i have been singing that silly presidents of the united states of america ode to peaches for the last week since i was so excited about picking them at schnepf farms. does anyone else remember that song? movin to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches. ugh. i will never get it out of my head.

anyway, my mom (and claire of course) accompanied me out to the big ol farm in queen creek, where we picked peaches in the breezy sun, got eaten by mosquitoes and peed on by some stray farm dog. can you believe i am speaking of desert-y, barren phoenix? in fact, the guy ahead of us picked over 100 pounds of peaches and was from florida. he said they were better than theirs. yup. even better was you could eat all you wanted in the orchard for free, and luckily we brought wipes because these are the juiciest, sweetest peaches i have ever tasted. perfect. here’s some pictures from our day:


my mom is so pretty.


yum. and they are organic, the farm has never used pesticides in 45 years.


did i mention my mom is silly?


we had to document claire’s first farm visit even though she slept through it all!


the sleepy girl. so cute. sweeter than any peach there.

by | Categories: family, food | 3 comments

brief update.

May 21, 2009

a few things to keep you all in the loop-

1. claire had her follow up barium swallow study at phoenix children’s hospital this week and (drumroll please) … her swallow is 100% normal. she can even swallow ultra thin liquids like water normally. this doesn’t mean she doesn’t gag anymore (we are still trying to find out why she does that sometimes) but it does mean that her muscles are strong and there are no signs of anything unsafe in the way her body operates during a swallow. thank you Jesus!

2. we got the new seizure med from the UK in for claire’s infantile spasms. it will be a bit before we know if it works or not so please continue to pray for this.

3. claire is now 10 months old! wow wow wow. i am already starting to plan her one year bash and needless to say i know it will be extra special!

4. some other things you can pray for: our finances, we have HUGE medical bills and adrian recently lost a big customer so things have been pretty tight for us lately. we are trying to make budget cuts and adrian is finding some new projects but it is still a little rough for us right now. which brings me to the next thing, our trip to MN. we really want to take claire to MN for the big evjen family reunion and to see all of her family she has yet to meet but with our budget, it looks pretty unlikely. please pray that we would find a way to be able to see our family, we are even considering driving since the cost of gas would be cheaper than flying and renting a car. one more thing is we have claire’s long term care interview this afternoon. please pray that she would be approved. it would open a new avenue for services and supports for her. and it is also something that the state cannot take away due to budget cuts. thanks guys, we love you all!

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congrats ryan! we all headed to the convocation at ASU on saturday followed by a fantastic open house at my parent’s. ryan’s in-laws, the vailas’ came down to visit for the big day which made it extra special. oh and it’s a double celebration for the evjen’s because it is ryan and alex’s 2nd wedding anniversary today! here’s some pics from the graduation ceremony:






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1. there are tons of new pics in the photo section, enjoy!IMG_0726

2. my friend josie has an awesome new site, hey little birdie. she’s helping us find affordable, stylish gifts!

3.  speaking of josie- she recently became the owner of one of my dream gifts. a kitchenaid artisan stand mixer. oh sweet baking gods, if only i could see one in my home some day soon. which got me thinking…my 30th is coming up next month! i am officially making it known that the only thing i want is williams sonoma gift cards so that i too might be the proud owner of this beautiful piece of culinary perfection.

4. if you’re on twitter, follow adrian @adrianvender and me @nickyvender!

5. my super smart, super talented, super nice, super cute little brother, ryan, is graduating with his MASTERS from ASU this weekend!!! yay! seriously ry, back in the day when you used to blow up our dog’s poo with firecrackers, i never thought you would turn out this genius. 🙂 i am so proud of you!IMG_0461

by | Categories: family, fun | 6 comments

weekend recap.

May 11, 2009

on friday we celebrated my beautiful mom’s birthday with the family. us kids made a fondue feast and then we indulged on german chocolate cake, yum. we had a great time hanging out and chatting, my family never runs out of things to talk about! mom tried to make us recite a birthday pledge to refrain from potty humor for the night but i think everyone crossed their fingers or something 🙂 i love you mom!


on saturday my mom and i spent the day at the dolce spa! we were surprised with a spa day from all of the family for our mother’s day present. it was ah-may-zing. one hour massage, one hour facial and one hour pedicure.

on sunday we had a wonderful, perfect day. claire’s dedication at church was a special moment for us and we were surrounded by family and close friends at the service. then we had a nice brunch with the olbinski’s at our favorite restaurant, liberty market. we are so glad it is right around the corner from our church! after we went home claire was sooo wiggly and kicking all over. we put her on the floor and she rolled from her side to back for the first time by herself! later, we celebrated with the family at mom and dad’s. we went swimming (yes it is that warm here) and had breakfast for dinner. my sister-in-law, alex, made the yummiest breakfast sandwiches and roasted, herbed red potatoes. oh and adrian would want you all to know that he cut up the fruit. (good job babe, those berries were perfectly sliced!) then we all watched some more of the claire show on her blankie. she has been figuring out how to move more lately and it is so fun to see! we took some video of her that we’ll have to post on here soon.


