Oh hiiiiiii

I think I've reached the "I feel huge and would prefer to never go out in public" stage of pregnancy... annnd I'm only 33 weeks. Here we go.

So Craigslist. I keep telling myself to stop visiting that site. But I've found so many gems already (e.g. wine button-tufted chairs, a rustic West Elm console table, vintage metal lockers, a mid-century dresser) that it's hard to just say no. I told myself I was done when I'd finished furnishing the family room, kitchen, and master. But the office/guest room started calling to me, and the nursery needs to be addressed at some point. So I'm back at it, and there is no stopping me. (Furnish is a key word here. Furnished, yes. Decorated, no. There are still no holes in any of our walls. Not a one.)

Speaking of the house, we've been in it for a month and a half and Jason and I still turn to each other and say, "This house is awesome."

Grizz is the worst. And I love him. But for about 10 minutes every day, I dislike him greatly. And for the other 1,430 minutes... he is asleep.

And now for the captioned life:
1. The Colorado sky was showing off.
2. This is the extent of our Christmas decorations this year. I feel like a failure. Sorry Christmas, you deserve better.
3. A little family picture from Thanksgiving.


That's what you get wise guy

I'm happy to report that this year at Wellington Lake, we did not have any bear sightings. The only bear in sight was sick little Grizzly. He climbed into one of the kids camping chairs and was so dang cute, we didn't kick him out of it.
In another area of the campsite, there was equal cuteness going on from this little baby girl that I love so much.
More babies, and older babies, and oldest babies.
This girl took glamping to a whole new level. Leopard print, bedazzled pink hats. She's got it going on.
Guess who was not glamping.
And because it's not a Hammond get together without a made up game...
The Rules:
On go start running.
Kids throw on 1.
Girls throw on 2.
Boys were assigned different numbers after that.
And don't forget to run fast.
And probably don't stop.


Wrong or Right

I was determined to prove my point. Luckily, this failure of mine works out to benefit us all anyway.

All during American Idol, I kept telling Jason that Phillip Phillips looked just like Matt Saracen aka Seven aka Zach Gilford. (This is now the appropriate time to tell you that if you haven't yet watched Friday Night Lights, you really need to get on that. And for the majority of you that have watched it, Clear eyes, full hearts!) Unfortunately, my "look how right I am collage" quickly turned into, "Okay, I was a little off but let's just finish it because...why the heck not?! collage."

So without further ado:

Twins? Brothers? Cousins? Or do I need glasses?


Little Facts

I have never cheered for a team that had red in its colors. My high schools were green and gold, and then blue and silver. BYU is blue (and our rivals were red). And none of the Colorado sports teams feature red. We've got blue and orange (Broncos), purple and grey (Rockies), and blue and yellow (Nuggets). (Yeah, yeah, we've got hockey and soccer too, but I don't cheer for them.) Which is actually great for me because boy do I look terrible in red.

I can't whistle. Believe me, my brothers tried to teach me. They were much more successful at teaching me to burp. However, I am an excellent snapper. I snap four different fingers extremely loudly, and I am extremely proud of this fact.

My poor puppy is so sick. So basically there is no more happiness in the world. I have to confess that I did not love our family dog nearly as much as I love this little dog of mine. And I never really understood why people would cry when their dog died. But now I get it. He is breaking my heart!


Red Rocks and Nursery Blues

We went up to Red Rocks Amphitheater this weekend. This is were crazy people go to work out. They run, skip, and leap up the benches of this massive venue and then crab crawl down, and stop half way for some push-ups, and it is all very exhausting to watch. There are plenty of sane people that come to walk the stairs, and take in the beauty, and chat with strangers who stop to pet their dog.
Then there are the really cool people who go back at night for a concert. We'd like to join the ranks of those cool people some day.
Sticking with our weekend tradition, we went and visited our house. And brought all those we could drag along with us. It looks like the electrical and plumbing is pretty much done. Let me tell you a little bit more about our house as a lull you to sleep. I kid, I kid. I'll stop. But seriously. I can't wait for that place to be done. I literally can't. Literally. I think I'll just move in tonight with a tent and a sleeping bag. (Can we talk about literally for a second. There are so many people out there that literally do not know how to use that word. It literally makes me sad and embarrassed for our society. And it literally makes me want to jump off a bridge... Gotcha.)
Jason and I are lucky enough to be serving in Nursery at church. This means, for two hours, we watch a bunch of 18-month to 3-year-olds so their parents can enjoy Sunday School. It also means lots of puzzles and books and blocks and snacks and singing songs. It was the first time for one of the little girls and it can be traumatic to have your mom drop you off in a room full of fun kids and fun toys. She decided to cry and cry and did not want to be held or consoled. Finally she got tired of crying and took a little rest next to the door. One of the older boys laid down to comfort her. And another little boy wanted to know what the fuss was about. And then my heart melted into a puddle.



