Monday, December 3, 2012



"No matter where I am, I'm always loving you."
- Francesca Lia Block
My very dear friend Sayoko blessed us with her presence and talent on a wet, rainy weekend.  We snuggled on blankets, played in orange groves, and captured some timeless moments of my little family.
Sometimes I stop myself, look around, and just gasp at the fact that this is my life.  That I'm so lucky to have my Chaddy and my Benny. 
So very very lucky.
Sayoko my dear, thank you so much for this magic. 
It truly is a gift. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Being Intentional

I've learned a big fat lesson after I became a mom and to this day, I struggle constantly on trying to keep myself intentional.

Intentional you ask???...let me explain.

Chad and I both had an epiphany recently as we sat in church listening to a sermon about happiness.

Where does it stem from? 
How do you distinguish it? 
Are we really truly happy?

Studies have shown that when we obtain or acquire something that makes us “happy”…our happiness levels only jump up 10%...that’s it…only 10%.  That new gadget we want, or those jeans…do they REALLY make you happy?

Well the answer is…yes. 

However, in the grand scheme of this journey we call life, that happiness is so minimal no wonder we are never satisfied and always seeking MORE.  I myself fall victim to false happiness daily…always claiming if I work out more or harder, I’ll be happy with myself.   No wonder I am covered in bruises and have a shoulder that I’m just about to rip off.

Seriously…no wonder.

Saying it just seems so absurd, but unfortunately its reality.
We base our happiness on THINGS and STUFF…all the time.

Anyway, we learned that pure, unadulterated happiness comes from actions, feelings, and occurrences that no OBJECT can ever fabricate...such as giving, sharing, and being connected and intentional with others.

There it is, that haunting word…intentional.

Chad will be the first to tell you that I complain on a daily basis that I NEVER see my friends.  And well, to be quite frank…I don’t.  Let’s face it, life takes over and sometimes months go by before you realize you’ve become disconnected from the lives of those you care about most.

…happens to me all the time and I always need to remind myself to have the intention of reaching out.  To not let life take over but rather take control, be intentional, and keep strong connections with those that lift me up.
My best friend Sarah recently got engaged and I won't melt you to a pile of tears with the amazing proposal, but I couldn't help become so moved by the whole experience of watching someone's happiness unfold in such a deserving and selfless manner.  I sat there wondering why I was so moved by this...not that it was anything short of moving, but in a layer much deeper than that, I was wholeheartedly, without question, incredibly happy for her.  As if her happiness was my happiness if that makes any sense...
Then, it occurred to me...the connection and intention that i have with this one person, my best friend, is what substantiates such a feeling.  If i remember correctly, she cried too when I got engaged but never did i ever think twice about it until now.
The same goes with my two everythings, Chad and Bennett.  Their happiness is my happiness.  They don't care how much I workout or how clean I can keep the house...they care about our relationships and the connections we have.  Like when Chad is sick and I know to love him from a distance because really that is the only time this man is truly grumpy.  Or when Bennett is sleepy and needs his mommy and no one else.  I can't explain it...i just know.  Its our connection and its an amazing one at that.
Such feelings should not go unnoticed.  Such feelings could and should be felt by all.  They are like magic.  Behooving life in the deflated and a rush of joy to the defeated.
I crave for such feelings...and I truly thank those that share them with me. 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween

Halloween is and has always been, without a doubt, my absolute favorite holiday.  Chad always laughs at me because anytime the word Halloween comes up, I can’t help but throw in “I love Halloween! It’s my favorite holiday!”
Ever since I was a kid, I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get enough of it.

However, the wind was taken from my Halloween sails when Chad told me that he’d have to go out of town for a conference.  We both were so incredibly bummed since this Halloween we’d actually get to do things with Bennett.  Last year the little guy was a mere three month lump of a baby who threw up on his costume within 5 minutes of putting it on.

…not so fun.

But this year, we were so excited.  We ordered Benny’s costume early.  We scoped out what neighborhood wanted to take him around.  We were ready!

