Monday, July 29, 2013

Grandpa Jack

3 generations of big-eared and big-hearted men! And I look up to all three of them.

 I love this picture. We just got back from Utah where we celebrated with the Yeoman family for Dallan and Kelsey's wedding. This picture was taken at their reception.

Grandpa Jack has been struggling more and more with his health. It has been difficult each time with visit to see more of his mind lost and confused. But something I think that has been absolutely incredible to observe is, although Grandpa is often confused and unsure of what is occurring around him, it is still VERY apparent to know what kind of man Grandpa was and still is. Often times he is trying to work at the temple, or go home teaching, or complete church assignments, write letters, check in on families, all while sitting comfortably on the couch in the living room. You enter the room and he tries his best to muster any strength he can to get his weight over his weak legs and unsteady feet and pull himself up with the help of his walker, arms stretched out for a handshake or embrace.

I remember years ago, my dad was recently called into a position in our church that was quite a new and different responsibility for him. Grandma and grandpa Albertsflew down for the occasion. The Bishop in our ward eagerly approached my Grandpa, arms stretch out and exclaimed, "I must meet the man who raised such an incredible son." Those words still echo in my mind. I very much admire and look up to my father. I think he is an incredible man that I aspire to be like. But that experience opened my eyes to the example that his father had set for him. I truly began to understand and appreciate what an extraordinary man my grandpa Jack Alberts is. My nephew now carries his name, what a legacy to follow!

A letter to my daughter...

I had some thoughts on my mind today, so I just began to type it out. I thought I would share what I came up....

A letter to my daughter... (in my own words yet inspired by other women)

In which I promise not to call myself fat...

Dearest Laila,

I am raising you in a world that thinks you're only as good as you look. And you're being raised by a woman who is still overcoming these lies herself.

I am on the look out for small ways to spare you from perhaps a few of the battles that seem to strangle and engulf so many of us women. Like the ones who starve or completely drain their bodies with over-exercising and with little nutrition to punish themselves. Like the ones who repeatedly apologize to their husbands for a body marked by childbirth. The ones that are terrified of aging. Or like the ones ball and chained to a scale.

I will talk and teach and train you. I will teach by example what it means to be healthy, what it means to be beautiful. I will lead the resistance of these lies in our home by living out a better truth. You will know you are a daughter of a King.

I will not criticize the women around me, how they look and how they live, casting uncharitable words like stones.

I'll wear a bathing suit and get my hair wet.

I will easily change my clothes in front of your Dad, proud of my stretch marks that brought you into the world.

I will eat dessert and laugh my way to deeper smile lines.

I will celebrate your own beauty, and do my best to praise your mind, your heart, your motives.

I will not let any words criticizing my body cross my lips - especially in front of you!

I will teach you that physical activity is something to be enjoyed.

I will teach that your body is a gift, something to be kept healthy and strong, clean and pure.

I will celebrate beauty where I find it. Handcrafted by a generous God, found upon millions of faces throughout the world, across a large diversity of cultures, colors and heritages.

I will tell stories of women.

I will surround you in a community of women who are smart and strong, crazy and fun, gentle and kind, faithful and compassionate. Women who love you. You will see that is is what beautiful is. That love and kindness, that faith and purity are the most beautiful things you can ever put on.

Te amo mi amor!

Friday, July 12, 2013

One year older and wiser too...

Cameron's 28! We celebrated with a Peanut Butter Superman cake (of course) and a picnic by the lake with some of our friends (which if you have not discovered home-made PB frosting, DON'T! Super addicting! ) !

Ready for our picnic! 

Laila could not get enough of the balloons! 

Laila's 5 months!

Ok, before I jump into this I must give credit where credit is due. My sister-in-law, Chris's wife, Melani does this fabulous thing each month where she writes about their baby's, Jack, "Top Three". I love it! What a great idea to stay on top of journal and recording their baby's growth and life. So....I am going to jump on board with that! Thanks for the great idea Melani !

I can not believe I almost have a 6 month old! We are so close to a half a year! Its crazy to me how much these little babes develop and change in such a small amount of time. Crazy thing, growing a body, huh?! So here are Laila's top three for month number CINCO!

