Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It has been quite the year for the C Family.


Chris enters his 2nd semester of graduate school and is teaching undergraduate classes. He spends his free time taking care of a wife that won't stop puking. Erin gets her exercise by running from her office across the building to another bathroom to puke so her coworkers don't suspect anything. She reaches 12 weeks at the end of the month and spills the beans so she is allowed to puke freely in any bathroom she wants. Carly still has fins.


Chris and Erin move to a smaller apartment to save money on rent. Chris goes away for a few days to a conference, and Erin spends the weekend setting up the new place. Carly makes her puke a lot, but she decides to cook dinner for herself and spills rice all over the kitchen. It stays there until Chris returns.


Erin continues having dreams and impressions that baby is a boy. They find out baby is Carly. Erin doubts her mother's intuition. But the baby is amazingly beautiful. Chris cries when he sees her perfect physiological structure.


Chris and Erin run off to the West for a week. Erin and Carly walk across the stage at Erin's BYU graduation. Chris waits 2 hours for Erin's 5 seconds of fame.


Chris wages a mighty battle with Ikea over a faulty crib. Erin leaves the cute middle pregnancy stage and enters the really big stage. Carly takes tumbling classes.


Chris and Erin celebrate their 3rd anniversary by buying Carly Applebee's riblets for dinner and skipping out on the movie they planned to see because Erin was really tired and huge. They decide their 4th anniversary will be more spectacular.


Erin is really huge now. Chris shows off his handyman skills by building bookshelves, gliders, changing tables, swings, and strollers. They get a new crib that is too big for their Honda Civic and have to drive home at 5 MPH with Chris hanging out the car window and holding the boxed crib on the roof of the car. Erin breaks the news to her bosses that she plans to quit and is frequently asked how she'll support a child with a student husband. She has no answer.


Erin goes into labor 2 days before her due date. During one of Erin's contractions, Chris complains of a bad Charlie Horse and calls it "the worst pain in the world". Erin gives birth to the most beautiful being to ever grace the earth and spends the rest of the month in a shocked stupor. Chris takes care of his wife, newborn, starts school, runs UT's fitness center, and works on three research projects. He is occasionally allowed some water and crackers for sustenance. Carly gains a whole pound within 4 days of her birth.


Erin learns to walk again and even leaves the house occasionally. Carly spends most of the month eating. Chris's crazy August schedule stretches into September.


The family of 3 spends 1 and 1/2 hours on Halloween night looking for a friend's house where they were supposed to attend a party. Carly is the cutest mouse and cutest skeleton ever. Both sets of grandparents visit for her blessing and bare record of her perfection. Chris and Erin are still alive.


Chris goes to Michigan to a PhD program visit. Erin finds single motherhood beyond difficult and gives up trying to keep everything together. She spends the days watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and waiting for his return. Carly can't believe some of the dresses these women choose to get married in. She also enjoys Thanksgiving morning watching The Godfather with her parents.


Chris's semester from you-know-where finally ends. Erin is grateful to have him home. Carly is huge. The family of 3 sets off on a 3 week, 3 state vacation. Carly is insanely spoiled on her first Christmas. Chris and Erin love her more each day.

2009 has been good to us. Bring on 2010.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Playing with daddy.

Chris and Carly playing on Christmas Eve.

She is the cutest thing ever.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Silent night.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
{Luke 2: 6-14}

We hope your Christmas is fabulous.


