Thursday, December 27, 2012

Warm Winter Wishes

Are Christmas cards a dying tradition? Who needs a paper card and family photo mailed by post when you can check out Facebook for the latest, hot-off-the-press info on everybody you know? I remember our family sent a page-long newsletter every year when my sister and I were kids. Cue eye rolls and yawns. Yeah, we were one of those families. 

I always hang up the Christmas cards that we receive. I love getting mail and opening the envelopes to find best wishes from friends and family. However, I wonder what fate the cards I send meet... a cherished spot on the mantle, stacked with other cards in a pile, or (I shutter to think) tossed in the recycling bin! Maybe you don't want our smiling mugs watching your every move? Understandable.

Nevertheless, I like sending out cards, and if you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to be on my mailing list, please feel free to do with it as you wish! No hard feelings. 

Warm winter wishes from the Anderson family!
May the next year be very merry and bright.

Our Christmas card from Picaboo

Mama’s Losin’ It
Christmas card share! Show us the card you sent out to family and friends this year.

Friday, December 21, 2012


If you're considering taking your one-year-old to see Santa, don't. 

Seriously, reconsider. 

We took Grace last week, and after standing in line with a squirming little fire ball for over an hour, she completely lost her cool in front of Santa and about a hundred other parents.

Turn back now. 

It's kind of funny, except that it really isn't. When did this tradition start when we forced our children into their green and red Sunday best and plopped them down on a plump old stranger's lap? To make matters worse, we photograph the entire awkward, often traumatic, encounter.

Santa-tastrophe. (Tsk tsk, parents. We should know better. Any one heard of stranger danger??!!)

We decided maybe we shouldn't take Grace to see Santa for a few years...until she's older and understands she's not in any eminent danger.

Oh well, at least I can check a few more items off of our 25 Days of Christmas list!

Visit Santa*. 
*Scar Grace for life. 

"Mama, nooooooooo!"

"Don't touch me! What kind of guy wears a fake beard?"

Last year's Santa picture... Grace slept through the whole encounter. Santa-tastrophe avoided.
Make Christmas cookies. 

Drink hot cider and go for a walk. ✓ 
(Does warm apple juice count?)
Watch a Christmas movie. ✓ 
Decorate Santa hats. ✓ 

Just a few more things to do on the list before Christmas is here! 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top 12 Reasons I Run

In case you live in a cave and don't have a calendar, today is December 12, 2012 (12/12/12). It is this century's last sequential date. Apparently it is also National Tom Brady Day...

People are getting crazy and having weddings and babies and preparing for the end of the world. I have no plans to do any of those things. Instead, Grace and I went running and had lunch at a friend's house. Pretty tame, I know.

To celebrate 12/12/12- and because I love any excuse to make a list- here are my top 12 reasons to run!

What did I miss?

HAPPY 12/12/12!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not-So-Frosty The Snowman

Even though the thermometer says 70°F, the calendar still reads Decemeber. It's already the 10th...that's just 13 days until my family arrives...2 weeks until Christmas eve...15 days until get the picture! Usually I would be scrambling to come up with gift ideas about this time, but not this year. I'm done!

So this is what it feels like when you don't procrastinate until the very last day. It feels good-and a little unnerving. I can't help but think maybe I need to do a little more shopping or at least some window browsing... Nah, I'll just tackle some more activities on my 25 Days of Christmas list! (The check marks below are me marking them off of my list!)

Last week we put up the Christmas tree.  There's nothing like the smell of a fresh pine tree 6 ft. artificial evergreen tree in your living room office.

Decorating the tree
Grace loves looking at the tree at night when we turn on the lights. She also loves stealing ornaments.

I finished addressing all of the Christmas cards and sent those out with the snail mail carrier.  One may be headed your way!

Enjoy some Elton Christmas tunes here
We had a pretty rockin' dance party to Elton John's Christmas Party cd on Thursday morning. 

I also made the house smell like Christmas with some delicious Honey Pear Cider and Apple Press Scentsy scents ✓ and wrapped some Christmas gifts. ✓ 

All this checking makes me quite happy!!! 

