Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mermaids and Pirates

Tonight we went to our church's fall festival, so here is a sneak peek of their cute Halloween costumes. Bella has gotten to the age where she refuses to let me make decisions for her. Lucky for me, I'm pretty good at reverse psychology with her...so she thinks she's asserting her independence, but I'm sneaky in my ways ;-)
However, she put her foot down when it came to costume ideas. I showed her about a dozen creative ideas that I loved....but she firmly insisted on Ariel.
It's amazing how stubborn 4 year olds can be! But how can I disagree? I've never seen a more gorgeous mermaid :-)
And there is no little man more handsome and dashing as my own little pirate.
But wait! We had two little handsome pirates! Ty and his cousin David were each others' little ship-mates :-)
Why are kids so darn cute when you dress them up in costumes?!

The Wild Wild West....of Scottsdale.

Have you ever stayed inside your "bubble" of your immediate area for so long, that you actually forget there is a much larger area around you that you haven't yet explored? Well, I needed something to do this afternoon to get the kids (who were bouncing off the walls) out of the house for a while. My usual routine centers around play areas at my favorite shopping centers, the usual parks, and local frozen yogurt shops. But today I was itching for something different.
So we headed out to Old MacDonald's Farm in Scottsdale to visit the pumpkin patch, go for hay bale rides, let the kids ride horses and visit the petting zoo. It actually felt like I wasn't in Scottsdale anymore...I almost forget there there is this whole life and culture outside of my normal neighborhood "bubble"! But apparently, the southern California girl in me has old habits that die hard....I found myself walking around this giant ranch in flip flops. Yep. That's' right. Shorts and flip flops. Not exactly farm apparel, but oh well. Bella was sure to point out the big piles of horse poop for me to avoid when she saw it :-)
Riding a horse just about made Tyler's day, and Bella enjoyed running through the giant hay bale maze. And just for fun, I had to add a fun little "old western flair" to some pictures :-)
More fun pictures to come- have a great day!

Yee Haw!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I've Been Blabbed About! :-)

I'm obviously not a writer...nor a gourmet cook...or super-crafty mom (like my best friend, ahem), I'm not very good at keeping good correspondence with people..and don't even ask me to sing.
But that's okay.
I find my job as a NICU nurse fulfilling, my role as "mom" rewarding, and my husband, fantastic. And so, in my efforts to document our lives in the easiest way possible, and to also allow myself a creative outlet to reflect and laugh on my daily journey, I started this blog. Nothing fancy...and waaay less addicting than facebook :-) (still can't get into that. Too much for me)
Anyway, I have been highlighted by a blogsite that seeks out blogs and writes little blurbs about them! So fun! So here is the link...and thank you girls for your kind words and little shout-out!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Like A Little Trip Down Memory Lane...

I think one of the best parts of moving on in life, is revisiting your favorite places of the past. It's what shaped you, helped bring you into a new chapter in life...and not to mention the fun you have laughing at the way you used to look, and the things we used to wear :-)

Not that I would ever be embarrassed by my former bizarre fashion trends. Not me.

When I first stepped on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University in the fall of 2000, I was 17 years old- and completely overwhelmed. With wide eyes, I drank in everything that I was experiencing those first few days of moving into the dorms and settling in for what would be a life-changing next 4 years. The first time I stepped foot into Golden Gymnasium was for my Freshman orientation....it was also the first time I met a tall blue-eyed man named John Anderson.
Oh if I only knew how my life would change over the course of those years! But not knowing is the best part :-) To me, the unknown is just how God surprises us and continues to sloooowly reveal His master plan.
And here we are today.
8 years after our first date.
6 years after we said "I Do."
2 children later.
Boy does the gym look different in our eyes now!

I spent countless hours in this gym. Of course, John has me beat because he practically spent his entire college years in this gym. Will we one day be visiting some university campus to watch our kids play sports? Maybe- or maybe not. But I can't wait to see what will happen!

