Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Festivus to the rest of us!!!


Many of you may know that my husband is a total Seinfeld geek. I, however, am not. More of a Friends type of girl myself. Logan is constantly quoting Seinfeld, and even though I've never actually seen an entire episode start to finish, Logan has explained to me the in's and out's of the show, and I am almost starting to appreciate the humor of the show (Let's be honest, Jerry drives me a little bit nuts).
Max, Logan's best friend, wishes us a Happy Festivus every year, so to Logan and Max, I dedicate this video clip to bring the rest of you up to speed about Festivus.

Until I get my Christmas pictures up...Happy Festivus to the rest of us, and a very happy new year.

Maybe next year I'll be one heck of a wife and throw Logan a Festivus Party. Maybe.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

School

Since my husband just made it out of his hardest semester ever with nothing lower than a B, I think I should be allowed to be proud of him.

So there.

My lowest grade was a B too. We did pretty good this semester.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Decking our Halls! Fa la la la la!

Even though this is our third Christmas together, I feel like this is the first one that we are really all grown up for. And now that finals are over, I am really trying to soak it all up, even if Christmas is this weekend.
This is our tree for Christmas 2010. It is little, but it is loved.

Our first Christmas we had been engaged for about two weeks. A few days before Christmas I started feeling weird, and by Christmas Day I had full blown strep throat, ear infections, and sinus infections. I was a hot mess. Logan spent every day during break coming to my house and letting me sleep on him while I snored like an old grandpa because I couldn't breathe. My mommy was so impressed with him for treating me so well being so kind and gentle with me. We had only dated about 2 months before getting engaged, so even though I knew Logan was the best person in the whole entire universe for me, my family just didn't know him as well as I did, and I really think that those few days over the holidays were what sealed the deal for my parents and confirmed to them that I was making a good decision about marrying Logan.
Our second, we lived in the smallest apartment EVER. We had a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree...

Our Charlie Brown Tree, Christmas 2009

My parents gave it to us as a joke. It lived in a little pot of water on our kitchen table. Yes that table is folded up and tucked away next to our couch. Smallest apartment EVER, remember? We tried to put a few ornaments on it to make it festive, but it kept falling over. It was fun on our first Christmas Morning together as husband and wife. Different, and kind of uneventful, but kind of silly. We were both so used to having kids get so excited about presents, and here we were sitting on our bed opening our presents together. But it was so sweet, we had really put thought into the few presents we could afford that year.
Christmas Morning 2009 in The Love Shack
We sure did have a lot of fun that year, laughing at ourselves and the stories we could tell our babies of our first Christmas together. Here Logan is modeling his froggy robe and slippers my mommy made for him. I have a matching set that is pink.
(In the background of this picture you can see a full HALF of our apartment. I never really got good pictures before we moved, but this was the kitchen/living room/laundry room. Off of this was our bathroom, and on the opposite side of the picture was our bedroom)

This year we moved into a bigger apartment. Our first night in our new place, we were almost asleep when Logan said "Hey! Where should we put our Christmas tree this year?!" We are so excited to have more space and to be able to decorate more. We've actually acquired quite the collection for only one year.
It all started with this little guy:

My sissy, Dawniel, gave him to us. He has slinky legs and bells on his toes. We just love him.
Next is our Santa Figurine. He's our newest addition to the decor. Margret and George gave him to us. They are my birthdad's parents. It's been great getting to know my birthfamily this year!
And then these two little treats I found on a RIDICULOUS sale at Joann's. The red berries one is on our hallway door...
And this little guy is on our door outside. I just love coming home to see it on our door!
I love being all "grown up" and decorating our little home. It has been so, so fun. Merry Christmas to all of you! Let us remember the reason for the season--The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Whoville-ation Celebration



My parents' home ward had their Christmas Party last night, and it was "Grinch" Themed. They had the whole place decorated like Whoville, complete with post office, Mt. Crumpet, Who-lympic games, and a Town Bake-off. They also had a hair contest for the best who hair. My baby (12 year old sister, and not really a baby anymore) sister, Emily, won the hair contest. And you might ask how she came across such an awesome who-do? Well, if you must know...I did it! It was a "who"le lot of fun trying to be all creative and wacky, and we had a lot of fun putting it together. As you can see in the above picture, Emily was doing her very best to try and do a "Who Face" but she ended up busting up laughing about two seconds after this was taken.
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I also got to do Dawniel's hair, and it turned out super cute. If I ever am blessed with little baby girls, their hair will look like this on Valentine's Day. Not even joking!! I got her hair to do little hearts all the way down, finished off with a big red bow. Dawniel thought I was nutzo for making her do this, but I had a lot of fun!

Here are Dawniel's hair hearts, isn't she so stinking cute?!
This is the up close look at the Christmas Tree, complete with ornaments, a tree star, and Christmas Lights (that really lit up, this is for reals yo)!!
We also did crazy tails in the back. Yes, those are easter eggs, but its because the ornaments wouldn't fit...besides Christmas, Easter, what's the difference, they're both about Jesus!! And the ribbons looked like candy canes, but my flash went a little crazy and whited out the ribbon, but it was really cute!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spinach Soup with Gruyere


I found this on thepioneerwoman.com, which is a website I absolutely adore, earlier today, and noted that I had all the ingredients, give or take. I was in need of getting some dinner in my hungry hubby's tummy, and I decided to give it a go. Result--I actually liked it way, way better then I had expected I would. And Logan loved it too. It has a great creamy, fresh, and yet spicy flavor, and it's super easy to make!
Spinach Soup with Gruyere
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 10 ounces, weight Spinach
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ whole Medium Onion
  • ¼ cups Flour
  • 5 cups Whole Milk--I used skim, and it turned out great
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (Optional)--Do it.
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 ounces, weight Gruyere Cheese, Grated (other Cheeses Are Fine)--I used sharp cheddar and it was delicious (where do you even buy gruyere?)