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what: claire alaina vender is being dedicated at her church. (child dedication is like a pre-baptism if you will. we are pledging to raise claire to love God and know who He is. when she chooses to, she can be baptized, that way it is her choice!)

when: this sunday, Mother’s Day, may 10th at 9:30am

where: lifechurch.tv phoenix campus meets @The Boys & Girls Club 44 N. Oak Gilbert, AZ 85233 (off Elliot and Gilbert)

consider yourself officially invited to share in this special day with us, we’d love to see you all there!IMG_0674

by | Categories: faith, family | 14 comments

what you missed.

May 7, 2009

over my blogging break a ton happened and of course i am going to fill you in! here’s six things you missed in the vender world last month:

  1. easter- we had a wonderful day at our house with both sides of the family, grandma nancy visiting from MN and our awesome friends the olbinskis. it was yummy food and fun company. claire got 3 easter baskets and we had our annual money egg hunt too! oh and you missed my very martha stewart decoupage eggs!IMG_0629
  2. adrian’s birthday- my handsome hubby turned 28 and we celebrated at joe’s farm grill with all our friends and family (lily too!) it was a great time! the weather was perfect (not the 100 degree crap we have now) and i even flexed my baking muscles by making a red velvet, cinnamon buttercream, 3 layer cake from scratch. of course it took 5 hours to make and the cake was more brown than red but you know it’s the thought that counts!IMG_0650
  3. our 6th wedding anniversary- wow. can’t believe how long it’s been already, seems like yesterday adrian and i were in high school flirting with each other at a new year’s eve party. look where that took us! we spent the day relaxing, indulged in some of our favorite sprinkles cupcakes and had a low key dinner at z tejas. we love margaritas. and since it was only our second date away from claire, we went for the tequila!
  4. salsa fest- speaking of mexican food, we spent a fun afternoon with our life group at the annual maricopa salsa festival. by the end of the day we were all overdosed on chips and salsa but had a blast doing it. claire was so good with the huge crowds and we even chased down the cardinals mascot big red for a picture!IMG_0668
  5. claire’s teeth- the count is up to four! that’s right, all bottom and top front teeth are in various stages of making their debut in claire bear’s boca. they usually don’t bug her too much until night time and watch out if you have to put anything in her mouth because that bite hurts!
  6. auntie amber came to visit- yay! claire got some cuddle time in and i got to share a much needed brunch with my two long time friends, shanan and amber. i am so thankful to have them in my life. it’s amazing how some people just know you. even if you don’t get to spend as much time with each other as you used to, it’s like you have been friends so long that they are just a part of you and it will never change. i love that.IMG_0654
by | Categories: crafty, family | 7 comments

sorry for the looong blogging absence. it’s been a pretty hectic month, some good and some bad. claire is continuing to grow and get prettier every day. she is now 28 inches long and 19 lbs 13 oz! uf-da! she is still eating all by herself and we have gone down to 4 feedings a day since she is able to take a bigger bottle and solid food. it’s a challenge to sometimes follow a schedule since she is very sleepy somedays and likes to stay awake at night but we are working on it. her favorite foods are spinach, sweet potatoes and mangoes. she still loves her pacifier and now has a favorite maraca to play with thanks to her nana lisa. her hair is getting very long and we are able to clip her bangs to the side with a barrette. she also has started cooing a lot more and likes to say “ooooo” and “gaa.” as for the hard news, we went to barrow neurological institute a couple weeks ago and she was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms. it is not what we wanted to hear. it usually means that the risk for mental and motor retardation is high. the spasm episodes typically last until age 2 and then a different form of epilepsy takes over.  please join us in praying for claire’s healing and development. we know the medical odds are stacked against her but we believe in a big God who can do big things. we know that He uses ALL things for good. and we trust that He is protecting our claire bear and bringing us through these struggles for an amazing reason. i won’t pretend, many days are very difficult and overwhelming and sometimes i want to just give up. but i know deep down inside me the truth. the truth that God loves our little family more than we can imagine and created our baby girl just as she is. it may not be the average, normal scenario that i dreamed of but it is His perfect plan for our lives and i am so thankful for the gift of claire.IMG_0667

by | Categories: faith, family | 8 comments

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