what eleven looks like today

For three days i had been planning on today.

In my world it takes three days to beg and plead any child of mine to please put on a nice shirt….

some clean shorts…..and run a comb though their hair so that maybe…..just maybe…..

we could head out and get some photos done.

It’s not easy anymore……and the older they get….the harder it is.

Today was different though.

We came home from the beach….where we spent the afternoon with my MIL who is visiting from Florida…..

and Mason showered….

he put on some decent clothes….

ran a comb through his hair….and we headed to a little quiet beach where he did his thing .

{no you can’t have him Abercrombie and Fitch}

My MIL keeps whispering in his ear that she misses his short hair…..

and he keeps reminding her that we don’t live in Illinois anymore.

Last year he played the cello at school….this year he plays the ukulele…..

he loves to be barefoot….he wears his swim trunks to school….

he plays a mean game of scrabble.

He received all A’s in Social Studies and Science…..but i did get a phone call home from his teacher 

this week saying he’s been slacking off on turning in his homework.

{obviously…..that is not due to my lack of good parenting….}

Today Mason turns eleven years old.

He is tender hearted…..he is kind….he is patient….and mature. He loves life as much as we do…..

and still loves when i lay with him  at bedtime.

{i credit all of this to the beautiful soundtrack of SADE playing when he entered the world}

{and no….there was no birthing ball in the room…..just plenty of good old fashioned legal drugs..}
Everyone always says to me…..

{for some reason it’s always grandmothers at the supermarket}

“enjoy this time while you can…..they grow so fast”.

How right they are……but you know what….i wouldn’t change a thing.

I think i even told someone the other day how easy it was when they were little…..

of course they slept through the night by 12 weeks of age….

and weren’t they all potty trained by age 2…..

and now that i think about it….i probably even made my own baby food and taught them sign language.


nope….that wasn’t me. I just reconfirmed it with my MIL and i was all wrong.

No one still sleeps through the night….

there is the occasional peeing in the yard but they claim it’s an accident….

and the only sign language they know is a middle finger that will put them into a closet for a year with no food.

So yes….the little years were good….but the big years are better.

I loved them when they were little…..but i love who they are now….

and yes…it does go by so fast.

lightening speed

but the best is yet to come.


  1. Great photos Kasey. And birthday blessings to Mason! (who looks so much like you)xo jody

  2. the pics were lovely, but your words were just what i needed to hear as my own are getting older. 🙂 thank you.

  3. the big years are better my friend!

  4. My daughter is 14 months old and she is such a blessing and I am amazed by her and how much I love her every day. I try to take it slow bc before I know it, she’ll be 11. And 11 is so close to 18. I just don’t want to waste a second, not the good, the bad or the ugly. I just want to enjoy this amazing journey. Mason looks adorable in his photo shoot, I love his name too : )

  5. I always love how ‘real’ you are. There were so many things you’ve said in this post and I just deeply understand and nod my head. =] (except for wearing swim trunks to school since we’re in New England and obviously….even though it’s been a warm winter….) and, what a GORGEOUS guy!!!

    Happy Birthday, Dude!

  6. Happy birthday to your son! He is adorable!

  7. kerrie little says:

    My oldest is 11 and is asking me waaay to much about girls! I am not ready, but apparently he is! Happy Birthday to your oldest, he is beautiful and shares a birthday with me! I’m 21 w/20 years experience….cough, cough….!! Enjoy your Hawaiin experience, I got to do the same when I was 19 w/my parents.

  8. He is GORGEOUS! I love your words and they are beautiful.

  9. Kelly Carothers says:

    Awesome post Kasey! Thank you for always being so real 🙂 I hope Finn had a great birthday!

  10. Great pictures! I hope Mason has a great birthday! Happy Birthday Mason!

  11. He is so handsome. I am glad you talked him into it : )

  12. “I loved them when they were little…..but i love who they are now….”, that’s aexactly how I feel about my kids. Many good wishes to your son and all your family.
    P.S. Didn’t know about Sade, and I’m so hooked on your writing! That must be key…and the drugs, lol!

  13. Love your perspective, as always. Happy birthday to your handsome boy!

  14. This post brought tears to my eyes. Your son is gorgeous. Yet your love for him is ever deeper, and so evident. Good job, Mom.

  15. So Handsome!!! Happy Birthday Mason:)

  16. What a beauty! He is gonna be a heartbreaker when he gets older, i can tell!

  17. did you know I used to be a booker at a modeling agency in LA?

    if I were still doing that, I’d sign this kid of yours in a hearty beat.
    J Crew
    The Gap
    Ralph Lauren
    Tommy H

    and he happens to look a lot like his mom 🙂

  18. ….edit….

    heart beat
    not sure what “hearty” beat is

    actually I do know
    it is what you type when you are shoving hummus into your mouth with your right hand and trying to type with your left

  19. I always wanted a boy and to name him Mason, I only got 3 Girls so I added a d and an i and call my youngest Madison.Happy Birthday Mason! Great photos and what a life you are living.It will be hard to leave except the thought of Target and Anthro could do it for me…..Best Wishes Cheers, Kim

  20. Gorgeous pictures of Mason – he is so divine and sooooooo photogenic. Too finny – my lad Monty just turned 11 and has endured a decade plus one of Sade!!!!!!!! Tends to walk around with major headphones on these days – drowning her out no doubt!!!!! Enjoy this time – like you I think each year just gets better….and then you catch an eye roll and huff whatever! I’m determined to crack the txt language – what I think are cute messages may very well not be!!!!!!!! OMG, wt? Lol J xx

  21. Wow Kasey….those pictures are awesome! I could definitely see him as a model…very photogenic! I hope the other two cooperate and let you do a post on each of them as well! You should definitely take up photography on the side and charge people big money because you’ve definetely got the knack for capturing magnificent pictures!

