Alicia & Ben » Blog

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…..

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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!

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A few thoughts about 7 year-old Sadie…

She LOVES to be silly.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’).

 

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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.:)

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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

I’ve been thinking a lot about patience lately.  Mostly I’ve been wondering how to get more of it!  I thought parenthood was supposed to make us more patient but I feel I’m becoming less so.  It was easier to be forgiving and calm when the kids were smaller.  Now I’m tired of teaching and saying the same things over and over again especially since I know they know better.  My patience runs thin.

Parenting is a blessing but it can be hard. There are days when I’m grumpy, tired, or distracted.  Days when I struggle to deal with the extra messes, temper tantrums, arguments over toys, and whining.  I’m not really a yeller; although, I have yelled.  Mostly I’m sad about the times I’ve talked to the kids with a tone of annoyance or irritation. A good compliment can lighten my mood for days; an insult, sadly, sticks with me even longer.  I know how it stings to be corrected or feel my actions are disappointing or annoying to another person.   I don’t want my kids to feel that heaviness and sadness – worried to make a move for fear they’ll be told “No!” “Stop!” “Are you going to clean that up?”  “What were you thinking?” “Why do you always fight?”  “Why is your room such a mess?” “Why can’t you all get along?” “Do things this way, not that way”!  I’m guilty of saying all those things.  There’s a way to correct and teach without it sounding mean. That’s what I strive for when I communicate with the kids – a voice and tone of patience, love, and respect. I want them to know we all try our best but forgive freely when mistakes happen.

There’s been a sentence stuck in my head lately – “You don’t get a second chance at raising this child”.  I’m a person that needs second chances. I usually perform poorly when first learning a new sport, craft, or skill. I catch on eventually, but it takes me a few attempts.  In regards to parenthood I keep thinking how I need to do it right the first time.  Obviously there will be bad days and experiences, but as a whole, I need to get it right. The little years are critical years and I wonder if I’m doing all that I should. Now that Sadie and Jax are in school I’m realizing how my influence is diminishing as they grow older. McKay will soon be off to school; I won’t get this year at home with him again alone to play with him, teach him, and help him know his worth and my love for him.

A friend recently passed away and her son posted a quote from Max Lucado that read, “When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?”  I hope I live and speak in such a way that my children know that they are my greatest joy and their happiness and well-being is my #1 priority.  I love them.  Oh I love them!

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  • January 23, 2015 - 1:00 am

    Julie - I always feel this way. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t regret something I did or didn’t do as a mother. But I also believe that my children are learning to forgive and that when I apologize and keep trying to do better, it helps them learn that we all make mistakes and the important thing is to keep trying. The Atonement can heal their hearts and minds and make up for my shortcomings as a mother.ReplyCancel