Sunday, November 21, 2010

Love, Actually

I don't know about you, but since we've had a child, our relationship has been anything but the easy-to-maintain relationship we had prior to Camden's birth.  Lucky for me, I still have a great husband, and a desire to work on that; so, I was thrilled when I saw my ever-so-talented friend's blog with a link to THIS

(Shhh....don't tell my husband)

The crazy thing is, we used to do so many FUN things on our date nights, and now we hardly have the energy.  I am glad to know this website promotes things that cost little to nothing, we can use our creative minds (which when I begin, always gets a little out of hand and it really is SO enjoyable), and further, be the strong FOUNDATION for our family we should be as a couple first.  Because I truly believe that the stronger couples are, the easier it is for the rest of the family to follow suit.  It's not as easy and carefree once kids come into the picture, but it's possible!  And we can find a way to bring that creative dating back to our lives again; even on a tight time/energy/money budget.

First step: Make our family mission statement! TOGETHER, for a date night--So excited!

I'm certain ours will be based off of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  Because I LOVE that inspired document!  I'll be sure to include a picture of the finished product!

And for the men, you may enjoy this. (The movie related to the book is a little cheesy, but it's still great for the sap!)  I even have it (the book, not the movie) if you want to borrow it!

So, this is what has me renewed, rejuvenated, and inspired lately!  What's inspiring you?

Love, Actually.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Growing, Growing

Why is it so hard to clean out the baby clothes that don't fit Camden anymore? 

Every time I do this, it just gets more difficult. :O)  Oh, how I love my little boy...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holiday cheer? What's that this year?

I know the holidays are coming up, so what the heck is wrong with me?!  I am having a serious lack of motivation to get into the holiday spirit.  Don't get me wrong!  I am completely, 100% thrilled, ecstatic, and enamored to be going home for the holidays this year.  BOTH of the major holidays!  That hasn't happened in a long while.  It's just,  I have a lack of enthusiasm in getting our family involved in our typical traditions.  (Halloween almost entirely escaped me--besides, a pumpkin and some colorful corn husks, we didn't do one bit of decorating.  NOR did we do our usual chili in pumpkin bowl dinner--it didn't help, of course, that Camden ended up with a 104 degree fever on Halloween which prevented our trick-or-treating escapades and some dressing up in costume).  Why has this happened?! How can I get into the spirit?

Let me explain a few of my ideas before you shower me with yours (and please do).  First of all, we are potentially moving by the end of this year.  Potential is a stretch, as thus far, we have not nailed down a job following graduation.  So whether or not we are moving is pending.  Who wants to get out boxes of decor (even if that is a minimal amount) only to pack it all back up before the season ends and move on?  Don't pick me...

The second, and probably the reason most directly affecting my current problem, is in actuality, related to reason numero uno.  We do not have money with which to purchase gifts.  Okay, okay.  Some people's response would be...what happened to your 3-6 month emergency money supply?!  My response to that would be that it went out the window about 4 years ago when we were paying $6000 every four months for both of us to finish school.  Finish I have, finish Devin will, and hopefully, the emergency supply will come with a job (don't get me on that again :O).  But it's been pretty much non-existent (plus less) while Devin works only 16 hours at the Carpenter shop weekly, and I am trying to stay at home/earn money at home, to recover what cannot be earned monetarily by following BYU's 20 hour work week policy to cover our monthly bills.  I am currently in the market for additional ideas. 

Third, perhaps it has been my failing health this past year? Am I simplifying out of necessity?  I seriously have the energy to only do the necessary things.  Maybe those other things just really aren't necessary after all?  But I'd like to create sweet memories for my children--if it's not possible to permanently ingrain it in their minds at young ages, at least in pictures.

Now that I'm off my soap box (or am I??), realize, I know that it's always a possibility to make gifts.  I, however, have no idea what I can make for Devin, Camden, my family (3 siblings, two parents, 2 sets of grandparents), and my husband's family (7 siblings, 2 parents, a niece, and 1 set of grandparents) on a $30 budget.  And some of that is probably money we don't actually have, but I am fooling myself into believing we do so I don't feel like a complete and utter failure.  You see, gift giving is BY FAR one of my favorite things to do.  There is literally an emptiness inside of me since we've been married because of my lack of funds to support this lovely hobby.  Does anyone out there have any ideas?  I am really needing something to get me into the holiday spirit*, and searching for gifts to give to my beloved family is a great contributor to making that happen.  I just LOVE seeing faces light up!

*(I'm talking excitement wise, NOT spiritually-minded, as Christ will always be the main focus of our Christmas experience and I know it will still be a wonderful Christmas without gifts because of the real celebration of that day)

My family is just so very generous to us all throughout the year.  It would be wonderful to attempt to make up at least 1% of that generosity!

P.S.  Making my own decorations to get in the spirit is likely not an option (including garage sales--because my mother-in-law does that for us for Camden's clothes--which I say "THANK YOU, THANK YOU" repeatedly because it literally saves us!), due to lack of funds.  Unless, of course, you know of places I can pick up FREE DIY Thanksgiving/Christmas decor items :O)  Which, by the way, I would love dearly; especially if it's something Camden and I could do together while Devin's at school/work.

And any and all prayers are appreciated as we are in the limbo process of Devin's future career, and will be out of a job come the end of December (due to the fact that Devin's job is a student one--in which he needs to be a STUDENT to keep).  I'm not stressing....yet :O)

Love to you all! And here's to hoping your holiday spirit is coming more easily to you this year than it is to me!  It can certainly make for a light, more joyful season if it so occurs!

