My First Piano Recital as a Teacher

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tonight I hosted my very first piano studio's recital. I am one proud teacher. I got a taste of how it feels to be on the other side of the recital -- sitting there as a nervous wreck listening to all the hard work you and the students put into these little pieces unfold. This has been a whirlwind year of getting in my "teaching groove." To be honest, I kind of started this whole teaching thing not-on-purpose. In January a family at church asked if I could fill in for a while since their current teacher was leaving, and wouldn't you know it... word got out that I was teaching and by the summer had 10 students. I love my little students and they truly bring me so much joy. Not every day as a teacher is easy, but on nights like tonight it all becomes so very worth it.

So proud of my girls! Everyone did so great and worked so hard. Aren't they so cute?

A Baby Shower!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A few nights ago I threw a baby shower for my dear friend who lives just two houses away. She has the cutest little son, so when she found out she was having a girl, I knew I wanted to help her celebrate with some of her close friends in the neighborhood. I kept the evening pretty simple, but had some fun making the invitations and a few decorations (of course, right?)

The invitations were created in Adobe Illustrator. I kept it simple on some nice white cardstock and embellished the invitations with pink flower cut-outs. I loved the result -- perfectly girly and whimsical. 

Even though this was a baby girl's baby shower, I threw in some turquoise as this is one of Brianne's favorite colors. I made a tassel garland inspired by this post. I love it! I can't wait to use it for future parties and get-togethers.

And yes! Our lovely, cheerful Christmas tree was at our party. 'Tis the season for baby showers and Christmas trees!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Knock knock? Is anyone still there? 

It has been over a month since my last post. Awesome. I feel like I say this a lot, but life has been absolutely insane lately. I mean really this time. Some of the responsibilities that have been consuming my life include, but are not limited to, my day job (!), my piano studio, planning a piano recital, visiting the doctor multiple times a week for IVF appointments, fighting with insurance and specialty pharmacies on a daily basis for said IVF, going by the doctor's daily to pick up the drugs that I need for IVF that the pharmacy has been resisting sending to me, planning baby showers, getting called as Young Womens' 1st counselor (to be a leader/mentor for some youth in my church), having family in town (which I LOVE, but also takes up time), holidays (which are AWESOME, but as all know can be busy), and the list could go on. But I will stop because who wants to read about someone complain?

I'm not complaining as just expressing exhaustion. On top of the "things" I had to do, I also consciously have taken a step back from blogging and "social media." I'm needing to stay positive and as stress-free as possible (ha!), and sometimes consuming your life with the seemingly "perfect" lives of those blogs you read does not help. Hence, the absence from the interweb.

But I am back to reflect a bit on these last few weeks. I know Thanksgiving came and went. There is a lot of hard things that happen in life, and I am so grateful that we are all encouraged to reflect on everything we have been given around this time of year. I was able to see both sides of my family last week as one set of Grandparents stayed at my house for a few lovely evenings and we then drove down to Richfield, UT to see my other set of Grandparents for the "big Turkey day." I spent time with my cousins from Oregon who are all so inspiring as they stand by their father, my Uncle John, who is battling his second round of brain cancer. Below is the youngest of this family, Ashley. Her smile is contagious, and you can't help but feel happy around her. I am so grateful for family members like Ashley.

My Grandma that I spent Thanksgiving with is finally doing better. She has survived breast cancer and a stroke (and 15 years of chronic pain), and was life-flighted to the ICU this summer. However, even after all of that, she was smiling and talking more than we've heard her speak for years over Thanksgiving dinner. It had been a while since we saw her smile. For that moment, I am grateful.

