Category Archives: Dear Camille
Letters to my beautiful daughter
It’s been a very long time since I have written you and before I tell you why this will be a better Thanksgiving, I have to update you on all your milestones. I have been keeping myself busy so that you can have an even better Thanksgiving this year than you did last year. The last time I wrote you was just after your first Christmas and A LOT has changed since then. Sorry it has been so long. You’ve been RUNNING everywhere and have picked up a ton of words such as shoes (“ishes” as you like to call them), Jesus, Momma, Papa, Nana, bar, ball, bottle, cookie, cheese, chicken, brother (“bruba”), no, woof, puppy, and many more. You also know where your hair, eyes, nose, toes, ears, mouth, belly button, and hands are! You are so smart!!!
You’ve been climbing on EVERYTHING and love being around your brother. In fact, you can’t even walk by him without hugging him and kissing him on the head. It’s one of the sweetest things we’ve ever seen. He smiles more for you than he does for anyone and yesterday he just made his first real laugh. He’s super happy in general, but by far the happiest when he’s around you.
So let me tell you why this Thanksgiving will be different. A few years ago, before you were even born, I knew that I wanted to give your mom the opportunity to be home with you all the time. I knew that before I even knew your mom. So I removed all excuses and went to work so that when I met your mom she could have that opportunity. I was able to make that happen in a short amount of time and I thought that if I could accomplish that goal then all would be good; however, after you were born something changed. I still wanted your mom home with you, but that wasn’t going to be good enough for my little girl. You deserved much more than to just have your mom home with you.
Every day as I would leave to go to my job I would kiss you goodbye probably 50 times and you would smile. Then when you could stand up you would stand in the window of the door crying and screaming “Daddy!” every day as I left. It broke my heart to leave you every day. There were many mornings when I had to fight back tears backing out of the driveway and some mornings when I lost that fight. Then throughout the day I would watch you grow up through pictures or videos that your mom would send me while I was at work and it would tear me up even more. I would have the hour after I got home from work to spend with you and the majority of that was feeding you, bathing you, and then putting you to bed. It wasn’t enough for you and it wasn’t enough for me.
Then when your brother was born I took 12 weeks off of work and it hit me. Why not just always be home with your mom and the two of you? After talking it over with your mom we have decided that we would both be home to raise you and your brother and that is why this Thanksgiving will be better than the last. So instead of just enjoying the holiday weekend and then going back to a job on Monday only to see you cry in the doorway, I will wake up Monday to get you out of bed, hug you, kiss you, feed you breakfast, take you to the park or even chase you around the house because I can. I no longer have anyone telling me that I have to come into work from 8:00 to 5:00. I no longer have to ask off for vacation to take you to fun trips around the country. I have fired the boss and given up the 40 hour work week so that now we can always be on vacation my little love! We no longer live life on someone else’s terms. We live life on our own terms. Happy Thanksgiving Sweetheart!
I love you,
Your first Christmas was AWESOME! It was great for many reasons and one is because on Christmas day you turned NINE MONTHS old! We can’t believe how fast you’re growing. It’s so neat to see you learn and watch you think. If there is a way to pause you at this age just a little bit longer I’m going to do it. Everything is going by too fast. So it’s been bittersweet.
We put the Christmas decorations up right after Thanksgiving and because you can crawl now your mom and I thought you’d be pulling all of the low hanging ornaments off of the tree. To our surprise we made it all the way through Christmas without that happening AND THEN you suddenly became very interested in the glass ones. I must say, determination must run in the genes because you sure have it girl. There was nothing mommy could do to keep you from the gold ornaments. Just look at your determination!
