Monday, December 15, 2008


Cassie's personality is starting to emerge, and I wanted to document what we've noticed and what others have said about her. Some words that describe her:
That's how the pediatrician put it at her 6 month appointment. Cassie grabbed her stethoscope, her hair, the tassle on her get the idea. If something is within her reach, she reaches for it and puts it straight in her mouth. The pediatrician mentioned that Cassie has the strength to sit up, but not the patience. She's constantly moving around. Today I left her on the floor of the apartment happily playing with a toy while Trevor napped and I moved the laundry from the washer to the dryer. When I came back, I couldn't see her anywhere. I panicked for a moment until I heard her cooing...she had rolled across the room and was happily playing under the couch.
Ironically, the pediatrician asked me, "Is she always this mellow?" at her 4 month appointment. Cassie happily and quietly looked around the room and played with a toy, and was very patient as the doctor checked her out. The eye doctor was also impressed at how tolerant she was when he shone a light in her eyes. She stared right back at him when he expected her to squirm away from the light like most kids do. I think "easy going" is a better way to describe her. She isn't easily bothered or scared by loud noises and she loves to be surprised.
Let's just say we don't usually get to stay in our meetings at church. She loves to talk.

When she wants to, Cassie can stay focused on one thing for a long time. This is especially true when she's trying to grab something that's just out of her reach.

We sure love our little Cassie!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tag: Everything Comes in Eights

8 TV Shows I Like to watch:
The Office
American Idol
So You Think You Can Dance
And, since that's all, here are some I liked as a kid:
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and most other Saturday morning cartoons)
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

8 Restaurants I like to eat at:
Macaroni Grill
Olive Garden

8 Things that happened today:
Cassie woke up at her normal time and is on her normal nap schedule. Whew!
I finally got some of the professional pictures of Cassie developed
I bought food for tomorrow's ward party
I made dinner (I love crock pots)
Trev joined Club Tucanos
I practiced some piano music
We opened a package from Trevor's grandma- pajamas for all three of us!
Cassie and I looked around at Gymboree (didn't buy anything)

8 Things I am looking forward to:
Christmas break!
Trevor being a graduate student
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert tonight
Having a real house
Cassie having hair
Surprises on Christmas morning- for everyone :)
Snow that sticks enough to make a snowman
Getting a new calling (I just got released as Primary President, and I'm excited to see what I'll be doing next!)

8 Things on my wish list:
New cell phone
Washer and dryer
A trendy new shirt
A real crib for Cassie (she sleeps in a pack n' play- actually, it's pretty convenient, but she's already getting so big...)
A Christmas tree
Seasons 1-4 of The Office on DVD

8 People to tag:
I hate choosing people to tag. I'm afraid some people don't like being tagged and others sit at the computer waiting to be tagged. If you want to do this tag, go for it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving update

Well, my goal was to post something gratitude-themed every day until Thanksgiving, but obviously that didn't work out. I was too distracted by being around my wonderful family! Here's what I did instead:

Monday, November 24th: Waited anxiously for by brother and his family to come to Provo. They live on the other side of the country, and I hadn't even met my little 14-month-old nephew Andrew until they walked in the door. We took a walk down memory lane to BYU campus. Here's their cute family:

Tuesday, November 25th: Packed up everything but the kitchen sink (it really felt like it) and drove to my parents' house. Trev came later that night with my younger brother. I left my parents' house while Cassie was napping (oh, the perks of having so many people around during the holidays!) to shop for an umbrella stroller, which we used to walk the kids to the park that afternoon. Cassie got excited just seeing all the older children on the playground and was itching to go play. Grandma was happy to have her grandchildren around. She kept saying, "I'm in Grandma heaven!"
Wednesday, November 26th: Hmmm....I can't remember. Maybe this was the day we played some tough games of Mexican Train dominoes and Ticket to Ride. I'm sure there was plenty of lounging around, too.

Thursday, November 27th: Food, glorious food! We ate a lot of it.
And after Thanksgiving:

Friday, November 28th: Woke up at 3:30 am to go shopping, of course! Actually, this was my second year participating in Black Friday, and I really couldn't pass up the amazing deals. I think I'm hooked. It's just so satisfying to look at your receipt and know you paid about a fourth of the normal cost. Some advice for future Black Friday-ers: don't bother going to Walmart. It's absolute madness and the first people to walk in the door buy an armful of whatever is on sale, so you're lucky if you find anything. There were no parking spaces, no shopping carts, and the main aisles in the store were jam-packed. Anyway, after Kohl's and Walmart, I got home before anyone else was awake and went back to sleep. Trevor and I went out shopping again later and bought our Christmas gift: a 32" LCD High Definition TV. Woohoo! Our extended family Thanksgiving party was Friday, too. It was fun to see so many cousins and shower my sister-in-law Sarah with baby gifts for number 3, who's arriving in February.

