A special birthday…

You know what’s great about Steve – He is always willing to help me test lighting. When I’m about to shoot a group of people, Steve is eager to jump in assist. He never sits and smiles normally – nope, he loves to pose. And I remind him that one day these photos will come out of a vault for all the public to enjoy.

And that day has arrived, in honor of his 40th birthday!

He has been entertaining me for 18 years now and he’s always good for a joke and a giggle – he’s playful to say the least. Which means life is rarely boring when he’s around.

On the flip side, he loves deep conversations and really learning about other people. When we’re with my family, it’s not uncommon to hear, “That is such a Steve question!” He doesn’t just ask how you’re doing. He asks how you’re feeling and what keeps you up at night. He makes you feel comfortable and loved so you can answer his questions honestly. He’s always in the middle of a good discussion.

Steve and I are opposite in most aspects of our lives and yet I love his willingness to jump on board with some of my crazy ideas. He doesn’t need an updated house, but he supports me with each wall I decide we need to tear down. He would prefer a relaxing weekend, and yet he knows that is some valuable project time. And he despises Halloween and would prefer we not dress up, yet every year he willingly gets dressed up in whatever I lay out on the bed. He doesn’t stay in costume very long, but he goes along with it for a bit.

He is an active participant in each of our kids’ lives. He plays with them and reads to them and watches movies with them and teaches them and above all… he cooks them breakfast! He is present in everything they’re interested in and he loves them deeply.

He is love. He is light. And everything that is good.

He is my balance.

He has made a major impact in his short 40 years.

Happy Birthday Steve!

Birthdays are the best…

The best part of birthdays is you have an entire day dedicated to you. (In a family our size, that’s a really big deal!) You decide breakfast and dinner. You decide what treat to take to class. You get a birthday bucket with your favorites. People sing to you. Give you presents. Restaurants have birthday perks. BIRTHDAYS. ARE. THE. BEST.

And I’ve mentioned this before, but giving gifts to Bennett is fun. He makes you feel like you nailed it. In fact, when I was asking him what he wanted for his birthday he told me he doesn’t need to make a list because I always do such a good job. He then proceeded to tell me two items he wanted; Harry Potter Lego set and the Fun Jungle book series by Stuart Gibbs. Lucky for him, I already had both of them purchased…months ago. 🙂

The worst part of birthdays…having to wait another 365 days until you can celebrate it again.

Birthday boy…

Someone has a birthday today!

You have not met a kid more excited about life than Bennett. He oozes energy. When he finds out he’s got a friend coming over to play, he yells, “Let’s go!” and pumps his fists.

He’ll be the first one to jump in the cold lake.

He finishes his homework the minute he gets home from school.

He sings louder than anyone I know.

He runs around the house casting Harry Potter spells on his brothers.

He always has me change the song when he knows it has a bad word.

He gets up in the wee hours of the morning on Saturdays because he knows he’ll have complete control of the remote control. 🙂

He keeps the cleanest room out of all our kids.

He remembers details. All details. If you say something, he will hold you to it!

…and he’s my favorite 10 year-old-boy.

Happy birthday!


Why just spend one day celebrating when you can spend a couple days celebrating!?

Briggs celebrated his birthday at school on Monday and took cupcakes to share with his class. He got a birthday crown. A birthday sticker. Birthday spankings. Celebrating your birthday at school is the best when you’re five-years-old.

By Tuesday, we celebrated his actual birthday with his friends at the train park in Scottsdale. This is a park we used to visit when the other kids were younger and Briggs has never been so we made a special day of it. We rode trains and the carousel and topped it off with lunch at McDonalds. He was living his best life.

He opened presents surrounded by his siblings and he was excited with every item he opened.

He was even more excited when Steve’s parents took him to Build-a-bear to pick out a stuffed animal. He chose some Pikachu character and it has been his constant companion for weeks. Why must kids love stuffed animals so much?!? 🙂

Birthday boy…

The caboose is officially 5-years-old and our “baby” is hardly a baby anymore which is reason to celebrate!

Here’s a snapshot at 5-years-old:

He loves Hallie – he looks forward to any and all time he gets with her – and she is so good to him.

He has realized the power of the Amazon Alexa. I hear him asking questions all the time. How many days until March 2nd? How cold is it outside? How do you spell banana?

He has some friends in the neighborhood and the day is not complete if he’s not asking to play with them multiple times a day.

After Christmas we started weaning him off of daily naps – we figured he was getting old enough to not have a nap schedule rule our day. All of my kids have been late nappers, except Hunter.

He gets dressed all by himself every day and he usually puts on the same clothes he wore the day before. He’s efficient!

He’s a little reader and is almost at the 300 mark for his preschool.

His favorite toy his is 3 wheel globber scooter that he’s had forever. He has put a lot of miles around the neighborhood on that thing.

His favorite accessory is zip up hoodie. It doesn’t matter how cold it is outside, he’s always searching for a hoodie to throw on.

He makes his bed relatively well and it includes a nice tower of beanie boo stuffed animals that he has collected from his siblings.

He asked for an RV for his birthday. He dreams big.

Time is hard for kids and right now for him everything is measured by when he goes to kindergarten. Can he be in a different car seat when he goes to kindergarten? Can he share a room with Cannon when he goes to kindergarten? Will this shirt fit him when he goes to kindergarten?

He has an exciting year ahead of him – which means an exciting year for all of us!

Happy birthday!