Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas! {December and then some...}

Holy cow. December has been a crazy month for us... not overly stressful, but definitely packed full! We were pretty much finished with our Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving, so there wasn't much of the hustle-bustle-materialism-craziness, but we sure filled our month with lots of fun activities. Here is a recap of what we've been up to this month... and how very merry our Christmas was. Enjoy the bazillion pics!

To start the month off right, we went down to Temple Square in SLC to see the lights. Brrr, was it cold! It was beautiful too, though, so we survived.

I think both James and Derek have slightly funky smiles in this picture, but DANG they look alike! Handsome times two. What strapping men I have in my life!
We also got a tree {a live one, actually a pretty gorgeous one- though we never photographed it 'til it was nearly dead... oops} and decorated it. James decided he needed one of his own, so here he is. He put all the ornaments on himself, and boy- was he proud! :)
I love how he put them all on the very tippy-edge of the branches. Cute boy.
We not only dreamed of a white Christmas, but we got one! The majority of the snow came a week or so before Christmas, but it stayed and stayed. Here are my handsome boys shoveling the snow. Check out the adoring/admiring look James has on his face. Daddy is my hero, too. :)
James actually did a great job helping! Look at that snow he's shoveled. Way to go, Jamesie!
We made and ate way, way, way too much junky food... but that's part of the holiday season, right? :) I'm going to get gestational diabetes, I just know it. Here is James {and Bonnie- in the background} helping to make some scrumptious doughnuts. It was a fun family activity. I recommend it.
This is James sitting on Santa's lap. We went to see him at the mall this year {the first year we've attempted anything like this}, and it was actually really cool! James wasn't scared or even really hesitant. Who's afraid of a nice grandpa-man who gives you presents, really?

James had an especially great holiday thanks to the crazy Anderson bunch we call family. Here he is with some of his cousins {Claire on the "horsie" with him, Brynn jumping into the pic}.
Grandma has been staying at "our" house for a while now, and James has been loving every minute of it! The night of the cousin-sleep-over, Grandma helped the kids all build gingerbread houses. They assembled them around old milk cartons, which was ingenious! James had a blast.
Along the same family-overdose lines, here are a few pics of James being oh-so-spoiled and never-once-neglected thanks to fantastic aunts and uncles.



We made tons of treats just before Christmas- many of which we gave away to friends, many of which we still have sitting on the counters. James loves to cook {which I love} and helped a ton. His favorite part, I think, was hammering the candy canes for the popcorn treats and the peppermint meringues. It was the perfect job for him. Hammering + James = Love.
On Christmas Eve-Eve, we had a family party {hellooooo, cheese fountain!} at Shawn and Mindy's. After the kids went to bed, we adults had lots of fun. Santa's elves are lookin' pretty fine nowadays, don't you think? :) Seriously, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
Christmas Eve. Santa got gingerbread man cookies and eggnog. What a lucky Santa he is!
And the bribery must have paid off, because he left us some pretty sweet stuff! Here is James' stocking and his "big truck" from Santa.
James was thrilled about his presents and LOVED his gifts from Santa. It's always nice to see that you really do know your kid's taste, and it's wonderful to have presents be a hit. Bart and Katie made a little video of James coming out on Christmas morning-- seeing what Santa brought him for the first time. It's pretty cute. Check it out.
video
And here is {most of} the Anderson clan Christmas day, in front of our massive feast. What a happy family!
Christmas day - and Christmas season altogether - was wonderful this year! We had lots of fun and made lots of great memories. Thank you to family and friends who aided in all of that. We love you all and hope this Christmas was equally fabulous for you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving... at long last!

Yeah. It's December. I haven't posted in a bazillion years. I'm a slacker. I know this, and yet I'm only slightly sorry that it's taken me so long to post. Things have been crazy around here, fun but still crazy, and I'm only now starting to recover. Holidays are that way, I think. {And just think- in couple weeks we get to do it all again! We'll just hope for more fun less crazy.}

My dad and his wife came up to visit us the earlier part of Thanksgiving week. That was absolutely fun, though the manic shopping (I wanted to send NM-gifts home with them instead of shipping them, hence the fun but crazy go, go, go) and house-cleaning prior to that was anything but. {Sh... don't tell Derek, but I actually used their visit as a well-needed excuse. The house needed a good "spring" cleaning. Now everything's so fresh and clean and organized - as much as it can be - and ready for holiday guests. So maybe the cleaning wasn't fun, but for me- it was refreshing.} They stayed Sunday through Tuesday, so just for a few days, but it was wonderful to see them. James always surprises me how quickly he attaches himself to my family, especially considering how (not) often we see them. They were all BFFs within 10 minutes. :) While they were here, we mostly just hung out. We also cooked and ate some yummy food, played with James, read lots of books (Sorry/thanks, Polly!) and went to New Moon {swoon} on a "double date" of sorts. Good, good times.

