Monday, January 16, 2012


My Dear Readers,

Due to how out-dated "bensrvgirl" name is - I have moved! You can now find me at: FOLLOW ME! My blog content won't change - I AM STILL ME!! But, the blog name and layout HAS changed. Change is good; so if you follow on your Google Reader or subscribe via email, change with me.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The business of going on dates

We went on a date. A real one without our little one. It was a first. Let me back up. We've made dating/going on dates a priority from the very beginning of our relationship. It was a weekly priority. It was fun. Then along came baby and we struggled on what to do. I wasn't ready to leave Madden, so we got creative. We made our weekly TV shows our date. We went to the drive-in movie theatre. We celebrated our anniversary. We redefined our priority, but kept US a priority. So last week, I decided it was time to leave our son with his Granna and go on a real date. When I mentioned it to Ben, he said - "we've had real dates." And while he is right, this was needed. Today was the day. It was wonderful. And weird...we both felt we had to be brave. I felt like we were missing something. Ben claimed to go to the restroom, only to come back to report the baby was fine. But overall, it was good. So good. To just be...together, knowing our baby was well taken care of...we came back refreshed. Which is not just good for Ben and I as a couple, but good for Madden too.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Snapshots of Our Life: Camera Phone

Introducing Madden to his first football.

Helping Dad work. (Oh, and do you see Miko peeking out too? That dog loves a good blanket to bury himself in.)
My little flirt. See that half-smile?

Early Morning Routine. Stare at the windows.

Morning Nap. We both fell asleep.

Madden is still napping away. So I sneak off to the shower, Ben comes in for baby monitoring duty.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Coming Home

I cried a lot of tears when I was pregnant. Aside from the increased hormones, I spent a lot of time in agony at the thought that when our baby got here, I'd go back to work. I know some mothers have no choice, but to return to work. I know other mothers thrive on being able to work and come home to their babies. I respect those women a lot. But for me...before I had ever held our baby, I knew my heart was to stay with our baby.

For 9 months, Ben encouraged me to trust God with the desire of my heart. With the state of our finances. I wish I could say I did. But I didn't. I gave up. I cried. I made plan B. Plan B: Ben would watch our baby. It was plan B that I advertised to friends, family, and anyone who asked. And I smiled bravely about going back to work and leaving my baby.

The last 2 months, I've enjoyed Madden. Tremendously. I won't lie; being a parent is the hardest, most daunting, but overwhelmingly incredible role I've ever had. Each day, I spent all day, every moment with him. And I wondered: could I actually handle staying home ALL DAY? And at the same token: could I handle being away ALL DAY? I pushed the questions away and focused on the moment: the moments with Ben, the moments with Madden. I cherished them all.

 Ben began to realize that juggling school, work and taking care of Madden was too much. And amazingly, we looked over our finances and realized: I could stay home. I was afraid to let hope grow. But today, TODAY, I am happy to announce that I will be staying home to take care of our baby full-time. I am delighted. God is good.

I love this child.

I know I look tired, but I am not...I promise. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

On Being A Mom

It is the best job ever.

After nine months of carrying this child in my womb, out he came. Then, I've stood amazed by growth, curiosity, and trust of and comfort from Ben and I of one little baby. It probably goes without saying, but I love being a mom.

I finally get this verse from Luke 2:19 - But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. There are somethings that are too precious for me to share...not just on this blog either. I just want to treasure them, and ponder the wonder all in my heart.

That being said, being a mommy, being a parent is hard, humbling, and life changing. My dad (who has 8 kids) use to say that he was only an expert in parenting of the last age of the youngest (who is now 14). Which means I'm hardly an expert at parenting.

If I were honest, I'd tell you nothing prepared me for being a mom. Nothing. Not being the oldest of 8. Not having babysat for over 10 years. Nothing.

In the short weeks I've been a parent, I've realized my selfishness. My self-centered-ness. If Madden has a need that supersedes mine or Ben's needs or wants.

Marriage helped me mellow out. Not be so uptight. Being a parent helped me relax. Enjoy life. Enjoy laughter. Throw away the controller aspect ( this is a daily process). I've been reminded to enjoy every detail, every second.

Becoming a parent has made me love and cherish Ben more. Watching him with Madden is beautiful. All the things I love about Ben; his silliness, his passion for life, his hardwork - I adore all that and more because he is a dad.

Becoming parents has made our good life better; sure it is challenging and we move slower, but we are richer because of Madden.

Katie Rivers Photography

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's In Your Bag?

When I took violin lessons as a kid, my teacher was a crazy bag lady. And I was always curious as to WHAT IN THE WORLD she kept in her bags. Well, today, my friend Heather is pulling back the curtains of what a piano teacher carries in her bag. My inner-kid is finally satisfied. 


Here is my bag for when I teach piano and a list of items from left to right:

Top row: glasses cleaner, glasses, hand sanitizer, chap stick, tissues, a clock to make sure I don't go over our 30 min lessons, a harmony wheel talking about keys, chords and scales, my wallet, 
Next row: my keys, stamps, colored pencils for their Theory books, lead refills for mechanical pencils, pencils and pens, an eraser, lisa frank stickers, and our music flash cards and last but not least my bag :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

9 Weeks Old

Dear Madden,

You are 9 weeks old. You are growing very rapidly. Almost daily, I see something different about you. Let's talk about people in your life -

Your daddy - He loves you. So. Much. He changes diapers like a champ. Still panics when you cry. And, like your mommy, checks to make sure you are breathing a billion times. (You will understand this when you have your own kiddos)

Your grandparents. You have the immense privilege of having very active and involved 3 sets of grandparents and 1 set of great-grandparents. YOU ARE THE FIRST AND CURRENTLY ONLY GRANDCHILD - which makes you very spoiled. You are still too  little to realize this, but you have every single one of those grandparents wrapped around your finger.

Your friends - Yes, you have friends! Your friends Graham, Judah, and Caleb. You don't really play with them yet, but we are all looking forward to when you do.

Let's talk about your physical features; depending on which side of the family you ask, you will get different answers. But I can tell you that you definitely favor your daddy when he was a baby. You have my nose and aspects of my face structure. We have found your first tooth. This creeped me out a bit, but there is no denying it - your first tooth is here!

We love you.  Tremendously.