Category Archives: ben

a pirate’s life for me


Avast, me hearties!  Behold me wee pirate lad, set to sail the seven seas and find where ‘X’ marks the spot!  Now where be me treasure map?

This little Halloween costume has been one of Will’s go-to outfits for the past year {who wouldn’t want to wear this everyday, right?}.  So, all last summer I was scheming a photo shoot of him like this.  On a beach.  With a treasure chest {thank you, Mom, for having crazy things like this at your house}. 

It was a warm day last September and my schedule was open.  Let’s go!  The very next day, cold weather snapped and I don’t know if I would’ve had another chance for months.  Although the sun was shining, this shoot was SUCH an immense effort!  I wish somebody had taken some behind the scenes photos or videos because they would be so funny to see now.  {Why do I do these things to myself?  Am I a crazy person??}

Here’s how the pirate shoot went down:

Four of my five kids came along for the 45-minute ride out to the Great Salt Lake {Hannah opted out of this one. smart girl}, and when we arrived, the water was disappointingly low.  Meaning Ben and I had to lug this incredibly heavy treasure chest for about a half mile?  A mile?  I have no idea.  And we still didn’t make it all the way to the water.  It took forever, as we tried not to lose our flip-flops in the squelchy, slippery mud.  Thank goodness for my teenage boy, I couldn’t have done this without his help!

When we finally set the chest down, the girls of course had to pee, and I realized I had left the coconuts in the car {palm to the forehead}.  Ben ran another mile and back to grab the coconuts while the girls tinkled on the beach…which I figured was fine because we were still at least a mile from the water’s edge anyway!

Exhausted before I even pulled out my camera, I was SO thankful that Will was happy and completely in pirate mode.  I shot all of these in about twenty minutes, finishing up just as somebody came to tell us they were locking up the parking lot and we needed to leave right now unless we wanted to spend the night.  Arrgh, matey!!  Running this time, back to the car we heaved the chest and the other props, with ten pounds of sticky mud glued to the bottoms of our feet, mosquitos attacking us from all sides, and children whining all the way!  Some members of the crew were nearly forced to walk the plank, I tell you.

I’d do it all over again though, because I LOVE these pictures of my pirate boy so much.  Yo-ho!

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adventure time party – c’mon and grab your friends

adventure time party

adventure time party

I need to brush up on my Finn the Human language skills, but I did my best!

adventure time party

adventure time party

Green cupcakes to look like Finn and Jake’s treehouse.



Getting ready for an adventure time.



Nina is pro.

My first climb...yikes!

My first climb…yikes!

adventure-time-partyMy boy is thirteen.  Thirteen!  I was just thirteen, how can this be?

For Ben’s party this year, I thought it would be a great idea to take a bunch of boys somewhere other than my house…somewhere like an indoor climbing gym? YES!  Ben loved the idea, and it went along perfectly with the Adventure Time theme he chose.  So I designed the invitations, and looked forward to not having a massive mess and sweaty boys running all around my house! Haha!

I’ve never been so happy with a cake I’ve made before.  Isn’t this Finn cake cute? Or should I say “flippin’ awesome”?? Let it be known, I’m not the best at decorating cakes, but this one was really fun and pretty simple.  Just a lot of piping and some black gel icing (leftover from Hannah’s Beatles cupcakes).  We also had green frosted cupcakes, you know, trying to make them look like Finn and Jake’s treehouse.

I really took the easy way out on this party after I discovered these free printables. All of the party decorations were downloaded and printed from this site and it saved me a ton of time, which was good because we had two days to pull this together after coming home from a family vacation. Ta-da! Everyone learned to climb, including Olivia (who turned out to be a party pooper, quite literally, but that’s another story). The party was so much fun for Ben and his friends, and it was GREAT to come home to a clean house!

a good cleaning

It had been wayyyy too long since we’d seen the dentist, so finally the day arrived to get those pearly whites a good cleaning. I packed the kids into the minivan, dropped Olivia off with my sister Erika, and hit the freeway. Hannah thought it would be a good idea to read in the car, and I should have know better than to let her.
She was in the front seat next to me and within minutes she muttered, “Mom, I’m carsick.” I turned on the cold air, full blast.
“Does that help? Just look straight ahead.” She looked super pale.
We were zipping along in the far left lane when she announced in a panic, “I’m gonna throw up!”
“Aaah! Open your window! I can’t pull over!”
Cars were everywhere to the right of me, and I was smack up against a cement barricade on the left. Hannah stuck her head out her window and let loose. The car behind us switched on their windshield wipers…I’m so sorry! The wind violently whipped a fine mist of vomit back into the car, and all of us were enveloped in it.
“Mom! Pull over! Make her stop! I’M SERIOUS!!” Ben was FREAKING out, so angry in the back seat. Nina plugged her nose and looked like she was going to cry. Will slept. I laughed so hard I was afraid I might crash, my eyes were blurred with tears. I had to call someone, this was just too funny not to share. So I called Erika and I could barely talk because I was laughing so hard…I managed to squeak out what happened. I literally cried off all my mascara.
Hannah finally sat down, defeated, with a grumpy frown and a pale complexion. There was puke all over her sweatshirt, all over her hair, and I don’t even want to think about what her breath smelled like. AAAAH! We are going to the dentist! Right up close and personal. She was so mad at me for laughing.
When we got there she took off her sweatshirt and left it in the stinky van. I did my best to rinse her hair out in the bathroom sink and twist it into a bun. I gave her some gum, and cleaned all the mascara from my face. I felt like telling everyone in the dentist office, “We don’t normally look or smell this bad.”
Not only did the kids’ teeth get a good cleaning, but so did the minivan. We hit the carwash immediately after leaving the dentist and took care of lots of interior cleaning at home.
P.S. My little sweet-toothed Nina had 3 cavaties.
My wallet feels pretty empty. Where’s the tooth fairy when you need her? I wish she’d leave some money under MY pillow.