November 15, 2011

Halloween and Sea World 001 Layla is not a cold weather dog. Here she is bundled up in our coziest blanket in front of the fire. I don’t know what she would do if we were stationed somewhere with a true winter!

November 8, 2011

Del Mar Dog Beach

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We love to head to Del Mar Dog beach when Fiona (my parent’s dog) is visiting. The dogs love to run with the other dogs. Layla thinks she’s much bigger and ferocious than she is and tries to take on the big, playful labs. Fiona loves to jump in the water, Layla stays just on the waters edge. They both love to chase the frisbee, though Fiona doesn’t like to give it up!

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It was a gorgeous fall day (gotta love San Diego weather!) I’m 7 months pregnant here and feeling pretty good!

October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween was a ton of fun this year, the kids are getting more excited about it as they get older. They were loving that the festivities were spread out of a few days, so they could enjoy all the Halloween fun (ehem..candy..) for days. Our Schultz cousins joined us for our ward Trunk or Treat the Saturday before Halloween. Check out how cute everyone looked! Dane was Luke, Lexi was Leia, Eli was Harry Potter, Lily was a 20's flapper, Van was her fancy man (love that one!) and Brynn was Sleeping Beauty.

That weekend we carved our pumpkins to be ready for Halloween night. I know it seems a little late, but our pumpkins always turn to mush if we carve them too early! Brynn didn't mind the pumpkin "guts" at all, in fact she had some fun getting messy.

Eli, on the other hand, didn't enjoy it. He obliged me with a spoon for a little bit but then convinced Brynn to clean his out.

Here's our cute little porch ready for trick or treaters. My pumpkin was the monogram 'C' and Jake's was Harry Potter.

Our cuties excited to get out there and load their pails with candy

Eli wanted a classic jack-o-lantern look and Brynn picked a Little Mermaid pattern.The little girl lives for dress up days!

Just back from trick or treating: the kids could hardly hold still for a picture...they were ready to investigate the goods.

The beset Luke and Leia out there! I think Andrea did such a good job on their costumes.

Brynn guarding her candy when it was time to put it on top of the fridge (yep, I'm that Mom....I'm even the Mom that donates half to the YW bin at church! But it was more for my sake then theirs. By the time Halloween came around I had had my fair share of Twixes.)

Halloween is always so much fun! Even funner when we can share it with cousins.

October 28, 2011

Eli's Class Halloween Party

We love being a part of the Shoal Creek Peppers! They always have the best class parties and Halloween was no exception. They always include siblings, which Brynn loves.

Eli dressed up as his latest idol; Harry Potter and Brynn dressed up as a running favorite; Sleeping Beauty.
It's always so fun to see Eli in his classroom interacting with his classmates. He loves his teacher, Mrs. Norris, who is absolutely fantastic.

Jake had just gotten off the night shift in the ER and was able to join us for the party. He's such a good Daddy, he always makes an effort to come to Eli's events and Eli adores him for it.

Our little Harry was exhausted after his fun morning. This is how I found him later that afternoon:

October 11, 2011

Daddy’s Girl

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Brynn is such a Daddy’s girl. She loves to curl up into his side when they’re relaxing together. Lately she really likes him to play with her hair and when he stops she says, “Daddy! Keep playing with my hair!” And he smiles and does. I wish that worked with me!

October 2, 2011


I was cooking dinner on September 27th when Jake came into the kitchen and said he had something to tell me. I was already surprised because he was home early (that doesn't happen often in residency..). He had the same worried look he had the first time he told me he was deploying, but I knew it couldn't be that. I jokingly asked if he was in trouble at work and he smiled and replied, "no, but I have to have surgery tomorrow. I have testicular cancer." I think I stopped breathing for a minute as I tried to process what he was telling me. He had suspected something was wrong; that he had a tumor; and set up an appointment to have an ultrasound on the 27th. During the ultrasound they found a very large, concerning tumor and wanted to preform immediate surgery. They were suspecting a malignant tumor. His tumor markers were immediately tested and two came back as normal, the third would take awhile. Everything happened very quickly. I was obviously very worried but our family and friends were wonderful. Jake's parents quickly drove down to help us with the kids and to sit with me at the hospital. Our Bishopric and home teachers came over that night to give Jake a blessing of health and me a blessing of peace. Jake was doing a good job of putting on a happy face, I think mostly to keep me calm. I did have a sense of calm, but I was obviously very worried about my husband. Early the next morning we headed to the Naval Medical Center for surgery to remove the tumor. We were told we would have path results in a week and would proceed from there.

Jake had a few drugged days after recovery but healed surprisingly quickly. He was very upbeat and...well, just Jake. He's a very optimistic, logical person. So while I was hiding away to cry in the closet when the fear of the unknown would overcome me, he was smiling and enjoying our company. We played lots of Settlers with his Mom and Bremen and Andrea. They took very good care of him! Lots of treats, yummy dinners, magazines to read, prayers and good company.
In fact, we were overwhelmed by everyones generosity. Word spread among our ward and we had meals set up for weeks. Friends from all over sent us well wishes and treats. Whoever said that food is healing is RIGHT! I didn't get to snap pictures of everything that was sent and given to us, but above you can see a dozen delicious cupcakes from DC Cupcakes from our dear friends Nick and Amanda. We gave the kids a taste here and there but froze most of them so we could treat ourselves whenever we wanted! Our friends Jason and Amber were in town visiting and stopped by with a decadent chocolate cake (Jake's favorite, they know him well!). My parents came down for a few days and stocked our fridge and freezer.

