Saturday, January 9, 2016

Myakka River State Park

It was SO great to have my family here for the holidays!!!! It has been a dream of mine ever since I moved here to get to have family over for Christmas and I can’t believe this year it FINALLY came true!! But then again, it was just great to have them here in general. There’s something about looking around in your home and seeing the people you love fill it up with love and laughs. Thanks you guys, you’ll never know how much it meant to me.
New Year’s Day wasn’t much to talk about for us. However, January 2nd, I was sick of sitting in the house. Since it was the weekend and James was here with us (which also meant we could finally take two cars!) we packed up and headed out on an adventure!
Before we left though, we had a couple visitors wandering around our front yard. It was so weird to see them so close for once, but absolutely hilarious and fun to see everyone freaking out and watching them! We were taking pictures, videos, everything! Those birds were like celebrities!

Once everyone was finally ready (after a pretty cool distraction), we packed into our two cars: me, Mom, Holland, and Qiarra in the car; Dad, Grandma, and James in the truck. On the drive up to Myakka River State Park, OUR car was blasting Qiarra’s new Adele cd she had just got for Christmas. It’s a pretty emotional cd (if you’re going through a breakup, THIS is the cd you’re going to want) and since it was overcast and chilly, it was basically perfect. We sang “Hello” about 40 times throughout the day. I felt like we could’ve been in a music video.
On the way there, we made a small detour and looked at a Memorial site. It was amazing, with hundreds of graves dotting tons of these small green hills. Then we drove through these a-maz-ing properties. Oh my gosh, these were my dream houses. Off on their own, TONS of property, each one so different but all of them radiated old southern charm. We saw properties with horses, cows, or just lots of trees and land. Agh. So perfect. As we drove through, the three of us planned out who would get which houses so that eventually, all of us would be living there together. If only.
We had three stops. The first was a little trail through some woods that lead to a lookout. It was GORGEOUS. Something about overcast weather to me makes everything seem even more pretty than I’m sure it already was. It’s my favorite! (I know, a Arizona-California-Florida girl and my favorite weather is overcast. I can’t explain it!) We looked around a little bit and attempted to find an such luck. But we did see fish and birds!

We stopped for a diaper change, and I had to capture this SUPER cute little moment between these two...

Then it was off to the next stop, which was on a different little trail on a bridge that led to a lookout on some water! Again, GORGEOUS. This one you could look out for miles! It felt so isolated and was really cool to be so out in the open with nothing but nature for miles!

By this time, we were pretty hungry so we started to head home. On the way, we stopped at Cracker Barrel, which I LOVE, and I hadn’t gone with my family to eat there in AGES. Since I was kid and my older sister worked there. So I thought it was time. It was fun to sit there with them and talk and eat together. I wanted to make sure I took another mental picture since it’s going to be so rare to have so many of them here with me all at once like that. Man I miss my family.

Once we were home, it was time to wind down and relax. Everyone was pretty exhausted so we all showered and did our own quiet activities. I watched a movie with my dad (well the first third of one), James and Holland went to bed, my mom and Grandma went to bed, and Qiarra went to her room to read scriptures, watch a show, and go to sleep.
SUCH a fun day. And shout out to my little babe for being SO good!! As always. She is seriously the perfect child, and maybe I’m cursing myself by saying that, but she really is so good. She only ever cries when she is hungry or wants a clean diaper—both EASY fixes. She is just the best girl and I can’t wait to do fun family things together with her.

I love going on adventures and I had never been to Myakka before! James hadn’t been there in a long time either so it was nice to see him enjoying it just as much as the rest of us did. Florida is beautiful and I wish we had more time to explore it! Besides getting to take our little sweetie on our own, I can’t wait until I get to cross of more Florida Must-Do’s as my family keeps coming back!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Tiny Welcome.

World, meet my perfect daughter.

Holland Reese Anderson
5 pounds, 7 ounces
19.5 inches
Born at 8:06pm

Never have I been so in awe of something in my entire life.

My amazing sister in law came to the hospital, with the rest of our family, and took pictures for me and I will be FOREVER grateful. These pictures just capture everything perfectly. It was such a special, surreal moment for me to look around the room and see all of our loved ones surrounding my new little family of three. I took a mental picture and I hope I never forget it. 

Aunt Abby holding Holland for the first time.
Holland and Uncle Zach
Daddy and daughter
Pure love.

