Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I look forward to Thanksgiving all year. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside thinking about stuffing myself with all those nostalgic foods. So imagine my dismay when Russ and I both get the stomach flu the day before Thanksgiving. It was a humbling experience to have my husband incapacitated on the couch while my daughter stands by the toilet and watches me throw up. Talk about miserable. Some friends took Hannah for the afternoon until I felt I had enough energy to disinfect the whole apartment. Ironically, getting the stomach flu made this Thanksgiving extra special. Russ and I were feeling well enough to go to the Thanksgiving dinner on campus (which was fantastic by the way) and it was our first meal in a day or two. I've never felt so full of gratitude at a Thanksgiving meal as I did at this one.

I always find random pictures, like this one, whenever Russ feeds Hannah.

Aaron and Andi Britton with us at Thanksgiving dinner.

She's definitely a Cramer. She can eat enormous amounts of food. :)

Chicago at "The Bean"

Chicago Millennium Park

The Holidays is the time for kids to play in big boxes. This was the beginning
 of Hannah's fort complete with tunnel. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Month in Review

Here's pictures from the past month...minus pictures of Virginia...those pictures are on Russ' computer.

Halloween!! Hannah and Russ in their costumes.

This was us on a hayride. Our apartment complex put on a huge Halloween party that included a band, bonfire, dinner, a hayride, and a petting zoo. It was awesome!

Vivian Tew and Hannah. We visited the Tews in Bloomington, Indiana and had a great time catching up.

The Tew's minus Nathan. You gotta love 'em.

Trying on Daddy's shoes.

Notre Dame vs. Utah. We won!!

The Palmer's came out for the game...and tried to have a good time while watching their Utes go up in smoke. That's "Touchdown Jesus" in the background.

I just like this picture.

Notre Dame campus in the Fall.

I'm so proud!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Love My Blendtec!

Russ recently won out on a year long debate as to whether or not we should purchase a Blentec Blender. I was adamant that I was going to use our Walmart blender until the motor went up in smoke but Russ used his sales techniques and sold me. Now I wonder how I ever did without it.

Yesterday I made a green smoothie and not once did I have to use my special smoothie spoon (so named because I have on more than one occasion caught the plastic spoon in the blades of my Walmart blender...luckily I was not the one to get the plastic spoon pieces in my smoothie...sorry again Russ.).

After the smoothie I used my Blentec to grind wheat for some homemade wheat bread.

For dinner I made Creamy Potato Soup with my Blentec. It even warms up the soup for me so it's completely ready to eat when it's done.

Then for dessert I made some Orange Sorbet. All I had to do was put in two orange with a little sugar and ice cubes then hit the ice cream button.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Behold...She Speaks!!!

I dreamed of the day when I would finally hear Hannah's first words. Oh how my heart would swell with pride and love. Finally after so long of waiting the blessed day arrived. Hannah looked lovingly into my eyes and said..."Ball!" ...Not exactly what I was expecting but we're making progress. She also says "bye." But the communication barrier is finally starting to come down. I've been teaching her ASL and she can now sign milk, ball, all-done, and bye-bye. In addition to her language skills her motor skills are also picking up. She has now designated a shoe box as her stepping stool which she strategically places around the house. Can't reach the piano keys or climb up on the couch? Problem solved! Nothing's going to stop this girl.

Oh dear...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Birthdays All Around

I'm officially 28. I don't shun old age...I embrace it. That's why we went to Kirtland, Ohio for the weekend and spent it with a whole bunch of old people. JKJKJK. We met up with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle in Kirtland and had a great time! It was awesome to be around family. I forgot how good to feels to be around people who inherently have to love you. It was Russ' first time seeing the Church History sites there so that made it even better. I just love the sister missionaries who give tours at the Visitor Center. They are so adorable and really made my day.

Newel K. Whitney Store

Hannah with Grandpa Great

Hannah actually waving for the picture...that never happens.

Hannah with Uncle Kim

Kirtland Temple

Grandpa & Grandma Great and the Cramer Clan

School of the Prophets...awesome.
 Hannah's birthday is two days after mine. She got to wear her Birthday Girl shirt all day and then we gave her a cupcake. Way to go Hannah! How did we ever live without you? The first year has been a blast!