…but such is life.

As much as we missed having Daddy around on Halloween, I think it is safe to say Bennett had a blast…aside from his 15 month checkup shots that I strategically placed in the morning to be able to excite his spirits afterwards. 
After Benny’s checkup where we found out the little monster now weights 24 lbs (40th percentile – which I still do not believe…I mean, have you SEEN his legs???) and is 31 inches long (39th percentile – this explains it though!), we headed to my work to do some trick or treating.
I took the day off because well, I LOVE HALLOWEEN! 
Hamburger boy sure was a hit and walked around visiting all my co-workers collecting treats and candy.  HE LOVED IT!

We then went home and took a much needed nap and rested up for some trick or treating around the neighborhood later that day.  I walked around with Bennett pretty early and didn't really go up to doors but stopped and talked to other moms and neighbors on the way.

We came home around 7 just in time to eat some candy, get all sticky and chocolatey, take a nice bath, and go to bed.

We sure missed Daddy, but can’t wait til next Halloween to spend it with him!!

Monday, October 29, 2012



As your Momma, let me be the first to tell you that watching you grow is without a doubt one of the most marvelous occurrences I’ve ever had the privilege to witness.  You move me in such a way that I’m almost brought to tears.  I stand there, gasping for air and clinching my heart because, truthfully kid, you really do take my breath away.

As of late my love, you’ve just been talking up a storm…shooting out your normal “mama” ”dada” “yes”  and the ever popular “no no no” but lately your vocabulary has seemingly exploded.  You point to an object, concentrate very hard and purse your lips together trying to sound out the word.  Where did you learn this??? 

The other day, I was putting on my shoes and you ran up to me, pointed to my shoe, and started shouting “ SHHH SHH SHHHOOOO”

…you’re so close Benny! day you’ll get shoe!

Then yesterday, Daddy had cut you up some grapes, and like your normal self, you inhaled them as if food was something of a rare occurrence in your life.

…please Bennett, look at your legs! 
You’re not fooling anyone.

Any who, we brought your plate into the kitchen and you ran up to Daddy, pushing your fingers together, giving him the baby sign for more.  I looked down at you and said, “Benny do you want more grapes?” and sure enough, clear as day, you looked right up to Daddy and I and said, “Yes, more!”

…we froze.

Did you really just like…speak to us???

Too much, too fast I tell you. 

Weren’t you just my little five pound baby boy that could fit in the crook of my arm?

Bennett, you truly are growing at the speed of light and I only hope I’ve done and continue to do all I can to mold and shape you as you grow into a young man.  You are so sweet and tenderhearted, giving me snuggles when you know I need them most.  You’re so fearless and adventurous, wanting to always test the limits and run free.  You’re so incredibly funny and lets be real, you know it too.  You’ll do something silly and crack a giggle that is almost impossible to no join in on.

Gosh kid, you’re just too much.

Please continue growing into the incredible little man that you are.  Please continue to move me to tears and never ever think they are bad or sad.  Please continue to always be you, my little owl. 

I love you so so much.



Monday, October 8, 2012


Ever since Bennett has been born, it goes without saying that I have experienced a kaleidoscope of emotions.  Mostly ones full of happiness and joy – so full of color and life, it’s hard to believe such feelings exist.  Like the kind when your son clings to you with his sleepy limbs, nuzzling his head perfectly in the crook of your neck.  Or when he runs to you – arms outstretched armed with a smile just as wide.

These are the feelings we crave as a parent. 

The intoxicating and addicting nature of being a mother and the ceaseless love you have for your child.

I’ve said so many times that I wish I could be a sponge or filter of some sort…Shielding Bennett from any harm or misfortune that may come his way.  Sadly, day after day, I’ve experienced the depths of reality.  That I’m no human shield.  I cannot stop the fortunes of the unfortunate.  I cannot hinder the aches of heartache.  I just can’t…and I need to be okay with that.  Something I’m slowly trying to come to terms with.

