Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our Year

As we prepare to celebrate a new year I wanted to post some photos (and links) that represent 2009. 


I ended my first trimester of my first pregnancy

and Ben's hair made it's winter transformation (don't most men buzz their hair in the summer?)
and yes...he's making that apathetic face on purpose because he's a goober.

We celebrated Ben's birthday while I traveled for work for the last time!
(I have had to work long days on his birthday every year we've been together)

I started this blog...

and on February 26th we found out we were expecting our handsome BOY!


my baby sister goes to prom & is crowned Queen!

Looking back this was the "cute" phase of my pregnancy, where my belly was big enough that I looked pregnant, but small enough that I wasn't knocking things over and my face wasn't swollen yet...

I got to celebrate Mother's Day by lounging around the house with my mom & of course- Bella.

and had 2 baby showers- one at work

and one at my in-laws house with all the ladies in my family
(MIL on left and my mom on the right)

where we got our's the video of us putting it together

Ben's turn to be lazy with my dad on Father's Day

My baby sister graduates High School & makes me feel so OLD

I have my last day of work at my alma mater where I'd been for 9 years

and a 3rd baby shower with my girlfriends near and far


Ben & I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary on the 7th

and after weeks of early labor, 12 hours of active labor & 2 hours of pushing we meet our son
 Malakai Benson


We take a trip to the coast when Malakai is just 3 weeks old

We get a unique chance to settle in as a family of three for the first 6 weeks.

My sister starts her first year of college

Ben gets a new job (!) and so do I

Malakai is dedicated at our church


Ben & I go on our first post-baby date

and Malakai dresses up for his first Halloween

We enjoy the last bit of decent weather before being cooped up inside all day

Kai starts "solids"

sleeps through his first Thanksgiving
and we pick our Christmas tree the next day in record time


I go to the ballet (while daddy secretly prepares part of my birthday gift with Malakai)

We visit with some friends

and of course have Malakai's first Christmas

and also...
Malakai starts rolling and sitting (for a few seconds)

and today he slept completely unswaddled for a full 40 minute nap!
(although this picture is from earlier this morning where he's half swaddled)

and tonight we will have a mild NYE celebration with my parents where I will obsessively play Beatles Rock Band (which my sister and I beat in one day last week).

As far as resolutions go, I have NEVER made one on New Year's and don't plan on starting. I think if I have something I'd like to stop doing or start doing I should do it at that moment.

Our 2009 was one of the best years of my life and I can't wait for what 2010 has in store.

Happy end of 2009 everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

upon my 28th year

As a new mom, I'm feeling quite reflective on my birthday. I've always thought of it as my special day as I think we're sort of trained to do when we're young.

Now, when I think about my birth-day I'm thinking about my parents and what they experienced 28 years ago today. I feel like we should be celebrating them:

Thank you mom for giving me life when at 19 years old, others were telling you to think of yourself.

Thank you dad for  sticking around when it would have been easier to leave.

Thanks mom for selling some of your few possessions in order to provide for me.

Thanks to both of you for all your sacrifices to make my childhood as normal as possible.

Thank you mom for sticking with dad through the toughest times to keep our family together.

Thank you dad for always being there to fix whatever was wrong with my car, plumbing, electrical, etc and passing your skills on to my husband.

Thank you mom for teaching me to cook and being patient enough to help me learn to sew for the past 15 years (and I still can't get it right!)

Thank you both for always supporting me in my dreams to go to the university of my choice, even though it wasn't the cheap and easy option.

Thank you for helping me when money got tight in my post college years when I didn't have a full time job.

Thank you mom for always praying so diligently.

Thank you dad for being strong & protective.

There's so much more I could say about how wonderful my parents are. I'm so proud of them for how far they've come. They went from a couple of broke teenagers who fell in love and took their chances as new parents, to the successful parents of three driven children and doting grandparents to our sweet Malakai.

Love you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas week has arrived!

I can't believe it's here...Christmas week! We have a very busy two weeks ahead of us. I'm not quite sure why we packed our schedules so tight. It's mostly fun stuff, but I'm already exhausted!

Monday (12.21)

  • I finished wrapping Ben's presents and picked  up a few messes around the house. 
  • As soon as Ben got home at 4:30pm we headed over to his best friend's house for dinner with some friends. Luckily I already had the salad and drinks we were asked to bring, I don't know where we would have found the time to shop! Malakai did great up until about 7:30 when he had been up for 3 home we went. 

