Friday, November 22, 2013

10 Weeks, 2 Days

Here it goes. The post that I've been anticipating to write for the last month. Sure, it's sooner than I thought, a fact that I attribute to a Christmas miracle. No, for real, it's a miracle.

The past 43,200 minutes or so I have spent in a baby induced vomit coma, and I mean that literally. If that number doesn't put you in perspective, I could break it down to seconds...

So, I'm not trying to be dramatic with this post or come from a "poor me" place, I just want to have written proof of the state of misery I have been in as my body grows baby number four. I completely expected to have morning sickness this time, I actually feared it. I knew it would come, and just like clock work, I started to feel it just one day after the six week mark. This time would be different from the others. Even as I type this, I fear I may jinx myself back into a nauseated state of existence...even though I don't actually believe in being jinxed, LOL. With the past three pregnancies I have had morning sickness, and when I refer to morning sickness, let's be real, I mean all day/night sickness, the kind that no kind of "miracle pill" can take away.

I'll be the first to admit that the past month has not been a good one for me, emotionally and physically I have been at my worst. When I say that, I mean it in every way. Many times I would loose my sense of reality and completely have a cry fest because this kind of sickness I just could not handle. When I am in the middle of the sickness, taking a pathetic shower where I can't even wash my body because the smell is too much, it feels like I will never feel normal again. You would think that being number four I would be used to it by now, but each time has gotten progressively worse in a different way.

My self esteem is burned. I am not capable of the trials I thought I would be. I consider myself to be a woman full of faith and I stand firm with a strong testimony but the struggle of feeling sick for long periods of time is a lot for this mom to handle. Daily thoughts would run through my head about how terrible I felt as a mom, wife, and daughter of God. I lacked the energy and drive to do anything about them.  It's not a good place to be, this was my reality. I could hear my family in the background, hear Nate taking care of the girls and I would think of how I should be helping. My body could not keep up, nor did it want to, with what my mind knew I should be taking care of. I have felt helpless, hopeless, you name it, I felt it. While I was there, all I could think of was how awful I felt, and yes, I tried everything for morning sickness to not feel this way. Being in this state, you would think I would constantly be thinking of being pregnant, but it's the exact opposite. It is only after feeling closer to human for two days that I remember, oh yeah, I'm PREGNANT!

Prior to getting sick this time I read through old posts when I was pregnant with Winnie, there were days when I would feel good enough to go outside, get dressed, take pictures and actually be a human being. Not this time. In the past month I have gotten presentable for the world only 5 times, three were for church, one for the doctor, and the other one was to get some essentials I needed for a stay at my mom's that wasn't planned.  A stay that included me in pajamas for seven straight days while my ever so helpful mom and Kristy, my Mom's partner, fed me and took care of my every need.

Never in my life have I been stuck in my bed for so long, having to be completely dependent on someone else for every single thing I needed. I ate in bed, slept in bed, counted the hours in bed all while dreading the moment I had to pee because as soon as I stood up I would feel the urge to vomit and smell hundreds of different smells along the way to the bathroom which was only ten feet away. All of this while three small children depend on me for so much. I will say Charly and Piper really stepped up to help, but even they got frazzled after weeks, by having to take care of grown-up things. It should go without saying, but Nate has been the best ever this whole time. His calm reassuring voice and actions inspire me. No one wears all the hats of a parent like Nate when his wife is bedridden for weeks on end.

Why even write this post? I really try not to come from a negative perspective with my posts, after all this is what I want to look back on a smile at. This post is different. This is my reminder post of the conviction I had while sick that I absolutely do not want to do this again. I've always wanted to have a large family, and I think that will still happen through fostering/adoption, but this is a feeling that I don't want to inflict on my family again. Number four will be our last born.  I have said this in the past when feeling morning sickness but never have I pondered it so much that it would be a reality. I absolutely can't do it again. I've gone beyond sad about this idea to feeling relieved. Nate and I have always talked about fostering or adoption and I think this realization will just put a fire under us to move forward with that in the future. There has to be a reason for me getting so sick, medicines not working, and feeling like death while early in pregnancy. I have faith that I will understand the reasons why in the future.

