Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Were sorry you didn't get you christmas cards... either frank or myself (not sure who) accidentally threw away the addressed and stamped envelopes filled with the cards. :(
So just know that we love you all, and were and are thinking of you this holiday season even though you didn't get our cards.
<3 us.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's TRUE!

"This church is true. It will weather every storm that beats against it. It will outlast every critic who rises to mock it. It was established by God the Eternal Father for the blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations. It carries the name of Him who st...ands as its head, even the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. It is governed and moves by the power of the priesthood. It sends forth to the world another witness of the divinity of the Lord. Be faithful my friends. Be true. Be loyal to the great things of God which have been revealed in this dispensation. " ~pRESIDENT Hinkley

Monday, December 13, 2010

A little seperation anxiety...

Yep, thats right we are starting to suffer from a little bit of seperation anxiety, but ironically when I say "we" I mean "me"! Frank's annual work christmas party was this past Saturday evening and for weeks we had been trying to figure out who would be best suited to stay with Lilley for several hours while we were away... unfortunately, more for us then for her, this was the first time we've left her with anyone for more then like an hour. And if you know either of us very well, then you've heard us make mention of the individuals that we really didn't feel comfortable leaving her with. Well, we figured after some deep contemplation that we better let Franks parents spend some time with her epsecially since they don't make too mauch of an effort to come see her.
*on a side note, it's kind of our thought that the grandparents should make most of the effort to see the grandchildren instead of the parents always having to take the grandchildren to see the grandparents... does anyone else agree? "cuz my mother in law seems to think that we should be the ones always going to visit her. Thats mainly Franks frustration-not mine, but I do have to agree with him.

Just before leaving:

Anyways, long story short, it came time to leave and my mother-in-law STILL WASN'T THERE... SHE WAS 45 MINUTES LATE!! (how rude) she knew we were on a time schedule and had to be somewhere by the time she FINALLY arrived. So i hurried her through the routine with Lilley... how much to feed her, what to feed her(she likes to do her own thing apparently-from my sis in law) what NOT to do in big bold letters, how to rock her, how to lay her in her crib, etc, etc, etc... she probably was annpyed with me after telling her, but WHO CARES, it's MY KID she was watching so I was entitled to tell her as much as I needed. Then it came time to say goodbye. WE kissed her on the head and hurried down the stairs and out our front door and didn't look back. SAD MOMENT. WE got in the car and had a nice conversation about who knows what for about 5 minutes and then Frank looked at me and said "I miss Lilley, should we just go home"? It took me a minute to respond, but FINALLY i uttered... "NO."
WE made it to the party enjoyed ourself for a little while, then Frank called to check in on her and she was peaceful as could be. He could hear her babbling and squawking with excitement in the background so I guess he felt better.
The rest of the night was okay, the party was as fun this year, I think 'cuz we both missed the baby, and also because there were some friends of ours who also work for the company who were extrmely inappropriate due to large amounts of alcohol consumption which was TOTALLY TRASHY AND WITHOUT CLASS. So we just wanted the night to hurry and be over so we could go home to baby girl.
In the end we all survived, she did extraordinarily well (I do always hand her off to other people so she's okay with strangers) and we too did much better then thought. Frank thought I'd for sure cry, and I thought he'd shed a tear or two but nope, WE DID IT! and this is what we came home to...HEAVEN.

Earlier in the day, we were busy doing a few things, here's what we were up to...

Made a trip to the NORTH POLE (aka the Dowdens) to meet Santa... was a HUGE SUCCESS! She loved the beard!

Tried out some green beans for lunch:

"I don't know mom"



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

It's a little early, but what the heck... Happy Holidays everyone! We wish you the merriest of Christmas's and the happiest coming year!

