First Father’s Day

When we were still thick in the haze of the newborn days, we kinda-sorta celebrated my first Mother’s Day. Truth be told, Dan forgot all about it until after noon on the actual day. And, of course, Vivian had no clue that she was supposed to be showering me with love and affection instead of demanding food and diaper changes around the clock. Ah well. God willing, we will all celebrate in style next year. Anyway…by the time Father’s Day rolled around this year, our heads were clear enough to remember the day and bring some attention to the new daddy honoree. Unfortunately, we spent most of the day driving from Northern California to Southern California, but at least there were gifts, cards, and even a letter from Vivian to her daddy:-)

We spent Dan’s first Father’s Day weekend visiting his family in his hometown of Livermore, CA. Vivian, Snoopy, and I drove up there by ourselves on a Wednesday and then Dan flew up there to meet us late Friday night. While I was in Livermore without him, I was able to go on a four-mile run alone, attend a Pilates class, walk around downtown Livermore, and visit with a friend at Concannon Vineyard. After Dan arrived, we went wine tasting at Rubino Estates Winery and went on a double date sans kids with his sister and her husband at El Sacromonte.


Wine Tasting at Rubino Estates Winery

It was really, really, really nice to be around family (I had no idea that having a baby could leave you so lonely) and have their help. It was also nice not to have to worry about laundry, house chores, and cooking dinner. I actually cried when we left because I didn’t want to have to go back to my quiet house. Before going up to Livermore, my sister had been in town visiting, so I had eight days with family and help nearby and the thought of going back to spending my days [mostly] alone with Vivian briefly put me over the edge.

Vivian’s first road trip was a great success, though. She did really well riding in the car. I swear angels were truly watching over us during my solitary drive north because what could have been a hellish 7.5 hour drive with a two-month old turned out to be a very peaceful commute. She also did well adjusting to her new surroundings and she slept soundly at night. I can only hope that our future trips go as smoothly!


Happy Baby!

While in Livermore, we had some great family photos taken of all of us. Each time we get together, the family has grown!


The Whole Family!


And Now the Girls – With Aunt Maxine, Too!


Proud Parents



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Introducing Vivian Ruth Chambers

It’s been over three months since I posted a blog article, but we haven’t really been doing much – except swooning over our new daughter! Vivian Ruth Chambers was born nine days after her due date on April 6, 2014. She was 8 lbs. 1 oz. and 19.5″ at birth. She is named in memory of my maternal grandmother, Vivian Oberhauser, and in honor of my paternal grandmother, Ruth Damschroder. We are smitten!


Miss Vivian Ruth


Snoopy and His Baby




Vivian was born two weeks before Easter.


Sometimes babies are NOT happy!


Daddy’s Hands


So in Love


A Mama’s Love


V is for Vivian


Happy Family

You’ll notice that we have changed the name of our blog from “The Chambers’ – B.C.” (“Before Children”) to “The Chambers’ – A.D.” (“After Daughter”). The purpose of Our List has also changed and we are excited to move forward as parents and experience the excitements of life with our new daughter!

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Showered with Love and Sun in California

I have truly been blessed with an amazing group of girlfriends in California and they, along with my sister, hosted an absolutely beautiful California baby shower for me on February 8. The venue was decorated with soft greens and pinks and they had thought of every detail – like handmade paper centerpieces, custom banners, delicious homemade food, a guest sign-in sheet, guest advice cards, yummy and adorable guest baby rattle favors, photos of Dan and me as babies, and so much more. It was a lovely afternoon and it was so wonderful to spend time with the women who have made my life in California work for the past 11 years.


Beautifully Decorated Venue


Dessert Table


The Tablescapes


Baby Rattle Oreo Guest Favors Made by Anna


Ready to Open Gifts – Oh So Many Gifts!


Mom and Me


Most of the Shower Guests – I Felt So Loved!


The Amazing Hostesses – Minus Sara

After the shower, Mom, Anna, and Dan’s mom came back to our house and we took a closer look at the stunning quilts that Dan’s mom made for our first born child. You can read more about her labor of love making them here and here.