Meanwhile, we were told the path results were sent off to UCLA, so we wouldn't have results for another week. After a week Jake was back and work and things seemed relatively normal, except for the awful feeling that we had no idea if Jake had malignant or benign cancer. We kept waiting, and waiting and calling and pestering. Finally, 6 weeks after surgery we received the results. And it was worth the wait: Jake had a mixed germ cell tumor with evidence of sertoli, leydig and granulosa cells. It was well differentiated and likely benign. The tumor was very rare, so rare in fact, that many of the pathologists had never seen this type of cancer before, which is why it took so long to get back to us. This is pretty good news. While they don't know much about this cancer, it appears to be benign and Jake feels great. He'll have to go in for scans and tumor markers every 6 months to make sure it doesn't come back but he knows the warning signs and will be careful. We feel tremendously blessed through this trial. We truly felt the effects and peace from everyones love, support and prayers. I'm so thankful to have a healthy husband. Trials like this make you truly realize how precious life is and to live to your fullest. I love Jake so much and am so grateful for this outcome. We have a few friends that are facing cancer in a much bigger, scarier way than we did and I continue to pray for them. Know that any act of kindness to those in need is felt and appreciated. Thanks to everyone for thinking of us, we love you!

August 31, 2011

Eli's First Day of School

Eli started PEPP last week, which is a two year kindergarten that our school district designed for kids who have very late birthdays, like Eli. It's perfect for us, 5 days a week, but half day, unlike the full day kindergartners (yay for that!). We live about 1/3 mile from his school, so we walk, it's nice not to have to deal with the traffic. Eli was quietly taking it in that first morning, but he was very excited and not at all sad to see us go!

Jake just happened to have the morning off and could come with us. He was a very proud Daddy.
Brynn and Eli are inseparable, so I was worried she would have a hard time with him gone, but she has been surprisingly fine. She happily says goodbye to him every morning at school and enjoys coming home to play with her princesses, watch only girly movies, or (this will be our secret) spend the whole morning playing unabashedly with all of Eli's toys. I'm surprised at how quiet my daughter is when she is alone. I never would have guessed, she's usually so loud.
Eli loves circle time where they read and learn the daily theme. His teacher is Mrs. Norris and is wonderful!

I can't believe that Eli is already old enough to go to school! I was a good Mom and didn't cry until the walk home. It's been an exciting milestone!

August 21, 2011

Dancing Queen

These pictures capture Brynn perfectly. She is such an imaginative little girl; one of the most common phrases you'll overhear her saying is "let's pretend..." I love listening to her and watching her imagination at play. Here she is dancing in her "fairy castle:"

Notice she also has her shoes on the wrong feet? That is another thing that is so Brynn. She can't be bothered with putting them on correctly, she is always trying to get somewhere quickly!

Fenton's Creamery

We stopped in San Francisco on our way home from Jenner to visit my Aunt Robin. She took us to this yummy restaurant and creamery called Fenton's. I had a delicious crab salad sandwich and afterwards we all shared banana splits.

Can you tell Eli is happy about the ice cream?
The kids couldn't believe how big the banana splits were. The four of us couldn't even finish it.

Poor Brynndy gave her best shot to finish it...I'm sure we all felt how Brynn looked afterwards...and then we got in the car to finish the 8 hour drive home!

August 14, 2011

McCammon Coastal Family Vaction

We went on family vacation to a beautiful little coastal community above Jenner, California (a few hours north of San Francisco) with the McCammon side of our family this summer. We rented a secluded house on the cliffside overlooking the ocean. It was such a fun vacation! The property was fun for the kids (and adults) to explore. Eli always gravitated towards these big rock with Uncle Cory

Brynn, however, prefered the "fairy castle" with Aunt Erin
We like to tease my Dad about his "interviews," but it just wouldn't be a good video without one! Here Jake is giving some expert commentary on the current BYU football season.

Uncle Matt and Eli popping some seaweed

We didn't built this beachwood fort, but we sure had fun with it!

Big rocks were made for jumping

A sweet moment I captured between Brynn and Grandpa, she sure loves him!

Eli walking the plank. He has pretty good balance now!

We discovered this little black sanded beach on a drive along the coast one day. It was a chilly day with lots of fog but the sand had soaked up all the warmth and was toasty. It felt really good!

Brynn burrying my feet

I love this girls' curls!

Aunt Sarah playing catch with Eli

Playing in the waves with Grandpa. That water was colllllllddd!

Buried alive!

We took lots of fun little hikes through the forest. That's one thing I love about Northern beaches; you have ocean to the west, and just a few miles west you have a massive forest. I was 6 months pregnant here.

These two are so fun together, they really are the best of friends.

On another pretty walk along the ocean

Brynn and Eli were pretending to be lions in the wheat field

Here you can see almost everyone on a hike through the forest: Erin, Daniel, Anna, Sarah, Jake & Eli, Cory & Brynn, Matt, Mom and Dad and I behind the camera.

My brother Matt and Jake with the kids on a fallen tree trunk

Aunt Sarah is the best manicurist

Brynn and Sarah have bonded through their love of fashion and beauty products. Brynn loves to join the big girls when we do our nails, makeup, hair or face masks. So fun to be able to share that with my daughter already! I'm sure it only gets better.

Lots of time spent in the kitchen! We all like cooking, so we divided up the nights to cook a big dinner for the family. We had some great food: Mom and Dad grilled, Erin and Cory made chili and cornbread, Sarah and Matt make tiki masala and Jake and I made pesto pasta.

Roasting marshmellows in the wet fog

Grandma and Eli checking out the diving birds

We love being able to get away with our family once in awhile. We love you all, thanks for the great time!