All our love,
Frank, Sabrina, Lilley and Buddy too.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


OMG!!!!! I cannot believe Lilley girl is 6 months old! Well, technically she will be next week. Time is just FLYING by, and I want it to stop and just stand still. This girl is toooooooo much fun. Her personality has really come out over the past few weeks and she keeps her daddy and myself giggling and melting over her each and every day. We were blessed with such a great baby, I'm sure every parent says that, so we'll just join in. She is so happy, laughs and smiles all day long, babbles and screaches like she's a big kid and eats like a champ.

At 6 months, she:

LOVES LOVES LOVES LOVES LOVES to be held... (mom and dad love it t00)

loves to learn- she is constantly watching us like a little hawk and very intently no matter what we're doing.

loves baby einstein, would probably watch all of the videos all day long if I'd let her.

LOVES to stand up and can hold herself up when leaned on something. Likes to sit up on her own, but only for a few seconds, then she topples over. She can totally do it, I think she just gets a little distracted. :)

LOVES Buddy our dog, and my moms dogs too. She screatches at them any time she sees them.

LOVES the outdoors... she babbles the whole time we are outside.
Shes really enjoying her new stroller that we cruise in a few mornings a week on the way to the park.

Shes a fabulous shopper- mom loves that about her. We go on dates to the mall and other stores all the time and lilley loves to help me pick things out and pull them off the shelf or rack.

Shes OBSESSED with my cell phone

Likes tummy time now, and thoroughly enjoys the car... however, i think she prefers her dads car over mine, his back window is at her level so she can actually see whats going on. :)

hmmm what else? oh! SHE'S A PIGGY! but still only weighs 14.5lbs which is just over double her birthweight. She nurses 6 times a day and eats fruit for breakfast and veggies for dinner.

We just adore her and each and every day she does something new that reminds us she's growing so quickly so we have to make sure we revel in these early months because they go by in the blink of an eye!

Lilley- we love you. TRULY. MADLY. DEEPLY.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Up, Up, and AWAY!!!

It's a rare thing to have a full UNINTERRUPTED day home with Frank. There are either phones ringing, computers on, places to be, things to be fixed, hobbies to play with, time alone in his garage (aka man cave) chores to do, etc... etc...
but this particular day, (after spending the previous one at the hospital with the rest of the fam) we had no other distractions so we just devoted the day to "family time" and it was probably one of the best days ever! Towars the late afternoon we took Lilley to the park in our neighborhood and decided she was ready to try out the swing... As you can see by the expression on her face, IT WAS A HIT! She smiled and laughed pretty much the entire time. I guess it was to be expected though, she adores her swing at home, has since the minute we first put her in it, and she likes the highest setting. She laughed everytime i'd push her and say "up, up, and away." We took turns pushing her while the other played with buddy. We still try to include him in as much as possible so he doesn't feel left out. Here are just a few shots from her first swing experience.

Then after 45 minutes or so on the swing, nap time crept up on us, and the little one began to melt down as we call it in our house... she was done, and ready for bed. After about 6 minutes with daddy, she was passed out in the stroller for the walk home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beautiful Evan.

