Alicia & Ben » Blog

On a random Tuesday towards the end of February I decided to carry my camera throughout the day and document our daily routines.

A day in the life of the Johnson family:

7:20 – alarm goes off.

7:30 – Ben gets up, wakes Sadie up, and starts to get her ready.  This morning she’s tired and isn’t thrilled about going to school.

7:32 – I get up, get ready, and get Sadie’s lunch and school stuff collected.  Sadie no longer likes cereal so I get her buttered gluten free toast ready for her to eat on the drive to school.


7:48 – Sadie and I leave for school.  It’s only a 5 minute drive.  I always adjust the seat, mirrors, turn on the defrost button, put on the seat warmer, and hit the CD button.  We always listen to Popcorn Bopping.  She loves #10 and I love #13.

We arrive at school, park, and I walk her in.  She doesn’t need me to but I enjoy those last few minutes together and the car line always takes longer.


8:05 – I arrive back home, we eat breakfast, Ben gets Jax ready, and then he showers and gets himself ready.  Ben always throws Jax his clothes from up high and Jax tries to catch them.

McKay has already found his “fastest clothes” and dressed himself.  He probably wore the same thing yesterday but he’s happy and they look clean so I’m good with it.

Jax finishes up some last minute homework.

I get his lunch and backpack ready, get his shoes on him, and comb his cute little head of hair.

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8:30 – Ben and Jax leave for work/school.  Jax is excited and eager to go.


8:32 – I work on some photography stuff – emails to catch up on, a session to edit, a blog post to write.  McKay sits on my lap the whole hour I work. He doesn’t always but he wants the computer to watch a show and isn’t interested in his toys.  I don’t get nearly enough done but at least it’s something.


9:30 – I give McKay the computer so he can watch Monster Trucks and I do a morning pickup – sweep, morning dishes, and lay some laundry flat to dry since our dryer is broken


Dayinthelife810:30 – I force McKay to turn off his show.  He plays with legos while I shower.

Dayinthelife910:50 – McKay is upstairs asking for a “cereal snack” – he loves cereal and usually asks for breakfast twice every morning.  I think it’s junk food so we often fight over the quantity of cereal he consumes daily.  I give in to his cute face and pleading and get him his cereal.

11: 10 – I try on a few outfits until I settle on one.  Then I blow my hair dry but I lose energy/interest half way and stop since I’m not really going anywhere or won’t see anyone anyways. I check on McKay who is done with breakfast and playing with his legos again.


11:25 – I’m starving so I eat Ben’s leftover chinese food. I’m dead tired and know I’m going to need a nap.  I fight the urge to lay down for a few minutes because I know I’m going to need to get Jax soon. I’ve been so tired lately.  I take an iron supplement and mentally tell myself to take one again tomorrow.



11:42 – Mckay and I leave to get Jax.  I listen to the Diane Rehms show on NPR which is usually pretty interesting.  Jax is excited to see us but his mood turns sour quickly – he sticks his tongue out, spills peanuts and yells at McKay.  Sometimes school makes him stressed and ornery and it takes him a few minutes to unwind after pick up.  We talk and he apologizes.

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12:20 – We arrive home and Jax puts his backpack on his hook and they put their shoes on the shoeshelf.  They ask to watch a show and I agree since I’m exhausted.  I get them lunch and then lay down for a 45 minute nap.  I thank the heavens above that the kids are getting older and a nap is possible.


2:00 – We leave to pick up Sadie.  I dislike the car line so I have her as walker except I drive and pick her up across the street from the school with the other walkers. I’m thrilled to see her!


2:25 – We’re back home.  The kids work on the lego ship that’s still out while I get them a snack – peaches, blackberries, and popcorn.


2:45 –  After some more snacks (apples and peanut butter) the kids beg for show.  I agree since I have a few calls to make. After the calls I reply to a few emails and check facebook and instagram.

Day in the life

3:45 –  I force the TV off, much whining ensues, and we head outside.  We usually spend a lot of the afternoon outdoors when the weather cooperates. On this day we walk to the park and then play with the bikes in the front yard when we get home.



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6:15 – We go inside, I start dinner, the boys do puzzles, and Sadie does her reading homework on the computer.


6:45 – Dinner is ready – lemon butter pasta with peas and bacon.  Not healthy but it is what it is.


7:00 – McKay rinses the dishes which he doesn’t do too often but he loves so I always wonder why I don’t ask him to do it more.  Sadie and Jax work on homework which I need to help them with.  McKay is done with the dishes and done a pretty great job so I he picks up his legos.