For now, I'm grateful to go to bed only after saying prayer with my family and tucking in the girls. I'm grateful to get to hug my husband without being afraid of the manly scents being introduced to me after him working all day. I'm grateful to be able to open the refrigerator without holding my breath. I'm grateful for being able to look at the sink without having to pray this won't be the time I loose my lunch on my floor. I'm grateful to give my kids a hug and not worry about getting a whiff of their freshly shampooed hair. Smells are the worst, aren't they?  Mostly though, I am just so grateful to feel like myself again, like a contributing member of my family.

I also have advice for my future self. If there is anything I have learned from being so sick that is an obvious lesson it's this- when I see a woman, a lady who just has a look on her face that seems to make me think she's a mean grumpy person, I'll think twice before judging her and assume she is feeling the affects of her own personal struggles, which may be that her body is desperately trying to grow a healthy baby and her body suffers from the surge of hormones that it's not used to. I'm going to assume the reason she glares like that is because she has been sick for thousands of minutes without relief, or because her sense of being is being tainted by her inability to do the things she wants to do. I'm going to smile a little more, be ever so grateful of days when I am not nauseated and NEVER ever take for granted a day when I can hop out of bed, get ready, and do the things that seem so minute. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Way We Were

Just for fun, I thought it would be cute to share how we told our family we were expecting Winnie. Click HERE to see that post. How in the world has three years gone by so quickly?

Photo Heard Round the World

This one time, when I was, like, 31, I discovered a most magnificent secret about what our future holds. Instead of being an adult and waiting patiently for Nathan's birthday (in five days) to tell him, I absolutely had to get the news out, like, today! The plan was well thought out in my head. I was going to set up a fake photo shoot and deliver the news so I could capture the response of each family member. My plan was total genius, because after the plan, I was going to email all the grandparents and, as a family, we would be able to keep this secret for weeks. Riiiight. Quickly after the news broke, I was beginning to have hot flashes and sweat in places I didn't know existed, true story. How in the world was I going to keep this secret???!! I am the worst secret keeper, anyone can tell you, especially when the news is so beyond exciting that my head feels like it may burst just typing this!
So without further ado, here are the results from my little impromptu photo session with my cute little, unsuspecting family, and yes, the final pictures are complete genuine reactions.

First, I told this hot little bow-tie wearing hubby of mine. Isn't he just the cutest? The whole time he was being completely silly and probably questioning if I was sane or not as I said things like "OK, now be silly" or, "Give me your real angry face".  I totally caught him off guard with the last emotion I needed for my "family collage". Ha, ha, as the sisters in Xanadu on Broadway would say, I really threw him off track this time!
Exciting, right? Seriously though, I'm like five minutes pregnant. I literally found out two days ago and told my family yesterday. 
The unsuspecting girls were semi-eager to help this momma out with my sneaky photo project. I was all, like, pleeeeease let me take your picture while you make silly faces. So then, after flipping the last page of The Way I Feel(A super cute book that we have treasured since Charly was a baby), I announced some very exciting news to three bouncy Campbell girls. I literally had to anchor my camera in more than one way to capture them bouncing every which way. They. Were. Beyond. Excited! Charly even said, I'm so happy I hurt!
Completely caught off guard and totally excited!

The complete excited Piper reaction when she heard the news. 
Charly's adorable reaction when she heard the news.

So cute, right??? After the good GREAT news, the girls went straight for the bed and bounced like crazy, all while holding hands and screaming about how excited they are. Charly and Piper even suggested we celebrate by eating ice cream. Yeeeeah buddy! So with rocky road in our bellies, smiles in our hearts, and the news of an extra Campbell babe growing, we all are finding it a little tricky to sleep tonight. I'll take that any day! Woohoo for baby number 4!!!!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Soccer, Take One

Charly started soccer this month. The picture above is from her first practice. Totally like Charly, to mix a little dancing action into her soccer skills. How cute is she?! She is one of three girls on a team of nine.

Charly was slightly hesitant at first, but now has claimed soccer as a "fun" sport. Her team kicked so much butt in her first game. Charly plays on a team known as "The Wizzards", and holy moly, these kids are good! And the best part, Charly assisted in one of the eight goals! We are so proud of this girl! Ahh, to be in the delightful fall air enjoying a game I actually know and understand. Watching a cute little daughter of mine play, while the other two cheer her on definitely helps make for a totally fun way to spend my next eight to ten Saturdays.