And just because I'm a sucker for nostalgia, I had to get a picture of the kids in the same location where I posed for a picture during my first day moving on campus as a freshman. Bella is no stranger to PLNU, the first time she stepped on campus, she was just 1 year old- and we were moving Emily into the freshman dorms! Bella has been there many times...she is practically an honorary student by now.But my trip down memory lane this past weekend isn't over yet! When my family made the move to northern California during my eighth grade year, I was devastated. But I soon met a girl in my class named Melissa. Melissa and I became friends that year, and went on to Ursuline High School together, where our friendship grew and deepened. We weathered through the all-girls Catholic school (and the hideous uniforms that come with it), and each other's personal life ups and downs. I've known her for 14 years, and she is still the same sweet friend that I remember meeting when I was 13.

We were both in San Diego this weekend, so we met up for dinner...and boy did we do it right! We shut the restaurant down! After 4 hours of non-stop talking, our poor waiter had to come tell us that his shift was over and he was going home....hint hint. But even after we paid the bill, we just kept chatting. Eventually, we noticed that the busboys were cleaning the glasses and staring at us...and there was not another soul in the restaurant. So we took that as a sign, and finally said our good-byes.

Here is my beautiful friend :-) Loved our time together Meliss! Hope we can close down another restaurant soon.

Ah, memories!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quick Catch-Up

After a busy week, I am finally trying to sit down and tackle some work on the computer. Kids are napping, so I need to take advantage of a quiet house! **Well, maybe not so quiet- I hear Ty moving around in his bed, and Bella is singing some song that I think she made up** But at least it gives me some time to get a few things done :-)
Miss Isabella had quite a week. Starting with her surprise Disneyland trip with her dad, she also had another soccer game and a day spent with her Aunt Emily while John and I were away at a friends' wedding (thank you Em for watching the kids!! We love you!!) And let me tell you- the poor thing was exhausted when she got home from Disneyland. John walked in the door with her draped over his shoulder and she was out cold. Not even getting her tucked into bed woke her up. John said the girls (cousins Bella and Marley) had so much fun- it was worth every exhausting minute. When we first surprised Bella in the morning to tell her that she was going to Disneyland, we hadn't told her yet that her cousin Marley and Uncle David were joining them. Marley is Bella's absolute BEST friend, so John videotaped her reaction in the car when they pulled into Marley's driveway, and Bella realized who they were picking up:

video
And here are two pictures of the girls' highlight of their day: meeting four princesses in Cinderella's castle. They met Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Mulan (and to be honest, the girls had no idea who Mulan was. John didn't either.....Bella later told me that she met "Pocahontas"...guess they haven't been exposed to some of the newer Disney movies!)

(sorry for the quality- they were taken with his iPhone)
Just look at Bella's hands and expression; it's like she was achieving a life-long dream by meeting these real princesses! :-)
Meanwhile, I enjoyed a day with my little man at home. Em and I took him for a bike ride, and during our exploration, we found an AMAZING hidden picture location. So I'm definitely going to drag my kids or my sister there to test it out sometime. Stay tuned for pictures of my magical new spot sometime in the near future!
Then the weekend was packed with Bella's soccer game, and a trip to Tuscon for our friend Kevin Yarbrough's wedding. John has known Kevin since childhood, and they went all through school and college together. The wedding was a blast because it was packed like some sort of reunion! Lots of our old college friends like Matt Enloe, Michael Fay and Matt McGinnis were there, plus a ton of friends that John grew up with and went to High School with. I had a blast talking with all our old friends and their wives, eating good food and of course, dancing with all our friends. Kevin and Bethzaida make a gorgeous couple (and smart! Two doctors!!) and we were blessed to be a part of their day.
The biggest bummer? I left my camera back at our hotel! What are the odds?! So I'll try to round up some pictures from some of our friends who were there.
We have some fun weekend plans ahead, so I might be MIA for a few days. When did we grow up and become such busy people??!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The other morning I was privileged to spend time with a marvelous woman.
A woman who has a heart of giving, contentment and wisdom.
She makes me feel at ease and safe in her presence. Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing for someone to feel about you? That they feel safe in your presence. She isn't bothered by what other people may think or say about her- she is a woman who extends grace and true compassion whenever she speaks.
When I talk to her, she listens. Really listens.
She isn't interested in the latest gossip or dishing on so-and-so.....which is a dagger of conviction to my own soul. Gossip disguised as just "casual female conversation" can often creep its way out of my own mouth- but my friends' quiet peace has inspired me to strive for better, more uplifting words. When I am around her, I am reminded again and again of all the things I find beautiful in her. The fruits of the spirit? She has them. All of them.
I am never worried that I will walk away and she will repeat personal parts of conversation. I am never worried that she will think any less of me when I express concerns and feelings to her.
A while back, my girls' bible study all read the book Captivating. During many discussion questions about the women in our own lives, my mind kept returning to this particular woman. I find this passage from the book to fit her precisely:

