Celebrating Independence


WARNING: I am about to inundate you with animated gifs. Brace yourself, my friend.

We played with family on the 4th.

Leading up to the holiday, folks would ask me if we had plans. I figured that we would, eventually. And we did. Family came through and it turned into an all day party (broken up with a little bit of napping).

In the morning, Nathan, Dom and I crashed the breakfast put on by our old ward. They didn’t even know we were coming so they were, obviously, pleasantly surprised. It’s been about 9 months since we moved out so, as expected, many people were surprised by how big Dom is now. I had to ditch out for a while to go and meet up with an HVAC guy at our home (which didn’t actually fix our a/c, but that’s a whole other story, entirely), so I’m not sure how many of the old women Dom flirted it up with.

After that, we moved on to Grumma’s house for a delicious brunch. We picked up Mern and Campbie Joe on the way, which was fun for Dom to ride in the back seat with other people. At Grumma’s, we also met up with my parents and Thane’s family for eating then swimming. Dom loved swimming. He wanted to sit on the side and push himself in, over and over and over.

Campbie Joe had a blast jumping in to his mom’s or his dad’s arms. See?


All the kids had a darn good time and the grandparents enjoyed relaxing in the shade.

At first, we couldn’t get a table, chairs, umbrella when we got to the pool because several families were already there. Then one family left and told us that we could move our stuff to their table. Nice gestures are always appreciated and it was such a contrast to the three younger women that piled their towels on several chairs, put their tanning oils on the table, but then laid on the lounge chairs in the sun. When we first showed up, those women even made a point of putting a towel on another chair as if to mark their territory against this family with their noisy, splashing kids. But, they were very tan.

More pictures of Dom relaxing after swimming, happy and steady Teddy, Mern and Campbie Joe’s smiles, the floating babes, Hobbes rocking the floaties, Campbie Joe’s pointy-toe, Alice swimming with her daddy, and the grandparents all shaded up.


After swimming, it was nap time. Then after nap time, we loaded up on fireworks from the big tent in the Rancho Markets parking lot and meandered up to Opa and Grandmere’s for some dinner and more family time.

Dom’s figuring out how to jump and spent some time learning from his cousin:


And to animate that bad boy, here ya go:


We had cupcakes after dinner. When Dom saw them, he started to sing his rendition of Happy Birthday.


And Opa had a great time singing Beach Boys with the babes in his arms.


I didn’t get any pictures of fireworks, but we lit those off in the street after desserts. Some of the kids loved it, others were scared of the noise. We bought some parachute fireworks and were excited to get those as they floated to the ground. Only, there was wind.

Thane even tried running around the block to catch the last one that we shot up.

But the parachute failed and it plummeted to the earth somewhere in the neighbor’s yard.

Maybe next year, we’ll get a parachute or two.

A Note On Friday

This is my attempt to get back in the habit of blogging. It’s good to keep a record, even if it’s just a random thought or two.

I went for a run on my lunch break. It was hot and tiring and I’m glad I went. Now I need to figure out some time to run during the week. Ha, good luck me.

The wind blew a ton if branches and leaves and pine cones into Grumma’s pool last night and the water was a bit cool but once Dom got used to it, he loved splashing and jumping on the steps. We had a great time even though we stayed a little late. When we got home, I gave Dom his bath. He’s figured out how to kick both legs and turn the tub into his personal wave pool. I had to hide behind the towel so I didn’t get a shower at the same time!

How’s your Friday?

Dog Days of Summer: A Few Thoughts

Tomorrow, July 3rd, marks the beginning of the “Dog Days of Summer.”

Who here can actually tell me the origins of that phrase?

I like it because it paints a picture in my head of a big dog, exhausted and hot from the sun, collapsing into a kiddie swimming pool filled with chilly hose water. Or something along those lines. That dog is going to be one stinky dog.

Here’s a hint: Sirius, the Dog Star. I won’t give you the answer, though. Google probably knows if you don’t.


What do YOU think of when you hear “Dog Days of Summer” and how are you going to enjoy yours this year?

It’s been crazy hot already, 105+ the last couple of days. Dom and I swam in Grumma’s pool last Saturday while Nathan and Grumma lounged in the shade. I wasn’t sure how it would go because her condo’s pool heater was broken, but the chilly water ended up being the perfect contrast to the blasting heat. Dom enjoyed splashing, kicking, floating and even dipping under the cool water with me.