On Saturday, we took a trip.  Our first trip to the ER, that is.

Bennett was running, playing, laughing…all the things he’s so good at, when in almost an instant, that laughing turned to screaming.

I shot up and ran over to him as quickly as I humanly could - only to find a huge baseball size lump forming on his forehead.  Sure enough, Bennett had gone head first into the corner of a nightstand.  My heart sunk into my stomach and I thought I was going to flip out.  Actually I was.  Thank goodness for Chad and his calm self…I would have cried harder than Bennett if it weren’t for him.

We quickly gathered our things and headed to the ER.

Bennett was checked out and the poor thing was just so upset and unhappy.  I think he cried for an hour straight…literally.  We finally asked if we could walk around and try to calm him down and thankfully it helped. 

Chad pushed Benny around in a wheelchair, pretending to race and speed around.  Thankfully the little guy was smiling and laughing and such a trooper with the huge welt on his head that we were finally able to go home after a few hours.

In the grand scheme of things, every heartache I’ve experienced as a mother has thankfully been a small lesson learned.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to deal with something worse.  How do you watch someone you love so dearly suffer???  I just can’t even imagine.

Since Saturday, I’ve seemingly been in a funk.  The funk of feeling like a failure as a mother – as much as I know there was nothing I could have done to prevent this occurrence.  It just is heartbreaking watching it replay over and over again in your head.

…man, when does this Mom stuff get easier?
This little guy sure makes it worth it though.


Love you my little swollen noggin boy!
Please be careful my son, for mommy can only shield you from so much. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Patience, please...

We have this joke in the Anaya house, a joke that is more the truth than a joke...but I think for sanity purposes, we refer to it as a joke.

Among the disastrous tornado of toys, the crackers and cookies ground into the carpet, the ripped up magazines and mail all over the floor...Chad and I will pour an adult beverage while looking at Bennett filling our glasses to the brim, sighing, "Look what you make us do!"

Parenting a toddler is SERIOUS work.  I mentioned to Chad yesterday that it's almost impossible to ever let your guard down and to always expect the worst.  

Exhibit A:

While putting dishes away, I glanced over at Benny to make sure all was well with him.  He was playing nicely with his car, pushing himself back and forth across the living room.  Reassured, I began cleaning and just kept my ears directed towards Bennett just in case he felt like getting crazy.

Moments later, I noticed it was quiet...too quiet of you ask me.

I poked my head around the corner to witness...

Ugh...he's seriously CRAZY!

But as much as Bennett is beginning to embrace toddler-hood and all the wonder and fearlessness that comes along with it, Chad and I can't help but absolutely adore how incredibly fun and funny our little 14 month old is.

Bennett, I mentioned you are SCARY smart.
...too smart for your own good.

You watch your father and I do things, and effortlessly repeat them directly afterwards.

Exhibit B:

As you know mommy is CRAZY about working out.  Well after having a rough day at the gym, I came home and practiced my overhead squat form with a plastic pipe.  You laughed and smiled the whole time watching me, thinking it was a fun game or something.

Shortly after I was done, you ran right over to the pipe, threw it over your head and sure enough, started practicing YOUR overhead squats.

I die kid...seriously!

Your personality is so intoxicating Bennett, its just absolutely astonishing.  I find myself struggling to get mad or discipline you because you are just so incredibly silly...just like your Father.

Last week was picture day at your nursery school, and all week we were practicing to smile on cue.  You embraced the on cue part, but the smile part was pretty hilarious!  Every time we'd say "Bennett smile!" or "Say cheese!" - you'd squint your eyes, purse your lips together, and just look outright WEIRD!

Exhibit C:

The amazing part of your life lately Bennett, is just how much you TOTALLY understand everything.  I ask you to do something and you do it...well, most of the time.  

"Bennett, can you put this in your hamper?"...and you do.  
"Bennett, come here!"...and you do.
"Bennett, are you all done?"...shakes head yes.
"Bennett, don't do that!"...well, were still working on this one.

