Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No Christmas Cards This (or any) Year

Sorry, everyone. I have not done Christmas cards (electronic, or old fashioned) for like 5 years now. Two years ago, I actually did them and didn't send them. Soooo, I figured, what's the point -right? Sorry to everyone who REALLY likes to hear from the Chamberlain's (I know that's all of you).

To make up for it I thought I'd do a Christmas card post and you could all just feel like I sent you each your own special card from our family--humor me, guys.

This year has been a hard, but great one. In some ways it feels like we've come so far. From my sister passing away and having lots of time to sit on muy butt and recuperate from foot surgery, to touring a bit of the Puget Sound and Zion's we've had some hard and great times respectively.


Martin was called to be first counselor in the Bishopric of our ward and was ordained a High Priest in early April. His parents were able to travel to Seattle and be there and so Martin's dad was able to do the ordination. It was a very humbling time for him. He was prepared for the job (and by prepared, I mean the spirit prepared him) and I know he was pre-qualified for this in the preexistence. I have a strong testimony of that. Martin also has been as busy as ever at Microsoft. He enjoys EVERY meeting and every tough decision and loves working with such a diverse set of people (he's the only American on his team besides one other). When I say he loves his job, I don't know if I can explain how much to you. We both feel so grateful that he can be doing something that both makes him feel like he's needed and makes him happy. At work he is known as "The Bulldog" and it makes me laugh because nothing is further from the truth at home! He continues to be the Uber-father. He makes time for us even when there is no time to be made. He is still my best-friend and confidante. I love him more every day. . . is that possible?
Side note: this year we will be celebrating our 15th Anniversary!


Alex turned 12 this year and was ordained to the office of a Deacon. His Grandparents Chamberlain were able to be there and it was amazing for me to see the serious way Alex approached having the priesthood. I cannot understand where the maturity and wisdom came from except to tell you it came. He continues to play baseball. Morning.Noon.Night. If the world were a baseball field Alex would be eternally happy. I think he dreams of that. He played a great season, followed by a fun summer in Utah visiting cousins and swimming. His favorite thing was to see how many times he could go down the water slide at the pool in North Ogden. I think the final count was around 30. Alex also started playing and taking a real interest in football. He had his first season and he enjoyed getting beat up and bruised. Me and his Dad loved cheering him on. Alex's piano studies continue and he is excelling. He passed me up long ago and he can listen to a song on the radio and duplicate it at the piano. It excites me, because I wish I'd have been a more dedicated student of that instrument. His GPA has been sufficiently high and we are proud of his study habits and accomplishments. He also knows every sport fact and stat there is to know.


Olivia turned 10 less than a month ago and the double digits have settled on her becomingly. She is the smartest little thing I've ever seen. She is very brainy, just like her Dad. Math and spelling seem to come to her easily, and she works hard at her other studies that she has a harder time with. She reads--and reads--and reads (and reads). She has accumulated more "Eager Reader" hours at school than anyone else in the 4th grade and is currently reading at a 7th grade level. She loves to play the piano too and is giving her big brother a run for his money. She writes songs and likes to perform them often (to the enjoyment of the WHOLE family). Olivia is kind and helpful and her little brother thinks she can do no wrong. Isaac and she are fairly inseparable and they keep each other company. She dances once a week and likes Jazz best. She is the smallest girl in her class because I think a) she's small and b) she's in an older class, but she keeps up with them fine. At her dance recital this year she was at ease on the stage and came alive when the curtain came up. I was like, "Is that my child?" She's usually so shy but it seems performing suits her!

Isaac (the Cuteness)

Isaac cracks me up all day long. He has started school and is a champ in Kindergarten. He is a little distracted, but is doing fine, other than with his scissor skills (he just can't figure out how to hold them!). He has made fast-friends with some fellow class members and has turned out to be quite social (who knew?). He plays The sun rises and I hear him up and playing in his room and he is LOUD. Everything in Isaac's world has the tendency to explode and/or burn and/or crash and this makes things very exciting around the house (did I mention he's loud?). He has a kind, generous, sweet heart and NO GUILE. He reminds me of his Dad that way. He is looking forward to his birthday, and it is already planned, but doesn't come until the end of May. He assures me it will go by quick, however. He also loves soccer and play-dates and Macaroni-and-cheese wedges from Jack in the Box.


