Friday, August 31, 2007

a day before...

his first birthday party (in which loads of pics are sure to be taken), I accidently did this to his face with my ring. It actually looks much more red in person and goes all the way to his ear!!! Dumb, Kelly, real dumb!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

happy birthday, mom!

Last night we celebrated my mom's birthday. During dinner, we took part in what has become a Stark tradition (I apologize if I'm wrong, but I think this came from Bethany, to Kristen, now to me?). I asked mom several questions about this past year and the one about to come, such as, "What was your favorite memory last year?", or "What are you most looking forward to next year?". Anyway, during this time, she began to tell us about another thing she was celebrating on this day. Here it is in her own words:

This month was a very special month for me. It was my 40th spiritual birthday. I love to think back to that amazing week in August of 1967 when I came from Texas to California with a friend to attend a conference with
her. I had no idea what it was really about, but from the moment I stepped
off the shuttle at the conference, I was confronted with something that
amazed me--a large group of people my age (early 20's)...who were
joyful...who talked excitedly about what they were learning in the
Bible...who worshipped wholeheartedly when they sang hymns...who prayed to God as though they knew Him short, people who knew & loved
Christ passionately.And I was blown away! I have realized since then that
even before the night that week that I gave my life to Jesus, I had fallen
in love with Him because I saw Him in their lives.

God then began to change my life. I returned to Dallas, bought a good
Bible, started attending a Bible-teaching church, got into a single women's
Bible study, and started growing in my walk with Christ. He changed my
dating life (why would I want to date someone who didn't love Him too?)...He
began to show me areas of selfishness in my life...and basically just began
to reveal to me through His Word how awesome He is. I could ramble on
forever, but I'll just say, "Thank you, Lord, for your love, your
sacrifice...and for that great week in 1967! Happy Birthday to me!"

Sunday, August 26, 2007


On Saturday, Chris headed back out to Peyt and Liesl's house (in OC) for a UFC fight. This has come to be a monthly, or every other month event. Several of his friends come over, order the fight, and play SCRAPS (a game played on the pool table with rules similar to that of HORSE in basketball). Personally, I think UFC is gross. Why on earth would someone want to fight someone else for fun? Is getting your nose broken (with blood gushing out) enjoyable? I think not! Anyway, my feelings aside, I'm glad Chris got to hang out with his friends. I stayed home, read some Harry Potter, and turned in early for the evening.

This morning, Cam and I attempted to go to church (Chris had spent the night out there). Notice I said, "attempted". We probably would have been better off staying home. The sermon barely started when I got buzzed to go and get Cameron. He had literally been crying, non-stop, for 45 minutes. It is horrible to walk back and see his red little face through the window. I'm still deciding what to do about this. He hasn't done well in the nursery for 4 months now.

Once Chris got home, we went to a park nearby. Cam really enjoyed watching the waterfalls. We then came home and had take out Claim Jumpers for dinner. We split a chicken salad sandwich, which Chris announced was an "11" and proceeded to say was better than our favorite one at The Cheesecake Factory. I told him it was blasphemous to say that.

Friday, August 24, 2007


There are two huge things I'm thankful for in my life right now. FIrst off, I LOVE, LOVE getting to stay home with Cam. And second, I LOVE, LOVE the fact that Chris works from home. It makes my days so much more fun when Chris can come in and take little breaks with Cam and I, eat lunch with me, and go on random errands with me just so we can both get out of the house. Another great thing about Chris being at home is that he is sooo funny! As many of you know, he has such a quick sense of humor, in that he can think of funny remarks to almost anything. He makes me laugh all the time! Here are two from yesterday:

*As I was attempting to feed Cam a mixture of lima beans, green beans, and peas (pureed), Chris informs me that I might as well be feeding him, "...a mixture of dog poop, manure, and burnt hair". How random, and funny, is that???

*(Disclaimer: this will only be funny if you have Tivo) As I was telling Chris about my conversation with my friend, Jen, I started telling him about how we got on the topic of our high school reunion. As soon as those words left my mouth, he made the "blp, blp, blp" sounds that Tivo makes when you go to fast forward something. Apparently hearing about my high school reunion wasn't too interesting to him. Imagine that!!!

Those are just two of the many funny things he says throughout the day that make me laugh and brighten my day!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


It is interesting to think that it will probably be another 20-25 years before Chris and I can live like we used to live merely a year ago. Gone are the days of going out to dinner on a moment's notice, sleeping in, getting to be lazy on the couch whenever we want, etc. Those days will come back when the kids have moved out and we are retired. My mom and dad have been in that stage for quite some time now.