Final score 8-1, Wizards. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

First Position, Anyone?

Last night, I got to take Piper on a little mommy/daughter date to her very first dance class. She has been counting down the days for nearly a month and her excitement was the sweetest thing I have ever seen. The look on her face when I presented her with a homemade ballet skirt was one of pride and complete joy. I hope she never grows tired of handmade treasures. All of these were taken last night just before taking the 30 minute ride to dance class, and PS, she is a natural in front of the camera. All of these cute little poses came one after the other.

She is the sweetest, kind hearted  and joyful little ballerina anyone has ever seen. Not sure what this move is or whether it is even ballet, but I do know this, Piper puts her heart into everything she does. Ballet/Tap will be no different for her. Watching her was just one of the many highlights of my week. Piper has the coolest spirit. She dances to the beat of her own drum, which is rockin' by the way, I love that about her!

Happy Friday, y'all! Can't wait to see what next week brings.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Persephone and Athena Live Here!

I suspect that one of the greatest things about having an older sister who is up to her eyeballs in Greek Mythology, is when she decides to give you a make-over so that you too can become a Greek goddess! I love these girls so much. Is it weird that I can imagine scenes like this for every age they grow? Charly helping Piper with her first dance, her first date, her wedding day....
While my room transformed into a Greek beauty shop, Winnie was busy  watching as she jumped like a little orangutan in her crib.  Winnie is going through the most extreme growth spurt the past few months, she is changing in so many ways. One of the things she is doing to cope with the baby growing pains is reverting back to her baby ways. She has been potty trained since January, and now strolls around in diapers, which is something I swore I would never do; however, a mom can only clean up potty mess after potty mess, day after day, before she gives in to the baby ways. Can I just say, her in diapers is much nicer that following her around and taking her to the potty every 15-20 minutes only to have her pee on the carpet one minute later. Yup, diapers are just fine with me. When her little baby cocoon begins to unwrap, she will emerge as a super, uber fun nearly three year old! Please, oh please, let her little sweet butterfly emerge soon, LOL. She is two in every way. We love her oh so much, but this whole two year old phase is completely new to us. Thank goodness I've got my super crew back-up with Nate and the older two girls.

Has this whole reverting back to baby-hood ever happened with your kids?

Nate and I have a theory as to why this is happening...

Once upon a time, a cute, chubby little niece was born and we doted on her baby-ness as much as we could. Winnie saw this and decided she wanted more attention, therefore, her gears started turning and have transformed her into a chubby little baby herself. It worked! She seriously sounds like a newborn sometimes. It's the weirdest thing!

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Jesus was visiting the Nephites; this was the part of the Book of Mormon that seemed to really get the girls attention. We were on fire with our scriptures tonight! Piper and Charly were anxiously asking and answering questions while Winnie looked at the picture and said, "Jesus" a few times. It wasn't even a minute later from this great gospel discussion with the girls, when Nathan drew our attention over to look at our little babe.

What could Winnie possibly be doing to make all of us loud out loud, jump for joy and completely forget about what we were reading? Bet you are wanting to know, huh? I should preface this by saying, this has never EVER happened in the Campbell family household. We were jumping up and down, laughing hysterically and could not believe what was right in front of our eyes. 

Ready for it????

Is this not the cutest little baby face you have ever seen? I mean, really? Winnie falling asleep at the dinner table created a family moment we will never forget! I still chuckle at how tired a little one would have to be to fall asleep like this! Oh! So! Cute! Poor little babe had such a long day playing!
Charly and Piper sure know how to keep a celebration going. Even now, as I write this a couple of hours later, they are cuddling and playing nicely together. It's so cute how much they were entertained and made happy by seeing their little sister sleep in her high chair. These are the moments I live for!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lessons- Via Cheesemaking

Making cheese can be pretty tricky to master, I know this because I have attempted to make cheese quite a few times. The last time we were taking care of "The Farm", I must have dumped three to four gallons of precious goat milk down the drain because my cheese never seemed to form.  This time would be different. I was going to be successful at making goat milk mozzarella!