Preparation

In a large skillet, heat olive over over medium heat. Add spinach and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until wilted. Add spinach to a blender or food processor. Pour in 1/4 cup hot water and pulse until pureed. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, cook onion in butter over medium heat until onions begin to soften. Sprinkle flour over the top and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes, then pour in milk, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in pureed spinach, then cook another 3 to 5 minutes until thickened.

Check seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, or cayenne as needed. Serve in a bowl. Add a little grated Gruyere.

Seriously so good. Pioneer Woman recommends adding creme fresh, or chopped bacon, or shrimp. I think tomatoes would be delicious, and then it would look all cute and Christmas-y. I think it was a great base that you could basically add whatever you think would sound good and it would be delicious. Let me know if you try it!! I wanna know if it turns out for you too!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Big, Fat Move



We came across a new apartment suddenly, and very quickly decided it was time to take advantage of the opportunity and upgrade to a bigger place. We found out about the apartment on October 20, took a look at the apartment on October 22, and decided we wanted it the next day. We told them we wanted to be in by November 1st, and then realized that we had a week to frantically move everything over. Our old land lords were extremely understanding in our rushed move, and it worked out great because their son just got engaged and will be moving in soon with his new wife (but we didn't know that at the time)! Logan had about a gagillion tests and projects due the week of our move, and helped when he could, but I, Camille Marie Spence, basically moved us by myself (other than my blessed in laws that came and moved our furniture and the last boxes...Thank you again Doug!). It was quite the accomplishment. A crazy, stressful one. The Love Shack was so tiny to begin with, having all of our stuff in boxes in the middle of the kitchen was comedic...here is the chaos we lived in for the longest week of my life...
Exhausted Logan, helping after his 8 hour day at school and 5 hour day at work.
Me just trying to stay positive among the absolute chaos.
Our last night in our first home.








Lime Cheesecake Brownies


I was craving something creative, chocolate, and pretty. So, I started brewing some ideas and came up with this, which turned out great!

Lime Cheesecake Brownies
1 box brownie mix for a 9x13 pan (or just make your own from scratch like I did because I was out of mix, but I am TOTALLY for using brownie/cake mixes!)

Prepare mix like it says on the box and put in buttered 9x13 pan.

Then mix this up:

8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
zest from 1 lime
juice from 1/2 lime (or the whole lime because I'm crazy about citrus like that)

Okay, really, cream the sugar and cream cheese together, and then add the rest of it and mix it up real good.

Plop spoonfuls of this on top of the brownie batter, and then take a knife and drag it all over the pan, mixing the cream cheese mixture and brownie batter together so it makes a marble-y effect, but don't mix it so much it gets to be a poopy effect. You want it marbled people!

Then, bake like it says on the box. Approximately 350 for 18 ish minutes I believe.

They are so yummy and so pretty, and a great way to dazzle up some box mix. And did I mention that they're impressive? Totally easy, totally impressive. Go ahead and take all the credit! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

French Dip Sandwiches...Slow Cooker Style

If you've ever met my mother, you'd know she's a genius at basically anything she does. Cooking, crafting, mothering in general; she's amazing. This is a recipe she made for us growing up and we all LOVED it. I always thought it would be a super complicated thing to make, but after getting hitched I decided to just give it a try and make it for my husband, who was super impressed and thought I had slaved all day. But in reality, this recipe takes about fifteen minutes to throw together, and it really does taste like some fancy schmacy restaurant dish. I made it again yesterday, and marveled at how simple and tasty it really is. Give it a try! For reals!

Frenchie Dips

Brown well in a large pot 1 3-4 lb. chuck roast and place in slow cooker.
Add:
4 c. water
1 1/2 t. garlic pouder
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. soy sauce
ground pepper to taste

Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Decrease to low and cook for 4-6 hours more until meat is tender. Strain the broth and shred the meat. Serve meat on crispy rolls and use broth for dipping.

The best part about this recipe--you may freeze the meat in sandwich amount packages and the broth in small containers for a quick meal anytime.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Limeade Chicken Deliciousness

My birthmom, Carrin, has this older brother named Jerry. He passed away before we met each other, so I don't really know much about him, except that he's wonderfully kind, spiritual, and just sounds really awesome. And he has this really awesome recipe he made up called "Limeade Chicken." I'm always up for a new recipe, so I nabbed this recipe from Carrin, and ended up LOVING it.

Limeade Chicken

1/3 c. frozen limeade or lemonade concentrate (thawed)
1/3 c. honey
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 t. celery or poppy seed
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. marjoram
1/4 t. salt

And I had a fresh lime on hand, so I zested that up and juiced it right in too.

Mix up in a large ziplock baggie, add chicken, and marinade for several hours, or overnight. Grill, bake, whatever ya gotta do to get the chicken cooked. I used my George Foreman Grill, and it turned out splendidly.