Tuesday (12.22)

  • Today I need to fold the clean laundry and wash Kai's clothes. I want to make sure I get his Christmas outfit ready in time. 
  • Tonight we are visiting Ben's Grandma to check out her new house and get Kai's Christmas gift. 
  • Then we are headed to Target to return the Christmas PJ's that don't fit and some other gifts I go purchased that we won't be giving after all. Then Fred Meyer (which might be a local store?) to exchange the reindeer PJ's from my Gram for a smaller size. 
  • We'll pick up some french bread for dinner
  • 6:30pm dinner with one of my college roommates and her husband. 
Wednesday (12.23)

This was supposed to be our day "off" to relax, but we have more errands to run before Christmas that wouldn't fit anywhere else.
  • Exchange Ben's electric guitar DVD from my Gram for a new one, the case is broken.
  • Return my FIL's present since my SIL already got him a Rosebowl T-shirt (no idea what we'll get now) Sadly, this errand is at the mall...we may not survive!
  • Shop for remaining two people on our list- MIL & FIL
  • Wrap gifts for Malakai and the rest of our family
Thursday (12.24)
  • Ben works a half day, so I'll tidy up around the house in preparation for Christmas day.
  • 1pm we'll head over to his parents' place for Christmas with them and his siblings.
  • 9pm ish we'll head home and do our Christmas eve traditions of exchanging pj's and we'll start the tradition of reading "The Night Before Christmas" to Malakai
Friday (12.25)
  • Ben, Malakai, & I will do our Christmas morning gifts from each other and our stockings from "Santa"
  • 2pm my immediate family will come over and exchange gifts
  • 4pm we'll all head over to my aunt's house for the big Christmas (30+ people) dinner & gift exchange
Saturday (12.26) Possibly and ACTUAL day off...but we'll see if that happens

Sunday (12.27)
  • 1pm Christmas with my dad's side of the family at my parents' house
  • 2:30pm my mom & Ben are hosting an early birthday party for me
Monday (12.28) 
  • Ben goes back to work
  • I'll figure out where to put all of Malakai's gifts in our teensy house
  • We have another evening "off"
Tuesday (12.29) 
  • My Birthday- I have no idea what's happening, but I'm assuming Ben is working as usual and then we'll be doing something after that. 
Wednesday (12.30) no plans
Thursday (12.31) no plans- but we need to make some!
Friday (1.1) Rosebowl at the in-laws place.

WHEW! So... now that I took the time to write all that out I feel like I need a nap. But, instead I'm off to do laundry.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Wish List

Ben is out finishing up his shopping for me, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some items from my wish list. My list is long, but my birthday is 4 days after Christmas so it's a combination of my desires for both occasions. 

For my kitchen: 
all photos & prices from

A mandolin slicer- this one is expensive (Kitchenaid $49.99) and I'd settle for the much cheaper Sunbeam ($12.99)

A new kitchenaid teakettle ($29.99) I have a red teakettle but it's more on the orange side, this one would match the rest of the red appliances I have (which are a Hamilton Beach toaster oven & a Kitchenaid mixer)

A box grater ($19.99). This is actually more for Ben than for me in that maybe he won't complain about grating cheese with our current grater if we had this.

A kitchenaid pizza slicer ($9.99). Our current one was probably found in a dollar bin somewhere. The blade is chipped (how does that happen?) and the handle is falling apart.

Electronics: (my husband isn't allowed to buy from this section anymore)

A card reader for adding photos to my computer. The Canon Rebel that we borrow from my FIL doesn't connect to our computer so I am using our point and shoot digi cam as a card reader at the moment. This one is $9.99 on Amazon

And today I realized I would like a micro SD card for my phone (the enV2) because I keep running out of space for my photos (mostly of Malakai) and get tired of texting them to photobucket so I can make room for more every time I want to take a photo. This one is just $12.99 at 


A variety of tops from Target including this one, which was $12.99 when I added it but is probably on the clearance racks by now.

And these lovely items from Old Navy

a v-neck hoodie in green $12.99

a pretty little lace cami $10

a colorful scarf that was $12.50 when I added it- now on sale for $8

and I'd also like some skid free socks (no photo) to keep me from sliding around our wood floors.

(all photos & prices from Amazon)

Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures (Paperback) $14.93 (read about this on Heather Armstrong's blog, Dooce)

The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby (Paperback) $10.07

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition) (Paperback) $14.29

The Toddlers Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 1 1/2- to 3-Year-Old Busy (Paperback) $9.95

Household & Miscellany:

Navy & Charcoal bath towels...from wherever, as long as they are large & fluffy

A shadow box ($24.99) for our orchid leis from our Hawaiian honeymoon that are still beautiful, but hidden in a shoebox somewhere...

A purse organizer $19.99

Double Hang Closet Rod $14.99 for our TINY closets that need a lot of help

Red Curtains for our bedroom from anywhere (the curtains that came with the house are light purple with pink squares where the sun faded them)

Dark brown floating shelves to put the breakables up high as part of our baby-proofing efforts, again, from anywhere..

Correcting Smoothing Primer from Sephora $18

Matte Top Coat $10 makes any nail polish matted!

And finally-

Etoile Three-row band ring from Tiffany only $7,975!

Haha- yeah right! That last one was inspired by Ben's "ridicu-list" where he added things to his list like a $4,000 flat screen tv and other amazingly expensive items that we can't begin to afford.

So hopefully my list inspired those of you who are like me and have no idea what to ask for every year. If not, hope you at least enjoyed getting to know me a little better through my wish list.

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