Archive for the Special Occassions Category

I’m going to miss these ladies!

Posted in Special Occassions on October 14, 2012 by grandersons

The decision to move to Spain was surprisingly easy.  When Kyle first got into IE Business School we could hardly believe it.  After all, it was a highly competitive program.  So when he received an email early one morning saying he’d been accepted, we were in disbelief and kept saying, “how can we NOT do this?!?!?”  We literally went through all the pros and cons and in the end, the only thing we were sure of was that when we grow old and look back on our life there is no way we would ever look back and wish we hadn’t gone to Spain!

Just because the decision to go was clear, it didn’t mean the move and the thought of being so far away from all our wonderful family and friends was easy.  Fortunately I was able to settle into an instant group of friends with the IE Partners Club.  It was great to have a group of women (sadly no husbands) all experiencing the same thing – living in a foreign country with husbands/partners going through an incredibly intensive academic program.  We turned to each other for friendship along with tips on setting up cell phones, finding apartments, going grocery shopping, and other things we all took for granted at ‘home.’

After an intensive year in Madrid it was hard to say goodbye to this amazing group of women.  We were all scattering across the world, moving back to where we were from or heading off on another new adventure.  Thank you to my fellow partners.  You made Madrid feel like home!

Here we are at our farewell lunch.


And here are four preggo partners – me, Adina, Mandy and Erin.


Thanksgiving in Rome

Posted in Holidays, Special Occassions, Travel with tags , on September 4, 2012 by grandersons

What’s Thanksgiving without turkey and mashed potatoes?  In our case, one with a view of the Vatican and a full plate of authentic Italian pasta!

We spent 4 days in Rome with our sister and brother-in-law, Megan and Dasch Houdeshel, and it was certainly something to be thankful for.  While we missed being away from family and would have enjoyed a big piece of pumpkin pie, we had an absolutely amazing time exploring this beautiful ancient city.

We rented a great apartment in the Trasevere neighborhood of Rome, an area less overrun by tourists and full of charm with it’s narrow cobble stone streets and charming bars and restaurants.  We quickly found our favorite corner cafe just a couple of blocks from our apartment and frequented it often (Megan and Dasch got to know the barista quite well!).

Each day was a new adventure as we covered most of the main attractions, walked for miles, and enjoyed some incredible meals along with our fair share of gelato.

A few highlights included:

The Colosseum…

Here we are outside.

And a 20ish week baby bump sighting.

This pic made the Anderson Christmas card!

The Pantheon and a cafe nearby… 

The pantheon was stunning, as you can imagine.  It was particularly amazing to see the rain pour down through the open roof!

We made a few stops (maybe more than a few…) here for coffee – cappuccino, grazie!

Our neighborhood, Trastevere…

A little brother-sister stroll…

 Nightime walks…

Time to make a wish at the Trevi Fountain.

Making the best of some cold, rainy weather and finding our way around…

Dasch and I are both fans of maps – where are we?

When in Rome…  Carry an umbrella!

The Vatican, especially on a gorgeous sunny day…

We split up to explore but met up to enjoy the afternoon sunshine!

So, do we have a lot to be thankful for?  YES.  We are so thankful to have a sister and brother-in-law that we can travel so well with.  We are thankful to have spent a few days in an incredibly romantic, beautiful city.  We are thankful for gelato and the delicious simplicity of pasta and pizza.  We are thankful for the opportunity to travel around Europe so easily and soak up as many experiences as possible.  Ciao e grazie!

Turning 30 in Paris

Posted in Special Occassions, Travel with tags , on April 15, 2012 by grandersons

I realize that many people dread the thought of turning 30, but oddly enough I’ve actually been looking forward to it.  My best friend, Gioia, and I have always said we would “peak at 30” and and it certainly feels as if that’s true, however I’m now going to shift that to “peaking at 40” just so this trend continues!

In honor of my big 3-0, Kyle and I took a trip to Paris and it could not have been more incredible.  We basically walked and ate our way through the city – our favorite way to travel.  And we were lucky to have recommendations from our friends, Mattieu and Chloe, who have lived in Paris and gave us some inside scoop into their amazing city.

We stayed at a fantastic hotel in Monte Marte, an eclectic neighborhood that is home to the Moulin Rouge and where the movie “Amelie” was filmed.  We loved it!