Saturday, November 29th: Trevor and I attended the temple together for the first time since April. (again, the perks of having babysitters during the holidays) It was so nice to be together and feel so peaceful. We met Trevor's family on Temple Square in Salt Lake that night and looked at the beautiful Christmas lights. My favorite addition this year is a white nativity right in the middle of the reflecting pool by the temple. Beautiful! Here is a picture of the nativity from behind (we were in a hurry and didn't go to the other side of the pool):
Our little family
Sunday, November 30th: Took pictures of the grandkids in their Sunday clothes. How cute!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the week:
Cassie grinning for her Daddy

Lucy making a delicious cannibal soup on the play stove (yes, those are little people in the pot)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanks: day 4

Today I'm grateful for my current calling. I serve as the Primary president in our ward.* Probably the best part of working with children is that I laugh a lot. They do and say the funniest things. For instance, since when is it normal to take your shoes off during a church meeting? But at least one child exposes his stocking feet every week. And I love their automated responses, especially when they have nothing to do with the question: "the Gospel!" "Jesus!" "Saying my prayers!" "Be nice to my sister!" They focus on getting the right answer by trying to guess what the teacher wants to hear instead of thinking about the question. For instance, a few weeks ago I asked if they should be nice to ALL of God's children. They glanced around nervously at each other, then one child blurted, "no!" and several other children followed suit. What cute kids. Sometimes they like to say prayers without help. Here is a typical example:
"Dear Heavenly Father, Thank thee that we could come to church today. Thank thee that we could...come to church today. Please bless that we can have a good day and that we can...have a...nice day..." You get the idea. It's hard not to laugh out loud.
Being Primary president has been a lot of work, but I'm surely going to miss it!

*For more about wards, Primary, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, click here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanks: day 3

I am grateful that life goes on even after BYU loses to Utah. Here's to better times.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanks: day 2

Some of the sweetest thank-yous I've ever received were from middle-school students when I was teaching. Here are some excerpts from their notes:

"Thank you so much for being my choir teacher this year."
"I love singing."
"I really don't like singing that much, but you made class fun."
"You have taught me so much."
"This experience has been so much fun!"
"I love you!"
"I thank you with ALL my heart."
"We pulled it off, and most importantly, we kicked butt!"
"You are my hero."
"You're just about the coolest teacher ever."
"Thanks for being so nice to us."
"You deserve the best."

I know. So sweet. Their notes always gave me more credit than I deserved, but I definitely appreciated them because middle school students aren't always as nice in person. :) I'm going to track down one of my middle school teachers and send them a well-deserved thank you.


In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm setting the timer for five minutes and typing what I'm thankful for. On my mark, get set, go!

Trevor: he makes me laugh, he works so hard and is really smart, he's so patient with me, he thinks I'm funny!
Cassie: Good sleeper! her smiles and giggles (especially the way she smiles at me when she wakes up), she loves solid foods
my parents:
mom- good example, such a good friend now, always held me to high standards growing up, really sensitive and thoughtful, so sweet
dad- calm, sincere, really hard worker, level-headed, I love his laugh
Thanksgiving is coming and I get to see my new nephew! And my entire family will be together!
we have everything we need and so many of the things we want
I get to stay home with Cassie
pianos- I love playing the piano
blogs: I can keep up with family and friends
good friends. I have been incredibly blessed with good friends my whole life
the Gospel, modern day prophets, the scriptures, and the organization of the Church. Relief Society. Primary!
the tree right outside our window- perfect for privacy and it's so beautiful during spring, summer, and fall
good neighbors
immediate family- all active members of the Church
water. I love to drink cold water
Broadway musicals and the piano/song books that they release

Wow. Five minutes sure is a short amount of time. What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tag: 5

Okay, so technically I don't think I got tagged. But Wendy tagged someone named Emily (it may have been me, but I think she knows a few Emily's) and I kind of wanted to do this. I was supposed to find the 6th picture in the 6th folder. Unfortunately, that was a picture of the bathroom in my last apartment. I was trying to sell my contract to someone who was studying abroad and couldn't come see it in person. I figured that picture was much too useless and boring to post. I've seen a few 4th picture 4th folder tags going around, so I decided to try that one instead...and discovered that there are 3 pictures in my 4th folder. So here is the 5th picture in my 5th folder. :)

This is Trevor and me with my parents right after I went to the temple for the first time. Trev's family came to Bountiful for the occasion, so we all went out to eat afterwords. Good memory!

