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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

THIRTY Years of THROWBACK! 2000-2002

August 2, 2015
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Matt, Jessica H, Jamie, me, Jessie, Steve, and Jacob– Jessie and Jamie’s last day as my backyard neighbors– neighborhood buddies gathered together to see them off to their new home for a few years in Dalton, Ohio. This was a very very sad day for teenage Jessica. (Also the summer T.Matt swung from a rope in shallow water while he, Steve, my parents, and I were boating in Alum Creek. Broke his tibia and shattered his growth plate and had to wear a cast up to his thigh the rest of the summer! And I still notice his slightly ‘off’ gait.)

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The night Ash entertained us by performing silly dances to 98 Degrees in my living room for my 15th birthday. Throwback to the the obnoxiously long bunny ear antennae on the TV set and the bookshelf full of VHS movies! Oh, and everyone’s stylin’ plaid button down over-shirts are lying about.

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The last-day-of-school shaving cream fights my mom used to organize for us. I’m pretty sure that’s Mark, Matt, Steve, and me in the back; I forget/can’t tell, I forget/can’t tell, Little J, and his girl pal in the front.

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High School Homecomings! pre-dance photos by the parents in my living room. Flashback to spaghetti strap dresses! The boys in the back: Clint (who passed a few years ago, RIP Clint), Nick, Steve; girls in the front: Amber R, me, Jessie, Jamie, Jessica H.



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The year Matt, Ash, Steve, and I decided at the very last second that we weren’t ready to be too old for Trick-or-Treat. We tried to be strong and mature, but dammit we needed one more year to be kids! So we ran to my parents’ box of old Halloween costumes and threw on the first things we could find. Ash had on a witch’s dress I think and the bunny ears from my first Halloween Costume. I think Steve had a Frankenstein’s Monster head and a sword or something. Matthew is in the picture donning my Orville Wright goggles and a clown wig, and I have on a clown hat and vest… And we had ourselves a Marry Trick-or-Treat. We didn’t have bags to collect candy and I remember Steve eating every single piece of candy he received between houses. My stomach hurts just thinking about it.

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Throwback to High School Sweethearts and the lilac bushes my mother planted on either side of the front door of our house. ohmygoshimissthose, I remember that fragrance. It takes me back every time I smell it.

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(**The date on some of these pictures is totally wrong.)
Young Reese Pete! See, we once loved each other! He had to have been under one here because I believe 2001 is the year I bought him- I had just turned 16 when he was born. (I still love Reese, by the way. Just in a very I’m-glad-he’s-Jacob’s sort of way.)

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Me- with ears stretched to a 0 gauge- and Little J with green teeth!

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Ah yes. Dad snapped this shot as I was about to walk out the door to go, i dunno, lollygag teenage-style somewhere. I was ready for my day, and what else could a 16-year-old girl need for her day other than her rainbow tank, baggy pants, hippie hair twists, quarter machine jewelry (a loovely choker and Matt and I had matching rainbow Power Heart Kid bracelets), blue Hot Topic Soda shoes, and 2 Blowpops just in case. You never know when you might need a Blowpop, and ya’ gotta have a second one to share with a friend.



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The Year of Greta! and lots of thrifting, concerts, festivals, Monty Python, and Home Schooled kid sleep-overs together.

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The Brothers and I at a little music festival. Little J is shamelessly rockin’ that massive spill on his shirt!

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Ben and I were dating. Throwback to iron-on patches and safety pins!

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J, Dad, and I were camping out in line for a CD Release and signing.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

THIRTY Years of THROWBACK! 1996-1999

July 25, 2015
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Throwback to church plays. Matt, Mer, and I are dressed up for our Go Go Jonah play. Matt was a Ninevite and got to chase Jessie around with a sword, which was appropriate. Mer was a Yeoman of Joppa, and I was Jess: the visitor of The Museum of the Bible. I remember Dad working his tail-end off to re-write that whole script in order to include every single kid who wanted a speaking part or solo, and he also created a great stage set-up complete with visual and sound effects for the ocean and storm. It was such a cute little play that we even got to take our show on the road and put it on for another church.

