Monday, December 22, 2014

Lost & Found

3 days ago I lost my son.
Ok, not actually.
But for 1 whole minute I did not know where he was.

You see, at our place we have our own backyard with a 6 ft tall wooden fence.
It's one of the reasons we love where we live.
Most apartment situations don't have that.
We've planted some grass so it feels even better back there!
Kameron loves being out back just exploring, pushing his walker, playing in his sandbox, and watching the planes go by overhead.
The kitchen is just inside the back door, so during the day I let him play back there (with the door open) while I do the dishes, make lunch, meal plan, etc.
The only reason I let him have that little bit of independence is 1) in a matter of two steps I can see him either out the kitchen window or back door and 2) our gate makes a terrible, loud squeal when you open it so if someone were to walk in, I would know immediately.

So on Friday we got home from teaching Zumba and it was lunch time.
I let Kameron enjoy the sunny, 60 degree weather out back while I prepped lunch.
I checked on him periodically and he would flash me one of his award winning grins.
I could hear him pushing his toys around and babbling to himself.
I finished up lunch and went out to grab him.
I walk outside and Kameron is no where to be seen. he behind the tree?
In between the shed and the fence?
I'm yelling his name over and over.
Under the chairs?
Other side of the shed?
By now I'm breathing really heavy and feel an anxiety attack coming.
I'm searching the fence to see if there's a hole I never noticed and he wiggled through.
I'm checking the gate latch to see if it broke.
I'm walking around the tree seeing if there's a little nook I never noticed.
Now I'm screaming his name.
No where.
No sound.
I'm like "what the?!  Some stealth creep snatched my child!"
I feel like I'm about to puke and I'm sweating.
I start to run into the house to call the police when a little spirit prompting told me to look down at his sandbox.
So I do.
In between the top and the bottom, there is a tiny sliver that lets me see in.
I saw movement!
I run over, fling off the top of his crab shaped sandbox, and there he is with a mouthful of sand.
He looked up at me like it's no big deal.
Somehow he had opened up the top just enough to wiggle on in and then it fell back down into place.
First I yelled at him for not saying anything when I was screaming his name!
(I wish that hadn't been my first reaction, but oh was.)
(And dude.  You babble non stop and you chose THAT minute to be quiet?)
Then I fell on my knees and burst into tears.
Then I tried to hug him, which made him mad since he was playing, so he flung sand everywhere (including into his eye) so he started crying.
It was a very traumatic 5 minutes at the Foster home. :)

The whole point of this post is to tell y'all about a very important lesson I learned.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
I have been more patient with him in the last 3 days than his entire life.
Sure his tantrums are difficult.
Sure he annoys me sometimes.
But I don't care.
He's 16 months.
He's going to get into stuff, he's going to scream, he's going to throw his food, he's going to wake up earlier than I would like, he's going to kick and arch his back when he doesn't get his way.
But that's ok.
Because he also blows kisses.  And he also says "mama" when he's hurt.  And he also snuggles his Bear so tight.  And he also runs into my arms for a hug.  And he also has the smooshiest cheeks.  And he also is the sweetest boy on the planet.

In that horrible minute I didn't think, "Yes!  I'm so glad I don't have to deal with another tantrum."
In that minute I caught a glimpse of what my life would be like without him.
I'm not a fan.
I love my life with Kameron as a part of it.

I hope that feeling remains with me a long time.
I hope I continue to be more patient and loving.
He is so precious and I hope he can feel how much we adore him.

So this Christmas I already have what I need.
My boys.
They make me happy every day.
The other presents under the tree are just really nice bonuses. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014!

Well I guess I better document Thanksgiving before Christmas gets here!
(which is TWO weeks away....I'm so excited!!)

Alright...well all of us Arizona peeps packed up and headed to sunny California the day before Thankgiving!
It was us, the Calls (my SIL's fam), and the Barksdales (my sister's fam).
We took some of the Call kids in our car to ease up their load AND to help keep Kameron entertained back there.  It worked like a dream!  Easiest road trip yet.
(Britt, can we always borrow some of your children when we travel?)

 Heading west on the 10.  Photobombed by Abram.

After a pit stop in Indio to stretch and eat some nutritious Taco Bell, we made it to Santa Barbara in the late evening.
After getting Kameron tucked in, I made 2 of my great grandma Vic's pecan pies!