My heart is so full of emotions right now, mostly happy, but a tiny part is aching just a little... you see, yesterday morning at 4:59am (according to the alarm clock) Franks phone rang and immediately, we both knew something was wrong. It was sort of a "middle of the night" call, you know, the ones you dread and make your heart sink a little in your chest.
Well, on the other end of the line was Franks baby sister, who was 7 months, i think almost to the day, pregnant with a little boy... i didn't hear all of the conversation, but from what i gathered after the first few seconds, and the tone in Franks voice, i knew that heart sinking feeling was true and something was wrong, and i knew it had to do with her pregnancy. For a day or so before that we had noticed on her facebook that she had been saying that she was experiencing some head aches and that they weren't getting much better. Well, long story short, she ended up driving herself to the hospital in the early morning...
Let me quickly explain why she drove herself... her husband is a pilot and had just left a few days before for some flight training in Dallas, Tx. and so therefore she was home with just their little doggie BANDIT.
Anyway, she had been at the hospital a couple hours and they discovered that she had developed PREECLAMPSIA~which is the development of high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy. She was 30 weeks along.
The only solution was to deliver the baby. That is potentially a very serious condition if it gets to the point where she was. Your body can swell pretty bad and blood pressure can go over 200. In some casas, like our sister, your body can become allergic to your placenta. It's a very scary thing.
After Frank hung up the phone, we both got this sick feeling. We layed in bed for a few minutes in silence, i didn't ask what he was thinking, but i know he was praying to HEAVENLY FATHER that both his sister and the baby make it through this. I layed there thinking, and this is just being honest. HOW AWFUL SHE MUST FEEL. HOW ALONE. HOW SCARED. NO HUSBAND THERE TO HOLD HER HAND AND CALM HER. NO MOM AND DAD THERE TO EASE HER PAIN. NO BROTHER OR SISTERS WITH HER TO ASSURE HER EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. JUST ALONE, IN A COLD STERILE UNFAMILIAR PLACE, WITH AN UNBORN CHILD WHOSE LIFE IS IN QUESTION, AND HER OWN LIFE PROBABLY FOR THAT MATTER. I wanted to hurry and get there. We had an hour drive, she was at HOAG HOSPITAL IN NEWPORT BEACH. I don't know why I wanted to hurry and get there so bad, it's not like I could do anything for her, i knew we wouldn't even be able to see her, I guess I just wanted to be there so she could know that I LOVED HER AND SUPPORTED HER AND THAT UNBORN BABY. she's family, and thats what family does right? Well, wish as I might, my wish to hurry and get there didn't work out as well as planned... as Franks sisters know, he's kind of slow moving and notoriously late to just about EVERYTHING. except work! thank goodness. he was even late to our own wedding!!!!! hahaha. anyways, as much as i could try to blame it on frank, it wasn't his fault that we got a later start, we now have a baby, and lots of baby things to bring, and ironically, a car that all of a sudden started having transmission problems the day before. So we had to scramble to get a few things taken care of before headin out... We knew she would be having her surgery at 7:30 am and it was just before that time that we actually got on the road, so the car ride up was somewhat reminiscent of our quiet moments in bed just a little while before. Again, i'm sure Frank was in deep thought and fervent prayer.
Before we left the house Frank and I were talking about PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS and how he should give her one and the baby too. For those who don't know, a PRIESTHOOD BLESSING, (IN THIS CASE) IS A BLESSING WHERE A MAN OR PREFERABLY TWO MEN WHO HAVE BEEN ORDAINED TO DO SO ANOINT THE SICK OR AFFLICTEDS HEAD WITH CONSECRATED OIL AND THEN FOLLOWING A FEW SPECIAL WORDS, GIVE A BLESSING AND SEAL IT UPON THE HEAD OF THE SICK OR AFFLICTED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. (thats the cliff notes version, for questions or more info on the matter, please refer to (www.LDS.ORG)
We talked about how he could share his humble testimony of the power of FAITH IN THE LORD AND IN THESE SPECIAL BLESSINGS.
As we were driving to the hospital, most of the time it was quiet in the car except for a few ROars from Lilley telling us she was there. But then as we got closer we started talking about blessings again, and how in these kinds of situations people probably start out wanting a blessing to immediately fix the problem, but in reality how sometimes, these prayerful blessings seem to go unheard, and the situation might even continue to get worse. We were talking about how important it is to remember that God ALWAYS HEARS AND ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS, but that it might not be in the way we had hoped or on the time frame we had hoped for either. We weren't trying to think negatively about our own sisters situation, I think we were both just trying to be realistic and help one another to remember that even in our darkest hours, when all hope might seem to be lost, The Lord has promised us that "HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US, BUT THAT HE WILL COMFORT US." These are the times when it is most appropriate to "BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."
In the Church, we as members believe in the use of modern medicine and all of the scientific knowledge and techniques available to us coupled with a PRIESTHOOD BLESSING AND OF COURSE, MOST IMPORTANTLY, OUR FAITH. anyways, back to the story, so we finally arrive at the hospital and search on a couple floors for our sister and nephew, not knowing how the surgery went or anything, and we FINALLY run in to Franks mom and she tells us no surgery yet, that our sister is tired, but hangin on and that they are desperately trying to wait for her husband to get there before they do the c-section and get the baby out.
After a couple hours and most of the family and extended family in the waiting room, we see our brother in law, fresh off a plane at John Wayne Airport (10 minutes away) run down the hallway... he didn't see any of us, and in to labor and delivery, i'm telling you, that whole situation could have been straight out of a movie. He missed them take the baby out by just a couple minutes, but was finally able to take his rightful place next to his wife and hold her hand through the rest of the day, and now, indefinitely as they take it one day at a time.