You really are a kid now...something I for so long had been digging my heals into the ground trying to stop.  But lately my son, I've adored your maturity.  I'm embracing your wisdom and wonder and letting your personality shine through the way it was intended to.

You've always been so bright and up our life like the fourth of July.  So colorful and vibrant that its almost impossible not to become entranced.  Your spirit is like magic, my son...filling my soul with childlike happiness and amazement.

You truly are a grown-up trapped in a toddler's body...I'm SURE of it!

Bennett, please continue to teach me.
For so long, I was certain it was supposed to be the other way around...but now, I'm embracing your ability to instruct or more so, behoove me to practice patience. grow as a mother and a wife and to show me what really matters and help filter out what doesn't.

You are so wise my little grandpa boy and I thank you for it.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Playing Catch Up...(Literally)

Last weekend Chaddy and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary.  Benny stayed with my parents for a night so we could have a date night then some fun during the day.

It was funny because when all was said and done and Bennett was back home, my mom and dad told us that with just one night of having Benny...THEY WERE TOAST!

It's true...this kid just NEVER stops!

Unless he's sleeping...he's running, jumping, climbing, name it, he's doing it!

We're so crazy lately trying to keep up with Benny, I thought some photos of the crazy little man will speak for themselves:

Chilled with the baby's cousin Presley.

Smiled at photos of Mammie and B-Ba...even though I'm at their house.

Flashed some chompers.

Learned to climb up on the couch...SO DANGEROUS!!!!

Watched Toy Story and snuggled with the baby's Cousin.

Learned to operate Mommy's IPhone camera.

Wore my Zac Hanson shirt...YES!!!

Had a sleepover with B-Ba...also showed him who is remote control boss!

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Darling, your love is healing
It makes the bitter sweet
Warms the winter to spring again
Secures the cold's defeat"
-- Brooke Fraser

I've been having a hard time being away from Bennett lately. 
I can't tell you why, nor do I feel like I need any sort of justification for such emotion. 
I'm his Momma and I loathe being gone…simply put.

It could be his age, and how he's so exuberant and fearless.
It could be his smile, which is hard not to go weak in the knees when it’s so effortlessly flashed.
It could be his spirit…that intoxicating joy bursting out.

It could be anything.
Well actually…it’s everything.

He is everything.

My little baby is quickly becoming a little boy. 
His wonder is amazing and his intuition is just as incredible. 
I wish there were words convey the feeling of watching your child grow up. 
...I could go on for days.

Benny my son, even your once chubby, stubby baby legs are now thinning out to be replaced by much longer, leaner (slightly) little boy legs.

...the little things are truly getting to me lately.

Gosh, are our world.

We love you little owl.



Thursday, August 23, 2012


I'll be the first to tell you...having a little boy when you're a mom sure is a huge shock.  I now wholeheartedly understand when people look at their sons, bow and shake their heads in shame, exhaling a sigh of embarrassment mixed with disbelief and a never-ending love.  Throwing up their hands simply saying. "He's a boy..."

Bennett my love, you are such a boy!

You have bumps and bruises galore from your never-ending fearlessness and you seem to think that everything should be capable enough to withstand being thrown.  Toys, shoes, remotes, name it, you throw it!

You climb on and dangerously ride everything...the couch, chairs...yes, even dogs.


Also, you for some reason think I'm some sort of glutton for punishment.  You slap me, kick me, bite me...use your toy golf clubs as weapons against me.  You pull my hair and boy do you pull it hard.  But never forgetting to snuggle me or kiss me when you know you've gone too far... you sour patch kid, you!

You're such a boy!

Aside from your recent jump into little boyness, you also, much to my delight, have fallen in love with reading books!  Bennett my love, you know your mother so well and thankfully you've acquired SOMETHING from me FINALLY...aside from your amazing ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat!

You could be surrounded by toys and all you want to do is read.
All you want is books!!!

My heart literally melts kid.

Not only do you like to love it.  So much so that you have been known to chase Mommy and Daddy around with your books, shouting at us until we read it to you for the 9,304,298 time.

Seriously...WHO ARE YOU?

Your favorite book by far is the Itsy Bitsy much so that you have even got the hand movements down.  Very fitting for the baby genius that you are might I add. are so smart...dangerously smart I think.

Like too smart for your own good smart.

You know how to do things that have never been shown to you and you figure things out after only trying once!!!

Again I ask...WHO ARE YOU?

Bennett my little owl, I cannot wait to continue to figure you out.  To watch your BIG personality quirks and habits grow leaps and bounds.  To be surprised day in and day out by your relentless spirit and sponge-like brain.  To embrace your boyness and your inherent weirdness, cos after are OUR son don't forget.

I love you my little son...even when you beat me.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Baby Kid

Dear Bennett,

When you turned a year old, I almost choked at the thought of you no longer being considered a baby.  But here we are...a day past turning 13 months old and truthfully kid, you'll always be my baby. 

Even when you have younger siblings, or when you're 30. 
You'll always be, okay?

Lately though, its been increasingly difficult to hold on to your babyness.  You're without a doubt a full blown toddler...and boy do you let us know that.

You know the power of "NO" and use it quite excessively, might I add.

"Bennett, can Mommy have a kiss?" 
(Shakes head no)

"Bennett are you hungry?
(Shakes head and hands no)

(Already shakes head no)

You are a crack up kid, but gosh a "yes" would be nice every once in a while.

Also, you are quite the sneaky and freakishly smart little booger.  You always seem to test mine and your Dad's patience and sanity.  You can figure out how to get past any and all of our baby proofing efforts.  You climb onto couches and dangerously high areas. And you know how to turn knobs and open pretty much ANYTHING!

How do you know this???
I know I have never shown you.

Regardless, you're a baby genius. 
Even if it does make us want to throw in the towel sometimes. little owl. 
How are you so big? 

You really are a KID now and that just turns me to mush.  Your daddy and I feel like you are growing in front of our very eyes...LITERALLY!

You're so adventurous and curious and we cannot wait to explore this world with you more and more everday.

I love you my little son.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Here we go again...

3 months...THREE! MONTHS!

That was the lovely, and valued amount of time since you have last been sick my little owl...three whole months.

Want to know how we feel about colds?

Exhibit A:

A picture worth a thousand words.  Have you ever seen this child look so serious, or annoyed...or like his mother? Because...we HATE colds!

Bennett my love, the first 9 months of your life was the biggest and best rollercoaster I've ever been on.  I grew as a mother, as a wife and as a person...all because of you.  You behooved me to practice patience, concern, selflessness and an all-consuming love that only a mother could know.  So many nights did we spend running hot showers, or propping you up with pillows while coating your little piggies and chest in Vicks.  Not to mention the numerous humidifier refills and crib sheet changes.

But this time…this go around at cold season, it’s different. 
As if I’m seasoned or a pro at this mommy stuff. 

Last weekend your poor little self woke up with a 101.7 fever.  In retrospect, if this was us a year ago, I'd be flipping out, crying, calling anyone and everyone trying to figure out how to fix you.  This time, I was calm.  I learned the hard way that so much is out of my hands.  So many times I prayed to take your illnesses on myself, which usually happened anyway might I add.

I simply scooped you up and patted your warm back as you melted your tiny self on my chest.  You were fire hot, but I didn't mind...snuggles and hugs are rare these days with you.

Over the next couple of days, your fever passed but on came the cold...which I knew would happen.  Again, instead of feeling defeated or helpless, your dad and I just turned on parent mode, sucked it up and cleaned up puke and boogers like it was no big deal. TMI, but it's just the facts.

One day, when you're a parent Bennett, you'll learn...I promise.

So, thank you my son for being so great when you feel so terrible.  Thank you for teaching me that I still have so much to learn.  And thank you of course, for just being you.

I love you,