Yesterday, I decided, with a fridge full of goat milk sitting and waiting for me, that this would be the day when it would come together. So, without further ado, I poured a gallon of milk into a pot, measured out the rennet and citric acid, and waited. I waited for a while, and then waited a bit longer for the cheese to reach the magical temperature where I could start to see them magic. Oh, and did I mention, I said a prayer? I knew that if this batch of cheese was going to turn out, I would need some extra help and a lot of faith. Time went by and nothing happened. I was feeling a little deflated with my cheese making abilities.

This was about the time when I turned the stove off and called it quits for a brief moment. After some mental huffing an puffing, I turned the stove back on and waited some more. This time it was different. As I stood there stirring and stirring, I began to see changes occurring. First, the curds and whey started separating. This couldn't be it, I thought to myself. Then, as if the stars in my little cauldron began to align, the whey turned to stretchy cheese and formed a giant cheese ball. I had done it! I made cheese! Pretty cool, right? This little incident was made even better by the lesson Heavenly Father was about teach me.

Now let's flash back about an hour from that moment when a seemingly unrelated event occurred. Before I get to the incident, I want to fill you in on a little background first. About four months ago, we hit a financial wall. Nothing overly bad, but to the point where  if we didn't fix it, it would be bad. We got on the fast track to move forward in getting Nate a second job until he could replace his current job with one that had more opportunities to advance. (We haven't seen a pay increase since he started) We happened across someone who offered Nate a job that would essentially double his pay. This was the big break we had been waiting for. At least that is what I was thinking.  The job being offered is a government job, and as such, it would be several weeks before the hiring process could begin. We would just need to be patient as the weeks turned to months and still nothing was happening. Yesterday, Nate gave me some unfavorable information about the job that has me thinking that it isn't likely to happen. He received information  from HR that makes it sound as though it wasn't compatible from the beginning. This information could have been shared with us sooner.  Nearly a quarter of a year later and we are no closer to this "dream job" than we were when we started. I am feeling so confused at this time as to what to do or how we should move forward. Nate seems to have way more faith than me, he has optimistically been seeking  and applying for the next step since we got here almost five years ago.

So, what does all of this have to do with cheese?

I would like to think of myself as a women of faith, someone who sees the lessons in everyday happenings that my Heavenly Father is trying to teach me. When I was stirring the ball of cheese, standing, sulking, it it hit me- all of these seemingly insignificant events that are gathering around Nate and I, seeming to take us nowhere, are suddenly going to come together to form a part of our plan that is even better than what we thought of for ourselves. Nate's career is the curds forming in the pot. In the Lord's perfect timing, the curds will form and come together, making every step prior a step that makes sense, and is essential to the plan. I can't give up on the Lord, or even think about it!

As I keep saying this to myself, I want so badly for it to be true. My faith, while strong, is being tried. I know we will get through this and come out with a better future than we had ever planned for ourselves, but the other side of me is worried that this is it. What if the big break never comes? What if my lessons to be learned are to be learned in a life of career trials- a life as a curd? *Sigh*, no one wants to be a curd. (Insert a slight, forced giggle here) Joking aside, I am trying so hard to stay positive, but I am a flawed human being who often times lacks essential patience. A year from now, I hope to have gained eternal perspective through this event, to be a more joyous person, to smile through the "curd" phase, and most importantly, to turn to a loving Savior when in need of comfort.  This is my journey, I am part of it. I have to change my thoughts on the situation, I have to see the blessings through the fog. I need to have more faith. I'm working on it. The end.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Milkin' It Up

Every once and a while, we get to play "Farmers for a day(week)" when our uber cool friends leave their farm for a much more upscale, city kind of life. The duties associated with this task include feeding/watering animals, gathering eggs, and most fun of all-milking three goats, twice a day! 