I tag all my cousins and Aunt Lonna. Shelly, you're off the hook since you might be a little busy with the twins.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


For my fellow 2002 Viewmont graduates:
Some of our classmates got smart and created a class blog! Mostly it's a place to leave your blog address and find other people with blogs. Good idea, I thought. I'll see you there!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just in case...

Just in case you haven't seen enough pictures of little Cassie, here are a few of the professional photos we had taken on the photographer's blog.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just Pics

Cassidy Urkel Hawkes

All bundled up

With mommy after surgery!

Our little fairy

Trying to fly

Halloween with cousins

New Sunday shoes!

Cassie's laugh

Somehow all of our pictures seem to be of our baby...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Two weeks

What I did in the last two weeks:
1. FINALLY decided who to vote for. Honestly, I'm not entirely pleased with Obama or McCain. I waffled back and forth between them for while, then considered voting for a third party candidate but didn't like any of them either. I'm not going to announce who I'm voting for here, but you can make a guess if you'd like.
2. Started Cassie on solid foods. She's a champion with rice cereal! We're starting carrots this week, so I hope she likes them as much as the cereal.
3. Got professional pictures taken of Cassie. My brother and sister-in-law got family pictures taken, I fell in love with the photos, then their photographer moved to Utah! How convenient. Unfortunately, Cassie was tired and nothing we did could make her smile. I'm sure there will still be some good pictures...after all, Cassie is a baby, and we all know they don't have to smile to be adorable. The first thing Cassie did when we got home after the photo shoot was smile for her daddy. Go figure.
4. Went to three Halloween parties! The best part? The food: cupcakes, chips with homemade salsa, caramel apples, hot wassail, scones, homemade chicken noodle soup...yum. Cassie dressed as a fairy, wings and all. Pictures to come. :)
5. Saw High School Musical 3 with some girlfriends. I was positive Trevor wouldn't want to see it with me, so I knew I needed some girls with a stomach for cheesiness. It was awesome. I love how corny musicals are, and this one is over the top. We laughed out loud a lot and might have offended some of the 8-year-old girls in the theater. Besides the cheese, it was really creative and the dancing was amazing. My face hurt from smiling when we left.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I just typed a LONG story about my recent medical emergency and decided it was a little too graphic and personal and long winded to share on this blog. I'll put it in my journal instead. Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version: (I'd be glad to give you more details if you're interested:))

I started feeling pain in my lower abdomen on Thursday morning, September 25th. It felt familiar, similar to the pain I had five years earlier with an ovarian cyst. I went to urgent care at the Student Health Center, where they made sure it wasn't appendicitis. The pain intensified quickly, and I threw up several times as it got worse. They gave me a shot of pain medication and sent me to a clinic for an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a large ovarian cyst, 10 cm across. The Health Center then referred me to the Emergency Room, since the pain medication they had given me wasn't strong enough (I was still in a lot of pain). At the ER, the ObGyn on call said I would have to have surgery since the cyst had grown so large that hormones wouldn't shrink it. They gave me plenty of pain meds before sending me home. :) I got an appointment with an ObGyn (Dr. Thorpe) on Saturday morning, and he said he could perform surgery on Tuesday or Wednesday. Unfortunately, the pain returned and worsened Saturday afternoon, and we went back to the ER. Dr. Thorpe happened to be on call that night, so he decided to perform surgery right away. The last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist giving me a syringe of "happy juice" through my IV to calm me down (I was really nervous for surgery, and so glad Trevor made it to the hospital before they started). Trevor told me some funny stories about what I don't remember doing or saying. I started feeling better right away, and I can honestly say I feel 100% right now.

Tender Mercies (how I know the Lord was watching over us): I had substituted in my old choir classroom on Wednesday the 24th, and I had lots of pumped milk left over, so I didn't have to worry at all about feeding Cassie when we dropped her off to be babysat. Also, two of Trevor's brothers and their wives live in our ward, and they were so good about watching Cassie with a moments notice. AND, when the milk ran out on Saturday night, Cassie took formula without blinking an eye. What a blessing. Also, we just happened upon Dr. Thorpe, since my previous doctor retired after delivering Cassie. I really like Dr. Thorpe, so that's definitely a blessing. My mom was an angel and dropped everything to come stay with me when Trevor had to go to class. We also received two delicious meals from people in the ward. We really are blessed, huh?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just for Grandma

Cassie has oh-so-wonderful grandmas who see her not-quite-often enough. Here is a blog post just for them, filled with pictures and videos of their little princess.