I have actually been cold much of this summer so far. A/C in the office is chilly. I dress for hot weather, but they keep the offices appropriate temperature for people dressed in scarves and fingerless gloves. I think that’s our dress code at least. I take breaks to go outside and warm up. Makes sense, right?

On one other random note, we were having slow response from an application at work and appropriately deemed it a sad panda. This led to the drawing, of course, of a sad panda cartoon. And then we threw it up on the website so you could actually buy a Larrie’s-sad-panda shirt if this fulfilled your hopes and dreams (on the right on my blog). Yep. A very effective day at work. We enjoy these “sentimental, team bonding” moments. Go team.



Nathan blessed Dominic in church today and little man was very reverent. This time, I remembered to take pictures (unlike Christmas, but I suppose I blame that on being really sleepy after a very rough night). Mom and Dad Elkins are up here for the week for the holidays and to spend time with their new grandson. We love having plenty of family time and have been lucky enough to get that on both sides of our family this holiday. I am sure that I take for granted how fabulous my family and in-laws are. I am one lucky girl, but mostly I feel happy that Dominic will grow up with such amazing aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Hopefully we trick him into thinking that his parents are pretty amazing, too.


A few thoughts on the day for my future reference:

I was worried this morning that I wouldn’t be able to “schedule” things correctly. Dominic nursed at 9:30 so that would mean he’d be hungry around 12:30 and the meeting started at 12:50. It’s funny, I suppose, the things that you worry about as a first-time mom. Maren came over a little after 11:00 so that I could jump in the shower while Dom took a nap, then he woke up around noon just as Mom and Dad Elkins arrived with Aunt Janeen. I nursed him while Mom helped get things together for me and then get Dom dressed in his little white outfit after he finished. By the time we got to church, he was a content little boy, which was superb because he’s been quite fussy this last week regardless of how well fed he is or diapers changed or well slept.

I was a little sad that some of my family wasn’t able to be there (because of sickness and being out of town), but the small circle of priesthood holders that stood next to Nathan were plenty and men that we love. Not every little boy gets to have both of his grandpa’s holding him for his blessing so that made me happy. After his blessing, Laura came up and sat next to me on the bench and held him, wrapped tightly, sleeping. Like I said, Dominic is blessed to come to an amazing family and because of a recent phone conversation, having my cousin Laura come and sit next to me for part of the meeting was quite appreciated.

After the blessing, for the sacrament meeting, we had several youth speakers and a “missionary farewell”, but they finished quite early so Brian, the first counselor, asked me to share my testimony. As I walked up to the podium, I was pretty nervous. I definitely rambled while I stood up there, but hopefully I shared a little bit of what I was thinking about this Christmas with becoming a mother. I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary. I have such a new perspective of her now. We often focus so much on the baby Jesus at Christmas, which, of course, is the right thing to do as He is the Savior. But, I know now, really, so much more about the incredible role that Mary played and how difficult her calling was. Raising a child–raising your first child– is not easy. At least, it’s not for me. It hurts. It’s exhausting. It’s emotional. I am so thankful that I don’t do this alone. And now, I have so much more awe for Mary and her sacrifice to bear the Savior and raise him in righteousness–with Joseph’s help.

After the meeting, Mick and Tracy hosted for food. Great Grumma Campbell gave the opening prayer and we are all very happy to have her there after time spent in the hospital just after Thanksgiving this year. Really, it’s been a bit of a tough Thanksgiving-Christmas for family members with hospital trips, car accidents and a beloved aunt with a cancer diagnosis. It reminds me that we live in a very imperfect world and sometimes I wonder why we said yes to how difficult this would be. But then I can remember all of the positives that we have in this life as well. As difficult as it has been to be pregnant, bear a child, figure out how to nurse, rarely sleep, cry and feel frustrated or worried, it really is amazing just to look at Dominic and think, “wow, he’s mine.” I know that I’m the mom, but I think he’s mighty handsome. If we didn’t have the darkness, we wouldn’t realize how bright it is when in the light.