I made a bit more marinade and took some out before I added the chicken to use as a glaze later, which I later patted myself on the back for the genius-ness of this. I served the chicken over rice and with steamed carrots, which I covered with the glaze, and a green salad on the side. It was super moist, full of flavor, and just yummy and fresh! And the Hubby loved it!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

And pictures of the new place are forthcoming. We need a new name for it, but how can you top the Love Shack?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Fall!!



For Fall Break Logan and I got to go up to Bear Lake with his whole family (minus the brother in laws). We had a blast and a half!! It is absolutely gorgeous up there and it was so fun spending time with everyone. I forgot my camera, but Brynn was kind enough to take some pictures for us.
Down by the lake. One of the most gorgeous places I've seen. The water was so pretty and blue!
Proof that my husband will be the best father ever. He played with all of the nieces and nephews from the moment they woke up to the moment they went to sleep. He took them to the park nearby the condo, played with them in the pool, watched cartoons with them, read to them, and wrestled with them. He is so incredibly patient with them, and loves them so much. I love watching him with all of those kiddos.
Me and Kyson, my birthday buddy. He is getting so big and is the funniest little kid I know.
We rented these Surry Bikes. They sit 8 people and you work together to peddle them. It was so fun and a great workout! The kids really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful sights around the town.

And onto some big news...we are moving out of the Love Shack, and into a cute 2 bedroom basement apartment in Orem next weekend. We are so excited! I will make sure to post pictures as soon as we are in there. It is in a great location, at a great price, and our new landlords are great! We will miss our first little home, but we are excited for this next adventure in life!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just some Handsome Boys...


Last night, all the Spence sisters got together for our traditional "Girls' Night" while our hubbies go to the Priesthood Session for General Conference.

Bill and Deana have a really cool back yard, and they have a cute little play house the grandkids love to play in. Kylie and I decided to have a little "Tea Party" in the house. Braxton and Damon, who were happily playing Jedi Fighting together, saw that I was going into the INCREDIBLY small play house with Kylie and wanted to know what was up that a grown up was trying to fit into this teensy house.

When they heard Kylie say they couldn't come in because it was "Girls Only," those little boys devised a sly little plan. Braxton and Damon came and knocked on the door, and when we opened it Braxton said triumphantly, "Hello, here we are! Two handsome boys here for your party!"
You would have thought he was saving the day for us girls! I couldn't help but laugh at their sweetness. I love being an aunt.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Logan and Camille Sitting in a Tree...

Today marks the day that I have been kissing the same person for the past two years.

Logan kissed me at a playground, on the bridge. He climbed right up and told me to join him on the "Bridge of Love." And then I did, and then he smooched me. And he still keeps on smooching me. And I still get butterflies.

Here's to many more years of kissing that boy. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuscan Chicken Simmer AKA Logan's Fave Dinner


4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.), I cut mine into chicken tenders
8 oz. Cream Cheese, cubed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pesto
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes (or just plain fresh diced tomatoes)
1 cup Mozzerella Cheese
A few dashes of Parmesan Cheese

HEAT large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cover. Cook 5 to 7 min. on each side or until done (165ºF). Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

ADD cream cheese, water, pesto and tomatoes to skillet. Cook, uncovered, on medium heat 2 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

RETURN chicken to skillet. Cook and stir 1 min. or until chicken is coated and heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheeses.

I serve this over cheese ravioli (Logan's favorite) or egg noodles, but it would definitely be delicious all by itself. You can also steam other veggies, like broccoli, and add to the sauce.

Logan requests this recipe every single month. It really is so delicious! You will love it!



Two Years Ago Today...

I went on a date with this handsome man. And my life was changed forever, in the best way possible.

We met in an institute class at the end of August, and I had the most major crush on him from the first second I laid eyes on him. He was just so cute! He was so quiet though, and it was like pulling teeth trying to get him to talk to me, let alone ask me on a date! Just as I was giving up on the dude, my grandpa got really sick. That doesn't seem like it would have anything to do with anything, I know. You see, my grandpa has this amazing talent of making us think he's on his way out, and then making a come back. He's been doing it since I was like 8. Well on this particular time, I was competing in the Miss Pioneer Valley pageant, and my whole family went to Flaming Gorge to take care of dear ole Gramps. I was devastated that I would have to do this pageant with out anyone in the audience cheering for me! C'mon, strutting across the stage in high heels and a swim suit with only the sound of crickets to accompany you is nightmare-ish!

By this time Logan and I would chat a bit before and after our classes, and I had mentioned while walking to his math class my pageant and my plight and suggested he came, knowing it was a long shot, but worth a try. Of course, he said no, until he found out my dear friend Bealynn was going, and then he was ALLLL game about it. I totally thought he had the biggest crush on her, he was just thinking "Sweet, I really didn't want to go alone, but I think this Camille girl is cool and I'd love to go support her." He is just so sweet.

Well, he came. And afterwards we all went to Mimi's Cafe with some other friends that came as well. We ordered the exact same thing...a BBQ Cheese Burger. He thought it was really cool of me to be eating a hamburger, he said. We somehow ended up going dancing at the Murray Arts Center. And then LOGAN started flirting with ME!!! And the next week we went dancing again, and he came, despite his two left feet and extreme fear of dancing in front of a group of ballroom dancers. And on this night, next to a giant fan on the side of the room, He asked me out on a date. I about died and went to heaven, but I tried to appear cool and told him I'd like that.