"That is what true beauty says, All shall be well.
This is what it is like to be with a woman at rest, a woman comfortable in her feminine beauty. She is enjoyable to be with. She is lovely. In her presence your heart stops holding its breath. You relax and believe once again that all will be well. A woman who's heart is at rest, invites others to rest."

What a beautiful description! I want to leave that kind of legacy. I want to be known for making people feel at ease and safe in my presence. What a privilege to have such a godly woman to admire and learn from! Sometimes I am too busy with work, kids, activities, my house, my friends, our family commitments and my own agenda, that I become a woman of chaos. A woman who thrives on being busy busy busy. I personally know women in my life who are harsh and cold and have no patience for those who can't do as much as she can in a day. But upon closer examination, I have also seen that those women do not have deep friendships. They have many acquaintances, but not deep connections with other women. They never slow down enough to be vulnerable and be still.

I know my sweet friend reads this blog :-) So this is my way of thanking you for our years of friendship. In my pursuit of things, I often lose sight of Christ and my true purpose as a godly woman. Thank you for helping me re-direct my eyes.
To take another quote from Captivating,

"Most women define themselves in terms of their relationships, and the quality they deem those relationships to have. This is not a weakness in women- it is a glory. A glory that reflects the heart of God."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Some Special Father-Daughter Time

This morning we had a biiiiig surprise for Isabella.
John had seen some amazing deals on Southwest a while ago, which prompted a great idea...he wanted to surprise Bella one morning and whisk her off to the airport to catch a flight to Anaheim, where they could spend all day at Disneyland. Just the two of them. Just for fun.
So he bought the tickets, and it has been killing us to keep it a secret all this time! This morning was the big day- so I used my flip mino camera to record John waking her up (at 5:00am! Poor thing was so groggy and confused) and telling her about the surprise plans for today.
video
As an even bigger surprise, Bella had no idea that Uncle David and her cousin Marley would be joining them as well! John had told David about his idea, so David decided to surprise Marley the same way. And I wish I could have been there when the girls saw each other and realized they were going to Disneyland together! As I type this, they should be landing soon, and their day of adventure begins. John wanted to be completely clutter-free at the park, so he didn't bring a camera, but he did bring my flip mino and his iPhone, so he'll take some pictures and lots of video throughout the day.
This reminds me of all the times my parents surprised Emily and I by "kidnapping" us from school and taking us somewhere fun for the day. Whenever my mom was out of town, my dad would let us play hooky and we would rent a boat on the lake and fish and play on tube rafts all day. Those made for the best memories of my childhood, and I'm just so excited to start all of these fun traditions with our own family!
So stay tuned for Disneyland updates, and possibly iPhone pictures as John sends them to me!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Laughter Is The Best Medicine