This year we lost my sister dear. I miss her and love her and think of her every day. It was the hardest thing I personally have ever experienced. The pain is only lessened by the fact that I know this life is but a preparation for the eternities and I will be with Jenny soon (maybe not soon enough), forever. My faith has grown immeasurably from the experience. It seems like a hard way to learn a lesson but a lesson has been learned. I trust in the Lord and his intentions for me. I try not to dictate to him what I think will be best for me. He, obviously, is the gardener (as Jen would say). I have also learned my problems are nothing, and to be grateful for every breath my lungs take and every moment I have with my children and husband. I like exercising because I love that bit of time I have to myself to reflect on how my life is going. I like reading and blogging and doing homey things (NOT COOKING) and talking with Martin. I think my likes change from month to month, but the thing that remains is that I LOVE being a Mom, even if I'm not great at it.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Love, Heather

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My 10 Year Old

Well, my little girl is 10! Where did all that time go? It seems like just yesterday they were pulling Olivia from my belly--uni-brow and all (seriously, she's had those eyebrows since birth). I looked at her and with incision agape said, "Wow, so you're what's been making me sick for so long?" I couldn't believe anything so unbelievably beautiful could have caused such havoc on my body, but all of a sudden that didn't make any difference--I'd have done it all again! I remember that day well, all the nurses commented on what a beautiful little baby she was and immediately dubbed her "Miss Olivia."

She's always been a bit of sunshine in our lives. I remember when she was much smaller, how she would "flit" everywhere she went, kind of like a butterfly. I think she still does that, but with a little bit more maturity. Now she has turned into a younger, female version of her father. She looks like Martin, but she acts like him too. She is the happiest child I know and, like her father, the eternal optimist. She likes to read like her dad and it's a cinch that she has her dad's knack for math. She's very emotional and sensitive and such a great student. She loves to depend on her own abilities in her school work and her dancing, piano, and art studies. She is shy and funny and sweet all at the same time and is also an amazing big sister. She cannot wait to be a mommy.
For her big 10th birthday she had 9 screaming, laughing, giddy tweens over for pizza, a movie and some fun. She planned all the activities herself. I think the hit of the party was the scavenger hunt Alex made for them and "Mafia," which is a game I am unsure of how to play but seems to be a big hit with her friends, as every time they are here they want to play it.
Happy Birthday, to my beautiful little Livi-bug! You have made my life so much sweeter! I love you like crazy!
Doing some craft Livi came up with.

Playing Mafia.

The scavenger hunt.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Cuteness' Sisters

The Cuteness and I had a funny discussion the other day. I asked him if he knew the story of Christmas and Jesus, etc., etc., and he acted dumb--which is not unheard of for Isaac (he sometimes acts like he doesn't know what's going on). I kind of prodded him, asking who Jesus' mother was and father and explained to him that Jesus is our brother. We also talked about how Jesus died and where he is now and we also talked a little bit about heaven and how there are lots of people there that are our brothers and sisters. After we had talked for a while he got ready for school and I drove him there. On the way, he asked me how many brothers he had, since now he knew everyone on the earth was his brother. I answered that he probably had millions and millions of brothers. Later, I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw that he was smiling while he looked out the window. I asked him what he was thinking about and he said he was smiling because he had lots of sisters too. I thought that was so cute. He loves Olivia so much. He love Alex too. But Olivia and he have always had a bond like none other. She is always so happy to take his hand when they get off the bus and walk him home or snuggle with him while they watch TV, or teach him how to add and subtract, or walk him to Primary every Sunday. I love to see them love each other and have fun together. I often tell my kids that my favorite thing to see is them being nice to each other. That rarely happens, I mean this is the real world, but I hope by telling them that it will eventually sink in. Especially with Alex and Olivia. Right now there's not a lot they agree on, but I know they love each other. I would love for them to show it more often. I don't mean they have to hug or anything "WEIRD" like that, but some civility would be nice once in a while! I'm holding out hope that they will grow into a better relationship. That would be such a great gift for me!