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bennett | 2 years old

I didn't exactly mean to take a 5 month blogging hiatus.
But it happened.
Aaaaand, I'm not mad about it.

What better reason to make a reappearance though, than Bennett's second birthday!

Today is the day.
My final baby turns 2.

I don't have anything profound or eloquent to say about the passing of time.
But really... it all just happens SO. FREAKING. FAST.
And no matter how hard you try, you can't stop it.

So you better just try to enjoy the ride... and maybe not yell so much... and try to sneak in a few extra snuggles every day. (#goals)

Somehow I went from having this squish (birth story here)...
To this big guy... overnight?!? 
Meanwhile, our whole household is over here like...
"Pump the brakes. 
Give us a second. 
What is life?
Let's just pretend that he's an infant for like a second."
BUT, he's not.
In fact, he is quite the opposite.
Because opposite of infant is, like... 2. Right?

Bennett is quite the little character.
He likes to have a good time.
And he likes to make people laugh.... people that he knows at least.
If he doesn't know you, don't expect anything from him.
Especially eye contact. 
You will only get a peek of the side of his eyes and he glares at you from them.
Such a little people person we are raising. Yikes.

He will however, go to extreme measures to get his brothers to laugh. 
Whether it is by racing, dancing or just making crazy noises. 
They love each other. 
And I love to watch that love.
He is always quick to go and give Brody or Beckam a hug if one if them is hurt or sad. 

Yet, he will also get his "fight face" on and attack one of them at random... in which case it sometimes causing them to be hurt or sad. 
Kid has no mercy.
And he wrestles with the big boys as if a medal is on the line. 
Can we say competitive? 
Bennett is somehow still sleeping in a crib. 
I have no idea how... but I am pretty sure I have been successful in making him believe that he can't crawl out. 
I make a big production about getting him out of it, and he probably thinks that you have to count to three and jump SUPER high in order to clear that rail. 
(Brody was crawling out at 13 months and Beckam 18 months)
Either he is super obedient, lazy or just likes some time along without a brother smothering him.
Or maybe it is all three. 
He is certainly capable of crawling out, considering he is by far the tallest of all of my babies. 

Big guy is starting to talk a lot more.
He is also screaming and whining a lot, so... those words just can't come quick enough. 
Just recently Bennett decided that he wanted to be attached at my hip again.
This was after a long stint of him ignoring me in the presence of Ryan.
I'm not sure why he decided to love me again, but I'm okay with it.
They extra love doesn't go unnoticed.
Especially after I've been carrying around all 30-ish pounds of him for an extended period.

In the last couple of months he has decided that he hates getting his picture taken.
This is unfortunate.
Mostly for him.
Because I am obviously not going to stop. Ever.
Bennett's loves in life are pretty much the same as they were when he was 18 months.
As I think about what he truly loves to do though, it is without a doubt play with tractors.
(And just recently cars too.)
He goes through our tractor bin very carefully and selects certain tractors and implements.
He then carries them to the kitchen table and proceeds to hook them all up and park them in very tidy rows.
He doesn't really farm with them though.
They mostly just change implements and re-park.
Although I did see his combine unloading into a baler the other day. Room for improvement. :)

This task keeps him busy on most days.
He takes breaks from "farming" to go and destroy whatever it is his brothers might be playing with though.
Quite the pot stirrer.
The kid is huge.
He is super tall and full of muscle.
At least, that is what I have to assume since he is so skinny, yet incredibly heavy.
It might just be that giant noggin though.

He is constantly hungry.
He will munch all day and still eat three full meals.
His metabolism must be stellar.
And he certainly didn't get that gene from his mother.

I just can't even imagine life without this crazy kid.
He makes everyday more fun.
We sure are blessed.

You are loved beyond measure Bennett Zane.
I love you 100. xx


our TEN year anniversary + mccall, idaho

My farmer and I just celebrated our TEN year wedding anniversary.
It is crazy to think that I have known him for nearly half of my life.
And even crazier to think of all of the things that we have done/accomplished since we have been married.
Talking to you... kids.

When we decided to get married in June, I knew that I was signing on to zero anniversary celebrations.
Because... farming.
But this year, something magical happened.
We were done with hay, and there was a tiny little break in farming.
SO, we decided to take a quick little vacation to McCall, and ditch the boys at their grandparents.
Our first stop was zip lining.
As soon as I got up to the edge I was pretty nervous.
BUT, after my first drop, realizing I was hooked up tight, it was just so much fun.
I mastered the jump off without hands, and even did a mean canon ball in a zip line race with my farmer.
It was just so so fun, and that was only the start of the weekend.

