Friday, June 29, 2012

What's Makin' Me Cry Today

We bought this CD for my little brother who has been called to serve a mission in the Phillipines Tacloban mission starting in September. Because Cameron loves all things music and all things Nashville, (that's where he served his mission) we bought a copy for ourselves too. One of the songs has been stuck in my head for the past few days and I've sung it to my boys every time I put them down for naps. How wonderful it is to find a song that, when I sing it, I mean every word.

Bless my son
Bless my precious one
Give him the faith to find the strength of Ammon
Give him the power of Paul in his tongue
Give him the spirit to soften hearts of stone
And bring him home
And until he's done
Bless my son

It brings such a spirit of peace into the room as they lay their sleepy little heads down for naps. They always smile up at me while I sing it and swaddle them. It calms my heart and strengthens my gratitude. Oh how I love them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


At heart, I am an old-fashioned girl. I dream of a world where my little family is the only thing on my mind. Where I don't jump on Facebook for a minute, only to realize naptime is over and I haven't accomplished one little thing on my list. I dream of healthy meals, a clean house, a lunch packed for my husband, love in our home, little feet running down the halls as we play cowboys and indians, masking tape race tracks down the stairs, and a whole pantry full of fresh canned fruits and vegetables. I dream of big breakfasts, Christmas mornings, and laundry out on the line. I dream of a world where walking to school is still OK because you don't have any creepers in your town. A world where there isn't total garbage on the TV.

I couldn't fall asleep tonight. So I picked up the book on my mother-in-law's nightstand and started reading. It's called Daughters in my Kingdom. And this quote stood out to me. It practically jumped off the page. I had to wake Cam up, and we talked about what I needed to do.

"The average woman today, I believe, would do well to appraise her interests, evaluate the activities in which she is engaged, and then take steps to simplify her life, putting things of first importance first, placing emphasis where the rewards will be greatest and most enduring, and ridding herself of the less rewarding activities." -Sister Belle S. Spafford

Truth is, I have design work coming out my ears right now. I have a waiting list that just keeps getting longer. I've spent a great deal of time working on my new website/blog in order to streamline these orders. I know that once I launch it, I will probably have more business than ever. [That is meant to be realistic, not cocky.] But this is not a good thing. I really enjoy designing, don't get me wrong. I LOVE IT. It is so fun for me to have a creative outlet, but my clientele has gotten so far out of hand. I have a hard time saying no to design requests because each project sounds so FUN. But then I bite off more than I can chew, I stress, I'm mad that my focus and talents are not being used to better my family first and foremost and dang it, I REFUSE to miss a single day of living my boys' childhood. They deserve an undistracted mama. It's not that they need more time from me. They sleep a lot. I get a lot done. When they are awake, I am most always talking to them, teaching them about the world around us. This morning, they sat in bouncer chairs looking out the back doors. I sat against the door facing them and ate my breakfast and talked to them about the bunnies and birds and flowers and trees. I took in their details. I loved it. They sit on the counter with me while I make dinner. Gray is so close to rolling over and I heard Nash's belly laugh for the first time tonight

It's not that they need more of my time. They need more of my focus. My creativity should be centered around how to encourage imagination in these boys. How to make them fearless in this world. How to help them be strong. I should be focused on being spiritually centered so I can recognize when my husband needs me, and how I can help him best. I should be finding joy in reading good books, learning new skills, experiencing the world with my 3 men instead of being glued to the screen and then being so tired from working all day that once Cam comes home all we can do is watch TV ON A SCREEN. Heaven forbid we play a card game.

Also, could there be a worse distraction than Facebook?! ugh! It kills me. And yet, I love talking and joking around with my siblings. I love sharing tidbits of my marriage. I love showing off the boys a little bit (what parent doesn't?). Don't you worry, the blog isn't going anywhere. I keep so many details of our little family in these posts that I don't record anywhere else. It is so easy for me to just jot down my thoughts super quick. I love that I can include the pictures and journaling all in one space. And I really do feel like I can say anything I want to. But I have got to figure something out for Facebook. How do you keep from "hiding your light under a bushel" so to speak, without distracting from the most important things?

I have enjoyed rekindling old friendships from high school on Facebook. There are people I have learned so much from on there. I wish I could just filter content. I don't know. Maybe I need to clean out my friends? I need your advice, straight up.

My heart aches for a balance I don't have.

