Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcome Fischer

I had the privilege yesterday of meeting the newest addition to our pseudo-family, Fischer Charles Robinson. He is baby perfection from head to toe- and Alison is already coming into her new role as "mom" just as fabulous as ever. It's such a blessing to experience these milestones together, and we all can't wait to watch him grow and develop into his own little man! Congratulations Alison and Blake, we are just bursting with excitement for you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Little Sister

Beautiful, right?! Last night Emily was a good sport and let me take her out exploring, and practice taking pictures. We ventured into areas that I'm sure had all sorts of creepy crawlers, but we had fun doing it, and I got some great shots of my little sister! She generally hates having her picture taken, but I convinced her to just let me try. I'm having fun learning about pictures and photoshop, but it's a super overwhelming new hobby. Definitely something I'm a little slower at. But armed with some patience and a gorgeous practice model- I'm having fun with it!

The Tallest Flower Girl You've Ever Seen.

Picture this:
We practiced with her, bribed her, told her what an important job she had....but when those church doors opened, and over 200 people turned around in their pews to see Bella stand there at the back of the church, the fear set in.
"I don't want to do it!" she quietly whined, and promptly found me hiding behind the church doors and clung to my leg. Of course everyone watching was smiling and quietly giggling, but all eyes were still on her- and the pressure was on. I tried my best to look graceful and calm as I attempted to peel Bella off my leg and shoo her down the isle. For those of you who know my daughter well, you know that she is a complete ham and loves to perform little shows and songs for us at home. She even waits behind the hallway and makes us introduce her before she comes out. But when people are watching her, especially strangers, she clams up and you can see the look of terror in her big brown eyes.
Thank goodness for my quick-thinking husband. He scooped up Bella and proceeded to walk down the aisle with her, and the congregation continued to giggle. And I suppose since he's already walking her down, he figures- why not finish the job? So he held Bella and her flower basket in one arm, and used his other arm to gently throw the petals along the isle as he made his way to the bottom. The giggles were now full-out laughs. Everyone appreciated his sense of humor, and the job as "flower girl" had now been passed on. I was relieved that it was over, and Isabella was calm and happy in her dad's arms. Everyone wins.
My mom was quick enough to snap a picture as John walked by, so this is the only evidence I have of my 6'8" flower girl. Except of course the wedding that will live in infamy forever :-)

More pictures of the wedding in our Picasa web albums, just click HERE

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So Much To Do!

Don't you just hate coming home from trips?
Don't get me wrong- I'm a huge homebody at heart, but I love taking trips here and there. But as John and I have gotten older...and as our family has has all our stuff. Which means a full day of unloading, unpacking, cleaning, laundry and general disarray around our house when we get back from any trip.
But this trip was worth it. We first spent time in our home-away-from-home San Diego, where Bella was star-struck when she ran into a real live princess at legoland (it pretty much made her day)
And then after San Diego, we flew to our old stomping grounds of Sac-Town, to attend my cousins' wedding to the beautiful and gracious Melanie (we love you Melanie!! Welcome to the family!) We were honored to have been asked if Bella would serve as their flower girl, but it didn't exactly go as planned....but I'll share that story with pictures later :-) Nevertheless, Isabella adored being dressed up and spinning around in a big puffy white dress.

It kind of made me sentimental to think about the day she'll be wearing her own white wedding dress! Which leads me to the next wonderful thing about our trip.... We stayed with our good friends the Squires while we were in town, and Bella and Jacob quickly grew attached to the hip with one another. Megan and I were pregnant together with our first kids- and Jacob is only about 3 weeks older than Bella. To make a long story short, Bella was instantly smitten, and Jacob promptly asked John when he could marry Bella. The rest of the weekend Megan and I laughed as we watched our two kiddos laugh and play together like little sweethearts. Wouldn't that be awesome if someday they did fall in love and get married?? Megan, we would be in-laws!

