charlotte: age 1

View More:’s birthday has completely snuck up on me. I’ve been so busy with our house in Texas, with all of Holden’s appointments and everything that comes with that, visitors, etc that I just haven’t even had time to think about it so it’s hitting me like a ton of bricks.

Last night I couldn’t help but snuggle Charlotte to sleep and hold her because I know these moments won’t be here for much longer. I love her little one-year-old self so much. She’s the funniest person I know. Her laugh is incredibly infectious and her smile melts people. People always comment on her sweet spirit and how they can feel it when they are around her. What a gift to have.

Other than when she’s teething, she honestly has been the perfect baby and has probably ruined me for all future children we’ll have. I’ll have a normal baby and think something is completely wrong because for the first 9 months of her life, I swear she hardly cried. Our family feels more complete with her. She brings a tender element that we all recognize and appreciate.

Oh, I just love her to pieces.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Charlie. We love you.

[Thanks again to Tara from Taraphotographics for this portrait. Complete perfection.]

holden: age 3

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I’m kind of in awe every day at how happy this kid makes me. He’s the most loving, affectionate, sweet, sometimes frustrating, joyful kid I know. I love watching him play and then having him come over saying “mama!” while coming in for a huge hug and kiss. Allan and I probably bring up how much we love having him in our family to the point of being a little ridiculous. It’s become part of our nightly routine. We feel very lucky to have been blessed by his sweet spirit. He has taught me so much about patience and about letting him be his own person. I see so much good in him and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in life because I know he will go far with that incredible brain of his. I look forward to singing twinkle twinkle with him every night and hearing him start it with “winkle winkle.” I’m turning into a puddle of goo as I even write about it.

Can he just stay 3 forever?

I think I’m feeling extra mushy tonight because my other babe is turning one tomorrow and where does the time go? It is flying by too quickly for my liking.

see what this cutie was into at one and two.

[picture was taken by the amazing Taraphotographics while she babysat my kids for an hour. If she can take 15 amazing pictures in 5 minutes..which she did…I can’t even imagine what she could capture in a 30 minute session! Thank you, Tara, for capturing the sweet moments that you did. I love you for it. Go check out her website and show her some love!]


Menu Monday|ish [GF style]

I have been completely MIA with Menu Monday and that’s just out of laziness. I’ve still been planning meals but I felt they were getting repetitive and couldn’t carve out the time to blog about repetitive recipes. A few weeks ago we started a [mostly] gluten-free recipe. Allan and I eat it some still since the diet isn’t for us but for the most part, we try to show solidarity to holden:) We are trying anything and everything to see if anything helps click with his language so diet was next on our list. No bandwagon, just doing everything we can to see what helps his language click. If nothing else, it has made me so much better about getting Holden on a regular eating schedule and it hasn’t been a battle lately. I repeat–eating has not been a battle lately! So we’re going to stick with it for a while. If you have any GF recipes, please send them our way! There are tons out there but it’s hard to know which ones actually taste good, ya know?

Now don’t ask me which recipes are good or which ones I like best because I’ve only tried the waffles. Oh, and I also quit drinking coke. I’m on day 6 and I feel amazing! I decided to quite because I was just drinking way too much, way too little water, and I want to lost 10 pounds. Drinking tons of coke won’t help with my losing weight goal. I’ve quit many times over the last 3 years but I’m hoping this one sticks. I feel different about it this time so hopefully that’s a good indicator…keep your fingers crossed!

and serious about sending me any good GF recipes!


Happy 11 Monthday, Charlotte!


Nicknames: same ole same ole
Temperament: You are generally easy to please and chill. I love my relaxed baby. The only times you’re fussy are when you’re hungry, tired, or away from mom.
Things I Could Do Without: Weird nap days where you don’t like to sleep. Teething. General clinginess sometimes. Most of the time I love the momma’s girl in you!! It makes me incredibly, incredibly happy when you lunge for me. Seriously, lunge.
Item/Toy We Love The Most: Orajel.
Item/Toy You Love The Most: just holding an iphone. not playing with or anything, just holding it in your hands.
Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: I love when you’re able to put yourself to sleep! It’s the bets. I’m loving when you laugh–seeing your little teeth show in your smile is the cutest thing. I love seeing you with Holden. You guys truly have a special relationship and I just love seeing these little sweet moments between brother + sister.

Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: Spending time with Gigi while she’s here visiting! Getting into everything. Being near me, bubba, and dad…but especially me. Laughing a whole lot. We just look at you sideways and you laugh. I love it.
Milestones: You can catch yourself for the most part when you fall over! At least you don’t just fall straight backwards anymore:) Crawling a lot more, especially recently. Starting to show interest in pulling up on things. The last few days you’ve even started moving your feet to walk around a little. I think you’re officially a mobile babe! You said “UP” and one of Holden’s speech therapy appointments.

