Category Archives: Writer’s Workshop

2011 Blog in Review

Every year I say this, but it’s so true – where did the year go?  It feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote my 2010 Blog in Review and about a month since I wrote my 2009 Blog in Review.  How is it possible that I’m sitting down to write my 2011 Blog in Review?  Just blows my mind!


In January, Jack professed his love for me in a silly iPhone video!
          Originally posted on January 20, 2011.


In February, Madison shocked myself and Jaime when she climbed the REI Rock!
          Originally posted on February 7, 2011.


In March, I got super sick and was in/out of the ER and doctor.  While it wasn’t a “favorite” time of the year it clearly was memorable!  If you want to read part 2 and part 3 of my awful March click HERE and HERE.
          Originally posted on March 4, 2011.


In April, I bought myself a Nikon D5000 DSLR camera!  I’ve had a great time learning how to use my new camera!  For Christmas my parents got me an online photography class!  Cannot wait to start!
          Originally posted on April 2, 2011.


In May, I took the triplets to the park and had an impromptu photo shoot!  This was my first attempt at being a photographer!
          Originally posted on May 4, 2011.


In June, my family took a trip to Cabo San Lucas for a week of fun in the sun!  Click HERE to see all my Cabo fun!
          Originally posted on June 20, 2011.


In July, Julia & I participated in our first craft fair for our Etsy Store, Blue Eyed Blessings, where we sold and shared our beautiful hair bows and accessories!
          Originally posted on July 25, 2011.


In August, we actually had a gorgeous warm day where we spent a wonderful day at the beach and playing in the sound!
          Originally posted on August 9, 2011.


In September, MacKenzie celebrated her 4th birthday!  Love this little girl!
          Originally posted on September 23, 2011.


In October, I shared an extremely embarrassing story when my Big Mouth failed me!!
          Originally posted on October 17, 2011.


In November, I was diagnosed with PTSD after after months of panic attacks, which resulted from a scary experience of ‘losing’ a child during the summer.
         Originally posted on November 6 , 2011.


In December, Alex left for BYU-Idaho in typical Benson Family flair …. with drama and anxiety!
          Originally posted on December 28, 2011.


Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!

Mama’s Losin’ It1.) This year in blog posts…choose a favorite post from each month of 2011 and share.

Panic Attacks

Just the title sends shivers down my spine.

I’ve suffered from panic attacks my whole entire life.  In fact my very first panic attack occurred when I was just three years old.  One of Thursday’s Writer’s Workshop question over at Mama Kat’s is: Your first panic attack. However, I blogged about that event last year.  Hop on over to read about my Most Vivid Childhood Memory that just happened to also be my first panic attack.

Since I’ve already written about my first panic attack, I thought I’d share the ongoing attack I have right now.  It is slowly eating me away.  It’s to the point where I am going to the doctor tomorrow to get a medication changed for my anxiety, because I am in constant fear/anxiety.

About a month ago, I had a horrible experience at the triplets house.  We had been playing outside in the front yard all day.  It was time to clean-up and I watched Nate walk inside the house.  Shortly there after the rest of the kids followed inside along with Jaime (who was also over with her girls).  Jaime was going to put the kids in the bath while I finished cleaning up the mess of the yard.

This is the point when I lose track of time … I have no idea how much time past.  Felt like an eternity, but in acctuality it probably was 10 minutes.

I hear Jaime inside yelling “Nate”.  She called for him several times and got no answer.  She then comes out and says she can’t find him.  I know he is hiding from us.  It’s his favorite thing to do.  So I go inside to check his favorite hiding places.

I check those places.  No Nate.

By this time I can feel my blood curdling and my heart racing.

Jaime and I are running, screaming for Nate, around the house, the backyard, front yard and garage.  No Nate.

Again, I have no sense of time, that has passed.  Seemed at the time like forever.

Jaime decides to run next door and grab the neighbor to come and help (remember we have 5 other kids to watch).  When she comes back (neighborless I might add, because they were gone), we decide to call 911.

The triplets don’t have a house line anymore, so I start scrambling for my cell phone.  Can’t find it.  Jaime shoves hers into my hand and I shakily dial those three numbers 9-1-1.

