Search my journal



December 2017
« Nov    

© 2012 CiaoBellaMamma - All rigths reserved.

Firstyme WordPress Theme.
Designed by Charlie Asemota.

Some Christmassy 2016 Photos

February 12, 2017
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

[I am sorry to the people that did not make it in these photos. It was unintentional. …Namely Rebecca and my mother, who seem to have eluded the camera when I was taking photos (I think they were beside me on the couch); and The Martins because I must not have gotten my camera out when we saw them.]

 photo IMG_5825_zpsiec58bcw.jpg

 photo IMG_5826_zps5jr2ezvv.jpg

 photo IMG_5828_zpsfmmcch0p.jpg

 photo IMG_5829_zpstgpdhbdq.jpg

 photo IMG_5830_zpsrgzrli2f.jpg

 photo IMG_5831_zpspwlp7hvx.jpg

 photo IMG_5833_zpsjmmvkap9.jpg
This gift of Jacob’s was perhaps one of my favorite things about Christmas this year. Back in 2011, Jacob and our boss at work- Robin- started a prank battle with these creepy AF caroling Christmas dolls.
Battle of the Caroling Dolls
When Jacob left his job at The Village, he took one of the caroling dolls with him with every intention of getting the final prank in–maybe even years later when the time was just right he’d take the doll back to The Village and leave it where Robin would find it. The topic would resurface every now and then over the years, and he would confirm his plan to do so.
Well, this year Dad gave a package to J and told him it was NOT from him.
When J opened it and received a caroling doll for Christmas I could not stop laughing. FIVE years later Robin beat J to the punch and remains the prank master.
 photo IMG_5834_zpsqh4zzf9i.jpg
Well played, Robin!

 photo IMG_5835_zpsjxptxsqg.jpg

 photo IMG_5837_zpsgmpthq7m.jpg

 photo IMG_5838_zps7qmmph9v.jpg

 photo IMG_5840_zpsm0e8gh4c.jpg

 photo IMG_5842_zpsn1av89sa.jpg

 photo IMG_5843_zpsmw2tybue.jpg

 photo IMG_5848_zpsocsmkcoy.jpg

 photo IMG_5851_zpswtg8haqg.jpg

 photo IMG_5853_zpssmwrmsxt.jpg

 photo IMG_5865_zps83zf8aqz.jpg

 photo IMG_5871_zpsawlzstry.jpg

 photo IMG_5872_zps9img3hjz.jpg

 photo IMG_5873_zpsqpur9czi.jpg

 photo IMG_5875_zpsasl9mo4s.jpg

 photo IMG_5877_zps4dug9h5z.jpg

 photo IMG_5880_zpsnuesqzxm.jpg

 photo IMG_5884_zps1gvij47w.jpg

 photo IMG_5885_zpsl25uqwzm.jpg

 photo IMG_5886_zpslmesbwpe.jpg

 photo IMG_5892_zpspurf0szq.jpg

 photo IMG_5894_zps6gkwcomo.jpg

 photo IMG_5545_zpsqhnxng7j.jpg

 photo IMG_5563_zpsiut5o0rs.jpg

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmas Season 2015

January 2, 2016
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Timbuk Farms ~ Santa Claus & Finding the Sanders Christmas Tree!

 photo IMG_3473_zpspv53btqj.jpg
Thanks, Grandma Sanders, for this adorable outfit!

 photo IMG_8064_zpsppg0lux9.jpg
Horseback Carolers

 photo IMG_8068_zpsndve4iz9.jpg

 photo IMG_8069_zpsgjrrqkop.jpg

 photo IMG_8075_zpsyddcngj8.jpg

 photo IMG_8076_zpsmfykpohr.jpg

 photo IMG_8080_zpst7zbk5pc.jpg

 photo IMG_8084_zpskrhwraep.jpg

 photo IMG_8085_zpsce7juobh.jpg

 photo IMG_8088_zpsbt1wtsse.jpg

 photo IMG_8090_zpsjuqfk0fz.jpg

 photo IMG_8094_zps4auv0x2u.jpg

 photo IMG_8095_zpsmoxvhk0e.jpg

Christmas Eve!