Wedding Invitation Design: Audrey

I had a complete ball putting together this invitation for Audrey and Aaron. We were under a time crunch because the sweet couple had friends coming from London, but Audrey had such a great idea of what she wanted. We definitely caught the same vision! I wish them all the best. They were a pleasure to work with. I love when my clients aren't afraid of a little color!

For more information on my rates and design queue, please contact me!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oh Mariah

When I was pregnant with the boys, I posted about how they love Mariah. Today, "All I want for Christmas is you" was stuck in my head. I caught myself singing it every now and again and the video is what happened every time. What can I say? My boy loves him some Mariah. {sidenote: I sing to the boys all.the.time. There is never a reaction anywhere close to this. Cracks me up.}

Not sure how Gray feels about miss Mariah. He was sleeping. He has had a rough, drooly, day. 3.5 months is too early for teething, so what's going on? Thoughts?

Monday, June 18, 2012

4 Years & Counting

4 years ago I met Cameron Call at EFY [an LDS church camp for youth 14-18]. We were counselors. And we were bought, sold, and paid for before we'd known each other 5 days. We enjoyed 2 weeks of a whirlwind summer romance that should probably be written into a novel. And that summer romance turned into an everyday love that I still can't get enough of.

Friday, we were driving up to Flagstaff for an open house so all of the Flagstaff peeps could meet the boys. On the way there, Cameron said,

"Do you realize that tomorrow is exactly 4 years since we met?"

I am always blown away by all the little details he remembers. We kept talking about how fun it was to meet at EFY, how the Flagstaff EFY session was probably going on right at that moment. We realized it was Friday, which meant there was a dance. And then we decided we HAD to stop by and just see if they would let us in.

We strapped the boys into their carriers and walked, hand-in-hand, past the dorms we stayed in [and the stairwells we'd make out in after lights out...], past the cafeteria where all sorts of flirting through our participants happened [One of Cam's boys sat across the table from me, asked me my name to be sure he had the right girl, winked at me, stood up and walked away], through the parking lot where we took our very first picture together, and up the stairs where I heard Cameron play the piano for the first time. I tracked down the session director because I knew asking a counselor would just result in a "no."

I introduced myself and said, "I know you don't normally do this because I used to be the counselor that kept everyone out of that dance...but my husband and I met here 4 years ago. We were counselors at this session and we were wondering if we could just dance to one song. We'll keep to the back and try not to attract any attention..."

The session director's wife clapped her hands and was so excited. We got permission to head upstairs to the ballroom for the next slow song. I.was.giddy. We danced to a Rascal Flatts song. And Cameron kept his hand on my shoulder blade like he was supposed to. And then he kissed me quick at the end of the song like he's not supposed to. And the lyrics "...this life becomes all that you want it to..." kept playing over and over in my mind.

I am seriously the luckiest. What on earth did I do to get this handsome man to look at me like that?

Also, my boys were swarmed by the ladies. Camera flashes were everywhere. So much for not attracting attention. They're already lady-killers. Watch out stake dance circuit. You have 14 years to prepare yourself.

And for kicks, here's that picture from 4 years ago. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pillow Talk {Ants}

This just happened:

*Cam scratches his bum*

K: Feel better?

C: Sorry, my bum itches. I think an ant bit it or something.

K: What?

C: There were ants on the couch last night. I killed two of them. Big ones.

K: I seriously doubt an ant crawled up your leg, down your pants and bit your bum.

C: You have no idea what the ants are capable of.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3 Months Old & Some Other Things

My babes are 3 months old. Time is just flying! Things have changed a lot in the past month. I have gained a lot more confidence as a mom. I took the boys out of the house for the first time. We went out to lunch with my Dad who was in the valley on business. I was so dang proud of myself. I got up and had my a-game on to get the boys ready, and cute, in CLOTH diapers [going out for the first time...scary!!], and on schedule. I looked good too. Make-up, showered, hair done, etc. And I was 15 MINUTES EARLY! And I got to his office. Drove straight there. Didn't even get lost once. And it was locked. So I called and asked him if he was there. And he said no...and if it's locked, I'm at the wrong place. UGH! He was at his NEW office, a half hour away. So I packed up the boys again and got there about 20 minutes late. Swing and a miss. But lunch was fantastic. And my dad had fun showing me his new office and showing the boys off a little bit. :) I love seeing him take pride in my boys.

My brother had a basketball game down here. He's not very good at telling us what's going on, so we left as soon as Cameron got off work and headed to the tournament. We got there for the last third of the game, but Rick had played a bunch in the first half, so we didn't get to see him play. That's ok! We spent some quality time with Grandpa and watched two other teams play. I also got brave and nursed the boys in public. Woo! Nursing takes so much less time than pumping/bottle feeding. Since then I've nursed the boys in the car a couple times, at a mexican restaurant, at church, etc. I love how much freedom it gives me. I don't have to be so calculated when we just want to get out of the house for a bit.

We bought the boys white shirts for Mother's Day. It makes me so happy to see all 3 of my boys ready for church. They look so handsome! I snapped this picture on my phone during Sunday School a couple weeks ago. Cuties.

The boys are so close to being big enough for the Bumbo chair. Right now they can each handle about 10-15 minutes before their necks get tired of holding up their noggins.

The boys surprised Dad with an early Father's Day present before the Call reunion this year. We have been trying to find a good deal on baby carriers for the boys for a while now. I found these two on craigslist and went to pick them up in time for camping. So glad it all worked out! Cam loved them. And they were life savers at the reunion.

The morning of the reunion we discovered the wonderful thing that is showering with the boys. It takes so much less time, makes less of a mess, the boys enjoy it more, and we get a shower too! I am a huge fan. Plus, how cute are these boys? Seriously.

I was so excited for the reunion because the boys would finally have the chance to wear the moose jammies I got at one of our baby showers. I LOVE moose. And the jammies were too dang hot to put the boys in since we moved down to the valley of the sun. Seriously, look at those feet!

If these faces are any indication of what I'm in for, I'm pretty dang excited. The mischief has already begun.

We put the boys in hoodies for the first time, too. CUTE!

As for how camping with these two yahoos went, it was alright. We survived. Cam called it "relaxing." I'm not sure that's the best word to describe the weekend, but yes, we did have a good time. lol. We set up our tent, put the pack n play inside, blew up our air mattress and high-fived when everything fit. [barely]. However, naps throughout the day went terribly. It was really windy and the tent kept scaring the boys awake. No sleep all day made me really worried about the night. And so we camped on the floor of Wayne and Adrienne's 5th wheel. The boys slept six hours straight. I, however, did not. I was so paranoid that the boys would wake everyone up that I laid awake just waiting for them. I figured it was my job to make sure everyone slept well. And they did. So I guess that's called a success.  The next morning, we got up, fed the boys, bundled them up and sat in the sunshine watching the seemingly endless 4-square game. The Calls really get into it and made it way fun to watch. I loved the two girls in the picture below. They were so absolutely opposite. Jackie was as much of a tom-boy as I've ever seen. And Allie was as feminine as camping gets. Too cute.

This picture was right after Amberlee dethroned Adrienne in the top square. She was so proud of herself.

That day, we put the boys to sleep in the trailer. And they took a 2.5 hour nap without budging. Everyone was happier. :)

The boys are the light of our lives. I can't believe they're already 3 months old. A LOT happened last month. Here are a few of the details:

  1. I love hearing Cam on the baby monitor calming the boys down. Melts me.

  2. Got my milk back. YAY! [Posts coming soon on this...per your request. :)]

  3. The boys are napping SO well now, thanks to Emilee. She gave me a clear plan to teach my boys how to sleep. I owe her BIG time.

  4. I made cloth wipes and LOVE them. I used to think that was where I would draw the line, but really? So convenient to be able to just wrap them up with the diaper and throw everything in the wash instead of having to track down a garbage can.

  5. Gray now often goes by "Granger Danger." The kid has a lot of fluids...ha.

  6. Both boys are starting to find their voices. I need to post some videos of them chatting away as soon as I figure out how to do that. I love hearing them talk. Adorable.

  7. They have each grown over six inches since they were born. They are going to be HUGE.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oh Blessed Day!

We blessed the boys at home the night of Sunday the 27th of May. My family stayed at the house with us. We had a barbecue Saturday night and went to church together Sunday. I was asked to sing a special musical number in Relief Society and my mom played for me because she was in town. I love her. The lesson in Relief Society was on relying on Christ to get through your trials. It was based around the idea of having mountains to climb. It hit really close to home. I thought about my sweet miracles the entire time. And then I got up to sing the closing song. Normally when I sing I can distance myself from the content and get through the song without crying. Not this time. It was too close to my heart. I choked through the first verse, barely made it through the chorus had to stop and start over at the third verse and surely threw my mom for a loop because I barely sang the song that was on the page. It was embarrassing until I realized I was not the only one with tears running down my cheeks.

I finished and sat down and hugged Nash to my chest. [Gray was with Dad.] My heart was so full. I was grateful to have the mountain behind me [at least for now]. And I knew that Christ and my Heavenly Father were the reason I had these two beautiful miracle babies, and that I made it through that trial without becoming hard hearted. I could feel. And I did feel. And it felt good. How can anyone look at a sweet newborn babe and doubt the existence of our wonderful God? I will never understand that.

After church, we came home and ate a quick lunch, set up chairs and got my sweet boys ready for their blessing.

You know how you have this picture in your head of how things are "supposed" to be? I'm learning quickly that focusing on the "supposed" to be's are a quick way to get upset, because things are hardly ever how you picture them. Most of the time they're better, if you just look around and soak it all in. Well, I wanted this blessing day to go a certain way and it made me get all weepy like weeks in advance because I knew it wouldn't be that way. [read: in Utah]. And then I really wanted it to be during sacrament meeting at church. And we couldn't have it in church unless it was the first Sunday of the month. And then I was upset because we couldn't have it at our house. And then I was upset that all my Utah friends wouldn't be there. And then I was upset about not being able to serve watermelon. [See? totally irrational freak outs...and they were constant. Which is why my sweet husband reaches sainthood every. single. day.] And then my dad woke me up.

"Kristin, all that matters today is that your husband is going to bless these beautiful boys."

Cameron had told me that a hundred times. I'm not sure why it took my Dad saying it for me to buck up. But really, the day couldn't have been more perfect. And both of them were exactly right.

I got weepy again right before I got the boys dressed in their blessing outfits. I had pictured me getting some quiet time alone with my boys to doll them up and dote on them. The doorbell rang and people arrived early and my family and Cameron's family were all in the room. And I opened my eyes a little wider and watched everyone dote on my boys. Everyone wanted to love them, meet them, dress them, cuddle them. There was so much love in that room. And I was the mom. Love is a funny thing. I wanted to keep it to myself, but when I shared it, it totally exploded. And my mood completely changed.

I dressed Nash. My mom dressed Gray. They were wearing my brothers' blessing outfits. Gray in Rick's and Nash in JT's. I loved having that little bit of family tradition snuck in there. They were blessed in the same blessing blanket Cameron was blessed in. They looked perfect. Nash's little tuxedo pants just killed me and I couldn't get over Gray's poofy bum.

Cameron thanked everyone for coming to show their support and the Bishopric member who came, Brother Edwards, started the meeting. He said how grateful he was to be a part of this blessing because he has twin boys that are out serving missions right now. It hit me hard that this is the start of my boys' lives. They will grow up. I hope they go on missions. Even though it means my babies will be somewhere far far away from me. And this is where that all starts.

He asked the grandmothers to share their testimonies. Cameron's mom talked about the prayers it took to bring these miracle babies to our family. She talked about overcoming trials. She talked about relying on Christ. My mom spoke about making your home a sanctuary, a sacred place. She talked about how grateful she is for a good man who takes such great care of her daughter. She talked about the priesthood.

And then I was asked to share my testimony.

I started by saying what a good day it was for our family. I've learned a lot in the past couple years. I spoke about how Heavenly Father knows each one of us and knows the best way to teach us what we need to learn. I spoke of the healing and joy these sweet boys have brought to our lives. I spoke of the spiritual confirmation and personal revelation I received when I met Cameron. I knew I was his from day one. And when times got tough, it was vital to be able to fall back on that. That knowledge that our marriage was honored by God.

Cameron then took sweet little Nash and gave him a name and a blessing. His voice broke as he started the prayer. I married a humble, strong, God-fearing man. Cameron then handed me Nash, and I handed him Gray who was then blessed in the same way. Surrounded by the strong priesthood leaders in our family [and closest friends]. Neither of the boys made a peep.

My heart was so full. I can't describe the feeling I felt after the blessings. It was as if my boys were finally, really, truly mine. Oh I love them!

And then we ate brownies and lemon cake. And talked and took pictures and laughed. And I wore high heels and felt like a million bucks. And I cuddled and kissed my boys. And listened to everyone coo at them and comment on how strikingly handsome they are.

