Archive for Posts Tagged with "family"

I officially have no more pictures that need to be processed. Well, I have no more pictures that *I* feel need to be processed. Others may disagree. Never mind the fact that I haven’t really shot anything in about a month and a half. I’m caught up, that’s all that matters. It may be another decade before it happens again.

Sleepy Girl

This past weekend, Kate and I got on unexpected break from the kids. Murray had grand plans with them during the day on Sunday, and my mom offered to have them sleep over on Saturday night. From all accounts, they had a grand time. Murray made a gingerbread house with the kids, and then took them for a ride to see Christmas lights before bringing them home. The kids had a ton of fun. I’m sure this will be one of those fond memories of Christmas that they have down the road.

Murray and the kids

Oh, and we learned one more important lesson: Place gingerbread houses up high enough that the dog doesn’t eat the gingerbread bushes and gingerbread men!

It hasn’t really been five years since Simon was born, has it? Insert appropriate cliche about time going by really fast. So here are the highlights.

I got the idea for this post from Kristen when she did it for her son last month. She’s a better writer than I am, so I’m going to let pictures do most of the talking. Thanks, Kristen.

Brand New

Simon and Casey

Casey wasn’t quite sure what to make of this new creature that had invaded her home. We weren’t quite sure either. All I knew is that he was cute as a button during the day and infuriatingly AWAKE at night. We solved that problem during the first year. One of many new parent learning experiences.


Simon's First Birthday Cupcake

You turned one and the cuteness had only begun. Your exploded into a blur of motion and sound as you learned to walk and talk with gusto. It is right around the 1-2 transition that kids hit their “peak cuteness” and you did so with style, charming everybody from your grandparents to the grocery store clerk. You set a high bar for your sister.


Simon Enjoying his Hot Chocolate

I feel bad for whoever coined the term the “terrible twos,” because I thought they were pretty fantastic. You were old enough to be able to communicate what you wanted, but not old enough to really be testing limits with any seriousness. This was an awesome age, and I wish I could remember more if it more clearly.


Simon and Erin Working on the Compost Bin

Three was a big year for you. You got a sister (not pictured!), and you LOVE her. Sometimes a little too much. But man is she lucky to have a big brother like you. You spent some time in New York and Texas visiting your grandparents this year, and you’re still asking me when you can go on a plane again. Apparently it made a lasting impression.


Simon and Mary

You started going to preschool at 4 (well, technically the first month you were 3). After one or two teary mornings, you settled right in. You also decided to seriously test some limits and cop an attitude. It was a rough couple of months, but you seemed to get over it, and are generally a very pleasant, sensitive, loving child. You ESPECIALLY love your sister. I love that you two are so close in age, and I hope that you remain close as you get older.


Sandy Simon

So here you go at five. You’re getting bolder, but no less sensitive, and this time next year you’ll be in kindergarten. You’re getting so big so fast, I simply can’t believe it. I just have one request. SLOW. DOWN. But thanks for a great first five years. It’s been a blast.

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing about my sister’s graduation from UVA. That was, in fact, five years ago. Wow. That went by really fast.

Today, it’s Murray’s turn. A couple weeks ago, Kate, Mary, Simon, and I made the trek down to Blacksburg to help Murray celebrate his college graduation. It was a fun couple of days, and I really enjoyed meeting Murray’s friends and hanging out as a family at my (and Kate’s and my Dad’s) alma mater.

Graduate and Proud Parents

Murray has grown into a young man that any parent would be proud of. If my kids turn out half as well as their Uncle Murray, we’ll be doing pretty well. What strikes me about Murray is the awesome balance he has struck. He has been a solid student, while also getting involved in a number of extracurriculars at Tech, while still making plenty of time for his relationships with his friends and family. He is pretty unflappable, and is going to make a great addition in his new job this fall (working for PWC). They are lucky to have him.

I also count myself among the people who are lucky to have Murray. I’m really excited that he’s going to be in in NoVA to start his career, and I’m looking forward to getting some time to hang out here and there. I know my kids are looking forward to it, too. Yes, that means we’ll be hitting you up for babysitting oh. . . constantly. Mom and Dad will be glad for the time off.

Congratulations, Murray!

My new year’s resolution is to blog more often. Waiting for the laughter to die down. . .

Okay, that’s not really my New Year’s resolution. Somehow everything I want to say has recently been magically condensed to 140 characters or less. Because my attention span wasn’t short enough to begin with. Darn you twitter and facebook. So to start 2010, I present you with a picture of my whole family, taken at our Christmas celebration this past weekend.

Campbell Family Portrait - January 2010
View Large, On Black

Early Monday morning my paternal grandfather, fondly referred to by our entire family as ‘Pop’, passed away. He was 86 years old.

My mother loves to tell how I referred to him as “my friend Pop” when I was little. I remember him indulging my juvenile games and fantastical imaginary scenarios on many an evening or weekend when my parents were out. I remember what I now recognize as an amused smile as he enjoyed watching my active imagination. Those many hours and days that Pop sacrificed as my family’s go-to babysitter are precious to me and my siblings.

I remember the outings he would take us on, whether it was something as simple as a trip to the grocery store, or as exciting as fishing at a nearby lake. Most of all, I remember Pop’s willingness to teach: sinking a 20-foot putt (never did master that one!), hooking an eight pound bass (or, more likely an eight ounce Spot), or playing Gin Rummy were only the beginnings of what Pop would teach us.

Pop taught us more by his life than he probably ever knew. And only in writing this do I now realize how much I should have told HIM. Pop taught me about redemption and strength of will. He taught me about giving to the community. Most of all, he taught me how to earn the deep admiration of family, friends, and peers by living a life guided by a close relationship with Jesus Christ.

In these past few weeks, I have been touched by the outreach of Pop’s friends – his ‘extended family,’ if you will. The well wishing through cards and visitors was truly beautiful. I loved reading through his birthday, Easter, and get well cards (I’m fairly certain he didn’t mind) and seeing names I had never heard before. It firmly cemented in my mind the long reach of Pop’s generous spirit, and the humility with which he lived.

We’ll miss you Pop. See you in the next Life.


I give you a cute Simon video.

I just finished paying bills and am avoiding the piled up photos I need to process. I have two pics from Peter Across The Street’s Mom that I need to post, a basement that is a disaster area, and a laundry list of stuff to do that is waaaaay to long. So what do I do? Procrastinate by finding this gem in my archived videos. Enjoy. This is circa December 2006.