Alicia & Ben » Blog

10 little big years have gone by since Ben and I sealed the deal.  It some ways it feels like we have always existed as a joint entity.  In other ways, the 10 years have gone by so quickly!  I love him.  Not just because he’s unnaturally perfect.  Though, he really is unnaturally perfect for me.  I just love him.  I love the way he makes me feel about myself.  I love the calm stability I feel when I’m with him – like everything will always work out.  I love the way he loves our children.  I love that he’s always so helpful.  His actions have always spoken just as loud as his words.  He’s my perfect other half and I thank God everyday for blessing me with him.  And I pray everyday that I’ll never live a single day without him.

A little reminiscing…..

Ben had been in Thailand and India the summer before the wedding.  He arrived about a week before the wedding.  We hadn’t seen each other for two+ months.  I was worried he would feel like a stranger and I’d have to break off the wedding!  But, no worries, it took about 12 seconds before I fell in love with him again and knew we were perfect together.

After looking through our pictures I’m reminded of how sick and lightheaded I felt that day.  I think I look gloomy in most of the pictures.  My nerves were really getting to me.  I dreaded all the attention! Dreaded, dreaded, dreaded!  I hadn’t eaten well in weeks and had shoulder surgery earlier in the summer which had really zapped my strength.  I got sick twice the morning of  the wedding.  Also, some drama with friends put a damper on things.  So much was on my mind!  I wish I had enjoyed the day more.  Instead it felt like something I just had to get through to enjoy my happily ever after.  Hah!  I remember I weighed myself at a grocery store in the Keys on our honeymoon and I only weighed 97 lbs.  The stress and anticipation – no fun.  Finally being married – very fun!

My other strong memory of the day was an overwhelming amount of support.  We felt so much love and happiness from our friends and families.  Ben’s family was so welcoming and kind.  They all came from Utah, even two aunts, and much of my out of town family came, too!  I wish I had had a little more maturity to have been a better host.  We probably had  35ish people fly or drive in to be with us and I’ve always worried I didn’t do enough to give everyone attention and express appreciation.  I was really, and still am, so touched by their support and love.

One other tidbit from reminiscing – we were worried the wedding would need to be moved because of Hurricane Katrina.  The original projected path had the hurricane hitting the east coast of Florida and continuing across the state and through Orlando.  I prayed and prayed it would go south and it did!  Whew!  The winds on the wedding day were pretty steady which proved to be a problem with my veil.  It was a day or two after the wedding that Louisiana got hit so hard and I’ve always felt guilty that I prayed that hurricane to go there.

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Due to our anniversary being on the third day of school we decided to push our anniversary trip off until next month. But we still had to do something fun on the real day so we booked a night at the same hotel we stayed at the night we were married – the Tampa Hyatt. My mom was kind enough to watch the kids and it was helpful to have a little babysitting practice run since she’ll be watching the kids when we’re gone next month. We ate dinner at Bahama Breeze, walked the Causeway, and grabbed dessert at the Cheesecake factory. A lovely evening out! Sadly, Sadie woke up in the middle of the night with a cold and we were woken up by an 8:20 call from Jax’s school saying he was crying and someone needed to come pick him up. My mom went and got him but we decided to head home early. We didn’t want my mom to be around the germs and we wanted to talk to Jax. We actually ended up bringing the kids back to the hotel with us. I laid by the pool and they watched TV in the room with Ben.

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  • September 3, 2015 - 10:27 pm

    Jess - I adore these :) So happy for you, and I have to say I agree: Ben is unnaturally perfect for you!! Love you bothReplyCancel

Many years ago I fell in love with the idea of an annual Back to School Feast which I saw on Nie Nie’s blog.  Her tradition consists of homemade crowns, a special meal, small gifts, and the introduction of a yearly family theme/motto in preparation for the beginning of a new school year.  So I attempted to create something similar for us this year.  Crafts aren’t really my specialty but I managed to get some crowns made up.  The kids thought they were fantastic, so, mission accomplished!  We had steak, peas and corn, garlic bread, and some sparkling grape juice.  I also did a special dessert which isn’t the norm around here so the kids were pretty thrilled about that.