Cole absolutely loves it when I get crafty (false, he does not), so I made some Christmas decorations ✓ and decorated 3 new ornaments for the tree! They were all super easy, but I'll share the melted snowman ornament. (As usual, it was inspired by Pinterest!) Any snowmen in our area would definitely melt...there is no snow in sight!


How To Make a Melted Snowman Ornament

Clear glass or plastic bulb
Black puff balls
Orange paper
Red felt
Small sticks of twigs

  1. Using a funnel, fill the bulb about 1/4 of the full with salt.
  2. Toss in the black puff balls. (These represent the coals that make up the snowman's eyes and mouth.)
  3. Cut out a small piece of orange paper and roll it up to look like a carrot. Toss that in the bulb.
  4. Cut out a small strip of felt and cut fringe on either in to represent the snowman's scarf. 
  5. Break off two pieces of twigs and toss those in the bulb. (These are the snowman's arms).
  6. Put the lid of the bulb back on and tie a piece of ribbon to the top. Ta-dah! Super cute and easy!
Not-So-Frosty the Snowman hanging on the tree
I also had an amazing opportunity to collaborate with my fellow Stroller Stride mamas and adopt 3 in-need military families. Together we shopped for toys and clothes for 8 kids who may not have otherwise received any gifts for Christmas. Being able to help out and witness the generosity of others is always a humbling experience.  

Finally, we read a Christmas story.  Grace is actually starting to like books. Well, she may not really like them, but at least she'll let me turn the pages now!

Reading Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, a cool recordable storybook we got at the Fort Bragg 5K this weekend!

I'm loving the holiday season this year! I hope you are too! Wishing you a silent night!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

25 Days of Christmas

We made it through November in a blink of an eye with a road trip to Florida and a bout of food poisoning, and today is the first day of December! Who doesn't love the holidays? I'm excited for chilly weather and a visit from my parents and sister later this month! Grace is still too young to really understand or enjoy the magic of the holidays, but I'm going to do my best to create traditions for our little family that will help us to celebrate Christmas and grow closer.

I remember when we were little our parents would drive us around at night so we could look at the Christmas lights. My sister and I would sing songs. We were probably pretty annoying and off key, now that I think about it. (We certainly weren't beautiful carol singers by any stretch of the imagination.)

We would also help my mom make huge plates of cookies to deliver to the trash men, mailman, gate guards and the bicycle shop. Our favorites were the Hello Dollies with chocolate graham crackers and coconut. My dad always loved the lemon bars.

We hardly ever got snow where we lived in California. However, it snowed more often up country from us, so my dad would bundle us up in snowsuits and take us to go sledding and to play in the snow. Apparently we don't get much snow where we live in North Carolina, but that's ok with me. I don't know if pushing a stroller in the snow is possible, and I certainly don't enjoy driving in it! #nervousdriver

I love traditions and thinking about ways to make Grace's childhood special. I've been seeing some wonderful ideas on Pinterest for celebrating 25 days of Christmas, and a friend also sent me a list. Thanks Meg! I decided to write up a list of my own, so we could check something off of the list each day as we count down the days to Christmas. I think most of the items on the list are pretty simple and relatively inexpensive, but it will give us the chance to truly focus on the activity each day. I also didn't want to add any stress to an already stressful time of year, so if we don't get something done one day, we'll just do a couple things on another day. No big deal.

Today is December 1st, and we are planning on setting up the Christmas tree- in the office where Grace can destroy it. it will be safe.

'Tis the season for spreading good cheer! Wishing you all a wonderful month of holiday fun!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Thankful Turkey Craft (see below for instructions)

This weekend I ran the Pinehurst Turkey Trot 10K. It was a great way to start off Thanksgiving week... until I went and ate a giant breakfast burrito afterwards and washed it down with a large mocha. 

Confession: I run to eat!
(and that's fine with me)
K and H were troopers and kudos to their moms for pushing the double stroller! That thing is no joke!
Seriously, though, on this Monday before Thanksgiving I was thinking about all of the Christmas shopping I have yet to do and packing for our trip to Florida later this week. I was thinking I should buy a wreath for the front door. I had thoughts of a cinnamon roll and Pumpkin Spice Latte. Then I took a deep breath and realized...

It doesn't matter. 
Black Friday and holiday travel. 
Decorations and overpriced coffees.
None of it is really important!
What's important is family.
Good health.
Good friends.
Making memories
finding time to enjoy what you have
That's what I want my life to be about all year long!
(Not just during the months of November and December! How does that make sense?)

So in honor of turkey day, get out your crafting scissors and let's show some gratitude with attitude!

How To Make a Thankful Turkey

White paper plate
Tan, orange or brown construction paper
Yellow construction paper
Black Sharpie marker
Googley eyes
Foam sticks in assorted colors (or paper feathers cut from construction paper)

Paper plate cut in half with scalloped edges will form the turkey's wings.
  1. Cut your paper plate in half and then use scissors to cut scalloped edges along the round part of the plate.
  2. Cut out a turkey head and neck from the brown or orange construction paper. (I drew mine and then added the eyes and beak with the Sharpie- just make sure the head and neck are at least as tall as the halved paper plate.) 
  3. Cut out the turkey's waddle from the yellow construction paper. (Apparently the waddle is the hangy-thing under a turkey's chin. Turkeys use their waddles for cooling purposes.)
  4. Use 3-7 foam sticks to give your turkey feathers. Fan them out and glue them to the paper plate. Make sure the ends of the sticks all start from the center so they will be covered when you glue on the turkey head. (You could also cut out colorful feathers from construction paper if you don't have the foam sticks.)
  5. Using a Sharpie, write what you're thankful for on the end of each stick. 
  6. Glue the turkey head to the plate. 
  7. Glue the waddle under the turkey's beak.
  8. Glue on some googley eyes!

I'm thankful for friends, my electric blanket, running, Girl Scout Cookies and family.

I promise I am thankful for other things like my freedom and clean water- I just had Thin Mints on the brain while I was crafting my turkey!

Gobble Gobble!
Happy THANKSgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Party Like You're One

When you are one-year-old, your expectations are not very high. 

You're happy with a tasty snack, a clean diaper and a game of peekaboo.  

But if your mom decides she's going to throw you a birthday party, there's not much you can do! 

Just roll your eyes and smile...she means well.

She'll probably dress you up and parade you around...

and make guests play silly games...

Sign on the front door greeting guests. Kids and adults marked their height on the chart, and a gift was given to the shortest and tallest guests. 

Each guest placed a dot at their height and wrote their name. 

The Doljabbi Ceremony is the main event at the Dol (Korean first birthday).
Several items are placed in front of the child, and the item the chile grabs predicts the child's future.
Guests get to place their bets on which item the child will choose.
Items included:
Scholar- Pen
Artist- Paintbrust
Doctor- Bandaids
Athlete- Golf ball
Scientist- Calculator
Wealth- Dollar bill
Prosperity- Bowl of rice
Long Life- String

Grace chose (drum roll please) THE STRING, which represents long life!
Then she'll force everyone to look at embarrassing photos.

Monthly photos of Grace

You'll do your best to grin and bare it. Pretzels anyone?

And then, as if it couldn't get any worse, your parents will strip you down and make you eat cake. With your hands. While everyone watches. 

Can a girl get a napkin? Wet wipe?
About that time you'll start to wonder if nap time will ever get here, but if you MUST, you'll jump in the bounce house with some friends. 

Then right when you're starting to get into this whole "party" thing, your mom will pass out party favors and everyone will leave...

Party favors: wavy straws with homemade balloon toppers

Gum ball machine party favors
Turning one is hard work. Maybe next year we could just do breakfast in bed and a trip to Build-a-Bear?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Run So I Can Wear These Sweet Tights

Last Sunday I ran the City of Oaks Marathon Relay with some fabulous moms (and few of their very supportive husbands)! Here is a recap* of the day:
*Times are an estimation based on my terrible and unreliable memory. 