I was SO incredibly happy my mom was able to come and be there with me through everything. It was her first time EVER in Florida and it's so expensive to fly here. Holland's labor was quite the process (another post) and I was so terrified, even though I tried so hard to keep a brave, tough face. My mom is the only one who is always able to see right through it, with no hints. So I'm so thankful she was part of my team and there to hold my hand. Thanks mom. Always been there, always will be. You're the best friend a mommy could have. (How backwards does that sound? Haha)

Perfect doesn't even begin to describe her. I'm so proud, happy, and humbled. We are all over the moon. Everything people say about holding a baby in your arms for the first time is true. We love you more than you will ever begin to guess baby girl. I have been waiting for you my entire life and I can't believe you are finally here. I feel so blessed to be your mommy.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Baby Anderson Is A...


I can't believe we are so lucky and get to start our family with a sweet baby girl! Of course we would've been so overjoyed either way, but a girl is quite the fun, unexpected surprise!! I was absolutely sure it was a boy! My goodness, I can't wait to meet her!! We're just about half way so it won't be too long now!

The Day Of

Even though I was REALLY excited the morning of, I'm talking same kind of emotions as Christmas morning, I was also really stressed. I'd left a tad bit later than I meant to and then I took a wrong turn on the way to James's work. I called the doctor and she was very sweet about it, but when I got to his office, I could tell James wasn't happy. So we were a little snippy with each other. But that all melted away when we got there. Neither of us wanted that to be the mood we saw our baby in. So we got over it.

Also worth mentioning, that night before, I told James he should wear whatever color his guess was tomorrow. Since he already had a good idea of what our baby was going to be, he asked if that's what I really wanted and said that he was going to give it away by wearing pink or blue. So I told him to wear a neutral color. I didn't think he actually was going to go for it, but then I saw that he had a yellow shirt on when he got in the car. I mentioned that I thought he wasn't going to do that, but he said "Well that's what you wanted. So I thought yellow was pretty neutral." That made it better too. [I wore blue anyway since that was my guess]

I had drank a WHOLE bottle of water on the 25-ish minute drive up so I REALLY had to go. When we walked into the exam room, she started to get my belly ready but INSTANTLY when she put the gel on, she was in shock about how full my bladder was. She took maybe two tiny measurements and then she had me run to the bathroom before we could start. That cracked us all up and set the good mood.

She started taking more measurements and I told James to be totally ready for when she told us the news. I assumed she would warn us, but luckily James was still ready. And then BOOM. The shocking news. Here it is for you! (Sorry for the obnoxious repeated phrases. Haha)

I. Was. Shocked. I couldn't stop talking to James about it all day. We went out to lunch at Square One (a burger place) and I think that's the only thing I talked about the whole time. That, and how we were going to tell our family and friends the news. I was still shocked when I got home and pulled out the first baby thing I ever bought + kept for myself. I held onto it all this time because I hoped someday, I would have a sweet little lady to put it on. I just couldn't believe it'd be for my FIRST!

We are both SO excited. I can't wait to see James with a little girl. He's already so adorable with our other niece and I've seen how obsessed he is with our other nephew, so I just can't wait to see him turn into a big ol marshmallow. After all, little girls always have a special spot for their daddies. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

baby a : week eight

World, say hello to our little bundle of joy!
Wow. It kind of looks like a little turkey, which is perfect for a November baby! ;)

So you guys, pregnancy dreams are a real thing. I've had the weirdest dreams lately!! I've dreamt I was a criminal detective on a college campus and blew up delivery trucks, I was a woman trapped in a body (of no gender?) forced into marrying Lauren Conrad, and that I was forced to live part-time in water with a bunch of people who had meat thrown to us over a bridge and part-time on a ship.....I mean......what in the world?!

Also, some good and bad news! Good news is there's nausea, but I still haven't had morning sickness! YAY! The bad news is (warning: TMI ahead!!!) constipation. (Dun dun duuuun!) My stomach is always hurting! It's dumb, but I'm not throwing up, which I am terribly afraid of so I can't complain!!

It's a weird angle and I kiiinda pushed it out a bit.
Let's be honest, that's really just bloat. Hehe
Also, sorry for the right-before-bed picture. Yikes.

How far along? 8 weeks 2 days as of today

How big is baby? He or she is the size of a raspberry! It's "berry" cute!.............I'm sorry, I had to!

Maternity clothes? Not yet. I'm hoping to work with what I have for a while longer!

Stretch marks? Also looking good. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for extra luck, yes?!

Sleep? I sleep great! (Well minus my very active brain!) But I still just want to nap all the time. In fact, even now my eyelids feel a little heavy......

Best moment last week? Going to my first OBGYN appointment with James. I’m so glad I didn’t wait until his birthday to tell him so that he could come to it. That’s a moment I will never forget! We’ve been staring at that little ultrasound picture for daysss.