While in Richfield we had a friendly little Turkey Bowl. Football is not my thing, but I have to throw in that I actually caught a touchdown. I am also grateful that I surprised everyone on the field with my awesome skills. :)

I also can't stop thinking about my good friend from college who experienced a family tragedy last week. Rachelle's younger brother and sister (and her brother's fiance) were in a car crash, where her younger sister was killed instantly. Luckily her brother and his fiance are doing fine, but he will be in the hospital for a while as he recovers from a broken neck, torn lungs, and much, much more. My heart is literally aching. This beautiful little sister of Rachelle's was a freshman in college. We don't know why this had to happen to this amazing family, but I am so grateful for the plan of salvation. And for prayer. Go here for the story and here if you'd like to help the family.

As most around me know, I am a bit obsessed with my nephew. He brings all of our family so much joy. But most of all, he brings Russ and I hope. My sister experienced the pain and frustration of infertility, and witnessing the miracle of Grayson is so encouraging. There is joy to be had! I will kiss those cheeks of his any chance I get. I'd also like to think he and I have a special bond. It's been said I have a special talent for making him giggle. (score!)

(Please ignore the fact that I look like an exhausted crazy person, and focus on his unbelievably cute face. I swear that child is going to be a music prodigy.)

I still don't know how I ended up with such a patient, caring, and loving spouse. He is the most perfect husband for me, especially as we trudge through some of the not-so-fun parts of life. He makes me laugh, he is always kind, and he makes me feel loved. I am truly very, very grateful for Russ (aka Wolverine).

And finally, I am so very grateful for those special people in my life who get me through each day. I recently caught up with a long-time childhood friend (I think since 4th grade, right Rach?) and it felt so, so good. Those kind of friendships are priceless. And to the others who have been so thoughtful with their texts, calls, treats, and emails, I am grateful to you. 

Amidst all the "stuff" that happens in life, we all have so very much to be thankful for. 

And for that I am grateful.

The Bench

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The front room is where I teach piano lessons and has continually evolved over the last year. It started out with just a piano and a little chair for me. I quickly realized I needed some other things in that room to keep it functional, most importantly seating for students who come early or are waiting for their ride. We found the perfectly sized white sofa (because that room really is quite small!) and a $35 bench on the online classifieds.

It was actually an old church pew. But I loved the shape and the size. I was unsure if I was going to keep it natural or paint it, but after living with it a few months I finally decided to paint since it was pretty beaten up in some places. I also felt like the black piano, white sofa and brown bench just were not meshing. 

I have plenty of neutrals and blues in the house, so I wanted to be brave. Sometimes I'm bad at being brave. I turned to my entry-way rug for inspiration. I went for a medley of the orange and red, and I'm quite pleased with how it came out!

My amazing seamstress of a mother whipped up the cushion for me. I bought some foam at Jo-Ann's and wanted a neutral cushion to even out the in-your-face coral bench. :) The Ikat pillow is from this etsy seller.

My friend Laura was moving across the country so I bought that fun chevron-cushioned chair from her as my official "teacher's chair." I love it. The lamp, vase, and picture frame were from the new Threshold line at Target (is anyone else obsessed with that line?). 

This fun mirror was on clearance at Home Goods. Everyone needs a mirror right by the front door!

My mom also helped me make a pillow cover out of some leftover fabric from my roman shade in the kitchen.

I feel like the bench still needs a little something above it. Coat rack? Shelf? Frames? Not quite sure yet.

Even though the front room is not quite "done," it's come a long way. I think it's quite a cheery and welcoming entrance when you open the front door! Welcome all!

Falling Leaves

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Let me first just say thank you for all the kind and supportive words on my last post. Like I mentioned, it's the love and support from people like you that Russ and I have found such comfort and strength from. 

And now for a completely random topic. I hate politics. There, I just said it. Don't get me wrong, I love this country and I love how we as citizens get to vote for our leaders. But I hate what politics does to people. This election in particular seems to have brought out the seriously nasty sides of people. I see things said on Facebook, blogs, and news articles that are quite appalling. All because of politics. Ok, before I rant much longer, the whole point of this post goes back to the debate last Thursday night between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. I was so frustrated watching this debate I couldn't stand to sit in front of the TV and watch Joe Biden's creepy laugh one more time. 

