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Summer of ’17 (Part I)

September 9, 2017
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I am so behind on my journaling. I am going to try to combine a bunch of my summer photos in a couple of big huge picture posts. Here y’go!

Fourth of July

was a lot of fun.

We experienced Red White & Boom at Audubon Park, and I loved it so much there I want to make it my yearly Red White & Boom tradition.




Thanks for this photo, Matt.


The next day we went to the Dublin fireworks and saw Peter Frampton live! After the show we were so close to where they set off the fireworks it was probably literally one of the very best displays I’ve ever experienced. I was mesmerized!









Park of Roses Picnic

I adore this park.



Photo Cred: Rebecca

Photo by Rebecca

Photo Cred: Rebecca

Photo by Rebecca

Photo Cred: Rebecca

Photo by Rebecca

Attempted Potterfest

For just a minute (30 seconds?) Eleanor was Hedwig and Adry was Dumbledore!




But Potterfest was a bust. It pretty much went like this:


A trip to Grandpa’s Cheesebarn and Sweeties made up for it for some of us!





Adry at Niagra Falls with his dad and Grandma Ellwood

Adry at Niagra Falls with his dad and Grandma Ellwood



Me n' My Girl

Me n’ My Girl

Eleanor learned how to help with household chores (and enjoyed splashing in a pool and visiting Carl the Turtle and other fun things) with Grandma Martin this summer!


She also had many great adventures with Aunt Alexz while she was on summer break!


And Grandpa Sanders, too!


Dress enhanced by Grandma Martin

Dress enhanced by Grandma Martin

Adry on Lake Eerie during a trip with his dad

Adry on Lake Eerie during a trip with his dad



Spoiled by Grandma Sanders– new dress up shoes and clothes just because


And although Jazz and Ribs Fest was stressful this year, this full arch double rainbow (can’t make out the second rainbow in these pics) was unforgettable.



The Bunny Water Park/ Mt Vernon Water Park










We took a trip to Mount Vernon for Maya’s first birthday party. The kids got to play with Logan and Lilly (my cousin’s son and niece) at the water park up there. We had a lot of fun!






Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Ella’s Adventures

March 18, 2017
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Ella Bella, you are a consistently busy girl with a schedule full of love. I wanted to share with you a little glimpse of the kinds of things you do with the people you get to spend time with.

(Thanks to everyone who shared their Ella Adventure pictures with me, and on Facebook!)

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with Mome Martin

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with PaPa Sanders

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your hang out spot at Uncle Matt and Aunt Alexz’s

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Fashionista Ella!

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Shopping with Papa Sanders

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Homemade play dough with Aunt Becca!

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with Aunt Becca and Reese

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Raincoat, Bebe, and tights

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watering plants with Mome Martin

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Play dough animal sculptures with Mome Martin

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back porch hangs with Aunt Becca and Uncle J

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Movie date with Mome Sanders

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Dinner date with Mome Sanders

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Princess tent reading time with PaPa Martin

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art work at Uncle Matt and Aunt Alexz’s house

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thirty Years of Throwback ~ 2012-2015

June 18, 2016
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Mer n’ Chip’s Wedding

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The brief engagement of Keith n’ Jess!

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Becoming a family unit!

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The Fine Lookin’ Sanders Gang- Mom and Dad turned 50!



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2013 makes me miss my long hair!

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Five Iron Frenzy Reunited!

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Keith n’ Jess actually got to go on dates this year!

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Adry still thought I was cool!



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Dancing in Bicentennial Park

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Being enormously pregnant with Ella Bella…

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…at the same time as Jamie!

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Game Night Girls


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First year as a Family of Four!

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Baby’s First Halloween

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Mommy-Daughter Times

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The Sanders Sibs- perpetually children reprimanded by Mom!


I’ve had an enormously rich and blessed 30+ years of life!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thirty Years of Throwback ~ 2009-2011

April 10, 2016
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Adry’s first birthday party!

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Didn’t everyone have a pair of those navy sneakers for a minute?

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This is a photo from the scavenger hunt that Dave and Ginny hosted. I believe Matt, Alexz, Mer, and I called ourselves “Team Awesome” and we did not win, haha.

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This is one of my favorite photos of young Reese and Baby Adry.

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I loved being a stay-at-home momma with Adry this year. I will forever feel grateful I had those couple of years with my baby boy.


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Another young Reese and Baby Adry. I can’t resist posting these pictures.

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Our bowling party! So much skill displayed that night.

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A very Sanders Easter. I believe this is the year I put edible grass in Adry’s Easter basket. Jamie came over later that night and we all sat around in the living room laughing and joking ’til our abs hurt about who-knows-what-probably-something-really-immature and obnoxiously eating the Easter grass ’til we got sick. I actually really miss random hangouts like that.

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Adry, Dad, and I did a TON of biking with the bike trailer and Adry’s bike buddy Charlie the frog that year.

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The year Nick and I decided to spend an entire season in a High School Throwback and he was kinda my 2nd best friend for a minute. It was good for us, though. Well, it was good for me at least; I can’t speak for him.

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I fell head-over-heels for ^^THIS^^ guy! It was a whirlwind adventure and I fell hard.

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Tay, J, and I at the theater for the last Harry Potter movie!

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Little Bro J and I spent a lot of time together in 2011. We roomed AND worked AND hung out as friends together. People used to marvel at how well we got along. They’d say, “If I spent that much time with my [sibling] we’d fight all the time, but you guys are like best friends!” I am thankful for the year I had with my littlest brother.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmas Season 2015

January 2, 2016
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Timbuk Farms ~ Santa Claus & Finding the Sanders Christmas Tree!