 photo IMG_5297_zpsb8myjsrv.jpg
Thanks, Aunt ‘Lliyah, for the sparkly Christmassy party girl outfit!

 photo IMG_5300_zpscphoulkf.jpg

 photo IMG_5302_zpscnwrklbf.jpg

 photo IMG_5303_zpskkracnlb.jpg

 photo IMG_5308_zpshipywyha.jpg

 photo IMG_5312_zpsbiy6ohq4.jpg

 photo IMG_5313_zps4klqr8s5.jpg

 photo IMG_5316_zpsqpiiwwxa.jpg

 photo IMG_5318_zpsr7ual1zv.jpg

Christmas Morning!

 photo IMG_5325_zpsdocstfdt.jpg

 photo IMG_5329_zpsp6bf2dry.jpg

 photo IMG_5330_zpsifptffur.jpg

 photo IMG_5332_zpsjtxnreko.jpg

 photo IMG_5338_zpszxy9wetp.jpg

 photo IMG_5341_zpsyvloy6lz.jpg

 photo IMG_5343_zpscmomb3sk.jpg

 photo IMG_5349_zps6e08vxyz.jpg

 photo IMG_5355_zpspctc2ilt.jpg

 photo IMG_5358_zpsx0smkn6g.jpg

 photo IMG_5362_zpsc2vs4wbi.jpg

 photo IMG_5366_zpswoob1ef0.jpg
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.

 photo IMG_3334_zpshtdxg5aa.jpg
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.

 photo IMG_5368_zpsqv3n3ajl.jpg

 photo IMG_5379_zpsk0ytcrff.jpg
Alexz’s~as awesome as expected!

 photo IMG_5381_zps0hxfc9rh.jpg

 photo IMG_5383_zpsizc9vawz.jpg
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

Christmas with our Families 2014

January 2, 2015
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Christmas Day with The Martins

 photo IMG_4811_zpsd7f8fddf.jpg

 photo IMG_4812_zpsf3724457.jpg

 photo IMG_4816_zps71cc5187.jpg

 photo IMG_4822_zpsb3afd199.jpg

 photo IMG_4827_zps6d60c24a.jpg

 photo IMG_4837_zpsf41e9567.jpg

 photo IMG_4838_zps687bb1ce.jpg

 photo IMG_4841_zpsec614b98.jpg

 photo IMG_4842_zps594f9ef2.jpg

 photo IMG_4844_zps14b893f8.jpg

 photo IMG_4845_zpscfc6c6af.jpg
This is Gracie, Keith’s other woman

Christmas Celebration with The Sanders’

 photo IMG_4846_zps2033134d.jpg
waiting in the hallway to see the gifts

 photo IMG_4847_zps08534fcc.jpg

 photo IMG_4848_zpsf13e93d9.jpg
Uncle Matt and Adry look so thrilled to be playing Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em

 photo IMG_4849_zps5bd9aa8f.jpg
Christmas nap with Aunt Becca

 photo IMG_4850_zps4788a9de.jpg

 photo IMG_4851_zps56b84175.jpg
Aunt Nelda came to visit later in the the afternoon

 photo IMG_4852_zps502be275.jpg
more brother sister love

 photo IMG_4854_zpsc77e1b71.jpg

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmasy Things 2014

Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Ella’s entertainment this season was looking at the tree lights.
She loved the lights so much!
 photo IMG_4778_zps62e1e55e.jpg

 photo IMG_4781_zps2605283e.jpg
Christmas Girls! Ready for Rebecca’s graduation party

 photo IMG_4787_zpsc1383593.jpg
Santa Socks

 photo IMG_4790_zps0e8b591a.jpg
Mom set us all up for gingerbread house decorating on Christmas eve!

