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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter in Escondido

Zaccai, Hannah, Wesley and Kaeli found nearly all the eggs (and a few showed up the following day...)

The Feast

Storytime! Crystal is the best reader (she does all the voices.)

He's getting handsomer every day.

Playtime in the sunshine


Tea for Two, or three or four -heck, make it Seven!

My sister Crystal can pull almost anything off. No matter how busy the day is there is always time for a party. That's her nature. That's how she rolls. And it's good to have her talents and attitude when you have your 6th child on the way (she makes pregnancy look as easy as vacation.)

Fruit, pastries, delicious cookies and Hawaiian inspired black tea were on the menu.

All in all, there were seven guests (I'm taking the photo and Wilder actually makes eight, but he didn't partake, just sat in his rocking chair beside me on the floor -not pictured.)

A Mama Sandwich. Sadly, we had to take Mom to the airport that afternoon. But at least we got to have tea together and our first picture as mothers since Wilder was born.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Settling Into the Sandbox

An update for wondering minds. Brian arrived safely in Kuwait and has been able to call twice to check in. Not able to give dates and exact places over the phone he said during out last conversation two days ago that next time I hear from him he'll be at his permanent post in Iraq.

A little tip -if you feel like sending a package to a soldier you will get a $2 discount on the new flat rate boxes (12x12x5 1/2.) Pretty neat! Brian has always said he doesn't need anything sent to him (they have stores on post where they can get nearly anything they could possibly want) but it's still fun to send things. I do recommend sending items that you'd be fine having passed along to the next soldier since it's nearly impossible to mail packages home and they have no space to bring things back in the bags they packed.

Also, if you have kids writing letters to soldiers PLEASE proof read them for inappropriate comments and questions. Happy thoughts are best. Things like, "I bet you really miss your family," "Do you get scared when the bad guys try to kill you?," and "Don't you feel sad about all the people that die?" are not quite morale boosting, if you know what I mean. Though pictures kids draw can be quite amusing to the guys, please also use discretion filtering what gets sent their way. Have kids write jokes or draw pictures about where they live and their favorite things or what they want to be when they grow up. Genuine communication and the unassuming hearts of children are always refreshing.

Speaking of children, Wilder and I are visiting my sister and her family in Escondido and our mom is visiting for the Easter week. It is always eventful here with 5 of their children (and the 6th on the way) and filled to overflowing with joy and love. I have never seen such a perfect picture of what family should be. So full of acceptance, happiness, exuberance, tenderness and life. You can see the enjoyment Crystal and George receive from being together as a couple and as a family. They discipline in love, they speak understanding, they meet each child's individual needs, and their love multiplies as their family grows. It is a miracle to behold (even if I do have to retreat to the guest quarters to recharge my battery with quiet time.) I'm so happy we're here and able to share this very special holiday with my mother, my sister and her wonderful family!

More pictures coming soon! -the camera's in the guest room and Wilder's napping; I'd rather not disturb him...

Many blessings to you and your family during this beautiful season of new and abundant life!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Long Goodbye

Tuesday morning started out pretty great on all accounts (except for Brian scheduled to deploy that afternoon.) We cooked a "restaurant" breakfast (as we like to call it) of Texas French Toast, bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs, topped off with champagne and Anderson's coffee and Brian's folks joined us as we gathered to begin Brian's send off. After dining together we all hopped in our car -Wilder with his new best friend, Buddy Rabbit (named by Brian)- and headed for Ft. Hood.
Soldiers sauntered, families gathered, wives and mothers cried (us included,) little kids raced around and at least one threw up as a result. Three hours of waiting for what was supposed to be the painful beginning of a 15 month separation.
Brian has rarely posed so much in his life, but I am very thankful he indulged our shutterfly mania.

On Brian's To Do list the night before I wrote down "Kiss Kelly A Lot." I'm made sure it was sufficiently crossed off.
Sorry, you can't take the little guy with you. I need at least ONE of you here for now, and the other one better come back ASAP...
Brian and the family. This was the first of Brian's 3 deployment-send-offs Betty and Barry were able to be at.
Grabbing more of those kisses while I still can.
Well, we ALL got sent back home because the flight was delayed and were told to come back in the evening (at a set time, of course.) Wilder had a good nap on the way back to Georgetown. We stopped for dinner at Dukes and enjoyed the beautiful day by eating outside. We had a few more hours together, then all piled in the car and headed back to Ft. Hood.

After 20 minutes, we were ALL sent back home again. This time, come back at 1am. Betty and Barry said their goodbyes at our house and went back home. Brian and I had a few more hours to cuddle and played a few rounds of cards (I won, or course. Sorry, Dear -I bet you'll beat me at mid-tour leave!) Near 11pm Brian got a call telling him to come by himself since they were just going to get sent back home and then reassemble at 8am. Just in case, Brian took the car seat out, then drove up alone. Thankfully the intel was right this time and he showed up at the house a few hours later. Ah, one more night together, however short it may be.

We got up early and hit the road -so fast Brian got a warning ticket from a (not too friendly) traffic cop, but we made it back at Ft. Hood by 8am.

They formed, reformed and formed again. This is the second of all the forming.

A few hours later, they are unforming and... you guessed it....

Reforming. They are the most reformed group of men I have ever seen.

This was the third or fourth "last goodbye" we had.

I cry a little each time I see this precious picture. Oh, my two darlings.

Finally it truly was the end, or rather the beginning.

I have full confidence that Brian will come home safe and I will take good care of Wilder and myself while he's gone, so no need to worry. Since Brian left on Wednesday we have been having a long slumber party at his folks' house. After I came home from Ft. Hood and felt the palatable absence I knew I needed to be around loved ones who could help me with Wilder and Savannah when I needed a minute to breath. It has been a tremendous blessing to have them and their endless love for each of us. Brian and I are so very thankful.

Brian called today from Kuwait and he sounds great. It will be a few weeks until they get to Iraq and settled into their base. I will keep you posted on how he's doing and we certainly appreciate your prayers and support!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Family Farewell Brunch

We gathered to celebrate friends and family and send Brian off in style as he deploys in a bit over a week. It was Wilder's first trip to BMaw and BPaw's house and we had a wonderful time, as the pictures will attest to.

Three quarters of the lovely Carrillos.

Uncle Brian tells Wilder scary stories that make him hide under his burp cloth.

Katie and Olivia beam for their close up.

Friends and their families -those boys sure grow up. Wilder looks on at his future bride, Madison :)


Sharing childhood stories between Christine and Brooke.

BMaw and Uncle Bear making Wilder smile.

He's a natural.

A grandson has never been cuddled so much.

BMaw and Wilder soaking up some special time.

"Mom, put me down so I can start pestering the cats!"

The sibs.

The fam.

Can you believe we coordinate and I didn't even plan it? It must be subconscious.

"It's all about me." Wilder, I agree.

Me and my other main man.

I Gottcha, Wiley Scott!

Aunt Brooke and Uncle Bear entertaining Wilder.


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