This morning was extra fun as we prepared for church and left the house at 7:30 in order to get all the chores done in time to gather my own little hens and get them to church by 9:30. This was made even more tricky as my number one partner was out of town to fulfill his  AF guard duties.  I wasn't sure how we would  manage, but somehow we got out of there with curls and make-up intact.  It was awesome! It totally helped that, since I was the one milking, I went in one of Nate's "best" button down shirts, some workout pants, and of course, my cowboy boots! The way our boots look after a few days of farming are probably the way they are supposed to look. We've ditched the polished look for one splattered with milk and chicken poop-Yes! Seriously though, we are having a blast! 

Charly is so cute, as you will notice, she does not want anything to do with the milking process, even the warm milk in the jars grosses her out; I've got her taking care of the chickens and watering, which she is fantastic at! I'm wondering if my little vegetarian will soon be called a vegan. Did I forget to mention that little bit of info in my last few posts? Yup, Charly has decided on her own to be a vegetarian. At first I thought she would quickly put her desires aside for the first sight of a juicy hamburger accompanied with hunger, but she has stuck to her guns and has been non-meat for over a month! Crazy, right?! Piper and Winnie on the other hand, well, they can not get enough of meat, and goat milk.

In other Campbell Family news worth remembering, Piper used the word "flummoxed" while in primary today, and  yes, she used it correctly! She. Is. Awesome! Also worth mentioning- Charly came into a conversation I was having with a friend about foster care, this is what she said, "I think instead of us saving money for a family vacation, we should save to adopt.".  Does that not just make you smile? It's no secret that everyone in the Campbell family is ready for #4, but to hear from Charly such a devotion to that goal just made my heart skip a beat. Whether we are blessed with a baby, or a child to adopt into our family, it's so heartwarming to see the excitement exude from our children. Family is just as important to them as it is to Nate and I, and that makes my heart smile!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Meet Emma. This is my darling little niece who I have to restrain myself from gobbling up. She is the cutest little gal, outside my own daughters of course, in the entire universe. The admiration I have for her is shared by everyone in the family. Winnie loves to squeeeeeeeeeeeze her!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Piper's Clone

I didn't realize Piper had taught Winnie some major modeling poses until, when visiting my mom in SA, I brought my camera out in front of her and she gives me this business! It has been way too long since I have actively taken pictures of my girls. Perhaps I shouldn't let so much time go in between pictures! These just make me laugh. As much as Piper loves Winnie, sometimes the attention isn't appreciated on W's side as much as Piper would like. It's melts my heart to see them bonding over posing, by the way, where did Piper even get this? LOL


You know what's the greatest thing ever!?.....Give up? Well, I am pretty convinced it's watching my darling two and a half year old strolling around her Grandmama and Mamaw's backyard testing out the newly made tree house, all while blowing the most incredible bubbles! Yup, she is even sporting her tiny panties and a cheese grin. Often times my face hurts so much from the cuteness that exudes from her sweet little frame.
This past weekend Nate and I took on the project of switching the girl's room from a smaller room to the larger of the three. I was so surprised we were even able to paint a bed, headboard, dresser and vanity in an entire afternoon to complete the project. As it turns out, even though Charly officially no longer has to share a bed, she still took the time to snuggle her sisters to sleep. I rushed quietly downstairs to grab my camera when I peeked into their new room and came upon this precious sight.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Itty Bitty Yellow, Polka Dot "Wimwuit"

This one time, we went to San Antonio and somehow misplaced Winnie's swimsuit. No worries though, her cute little eight month old cousin had one she could squeeze into. So here is Winnie, squeezing into a 12 month size "wimwuit" because it was just way cuter than the 24 month size one that was an option as well.

Our Little Book Worm

My love for reading wasn't established until I was an adult, so imagine how exciting it has been for me to watch Charly gain a desire for adventure in the form of books at the ripe age of nine. This summer,  she has read the entire Percy Jackson series twice now and is now starting the adventures in Harry Potter, which we are joining in on as a family before bedtime. With the Percy Jackson series, she has thrown herself into all things Greek and has willingly added Greek studies alongside her regular school studies.  It's so fun to hear all the stories through her eyes.  The photo above was from a fun camping trip we took about a month ago, and the photo below was from our last super exciting trip to San Antonio.
In other news, I had this conversation with Piper this morning:
Me: Piper, you're chewing with your mouth open, please stop.
Piper: No I ain't
Right about then I heard the record scratch as I turned to Piper to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. Yup, Piper did in fact use the word 'ain't'. I think we have officially been in the country too long. LOL