 photo IMG_4791_zps58d2b0a0.jpg

 photo IMG_4793_zps96ec6938.jpg
Mom’s house

 photo IMG_4795_zps7f81fe9d.jpg

 photo IMG_4799_zpsbdf331ce.jpg
My house and Adry’s house were neighbors

 photo IMG_4806_zpsaf498acd.jpg
And my personal favorite, J and Rebecca’s house

 photo IMG_4807_zps6ef4cd5f.jpg
Heads on pikes

 photo IMG_4808_zpscc68fa35.jpg
Pile of bodies and the sacrificial fire

 photo IMG_4809_zpsb645a524.jpg
Hanging bear

Now if that doesn’t get you in a Christmas spirit, then I don’t know what would!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Cuttin’ Down the Sanders Christmas Tree 2014

Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

We went to Timbuk Farms again this year to get the family tree and to get pictures with Santa.
They have the best Santa.
 photo IMG_7887_zps220a10b5.jpg
Baby’s First Pictures with Santa
 photo IMG_7889_zpsfa9076ba.jpg
Each year we go Adry proclaims passionately and with conviction that he refuses to talk to Santa and he absolutely will not get a picture with Santa and will CERTAINLY not sit on his lap!
So we were there and Adry saw Santa and Mrs. Claus waiting to talk to children. He would barely glance in their direction. Even though I told him that whatever decision he made was fine with me and that he didn’t have to talk to anyone he didn’t want to talk to, he still felt the need to put his foot down and adamantly deny that he would be paying Santa a visit.
And then the magic happened.
Mrs. Claus caught his eye and asked him to look at the tree with her… “and since we are here,” she says, “we might as well smile for the cameras.”
 photo IMG_7891_zps60bb407c.jpg
“and just a few steps that way and you can be by your sister.”
 photo IMG_7892_zpsed09399e.jpg
“Hey. Santa has a free knee right beside you. You can just hop right up there!”
And I present: the boy who refuses to sit with Santa:
 photo IMG_7894_zps7b5683bf.jpg
 photo IMG_7893_zps1f76c1db.jpg

After Santa pictures we hopped on the bus to go saw down a blue spruce.
 photo IMG_7896_zps1b5fa4ca.jpg

 photo IMG_7898_zpsd41e9fed.jpg

 photo IMG_7899_zpse83334b7.jpg

 photo IMG_7901_zpsdd9c5a18.jpg

 photo IMG_7902_zps166c102d.jpg
This is a great grandpa. I hope my children always know how much he loves them and enjoys them.

 photo IMG_7907_zpsa3729976.jpg

 photo IMG_7909_zps20c88af7.jpg

We took our tree home and spent the evening decorating with Matt and Alexz.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

One Big Holiday Update Part I

January 4, 2014
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

The holidays were kind of a blur this year.

A little stressful. A little depressing. A little frustrating.

In the end I know I am incredibly fortunate and extremely blessed. My heart is full; my life is full. I have so much hope for the future.

On Christmas Eve my miscarriage began. Luckily it wasn’t a huge shock because by the time it started I was expecting it. I’d felt weird about this pregnancy from the beginning, mostly because my pregnancy tests weren’t as clearly positive as I wanted them to be. I got paranoid and must’ve taken 10 or 15 tests over the course of a week with varying results. I was warning people not to get too excited before my pregnancy was verified with an ultrasound, and by the time Christmas Eve rolled around I was telling people I was expecting bad news at my ultrasound. When the miscarriage symptoms finally began it was almost a relief because I could let my guard down; I could let myself say ‘goodbye’ to that particular pregnancy timeline and hopes and excitement and just get sad and emotional.

It sucked. It was painful. It was sad. It went on throughout the entirety of Christmas day. The hardest part was when Adry left to go to his dad’s for Christmas because I just wanted to hold him all day. Although I’m so so glad I didn’t have to go through it alone in secret and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, it was hard to see how the loss of this pregnancy effected Keithy and my family. I felt like I’d in some way let them down, but I know there’s nothing I could have done to prevent it.