Once they left, we had a few days just to ourselves... our little family. We lounged, did nothing particularly thrilling, then celebrated Thanksgiving Day.

*Side Note: While trying to teach James about Thanksgiving, we did a little FHE of sorts and pulled up pictures online of pilgrims, "Indians," etc. I told what I hoped to be a toddler-sized version of the Thanksgiving story, and we learned the following song (thank you, Google!):

Little pilgrim dressed in grey
On that first Thanksgiving Day
Little Indian dressed in brown
Came to visit Plymouth Town
They both came to eat and pray
On that first Thanksgiving Day

Kinda cute, no? I thought so. And so did James. He picked up on it really quickly. Songs and books totally do it for him. That's my boy! :)

Anyway, our Thanksgiving was pretty great. We got up normally then got started on some of the food-prep. James helped me put the rolls in the muffin tins (Go, Rhodes Rolls!) so they could defrost/rise. He's such a helper. He really did them all! Sad, but his culinary skills make me so proud. :)

Then we woke Daddy up and had him help with the other parts. Derek and I (more Derek, really) prepped the turkey. We mostly winged it... rubbed it with poultry seasoning, some fresh herbs, onion and apple (to coordinate with the stuffing's flavors) and then threw it in an oven bag.

We watched the Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade while we waited for the rolls and cooked the turkey. I love watching the parade. It's absolutely a fond memory from my childhood and something (albeit fairly meaningless) that I hope to continue with my kiddos.

When the turkey was getting closer to done, we prepared and cooked the remaining parts of the meal: homemade stuffing, yams, "squeaky" beans, cranberry sauce, olives, mashed potatoes and gravy. Here are some pics of my boys in the kitchen. (James mostly helped by staying out of the way at this point... and, you know, by eating a pear.)


Then- when everything was done (miraculously at the same approximate time... and not ruined/burned/etc), we ate. Mmm... Here's the dished up meal- Derek's, that is; mine had cranberry sauce and olives! :) We also had pie (lemon meringue- we're not traditional apparently), though it was store-bought and therefore not pictured.

After dinner we just chilled. We all took very nice, long naps. Then I think maybe we watched a movie all together. I can't even remember, to be honest. It must not have been that eventful. But it was a fantastic evening... a fantastic day. It was really fun to do something big with just our little family. This Thanksgiving/holiday season, I'm especially thankful for them- all three of them- and that we can be together, for now and forever.

Happy {Belated} Thanksgiving! xo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Humpty Dumpty

I don't know if my son is especially smarter than other kids his age (though I secretly suspect he is- *wink*), but he sure amazes me with his wits. The other day (Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, for records' sake) we were reading a nursery rhymes book from the library. When we got to the Humpty Dumpty part, James started saying it with me! I had no idea he knew that poem! I mean, we'd read some nursery rhymes from time to time- Humpty Dumpty included, but we didn't have a favorite book that was read and re-read... and we'd never tried to teach him any rhymes. Anyway, this child amazes me by the seemingly random things he picks up. He learned the ABC song that way; he learned to count to 20 that way. He has selective retention, possibly. People think I'm a good mommy and that's why he's a smarty pants. But really, it's all him. I love this boy just a little bit... and am just a teensy bit proud. :) Check out his new trick. (And yes, he's kind of stuffed up. Disregard and focus on the "cute.")

video

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween '09

Happy Halloweeeeeen! :) Well, a little bit ago, anyway.

This year's Halloween was really great for us. Derek surprised us by getting (and asking to get - a few weeks in advance) Halloween off of work, so he could go trick-or-treating with James. Pretty awesome. He's a good daddy. Anyway, it wasn't James' first Halloween experience. Nor was it his first time trick-or-treating. But it was the first year that he really got the concept, so it was the best year yet for sure!

We had a busy day on Halloween. First, we got up early (well- got ready early) and went to a breakfast/brunch birthday party of our buddy's. It was really great to get together with friends over good food and with fantastic fall weather. For some reason it really, REALLY got me excited for the holidays. Maybe because holidays are when you hang out with friends/families that early in the day. I don't know. But it was fun. And festive. And fun. ;)

After that, we went grocery shopping... which was hell. James was demonic, and I was at my wit's end. Screw Halloween! Luckily, though, the shopping ended and nap-time started. Hooray. We all got a little rest and were therefore friends again in just a few hours.