Because I called on a cell phone, I was connected to the Sheriff’s office first.  Told what happened, the address, what Nate was wearing (which was just a pair of swim trunks) and then transferred me over to our local police department.

About the time the Police Department picked up and the Operator began to explain what was wrong, I hear Jaime scream “I found him!”

Those three words “I FOUND HIM” have never meant so much to me.  I believe Jaime shrieked so loudly that even the operator heard her!  The operator and policeman confirmed with me that he had been found.  I said yes, and thank you so much, and then hung up.

Where was Nate?

Hiding behind a chair IN the house WITH MY CELL PHONE.

Pretty sure I scared the crap out of Nate because by the time he was found I was a mess of emotions.  Relieved that he was found and safe, but beyond mad that he had hid from us like that.

Since that incident I am unable to let the kids plan on their own for vry long.  They can be in the house and I check on them 3, 4, 5 times.  I’m constantly yelling upstairs to confirm where they are.  I even have a hard time letting their 9-year-old sister go outside and play with her friends.  Something she’s been doing for several years.  If I let Sophia go outside without me, I check on her about every 5 minutes.

I’m freaked that something like that will happen to me again.  The feeling was awful then and now several times a day I get that blood curdling – heart racing feeling.  I don’t like the feeling.  I hate not letting the kids be able to have some freedom, but I don’t know what to do about it.

Just writing this post and sent my shivering and into panic mode.  This is definitely something I need to go see a doctor to talk about, because it’s not fair for any of us, myself included.  I definitely need to do something about it …

Mama’s Losin’ It3.) Your first panic attack.

From Nursing to Blogging

All through high school I thought I wanted to be a doctor and for my Senior Project I sought out a doctor that I could job shadow.  My teacher warned me many times, “We’ve never been successful getting Seniors to be able to job shadow a doctor in a hospital”.  I already had other ideas and dreams…

I was beyond lucky to be able to meet a prestigious OB/GYN at The University of Washington Medical Center.  The doctor was not just an OB/GYN, he was a Perinatologist (a high risk pregnancy OB/GYN) – needless to say both my teacher and my high school were shocked when I got permission from the doctor and the hospital to job shadow him for an entire week!  The doctor was amazing, he had everything set up and clearance made for me to have almost full access to the Labor & Delivery Floor, signed waivers to be present for C-Sections and other surgeries and of course witness births of babies!  I was so excited! 

The week aboslutely flew by, save for one minor emarrresing moment (me passing out during a delivery – don’t worry they assured me it happens to everyone and I would be fine in the future!  Sure enough that week I witness numerous births and I never had a problem again!), I learned so much and had a great time.  The biggest lesson learned that week was the doctors do very little and have almost no contact with their patients.  It was the nurses who were assisting the women during their delivery, while the doctors would saunter in right as the babies made their debuts!  Right then was when I realized I didn’t want to be a doctor, I wanted to be a nurse.

I graduated from high school the next month (with honors I might add :D) and set off to college.  Once starting college I made an awful discovery – science was NOT my forte.  I would then continue to push and struggle my way through science class after science class.  I never gave up on that goal though of becoming anurse … I was going to do it somehow!  After finally getting my AA and all the nursing pre-requisites done, I applied for nursing school.  I didn’t inittialy get accepted and was put on the waiting list … I actually made it to spot #1 – but in the end didn’t get in.  I was devestated.

During the next year I discovered the joys of blogging and the social media platforms.  I also learned that you can make a living doing it!  I started blogging for fun and during the first year the majority of what I wrote about was in regards to getting into nursing school.  [You can read about my journey HERE]  I applied to the nursing program again the next year, but by that time my dreams and aspirations had already began to soar in a different direction.  Once again I didn’t get in. 

Again, I was devestated, but at that point I was at peace.  I believe that things happen for a reason and maybe at this time in my life nursing wasn’t right for me.  You can’t say I didn’t try - I worked my butt off for many years and suffered my way through awful science classes.  Many people in my life had been tellig me that I should become a writer.  I have always loved and excelled in English (both the language and writing :D), but I didn’t think that would ever be the job for me.  Little did I know how wrong I was!