And then somehow we never planned anything, except I went to the temple that morning, and he tagged along, and then we had sushi, and then we went to a baptism for a convert in his ward, and then we went to his house because he was going to teach me how to play tennis, but we really ended up playing with his three year old nephew, Braxton, and then we spent several hours on his parents' deck talking about so much, and I really started to fall in love with that kid. Later that day he tried to kiss me, and I freaked out and turned my head. It was his first kiss, and he was so embarrased. (Yes, I'm the only person Logan has ever smoocharooed. Or held hands with. He was a really shy kid pre-mish, and I snatched him up right when he got home.)

Later that night after I was off work we ended up hanging out again. Somehow we ended up at his sister Brynn's house and I met her and Autumn and loved them and their families (I met Alicia and her gang later, and loved them too of course!). And then day after day we spent time with each other, and we fell in love. That December he proposed in the very class we met in, and the following June we were sealed for time and all eternity in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple, where we had done baptisms for the dead for our very first date.

I love Logan more than anything in the whole world. He is the best thing that has ever come into my life, and I am so blessed to have him as an eternal companion and best friend.

Logan, thank you so much for coming to that pageant, it meant so much to me at the time, and it still means so much to me now. I love you sweetheart!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

World's Most Awesomest Cookies

I made these about two weeks ago, and I've made them three times since. Not only are they splendidly soft and delicious, but they are super easy to make, and the cookie dough is so stinking yummy...not that I would actually know, because of salmonella or anything. I'm responsible, I don't eat raw cookie dough (ha). But seriously, try them, love them, and try to share them, so you don't eat all of them yourself.

"Soft" Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C Butter, Softened
1/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix (or get creative and try other flavors!)
2 eggs
2-1/4 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 package chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and pudding. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour and soda, and mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes. Store in an air tight container to prevent the cookies from drying out.

The recipe says it yields 24 cookies, but I can usually get about 36 or more out of the dough.

Try using different flavors of pudding, like chocolate or butterscotch, or adding different kinds of chocolate chips, like peanut butter, mint, or whatever tickles your fancy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's the end of the world as we know it...

Tomorrow school starts.

Tomorrow I start my final year of college.

Tomorrow my poor, poor husband gets thrown into the most hectic and insane semester he's ever had to face. He's taking 17 beastly credits of science and spanish. I on the other hand am taking 12 measly little baby dance credits. I have only about 20 credits left of my major, and I'm forced to slow it down. And, as pathetic as it is, I'm a little bit terrified.

I'm scared to watch my husband go through 4 months of solid panic, while I helplessly stand by not knowing how to help him. I can handle if I'm the one going slightly crazy, or up at 2 am finishing up homework, but to see the love of my life go through that...well, I'm a wimp when it comes to that, and I'm nervous for him.

He's been such a trooper with my crazy insane school schedules. He's gone to school with me every morning at 6:30 so I could be to team. He's worked so hard so I could focus more on school rather than holding down job (other than teaching a few times a week) AND taking a ton of school. He's glued pieces of presentations together. He's edited my papers. Heck, he's TYPED my papers. I wouldn't have been able to do it with out him. And now here I am getting spit back out the other end, and we've flipped situations in a blink of an eye, and well, I don't handle change very well. But, now it's my turn to be the helper. I'm gonna have to keep myself busy SOMEHOW.

Don't get me wrong, school has been a great opportunity for me. I have learned a lot of little tid bits, but if anything, I know I've learned that I can accomplish something big. I can stick it out, and do well at it. And I know that no matter what, time keeps on ticking, and I've always come out the other side and I've survived, and I know more, and I'm a stronger person because of it. I've had to handle a lot of strange situations and deal with some real weirdos, and I've learned from that too. I can do it!! I've also began to appreciate the process of learning. I enjoy learning new things. After school is over, I know I'm not going to roll over and die. I can still go and take classes in the community, at my church, and I can always keep learning new skills from my family and friends. I'm blessed with such a wonderful husband that will let me try new things, and loves to see my joy in sharing my new knowledge with him.

I'm close to being done. So close I can taste it. This summer was wonderful, and now I'm starting to look forward to the next. I was talking to Logan last night that I want to keep doing things for "me" time, even after school is over and we're making our babies and stuff. I'm compiling a list of things I really want to do...feel free to toss out any ideas for me.
Things I want to do after graduation:
  • I would love to get into Zumba and/or Yoga. And maybe Spinning, but I may be too wimpy for that. I want to stay moving and healthy. I've been so used to just dancing my way through life and not having to worry about scheduling in exercise, but I've been wanting to try Zumba and Yoga more seriously for a while, so I think after graduation would be a prime time to get into that little doodah.
  • I want to learn how to be a better cook. I am finding that I really enjoy cooking, and I want to become a seriously good little chef. I want people to want to come over so I can feed them! I love cooking for others, and I'm excited to learn more about this so I can be stellar in the kitchen.
  • I want to learn a little more about crafting/scrapbooking/perhaps sewing. You know, "typical" housewife stuff. I want to be able to make our home a beautiful one...when we actually have one that's bigger than 500 Square feet.
  • I want to read books other than text books! I haven't been able to do this for ages! Autumn's always talking about the cool books she's just read, and I am always so jealous. After graduation I can say "Cool! Can I read it next?" Instead of wishing I had more time to even wash my hair, let alone read leisurely.
  • Any more ideas? Please, help a woman out.
So, wish us luck. Two more semesters for me, a few more than that for Logan, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and as much as I'm dreading going back tomorrow, I know we need to start so we can finish. So, here goes nothing.

This is Team Spence entering Fall 2010 semester, over and out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear Bailey...

Dear Bailey Jo,

You sweet baby girl, anyone around you can't help but want to gobble you up because you are seriously so cute. From the second you were born, you were so gorgeous. I couldn't imagine you ever getting any cuter, but woah baby, I swear you are more and more cute every time I see you.

I don't think I've ever been so excited for anyone getting pregnant than when your mom announced she was pregnant with you. They had been waiting so long for you, but I think they'd say you were worth the wait. They love you so much. I hope to be like your mom and have that incredible capacity to love and adore my children like your mom loves and adores you and your brother.

You are such a happy baby. I can't help but giggle with you when you are playing with me. You have the most precious little dimples when you smile. Promise me you'll keep them. I love how drooly you are. I know this sounds strange, but it's quite endearing when you lean over and give me the most slobbery "kiss" followed by that little grin of yours. I love it when you slobber on Logan. I love watching Logan with you. He's going to be such a wonderful dad, and I love watching him practice his daddy skills on you and Brax. He really adores you. You have him wrapped so tightly around your little finger, I can't even imagine what he'll be like when the little girl he is holding is his own.

I love that you are starting to scoot around, and roll over, and that you let me give you raspberries on your tummy, and that you let me kiss you a million times an hour without any protests. I love when you do your serious face and your chubby cheeks hang down. I love when you do your little raptor squeals. I love when your face lights up when anybody gives you any sort of loving attention. I love that you just love your brother so much. Sometimes he's a little rough with you, but you don't seem to mind, you just eat him back up. He loves you so much, and I think you can feel that. You two probably made some sort of pact in heaven to make sure you got into the same family, because from the very beginning you were so happy to see him, and he was so happy to see you.

I love when I get to feed you your bottle. It's like I get you all to myself for a short amount of time. You just stare up at me, and I stare back at you, and I just can't get enough of your snuggles. I hope you stay as sweet as you are now forever and ever. Thank you for choosing to come to our family, we all love you to bits and pieces. I love that you are my niece and that I get to spoil you and keep you forever and ever. Thank you for being the sweetest little baby girl.

I love you Baileybug,

Aunt Camille

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear William...

Dear Baby Will Will,

You little bundle of chubbers, slobbers, and smiles. I remember going to the hospital to see you when you were born. Kyson was the first baby nephew I had met, and I was so scared I wouldn't be able to love you as much as all the others. But how silly of me, because the second I laid eyes on you, with your chubby cheeks and your thick dark hair, I felt my heart get a little bit bigger, and I loved you right from that second. You were the first baby that really showed me that I couldn't run out of love. I couldn't believe how perfect you looked. You and Kyson looked so different, and yet you both came out so beautifully perfect. As weird as it sounds, it was comforting that I could love you both so much, no matter how different you were, because I'm sure my kids will all be different, and I will be able to love them so much too. I am so grateful that you, as small as you are, could teach me that valuable life lesson.

You are such an incredibly sweet and happy baby. Your mommy calls you a little dolly, and she is spot on with that nick name. I've always described you to other people as a real life Cabbage Patch Kid. You have always been so good when other people hold you, and you love to snuggle. I have been fascinated with watching you grow teeth. Maybe because you are always smiling so I can always see them, but I just love looking at your tiny mouth and seeing your cute little pearly whites coming in one by one.

You have the bluest eyes I have ever seen on a kid. They are so bright and are always aware, looking around checking things out. You always look like you're smiling with those little blue eyes of yours. You also have the cutest chubby cheeks too. They're so squeezable and pinchable, and everyone does just that, and you don't seem to mind too much...you seem to enjoy the attention.

You are so patient with your older siblings. You're constantly being hauled around and having them in your face, and you just love it. You are also so enthusiastic. If you see something you want (like ice cream, your favorite), you will squeal so we all know it. You are so exploratory, always on the go, trying to find something new. You are so fun to watch, you're so often getting excited about things, and that little smile of yours is so contagious.

Thank you for being such an amazingly adorable, squishy, sweet, and funny nephew. I love you so much!! Just thinking of you now makes me miss you and want to give you a squeeze and kiss your cheeks off. I love you, Will Will. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Love,

Aunt Camille

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dear Kyson...






















Dear Kyson,

To my bestest birthday present I have ever gotten, I love you my Kyson Mckay. I was so excited when I found out your mom was pregnant with you, and that she was due the day after my birthday. I remember sitting on the couch in Grandma Deana's house in between conference sessions telling her she should have you one day early, so we would share birthdays. I was so excited when it actually happened. I remember the day so vividly. I kept texting Logan about every half hour seeing if you were born yet. I was so antsy to see you for the first time! After dinner with my family, we came to the hospital to visit you. I remember seeing you for the first time and just thinking you were the most perfect baby I had ever seen in my whole life. You were so tiny and pink, and your face was so handsome. You were the first nephew that was born after I came into the Spence Family. I was so excited that I would always be in your life, and that we were going to be able to share birthdays forever.

You are such a sweet little boy. You just love your mom, but you're starting to open up more and you are learning to like playing with Logan and me. When Logan and I were playing with you at that playground by your house, you were so darn adorable on the slide. The first time you came down you flipped around and came out head first. I was worried you would be scared by this, but when I pulled you out you said "adin!" so I passed you back up to your Uncle Logan. You went down again and again, and by the end you were holding yourself up on the slide, pushing yourself down to get started, and you even mimicked my "Weee!!" I said every time you came down. You showed me how fast you can learn, and it was so amazing to watch.