During nap-time, I made our costumes (Derek's and mine). James was going to be a dragon, so we dubbed him "Trogdor" and decided we would be "burninated peasants." What? You're confused?? Well then check out the video below. If it is too slow or faulty for some reason, go to the original website to check it out: http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail58.html



Once James was awake, we three got dressed up and ready to go... Trick-or-treating, here we come!!!

Here we are, all dressed up! Happy Halloween!!!

We often (aka: always, so far) go to Shawn & Mindy's
and trick-or-treat with them and their kids. This year
was no exception. The only difference was that we
brought friends! Here are some of the tricksters:
Sydney (cousin), James (ours), Evan & Asher (buddies).
These are our friends (Evan & Asher's parents), Ben & Li.
Li... aka: kitty (cat woman?). Isn't she cute??
This was the best part of trick-or-treating
for James... the "scary" monkey who later
became the "nice" monkey, after he gave us
candy, of course! The kids were so freaked out.
Trick-or-treating in action. Check out those spiders. Eek!
Daddy and James
Mommy, James and the ghost
(that actually quite frightened James)
We had lots of fun trick-or-treating. James was adorable. He does a very convincing "roar!" He was adored by many, and rewarded with lots of yummy candy. He is just so enthusiastic! His punctuation-of-choice is the exclamation point, for sure. "Trick-or-treat!" "Wow! Tanks a-yot!" "Happy Howaween!" "Da'ss great!" etc. He loved trick-or-treating. We loved to watch him. He was a pokey little dragon, though, taking way longer to get to the houses than anyone else. It was cute to see him toddling along with his little tail behind him.

Oh, funny side-note: the first few houses we went to were especially humorous. The kids would knock at the door. The owner would open it. James would walk right in. :) It's what we normally do. Why should Halloween be any different?? :) Eventually, he figured out that we only need to stand on the porch to get the treats. Silly boy.

And to continue my over-detailed and journalish report... after trick or treating, we (our little fam) went back into town and attended a Halloween party with some of our (adult) friends. James came, too, and was the center of much attention, being the only kid. It's the way he likes it. It was well past bedtime when we left, but James had been totally well-behaved and cute the whole time. I suppose he got the fit-throwing out of his system earlier in the day. It was nice to have our sweet little James to show off. :) I'm not gonna lie. He's a trophy son. lol.

And THEN (aren't you glad you've read so far?) we came home, put James to bed and watched "V for Vendetta" with Kurt and Bonnie. (That's as scary as movies get for me. I don't do scary.) And then- when it was way too late and we were all in sugar-induced comas, we nodded off to sleep.

Ah... Halloween.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pumpkin Walk '09

This year we continued our little family tradition by going to the local Pumpkin Walk. It may be because I am still new-ish to the area, or it may be just because the whole concept is too clever not to love, but I LOVE THE PUMPKIN WALK! I really do. It's so festive. The displays are so danged creative. And it's the perfect depiction of the non-scary-and-family-friendly Halloween I love. Anyway, if you're ever in this neck of the woods come Halloween time, check it out. It's pretty great.

Here are some pictures of our happy little family at the Pumpkin Walk. I'll add a few comments, because we all know you're not smart enough to figure the pictures out on your own. (wink)

Happy Anderson family -- all (almost-) 4 of us!
The love(s) of my life. Notice how excited James looks.
He loves the Pumpkin Walk, too, apparently.
J's little friend Giddeon, James
and myself "walking" the Walk.
Our own little Wild Thing
My favorite display- Keebler Elves

James is standing here saying, "Yook! James n' Momma!"
Apparently Derek is an afterthought here. :)
Another fav. display... and my absolute favorite son!
(I love that I can say that... hooray for one of each!)
Love this guy. And so will the ladies- what a stud!
Playing peek-a-boo around the tree. Cuties.
We had so much fun, and I hope you did too... seeing these adorable pics. :) Seriously, though, come visit us next October. You'll be in for a treat!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

haircut

I got a haircut last Friday, and here's a pic to prove it. I hadn't intended to get much chopped off. I just wanted to get a good, clean trim. Ash and I discussed how this time I really just wanted freshened up, but maybe next time- or after I had the baby- I would go for the A-Line cut I've been drooling over for a few months now. I told Ashley that I wanted maybe three good inches off, though. Maybe even to my collar bone. She explained that with that much off, I might as well get the A-Line now. It wouldn't be any shorter than that in the front, and my layers were long enough now too. So we chopped it. I got my A-Line.

It was fun. Spontaneous. Unexpected. Delightful.

