new books!

My wonderful friend and past roommate Britney sent me a Barnes and Noble giftcard for my birthday. This was an extra special treat because I almost never buy books (clearly that is what the library is for.)  I thought long and hard about what book I wanted and eventually decided on:

Janssen raved about it last year and 96% of the time I agree completely with Janssen (I can't actually think of a time when I have disliked a book she recommended, but I'll leave myself 4% just in case she goes crazy.)  I impatiently sat on the waiting list for this book at the library, and then when I finally got it I read the first couple chapters and decided it was a book I wanted to own.  So, I now have my very own copy and can finally finish Dinner: A Love Story.

While I was in a book buying mood I decided to get something for Jilly.  We struggle a lot with reverence during church.  Jillian can't sit quietly for 15 minutes let alone an hour plus of Sacrament Meeting.  When we were in Virginia my mom had a lift the flap book that Jilly loved and stayed pretty quiet with so I bought her a Lift the Flap Bible.  I'm going to try to keep it special and just for church, but I did let her read it in the car on the way home and she loves her "Jesus Book" as she calls it.


it's the most wonderful time of the year

The best part about putting Valentines decorations up this year (and you better believe we've had these decorations up for weeks by now) was Jilly following behind me saying, "Oh petty, I wike it Mommy."  Love that girl.

Most of my decorations are pretty similar from last year, but I did add a few.

 I made one of these little pouches for each of us, and once I finished them all I realized I'll have to make another one next year!  I'm going to print these notes for us to give each other throughout the next couple weeks.

Powder room, and as a bonus me and baby at 24.5 weeks
My sewing table- this printable is from my cousin's etsy shop and I love it a lot.  It will not be disappearing after Feb 14th.


rain gutter bookshelves

This post could also be titled "Why Bryan is the best" or "The day Jilly couldn't keep her tongue in her mouth."

One day I showed Bryan this link and said "How would you feel about putting rain gutter bookshelves in Jilly's room?"  He replied, "Great, send me the link."  The link was sent and the next day he and Jilly were off to Lowe's.  They came home with a 10 ft long piece of rain gutter.  I was very glad I hadn't gone with them because they had to drive with the windows open for it to fit-brr!  

A couple days later Bryan cut the rain gutter in half, drilled the brackets into the wall, hung the gutters, and put the endcaps on (our shelves are right against the wall so we only did endcaps on the left side but other than that we followed the instructions on the initial link.)  The whole process took about 30 minutes and was a smashing success.  We are in love with our new shelves.
Next up: a pouf to go in that corner and finally painting the walls!

While I was in Jilly's room taking pictures I had to snap one of her tent.  We moved the changing table out of her room a few days ago and when she saw the changing pad she said, "Oh! A bed!"  She quickly snagged it and relocated it to her tent.  She loves to sit in there and read books. It looks so cozy, it may be hard to ever get it back from her!



1. This week Jillian has been sicker and grouchier than ever before.  For most of the week she could not sleep at all unless I was holding her.  Needless to say, I've watched a lot of Disney movies and not gotten a whole lot done (including sleep.)

2. Since we got married I've been making a "yearbook" to document each year.  I actually made a scrapbook our first year, but since then have used shutterfly (which is delightfully easy and mess-free.)  We got our 2012 book in the mail this week and Jilly and I love looking through it. (So does Bryan, he just hasn't spent as much time with it as we have.)

3. On Sunday I substituted in primary and talked to a lady I don't know very well.  She asked who my husband was and after I described Bryan she said, "Oh, I know exactly who you mean.  He is very good-looking!"  I had to agree.

4.  Our ultrasound appointment actually was not nearly as pleasant as we would have hoped.  Because of Jilly's sickness we didn't take her to a friend's house like we had planned.  She freaked out that I couldn't hold her and cried almost the whole time so she and Bryan waited outside.  Also, baby girl was a stubborn little stinker and would not change her position so it took forever to get all the images they needed.  We were relieved to finally be leaving the office at the end!

5.  Jilly has been practicing peek-a-boo for her little sister.  Freddy loves being the beneficiary of all this practice.


It's a...

baby sister!!
As one who knows the joy of sisters, I'm so excited for Jilly and this little girl.  We are thrilled to add some more pink to our family!



