party planning

Jun 23, 2009

if you know me, you know that i LOVE to plan a party. and the fact that this party is my little girl’s first birthday makes it ten times more exciting than any party before. my head is a tornado of ideas and soon my hands will be sore from the amount of crafty things i will be creating but to me- it is pure bliss. here’s a little peek into my delightful madness:

– the colors are hot pink, bright orange and lime green. very punchy, very summery, very girly.

– i am taking it upon myself to create these flower pinwheels to display in metal buckets filled with gerber daisies. cute!

– i am also planning on hanging these paper flowers from the rafters of the park ramada.

– the food will be an all american bbq. that means skin-on hot dogs and buns from von hanson’s. no crappy grocery store wieners here, but authentic minnesota meat! (how cool is it that they have one lonely store out here in chandler?!) bbq beans and sides from our own joe’s real bbq, yum. and a few other dishes that i will put together.

– did i mention mini cupcakes yet? i’ve discovered that mini cupcakes are the WAY to go for parties. less mess, easier to eat and the silly skinny-mini’s who say “i don’t want dessert” can’t even resist a tiny bite of cake perfection. come on!

– there will be singing. yep. our good friend and church worship pastor, stephen cole, is helping us make the evening extra special by leading us in song. they will be songs that celebrate the gift God has given us in claire, reflect on the journey this has been in our lives and ultimately tell Him how much we love Him. and if you are a guest and don’t sing? expect to be STRUCK DOWN by lightening. just kidding. but really i might give you the evil eye and you DO NOT want to chance that. 🙂

so there are some of my fantabulous plans. i cannot wait to have our close friends and family there to celebrate claire and what an amazing little miracle she is in this world.


by | Categories: crafty, family, food, fun | 9 comments


Jun 19, 2009

one of my very bestest friends since age 12 was here for the week. emily. sometimes if i think about how she moved back to texas 5 years ago, i still cry. (not trying to guilt trip you em!) but really, i miss her. she is quiet strength, comforting kindness and side splitting silly all rolled into one beautiful woman. my life would not be the same without her. since claire has arrived, i haven’t been able to have as many long phone chats with her and it makes me sad. i seriously need to schedule time for that because she is so important to me. anyway,  emily and claire got to meet and snuggle for the first time. hooray! emily is a natural with babies and will make an amazing mom one day. and we discovered they have the exact same hair color. so pretty!IMG_0915


by | Categories: family | 6 comments

back home.

Jun 11, 2009

thanks to two very special people (you know who you are) the venders enjoyed a fabulous week in minnesota. we are so blessed to have generous loved ones in our lives that helped us make the trek to my home state. i love minnesota. and i miss it dearly. everytime i visit i dream of living there and raising my family in a land where kids run between each other’s lawns, neighbors know your name and there’s green. green everywhere. and words like supper, pop, uf-da and hot dish are not foreign 🙂 comfy, familiar minnesota, i miss you already.

claire was an angel on the plane rides. totally awake the whole time there and totally asleep the whole time back. but quiet and her sweet self both times. she hung out on her boppy pillow in my lap the entire flight.IMG_0799

one of of the highlights of the trip was introducing claire to all of her relatives that she had yet to meet. and one of those most important people was my uncle brad. he will now be known as the claire whisperer since he lulled our little girl into a sleepy peaceful rest everytime they cuddled.IMG_0817

claire also got to meet her great great aunt elaine (who her middle name is after.) i think they had an instant bond.IMG_0887

we also took a picture of four generation of stettler women. my grandma bonnie, my mom lisa, me and claire.IMG_0902

here’s claire with her great grandparents that she met for the first time.IMG_0906

and here’s all the evjen gang that ventured up from phoenix. (we missed you alex!!)IMG_0890

unfortunately, i forgot to take pictures many times so i missed a lot of things. silly mommy brain. but there was lots of visiting with my grandma nancy too, an evjen cousins reunion, an evening with our friends the luncefords and panera bread co visits. yum. oh and the last half of our trip was welcomed by rain, clouds and record low temps for june. brrr, it was sooo cold. like january in phoenix. i was not prepared.

claire was exceptionally great the first four days up in the twin cities. she was sleeping all night, awake all day and a happy girl. rochester must not have agreed with her because she returned to her bad habits of sleeping all day and awake all night being fussy. mommy and daddy did not sleep much then. i think she has these times when her teething is really bugging her. i can’t figure out what else it would be.

and i am starting to accept that with claire there are good days and not so good days but they are still DAYS that i get to spend with my beautiful daughter. and there is such joy in that.IMG_0809

by | Categories: family | 4 comments

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!

by | Categories: family | 3 comments

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:






by | Categories: family | 2 comments

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.


by | Categories: family | 4 comments

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: 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

Page optimized by WP Minify WordPress Plugin