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27.12.16

Small blessings

Waiting for our plane
Hulk and I flew home late Christmas Eve. We had been visiting my in-laws in SLC. JC had flown out with us but left a few days before because he had to work. So 11pm mst on Dec 24th we were in the airport watching the snow fall outside. I had been monitoring our flight all day as the local news predicted a major snow storm. Each time I checked, the website said our flight was on time. When Hulk and I got through security I checked the monitors for our gate assignment and sure enough - our plane was late. It was only an hour late but then, because of the snow, the plane had to be defrosted. We had a layover in Charlotte and missed our connecting flight. So we spent Christmas morning in the airport enjoying bagels from Einstein Bros and watching planes taxi. Instead of getting home around 9am and going to church (where I was supposed to play the piano) we got home around noon. And you know what, I'm not even upset about it. The spirit had forewarned me and there's nothing I could have done differently. It was out of my control (aside from spending $$ that I don't have to get an earlier plane ticket).
Hulk's train yard (thank you Santa)

Hulk's daycare is closed this week but JC and I both have to work. So I loaded my car up with Hulk's stroller as well as food and toys for him to play with while I checked on my tissue cultures. As I pulled out of my parking spot the car seemed off balance and not handling well. Granted I hadn't driven it in almost two weeks but I felt impressed to get out and check. Sure enough, I had a flat tire. So I pulled back into my parking spot, contemplated what to do and ultimately decided to get Hulk and everything back inside. (I have a spare but I couldn't see any obvious puncture marks on the tire so I want to try re-inflating it first and the pump is in JC's car)
Not five minutes after we had entered our apartment Hulk started throwing up. So I washed him, changed his clothes, and sent him to bed. He had been complaining of his stomach hurting all day but with no other symptoms I hadn't quarantined him. Had my car tire not been flat he would have thrown up in my car (or worse, at work). At home I am able to give him the car and attention he needs.

Usually, this string of events would put me in a pretty bad mood.
But right now, I feel pretty blessed. <3
(but I'm still not excited about cleaning barf from my carpet - better than my car, right??)



6.12.16

#LIGHTtheWORLD

I LOVE it when the church comes out with holiday videos.



I love having the missionaries in my home.
please excuse my awful singing, I would say it was because of a cold but my voice is bad regardless.



And I also love it when I find pass along cards at the self check out in Wal*Mart. 

:)

To find out more go here

We are the Lord's Hands

My family has a tradition that the day after Thanksgiving we set up the Christmas tree and pull out decorations. So, following tradition, I pulled everything out and we spent the weekend decorating. Fortunately we live in a small apartment and our decorations consist mainly of a fake tree, half a dozen nutcrackers, and a string of lights. It takes like two minutes. It's amazing. We do have a nativity scene that my mother bought us when JC and I first married. The pieces are cylindrical, tall (about half a foot), and made of ceramic. It had been carefully stored away this past year but somehow, I guess between the move and everything our possessions have been through, the angel lost a hand. I have no idea where it went. My dad and I were talking and I told him about the angel's missing hand and his response was, "You know what that means, right? You are the hands."

We have an all-powerful Father in Heaven who knows each of us, individually. He knows our trials, our struggles, our hopes. But He works through us and the people around us. When we reach out to serve someone, we are allowing God to work through us. We become His hands. My dad had been quoting President Monson who said, "We are the Lord's hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to life His children. He is dependent upon each of us."1

Christmas is my favorite time of year; I believe many people share that sentiment. We just celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday where we give thanks for what we have. In a few weeks, we will celebrate the birth of our Savior. I can think of no better way to honor our Savior and to show gratitude than by losing ourselves in service to others.

1. "What Have I Done For Somebody Today?" - Pres. Monson October 2009 General Conference

9.11.16

President Elect

Donald Trump was elected president last night. I still can't believe it. I feel like this is a walking nightmare. Apparently people felt the same way when Obama was elected president (what?!). And Obama was a decent president. He was no Roosevelt but he did the best he could with the messed up situation he was given.

Neither JC or I voted for Trump nor Clinton but we did vote. We believe it is our civic duty to be involved in government politics and that includes voting. The speeches given by both parties today were very good. They emphasized unity and the need to work together. Countries work better when people look beyond race, class, religion, or sex and come together to build each other up.

I hope that people voted for Trump because he supports a conservative supreme court judge or he represents an anti-establishment not previously seen in other candidates and they hope he'll be able to change Washington. I hope that people did not vote for Trump because they believe he's less of a threat to our nation than Clinton or because they are misogynistic racists.