 Mmm, mmm, good! (the only pie I like...)

The next morning greeted us with sunshine and mid 70s weather!
Perfect for pre-breakfast basketball game!

 I love this picture of Caleb muggin' on Kam. :)

Then of course the post breakfast Turkey Bowl!
I really miss my in laws old house, but this lawn definitely is a better football field! :)

 Apparently Chris was really excited his team scored...ha.

Kameron, naturally, wanted to be a part of all the action!
Sometimes he would get frustrated he couldn't do everything, but all the boys were good sports to him.  If he toddled out, they'd stop being too rough or do a time out.  They kept calling Kam "the ref."  It was pretty funny. :)

 The little man out there laying down the law.

The meal was ready around 2 so we sat down for delicious food!
We also all said what we were thankful for.
It really is nice to just have it be quiet and listen to words of gratitude.

 Kameron was napping so I actually got to eat in peace.
It was lovely.

When Kam woke up it was time for his turkey dinner!  This was his first one since last year he was still on an all liquid diet. :)

In the early evening we headed down to the beach.
It was SUCH a gorgeous night!!

 All 17 of us! (well technically 18 since Karly announced their new bundle that night. :)

 Gettin' muddy!

The next few days were nice too.
A little Black Friday shopping, leftovers, football, playing board games, dancing, and walking by the water.

As all things do, the weekend came to an end.
It was such a great Thanksgiving and I'm so grateful I was able to spend it with some members of both sides of my family.
Hope your Thanksgivings were family filled and delicious too! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Phoenix, AZ Temple

We moved to the west side of Phoenix at an exciting time.
An LDS temple was almost completed and preparations were being made for it's open house, celebration, and dedication.
It was really fun to move in and all of the sudden be in the midst of the excitement going around for the LDS members.

The open house (a time when anyone from the public can go inside) started the second week of October and ran until November 1st.
They needed LOTS of volunteers to help since thousands of people were coming to see the temple!
Alex and I were only able to go help out once since it's a little tricky getting someone to watch your toddler for 6 hours, but I'm so thankful we did go that one time!
We signed up to put the plastic shoe coverings on everyone coming up to the temple.
This protects the floor/carpet from getting dirty and scuffed from alllll of those people coming through!

I have no clue how many times I put one of those plastic booties on a foot...but I know it was A LOT.
We volunteered on a friday night, which is a really busy time.
I loved watching the people walk up (non-LDS and LDS), full of curiosity about what they were about to see.

Once the last group of the evening went through, Alex and I were able to go inside.
To say it's beautiful is an understatement.
Everything, inside and out, is perfect.

Then the next weekend we had some friends in town!
So we made another trip to go through and this time brought Kameron.
I was so excited to take him inside and have him feel the spirit that fills the walls.

Paintings and pictures are used for decorations in temples.
The majority of those pictures have Jesus Christ in them.
Anytime Kam saw Jesus, he would point at him.
Even when there were multiple men in the picture, Kam would point RIGHT to Jesus.
It was amazing and gave me chills every time.

 I am so grateful that because of a temple in South Carolina, I am sealed to these boys forever.
I can't imagine it any other way.
I am also grateful that we now have a temple 25 minutes away so I can go with Alex, get away from the noises of the world, and reflect on the eternal perspective.

I love my friends. :)
I wish we could always be together.

The kid loves his Jesus. :)

The temple was dedicated just this last sunday.
President Monson, our present prophet, came down to offer up a dedicatory prayer.
It is complete.

If you would like to read more information about LDS temples, click here.
If you want to read more about the Phoenix temple specifically, click here. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What I Do.

Wow, it's been awhile.
A long while.
I've been busy.
For me...busy is good.
It makes me tired and happy.

We've really started to settle in down here.
I can actually (and honestly) say I like it here.
Sure there are things I miss about South Carolina, Utah, and California...but I'm happy.
Which means we're happy.
Because we alllll know, if mama ain't happy....ain't nobody happy! ;)
We've found our groove, we've made friends, our place is put together, and it's no longer 110 degrees...all good things. (Anyone else hear Olaf in your head?  "All good things, all good things!")