I think retirement should include lots of golf (or whatever sport you prefer) and lots of time with friends. However, thanks to my dad's amazing example, I also think it should include a lot of time spent in ministry, whether that be volunteering for your Church's VBS, or going on overseas trips. My dad just got back from Ethiopia a few weeks ago. He went with a team and held eye glass clinics (giving away hundreds of free glasses), encouraged the pastors who live there, and shared Christ with the people. It was a great trip and many came to know Christ. Here he is at a church they visited.

When Chris and I get to retirement age, I want to be careful not to waste away the years simply doing things for ME. God will have given us tons of time on our hands and hopefully the money to support ourselves without having to work. That combo lends itself perfectly to missions. While I want Chris to play lots of golf and me to hang out with my friends...I don't want that to make up our entire retirement. We only have one life on this earth, and I want my last years of freedom to be used wisely.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

OC weekend

Saturday afternoon we drove out to OC to go to our friend, Noah's, 30th birthday. We first went to Peyt and Liesl's, where we would be spending the night. After I put Cam down for bed, we left for the party (Liesl's parents live there also and stayed with Cam...sooo nice!). We had a great time, just hanging out with our friends and being kid-free for the night. There was yummy food from Rubio's and Wendy's infamous cupcakes to make the night even more enjoyable.

Sunday morning we woke up, ate breakfast, and hung out while Cam napped. It was just nice and relaxing to sit around, do nothing, and talk.

We later made a quick trip to our old church to say hello to some friends and show them Cameron (who many hadn't seen since he was first born). After another nap time, we headed over to Jeremy and Ana's new home for lunch. They just purchased the cutest house and are excited to decorate it...especially one bedroom, which will be turned into a nursery!! They are expecting their first child in Feb. and I am SOOOO excited for them!!! All in all...a FUN, FUN weekend!

Monday, August 20, 2007

all Cam

I'll blog about our fun weekend tomorrow, but today I have a few cute pics of our little boy. He got his hair cut today by my friend, Liz. She does such a great job on him, despite him being somewhat squirmy! Here is a before and after.

Today we are starting to nurse only at bedtime, which will fade out this week and he'll be completely weaned. He has finally taken the sippy cup, and has become a CHAMP at it! He guzzles it down so quickly.

He is sooo precious to watch while he sleeps, but how could this position, with his booty in the air, possibly be comfortable??

Friday, August 17, 2007

today...the good and the bad

Today had a couple pretty low points...but I'm going to list some high points/things I'm thankful for to try and outweigh the two.

*We purchased an air conditioning unit for our window. We have central air, however our bedroom does not seem to cool down on really hot nights. We purchased the unit in the hopes of lowering our electric bill by not having to run the air as much. Chris HATES putting things like this together. He is constantly telling me how much quicker a handyman could do it or how no one else has as much trouble as he does. I'm quick to remind him that while that might be true, a handyman couldn't create postcards, newsletters, logos, etc. near as well as he does. My point? He is a graphic designer, not a handyman. Anyway, we finally got it put together didn't work. If there ever was a time to cuss, it was when we hit that power button and nothing happened (and yes, we tried everything to get it to work). So we took it apart, packaged it up, and away to Sears Chris went. After all that, we decided against the purchase and are just hoping for some cooler nights. Here is a pic of Chris and the mess we created.

*For our health insurance, we have a health savings account (HSA). We had to cancel our account (and therefore our check book) at one point b/c we lost the checkbook. Once we found it, we then accidently used it a few times without realizing it. So then it looked as though we had insufficient funds, due to the account being closed. Long story short, we owe a wopping $90 in "service charges". I keep thinking, "That's two trips to Cheesecake Factory, or 25 frappuchinos, or a super cute outfiit, or...all stop. I'm depressing myself.

*We had a great time at Gymboree today
*My mom babysat so Chris and I could go out to lunch
*We actually HAVE health insurance...something I never want to take for granted
*I'm LOVING my Harry Potter book (I'm rereading the one right before the new one to refresh myself)
*We get to see all of our friends out in OC tomorrow for our friend's birthday

Hmmm...I think those should outweigh the first two, don't you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

all time favorites

What are your all time favorites? A few of mine are:

Movie: Father of the Bride
TV Show: Felicity
Restaurant: Cheesecake Factory
Meal: Mizzithera (from Spaghetti Factory)
Vacation spot: Santa Barbara
Dog: Sharpe (sp?). I think that is the is the super wrinkly kind
Grade: 6th--I had just transferred to a new school from a very bad 5th grade year.
Memory with friends: All the random road trips I took with girlfriends in college
Job: High School Counselor (however my second was when I worked at a bagel shop!)
Memory with Chris: Our trip to Vegas soon after we got married
Dessert: Claim Jumper Motherload