All right, mom. Let's get this show on the road.

Proof that Cassie can roll over. She's a champ- 5 seconds is her latest record.

Story time with Daddy: hooray for Sandra Boynton!

Showing off her strong neck muscles during tummy time.

Here is Cassie discovering a new friend in the bathroom mirror.

Trevor is already teaching Cassie how to play the piano. Isn't she good?

When we don't give her a toy, she likes to play with her toes. She's not quite coordinated enough to get them to her mouth, but she tries hard.

Cassie, AKA "The Turbanator," says "Hasta la vista!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hair...and Fuzz

At last, the long-awaited haircut picture has arrived! Several people have said using a round brush while blow drying is the best way to style swoopy bangs, so I plan to purchase a round brush soon. Also, I'm going back to the salon to have them fix a few things. (They didn't do anything wrong, I was just in a rush to get home, so they didn't have time to style it. After I styled it, I realized I wanted shorter bangs and the rest of my hair thinned.)
As long as you're looking at pictures of my hair, I thought you'd like to look at Cassie's. Well, Cassie doesn't exactly have hair...she has wispy fuzz that sticks straight up. I had a hard time getting a picture of it because it's so light and thin. Cassie's latest milestone is rolling over! I set her on her back yesterday, left the room for a minute, and when I came back she was having tummy time. Unfortunately, she's not a big fan of tummy time, so she gets upset when she rolls herself over. Here are some of the latest and greatest pictures of our little munchkin:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Random Sampler

Today I feel like posting but I'm not sure what to post. So here is an assortment of recent thoughts and news items:
1. I wish I was an eloquent writer. My excuses for being a boring writer (I haven't taken a writing class since 2003! and I graduated from college two years ago! and I taught middle school for the last two years of my life, where the writing is anything but inspiring!) are moot, since many of the people whose writing I admire could make the same excuses. But I want to get better, and I'm excited for a forum to improve: Mommy Salon. Thanks to Alicia and Kristy for inviting me.
2. I cut my hair. It's really not much shorter or more layered than my last haircut, but this time I got bangs. Help! I haven't figured out how to style them yet. Mind you, these are "side bangs," the kind that are supposed to stay effortlessly swept to the side of your face. Any tips?
3. Cassie hit what I think was a growth spurt this weekend. I fed her every hour on Friday and nearly as much on Saturday. Crazy kid! I like her a lot.
4. Trevor and I got married around Christmas time, and as part of a gift basket for our wedding, someone gave us red and green Christmas-tree shaped pasta. I didn't make it after we got married, because, well, it wasn't Christmas season anymore. Then I forgot that it was sitting in our pantry. Months ago, Trevor pointed to it and accused me of being the kind of person that would only make Christmas pasta in December. Well, I WAS the kind of person that would only make Christmas pasta in December...until now! Trevor came home from a meeting on Saturday to find said pasta boiling on the stove. Eat that! (pun intended)

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Everyone says time flies when you have a new baby, but I would have readily disagreed with that about two months ago at 3 am. Now that Cassie sleeps regularly at night, time is definitely flying. It's crazy to think about how many milestones Cassie has reached in one month! Here are a few.

The bi-annual Cropper family reunion was held at a cabin outside Grace, Idaho a few weeks ago. It was a BIG cabin, but my mom's family is BIGGER. I have 36 cousins, 28 of us are married, and most of us have kids...suffice it to say there were plenty of little ones running around, and lots of people were outside in tents. And now for Cassie's first milestone: sleeping in a cabin full of noisy people just as well as she sleeps at home, (drumroll, please) even with no doors between rooms. She's a champion.

Here she is bundled up for the Cropper family talent show- her first night in the mountains!
She also survived an evening around the campfire, a horse-drawn carriage ride, and a chuckwagon dinner up the canyon.

Another milestone: Cassidy Taja Hawkes is now officially on the records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And she looked stunning in her Aunt Taja's blessing dress, I must say.

We're thinking about dumping the name "tummy time" for a more appropriate description: "fist-sucking time." Let's be honest with ourselves, that's what it really is these days. Here is one of the more impressive displays of fist-sucking: (doesn't it sound like an Olympic sport?)