I have sooo many cute pictures and a funny story to share about how Bella took care of Jacob when he got a fat lip (we still aren't sure of the actual story of how it happened...) but I don't have time to write it all out right now, so check back soon for more. I honestly wish the weekend hadn't been so packed with activity because we had such a good time with Brad and Megan, and really left wishing we could have spent just a little more time there! Hanging out with them was like no time had ever passed, and it made us realize how much we miss them!

And as a little plug for my sweet friend- if any of you are in the Sacramento area and need a good photographer- Megan's your girl! She spoiled us by taking some pictures of the kids while we were there, and trust me- she works incredible with kids, and is very talented (see her family blog site and her photography blog by clicking on Squires family on my sidebar). So there's a little brief catch-up. The kids are napping, so I really should be working to check things off my to-do list! I will dedicate some time to blogging and uploading pictures later, I promise. And thanks again Brad & Megan, we love you guys!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

On The Road Again....

We have had a very busy (but equally wonderful) weekend, and I promise to share stories and pictures as soon as I get a chance to catch my breath! Bella especially had an eventful last couple of days...she hopped around amusement parks, served as flower girl in my cousins' wedding (sort of...more on that later!....) swam, played and reunited with an old friend. Oh, and did I mention that she got engaged? That's right. The young man asked her dad permission and everything. Since they are both 4, it will be a rather long engagement :-)
Details and pictures to come soon once we are all settled back home!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Her Precious 4 Year Old Face :-)

Smiling, giggling, blowing kisses....
Little girls are soooo cute at this age. Especially our little girl :-)
John's brother David took some great pictures of Bella the other night (and let me tell you- that's no easy task! Sitting still is like pure torture for her), so that we can add these to her albums and always look back and how stinkin' precious she is! And just for fun, we took some of the boy cousins, David and Tyler-
They not only love each other so much, but they are both seriously handsome little men. It will be so fun some day to see them together in the same class at school! Look out ladies! The Anderson boys are trouble!
Too see more of David's awesome pictures, click here for pics of Bella, and here for pics of the boys.
Enjoy! (And thanks David!!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When I Grow Up....

I want to be just like daddy!I was starting to pack our bags for our upcoming trip, and as I was busy packing in my room, Ty wandered around all the clothes and shoes and found something that interested him. When I walked into the bathroom, I found him proudly smiling as he admired his new shoes. He then pointed to them and shouted "Daddy's shoes! Daddy's shoes!" He looked so cute standing there in his Batman tee shirt and Johns old basketball shoes, that I just had to take a picture. Then I asked him to show me his muscles, so he proudly flexed his guns for the camera.Soooooo strong!!And in other Tyler news, he went pee-pee in the potty 5 times the other day! That's a new record for him! I know, I know, that's the kind of information you were just dying to know. But around this house- its a big deal!! Yay Tyler!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Someone is 4!!!

This past weekend was jam-packed with activity and celebration for our little Bella. To start with the biggest surprise....Grandma decided at the last minute that she wanted to fly in and surprise us for Bella's birthday! We were just playing in the backyard when the doorbell rang- and Grandma was standing at the doorstep! Isabella didn't miss a beat- "Oh hi Grandma! It's my birthday tomorrow!" But I was pretty shocked for a few minutes as I tried to figure out how she tricked me :-) Thanks mom for such a great surprise! We loved it!
In the morning we let her open Grandmas presents first, then she got to choose her breakfast of choice.. Dunkin' Donuts of course. We then spent the afternoon at Amazing Jakes where Bella rode all the rides (at least twice) and we got to enjoy sharing the day with Isabella's godparents Matt and Heather (and of course sweet baby Allie too). The birthday girl got to also pick her birthday dinner- so we capped off the night at Peter Piper Pizza and then (finally) headed home. At home, Bella opened all her presents from mom and dad, and then got to play with a few before calling it a night and heading to bed.
But the celebration wasn't over yet! The next day we had a little summer pool party at our house, and we also had a little celebration for Bella as well. More presents, more cake and more fun of course :-) John and I tried to get her a Barbie pinata, but we soon realized that all the toddler pinatas were operated by strings that you had to pull to open the trap door and release the candy! No hitting required! Whatever happened to the good old fashioned pinatas that you whack until it breaks open and dumps out candy?! We let her and Ty take a whack it it anyways :-)
Once the presents were opened and we sang to her with another cake, the kids were tucked in and the adults all jumped in the pool for a massive game of volleyball. Sadly, my team lost the tournament 1-2. But no worries- I'm sure there will be a re-match in the future. Toasting marshmallows by the fire pit was a nice way to cap off the evening with friends. Thanks you guys for such a fun night, and also for making Bella feel very special!
We love you Isabella! Hope you had a fabulous birthday! For more pictures of Bella's birthday, see our Picasa web album here :
**Also a big thanks to Big Dave and Aunt Heidi for having us over for dinner and swimming last night :-)
...stay tuned to see Bella's 4 year old pictures soon! **