Anyway, it’s a perfectly normal thing to experience. 1 in 4 pregnancies end that way, and every woman I know who’s had 2+ kids has had a miscarriage at some point. I can count my blessings that I wasn’t far along and that it happened before I heard a heartbeat. I feel like that’d be a lot harder. At this point I’m convinced that I passed a cluster of cells that didn’t develop properly and my body’s response was to expel it, and that’s a good thing. Thank you, body, for doin’ your job! 😉

Also, Keithy is simply the single best husband I could ever ask for. I could never put into words how thankful I am for him. I had a grief partner, I felt comforted, I felt hopeful… He was available for whatever I needed, whether it was space or hugs or tears.

Besides all that, Christmas day was good.

Adry woke up excited and anxious to see if Santa had come with presents.
 photo IMG_3771_zps8804e874.jpg

Of course, Santa had.
 photo IMG_3768_zps0c54bd4e.jpg

We had Adry wait in the hallway for several minutes before he could see the living room. A Sanders kid tradition.
 photo IMG_3775_zps547cdefd.jpg

He was so excited to dig into his loot.
 photo IMG_3776_zps1d0971b1.jpg

 photo IMG_3779_zpsec3f44bd.jpg

 photo IMG_3784_zpsb4ded8c1.jpg

 photo IMG_3786_zps13659254.jpg

 photo IMG_3787_zps251e1d31.jpg
(My exhausted, sick self)

 photo IMG_3791_zps21520256.jpg
Giant Reese’s Cups!

 photo IMG_3795_zps62baf840.jpg

 photo IMG_3796_zps7a1fbd9e.jpg

 photo IMG_3799_zpscaa8f0d6.jpg

 photo IMG_3803_zps679a236e.jpg

 photo IMG_3811_zpsa370dece.jpg

 photo IMG_3826_zps674621ef.jpg
Keithy, Adry, and I excited about our new XBox

 photo IMG_3828_zpsefbc41fb.jpg
Adry in his chef garb and Easy Bake Oven

The Martins joined us for a Christmas brunch, then soon after Adry left for his dad’s, Keith and I wrapped up our Christmas at the Martins’ for dinner and a gift exchange.

A week later we celebrated a new year and my parents’ anniversary. I’m breaking that up in a new post!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmas Tree and Cookies 2013!

December 21, 2013
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

This year we went to Timbuk Farms to pick out the family Christmas tree. Very cute place.

 photo IMG_7588_zpsd90de410.jpg

 photo Timbuk2_zps3fd40f9a.jpg

 photo Timbuk_zps2a871f04.jpg

Santa and Mrs. Claus were there!
 photo IMG_7591_zpscf715433.jpg

Adry was shy at first, but Santa asked him over and you can’t say no to Santa.

 photo Timbuk1_zpsfd7adc47.jpg

The farm was so huge that we had to take a bus ride to the trees.
 photo IMG_7596_zpsa2ed09cb.jpg
Adry looking out over the tree fields from the bus

 photo IMG_7593_zps333d307c.jpg
J and Rebecca on the bus

 photo IMG_7594_zps09ef429c.jpg
Mom and Dad

 photo IMG_7597_zpsd86f2935.jpg

 photo IMG_7595_zpsae3ded19.jpg

It was way too cold for Adry and I out in the fields, so we rode the bus while the others found the tree.
 photo foundit_zpseda1b41c.jpg

Once we got home we decorated Christmas cookies and the tree.
 photo IMG_7604_zps6d9b6b96.jpg

Adry had a blast helping with both.
 photo IMG_7607_zps4b44dc9e.jpg

 photo IMG_7600_zpse287341d.jpg

 photo IMG_7611_zpsab989155.jpg

 photo IMG_7612_zps67d7e75a.jpg

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmas 2012

December 29, 2012
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Christmas was really great this year! Albeit I’m still mysteriously ill and I’ve really been slacking on the whole taking pictures thing, so once again I have to share my experience with a few poor quality phone pics.