You were given a lot of cool gifts including a little nativity scene, which you apparently thought was a nativity snack since all you did was chew all the pieces. Gram and Papa gave you pajamas that you’ve already worn multiple times. Nonnie and Papa got you some books, which you’ve also turned into snacks and plenty of toys (I’m sure to chew on as well). Your mom and I got you the best gift of all though! While Uncle Ryan was FaceTiming Gram and Papa so they could see you open your pajamas, we gave you a pajama shirt that we kept secret from everyone else. It said, “The Best big Sister.” That’s right, your mom and I gave you the gift of a baby brother or sister! 🙂 We are not sure when you are going to find out because your mom and I are in a debate as to whether we should find out early or when your baby sibling is born. I want to wait, but your mom can’t keep secrets from herself. So who knows when we’ll find out. I’ll tell mom that you said you’re on #teamwait with daddy. 🙂
We also went to your great grandmother’s house for Christmas dinner and you got to see the most Christmas bows you may ever see in your life. There had to be several hundred of them! We took a tour of the house and you got to see all of the decorations and pictures of when daddy, Uncle Ryan, Aunt Emily, and Nonnie and Papa were little. We also were reminded of how great of a man your great grandfather was. I wish you had a chance to meet him and I really wish he had a chance to meet you. I took a picture of when President Reagan wrote him a letter for some jeans he sent someone on the President’s behalf. Your dad’s family used to own a clothing company that your great-great-grandfather started all on his own. Did you know that you come from a long line of hard working successful entrepreneurs? Well, you do. Maybe that’s why daddy always knew he’d start his own business. The best part is, mom and I get to build our business together and we do that by helping other people. 🙂 You’ll get to be a part of it soon my love… in 17 years and 2 months. 🙂 Can’t wait for you to read all these letters! We need to teach you how to read soon!!!
It’s been months since I’ve written you to document your milestones. I’d like to blame it on the fact that your mom and I haven’t had a stretch of 3 or more hours of sleep any night the past several months, but honestly it’s because I haven’t focused on it. The good news is that I haven’t focused on it because I truly have just been enjoying watching you grow and learn. One day we are going to look back at all the videos I’ve taken of you and you’ll see how smart and funny you really are. Speaking of funny, you laugh ALL THE TIME! The video below is a perfect example:
See? I told ya. I bet you laughed again watching this. I’ve probably watched this one a hundred times!
Maybe while you’re cracking your mom up all day you can convince her to take a month milestone pick of you since we didn’t for the past few months. Although she’ll probably be too busy making sure you don’t almost climb out of your crib again or get into EVERYTHING that you’re not supposed to and nothing that you’re supposed to. We didn’t even know you could pull yourself up in your crib. That was a surprise. We also didn’t know that you liked to eat the wooden railing of your crib. Maybe we’ll check and see if they have wood flavored baby food next time we go to the store. You’ve got to like it better than the peas and prunes baby food. Remember how you threw them up all over me? I smelled fantastic after that.
One thing that has remained the same since you were a tiny little bitty baby is that you still wake up with the biggest smile and are ridiculously happy in the morning! I think I know why you’re so happy and it has a lot to do with your mom. Did you know that she’s the most positive, encouraging, and faithful person that we know!? We know lots of people, but she takes the cake. Being around her as much as you are you can’t help but to let her positivity rub off on you.
You don’t know this yet, but you are a very blessed girl that your mom chose to be a full-time stay-at-home and work-from-home mom. Not many moms have the opportunity to be home with their Camille’s but yours does. She could go get a job if she wanted, but she decided instead to take the hardest job ever… taking care of and raising children full-time. Make sure you thank her for that every day.
Soon I will write you more letters with pictures of you growing up. You look JUST LIKE YOUR MOM! That means you’re beautiful and you even have way less teeth than her. 🙂 I’ll see you soon and when I do I’ll toss you in the air like you like me to do and carry you around the house on my shoulders. I know that’s your favorite.