You have the cutest smile ever ever ever. I love your big teeth, and the way you scrunch up your nose. Usually your smile accompanies a little squeal of glee. I love spoiling you and bribing you to come to me with candy and other treats. You are so cute toddling over to me with that fat teeth, scrunch nose, squealy smile to get a bite of some sort of goody, I just can't help but spoil you again and again.

You are starting to roar like your big brother. You are such a little copy cat, and watch his every move. You also like to tease him, and even though it makes Gavin a little annoyed, I can't help but laugh at you two.

I love your crazy hair. I love your blue eyes. I love your little legs. I love your big teeth. I love your little squeals. I love your pudgy tummy. I love your slobbery kisses. Really, I just love you, a whole bunch.

Thank you for being the cutest, best birthday buddy. I love you Ky-Ky.

Love,
Aunt Camille

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dear Gavin...

Dear Gavin Jay,

My Gavvy Boy. You have transformed from a shy boy that kept to himself to a fun, energetic boy that loves to dig right in there and get in the middle of the action. You have turned into a little "roaring" machine. This is your favorite thing to do right before you chase before Uncle Logan, and he loves it every time. He loves that you will wrestle with him, and let him throw you around. I think that's how he tells you all he loves you, and he's really liking that you'll let him "love" you now.

You are such a sweet boy. You are the one that runs right to me to give me the biggest hug. Your face lights up every time you see Logan or me, and it makes me feel like I'm on top of the world. You are so loving, and not afraid to show it.

I love that you are talking more now. You say the cutest things that I would never expect to come out of you. I love that you are more adventurous now. You tackled that playground last night with vigor. You couldn't get enough of the slides and monkey bars (with us holding you up, but you totally held on all by yourself when I let you go for a few seconds at a time). You even wanted to get your little doggies in on the fun, and took them down the slides too.

You are so sweet with animals, in your own little way. You carry Emma around everywhere, making her play with you. You just love her so much. When we took you to my parents' house to see the baby bunnies, you kept petting them and whispering "Soft, soft soft." You got so excited when we actually put one on your lap for you to hold. The joy on your face was so incredible.

You make me so excited to have little boys. I'm still hesitant to how I'll be able to mother them after only having little sisters in my life, but you are so sweet and easy to love, you make me feel a little more confident in how I'll handle my own sons.

Thank you for being such a sweet, kind, funny, and lovable nephew. I love watching you learn and grow. I can't believe how big you are getting already, but it seems the bigger you get, the more surprises you have in you to keep me on my toes.

I love you Gavvy,

Love,
Aunt Camille


Monday, July 26, 2010

Dear Kylie...

Dear Kylie Mae,

My very first niece in the whole world. You are everything any girl would ever want to be: tall, blonde, thin, and spunky.

You are getting so fun to play with. You used to be so shy around me. I would bribe you with gum and lip gloss and lotion and nail polish to get you to be around me and not run and hide, and today you came right up to me and gave me an unsolicited hug. It made my day. You even asked me to play with you! I had a lot of fun playing with you and the rest of the cousins, thank you for inviting me.

You are so adorable in pink. So, so, so adorable! I love how girly you can be, while still trying to keep up with the boys. I love watching you with the baby cousins. You coo and goo over them and squeal with joy when they slobber on you, or giggle at you.

You have the most contagious laugh. When you laugh, I can't help but laugh with you. You're also so funny when you don't try to be. Like today when I was watching you play Rock, Paper, Scissors, or when I was babysitting you and you were sleep walking like a little girl zombie. The cutest zombie I've ever seen, of course!

I love watching you with Baby William. You just snuggle that boy to pieces, and he loves it. You are a big help to your mom with him. I love watching you play with Klinks. You baby talk to him and tell him how cute he is. I love it, it's so cute. You have such a big heart full of so much love.

I also love seeing your photographic works of art. Your pictures always have a different perspective than I would have thought of, because you see things in a different way. Partly because you are so little, but also because your mind is full of light and innocence that most have lost. Don't lose it, hold onto it and treasure it. (By the way, my two favorite pictures of yours are the one where you put a tiara on William, and the one where you have your hat on sideways and you're making a "pimp" face. So adorable, and so hilarious. I laugh every time I see them.)

You are such a happy little girl. You're so full of enthusiasm and joy. Your eyes have a special sparkle to them. You are such a special little girl, and I love you. I love being able to dote on you and be gal pals together.

Please keep your sparkle, your light, your sense of humor, and most of all, your sweet spirit. You can do so much in the world, and I'm so excited to watch you grow into a beautiful young woman.

I love you Kylie Mae,

Aunt Camille

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear Braxton...

Dear Braxton,

I credit you with the beginnings of me falling in love with Logan. You were the first nephew I got to meet, and seeing Logan play with you was so adorable, I knew he was a quality guy I should definitely get to know.

You were so cute that day. I could barely understand you when you spoke, but I do remember you wanted to drive in Grandpa's wooden truck out back to go to Disneyland and buy "candy" which was the gravel surrounding the truck. You let me sit up front while you drove, and made Logan sit in the back. You instantly became my friend. Later that night when I went to Brynn's house for the first time, you remembered me, and gave me the warmest hug.