So I made falling leaves out of a book.

A while ago I bought a book from the thrift store for $1 with the intention of using it for crafts. Who knew it would result in a political-debate-craft-making session. If you are needing a little more fall decor in your house and hate actually spending a lot of money on it (cause let's be honest, holiday decorations are expensive), bust these out. 

Here are my super complicated steps:
1) Trace 4-5 different leaves on a page from a book you don't care about. Your tracing doesn't need to be perfect. (I used this website to trace my leaves).
2) Cut -- again, doesn't have to be accurate. You can cut a bunch of leaves out at a time. None of this one-at-a-time business.
3) Sew the leaves together (I sewed about 10-12 leaves per strand, just to add variety in lengths).

4) Hang from the location you desire! Voila! Falling leaves. 

PS. If these look familiar to you, that's probably because they are. I made a very similar project a few Valentine's ago. Hey, why re-invent the wheel? :)

Everything Is OK

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This is a phrase I've been reciting to myself for a few days now. It works, I promise. Sometimes in life I think we let a single isolated incident get the best of us. It bogs us down. We have blinders on and think the world is going to end if this incident is not solved to how we want it, and fast. 99% of the time life goes on, the problem will work itself out, you are not alone on an island, and really, everything is OK. 

This was a big week for Russ and I. As a lot of you out there know (assuming you are still out there, sometimes I doubt), we have been struggling with starting our family for almost 2 years now. I've mentioned this struggle only a few times on the blog. Sometimes I want to share more, but a lot of experiences and feelings are so personal and emotional I don't even know how to put it in words. But back to this week. We received the results from our third IUI (Intrauterine Insemination... aka Artificial Insemination) on Tuesday, and as you have probably assumed thus far, it was another disappointment. I cried. Hard. It was our last chance to get pregnant before moving on to the big, scary, intense IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) process. Luckily, the next morning we had a consultation with our doctor, who to my great relief, addressed every. single. one. of our questions and concerns. We left feeling at peace with progressing with IVF. Perhaps it's the idea of not sitting still and actually doing something that brings me comfort. Or perhaps it's just that this really is what we are supposed to be doing. But either way, I know somehow that everything will be OK.

And with that, I just want to thank all those who have been a support and will continue to support us through this process. Infertility is a tough trial, but we couldn't get through it without you.
image via

Foggy River

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Things that make me happy lately:

- Our river. Ok, it's not our river, but the view from our backyard this morning was breathtaking. I literally ran downstairs and grabbed my camera to capture that foggy river from our back patio. Fall mornings are the best, aren't they? The crisp, cool air is a welcome change from the hot summer we all experienced. It felt so good to just stop and take in a beautiful sight before the crazy hustle and bustle of a workday morning. 

- New music. Mumford & Sons, Babel, and Dave Matthews Band, Away From The World, are two newly released albums that have made me very, very happy. If you are wanting some new tunes, I highly recommend checking both of these out.

- Funny dreams. While I'm on the topic of the Dave Matthews Band, if any of you have known me for a while, you will know I'm a super-obsessed DMB fan. I'm talking SERIOUS fan-dom here. My mom has always said when you have Camille as a fan, she'll be your fan for life. Case in point, during the height of my DMB obsession, I used to have really random and funny dreams where Dave and I were best friends. He would invite me over to his house to hang out with his wife and kids, and I even babysat for him. Lucky me! I would always wake up feeling kind of like a crazy person. Well, I had another creepy fan dream last night. It must be the new album I've been listening to on repeat, but I was one of the 5 lucky fans who were selected to hang out with Dave at his house (which was also a Fieldstone Home, I must add... which is the same builder of our home, fyi). His wife, who worked at Costco, even had me take some grilled pineapple to Dave and the other fans because apparently "it's his favorite." Anyway, you can say it. I'm crazy.

- Our new maple trees. I'm loving the hint of fall colors we have in our yard.