You and mom made this Father’s Day so special! I’ll never forget it. It was very relaxing… just as I wanted it. Thank you for the most incredible breakfast I’ve ever had! I could eat those Paleo bacon and blueberry pancakes EVERY DAY! If you didn’t know by now, your mom’s cooking is DA BOMB! She said she’s going to teach you everything about cooking because she wants to see you on Master Chef, Jr. at the age of 8 (that’s the truth, #forreal). So when we start homeschooling I’m sure she’s going to make the culinary arts a mandatory course. 😉
I loved how you already have me figured me out too and there was no clearer way to show it than the way you did on Father’s Day. Your mom and I decided to record it the third time you pulled your little stunt. You know, the one where I’m holding you and you’re fine and the second I put you in your seat you throw a tantrum and then immediately stop crying right as I’m going to pick you up again. I’m sure you conveniently don’t remember that, so watch this:
As awesome as the breakfast and the entire rest of the day was, it couldn’t even come close to comparing how amazing it is to be your father. These last 3 months of being your dad have been the best 3 months of my life. You and your mom are always making me smile and laugh and are a constant reminder of how blessed I am to have you both in my life. You and I REALLY have to do it up right for Mother’s Day now because you and your mom really made me have such an incredible Father’s Day, especially with the gift from your Father’s Day photo shoot at Aunt Sarah’s.
I love you little bean!
You had your first beach trip! It was the AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Trip and it was a blast! I’m sorry that you didn’t get to actually go ON the beach because of how hot it was outside, but at least you got to hangout in the cabana at the pool. The ceiling fan in the cabana was a nice touch. We were so blessed to spend time with 249 other families that we love and the best part about it was that we didn’t have to spend anything! That’s right, it was FREE! We’ll have to pay for Disney World though when we go, but that trip will mostly be for your mom. She’s a Disney fanatic. I’m sure you know that though since she plays Disney tunes for you every day. I’m sorry about that.
It was a 5 hour trip total, but we broke it up into two 2 1/2 hour trips since we got to stop at Nonnie and Papa’s for a weekend. You slept the entire trip there and then to Destin only waking up once to go potty. I still can’t believe it. You are an awesome traveler!
Out of the 250 families on the trip, there were over 300 kids and out of the 300+ kids on the trip, you had to be the most famous. Everyone loves you little angel. Not that you needed any help looking cute, but your bathing suit only added to your cuteness factor. Oh, and that flower hat… adorable! Here’s a pic of you climbing all over mom under the cabana and another when you were pretending to be shy:
You even made room for a snow cone… well, it was snow cone unflavored ice. You appeared to like it though.
While on the trip we had a chance to hangout with some pretty famous people. We got to see Trevor Bayne who drives the AdvoCare #6 car. I hope to God that you are never in a car that is even possible to go as fast as he drives. 🙂 He ate lunch with everyone and then played beach volleyball with us.
We also spent a good bit of time with one of our dear friends, Ron Reynolds. One day I’ll be able to explain to you how much this man has changed our lives and your future. He is the reason your mom and I have eliminated over $141,000 of debt in under 2 1/2 years. Here’s a picture of you with Ron. You blinked when I took the picture. 😉
One of our favorite parts of the trip was the pajama party movie night where we watched “Despicable Me.” Although that movie is pretty good, I think the best part was hanging out with you and mom in our pajamas.
Don’t worry that you slept through most of this trip because there will be many more trips like this my little one. You are a blessing to us and to everyone that knows you. Your smiles are contagious and your laughs are even more so. We love you so much and cannot wait until our next trip with you. Until then, there will be many days of lounging around the house in your little lounger with your mom playing Disney music and me reading you books.
Love you sweet angel,
P.S. Thank you for not pooping in the car when we changed you. I REALLY appreciate that.
This past Sunday was your first Easter! It was such a great day. Your mom and I took turns watching you so that we could both go to celebrate Easter mass. The Saturday night vigil was very special because a bunch of people were baptized, confirmed, and had their first communion and on Sunday morning YOU had your first Easter basket!
