Category Archives: Nieces & Nephews

Wedding Crafts & Personal Touches

please forgive my brief sabbatical, i wanted to keep nana at the top of the page there for a while.

the irish blessing she read at our wedding was one of many personal touches i tried to incorporate into our day.  i wanted the wedding to say, even scream, “PETE & KATIE!”  i have been to too many weddings that scream,

“Hey, this is actually my parents’ party that just happens to be on our big day!” or

“I like the most generic and trite of decor because I had no idea what else to do!”

and i wanted ours to be a 180 from that bizniss.

so here’s some stuff i put my fingers on:

our cake topper.  a friend did the illustration, i ordered the laser cutout on acrylic, and i loved the result!  patsy got to be there on our special day, if only in spirit.

our wedding party.  hello, ridiculousness.  pete had 12 groomsmen, i had 11 attendants (10 bridesmaids, 1 bridesdude).  we could not have done this without any of them.  especially take absurd pictures.

signage.  my nephews carried this particular sign, which i freehanded using a word doc on my laptop and different fonts for inspiration.  i could just hear everyone “awwwwwwww”-ing when these two came down the aisle, and they were so dang proud to have this job!  i also did signs for our photo booth, candy table, and an Avett Brothers quotation that i thought perfectly fit the day:

Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.”

including our bebes.  this was pre-finnigan, so these two got to get taken out of camp for a couple of hours to come be with us for our first look and some key pictures.  it wouldn’t have been a wedding day without our little boys!

ring pillow.  i hand-sewed this ring pillow that never actually carried any rings and was really just for show.  my nephew, luke, carried it down the aisle for us though!

my great-grandmother’s handkerchief.  my mom’s mom’s mom made this for my mom to carry down the aisle, and i got to carry it too – it has some yellow spots from age but you can’t beat this for “something old.”

our fire axe.  purely for show, this was our cake-cutting utensil.  it reads “ANDERSON” then the EMS/fire maltese cross, then “EST. 2012”.  i love that we will always have the thing we used to cut our cake hanging out on our wall.

centerpieces, table runners, and “chandeliers.”  as i went in to previously, i did the chandeliers by hand.  we used stitch witchery to make the table runners over an afternoon, and i ordered (and now own, anyone want one?) and arranged all of the centerpieces.  i wanted to alternate tall and low centerpieces, so the ones with willow are almost 4′ tall on the tables while the ones with yellow baby’s breath – who knew that existed? – are only about 1′ tall.

my backdrop, as previously discussed.  it looked so awesome in all of the pictures!  added the perfect touch i had hoped to achieve.

we also designed our own cakes, elected to serve moscato instead of champagne (i’m a sweet wine kinda girl), played some mega-important songs to our various friend groups like “rosanna” by toto and “like a prayer” by madonna, and reused all of the bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces on our 2-person tables.  i’m actually pretty proud of how this turned out, and have to thank my photographers, Pablo Corona Photography, for these beautiful images (which p.s. are copyrighted by me and them!)!

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Fast Forward

soooo…you all still around?  did you give up on me totally?  i can’t believe i’ve been off of this blog for almost a year – i still read all of you, every day, but just kind of lost the motivation to tell you about my days.  to gloss it over, my job was overwhelming, i had a lot going on, and something had to give.  i’m sorry to have let it be this!

so let’s review the past few months in a minute or less….












in summary – hawaii, new dog oliver bernard harrison anderson, ENGAGEMENT!, boston trip, visit with family in kansas and my adorable nephews, christmas in san francisco with college besties, family reunion in new orleans, tip reunion in memphis, march was full of family (my grandfather in cincinnati, my nephews and step-niece here, my grandfather’s funeral in pittsburgh [not pictured] and new job for me AND full-time position for pete as a firefighter(!), pete’s birthday in april with his big boy firefighter cake and a trip to nashville [not pictured] and me quitting my second job [not pictured], and may brought me a brand new goooorgeous melie bianco bag that happens to match patsy.

