Ladies and gents, I am happy to introduce to you the newest married couple in the Collett family: 
Zac + Jess.

The wedding happened back in August, but I didn't want to post anything until I had some of the lovely professional pictures by Natalie Atkinson.

August 29th began rainy.  All of the guests and wedding party were huddled under the porch waiting for a break in the clouds so the ceremony could begin.  I think we heard the words "rain, wedding day, good luck," thrown around all evening.  And for rain to cool off an Arizona August... I mean, it doesn't get much luckier than that.

The sun peeked out at the perfect moment, chairs were dried, and everyone took their seats.  Meanwhile, Camden the ring bearer is inside having a meltdown.  Not a fan of bowties, we learned.  I didn't think Camden would recover in time, and another sweet little boy was ready to act as his replacement.  Then my uncle Rod swept Camden out of my arms and said, "Give me thirty seconds."

At that point we bridesmaids and groomsmen had our cue to walk to the front, so Roy and I wished Rod good luck and headed outside.

We were lined up at the front when lo and behold... 

The cutest little ring bearer I ever did see.

His eyes may be a little puffy, but whatever Rod bribed him with, it worked!  And apparently he told Camden to walk very slowly, and the little dude took that job very seriously.  Oh, my heart!

The ceremony was sweet and simple.  Shortly thereafter we had toasts, cake, music, dancing, food, all the classic signs of a wedding gone great. 

But it was the after party where things really got crazy.
I'm laughing just thinking about it, and already realize that this is something where "ya had to be there."  But someday when I look back I'm going to be glad I posted about it.

The food was packed up, the guests were gone, Zac and Jess were off on their honeymoon, and the family that remained pulled shoes off of sore feet and collapsed into chairs.

My siblings and I have always had this joke: we don't drink, but we don't need to drink to be crazy.  Who knows how the laughing got started, but it escalated quickly.  Soon Mason, Alexa and I busted out DubSmash.  It' an app where you basically lip sync movie quotes.  Can I just say, no humans on earth make facial expressions as hilarious as these two.  I mean, I was dying.

We chose Jim Carrey quotes which, if you know my family at all, you know this man single-handedly shaped our senses of humor in our growing-up years.  We probably made 15 of these kinds of things:

And that's the least embarrassing of all the videos we took.

Siblings are the best.  There's no one else in the world you can be quite so weird around, or who gets your humor so well, or thinks you are as funny as you think you are.

Right now the three of us live in different states, in different stages of life, but keeping in touch isn't a problem.  When we get together (especially to quote Jim Carrey) it's like no time has passed at all.

Shout out to Zac, who didn't completely miss out on the DubSmash fun that weekend.

Speaking of siblings, I have a new sister!  Jess loves Zac a ton, and makes him happier than I could have imagined him being.  So happy to welcome her into the crazy family.

Crazy but good.

Long-Awaited Dream

The news is out, people!  Out in the wide open air, and I couldn't be more relieved to share it with you.  
We're expecting!!!!

Our long-awaited dream is due to arrive May 15th.  They say the second pregnancy goes by faster than the first, but that hasn't been true for us.  Maybe it's because we've wanted this for so long.

Let's talk about life plans, shall we?

When I was little I thought my mom had the coolest job in the world.  I remember thinking, "When I grow up I want to be a mom.  But instead of cleaning the house I'm just going to play with my kids all day long."  What a dreamer!

But an image was there in my mind, and it never left me.  It was an image of a family similar to the one I grew up in--children with super close birthdays, close enough that they all wanted to play the same games, have the same interests.  

As I grew older the image may have shifted a little as far as number of children or names I liked (I won't even tell you the girl names I scribbled in my 6th grade journal!) but one thing stayed constant: kids born close together.  I had it in my mind that if they were born close together, they would BE close.  

My sister and brother were my best friends as a kid.  My childhood was awesome.  So early on I created a map for my own future family, and thought it would be simple to follow it.

Then I learned that life maps need to be drawn in pencil.