About the same time I was told about a brand new program at The University of Washington (recognize that school?!), a Bachelors Degree in Media & Communications!  They were teaching students to be successful in the PR and social media fields!  I immediatly applied to their program and to my excitement was accepted!  I am now going to school and taking classes in Facebook, Twitter and Blogging!  How cool is that?!

My GPA has since skyrocketed, I’m LOVING my classes, professors, homework, assignments, essays, etc.!  I am finally doing something I love and I cannot wait to graduate in about a year to enter into the “real world”.  If everything works as it should, I am hoping to graduate after Spring Quarter 2012!  I am so close and I cannot wait for my future!! 


My answer to question #1 inMama’s Losin’ It What was your big dream for yourself when you were 18 and had graduated from high school?

My First Car

When I saw question number three in this weeks Writers Workshop I had to giggle, or maybe cry….

Question #3.) Your first car.

You see, I still drive my first car! Many of you are probably thinking, but you’re so young (and I thank you for that) but at the same time it’s time for me to get a new car (at least in my opinion). To bad I need to finish school first, so for the next couple of years this car is going to have to do! I guess it could be worse!

The end of my junior year of high school I bought my first car with the help of my parents. I picked out the car, test drove it and then went home to tell them about it. They however surprised me by buying it without me. I was working one Saturday morning and my parents showed up right as I was getting off. I thought that was weird but nothing to abnormal! We walked to their car and I was waiting to get in when my mom said, "maybe you want these". At that point I realized the car parked next the them was the car I test drove the day before! It was mine!

It’s a 2001 Honda Civic, just one year old, with about 7,500 miles on it. So close to being brand new and it was mine….all mine!

Now that my car is 10 years old, and I’ve had it for almost a decade (gulp), its had some wear and tear on it. In January 2010, my beloved car hit the 100,000 mile mark with very little problems -actually no issues at all other than normal maintenance. However, it has had its share of accidents, most of them in thanks to my sisters!

DSC_0002My car’s “better” side!


For starters, my middle sister Kelly, CANNOT back up to save her life. At my parents house our driveway is on a hill at an odd sharp angle. Whichever one of us got home first would park at the top of the driveway, the other would park behind. Every. Single. Time. Kelly would park up top and have to back up around me she would hit my car. Kelly backs up like she’s driving a bumper car vehicle! Very annoying!! Luckily, she only would give it "love taps" and not anything major.  You can see some of the scratches on the front of my car.  Oh and the “H” logo is pushed in on the hood!  Thanks Kel!

When my youngest sister turned 16, she didn’t buy a car right away because my family had a plethora of cars and I was working across the street so most of the time I didn’t need a car.  So I graciously allowed Alex to drive my car for about 6 months day and night.  I’m a nice sister!  It was during Alex’s tenure with my car that the major damage occurred.  The biggest issue was when she got side swiped on the passenger side by a semi truck on the freeway.  That left a MAJOR indent in the side of my car.  It wasn’t her fault it happened, it just happened on her watch!  She feels bad, and promises she will get it fixed.  (Hopefully she doesn’t read this because she’ll be mortified and embarrassed!  Oh well!) 

DSC_0004View from the other side!


DSC_0005My car’s beautiful behind Open-mouthed smile


DSC_0006The Alex damage….

Like I said my car could be worse off.  I should be happy I have a safe and reliable car to drive!!


 Mama’s Losin’ It 

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College Prep … the Post

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I went to check out Mama Kat’s weekly writing prompts, to find that one of the questions was perfectly answered by my guest post yesterday over at With A  Just Little Bit of Magic!  Because I’m lazy, I’ll just re-post it here!!  I’d love to see if you guys have any tips to share with my baby sister, Alex, as she prepares for college!!

College Prep … the Post

 As I watch my baby sister start her final semester of high school and prepare for the start of her new journey into college, I’m brought back to when I was in her shoes … The excitement.  The anxiety.  The freedom. 

