Friday, July 25, 2014

The Alligator Family Reunion


(pronounced AL-IH-GOOD, like aLLIGator...good thing I figured that out before I went....only took me 2 years to start saying it right)

Family Reunion

St. George, Utah

This month we trekked up to St. George, Utah for my mother-in-law's family reunion. I'm going to be perfectly honest...I am ashamed to admit it, but I am kind of the type of person who goes into things with super low expectations just to protect myself from getting let down. So I went into this thinking that I was doing it all for Cameron and that as long as he had a good time it was worth it. Well, this Negative Nancy learned her lesson. 


Nathan had his first experience swimming in a pool and LOOOOOOOOVED IT

We stayed in a big beautiful house with air conditioning...which...lets be honest, is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY in St. George.

This was our group:

This is JUST Kaye, her siblings, and their children (and some of their children's children, like Nathan)

This is what happens when you have 8 kids:

This was the best picture we got of Grandma Kaye, Grandpa Doug, and the grandkids who were there (we missed Austin and Jen and their sweet girls :( )
This is such a funny picture...all of the grandkids look equally amused  

They were all equally thrilled at taking a picture with Great-Grandpa Alligood

This is quite possibly the worst family picture ever...OK I just don't like it of me (you're so probably think this picture's about you...) but I put it here anyway since this was family picture day

Grandkids with Grandpa Alligood (Sorry your head got cut off, Beth!)

We love love love Aunt Becky. Nathan is a sucker for a pretty lady ;)
Unfortunately her back was hurting all week so we didn't get to see much of her which was so sad. But we were grateful for the time we got to sneak in. 

Christmas in July

I love this picture so much because Cameron and I always joke about Nathan being like the Grinch and hating Christmas. He was due on the 19th and so we were hoping last Christmas would be his first Christmas and had little Christmas outfits for him and a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament....but since he HATES Christmas so much he stayed right where he was until December 30th (forced). This was right before Christmas in July started and he looks SO SAD!

Christmas in July was a tradition Grandma Alligood started with her grandkids during family reunion and her children have continued the tradition. I think it is fabulous. Who doesn't want an extra Christmas?!

Heidi, Mya, Mike, Mason opening up their treasures

Aunt Theresa and Uncle Keith gave Nathan the CUUUUTEST little church outfit. I am so excited to put him in it!

Nathan decided that Christmas wasn't so bad after all when he saw the little rubber ducks to chew on!

The Olympics: 

Cameron's Aunt Susan planned our FHE as the Olympic Games. We didn't win, but we had fun participating in some of the events! 

Zion National Park

One of my favorite places in the whole world. Honest. 

If you ever have the chance to go, take it!

I was so stoked to be close to Zion and to go spend a day hiking the narrows with some of Cameron's family. We left early so the first half of our hike was completely shaded, which was perfect for me and my ghost-complected baby. 

Aunt Theresa and Uncle Keith-love them
I knew for sure for sure I loved Theresa when her husband and son started teasing her about wanting to go see the movie they were playing in the visitors center about Zion...also because she always wants to stop and look and read things about where she is. This lady is golden. 

Aunt Kim and Uncle Brad
I pray my children inherit the anti-aging gene from the Alligoods. What is up with these women!? Can you believe she is a grandmother?!

Heidi, Mya, Mason, Mike
 I was so glad to have Heidi and Mike there. It was a great opportunity to get to know both of them better since we really don't see them very often. I heart Heidi so much. I wish they lived closer!

The Narrows-walking through murky water among rocks was not easy-especially since we had three children who had to be carried through it! Mike and Heidi had Mason and Mya and Cameron and I took turns with Nathan. It was NOT easy maneuvering while holding a child! But it was totally worth it. And NONE of us fell and smashed a small child, so....WIN!

It is such an amazing hike!

Poor Mya couldn't handle it anymore and fell asleep. You can't tell, but Nathan was also asleep in the carrier. Being carried down a river is HARD WORK! 

Baby Nathan decided that he needed to eat jerky like daddy

Instead of going straight home we decided to go up to Provo and visit friends and family. We were only there two and a half days, but it was a wonderful two and a half days. I was able to see two of my best friends in the world, Angie and Morgan and their husbands. You can't super-tell in this picture, but Morgan is pregnant with a baby girl, so I was able to talk to her belly so she recognizes my voice when she is born. ;) We missed our dear friends Maureen and Nathan and Allison and Brent who have moved away from Utah since we were in college. I love going back and reminiscing with my dearies about the absolutely amazing year we spent as roommates at BYU.

Baby Nathan loved his Auntie Angie-but who wouldn't!? 
What an adventure! 
We are back in San Diego now and we are still decompressing, trying to get out from under a colossal pile of laundry, and put away the clothes baby Nathan has grown out of since we were home in May. Nathan and I are also trying to figure out how to live our old home-body life after so much adventure! 

Thank you to all of the wonderful friends and family who welcomed us with open arms and made our trip what it was. We are so blessed to be associated with such wonderful people.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

....the bombs bursting in air

Happy Independence Day 2014

There was definitely no faux in this year's forth
There is just something so special about being on the Central Coast for Fourth of July. It is one of my favorite things in the world. I think what made this year extra special was because last year I was in San Diego, pregnant, hot, laying on the floor with a horrible sinus infection. So it wouldn't have taken much to seem AMAAAAZING after that debacle. 