With it being our first Easter together I wanted it to be special. So I went to a local store and had baskets embroidered with all of our names on them and then made the poor decision to fill them with candy. The Crispy M&M’s have made their comeback and they became irresistible to mom and me so we both had a gigantic bag of them among other things. I knew it was a one time thing so I made a bigger mistake by trying to finish the entire family sized bag in one day so that I didn’t food cheat a second day. I don’t recommend doing that.
Normally the poor health choices for most people occur during the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas with all of the work, friend, and family get-togethers, work dinners, and cocktail parties. That’s not how it was for us. This Easter was a doozy. I did; however, keep one family tradition alive. I put toothbrushes in your mom’s and my basket. Your grandma used to do that for me. I think the dental hygienist in her couldn’t stand watching us eat all that sugar without giving us a chance to clean our teeth with a new brush. The only problem… that toothbrush isn’t going to fix the filth on the inside. It’s about time for another 24-Day Challenge.
By the way, you LOVED your basket so much that you made us take pictures of you modeling in front of it while wearing your sleep sack (see your silly self above). You also made us take pics of you smiling next to it. Just look at your smile!
After we saw what the Easter bunny brought us and you gave us a break during your modeling photo shoot, we showered and dressed you in your Easter gear. You looked so cute. We put that pink flowery headband on your head and then you just sat and stared at your basket.
We knew you loved your modeling session so much that we hired a professional photographer with Big Leaps Photography to take pics of you the next day. Those pics will be much better than me and my phone. We can’t wait to get those pictures back!!! You looked adorable.
Have a good day love! I hope your tummy starts to feel better.
P.S. Please stop hoping in my bed and pretending you’re asleep. I know you’re faking it.
Dear Camille… YOU’RE HERE!
Finally my little angel! Your mom and I have long awaited the moment we would hold you in our arms and kiss your little face (we waited 288 days to be exact) and now you’re here and more beautiful than we could ever imagine! I have already filled up my phone memory THREE times in 11 days with pictures and videos of you! Your little sneezes, hiccups, yawns, and sighs are HILARIOUS and cute as can be.
There was quite a long journey for you to get here, but when you arrived it was quite the entrance. I have to tell you all about the day you got here! The doctor originally said that he thought you’d be here on the same exact due date my doctors expected me, March 17th, but you and God had something else in store. When you didn’t get here on the 17th, the doctor told your mom he was going to give you a little push about a week later to try and get you to come early and you certainly had a surprise for us. We were scheduled to go to the delivery room at 8:00 p.m. the night the doctor was going to help and instead at 2:00 a.m. you decided to break your bag of waters, which led to your mom changing undies a billion times and your mom sitting on a plastic garbage bag on the way to the hospital. 😉
Your mom and I arrived at the hospital a little after 3:00 a.m. and the doctor showed up about a couple hours later. You weren’t giving your mom big enough contractions at that point so the doctor gave your mom a new deadline of 2:00 p.m. before he administered any drugs. So we prayed and prayed and prayed that you would cause your mom to have contractions before then and lo and behold at 1:30 p.m. you did, but they weren’t strong enough for the doctor’s liking so he set another deadline for 4:00 p.m. and at 3:30 you got fo’ real, but your mom is tough (I had no idea how tough until the day you came).
I wish you could’ve seen your mom bringing you into this world. She was incredible! On an empty stomach and on two hours of sleep, she turned down pain relievers and prayed through every contraction. The nurses couldn’t believe that she brought you here naturally and even told her that most women would be screaming and breaking things and your mom just sat there with her eyes closed, breathing steadily, and continued to pray. I’ve never been more proud of her. Here’s a picture of her hours before you were born:
Within twenty minutes of your mom actively pushing, I was able to assist you out of your mom and into my hands… yes, I delivered you. I looked down at your beautiful face and told you, “We love you Camille.” Then I handed you over to your mom and cut your umbilical cord once it stopped pulsating. You’ve been gorgeous since the day you were born. By the way, you’re ridiculously strong! When we placed you on your mom’s tummy we were all shocked that you leapfrogged up to her neck. I mean…. you got some air girl! Your mom says you’re a Catalyst baby. Then within the first fifteen minutes you lifted your head up and looked around the room! I know you don’t realize how incredible that is right now, but you will one day. Most babies can’t do that for a while!
