Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy 80th Birthday, Poppy!

My precious Poppy turned 80 on Saturday, giving the Wilkes clan great reason to celebrate. His life is an encouragement to all who know him. A father to 5, a grandfather to 9, and a great grandfather to 5 (with 3 more on the way), "Papa Corkey" is not without posterity. I am grateful to have such a beautiful picture of a life well lived and a loving marriage. All of Poppy's children and grandchildren gathered in Grapeland, Texas to celebrate his 80 years. It is a rare occasion for this rapidly multiplying group to all get together. Thankfully Grammy and Poppy have the space for a crowd.
Here is the whole motley crew.
Poppy's girls planned a surprise party at The Creamery in Grapeland. We ALL stayed at the farm together, and were able to get him all dressed up and downtown by convincing him we had set up for a family portrait to be taken. He was completely moved, even to the point of tears, upon seeing his siblings, family, and friends all gathered to honor him. Here are my wonderful grandparents with their kids.Poppy blowing out his candles with the help of the youngest generation.
Our little family, birthday partying (one of Graham's favorite phrases)!
The chaos of attempting to photograph 3 toddlers and 2 babies...

On our way back to the farm after the party, we stopped for a bluebonnet break. Cambell went from curious to furious in less than 5 seconds...

We thought maybe she would do better next to her cousin, Joshua. We were right...
but only long enough to take one happy picture.

Her happiness was renewed and we were able to capture one happy family picture. The key was not actually sitting her down in the bluebonnets :)
It was a true blessing to be with our entire extended Wilkes family. Celebrating Poppy was a beautiful reminder of the importance of family and our rich heritage. For more pictures from the weekend, we welcome you to visit our picture website.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Proof of our Baby's first word!

I wanted to share proof of Cambell's first word! This video includes our giggly girl's many expressions, as well as a discovery of a baby in the camera as we turned the display to allow her to see her beautiful self. Cambell's peek-a-boo skills are shown off as well! I am ADORING this stage with its constant discoveries (minus the teething)! Enjoy the video!
video

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Few New Developments on the Cambell Front

Cambell is full of surprises. For instance, yesterday she surprised me when I turned the corner in the bathroom to find her hand reaching in the toilet. Cambell often follows me into the bathroom, but has never shown any interest in the potty. She was busy pulling up on a stool by the tub and seemed occupied. I went to wash my hands for a quick second and did not even think about the toilet lid being up because she has NEVER even come close to the toilet before. I should have known that her love of water would lure her. As I turned the corner, I screamed at the top of my lungs upon seeing my beautiful, sweet, clean daughter dipping her dainty hand into the toilet bowl. Daddy of course came running in terrified of what he might find. He was actually relieved the toilet incident was all that had warranted such a scream from his wife. We THOROUGHLY washed her hands with anti-bacterial soap and several Wet Ones. Whoa. Nasty. I will not make the same mistake again (wishful thinking I'm sure).

On a less messy note, Cambell has a first word! BABY! She has been saying "baby" for a while now, but I thought she was only imitating sounds until this morning... One of our playgroup moms is a speech therapist. She heard Cambell say "baby" and I told her I thought Cambell was just babbling without realizing she is actually speaking English. Jenny pointed out that Cambell was pointing to the baby doll her daughter was holding! She kept pointing and saying baby! A little while later, Cambell was crawling over to her little friend Kylee, (who is only 2 months younger than Cambell but MUCH smaller) saying baby over and over as she looked at and approached her little friend. I am so proud! It made me look back and realize that she has been connecting the word to actual babies for a while. On Saturday, we went to Hillcrest to meet Cambell's friend Piper's little sister, Makenzie. We kept saying, "Cambell, do you see the baby?" She would not say the word in the room even though she had been saying baby for several days. But, upon leaving the room, she said, "baby" all the way down the elevator to the car. Cambell babbles like crazy and probably has more words for different objects than we realize. So far, though, the only words intelligible to her parents are momma, dada, and BABY! Way to go, Cambi :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Full House