As the oldest child in my family, I blindly entered this new found adulthood – looking back I’m slightly jealous of Alex.   She has watched both myself and our middle sister, Kelly, muddle our way through our first years of college.  Flailing as if we were drowning in a sea of unknown.  She has been given a special gift, a gift of knowing what worked and didn’t worked for myself and Kelly.  

Over the last four years as Alex has been in high school, I’ve been extremely vocal when it comes to her schooling.  Taking what I learned (or didn’t until later), and giving Alex the keys I wish I had known when I was her age. 

1) Treat High School as College Prep & Learn How to Study – I enjoyed my high school years, it was a lot of fun, but the one thing I didn’t do was treat it as college prep.  I must have been lucky (or extremely stupid), but high school school work came easy to me.  Hardly had to study (except maybe in the class period right before), basically no homework and very little need for extra credit.  Heck I graduated high school with honors and a 3.6 gpa…surely I could do well in college if I did well in high school!  Life was good!  If only that was the truth for college.

I quickly learned that everything I had assumed about college based on my high school career was WRONG.  Dead Wrong.  My first quarter of college was a rude awakening.  College wasn’t high school.  College was HARD! 

Many years later, I’m still in college and I still struggle with studying.  Having prepared myself with great studying tactics while I was younger would have been extremely helpful!

2) Take a Foreign Language in High School – Still to this day, a foreign language isn’t a graduation requirement for my high school.  I chose to fill my foreign language blocks in high school with fun classes!  Why take a hard class, when an easy A was so more attainable and much more enjoyable?!  However, when it was time for me to apply for college, I quickly realized I had made a BIG mistake. 

The majority of colleges require (duh!) at least two years of a foreign language prior to entering their school!  Needless to say, I was limited on the colleges I could apply to!  Several years later, I finally took my two years of foreign language in college and I have no doubt that it would be been so much easier had I taken it in high school!

3) Volunteer Work & Community Service – This would be the one spot of my college prep that I exceeded at.  I may have taken my academia for granite, but I was always active in my community.  Today colleges look at two aspects of an individual (1) academics and (2) volunteer work.  In order to be a college candidate, you must excel in both of these requirements. 

The awesome thing about volunteer work is that it’s such a broad spectrum.  You can find a way to volunteer and do something that you love at the same time!  Volunteering shouldn’t just start in high school, I strongly recommend that everyone volunteers, no matter their age!  There is no better feeling then what you feel after you have selflessly served someone else!

There you have it, my top three tips for easing into college and being successful!  There are so many more tips out there, what do you have to add to the list???

Image Source: mortar board 2

Mama’s Losin’ It1.) Something students these days should know.

Favorite Tweets

Ahhhh Twitter, how I love thee, let me count the ways!

When I joined Twitter a couple years ago I didn’t get it.  I’d Tweet a post or two a week, but that was it.  It wasn’t until I joined BlogFrog that I had got an amazing introduction into Twitter101 and learned the wonders of TweetDeck from the one and only, Liz of A Belle, A Bean, A Chicago Dog!  After that initiation it was all over!  I’ve been a Twitter Addict ever since!

This quarter I’m actually taking a film history course, where we use TWITTER to communicate with classmates while we watch movies – in real time!  The ONLY requirement for the class is to have an active Twitter account!  Done!  If you want to pop into my class and see what we’re talking about, check out our backchannel (#bis397)!  Feel free to join in even!  Oh and if you’ve never heard of “backchannel,” apparently that’s college talk for “hashtag” lol!!

Interesting Twitter Fact: Did you know that EVERY tweet is housed in the Library of Congress?  Seriously!  You can check it out HERE and/or HERE!

Okay, so now for Mama Kat’s question… 


mama kat

1.) Compile and share a list of your favorite tweets.

I cheated for this question, I didn’t go very far except to my “starred/favorite” Tweets!  None of them are overly exciting, but for one reason or another I like them :D


twit1I tagged this because i want to give it a try!  Haven’t done it yet, but maybe tomorrow!!
Follow @mommymomentblog and their blog
Link in Tweet: Add CUTE Fonts to Your Blog – The Easy Way!

 twit2I felt famous….the news Tweeted the answer to a question I had!!
Follow @komonews


 twit3Just cuz, Sherri said my new blog is awesome!!
Follow @OldTweener and her blog



I don’t think anything needs to be said here…


So you’re probably wondering….who am I on Twitter??  You can find me as @cori_shelley for my personal/Cori’s Big Mouth tweeting or @BlueEyedBows for my Etsy Store tweeting!  Either spot you’ll find me!

