I also got my portfolio submitted for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. One of my top goals for 2013 is to be a certified photographer with that organization. I'm already making great progress on that goal - by the end of January I've already purchased a new flash for my camera, practiced with it, photographed a wedding with it, done several photo shoots with it, and my portfolio has been sent in. It's like being half way there. The only trouble will come if my portfolio is rejected and I have to start over. Hope I won't lose desire if that happens. I gotta get this done! I've been trying to do this for months.
I'm also trying to make progress learning to drive stick shift. I can get all the way to Sam's work now (7.5 miles) and back and do just fine. I attempted the freeway yesterday. It was rather terrifying. It might be a little while before I make it very far on the freeway. But I'm making progress. I'm still careful to avoid poor roads and crazy traffic. But I'm learning!
I recently got called to teach Relief Society on the 4th Sunday. It's kind of scary to me - they need lots more great teaching than Primary kids do. The lesson for February is on a talk from Conference that I quoted when I spoke in church a couple months back about trials. I keep wondering if I'm supposed to share something I cut out of my talk before...and it kind of freaks me out. Not sure I can share such personal things...it just feels weird. But now I'm on my third chance to share with this ward - seems like maybe I should listen to that.
Sam's been busy doing Elder's Quorum stuff. He generally has meetings on Tuesday nights and goes visiting with either the president or other counselor almost one night a week. Not including Saturday morning service projects. He's liking it though. He's getting to meet so many people. He's loving his job too. He's been doing a weight loss challenge at work and he's doing great! He's been going to the gym too which is just a new strange thing for us.
We still haven't heard back on the house. It's taking forever - but we just keep reminding ourselves that it gives us more time to save up a down payment. We're still really excited about that place.
Caleb has been singing like crazy lately. I've got some clips I want to put together so I can share his singing. He's almost always singing something. Zip-a-dee-do-dah is one of his current favorites. We have to sing it when we zip up his coat. Yesterday I was trying to explain trumpet mutes and how they change the sound and ended up looking up a youtube video about trumpet mutes. I was the coolest mom in the world! The look on Caleb's face was priceless. I had no idea that trumpet mutes were so cool or exciting. He loves leading the music too. He's been saying "When I get older I wanna be da drum major." I know you're probably thinking we've warped him. And maybe we have. But I have tried to introduce him to other things too - music is just his first love.
Sam's been taking Caleb swimming every couple of days. It has been so good for Caleb! He's always been a little nervous in water. But Sam is incredibly patient and can convince Caleb to do just about anything. He's now floating with his little arm floaty things and can sometimes put his face in the water.
Caleb loves to play pretend. He often talks to his toys, gives them names, and has them do lots of different things. He also has lots of pretend friends who show up. The other day he said, "Look Mom! All of the new sunbeams! They are coming to Primary cause they are new sunbeams!" He was so proud. Hopefully it will work on Sunday when we take him to church. He always does great till we drop him off in the Primary room. I'm sure he'll get the hang of Sunbeams - but we have had a couple rough Sundays.
He's been loving that I have a new flash - and asking me to take pictures of him. He is such a funny squirt.
Emmett is into everything these days. He loves to climb on things and he has no fear of falling. He falls and has bumps, bruises, and scratches fairly often. He's been getting stuck a lot more lately too. He keeps sticking his legs out through the bars of his crib during the night and getting stuck. It's so hard because he's so big you'd think he wouldn't fit - but he does - just barely.
He has grown to absolutely love his blanket. Actually it was a blanket given to us for Caleb - who used it - but never really loved it. Emmett loves it and carries it around and stuffs it in his mouth many times a day. He loves to snuggle but only when he doesn't get distracted by something that he feels he has to run off to inspect. He hasn't quite got the hang of running yet - but I can tell he's trying. He walks EVERYWHERE and he's really, really sturdy. He's also still kind of small for his age so he seems too little to be walking that well. It's kind of funny to watch other people's reactions.
He's talking more and more though lately he just likes screaming. His newest words are "go" "no" "Cay-ah!" (Caleb) "Grah ma" and "cracker." He babbles ALL the time like he's talking and loves it when we babble back to him or pretend to have a conversation with him. He's also learning that it's fun to make people laugh. He's learned to make faces and then crack up when it makes someone else laugh.
He's back to not sleeping through the night very regularly again. Ever since his ear infections at the end of last year and the beginning of this year. I wish I could figure out how to get him to sleep through the night longer than a couple weeks at a time - his longest record was for 3 weeks after he turned 1. He loves his bottles and hates that
We made a trip up to Idaho last weekend for Ben and Jeff's first time through the temple and speaking in church. They leave for their missions next Wednesday - Feb 6. Ben's going to Dallas, Texas and Jeff is going to San Bernadino, California. My little brother, Devan, got his mission call last week. He's heading to New York, New York South mission - which includes Bermuda oddly enough. My grandpa and his wife are going to be heading to Guam on a mission in March - so we will have lots of fun writing to missionaries!
Our trip to Idaho was great. Utah has had a horrible inversion - enough that they want to make it a state of emergency and they're telling people not to go out unless you have to. The air is so smoggy and yucky. I couldn't believe how excited we were to see clear Idaho air when we went over Malad pass. I told Sam I felt like we were tourists coming just for the wide open spaces and clean air - lol.
Our trip home from Idaho was scary - the roads were the second to the worst we've ever seen. Almost enough to stop - but when you're only 20 miles from home it seems silly to stop for the night.
All in all - we are doing well and not even minding all the snow. We've got about 18 inches right now and we are loving that it melts off here and we know spring will come some day! It's such a different winter than an Idaho winter.
And I haven't posted new pages in a while - so here are some that I've done recently or that have been released recently. They really do tell lots of stories about what we're doing. So they're probably even a better update than the blog - though they do get different updates - so who knows? Oh well - hopefully my boys will be able to look back on these and know that I love them and that we have some fantastic times together.
Ring Around the Rosie (Everyday by DDD)
Emmett 11 months page and update
Christmas Eve Hug (my favorite picture from Christmas this past year)
Christmas Eve 2011
Cody and Emmett under the tree - 2011
Emmett and grandma's cat Boots
Kayaks my parents got each other for Christmas
Snow Day - lots of new snow and new snow clothes
City tree lighting
Christmas tree lighting - 2011 (ummm yes, that is a real tree on fire - most unique tree lighting ever!)
And a bunch of other January pics - just so I have backup copies
Jan 31 - asleep in minutes while watching Tangled
The ceiling above the shower head - it was soggy and dripping so it got "fixed"
Daddy tried to float Emmett in the blow up kayak in the bath tub
Hyacinths from my mom
Visit from Grandma Susie
Visit from Cody and Bryce
One story long icicles out back
black eye - Caleb was so proud!