- Lots and lots of family time. Family really is what it's all about, isn't it?

What's making you happy these days?

Insta Update

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm home sick from work for the second day in a row. As much as I love being lazy and laying around all day, part of me has a hard time doing that because I feel like I'm wasting valuable time to be productive! REST AND RELAX CAMILLE. You can do it.

Whew. Ok, anyway. I thought it time I actually did a little bit of an update on life, and since I have no other picture besides instagram photos, you lucky folks get another insta-update!

From top left:

- We went to the Utah State fair with Andrew and Elyse. We rode some silly fair rides and devoured my first funnel cake ever. (can you believe that?? I've finally lived!)
- Rocking out to Fictionist at the Rooftop Concert Series. They did awesome.
- Obsessing over Grayson any chance I get.
- Seeing Head and the Heart for the second time with Russ and Jace. They are absolutely amazing performers!
- Receiving the cutest little note from one of my piano students. Sometimes while teaching piano you feel like you aren't getting anywhere, and then there are those few lessons here and there where "it's all worth it."
- Fall leaves in Utah. I love the changing of the seasons.
- Being at the University of Utah vs. BYU game. What an experience! BYU played horribly, which was sad, but it was also pretty hilarious watching the U fans rush the field at the wrong time -- twice. Oh rivalries. Such a silly thing.
- I took Lucy out on a date (McDonald's -- her choice -- and Trafalga family fun center). She was all smiles all night long.
- Going to the symphony at Abravanel Hall. It was a tribute night to Billy Joel. Quite simply awesome.

Grayson's Blessing

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's been a while since I had a post devoted entirely to Grayson. I'm a little obsessed with his chubby cheeks (and believe me, they are chubby, but really, who would have it any other way?). Anyway, a few weeks ago Grayson was blessed. It was a perfect day, and I couldn't get enough of Grayson in his little suit. Ahhhh... that face kills me!

And that is all for today. But stay tuned, I've been working on a fun little house project that {hopefully} gets wrapped up very, very soon.

Second Annual Trinity Lake Trip

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A few weeks ago we returned home from another amazing week at Trinity Lake, a remote and gorgeous lake in Shasta National Forest in Northern California. Our family is a big boating family, so this is the perfect vacation for us. By staying on a houseboat in the middle of the lake, it ensures that we catch the perfect water early in the morning and before the sun sets at the end of the day. Although catching perfect water on this lake isn't really that hard, considering we saw about 4 other boats the whole week. I'm not even kidding. It was pure heaven. Plus, I love that it's remote - ie: no cell phones, internet, etc. Completely disconnected. So without further adieu, here is a rundown of our week on Trinity Lake:

Grayson, the shark baby

We all had fun practicing our aim off the end of the boat. In case you were wondering, my aim is bad.

My cute mom

We like water sports

Brittney also has mad water-skiing skills, but since she had a baby like 5 weeks earlier, she had to refrain from showing us all up.

Stuart managed to not lose his glasses in the water this year. SUCCESS!

I like this guy.


More wake surfing experiments. It's hard.

My "little" bro.

A new type of water sport Stu invented, called "dragging."

We all had tons of Grayson time. I loved every second.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for planning another amazing family trip! Good memories!

Lost Kid

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My blog is feeling a little neglected. I apologize for a 3 week hiatus. It's been a bit crazy around here. Among all the busy-ness, I also think I was slightly avoiding writing on this here blog. Sometimes I feel like I have so much to say that I don't even know where to start. It gets overwhelming, and I'm not sure how to write all my feelings down. This blog, after all, is intended as a documentation of life -- the good and the bad.  But there are times when documenting is the furthest thing from your mind. And that seems to be me lately.

Before I get too random and theoretical on you, I'm just going to share a song that seems to be my life mantra right now. I seem to express my feelings best through music most of the time, and today is one of those days. (If you have time, you should also listen to other songs by this fun band I found a while back. I sure do like them). 