Hope to Tweet you real soon!

Spring Cleaning

This purge was actually done awhile ago, but I couldn’t remember if I had posted it yet or not.  If I had, oh well…I’m posting it again!!

I’m posting as part of Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop and Toddler Talk Thursday today!  I was surprised to see how these two questions both related to my playroom photos!!


Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop Question:

mama kat4.) Spring Cleaning! Share a before and after photo of a room you recently tackled.

The room I recently tackled was the triplets playroom.  You would not believe what a mess these three can make.  Or maybe you can?!  It’s absolutely insane, they can take it from being spotless and organized to completely trashed in about 3 seconds flat – I kid you not!  Needless to say, I rarely do a massive purge and cleaning of it!

Playroom Before:

                                                   mess1 mess2


Playroom After:


Toddler Talk Thursday

toddlertalk What items make up your toddler’s toy box that aren’t really toys?

The triplets top 5 favorite “non” toys would be…

  1. Any REAL iPhone – a dead one won’t do, it must be real and charged!
  2. Tupperware – I don’t know how many times we are missing pieces of Tupperware and I find it in the toy boxes!
  3. Backpacks – they love to stuff them full of crap their treasures and lug them around
  4. Hair Brushes and Hair Bows – they love to play with all the pretties!
  5. DVD Cases – they carry them around, not exactly sure what they do with them, but they love them!

My Question for next week’s Toddler Talk Thursday would be: How do you limit the amount of television your kids watch during the day?


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Lesson learned!

Oh, if only I had a penny, or heck, a $1 for every time I have looked back and had to admit lesson learned.  Let me tell you, I am NOT one to ever admit lesson learned, however there is one time that the statement lesson learned stands just a little bit brighter.  Remember that classic scene from the Brady Bunch, where Bobby overflows the washing machine…yeah, that’s what I’m getting at!


About 10 years ago, wow, I’m aging myself here (haha), I was babysitting for the “original triplets” and they were running low on dish washing detergent (okay slightly different from Bobby’s fail).  On several occasions, in my normal Know-It-All-Self, I informed Charity, “you know you can use laundry detergent if you ever run out of dish washing soap”. I think Charity informed me at least five times “NO YOU CAN’T AND DO NOT TRY!”  Fine, fine, fine….

However, one day I was there and we were out out dish washing soap, so what did I do??  Yep, grabbed some laundry detergent. 

Pretty much right away it started to foam out the cracks.  I panicked, grabbed some towels and cleaned it up, or so I thought.

Charity got home not to long later.  To my relief it appeared to be all cleaned up before she got home and it had been quite awhile since suds had been spewing.  I thought I was safe.  Didn’t mention it as I quickly walked out the door.

About 20 minutes later, while eating dinner the phone rings.  It’s Charity.  No, she’s not talking to me, she’s talking to my mom.  My mom who is shooting me daggers across the table.  My mom who apologizes immensely and before hanging up tells her “we’ll be right over to clean it up”.  Crap.  I was caught.  I hate that!  Back to Charity’s I went…

I walked into the kitchen and the floor is covered by about 2″ of sudsy bubbles.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Charity is scarily happy.  Infact, grinning of ear to ear.  I could just see her beaming “I told ya so, I told ya so!”

I quietly grabbed a mop and towels and started cleaning.  I scrubbed. I mopped. I cleaned. It felt like forever.

By the time I finished Charity’s floors were immaculate.  I also thought I would get out without the “I told ya so”.  Well I didn’t. 

Charity walked me to the front door gave me a big hug and told me “I told ya so…and DO NOT EVER do it again!”

Trust me, lesson learned, and to this day I HAVE NEVER DONE IT AGAIN!  The story does get brought up all the time though!  I don’t think I’ll ever live it down!

 This post is question #1 in this weeks Writer’s Workshop:


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