You haven't changed a bit when it comes to being friends with everyone. You even tell everyone that they are your best friend. You aren't shy in the least bit, and will talk to anyone with ears. You are a definite charmer, which can be good and bad, because you sure are cute, but you definitely know how to put on that puppy dog face to get what you want. We think you will be the funny guy in high school that everyone likes because you are everyone's friend. We're so excited to see how you turn out!

I love that you tell me I'm a-gorgeous. It makes me smile every time. I love when you tell me I'm your best friend, or when you say I'm your favorite aunt, even if your only reason is because I'm married to Logan, but it's still good to hear. I love when you tell me you like my Power Rangers shirt, because I totally bought it thinking of you, and think of you every time I put it on. I love when you play Sorry with me, even if usually you and Logan gain up on me and I end up losing. I love when you "squeeze my guts out." It's something we've been doing to each other from the very beginning, and I love that you still remember that I said that one of the first days we met.

You are so sweet with your sister. You love her to bits and pieces, and are always wanting to squeeze and kiss her. It is so cute to see her smile when she hears your voice. She really loves you.

You make Logan feel like a total rockstar uncle. He loves that you will play with him for hours and hours and never get bored of him. He loves that you call him on the phone to ask him to come over and play. He loves that you will wrestle with him and chase him around. He always has the funniest stories to tell me when he gets home from playing with you.

Thank you for being the funniest, cutest nephew a girl could ask for. I love you to smithereens.

Love,

Aunt Camille

Dear Damon...

Dear Damon,

You are the smartest, most inventive, and competitive (almost) seven year old I know. You amaze me every time I see you. Logan and I talk about how fun it would be to take you out to play sports. He wants so much to teach you how to play tennis. He loves that you are always willing to try something new with him.

You have the sweetest spirit. I watch you with your baby brother and how you will play with him for hours on end. You will do anything to make him laugh. I am amazed at how well you get along with Kylie. I fought a lot with my sisters, but you are so patient with her, and I am so glad. She is very lucky to have you as an older brother.

You are so smart! I have watched you grow so much the past two years, and you are constantly learning new things. Whether it was in school, something you learned at home, or something you figured out on your own, you're always in the pursuit of knowledge. I love it when you play a song on the piano for me, it is so sweet. I love when you tell me something you learned in school, it is so awesome you're remembering these things. And I love when I see you turn around and teach it to you sister.

Logan and I love how willing you are to run around with us and play games. You are so courageous and willing to try new things. Tonight you ran and caught that old grumpy cat, and cradled it like you found a precious baby. You didn't care that the cat was cranky, you still were just loving on it. You also let me "crack the egg" with you on the trampoline. I haven't done that since I was really little, and it was fun to do it again with you. Playing with you makes me see the world with new eyes again.

I love you so much, and I know Logan does too. We know you are going to do great things with your life. We are so excited to watch you and be part of your future. Our kids are going to be very lucky to have you as their oldest cousin. I always admired my oldest cousin when I was little, and I know they will do the same with you.

Thank you for being such a fun, crazy, and energetic nephew. I love having you around (and so does Logan).

Love,

Aunt Camille

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When I cook, My husband loves me more.

So it's been a good thing I've been on a major cooking spree the past few days. I love cooking, when I have ingredients and don't have to clean up the mess. But sometimes I just get in these kicks to try new recipes. Last night I was up pretty darn late and just couldn't fall asleep to save my life. I got up and made these muffins I found on thepioneerwoman.com...aka my new favorite website. They're called "Muffins that Taste Like Doughnuts" and they are dee-vine. Seriously delish. There's only 1 left, and it's Logan's, and I want more, but I'm not sure if I'd like to bake another batch and heat my house up more, since it's already about 250 degrees in here. However, another hundred degrees and I could just set the muffins on the counter and let them bake themselves. That could be interesting to watch. But really, you must try these muffins. Super easy, SO AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS. And pretty too. Here's the recipe...

Muffins that Taste Like Doughnuts

1 3/4 C. Flour
1 1/2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Salt
1/2 t. Nutmeg
1/2 t. Cinnamon
1/3 c. Oil
3/4 c. Sugar
1 Egg
3/4 c. Milk

Topping:
1/4 c. Butter
1/3 c. Sugar
1 T. Cinnamon

Preparation Instructions

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Combine oil, sugar, egg, and milk. Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a bowl. Combine sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.

Shake out muffins while they're still hot. Dip muffins in butter, then sugar mixture. Let cool.

Then try not to eat 5 in one sitting. Deary me. They are delicious.


Also, because I am a champion wife (ha), I decided to make this next recipe for dinner tonight: Linguine with Spinach Pesto. Seriously so good. This tasted like something I would get in a fancy-schmancy italian restaurant and pay 12 dollars for. But I didn't pay 12 dollars for it...not even half. I think I spent maybe 5 on a ginormous pot of pasta, and that includes the grilled chicken I sliced up into it. Our ginormous pot serves about 4-6 depending on how big you're serving it. And if you live with my bean pole husband who eats twice (sometimes three times) as much as I do and still stays all cute and thin. You must make this recipe. Really, you must. It is so stinking good. I got this recipe from a recipe book a fabulous cook gave me for my wedding. I dated her son off and on all through high school and a little in college before Logan came home from Brazil. She didn't like me. I think that's why she gave me a fantastic wedding present...it was a thank you for getting married before her son came home from his mission. Or maybe she gives this to everyone. Either way, it is seriously one of my favorite wedding presents. Haven't had a recipe in here I haven't liked. Anyway, enough blabber, onto this recipe of celestial glory....

