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.

A Quirky Game of Tag


Hooray for Thursdays and another fabulous installment of Larrie’s weekly therapy with her imaginary Doc. For some blog readers, this is what they look forward to—it helps them make it to the weekend.

DOC: Welcome, please sit down.

LRE: So formal.

DOC: I’m trying a new thing.

LRE: What? Acting like a doctor?

DOC: Something along those lines.

LRE: Great; just so long as you’re still imaginary and therefore I still don’t have to pay you.

DOC: Right-o. I’ve got a list of questions to discuss.

LRE: Nah; that’s okay.

DOC: But… but, I put so much time into coming up with these.

LRE: Really?

DOC: Sure, why not?

LRE: K, save them for next week.

DOC: Why? Do you have another list of 100 random things all about YOU?

LRE: No; that requires more effort than your list of questions.

DOC: Fine; what have ya got then?

LRE: I’ve been tagged.

DOC: You’ve… been… tagged…?

LRE: Yes; thanks for repeating it. Katie tagged me.

DOC: Kate did, huh? That still doesn’t explain what you’re talking about. Are you playing freeze tag?

LRE: Not exactly; it’s blog tag and I don’t think anybody crawls under your legs to unfreeze you in this game.

DOC: Blog tag, huh? So we’re expecting some of those hyperlink things where the text is underlined and blue?

LRE: Yes, a few.

DOC: All right, fine. Explain this blog tag then.

LRE: Right. Katie wrote the “rules” on her blog as she had received them from the person that tagged her.

DOC: Of course; you have to have clear rules. And what are they?

LRE: Let’s see… I link back to her (done), talk about the rules on my blog, tell six unspectacular quirks about me, tag six other bloggers and then leave comments on their blogs that I’ve tagged them.

DOC: Interesting rules. And these rules ask you to write YOUR rules about YOUR blog? YOU have rules?

LRE: Well, I wouldn’t exactly say that’s what it’s supposed to mean—talking about the rules on my blog and all—it really means that I need to explain the “tag rules” here on my blog, but I could briefly mention my daily posts as the “rules” for MY blog.

DOC: You mean—there’s more than JUST our Thursday appointments?

LRE: Hate to break it to ya, Doc, but you’re only one of usually six entries a week.

DOC: I’m crushed; I was under the impression that we were exclusive.

LRE: Ha—that would be silly.

DOC: Well, I’m afraid to ask out of jealousy, but what are the others?

LRE: Monday is my “freebie” day, Tuesday is the quote of the week, Wednesday is the cell phone pic of the week, you and I have our Thursdays, Friday is about work and Saturday I try and review a book.

DOC: You don’t sound very committed to Saturdays.

LRE: Yeah; Saturday doesn’t always give me enough attention so I’m not as committed, but there’s also lots of soccer now that it’s fall and I haven’t managed to sit down at a laptop when there’s running and scoring goals to be done.

DOC: Well, I suppose it’s good to know your rules.

LRE: Sure.

DOC: K, so what was next? Six unspectacular quirks about you?

LRE: Yeah.

DOC: Who chose to describe your quirks with unspectacular?… sort of an oxymoron there.

LRE: Almost. I can see your point, but my idiosyncrasies aren’t exactly spectacular—just odd.

DOC: All right; you list them and stop naming synonyms for quirk instead.

LRE: Let’s see… first, I keep telling myself that one day I will master “mind over mattress” but it just never happens.

DOC: I suppose that there ARE people out there who like mornings.

LRE: I suppose so, too, but I don’t really want to hear about that. I hate mornings and each morning, a different Larrie wakes up determined to come up with one reason after another to continue hitting the snooze button.

DOC: That button should never have been invented.

LRE: Seriously.

DOC: K, that was one.

LRE: Right; I better hurry this up as I’m rambling and nobody wants to read long blog entries.

DOC: Do you ever have SHORT entries?

LRE: STOP interrupting me. Number two would be that I hate doing dishes, however, since buying my own little condo, I have NEVER, NOT EVEN ONCE, left a pot or pan in the sink overnight. (But that does not relate to cookie sheets or muffin tins.)

DOC: Don’t tell your mom. She’ll wonder why you didn’t do that at home.

LRE: No she won’t. I was okay at doing my own dishes.

DOC: Hmm… maybe I’ll ask her.

LRE: Fine. Moving right along to number three: I think I’m really funny.

DOC: You’re not supposed to think of yourSELF as funny.

LRE: I know, but the thing is, I don’t think other people think I’m nearly as funny as I THINK I AM.

DOC: Do you really care?

LRE: Course not. Okay, number four would be that I had a really hard time misspelling the word millennium in an IM chat today.

DOC: Why were you misspelling it?

LRE: For comedic purposes, of course. But purposely misspelling is so difficult; ESPECIALLY when you type 90+ wpm and therefore don’t type by letter, but type by word. It really cut down on my typing speed.

DOC: Sounds rough. Okay so on to number five.

LRE: Thanks. For the sake of time, I’m going to say five AND six BEFORE you can interrupt me.

DOC: Oh, good…

LRE: STOP.

DOC: Sor-

LRE: SERIOUSLY, STOP. That wasted four lines. Sheesh. (Speaking REALLY fast now…) Five-would-be-that-I-have-a-crooked-toe-again-and-Six-would-be-that-I’m-really-bummed-I-don’t-have-a-piano-in-my-condo. The. End.

DOC: Well, I think I caught that last bit.

LRE: And I’m done.

DOC: Except you need to tag six more. Pick six that also need therapy, k?

LRE: Don’t we all probably need it?

DOC: Not you; you’re self medicated.

LRE: Saves me money. K, I tag Puck, Nettie, Nichole, Pete, Thane and Laina. Who wants to put money down on which brother actually does it… Pete or Thane?

DOC: I’m not a betting man.

LRE: You’re not a REAL man.

DOC: Don’t you have to post a comment on their blogs now to tell them?

LRE: Yes, but I can’t post comments on blogs at work. I’ll try and remember to do it later tonight.

DOC: Just try, huh?

LRE: Yeah… I’ll try.

Weekend Highlights – Late Night Movies, Late Night Soccer and Nothing Early Morning


Friday: I survived work. It was one of those weeks where this was a MIGHTY accomplishment. Go me. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do that night, though. There had been a possibility of a gaggle of girls at my place, but that fell through because of my inability to actually call anyone. I blame that on my phone dying and the need to break in my new phone before making massive amounts of phone calls. Then there was a possibility of a sleepover with the nieces, but that also fell through. It was also possible that I would watch Jarv’s and Jennie’s kids for them, but they recruited Laina to help out (who has WAY more patience than I do so I’m sure none of the kids were sent to sit in the corner in the garage for time out—wait, I would NEVER do that; they just sit in the corner of the LAUNDRY room, better).

Instead, I coerced my coworker to bring her HUGE deli sandwich left over from lunch over so we could save money on dinner. She came with her daughter who gave the cats a workout chasing after toys. She also took videos on her mom’s cell phone of my ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS cats playing with these toys and sent them to my phone. Cute, right?

After they left, I sat around for a while watching TV and could have taken the opportunity to go to bed early, but that right there would be proof enough that THE END OF DAYS WERE NEAR. Instead, I crashed the little party at Pete’s and G’s where I remembered that I’m mad at my brother for moving out of state and taking his wife with him. Grrr. We semi-watched Enchanted, but I kept on getting up to go and check out things like Pete’s new GPS device, Pete’s and G’s new fireplace, and of course to discuss finances with Pete.

I got home late. (Surprise.)

Saturday: I got up around 9:30, had some quick breakfast and then dressed up for Laurie’s funeral. It was good to see so many people there to pay her respect and offer support to her family. Also, I had NO clue that this friend of mine had an affinity for mooning people. I think if I had found that out while she was still alive, I probably would have found out by experiencing it. The stories were funny enough.

After the funeral: errands. Being an adult is über exciting.

Then it was off to Mick and Tracy’s to watch their brood of five. After pizza, a movie and starting a rock band which performed on Emma’s bed, they all fell asleep just in time for my Mom to come and relieve me at 11:00 p.m. to race to my soccer game.

I LOVE the late, late soccer games. If I didn’t have to sleep, I would run around ALL NIGHT LONG because I have the energy to do it. (Except that lately, my lungs haven’t been cooperating so well, but oh well. Must be getting OLD.) We crushed the other team and I had two easy goals in the process. Thanks Mom for your help!

Sunday: I have my new ward so FOOLED. They think I can sing. Well, okay, I CAN sing, but that really just involves me being able to read music and sing on tune. That doesn’t say anything about the tone of my voice. I AM NOT A SOLOIST. And YET… I am singing a solo next week in church. Permission to laugh now. I know, seriously. I fit just fine in a choir, but our ward choir director asked me to sing the last line of the hymn ALL BY MYSELF. I said sure, because, hey maybe somebody will come up and talk to me afterwards.

Somebody: “That sure was brave of you to sing that solo.”

Me: “Why thank you.”

Somebody: “I hope they don’t ask you to do it again. But it WAS brave.”

Me: “Right… what’s your name?”

After church, it was dinner at the parents’ and a little celebration for Thane’s birthday. This is my cool little brother who used to wear TONS of BYU paraphernalia. That used to be our bond—the cougar fans in the Campbell clan. But his blood eventually turned red and we only had our baby pictures left to bond (and fight) over. So instead, he let me play soccer with him. I suddenly realized that my cool brother was also NICE because he was willing to put up with me on the field.

We then finished out the weekend by watching Step Up 2 at Ster’s. Talk about QUALITY entertainment.

I went home that night and had an Epsom salt bath while I drank chamomile tea and read a book. I AM LIVING THE LIFE.