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Throwback to church Sunday School at DCN led by Dave. I’m sure Dave put in a lot of time and effort preparing lessons and discussions for us but my only clear memories of those days were his field trips to Krispy Kreme and having us take bets (like good Nazarene kids) on how long it would take for the donuts to be devoured by the congregation… oh, and his sassy jokes throughout haha. Thank you, Dave, for the memories <3

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Throwback to American Girl Dolls– back when there were only FIVE! Samantha, Felicity, Molly, Kirsten, and Addy- and Addy was brand new back then. I had Samantha and she is currently packed away in my parents’ garage with her school desk, bedroom set, tea party table, and several outfits… and Little Jacob is quite enjoying his tea party with her in this picture.

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The year I was a midget for Halloween. (Jessica Harris the Joker, Jamie the… spider-vampire-witch?, Little Jacob Spiderman, Matt the Pirate, Me, and Taylor the football player)

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The Brothers and I. Throwback to GIANT hair bows, Honey We Shrunk ourselves on VHS, and Matt’s buzz cut!



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My Nutty Bar, Me, ‘n Ash the year that Mom attempted to force-feed me Nutty Bars any chance she could get because I was painfully underweight.

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Jacob with his little friends, Me, Ash, Matt’s friend Mark, and Matt. Matt and J are both wearing their super cool visor sunglasses, and Dad is organizing the wagon. We also each have our white socks folded in half several inches above our shoe line in proper 90s fashion.



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My cousin Jack and I are standing in front of the chapel at The Naz (where we would both end up as students together several years after this) holding up the medals we won at BLAST. BLAST is essentially a 3-day Nazarene talent/skill contest. I assume we both entered in Writing Poetry and Prose, although Jack could have done something in music. Also, throwback to BIBS! which I think I loved and wore at least through 8th grade (not that pair). And I’m not gunna lie- I’ll be the first to hop back on that train if they come back in style because so comfortable that is all.

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James and I sharing a seat, and we are both in the awkward and uncomfortable throes of young adolescence as well as a more enjoyable and exciting blossoming best-friendship.



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The Sanders Clan Oh-My-Gosh-We’re-All-Dressed-Up-And-The-Weather-Is-Nice Photo Opp in the Yard and are J’s socks pulled all the way up his shins!? Haha! I love that family.

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Yes. The year we were N’SYNC for Halloween, complete with several dance routines we spent months choreographing and practicing, and a fangirl. We won 2nd place in the Hilliard Parks and Rec Costume contest, losing to “The Millennial Girls” who wore matching sweatshirts and shook pom-poms with cutesy smiles on their cutesy faces AND THE INJUSTICE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, DO YOU HEAR THAT CITY OF HILLIARD!? Haha. James had to duct tape her boobs down to be Justin, Taryn was Chris, Ash was Joey, Jessie was Lance, and I was JC. We carried a boom box and occasionally broke out in dance along the neighborhood streets during trick-or-treat night, and ladies squealed and ran in to get their camcorders to capture us on video.

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Neighborhood buddies! Steve, me riding piggyback on James, and Matt in the van window

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This picture is the perfect throwback to the nineties. First, I must point out my high school “sk8er boyfriend” Nick’s wide-leg silver pants and skater shoes (he actually skated a lot. All the time. He was a legit skater boy), Ryan Parks’ forward comb hairdo and wide-leg painter pants, Jessie and I are both wearing all-white cloth shoes with 3-inch thick clunky soles, AND there’s a disposable camera on the table!