Showing Off the Stunning Quilts that Dan’s Mom Made


Just the Ladies

Dan’s mom flew in for the shower only, so Dan took her back to the airport and then Mom, Anna, Dan, and I went to dinner at Benihana, which none of us had ever been to before. It was a lot of fun and the food was great.


Dinner at Benihana

We had part of Sunday with Mom and Anna before they, too, flew back to their homes, so we brunched at Beachcomber Cafe and then walked around the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages. I couldn’t have them visit SoCal and not at least see the beach and ocean!


Brunch at Beachcomber


Mom and Her Girls on Crystal Cove Beach


All Three Chambers’

It was a bit sad/weird to say good-bye to our visiting family at the end of the shower and weekend knowing that the next time that we would see them, everything would be different, as we’d have our daughter by then. Having a baby is still something that I cannot completely wrap my head around!

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Last Pre-Baby Vacation: Big Bear Snow

For our very last pre-baby vacation, Dan, Snoopy, and I drove up to the local San Bernardino Mountains and spent the weekend with our friends and their dogs at a cozy cabin in Big Bear. Although there was snow cover on the ground, there really wasn’t enough to ski/snowboard in, and, besides, I can’t ski this season anyways:-( We had ambitions to go for a hike with the dogs, but in the end, we mostly just hung out, relaxed, ate, drank, and played games. On Saturday afternoon we did go out to lunch at Nottinghams Tavern and walk around the Big Bear Lake Village, but then we went straight back to our cabin to resume our relaxing, drinking, snacking, and game playing. And on Sunday, on our drive home, we stopped at the Big Bear Discovery Center as we drove around the lake. The next vacation on which we embark, we’ll have a baby on board!

Group Picture

Group Picture

Snoopy in the Snow

Snoopy in the Snow

The Chambers Family

The Chambers Family

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Showered with Love and Snow in Ohio

Ohio has had a very snowy and cold winter. California, on the other hand, has had a very dry and warm winter. And yet, I left warm and sunny SoCal to fly to Ohio when I was 30 weeks pregnant. Since I didn’t get to go to Ohio for Christmas this year, I scheduled a trip over MLK weekend to visit friends and family and attend a baby shower that my sister and Mom hosted for me. As is usual with most of my trips home to Ohio, this trip was very relaxing and allowed me ample time to bond with family and friends.

Mom and Anna hosted a beautiful shower for me at Mercy St. Charles Hospital. Baby Girl Chambers was indeed showered with much love and many gifts, but the highlight of the afternoon was visiting with extended family and friends. I was blessed to have 26 people at my shower, including aunts and cousins from both sides of my family, my Grandma Damschroder, friends from high school, and longtime family friends. Anna had flown in from Colorado and family drove in from the Chicago, Columbus, and Cincinnati areas and from northern and southern Michigan. It truly was so nice to chat with everyone, get their advice on babies and baby products, and take some great keepsake photos.

Ohio Baby Shower Guests (Minus the Yates', Grandma, Aunt Jane, and Penny!)

Ohio Baby Shower Guests (Minus the Yates’, Grandma, Aunt Jane, and Penny!)



Damschroder Ladies

Damschroder Ladies

Oberhauser Ladies (Minus Aunt Paula, Amy's Family, and Brenda's Family)

Oberhauser Ladies (Minus Aunt Paula, Amy’s Family, and Brenda’s Family)

Amazing Hostesses - Anna and Mom

Amazing Hostesses – Anna and Mom

After the shower, Mom, Dad, Anna, and I picked up Uncle Lee and went to dinner together.

Anna and Me with Uncle Lee

Anna and Me with Uncle Lee

On Sunday, after church with Dad, we went to my Uncle Gerry’s for brunch with most of my Dad’s family. My brother drove up from the Columbus area for the afternoon and, as usual, we ate well and laughed a lot.

The Damschroders

The Damschroders

My Immediate Family, Together Again!

My Immediate Family, Together Again!