Monday, August 13, 2007

mommy hood

Way back when I was in the midst of newborn frustrations and feeling overwhelmed, Susan started me in the loop of emails between herself and a friend of her's back here in CA. I have grown to consider her my friend and the three of us email almost daily. She wrote something in a recent email that I thought was so great:

"These days it is becoming more and more of my conviction that it is our job to teach and train our children. Not the youth group. Not the school. I mean, I've always known this, but I haven't FELT it the way I do now. The burden of training them falls on US, and especially on ME, since I am at home with them all day. Nowadays they watch how I respond to anger, to frustration, to stress, to fatigue. They notice if I am idle and not picking up after myself. (Z notices when I didn't make the bed). I've started doing my Bible reading time in front of them, instead of at nap time, so that they can see I am reading God's Word. They notice when I roll my eyes at C or exaggerate a story. I am really being held accountable by them."

I thought this was so insightful and such a good reminder of what an important role us moms play in our kids' lives. Whether we are home with them all day, or work, they WATCH us. Maybe Cam doesn't grasp a ton at this point, but soon enough he'll decipher my moods based on my facial expressions and tones of voice. I want him to see me react to things in a gentle and patient manner. I recall seeing my parents frustrated maybe twice in my whole life...honestly. I want Cameron to grow up to be a confident, responsible, patient (and the list could go on) man. My role modeling of those qualities is so vital.

On an unrelated note, I've started teaching Cam baby yoga. Here is one of the poses I taught him.

Please tell me you knew I was kidding! I just thought this was a funny pose he did while playing. One of his favorite things to do is to pick up a ball, drop it, and crawl to where it rolls. What a stinker. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007


We got back this afternoon from Palm Springs after spending one night in a hotel downtown. We had wanted to go on a mini vacation for a while and found a great rate in Palm Springs. It actually wasn't horribly hot, which was surprising for this time of year. After checking in, we attempted to put Cam down for a nap. After failing miserably, we decided to take him to the pool (What? I shouldn't reward such behavior with a trip to the pool?? hehe!). He liked his new toy as well as watching the other kids.

Here are the two boys hanging out together on our balcony.

We later walked around downtown. Our hotel was right on the strip, so it made it nice and close to walk around the shops. After putting Cam down for bed, we ate dinner in our room. Chris had gotten Cheesecake Factory to go...mmmm. We took an early walk to Starbucks this morning, then later went to walk around the Palm Desert Marriott, a.k.a my old stomping grounds. You see, I've probably layed out at this pool a couple dozen times over the years. However I've only actually stayed in the hotel a few times. Throughout high school and college, my friends and I would sneak in and lay out. They have the nicest pool! It has been remodeled recently so it was even more beautiful.

(yes...I'm still occasionally using the Baby Bjorn. Cam might be slightly over the weight limit, but I still like using it with him. Chris said it looks funny with his loooong legs sticking out!)

After lunch we headed back. Overall, it was a nice time and a good chance to have a change of scenery for all of us. Was it a vacation? Hmmm...probably not. To Chris and I, vacation means lots of relaxing. It is pretty hard to relax with a baby. Would I do it again? Absolutely. It was great to get away and I love experiencing anything new through the eyes of Cameron.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

heaven in a muffin cup and other spiritual things

I mentioned a while back that Chris and I are reading, The Jesus of Suburbia, by Mike Erre. The most recent chapter we read was very interesting. He talked about how many Christians view people as the enemy, rather than the sin/evil behind it all. We fight against people, and end up hurting them in the process. For instance, he states that while many Christians are so determined to fight to the death against same sex marriage, they neglect to address the fact that we have just as high of a divorce rate as non-Christians. Shouldn't some of those energies be directed toward solving that problem? If, let's say, I chose same sex marriage to be my "cause". Rather than participating in rallies and picketing court houses, wouldn't my energies be better spent volunteering to minister to those homosexuals who have been affected by aids and live in hospices? Or wouldn't some Christian's time on a pro-life picket line be better spent volunteering in a pregnancy counseling center? I'm not saying protesting is wrong and doesn't have an impact (sometimes), but it seems like the love for people gets lost a lot during those activities. I'll end my little rant with a quote from the book: "It is easier to condemn the world around us than to try and redeem it."

On a different spiritual note, I had a spiritual experience today of a different kind. Chris and I stopped by a bakery in downtown Redlands, where I purchased a fudge caramel muffin. As I was devouring it, I gave Chris my rating between 1-10. So what was my rating? A BAZILLION!!!!! I simply cannot explain to you the amazing, downright sinfulness of each and every bite. Pure heaven.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

butter and graham crackers?