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Jamie, Jessie, and I! Throwback to Y2K and bringing in the new millennium!  And to all our friends’ families that stocked up on supplies in preparation for the end of the world. We all held our breath when the ball dropped but we survived! Haha.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Cupcakes and East 12th Avenue

January 11, 2011
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(All photos taken with my old point-and-shoot camera)

On Sunday Nick had this grand idea to make cupcakes in his butterfly cupcake mold. Actually, come to think of it he had suggested baking brownies but I vetoed that idea because brownies are gross, and then suggested cupcakes. But it was HIS idea to bake, so when it comes down to it it’s HIS fault because EVERYTHING is. Duh.

Anyway, we ruined the entire first box of batter on butterfly-cupcakes-gone-bad.  I had taken the time to separate and color and bag homemade icing to decorate the butterfly and I refused to let it all go to waste, so we baked another batch. I recruited Nick’s three-year-old son to help me pipe the icing on.

You know, when I first looked at this plate of cupcakes in person I thought it was OBVIOUS which cupcakes I decorated and which cupcakes Jameson decorated, but now I’m not so sure ;). This is why I don’t work in a bakery.

Pictures of Tay and his band, East 12th Avenue playing their first real show, under the cut!

Mom and I at The Basement waiting for Tay’s band to begin playing. She is entirely drugged here. Severe CONSTANT (no let up) sciatica. She has to see some back doctors.



Mom and Les

Chip was making fun of Mer for something. This is her look of seething hate, but I think it’s adorable. She loves him 🙂





They did a really good job!! East 12th Avenue: Look them up! They are talented kids.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Bringin’ in the New Year. 2011/26

January 4, 2011
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First, in defense of my camera, I must admit that some of these (a lot of these) aren’t the greatest of photos. BUT that’s because I don’t use automatic mode- I use all of the creative modes- because I am trying to LEARN. And I am still finding the right balance between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for the right depth of field for the amount of movement going on in whatever lighting there is. It’s a delicate balance and I am a beginner and I’ve never taken a photography class (which basically means I just learned what that stuff even means). So! I am at fault for whatever flaws there may be in these photos. Not my camera.

New Year’s Eve Pictures!

Me messing around…

Mom and Dad made a really fancy meal for NYE. Asparagus soup, dinner rolls, salad, filet mignon, bakes potatoes, mixed vegetables, and wine. Mom of course made sure the table looked all pretty.


Jacob is something special.

The boys played together all night. Adry adores Jameson and follows him around like a worshipping puppy.

Nick and I

Nick and I… after I made J try to get a “better” one of us.



This is how the cool kids bring in the new year. CANDY LAND.




Nick is attempting to teach my brothers how to play Euchre.


Dad playing harmonica

Whatever Jameson does… that’s exactly what Adry wants to do. I think he watched him play phone games for like an hour.




This was my parents’ 28th Year Anniversary and I failed to get a pic of them together.

Chip and Mer

Chip and Mer candid after pose-for-the-picture time.

Then a few days later I turned 26 years old!

And I went to Jessie and Jamie’s apartment to eat Pei Wei Pad Thai and watch a cute movie with some girls. Jamie surprised me with Coke, a theater gift certificate, and a Reese DQ ice cream cake with ‘2’ and ‘6’ candles on it. Totally sweet of her. It put me in a sugar coma and I promised myself to not eat sugar again until I turned 27. I almost successfully forgot to take my cake home but Jessie made sure I remembered. That Jessie– always lookin’ out.

OMG it is 2011.

OMG I am 26 years old.

OMG I would have been married for SIX years.

I’m not going to lie. The last few weeks of December/ the first week of January have been really incredibly hard. Emotionally draining. I’m glad it’s all over. Sort of. The fact that it’s over also means… it’s over. And that’s still hard to swallow.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Appreciation Project

December 16, 2010
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December 8 AP 342– Icing. I’m just sayin’.

December 9 AP 343– Trippy movies that make you think and keep you guessing. And movie night with Adam who introduced me to Vanilla Sky. And we also got a dose of The Big Lebowski which is always fun.

