Thursday, November 14, 2013

Anderson Party!

I swear this blog is not just a place for me to announce that I'm pregnant.  Though I did do it here not very long ago.  But alas, we are expecting a new little nugget to arrive in early April.  We are "patiently excited" this time, enjoying the anticipation but trying to soak up the simplicity of just two little ones.

    photo c/o Crave Photography

Trying to live each day as a celebration is something we're getting better at, so the party theme begins!

I will be checking in soon, as I've got some fun pre-holiday activities in the works, and now that I'm not on the verge of vomiting, my crafting stamina has been brought back to life!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A royal baby was born?

I love babies.  Especially my own.  I love babies that distract me from dinner, or church, or ones that smile at me from their cart in the grocery store.  But... enough about the royal baby already.  I feel like we have some other worldly issues that are a smidge more important than the details of a foreign baby's birth.  Like, maybe we can educate people on environmental issues, or further understanding for other cultures, etc.

I hardly watch tv, don't really read much news, and am a moderate social media contributor/onlooker, and yet I know the gender and birthdate of this little guy.  I cannot imagine how annoyed or excited the rest of you well-informed citizens are.  It seems like the constant newsfeed is a little much. Congrats royal family, now let's move on.  Shall we?

If you are a Prince William enthusiast, then I suppose you're enjoying all this joyous news.  I can't help but wonder, though, if we weren't so wrapped up in reading about births of celebrity babies, what exciting things could we discover?

Here's a baby I really like.  That's a stretch...he's more of a toddler.    

Thanks for stopping by.  I know your time is precious, and I'm glad you decided to spend a few minutes with me.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Smart Phone, Smart Mom

See that mini computer I'm holding?  That, my friends, is my first smartphone. I got it a few weeks ago. Gasp.  You may be thinking one of a few things:
  • Really?  You're just now getting a smartphone?
  • About time.  Welcome to 2013
  • You shoulda got an iphone
I was holding out on getting one for a couple reasons--budget and my amazing ability to get distracted mid-task or mid-thought by anything, at any time.  But my want for anytime picture taking and video capturing, a need for traveling navigation, and a desire to connect with others via social media won over. Behold my Galaxy S4.  It's big.  The screen is bright.  It's totally encased with a protective cover to guard against my clumsiness, but we tell people it's because of the kids.    As a new smartphone owner, I was of course amazed at its capabilities and overwhelmed with possibilities, but vowed to not let the device make me a worse parent, wife, or friend.  On the contrary, I wanted it to help me be better at these things.  So I have devised a short list of ideas on how to be a smart mom (or dad, or friend, brother, aunt, whatver) with a smartphone.  Of course these are ideas that work for my life, and I am continuously working on ways to integrate technology wisely into to my personal as well as professional teaching life.  

How to be a Smart Parent with a Smart Phone:
1.  Connect with others in a genuine way: Let your kids talk with aunts, uncles, grandparents on a phone call or via Skype/Facetime.  Do it yourself, and allow your kids to see you doing so.
2. Find your way in unfamiliar territory:  My phone's navigation is pretty reliable, but it prefers only main highways.  This makes travel easier (most of the time).
3. Document memories: I love that I can record HD video and take some great pictures using my phone.  I have seen ebooks and videos about phone photography.  There are apps that create scrapbooks from your phone photos.  Take advantage.
4. Don't text and drive:  The little ones (and big ones) will notice.
5. Play sparingly:  The games are fun.  Some are addicting.  I have a hard time putting down a round of "words with friends," but those are precious minutes.  Make the most of them.
6. Spread some love: I tweet, instagram, facebook, and blog.  When I do get a minute to check these or contribute, I do my best to throw some positivity into the world, comment, or at least "like" something I appreciate.  
7.  Do what works for you:  Set limits.  Maybe it's no phones at the dinner table, or you put them on the counter til the kids go to bed. Right now, I check texts and calls while being Mom and check social media while the kids eat breakfast, then again at nap.  I am working on finding a balance and am open for suggestions on how to incorporate a smartphone into my everyday life. 

Thanks for reading and stopping back to check out my sporadic posting.  I appreciate you!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Perfection

Ahh, a perfect Mother's Day: waking up to the sound of my little ones' pitter-pattering as they bring me breakfast in bed; opening handmade gifts from the kids as I stare out at my freshly cleaned house; donning my new earrings from the in-laws; arriving at church early and gaining much wisdom from the sermon; a leisurely lunch and book-reading/crafting at home while my cherubs nap peacefully.