We took a thousand pictures. (Okay, I did)
So although we were SO excited, it might not show so much in this picture. Take 43!

Movement? We saw some up on that little monitor! It was crazy. The heartbeat was the coolest thing I have ever seen!! And I have to wait a WHOLE MONTH to see it again!?!

Food cravings? Smoooothiiiies. Oh my goodness, my mouth is drooling just thinking about them. The icy kind with any and every kind of fruit. Ooooh yeeeeeah.

Food aversions? I'm not a fan of fried foods. I just am not a fan of the smell. But I get over it pretty easily. And any kind of Thai or Indian food (which I smell a lot since our office has the microwave) makes me have to hold my breath and take my nose right off. I'm actually being a little dramatic--it's not that bad....but not that great either. Haha

Gender? We like to talk about it, but let's face it. We have absolutely no idea.

Labor signs? Thank goodness no. Stay away for a loooong time!

Belly button in/out? In

What I miss: Eh. It still doesn't feel like there is much that's different! So I guess there isn't anything I really miss yet! Give me time. ;)

What I am looking forward to: Maybe seeing a tiny pop of a belly? I know that's not for a while and I should count my blessings, but it just doesn't feel real yet!.........Am I the only one that keeps feeling like this? Oh shoot.

Milestones: After getting that ultrasound, everything is finally feeling more real!! And it was a DREAM to get to be there with my James. I already so so so love my little family.

Friday, March 20, 2015

baby a : week seven

I always see my friends posting answers to a “pregnancy questionnaire” on their blogs and I love that idea! I'm hoping to make a baby book/journal for Baby A someday and that seems like a great way to compile all the facts and stats. And it's such a cute way to keep track of all the fun things that happen each week. So (of course) I googled some...and all the ones I saw were basically all the same. That makes this indecisive girl pretty happy! ;)

So without further ado, here is my pregnancy questionnaire....

Classic bathroom tummy picture.
Sadly, nothin to see here {yet} folks.

How far along? 7 weeks 6 days as of today

How big is baby? Our little one is the size of a blueberry! How cute!

Maternity clothes? Nope. I don’t exactly show yet, so I still fit into everything and I haven’t had the need for a new wardrobe. However, maternity clothes seem sooo comfy that it's pretty hard to resist!

Stretch marks? Not yet. Oh gosh. I’m praying I have none. I know, I know. Genetics, But! I’ve been putting lotion on every day for years, so I’m hoping my skin is soft/stretchy enough to buy me some time to get some oils or creams! (I’m open to suggestions!) and maybe I can fight them off....I hope that's not irrational thinking....

Sleep? All. The. Time. I’m always tired! Even if I just woke up, I already need another nap. Haha I’m getting in as much as I can now because we all know once this little person comes along, I can kiss sleep goodbye! :)

Best moment this week? Telling James he was going to be a daddy. I couldn't wait until his birthday. That was something I’ll never ever forget. (Separate post I will link here later)

Movement? Sadly, no movement from our cutie pie. I know it’s just too early, but I can't wait for that moment!

Food cravings? Hmm, I’m not really craving anything! I’m at a point that everything sounds good. And when something sounds good, I need it!

Food aversions? Not really any of these right now either! It’s the same kind of thing—I don’t really notice food until I smell it and all the sudden, I either get nauseous or hungry! Haha  I think it’s too early.

Gender? Psh. No idea. But I just want to buy all the baby clothes! ;)

Labor signs? No way! And I better not have any for a looong time!

Belly button in/out? In

What I miss: Well...I don’t feel like there’s much that’s changed yet! I guess I miss not being tired and not having to pee 24/7? But hey, if that means I get a baby at the end of it, I’ll take it!

What I am looking forward to: Our next appointment and watching this baby grow!

Milestones: Well, I’M PREGNANT! I'd say that's pretty big news!! This is just the most fun adventure ever!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

baby a

I still can't believe this is happening. It sounds cheesy, but it really does feel like a dream! We've wanted a baby so bad for so long and now that it finally has happened, I just feel like I'm walking on clouds and it's just too good to be true! Lucky for me, it's all real. This is really happening!

I had a feeling I could be pregnant a little while before I even took a test. [WARNING: If you are a male, I would just skip this whole paragraph!!] I had missed one period (even though there was the teeny tiniest bit of spotting) but I have missed three periods in a row before and I wasn't pregnant. So I didn't think too much of that. But then my boobs got sore. And very sensitive. I would hug someone or they'd bump into something and...oh man. Ouch. However, I thought it could just be prepping for a period. So I tried not to get my hopes up.

But then it never went away. And I never got my period.

So around my 26th birthday, I decided it was probably time to take a test. I stopped by the store on my way home from work and paced those isles. Do I want a test with a clear word? Well what if it was positive? I would want to keep the test, so would the word disappear after a while? Better get the one with the lines...but what if the answer isn't as clear?! What if one of the lines is faint?! But I would definitely be able to keep that test and the answer would never go away...would it?

I went back and forth like that for at least an hour, weighing the pros and cons of each brand and test. I finally decided to get the one with the clear words--I would go crazy if the results were confusing and I didn't want to take that chance. Besides, once you know, you can take 100 tests and they'll all say the same thing! I can keep one of those! Yay!

I decided it to wait until my birthday to take the test. Knowing that box was hiding upstairs in the back of my dresser was killing me, but I thought if it's negative, well than it's still my birthday and my day was bound to still be a good one. But if it was positive...oh my goodness. Talk about the best birthday ever!!! I had to be patient.

Friday March 13, 2015

Finally Friday has around and we are having quite the busy morning. James comes in with Henry to sing me Happy Birthday (adorable). I know I have to get up and get ready. I want to make sure I look my best just in case I get to take a certain photo, but I'm already feeling really rushed--I know our loan officer will be arriving any minute to sign papers with us. I also kept getting interrupted as James wants to know what I wanted for my birthday breakfast and updates me on time every few minutes. I'm too scared that he'll walk in on me so I just focus on getting ready and not the test I just carried into the bathroom and hid. I have only curled about a third of my hair before I hear her come in. Shoot! I'm tempted to take the test really fast, but this is not a moment I wanted to be rushed. Not even a little. So I just head downstairs.

About an hour and half later, we have signed all the papers and head back upstairs to finish getting ready and finally get my answer.....but I can't wait. I pull the test from behind the bathroom drawer and take the test before anything else can happen and set it on the edge of the tub.

Okay. Don't look at it. It's loading and it'll just make you more antsy. Just do something! I have to look! Still loading. Hm. I could brush my teeth. No, that takes too long. I'll just do a couple curls......Still two of four bars loaded. Okay finished a couple more. Maybe I should look? I'll just take a quick glance....Oh my gosh..does that have a word? A single, short word?!........Okay deep breath, don't get discouraged, you'll be okay, it'll still be a great-.......It says pregnant......It says pregnant!? It says pregnant!.....Does that really say...pregnant?!

I can't help myself. I start shaking so bad, I scare myself. Then it hit really hits me. I start to sob. I fall to my knees and say the most sincere prayer of gratitude I could muster. I can't stop the tears either. I know I had to get ready for work (I was already running pretty late because of the paperwork) so I try to calm myself down enough to finish getting ready. My mother in law is just downstairs and I don't want her to think anything is out of the norm. I go downstairs, pack a lunch, thank her for the birthday gifts on the table and tell her she can have the last birthday donut (I'm going to have to start watching my sugar intake!) and leave for work.

I make a plan that I can’t tell James until his birthday. It only sounds terrible because it’s two weeks away and it’s going to torture me to keep this to myself, but I can't imagine a better present to give him than telling him he was going to finally be a daddy. I smile just picturing the whole thing. I want it to be a really special moment for both of us. You only have your first baby once!...Man, two whole weeks!...But I haven't even seen an OBGYN yet so until I have proof, that might be the smartest thing to do anyway. I feel like I need time to process all of this for myself and figure out all the details (like a due date!) and get some questions answered first.

The whole way there, I think about everything. Telling James, what our little baby will look like, how we would tell our family, if I had been being healthy, what to do first....I start talking to my tummy. It’s not silly! Better get them used to my voice now, right? I am so overjoyed. Tears roll down my cheeks the entire way there, but I am able to keep it together and I’m just enjoying the moment. 

I pull into the parking lot of the office, and immediately make an OBGYN appointment. I know I want Dr. Hamel, I've heard the most amazing things about her! The lady on the phone says her schedule is probably full, but she will check...there’s ONE opening left? I’ll take it! March 23rd. Wow, that’s a long time to hold this in...but this is obviously meant to be! Thank you again Heavenly Father! Now I have the doctor I want and my whole plan is falling into perfect place! 

This lady is really nice about everything—she asks about my birthday, then wishes me a happy one. She asks about the first day of my last period. I remember perfectly and she lets me know I have to be at least 6.5 weeks along. Six and a half weeks!??! Whoa. I tell her my plan and ask if there’s any way James could find out before then. There’s not! This is just turning out to be the perfect day. I get my head in the right place for secret-keeping and head inside the building.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

time to spill the beans...

We're so unbelievably and positively over the moon to announce that I am PREGNANT!!

Baby Anderson
Due November 3, 2015