Wednesday, May 15, 2013

first visit from Anchorage friends

I have to admit that I'm a little addicted to posting on the blog again.  Last year (and maybe the year before that) I pretty much stopped posting after the fundraising was done.  Well I'm at that crossroads again and this time I'm choosing to keep it going!   The biggest reason is I have some great pictures/stories that I still want to share.  First non fund raising pictures are from mid March when our good friends from Anchorage visited us.  We had just the weekend but we managed to squeeze in a lot in those short few days.  One of the highlights was taking them downtown to show off our park.  Such an awesome downtown.

Sure do love our carousel.

Although not everyone was as enthused.  Such beautiful eyes.

It was great being able to share our new home with old friends.

Plus me, Lisa, and the girls got to do something we had been talking about for a long time...
finally play on the giant radio flyer!!!

This may or may not be our Christmas card picture this year.  :)

We went down to the riverfront so the kids could get some energy out.  
This guy looks like he was not amused with the he's stalking us!

Great picture... but have to confess that this picture took a LONG time to get.  The girls were so excited about the blocks, it became quite the bit of drama for them to just stand there and look at the camera!!

The river was ROARING!  We had seen the falls many times over the winter but never like this.  And apparently the peak flow isn't until about now in mid May.  We need to get back downtown and check it out.  As impressive as this was, it would probably blow our mind! 

Standing on the bridge, we couldn't hear ourselves.  It was so impressive.  I think Alyssa even asked to get off the bridge because it was too scary!

Another view of the falls from the bridge. 

I didn't know Lisa had taken this picture of Andy and I (apparently twins) outside grilling.  No idea why we were both decided to wear the exact same thing.  Pretty funny.

Crazy amazing time having our very close friends visiting.  We're going to have some more Anchorage friends come see us this summer.  Can't wait to share Spokane with you all!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mission Accomplished!!!

Time for a celebration!!  You all did it!  Here we are again on the 6th anniversary of the day the girls came home from the NICU.  May 13th has turned into an annual celebration....because of YOU!  Thank you to everyone who has contributed this year.  You helped us reach our two goals we had this year.  While we didn't match last year's $6700, I am VERY proud of our $5900!!


On our last day, we received 5 more donations....icing on the cake!  Thank you....

Wise family, 
and Dan!!

To keep us in the festive mood, I'm fast forwarding the blog time to mid February when the girls' movie was released on dvd.  I already shared some of these pictures on facebook but it's worth showing here.  This was nearly two years in the waiting.  Since we wrapped up filming early July of 2011. we have been on a roller coaster of guessing if it was going to be a movie, a TV series, or a combination of both....then if it was going to be released in the theater or straight to dvd.  FINALLY in mid February I went to the local Target and picked up 3 copies of Baby Geniuses and the Mystery of the Crown Jewel.  

Since we couldn't be in Anchorage or LA with all of our friends from the film, we decided to have our own red carpet movie premier right here in Spokane.  What an exciting night!!

First, a little red carpet action.  The girls got all dolled up for the big night.  I thought they looked great and played the part of movie star even better! 

Alyssa already tired of the paparazzi.

Katy....equally beautiful and ready for the camera.

Whoah... WORK IT GIRL!!

I got the girls some flowers for their big night.  They certainly deserved that....and more.  I think back at the long days, hard work, and how much they matured during that two months.  They started filming as toddlers and finished as little ladies.  I am SO proud of them for taking on this adventure and thriving.  
It has been the theme of their lives so far.

I love this shot of the first time "Gabi" showed up on screen.

If you've seen the movie, this might surprise you....but it was better than I thought it would be.  I had my doubts but they did a great job of making a very silly kids movie.  It's clean and full of action.  Yes silly....but I thought appropriate for the target audience; 6 year olds.  

Our favorite part...seeing the girls names on the credits.  Just absolutely surreal!!

Things got a little crazy after we watched it.  There are many more pictures but too crazy to share here.  

So that's it for our 2013 March for Babies fundraising effort!!  We'll do it again next year from April 5th to May 13th.  Can't wait to see what we can accomplish.

In the mean time, I promise to keep the blog going this year!  
No more catching up on a years worth of pictures and stories.

Thanks again everybody for making this a very special and memorable year!

Andy, Lisa, Alyssa, and Kaitlyn

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Christmas 2012

Big finish!!  Today we had 5 more donations and with one day to go I am happy to announce that we 

$5560 raised this year and $25,000 raised since 2008!  Those are some huge numbers thanks to all of YOU!!

