Wednesday, August 31, 2011

mental note: draw more smiley's.

I think I have forgotten, over the years, what its like to be a child. Thank goodness I have Benson who reminds me over and over how simple and happy life can be.

It was just a few weeks ago that Benson got a birthday card from his great grandma. And inside that card was a five dollar bill. I watched benson as he opened the card, picked up the money and then set it aside, so he could get a better look at the card. I watched him as a big smile spread across his face as he studied the giant elephant holding balloons in its trunk. And I watched him as he pointed at each and every sticker that grandma had put on the envelope, like each of them were a little treasure. I couldn't help but be reminded of the massive sticker collection I had when I was younger. I had a huge notebook. Every time i got new stickers I would transfer them to their own page in the notebook. And to this day I have no idea what the purpose of a sticker collection is, but it made me happy.

We went to Costco today. Benson loves Costco. Whenever we leave the store, he is the happiest little boy in the world. I used to think his favorite part was the samples. Boy does he love the samples. I swear this kid has hawk eyes when it comes to spotting those food carts. He will point out samples, that I try to avoid. No momma's not in the mood for a sample of spicy pickles. But he insists, and it turns out that Benson really does like spicy pickles. I used to think his favorite part was the toys. I would watch his eyes light up as we made our way through the isles of big trucks and cars. I always find myself thinking, if only I had the money to buy all these toys, it would make benson so happy. I know for a fact that that life size teddy bear would make benson pass out from happiness.

But none of these are his favorite thing at Costco. His favorite thing is at the exit door. He knows whats coming. He has his receipt ready. He hands it to the check out person, and watches as they check over the items in our cart. And then they turn over the receipt and draw a smiley face for Benson. Sometimes its a quick smiley and sometimes, like today, its an elaborate smiley. But no matter what, Benson loves it. He takes the receipt and holds it like its a keepsake. He wont let it go. Even if he falls asleep on the way home, the receipt is still clutched in his hand.

Every time we leave, I am amazed at how happy this boy could be with a simple smiley face.

And I am amazed that that simple smiley face cost me 85 bucks.

Friday, August 26, 2011

pea party.

For most it's pronounced tea party. Benson says tea just fine, but as soon as he combines it with party it come out as pea party.

For some odd reason, this kid has always been in love with tea party's. Something about those little cups, those little plates, and that little tea pot. We never had a set here at home, he always played tea party at Grandmas. I was not about to be a mother who bought her son a princess tea set for home. No thank you.

For his birthday, Grandma found him a boy tea set. A curious george tea set. And he's in love with it. We have pea parties atleast once a day. sometimes its pretend. sometimes it's for real with real water and real sandwiches. The real tea parties seem to be Benson's favorites.

Sandwiches are a must. Some days its ham & cheese. some days its pb&j. and somedays its a fluffernutter (peanut butter, nutella, and marshmallow fluff). With the crusts cut off. Because crusts are never allowed at a tea party.

Sometimes he drinks the tea slow and dainty. Savoring every last drop.

And sometimes its like a shot and messy with no concern of holding the tea cup by its handle.

but always..always

there is a "aaaahhhhh" at the end.

like its the best cup of pea he's ever drunk.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the 18th year.

We've been doing this for 18 years. We look forward to it all year...and countdown the days till its here.

:: Our Connolly Family Vacation ::

Its a time of family
A time of friends and
A long long time at the beach.

Im not kidding. As soon as we arrive, it becomes our full-time job.

We play, everyday, 9 to 5pm.

We do relaxing things like naps, reading, visiting.

mixed with...

Super competitive sporting events.

This year included: beach soccer, ultimate frisbee, bocce, volleyball, paddleball, cart-wheel contests, long jumping competitions, and freeze-tag (yes freeze-tag).

My bestie, who has kept me company on the beach for the past 18 years. 

Benson and his cousin Grace loved each other this trip. They did everything together. Before bedtime one night Bryce was talking to Benson about the day. And Benson said, 

"I love Grace"
"and boats."

Their most favorite thing this year was the boogie boards. Everyday was boogie board day. They carried them down to the water. they got pulled on them. they pulled each other. And when the current got under them they would fall and run away.

 Searching for sea shells is a must. and grandpa is the best person to find shells with.

Thursday we spent the morning taking some family pictures at a park in Huntington. I would love to say that having a photographer in the family, makes family pictures so much smoother and less hectic. But its not. Its like every family session. There is yelling. There is fighting. There are tears from the kids. But you would never know, don't we look like such a happy family :)

my favorite.

And from 2pm until 8pm we were on Huntington beach. Playing the rest of the afternoon. And finishing the evening with a hot dog and marshmallow roast. This was our first time staying so late on the beach, and it became one of our favorite days.

 There is nothing better than being on the beach, surrounded by a sunset, family, and friends.

Im a lover of these family vacations.
I really do believe that I have the greatest family on earth.
We really are just a bunch of best friends.
Having the time of our life.
on the beach.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Did you know, that you are 2 YEARS OLD today!

Yea, I'm not too happy about it either.

I hate seeing you grow up but i have loved the past two years together.

Remember last night? It was your last night of being 1 year old.

And for some reason we partied. Just me you and dad. And we let you stay up way too late.

It was around 9pm when things got fun. You got a little goofy. It started with the tickle fight. You laughed so hard and long I thought you would pass out.

Then there was wrestling with dad. You were screaming and had this look in your eyes of pure happiness.

Do you remember?

We yelled at you "YOU'RE CRAZY BENSON"

And you screamed back at us "I'M CRAZY!!"

And then came the dancing. I sang "hot dog hot dog, hot diggity dog" and you danced and twirled like the little goofball you are.

Do you remember?

I'm pretty sure it was the funnest night of your life so far.

And then, finally, it was time for bed.

I read you some stories, we said our prayers with dad, and then I sang you some songs while you laid on my shoulder.

I soaked up this moment. This last moment of your 1 year old life.

I whispered "I love you"

You whispered back "luv do"

Then, rather cheesily, I asked "will you love your momma forever"

And you said "yes"

Do you remember?

If you don't, that's okay.

Because I will never, ever let you forget it.

Happy Birthday my little 2 year old.

This is the expression I get for sticking him in an open field.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


sprinklers..and otterpops.

just a few staples that keep us alive during these hot summer months.

there's somethin about those water kisses that make me think he would have been so cute with a few of mom's freckles.