So true, right?
I just had to share this funny (but completely mortifying at the time...) story that happened the other day. It was a gorgeous morning- perfect weather- so after Bella and John left in the morning, I decided to take Tyler out for a bike ride. I threw on some old work out shorts and put my messy "morning hair" into a ponytail, and out the door we went. The bike ride was glorious- and it felt so good to get some fresh air so early in the morning. After the bike ride I decided to go run few quick errands- because as all you moms know, if you are dressed, have your teeth brushed, and are actually up and moving this early in the day- you capitalize on that! I needed something for my blow dryer, so we went out to Ulta. I walked right in and went straight to the back of the store where they have all their hair tools and accessories, and I started looking around for a diffuser, with Ty perched on my hip.
Then I heard a woman (who must have been the store manager) yell out "team meeting!" and all the workers went to the back of the store, where it looked like they were holding their morning meeting. All of the sudden it dawned on me- ....it's pretty quiet in here. I looked around and I couldn't see any other customers. The only people in the store was myself and a circle of about 20 employees having their morning meeting. I casually walked to the front of the store and saw the that hours on the window read 'Open 10am-9pm'. I glanced at my cell phone and realized it was only 9:40! Whoops! I didn't even take a look at the hours when I had gotten there because the lights were all on, music was playing and the door was open, so I had just walked right in! Embarrassed, I wanted to leave right away before any of the employees saw me in the store (no one had noticed me the whole time I was in there). But as I reached for the door to pull it open..... IT WAS LOCKED.
LOCKED.
From the inside.
I was locked in the store!!!
Oh my gosh, I could have died right there. My only way out of the store was to walk up in front of everyone and interrupt their meeting and explain that I had been in the store, and got locked in. So instead, I decided to sort of "hide" behind this large display in the front, and patiently wait until a worker came to open the store and let me out!
But wait- it gets worse.
As I stand sort-of hiding behind a large sign, I pretended to casually smell some bottles of bubble bath and soaps...you know, trying to look breezy and unaware that I was a gigantic dork. But my attempts at going incognito were soon ruined. A woman outside the store tried to open the door , but realized it was locked. She pushed her face up against the glass to look into the store and she looked right at me. This confused her even more, because she saw me in there, and was probably wondering why she couldn't get in and shop too. So she looked right at me again and starting KNOCKING on the glass!!!! Knocking!
Here I am, in my sweaty gym shorts, messy morning hair, haven't even brushed my teeth yet, and I'm caught locked inside a store that isn't open yet..holding a toddler who until this point had been quiet....with a woman outside the store knocking on the glass and looking at me as if she is saying, "why aren't' you opening this door for me?"
And then it happened.
Tyler, who was tired of being quiet, yelled out (loudly)"Mommy! Pumpkin! Huuuge Pumpkins!!" pointing to a giant fall display nearby. All of the sudden it was quiet. The employees having their meeting must have heard us. A woman walked to the front of the store and saw me standing there, sheepishly smiling, totally caught standing in their store. Locked in.
She smiled at me, and I mumbled something that I don't even remember (completely mortified at this point) and as soon as she unlocked the door for me- I bolted.

Note to self: Always look at store hours before entering.

Another note: You can't go back to that Ulta ever again.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bend It Like Bella

So today was the day...John became a soccer dad. :-)
As I escaped for a day with my good friend Kerri to the Women of Faith Conference, John played Mr. Mom in my absence and took Bella to her first soccer game. Of course, I felt super conflicted about missing such a cute "first"...but then I thought about how many games I will be watching in the future...and I didn't feel so bad. Plus, a healthy and refreshed mom makes for a happier family, right?! :-) That's what I kept reminding myself! And refreshing it was. But I'll fill you in on more details later, in it's own special blog.
When I got home, I rushed in to see pictures and video of the debut soccer game,and just about died laughing as I watched all 20 minutes of video that John had taken.
Bella started out the game frolicking on the field with her cousin Marley...holding hands. Even as the whistle blew and everyone started playing...the girls ran up and down the field together still holding hands. It was a crack up. Finally the coach separated the girls so that they would actually play- and that's when it got even funnier. Bella actually started gaining confidence and even got a little aggressive towards the end! We made the mistake of enticing her with a new Barbie doll for every goal she made in a game....and let me tell you- she did not forget that. She even pushed some of her own teammates out of the way so that she could get to the ball!! And let's not forget the team uniform that is absolutely swimming on poor Isabella's little frame. The smallest size jersey was medium, so it was just gigantic on her. But being the little doll that she is- she still rocked it and looked adorable :-)
Her debut as a little soccer player went better than we thought it would- and we are so proud of her for trying something new and really working hard to score a goal. Maybe promising a Barbie reward would work with getting her to clean her room??
Enjoy the below clip- it's a couple minutes long (mostly for the grandparents) but it's pretty cute. Can't wait till next weekend!!