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Isabella Jade

Where do I even begin?
Is it even possible to put into words the feelings and emotions that well up inside me when I start to think over the past 4 years with our precious daughter?
My sweet Bella,
You have been more of a joy to mine and your Dad's life than we could even begin to describe. I'll never forget the day I secretly took that pregnancy test in the bathroom at 5 AM on Saturday morning....Your dad was fast asleep and completely unaware that I was shaking with joy and tears as I huddled quietly in the bathroom staring at those two little pink lines before me. I had been planning on taking the test that morning- so I just couldn't sleep. I was too excited. Excited for the possibility of being your mom. Not just just a mom to anyone- but to you. A divinely ordained plan by God to bring you and I together- not by random chance or by "fate" (whatever that means), but by the will of our Almighty God- who already had a plan for you before you were even a thought in my mind.
Sneaking quietly back into bed, I couldn't close my eyes for a second. My heart was pounding, and I felt myself feeling both invigorated yet shaky at the same time. Is this real? Is it a boy or a girl? Will we be good parents? Will I be a good mom? Your dad and I had been thinking about you, planning for you and most importantly- praying for you. That afternoon I arranged a beautiful way to announce your being to your dad. We laughed, cried, celebrated, and began praying for your health and future. You were barely the size of a grain of rice inside of me- but you caused everything else that I once thought was so important- to cease to exist in my mind.
I loved every minute of being pregnant with you. I loved feeling your movements, your hiccups, and hearing your heartbeat at every doctors visit. I loved the way your dad would light up when he glanced at my belly, and the way he seemed to soften when we talked about "what if it's a girl?"..... We chose not to find out if you were a boy or girl because it really didn't matter to us. God used those nine months to prepare our hearts for you, so there was no amount of preparation we could have done that would be better than that.
On August 14th, 2005, God gave your dad and I a glimpse of His immense love for us by bringing you into our lives. I must have heard your dad tell me "it's a girl!" about 5 times before it registered.
A daughter.
My daughter.
My beautiful, precious, divinely created daughter.
The years since this moment have gone by too fast.
In the last 4 years you have given me a new sense of purpose, a new sense of fulfillment and endless memories of laughter and deep joy. Not just the kind of joy where you feel happy and lighthearted- but the kind of deep joy that makes your heart ache whenever I think about you. Almost a guilty sense of joy; questioning myself and God what I ever did to deserve such blessings.
And now, you have gone from this: To this:To this.
(actually taken at 4 year old pictures coming soon!....)

Isabella, you are a stunning piece of God's handiwork.
I am blessed beyond words to be the woman God chose to be your mom.
Your dad and I fall more and more deeply and madly in love with you with each passing day, and we can't believe that tomorrow morning we will wake up to have a 4 year old in the house! You are a ray of sunshine, an excellent artist, a fabulous singer and performer, a hilarious story-teller, a compassionate big sister, and the sweetest soul I have ever been witness to.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl.

