Sunday, November 23, 2014

Remembering Lila

Today marks one year since our grandmother Lila passed away. I miss her so much. She was so full of spunk and life and joy. When I met her she was very sick, but she never let it get her down. She was always looking for ways to serve others and never complained about how awful she was feeling. The first day that I met her we bonded immediately. It was like finding a long-lost sister. We were so comfortable with each other and could talk about anything.

It breaks my heart sometimes that she left before Sam was born, that he'll never know her in this life, but I feel sure that she was with him before he was born. I like to imagine that she held Sam and his cousins that have passed away all in her arms, singing to and teaching them. I've felt her close many times, and oh, how I miss her. She was such a wonderful example of selflessness and love and I will be forever grateful that I got to know her and be her friend.

I know that those we love are never far away. I am so grateful for the atonement and for the gospel. I'm grateful for the promise that those who pass away are not gone forever. I'm grateful that through the ordinances in temples we can be with our families forever. What a joyful message that is! I'm thankful for my Savior. for making all of this possible, for loving me and all of us enough to do all he had to to make this a reality.

I miss you, Grandma! Thank you for watching over our family.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nine Months!

This month has had fewer milestones for Samuel, he's mostly just getting much better at the tricks he's learned previously. He continues to be as cute as ever and make us smile! It's crazy to think that he's been out of my belly as long as he was inside. It's definitely gone much faster than pregnancy did.

One exciting thing that he is on the verge of figuring out is kissing! I'll kiss him and say "kisses!" and then he will open his mouth wide and suck on my cheek or chin for a moment. It is so sweet. I can't wait until he learns how to blow kisses (he's almost there.)

He's teething (for real this time! I promise!) and we can start to see his bottom front teeth under his gums. The doctor says they should break through any day. Sam also caught Roseola (a baby virus) earlier this month, which was no fun for him, but we're so glad that he's feeling better now! Even while being sick and teething Sam is full of giggles and smiles and it helps us to get through the harder days.

He's very patient with my increased homework load recently and enjoys playing in his bouncer. He's also bonded a lot with his daddy and they are closer than ever! It could have something to do with the fact that Sam is less and less interested in nursing, so he takes more bottles, which Cameron can feed him. But whatever the reason, it is so great to see them smiling and playing together. I love my boys.

In this cold weather Sam has reiterated to us that he dislikes being bundled up, but he's just going to have to deal with it because it has been pretty chilly! Grandma Suzy sent him a very nice snow suit that keeps him nice and cozy when we have to walk around on campus, which unfortunately for Sam, is multiple times a week.

I am so grateful for my little angel boy and his beautiful smile. He is a constant reminder of the love our God has for us. I'm so grateful for that. I will post pictures soon!

Halloween in California

Halloween weekend we had the great blessing of going to visit family in California! My mom and dad both grew up in the Bay Area, and all of my mom's family lives there now. We flew out early Thursday morning (having spent the night with Cameron's wonderful aunt Lisa since she is much closer to the airport than we are.) Sam fell right back to sleep on the airplane and didn't wake up until we landed! He's so great :)

We flew with Alaska airlines and they were fantastic! This was our first time flying with them, but if you need to fly with a baby, go with Alaska airlines! You don't need to wait in line with a copy of the birth certificate to get your baby on your boarding pass, they'll check strollers and carseats for free, (if you drop a toy at the baggage check area they might even chase you down after security to give it back to you!). Our first flight was pretty empty so they re-arranged the seating so that we didn't have anyone around us so it wouldn't matter if Sam was wiggly, and they let us board early with him. A flight attendant even came and brought us one of those old fashioned wing pins for Sam.

When we arrived my Aunt Dana and one of her boys came to pick us up and we went to their house in San Jose. We visited with them for a while before the boys went to school and then we drove to my grandmother's home in Portola Valley. It was so strange being in her home where I had spent so much time as a young child but also being a mother and taking care of Samuel. Definitely a new experience. My uncle came down for lunch with us and then we had the rest of the day to relax, then both my aunts and Dana's husband and boys came over for dinner. (My grandmother is an amazing cook! Everything we ate that week was so delicious.)

On Halloween we spent the morning with Grandma and my auntie Andy and got our costumes ready. Grandma's sewing machine wasn't running so I couldn't finish Cameron's costume, but thankfully grandma has an extensive costume collection and we managed to find him something that worked well. In the afternoon we were wanting to go see some sights around town so we drove down to Stanford and saw some other cool things but it was drizzly and cool so we didn't get out and walk around much. We still had quite a bit of time before Dana's boys got home from school so we decided to go walk around Ikea. We love Ikea. There are so many fun ideas for how to make a small space functional. Sam was awake and happy the whole time. He giggled when we spun the cart around and waved at strangers and he absolutely loved the part of the store that was lined with mirrors.

Playing at Ikea

As the case usually is when we go to Ikea, we spent more time than we meant to, but we got to Dana and Scotts house before the trick-or-treaters started coming and had dinner with them before going out with the boys. Sam was getting sleepy so we didn't walk around for very long. We came back to the house, helped hand out pencils, and read silly baby books by the fireplace.

Snow White, Dopey, and Prince Charming

Dopey with his cousins Harry Potter and Emmet (from the Lego movie)

On Saturday we relaxed in the morning, did some laundry, at more delicious food, then went to my Grandpa's house. We had a great time eating yummy food and playing with Sam. My step-great-grandma was there and she got some darling little pajamas for Samuel, which was such a blessing because just moments after we got there his diaper decided not to do its job and he needed a change of clothes, which we had neglected to bring for him. That night Dana's family spent the night at grandma's with us and we ate some more delicious food and played dominoes until bed time.

Sunday morning we had a great breakfast and got packed up. We went to church with Cameron's Uncle Richard and aunt Jenny and their four darling children. It happened to be the same ward that I was in as a little girl! There was a redwood tree in the front of the building that I remember trying to put my arms around when I was a little girl. My arms are still too small ;)
The Redwood Tree

We had a lovely time, then went to go get our bags and say goodbye to Grandma Judy and Grandpa Don, and took the car back to Dana who was so kind to let us borrow it while we were there. We had dinner with them and then Scott drove us to the airport. Lisa picked us up in Salt Lake (where it was very cold) and we spent the night with her again.

Sam didn't sleep much on the plane ride home, but he enjoyed every minute of it!

We are so grateful to all of our family for being so accommodating and welcoming when we came to visit. We love you all so much!