ok wow that was a lot of traveling, in retrospect. annnnnnnyways.

on to the big stuff: WEDDING PLANNING.

i don’t want to forget some wedding ideas, and i want to keep track of my life during this engagement – we’ve already been engaged for 8 months – so here i am!  we are about to confirm a wedding date of february 25, 2012 here in memphis at a B.A.utiful location:

we’re super excited and are in the process of figuring out the fun stuff – wedding party, guest list, decor theme, and most importantly, what kind of cake we’ll be having.  so welcome back to my life, i’m glad to see you all (maybe?  i’m not sure anyone’s still out there) again!

also i’m taking another trip next week – my FIVE YEAR college reunion at wellesley (p.s. i’m old, though the ladies coming for their 50th reunion tend to differ)!  watch for pictures!

2/15/10 – 2/15/10

sometimes there’s a post in my head that i don’t want to write, but know i need to.  this is that post.

today my sister ally gave birth to a daughter.  baby emma was only at about 18 weeks, and the birth was intentional – my sister was induced.  ally went for her first sonogram on thursday to find out the sex of the baby, only to discover that the baby had anencephaly.  basically, her daughter would not be viable after birth, no matter what the doctors did.  so today emma was born, and today she passed away.  this is incredibly hard for me.  i cannot fathom what my sister and her fiance are going through.

through this we have discovered the true importance of folic acid for potential mothers, so please inform any possible or newly pregnant mother you might know that simply by taking folic acid she can reduce the chances of her child developing anencephaly or spina bifida by 50%.  please help me honor emma’s memory by letting your friends know, it would mean a lot.

and to those of you that already knew and have offered your support, prayers, and thoughts, we really appreciate it and i can’t say enough how much ally is going to need it today and ongoing.  thank you.

New News

so i checked out for a while – a lot has been going on!

two weekends ago my mom and nephew tyler came to visit.  despite my having strep throat we managed to show tyler memphis in style – the memphis zoo, play time at the house with a Real Life Firefighter (aka uncle pee pants aka pete):6134_152079625154_505020154_3877791_8043543_nmore play time at mr. & mrs. anderson’s, followed by dinner at the macaroni grill.  then the next day was brunch at brother juniper’s:

6134_152779910154_505020154_3889580_369346_nthere’s always quite a wait, and we swung the time away.  he had a great time, with some falls and minor scrapes and bug bites along the way – he is certainly all two-year-old boy.

then this weekend came a whole crazy series of events.  last friday i was perusing the memphis animal services photo website, for the sweet little cat i’d told you all about had stopped coming around and i wanted to make sure he hadn’t been picked up by the pet police.  as i perused, i came across a picture of a boykin spaniel mix, a dog that looks just like our friend gray’s dog:

n2102204_31672899_9578we love that dog.  anyway, i sent the picture over to pete as kind of a wow i love this dog, it’d be gray’s dog’s twin, isn’t he cute?  a few emails back and forth ballooned into We Must Save This Dog Now, and pete’s quick call at the end of the day friday put a hold on him so we could get there first thing saturday to fill out papers.

as agreed, we were there at 10 am to meet the dog and get the process started.  they showed us back to the kennels (wow, the smell) and we walked every row, looking in each kennel.  each one held anywhere from 1 – 4 dogs scrambling to give us kisses, show us a wagging tail, and beg us to take them out of there.  it was heartbreaking.  more heartbreaking: our boykin boy was nowhere to be found.  finally, after much double-checking, we discovered that he had actually been euthanized friday morning (for being “too timid”), about 8 hours before we called.  i was distraught and fought back tears, of course.

but we were there, already planning to adopt, and there were tons of dogs that needed our help.  so we went to walk the aisles again, only to be offered half off of our fee by the director as an apology for the mistake.  i was drawn back to one little boy that had been attentive and sweet each time i walked by, but without the manic barking:


each time we walked by, we were greeted with perked ears, a cocked head, and a thousand kisses.  we got him out of the kennel and snuggled for a minute, and he was the one.  we filled out paperwork, and went to pick him up yesterday post-neutering.  so please welcome our newest revtempo household member, Gibson “Gibb” Wainwright Prescott Anderdise:

0908091625he was a little zonked out after being neutered, but is starting to come into his own.  he’s filthy, way, wayyyy too skinny, and a little overwhelmed, but those are all curable things.  he’s snug at home in his kennel with a peanut-butter filled Kong toy and some tunes to listen to, and he and i enjoyed a 6 a.m. walk and breakfast together this morning.  patsy feigns indifference but showed no less than abject horror when he attempted to jump on to our/HER bed this morning (“how DARE he!”).  we’ll see how that goes as he gets more energy!

Status Check

– the rev is trucking along through his firefighting I certification.  this past weekend was ladder training, in which i would have failed when they would have had to send a firefighter up on an adjacent ladder to talk/carry me down from the spot where i froze.  he managed to do significantly better than that.

– patsy the cat is losing hair under her chin.  from dr. internet i have found out that it might be because we have put her food in plastic bowls.  i’m hoping the recent switch to ceramic will prove beneficial, otherwise it’s back to the (real) doctor she goes.  i think she’s just pulling hair out so she can enjoy more car rides.

– i took a personal day from work yesterday to accomplish several errands and invest more time in painting the new house.  i managed to register my car, buy fabric for a headboard i’m recovering, return clothing, help out at my 2nd job with a task, buy more paint, move several items from our current house to our new garage, paint the guest room, paint the trim in two rooms, and even shower.  it was a long and busy day, but i felt pretty accomplished at its end.

– my 2 year old nephew called me last night to sing me his ABCs.  as my sister put it, he’s probably the smartest baby in the history of the world ever.  my other nephew is, of course, equally smart.  they got it from me, of course.

– i have become slightly preoccupied with a potential business venture that has come from complete left field, seems certifiably insane, but excites everyone i talk to and seems like it would be entertaining.  research followed by research to come to see if it’s for me.  i’ll let you know.

Weekend at Home

last weekend i flew home for one night, for an american cancer society casino night fundraising event thrown by my mom and her friend, former kc chiefs player dan saleaumua.  the event was great, i won an 8 GB ipod nano, but i was really more excited to see my nephews, who i hadn’t seen since christmas.  they’ve grown and started talking more and running much, much more.  

2796_541416874102_2102204_31925514_2191555_n  here’s brayden, all teeth and bright smiles.  i got each boy a new outfit as their (early) 2nd birthday gifts, and brayden’s wearing his here – it’s a bit large on him, but i have a feeling he’ll be growing into it.


2796_541416714422_2102204_31925500_2382496_nhere’s tyler, the younger by 3 weeks but the more talkative, so far.  he was all over climbing and sliding at the park, calling out for his “maaaaahhhhmmm” to “commmeeeeerreeee.”  i didn’t see him get grumpy one time while i was there, just a very happy kid.  hopefully they’ll both be coming to visit me in memphis at some point soon, before we move and possibly lose our 2nd bedroom space.  i want to take them to the children’s museum and the zoo here.  and for some commissary barbecue – i can only imagine the mess they’d make with that.

couldn’t come up with a reveal a secret for today, besides the fact that the rev is graduating on may 14 from EMT school and will officially be able to stick you with an IV.  watch out, memphis.

2796_541416749352_2102204_31925507_7110788_n3ps i love how tyler is flailing in every possible direction in this picture…it’s like he’s just so full of energy he might just send limbs shooting in every direction.

Reveal a Secret Thursday XXIX, Luke Wins!

a short but important reveal a secret this week: the rev’s tiny nephew, luke, has kicked cancer’s a** at the age of not-even-but-almost three years!  we’ve been following luke’s journey over the phone, with a couple visits (i haven’t been able to meet him yet, but i will!), and on luke’s mom’s blog, andersonmania.  it’s not been easy, but luke is lucky and strong and he’s made it.  his little brother and soon-to-be youngest sibling are going to be so proud when they hear what he did!

go luke!