I took a video of you right when we brought you to the nursery for your bath. Here it is!
I have to tell you some other funny things. I told your mom that I wouldn’t be changing any diapers, but she didn’t know I was joking. I’ve changed almost all of them with your mom and I’ve been smart about it. You may have noticed that I stand on the north end of your rear end. 🙂 It prevents me from close encounters with any of your surprises. Your mom, on the other hand, stands to the south and you’ve already sprayed her twice with your poop. Hahaha! We’ve had a good laugh over that. I was pretty impressed with the first one and I’m pretty sure your mom was too. It was like a 3-foot horizontal poop fountain! Gross… but HILARIOUS!
The great news for your mom is that she gets to change more diapers than me right now because she is now a full-time stay-at-home mommy thanks to AdvoCare! Now she gets to be with you every day and raise you instead of paying someone else to teach you good morals and your ABC’s. 😉 It’s what your mom has always wanted and now it’s come to fruition! One day you’ll realize how much of a blessing that is.
By the way, you eat A LOT! One time you ate and then decided to pin your mom down and hold her hostage so she couldn’t get up from the bed. I took a video of that too:
Your journey has just begun and there’s much more to see and learn in this world. I’ll write you some more soon my love.
P.S. We had a professional photographer take photos of you being born and you’ll get to see them SOON!!! I also posted more pictures of you below.
Here is one when I told you how you got here the first time. In this picture you can see me telling you how the stork dropped you and mom and I caught you. 😉
Then here is us hanging out in the bed taking a selfie, which you thought was pretty funny:
Here’s you passed out on my chest… you do this A LOT by the way:
And here’s me holding you at your first doctor’s visit… passed out on my chest AGAIN (not complaining) 😉
You’re almost here! We cannot wait to hold you in our arms and kiss your little face. WE ARE READY! The doctor says you look great and you look very healthy (must be the products your mama is taking). We know how much you love Spark and Rehydrate because you move around EVERY TIME she drinks them.
I have great news for you… as long as everything goes well during labor, the doctor is letting me deliver you! So since my hands will be preoccupied, our friend at Big Leaps Photography will be taking pictures of your entrance into the world. Just so you know, we are going to be taking A TON of pictures of you. I bought a tripod with a bluetooth remote control so we can take pictures together! Your mom says I’m going to be the “Papa”razzi and she’s going to be the “Mama”razzi. There’s no denying it… I’m going to have to clear my phone photos to free up space on a daily basis.
Your mom was telling me that the church bulletin is promoting a father-daughter event coming up in the next couple weeks at church, but you’re probably going to be too little to go. I haven’t looked at it myself, but before we go to any other church events I will have to do my due diligence on exactly what we are attending.
Let me tell you what happened with the last two times we attended a church social event: The first event your mom had us attend at church was a “spaghetti dinner.” When we walked into the room we noticed that we were the only ones there that didn’t have gray hair. Then I looked at the bulletin laying on the table as we entered and noticed it read “Senior Spirits Spaghetti Dinner.” We stayed anyway because your mom loves spaghetti. The second time your mom had us attend an event it was a crawfish boil that read “BBQ Tailgate Party.” Somehow in your mom’s mind that transferred to “Football Jersey Party.” Needless to say, we showed up wearing our New Orleans Saints jerseys while everyone else was in regular clothes. So now your daddy is an independent review panel for all church social events we plan on attending. 😉 Your first church social event will be your baptism! That’s a very special event and we can’t wait to teach you all about it!
Just so you know, we have ended “Preparation Mode” and have gone into “Wait Mode.” We have setup all of your belongings including your bed, your car seat, and your stroller…. that stroller is amazing and I’ve already taken it for a few spins around the house. Your mom has too, but ran into the wall 5 feet after she started pushing it. So now she’s going through stroller driving classes before you ride in it and I’m installing rubber bumpers on all sides.