The C Family.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Great Escape

We're out like a fat kid in dodge ball.
On Friday, we woke up ready for our little family's mini Christmas. We started opening presents and were planning for a big breakfast when we got several phone calls. A storm was on the way, and our planned drive to Indiana for Christmas should be moved up.
Now I was excited to leave for Christmas. Amazingly, I hadn't left Knoxville since July 4th weekend. That's the longest I've been in one town since I left Pocatello for BYU. I was ready for a great escape. But Friday was our "Christmas day". It had been a crazy week, and a beyond crazy semester. It was a day I was really looking forward to. Not going to lie; I cried. But you can't control the weather, so our Christmas day ended up being spent in a unexpected packing craze followed by 9 hours in the car.
9 hours in the car. Its a 6 1/2 hour drive. But that storm we were trying to beat? We caught the beginning of it. Tennessee's "mountains" were getting snow and we spent a decent amount of time going 20-30 miles per hour. Oh, and our sweet Carly has on ongoing battle with her carseat, and she's never been on a car ride longer than 30 minutes. However, one prayer was answered and she was practically an angel the whole time.
Speaking of prayers. The storm started out as intense Southern rain. The only way to understand it is to experience it, but driving in Southern rain is akin to driving under a waterfall (I would imagine). Visibility was extremely low, and I just closed my eyes and prayed over and over again that the rain would go away. During this time, we climbed in elevation, and the rain turned into a blizzard. "That's not want I meant," I said in my next prayer.
But we made it. Carly slept a great deal of the car ride, so her schedule is fairly destroyed. But she has been shockingly happy anyway. I think she likes all the attention. She is having a hard time sleeping in a new place, however, and I'm not sure how to remedy that (suggestions?).
The next morning we woke to snow outside and reports of icy roads. We were very grateful we didn't have a 9 hour drive ahead of us.
As for our little family Christmas? We managed to squeeze it in before we left (our apartment is in a state of chaos). I love our little family.
And now we've escaped. Escaped school, callings, apartment, Knoxville. The baby is still here, but she's fun enough that she's worth the work. And there are a lot of people here willing to hold her. How lucky Chris and I are to have two amazing sets of parents that actually want to see us. Well, they want to see Carly, but it means we get to come too. For the next 3 weeks we have no plans, and that's the best part.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meet Leo.

Isn't he adorable?
I've mentioned before that Carly has a thing for lions. This being the case, Chris and I really wanted to get her a stuffed lion that she could love during her childhood years. I checked many stores, but only found some that weren't cute enough, or fairly cute but had manes that shed. I was nearly hopeless when I decided to brave the crazy isles of ToysRUs. And there he was. Leo. Seriously the cutest stuffed animal I've ever seen. And of course I had to sift through them to find the one that was perfect for Carly. He was a little pricey but we got him $15 dollars off, so we felt pretty good about it (yes, he cost enough to be $15 off). I couldn't wait to introduce him to Carly. When I did, she grabbed his face and smiled and made her happy gurgling sound and held on to his mane. Instant friends. Chris suggested the name and said how it was a constellation. I said it was also a zodiac sign. Then I remembered that the Zodiac sign Leo was in late summer. We checked when we got home and, not even kidding, Carly is a Leo. How perfect.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A few things.

*My baby has been a fussopotomus lately. That's C family language for really cranky. I can't figure out whats wrong. She seems kind of spacey too and I can't help but wonder if its from all the drugs I'm hopped up on (antibiotics, flu shot, H1N1 flu mist, etc . . . ).

*We [mostly] finished our Christmas shopping today. We traded off going shopping for each other while the other stayed home with Carly. Unfortunately, Carly's Santa is on a tight budget, so she won't be getting all that much from him. Luckily she has a lot of grand-Santas that like to spoil her. But honestly, her main interest these days lies in sucking on her fingers.

*Some times Carly sucks so hard on her fingers she gags. And sometimes she bites them so hard she screams bloody-murder. Is that normal?

*I made homemade mashed potatoes today for the first time ever. They were really good and not even that hard. Wondering what took me so long.

*I'm going to teach myself to sew. It looks like a fun and useful hobby. Two things I'd like to make some day are Carly's toddler bedding and family stockings (I can't find any I really like that don't cost way too much). Chris doesn't believe I'm really going to do it because one time I said I was going to learn German and I never did.

*Its cold outside and all Christmasy. This is the time of year we learned Carly was on her way (Dec 6th to be exact). Its also the time when I started getting sick. The cold reminds me of vomiting.

*But its not really THAT cold. I've been opening the windows the last few days to let fresh air in and I've been perfectly fine in my uniform of basketball shorts and a t-shirt. I'm going to miss these Knoxville winters when I'm gone.