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Thanks, Grandma Sanders, for this adorable outfit!

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Horseback Carolers

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Christmas Eve!

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Thanks, Aunt ‘Lliyah, for the sparkly Christmassy party girl outfit!

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Christmas Morning!

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Matt’s face after Dad revealed his big gift: Dad had polished up and revamped his drum set and had Alexz, J, Keith, Rebecca, and I each decorate a drum head.

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This is Keith’s drum head. I’m pretty proud of it in part because I came up with the idea, and Keith executed it so well. He chose his own colors and filler designs! I love how it turned out.

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Alexz’s~as awesome as expected!

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The kids and I did the heart in the top left. I let Ella finger paint with acrylic, and Adry filled in the spaces with little pictures and words. Rebecca did the snazzy snare drum head and J’s is the super cool colorful fantastical scene bottom right.

Our Christmas season also included Christmas with The Martins with Uncle Phil and Great Grandma Dee, as well as cookie and gingerbread house decorating with Grandmas Sanders, and a Christmas Eve midnight candlelight service at Rebecca’s grandmother’s church. It was a very nice Christmas and we are very blessed. My kids are loved by so many awesome people!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Ella’s First Birthday Party

December 6, 2015
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Baby Girl’s very first ever birthday party was last month.

My Birthday Pumpkin!

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with Aunt Becca

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Aunt Rebecca shared a special moment with Ella during which Ella said “hi” back to her for the first time. It meant a lot to her, especially since she’s an SPL grad student, and in turn it made me very happy that Ella has her Aunt Becca in her life 🙂

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This is my momma’s One Year of Ella project!

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Aunt Alexz made this adorable and delicious pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing! Another amazing auntie in Ella’s life… she’s a very lucky girl.

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Time for opening presents!

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playing with Tara

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one of our attempts at a group photo, haha

Here are a couple of other attempts for fun!
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Ella’s 11th Month!

October 11, 2015
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Sweet Ella Joyce,

One month to go before you’ve experienced one full year in this world!

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(Bed Head!)

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(Shampoo Time with Brother)

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(Hanging out with Grandma Martin)

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(Snuggled up with the bear Grandpa Martin got for you)

This had been a month of singing, dancing, climbing, and walking short distances from thing to thing.

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You got to spend a day at Grandpa Martin’s office!
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And you got to spend all kinds of time with Aunt Aalliyah and your sweet n’ adorable cousin-friend, JuneBug.
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You n’ Juno had Puffin Rock Parties
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and dance parties
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and puffs!
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Aunt Aallyah calls you ‘Sunshine Baby’ and says this sunshine blanket reminds her of you. It’s your special Aalliyah’s House blanky.
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(getting distracted by your hand while waving)

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(checking out a painting)

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Aalliyah hired a new cleaning lady (you, of course!) for the 3X3″ of her coffee table
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and your best buds over there are ‘Mote n’ Bottle.
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You also love the bagels and hamburger buns from your brother’s toy kitchen!
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Your Uncle Matt also discovered your love for Electric Light Orchestra.
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He said you listened to it all evening and held onto this album for hours.
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And you had bunches of fun on the swings at the park this month with Grandpa Sanders!
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You spied on the big girls at the playground
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until of course they made over you and let you join!

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You really enjoy the sound of banging marbles together,
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and you like walking around with the cart I used to play with as a baby.
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(worn out after a day of play!)

Your daddy is still an expert at bad dad jokes! He put your bear rattles on your arms, snapped this picture, and told everyone you were exercising your second amendment rights.
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Grandma Sanders discovered your oh so sad, heartbreaking, and loud fake cry while at the grocery store:
She said you had captured the hearts of all the shoppers in the store.
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And then she had to take something dangerous away from you and you let everyone know about it.
The shoppers- they came over to check on you, and to see what awful thing Grandma had done to you!

You may listen when we say ‘no’, but you have no qualms about expressing your feelings about it loud and clear.

Grandma Sanders also took you to play at the mall where you made more ‘big girl’ friends!
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And lastly, Ella Bella, I wanted to share these paintings with you:
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They were painted by a friend of your Uncle J and Aunt Rebecca’s. Her name is Casey Anthony.
They are so beautiful and your daddy and I were so incredibly touched when we saw them.
We sent a message thanking Casey for sharing her artwork with us, and I thought it was perfect that in reply she stated that she was inspired by your pictures on Facebook, “not just because [you] are a beautiful child (which [you] are!) But because you are so loved. It’s obvious that you have so many people that just love you more than anything. A subject is so much more inspiring when you know how it is so valued.”
That made my heart soar!
The hardest thing I do is leave you every day so that I can work, because I have to… It’s hard because I want to spend more time with you, and I hurt for the time I’ve lost. I often feel guilty and wish things were different.
Throughout my work week I entrust so many people with the my most precious and invaluable gifts: you and your brother.
And every week I am given all the pictures you see above ^^^, and all the pictures in your previous monthly letters, that remind me how blessed I am, and how blessed you are, that you are so loved by so many. It makes being a working momma a little easier, knowing that you are bonding with people who will be with you, loving you, the rest of your life.
So, when I get the physical copy of Casey’s painting in hand, I’m going to hang it in a place I can see it every day as I leave for work. It’s going to serve as my daily reminder that I’m doing okay by you, and that we have so much to be thankful for! Our lives are rich and full of love.

You are so precious to me, Baby Girl
I love you dearly.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal