Happy Birthday to our favorite TWO year old, Caleb!
This youngest grandson is such a treat for us- we have loved watching our son become a father. As you can see, Caleb is the apple of his eye!
The little family!
Caleb’s latest thing is stacking cups- they go with him everywhere!
Grandma and Caleb!
I took the photo below last summer at the beautiful Anchorage Museum- I just loved the graphic elements on the wall and the line of bean bag chairs, with the pattern broken by my grandson Miles. I brought it to my photo class yesterday for our assignment on Patterns.
I love hanging out with these good-looking guys! Here is a 3 generation photo from Father’s Day-
We have just returned from an intense 2 weeks in Southern California, where we made a long planned trip to help out our son, Matt after his ACL replacement surgery. It will be at least a month before he can drive or lift 1 year old, 25 pound baby Caleb, so we volunteered to stay as long as we were needed (our daughter-in-law has a demanding job as a pharmacist with little time off). As the date of the trip grew closer, we began to get a little nervous, because Grandpa had pneumonia that just wouldn’t go away. After several doctor office visits and two trips to the ER, he was pronounced all well. But, in the mean time, my seasonal allergy symptoms were developing quickly into something more. By the time we got to SoCal, it was obvious I shouldn’t be anywhere near our son’s family. So the day of the surgery, I was quarantined to our hotel room until Lonnie could get away to take me to an Urgent Care (where I got antibiotics for bronchitis, sinusitis and conjunctivitis). Until my antibiotic had done its job, I stayed at the hotel, and Lonnie was the solo nurse. By the weekend, I was well (and no longer contagious) and able to help out. All was fine until Caleb, who had had a little cough all week, developed a fever and was diagnosed with bronchitis- and then pneumonia. Because he was sick, he obviously couldn’t go to daycare, so we got to be with him all day long all week. Not that I’m happy he was sick, but it was wonderful to have so much time with our grandbaby! I taught him every song and fingerplay I know, and it was so fun to see him soak it all up like a sponge! He is a very happy, bright, and active little boy- a joy to be with! And, of course, every day we were beyond exhausted.
Baby naptime is precious- and rocking him to sleep even more so! My arms feel empty! I took a nap yesterday and dreamed that I was pregnant- and then suddenly wasn’t- a very primal dream about motherhood and grandmotherhood! Both Lonnie and I mourn the loss of our grandchildren (and children) when our visits are over. When you start a family, no one prepares you for how much you will love your children- and then your grandchildren. And then you think about your own parents and realize how much they loved you too.
By the way, I hardly took any cell phone photos and didn’t take out my Nikon even once- the longest I’ve gone without taking photos. No time!
When Lonnie and I walked into the Visitor Center at New Mexico State University, we did not have high expectations of finding anything.I explained to the very nice receptionist that my grandfather had been a coach there from 1910 to 1914 and that I was hoping to at find out that there were some buildings left from 1910 that I could photograph. We were told that no, the buildings from that era did not survive and that it was too late to meet with the archivist who might have some documents from that era (her office was closing at 4:00). They were being very helpful, however, and marked up a map of how to get to the library where the archives were and wrote down the contact information for the archivist so that I could let her know that we were coming.
While this was going on, Lonnie was in the adjacent conference room looking around, and he spotted a football up on a bookshelf. As he looked closer, her realized that it had my grandfather’s name on it- and that it was the game ball from when the team won the 1913 Southwest Championship! You can imagine our excitement!
As I was photographing the ball, the employee mentioned that there were old yearbooks in the archives. How exciting! But right there on the bookshelf were yearbooks; just as she was saying that these were the more recent ones, we saw some very small yearbooks in the collection. You guessed it- the yearbooks from the years Grandpa was there!
As I realized what a treasure trove we had come across, my hands started shaking, and I got chills- it was an out of body experience. We took some time carefully taking cell phone shots of the pages that featured Grandpa- and found a goldmine of photos and articles. An unbelievable find! One article was especially moving to me, because it told of his kindness and emphasis on sportsmanship and fair play over winning. Those were the qualities he demonstrated his whole coaching career- and what made him so beloved by his players and the community- and by our family.
