pete

My First Elkins Christmas


Last year, Nathan and I shared our first Christmas, but we were a few days short of being married so I slept at my parents, then drove over to our condo to exchange gifts. It was so nice this year to wake up next to him for our first married Christmas.

I could go on and on about everything that we did to celebrate, include all sorts of details and go off on tangents, but then this blog would be too long for Nathan to read 🙂

Instead, here’s the summarized list of a beautiful Christmas:

  • Having a real pine tree in the house smelled festive.
  • Dinner on Christmas Eve with Ryan, Laura and Bears was tasty, relaxing, and fun to open gifts from them and Mom & Dad.
  • I’m really blessed to have such wonderful in-laws (besides giving great gifts, they’re also just great people that I love spending time with).
  • Christmas morning, Nathan and I opened gifts from each other and everything was just what we needed.
  • My favorite part of Christmas was going to church–Nathan spoke in our ward and brought the spirit to the meeting, then I had the chance to accompany my Mom who was a special guest playing an arrangement of Silent Night on the violin. Mom, Dad, Grumma, Pete, Genny, and Cat all came to our ward with us so we shared the meeting with family as well as ward family.
  • After church, we went home to wrap gifts and call Mom and Dad Elkins to wish them Merry Christmas in Texas!
  • Sunday afternoon was the traditional lunch at Grumma’s where she served lil’ smokies on an orange because we all told her it wouldn’t be Christmas without them! The great grandkids had a blast with a white elephant and then the grandkids (which includes me and Nathan) received a special book this year that Grumma made for us. I love it.
  • Christmas evening was with my parents and the entire family where we spent a long time opening presents because of the number of people exchanging gifts we got for each other. Good thing we draw names so we’re not opening even more gifts. Grumma would just love that.
  • At times, the get togethers would get really loud with so many people in one room and so many excited children, but it reminded me of something Nathan told me he’d been thinking about in preparation for his talk: that when Jesus was born, we sing about it being a Silent Night, however, it probably wasn’t silent at all up in heaven. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to think that I at least tried out for the choir of angels who sang at his birth 🙂

Larrie’s DEEP Thoughts On Phones


I just read an article summarizing some info on a published report from a bunch of scientists regarding their findings on cell-phone radiation risk. (Wow, that sentence was chalk full of prepositional phrases.)

This is the article, for any inquiring minds: Details emerge on possible cell-phone radiation risk.

Basically, they say that there is a link between cell-phone use and brain tumors, but not sufficient study to really prove it. Or something like, “it might kill you, it might not.” Well done, scientists. GROUNDBREAKING report.

After reading it, I started thinking about phones in general. I realize that I have a lot of phone memories. Ah, the good ol’ days.

It all started, as far as I can remember, when I was in preschool. I had a handful of phone numbers memorized: Grandma Campbell, Grandma DeeDee, Aunt Jane and Dad’s work number. I remember one time climbing up on to the kitchen counter so that I could call one of those people for a chat. Apparently, I liked chatting on the phone at a young age.

We moved into a bigger house when I was in kindergarten and one of my favorite new features there were the BUZZERS. There were these tiny buttons by all of the phone jacks in the house and when you pressed it, it buzzed. For however LONG you pressed it. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. I can’t imagine why my parents had those removed. Why wouldn’t you want buzzers all over the house when you have six children and all of their friends coming and going? I vaguely remember that before we had them removed, we were assigned a number so you could tell somebody that the phone was for them. If you answered and it was one of Pete’s friends, you buzzed 5 times. Then nobody picked up because Pete was in the middle of conquering The Legend of Zelda.

One day, we had a new feature on our phones and the world opened up to more prank call options. We could make three-way calls. What a beautiful thing. We would call up a friend’s house, their older sister would answer and we’d bumble through an intro, “Hi, how are you? I was calling for… oh wait… sorry… the other line is beeping… one second.” Then, we’d call up another friend’s house, wait for them to answer—“Hello?”—and then connect them to the first friend’s house. “Hello?” “Hello?” “Can I help you?” “What? You called me.” “No I didn’t.” “Yes, huh.” “Nuh, uh.” “Yes WAY.” “No WAY.”

We were so funny.

And then they invented caller ID. Game over.

On to college, my freshman year we had to set up our phone in the kitchen so the voicemail had all 6 of our names on it. Each week we would record a new voicemail message, trying to be funnier than the previous one. Apparently though, none of them were memorable because, well, I don’t remember any of them. I do remember our “Kissing Wall” though. It was rather blank.

Maren and I both got our first cell phones for Christmas in 2000. Mine was blue, hers was red and they were the awesome, bulky Nokia 5100 phones. They came with a game, too… I was SO good at snake after an incredibly boring Astronomy class at SLCC. But I used the phone too much. When I’d call my friends, we’d chat for an hour or more and then make plans and then call more friends to add to those plans. One month, I went WAY over. I didn’t have a clue, though, because I didn’t see previous phone bills and never knew how much I was talking.

So I painted the basement and the laundry room to “pay back” my Dad for the phone bill. I think it took me an entire month. The basement family room alone is practically the size of mine and Nathan’s condo. And there were some precarious balancing acts to get the walls above the stairwell leading up to the laundry room.

Okay, I’ll stop there. Well, maybe I’ll add just one more. Eventually, I had this phone that would talk to me. Meaning: it would announce who was calling or texting. “Me-ssage frooom Kas-ey Chi-ild.” My favorite was when it would say either a call or a text from “Nathan.” I really should have used that phone to make those texts or calls even better like, “Me-ssage frooom hot-t-t boy-friend,” and “Call frooom hott-ie mc-hott-ie feee-ahn-say.”

