Sitting, Smiling, Bathing, Tubbing. Birds, Pogi, and Plenty of Fun!

With the Independence Day holiday this last Thursday, I took advantage and made it into an extra-specially long weekend by taking Friday off from work. It was the best!

On the 4th, Nathan was blessed with lots of homework so Dom and I left him at home with Pogi’s help while we went to the zoo. I took my camera and left it in the diaper bag until the very end. This is how this picture (below) went down:

Oh how patriotic, the bald eagles! Let’s get a picture with them behind us.

Dustin takes the camera while Maren and I line up with the boys in the stroller.


Oh, the bald eagle flew away.

Can you see the other eagle hiding in the shadow?

Dustin: sure.

Picture taken.

Looking at the picture later: look how HAPPY our two boys are! Happy 4th to you.


Dom’s favorite was probably the polar bear that was pacing around his den and then outside, making circles in the dirt.

On the way home, he had to check on me in the car: “How’s the view from up there, mom? I got my sock. Yep. Light turned green. Green means go.”


Back at home, Pogi sat with Dom for a little bonding. They had truly missed each other. Truly. Madly. Deeply.


We barbecued at my parents that evening and enjoyed some relaxing time in the hot tub. Technically, it was more of a warm tub since it was nearing 100 degrees. Dom appreciated splashing around and standing up on his own.


On Friday, after Dom’s swimming class, our family (minus Pogi) went to Tracy Aviary with Laina, Hobbes and Alice. THIS TIME WE GOT A PICTURE WITH TWO BALD EAGLES. SO PATRIOTIC.


A peacock showed off for us. Not bad, bird; not bad.


And a few other gems from the outing:


To finish the weekend strong, Dom and Dad had a staring contest. Nathan won because SOMEBODY doesn’t have a very long attention span.


And here are a few bonus pictures for you: Pogi apparently loves Dom’s jumper and Dom apparently loves his baths and his dinners!



Conference Weekend Cabin Contentment

We have officially taken our first trip with Dominic. At the wise age of 4 and a half months, he has now slept somewhere other than the hospital or his home. We spent a night at my parent’s cabin in Midway with some family. That night was a bit of a disaster.

Little man went to sleep at 8:00 pm.

I left the bedroom door open (Dom’s pack ‘n play was set up in the walk-in closet), and went to sit in the family room with Maren and Laina. The husbands were not home yet from the Priesthood session of General Conference.

After about an hour, a baby was crying. All three moms looked at each other with bated breath. Who’s kid was crying? “It’s mine,” I said. Dom had woken up. It was 9:00 pm. After popping a binkie in his mouth, he seemed to settle down and go back to sleep. Phew, I thought. I joined the women on the couch.

The boys got home with food (more on that below) and we started eating until there was more crying. It was Dom again. It was around 10:00 pm now. Nathan went in and got him back to sleep. Eventually, we went into the bedroom, collapsed on the king size bed that was the creakiest thing I have ever encountered, and went to sleep.

There it was again: Dom crying. It was around 1:00 am. I got up and nursed him. He had a hard time, though, due to his stuffy nose. I thought I had him back to sleep and put him back into the closet. I was wrong. For the next three hours, Nathan and I made attempts to get him back to sleep. I started to cry in frustration so Nathan took him out to the living room so that I could sleep for a bit. Then Dom finally fell asleep. Sleeping on his side, he could actually breath through his stuffy nose. Nathan put him in the pack ‘n play and we went back to sleep.

Dom woke up at 5:30 crying. I nursed him again and he went back to sleep.

He woke up for the day around 7:00 am. I felt INVIGORATED.

Okay, so the night was a disaster, but the other part of the weekend was pretty fabulous. We drove up Saturday morning and Dom slept the entire 40-minute drive. We met up with Thane, Laina, Hobbes and Alice who had come up the night before and now had the TVs on, watching General Conference. We joined them sitting on the squeaky king-size bed, attempting to listen to the speakers, but paying more attention to the children. Eventually, Maren, Dustin and Campbell joined us as well.


Mick, Tracy, Annie, Emma, Abe, Jane and Kate came up late Saturday afternoon, but not to the cabin. They were staying in a little suite (courtesy of Opa) at Zermatt Resort. We took advantage of this by going to the pool. In case you can’t tell, it was steamy by the hot tub and fogged up my camera’s lens. All of the kids enjoyed their swim. Cousins like swimming. And clearly, Maren and Campbell couldn’t care less about the “wait 30 minutes after eating to swim” rule. I bet Michael Phelps doesn’t wait to get in the pool after eating. Just saying.