Our friends, Chloe and Mattieu, gave us some wonderful recommendations for our time in Paris.  We particularly enjoyed a new little restaurant Chloe recommended that a couple from Seattle opened near the Palais Royale – Verjus.  The atmosphere was incredible, as if it was built into a little cave, and the food (an assortment of small plates) was perfect.  I know not many people rave about broccoli, but let me tell you… the broccoli was amazing!

Another major highlights was a boat tour on the Seine.  It was a perfectly clear day and after walking the entire city of Paris it was a pleasant change of pace to sit on the boat and soak up the sights.

We loved seeing pad locks on all the bridges – apparently the tradition is for couples to place a lock on one of the bridges on special occasions like their anniversaries or wedding days.

A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a stop my Notre Dame…

The Louvre…

Or the Eiffel Tour…

We were excited for a night out on my actual birthday and couldn’t resist taking a quick photo to capture the growing baby bump!

Speaking of bellies…did I mention the amount of food we ate on this trip?  Croissants, baguettes, crepes, chocolate…  Here’s a picture of me with my chocolate gorilla friend – do you like our matching bellies?!?

And since I’m not drinking alcohol these days, I was quite pleased to discover ‘jus de pomme’ or sparkling cider.  One night we got crepes to go and popped open a bottle at the hotel in place of our usual champagne!

Here are a few more pics of this amazing city…

I cannot imagine a better way to kick of my 30’s!

Granderson Pumpkin Party in Madrid

Posted in Life in Madrid, Special Occassions with tags , on January 2, 2012 by grandersons

Every year in October, Kyle and I invite our friends to join us for all things pumpkin – pumpkin penne pasta, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin carving, etc.  Last year we had just moved to Madrid and didn’t pull together a Granderson Pumpkin Party, but this October we decided it was time to bring the pumpkin party to Spain and we invited all our friends to join us.  Thanks to Nadia and Lalit for hosting at their house!

Sharing the News of Our Little Huevo

Posted in Life in Madrid, Special Occassions with tags , on January 2, 2012 by grandersons

After discovering that we were pregnant in August, we were thrilled to share the news with our family and friends.  We decided to snap this photo in Retiro Park of us with our new “made in Spain” addition!

Huevo on Board

Posted in Life in Madrid, Special Occassions with tags , on December 18, 2011 by grandersons

Just after arriving home from our camping trip, we received the biggest news of our lives…

We had always known we wanted to have kids and thought it would be wonderful if we could go home to Seattle with a little one on the way, but we also knew that these aren’t the sort of things you have complete control over.  However, as we set off for our camping trip in August, the possibility became more real that we just might have made a little Granderson and would have to wait a whole 2 weeks to find out!  A run where for the first time in my life I was wishing I had worn two sports bras and a breathless hike left me to wonder if it was all in my head or if my body really was trying to tell me something.

On August 11th our hunch became a reality with the appearance of two simple pink lines – we were going to have a baby!  We could hardly contain our excitement and quickly shared the news with our immediate families but decided to keep things a little quieter until we were confident everything was going as planned.

We will never forget that surreal day – knowing that our lives had just been changed forever – and continue to be in awe of the reality that we created a new life together… unbelievable.  And here I am at the start of this adventure…things are about to change!

Ah, and “Aunt Erin” quickly dubbed the baby “Huevo” in honor of all the eggs I’ve been eating since living in Spain and the fact that the baby was still more of a ‘huevo’ growing away at that point.  Our little Huevo!

Happy Birthday Lalit!

Posted in Life in Madrid, Special Occassions with tags , on November 13, 2011 by grandersons

We celebrated our wonderful friend Lalit’s big 3-0 in July with  a weekend of festivities – what could be better to kick off your 30’s than an outdoor movie, a big brunch, and an afternoon in el Retiro!  We hope you had an absolutely fantastic birthday Lalit!!!

The Open Air theater was AMAZING with rows and rows of beach style chairs to enjoy the show.  We got their early enough to grab dinner and score some free fleece blankets to keep us cozy during the movie.  Fun!

The guys enjoyed lounging on the Chopra’s gorgeous patio before we all dove into Kyle’s delicious breakfast sandwiches and my tasty apple cinnamon cake.  I think Lalit was pleased with his birthday brunch!

And the day was topped off by a gorgeous afternoon in the park, complete with cake, friends and champagne!  I think Abby particularly appreciated Lalit’s choice of birthday celebration spots.

Wishing you a feliz cumpleanos from the Granderson’s, Lalit!!!