Some of you have asked what I "do."
So I've decided to break it down a bit of how I spend my time and the few "hats" I wear.
I won't lie...
Finding out who I am and want to be was really hard after having Kameron, and then especially moving to California and no longer working at New Haven.
New Haven had been the reason I woke up every day.
Helping those girls and their families heal was amazing.
It was gratifying, rewarding, hard, and humbling.
I felt good about my career.
It felt good to know what I did made a difference in the world.
It felt good to build relationships and watch them flourish.
It felt good to be needed and wanted.
So moving to California and not having a job was a challenge.
Obviously my baby needed me.
But he needed me in a different way.
So I decided that when I would get the chance, I would find ways to make money that "made a difference."
So...with no further is what I "do."

1. Wife & Mother.
Alex and Kam are my #1 priorities.
I can't imagine life without them.
Most of my time and energy goes in to making sure our house is an uplifting place to be,
Even though it's impossible to keep order when a toddler wants to create disorder, I want my home to be a place where there's joy and peace.
Creating that joy and peace comes from meal planning, cleaning, grocery shopping, cleaning, budgeting, cleaning, laundry, cleaning, making the meals, and did I mention cleaning? ;)
As gross as that all sounds, it also comes with lots of kisses, hugs, snuggles (from both my boys), and the gratification of a husband going back for seconds. 
(I know it's REALLY good when he doesn't add hot sauce.)
I love being a wife.
I love being a mother.
I'm blessed and so so grateful.

2. Book Consultant
I love books.
Always have.
I love children's books.
Possibly more than books written for my age.
When Kameron was about 10 months, we got him his first Usborne book: That's Not My Dinosaur.
It quickly became his favorite book.
He would look at it for every car trip and grab our hands to show us the touchy feelys on the pages.
He had always liked books, but there was something special about THAT book.
I didn't really think much of it though with our impending move to Arizona.
When we officially moved and Alex's paychecks started coming in, we realized pretty quickly that we would survive off of his income...but after taxes and insurance...there was nothing for the extras like a date night or new shoes for Kameron.
So I started praying about something I could do and instantly my friend, Coralie, popped in my head.
I've known Coralie since I was 12.
We hadn't talked in a long time though!
Sure there was the occasional "like" or "comment" on FB or Instagram...but that was it.
So at first I was confused as to why she would pop in my head.
Then I remembered that she was a consultant for Usborne Books.
That's Not My Dinosaur is an Usborne book.
I needed to know more.
So I messaged her up and asked about the business.
A few messages and a phone call later, I was signed up!
I was probably her easiest recruit ever!
I've been doing it for about 2 months now and it's been so great!
I do house parties, FB parties, and booths.
It's already built up our library, paid for 2 car payments and groceries, and I feel good about what I'm doing.
I love how I feel helping people find the best books for their specific kids and needs.
I'm also so grateful I get to do this while I'm home with Kameron.

3. Zumba instructor
Everyone knows I'm a dancer.
And a dance teacher.
I taught at BYU and I taught at 3 different dance studios in Salt Lake.
But Zumba is much different than teaching hip hop to college students or kids.
I got my Zumba license in July, hoping that it could help give me an "edge" over other dance teachers.
I'm no longer teaching kids in a studio (for now), but I'm teaching adults at LA Fitness.
I have 4 classes a week! (Which is seriously exhausting.  There's no slacking as the teacher and all eyes are on you!)
It's been so fun!
I love seeing women (and a few men ;) with varying stories come in for 50 minutes of stress free, dance party time.
I love seeing some people start off in the back, but by the 3rd class have made their way to the front.
I love my regulars that I get to see and know.
I love having people say, "That was so fun!"
Once again, I feel good about what I'm doing.
Health and fitness are another passion of mine so I love knowing I'm helping people strengthen that area of their lives.

Halloween morning Zumba class!

Well there you have it, folks...
That is what I do.
It's not everyone's cup of tea...but it's mine.
And when you get a smoochable Kameron on top of that cup...well it makes it all the better.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Still alive. Not burnt.

Well...I would say we are officially moved in.
Every box unpacked.
Every wall decorated.
Everything put away. (until Kameron takes it out...)
Feels good.

It's still about 30 degrees hotter than I am fond of...but that's ok.
Definitely forces us to use our pool and community splash pad regularly.