7:30 – Bathtime.



7:45 – We brush teeth, read books under Sadie’s bed, say prayers, and say goodnight.


8:00 – I catch up on emails, facebook, and a few blogs I follow.

9:30 – A little TV time.  Can’t remember what I watched.


10:15 – Ben arrives home.  It’s his busy season so he works late.  He watches the end of what I’m watching with me, we chat, and then we head to bed.



And another day is done.

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  • March 18, 2015 - 4:45 pm

    Shannon - What a good idea to record your daily activities. In the future it will be fun to look back and see what life was like when the kids were little. Great pictures too! I love all the different angles and colors. Miss you guys!ReplyCancel

I just downloaded the last 9 months of phone pictures onto my computer and thought I’d do a little collage.  I can’t believe how much the kids and our lives have changed in the last 9 months!  I don’t take my camera pictures too seriously – they’re just blurry snapshots taken during the hustle and bustle of life.  They aren’t correctly exposed, sharp, or artistically composed.  But, when they’re all pieced together it seems to create something beautiful.  It humbles me to see all the little moments gathered and reminds me how richly we’ve been blessed.

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A few updates I’ve been meaning to jot down….

Gramma Meyers fell while playing tennis on January 2nd and broke her hip and wrist.  She’s been in the hospital and rehab facility but we’re hoping they’ll release her in the next week.  She’s been working hard and I’m always amazed by her strength – emotionally and physically.  I know it’s been hard for her but she’s handled everything with patience and perseverance.  She was able to come to Kimmy’s and Sadie’s birthday parties.  Here is she at Kimmy’s party:


We signed the kids up for soccer.  It’s every Saturday morning.  They start with a skills lesson and then scrimmage the last 15 minutes. McKay was too scared to play the first practice but now he loves it!  Sadie just runs around the action smiling and sprinting but hasn’t quite found the aggression to jump into the action and steal the ball away.


I had a big photo shoot in mid-January – headshots for Lavonte David who plays for the Bucs.  They went well. His managing agency loved the pictures!  What  a relief.  Kimmy came along as an assistant and to support me in my hour of need.  We actually all had a great time.  I think Lavonte was more nervous than I was.


I had another big photo shoot last Saturday – my first session for NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep) a service organization which offers remembrance photography for parents who have newborns that don’t survive.  The session was for a woman who lost her 31 week old baby after her high blood pressure caused her placenta to rupture.  It was hard but I held it together better than I expected. I’m on call this week for another similar situation – a couple is having their first child but the baby has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18 and isn’t expected to survive long after birth.  I’m going to photograph and labor, delivery, and capture family pictures just after birth.  I’ve never photographed a labor and delivery so I’m nervous about that.  I’m also nervous about the emotional side of things.

We joined the YMCA this week.  With Ben’s busy season upon us I felt like I needed a little break and boost in my day.  Exercise makes me so happy.  Our closest YMCA also has racquetball courts so I’m really excited to go play with Ben.  I played a lot in college and I loved it! Can’t wait until we can go.

Our avocado tree died suddenly.  Not sure what happened.  I don’t think they go dormant in the winter?  I guess it’s a lesson to take care of what I’m given.  Thankfully, the orange tree is producing great and it makes me so happy to be able to go pick a fresh orange any ‘ole time I want one.


Our friends, the Barnhills, left this week for Switzerland for the next 6 months.  We will miss them.  Incidentally, their move also leaves Ben as the acting YMs President unless they change the presidency.  Not the best timing since this is his busiest month of the year but he’s doing great at juggling things.  He serves with some other great people so it will all work out.  I was called as Primary secretary last month and I’m really enjoying my calling.  The primary presidency is one of the best, hardworking, dedicated presidencies I’ve ever seen.  They’re all about the kids, not the fluff, and every one is so reliable.  I’m excited to learn from them.

Baby Emma was blessed two weeks ago:

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Christy and Cricchios are coming to visit this month.  We’re excited to see them!  I think both are going to stay at our house but only for a night or two.  We still haven’t finished the downstairs shower; not sure why that project is so impossible to complete!

Our dryer stopped working.  I’ve been laying clothes flat to dry for 2 weeks.  I keep thinking it’s going to magically fix itself.  Guess I should call a repair man, though.

Sadie’s eczema has returned recently and she seems to have more mental fog the last few months.  We’ve been really, really strict with her diet and pumping her full of nutritious food.  Just can’t figure out what to do.  Pray for her! Pray for us that we’ll know how to help her. We’ve been exploring several options – all of which are expensive.  We’re hoping to find the right answer so she can be as healthy and happy as possible.