Top 3 Cutest things she does...
1. Laila gets this smile, like I'm pretending to be shy but I LOVE the attention! Just love me! Its one of my absolute favorite facial expressions I've seen her do!
2. She's starting to kind of, sort of, maybe cuddle! I have been so sad to not have a baby who likes to cuddle. She prefers her own space to wiggle and stretch! Even when she is tired, she is not a baby who likes to be cuddled and rocked. She will fuss and fuss. Put her down and she will put herself to sleep easy peesy! BUT, I think we may be rounding that corner, just a bit! She now will lay her head on my chest and just lay there! I LOVE it!
3. She giggles! She will giggle and giggle and giggle! And her best laughing time - way past tired! She gets slap happy! And really, you can get her to giggle for forever! (well all good things come to an end...but several minutes) One of my favorite sounds in the world now!

Top 3 Least cutest things she does..
1. BLOWS OUTS! This girl is famous for them. I can't tell you how many times we change her clothes, we change her blankets, I wash her carseat, or I change my clothes PER DAY! Almost without fail, every time she poops you got to be careful! She's always been a good pooper with lots of blow outs, but I swear its getting worse. Its a cannon! (sorry for the poop talk, but that's life)
2. Pulls mom's hair!
3. Coughs with her mouth full of milk. Really its no big deal to me, but her dad teases her for it.

Top 3 Favorite things
1. Her feet! She loves to lay on her back, spread eagle, each hand holding onto a foot.
2. Water! (yes, her mom is stoked!)
3. Singing. She can be getting upset and fussy, but the second you start singing to her it puts a smile on her face. Often times, she starts making noises as if she is trying to sing along :)

Top 3 Dislikes
1. I would say her carseat, but honestly, that is getting much better. She used to scream every time she went in it, even when she was little. But we're getting away with it more now.
2. Getting dressed. Undressed she's fine, but once you starting putting clothes over her head she's lets you know that she's not loving it!
3. Her medicine. Yep after 5 months you think she would be use to it by now...actually in all honesty, she is getting better at taking it but she'll still let you know that she's not happy about it.

Top 3 Funniest things she does...
1. Bath time!!!! Holy cow! Expect to get soaked! She LOVES to splash! And she is so focused at doing so...we can't stop laughing.
2. We started feeding her rice ceral - she LOVES IT! Its funny to watch her though, you can't feed it to her fast enough!
3. Checks herself out in the mirror! She'll stare herself down for a minute and then just get the biggest grin! Like, "hey good lookin' !"

Happy 5 months Lil' Bug!

Celebrating our Independence!

It's fourth of July! One of my favorite holidays! I absolutely LOVE fireworks, 4th of July BBQ's, the country painted in red, white, and blue, the music, playing outside, the list is endless! Honestly, it really is just as exciting for me as celebrating Christmas, well...almost as exciting! Here's some pictures from our days adventures...

Starting the morning how it ought to...remembering those who have gave their lives and fought and defended our freedom! This was at our Church building, at our ward's Pancake breakfast and flag raising!

 We then took off to go check out the Wooden Boat festival downtown, just off of Lake Union (I think, I still can't keep all this water sorted...) It was a fun afternoon adventure! The Museum of History and Industry was right there as well, and with it being the first Thursday of the month, we were able to cruise around that with no cost.

We went with the Dances (our super good friends who live in our building!!). Cam and Dallin spent some time constructing their own little wooden boats (which Cameron LOVED! yep, that's my honey building his little boat surrounded by an ocean of little children!) Meanwhile, Chelsie and I built a kite, which we failed miserably at getting it to fly...

It was a fun, beautiful Seattle day! We had debated how to celebrate the evening. Going to the big firework show would be a LONG adventure, and a little difficult with Laila... sadly. We, of course, had some friends over for some yummy BBQ food. Afterwards,  Cam and I had originally planned to draw pictures of fireworks and throw them up in the air  (pathetic I know!), BUT we were able to get a key to the roof of our building and watch the city fireworks from there! Not the best view, but a fun get-away (with the company of the baby monitor :) ). We could hear and watch the sky light up - and surprisingly several of the big fireworks. We also rented the movie Lincoln. At first it was such a SLOW, confusing start, but it really was insightful. There were so many things that I really hadn't understood, or I guess paid much attention to when I study that part of American history. Abraham Lincoln is one of the first people I look forward to meeting in the hereafter, what an incredible man! Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Our Summer adventures thus far...and Feet!

