Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Family Tradition

Every year in August, a group of us pull out of our driveways in CA, AZ, UT, NY (have I missed anyone?) and meet in Cedar City, UT at the El Rey Best Western for The Shakespeare Festival. Some of us attend the plays and some don't (depending on the year). Essentially, we are all there for one reason: A Campbell family reunion. I started going to the plays with my husband the first year we started dating (that's been 17 years). We missed some years due to babies, med school, residency, etc, but when we can, we are there.

Every year since they were little my husband and his cousins have been going to the Shakespeare Festival and now we are continuing the tradition with our kids and their cousins. I'm just hoping we don't get kicked out of the El Rey any time soon. Like in any family or big group, some years almost all of us are there and some years people can't come for certain reasons, but the "show must go on".

The days are long and lazy and the nights filled with laughter, tarts, and of course Shakespeare plays. This year we saw A Midsummer's Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet. The girls and I saw the first play together and it was fantastic. Cam, Annie, and I saw Romeo and Juliet and truth be told, we were a little disappointed (we weren't the only ones). Some plays you're impressed with and they impress you and some don't. That's the nature of theater.

This year we picnicked at Duck Creek, played at the new community water park/pool, went to see Planet of the Apes (some of us saw it). Uncle Ed entertained all of us, especially Annie at the movie theater. "Hey, Annie, you want a poster"! We sat around the pool while the kids played, talking and eating (what's a family function without food?).

We also came together as a family when we received some bad news about Cam's mom. Her doctor called when we were all there with the news that her breast cancer had metastasized to her liver. Devastating to the whole family, but most of us were there with each other and that was of great comfort. I hope we were able to distract our Mae enough, so that she enjoyed a very long, otherwise stressful weekend. Since that time, she's undergone a biopsy and they are trying a new hormone blocker and perhaps chemo therapy. We're also praying she gets accepted to an experimental program at UCLA. We continue to pray for healing and health as we wait to see what happens.

Our trip went something like this...

This is how we roll...

Cam taking a picture of me taking a picture of the kids...
"Come on, Mom! It's hot out here!"

Exploring at Duck Creek...yes, some little boys did get wet...

The scene looks so serene from afar, but there was a lot of laughter, talking, and yes, even some yelling.

Can't wait to watch them grow up together and hopefully, not get into as much trouble as their dads did at their ages!

Cam lovin' on his mom!

The cousins got their own tables this year...

...which is why the parents were all smiles...

Peace out!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beautiful Inside & Out

Belle has such a tender heart. This is something she was born with (I'm convinced they come to us hard wired) We can encourage certain behavior, but certain things are inherent. Belle's compassion and love for everyone is inherent.

Recently, we spent 4 days in Cedar City, UT at The Shakespeare Festival, which turns into a Campbell family reunion every year. Saturday night we were all getting ready to go over to the the Green Show and someone drew my attention to my Belle. She was leading a blind, elderly man through the pool area over to a seat in the sunshine. She took his arm leading him through the gate to the perfect seat. I stood there for a moment realizing that I just witnessed her sweet spirit in action. These are things you can not teach, but when they happen as a parent you become so proud. It was a small action that probably meant a lot to the man in a world that sees his blindness as a handicap, something that makes him different. Belle did not find him scary or uncomfortable, but someone who needed her help.

She is the peacemaker in the family and wants everyone to be happy. Tonight at dinner, Annie got excused from the table due to her attitude (another post) and Belle crosses her arms and announces to the table, "if Annie can't eat, I won't eat". We told Annie she could come back if she apologized and I think Belle was more than happy she did because that meant her hunger strike would be over.

She is kind and her tender heart is one to be praised and emulated. I've brought the incident with the blind man up a couple of times and she just shrugs as if saying "of course, Mom, I would do that". It just comes so natural to her, so she truly is a beautiful person inside and out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What we did over Summer Vacation Part I

Our summer vacation was jammed pack full of fun, friends, and family. Here are a few of those moments captured on film...

Fourth of July with the Woods' in Santa Barbara!

We went to the beach almost everyday in Santa Barbara where we learned to Boogy Board!

So much fun at the drive-in seeing Transformers...

The kids weren't the only ones that had with my bestie and her hubby.

Spent a fun week at Lake Powell with some of our family...

Spent more time with my cute "nephews" in Santa Barbara.

We even bought a house!

Celebrated Cam's 35th birthday with our family over a weekend of sun and fun...

Uncle Lance schooled us all in how to do a proper flip off the diving board...

Savy fell in love with Fiona!

My sister-in-law and cousin-in-law spent the weekend with us...

A little lovin' at the pool!

Cam and his brother, Lance

Chris, Cam, Alb, & Lance chillin' in the pool

The little boys had so much fun together!

To be continued...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back To School

It's the most wonderful time of the year...the kids headed back to school this week and I am one happy mom! Don't get me wrong, I love being with the monkeys. We traveled a lot this summer, which was fun. We also had a lot of difficult things come up that we had to deal with as a family and/or a couple. Plus, the kids fought more than usual and that drives me NUTS!

Time can not be stopped. Annie is an 8th grader, Belle is in 4th, and Charlie is in 2nd. It was just yesterday I was dropping Annie off for her first day of kindergarten and I cried all the way home. Everyone had a great first day and didn't complain when I woke them up this morning. Not being the new kids this year helped so much with first day jitters (there were hardly any) and everyone left the house with smiles on their faces. Cam was home for the first time ever on the morning of the first day, which the kids appreciated immensely.

I'm wishing everyone a happy, safe, fun-filled school year. And in a couple of months will be saying "I can't wait for summer to get here, so we can relax". It's like child birth: you forget the pain, so you can do it again!