Cassie has also started talking this month and is quite the conversationalist. She knows how to keep your interest and she isn't afraid to let you know how she really feels. If you're okay with hearing my cheesy baby talk, check out this sample: (she gets a tad grumpy near the end)

Cassie has discovered a new "friend" in the mirror! She gets excited when she sees herself and usually grins...and when her friend grins back, it triggers another grin, etc. We captured it on video:

Can you tell how long and thin she is? She's in the 95th percentile for height and 43rd for weight. Don't ask us how she got to be that shape, it simply baffles us. :) Maybe she'll be a model someday. Check out her latest fashion statement: bunny slippers!
And while we're mentioning milestones, let's just throw out one of Trevor's: current record holder for number of water balloons caught at the traditional Cropper family water balloon launching activity. Seriously, he was amazing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy July!

July was an eventful month for us! We headed to Idaho Falls for the 4th of July, which also happens to be our niece Aubrey's birthday. We spent the day with Trevor's family and saw some great fireworks (IF puts on a good show! Check it out sometime.)
In the middle of the month, we bid farewell to our dear friends the Farnsworths. They left for Texas so Jake could begin grad school, but only after some appropriate partyin'. We all met at the Crockett's for pizza, then the girls watched So You Think You Can Dance while the boys played Star Wars: Epic Duels. Classic. We already miss them.
Then we headed off to Oakley (Trevor's hometown in Idaho) for their Pioneer Day Celebration. (For all you non-Utahns, it's a state holiday on the 24th of July...and Oakley celebrates it, too.) Trevor and two of his brothers played in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament and basically whomped on all the other teams they played (except 2). They were exhausted after 8 games, but really they were awesome. We also enjoyed a family reunion and a cousin's wedding reception, where we got to see lots of other babies. :)

Update on Cassie: She is smiling a lot more (for real!) now and she's doing a pretty good job of sleeping through the night. We discovered that she sleeps a lot better when she's close to us, so we moved her Pack 'n Play next to our bed. It's working out well so far. She sleeps really well when it's noisy: so far she's slept through two fireworks shows and one parade. She's alert more often and is finally big enough to fit into most of her 0-3 month clothes. Yay!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


What was I doing 10 years ago:
Lots of fun summer activities: Girl's Camp and CJH Madrigals boating trips stand out

What is on my to-do list for today?
Go to Macey's
Make chicken salad and fill croissants
Baby shower for a friend :)
Clean part of the computer desk (what a mess!)

What are 3 quirky habits of mine?
1. I always get out everything I need before I make any food...or ask Trevor to make any food. If I ask him to make juice, he'll go searching for the can and the pitcher, and I'll forget to tell him I already got them out.
2. I have to hug a pillow when I go to bed. The habit began in pregnancy and just stuck.
3. I quote "The Office" all the time.

3 Things You might not know about me:
1. I play the piano, the violin, and I sing- I took private lessons for 12 years, 8 years, and 7 years respectively.
2. I love to travel. I've been to most of the states in the U.S. (at least 32) and 8 foreign countries.
3. My nerdy passion is Broadway musicals. I love going to see them (in New York...or a local production if I can't make it to NYC), I have lots of Broadway music books, and I love to be in them, even though I'm not a very good actor.

Four Movies/TV shows I love:
1. The Office
2. So You Think You Can Dance
3. American Idol
4. That Thing You Do

Four Books I Love:
1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
2. The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan
3. The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
4. Children of the Dustbowl by Jerry Stanley

Four Jobs I've Had:
1. Dick's Market Deli
2. Accompanist and musical director, Youth Theatre at the U (U of U)
3. Peer Mentor, Freshman Academy (BYU)
4. Choir Teacher, Dixon Middle School

Five Places I've Lived:
1. Houston, Texas
2. Centerville, Utah
3. Provo, Utah- 7 different apartments...does that count?

Five of My Favorite Foods:
1. Pasta- especially Carrabba's
2. Yogurt
3. Shrimp Tacos- Bajio
4. Chicken Green Chile Stuffed Quesadilla- Bajio
5. My mother-in-law's raspberry shakes...mmm!

Five Bloggers I'm Tagging:
Hmm...anyone who hasn't been tagged yet and really wants to do this, you are officially tagged!

Monday, June 30, 2008

All Smiles!

Cassie smiles a lot while she's falling asleep, and we've caught it on camera a few times! She's even started doing a little laugh in her sleep. She smiled at my mom last week while she was awake, but we're not sure it counts as a "real" smile, since she didn't seem to know what she was doing. Anyway, usually babies don't smile for real until about 6 weeks. We'll take the "fake" smiles until then. :)
She had just come out of a big smile on this one...And here's a yawn. :)One more- eyes open.Looks like we need to take pictures of Cassie with us- all of our photos in the last few weeks have been of just her.