My Kid's Mom

As a young girl,  I would jokingly tell those around me that I wanted ten kids. Behind the sarcastic tone was a girl who yearned to have this seemingly extreme future become a reality. I have always wanted to be "just" a mom, without ever the desire to work outside the home. Somewhere along the past couple of years I have lost sight of what's really important to me. I've been busy trying to seek the validation of worldly matters. As most of you know, the past year has been such a wonderful learning experience for me as I participated in the BYUI-Pathway program. Through the last twelve months, I have gained a stronger testimony of who I am and my purpose here on earth. It's something that is hard for me to put down in words, but I will try. 

The past two years I have stumbled so much with what my purpose is, going back and forth with developing a career in lifestyle photography or being content with "just" raising my children.
When we first came to Texas I rediscovered my love for photography and went head first into developing my talent that I may turn it into a business. This seemed like something I should do because, after all, I was good at it, and because I was good at it, I should pour my energy into trying to make a financial gain through it. It has only been recently that I have realized my efforts to establish a photographer's name for myself have been in vain. It occurred to me that I can't, and don't want to, be a "photographer" by trade. While my worldly outlook tells me that I should pursue a career, my heart tells me that I have had my priorities a little out of balance as I have worked to further my business.  I have been so busy receiving messages from outside sources that I have lost the ability to receive messages from what really matters. This past year resulted in changes that have put me back in line with where I feel I am destined to be. Sure, I am good at multitasking, but as I have been busy with homeschooling my three children, furthering my own education and trying to become a full-time photographer, I realize that something has to give. I've decided that the "something giving" is professional photography. I have been trying to make my identity about my abilities outside motherhood, which defies everything I have ever believed about who I was born to become. This decision has surprisingly been an easy one to come to, as I looked back on all the efforts on my end and the way things just never seemed to pan out in the end, I've realized that this is just not my season. It has taken me daily efforts to remind myself that being a mother is enough.  I've only ever wanted to be a mom, to have a house full of kids- kids that love each other and kids that know I will always be there for them.

So here I am, being OK with not trying to have it "all"; that's the misconception of it all though, having an eternal family who loves each other is having it all. I know that now. From now on when I pick up my camera it will be to capture the joys of what my family goes through, to capture the sorrows, the struggles, but most of all, the reasons for me wanting to be a mom in the first place. I so love this calling, I love my children, and I love my husband for the support and encouragement he gives to me. Nathan has watched me through this personal struggle and has given me more support than I deserve, I'm grateful for those around me who have supported me in this adventure, who have come forward to help or stood back when needed and let me find my own path. My shoulders are a little lighter and my outlook for the year is brighter knowing that the pressure I put on myself to be someone else is removed. This year I'm focusing completely on being me, a wife, a homeschooling mom , a gal who just happens to be skilled with her camera *wink*, and the eternal companion of a delicious husband who desperately needs me to make him my priority . This beautiful life is enough for me. I am happy. 
In sharing my own personal struggles I take no judgment on those who choose a different path. This post was written in regards to what works best for my family. With that being said, please know that I come from a place of love and if it seems there is judgment with my words, it is unintentional.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Countdown to SIX!

We're back on, just in time to document the week before Piper turns the BIG 6! Seems like just yesterday we were eating donuts to our heart's delight for her fifth birthday!

The other day Piper was being oh so sweet with her doll, Anna Beth, during breakfast before the other two girls were even awake. No matter what kind of day Piper has had, she always carries a smile on her face. She radiates happiness! I love that about her! I also love that she can cut her own bangs and pull it off as it she went to the salon! Yup, she cut her own bangs today. I barely noticed. I was rather impressed with her skills to not only cut them herself, but to do a great job too! I think I'll hire her for my next haircut.

If you are trying to find the old post, just make your way to the link that says "Blast to the Past". I've reformatted the blog and so rather than resizing every single old photo, I just dedicated a new website for them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Under construction

Hi there, bet you are wondering where all the blogs went, huh? Well, they will soon return. I am currently revamping the blog. Keep checking back, should be back up by the end of June. =)