Two years isn't a long time in the world of infertility.  I have friends who waited much longer.  I have friends who waited much longer and never got the chance to experience pregnancy and birth.  And all the while going to endless doctor's appointments with endless tests, and taking medications or poking themselves with needles.  Not to mention the monthly, heart-crushing disappointment.

In the world of infertility we are lucky!  Well, in any world we are lucky.  So, so lucky.  I get to be a mom again!  It's more amazing, more vibrant and beautiful than I ever could have seen in some map.

In this new plan, I'm seeing the perks and the positive way things are falling perfectly into place.  Camden will be exactly 3 1/2 when our Little Bean is born.  How great is that?  First of all, he's old enough to understand what's going on.  He's excited and proud that he will be a big brother.  He likes to help the doctor with the doppler to find the baby's heartbeat.  He likes to show off the ultrasound picture.  Experiencing this with him is a magic I never realized existed!

Then there's the fact that he will be old enough to really help me out, and I won't be changing two kid's diapers because he's potty trained.  He'll be going to preschool soon after so there will be the excitement for him, and some one-on-one time for me and Little Bean.  The silver lining is blinding!

And the way he pats my stomach and whispers "Hi baby"... it gives me a feeling that they'll be close.  Someday best friends.

Spooky Ghost and the Great Pumpkin

Pumpkin guts are apparently Camden's kryptonite.  Just the suggestion that he poke the slimy pile sent him running out of the room on his tip toes shouting, "No, no, no thank you!"  But he did have fun helping to carve our smiling jack-o-lantern.

And for the rest of the week his favorite thing to do was to click on the small battery powered candle to make our jack-o-lantern glow on our front porch.  Our friends who came over to carve pumpkins with us had some mad skills, so that was fun to see, but I was glad Cam is still young enough to be satisfied with an easy classic.

This was my third Halloween as a mom, so I've got a handle on this little holiday.  A little holiday--I might add--that I'm pretty sure is meant to be a bit of a sugar-laced disaster.

The weather was perfect, about 50% of the trees had begun shifting to bright orange, yellow, or a golden brown.  We met up with a few friends to go trick-or-treating down the most adorable Victorian neighborhood.  But Roy and I scrambled at the last minute trying to find something we could wear that could be considered a costume, and in the meantime Camden ditched his costume after the first five minutes!

All month Camden talked about how he was going to be a "spooooky ghost" {said with eyebrows raised and mouth in a tiny 'o'} and explained that he was going to say "boo!" to everyone and scare them because he would be so very spooky.  He ran around the house with blankets over his head practicing.  So I thought the old sheet-with-holes-cut-for-eyes would be right up his alley!

Turned out to be a little more difficult than I'd anticipated...

But he looks so cute, doesn't he?  Here are his friends who went trick-or-treating with us: Luke Skywalker and a pilot.  Their families were all themed together.  Um, Roy and I claimed we were ghost hunters.

So the sheet came off before we even reached the first house.  At first I was disappointed, but hey--we get to see his face in the pictures now.

His favorite toy dinosaur came with us, of course.  And Dad was the main mode of transportation, of course.

And there was lots of candy... of course.
The streets were absolutely filled with people in costume, it was so much fun to see.  I felt like we were in Hocus Pocus, walking up to these decked out houses.

Cam said, "trick-or-treat" in about the quietest voice you ever heard, but he wasn't too shy to cut off some kids to get the best of the loot.

That night we had friends over for our annual Halloween pizza feast.  Really we just ate and hung out while the kids ran around in their sugar craze.  A couple brought over a bunch of candy to hand out so I decided not to get any.  Then my worst nightmare came true and we ran out of treats for the tons of costumed kids knocking on our door that night.  Feeling desperate, I almost went for the raisins or Nutrigrain bars or something to hand out.  Even when we turned off all our lights people still knocked.  Luckily no one egged out house, but note for next year: buy more candy.

Cam got to stay up late, eat candy, and play trains with his buddies.  This candy-crusted, makeup-smeared face says it all.  Happy Halloween!