Anna flew back to Colorado on Sunday night and Matt drove back home, so I had two days with just Mom and Dad. I also had time to visit Grandma again and see my friend, Julie, and her three girls, who were unable to make it to the baby shower.

Friends Since College - We Walked Together at Graduation

Friends Since College – We Walked Together at Graduation

Mom, Dad, and I also spent some time going through the attic at Dad’s and digging out some clothes and stuffed animals from our childhood that are going to be passed on to the next generation. In addition to the piles of junk and Goodwill items that we found, we also found quite a few keepsakes, including clothes that my Grandma had made for me, a blanket my Aunt Jane had knitted for me, and the hospital going-home outfit that all three of us kids wore. Treasures, indeed!

I’m hoping to be back in Ohio in late July with our nearly 4-month old baby girl. I cannot believe that this was my last visit to Ohio without children and that when I return, I’ll be a mom. That truly still just blows my mind!

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Blackstar Canyon on New Year’s Day

We started 2014 off great – sleeping in, relaxing, hiking with Snoopy, and then eating pizza in San Clemente. We hiked about three miles through part of Black Star Canyon and turned around just shy of the Cleveland National Forest border. It’s always fun when we can let Snoopy run around off leash (even though, technically, dogs were required to be on a leash on the trail). He did very well listening to us and staying close by. I was a little worried about him being off leash when another hiker told us that she spotted a mountain lion, but luckily we didn’t see the same mountain lion as she did and Snoopy stuck close to us on the trail.

Dan and Snoopy on the Trail

Dan and Snoopy on the Trail

Carrie and Snoopy Resting on a Rock

Carrie and Snoopy Resting on a Rock

Happy 2014! This is going to be an exciting year for our growing family!

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A California Christmas

After spending the past two Christmases in Ohio with my family, we ventured up to Northern California this year to spend Christmas with Dan’s mom, dad, and brother. It was certainly much warmer in California than it was in Ohio!

Most of the five days that we spent on “Christmas break” were spent doing a whole lot of nothing. I did a little baking and grading one afternoon and Dan helped his dad build and install a new stairway railing in the neighbor’s house, but other than that, we relaxed, played games, napped, and watched movies.

On Sunday night, we got out of the house, boarded the Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights, and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening riding the old train in the canyon. We even got our baby’s first picture with Santa:-)

All Aboard the Niles Canyon Train of Lights

All Aboard the Niles Canyon Train of Lights

Baby's First Santa Visit

Baby’s First Santa Visit

On Monday night, we had dinner with our friends, the Denneys, in downtown Livermore and then met up with other friends, the Marshalls, to walk through Deacon Dave’s famous Christmas Lights.

After visiting with more friends, the Krimetz’ and Turners, on Tuesday afternoon, we took part in Dan’s family’s annual Christmas Eve traditions. First, we, along with the other neighbors in the cul-de-sac, set out luminaries, and then we ate a delicious spaghetti dinner cooked by Dan’s mom. Dan, his mom, and I attended Christmas mass at 10pm (we couldn’t stay up until midnight this year!) before retiring to bed and waiting for Santa.

Christmas Eve Luminaries

Christmas Eve Luminaries

Family Picture After Christmas Eve Mass

Family Picture After Christmas Eve Mass

Christmas day brought the opening of presents, more relaxation, and a yummy turkey dinner. Dan’s mom knitted a beautiful and very meaningful blanket for Dan to snuggle with our daughter in when she is born next year. You can read all about the blanket on her blog here.

Snoopy in His New Christmas Sweater

Snoopy in His New Christmas Sweater

Dan and His Mom with the Blanket She Knitted for Him

Dan and His Mom with the Blanket She Knitted for Him

Family Picture on Christmas Morning

Family Picture on Christmas Morning

We had a lovely California Christmas and are so thankful that we were able to spend it with family. We can hardly believe that next Christmas, we will have a 9-month old daughter! We plan to celebrate Christmas next year in Ohio so that our daughter can meet all of my extended family.

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