Remember how I told you that I would expound upon the food that the men brought home after the priesthood session? Good. This is where I am going to expound. The guys brought back Mexican food. It was A LOT of food. We needed to take a picture of it all, right? I climbed up on one of the recliners and told people to say cheese. Good job, Maren.

After we finished all of the food, we had to take “fat” pictures, right? RIGHT! I am surprised that Dom didn’t wake up from the laughing. Everything’s so much funnier when you’re sleep deprived and filled up on so-so Mexican food.


When we returned home from the cabin, the bag filled with Dom’s toys and books was left on the floor in our front room. I asked Pogi if he would please unpack it. He didn’t do a very good job of putting ANYTHING away. One day, perhaps, I will get that cat to do something USEFUL.

Hummingbird Wars

Last week during our vacation, Nathan and I purchased a cheap, plastic hummingbird feeder from The Store in Midway. Okay, correction: I wanted to buy it and Nathan went along with it. Look people: birds are fascinating to me and I could hear the hummingbirds zipping all through the forest surrounding the cabin so I wanted to see them up close. The feeder was only $10 so clearly, it was very basic.

Once we got back to the cabin, there was a dilemma: how to hang the feeder. I wandered around the cabin looking for a good spot, but there weren’t any hooks just sitting around on the porch waiting for a hummingbird feeder. I went to the garage, climbed around the ATVs and found a big plastic box in the corner. Inside were decorative hooks and several wall plaques with cutesy sayings. These would be things purchased by one of the other families that owns the cabin with my parents. I briefly thought about taking one of the decorative hooks, but it still had its price tag on it. It cost much more than the feeder. I decided to keep looking.

Further back in the garage I found some tiny nails and a length of wire. This will work. I dug a hammer and wire cutters out of a tool box and went upstairs to the porch. Laina was playing with her kids while I climbed up on the banister to hammer some nails into the posts and string some wire between them. (Nathan was downstairs working on a paper and I didn’t tell him what I was up to outside.) We had a good laugh that the pregnant lady was perched on the banister with the hammer and nails. In the end, it worked great and the feeder was waiting for its first patron.

I wondered how long it would take for the birds to find it. Perhaps they wouldn’t even notice it before our vacation was over. I crossed my fingers and hoped all of the hard work and money wouldn’t be in vain. After a few hours, I heard one. For such a tiny bird, their wings sure are loud. The first hummingbird had found the feeder and it wouldn’t be too long before a number of them would show up.

Saturday morning, sitting out on the porch eating breakfast, I noticed four different hummingbirds stopping by for breakfast with us. I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures, but my favorite was this short video of Hummingbird Wars!

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?

Weekend – Return and Report

  • Baby Alice! Congrats to Laina and Thane on baby #2
  • Dinner with my neighbor Kellie – delicious of course, thanks hubby
  • Setting off the smoke alarm by turning the oven on self clean
  • Making cookies = eating plenty of cookie dough
  • Conference! What was your favorite? Mine was Elder Scott’s message
  • Sitting in the sun with Nathan on Friday afternoon
  • Dinner with Maren, Jennie and her kids
  • Reading bedtime stories to Owen and Bennett
  • French toast for Sunday morning conference, thanks hubby
  • Snow 😦
  • Lots and lots and lots of people for Sunday dinner
  • An extra prayer Sunday night, thanks hubby

Planning My Christmas Wedding

I wrote this blog entry several weeks back, but I was waiting until things were official to post it. Now they’re official. It’s been posted. Enjoy reading.

I read on a friend’s blog a short entry about life. “It’s not easy doing a life,” she said. I’ve felt that way at times, but right now, I can’t remember that.

Life is too good.

The only problem I can think of is that right now, I have too much. I don’t deserve it all and would share it if I could.

It’s like I’m in Alaska during the summertime when the sun just stays up forever. It doesn’t help me get enough sleep, but I don’t care because it makes me so damn happy. Damn happy is the best!

I’ve been looking back lately to examine all the different forks in the roads I’ve wandered up to, thinking about why I went right or left, and being grateful that each of my turns led me to the place I’m in now. Do you ever do that?

Several years ago, I was frustrated that I just couldn’t get back to BYU and try and finish up a bachelor’s degree already, but instead, I worked for a semester with United Way and made some amazing friendships that led me to the job I have today.

If I didn’t have my job today, I honestly don’t know that I’d be in Utah.

More than anything, when I finished at BYU, I wanted to move away for a while. I wanted to experience living in a big city for a time: San Francisco, New York, Chicago, etc.