And I agreed.

"Hey Gray. Check it out. Total babe by the punch bowl."

"Hmm. She seems to be with someone." "Whatever dude. I prefer brunettes."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hello Out There!

WOW! You guys blew me away. I had no idea you were all popping by every now and again. Thanks for saying hello! I'm sorry for being so rude and not posting anything substantial for a while... heh. I'm currently working my way through the comments and checking out all of your blogs. You guys are cool! I'm going to have to start posting the sweet things I find on my readers' sites. They're totally things you should know about. Someday...

Well, it's been a little crazy. I haven't had time to write at all since I last posted. (I haven't even had time to skype my sisters..makes me sad!) We've had family in town and I've been working on some super cute design work. I'm afraid I bit off a little more than I could chew and have been designing my brains out the past little while. I love it though. And when I'm doing a lot of design work, I only love the things I create even more. I get into a groove. Anyhow, my head is almost above water again. And cute pictures of the boys are in abundance. Major news is that:


And you guys thought they were cute before? You should see how smiley they are when they're all rested. Not kidding. [Here's where you say "yeah. Kristin. We would if you would post pictures!" They are worth the wait, I promise!]

Gray was chatting up a storm, so I went to get him out of bed to start the day and hopefully let Nash wake up naturally. Well, Nash was just grinning and looking all around. Both boys awake and happy. I'm pretty happy after a good night's rest too. I feel like a whole new person.

Maybe that's why I spent the day picking apples in a skirt and flip flops and making apples in red hot cinnamon syrup to can up. [Which is why I'm writing, actually...I'm waiting for the canner to finish doing its thing...] I felt so summery. Cameron's uncle has the most amazing apple trees and he had "more than he could handle." His wife apparently had a few bushels inside already for her own use, so he told me to stop by and pick as many as I wanted. In 15 minutes I had four bags bursting with big, juicy, crisp apples.

I pulled out my canning book Lindsay got me for Christmas and tracked down a few recipes I've had dogeared. The red-hot cinnamon syrup apples are only the beginning. [They totally have red-hots in them, by the way. YUM. I'll be using them in my oatmeal, I think. And on top of ice cream.] Spiced Cider Apple Butter is also on the list, along with applesauce and fresh apple juice. I'm beyond excited.

[I also re-found my recipe for canned strawberry lemonade concentrate...can't wait to try that one this summer!]

Just so you know I'm not forgetting about you [I feel so connected to you now that you've all said hello...The internet is a weird thing. Creating relationships all over the place.] Here's what's on tap to be posted just as fast as I can get them written:

  • The boys' blessing. Cute white suits. Lots of tears. It was a beautiful day. Another bit of my dream life. Cameron did a beautiful job.

  • Cloth diapering these boys. What pattern I used, what stuff I used, how I made them, how they're working for us, etc.

  • Breastfeeding twins. <--this is a much more dramatic topic than I would like it to be. Hopefully the drama is over for a while. I think we've got something that works! But the story is worth telling, because I'm sure it will happen to someone else. And I would like to be one voice that says DON'T GIVE UP! IT'S NOT OVER! [and it's worth the fight!]

  • The recipe for these cinnamon apples. Good heck the kitchen smelled good while they were simmering.

  • Recent Snapshots

  • And the boys' 3 month update with the little details of their world. They turn 3 months on Saturday. CRAZY.

  • My summer goals list and a full on explanation of how the summer goals came to be and why I keep doing them.

  • My personal "home management binder" and all that has helped me stay on top of finances, chores, baby stuff, and still find time for the things I love.

  • A hilarious perk of moving back into your husband's high school bedroom. [Snippets of his angsty years. AMAZING. lol.]

  • My most recent designs. I'm really proud of them. The latest bride I worked with was a total doll. And she had a great style. That's a great combination!

  • Our latest family pictures. Swapped with a photographer for some design work. She is SO talented! [And in the Utah area. If you need someone to capture your beautiful life, seriously call her. If you need her info e-mail me, or it'll for sure be in the post if you have time to be patient. :)]

  • A print I designed about "recognizing your heaven." [From the daughters in my kingdom book.] Really inspires me lately.


Anyhow, it's bedtime over here. I've just been feeling bad that you all did your part and then I left you hanging.

There will be much more to come. As you can tell. :)

As my sister says, fight the good fight.