Kam Update: almost 14 months.
Got another tooth.  That brings us to 4 up top, 2 on the bottom.
Knows what an elephant, dog, and duck say.  (Snake is hit or miss.)
Says: mama, dada, up, hot, duck, and yeah.
Loves to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while he eats his breakfast.
Tries real hard to run.  Usually doesn't end well.
Tantrums have hit the fan.
Speaking of fan...he does the sign for fan and spots them wherever we are.
Loves to play tag, hide & seek, and Where's Kameron??
He's a challenge sometimes, but he's my little buddy.
I love spending my days with him.

Alex update: almost 27 years old...haha.
Enjoys his job teaching.
Some days he's had enough, but mostly he comes home happy.
The kids love him.
They draw him pictures and call him "Senor F." (said in Espanol of course.)
Gets out his guitar every few days.  Kameron loves it!  He dances and tries to play.
He's found a few guys in our ward who like to play golf so he's going to start going to the driving range once a week with them to hit some balls.
Really happy about the Dodgers winning the division title.
Great dad and even better husband.

Me update: already 27 years old...wha wha whaaaa...
I won't lie.  The first month or so was pretty difficult.
My system was in a bit of shock.
I had no friends, no grandparents around, Alex gone all day, no dancing...just unpacking and talking to a 1 yr old.
I am pleased to report I am much happier these last few weeks.
I've found some friends in the ward.  That alone has made a HUGE difference.
It's fun to have play dates, girl's nights, and have other moms to talk to/see on a regular basis.
I am teaching Zumba 2-3 times a week.  It's been a fun adventure...and obviously a great work out.
I am now a consultant for Usborne Books & More.  Also a fun adventure.
And I'm in the works of getting a few piano students and teaching hip hop.
Back to being busy and I like it.
What I love most is being able to do it all while being home with Kameron.
I sure love that little dude.

It's been fun being near family!
We've seen our sisters and their families a few times each.
My in laws came for a weekend to bring the rest of our stuff.
My sister, Krista, is coming to visit next week.
Can't wait for my parents to come in January!

I guess that's about it!
Hopefully I can get back to regular blogging so I don't have these massive updates!
And here are pictures of Kameron for your viewing pleasure. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Living in the land of the sun...hotter than you know where...

Hello all!
It's been awhile.
But I blame that on packing (again), prepping a 3rd anniversary video, unloading all our stuff, and now attempting to create my home.
Which with a 1 year old is not easy!

So, like I said...we moved.
In our 3 years of marriage we have moved 5 times.
Yes, you read that right...FIVE.
1) Our initial move in to our first ever apartment at the UofU Family Housing.
2) Alex's grandparent's basement in SLC.
3) Move out of Utah to California.
4) My in laws sold that house so we moved to their new house.
5) And here we are....Arizona.
Let's just say I am over the whole boxes, paper, and tape routine.
Goodyear, AZ better pan out for awhile because the thought of doing this in the near future makes me want to cry.

Alex moved down to our little house about a month ago to start job training.
I stayed in CA until last week.
So my mother in law, dog uncle, Kameron, and I set out to join him...

Here we are in Banning, CA for a pit stop.

Kameron did so well!
He really is a trooper.
He could have cried a lot of the way, but he just got a little whiny on the home stretch.
Which I'd be too if I couldn't see anywhere around my car seat and was bored with the same dang toys.
But we finally arrived in Arizona!

And it's hot.'s hot.
Yesterday when we got in the car after church I seriously felt like I had just jumped in with the rotisserie chickens at the grocery store.
Poor Kameron faces backwards so the AC gets him WAY later than he would like.
By the time we got home the kid's face was as red as a tomato and had sweat dripping down his face.
I think a car fan is our next purchase.

But besides it being an oven, AZ is pretty good so far.
Granted I don't leave my house much....
Unpacking takes about 3-4 times as long when you have a toddler.
He either wants to help, takes things out of something when I want it in, puts things in something when I want them out, pulling things out of cupboards, getting into drawers, attempting to open the toilet, trying out this climbing business, standing on his car (that has wheels), or throwing a fit because I say no to going outside in the 104 degree weather.

But then there's moments where he toddles on over (because he's walking now!), claws at my legs for me to pick him up, and gives me a big hug.
And that makes up for everything I said above.