But if I hadn’t stayed around, I wouldn’t have still been here for my little brother to tell me, one afternoon standing on my porch with his wife and little baby boy, about this great guy in his ward that he wanted to set me up with. And then I forgot all about that great guy. Until my brother texted me months later that he’d given some guy named Nate my number and that he told him to call me.

On the flip side, Nathan didn’t want to go out on a blind date. But Thane told him two things: one, that he wouldn’t actually see him again as he was moving out of his ward so if it didn’t work out, they wouldn’t feel awkward; and two, that he’d told me that he would call.

So he called. And he left a message.

And I listened to it late one night and thought, better call this guy back.

And then it took me five days to return his call.

And thankfully, he hadn’t found somebody else in those five days. We went out three days later—best blind date ever (who even has good blind dates?). And the rest is history.

Best history ever.

The Gainer that Never Was

I tried.

I really did.

I tried as best as I could, but you know how there is that phrase about teaching an old dog new tricks?

First, let’s clarify: I don’t consider myself an old dog.

I just think that perhaps I would have been a bit more fearless when I was younger.

But I tried really hard to learn a new trick on Saturday.

I tried to learn how to do a gainer.

It all started at the second annual Campbell-DeLaMare swimming party at the DeLaMare mansion. They wouldn’t call it a mansion. They just call it home, but I never had my own bathroom connected to my bedroom and a walk-in closet growing up. I never had a swimming pool in the backyard with a diving board and slide. I never had an upstairs and downstairs kitchen. I never had an indoor swimming pool either. I did, however, have a pool table and a ping pong table.*

We became friends with the DeLaMares when they moved in to the average-size house next door over a decade ago. Before long, Maren and I were babysitting their youngest kids, Mom was scheduling her daily walks with their mom, Lisa, and we built a new fence with a door in it so we could easily walk from one backyard to the other. It was neighborhood bliss. And then the DeLaMares decided to upgrade. They moved to a bigger home and left our little neighborhood behind. But don’t worry; we stayed friends.

Isn’t it great that even though they live in their fancy new home they still want to see the Campbells? And they want to see ALL of us? GOOD friends.

This last Saturday afternoon was the swimming party.

Maren, Thane, Laina, Hobbes and I drove up together. Before long, we were all outside swimming and the diving board was just asking for my brothers to fling themselves off of it. I hesitated.

But they made it look so easy to do a gainer: Jarv, Mick and Thane.

“You just arch your back,” Thane instructed me.

Mick said something about jumping higher.

Jarv said something about tucking.

I tried the first time and landed on my head. Not too bad. I was more than halfway around.

I tried again. Back flop. Lost my courage.

Try again.

Went in shins first.

Try again.

Head first.

Try again, jump higher.

Back flop.

I’m done.

So much for learning how to do a gainer.

Guess the remainder of the lessons will have to wait for the Campbell-DeLaMare swimming party next year. I’ll let you know how that goes.

*You’d think because of this I would be a decent pool player or have some amount of ping pong skills. Your thoughts would be wrong, though. I can, however, play both sports better than I can bowl.

Hip Hip Hooray for Hobbes

Okay, I know it’s not supposed to be a cell phone pic / caption contest because it’s FRIDAY – and boy do I love Friday. But, I was slightly MIA* from the old blog world on Wednesday and today I have a great picture to share AN-EE-WAYZ. I have a new nephew, Hobbes. Congrats to Laina and Thane! Here’s a cute pic of him and then, we’ll** post the cell phone pic below for this week’s caption contest. HURRY AND POST A COMMENT NOW BECAUSE IT’S ONLY A FEW DAYS BEFORE NEXT WEDNESDAY’S DEADLINE!

Enter the CAPTION CONTEST now!

The Sciolist Cell Phone Pic of the Weeknot-™ is published each week with the intent to entice readers to comment. This is accomplished with a CONTEST! The winner will receive a blog nod in the following week’s post-what a TREMENDOUS prize. Entering is easy. Just click on Comment below, fill in the identification information requested and enter your caption for the above picture as your comment. You have until Larrie posts the following Wednesday’s pic to enter.

Ready… GO!***

Last Week’s Winner: Boy, way to make this such a tough choice, people. By default, ‘deltalimagolf’ wins (despite the abusive punctuation). Cheers for this Contracted Developer Man (a.k.a. deltalimagolf, which I have no idea what it means, either) who submitted a late entry, which we** counted since nobody else posted an entry. About CDM, he recently gifted his family with a rowdy little troublemaker: a Bengal kitten. Isn’t his family lucky? Also, he actually works… unlike some other contracted developer guy I wonder about.

*Not sure how one can only be slightly MIA, but I was.

**By we, I mean ME.

***And by GO!, I mean COMMENT!