there is nothing sweeter than a daddy with his baby girl. there are no words…





heart. is. mush.

more on SD vacay 2009 later.

by | Categories: family | 3 comments

hooray for football season! at the vender house we are HUGE arizona state fans, go DEVILS! we had the amazing opportunity to attend the home opener as a gift from our sister-in-law’s  parents. alex’s dad is the president of idaho state, our opponent of the night. he treated us to great seats in the 14th row, a sweet parking spot and we even got to attend the idaho state pre-game party too! it was so nice to see Alex’s parents again and to take claire to her first sun devils game. of course, our devils did not disappoint and won 50-3!
claire was in absolute heaven for the entire game. i’m telling you, this girl is born to be a musician. she could not stop smiling every time the marching band played or music blasted through the speakers and she even cracked up at the fans cheering and clapping. she was a smiley, wiggley little girl for hours! it was so fun. here’s some pictures from the night and a little video of her grooving a bit:

IMG_1348our attempt at a self-portrait, sorry claire!

IMG_1353the family, aren’t matt and yasmine looking so cute?

IMG_1362my cute little cheerleader

IMG_1395snuggling with papa.

IMG_1385claire and her papa rich.

IMG_1365we attempted to capture her smile so many times but this girl would not sit still!

and here is a video of her having fun, this is only a tiny glimpse of her silly self!

by | Categories: family, fun | 6 comments

catching up.

Sep 3, 2009

so it’s official i am a bad blogger. but i have excuses, you know? many of them! anyway, here’s the latest in the vender world-

  1. drumroll please…my littlest brother matthew and his girlfriend yasmine are engaged to be married!
  2. we have a new addition to the evjen side of the family, an adorable golden doodle wendy. her proud fur-parents, ryan and alex, are getting a glimpse of the sleepless nights, crying and lots of bathroom business that children bring. 🙂
  3. adrian, claire and i are headed out this weekend to enjoy labor day in san diego. a relaxing three day weekend on the beach sounds perfect to me!
  4. claire’s new hospital date for the ketogenic diet is september 21st. also, just this week claire has pushed the keys on a piano toy all by herself and banged her maraca on her high chair tray independently too. those are HUGE things for her! she also has learned that throwing her arms up in the air means “pick me up!” GO CLAIRE!!
  5. it’s september. just this fact makes me extremely happy. september means october is around the corner and that is my most favorite month ever. i am already planning what new autumn crafts i can create. happy happy joy joy.

all right, that’s it for now. i am working on changing up the look of the blog and i promise to take lots of pictures in san diego to share. you all still haven’t seen claire in her yellow polka dot bikini. it is the cutest thing ever.

by | Categories: Uncategorized | 4 comments

little max.

Aug 25, 2009

please take a minute to stop what you are doing right now and pray for my friends’ newborn son, max. max was born with a condition called CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia.) it refers to a defect in the diaphragm that allows the abdominal organs (stomach, intestine, liver, bowel, and spleen) to migrate into the chest cavity in utero. CDH is known to occur in 1 out of every 3000 live births and currently has an average survival rate of 50%. max had been kicking some serious CDH butt since his birth day on august 10th. he was even going to be extubated off his breathing tube today. however, last night he had a very bad episode and it was discovered that his lungs were filling up with blood. max is now on ECMO, which is basically heart and lung bypass. please please pray for this little fighter, that he would receive the rest and strength he needs to beat the odds and heal. please also keep his amazing parents, claire and jordan, in your prayers too.

we love you little miracle max.

by | Categories: Uncategorized | 11 comments

to demonstrate how completely shallow and ridiculous i can be some times, i give you this:


rebecca minkoff, knocked up baby bag in leaf. $695. sold out.

i am obsessed. literally. i spied it in the newest Cookie magazine and i am head over heels smitten with it. can i afford this? absolutely not. but that doesn’t mean i can’t dream. i adore kelly green and i adore functional mommy bags that don’t scream “inside this bag are two wet diapers, a crusty bib and the snickers wrapper from my lunch.”

ugh. why do i torture myself?

by | Categories: fun, style | 7 comments

my comfort.

