Guess what? (So tempted to put “chicken butt” here… my first Facebook message from Jamie and my last text message from her was that. She was such a nut!) Anyway, someone in the Anderclan turned three!!! Johnny Boy turned 3 on the July 9!
The day of his actual birthday was bitter sweet for me. He was turning three which of course is exciting but it was also another first big milestone involving the kids without Jamie here – Aubree took her first steps! I always remember the kids birthdays based on where I was the day I got the news they were born. Johnny is a different case though. You see, I was at church camp when Katie (a good friend of Jamie’s and mine) came up to me and shared the news that Johnny was back in the hospital. When John and Jamie where taking Johnny home from the hospital they pulled into their driveway and got ready to get Johnny out of the car when he turned blue. Therefore, I always forget where I was when I got the news he was born I just remember the moment of that news. Thankful everything turned out alright after a few days in the NICU.
We threw him an Avenger’s birthday party! He LOVES anything to do with good guys and bad guys. The day started early for me – but most days it does since Jamie’s youngest takes after her in that she is a morning person. I cleaned and then went shopping with Hunter, Aubree and the birthday boy at Sam’s Club. Sam’s was one of Jamie’s favorite places because she loved buying things in bulk and always being prepared/extremely well stocked. This was my first experience there and I enjoyed it. Aubree and Johnny cracked me up because we would walk around and every so often we would hear music and they both would start instantly dancing no matter what was playing. Once we got home, the Calvary (aka the grandmas) were here. They helped prepare everything. We started blowing up the inflatables and setting up the backyard for the party.
Nice thing about summer babies is summer parties! John had a baby pool, a slip-in-slide, and a water slide for the kids to enjoy. And did they ever enjoy it! Oh my gosh, they had so much fun. We also had water guns and water balloons. Let me tell you I was so soaked the entire time. I could not walk in side at any point I was so wet. Johnny loved it! The only time from about 2ish to 7ish that we could get Johnny to come away from the toys was when we did the cake.
Guys, it was a beautiful cake. Deann Parker, who will forever be Mrs. Parker to me, did the cake. (Mrs. Parker taught with Jamie at Cy-Springs, hence why she will always be Mrs. Parker to me.) Then after they left Cy-Springs Mrs. Parker started making her own cakes and Jamie always used her for her cake smashes. I am not a big cake person but Jamie would always get me to try some of the left over from the smash. I was never disappointed – it was always SO good even though it was baby safe.
Guys we had so much fun that day. The kids loved it. They truly just got to enjoy life and enjoy being kids.
Johnny loved his day. He had the biggest grin on his face the whole time and just kept punching the air, something he does when he gets excited. Caleigh loved having people over. She wasn’t too big into the whole water gun thing. She got mad at me a few times when I got her, but then she would get me wet and that would have her rolling on the ground laughing. Even baby Aubree had a blast. She mostly chilled out in the baby pool or ate food. I cannot even tell you how many Oreos that girl had. She is very good at getting spoiled. Hunter had a fun time hanging out with her brother, cousins, and friends. We did miss Hay who was still in California with Jamie’s family. John had a good time too and don’t worry he was just as soaked as the kids. It was a good day for the Anderclan!
You may not know me yet, but we share a mutual loved one. Her name was Jamie Anderson. She was my teacher, she called me her daughter (before she had a few of her own), her sister, her mentee, her best friend, her employee, and her shama-lama-ding-dong. (She gave EVERYONE nicknames.) The last title – her kids still call me that daily. Johnny Boy even nicknamed my nickname, and calls me Ding Dong or just Ding. Trust me, it’s pretty cute. But that fits – because I have my own nickname for him, too – Johnny Boy. Jamie always called him Baby John, but I never would call him that. We would always tease each other if someone called him by what the other one wanted. Good memories.