(Just a quick update: I’ve done a slew of different blood tests, a round of steroids, a round of antibiotics, and my symptoms have persisted. Full body flu-type aches, no fever, and pressure in my neck/ears/head. Next up: CAT scan and connective tissue test. Ibuprofen has been my best friend, yet it’s totally inadequate. My feelings on the whole thing range from ermergerd what if I’m dying from a brain tumor *panic*! to *sadface* what if this pain will never go away… to I will figure this thing out and everything will be okay *ForcedSmilePositiveThoughts* to meh I don’t remember what healthy feels like, who cares. Right now I don’t care.)

We spent Christmas Eve Eve at Grandma Martin’s house. Keith’s Grandma in Lima.

Keith’s dad, Keith’s brother, and Keith wearing Grandpa’s overalls

Grandma Martin is an incredibly talented seamstress and I will never get enough of her homemade gifts. Ever. Among some other great things we got to bring home this blanket she made for Adry:

It’s just perfect for him.

The next day we went to Christmas Eve service at Cypress, which was just… so awesome.

Honestly, I am totally spoiled. I grew up in a tiny little Nazarene church where the congregation was (and still is!) my family, so I never felt like Cypress was my church… it was just the place I attended. 15 years later, all growed up with a kid of my own, when I visit other churches I feel all aaaaaw I miss Cypress! and I hate missing Cypress services. Now I’m thankful Cypress is my church! It’s just radiating with talent from wall to wall- the sets, the videos, the speakers, the MUSIC. Talent just continually breeds talent in that church, and it’s always so neat to see that people have poured their hearts and souls and hard work into the church for God and for love and for people. Not to mention the constant outreaches we do abroad and in the community, continually making a difference.

Credit: I swiped this video off of Miss Chris Harder’s Facebook

Christmas morning we woke up and enjoyed great family time and a gift exchange.

Keithy got some socks (that he totally needed haha) and I got hypnotic poison perfume! Which I was excited about! Later on Mom and Dad Martin came over and the scavenger hunt for our “big present” commenced! We had no idea there would be a scavenger hunt or a “big present” that our parents and Grandma Martin went in on together. Later on Mom made the comment, “Weren’t you wondering why you got so little before Keith’s parents came over!?” and I realized I hadn’t noticed at all. I had been completely content and got the most enjoyment from watching my family open the presents Keith and I had gotten for them. It’s just an added bonus blessing that we have families that love us so much that they got together to get us something we could have a lot of fun with!

So anyway, they hid 9 clues and little presents around the house leading us to this:

A flat screen TV! We’d been using a clunky hand-me-down TV box with a small little screen. A 46″ definitely transforms one’s entertainment experience. The boys can actually play 2-player Halo!


And it’s definitely super enjoyable to watch our new blurays with our first bluray player on the new TV. I feel as though I am finally living in 21st century Amurica!

Anyway, after our big present the family partook of an excellent Christmas brunch prepared by The Food Woman.

On Christmas night Keith and I took the kid to the Martin household where we exchanged more family time and gifts with Uncle Phil, Scott and Tarah, and ate more wonderful goodies made by Keith’s parents.

Keith and I are very blessed. I love our family. We had a very merry Christmas.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmas 2011

January 4, 2012
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page


Adry went missing for a few minutes on Christmas Eve and I caught him among the presents… “rearranging”.

More rearranging


Christmas Morning

Camera Shy Bedhead Boy waiting to see if Santa came



Finally allowed to run to the living room!

Checking things out. He was MOST impressed by the $.98 cotton candy…





Eating stocking candy– Curious George gummies

Reading one of the new books he got for Christmas

He loves this penguin blanket from Gramma and Grampa


Jacob got this enormous Harry Potter gift book and grew three shades paler this Christmas.


Matt’s present. He had a very Ralphy Christmas this year. He’d been asking for this brewing kit for months but mom and dad were all “you’ll shoot your eye out!” er things of that nature. Christmas morning rolled around and Mom and dad had wrapped his brew kit and put it under the tree, but labeled it to me, so Matt figured he wasn’t getting it after all.

After Christmas morning with my family, I drove to Westerville to spend a few hours with the Keith and his family. I need to get better at getting pictures of things I do with him… He’s too distracting and irresistible 🙂

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal