Bennett Wesley :: Seven Years Old


I don’t think I will ever get over how handsome he is.  The one who made me a mommy on May 1st, 2015 (5/1/15- went into labor the night before, which was the first night of the NFL draft, husband would not leave the house until the Bucs made their first pick), born at 10:15 a.m., 9lbs 3.5oz, over 13 hours of labor, a fourth degree episiotomy (TMI), NEVER took a bottle (or paci for that matter), ball and chain newborn… my life changed so much that first year of this precious boy’s life… physically, mentally, emotionally… biggest blessing to EVER happen to me!

Looking at him today and watching videos of him as a baby, I sit back and feel beyond fortunate to be his mama.


Today we celebrate you.  As I sit here thinking about all the things that make you who you are, something comes to mind that happened a few weeks ago.  I asked you what you wanted for your birthday, something that normally would not even have to be asked by parents because their child is constantly telling them everything they could possibly want, but with you… you never ask for anything (except candy, lol).  I was recording the exchange on my phone because both grandma’s were asking for birthday present ideas, and I’m so glad I did.  I asked you what you wanted, and you deeply pondered.  You thought and thought about what it was you really wanted.  And then you said, “I don’t know”.  Almost like it didn’t matter to you at all if you got anything or not.  It was not a big priority for you.  And that is one of the million amazing things about you, my sweet child.  I love that you are so content with life the way it is. No need for anything. Just happy.

Also, since it’s your birthday, I have to brag about you a little bit.  This year, you are in first grade, and things are getting a little more serious.  School work is harder, homework every night, lots of reading and comprehension, math, tests, actual grades! and report cards that are for real!  It’s a lot, but you handle it with ease. No problem.  Every report card comes with notes from the teacher about the student, and I so look forward to that portion of it.  Every semester this year, the note got more and more detailed, and lengthy, this last one for Q3 was my favorite by far.  I’m not going to write out the entire thing because most of it was about how smart you are and… well… we all know that already, but I am just so proud of the final few lines from your teacher, she wrote:

“Bennett is a positive role model in the classroom. He arrives every day ready to learn. His assignments are neat and accurate. He works well with his peers and is always positively contributing to the class. He is a joy to have in my class and I am looking forward to a strong 4th quarter finish in 1st grade!”

Wow, it just blew me away knowing that someone so important to your every day life in school recognized these qualities in you and decided to share them with me!

In addition to school, you are still working hard to advance in martial arts, again, this is becoming more challenging because you now have to be invited to test for the next belt, it’s not just given to you anymore if you show up… have to practice more and work harder. I love that work ethic it’s producing in you. You also are in Minor C baseball where the games are becoming a bit more serious, there are outs, score is kept, no more hitting off the tee, understanding the rules a bit more, AND you have started playing on a small basketball league! My goodness you are busy. But you love it all!

Today is all about you my sweet boy. I hope you feel how loved you are by everyone who knows you. You are pure joy for me and I absolutely adore you.

Happy Birthday,


Bennett Wesley :: Six Years Old (tomorrow)


Once again, I’m sitting here writing out another post for my oldest boy’s birthday.  Another trip around the sun for his beautiful soul.  Another blessing of a year in my life, having him as my son.  Where to begin?  This angel of a child who makes me proud to be his mama every single day, I don’t know where to start.  Let me try…

This boy… budding baseball player, avid martial arts student, math lover, dinosaur expert, reading extraordinaire… bicycle rider (two wheels only)- sometimes with only one hand(!!), master of interpretive dance, repetitive song listener (current fave is Thunderstruck by ACDC), maker of gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… role model big brother, focused student, and free drawing enthusiast… you are a rare gem, my handsome boy!

Ok, story time.

Bennett has always been a bit on the shy side, never thoroughly enjoying the spotlight and big crowds.  Last year for his birthday (of course Covid was new) we had a very small, family only, party for him and he was in heaven.  He loved it!  He’s a simple man, doesn’t need much to be content…  I absolutely love this about him.  So this year, I have chartered a fishing boat and captain for him and his best buddy and their dads to  go out tomorrow morning for some goooooood fishin’.  When I told him that’s what I planned and that family would come over later in the day to swim and have cake, he seemed totally fine with that idea.  Well, two days ago, I was at the school fundraiser art show and ran into two moms of kids in his class, both of which told me that Bennett, “invited them to his party on Saturday”…. ummmmm…. excuse me, what?!?  I explained to them that I had not planned a big party for him this year, that family was coming over and I was going to attempt to make a Oreo cookie cake for him… and they totally understood! I had to laugh for a moment, because this is SO unlike him… or maybe it IS!  As usual, I checked his take home folder that evening and saw a piece of paper with writing on it.  It said:

Bennett’s Birthday

3 days

(Lists 5 kids names- who I won’t mention) with check marks next to the names




For some reason, in that moment, as a mom, I felt like I had dropped the ball.  This whole time I’m thinking he doesn’t need a big party, he likes his small circle (just like mama), but in reality, this year he has gained a whole new confidence in himself that I must have overlooked.  It was so sweet and sad at the same time, that he made his own little invitation list and checked it off one by one as he invited his buddies from class.  Dropped. The. Ball.

I went to bed uneasy, but woke up refreshed!  I emailed his teacher, who is the sweetest by the way, and asked if he could bring cupcakes to school on Friday, she said YES, of course, and they will sing happy birthday to him and he will have that special time with his classmates :).  He was so excited getting ready for school today, because he knew the cupcakes would be happening.  It was so cute.  And I think he is still totally content with how his birthday will be tomorrow with his close buddy and family (and friends who are family).  I pinky promised him that next year, in first grade, when he turns seven, I will throw him the biggest birthday party and he will be able to invite whoever he wants- so if anything happens to me- Husband, you better fulfill my commitment!!!!  I think it’s so telling of how much he has matured this past year.  His confidence level has grown tremendously, and I’m in awe.  So proud of him, as always.

Bennett, I love you so much.  You are such a huge light in my life and I hope you shine brighter and brighter, as you have been, for the rest of yours!

xo Mom


Special thanks to my beautiful friend Laura Gattis for always taking the most organic photos of my children.