If only this post celebrated the joy once brought to our lives by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen... This week has been wonderfully busy with visitors galore. Along with our normal social routines, Mommy got to go out to eat with girlfriends Tuesday night. This was a first in Cambell's lifetime (I think). Daddy took the baby to see GranSara and Grandado. It was a successful night for all parties involved. We thought Tuesday is as exciting as it gets... until Wednesday came along with even more wonderment to be held. First, Aunt Summer came to visit for Spring Break! Lolli spent the majority of the day with us as well, and the two spent the day arguing over who was hogging the baby. We played, ate snow cones, read silly magazines, and of course SPOILED Cambell to the core. The fun was just beginning at this point, though. Mommy and Daddy had the opportunity to go on a real adult outing (we really should do more of these kinds of things... we are kind of pathetic)! Aunt Summer babysat while we met the Homeyers for dinner at Ninfa's and then trucked on over to the Ferrel Center to watch Baylor kick some major Georgetown tail in the NIT. I wish we had taken a picture to mark the occasion. We love every minute spent with the Homeyers and miss them being only 45 minutes away. We are SO excited about their baby BOY on the way (name still to be decided)! I see an arranged marriage in the works... 

The Baylor game was incredible! We picked our one and only game to attend this season quite well, I must say. Because our group's tickets were spread out, we sat in the student section and reminisced easier days. Baylor events always invoke the question of what my life would look like had I chosen to attend Baylor, following what I had known my whole life. I always arrive at the same conclusion... I would not trade my experience at Texas A&M for the world. I blazed my own path, enjoy lifelong friendships accrued from my time there, and was blessed with experiences unique to A&M that would not have been available at Baylor. Mainly, the opportunity to lobby at the state level on behalf of higher education issues affecting Texas A&M throughout the duration of my senior year. My previous internship at the Capitol and family connections made this experience all the more constructive and fruitful. I also have to wonder if Graham and I would be together had we met earlier and in different circumstances. I love our life together. I love our story. I love that Baylor is a huge part of our life because it has always been a huge part of mine. Even so, Cambell will be raised on both That Good Old Baylor Line AND The Aggie War Hymn. While there may seem to be a little bias at the moment, please remember we do live in Waco and I am a little outnumbered. As time passes and we get closer to having to PAY for either Baylor or A&M... I have a feeling which school is going to be favored by the parents' pocketbook :)

I leave you with the AggieBear herself... She is smiling in the picture, but inside misses our tenants from the Cook hotel. We plan to get back to our routine tomorrow... maybe.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Baylor Bear Balla

This is turning out to be a nice weekend for Baylor!  The Bears and Lady Bears are both playing in their respective Big XII tournament championship games.  "Crazy" Uncle Marshall made the trip North to catch as much of the action as possible--be looking for him on TV.

And of course--guess who is being groomed to be a good fan?  
We're learning that we "sic" the other team--not Daddy's face.  Storey put Cambell in her little BU outfit in honor of the Bears.  Storey was an Aggie, but does not mind cheering for Baylor (she's the only non-Baylor alumni in her family).  The Lady Bears will be playing the Aggies tomorrow.  Storey's line for a Baylor vs. A&M game is "I can't loose."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our version of Spring Break

Graham's Spring Break is coming to a close. Our week did not change quite as dramatically as others because Graham still had to work. Nevertheless, we tried our best to fill our evenings with enjoyment, banning all productivity. We drank a lot of this:

And did a lot of this:

A combination I would highly recommend. We recently discovered this Red Box at the Walgreens not even a mile from our house. Before this wonderful discovery, we rented from the knock-off red box at HEB, but we have pretty much seen EVERY movie worth watching. I cannot believe how many movies we have rented since Cambell has been born. It just feels like the best option since we are tied to home on weekends after 8:00 due to our sweet baby. Back to our Spring Break routine... every night we have gone inside Walgreens to buy tea (I stuck with the green tea in the picture every night, Graham alternated), and then returned our movie from the previous night, only to rent a new one. Last night we only returned a movie because we knew that our Thursday night TV line up would keep us occupied.

