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.

Bennett Wesley :: Kindergartener!

Oh, hey there! Long time…

Today is Bennett’s first day of Kindergarten and we are so excited!  It’s such a special day, going back to school and it being your first official day of elementary school.  Though school will definitely not look “normal”, I have complete faith that it’s going to be a huge success!  Yes, he is going back to the classroom (let the mom shaming begin).  Yes, he will be around other kids (gasp!).  Yes, he will “wear” a mask (ha! probably under his chin majority of the day).

I really hope he has a great first day and I cannot wait to pick him up at 2:50 to hear all about it… even though he is a man of little words.  I will ask 100 questions in different ways just to get a small morsel of information out of him if I have to!  Stay tuned!

Now, here are some pictures of my cute Kindergartner ready for his big day!



Bennett Wesley Dietrich :: 5 Years Old

A little over a week ago, Bennett woke up, came down stairs, and the first thing he asked me was, “Am I five?”.  This question seemed to be coming up often and the more I tried to explain that his birthday wasn’t for another week or however many days, the more he would want to know if it was his special day yet.  So, we started a countdown.  7, 6, 5, 4…  days until Bennett’s birthday.  He LOVED changing out the number on the board every morning.  He would tell us how many days were left and count it down for us all the way to yesterday when there was only 1 day left!  How exciting!  He knows that today is going to be special and that he is going to have fun :)

Last night, Husband & I were putting the boys to bed.  They sleep in the same room, in little twin beds on opposite sides of the room.  Ever since Remy was about 18 months (I think?) he wanted to sleep in the same room as Bennett, and I love it.  They are both so comfortable with the other one sleeping close by.  And their room is truly the sweetest little boys room.  Thick, tall (5.5ft) white wainscoting along every wall, navy painted on the upper walls, twin beds from Pottery Barn Kids made out of galvanized steel with wooden sliding drawers to store stuff in underneath,  two large navy trunks at the foot of each bed, a big window in between the two with a custom roman shade and a beautiful Restoration Hardware dresser that looks like it just came off of a 1920’s aviation theme’d movie.  I just adore their bedroom.  Anyway, we were putting the boys to bed, and every night we have to lay with them for a few minutes, hug them, snuggle them…

As I went to lay down with Bennett, I could not wait to chat with him a little bit.  I told him that I could not believe my first baby was going to be five tomorrow.  I was telling him he is becoming such a big boy, which he decided was a good time to compare the lengths of our arms and legs, so we both held our arms up to the ceiling, then our legs, both of which I still win at, but probably not for long.  I then snuggled him a little harder and told him how proud I am of him and started listing all the reasons why… which if I started typing them out right now, it would be considered bragging and some people don’t like that… but I’m going to do it anyway.  I told my son that he is so smart.  He can read books! He reads a new book every week to his teachers on zoom calls and it’s so awesome to watch!  He sounds out the words and follows them with his finger just as he was taught.  Such a proud thing for a parent to watch.  He can completely count to 100 with ease, he knows how to divide things up into even shares, and can cut the most perfect line with real scissors (not the baby kind that really don’t have a blade).  His penmanship is beautiful.  I told him I am so proud of this.  He started out PK4 with slightly weak fingers, so we started working with a tutor and wow!  He’s got that tripod grip down!  He writes anything and everything, doesn’t even need lines, can literally write whatever.  Now will it be super neat… sometimes.  But it’s still something I think every parent is proud of when it happens.  I then told my son that I’m so proud of his mild nature. I love that he does not feel the need to be the center of attention, and I told him that is such a strong quality to have in life.  He is so patient, can entertain himself for hours, and is becoming so independent- getting his own drinks and food, opens his own bags of chips and juice boxes.  He knows how to work the microwave and loves to make bags of popcorn then pours it into a bowl to enjoy while watching a movie.  He can dress and undress himself and knows to put his clothes in the hamper.  He can bathe himself, dry himself off after getting out of the shower or bath… Oh, there’s just so much to be proud of.

The last thing we talked about before bed was all of the details from when he was born.  I told him that he was born at 10:15 in the morning, that he weighed 9 pounds 3 ounces, and that he cried and cried the entire first night we had him.  I told him that he continued to cry and only wanted Mommy for a whole year, that he never wanted to be away from me.  Not even for a second.  He giggled while I was telling him this, but inside I felt a hint of sadness.  I’m so grateful for him and excited for all of his little milestones and accomplishments over the last five years, but something about reminiscing about that infant stage with him, made me realize (again) that he will never be that little baby who only wanted to be with me ever again.  So, I laid there hugging him tightly and kissing his face and telling him how much I love him, over and over again.

And now I’m up at the crack of dawn sobbing, writing this post for his super special 5th birthday, ha ha ha!  In a little bit, he will come down stairs, we will take some photos of just him, family will come over at 2 and the party will start…  I cannot wait to celebrate that beautiful boy!  Until then…  I will enjoy my coffee, blow up some balloons, and listen intently for little feet to start pitter pattering across the hardwoods upstairs, which always gets my heart racing knowing that I will see both boy’s faces very soon, but most importantly, today… I will see my sweet FIVE year old’s face.

I hope he feels how much I love him.  Happy Birthday, Bennett!