It's scary enough bringing up a child in this world. I hope that this change will be for the better and that we will be able to unite to create a better place for ourselves and our children. I hope that Hulk will be able to grow into a compassionate and selfless man.

I hope that God will bless America.


14.9.16

End of Summer Thoughts

The end of August marked the beginning of a new school term. It also means that the Ohio weather has become more mild. We're sooooo excited for the humidity to be over. 
Humidity is the worst.
  
Hulk sleeping on the plane
Hulk and I were able to go home and see family for a week.
Aside from a cold, we had a great time.

Visiting my sister's grave
I am really grateful that my mother-in-law (Nana) was able and willing to spend nearly the whole visit with Hulk and I. When people mention their in-laws it's rarely in a positive light. My in-laws are amazing and I am grateful for the relationship we have.

The whole family together <3
Hulk has a really weird bond with Nana. He asks for her everyday, asks when she's going to visit next, why can't we visit her, can we call her, why we can't call her at 4am pst. We checked this book out from the library that he loved called "Hello, my name is Bob." (it's pretty cute). Now he goes around giving objects names. His favorite is, "Hello, my name is Nana!" When I've had to tell him "no" more than once I'll say, "I said 'no'." He'll respond by saying, "Nana said yes." (even though she's 2500 miles away and has no idea this exchange occurred).
He's obsessed with his Nana.
And rightly so, she devotes every moment to him. She's the perfect grandma and spoils him.

Hiking with Nana
 He also doesn't do well with change.
He likes to feel in control and change messes with his 3 year old perception of the world.

Beautiful Oregon coast
 So when we went home I made a conscious effort to ensure Hulk could spend as much time with Nana as possible. This would mean that my parents and siblings would need to make more of an effort to spend time with him. It's not that he wouldn't be willing to spend time with them with Nana around but he wouldn't need to go in search of playmates with her there. Another reason for my decision was JC and I had just moved to a new apartment, started attending a new church, and our schedules had changed to adjust to the new location.

The family <3
 Hulk wasn't coping well and I felt time with Nana would help him. And it has, he has been so much happier since we returned to Ohio. He still has his moments but they're much less frequent. He no longer melts to the floor in tears begging to go "home" when we are already at our apartment. Nana was going to come visit in October but JC and I feel that Hulk is doing well enough that he could make it to Christmas without her. Before my trip to Oregon we didn't think he could.

Reading the trail map
I have no doubt this is just a phase he's going through. Right now, Nana is his security blanket.
(he even prefers her to me which is hard)

Two trolls in a cave
As Hulk's mother I acted in what I still believe was his best interest. The decision was made, the trip has been completed, and now it is in the past *insert Disney quote*. I checked with my parents and siblings, they weren't offended or threatened by Nana's presence.

Grandpa the sherpa
JC and I are married. His family is my family not just now but for eternity. Right now, Hulk prefers JC's mom over my parents. Fact. But she's still family, my family. It would be easy for a member of my side of the family to feel threatened because Hulk prefers Nana. She's an in-law and easily seen as an outsider. In contrast, if Hulk had spent our time in Oregon glued to one of my parents or siblings, it would have been easy for members on my side of the family to think his actions were really cute and sweet.

First time together in 2 years 
Fortunately I have awesome parents and siblings who trust and respect my position as Hulk's mother. I am grateful that my parents were able to encourage me to be an independent and confident woman.
Not to talk myself up but I like the person they created :)


Who knows? Maybe next year he'll prefer my mom ;)

4.4.16

To my baby sister

Dear Karna,

Happy 21st birthday! I imagine, had you the opportunity, you would have followed in EW's footsteps and served a mission. With the age change you'd probably be just coming home. For a short period of time mom and dad would have had three kids in the field.

I still think about you. Lots. When people ask how many siblings I have, I falter between five and four. The day you were born is one of my strongest childhood memories. I remember how excited I was and how tired mom looked. I remember when we went to visit in the hospital - I asked dad if I could hold you and he paused before he said yes but I had to sit on his lap first. I sat on his lap, someone put a pillow on my lap, and then I was able to hold you.

I remember the day you died. I woke up and you weren't there. I asked mom where you were and she said that you were on an airplane to Oregon. I was mad because she didn't wake me up to say goodbye. At your funeral, I asked mom if I could touch your arm. It was cold and hard. During the service Meghan and I picked flowers that were growing under a nearby tree. For awhile after our home was filled with flowers. Mom would yell at EW or I if we touched the lilies.