Linguine with Spinach Pesto

1 oz. Parmesan cheese
1 lb. Linguine or spaghetti
1-10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
3 T. olive oil
2 large sprigs fresh parsley (can use parsley flakes...I did and it was still wonderful)
1/2 t. dried basil (okay, I used like 1 t. because my husband would have an affair with basil if it were a human. He loves basil. Almost as much as he loves me.)
2 cloves garlic (uh, except I used like 4. Because I love garlic almost as much as I love Logan)
1/2 t. salt
1 T. butter
1/3 c. water (I fished this out of my hot pasta water)
4 oz. Feta cheese (I didn't have this, so I just added more parm, but I think it would be yummy to have)

Cook pasta, keep warm. In blender, blend spinach, oil, parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, garlic, and salt. Blend until finely minced, scraping sides if necessary (I added a little pasta water here to get it going because I think I drained my spinach a little TOO well). In saucepan combine butter and water over medium heat and bring to a boil. With blender running, gradually add hot butter mixture to spinach mixture and blend thoroughly. return spinach mixture to saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat, until heated through. Add pasta, toss to coat, and transfer to serving dish (or not, since we don't really have one of those). Sprinkle with feta and parmesan cheese.

I added broccoli florets to the last few minutes of cooking time for my pasta, and right after I tossed the pasta with the pesto, I mixed in some sliced grilled chicken I had marinated in italian dressing before grilling and it was splendid.

This dish is definitely on my top 10 list of things I've ever cooked. It was so easy, so delicious, and pretty darn healthy. And cheap. And delicious. And Logan loved it and thought I was a champion for making it for him. This boy likes pesto, I'm telling you. He really, really likes it. And he really likes it when I cook with it. I like it when my husband likes me, it makes for a good marriage, or so I'm told.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

European Adventure--Paris Pt. 3

The same day we went to Sacre Coeur we also went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Interesting Facts: The tower was built in 1889 for the World's Fair by Gustave Eiffel. After the fair they put it in Paris and the people HATED IT!!! They were going to tear it down, but decided against it when the radio boom hit and they put a radio tower in it to receive broadcasts. It weighs 7000 tons, and is 1,040 feet high. It sways 4 inches in high winds and grows or shrinks up to 6 inches according to temperature.
This is the view from the second floor (There are 3)
And this is us kissing on the top of the Eiffel Tower! It was a joke that we were going to do this on our anniversary (well, we were 2 days late), so we had to document it.
After we came down. I sure love him.
Our last night we went to the Eiffel Tower, just like any other night. However, the World Cup was going on, and they had a HUMONGOID screen right below the tower that they showed all the soccer games on. People got so dressed up, painted their faces, carried flags, and shouted all these cheers all up and down the streets, on the metro, in our hotel, it was nuts. Our last night Brazil played, so Logan donned his Brazil sweatshirt, we went to a crepe stand and got our last crepes (I teared up a little), and watched the game. They won, so this is our victory picture!

Our trip was so fun, and we are so glad we went. It is definitely something we will remember for the rest of our lives. We got a bit of a travelling bug, and we're already wanting to go explore more of the world and take another adventure together. Next on our dream list is Greece, Italy, and Austria. Of course, we're now broke as a joke from this trip, so we'll have to wait until we're more established, but we can still dream, right?

European Adventure--Paris Pt. 2

Our friends Ben and Cassidy Bolick had just gotten married and happened to be in France at the same time as us on their honeymoon, so we met up with them and went to Versailles, Notre Dame, L' Arc d' Triumphe, the Moulin Rouge, and the Sacre Coeur.
This is in front of the Chateau de Versailles. It was so much fun to take the tour inside and around the gardens. King Louis XIV moved the royal courts from downtown Paris to this elaborate palace. Everything is just over the top spectacular. King Louis XIV loved to dance, party, and show off his wealth. I'm currently learning all about him in my dance history class, and it's fascinating to learn about him after having been to his house.
The Hall of Mirrors. One side is all windows, and the other is all mirrors. Louis wanted to "bring the nature indoors" so the mirrors reflect everything outside, making the hall feel like an enormous ballroom. It is decorated so incredibly, with chandeliers every few feet, and carvings all over the walls, along with the elaborately painted ceiling. However, although so much was put into decorating this area of the castle, it simply was only used as a HALLWAY.
The overview of the MASSIVE gardens. Where you see green, those are the gardens for Versailles. The day we were there they turned on all the fountains and played classical music throughout the gardens. It was so magical.
This would be all the boys in our group. Holding all the purses..ahem, sorry, man bags. The girls didn't have to carry a thing! What great gentlemen. Also, behind them...gorgeous gorgeous gardens. The water way in the back is called the Venice Petite and they have all these people in boats going around in it, and the boat guides sing to them. Kinda like the Venician in Vegas, only in France...and awesomer.
At L' Arc d' Triumphe. Napoleon had this made to be a memorial of French Army.
We found the Disney Store in Paris. I was a happy lady.
Notre Dame
Moulin Rouge. The (ahem) prostitute district where the Can-Can was invented. Hence our attempt at a Kickline.
The Sacre Coeur. Priests work in relays to keep prayers going 24 hours a day. They have been praying here for 125 years straight.
The church is up on a very high hill. We conquered the several hundred steps to get up to the church. We turned around, and this is what we saw. Breath taking.