Oh, and we have more BIG NEWS! Thanks to Water Cooler Catechism and Archangel Radio, your mom and I were blessed to share half of our story on how we came back to the Church this week! The second half will be aired next week! I’m going to write to you more about that very soon!
Well, I’m going to help your mom bounce up and down on the yoga ball tonight so that we can hopefully see you sooner than later. We’ll see if it works! Love you my sweet little girl!
P.S. Hurry up and get here. 🙂
My Dearest Sweet Camille,
As I write you this letter, you are being snuggled inside your mommy’s tummy. We know you must love it in there because you’re apparently having a solo dance party 24/7, but soon it’ll be time to meet us face-to-face. That’s when the real fun starts and you’ll get to meet all the people that love you so much. Oh, and by the way, if you think the climate and temperature changes in there are crazy just wait ’til you get out here. And yes, I’m very aware that your mommy’s body heat turns up to a degree only a kiln can reach when she sleeps.
You’re growing like crazy right now and a few months ago you grew ears so you could hear us say how much “we love you.” That’s why we read you books every day. Your favorite one that we read to you, the one you always move around during, is called The Bible. That’s a special book and you’ll learn why soon.
A couple weeks ago we got to see your eyes and your beautiful eyelashes. I still can’t believe how long they are already! We can’t wait to see your eyes starring back at us and watching them squint as you smile and laugh (we’ll be doing that a lot because your mommy is HILARIOUS)! Once you’re able to open them up out here you’ll get to SEE how much we love you too.
You’re also going to get to see these bazillion outfits you have that are taking up all the room in our closet. Your mom also bought you some pretty funny cloth diapers. Just wait until you see them. I’m telling ya, your mommy has an awesome sense of humor and I can only hope that you take after her. I put together your stroller that you get to ride in when we go for jogs and walks around the park where you’ll get to see other children too.
There are a lot of other children in this world, but you’re going to live a life that most children only dream of having all because your mommy and I made a choice not to settle for “normal.” We’re very fortunate to have friends that opened our eyes to something better than going to work every day after dropping you off at a daycare. You’ll never know that life my sweet little girl and you’ll never know the inside of a daycare. Instead of paying someone else to raise you, we will be the primary influence in your life because we will be full-time parents. How cool is that!? That means we’ll have even more fun time together!
I know we are going to have a lot of those fun times, but I’ve got to tell you that your daddy was scared when we found out that God gave us you. Your mommy and I prayed and promised God that when He was ready to give you to us that we would be ready too. My fear was not that we weren’t ready to take care of you. My fear was that I did not know how to do the best job of raising you to find the man that will take the best care of you one day. You see, the day will likely come when I hand you over to someone else, but don’t worry… I will always be your daddy. By the way, while we are on this subject, if you want to join a convent then you will make things a lot easier on me. Devoting your life to God by becoming a nun is a very noble vocation. 😉
Although I was scarred, I want you to know though that in the past few weeks I realized that I am not scared anymore. I know exactly what I have to do. If I want you to marry a man that’s going to treat you the way you deserve then you need to see me treat your mommy that way. I have to be the man I want you to marry. I have to go to mass with you every week and make sure we read God’s word together. I’m going to have to take you on dates so you have an example of how that should go (I’m very excited about our first one!). I have to live my life out as an example of the Godly man that will take care of you one day. Believe me when I say, your daddy is going to set the bar high my sweet pea.
We love you so much and we cannot wait to hold you and we get to do that in only 7 more weeks!!! BUT please don’t get too excited as well and come out to hug us early. Seven weeks isn’t that long Camille. You can hang in there. We’ll see you soon my love, but now it’s time to read you your favorite book again.
P.S. If you want to sleep through the night so that mommy gets a good night’s rest I promise she won’t be upset by that. 🙂