Friday morning mom, dad, Cameron, Nathan, and I went to the 4th of July parade in Cambria. It was a beautiful morning on the beach and the parade was full of local charm. 

Sand sculptures on the beach

Later that afternoon Matthew, Carrie, and the boys came and we went to the Paso Robles park and hung out, listened to live music, and watched fireworks.

Matching Captain America shirts

THE SHOW WAS AMAZING! I was really worried about Nathan because he is very sensitive to loud noises AND the fireworks didn't start until 9:15pm. Nathan's normal bedtime is 7:30 pm. I was worried I would have a screaming baby in the middle of a crowd I couldn't get out of. But he did GREAT! I had his sweater hood over his ears and covered his ears with my hands, and he was completely mesmerized. He stared wide-eyed and blink blink blink blinked when it got really noisy.

As the fireworks shot into the sky and "America the Beautiful" played over the sound system I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my family, my freedom, and this beautiful place I am privileged to live.

Saturday we went to Avila beach with the Santa Maria Griffith/Parker clan. 

Later in the day we had a party/BBQ with my mom's side of the family. 

Trying to get a picture of my parents and their grandsons was, in the words of the Reverend Mother, like trying to "catch a cloud and pin it down"

Nathan loves Adden more than anyone. It is so sweet to see how excited Nathan gets when Adden comes around. Nathan was just laying on the couch with Adden and hugging his legs, happy as a clam. He always smiles and reaches for him whenever he comes near. I love to see how much he loves his cousin. 

 That evening we did small fireworks and sparklers at home on the ranch.

Even though I ended up with a cold at the end of the weekend it was 100 % worth it. We had so much fun spending time with Matthew and Carrie and their family. I wish it could be 4th of July weekend every day! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014



(Speaking of that song...who knew it wasn't Lady Gaga? Not me...I guess i'm not cool.)

We have had such a GLOOOORIOUS summer. I know it isn't over yet, but we are in for a big transition in a couple of weeks so I wanted to blog before Summertime Phase 1 is over. 

Summertime Phase 1 was Cameron, Nathan, and I living with my parents in Paso Robles. We have been here since the end of May and will be leaving in a little over a week to go to the Alligood (Cameron's mom's side) Family Reunion in St. George. 

Has this summer not flown by?! What happened to June?! When we got here I was thinking I had AGES to spend time with and see so many people. And now we have just over a week. A WEEK!!!!!!!! 

As you can tell, I really can't believe it. 

I have that really sad feeling in the bottom of my gut like at the end of Christmas Day when you know it's going to be a really REALLY long time before it's Christmas again. Oh well, all good things come to an end, don't they? 

Here are a few of the things we have been up to this summer (apparently I have been super bad about taking pictures...)

Nathan tried his first food!!

Here's the consensus so far:


Big old fat NAY 
(For those of you who know me...I hate bananas and wouldn't eat them as a baby either...Nathan takes after Mommy in this)



I gave him a pickle to suck on just to see if he would make a funny face, and he LOVED IT!


Yea! Such a fan

Yellow Squash

NOT GONNA HAAAAPEN. He loved chewing on the raw squash but when we steamed it up for him he gagged like my mom was trying to poison him!

 Cousin Adden came to visit:

In June my nephew, Adden came to visit. We had so much fun having him here and I got to see how I would fare with two kids instead of one....

I was EXHAUSTED when he went home. How do women have large numbers of children?! HOW!?

But we had a lot of fun and I was so glad he came. Nathan LOVED Adden. He could make Nathan laugh harder and longer than anyone. Nathan is VERY hard to make laugh. He's only done it a few times for Cameron and I....but ADDEN? He could make him crack up on the spot. It was so cute.

No shirt Sunday with Adden, Nathan, and Ben

(don't worry, I wore a shirt ;))

I'm so in love with this picture

 Avila Valley Barn with Tiana, Ava, Luke, and Aunt Lisa

The World Cup

We are SO SO SO disappointed that the US is already out of the World Cup. I have NEVER been so into any sporting event. During the last World Cup I watched with my super sporty roommate (SHOTOUT, Morgan Russell) and really enjoyed it. 

THIS World Cup was a whole new story....

Because of talking to Cameron I knew the players' names, what teams they played on other than the USMNT, and even some of their positions. I have never known a THIRD of that about any of that about any team.

Cameron even made Nathan a USMNT jersey! 


When Nathan is 18 he will be in his first World Cup (playing, of course ;)) We can't wait to cheer him on! 
 The only problem with being emotionally invested in a team is that when they sucks.

But we still love our team and had fun rooting them on through the "Group of Death."  

Nathan turned 6 months old

Here is our little dude on his 6 month birthday
We are so grateful for the wonderful time we have been able to have while staying here in Paso with my parents. They have taken such good care of us and have been SO generous. I have loved seeing them bond with my sweet boy and have been so appreciative of their help with him. We will miss you, Grandma and Grandad!!