Kameron's digging this refrigerator set up.
My in laws have their freezer on the bottom, so he's never been able to get in the fridge.
He just helps himself to whatever he can.
This morning he ate an entire strawberry.
Leaves and all.
I just laughed.

So we are settling in!
We've already had 2 family dinners with both sets of sister's families.
The Target, Costco, and Home Goods are close.
There's a Cracker Barrel down the road.
And our neighborhood has a big pool, kiddie pool, and baby swings.
If you want to see where we are living go to
I'll post pics of our place when it doesn't look like a bomb went off.
I was feeling pretty overwhelmed til last night when Alex said, "It's coming together, babe.  Our home is coming together."
Ok...if he notices...then it must be getting there.

We miss the beach, 75 degree weather, our dog vacuum, and extra grandparent help...but overall it's been fun being our own family unit and getting into our own swing.
Wish me well!  I have a goal to have everything done by this weekend!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Kam's 1st Birthday!

Well, whether I wanted it to or not...July 31st came.
My baby is 1.
I remember thinking the first month was never going to end....uhhh....haha.
But then it just flew by!

His birthday was a success!
The night before was spent decorating the family room for the impending festivities.
His birthday was "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" themed.
We have read that book to him every night before bed since he started sleeping in his own room at 2 months.
He has SO many hungry caterpillar toys and such.
It was only fitting...
(Big shout out to Pinterest, the Eric Carle website, and my sis who helped put it all together.)

Kameron must have been so excited it was his birthday because he woke up 30 mins early for the day!
Which meant we had to wake up 30 mins early as well.
He loves balloons so he was very happy they were all over the ground!

Once the whole fam was ready, we headed over to Tupelo Junction for breakfast.
Which was delicious!
We enjoyed loads of beignets, french toast, waffles, breakfast wraps, grits, and more.

Before nap time Kam decided a little more balloon play was necessary. :)

During his nap I took a mini nap myself on the new outdoor furniture my MIL bought and then finished up the cupcakes and Kam's cake.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. 
Especially since I am not very crafty or culinary.

And Kam was STILL so excited he woke up an hour early from nap time.
He was quite the grouchy birthday boy!
So we decided to open up presents.

He got quite the loot!
Including: a puzzle, a book, a ducky pull along, some nice wood blocks, and a caterpillar rocker!
He loved them all and it definitely put him in a better mood!

Then it was cake time!

He was a little reserved at first.
Not quite knowing what to do...

But once he figured it out and a little sugar got to his head...
He went for that caterpillar cake!
He had so much fun for a good while.
I just can't handle him.
Cutest caterpillar I've ever seen.

Then it was clean up and bath time because we had to head to LA for Kam's first baseball game!

By some amazing chance of God, the Braves were playing the Dodgers ON his birthday!
So Kam wore a little of both.
But deep down he knows who's really the best.
(Ahem, Braves...*cough*)

Here we all are:
My mom and Krista came in to town and Alex was able to come back from AZ.  Plus my in we had quite the showing at the game!
And thankfully there were a few Braves fans around.
This guy behind us was hilarious.

It was SUCH a fun game!
Kameron did waaayyy better than I thought he was going to.
With him waking up early, taking a short nap, and not even taking a cat nap in the car, I thought he would be a crank.
But he loved it!
There was so much going on that it kept him pretty entertained.
He would cheer and clap when people got excited and he charmed the socks off of everyone around us.

One of the ushers saw the sign I made (that said "I am 1 today!") to try and get on the Jumbotron. (It didn't work.  Boo.)
But she left and came back with this little pin for him to wear!
So sweet!

 After the game he promptly fell asleep in the car and didn't even make a peep when we had to transfer him to his crib.
What a trooper.
And what a partier!
He sure had quite the first birthday.

I'm so thankful we could have a fun day!
It was just everything I wanted it to be.

And now a few fun facts about Kameron:
24 lbs 15 oz, 30.5 inches.
Can stand on his own indefinitely and is starting to take steps.
Loves broccoli, meat, apples, cheese, and Goldfish.
Dances whenever his musical toys go off.
Points and looks up for planes.
Has 5 teeth.
Got his first hair trim. (Not a fan.)
Is still the happiest, funniest, cutest baby boy!

Happy 1st Birthday, Kamo.
It has been the best year with you!
Can't wait for all the future years ahead of us!