Happy are we, Happy are we

This is the man that doesn't get enough face time on the blog, but deserves a lot more (and yes, he's wearing my sweater).  He just doesn't like getting his picture taken; so it's rather difficult to complete whole posts on him alone without using the same material.

He calls me his pookie.  Don't know where that came from, but I prefer it over Rooski (my other nickname) any day.

That's just him--so "creative" like that.  He is definitely his own person--no ifs, ands, or butts about it.  He won't be coerced into being someone else, but he is never satisfied with just staying at the level he is at present either.  Each Sunday, and everyday really, he takes time to ponder, set goals, evaluate past goals, and make a new resolve to be even better the next week.  And he does.

I wish I could be more like that really.  He's a great example of setting goals and carrying them through.

Dev wouldn't necessarily be considered a romantic (that's not obvious, is it??), but he's still sweet, zesty, and always striving to be a better husband and father; especially in the ways that truly count.  He calls our family to scripture study and prayer each day.  He gives me priesthood blessings on a regular basis.  He holds a family council every week.  He fulfills his callings.  He serves others regularly. He works hard at keeping his body healthy and involved.  He writes in a journal. Etc. Etc.  "Always striving" doesn't do it justice.

Camden LOVES his father.  When Daddy gets home from work/school, Camden is immediately excited.  Daddy is a good friend.  He is playful.  He is involved. 'Dad' was his first word for a reason, and Dad makes Camden a very happy boy!
(L-just clownin' around, R-best buds bouncing
--and hanging on for dear life!)

Devin also knows who he is--in a spiritual light as well as a mental/physical/emotional.  He knows what he wants, he knows what he likes, and he knows what keeps him happy. And he DOES the things to keep it so. Not only that, but he knows when I am getting too busy to DO the things I love, and he makes sure they happen.  He is constantly encouraging me to play the piano (SUCH an emotional outlet for me) by asking if we can sing together (this does not fall within his comfort zone btw).  He allows me my freedom to do what I need to do to make me feel good right 'along' with him (currently Zumba and Soccer games, and sometimes a massage!).   He is my protector; my equal--my other advocate.

He does the menial tasks of the family as well.  Nothing is beneath him when it comes to his family.  That is ultimately the most important thing to me, and I am grateful that he is so wise.

I can't adequately express my Happy Birthday sentiments to my husband without thanking this wonderful woman who birthed him.
(Hint: the one on the right; though
I know it's difficult to tell, since they're both
so young, vibrant and beautiful)

She has taught him peace.  She has taught him calm.  She has taught him wisdom is found in the Lord. And she has taught him to keep it simple; all the while going for everything he desires--but to make sure, above all else, that he and his family are truly happy.  *And HAPPY we are!

Happy to celebrate his big 27!!! 
LOVE and HUGS to you Sweetie Petey! 

*She has obviously also taught him her picture evading skills, because that is basically the only picture I have managed to take of her in the 5+ years I've known her

Monday, November 1, 2010


 We had a GREAT time at the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago!  Luckily, it was in between Camden's sick times!
 He got his first ride in a wagon (right)
And every pumpkin was a 'ba'--ball (left)

What is this thing? (left)
Oh, is this what I'm supposed to be doing? (right)

 He loved the mirror room,

climbing through tunnels,

staying busy running around from one exciting thing to another,

the bounce house,

and the animals! (This was, by the way, the goat that bit his arm while
Camden was practicing being "soft"--I guess the ole' Billy didn't even want a slight stroke)

 Daddy wasn't with mommy and me at the pumpkin patch, so I wouldn't sit very still.  
That's also why Mom and I didn't get any pictures together.  I 
think you won't mind though, since I'm definitely the cuter of the two! :O)

We really had a lot of fun at the patch!  We definitely got lost in the cornmaze, but Camden loved, loved, LOVED the free space to just walk and walk and walk as he pleased!  Seeing all of the colorful characters was also a lot of fun, though difficult to get him to sit still to capture his face in the circles.  I think the funniest part was when the goat bit him.  Honestly, I know I should have, but I wasn't expecting it!  I've taught Camden to be very soft with animals.  With no signs about ferocious, baby-attacking goats in sight, I thought he was good to go.  At first touch, everything seemed fine, but as Camden began to stroke Billy, he turned right around and chomped down on Camden's right arm. I couldn't resist laughing out loud!  Camden turned to me with the most pitiful tears in his eyes and puckered down lips and began to cry.  I know, I'm an awful mother, but it was just so darn funny--only because no Camden's were actually hurt in the making of this story.  It was just a startled reaction.

We had a good old time at Pumpkinland.  Picked out a few pumpkins and some corn to add a little Fall to our living room.  I think, despite the goat, Camden will enjoy going again! And so will I!

Behold the little ones...

I've had a flurry of emotions as of late.

My computer is nearly dead and so I have been making preparations to make sure I do not lose my photos permanently.  As I was saving all of my picture files to, I began to look at the pictures of Camden's birth.  What is absolutely amazing to me, is how VERY much CAMDEN it is!  Can you even imagine that a little newborn would have so many tendencies that he continues at present?   I hadn't paid as much attention to this at the time of his birth--why would I? I mean, I couldn't have known--but he had the same squished up wailing face when crying--stiff top lip, crinkled lower lip and all.  That peaceful face he adorns whilst in sleep? The same!  Even the way he smiles and looks at me is so similar. 

It's truly amazing to remember that they come with their own little real personalities!  They are who they are!  Not that they can't be shaped into something else, but there's something specific there, and it starts before/at birth.

I just couldn't help but think of all of this as I was flipping through several of the photos (many of which blogger won't load, so I just have to put similar pictures to what has already been posted).