..you should be listening to. ..to which you should be listening.

Down The Road by C2C on Grooveshark
Pompeii by Bastille on Grooveshark
Tiptoe by Imagine Dragons on Grooveshark
Believer by American Authors on Grooveshark

Well, I certainly have a style right now. Where are all my ladies?!

And now for a super blurry picture from the Phillip Phillips concert Jason and I went to last week, compliments of a cute 60 year old lady in the crowd. There were quite a lot of mature attendees at that thing (the American Idol crowd).. and quite a lot of pot smoker attendees (the Colorado crowd). Wonder if they were one and the same. Crazy old people.
Two weeks ago Jason turned to me one night and said he had a new resolution. I'm all about mid-year resolutions because January resolutions are boring. They are all about fixing something that's wrong with yourself. But mid-year resolutions, those are all about having a more fun life. Jason resolved to go to more concerts. And a week later, a Groupon showed up for $16 tickets to a Phillip Phillips concert... Clearly, it was a sign.


My father, the author

When I think about who my father is to me, the first word that comes to mind is "teacher." A good teacher teaches in a variety of ways. He taught me through example, through stories, through direct and sound advice, and my favorite, through wise and well-said words. I love truth that is beautifully spoken. A string of words that is put together thoughtfully, and clearly, and rings true the moment you hear them. My father is an expert at this. Which is why I am able to recall word for word, many things he said to me in my youth.
My father taught me to be kind and loving, he taught me to be open-minded and search for answers, he taught me to love education and knowledge, he taught me to love and trust the Lord, he taught me logic, math, and science, he along with my mother taught me an appreciation of the arts and to find beauty in my surroundings.

I recently finished a book that this great man wrote. The Middle of Infinity chronicles the story of my dad's illness from his unique perspective as a surgeon. He is so open and honest about his journey and shares the incredible miracles we experienced as a family.

It is available on Amazon in print or for your Kindle, and I highly recommend that you check it out.

(Also, can we talk about how cute my mom is?!)



For the last year, Jason and I have had 3 priorities. 3 things that we wanted in our lives. Nothing was as important to us. We'd go on long walks and talk about those things endlessly, constantly cycling through each one over and over again, never ever tiring of talking about the possibilities. And we never ever thought that they would all converge at one point and that we'd be blessed with each one so close to each other. But here we are. 2013 is turning out to be the greatest year of our lives. We better enjoy it because I can't imagine it getting better than this.

So here it is, the 2013 Hammond Trifecta.

The House
- We are at the electrical stage. Which means drywall will happen in a couple of weeks. And from drywall it's about 45 to 60 days until closing.
- It should be ready by end of September/early October.
- I'm positively giddy about being in our house before the holiday season. I'm even excited about Halloween and getting to hand out candy.. on my very own front porch.

The Dog
- Grizz is 11 weeks.
- We joked that if he were any more well behaved, he'd be a fish. And that would be boring.
- He's a whiz at mastering commands. Sit, stay, and come.
- He's not so great at mastering what he's NOT supposed to do. Like licking... with his teeth.
- He's super mellow. And super friendly. So come visit. Grizz would love to play with you.

The Baby
- Clearly I saved the best for last. Also, I apologize for this ultrasound picture. I think they are the most boring thing until they are your own. But seeing as I'm not showing, I have very little photographic evidence.
- I'm 14 weeks.
- The baby is due January 31st.
- This pregnancy has been very easy so far. I've had some of the typical symptoms, but all in all, it's been pretty pleasant.
- Yes, we are going to find out the gender. I've got too much type A in me to not find out.
- And yes, we're ecstatic.



The whole Hammond crew headed out to Arkansas to celebrate the 4th. One of my brothers-in-law moved there this year to work at the Walmart headquarters.. Because why else would anyone move to Bentonville, Arkansas? 24 people in one house sure makes for a rockin party.... And long lines for the bathroom.
Here's how it all went down.

