Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Coming Up for Air

(Dear Readers,
Once again I've been outsmarted by the formatting. Please don't let it effect the quality of my post.
Much Love and Frustration,

I remember as a kid every Christmas I'd go through the exact same series of feelings - counting down the days in anticipation until Christmas Eve night and finally the awe on Christmas morning as I walked out to see what Santa brought (Yes, I totally believed in Santa for a really, really long time. My mother had to sit me down people. . . when I was 10 years old (TEN!). I wonder what it's like to have to break the news that Santa was "real, just not who you think he is" to your preteen daughter.). And then it seemed like it took about 1 nanosecond to unwrap the obscene amount of gifts sitting under the tree until we were amongst a living room of wrapping paper and empty boxes.
I remember on Christmas night always feeling disappointed that it was over. Don't get me wrong, I was totally LUH-VING all of the gifts, but I was so sad that it was all over. I mean I'd been counting down to this for like a month. And now all I could do was sit (and play with my oodles of toys).

Now as an adult, things seem so different but at the same time eerily similar. Christmas was a whirlwind for James and I. We celebrated with his parents last Thursday night before they left for Odessa to spend the holiday with James' sister. Then we celebrated with my family on Christmas Eve night (just the sisters - including Kate's kids and hubby - and my mom and dad). And finally with all of my extended family on Christmas day. In case you're more of a visual person, here's some pics of the gift giving extravaganza!
Thursday night with the Brooks' - Hunter wasn't feeling too well and was totally overwhelmed by his first experience with opening a truck load of gifts.
Here's the Campbell Christmas celebration. Hunter LOVED this hula hoop - unfortunately it was for Zack.
He got plenty of his own toys, though, including this Tonka push, walk, ride truck thingy that Nana brought him.
And now, the best part of the gift exchanging process . . .Christmas morning stockings!
Santa filled Hunter's stocking with a book, rainstick, stuffed animal, pacifiers. . .
and of course a Dallas Cowboys football - he knows whose house this is!
Exhausted yet? Last night, after all of the excitement was over (silent cheering from the old mommy), James and I were laying in bed, which in case you haven't notice is where I do my most serious thinking, and I thought about how much has changed since I was a kid. I have a husband and kid of my own now, which you'd think would be enough of a change - besides the growing up factor. But I feel like a completely different person, even than when I was in high school or college. I didn't become a believer until college (this is an entirely different, long blog post though), but even after this I still spent many Christmases only briefly thinking about Jesus and what I was really celebrating here. And then last night I just lay there thinking, "I've gone this entire day without even acknowledging God or his gift. No praying, not even a smile or thought of it." How crazy is this.
Hunter was sick the night before and as I sat in his room rocking him for an hour or so, I thought of how much I loved him and how God has shown me so much of how He loves me and his own Son through the gift of Hunter. But then on Christmas day it doesn't even enter my mind until I'm about to fall asleep. So I just needed to step back from the presents and food and Christmas cards and decorations and say Happy Birthday Jesus. I am in awe of you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance

We just got home from a 2 day trek to Arkansas and back. It was quite an adventure. Hunter has spent around 17 of the past 36 hours in his car seat. He handled it like a champ except for that short stint when we sat on I-30 for 1 hour and moved maybe a mile. He was not a champ during that. He resembled more of a shrieking animal trapped in a cage. But, that's an entirely different blog post.

My little Court the dork graduated from college today. (I know we totally could of come up with a more creative name for our little sis, but I was in like 5th grade when we started using that. So blame it on Kate because she was in high school and should've been more creative). Here's Court and me in August 2003 when we moved her into the dorm at Harding University.
And here she is today as a college graduate.

We are so proud!

I can't believe how much has changed over these last 4 1/2 years. I feel like Courtney is a totally different person. She has blossomed into a beautiful woman of God. I am proud to call her my sister. I feel honored that I was able to watch her grow from little Court the dork into the talented, intelligent (and totally non-dorky) woman she is today.

My life is also in a totally different place than it was that August. James asked me on the drive home if I thought back when I moved Courtney to college that just 4 1/2 short years later I'd be driving to her graduation with my husband and baby. That for sure did not enter my mind at the time. I remember the weekend we moved Courtney down to Harding so clearly. James and I had been dating a little over a month, so we were doing this email thing where we'd send each other get to know you questions. I remember checking my email from the hotel and James signed his email with Philippians 1:3 for the first time. I had to go up to look at the hotel Bible to see what the verse said. He continued to sign all of his emails that way, and the day we got married, he saw that I had engraved it inside his wedding band.

I love when God drops us little reminders of how great our life is. I feel so blessed to have James as a husband. This weekend was a reminder to me of what an amazing husband I have. When I think back to the man he was when he was courting me, I see the same man before me today. He continues to serve me and surprise me and chase after my heart. He's given me the greatest happiness I could ever ask for.

I love you babe.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deep Thoughts by Carole

So I'm not really a super deep person. I know that totally sounds like I'm insulting myself, but really I'm not. Not that I'm really shallow or stupid or anything. I'm just not the kind of person to sit and ponder over serious stuff like poverty or Calvinism or the writings of Nietzsche (I actually just had to google his name to make sure I was spelling it correctly. I am proud to say that I was only 1 letter off originally). I'd just rather laugh and talk about fun, lighthearted stuff.

BUT, this is one more way that little H has changed me. I am a little more complex now. I lay in bed ALL THE TIME - like every night people (for real) - and think about his future and how GREAT God is that He enabled James and I to make this little human, etc, etc.

Most recently I've been thinking about how amazing it is that babies are born with their own little personality - all so different. I know that might seem simple to most of you, but when you witness all of these little boys with such different behaviors it is amazing to me. (I'm sure my friend Laura would totally have in depth discussions with me on this - she's a behavioral psychologist. At least I know she gets me.)

We've been around a lot of babies in a compact time period over the last week so I've been able to watch all of the different little personalities. My friends watched Hunter for me last week while Hunter's Grandee was out of town and this weekend we went to Austin and stayed with our friends who have a son about 6 weeks younger than Hunter. Here's some pics of them (just to add to the cuteness factor of the post).

Hunter and Thomas at our playdate.

Hunter and Ronnie playing last week while my friend Carrie sat for me. She found my camera in my diaper bag and decided to document the day for me. Don't you just love that? She knows me too well.

Will and Hunter playing this weekend while we were in Austin (Aubrey's supervising.)

It's just amazing to me that at such a young age, all of these boys are so completely different. Every day that goes by in Hunter's life, I am more and more in awe of the Lord. What an amazing thing to watch your child learn and grow!

As a side note, I'm totally losing it. I just realized that last night I sealed a ton of our Christmas cards without signing them. So if your Christmas card from us is either torn open and re-taped shut or just not signed, blame it on all of my deep thoughts. They are totally distracting me from real life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fatty Fat Fat

Here's a rundown of what I've eaten the last 2 days:

Frosted Flakes
Cheeseburger, Fries, and Coke from Whataburger
Chocolate and carmel covered pretzel
2 pieces of pepperoni pizza and 2 breadsticks from Little Caesar's and another Coke

Rice Krispies (I decided to start healthier this morning)
chicken taco, chips, cheese, and Coke from Taco Cabana
chocolate and carmel covered Apple

There's also some water mixed in there on both days.

In my defense, my lunch got thrown away at work yesterday. I know I totally could've picked a healthier option than Whataburger for lunch but when you're that hungry, you just go for the first thing you see.

I need help before I turn into this

The difference is I won't have the excuse of "I'm 40 weeks pregnant and swollen and in labor." I'll just have to say, "I have a food baby and will probably drop dead from a heart attack any minute."