Today's donations came from...

the Nelsons,
the Dixons, 
Cousin Donna,
and my MOM (on Mother's Day)  who put us over the top!!


Time to celebrate Christmas!!  Our first Christmas in our new home was certainly one to remember.  We missed the constant snow that Anchorage always provided us during the Christmas season...but Spokane did pretty good.  We had JUST enough snow to keep us happy.  We waited a little later than normal to pick out  our tree in hopes we could get some snow on the ground.  Well it didn't work out so on a cool drizzly day we found a great lot selling local trees...our first real tree since 2007.

We have also never done lights.  Again, we waited a bit too long and I finally put up the lights on a very cold rainy evening.  Not bad for our first effort.  I think we'll get bigger every year and be showing up the Griswolds in no time.

It was a great tree!  It was really nice to have a beautiful tree in our house 
...and to have the aroma of a fresh cut tree! 

Great family portrait.

 One of our fun trips leading up to Christmas was visiting the North Pole on Lake Coeur d'Alene.  It was a cruise boat that takes you across the lake to see Santa.  What's great is the boat goes right up to the edge and Santa comes out and gives a little talk before reading ALL the kids names on his "good" list.  The girls couldn't believe it!!  It was really well done and a great way to get in the Christmas spirit.  

It was a little chilly that night so we had to bundle.up.  Everyone stayed inside but I convinced the girls to go upstairs and outside where nobody else was!  Advantage: living in Alaska and having good winter gear!

A picture of Santa meeting us at the dock with the girls in the foreground.  He told some stories, read the list, and then turned on the Christmas lights.  WOW!

They claim it is the world's tallest living Christmas tree!!  Impressive for sure!

Even saw the Grinch on the way back.  I remember like it was yesterday the girls calling him the "Grunch".

Great family self portrait under the lights of the resort in Coeur d'Alene.

It still amazes me that seeing a person dressed as a reindeer would send them in hysterics.  Yep... it was if they had actually met THE Rudolph.  They don't look too excited in this picture but they were STOKED!!

Grandpa and Nana came to visit us for our first Christmas in Spokane.  Here's a shot of us making some cookies for Santa.

Not much snow on the ground but Christmas Eve after the cookies were made, we looked outside and noticed it was snowing.  Perfect.

 Anybody know about the elf on the shelf?  Well after hearing and seeing pictures of lots of people's elf, we finally invited an elf to come live with us.  It nearly consumed the girls every day!!  It was pretty entertaining the couple of weeks leading up to never knew where Sofia (the name the girls picked out) was going to be.  And we had a great plan to make sure Sofia was leaving notes reminding the girls about the real reason for the season.  Looking forward to Sofia coming back in 2013.

The last note they wrote Sofia was asking if they could give her a hug before she left with Santa.  It is one of the most excited I have ever seen the girls.  

Presents, milk, cookies, stockings,

I shared this on facebook but the 30 or so minutes leading up to the girls coming down was absolute bliss!  I learned from my dad that there are two very important things to take care of before the kids come down; get the camera ready and have a hot cup of coffee in hand!  

Girls came down to 4 camera capturing every move.

One of my favorite moments was the girls looking outside and seeing that the carrots they left for the reindeer had been eaten and hoof prints magically appearing in the fresh snow.  

The second toughest part of Christmas morning....passing out all the presents and then waiting your turn to open them!!!  I'm not talking about the girls either...waiting is BRUTAL!!

I took over a hundred pictures of the girls opening presents.  No need to share all of those here...but I will share a few great ones.  Here are the girls hugging after they opened their presents to each other.

 They were VERY happy about these presents...evidenced by the over-the-top smile from Alyssa.

Taking a break for my favorite breakfast!!!  I nearly made myself sick I ate so much quiche.

It was a princess Christmas for sure. 

The story behind this is when we were at A&M, Katy fell in love with this hat.  With the help of family distracting her, Lisa and I bought it and hid it for a month.  Boy was she happy when she saw that hat again! 

Rocking the hat and the new apron. 

 Thanks for visiting us Grandpa and Nana!

Alright, two more pics of opening presents.  I love this picture of Katy sporting her new beanie and then when she found Alyssa's....

I got this great pic of her throwing it across the room.  Well played.

Okay, we have one day left to see if we can raise any more money.  Thanks for everything you have donated so far this year.  AMAZING!!