Sunday, December 11, 2011


Wow. 28. Really?

Although the years have passed quickly...I know that, Lord willing, I have so many more to look forward to.

In reflection of these past years, I honestly have to say that I feel so blessed. I have the most incredible husband in the world, the most encouraging and loyal friends, and family that supports and loves me through everything. I don't think there is anything that I could or would change.

So, if you are reading this and you are a part of my life...thank you. Thank you for all you have done to shape me, build me, encourage me, challenge me, and guide me into the person that I am today!

On that is how I spent my 28th birthday! Enjoying my most favorite things in the husband, my sweet pup, my camera, and the Lord's incredible creation!

I'm so grateful for a husband who understands just what I need on my birthday!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

AND....We are off!!!

So...I finally got around to making a blog just for the pictures that I have been taking so that I don't have to keep posting them on here!

If you are interested, check it out!

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive, encouraging, and allowed me to follow you around with my camera!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reality Check.

Debt sucks.

Reality check #2.

When you realize that your debt is over a swimsuit coverup you had to have in 2006 that was so generously donated to Goodwill in 2007 because it was "so last season".

The truth is...we struggle. And I know a lot of people do. But for me, it is easier to justify debt from owning a house or raising a family over debt from splurging on too many superficial things.

And I guess now, more than ever, we are feeling stuck in the reality of our debt vs. our future family. That is a heavy burden. One that we placed on ourselves and now one that we have to deal with.

Dave Ramsey (a great and wise man who offers relief from debt for many families) tells you to start with the snowball effect. The "pay off the little things first to gain momentum" idea.

Well, what happens while you are waiting for the snow to fall so you can begin making your snowball?

It is hard to find momentum when you feel like every time you start, you hit another road block. Whether it is a car breaking down or a medical bill that needs to be payed...sometimes it just seems like too much.

Don't get me wrong...we are SO blessed! God has completely offered provision to us in amazing ways and through amazing people.

This is just one of our realities right now. A hard but true reality and one that we are looking at face to face and ready to change.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Family Cheer!

Just wanted to share a few pictures of my most recent family photo shoots! They were each so beautiful and filled with so much love and joy. Those are the greatest things to capture on a camera!

Thanks to the Lee and McKenzie families for letting me take you into orchards and abandoned railways and walk through parks filled with who knows what walking around in the leaves! I'm so thankful for both families and the blessing they are to so many!

The Lee Family

The McKenzie Family

Tis the Season!

It is certainly my most favorite season of the year! I love the fact that I get to listen to endless amounts of cheesy Christmas music (including Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by N'Sync on repeat!), eat WAY to many pepperminty sweets, and shop more than I am usually allowed!

Not only that, but does anyone agree when I think people are generally more kind during Christmas? Well...obviously excluding the Parking Wars wanna-be's at the mall.

I just love this time of year! LOVE IT! The Anderson apartment is officially decorated, after an bad incident of rats eating only and all of our Christmas decor! But AIN'T NOTHIN' GONNA HOLD US DOWN! Apparently, you can't get too mad at anything (even rats) trying to take in the most that the yule tide has to offer!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

3 Girls and A Camera

I had the awesome privilege of adventuring with three incredible ladies this Saturday to capture some snapshots of friendship at its finest!

Ellie, Shannon, and Meghan were not only great models for my photo practice...but truly brought so much joy to my heart as I caught precious moments and exchanges between these three best friends! It was beautiful to see laughter, joy, and love between these girls!

Thank you to you, ladies, for letting me in on a moment in your world as we tromped through forests and orchards!

"My friends remind me, by their very steadfastness, that truth, goodness, and beauty exist in the world, and that no matter what, there are and always will be, people loving people through thick and thin."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Snap Happy!


I CAN NOT put my camera down!

Some might say that it has become like a really noticeable third arm or appendage that no one really knows how to respond to (like the drug dealers in the park yesterday who realized, at the same time as me, that I had caught them candidly in the act while I was snapping pictures Note to not go to the park at sunset alone.)

Not only am I in love with my camera, but I have found that I am even more in love with capturing those moments in between the "picture perfect" moments.
You know what I'm talking about?
Those moments where the awkward laughing begins or the look of true love happens in a glimpse?

Those moments.
There is something so priceless about being able to see that in its raw and beautiful form.

All that to say, I have A LOT of learnin' to do! There is so much to be learned not just in the technical, but in the art of grasping that one fleeting and incomparable moment. It is like the kiss at the end of Breakfast at Tiffany's. You can't make up greatness like that. You just have to capture it.

