Los Días de la Independencia

Let me just tell you that we successfully survived el Dia de la Independencia! There were a few moments that were touch and go there, but we made it! Here is a quick peak into our celebrations… Continue reading


Nuestra La Hacendita y Vida

We can’t believe we have been with our host mama for only a few days – it feels like we have been here for a very long time. I imagine it will be very difficult to leave once we are sworn-in and ready for service. Our mama (Martha) has given us “la hacendita” to make our home for the next three months. It is a beautiful little place for us to make home while we are adjusting to the Mexican lifestyle – perfect for winding down after a very busy and full day. Continue reading

Moving to Mexico: This Ain’t Goodbye

We’re sitting in the kitchen past midnight waiting for the tamales to finish steaming. One last party, one last session of goodbyes and we are out of here. Come Monday morning we will be on our Peace Corps adventure – together, just the two of us. Life has been so overwhelming up to this point that I haven’t taken a moment to realize the grandeur of what we’re about to do. The journey ahead is so grand, but the embarking on such a journey is one of bittersweet steps. Continue reading

Weekly Update: The Pallet Man

Hello all,


We are officially in February which means N & I are busy writing Thank You cards for all the amazing gifts we received for our wedding! Expect yours in the mail soon. We’ve been knocking them out like invasive species! (That one was for Neal).


While wedding photos are being edited, Neal and I have been busy nesting away. Unfortunately, the house has not changed much since my last blog. Thankfully though, our lovely friends have loaned us a couch that magically fits in our doorway while we work on our pallet couch. It’s so nice to have a place to rest that isn’t at the kitchen table.  We have also adorned a lovely stowaway office–an office armoire! It has yet to be utilized to it’s full potential, but we finally have a place to store our computers when they are resting. Yippee!


Here’s a funny story about our pallet couches: Neal sweetly informed me that there are different types of pallets–flimsy ones and sturdy ones. He told me that we couldn’t just get the free pallets off Craigslist because they were the “flimsy” ones. Hrmph. The search for “sturdy” pallets is nay impossible… that is unless you live next door to The Pallet Man! We have a neighbor who always has pallets in the back of his beat up truck. We named him The Pallet Man after we realized he lives in our neighborhood.


Walking up to our steps one night, a neighbor with a funny looking dog walks by. We ask him about The Pallet Man. “Oh Mista Amos?” Yes, Mister Amos. He showed us where he lives and shared with us what The Pallet Man does. Neal drops a note by the next day asking if he has access to any “sturdy” pallets. The Pallet Man calls back and lets him know that he is on the search for us and will be going to the pallet yard this week. (There’s a pallet yard?!) We are so thankful for our own pallet professional in our backyard. We’re one step closer to our pallet couches!


Love from Madrona,


Weekly Update: Wedding Website

Wooohooo!! Our wedding website is officially up and raring to go! Once we send out our invitations, people can start RSVPing online. I’m SO excited to have spreadsheets of people’s RSVPs rather than cards coming in the mail (although, of course it IS fun to get all those cards in the mail). But this website & our blog is truly the best way for people to get connected to our wedding efforts and such.


We are feeling totally energized by the fact we made a H-U-G-E to-do list for the next TWO months. Energized and empowered… at least that’s how we’re feeling at the moment. It’s going to take some serious group effort to get there, but it’s all going to work out… I just know it!!


Other news: Russell and Noelle return from their honeymoon today!! Three weeks honeymooning around Europe! Woohoo!!

Other, other news: Me and my closest girls are flying to Southern California for the weekend! They are accompanying me to SoCal for some sunshine and fun. My aunties & cousins are throwing me a shower and I am SOOOO excited!!! (Lots of pictures next week, I promise!)


Life is beautiful!!! And don’t forget to check out our wedding website at www.teamjander.com!!


Love from Crunchy-Leaves-Seattle,


Weekly Update: Registry is Complete!

Hello, hello!


We officially finished our registry. *Whew* If you’ve ever been married, you know what a feat that is!!! It took Neal and I many, many hours to make decisions about our new home. Totally worth the work because we had a TOTAL BLAST making decisions about our future home together!!! (: We have everything from kitchen gadgets to bedding to power cords on our registry. We’re pretty sure we didn’t overlook anything, but maybe we did… I guess we will have to just wait until we unpack all our things together.


For the record, Neal kept saying, “Why are we putting these things on our registry? It only costs $10/$15/$20…” I kept telling him that those things seriously start adding up when starting a home/family/life together. Hopefully he understands it once we start unpacking and we realize we lack a certain rug/curtain/lamp for our place of living.


Anyway, we also went house hunting this weekend, bought my wedding band (!), ordered our paper, finalized our invitation design, created our budget, tried on wedding attire (for NJ at least, mine is at the tailors!), laughed, smiled, and cried some. I’ve been sick now for 4 days and it’s driving me crazy. The weekend was nice and relaxing since Neal was here to keep my sick  body company all day and night. But now that it’s Monday, I watched the entire second season of Full House. Full House?! Yes, Full House. I hope I can go to work tomorrow cause I can’t stand being sick for one more day!


Uhm, yes. Back to the weekly update… Our registry is complete!!!! Feel free to take a look and let me know if I forgot anything! (:



Hugs from the sick one, ChelseaB

Weekly Update: Jander Wedding!

Weekly update: Russell and Noelle are officially married! The two tied the knot on October 9th, 2010 at 5pm. Neal was in the wedding party — he did LOTS of work for the wedding. I did the flowers for the ceremony and such. We both had a FANTASTIC time with the Jander/Moore crew this past weekend. A big thank you to all the Texas family for coming out. I had such a great time getting to make some memories with y’all!

Between bachelor parties, bridal showers, work parties, wedding festivities, family time and clean-up — we’ve had no real time for our own wedding planning. It’s all coming together as the bigger pieces are finalized. We have places to party, food to eat, and things to eat the food off of. Oh… and we have music for dancing. The details are, well, I would say falling into place… but that would infer that they are happening on their own. So I rephrase… the details are getting pushed into place, which is so exciting!

Here are a few pictures from Russell and Noelle’s beautiful wedding!

So excited that the Jander clan is one step closer to final formation!! And SO excited to have a a girl in the family… FINALLY! Congrats, you two. Have an amazing honeymoon traveling all through Europe! We love you both so much!

Cheers, CB