Sisters, friends, blessed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cousin Weekend

We spent the weekend up North with Kyle's family, and the girls had all kinds of fun! Cuddling with Auntie Kara topped the list for Piper.

But learning about Uncle Frank's longhorns came in a close second.  And Hadley, much to our surprise, decided that she wasn't scared of their 'mooing' anymore, and did not cry at all!  Note the plugged ears (in both pictures) though. But the biggest surprise was that she was ready for a ride on the Kubota, and she even admitted to liking it!

While you cannot see it, or tell it from that smile on his face, Frank had open heart surgery just 10 days before and has an incision down his chest over a foot long!  Pretty impressive guy, to say the least.
We took in one of Brooke's softball games. She is a rockstar first baseman!  Hadley was already out this morning with her bat and ball. No tee though, she wanted to hit it like Brooke. And that tall handsome blond kid in the back, that is cousin Tyler down for a visit from Alaska.  Definitely an Anderson, huh. 

We also managed to hit Canal Park while in town.  Nostalgic to say the least, it is after all where Kyle & I went on our first date over a decade ago!

We finished out the weekend at the lake.  And apparently my parent's pool at the lake has confused Hadley, as she told me in all seriousness as I put her swimsuit on, "But lakes aren't for swimming, they are for fishing!" Despite the chilly water and breezy conditions, she loved it, and even Piper ventured in for a bit.  They needed lots of warm towel snuggles though, and were both happy to get them from Paige (who is home for the summer and not in our town right now).

The girls are with cousin Ava here; Ava is about half a year older than Hadley. Aren't they they cutest little buddies! There are several versions of this picture, most of which involve Hadley (accidently) choking Piper!  But, as both Auntie Kim and I noted, Pipey did not seem to mind a bit; she must be used to that kind of sisterly love! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Girl Trip

The girls and I made our first solo trip down to visit my parents this week.  I used to do it with just Hadley; she was an easy traveler and still is.  But that leaves Pipey, the 'I will not sleep more than 20 minutes' child who says, "I need Mama" literally hundreds of times on the 3 hour ride.  But I switched it up on her, and drove during the quiet morning hours instead of during her nap time, and I am very happy to report that it went well for all!  Not perfectly, but was it ever worth it!  Wagon rides, special treats (Oreos & ice cream included!), lots of cousin love, taking in Uncle Mike's softball game, seeing Oma & Opa and Great Grandma Joan, swimming-swimming-and more swimming, fishing, and topped off by lots of Grandma & Grandpa love!

Nathan had big news while we were there - he passed his last set of boards and is one step closer to getting to use those skills!

The big news of the week for Hadley & Brooklyn was that they are finally tall enough to touch in the pool with their little heads above water!  While Hadley had very little fear about bobbing up and down in the water (and drank A LOT of water in the process), Brooklyn's extra year of wisdom seemed to help her have a bit more respect and caution. I'm hopeful some of that might rub off on Hadley...  Pictured below, but not in this order, are: Brooklyn (4.5-born in 2005), Hadley(3.5-2006), Jeremiah (almost 3-2007), Piper (almost 2- 2008), and Savannah (not in the picture) is 7 months and was born in 2009.  How lucky are my parents with a new grandbaby each of the last 5 years!

It was such a special trip for us.  We look forward to when we can do it again!  Thanks, Mom & Dad ~ We love you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cougars, Tigers, and Bears, OH MY!

With the sun (finally) shining gloriously overhead, we hit our favorite animal park this week and got to appreciate some of God's best furry creatures.  As you can see from the photos, this is not your ordinary zoo.  The girls can get incredibly close to these amazing animals; especially the cougars, tigers, and bears. 

Piper and the white tiger.

Hadley pointing out the black bear (to their left) to "Luey."

We added a new tradition to our trip this year - the fountains!  Piper wanted nothing to do with them, but Hadley could not have been more game.  It was a joyful 7 minute dance through the sprinkling fountains for her, before she and another little boy slammed into one another and put an end to that.  Couple of scrapes and LOTS of tears, but mostly because she wanted to keep dancing.

PS ~ this is what your playroom looks like after the 7th consecutive rainy summer day.  That is every single usable blanket in our house, topped off with every single doll in our house, and every single piece of fake food.  Indoor picnic anyone?  Complete with a couple of butterflies :)

4th Annual

Our visit to that animal park (Irvine) this week is our 4th annual trip.  We've always gone sometime between Father's Day & the 4th of July.  After the second year, I realized that I had captured a 'de ja vu' photo of Hadley & Kyle.  A photo in the exact same place and in nearly the same position.  I now make them do it, for posterity right?  Here is this year's photo, followed by the previous 3 (their quality isn't quite as good, I had to pull them from archives, as my previous computer crashed).




Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Circus

The rain finally let up, and just in time as the Shrine Circus came to town last night! We braved the crowds and the heat, but was it ever worth it to see their little faces! The girls LOVED all of it - the animals, the acrobats, and of course the treats! I left Kyle in charge of the treats, as I wasn't quite sure how he'd feel if I came back with the actual coveted circus treat...cotton candy. But while he did not come back with that exactly, he did return with some buttery popcorn, steamy french fries, and Reeses Pieces! I have never seen either of them eat so much. Hadley watched much of the circus just like this, pressed up against the ledge we were sitting behind, trying to get as close as she possibly could to all the action.

And Piper could not have been more thrilled about any and all of the animals there. Kyle caught a quick video of her watching the elephants leave. First she is telling them 'Goodbye' but then sees them change direction and thinks they are 'Starting up AGAIN!'