A few weeks ago we were talking about our upcoming addition and Bryan said, "I wish the baby would just come out as a two year old like Jilly."  I disagreed for the obvious reason that I am the one carrying and giving birth to the child but also because I think a squishy sweet newborn baby is the absolute best thing to be found on this earth.

But, he does have a point.  We are loving this stage with Jilly.  Yes, there are tantrums, lots of whining, struggles to understand, hitting and kicking, timeout, and general messiness, but she is so much fun.  Here are some of our favorite things Jilly does lately:

- We are way way way into the princess phase.  Jilly loves to put on a "sparkey" (sparkly) dress and twirl around the room.

- She also loves to sing.  Her favorite song is "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/The Alphabet Song."  She'll frequently switch between the two songs "A, B, C, D, E, F, G, like a diamond in the sky" or sometimes replace all usual lyrics with "Mommy mommy mommy mommy" (great for my ego.)

- When she's in the mood Jilly gives the best bear hugs.  When she's not in the mood you're lucky to get a light pat on the shoulder.

- Jilly adds new words and phrases to her repertoire every day which is so exciting.  However, she still can't say the "k" sound.  Some of our favorite phrases are: "I'm tumming!" (I'm coming), "oh, toot" (cute) "titty" (kitty), and "tiwi" (kiwi, which is what she calls a Clementine oddly enough)

- She loves to wear dresses.  I literally have to hide some dresses because she asks to wear them every.single.day.

- Jilly loves to play with baby dolls.  She sings to them, puts them to sleep with a blankie, and loves to teach them new skills (like kick a ball or push a button.)  She'll be such a good big sister.



The other day I was playing around with my new camera, so I wasn't really paying attention to what Jilly was doing as I snapped these pictures.

Guess she learned the hard way that lotion doesn't taste so good.  And p.s. how darling are those slippers from her Auntie Katie?


friday five

1. We had a holiday party with Bryan's office this week (they were so nice to wait til we got back.)  With 3 two-year-olds coming, Bryan's boss kindly/wisely decided to have the dinner catered in the lunchroom at the office.  Dev, Jilly, and Kylie had a blast running around the room together while the adults ate and chatted.  It was a great evening.

2. I went to my first HOA meeting this week in hopes that it would be similar to a Stars Hollow Town Meeting.  Sadly, it lacked the drama, but these people are very passionate about our little neighborhood.  You should have heard them talking about whoever had left a few mattresses out by the dumpster (made me very glad it wasn't us!)

3.  When Jilly was a newborn we lived in a tiny apartment and I didn't have to go far in the middle of the night to get to the couch to sit and nurse her.  But now we have two stories and walking down the stairs in my sleep-deprived state would probably not be wise.  So I started checking craigslist every once in a while for a rocking chair and found this one.  It is in amazing condition and was quite a steal.  I can't wait to have a baby to rock!
4.  Speaking of the baby, he/she has become quite active in the past few weeks and I love the little reminders of his/her presence.  Baby has also started to protest when big sister climbs all over him/her.  Welcome to your life little one.

5.  My parents gave Jillian the movie Anastasia for Christmas.  She loves it and asks to watch "pincess movie" multiple times a day.  Jilly's favorite part is at the very end when Dimitri and Anastasia dance together and finally kiss.  She always giggles and says "kiss kiss!"  This is just a little concerning to us.


diy silhouette

Way back in August I saw this frame at TJ Maxx and thought it would be perfect for a silhouette of Jillian.  Then my pretty frame sat around for a few months (as you've probably noticed I didn't exactly accomplish very much this past fall.)

Last week I needed a craft and decided to get to it.  It was hard to get a good profile picture of Jilly since she's such a wild thing.  But I grabbed my camera while she was busy playing with play dough and snapped a few pictures hoping one would work.  I decided that this one was the best.
I printed it out in 5x7 and started cutting along her profile.  I was nervous about cutting but it actually wasn't too hard.