You were born, and died, at an appropriate time of year when we celebrate Easter, rebirth, and Spring. General Conference was held this last weekend. It's a boon as it spiritually uplifts and reminds me of the Plan of Happiness and the covenants I've made. I know that Heavenly Father has a greater plan for you and that you are doing a great work, serving a spiritual mission, where ever you are.

I love you,

Sis

Locke Cemetery - December 2015

14.3.16

JC-isms

This post is dedicated to some of the awesome things JC has said:

After I asked him if he found my new hair style attractive:
That's not why I'm attracted to you, it's because of your ninja skills.

When moving into our first apartment:
Do you think it is too early in our relationship to have a yard sale?

After telling him he better do something if he wanted a happy wife:
The only reason I would want a happy wife is if I wanted a happy life! Who says I want a happy life?

Any day EO runs is a good day

While making my birthday dinner:
I have a little fat guy in me that cooks things. Sometimes he's Japanese.

While wondering if I was on campus when part way through my pregnancy:
Did you come into work or are you at home being pregnant?

In reference to Hulk:
Woah, that kid is big! If football wasn't bad for his brain, I'd say we have a winner.

On my birthday:
Hulk, today your mother is one year wiser but she is not one year older. Women stop turning older after they're 21.

I love this man <3



11.2.16

The Crafty Campbells: Crayon Shaving Art

Hulk and I made some Valentine's Day themed art for our front window last weekend. 


It was simple and I only ruined one towel. The hardest part was creating the crayon shavings. I had tried a knife, potato peeler, and cheese grater by the time JC suggested a pencil sharpener. That was the winner. However, shaving crayons created a problem: A LOT of static (and blisters - I'm currently typing this with bandaged fingers). So I did some web-surfing to search for suggested solutions. I find that if I have a problem it is safe to assume that I am not the first to experience said problem. So after a few clever word suggestions into google BAM. 
Problem solved. 
(Thank you, random stranger)
But that was not the case with these overly static crayon shavings. There were complaints online, so I knew I was not alone, but no suggestions. Using my high school knowledge of static electricity and a few texts with my dad I decided that a dryer sheet would be the best solution.
Other ideas were: spreading them out on a wood surface (messy) and spritzing with water.
<3 Happy Valentine's Day <3






8.1.16

Changes

JC, Hulk and I are currently on our way home from visiting family. We've missed them, the rain, the mountains. Hulk has missed his paternal grandmother (Nana). A Lot. He calls her multiple times everyday (and he's only 2).

Some highlights from our trip were attending the temple with my sister and parents
We were able to visit the temple 4 times!
Hiking and trail running
Our little Hiker :)
JC and I finally caved and traded in our rear facing carseat for a forward facing. Hulk loves telling (shouting at) us to stop when the light is red and to go when it is green. He also complains about the belt and tries to get out of his carseat. This is new to us. 2+ years in his other carseat and he never tried to escape. Not once.
Switched to forward seating
We visited my sister's grave for a family picture (just missing my missionary brother!). She died shortly after birth when I was 5 (it was expected - the ultrasound showed that she had anencephaly). New years day my dad taught me how to make ├Žbelskiver (you're the best!). It was a very happy moment until we got the call that my dad's youngest brother had died in a car crash that morning leaving his wife and three daughters behind (13, 11, and 9 y/o). 
I miss him and cannot fathom what his wife and daughters are going through right now. He was one of the kindest people I've known. I take comfort in the atonement and knowing we have a Father in Heaven who knows and loves us. With the way everything was timed, I do not doubt that He had a hand in this. I do not understand why this would happen but I know that everything will work out in the end. I am grateful to know that I can be with my family forever and that someday I will be able to give my uncle another hug.
Our forever family
A few days before we were set to go home JC's mom mentioned that his older sister was asking if he'd be interested in a job where she works (essentially she was offered a promotion and they're searching for someone to fill her shoes). JC believes this would be a good career move. My two big inhibitors are quitting school and moving. A year ago we felt that moving clear across the country was the right decision. But if JC had been asked to apply for this job a year ago I'm not sure he would have. God has a strange way of working our lives but maybe the change we made a year ago was to help prepare us for the change that is up ahead. But then again I may just be over anxious as he still has to interview for and be offered the job. We've got awhile ;)

Here's my list (I'm still working on it):

PRO:                                                      CON:
Close to family                                       I would have to quit school
JC career                                                Another BIG move
Mountains/trails                                     JC could find a job where we're at (albeit not as good)  
Family (they're that important)              We would not be able to buy a house for another year+
Closer to the temple (like 50 of them)   I would be a single mom until the term ended unless I
More time with Hulk                                 quit in the middle of the term
                                                               Utah Mormons (don't be offended, you know it's true)