We were rather late in getting home though...it did not start until 7:30 p.m. to begin with, but got a late 8:00 start, followed by a nearly hour long intermission, putting us at home after 10! I think we may have pressed our luck a little already today. We set out to see our favorite animal park nearby (post on that to follow) and Piper melted down just trying to get ready, and Hadley melted down trying to get back into the car to come home! I think we all need a long nap (or some fresh coffee, hmmm) and an early bedtime tonight. After seeing Piper in that video though, you'll know, just like we did, it was worth it to hear that squeal over and over again.

Monday, June 14, 2010


While Kyle was on his weekend long boys golfing excursion, we girls had some serious fun puddle jumping (among other things of course, but if you ask Hadley, eating ice cream was the highlight!).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Aunt Bev

Kyle's beloved Aunt Bev made a special trip on over to WI this weekend just to see us.  Bev is a world traveler by no stretch of the word, so we were honored that she would spend an extra day in the Midwest coming to see us.  The girls haven't met her very many times, but somehow she has made quite the impression on Hadley.  Hadley was tickled to think that Auntie Bev was going to stay with us for a night!  We had a great time, and the girls got Bev blowing giant bubbles, climbing into their (teeny) playhouse, reading books, playing on the swingset, and even exploring ant hills in the empty lot next door.  We LOVED having her :).

I have to admit, I just love this next photo.  It is the sweet action that I have grown to love this spring of washing up after a long day of fun.  Two little sisters with their dirty hands and feet reveling in the bubbles, or maybe more accurately one another, on the tiny bathroom counter/sink of our mud room.  Thankfully, it is usually pajama time after this...as you might guess, the 'washing' tends to get a little bit out of hand, uh hmm... Piper!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lake Fun

We had a hilariously fun weekend at Grandma & Grandpa's lake. While the MN weather was not the most conducive for swimming or starting on that tan, we found plenty of time to start the summer out right.  It began with an evening filled of cousin love. Kyle, Brooklyn, Hadley, & Jeremiah whooped it up in the front yard along with Mike & Nathan while the women folk watched from the sidelines.   

Even my cousin, Katie and her little sweet Audrey joined us for the evening!  Piper & Audrey are just about a year apart.

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Nathan & Heidi's 'new' 100+ year old Victorian home on Saturday morning.  The house is (and will be even more with their tlc) spectacular, and will make a fine home for the newlyweds (I can still call them that, right?).

Uncle Nathan helping Piper down the old steps into the backyard of their home.
Auntie Heidi letting the girls 'help' frost a coffee cake in their new kitchen.

Then it was back to the lake for some good food (Rocky Road pizza) and more fun with the cousins!

This is a slightly different look than from the day before, as these two little buddies had barely said hello to one another before they stripped off their clothes and skinny dipped in the pool Friday night!
The rain finally let up by evening, so we wrapped up the day with some fishing off the dock at sunset.  Great fun was had by all, especially Piper!
We had high hopes that Sunday would dawn a bit warmer, but despite the chilly 60 degree temps Grandma & Grandpa turned the pool into a vertible bathtub for the girls (93ish degrees!) and we swam away.
Piper would have preferred to watch from the sidelines, but we did eventually get her in for a bit.  She wanted to do nothing but snuggle me in the pool, but she did at least get to try it out (and most importantly wear that darling orange swimsuit from Grandma).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dr. Graham

I could not have been more excited or more proud of my little brother this past weekend,  as I had the great honor and pleasure of watching him become a doctor!  I can remember him dreaming of becoming an eye doctor even when he was only 8 years old!  Nathan has been out in Boston for the past 4 years studying away at the New England College of Optometry, and after much hard work, determination, perserverance, and a whole lot of prayer he can now be called Dr. Graham!  It was quite the weekend to say the least.  It began with a fantastic congratulatory party put on by his school.  Nathan can be seen with all 15 of his groupies (aka his adoring family) above just outside the four mansions that make up his incredibly historic school.  Inside those doors we were treated to endless hors d'oeuvres (of which he certainly paid for with his exorbitant tuition!). Mom and I can be seen below doing our best to taste nearly all of the desserts.  Quality control, somebody had to do it!
Afterwards we took a leisurely walk down Marlborough Street to admire the incredible brownstones and quaint indivdual sidewalk gardens. We somehow found our way right to the bridge where Nathan & Heidi were engaged 2.5 years ago in the Boston Public Garden.

His official graduation was the following morning. We awoke to a day full of sunshine and promise with just a touch of a charateristic Boston breeze (you can see just how gorgeous it was in the picture below with my dad).

The following day we had time to explore the city, and we started by heading out to the JFK Library.  Unbeknownst to us, it would have been JFK's 93rd birthday that very day so we were treated to 93 cent clam chowder, ice cream, and free birthday cake.  The museum was fascinating, and the view of the ocean incredible.  The darling older couple with my mom & dad and me, is my grandpa Jerry & grandma Joan.  They were such troopers trucking it all of over the city! It was really special to have had the opportunity to travel with them and spend such an important weekend together.  We spent the afternoon deep in the Boston Fine Arts Musuem where we were baffled by ancient Egyptian remains, eccentric collections of old musical instruments, and my personal favorite... several Monet paintings!

A weekend spent in Boston is not complete unless you take in a Sox game.  (I was told that only tourists say Red Sox, of which I had already said several times prior to knowing that!)  Had Kyle been able to join me, it would have been the perfect trip.  Time spent with my parents & grandparents, getting to know Heidi's awesome family, and watching my little brother become a doctor... just priceless.