It's officially summer! Cameron survived finals and his first year of Pharmacy school! Woot woot! I feel like that year really flew by...which is fabulous! Three more to go! We sent dad and his pharmacy class a little good luck note via facebook! 

I can't get enough to those sweet blues!!!

          Laila and I just got back from a two week trip to Utah - the longest Cam and I have been apart. I love Utah so much! It has always been a home away from home, if I could have flown Cameron out to meet us  I am not sure I would have left! But I am glad to be back in my own bed! 
        We had a busy two weeks! We crammed in a baby-shower, a bridal-shower, a temple trip for Miss Alissa, a family reunion, a birthday Luau, the drive-in, Cafe Rio x 3, a mission farewll, and not nearly enough time to visit with family and friends! Can't wait to go back in 3 weeks for Dallen's wedding! Although this time we will be driving, first time with Laila - not sure if I am looking forward to that or not! Oh well, bring it on! She's becoming our little traveler! 

Laila and Lala at PDX! It was SO nice to have an extra set of hands going through the airport! Thank you Lala! You know, this trip really solidified how grateful I am to not be a single parent! 

Exploring the Hoogle Zoo !

Dancing in the garden with great -grandpa Sill

At Bountiful temple

This is the cutest, happiest little boy! I am so glad we were able to spend some time with this little Ham and his mama! I hope someday soon we will live much closer together so we can take trips together more often! 

These poor kiddos spent a lot of time in the car-seats! :) But I think Laila is finally warming up to hers !

My sweet baby girl with her big blue-bug eyes! Love it!

Cori is expecting her baby girl this September! So excited for her! She is going to be the cutest mama! Its fun thinking what lies before her is what we have just moved on makes me so excited for their cute growing family! 

Fun in the sun! Laila absolutely loved the pool! Just like her mom! Made me so happy! She was just laughing the entire time!  Until she crashed for an afternoon nap in the sun! I told Cameron that after 6 years of teaching other children how to swim I am determined to teach my child how to swim so that she will be cruising around the deep end by 2! We shall see! The requires lots of pool time....

This was Laila's pal through the whole trip! Her little doll, who inherits a new name every time I pick her up, kept little bug company each time with hopped in the car. This was too sweet! Holding hands! 

Laila Joan with Grammy! This is her name sake! Grandma Joan!! An extraordinary woman! Grandma has always impressed me with her self-less and always-serving attitude. She lives a higher-law, always giving and concerned with those around her. To this day, Grandma's house is one of my favorite places in the world! 

Luau! Alissa's, oh dear, I hope I am not over guessing - 27th birthday party! Eek...maybe 26th... no I think 27. Oh I am so sorry Alissa. Well, nonetheless, she sure knows how to throw a party! Complete with costumes, a snow-cone machine, enough food to feed 100+, hula dancers, fire dancers, and Hawaiian decorations and music to boot! So much fun! And so hot! (We planned our Utah excursion just in time for the crazy hot heat wave! 105 ?! No thank you! )

Cousins! When the two of them were on the ground together, Jack loved to come up and grab Laila's head. His intention was finding a really nice, soft spot to dig is two little teeth into and drown with slober. Often this little stunt would leave Laila in tears. He would then promptly give her a nice wet kiss! Such a sweetie!  I can't wait for them to be a little older and become little buddies! 

I found my toes...much to dad's dismay! :) Ha! (If anyone knows Cameron well enough, they know about his little foot phobia. Not sure how or when this started because I have seen baby and childhood pictures of a skinny , ya not much has changed, little, bare-foot Cameron. But there is NO WAY you would see him barefoot now!!!!!!! In fact, I tease him about this all the time, but when we were dating we took a trip out to the Oregon Coast line. He kept his socks on the entire time we walked along the sand and played in the water. Actually, this was before we were dating, just friends at the time. Obviously it wasn't his cute pinkie toe that had won me over - I really rarely see it! What a weird kid!? I remember after we were dating for a while, Cameron's dad came out to Utah to visit him and his sister. After spending a week or so with us, he asked Cameron if he was sure he was into me and could handle me with my lack of covering my feet. He pointed out that for the entire duration he had been there he hadn't seen me with more than flip flops on my feet! And for the most part I was running around barefoot!  Even with his socks on, buried in the sand, Cam's still the cutest! I love my foot-phobia man! And you know, he has the softest feet of anyone I know!)