*Whats with Tiger Woods? Man, I cheered for you. What a pig.

*I was supposed to get a Christmas package from my mom yesterday and it still hasn't shown up. I love packages. UPS man, where are you?

*I got new jeans. Needed them considering I have big holes in the back of my other two main pairs, and my "fat jeans" are way to baggy now (yay!). They are tres cute and were on sale for $20. Love a bargain.

*Chris is done and home now. Its awesome. He completes me. I like the idea of him being a professor because then he has a "Christmas break" even when he's done being a student.

*Its really late, my baby's asleep, and I'm still blogging. That's crazyness. Goodnight.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We are a family.

[Second post of the day; don't miss out on the first.]
We got our family pictures taken about a month ago and I finally got around to ordering them. It went fairly well, considering Carly was 3 months old, and Brianna was great and nice and patient and did a great job. We did learn that 3 months old was about the worst time to take pictures, as it is past the newborn phase, but before the smile-on-cue phase. Luckily, Carly is really cute and only made a weird face in 75% of the pictures, so the other 25% were really good. Here are a few favs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Do you think it will always be like this?

Do you think we'll feel like this for the rest of our lives?

Like, when she's twenty, will we look at her

and still think she's the most amazing thing ever?

That's what I asked Chris a few days ago as we played with our stunning Carly.

"I don't know," he responded. "That would be a good question to ask your dad."

"But I think the thing we see right now that's so amazing is she is so pure and innocent and perfect. I think that's what God does when He gives us a child. He shows us how much He loves us. I think we see her the same way God sees us."

Not a bad answer on the spot. Have I ever mentioned how amazing the man I married is? Kudos to me.

But that sentence "I think we see her the same way God sees us" has been rolling around in my brain ever since he said it. Its amazing to think anyone loves me as much as I love Carly, least of all an almighty God. But its true. He does. (Man, I've been a little spiritual lately). And it makes me that much more motivated to be the person I want Carly to be some day (does that make sense?). I've found parenthood plays with your mind a lot.


Anyway, we'll end with a funny. On Friday Carly went to her 4 month appointment. Turns out she's going to make us millions as a [modest] supermodel, as she is a tall and skinny baby. She is standing at 2 feet tall! Anyway, they gave her shots which was good and exciting. That night we went to the ward Christmas party. She loves being around people; she seems to find people watching to be rather entertaining. By the time the party was over she was exhausted, but we had to make a quick run to Walmart. When we got home she was asleep in her carseat, but needed to eat before bed so I wouldn't get a 2 am wake-up call. Here's what we got (sorry its so dark, hopefully you can still see it):

Thursday, December 10, 2009

four months old.

Wow. Four months old.
For some reason 4 months is a landmark in my head.
Like, by 4 months a baby is a full blown baby.
And Carly is definitely full blown baby.
My newborn is long gone.
And I'm loving it.
Carly, at four months old . . .

*you are starting to play with toys. You love your Olympic rings, your ball, your ocean, and of course LionHeart. Its so fun to watch you learn to play with things, and it gives me a bigger break now and then.

*you are grabbing at things. Toys, yes, but you especially like to grab mommy's hair and hold on to it for dear life. Another favorite target is daddy's face.

*you are a smiler. You are especially good at smiling at random strangers who smile at you, which the stranger always loves. You are also occasionally bashful when you smile, and you bury your face in my shoulder.

*you are still being breastfed! Ok, this one is for me. My ultimate goal has always been 4 months. I made it and even feel positive about continuing. It hasn't been an especially easy thing for me, so I'm grateful I've gotten this far.

*you are getting a tad mobile. If I put you on the ground and leave for a second, you are often in a different spot than where I left you.

*you squawk when you are excited or happy. Laughs are still rare and I've only heard all-out laughter twice (both times spurred on by daddy). But the squawk is the next best thing. When you squawk with extra excitement, it tickles your throat and you end up coughing.

*you show a preference for mom and dad. Its nice on our hearts to know that you know us and like us. However, with the holidays coming up, I hope you don't insist on being held by me the entire time.

*you are stunning. We can't get over how beautiful, smart, funny, and good you are.

