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!