  22. What a handsome young man ~ Happy 11 to him

  23. fabulous…your best photos ever

  24. What a beautiful and sweet post. And I must admit, though not a mom yet, I think I will also love the older years. He is absolutely adorable and I think he is rocking the Hawaii look pretty darn well!!!

  25. your mason is beautiful. i enjoy your writings, your photos, and how you love and appreciate your life. thanks.

  26. Beautiful posts ~ I have truly loved every stage of growth and development with my children and definitely love the older years ~ to share in their wit and wisdom and to see them shine as independent individuals is so fulfilling.
    Sending many Happy Birthday wishes.

  27. Happy Birthday to your very handsome, son:) Hoping you all will stay in Kauai and we can meet someday:) cheers, to your beautiful life!

  28. What a beauty, inside and out. The island might be where his heart really is, and you have your kids there at an age where so much maturity and changes develop.
    His hair is so handsome! Don’t say a word, Kasey!
    They sure just need to do their own thing, don’t they? Let him know happy birthday from the kids here too. Stay happy in all u do.

  29. Your boy is so good looking. And you know how to use a camera girl! Thanks for sharing

  30. He’s 11 already? Holy cow!!! Happy Birthday, Mason! I LOOOOVE the b/w uke photos. He does look like a model. But I think A&F only starts girls at 11. 😛

  31. Beautiful and heart warming post! Happy Birthday, Mason!

  32. OMG that is such a fabulous post!!! Your right to stand your Momma Bear ground and fight off Abercrombi!!! They would gobble him up. Very precious.

  33. oh good lord, way to make a girl cry at work.

    i am so lucky to have read this post. thank you.

  34. Yes…so much to look forward to. He looks like a surfer dude through and through. Great pics.

  35. He is a beautiful boy, Kasey. Really beautiful. I love that he still likes you to lay with him at bedtime. That gives me hope that I still have at least a few more years of those tender moments left.

  36. Happy Birthday Mason! And I agree with you, Kasey, the bigger years are much more fun.

    I have a feeling you guys aren’t moving back…

  37. He is precious! Reminds me of my eight year old… Continue to treasure them! Something about boys and their mommas!

  38. Oh he’s becoming such a handsome young man! Love that he plays the ukelele:) The photos are fabulous…eleven looks good on him. Happy Birthday, Mason!!

  39. you have so many posts – this one quite un – noticed, the beautiful transition from childhood to inbetweenhood to manhood – for a mom, is quite extraordinary. Mason is gorgeous! They really leave our nest as it is their comfort and strength…and we celebrate their flight to wherever life will take them!
    Happy Trails!

  40. Wow! You did an awesome job capturing the beauty and innocence of this sweet 11 year old. Your photos really seem to tell a story.
    I really do believe A & F will be calling.

  41. Happy Birthday, Mason!
    Kasey, I look forward to every single one of your posts! I love your perspective and thoughts on parenting. “Enjoy every moment”, is what I’ve gleamed from you today. My kids are all under 6, and sometimes it does feel like forever. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom!

  42. Wow! Great pictures that capture him so perfectly. I love them all but especially the picture of Mason in the plaid jacket. You did an amazing job! Happy Birthday Mason.

  43. WOW, these are amazing photos Kasey! He is such a cutie so I’m sure that made it easy 😉 Thanks for sharing these with us!

  44. These pictures are so beautiful Kasey!
    Happy Birthday Mason 🙂

  45. I love that sentence, …the big years are better….great post Kasey!
    with a 14 year old and a 4 year old I see the time flying by, so I relate to your thinking
    (btw, I too had Sade on with the youngest, Anita Baker with the oldest while giving birth)
    And a happy belated birthday to you Mason, it seems Hawaii is doing you good.
    Take care,
    Maureen x

  46. Absolutely love your photos. You capture him so well. Happy Birthday to both of you. You are doing a great job.

  47. Thanks for saying that the big years are better. I have a 3 year old and 6 month old, and they are such hard work! I’m physically exhausted most days. I love my sweet baby and know I will miss his fat cheeks and cuteness when he’s older, but I will not miss the teething and sleepless nights!

    Happy birthday to your baby. : )

  48. What a sweet post and handsome guy…Oh my goodness…soooo handsome! Great pics. Happy Belated Birthday Mason!

  49. He is gonna be a heartbreaker!!!! The Hawaiian version of Sir Paul McCartney.

  50. Beautiful pictures Kasey! February 16 is my birthday too!!!

  51. His long hair is so handsome. He looks like he belongs in Kauai. Maybe you will choose to stay. You all look healthy and happier. Your sentiments ring true to my heart. My four children are 21, 20, 18, and 16. It went too fast but I lingered in every moment of every year as long as I could. I embrace each year with them fully. The teen years of my two oldest were harder than I could have ever imagined. But we survived and they grew up. My oldest ran away at age 16 but returned with a broken heart and sorry that he had ever left. Then he moved out at age 18 with his girlfriend but returned 2 yrs later and now is saving to buy his own home…which means, he could be here with us a year or two more…and we are happy to have him. My second moved out for a summer when she was 18 but returned and will leave for University this Fall. So I still am enjoying their presence, their lives, in my home. They like to hang out here…some of their friends practically live here too. I will miss all of them when they finally leave the nest. I miss them being little but it is all good…even the hard years.

  52. Hi Kasey. The photos in this post are just amazing. They are so sharp and crisp. I’ve been using Picnik to edit my photos ever since you recommended it several years ago. Really love it…but they’re closing. Can you suggest a replacement?

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