Sweet baby EVAN DANIEL VANDER VELDE was born (around) 11:42 am Saturday November 13 2010. He WEIGHS approx 3lbs 1oz and 16 1/4 in.
My mother in law was in the operating room with Alexis as they brought baby Evan in to the world and as soon as she could, she came out to share the news that Alexis is doing much better and that baby EVAN is here and ALIVE and was BREATHING AND EVEN CRYING!!!! EVERYBODY was so relieved, i swear it was like the weight of the world had been lifted from each of our shoulders and all of us shed some tears! :) happy tears! then through out the day each of us made our way in to see Alexis, and much to at least my surprise, when i went in her room, she was so calm, so peaceful, so strong, so courageous, SO BEAUTIFUL. she only briefly saw her baby as they wheeled him away to the NICU, BUT SHE TOLD ME HOW BEAUTIFUL HE WAS, AND WHAT BIG FEET HE HAD AND THAT SHE FELT SO PEACEFUL ABOUT ALL OF THIS.
What a truly incredible woman she is, so MUCH faith and optimism at such a trying time. Only the grandparents saw baby Evan in the NICU, so the rest of us are eager to meet this special little boy. We know that tiny as he may be, he's a FIGHTER, he wants to be here, and he knows he is loved. Yesterday, for a Few moments, I was able to sit alone with my brother in law in the waiting room just after he had been with the baby and he told me how when he spoke to Evan he could see his tiny little eyelids opening in response to his voice. Awgh, my heart was just bursting, i had to REALLY fight back the tears, i even did the biting the lower lip thing. I was so happy for him. Then, just tonight Frank and i got a text from Alexis saying "got to hold Evan for the first time for about 2 hours, it was awesome, his vitals went up and he was totally content!" After Frank walked away, the tears started flowing...
Frank never was able to give either of them the blessings he desperately wanted to, mostly due to the fact that there was so many people in and out of alexis' room and that the baby was taken so quickly up to the NICU and for a while no one was able to see him. But we trust in the LORD that they are in his care now, and he has already bestowed the blessings upon them that Frank would have done. We are truly grateful for that knowledge, and I am so happy for her, and for them. This all happened so quickly and extremely unexpectedly, and only continues to get better.
As of now little Evan Almighty has a 90% survival rate and is doing well. I pray from the very bottom of my heart that he continues to progress each day and grow bigger and stronger so that he can go home and continue his beautiful and blessed life outside the walls of a hospital! Their family is in need of all of our prayers, that little boy is in need of all of our prayers. each of us is in need of each others prayers, so tonight, as you bow your head to pray, ask for a special blessing for those who stand in need of a blessing or a miracle. The Lord hears and answers our prayers, maybe not when and how we'd always like him to, but he does, and my nephew baby Evan is proof of that. may he accomplish all that he has been sent here to accomplish in his life is my humble prayer.
i love you baby Evan.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

my daily gem


Each morning I wake up to this beautiful little gem smiling and cooing away.