Below is a photo composite- the football overlaid upon a photo of the champion team of 2013.
The next day we met with the archivist and discovered that the entire collection of student newspapers was online. I searched for Badenoch- there were 93 entries! There seemed to be an almost equal number of articles about my grandfather AND my grandmother! Mimi, as we called her, had a beautiful classical singing voice and performed at events through the college and elsewhere while living in New Mexico- and also managed to have two babies between 1910 and 1912 (her first child was born in Chicago)! The archivist found a file of correspondence between my Grandpa and the president of the college from when he applied to coach there. It was emailed it to me when we got home.
So now my task is to organize this information and integrate it into my genealogy software program. Family history, like laundry, is never done!
Here’s a cute baby to start the week!
We’ve had a wonderfully busy couple weeks- Christmas with our Alaska family, then a last minute snowy New Year’s visit by our son’s family so the cousins could meet again, and finally a stay in Scottsdale before the midnight flight back to Alaska. And I hardly took any photos! But we have lots of great memories!
A few favorite moments:
- Having the boys here for Christmas morning for the first time
- Watching Aunt Caitlin and Uncle Justin interact with the baby- they are such pros!
- Watching Baby Caleb “crawl” around the living room.
- The SNOW- we got at least six inches on New Year’s Eve day. And our daughter-in-law hates cold weather (she was a trooper)!
- Dinner with the whole family together!
- The moment Henry arrived and walked to the refrigerator and exclaimed, “Whaaaat? There are too many photos of Baby Caleb on here! Are there more than me? ” The baby of our family is no longer the baby!
- Watching Miles sit for well over an hour reading the entire family history binder on his own, shutting it, and declaring “This is the second most boring book I’ve ever read!” – but, a few days later, seeing an ad for Taylor Swift on TV and announcing- we have Swifts in our family! And I was able to tell him that she is his cousin!
- Swimming (all day!) in the pool in with the boys on the coldest day Scottsdale has experienced in 5 years
The house seems so empty. It’s back to to-do lists and adjusting to the reality that it is 2019.
Happy New Year!
Here’s another family photo- 3 Anderson guys!
Last month I did take some family photos- here is my favorite of Caleb and his mommy and daddy.
It’s Caleb! I didn’t take too many photos with the Nikon (we were only there for a day and a half), but I do have some more from my iPhone I will upload in a day or two. I had big hopes of a family photo with the Santa hats, but it didn’t happen. No matter- he is cute in all his outfits! And the visit was not about taking photos anyway.
Caleb is on the verge of crawling- on the late side like his Daddy and his cousin Miles. He pushes up and then starts “swimming”- kicking his feet like crazy. He does get around with a modified army crawl. He doesn’t yet have the idea of going onto his knees except when going from sitting to scooting. He is interested in everything and is a happy, smiling boy who likes everyone. A grandparent delight!
Another photo with my Nikon- the beginning of the Santa hat photo shoot that didn’t quite happen.
I don’t know if this was THE Big One, but Friday’s earthquake in Anchorage was certainly A Big One. The boys and their mom were at the school where she teaches and they are in second and fifth grade. Miles, the fifth grader was at his before school bell chime class, and Henry was playing in his mom’s classroom before school started. Their mom, Caitlin, was down the hall in another teacher’s room when the earthquake started. She remembers getting under the door frame and having trouble standing as she was bounced up and down by the quake. Ceiling tiles and other things were flying around, as her teacher friend dove under her desk. Caitlin remembers yelling down the hall to Henry to get under a table. The lights went out and the shaking continued. When it stopped, she found Henry under a table piled with debris in her classroom- and they all headed to the gym. Their emergency team sprung into action, gathering children and staff and accounting for everyone- but then a huge aftershock made everyone realize this was an ongoing event. The school was evacuated when a gas leak was discovered and the children were taken by bus to a street in the neighborhood- and eventually to another school in the area. Caitlin and the kids drove home to find a very scared Penny, the golden retriever, in a house filled with open cupboards, tipped over furniture, and broken glass and debris everywhere. The big screen TV was broken on the floor, and the wood stove had been moved forward out of the fireplace. Soon afterwards, Justin came home from his job in Anchorage. There was no power for several hours, and the boiler which heats the house was broken.