Episode 55: Birthdays and Work


I’ve heard a rumor around these halls at work that the time clock wishes you happy birthday. What a nice time clock.

I have NO IDEA if it’s true, though.

I don’t work on my birthday.

The very first year I celebrated my birthday while employed here, October 14th fell on a Friday. Several things happened that day: I took the day off, Daniel Craig was announced as the sixth official James Bond actor and I slept in. Later that day, I met up with Janet to make a trip down to Las Vegas because who doesn’t want to spend their birthday weekend on their feet all day moving from one store to the next, purchasing makeup you hardly use from Sephora and clothes you still wear from Urban Outfitters? Good birthday.

The next year, my birthday was on a Saturday. For some reason, though, I don’t really remember what happened that year. I probably didn’t sleep in because I had a soccer game. But again, I did not work. Oh and also, Chelsea FC’s goalkeepers both suffered serious injuries that day against Reading FC—Cech fractured his skull and Cudicini had a concussion. Defender John Terry had to finish the game as keeper.

Moving on now to 2007: My birthday fell on a Sunday. I slept in! Church didn’t start until 1:00pm. I believe at the time, I probably sat in really uncomfortable pews so I was utilizing a blow-up “back pillO.” Yep. Getting older is superb.

Bring on 2008. I planned a last minute trip with James and Maren to visit Peter and Genny! So I woke up (probably late enough to consider it sleeping in) in Portland, Oregon after spending time in Seattle and hitting up Cannon Beach the previous days. Pete had to work so the rest of us made our way to Multnomah Falls where we raced a train took a lot of pictures and hiked all the way to the top. Mighty cool birthday.

And now we’ve arrived at this year. My birthday fell on a Wednesday. Right in the middle of the week. Kind of awkward. So I just took the one day off. I woke up at 7:30 am, read a text on my phone and then remembered, I could sleep in. So I dropped my head back down on that pillow and went right back to sleeping. Once I finally did get up, I ate breakfast, did laundry, returned texts and went to the gym. Then it was back home to make soup, burn my tongue eating it, finish laundry, clean up and go over to Tracy’s to see the demolition of their kitchen and have my four-year old niece perform several happy birthday dances for me.

Jane’s happy birthday dances were incredible.

Eventually, Jane and Abe came with me to play at my house for a bit, drew all over dozens of post-it notes and stuck them on my fridge.

Dinner was at my parents’ with my siblings. Besides the great gifts, they all went around the circle and told me nice things about myself. We may tease my dad for being cheesy in his “old age,” but I sure do appreciate this new cheesy tradition we do.

After all the eating, gift opening, complimenting Larrie, and sweeping up peanut shells that were all over the kitchen floor, I went over to Kasey’s for delicious cake and celebrations with my friends.

See how great my birthday was? No working! (I briefly checked email around 3:00pm and sent one response because I was worried about anything going wrong on a project when I’m gone for ONE day.) It felt like a holiday. Larrie Day.

Birthdays at work don’t feel like holidays.

We have ANOTHER Elder Campbell


The last of my brothers has his mission call (for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and with it, I’m losing my lifting buddy on July 1st when James reports to the MTC. Instead of just telling you where he’s going, try and guess. We’ll make it a game, shall we? I’ll give you some clues:

He’s not going to any of the missions the other brothers went to, or even the same continent. (Mick went to Santiago, Chile, Jarv to Budapest, Hungary, Pete to Quezon City, Philippines, and Thane to Seoul, Korea.)

He’s not going to Reno, like Maren had initially told Martha who tried to be nice about it for a few hours.

He’s not even going stateside.

He’s not going to the same mission (or same continent) that the “adopted” brother who is really my ex-step-cousin Chris went to: Mozambique Maputo.

He’s not going to Antarctica.

He’ll be serving in a city with over two million residents.

He won’t be speaking English.

He’ll be by beaches, but not at them or in the water (ha!).

He might get a chance to visit some of the historic buildings, which include palatial houses and churches built after an architectural style of the late medieval period.

The first Cathedral on this continent was built in this city.

The first castle on this continent was built in this city.

In 1844, their national hero helped this country gain their independence from their neighbor rulers.

The country has an estimated 2 million internet users.

Columbus’s younger brother founded the city.

That should have pretty much given you plenty of information. Where’s he going? Post your guess in the comments. Unless you already know… then guess something totally wrong, just to throw people off.

Wishing I could go back to Seattle and Portland…


Do I need to write a little intro every week explaining the oddness that is my personal therapy appointment with an imaginary doctor… on my blog? I know; it’s true; it’s strange, but would you expect anything less?

DOC: You’re late.

LRE: Probably.

DOC: No. Not probably. You are.

LRE: Well, at least I’m here. That means that I’m back and back at work, too.

DOC: Oh, right… how was your vacation?

LRE: Very good and I would like to go back now.

DOC: But, you can’t because you have to earn money to pay the bills.

LRE: Shucks.

DOC: So do you want to tell me about your vacation?

LRE: It was practically perfect in every way.

DOC: Like Mary Poppins?

LRE: Pretty much. Except for there weren’t any chalk paintings that we could jump into.

DOC: Maybe next time.

LRE: Maybe. Here; I brought some pics.

DOC: Just some, huh?

LRE: Unless you want to sit down and look at all 304 that we took in four days with me…

DOC: Oh my. Thank you for only bringing some.

LRE: Sure. Click here for the slideshow.

DOC: Oh, a URL… how nice.