Right after zip lining wrapped, we headed further up the mountain to McCall.
We went straight to Aspen Villages to check out our new digs.
If you are heading to McCall, you need to check it out.
You can get rooms by the night, unlike most other rentals that make you do a minimum stay of usually 3 days.
Probably best of all though, there is no cleaning fee.
Every time we have gotten a vrbo, the cleaning and misc. fees are always astronomical.
So I was thrilled to see that wasn't even on their expenses.

AND they are much nicer than any hotel you could stay in.
Just take a little lookie...
This is the very smallest rental, which can sleep 6 people.
It was just my farmer and myself, but there is PLENTY of room for our whole family to stay comfortably.
In the future we will definitely do this.
If we ever take up more people... the rooms just keep getting bigger.
And we were even greeted with flowers, bubbly and huckleberry chocolate!
That chocolate lasted about 5 minutes.
It didn't have a chance.

After moving in, we headed down the street for a delicious sushi dinner.
And I'm talking DELICIOUS!
Apparently they fly their fish in daily?
That's what they said at least.
I wouldn't know either way.

After we are our weight in sushi, we ran to the grocery store, grabbed some pints of ice cream, and headed back to our rental.
We were able to sign onto our own Amazon account on the TV there and rent movies.
I'm pretty sure I fell asleep during the movie, so it must not have been that good...
or I was just so full of sushi and ice cream I couldn't keep my eyes open.

The next morning... after I slept in until 9 am (what!?? prettttty sure i haven't done that since i was like 16)... we hit The Club.
Not like dancing...
At Aspen Villages they have their own high end club that is free to use for any renters.
It is actually used by many locals to McCall even, because it is that awesome.
Racquetball court, basketball court, tennis courts, pool, sauna, ping pong, and a full gym.
I didn't get any pictures here, because I was very busy trying to beat my farmer at a few games of racquetball and basketball.
And then we had a little stationary bike race.
I am certain that I lost at every one of our competitions... but that didn't keep my from trying.

Fun fact.
My farmer used to come and stay at Aspen Villages growing up.
Every winter, when the farming was halted, they would take a week and spend it in McCall.
They stayed in a unit that was the same as the one we stayed in... but with very 80's decor... (luckily they have updated them very modernly.)
I think that we will continue this fun tradition.

After losing to my farmer, we hit the road and ate some delicious breakfast at the Pancake House before going and renting a side-by-side for the afternoon.
As we drove into the rental place, it started snowing.
Mind you this was JUNE... not January.
They offered to let us cancel our reservation... but we stuck with it, bundled up, and started our trek.
Somehow blue skies came out for about the first hour of our adventure.
AND then it began to rain, hail and snow on us more.
We did our loop that we had planned, but returned the rental a little early since we were freezing.

McCall has a few natural hot springs around, so of course that was our next stop.
We drove out to Burgdorf, and got super warmed up in their small 115 degree pool and then their big pool.
We ended the night with more sushi, more ice cream, and more amazon tv.
The next morning, when we woke up, we found a fox playing out our window.
 It was so cool.
Also, that pool and playground!!
Hopefully next time we go, it won't be snowing so we can take advantage of that too.
It was a fabulous fast getaway, and we enjoyed every minute of it!

Again, if you are headed to McCall, check out Aspen Villages (HERE) to stay.