First off...hooray that my dad is home! He has spent the past three-ish weeks on a missions trip to Ethiopia. I'll write about his trip another time. For now, I'd like to talk about something hilarious regarding my dad. It seems like most people have that one food that they just can't keep around the house, otherwise they'll eat it all. Like some people can't keep chocolate chips or baking chocolate on hand...because they end up as snacks (that was for you, Susan).

Well, my dad has a few foods on this list that are rather odd. Among them are cereal and graham crackers. I know...they seem like harmless foods, right? Not when John gets a hold of them! If cereal is in the house (even healthy kinds), he'll go through 2-3 bowls of it a night until it is gone. Now with the graham crackers, it isn't actually the crackers that are the problem. It is the fact that he smothers them with butter (yes, butter) and eats them one after the other. You see, my dad LOVES butter and refuses to eat anything we cook unless we use real butter (however I have tricked him a time or two with margarine...and I swear he never knew!).

A while back my mom bought some graham crackers to have on hand for when Cameron comes over. As soon as my dad zeroed in on them, they began to disappear. So he asked my mom to hide them from him. My mom hid them in the guest room closet. The next morning, upon walking into the kitchen, she saw this on the counter. Apparently she didn't find a good enough hiding place!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

some bullet points

*Gymboree was fun on Friday. Cam's favorite part are the bubbles.

*We rented Premonition on Friday night. It was so-so. It was a little depressing/dark, but kind of interesting.

*Went to Ontario Mills yesterday to walk around. I didn't get anything, but we had a fun time.

*Last night our friends, Jeremy and Ana came to visit. It was so fun to have them. They are one of those couples where I get along great with Ana and Chris gets along great with Jeremy. Those are hard to come by. Seems like it is usually one spouse that is the glue to a lot of couple friendships...know what I mean?

*Cam didn't do well in the nursery again at church. I know this is a phase...but it gets me down sometimes.

*Tonight we are having Chris's favorite meal that I make: white chicken enchiladas and broccoli salad

*We tivo'd "High School Musical" simply b/c it is SO HUGE right now with all the kids and teens. We were curious what the fuss was about. It was cute...for kids. I honestly was embarrassed to watch it during some parts b/c it was super cheesy. Chris was entertained, but mostly enjoyed making fun of it.

*Right now Chris is out helping our neighbors clean up the yard of a foreclosed house down the street. The yard has gone kapoop and there are weeds everywhere.

*My dad gets back from Ethiopia on Tuesday...YEAH!!!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Home Depot and bikinis

Hmmm...I bet I got your attention with that title, huh? I'll get to it at the end. First off, Tuesday night we had my mom and her best friend (since high school!) out for dinner. My dad is in Ethiopia on a missions trip. They have been having so much fun as this is Susan's first time in CA. They went to Disneyland yesterday and will go to Santa Monica (3rd St.) later this week. Susan wanted to do the Hollywood thing, but the city isn't all that impressive (kind if dirty, I think), so we thought Santa Monica would be more fun and she can see the beach also. We had a great time having them over and hearing stories of when they were teenagers.

Yesterday we went to Gymboree for play time. It wasn't an actual class, just open to come and play with your kids. Chris's parents gave Cam an early birthday present of a 12 week class there! I was so excited! He really loves it so far.

Ok, so onto my title. Chris was in line at Home Depot the other day. In front of him was a guy, then in front of him was a husband/wife. The wife was wearing shorts and a bikini top. Now, I have no problem with bikinis...but in Home Depot??? She was...shall we say... not hard on the eyes. Anyway, the husband turns to the guy behind him and says, "Are you looking at my wife??" The guy says he is not (which I'm sure wasn't true, but what man isn't going to look at a woman in a bikini???). The husband (clearly just looking to be a punk) continues on with the guy, getting in his face and using very colorful language. In steps Chris. He kind of wedges himself in between the two men and asks the husband to calm down. Well, the husband's colorful expletives are then turned on Chris.

Finally Chris says (very calmly...he wasn't looking to escalate things), "Sir, if you don't want men to look at your wife, then she shouldn't dress like that." Wow!! Very "Dr. Laura-ish", if you ask me (meaning saying something blunt and what everyone else was thinking). He did say he was a little surprised that he actually said it. But honestly, it needed to be said. I think far too often women walk around dressed totally immodestly, then get upset when they get looks from men. Anyway, the man used some more of his lovely language, put his things down, and stormed out. In case you are wondering, the wife just stood there the entire time and said nothing.

I was quite proud of Chris.