Happy Day One to BabybelBeadle

dear tiny beadle baby,

i’m not lucky enough, babybel, to rush to your side (like auntie katherine and auntie kate, not to be confused with me, auntie katie), but i AM able to write you your first internet-based letter post-birth!  you’ve made it one whole day in this crazy world, and it’s only going to get crazier – and i’m not talking like oh, man, our economy is spiraling out of control and what those crazy foreigners out there are up to, i’m talking like oh, man, wait til you really meet your parents…

i met your mommy in college, five and a half years ago (holy crap), and she is awesome.  your mom is so openminded.  she’s the first to always argue the alternative, play the devil’s advocate, and think of others.  she’s loyal to a fault.  but i’m sure now that you’re reading this at age 12 or whatever, you are thinking: BORING.  you want the dirt, right?  your mom was always the one to bring the party, too – i have strong memories (perhaps so strong because i have pictures – call me) of her swigging andre champagne (something i as your auntie must recommend you NOT DO) straight from the bottle.  she was one of few who was willing to stand up on tables, chairs, and/or window sills at WZLY parties to dance – she always knew how to work it out.  in rather tame evidence, i offer:


ghetto fabulous, right?  i’m sure this is quite tame and all in your day, but trust…your mom can represent.  she rocked the big shades before they were…big….and she always rolled deep in her saturn, running us all the way to framingham and stuff.

your dad, i know less.  i got as much dirt on him from auntie katherine, who always has the inside scoop, that i could, and i met him when your mommy and daddy got married.  and the one thing i’ve not only heard time and again but now witnessed is this: should your mom and dad be stranded on the side of a torrentially flowing ravine, and there were no bridge, your father would most likely string himself across so that your mom could walk across and stay dry and safe.  in a word, he adores her.  BORING, i know.  and probably a little GROSS thrown in.  but it’s true.  as for dirt, i don’t have much…but as your mom can, your dad can get down.  and i mean get DOWN, check it out:


he was trying to intimidate your cousin evie via dance-off.  she had none of it, just for the record.  but what i really want you to know is that the entire day and night of the wedding i saw a whole lot of this:


your dad was always right by your mom’s side, and see that contact?  he never stopped in keeping his hand on her back, gently guiding her from guest to guest, table to table, making sure she was comfortable, had her drink, and always knew he was there.  and though i don’t know him well, i have a feeling he’ll be doing the same for you – offering a hand, being a guide, offering advice and affection unbounded.  and your mom, oh what your mom will give you.  i’ll leave it to you to figure that out, but it’s a lot of good things.  very good.

and one last thing…welcome to wellesley, class of 2031!  we’re glad to have you.  but really, we’re just glad to have you here, safe, and awfully smushy and tiny.  i can’t wait to meet you and do what i do best – take a bajillion pictures.  get ready.

img00135(pic courtesy of auntie kate)

❤ auntie katie


i love this picture.  tyler got to sit in our booth like a big boy tonight, and this is how high he came up.  i don’t blame him for standing up over and over to see and be seen, but when he was sitting, how cute is he?


from my day:

– pressed pink oxford, tucked in; this equals grownuphood.

– six rings on one finger.  sliding around because i’m cold.

– five bites of lukewarm corn chowder, brought to the break room for the staff – satisfying in some weird way.

– loving the feel of paper in my hand.  flashbacks to watching my rev hold a newspaper, and how for some reason the way he holds it makes me love him more.

– enjoying the sun and the cool a/c in my car as i drive to dinner, talking to pete.  we excitedly chat about our days, our future.  feeling quite secure.

– smooth chubby baby legs.

– bopping to the beat across the table with tyler, his eyes locking on mine as, in his excitement, we frantically rock around our chairs.

– drowsiness on the drive home – pleasant but unnerving at 70 mph.

– nonworking cable forcing me to have a tv-less night.  for once.  this is probably not a bad thing.