3:30am- Alarm goes off and I feel nauseous and shaky. Hope that coffee will help.
4:18am- I decide not to wake Grace for one last feeding and leave her in her Daddy's capable care.
5:00am- Meet Kristin and Heather for carpool.
6:27am- Arrive at "Bell Tower" and locate nearest portojohns immediately.
6:40am- Find the rest of the Wonder Woman team and distribute race numbers and timing chips.
6:44am- Lauri drops her phone to its death. .
6:52am- Realize I gave timing chip band, but not timing chip to our first runner. PANICK a little.
6:56am- Karen finds our runner and gives him the chip.
7:00am- RACE STARTS!
7:16am- Catch the shuttle bus to the 3/4 handoff location.
7:30am- Wait outside McDonalds freezing our tails off. 
7:34am- Decide to go inside McDonalds to get a coffee. Resist the urge to order a hash brown patty. 

8:06am- Cole texts me. Baby is up, all is well. 
8:13am- First place runners zoom by.
8:55am- The 3rd leg of team Wonder Woman takes off from the transition area.
9:07am- More waiting. I'm starting to wonder why I paid money to wake up early, drive an hour and a half and stand in the cold all morning long....Regretting my decision. 
10:22am- It's my turn! FINALLY! I take off running in my sweet Wonder Woman socks, shirt and vintage blue running tights. I feel fast, (and kind of silly). Eye of the Tiger comes on my iPod. Sweet.
10:38am- I pass a runner who's shirt reads, "DFL is better than DNF." (Dead F'in Last is better than Did Not Finish). Good point. Keep running.
10:56am- Witness some marathon runners really struggling to make it the last couple of miles. A volunteer yells to me, "Looking good for having run 24 miles!" (Try 4 miles, actually. I feel guilty.)
11:19am- I cross the finish line and am rewarded with 4 shiny medals! For me?! Oh, for my team, of course! 

Leg 3 and 4 runners from team Wonder Woman Red, White, Blue and Gold!

11:30am- Call the hubbins to confirm he and Grace are both still alive. 
11:33am- Gather the other carpoolers, and get the flock out of apologies for being directionally challenged. 
12:49pm- Drop off carpool divas. 
12:54pm- Guzzle Iced Mocha from Dunkin' Donuts. 
1:16pm- Arrive home! Baby is napping and Cole is watching football. Must be nice...let me tell you about my morning...

I hope this post doesn't sound like I'm complaining, I'm really not. I had a blast. It's just funny to realize what I consider fun these days. Sure, the relay race took some planning and included a lot of waiting around, but you can't beat the atmosphere and the camaraderie you get at running events. I got to hang out with super nice, funny ladies, the volunteers were very supportive, I had a great run, and I got to spend I morning doing something for myself. Likewise, Cole and Grace spent the morning together and survived with no catastrophes. (I may have worried, but I knew they would be fine!)

Now that I've had some time to reflect, I am really thinking about training for a marathon next year. Maybe the City of Oaks Marathon??? I'm no where near ready now, but by this time next year, I could be ready! I can't believe I'm even considering it, but I really do love a new challenge! 

So, let me know if you have any good training advice or would like to be my training buddy...anybody??? Hellllllooo????? 

Where did everybody go?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick-or-Treat Puppy

I hope everyone had a happy, safe and sweet Halloween! We certainly did!

We put our little "puppy", Grace, to work to score us some Halloween treats! (It seemed only fair that we should dress up as her guardians and Trick-or-treat escorts, so Cole was a 1980 Olympian and I was Giants' Buster Posey.)

I'm pretty sure Grace was clueless as she celebrated her first October 31st, but she at least tolerated her puppy hood and got her first taste of a tootsie pop.

I believe it takes having a kid or being a kid to truly experience the magic of holidays like Halloween!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Twins Share Everything

Sure, siblings learn to share, but if you're a twin, you share EVERYTHING, including your birthday!

So, here's to you, sis, happiest birthday wish vibes being sent your way... (twins can do that...send thoughts to each other with just our mind waves! Luckily I can't feel her pain when she gets hurt, though. That would be brutal and unfair!)

You are fabulous, and great things are in your future!


Your big sis (by one minute)