The children were pretty traumatized as the aftershocks continued and stayed close to their parents as they cleaned up and assessed damage. Eventually the power came back on, dinner was prepared, and the family bedded down (in their clothes and with backpacks full of emergency supplies)in the office downstairs close to the door for a quick escape if necessary. No one slept much.
Aftershocks are ongoing, but the boiler has been repaired, and the family was able to get some actual sleep last night. There will be no school for at least a few days, and life will slowly return to normal. Or a new normal.
And we grandparents are beginning to calm down as well- and are so grateful that everyone is unhurt!
We’ve just returned from a wonderful 10 day trip to Alaska! The highlight was spending time with our daughter’s family in Eagle River. Here are the boys at the Alaska Botanical Gardens in Anchorage- they are growing up so fast!
Summer in Alaska is endless daylight, intensely green trees, flowers everywhere, tall peaks, and glaciers! Photos from this trip will be dominating my blog for the foreseeable future!
I’ve had a request for more baby photos! I’m happy to oblige- so here is Caleb, chilling in his favorite baby seat.
I didn’t do any formal baby portraits- he was either fussy, asleep, or we were on our way somewhere. But here are some fun shots I managed to get over the weekend.
Who does he look like? From straight on, I see some Matt- but in general, I think he favors his mommy!
We have just returned from a quick trip to Southern California where we spent a few days with our son and daughter-in-law and two and a half month old Baby Caleb!
Our hearts just melted seeing our boy with HIS boy. Such sweet moments!
Coming from a small family, I’ve always wanted MORE PEOPLE (hence my passion for genealogy and family history). This new baby, when we were already content with the adorable grandsons we have, is such an unexpected joy to have in our lives. We are so happy for Matt! And so I am thrilled to present this photo of our descendants!
Both my kids and their spouses and all 3 grandchildren in one place!!! Who knows when that will happen again?
Caleb couldn’t take his eyes off his Aunt Caity, the experienced mom and charmer of all children. Caleb’s proud daddy couldn’t take HIS eyes off Caleb.
The boys were excited to meet their new cousin (a boy- FINALLY!) and were excited to hold him.
It was a wonderful day!
How sweet it has been to spend time with our daughter’s family this week! We had four days with them in a lovely resort in Indio- just swimming and hanging out. An added treat was having our son-in-law’s parents with us as well- we always enjoy our times with them. We leave today- and it will be sooooo hard to say good-bye to THESE GUYS:
Miles at TEN- so smart, full of facts, and an avid reader. At home he is an outstanding skier (on a ski team with older, bigger kids) and mountain biker. This week, he made a major leap in his swimming skills. And he is still the sweet, loving boy he always has been!
Henry at SEVEN- what a great reader he has become! And he continues to be the friendly, helpful, outgoing little soul he has been since birth. Like Miles, he is a good skier and biker- and is becoming a good swimmer as well. Always Papa’s boy (like Miles), he chose a Hawaiian shirt to meet us on this trip, because he wanted to be like Papa.
These photos were taken one evening while I was watching tv with their daddy (their mommy was at the store with her dad). They were supposed to be in bed, but came out for a few extra cuddles and giggles.
Stay tuned for photos for when the boys got to meet their new cousin, Caleb!
Since Caleb was born, my mind has turned to mush, but my heart has expanded! We are so thrilled to now have THREE grand-boys! We are spending time with our beloved older two now before heading back to Arizona. Life is good!
This is an exciting time in our family- we have a brand new grandson! Caleb is less than two days old- so far he looks like our side of the family but with his mommy’s hair.
Here is our beautiful daughter-in-law with her brand new son.
There is something so touching about seeing your son as new father!
