Bennett David Kahl

Bennett David Kahl
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers Ephesians 1:16

Friday, May 31, 2013

Before you turn 3…

Sweet, sweet Cullen…  I truly can not believe you are almost 3!!  My baby!

This time with you is even more precious to me because I missed all of these months with Ellie while I was on bed rest with you.  I keep saying, “I don’t remember Ellie acting like this…” and then I remember it’s because I sat in a bed or in a hospital for seven months of her life at this stage.

You seem WAY ahead of the game when I compare you to what I remember Ellie doing at the same age.

- You are totally and completely potty trained…even through the night.

-You are obsessed with dinosaurs.  Like, you know their scientific names, their attributes, what kind of teeth they have and what classification eater they are.  You told Bocky you wanted to be a paleontologist…and I think she almost died that a 2 year old used that word!

dino friendsdino donec dino paint

- You love puzzles.

- You love to color and you do a great job!  You use several colors for one picture and mostly stay in the lines.

- You have a great attention span when you join us in school.  You love to use the white board, match shapes, and use the teddy bear counters.  You’ve known colors and shapes for a very long time, so now we are working on ALL of the letters.

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- You can count to 20 with no problem, however the other day you made it to 34. 

- You know mommy’s phone number

- You can usually tell me what day of the week it is and be correct!

- You LOVE to play on your kindle.  You have almost every dino download, puzzle and creative coloring app they offer.  You are a little pro at it!

cool cullenc kindle

- I love that when you wake up in the morning you look at me and say, “High five mom” what an awesome, positive way to start our day!  Your other favorite way to wake me up is with an eskimo kiss.

- You adore your sister!  So much, that is annoys her regularly!  However, the two of you could play for hours together and that makes this momma’s heart so happy!

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- You brush your teeth twice a day

- You can put on and take off all of your clothes.  If your unders have a design that is intended to be on the back you ALWAYS put it on in the front and throw a total fit if we try to change it! 

- You can put on your own tennis shoes.

- You can field and throw a whiffle ball for daddy and you just got your first t-ball set.

- You can name NFL players…especially, the ones that have commercials!  Makes a daddy proud!c pads

- You are enrolled in gym and you still love it.

- You call you friends that are boys your brothers…LOL!

- You think Carson (Ms. Bocky’s brother) really IS your brother and you talk about him 23356 times a day! 

- You love to eat fresh fruit! (like abnormal amounts of it), EGGS, sausage, turkey lunch meat, fruit snacks, “pop-corum” with cheese on it, and broccoli…lots of broccoli!  And you love to help mommy cook!

c chef

- You still don’t drink milk.  Every now and then you will have cereal with some milk, but we usually have a hot breakfast, so it isn’t very often you have the chance to eat it.

- You are not a dessert guy, but you do love lollipops and jelly belly beans.  If you do eat ice cream it’s usually strawberry.

- You love your Grampy.


- You are a natural in the pool!  You can now swim a distance and stop in the middle to get a breath then continue swimming.  It blows me away how well you swim at such a young age.gogglessuper tan

- You are SO SCARED of bugs!  It’s HILARIOUS b/c Ellie will catch a ladybug and you will run, screaming in the opposite direction.  You can’t even stand when a fly lands on you!  You aren’t a big fan of Santa either!c santa

- You are a master scooter rider.  You whip around our block like a teenager.  God Bless that helmet!

- You are the first one to tell someone if they use bad or “inappropriate” language!  As a matter of fact, you told our neighbor last week what she said was “inappropriate”.  I mean, you were right, but it was very embarrassing for me!

- You love to say hi to people.  You ask me if kids we see in public can come to your dinosaur party.  You are a friendly little soul.  However, you are a very reserved child when you are first introduced to someone.  Everything happens on YOUR terms.

- You tell me that Ellie makes you “frustrating” when she won’t play with you.

- You pray first every night before dinner and then after prayers are done you ask every single person at the table how their day was.

- Your favorite color: blue.

- Your best friend is daddy.c working

- Your favorite food: carrots.

- Your favorite movie: Bolt.

I A.D.O.R.E you, my little gift!  When we were pregnant with you I just wanted a healthy, full term baby, but deep down I longed to raise a little boy.  You are ornery, short tempered, opinionated, adventurous, and loving.  You are ALL boy for sure and you make every single day of life interesting.c playgroundc vail

I love you Cullen Spencer, always, always and forever.

donkey c2yr checkc hat



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ellie in 2012

January: Eating lunch with Bocky’s family for her 22nd birthday.  Here she is with Momo.

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February: Valentine’s Day chocolate covered strawberries are the best!

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March: Swimming with cousins


April: March of Dimes with bud and bocky


May: Olympics Day at Gym


June: at Cullen’s 2nd birthday party


July: Snowball, Snuffy and Ellie on 4th of July

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August: At the library to get her own library card

library card

September: Dinner and a sleepover with Emma…Ellie’s BFF


October: My little candy fairy and her dino little brother

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November: Celebrating Mimi’s birthday at Cheesecake factory


December: My big 6 year old right after her birthday spa day

6bday dolled up

I LOVE these picture timelines of you, Ellie!  Your smile and your hearty laugh are contagious.  You are my sunshine, little girl!

I love you always my little best friend!!



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rodeo time!

I decided against taking the kids to the rodeo last year.  Cullen was still pretty young and I guess I figured he wouldn’t really enjoy it.  That made this year that much more fun for all of us though!  Rodeo time in Houston is NO JOKE!  It truly was a great field trip filled with hundreds of teachable moments.

rodeo 3

Ellie is a world class animal lover, so I knew she would love it as usual, but I never imagined that Cullen would love it as much as he did!