Jamie was an incredible person. She was vivacious, full of life, joy, ambition, and sweet sass. I am sharing this with you today out of my deepest heart-felt grief over her loss. I have never hurt so much in my life. I am also sharing this out of my overwhelming sense of gratitude. Over the past month, I have been with the Anderclan, almost non-stop since everything happened. We have received an outpouring of love and support. We are all truly grateful for these this. At moments it has truly been overwhelming, in a good way of course. I have never felt the Lord lavish so much love on me, except for the day I became His. I loved Jamie with my whole heart, she meant so much to me. I feel such a deep sense of loss.
There is a HUGE whole in our lives now, but the Lord has been gracious to all of us who are missing her so much. He has seen fit to bring us all of you to help us care for her sweet family. It is hard to put in to words, so please bear with us as we write these blogs to keep you updated.
Every day is different. I remember something about her. I feel another aspect of her loss. There are so many variables. It helps to see and know that Jamie touched so many lives in so many ways. This has not nor will it ever fill the huge whole that was Jamie, but it has truly been a healing balm to my soul. At moments it has been hard for me personally to accept this help I am not one to naturally ask for it. This was something Jamie found truly annoying about me because she had such a big servant’s heart. She always wanted to give so much.
I know for me going through the grieving process has been made easier being here physically with the Andercalan. Seeing the kids daily and helping them. I constantly get asked how the kids and John are doing. I know it would help others in their grieving for Jamie to know what is going on and being a part of the going ons of the Anderclan. Unfortunately, this is not possible for everyone out there that is grieving. Therefore, I hope I can share periodically what the Anderclan is up to. LYLT
- Sam Aileen Jasperson (Anderclan Nanny and student, mentor, sister and friend of Jamie)
Those of you reading this met or knew my beautiful bride Jamie, but may have not known or met me, John. Today, I am sharing with you today my heartfelt thanks for your overwhelming support and love since the loss of this incredible woman.
I met Jamie out in San Diego, California where she was studying at San Diego State University and was in the Blue Devils Marching Band (band geek alert!). We became friends, dated, got married and moved out to Houston. She became a teacher at Cy-Springs High School while I was still on deployment in the Navy. While there, she poured into the lives of so many students – and it was incredible to see so many of them at her Celebration of Life. Later, you will also get to hear from one of these students here on the blog as she is now our babysitter.
Jamie always had a knack for photography. It took her a few years after starting JME Portraits to decide to specialize in newborn portraiture. Once she did, she put her all into it, like anything she did. She truly believed that if you are going to do something, don’t just do it right or do it well, but do it with extreme excellence.
Once again she touch so many lives. Not just her family and friends, but her clients, fellow photographers, vendors and fans. This is because Jamie was the type of person who not only knew no strangers. Meaning, she made every person feel like they were her dearest friend.
I know that this time has been greatly difficult for my family and I. Jamie was an incredible wife. She was an incredible mother. She loved our babies like no other. We welcomed Hailey (Hay Bug), our oldest, in February of 2009 while Jamie was a teacher. At the end of 2010, we found out Jamie was pregnant with are second wonderful daughter Caleigh (Caleigh-Waleigh-Doodle-All-The-Day). Two years later, John William Anderson IV (Baby John) joined the Anderclan. This was a very difficult pregnancy, as she was on bed rest almost the entire time. But, this did allow Jamie’s mom to come and join us from California. Later that year we moved into our second home. If you were a client of hers during that time, your photos were taken in the two front rooms that where commandeered for the studio. After living there more than a year, we brought home a very special surprise, miss Aubree Gail (Aubree Ella/Abba-ga-noose). We had a very full home, but the Lord saw fit to bring us another blessing. This other blessing was in the form of my cousin Hunter (Huntar Kardashian). Her mama unfortunately passed away a few years ago, and her father suffered a massive stroke last year. With Jamie’s business picking up like crazy, we felt the need for greater room. Therefore, earlier this year we moved to Cypress Creek Lakes. Jamie moved her studio out to the garage and she was so excited to see how God was going to bless her business in her new space.
We are truly grateful for all the support, love and encouragement that you have all bestowed on us. Since there has been such a massive request to know how the kids and I are doing, we will be posting periodical updates here on her blog.