(Insert record-skip sound effect)

The imperfect:  My 3 year old is screaming because how dare his dad try and put paint on his hand to create a cherished memento; my house is mostly clean because of the six hours we spent yesterday....though there's a mountain of unfolded laundry that I'm ignoring; my new earrings were given to me early, and vacuumed up in our cleaning escapade the previous day; just before departing for church my dear husband is digging through the discarded vacuum bag to reclaim my gift; we arrive at church in the knick of time and hear most of it; lunch is chips and salsa for me, cheese sandwiches for the kids; nap-time is as stated above.

Today, instead of yearning for perfection or treating myself to a day at the mall, I am just feeling blessed to be a mother.  I work my butt off (not literally, but I wish) to raise compassionate, responsible and intelligent kids.  It's frustrating and overwhelming at times and most days I lack the personal hygiene or free time I once considered important, but I am fortunate.  There are many people out there who don't like being moms, or desperately are seeking to become one, or who have lost children, or have other heart-breaking situations.  I am thinking of those women today, and sending love to them.

I'm okay with the slobber stain on my shoulder and a tantrum about seat-belt-wearing.  These years are chaotic and beautiful and I intend to cherish every minute.  If the worst part of my Mother's Day is losing a couple earrings, then great.  I didn't have to dig them out of the trash--the best present yet!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Too busy to blog?

Man, I am a poor excuse of a blogger lately.  I love stopping by my fave blogs every few days and seeing the awesome content that they're posting.  I think "I should blog".  Then I move on to something else.

What have I been up to, besides avoiding the "draft blog post" like it has influenza?  Glad you asked.  Between glamorous diaper changes, dishwasher unloading, teaching, and the occasional shower, my bits of spare time are being spent:

Trying my hand at my own "Happiness Project."  Have you read the book?  It's awesome.  You can buy it here.  I would lend you my copy but I need it for reference.  Constant reference, it's that good.  I will share all about it soon--  what I am doing in my happiness project and what steps to take if you want to try it out.

Being obsessed with all things photography.  Taking a class, snapping shots of anything and everything, spending too much time watching videos and reading articles.  I love it.  And I think I'm getting better.  You can be the judge, when I post some pictures.

Playing with my kids.  Really playing--like pushing toy cars on the carpet and sitting on chair pretending it's a train.  Also, birthday celebrations for both boys are going down.  Pictures and details to come.

Watching Downton Abbey.  I hopped on board with that train.  Don't regret it.  I can't get enough.  My advice:  start from season one.

Getting healthy.  Like, the kind where you eat healthy and exercise.

Okay, so I've given you a picture-free, promise (of posts to come) filled, glimpse of me right now.   Because it's nearing midnight and I have to work in the morning.  Also because I am too lazy to fetch my portable hard drive and do not wish to upload any of the old pictures from my laptop because my skills were not nearly as polished and how dare you see that I am not a professional.

Sending you sweet cyber hugs.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

DIY: Kindness

I am approaching 30, and quick.  My birthday is coming up in just a few days, and I have been thinking about a way to celebrate.  Of course there will be cake (err, tiramisu) and possibly some singing, but I want to do something to celebrate how blessed I am and to share some love with the people around me.  And so is born "DIY: Kindness".  It fits the genre of the blog and gets me thinking about opportunities beyond my home and family, though both of those are definitely included.  I am going to attempt to complete thirty acts of kindness in the weeks surrounding my birthday.  "DIY: Kindness" is in full swing--that's one advantage to having a birthday near Christmas, lots of chances to help out.  

Here's the progress on DIY: Kindness so far:

1.  Paid for the car behind me in a drive thru.  
2.  Bought a book of stamps, left with postal worker to give to the next person.  
3.  Bought a Christmas present for a senior citizen 
4.  Bought a Christmas present for a child
5.  Sent a pillow and pillowcase to a family who needs it.
6.  Left a little something for the mail carrier--bottle of water, some chocolate, and hand lotion
7.  Left a card and cookie mix on the neighbor's doorstep

I have a ways to go.  It's sort of like when I decided to give my husband thirty gifts on his 30th birthday a couple months ago.  It seemed like such an awesome idea (and it was!) but when I was putting it together, I wasn't sure.  

Please feel free to join and get to doing some DIY Kindness.  It can be big or small.  Sometimes just holding a door or sharing a compliment can make someone's day.  If you choose to join, I'll add it to my list of 30, and you may just see some kindness coming your way as well.