From friends in Nashville

I just got this message from my friend, Flo, who lives in Nashville, TN, a city that has experienced recent tragic flooding. Fortunately she and her family are OK, but she knows many who need help. She included a link to photos and some ways to help... Please keep them in your prayers.

Subject: Nashville Floods -Update and a favor please!

Friends that blog, facebook, etc.

I'm asking a favor.

Over the weekend Nashville experienced catastrophic flooding, making history, taking lives, ruining homes, and shutting down the city.

Yet - not many around the nation seem to even know about it.

The media does not seem to be reporting it and so many of my friends have been unaware of the magnitude of the devastation that has occurred in TN.

Our family is SO fortunate to be alive, after being trapped in gridlock traffic for 2 hours on a flooding freeway with no way to get out. Praise God we were finally able to turn around and move to higher ground.

Our house is dry on our little hill, and the rains have subsided, but water fills many, many homes in my area still - down the street, a barn is under water.


Andrea, Thursday 06 May 2010 at 5:13 pm Two comments

Quick park pic

I just had to share this photo! We went to a park in Shell Beach yesterday and had a wonderful time -- I loved seeing the sheer delight on the girls' faces as they played together on the swings.

More photos coming soon...

Andrea, Thursday 15 April 2010 at 6:09 pm Three comments

Easter photos

For Easter, we joined our friendamily--Ryan, Sarah, Hattie, and Tilly--at their lovely home for a scrumptious feast, an egg hunt, and baskets of gifts and treats. It was a full house--Sarah's family was there, too, as well as our friend James. We all had a lively time, and my heart is full of happy memories celebrating Christ's resurrection with our dearest friends and their family.

There are lots more photos below...


Andrea, Saturday 10 April 2010 at 8:54 pm Two comments

Baby in good standing

Bret and I joke that we've got a 'baby in good standing' -- we said that about Natalie when she learned to stand, and now it applies to Naomi... I love how casual she looks in this photo.

Andrea, Saturday 10 April 2010 at 02:53 am Two comments

Proud artist

Why is it that Natalie sometimes draws her best pictures on a non-permanent surface? (Granted, I'm glad she doesn't choose to permanently decorate the walls or furniture...)

Andrea, Friday 09 April 2010 at 7:19 pm Two comments

Family photo

more photos coming soon

It's strangely quiet in the Rooks household at the moment. Both girls are awake and playing relatively nicely together, the house is clean(ish), there are no errands to run, it's sunny but windy... perfect conditions to go through 300+ photos and post a few. While scrutinizing and deleting dozens of funky photos, I came across this family moment and thought I'd share it... I'll post more photos soon -- I know there are at least a few good ones in the mix!

Thank you, Grandpa Rooks, for snapping this photo.

Andrea, Thursday 08 April 2010 at 4:43 pm Two comments

Where am I now?

Three years in three paragraphs

Last month, I got to write a little blurb for the Santa Maria Sun's 10th anniversary issue's 'Where are they now?' feature. As the deadline approached, I found myself reflecting on and distilling the past three years since I left working full time for the weekly newspaper. These three little paragraphs gave me hope for the future, showed me the contentment I am experiencing now, and reminded me of the past fun and challenging experiences I had at the Sun...

Where am I now? As I type this I’m standing at the kitchen counter while my 3-year-old daughter Natalie begs to watch Mary Poppins for the umpteenth time. I’m brushing her off because up until this very moment I was intently trying to fix the comma key on my laptop (which you may notice is not yet fixed). The comma key needs to be fixed because my 7-month-old daughter (who is currently napping) somehow managed to pry off the “home” key which unbeknownst to me flung a keyboard piece under the comma key. Now both keys are broken.

As you’re reading this I am probably at a San Luis Obispo park or coffee shop working harder than I’ve ever worked in my entire life. I quit writing and editing for the Santa Maria Sun in December 2006 to jump headlong and full time into motherhood. Since then I worked with baby in tow part time at my church’s office for a few months and as the Sun and New Times proofreader for a few months. When Natalie turned 1 my attention became too divided for me to continue working. In July 2008 I opened an online shop to sell a handmade paper crafts and fund my creative outlet. The following July my second daughter Naomi was born and my job as mom got a heckuva lot harder.

Since leaving the Sun I’ve focused on actively loving every minute of motherhood. It’s a challenge like no other. No college degree no internship no amount of on-the-job training prepared me to listen to my instincts to love unconditionally and to discipline and protect the two beautiful children I’ve been blessed with. Yes I have moments of nostalgic longing for stimulating conversations with other adults and of drawing upon years of interviewing and writing expertise. But mercifully those moments are growing fewer and farther between. No doubt as I’m pushing my daughters in the swings at said SLO park or sipping an iced Americano at a coffee shop I’ve just heard at least one person say to me “Enjoy every moment with your children. They grow up so fast.” Already I’m finding those words to be very true.

(Seriously I’m sorry about the comma key!)

Andrea, Monday 05 April 2010 at 3:07 pm One comment

Cute ... and getting faster

I love these dresses! I bought the one Naomi's wearing for Natalie when she was almost a year old. I hung onto it just in case I had another lil' girl. And then, a few weeks ago, I found the same dress in the same second-hand store in Natalie's current size! It's currently the only matching outfit the girls have, and Natalie has twice now requested that she and her sister wear them at the same time.

I was not prepared for Naomi to be into icky things as soon as she figured out how to scoot herself around the house. Before I could get used to the idea of her being fully mobile, she was knocking over the trash ...

... and opening up cupboards. She helped herself to some of my vases and jars. Clearly I need to replace the latch on this cupboard! Naomi is also much more adventurous than Natalie and seems to have a less refined palate -- she doesn't mind hunting and eating dust bunnies, dirt clods, bark, rocks, grass, weeds, dirty tissues, and so on.

In other news, the girls are almost over their respective head colds. It's been a bummer to help them weather the congestion/sore throat/sneezing/coughing/buckets of snot that have resulted from this bug...

Also, Bret and I were able to have a night away on the 17th at a local bed and breakfast to celebrate our 10-year dating anniversary. Thanks, Grandma Julie and Grandpa George for coming and staying with Natalie overnight! We had a wonderful time together, and Naomi was a good sport (we brought her with us).

Andrea, Friday 19 March 2010 at 8:55 pm One comment