Next I traced the cut-out picture onto a piece of black cardstock.  Because she was looking down and the back of her head was kind of cut off I actually only traced her profile.  The rest I just free-handed.
I cut out my cute little Jilly and glued it onto this pretty paper I found at Hobby Lobby and stuck it in my frame.  It looks perfect with my Valentine decor and makes me oh so happy.


a weekend

I would be lying if I said readjusting to life at home has been easy.  We have struggled with the 3 hour time difference as well as the usual cleaning, laundry, cooking, and organizing.  We were desperate for a weekend together at home and it did not disappoint.

I reinstated Friday Pizza night after about a 6 month hiatus.  We made garlic chicken pizza and it was ah-mazing as usual.  We also had Magnum bars and a redbox after Jilly went to bed.

We spent Saturday morning reorganizing the shelves in our bedroom.  I should have taken a before picture, but trust me, it wasn't pretty.  We had about 15 million random cords floating around in the fabric box, so I labeled and organized them all into ziploc bags.  I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that anytime I need a cord I will know exactly where and how to find it.  We also had lots of random junk that had found its way onto those shelves.  Hopefully the shelves will stay in this organized state for at least a few weeks.

Next we went on a run/walk.  I ran as far as I could (about two miles) then we turned around walked back.  I enjoyed it while we were out, but paid for it that afternoon with a very, very sore back.  I suppose my running days are over for a few months.

In the afternoon Bryan went for a bike ride while Jilly and I ran some errands.  When he came home Bryan made us yummy sandwiches for dinner.  We went on a family date to Coldstone (their dark chocolate peppermint ice cream is delicious) then put Miss Jilly to bed.  I suffer from the Anderson gene that does not allow me to stay awake at night while watching tv or movies.  So I worked on a little craft while watching, and I am pleased as punch with how it turned out.  I'll share more later this week.

While I was dreading afternoon church we had a delightful, relaxing Sunday morning.  We had pancakes for breakfast, took our time getting ready, and I made soup to have for dinner.

After church Bryan's parents and Grandma came to visit and have dinner with us.  Jilly adored all the attention and loved showing off all her new toys.  We ended the weekend perfectly with Downton Abbey (and by we I mean I hung on every word and Bryan did his best to ignore until he fell asleep on the couch next to me...boys.)  After such a lovely weekend we're feeling much better about post-vacation life.


we're doing this

This week Jilly and I made an exciting purchase- a shiny, new princess potty.  She LOVES it and begs me to carry it around with us all.day.long. (I usually don't oblige.)

Now, please don't worry, I will not be using this blog to chronicle our daily potty training successes and failures.  However, I have recently realized that I have no clue what I am doing here.  So this is a plea for your tips and tricks.  Please tell me what has worked for your kids, and reassure me that we will survive this process.  Thanks!!


An Insta Vacation

I chronicled our trip mostly through Instagram.  It makes me miss these people so, so much to look back on all the fun times we had.  
 1. the happy bride & groom 2. one of Jilly's favorite things about Utah was being able to eat snow
3. excited to have her own seat on the airplane to Virginia  4. watching "Disneyland Fun Sing-Along" on VHS, this was my favorite movie when I was little and Jilly watched it at least once a day
 5. Jilly loves Luna, or "Nuna" as she calls her more than anything in the world 6. Jilly fell asleep on my lap one day and I was so happy to be free to let her sleep there 7. loved that Cougar Bowl game 8. rushing to finish before seeing the movie
 9. bundling up to see Christmas lights 10. after a week without Daddy, we were so glad for him to arrive in VA 11. Christmas Sunday 12. is there a tree under all those presents?
 13. new Christmas Eve jammies, Bryan wasn't feeling well so we had to improvise 14. fondue is one of my favorite Christmas traditions 15. Jilly's a big fan of Christmas- new dress up, bitty baby, and a Minnie purse 16. also loving her new poncho
17. Anderson kids + dad in Colonial Williamsburg 18. birthday dinner with my hubby (love having free babysitters!)  19. New Year's Eve visit to Bass Pro Shop, the aquarium was amazing 20. Jilly loved playing Just Dance with her aunties  
21. Ringing in the new year  22. Annual Flannel breakfast at IHOP to celebrate 2013 
23. Love going to the D.C. Temple, the lights were beautiful this year 24. Fun trip to the Science Musesum
We're now in recovery mode- laundry, putting away Christmas decorations, and finding places for all these new toys! 
{Follow me on Instagram @rachelmar4}