The 4th
The Hammond cousins put on a little program for us on the morning of the 4th. It included a parade, and some flag waving, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and getting all of the adults to stand with them and sing the National Anthem. And if that is not the most patriotic way to start the day, I'm not sure what is.
That morning we hiked to a waterfall where 9 out of 10 of the kids fell or willing lunged into the water.
And then we went to the Walton's Five and Dime. Next door, there was a little museum about the beginnings of Walmart. I'm sure no one out there really truly loves Walmart like one loves Apple, or Target, or Dr Pepper. But it's cheap. And it's pretty cool what Sam Walton created and how humble he stayed.

Then we hit the pool before dinner and that night we went to the Bentonville fireworks, which were awesome. Mostly because they picked the best songs ever.

The 5th
On the 5th we went on a river float. Though the river was sloooooow. So it was more like a river-paddle-with-your-arms-until-they-fall-off. Also, as it turns out, Arkansas is beautiful. Who knew? Can you see that extra pair of sunglasses on my head? Jason decided to go sans tube or raft and spent most of the day swimming down the river. And rolling over the rocks in the shallow parts because he refused to stand up and walk. 
The Hammond girls needed a picture. And of course the ideal time to take one was on a smoke-filled street at night after shooting off fireworks. I know it's hard for you to see so I'll just tell you. We looked good. 
We were also the cheapos who loaded up on fireworks on the 5th when they were all 75% off. Always keeping it classy.

The Hammond men hate games unless they are ones they invented themselves, like "Who can stand on top of the inner-tube the longest," or "Who can kick this ball the farthest distance." They scoff when the girls suggest playing a game and yet some how... they always end up getting into it.

The 6th
That morning was my nephew's baptism. He was adorable. I always get so weepy at those things. I can only imagine what I'll be like with my own children.
That afternoon, I finally got a chance to really put my new clubs to use and I wasn't terrible. So now I'm already itching to go back. Expensive habit, here I come!

The 7th
In an incredibly convenient turn of events, the bullmastiff breeder we had decided upon ended up being 30 minutes south of where we were staying. And the litter we wanted happened to be ready to be picked up that week. So on the 7th, before we drove home to CO, we swung down to the breeder to pick up the little guy. And that is how this quickly became the best 4th ever!


Grizzy Bear

Jason and I always knew we wanted dogs. He had boxers growing up. I had a lab. So it had to be a large dog. Well over two years ago we found ourselves in a bookstore thumbing through a gargantuan dog breed book. Then we both added the Perfect Breed app to our phones. The hunt was on, and we finally decided on a bullmastiff. A very, very large dog. And not long after, we decided on his name. And after two years of talking about how much we missed a dog we didn't even have, and while on walks would say "I wish he was here with us, he would love this," the day finally came when we got to pick up that big barrel of destruction and fun. Meet Grizz. 8 weeks old and cute as a button. And now on our list of things Jason and I really want in our life we can write, "Dog: check."



We didn't have our camera with us every where we went, so sometimes our phones had to do.
Most are mine, but I stole a few from Jason, Caitlin, Ben & Mother Dear

//At the market in Morocco http://distilleryimage10.s3.amazonaws.com/1d608cdacef911e2913e22000ae8004c_7.jpghttp://distilleryimage10.s3.amazonaws.com/cfeeaf98cecd11e2a59b22000a9f3c66_7.jpg
//Baby camel!
//The parade we happened upon in San Pedro http://distilleryimage8.s3.amazonaws.com/7278a748cc8d11e2bc2222000a1f98f9_7.jpghttp://distilleryimage7.s3.amazonaws.com/e89013decc2a11e296ca22000a9f0a36_7.jpg
//From my parents' deckhttp://distilleryimage4.s3.amazonaws.com/73787d1ed1c711e2a64f22000a1f968e_7.jpghttp://distilleryimage3.s3.amazonaws.com/35f2aa0ccc5c11e28a6522000a9f17d4_7.jpg http://distilleryimage5.s3.amazonaws.com/28209a00cc5d11e2bf9022000a1fb723_7.jpghttp://distilleryimage8.s3.amazonaws.com/50dce05ccc7111e2ab5722000a1f9684_7.jpg
//Jason got hot on our drive through the hills near Ronda
//Argentine and Paraguayan dinner

//Thanks for the memories Spain. And the ice cream. And that pool