our very favorite baby + kid shoes | FRESHLY PICKED

You all know I love to share with you some of my very favorite items for my boys.... or just kids in general.
I have written lots of posts about amazing small shops to snag the cutest and best made clothes.
(if you want any recommendations, just shoot me an email)
I have not, however, shared my very favorite brand of shoes...
We are pretty obsessed with Freshly Picked over here.
Bennett lives in his moccasins, and are really the only pair of shoes that he actually wants to wear.
He learned how to walk in them in fact.
And every time I tried to put any other type of shoe on him... he acted as if he was stuck in concrete.
Luckily, we have moved past his drama filled - stuck in concrete - ways, but his moccasins are still number 1.
It is practically as if he is barefoot in them.
With the added bonus of adorableness and durability....
I mean, just look at how cute these shoes make his entire outfit!
And let me remind you, we are farmers here.
My boys are no strangers to dirt, mud, rocks, etc.
Their days are pretty much filled with them actually.
We own many pairs of these moccasins, and not once have they been even close to being ruined by these crazy kids antics.
Or mine for the matter.
I washed one on accident once... and it's totally fine... although I wouldn't recommend it for cleaning them, ha.
And can I just mention quickly how easy it is to get my kid out the door. They slip on SO fast... no need for socks, no tying, nothing... just slip on and let them be free and wild.
All of the above to say... I don't like to fight with my kids.
And these shoes make that possible.
Mr. Independant can get out the door quickly, walk on his own, and play anywhere he wants... all while looking totally adorable.
It's a win for everyone.
If you have been on the fence about getting a pair... don't wait anymore.
They are worth every penny.
Mary Janes - check.
Dozens of different colors and patterns - check.
Available for newborns even - check.
Go take a look for yourself.
AND if you have a kid that is a little older, they have brand new adorable t-strap sandals, and also some hard sole (next step) moccs, that we have for Beckam... and are on sale for $49.
All of which are very cute.
Just like him...
And his entire Periwinkle Jazz outfit. :)
Have a great weekend friends!
And don't forget to give those daddy's some extra loving.


BENNETT | 18 months

I'm a few days late here, BUT I thought it was worth noting that Bennett is 18 months old!
My baby is growing up entirely too fast.
In fact, he has very little "baby" left in him at all.
The crib sleeping and diaper wearing we are holding onto for a little bit more.
Bennett is talking a TON.
I understand about 1% of it... but still.
Non stop jabbering.
Some of the things I do understand consists of...
Where is my water?
Pat, Pat, Pat (while giving great big hugs)
Bubba, Mama, Dada, Papa
He would be happy spending ALL day outside.
He loves to slide, collect rocks, play basketball, ride on his tractors, and feed the animals.
And if by chance there is any water to get into, he is bound to find it.
This boy is smitten with his brothers.
He screams when Beckam tries to snuggle him nonstop, but he will never complain if they let him play along with them.
He particularly likes to sit with them on the couch if they get to watch a show.... although he is the least bit interested in TV himself.
Although he loves his brothers, he really loves me.
And it's a good thing, because I clean up a lot of poo from him.
He likes to give me kisses and hugs (sometimes), but he mostly just wants me to pack him around and play blocks or trucks with him.
Most of all though, he is through and through a daddy's boy.
If Ryan comes home, he grabs his boots, and stands at the door.
He also won't even look at me to say goodbye, in fear that I might grab him and make him stay home.
All of this time with his daddy is helping to turn him into our mini-est farmer.
The kid has strong tractor-sound game.
And if I would allow him to sleep with those hard metal tractors... he would.
One thing I do allow him to sleep with is a tiny little stuffed dog.
I had to buy him one that looks like Beckam's, because he was obsessed with it!
The hugs, kisses, and high pitched oo-ing was nonstop.
So, now he has his own.
I think the love for this stuffed dog came from his love for real life animals.
He has always LOVED our dog Gunner.
And they are quite the duo together.
Bennett also loves our cats, however he isn't nearly as nice to them.
He walks around pulling the cat by its tail most of the time.
Our precious cat, doesn't seem to mind.
Another love of his is food.
Boy loves to eat.
And preferably on his own.
Don't you dare try to spoon feed him anything.
He will do it on his own.
And he is really very good at it.
I would list some favorites, but he will pretty much eat everything.
One of his newest food tricks though... putting olives on his fingers to eat them.
It's the only way it's done.
Perhaps all of this food he is eating explains his size.
He is such a big boy!!
I will get official stats on Friday, but he has been tracking 95th percentile in height for quite some time now.
His weight is generally around 75th.
And that noggin'... it is large also.
Bennett is such a goof ball, and he thinks that he is hilarious too.
It has been so fun watching his personality form...
When he was about 8 months old, he burped at the table. The big boys laughed at how loud it was, and Bennett then burst into tears.
NOW, he will burp at the table and then begin to laugh hysterically.
Such gentlemen I am raising.
His cute smile, blue eyes and blonde hair kill me, and it is still amazing to me that I grew him!
What a lucky mommy I am.

We LOVE you Bennett Zane!

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