When spring was actually with us at beginning of the week, we enjoyed walks, swinging, and time with family and friends to supplement our movie watching mania. We choose to blame our laziness on the inclement weather. I will miss our evenings of Arizona tea and Red Box as we head back to reality (after the weekend of course)!

I will leave you with goofy Cambell's new favorite facial expression...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The baby is 10 months old!

Cambell Grace is 10 months old today! I cannot believe it! We celebrated this morning by walking to our favorite hole in the wall restaurant for breakfast!  To be honest, our reasoning behind the activity did not have anything to do with Cambell. We have been planning to do this since we moved in almost two years ago and finally made a point to actually go this morning. It was a perfect spring morning for a long stroll. You may notice my gerbera daisies blooming beside the baby :)

I really struggled last month with how quickly this whole baby thing is going. Nine months was hard to swallow, and ten months is even harder! Cambell is still an absolute joy. A third tooth is about to make an appearance, and she is still getting around like a champ.  I included a video showing some highlights of her noises, imitations, and movements. The last bit shows Mommy and Daddy urging Cambell to use her signs to ask for "more". While she chooses not to make the sign herself, Cambell becomes giddy when Mommy or Daddy make the motion. Cambell is still a work in progress when it comes to sign language, although her wave is more then perfected. Enjoy!
video

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ah, the Memories

Three years ago on this day, Graham and I became engaged, beginning our wonderful journey to marriage! There are many significant memories associated with this exciting event worth sharing. 
The first came the night before Graham popped the question. Here is a little background for you... Graham and I had been talking about marriage for a couple of months. The weekend of Valentine's Day, 2006, Graham had arranged to ask my dad permission to ask me to marry him. As we were on our Valentine's date in Plano, he slipped and told me we were going to shop for rings during the weekend. He had already looked by himself a little, but as I was acquiring my Mimi's wedding band, the smart man wanted to make sure I liked how the engagement ring fit with the band. We purchased my ring the next day and Graham had a successful talk with my dad! I clearly knew the question would be coming at some point. Graham called me at work one day the following we week, urging me to leave the next three weekends open, followed by a quick hang up. One weekend passed without a proposal. The following Thursday evening, as I was driving to pick up Graham to go to eat dinner with my cousins, I called to tell him I was close.  He promptly told me that he needed to go because he was on the other line telling a friend we are getting engaged tomorrow night. SERIOUSLY! He accidentally TOLD me it was coming the following night. The poor guy!
The next day after work, we traveled to Plano for the proposal. Of all the festivities, my favorite part was the letter he wrote. Graham had written a letter to his future wife during his time at Baylor. As I read the letter, I could not believe how tailored it was to me and our relationship, even though we had never met at the time of its conception. It was beautiful and I cherish that yellow piece of paper more than any other!
My dad and sister joined us later to celebrate.
The next day, we went to breakfast at the place Graham asked my dad for permission to marry me, and headed back to Waco for a true surprise. Graham had a surprise engagement party awaiting in one of the banquet rooms at Gratzianos, with the help of sweet Tara.  He was very proud of himself to have been able to have one part of the engagement be a surprise. It was perfect! He assembled a great group (sadly, we did not get a picture of everyone who came). Here are some of my Aggie girls who drove in from all over.
Here is the girl who aided Graham in mobilizing out of town troops (who is going to have a sweet baby GIRL in July)!
We had a wonderful, SHORT, engagement, and have been blessed to share life together as a married couple for almost 3 years. Now we are parents together, and the bond just keeps growing stronger! I am so grateful that Graham decided to pop the question on March 3, 2006. As a friend who had been married for over 10 years said upon our engagement, "Welcome to the most fun you will ever have". He could not have been more right.