The last time I posted a picture of the whole family, it was taken back in December 2009. Simon was four. Mary was one and a half. You’ll notice two new additions to the 2012 photo: Lucy and Murray’s girlfriend, Jana. We think we like them both enough to let them stick around. For now.
Here is our official family photo from this past Christmas, 2012:
And here’s the one that everybody likes:
As of tomorrow (June 29, 2012), my father (that’s him on the right) is retiring. He’s a CPA who spent the past eight years with Africare. Prior to that he spent 23 years at the American Red Cross.
When I tell people my father is retiring, they frequently ask me what he’s going to do with all that free time. I jokingly tell them that my mother has a lengthy list to keep him busy. But honestly, I don’t really know. But I’m anxious to find out (no pressure, Dad)! I would be hard pressed to answer the question: “what is your dad’s hobby”? Because I don’t really know. His hobby has been excelling at his job and raising and supporting a family. And he has done a tremendous job.
All through my childhood, my dad worked. A lot. He was out of the house before the sun rose on most days, and we frequently didn’t eat dinner until late because he didn’t get home until 7 or 7:30. Frequently, he would also go into the office for several hours on Saturday mornings. But I never once felt like one of those kids whose dad was never around. Somehow he still managed to make it to all the requisite sports events, plays, recitals, and other sundry activities in which all three of his kids took part. He helped with homework and science fair projects, and he and my mom made a great team when it came to rule-making and discipline. He set a fine example for his children on how to have a tremendous work ethic and still be a loving husband and father.
Much to his chagrin, he is having a retirement party thrown for him at his workplace tomorrow. It is something he doesn’t feel is necessary. But I’m taking the day off to go to it, because I want to hear people brag on my dad. Not because I need them to validate something that I already know; but because he’s spent so many years being proud of us that I selfishly want this opportunity to step back and be proud of him. I want to hear people talk about how awesome he is. Because he REALLY IS.
Dad, I hope that you’re able to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, which is pretty hard to come by these days. But regardless of what you decide to do, I know that you will be glad to be free of the stress that comes from caring so much about your work and the people that work for you, as well as maintaining your own self-imposed high standards. I’m including just a few photographic suggestions (all selfish!) of things that you might find to fill some of those retirement hours.
I love you, Dad. Happy Retirement!
We occasionally enjoy an episode of Chopped on the Food Network. One of Kate’s friends said how she did an at-home version with their kids, and they LOVED it, so we decided to give it a go. For those of you not familiar with the show, the gist is this:
- 4 chefs.
- 3 rounds: Appetizer, EntrÃ©e, and Dessert.
- Each round the contestants get a basket with “mystery” ingredients that they have to use in their dish.
- At the end of each round, the judges “chop” one contestent
Obviously we made some modifications to this formula. And I kept the ingredients simple at Kate’s request. It’s hard enough to cook with kids without having to figure out how you’re going to make an appetizer out of cuttlefish, kumquats, and neon green M&Ms.
I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum and try to let the photos and videos below do the talking.
Even though I have successfully managed to call her ‘Mary’ 85% of the time since she’s been born, I’m thrilled to announce the arrival of our second daughter, Lucy Gemma Campbell! Like her sister, Lucy decided that she simply couldn’t wait, and HOWLED (way louder than either of her siblings) her way into the world this morning. Kate was a champ for the third-time’s-a-charm c-section, and is recovering well. Pictures in a few!
Lucy Gemma Campbell
Born December 10, 2011 @6:10AM
Weight: 7lbs 1oz
Length: 19.5 inches
When I was 18 and about to head off to college, 4 years seemed like an eternity. Now, four years is barely a blink. I can’t believe it’s been nearly six years since Simon was born. And now, he’s headed off to kindergarten. Yesterday was his first day of elementary school, and I couldn’t be more proud. He showed no signs of nervousness or anxiety and jumped right on the bus like it was the most natural thing in the world. He came home after a long first day happy and full of energy. I know there will be moments of anxiety and stress during his many years of schooling, but I couldn’t have hoped for a better start.
Mary might have more trouble adjusting to the loss of her playmate (or tormentor, depending on the minute). She was a little bit out of sorts yesterday and I think it’s because her older brother wasn’t around. But she starts preschool next week (don’t worry, another post to come!) so that should keep her busy for a bit.
Sometime on or around December 18, we’ll be welcoming another Campbell family member. When we told the kids, it took a few minutes to sink in, and then they started to get excited. After I put Mary to bed, I could hear her through the monitor jabbering away. It went something like this (but much cuter in her broken toddler-english):
And the baby is in mommy’s tummy.
And she is soooooo cuuuuuute.
And I will hold her. And hug her. And rock her.
She went on for a while, and Kate will probably remember more of what she said. but it was adorable. Simon seemed to take it all in stride. His demeanor seemed to say, “Yawn. Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good handle on this big brother thing. Bring it on.”
I think my lack of updates has pretty much caused all my readers to move on. Except for one, maybe (Hi, nod!). But for those of you who are still reading, I wanted to throw this one out there: Kate is blogging again.
It’s mostly quilting and craft-focused, but it’s definitely worth poking around. I have very little interest in crafts and quilting, but even I find it interesting. So check out the newly resurrected KCQuilts Blog.
This is what happens when you leave your laptop logged in to facebook when your big sister is in town. Well done, Erin. Well done.