Thursday, January 24, 2008

25 Years of Life

On Tuesday, I celebrated my 25th birthday at the "Happiest Place on Earth" - Disneyland! Robby and I ate dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant, the one right next to the Pirates of the Caribbean. For the first time, I was going to be the person who gets to stare at the people going by on the Pirates ride! Unfortunately, we were seated too far back; but since we were one of the last couples there, we were able to walk around after dinner and check things out. Here we are in front of the water. Notice my Happy Birthday pin that the Mouse himself gave me.
Actually, my birthday celebration really began last Friday, which is the fun thing about having your birthday right after a three-day weekend. On Friday, Robby and I went to Carlsbad where he gave me great birthday presents: darling boots, a name stamp for books, a lovely green top, and new "skinny" jeans. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at sunset and then had my favorite for breakfast: homemade cinnamon rolls. Yum!

Sunday night, we went to Visalia and spent the rest of the weekend with our families. We ate at DiCicco's that evening with my family and then saw "27 Dresses" with my sisters. Monday, we had lunch--and tasty fondu--with Robby's parents and grandma.

To end off the whole birthday weekend, we had dessert with John and Kelly at Chili's after dinner.

So, how do I feel now that I'm twenty-five? Definetely a bit older, perhaps a bit wiser, and very, very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.
Thanks to all who made this such a special birthday!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Baby Shower!

Last weekend, I was honored to give my sister-in-law Deb a baby shower. She and Jeff (Rob's brother) are expecting a baby boy next month, so we are all very excited! We had fifteen of Deb's family and friends share in the fun "tea party-ish" shower. As I prepared for the shower, I did quite a bit of searching online for baby shower ideas, especially games to play. I must say I was a little disgusted--or confused--by some of the game ideas. Here are the top five I found:

5. Baby Food Tastes - In this game, the mom-to-be is blindfolded and required to take bites of baby food in order to guess the food. Not only does it seem cruel to make teeth-bearing adults eat mashed beef and peas, but it is also quite a waste!

4. Birthing Babies - Actually, this is one I remembered my mom using at a shower she gave, but it stands out to me as a top five. For this activity, each attendee is given a cup of ice water. One of the ice cubes in the cup is special, however - there is a tiny plastic baby frozen inside of it. The first woman to have her baby "born" (thawed) is named the winner.

3. Cotton Ball Count - I'm still trying to understand why this is considered a baby shower game. It is, of course, quite simple: a jar is filled with cotton balls, each woman guesses how many are in the jar, and the one closest to the correct number wins. I think just about anything would be more interesting than guessing the number of cotton balls.

2. Place the Baby on the Mommy - For some reason, this one turns my stomach because I automatically think of something being "pinned" and not gently placed. Each guest is given a paper baby that has adhesive on the back side and sticks it on the mom-to-be. The guest that "pins" the baby on the tummy wins. Perhaps just a little bit awkward?

1. And number one: Guess the "Poopie" - A diaper that has been soiled with a melted candy bar is passed around and guests must guess--using smell and taste--the candy bar in the diaper. All I can say is, Gross!

Needless to say, I went with the paper games: quizzes and a word scramble. Honestly, I know games can be a great way to break the ice, but I'm glad that this group got well along enough without anything too crazy. In the photo above, Deb seems quite happy as she opens gifts.

Deb, Debbie, and I relax for a moment after the shower. All in all, the shower was a success and a lot of fun. Robby and I can't wait for our little nephew to come!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Resolution: Become a Blogger

After much prodding from my two great friends Steph and Chels, I have finally decided to join the thousands and more and create a blog. I must say that I feel somewhat anxious; afterall, anyone can read and critique what I write! But reading others' blogs have kept me feeling connected to them, even when they move all the way to Wheaton, Illinois. So, here's to 2008 and blogs!

A picture of the two inspiring bloggers. In October, Steph and Molly (the baby) came to stay with Robby and me for a weekend. It was great that Chels was able to come for dinner, since that was our last time all three of us were together before Chelsea moved to Wheaton.

The last month has been full of activity. We celebrated Rob's 26th birthday December 21st with friends, came to Visalia that Sunday for more celebration, and then jumped into Christmastime with both families, enjoying a whole week in Visalia. Although the weather was much colder than it is Whittier, it was worth it...and both Robby and I received new coats for Christmas, so we were able to face that bitter cold in style.

My sisters Chelsea, Carly, and Camille are set to open their presents Christmas Eve.
Baby (the dog) is excited, too, since she gets to chew up any attractive presents left on the floor. Her favorite? The Starbuck's mitten.

The Feely family gather together on Christmas morning for a quick picture before stocking time. This was the first holiday I spent wearing my pajamas all day! Not a bad tradition, although it does not make for very lovely pictures.

The Vander Kooi (plus Robby and Candace) Christmas picture. Chelsea's dog Baby is in the background. She keeps the family quite entertained...and exhausted.

This was taken on Thanksgiving. Who do you think is the oldest? (This used to be an easy answer, but now my younger sisters look older than I do! I guess that will be a good thing when we get old.)

And since we're in November, why not go all the way back to August...

My first blog just wouldn't be complete without a picture of our wonderful friends John and Kelly. This was taken in New Jersey, where we vacationed over the summer, but that's a story for another day.

Well, that ends my first blog entry. Lots of bits and pieces were thrown together, but it is my first time.
Happy 2008!