Aug 20, 2009

these powerful words were written over 100 years ago and i sing them to my claire everyday.

’tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to take Him at His word.
just to rest upon His promise,
and to know thus saith the Lord.
Jesus Jesus how i trust Him,
how I’ve proved him o’er and o’er.
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus,
oh for grace to trust Him more.


the other day when i was in a panic, fearful and almost shaking as claire was having a very difficult time- all of the sudden a voice spoke inside me saying “i know this is hard. and it’s going to be hard for awhile. but it will get better. she is going to be able to do so much more than you know now. it will be okay. it is hard now but it will get better.” and then my body became calm and still. you have to understand- i knew that voice was not my own because i was about to break down. and i’m not crazy either so don’t think i’m hearing strange voices or something. i know that voice. it was my rock, my redeemer, my sanity, my everything, my Jesus.

by | Categories: Uncategorized | 4 comments

new life.

Aug 12, 2009

claire has emerged from her keppra coma. i have never seen so many smiles, so much awareness, i feel like she is allowed to finally experience her world. i hope whatever medications we try in the future never take her away from me again. just look at her eyes, they have come alive.


“I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”
Jeremiah 31:13

thank you Jesus.

by | Categories: faith, family | 9 comments


Aug 12, 2009

adrian, claire and i ventured up north to flagstaff last weekend for a little overnight stay with our friends– mike, jina and baby lyla. let me start by saying the weather was DIVINE. i cannot imagine living in a place where the sun shines but you don’t feel like you are roasting on a spit. in fact, it felt so nice that i forgot to wear sunscreen and burnt my arms. ouch! we wanted to go to the cardinals training camp but the crowds were absolutely insane. i mean 10s of thousands of people insane. so we set up on the first practice field and relaxed in the shade. we got to see big red the mascot do some crazy backflips with a giant bird head on. it was pretty funny. here’s our little cheerleader:


then we walked around dowtown flagstaff and ate some amazing crepes on this cute little patio outside. nutella, ghiradelli chocolate, raspberry preserves and whipped cream? yes, please!


then we stopped by the famed macy’s coffee. my cappuccino was perfect!


after that we hung out at the hotel, played some pass the pigs with the olbinski’s and marveled at our 3 foot deep, reclaimed water, liquid/solid buttoned toilets. they were an experience to say the least.

the next morning we trekked back down to the heat with a little pit stop at the anthem outlets, yay!

it was a nice, restful weekend. claire was an angel on both car rides, was a little cranky at the hotel but then let us sleep most of the night. it was fun to get away with friends!


by | Categories: family, food, fun | 4 comments

monday smile.

Aug 10, 2009

i have quite a few reasons to smile this monday morning-
returning from a relaxing overnight trip to flagstaff with friends (some pics/details soon)
i’m not sitting in the hospital with claire (keto diet visit is delayed due to insurance mess, it will work out soon, no worries)
and finding this on another blog:

Photo of the Day: Hiking by Lake Minnewanka, Melissa Brandts and her husband stopped to take a photo by some rocks. Intrigued by the whirring sounds emanating from the camera, a curious ground squirrel popped into the shot just as the timer expired and the photo was taken.

(24 free dinners) (via) (via)

by | Categories: fun | 7 comments

anyone who really knows me knows that i love lists. making lists, checking lists, top lists, whatever. i like them! so i thought for fun i’d start a top three thursday category (and believe me i need some fun.) and i want you to share your feedback and own top threes in the comment section of course!

so to kick off, the theme is albums you have on heavy rotation right now.

here’s mine:

1. franz ferdinand, tonight. i have a serious love for rock music with a dance beat. if i need a pick-me-up, i play this album and boogie in the driver’s seat. yes, i car dance. and i am quite good at it.

2. shawn mcdonald, roots. this album has basically kept me sane for the last year and a half. the song winter captures exactly where my soul is right now and the song captivated is a constant reminder for me that there is beauty even when i feel pain.

3. justin timberlake, futuresex/lovesounds. do i even need to give a reason why? oh and claire may only be a one year old but i can tell she already has a jt crush too.

so there’s mine, what’s yours?

by | Categories: fun, music | 2 comments

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