She is kicking her feet with excitement and flailing her tiny little arms as I walk down the hall way in to her bedroom (carrying the monitor of course, that's how i know) and as I take my last step towards her, before she sees me, she lets out this most adorable squeal as if she knows i'm right there to whisk her out of her bed and it to my arms for our morning snuggle. There really isn't much else that could be a more perfect start to my near perfect days... except of course when Frank gets to sleep in with us and experience these daily gems himself. I know every parent loves their child, I just don't ever think i thought let alone comprehended the depth of that love until miss Lilley arrived in our world. Best thing that ever happened to Frank and I! :)
It's very rare as you other moms know to have pictures with your babies and you, so the other day we were sitting on the couch playing and I decided to be a bit cheesy and take some of lilley and myself with my free hand...

corny as it may be, it's documented proof that at this time in lilley's little world, I am just about the best thing ever to her and that melts my heart time and time again. haha here are a few shots of our play date on the couch, observing the outdoors from our front porch and our play date/ photo shoot today at the park...

just slightly obsessed with these tini feet and the little slippers that fit oh-so-perfectly!

there you have it friends, simply stated, she is my daily gem. and I heart her for it. just wish her daddy could experience all that is beautiful and right and good and perfect with our world through her big greenish eyes as much as I get to.
the end~

pretty in pink!

Since baby Lilley was too little to trick or treat this year, we didn't even really want to dress her up, but then one day I was browsing the aisles of Target, and these adorable mini wings jumped right off the shelf and in to my cart so I knew I had to buy not really knowing if they'd get used for another year or two til she's big enough to play dress up, but then I got home and the ballet slippers were out on her dresser, so alas, my atempt at making a baby fairy costume was born! I was going to go all out and decorate a onesie too, but i just decided to make due with what I had, with the exception of making her tutu. The pictures don't really do justice to how adorable she actually looked. even though we didn't trick or treat, we did make it to see some family and friends. All and all halloween was a nice mellow evening.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"sooo big"

the little one has hit 4 and a half months of age already and with each day she is growing at an incresingly rapid rate of speed. Just in the last week she has mastered;

*roaring/growling at anyone or thing in sight

*succesfully reaching for and holding on to rattles, cell phones, spoons, bowls, just about anything she can get her little fingers on

*squealing in shear delight at first sight of frank or I in the morning or after a nap, when lifted in the air to 'fly" as frank calls it, bouncing on my knee or if she really seems to enjoy something i'd said to her in the last few seconds. The same goes for laughing out loud.

*She has learned to roll over on one side, she doesn't have a preference it's just one or the other. :)

*loves loves loves rice cereal and this week we're going to start playing with fruits and veggies!
(yes don't freak out poeple, we got the go ahead from the pediatrician)!

*weighs in at 12lbs 2 oz and is 23.6 in long. (puts her in the 20th percentile for height and the 16 percentile for weight). she's bound to be short, just like her mama!

*naps only twice a day for 45 minutes down to the second like clock work and now wakes up once a night instead of all the way through but sleeps 7 hours at a time.

*Snuggles and snuggles and snuggles mom and dad.

Overall she's perfectly healthy and happy and growing "sooooo big" everyday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Busy being a mom!

So we've moved and are slowly settling in, and have yet to set the internet up...which has been fine with me. I access the things I need to just fine from franks I phone and all of my "extra free time" has left me with so many more fabulous moments to just be busy bein a mom. I love it . We have the best time together, we laugh and play, and sing and dance the day away. So farewell for a little while my friends because I'm just too busy being a mom to do anything other then revel in this most precious of all gifts...MOTHERHOOD!

Friday, October 8, 2010

To whom it may concern

we've moved. We're busy unpacking and settling in. No Internet except the iphone,so it might be a while before we get in touch!
<3 us.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

play time!

we just love to play with this sweet little girl any chance we get... even if she is a little grumpy still fom teething! :)