Cullen: Mommy do cowboy’s talk?

Me: ummm, yes Cullen they are people.

Cullen: WOW!

I think he thought cowboys were just from movies (Toy Story anyone??) it was adorable to see the excitement in his face during the actual rodeo portion of the show.

rodeo 2cowboys

Our day was filled with sugary snacks, livestock animals, testing out farm equipment, baby farm animals, fresh milk, carnival food and we ended it with meeting REAL cowboys!

john deer rodeo

We left the house at 11 and returned at 9…it was a LONG day of discovering for my two little babes.

Dear Ellie and Cullen,

Discovering with you makes life exciting!  I’ve done things as a mom, alone with the two of you I never dreamed possible!  I hope we spend the rest of our lives together discovering and enjoying each and every day we are blessed with.

I love you both more than you’ll ever know!



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lucky number 7

May 12, 2013 will be my 7th Mother's Day.

I've said this before...I consider it a gift and a blessing to be a mother, and truly I do not need a special day to celebrate. In fact, Ellie asked at dinner on Friday, "Mom, what's so special about Mother's Day?" She didn't mean it in a snarky way, she knows that most of the special days we celebrate have a special meaning or story about them. I explained about Mother's Day, but clarified that I think we celebrate pretty much every day!

Don't get me wrong though...I will let my hubby smoke a brisket, grill some oysters and veggies and I will lay by the pool while he works his tail off swimming with the kids! I mean I would be crazy not to take advantage of this set aside day, right?!?!

The truth about Mother's Day for me comes down to this though: The little man that first made me a momma isn't here to celebrate it with me.

I will never, ever forget that fleeting moment on December 14, 2006 at 1:42am when the nurses flew past me with a lifeless 2 and a half pound little boy with a head full of light hair. No sounds. No cheers or tears of joy. Silence. From everyone. Then they broke my water with Ellie and we started the process all over. I honestly don't remember anything after seeing them being whisked past to the NICU. I woke up in recovery and you know the story from there.

But on Mother's Day every year I think about that moment. There were years of tears, prayers, wishes, dreams, and dollars all wrapped up in that one moment that turned out so terribly different than I ever dreamed it would.

However, since Bennett's death I have learned to live life so differently. I'm full of gratitude for every second we are here because I know another day isn't a guarantee.

So, it's that second that I first saw him that I cherish and celebrate. In that one second I became everything I ever dreamed of wanting to be...a mom.

Dear Bennett,

You are the reason my heart found peace. You were given to us on loan to teach us a lifetime of lessons in faith and strength. You made us a family first and we will never forget that moment in our lives. Thank you for being strong enough to hang on and make me a mom in the middle of that chaotic night. Thank you for having the strength to fight and allow me the chance to celebrate my first real Mother's Day with you in 2007. I miss you terribly, my little man, but I'm thankful to you and to our God every day for the gift and the peace you are to me.


Dear Ellie and Cullen,

You are the reasons my heart is joyful every day! It is a lot of work to be a homeschool momma 24/7, but when I consider the alternative of having to leave you every day to go to work I know how blessed we are. I love you both so much I'm afraid my heart might explode! There is not one single thing on this planet I'd rather be than your mom. Thanks for making my job exciting every day.


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I've said this before...thank you for sticking by me through the years of infertility. Thank you for never questioning what we would do next and always believing our journey would end with a baby in our arms. Thank you the most for working so hard to make our dreams possible. We are raising our kiddos the way we dreamed of and what a gift that is to all of us. I'm thankful to you this Mother's Day! I love you, babe.

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Happy Mother’s Day 2013 to all you Mom’s out there.  We are all truly blessed.

Friday, May 10, 2013

March 2013–Bocky’s shower

With her due date rapidly approaching we decided to host a baby shower for our irreplaceable, nanny, friend, sister/daughter, Blakely at the end of March.

shower menu

hostesses showerfamily shower

Alexander “Finn” was originally scheduled to arrive May 6th, but halfway through her pregnancy they upped the date to the last week in April.

b shower

We (Blakely) decided on a little man theme and it couldn’t have turned out ANY cuter.  It may go down as one of my favorite parties I’ve hosted. (and WHY am I still such a slacker when it comes to taking pics of parties we host???  I work my tail off for weeks on every.single.detail and then forget to get pictures of the final product!  Frustrating)

onesies shower

Our beautiful Blakely was SO excited and it was so amazing to be a part of this journey with her.  She will forever be a special part of our family and now we’ve gained Mr. Edgar and baby Finn too!

m and d shower

Ellie and Cullen are OBSESSED with their second mom and getting the chance to be a part of her pregnancy (she watched them up until 5 days before giving birth) was such an amazing experience. Cullen couldn’t get enough of her belly and I’m convinced he will be an OB when he gets older (that is if he decides against being a paleontologist!!). The child loves babies and bellies and dinosaurs! It’s hilarious!

b belly

Dear Blake (bocky),

I am so proud of you and the woman you have become.  You joined our family five years ago when you were 18!!!  I can’t even believe it.  You have taken care of my babies like they were your own and loved them as if they were your own and as proof they love you like a second momma. 

You were born to be a mom and Finn is one lucky little man! 

Thank you for adopting us as your extended family and for sharing every detail of this journey with us.  We can’t wait to watch Finn grow up and we look forward to TONS of family gatherings.

We love you Bocky!!!!!