I really like it, though it takes a while longer to do (round-brushing... ugh). So yeah, we'll see how it looks when I swell up like a balloon! Or should I say swell up more... :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Engaged

Thinking about falling in love... it was a blissful time.

If you aren't in the habit already, I highly recommend reading and re-reading your journal entries {I really hope you have them, because they're wonderful to have} from time to time. All of them are great, but I especially recommend reading those from the time you fell in love with your significant other.

I was reading tonight about when we were engaged. Cute factoid: I apparently didn't sleep much for about a week after he proposed... I was too excited. I didn't remember that {the sleep-deprivation, that is}. Little things like that are fun to remember.

I also loved reading about how much Derek took care of me, even then. For example, one day {05/23/05} I felt especially crappy, stressed and sort of sick. Derek had been over, but he left to go home. I wrote, "After Derek and I read scriptures and prayed, it was past 11:00pm. Derek left, and I brushed and flossed my teeth. Then I heard someone come in the house. It was Derek. I tried to think of what he forgot. But it wasn't that at all. He had gone to the grocery store and bought me some groceries-- that way I could have breakfast, etc. Somehow, it was the sweetest, kindest thing he could do for me. He sacrificed on my behalf; he performed service. I guess I just really felt his love." What a great guy. I guess some things never change.

Anyway- read your journal. Do it. Right now. It's fun. But mostly, it makes you feel all warm and snuggly inside. :) 'Night.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thankful


I know it's not Thanksgiving or anything yet, but the fall weather has got me thinking along the lines of gratitude nonetheless (it's a once a year thing, people). I love this picture of our little family. Partially because it was taken at the Pumpkin Walk- and I love the Pumpkin Walk, but mostly just because I just love every picture of us together. Because we are together.

I am so, so thankful that Heavenly Father placed Derek in my path- on a silver platter, really. I didn't have the best track record of picking "goodies" (some were, but not most- and especially not most at that time), and I may not have found him otherwise. We both feel really strongly that Someone Bigger was in charge, and we're both very grateful for the intervention. So I got Derek. And he was and is the best thing that ever happened to me. He makes me want to be a better person; he lets me be a stupid person and then climb back up because he still thinks I'm that better person, and the people we are becoming together are who we ideally hope to be someday. I love him. More than life.

And then there's James. Who could imagine the love that engulfs a person when they have a child? Maybe it's not the same with everyone, but it certainly happened with me. I loved him from the second I saw him. We're the same in so many ways, but instead of hating him for it- I learn to love myself more. Hard to explain. I'm incredibly smitten by this little guy, and I'm so, so thankful he joined our family. I thought the "honeymoon stage" would pass by us once he had reached his "terrible twos," but I still find myself overcome with emotion just looking at him... pride, joy, humor, adoration, love. He is a sweet little boy and a genuinely good person. It's strange that someone so small can be so big, but he really is. I think we'll learn a lot from this little guy. I just hope I'll be able to teach him something valuable in return.

This new baby is it's own story, and as she is not pictured (and, you know, not here) I will not go into that yet. But I love her already, and that's kind of a big deal. February could not come soon enough!

My family is my everything. I like them. I love them. I need them. I am so, so thankful that these wonderful people are in my life. Whatever else happens in life, we have each other. It's a good way to live.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

more scrappy stuff



Here are a couple more pages I did. One from fairly recently (read it- it's an update) and one from a while back (well, I scrapped it recently- but it's an old pic). Let me know what you think! :)

xo

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Airplane Museum Daycation

We went on a fun little "daycation" today... to the Hill Aerospace Museum. James was so excited to "see a airpanes" that he could hardly contain himself. It's really fun that he's old enough to get so excited about stuff. FINALLY- after mommy showered and we drove so far, far away- we saw them. The airplanes. And they were gorgeous. "Wow... SO BIG!" was James' general consensus. When he saw bombs, he thought they were little airplanes and would coo, "Ah... so little and cute and so tiny!" in a talk-sweetly-about-babies sort of voice. It was really cute.

We got to the museum around lunchtime and weren't sure what to do. I asked James if he wanted to have lunch in a restaurant, but he adamantly replied, "No. I see airpanes." So we grabbed some MickyD's and ate outside of the museum-- surrounded by and even directly under some pretty amazing airplanes. For my "airpane" loving son, it was heaven. He kept talking about our "airplane picnic." Darling.

Anyway- it was fun. I took tons of pictures, and I plan to scrapbook a few more of them. But here's this one for now. The half-shade half-glaring-sun aspect of the picture sucks quite a bit. But look at that smile. I figure it makes up for it.

Hooray for "daycations" and hooray for a fun little boy!