Love, Mom

It's The Little Things :-)

First off- thanks for keeping my mom and our family in your prayers. I'll share more about those things when we have more information, and when I'm ready. But we definitely felt your prayers, and Emily and I had a wonderful time spending time with our mom over the weekend. It was quality time well-spent.
So, to catch up to speed around the Anderson home, we have a huge "first".......
Tyler's first pee-pee in the potty! And it happened twice!I know you can't see it very well in the picture, but its in there! We've been slowly trying to introduce him to the potty by having him try sitting on it a couple times a day. We've had no luck so far, but the other day we sat him down...and he went!
"Maybe it was a fluke?" we thought...
But then the next day, he did it again! We probably scared the boogers out of him because we starting clapping and cheering like wild people. Poor Tyler...he just wanted to tinkle in peace :-) So at least that's a start....I dream about the day where I have no more diapers to change! Heaven!
And the cutest part about the first pee-pee attempt was that he first stood over by his potty and started to tinkle on the floor....then he sat down and finished going potty. You can see in this picture how close he was...but still so far!Like I've said before- we will have to keep our carpet cleaner handy for a while.
And in other family news- our little girl is turning 4 tomorrow!!! Oh my goodness, how did that happen?! She is such a beautiful blessing to our family, and we thank God every day for our little Isabella. Last night I worked, so John and Bella had some father-daughter time by making cupcakes for her to take to school today. We are taking her to do something fun tomorrow, so she's celebrating her birthday in her class today. Bella picked out rainbow cake mix with pink frosting (would you expect anything else??). They did an excellent job baking and decorating together, and here is Bella showing off her special treat

And also showing us how old she will be tomorrow....

I just adore being her mom!! Stay tuned for more posts coming up about her birthday celebration, some fun times with friends, Bella's 4-year old pictures and more...

Lots going on in the Anderson household- but it's a happy one indeed!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quick Prayer Request...

Although I don't have the time right now (or energy for that matter) to get into the details, please keep my mom in prayer today and in the next couple of days. I'm heading out to go be with her and a little prayer power would be much appreciated. Maybe I'll share more details later, but there will definitely be a little "blogging break" so that I can focus my time with my family. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Little Treasures.

Have you ever noticed that kids have no concept of value? I could buy Bella the most expensive collectors edition Barbie, and she would be just as equally thrilled with a new lip gloss from the 99cent isle at Target. When we go to the Pediatricians' office, both kids gasp and squeal with sheer delight when they get to pick out a sticker. They forget the fact that they are sick or have just gotten a shot- and instead they focus all their attention on their new found little piece of treasure. What a great attitude!
I've been convicted lately to stop the "I wish I had..." or the "If Only..." disease. Even if I had all the things that I think I need (scratch that- things I want), there will always be something or someone bigger and better, right? So when does the cycle end? When will I jump up and down and squeal with delight like my kids, over the things I already have? My girls' bible study knows about this all too well. We just finished a book that we read together about contentment. So with them as my witnesses and accountability, I am vowing to start finding the joy and appreciation in the little treasures in my life.
So here are a few little treasures I've come across today...
Our Family- How can I start an appreciation list without putting this first??My Job- Yes, as much as I dread going to work sometimes, I feel like God specifically picked this profession just for me. Becoming a NICU nurse was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. **Sidenote** This picture was taken of me when I was doing my NICU clinical rotation in college- I look so young! I think I was 19 in this feels like yesterday!**A small Summertime treasure- Concord Grapes. They only appear in stores for two months during the year, and I just about bought every carton when I saw them in the store yesterday. Concord grapes and pomegranates are my all-time favorite. I almost made myself sick yesterday eating too many...And my latest treasure for today- secondhand clothes. My sister has vowed to only buy secondhand clothing for an entire year. Brave girl. While I don't share in her dedication- I do enjoy the concept of finding small treasures hidden among all the racks. And a great way to save money too! So Em and I browsed a second-hand store today on a whim (we only had a few minutes so we had to make is fast..) and viola!! Within minutes, we both pulled adorable black vintage cocktail our size!!! And I use the term "vintage" loosely. I think they were probably designed in the late 80's or early 90's, but they are fantastic. They fit us both like a glove, then we switched and tried on each others' dresses and they fit perfectly! Yay for sister's sharing clothes! And can you believe that one of them was nine dollars?! I kid you not!(Obviously not a picture of our vintage dresses, but I liked it none the less. And I could just sit and drool over the wood paneling in the it)
So there you have it.
Hope you enjoy some small treasures today. The kids are down for a nap, so I'm going to go enjoy some cold concord grapes :-)

