Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ARMY Sam update

My little brother Sam will be stationed in Fort Bragg until the Summer of next year. (So, no Iraq in March.) BUT, then he will be going to Afghanistan. I am glad that his deployment is delayed, but not particularly glad that he will be going to Afghanistan now.

He was involved with the military Christmas down at Fort Bragg. They donated a bunch of bikes to kids in the area and he got to be the one who lead them into a big room full of bikes! My Mom said that he was on the local news down there too!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sarah & Chance's Wedding

The Manti Temple (3 degrees outside, but sunny)

a little blurry, but she's SMILING for the picture!
The happy couple!

Eryn just wanted to play in the snow and not get her picture taken with everyone else.
Eryn and her cousin both did much better for pictures inside where it was warm and there was no distracting snow!
Mike and his siblings.
She just wanted to cuddle with Daddy most of the night.
Eryn did like going in the hall and watching the wedding video that Aunt Chelsie made.

Even though we were married in Detroit in December... Sarah's the new crown champion for deciding on the coldest time and place for a wedding in the family yet! We are hoping that this is the last family wedding for a little while. 2 in 1 year has been a little rough on most of us! Not only that, but with 3 new babies in the family next Spring/Summer it's going to be crazy all over again...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family Pictures

I took our family pictures with all of Mike's family over the weekend. I learned that I do not like using tripods, taking pictures indoors is harder than I previously though, and trying to use a remote to take a picture and be in it at the same time is nearly impossible. But, just look how cute Eryn is!!!!!

Christmas Came and Went

Christmas Eve we had our traditional watching of "Ernest Saves Christmas" and our family "camp out" in the living room. Eryn was really into eating the popcorn and feel asleep fast so Santa could come!

Eryn woke up and went right for the stuffed animals and learned the word Bear in a hurray!

She just wanted to do the puzzles more than play with anything else. Between puzzles and singing she's a busy little girl.

She helped Daddy unwrap his presents too!

Grandma Crawford made an apron for Eryn to wear when we are making cookies and for her tea parties.

I can't believe that Santa would torture Mommy and Daddy with a talking Elmo, but he did... and she LOVES HIM!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to send out a Merry Christmas to everyone! Even though treats and presents are a BIG part of our celebrations now it's always good to remember the real reason for the season. We are celebrating our Savior's birth into this world and the beginning of his divine mission. He came to Earth, lived as a perfect example for each of us, took on the sins of everyone and was crucified, and then He came back to life! He lives still and is still there for each of us. Knowing that he did all of that is gift enough for me. -VAL

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our 100th Post

Really? Has it been that many all ready? WOW!

Today was a busy day with a lot to do and even more than should have been done that there just wasn't time for. In all of the hustle and bustle of this busy Saturday I found myself roaming around the mall anxiously looking for something to buy for Mike for Christmas. While out and about I noticed the mall Santa visiting the jewelry counter at Macey's. That was good for a laugh and a few strange looks from fellow shoppers.

I did find myself taking a couple of pictures that were pretty interesting. I was amazed at how the snow could sit so gently on top of the spinney spruce needles and brought nearly to tears at really looking at the statue of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Both are things that I had seen many times before, but seemed to matter more today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fort Bragg Begins

My youngest brother Sam moved into Fort Bragg today. There he will live for about 6 weeks or so and continue his airborne training. Jumping out of planes, blowing stuff up, and many many drills will be only the start of all of the fun he will be having in his final preparation before Iraq.

Yesterday, he left home to begin his many legged flight down to North Carolina. I spoke to him many times while he was stuck in airports and trying to avoid the many civilians who approach him regularly to thank him for his service. He's always loved what he does, but never wants to take credit or praise for it. I also spoke with my to two very emotional parents who are a little overwhelmed with the pride that fills their hearts and the fear that also lingers in their nightmares.

Eryn just discovered a Sharpie, so I'm done for now!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Busy, but Happy!

I've been really busy with a lot of different things lately, but I'm so happy to be busy! It's strange. I really feel like I'm accomplishing something when I have a million and one things on my list to do for the day!

Lately I have spent some time reflecting on things, reading, taking a bunch of pictures, talking with people, getting to know people, and even going to (yes, and I will even admit that I LIKED IT) a church dinner with only women!

There are more pictures of this crazy family on my photography blog too!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Busy Weekend

On Friday I took my Sister-In-Law's Bridal Pictures. They turned out really well, but you all will have to wait for just a little bit to see some of them while I decide which ones I really liked and want to display.

Later on that night we managed to see 2 of the 3 large traffic accidents which involved fatalities (in the great state of Utah) on our journey to my Brother-In-Law's house. There we hung out and celebrated my niece's 3rd birthday. I took some cute pictures of her (Those all ready made it to my http://www.photographybyvalerie.blogspot.com/ blog!).

We went to their church Christmas party with them. It was pretty good. The standard ham, potatoes, and a ton of desserts definitely made my list. The entertainment left a little something to be desired for me though... They had this group of 3 kids who sang cowboy/country/yodeling/Christmas music. It was a little rough. I kept hearing it in my head all night like the sound track to "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" only much worse... They were trying hard and the crowd seemed to tolerate and even like it from time to time. Eryn clapped along and even did some dancing!