So here are a few of the pictures that I have been taking.
I wanted to share them just to say...
I love moments like these.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

All Work and ALWAYS Play!

The Anderson's had an HGTV moment today.
Calendars marked.
Time cleared.
Cell phones thrown in the trash...
Come on people! Not really! We had to use them for instructions!

All that to be said. WE GOT STUFF DONE!!
There were a few things around our apartment that most renters would call upon their landlord to fix. But we, being the people that don't like to do things the easy way, decided to take on the challenge of fixin' her up instead!
And so...our list looked something like this...
1. Replace back garage door.
2. Paint front door.
3. Replace handles on windows that had fallen off and/or needed Stone Cold Steve Austin to open.
4. Fix back screen door.
5. Rearrange living room for fall season (since we can only have our couch in one place during the summer due to the awesome window AC that we have pumpin' the cool air to keep us alive in this crazy place they call the Central Valley).

Check. Check. Check. Not so much check (but saved for another day). AND CHECK!!

Here are some pics from our "DIY Kinda Saturday"! any sane DIY couple should...we started the day at the Farmers Market for a nice cup of coffee and...

Bacon on a stick. Yes is disgusting and life-alteringly amazing all at the same time!

From there...we got to business.

This was our old back garage door....please note the gapping empty whole in between the front and the back of the door. That is because it was hollow and basically made from construction paper. 
 Erik workin' real hard on our new beautiful door from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore!
Project 1...COMPLETE! Lookin' good!!
On to the window handles...what a hard workin' guy!

I was in charge of the "Red Door" project! 
 Um hot is that red door?! (and the guy behind it!)
 On to the living room "rearrange"! Here are some before and afters!



 Overall...I'd say one crazy awesome, super productive, and wonderful DIY Saturday! I think we are ALL a little tired.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dreams Really Do Come True

It has seriously been a month...a little more...since we got home from our trip to Ireland and I realized that I didn't say anything about it!

Well...I haven't said anything about anything really! :)

For the sake of not making people look through the exasperating number of pictures on Facebook...and in reflection of the trip of a lifetime...I have decided to make a little post about it!

(Also, in honor of Ellie Gundlach for being so patient with me putting pictures on my blog!) a few highlights from our trip!

First thing is first...our entire reason for the trip was to go and celebrate the wedding of my dear friend Emma and her now husband Yannic. We felt so honored to be a part of this incredible celebration of two of the most incredible people I have ever known. We made new friends with amazing people from Switzerland and spent some much needed soul time with old friends from many years ago! Honestly, we could have travelled the world and not found a better time anywhere else. It was such a blessing to be with all of these people, laughing, crying, reminiscing, and enjoying life!

 After our time at the wedding, we went into Belfast to see my old stomping grounds while in YWAM! This is the church that we lived at while we served. It was crazy how many flashbacks I had while walking up the street and back down to the City Centre...including walking down to the mailbox with the Teen Squad to mail a letter to Erik confessing my love for him! Wow...

 We also enjoyed some breakfast at Cafe Nero, including those delicious scones! My husband is so good looking!

From Belfast, we headed up to the North Coast! I think (as far as road tripping went) this was our favorite portion of the trip! We toured the Bushmills Whiskey Distillary...a dream come true for Erik...visited the Giant's Causeway...and stayed in Port Rush for an evening of GREAT food and beach walking! 

 From there, we travelled to the South and ventured into Galway! We spent one of the days driving through the Connemara National Park, which felt just like a storybook...or Lord of the Rings...

We stopped by the Kylemore Abbey....crazy beautiful...and the oldest Victorian garden in Ireland!

Our adventures continued and took us to the Cliffs of Moher, where I totally reenacted the beginning of Princess Bride! Ok...not really...but it was completely breathtaking...and super windy!

 We also got to meet up with some great friends of our from Modesto, Larry and Missy Stewart! We had lunch with them in Killarney and caught up on all of our adventures in travelling!

 On our last day in Ireland, we made a special stop at the K Club for Erik! Not only did we get to take in all the greatness of the golf course...but we got to see the Ryder Cup and the whole shrine of pictures that they have to commemorate the event and the golfers! It was like a little paradise for Erik!

Our last evening we stayed with my friend Tom outside of Dublin! He took us for an evening of fish and chips and a walk on the pier! It was the perfect way to end an incredible trip!

To sum it up....

Even these pictures can't tell the full story of our amazing journey! It was truly incredible!