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Plan Backfired.

It all starts with good old fashioned peer pressure.
Once Bella saw her older cousins walking...she wanted to do the same. Once she saw her friend Avery swimming...she was swimming the next week. With Tyler, he gets so frustrated when he sees his big sister doing things he can't- and so he tries. When one kids starting gleefully pounding on a drum in the playroom, the other one has to do the same. They copy each other's mannerisms, habits (good and bad) and activity. I guess that's just part of our human nature. We see someone doing something we want to do- and we imitate.
So this morning Heather and I are enjoying our muffins and catching up with each other, and Heather mentioned that she really wanted Allie to see Tyler walking; in hopes that Allie would do the same. We know she can walk, but she's proven that she doesn't want to. So we went about talking as the kids went off to play. We then find Allie crawling around the corner to find us, and what do we see?......Apparently our plan backfired. Ty succumbed to the peer pressure instead of the other way around. Ty has now reverted back to crawling.
So much for parents using "reverse psychology" on our kids.
On an ever cuter note, Tyler tried to "woo" his girlfriends by giving her a bouquet of roses.And when roses fail to impress, there's always the "tackle-her-like-a-linebacker" move.Works every time. :-)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Friends and Summer time...

It has been such a great summer so far!
First, my sister moves here, and makes my life (and our kids') so much brighter! It's really such a blessing to get to see this face almost every day :-)...And I've watched with delight as our kids have blossomed into little friends with one another. Tyler really takes on his own personality, and Isabella is becoming such and adorable, loving little girl. Here's a new habit Bella has picked up....she talks with her hands now. As in, waves her hands around and uses them to get her point across when telling a story or talking to us. Hmm, where did she get that from ?! ;-) This morning, for the first time, Bella and Tyler walked to the car after getting our Saturday morning donuts- holding hands. No one asked them to. They just held hands and walked together. **Gush!** What precious little people they are.
This past weekend I was even able to slip away from some girl time with some friends...without any kids or schedules or nap times to worry about...heaven!Lounging by the pool, going out to a nice dinner, sleeping in and ordering room service...exactly what every mom needs to feel refreshed. *Except for the small detail that someone may have spilled their entire coffee all over herself while having breakfast in bed....but it makes for good memories!*
We've also been living in our pool. One thing I adore about Arizona summers is the fact that we can lounge and play in the pool right up until the time you go to bed. The water is perfect, and oddly enough, I really like the smell of chlorine and sunscreen mixed together. It smells like my childhood. I spent most of my time either in pools or in the ocean waters of Oceanside and San Diego. Bella has become quite the independent swimmer, and Tyler looks just plain adorable as usual.
It's even more fun to have friends over in the afternoon to join me!

And what are summer evenings without dinner with friends and a *friendly* game of pool volleyball?! Right Robinson's? We enjoyed an evening at a new restaurant 25 Degrees (highly reccommend!) and then challenged each other to couple vs. couple in volleyball. Even long after us girls gave up, the boys continued the game until they were exhausted and it was pitch dark outside.

Although we wish the summer weather was shorter...I have been loving this summer, and wouldn't mind it continuing on just like this!

*for more pictures, check out our picasa albums under Summer Fun 2009 and Friends and Family*