We did manage to make it through the long busy weekend. 1 down and 3 more crazy weekends to come this month!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pictures for Practically Nothing!

I have been pretty busy taking pictures recently and will be for this month with Bridals, birthday pictures for my niece, and a family wedding... BUT, I am trying to squeeze in more people to take pictures of for the holidays! I'm looking for families, just children, just couples, or even your fluffy friends. I am trying out a few new things and it's difficult to be too creative with 1 small child who's patience grow thinner by the day.

I'd love to make money doing photography, but to make money you have to have great pictures to show off. So, I am offering to do pictures for practically nothing! If any of you can help me or know any family or friends who might like to take advantage of this feel free to give me a call or leave a number or an email to reach you at!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

I've never been much of a fan of Thanksgiving traditions, but the annual Turkey Bowl that Mike's family has each year is very entertaining! The girls tried to play with all of the boys and their Dads. It was fun watching everyone try to play football and not wipe out a toddler!

The girls making up a play.
The boys showing off their best poses.

Eryn was busy with other things...

"Da Ball!"

This was probably my favorite picture of the day. (She's playing with a leaf that she ate just after I took this picture!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Football Whining

Rivalry week at our house has been interesting this year. Mike and I played each other in fantasy football and I had the honor of beating him. The Michigan vs. Ohio State rivalry was a big fat joke this year. Yawn. So disappointing. Penn State beat the crap out of Michigan State. Again, not something that I was very happy about. I guess that I should start whining about football that matters to more of you... The Holy War.

Holy War, Holy Crap! It was not so good for the BYU fans this year. Our house was filled with a lot of, "What the... Oh MY... Seriously?... How could he... Again?... Really?" I think that more than sums up the game.

Before the game Eryn and her cousin Allie colored pictures together. They had a good time cheering during the game. Each of them spent most of the game dancing, cheering, and running around trying to make their Daddy's happy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Soup & Bread

Fall means a number of different things that are great... Football, colder weather, sweaters, and my favorite soup! Tonight for dinner we had some broccoli and cheese soup with a loaf of fresh baked bread (courtesy of my bread maker). Very simple and easy, yet far and away one of my favorite meals to have. I love soup!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ever the Pessimist

I went to a get together with some of my neighbors tonight. All women (which, terrified me just a little bit) and treats. I figured that I'd make it through since there would be hot cocoa and dessert. When I got home Mike asked me how it went. I said something along the lines of, "It wasn't as bad as I had feared it would be." His response to me was simply that that's what my reaction ALWAYS is to things like this. I can never say that they were good, just that they weren't bad. He is right, I will ever be the pessimist!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Potty and NO

Today was a big milestone for our little Pooh Bear... She went potty in the potty for the first time! Not to get into too many details, but she went twice and that was 2 less diapers that we had to use today!!!!!

Eryn's just growing up so fast. Not only are we in the potty training process, but she is talking a lot more than before. Sometimes that's good and other times... Let's just say that hearing, "NOOOOOOOO!" It's Mommy's favorite response to questions. At any rate, we are both very proud parents and glad to see out little one growing up right before our eyes!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Twilight is Completed

After reading the Twilight Series (all 4 books) in a little over a month I have come to the realization that… I can control my ADD long enough to focus on reading for more than an hour at a time, even after drinking a full can of Coke I CAN hold it for just another page or two, and that, although I try my hardest to deny it, I AM a girl/woman who every now and then needs to fall hopelessly in love with a fantasy world.

Not that I am going to start reading Jane Austen, but I did enjoy reading these stories. Yes, I do have to admit that deep down, very deep down, there is a girlie side to me that few have ever seen!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Josh's Wedding Reception

Mike's friend Josh was married yesterday and we went to their reception. Josh and Mike served together on their missions in Switzerland. Their Mission President and his wife came to the reception too. There were also handful of mission companions and friends from back in Mike's single days. It was good to see everybody again.

The cake was absolutely gorgeous!
President & Sister Holbrook with Mike, Josh, Matt, and Jeff

Eryn had fun going up and down steps all night.

Jeff and his little boy (who did not want his picture taken)!

Eryn made strange faces at us.

When I blocked the staircase, she climbed up the outside of it.

Kyra and Josh the happy new couple!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Family Pictures

Yesterday, I took some family pictures for our friends the McKells. They turned out really well! Here is a sample and there will be more on my photography blog!

Our family pictures today didn't go so smoothly. It was really really cold, windy, and there was a playground far too close for Eryn to handle! There was a winner in the bunch, but a lot of them looked sort of like this one...

BYU vs San Diego State

It was the best of times it was the worst of times... Best because we were are another BYU football game, but the worst since it was the last home game of the year. : ( BYU did win!!!! Yet, it was sad to realize that this was the last football game for a long time.

Eryn was too busy cheering to have her picture taken much.

The end zomes and center logo were filled in with the blue so the field looked its best!

Max Hall on the keeper (that guy hit him HARD!)

Dennis Pitta

This guy was tackled right in front of me!

Nice hair!

Bronco giving the orders.

These guy were complaining about Powerade.

Senior Michael Reed's last homegame.

Cosmo was helping get all of the fans going!

Eryn was sad that I took her attention away from the game. (She is her father's daughter!)