For our theme we choose the scripture found in D&C 109:8:

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting,

a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.”

It’s something we’re striving for, at least…..organization, preparedness, prayer, faith, and learning.  All things I love! We talked with the kids about it at dinner and also did a back to school quiz – What’s your teacher’s name?  What should you do if you need to go to the bathroom?  What if someone steals your toy?  What if someone is sitting alone at recess?  What if you don’t understand something being taught? Etc.  The kids seemed to soak it all in.

I’d say it was a successful evening!  Next year I think I’ll put a little more effort into things but this was a good start.  Can’t set the bar too high the first time, ya know:)

After dinner we went on a walk to the park at the end of our street.  The evening took a turn for the worse when McKay’s swing collided with the side of my head. Happy it was an injury to me instead of one of the kids.  I’m thinking we all need to move into bubbles so we don’t get any more injuries; we’ve had our fair share in the last two years!  Oh well.

When we arrived back home Ben gave each of the kids a Priesthood blessing which he did by laying his hands on their cute little heads, one at a time, and sharing inspired words of guidance, comfort, and direction for the upcoming school year.

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Some of our favorite people came to visit recently – Christy, Matt, Maddie, Lucy, Wendy, Aunt Judy, Hope, Spencer, and Payne.  I love when friends and family come to town; gives us an excuse to explore and play.

I won’t give a day by day accounting but here’s an overview of the fun between Thursday to Wednesday:  visited the beach thrice, trip to the zoo with the Haggards and Kimmy, family party at Aunt Debbie’s, my dad’s birthday party at Mike and Sarah’s, Lucy’s 1st birthday and McKay’s 4th birthday party, sleepover with the triplets, and pool day at Aunt Debbie’s house.  Our family also went to Orlando all day Saturday to visit the temple since I had a two hour wedding to photograph there.  It was a busy and fun few days!


Matt’s homemade dot-to-dot for the boys.

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His birthday day.

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Playing Red Light, Green Light.




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Sadie and her friend, Abi, attended a week long dance camp in July.  They had so much fun!


The theme was “The Sound of Music” and on the final day they did a little performance.  There were only 4 girls so they were short a few parts.  Sadie played the part of Liesl and Abi was Gretl.  Here are a few videos and pictures.


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  • August 18, 2015 - 9:02 pm

    Shannon - Cute! I love dance. I can’t wait to get Katelyn in a class. Great job Sadie!ReplyCancel

Moe is officially 4.


His birthday day was a bit of a wash.  Pun intended.  We’ve had loads of rain lately and on his birthday we had nearly 9 inches of rainfall in Tampa.  We had planned to visit Chuck E Cheese mid-morning and then go out to lunch.  Unfortunately, the roads were closed so we just had a calm morning at home.  It was a Monday but Ben took the day off so it was really nice to have him around.  Thankfully, the family was able to come over and the rain stopped mid-afternoon so we still had a fun party for him.

Christy and Matt were in town and Lucy’s 1st birthday was the day before so we did a combined party.  Also, the triplets and Wendy were in town to help us celebrate.

We had favorite foods from our childhoods for his party – hot dogs, mac n cheese, pizza, PB&J, fluffer nutteres, nutty buddies, fruit roll ups, gushers, yohoo, apple juice, chips, and fruit.  It was terribly unhealthy but I think everyone got a kick out of it.  I think the adults indulged in the junk food more than the kids.  They were too busy swimming and playing.

McKay loved his presents – faves were his new accessory kit of magnetic blocks and his bow and arrow.  He put his tooth fairy money and Grandma Cliffie’s birthday money towards a quadricopter which will arrive in the mail tomorrow!

After a month and a half without one, it’s nice to have a 4 year old again:)


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  • August 18, 2015 - 9:05 pm

    Shannon - What a fun party. I didn’t realize he’s just a year older than Katelyn. I’m losing track of how old everyone is getting. Happy Birthday to McKay! He is so adorable :)ReplyCancel