A sweet Alaska memory- Miles showing me some wildflowers
I’m so excited to announce that our son, Matt, got married last Friday in Maui!!!
He and Karina did not want a big wedding, but chose a romantic getaway to Maui for the ceremony- just the two of them. So, no, I didn’t take this cell phone shot, but I did edit it in Photoshop. You can see how happy they are- and we are too!
My daughter and son-in-law moved to Alaska just one year ago and have worked so hard to not only upgrade their house, but to create areas to grow vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. Here’s a peek at part of what they’ve accomplished:
Here are the two main reasons we visit Alaska:
Miles at age 9: bookworm, lego-builder, adventurous skier and mountain biker
Henry at age 6: friend to all, gardener, adventurous skier and mountain biker
These two grow and change so fast- we don’t want to miss a thing!
This post isn’t exactly photography related, but it’s about something that has been very much on my mind and heart in the last couple months.
Since childhood, I have been fascinated by family stories and relationships- how do we all connect? I wrote out family trees while still a child, although they only went back to my great-grandparents- and weren’t entirely accurate. I think some of this fascination had to do with being an only child; I wanted more PEOPLE!
Well, I have them now! We are still a small family, but our family tree includes 6,057 people at last count.
In the last year, I’ve developed an interest in DNA as a genealogical tool, but, truthfully, it was hard to wrap my mind around triangulations, chromosomes, centimorgans and segments. Still is! However, some unexpected DNA cousin matches in the last couple months have motivated me to learn to apply science to my lifelong hobby. You see, when you have your DNA done, you not only learn your ethnicity, but you see how other people who have taken the test are related to you. People can be totally private, but their user names still pop up as matches and their relationship to you is estimated by the number of centimorgans you have in common. There were some surnames in four close cousin matches that were totally unfamiliar to me- and they had trees!
Without divulging names and where they fit on our tree, I will say that at least 3 of the 4 were adopted- and one has not written back. And they were from the same general geographical area. A mystery- and I love mysteries!
The more I went through their sketchy, incomplete trees and those of dozens of others that connected to them, the more I realized we had an NPE- a Non-Paternal Event, which means that the father of record is not the biological father. This was not a huge surprise, because there was a known ancestor who we had heard was not the actual father. About ten years ago, I decided to incorporate the father of record into our tree and had traced his ancestors back to colonial days. Now it looks like there will be a whole new line to investigate.
The adoptees that I wrote to knew the names of their birth parents, but not their ancestors- except for one. And I’ve found how she connects to the others- most likely through her unknown father’s line. This is the fun part. The hard part for me is seeing the broken families in the trees and imagining the hardships some of these people were facing.
The evidence is not solid yet on how these adopted cousins fit into our tree; I can connect them more easily to each other than to us- except through DNA. And the conventional wisdom is that DNA doesn’t lie- people do. Yikes.
I’m sure this post is hard to follow without more specific details, but I’m trying to respect the privacy of family members. I have mixed feelings about the whole situation- it is so wonderful how DNA can bring people together, but it also can reveal secrets that the people involved may never have wanted to be revealed. There are ethical dilemmas involved.
And then there is another DNA family story that will have a happy ending- just not yet. Almost fifteen years ago, a twenty-some year old second cousin of Lonnie’s named Kenny (whom he had never met) contacted us wanting to share family history. He has the mind and dedication of a cold-case detective and is highly skilled at tracing family from past to present, as well as present to past (and all on his PHONE!). While other genealogy contacts have come and gone (or died. . .), I’ve been talking to Kenny (and, in recent years, texting with him) regularly all these years. And. . . DNA just showed us that he and Lonnie are not related. This has been very upsetting to say the least, but, since we know family is not all about DNA, he is and will always be our cousin.
So, as you may surmise, despite being very busy getting ready for two photography shows and leading an otherwise busy life as well- I have been obsessed with family history- and not getting much sleep. I keep putting my files aside, but then just can’t seem to step away from the computer!
So that’s what I’ve been doing!