IMG_4715 IMG_4720 IMG_4718

This month has been a really great one with you. And a little sad. You’re getting more and more mobile every day and I see you growing from my baby to my toddler. Bittersweet is a good word. Watching you grow is amazing and I love it but I just really cherish this time I have with you. I love just sitting with you. I so enjoy you sitting on my lap or near me and sewing. It’s one of my favorite times. I love how you love me unconditionally. I hope that never changes, I know it won’t on my end. I’m trying not to look forward into the future too much. I’m just enjoying being here in this moment. This 11-month-old moment is so perfect. I love you always.

xoxo, mom

missing Texas

Coming to California from Texas has definitely been an adjustment. For the most part, it has been really good actually but some days I just miss a lot about Texas! I’ve been feeling homesick today so I’m going to complain a little bit about the things I miss about Texas. Just a little!


^^Even though I have to admit Texas scenery can’t hold a candle to California, I still love the empty, back roads back home.^^

Mostly, my family and best friends. Almost all of them are in Texas. We’ve been very blessed to have lots of wonderful visitors but it’s not the same as being able to hug on your niece and nephews anytime you want.

FREAKING QUESO. The mexican food out here is so MEH to awful. I miss tex-mex but most of all I miss queso {it’s no where to be found}, Fuzzy’s Tacos and Rosa’s.

QT…or any good gas station. The gas stations here have like one refrigerator of $2.50 bottles of water and cokes. Not even a fountain machine. Where’s my $.39 huge coke?! And the gas stations are hard to find a lot of the time! Really? 16 miles to the next gas station?! Getting used to it though. Don’t get too low on that gas in might be in trouble.

Since it’s the first day of summer and all, I’m really missing having a pool in our neighborhood. I’m REALLY missing our last neighborhood’s incredible, resort-style pool today. Holden loves to swim and our tiny, tiny pool in the backyard is great and all but…

House prices. Enough said.

I know, I know. Some of those might be silly things to complain about {ie queso} but I miss all of those things. I guess if those are the worst things about California, that’s not bad at all. There’s a lot {and I mean a lot} to love about living here but some days I just want to transport my little family back home to see the most fabulous people, eat tex-mex and bbq, have people pay attention when they’re driving, and swim in a nice, big bath-water-temperature pool. Okay, maybe not the very last part😉


happiness list


I don’t follow very many blogs anymore {time issue!} but I still keep up with my favorite. She posts a happiness list every once in a while which I absolutely love. I was actually taking out the trash today when it just hit me that life is so good, God has been so good to my family. I wanted to make a happiness list of my own. I know I’ll have a crap day later this week and hopefully this will be a good reminder of how life really is so good most of the time.

  1. The weather in California is amazing today. Well, everyday but today it’s especially heavenly.
  2. Holden is listening to me today! WHAT?!
  3. I have a hardworking {and awesome! and funny! and hot!} husband.
  4. I’ve found two things that I really love and actually get to do: being a mom full-time and quilting.
  5. This bowl of froot loops is hitting the spot.
  6. Visitors! We have a constant stream of visitors and we LOVE it. No, we are not sick of visitors so come one come all to the Anderson B&B. We miss Casey already.
  7. Farmer’s Market, pizza, games with friends tonight.
  8. I was able to get our Zara box that I accidentally shipped to our neighbors!
  9. For reals this time…closing on our TX house in 6 days!
  10. Charlotte reaches for me now. And snuggles into me when she doesn’t want to leave my arms. Talk about heart bursting.
  11. and a bonus…Mendocino in August and New York in November! Both without kids!


let’s go fly a kite

We walked to one of the parks close to our house last night and Allan had the genius idea of bringing a kite we had bought forever ago. It was seriously windy last night! I even used the words, “I’m kinda cold. Maybe I should bring a hoodie.” IN JUNE! I love California.


I had never actually flown a kite before. I mean, maybe I did as a kid and it just didn’t leave a lasting impression on me? But that has changed! I’m no longer the dork who has never flown a kite and my kids can’t ridicule me for that in the years to come. I know Holden won’t remember it but I’m so glad to have made this memory. Allan is such an incredible dad, running around for who knows how long while Holden’s little two-year-old body chased slowly behind him. It was the sweetest thing. Holden was GIDDY. Almost has giddy as when I brought home my bike but not quite.


Charlie and I looked on from afar and had some girl time. I love making Charlotte laugh. It’s so easy. And now you can see her little teeth outlines when she smiles, it’s ridiculously cute. I can’t believe her teeth haven’t popped through at the top! They could not be any closer. I think tomorrow will be the day!

Now I know you want to witness Holden’s little two-year-old body chasing the kite around, right?! So here you go! If you listen closely you can hear Holden hootin’ and hollerin’ {representing TX}. Enjoy.

IMG 3802 from Jen Anderson on Vimeo.

Happy Monday!