Again, sorry for the absence. Some real updates should be on their way soon. Hooray!

A Green Table

Sunday, August 12, 2012

As much as I love a good shopping trip as the next girl, I would never consider myself a major shopper. However, a few days ago my sister and I met up a few times and had a good, healthy dose of retail therapy. Ok guys, this works sometimes. I hate to admit it. Sometimes you feel like life just is NOT working out. A lot of things you normally do to make you feel better just aren't cutting it. Enter retail therapy {and queue sigh of relief}. 

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. But really, my sister and I both picked up some fun things on a much-needed-sister-time shopping trip on a particularly crappy day. One of these random things I picked up was a bright green table. Necessity? No. Awesome? Yes.

We were at TJ Maxx and I pointed it out, and then just set it back down saying I didn't really need it or something (which I didn't). And then my sister, being the wise person she is, promptly changed my mind by saying it is only $20 and it is totally awesome. It's the perfect punch of color that my porch needed. I look out my front window and it makes me smile.

And sometimes, especially lately it seems, if a green table will do the job then so be it.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Life has been so eventful lately! I feel like we do nothing but go-go-go every day! Luckily a lot of this is fun and good, so I can't complain. For documentation sake, here is an instagram-update with some of our recent happenings and events:

* Finally celebrating our 3rd anniversary at Communal restaurant -- one of our very favorite places to eat!
* A photo that makes me chuckle every time I see it -- Stu, Russ and Baby G having a "moment" at the Provo Rooftop Concert Series.
* Racking up my brand new road bike! This bike has been a long time coming. Seriously, I've waited years to have my very own bike, and I think she is quite pretty. (her name is Ruby, obvoiusly).
* Ruby's first ride, in none other than Provo Canyon. We had a great time, even despite a large, ignorant man swerving on his bike and thus crashing into me as I was cruising down the canyon. I was a bit sad, as it was literally the first time I was on my bike and the wheel got a little bent (or, as true bikers say, "out of true," which supposedly is a pretty easy fix). Got a nice big bruise on my hip as a souvenir as well. Oh well, life goes on, right?
* Crossfit -- still kicking my butt on a daily basis! I love it, though. It's been therepeutic, to say the least.
* Our first harvest from the garden -- yummy cherry tomatoes! It's so rewarding to see the fruits of your labors! :)

Russ the Spudman

Sunday, July 29, 2012

For the last few months, Russ has been training so hard for the Idaho Spudman triathlon. The Spudman is an olympic length triathlon (1 mile swim, 26 mile bike, 6.2 mile run). Russ definitely doesn't mess around... especially for this being his first triathlon! Usually Russ is the supportive spouse on the sidelines cheering me on during a race, but I had a blast being on the other side. Not only was it nice not feeling completely exhausted and like I kind of want to just lay down on the side of the road :), but I loved seeing Russ achieve something he has worked so hard on. And he did amazing! He is one speedy athlete.

Russ before the race with his awesome orange swim cap.

The Spudman is one of the most organized and well-planned race I have ever seen! And believe me, I've seen some pretty poorly organized events. It's a huge race with around 1,600 people, but everything was totally seamless. And I was so happy that I even got to catch Russ at every transition point. He always flashed his classic Russ-smile. 

We still don't know his official finish time -- the number below is not accurate as he was in the second wave. But either way, he did amazing. I keep asking him if he wants to another one now -- I still haven't gotten a definitive answer. :) 

 ... all I can say is that hopefully he is up for another one, because next time I want to be out there with him! He totally inspired me. I'm so proud of my triathlete!  


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 years ago today I married my best friend, the love of my life, and the best husband I could have ever dreamed of. I'm so incredibly grateful for these last 3 years, and I can't wait for the many years to come! Life sure can be a roller coaster, but luckily I have Russ by my side, and I know with him anything is possible. 

Happy 3 year anniversary, husband! Hurry home!