I love my kids.  A few pictures from January…..


Zoo with the sister missionaries.

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The end.

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I’ve heard the number 7 has great significance and meaning, that it’s a very lucky number.  In biblical terms seven represents completeness or perfection.  For example, the creation took place over seven days.  To me, that describes my little seven-year-old – perfection and completeness.   I sure love her!  Just look at this face!


A few thoughts about 7 year-old Sadie…

She LOVES to be silly.


Her favorite game to play with her brothers is ‘baby horse.’  Someone gets to be the mommy or daddy horse, and someone gets to be the baby horse.  I’m not sure which she likes better – the mommy role or the baby role.  She loves both.

She has recently discovered the joy of dressing her brothers up like girls and offering them ‘make-overs.’  The brothers are still too young to have any shame.  I’m sure they will regret it later in life, but for now they all enjoy it.


Sadie always has a loose tooth, if not multiple loose teeth.  She’s keeping the tooth-fairy busy.


She said yesterday that her mouth doesn’t hurt anymore where she had her surgery.  I wonder if it had been bothering her a lot.  If so, I never really heard her complain.



This year we let Sadie pick out a toy from the store for her birthday.  She picked out not one but two mermaids.  She was so excited that the store had exactly the one she wanted – a soft, plush, stuffed mermaid with green highlights in her hair.  I didn’t even know she knew what highlights were.

Another one of her favorites is Rainbow-Dash-Away, from the new My Little Pony.  I’m not sure where she picked it up, but lately she’s been pronouncing My Little Pony like a Brit… “My Li’l Pony.”  It cracks me up every time.

She’s also very in love with Elsa and everything that is DISNEY’S FROZEN, as is every other little girl in this world.  I can’t believe how everything in the stores these days is Elsa, Anna, and Olaf.  Although I must say, Jax takes the cake when it comes to the song “Let it Go.” That’s funny coming from Jax, because there are times when he gets so upset and just can’t let it go.  At any rate, Sadie is often found wearing her Elsa dress and prancing around the house like a princess.  She has the princess pose down, as evidenced by these pictures.




Sadie has a gentle and loving respect for all life.  She has no fear of snakes, lizards, bugs, animals or any other creature.  She just loves them and wants to hold them and love them forever.  The other day she made a comment that she misses Shadow.  I think of all of us, she loved that dog the most.  Remember the squirrels?  Or the Easter baby chicks?  She’s going to be a great mommy one day.



You’d never know it ’cause she is so skinny, but Sadie has a healthy appetite.  There are days she out eats me.  She does very well sticking to her gluten free diet.  We let her cheat now and then, but when we say “no, it has gluten in it” she rarely complains or puts up a fight.  If there is something she wants to eat she will ask if it is gluten-free.

She hasn’t been liking to eat cereal for breakfast lately.  She mostly just wants gluten-free toast or gluten-free pancakes.  McKay, on the other hand, can’t ever get enough cereal.  He is constantly asking for a “cereal snack” and it’s a fight not to let him have it.

One of Sadie’s favorite foods lately…. Cauliflower.  And I love the way she says “Caul – E – flower” (emphasizing the ‘E’).





DSC_1230Here is evidence she is growing up faster than we think.  I picked her up the other day and plopped down in a chair.  I wanted to just hold her close to me like I used to do when she was little.  Instead of coming in close for a good cuddle she looked at me funny, squirmed a little, and asked me what I was doing.  What a contrast from the little baby who wouldn’t let us put her down!  I keep telling her she’s not allowed to grow up.  She just doesn’t seem to be listening.  Nevertheless, I sure love you Sadie, and I’m so glad I get to be your Dad.

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  • February 2, 2015 - 3:36 pm

    Shannon - What sweet thoughts from Ben. You sure do have a perfect little girl. I love the pictures of Sadie too. She sure is growing up!ReplyCancel

  • February 9, 2015 - 1:57 am

    Natalie - I love this post. I’m going to be honest: it made me tear up a bit. And of course, I adore that Sadie. She really is growing up. She is so sweet. Squeeze her from me.ReplyCancel

My firstborn turned 7.  She had a fantastically fun day – presents, Chuck E Cheese, and a birthday party at Joe and Julie’s house.

I’ll do another post with her birthday photo shoot pictures where I’ll gush about her perfection.:)



He dressed himself.


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  • January 30, 2015 - 7:20 pm

    Shannon - Happy Birthday Sadie! It looks like all of you had fun celebrating. I can’t believe she’s 7 already.ReplyCancel