December 10 AP 344– OSU interview opportunity! Exactly where I wanted to be! OSUMC was my goal job destination and I thought it’d take me a while to work my way in there. I mean, I have no idea if I got the job, but I sure do appreciate the opportunity to even try for it! I’ve heard of people with a lot more experience than I have waiting several years for an interview there. It’s a really great place to work.

December 11 AP 345– Chicken noodle soup (with Cholula!). The perfect soothing food for a terrible sore throat and congestion. And also a total unexpected ‘sick night out’ for Steak n Shake and the movie The Tourist. So, remember how Nick and I pretty much never go out when we hang out? Because we are lame or broke or both, I don’t know. So Nick asked to hang out on Saturday night and I informed him that I was really totally completely gross and ill. He was all, that’s cool we can still hang out. So I figure that as usual, but especially that night, we’d stay in and take it easy and I’d huddle in a blanket and sip on soup and intermittently groan in misery. You know, SICKY things. But no, it came time to hang out and he was all, I’m takin’ us out! What inopportune timing, right!? I wondered how I’d survive, but it turns out that it kind of took my mind off of being a sicky. And now guess who has come down with the same sore-throated, runny-nosed bug as me? Yep- Nick. (And Adry and my mom and I think Rebecca as well. This thing was contagious as heck.)

December 12 AP 346– My NYE Resolutions. I am excited to start them. A new game plan for losing weight. I want to be WILL BE at goal weight within 2011. I want to have my foot in the door at OSU Med Center and start back at school within 2011. And some other smaller goals/ routine changes.

December 13 AP 347– December snow! I LOVE that it snowed on December 1st to kick off the Christmas month. I think it has been beautiful. Also annoying, but mostly beautiful and Christmasy.

December 14 AP 348– Interview accomplished (with Laryngitis from my cold, but thankfully my voice held up) and everything seemed to have gone well. Holding my breath!!! I should hear back next week.

December 15 AP 349– The peace that floods my soul when I accept His forgiveness and grace… and ‘Nothing but the Blood of Jesus’ came to mind and I got it stuck in my head for the longest time. That song, without fail for the past 15 years, has reminded me of my grandfather. In Arizona, at the last service he preached in the evening before he died, his mic was left on during the praise songs so he was recorded singing that song… maybe the last song he ever sang. I remember when the cassette tape of his last sermon came to my grandmother’s house and the family all gathered around to listen to it. I mean, I was pretty young (11) but that memory, and his voice singing that song, is etched permanently in my brain. And I’m pretty thankful for it.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmasy Sunday

December 8, 2010
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On Saturday Nick and I put together some Graham cracker gingerbread houses for our boys to decorate the next day…
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Neither of us had done it before… so like a pro I just watched Nick experiment with his and then I copied him exactly… minus the chimney.
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Then on Sunday, after our very first and very awesome first service in the new sanctuary at Cypress, the family came home to a spaghetti lunch and then headed out to get the Christmas tree.
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Mom wanted to make sure everyone was in a seatbelt or else we weren’t leaving! You know, MOM threats. So J and Becca wrapped their seatbelt around without buckling, and like good children told Mother that their seatbelt was “on”. Classic kid move. I need to remember this for when I am mom making mom threats.
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The farm that we’d gone to for @15 years was pretty bare… unless you are a fan of Charlie Brown Christmas trees.
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We found one that could be cute with a little love.
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After pickin’ out the tree, Adry and I headed to The Gleason Household to decorate some gingerbread houses. Which was… interesting. I think the most participation I got out of Adry was this picture HE snapped of Nick:
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And I think that he touched the lens with his sticky candy hands because every picture I have after this is all splotchy and blurry.

And we TRIED to get him to stick at least ONE piece of candy to the house, just for one picture… I’m pretty sure he took a bite out of that piece he’s holding, covered it thoroughly in toddler slobber, and then stuck it haphazardly to the roof like five minutes later. And it’s still there as evidence that Adry was in fact present during house decorating time.
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Adry and I came back home to Christmas music and lights and garland and a lit fireplace and movies…
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal