kids.
My husband vetoed,
I didn't even know that was possible!
And then you have 9 months to start from square one.
Choosing names by yourself is difficult enough,
but when there's two of you that need to agree on a name...
There's a reason it takes a baby 9 months to grow.
So that you can agree on a name.

Every time Spencer thought he had found the perfect name, 
I either hated it,
or hated someone who had that name and I didn't want to associate that name with my child.
And vice versa.
Two very stubborn and opinionated people picking out baby names...
there's a reality show for you!

2. The insurance people at the hospital will pressure you for a name.

Spencer and I decided together that we were not going to name our children before they were born.
We would make a list of names before the babies are born,
but we like to get to know them a little while after they are born to make sure we are giving them the right name.
Aniston remained unnamed for about 48 hours,
and Benson for about 24 hours.
I swear the insurance people at the hospital came into my room like every hour to ask if we had decided on a name yet.
And as a sore,
new mom,
overwhelmed with everything,
I was pretty annoyed by that.
Naming your baby is a big deal,
so I will tell you when I'm ready thank you very much.

3. It's completely your decision.

I had no idea that people would pressure me when it came to naming my baby.
I had no idea that other people were allowed to have an opinion on my child's name.
And let's be honest,
they aren't.
But they think that they do.
I don't care if you don't like the name I chose for my baby,
I don't care if you think I spell it wrong.
It's my child,
and I chose that name for a reason.
Don't let other people pressure you when it comes to naming your baby.
You don't have to know the name before the baby is born,
and you don't have to know the name right after the baby is born.
You don't have to give your child a family name if it's not something you're interested in.

Naming your child is completely your decision.
If people don't like the name that you have chosen,
sucks to be them.
Good thing it's not their kid.

Never let anyone bully you about naming your baby.
It is 100% your decision!

Giving your child a name is a difficult and challenging thing.
There are so many options,
and so many things to consider when it comes to giving your baby a name.

But just remember that it is your choice and don't let anyone take the joy of naming your child away from you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DAY 1722... Explosive Date Night

I have always been told about the importance of dating your spouse even after marriage.
It's so hard to find time for date night,
and it's even harder to find a sitter.
Spencer and I have not been the best at making time for date night.
We have actually been horrible about it.
Probably the worst.
So lately,
we have been working hard to pay a little more attention to ourselves and to make date night happen.

Our past 2 date nights have consisted of going shooting.

Growing up,
my Dad always had guns,
so it's nothing foreign to me,
and it's not scary.
At 10 I took a hunter's safety course,
and I work really hard to stay educated when it comes to guns.
I like to know how to shoot,
when it shoot,
and how to protect myself and my family.

I am a firm believer that guns don't kill people,
people kill people.

When Spencer first approached me about getting a gun,
the first thing we talked about is how we could have a gun and how we could make it safe in our home.
Growing up my Dad always kept his guns locked away.
We couldn't get access to them without him.
I desired that same security in my own home.
So we bought a gun safe,
and frequently talk with our children about guns and gun safety.
We have let Aniston look at and touch and hold the guns,
unloaded of course.
She has looked at and held the bullets.
We have talked with her about what happens when you shoot guns.
We have talked about why we shoot guns.
I think that it's really important to her to not be scared of guns.
She doesn't have to have one or shoot one unless she wants to,
but it's important for her to understand how they work.
Knowledge is power.
It is when we fail to educate that it when disasters occur.

Shooting is something that Spencer really enjoys.
I enjoy it as well,
but it's not my go to date night activity.
I'm more about the food.
But marriage is about giving a little right?
And every time we have gone shooting together,
I have had a lot of fun.
More fun than I thought that I would.

I think the best part of the past couple date nights that we have had lately,
is that it has given Spencer the opportunity to teach me about his guns.
It's important to me to be able to learn from my spouse and to be able to be teachable.

The first time we went shooting,
we shot next to the skeleton of a dead cow.
It was pretty intense.
Something like you would see in a movie about a drought.
It was crazy.

I encourage you to date your spouse!
I know it can be hard to find time,
but I also know that it is worth it!

First shot.
I'm pretty sure Spencer was shocked.
But what can I say.
I'm just that good.

I honestly don't think that you have to spend money,
or that you have to even leave the house to have a date night.
Just make it all about you and your spouse.
Do something you enjoy together.
Learn from each other.
Appreciate each other.
Just make time for your relationship.
There is absolutely no one else that can do this for you,
and there is no one to blame but yourself if you fail to date your spouse.
Anything you have to give up,
homework time,
working out,
hanging out with friends,
anything you have to give up to have a date night will be worth it!
I promise!