The Birthday Girl!!

Hannah with her B-Day present...a cupcake.

Hannah's princess outfit from Grandma Cameron

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hannah Diva

I took these pictures of Hannah the other day. It seems she has quite the variety of facial expressions. I think we might have a little model on our hands.

Ninja Hannah

Vulnerable Hannah

Giddy Hannah

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome to the Mid-West

If I were to describe South Bend, Indiana in one word it would be...Football. The whole town shuts down on game day. Planning on driving somewhere? Not on game day. They literally block off the entrance to our apartment complex and hold us captive. Russ went to the game on Saturday and loved it. It costs $75 to take Hannah to the game so I'm doing a trade off with another couple where we take turns looking after each others kids. So I'll make it out to half of the games. I'll have more to report next week about the actual football experience when Notre Dame plays Michigan...awesome.

South Bend is treating us pretty well. No one here knows we have a blog so I can be's kind of a dumpy town. Campus is beautiful and Russ loves his classes. Notre Dame works on a quarter system so mid-terms are already next week. He feels stronger than ever that this is where the Lord wants us to be. Recently he got a job as an interviewer where he'll interview people who apply to the MBA program. I'm grateful that fell in his lap. ANY income is welcome at this point. :)

I've started teaching piano lessons and I'm learning how to quilt. I love where we live. The community features make up for the old, 500 square apartment with a heavily stained toilet that makes me gag every time I have to clean it. The backyard is a giant fenced in area where all the kids play and the community center is nice. We live in on-campus family housing so everyone's in the same boat.

Hannah started walking this week. She gets so excited when she walks across the room. Her little feet start going and a few steps into it she starts giggling and it progressively gets louder until she reaches the other side of the room. Then we throw little celebration where she bounces up and down. I love it.

All in all, we're happy to be here. And we still miss Texas.

The Golden Dome
Russ' first Notre Dame football game.
They flock to the stadium like little sheep.
Hannah with her Daddy. She's already learned the quick head turn. Way to dodge that one Hannah.
Don't ask.
Spaghetti is a favorite meal around here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

4 Big Ones


It's been four wonderful years since we tied the knot. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I agreed to marry you. Turns out marrying you is even better than I could have imagined. The best part about ME is YOU. I love you and look forward to the many anniversaries to come.

A match made in heaven. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Benefits of Babysitting

So recently I looked after a friend's kids for her and it turns out she's also a photographer. As a "thank you" she took Hannah into her studio and took a few pictures. Here are some of my favorites. If you want to see more of her work you can go to

I think this one is hilarious!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How Texas Should Have Ended...

Forgive the title but Russ and I have become addicted to watching "How it Should Have Ended" videos. I've included a link to my favorite. I find myself laughing randomly throughout the day as I think of it.

So here's what's happening in Texas. Russ has been traveling like a mad man--if you don't believe me just check out his beard...he really does look like a mad man. He went on a hiking trip in Colorado with the young men from our ward and loved it.
Then he spent the following week in New Orleans for work. I don't know how you feel about New Orleans but I personally think it's the fifth ring of hell...and it's hot too. But he seemed to have fun with people from his work. I think it was hard for him to say goodbye to everyone at the end of the week.

Russ playing with the alligators in Louisiana.

I've been packing up our house since we move in 4 weeks! Craziness! We rented out our home which has been a great blessing. The tenants will be moving in a week after we leave. Although I should list this under Russ since he's the reason we saw this movie in a full priced theater but we saw Eclipse...on a real 10 in the morning. All in all, I liked it better than the book. How can you not like a movie based on a love triangle between a human, a vampire, and a werewolf. I mean...who wouldn't be into that?

Oh could we forget the munchkin? My favorite thing about Hannah right now is she likes to play with a cow bell that Russ picked up somewhere. It gives me an excuse to say "I got a fever and the only prescription is more cow bell!" Hannah is a CLIMBER! She's cruising along the furniture and enjoying her new found freedom. She had her 9 month check up and is measuring tall for her age (90%) and a little on the heavy side (75%). Pleasantly plump I like to say. Recently she started babbling in this raspy, strained voice we quickly named the "Godfather voice." And her new thing is sucking in her cheeks and making kissy noises.

Father's day breakfast