Happy four months, Car. We're glad you joined us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Trim Up the Tree.

I ran into Santa Claus at JC Penney today. I'm pretty sure he was the really thing. He had on shiny black boots, a gorgeous suit with gold buttons, and a real beard. And it couldn't have been the mall Santa because I had just seen the mall Santa with a long line of kids waiting to see him. I was headed toward the elevator down a back hall with Carly. She was in her carseat-stroller combo pack and had been passed out for several hours. Santa asked if he could take a peek and, of course, raved about how cute she was. I was so so sad that I didn't have my camera. How fun would it have been to get a picture of Carly and Santa in the back hallway of JC Penney instead of posed on his throne? Of all the times I forget to shove my camera into my diaper bag . . .

It got cold in Knoxville. Up until Thanksgiving we were holding steady around 70. It was glorious and Carly and I marveled in our morning walks. Alas, all good things come to an end, and now its cold. But I'm sure its not really that cold. I have just been wonderfully spoiled by Tennessee's mild winters. I seriously do not miss icy roads and feet of snow. I keep complaining of how cold it is now, and Chris has begun worrying about how I will fare if we end up moving to Michigan.

On Saturday we left the house around noon and were shocked to find snow. It was all gone by the time the evening came, but it still counts as Carly's first snowfall. Doesn't she look thrilled?

And we finally decorated our tree. I put it up a week ago mostly to add light to our over-head-light-less living room. Last night Chris and I went back and forth decorating while the other one held Carly. I love decorating our tree. This is our fourth Christmas so we are gradually building a decent collection of ornaments. This year we couldn't even use them all.

Putting our star on the top of the tree.
She's like "Real funny, daddy."

Family. Sorry I look so glamorous in this picture.

Speaking of ornaments, I really love ornaments. My parents have a massive collection, and they aren't the fancy ones that all match. They are homemade by their children through the years and collected on different vacations and symbolize different life events. Chris's parents' collection is the same way. That's how our collection is. I thought I'd share a few favs:

The Missionary. My mom got him for Chris during for our first married Christmas.

Newlyweds. This one was a wedding gift.

The starfish surfer. We got this one on our honeymoon in Southern California.

And a new favorite. Carly's baby ornament, glass baby shoes. It was given to Carly by my grandmother. I love this because my baby ornament is also a pair of glass shoes tied together with a pink ribbon. I still love being the one to hang it up every Christmas. Now every year Carly will get to hang these on the tree.

Friday, December 4, 2009

So This is Christmas.

It’s Christmas time. Can you believe it is already December? The last few months have been quite the blur. And now things are starting to clear up.
Every morning this week Carly and I have been listening to Christmas music. It’s a great way to start off the day. The other day I was listening to Josh Groban’s rendition of Silent Night. I was looking at my baby girl smiling up at me and there were the tears (I think I actually cry more as a mother than I did as a pregnant lady).
Christmas traditions are great. I love trees and decorations and fun music and the smell of the mall during the holidays and lights and presents. It is all part of the magic of Christmas. But the thing I love most of all about Christmas is the fact that it is just about a mother and her baby.
Luke 2 is one of my favorite chapters in all of scripture, and I have been thinking a lot about Mary’s experience. She had been traveling and was surely exhausted. Then, of all the places, she has to give birth in a stable. And while I know God was with her, she still had to actually GIVE BIRTH, which I now know is no small task with modern medicine, let alone without it. Then she held her baby boy all night. And for her, if just for a little while, He was just her baby boy.
How much she must have loved Him. There are few feelings as exquisite as holding your newborn child, and how tightly she must have held Him. I love Carly so much it is frightening. And Mary was just a mother who loved her baby more than anything.
How grateful I am for that mother and that baby boy. He is my Savior. As the Son of God, He grew from that precious baby in His mother’s arms to work miracles, heal the sick, and die for all mankind, including me. Because of Him I have Chris forever. Because of Him we have Carly forever.
That’s what I really love most about Christmas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

High Quality Entertainment

Saw this guy on Ellen. So bizarre but rather entertaining.