A Week of Cabin Contentment

Nathan and I enjoyed an entire week away from work, the city, internet access, and alarm clocks. It was the annual Campbell family vacation. The only downside this year (besides pregnancy discomfort and sickness) was that Mom and Dad Elkins were also in town that week to visit adorable baby Sawyer, the newest addition to the Elkins clan. We were only able to spend a handful of hours with them, but at least we get to see them again in December.

(Oh, and the time we did spend with them was great, especially some spiritual experiences where the timing couldn’t have been better.)

For vacations past, I took tons of pictures. I think I was almost the family photographer, but I’ve fallen out of the habit and I can’t tell you why. My best guess is because I’ve grown disenchanted with our little camera. During this year’s vacation for about an hour, I was left to take care of Thane and Laina’s nice camera and had an entertaining time taking pictures of the impromptu family soccer game. One day we’ll have to splurge for a new camera.

The picture above, I took with my cell phone. Hobbes and I were standing up on a water pipe at the top of a short hike just up from the cabin in Midway. Nathan, Thane, Alice and Laina are enjoying the view.

And then I have this little gem of a picture (below): Nathan and Grumma relaxing in the cabin after their grueling golf tournament.

I did take a few pics on my camera that I’ll throw up on this blog in a day or two as well. Most important, though, I have a video of the hummingbird wars. Sounds exciting right? Just stay on the edge of your seat until I upload that. Anticipation is killer, right?

Still Alive, Still Pregnant, Still Sick Sometimes, Still Just Grand

It’s not that there haven’t been plenty of things going on to blog about (other than being sick thanks to baby boy). It’s more that when I get a short break at work now, where I used to write up something on the ol’ blog, now I go eat something or lie down for a few minutes. You know, priorities change. Currently the priorities seem to be revolving around having food on me at all times. Who knows when I’ll need to eat NOW. Pregnancy is super fun!

Let me throw up a few pictures that I grabbed off of my cell phone of some of the happenings these days in the world of the Elkinseseses.

Littlest brother, James, was married to his lovely wife, Jasmine in the Salt Lake Temple. This is one of my favorite pictures because look at him and his two grandmas! How fabulous are those two ladies?

And here’s my handsome husband hanging out with the Tabernacle glare, followed by my buddy, Tess, who wanted to sit around and hug me while we were waiting for pictures–just one of the many loving nieces and nephews in my fam.

And last, how about some animal pictures for your viewing delight? Sure, why not. Pogi’s been lounging around the house, not doing much but posing in between games of fetch. And then, we have my new coworker. This deer stopped by work the other day just around 5:00 pm so only a few of us were there to say hello. He wasn’t particularly scared of me, but the trick is, there’s a window in between us.

When Was The Last Time Your Grandma Was Interviewed for the Paper?

The Deseret News wrote up an article about my Grandma DeeDee: 94 Years and 88 Keys Add Up To One Great Lady.

I’m spoiled, I tell you. Not everybody gets to grow up nearby both of their Grandmas, and both are such incredible women. I was one lucky little girl to get piano lessons from my Grandma DeeDee. I remember her using her fingers like a curling iron on my fingers to teach me how to play with my fingers properly bent. And when I learned to play a waltz, she got up off of the piano bench next to me and danced around the room. You tell me if you were lucky enough to have a piano teacher that study at Columbia and Julliard, hmm? That’s what I thought.

And that’s just Grandma DeeDee. I could tell oodles of stories about Grumma Campbell, too. How about a list instead? Super!

Larrie’s Blessings from Grandma and Grumma:

  • Playing dress up at Grumma’s
  • Grandma’s garden with a rock waterfall, a gazebo, bird baths, a gong, and always beautiful
  • Picking apples from Grumma’s apple tree
  • Playing house in Grandma’s basement bedrooms with a closet secret passageway
  • Swimming at Grumma’s
  • Piano recitals in Grandma’s living room
  • Birthday texts from Grumma
  • Easter brunches at Grandma’s
  • Christmas lunches with Grumma
  • Grandma’s rolls–mmmm, lard
  • Grumma’s pecan logs!
  • Doing the crossword with Grandma while waiting for a concert to start
  • Eating dinner with Grumma the day the tornado came through Salt Lake

And on and on, but I’ll stop there. I love my Grandmas! What memories do you cherish with your grandparents?