Thursday, January 29, 2009


Recently I was tagged by my mom to grab the fourth* picture from the fourth* folder on my computer (and I forgot to post!).

So what do we have here? Soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Bracken! I posted some pics of this couple from Christmas time, and it's official, folks. They're getting married! And I am so excited. It was the first time for me to see Matt so head over heels for someone and so lovey dovey. Amy, welcome to the fam!

Four* people to tag: Amy (speaking of her), Ashley, Brandi, Valerie.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Once there was snowman...

...and I thought we left him behind in Utah. We were spoiled with 70-79 degree weather last week, runs outside everyday, trips to the park, etc. And now we have a taste of winter. I won't complain, though. Stone's face as he looked out the door this morning was worth it. If it's going to be this cold, at least we had a little snow to play in.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I crave it

Some (most) days you'll hear me say I crave chocolate. You'll hear Cliff say he craves chips & Lousianna hot sauce. You will hear Stone ask for cheese. Today I crave the once familiar crashing waves, tropical sunset, sea turtles, my landlord's stories of Samoa, and maybe even my "advanced" English course I took in Hawaii. I thought life would never get better, but I assure you, it continues to get sweeter by the day. I'll take my 2 boys over my Hawaii days, but if only they could merge tonight, I'd be happy. I miss you, Hawaii!

Flashback Friday: Pickles, anyone?

Stone has a love for pickles. I mean, he loves them. It must be genetic. Cliff is the guy at the movie theater that actually buys a pickle.

When Cliff was younger, he'd visit his grandparents every summer in Southern Utah. His Grandma made fabulous pickles. Cliff would eat pickle after pickle, until finally, his Grandma had to ask him to stop. When he didn't, she sat the entire bucket in front of him and told him to eat them all. And that's just what he did. He was in heaven. Instead of getting sick of the pickles, he proceeded to put pickle after pickle in that mouth of his. Finally, his Grandma gave up, and had to take them back.

We go through a LARGE jar of pickles every week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day Off!

If there is something Lubbock has mastered, it is building fabulous parks. Today (our day off), we went out to lunch and then headed over to Legacy Village where Stone had the time of his life. I must admit, I think Cliff and I had just as much fun. Doesn't this park look fun?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Experience Tag

I'm tagged again (this time by Deborah). This was a fun one. Copy and paste this to a post and bold the things you have done!

Feel free to tag yourself!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (Does middle school band count?)
4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
11. Bungee jumped
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Taught yourself an art from scratch
14. Adopted a child
15. Had food poisoning--YUCK. As newlyweds, we both had it.
16. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
17. Grown your own vegetables--Do herbs count?
18. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
19. Slept on an overnight train
20. Had a pillow fight
21. Hitch hiked
22. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
23. Built a snow fort
24. Held a lamb
25. Ran a Marathon
26. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
27. Seen a total eclipse
28. Watched a sunrise or sunset
29. Hit a home run--How 'bout kicked a home run? Does kickball count?

30. Been on a cruise
31. Seen Niagara Falls in person
32. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
33. Seen an Amish community
34. Taught yourself a new language--In the process with the help of Cliff. A big New Years Resolution is to be able to converse in Spanish by next Christmas.
35. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

36. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
37. Gone rock climbing--Just repelling
38. Seen Michelangelo’s David
39. Sung karaoke
40. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
41. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
42. Visited Africa
43. Walked on a beach by moonlight
44. Been transported in an ambulance
45. Had your portrait painted--by my hubby
46. Gone deep sea fishing
47. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
48. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
49. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
50. Kissed in the rain--Probably one of the best kisses of all time--one of our first! Love you, babe!
51. Played in the mud
52. Gone to a drive-in theater--Going this weekend! AND, they have the best hot chocolate in town.

53. Been in a movie--almost an extra in The Day after Tomorrow, but went to prom instead!
54. Visited the Great Wall of China
55. Started a business--Mommy (and me!) Sculpting
56. Taken a martial arts class
57. Visited Russia
58. Served at a soup kitchen
59. Sold Girl Scout Cookies--Nope, but I've eaten my fair share!
60. Gone whale watching--No, but I saw several from a distance on several occasions in Hawaii.
61. Got flowers for no reason
62. Donated blood, platelets or plasma--Blood.
63. Gone sky diving

64. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
65. Bounced a check
66. Flown in a helicopter
67. Saved a favorite childhood toy--Not a toy, but a Care Bears suit case from my grandma who passed away.
68. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
69. Eaten Caviar

70. Pieced a quilt--umm, I have YET to use my sewing machine I got LAST Christmas.
71. Stood in Times Square
72. Toured the Everglades
73. Been fired from a job
74. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
75. Broken a bone-I have a plate and 5 pins in my arm
76. Been on a speeding motorcycle--Cliff and I have gone on his dad's, but I wouldn't say speeding. How about a SPEEDING horse that I couldn't control?
77. Seen the Grand Canyon in person--on a plane many of times! You'd think being born and visiting AZ so frequently, I would have hiked there by now.
78. Published a book--Nope, but Cliff will!
79. Visited the Vatican
80. Bought a brand new car
81. Walked in Jerusalem
82. Had your picture in the newspaper
83. Read the entire Bible
84. Visited the White House
85. Killed and prepared an animal for eating--Fish
86. Had chickenpox

87. Saved someone’s life
88. Sat on a jury
89. Met someone famous
90. Joined a book club
91. Lost a loved one
92. Had a baby
93. Seen the Alamo in person
94. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
95. Been involved in a law suit
96. Owned a cell phone
97. Been stung by a bee
98. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
99. Learned to play an instrument

Monday, January 12, 2009


...sorry if you're a Google Reader and the post below appeared twice in your Reader. I had to delete and re-post. Blogger problems today!

Glorious Day!

As you may have read in my previous post, Stone is the newest Nursury member! In our church, when children turn 18 months old, they get to start Nursury so that the parents can actually pay attention again. They learn cute church songs, play with toys, eat treats, etc.
I knew he would do great. A few months ago, I went to a funeral, and they had a nursury there, where he had a blast. This Christmas break, he got to play with his cousins, and had a blast. He LOVES toys, and so I knew he'd do great.

AND HE DID! No separation anxiety (on both ends). He happily went in, and of course Cliff and I kept peaking in (they have a peep hole you can look into the room, so that parents don't have to open and close the door and cause problems).

The nursury leader couldn't believe it was his first time. She said he did excellent. She also said he wouldn't leave the table with the animal crackers. He LOVES his food, especially treats (don't know where he gets that from. Oh yeah, me.). We picked up a happy baby (gosh, I can't really call him baby anymore), and altogether, it was a major success.

A few people asked if it was hard for me. I simply answered, "NO." Had you asked me several months ago (oh like 7 months), I may have said I wasn't ready. But this child became mobile at a young age. Crawling at 6 months, walking at 8 months. Keeping him occupied in church has become quite the challenge. He was ready, we were ready. YAH! for nusury, and YAH! for a successful day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


...This boy...
Gets to go to NURSURY.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today is my mom's birthday! I for sure have the best mom in the WORLD. Not only is she my mom, but she's my best friend. She's so good with all her new little grandkids (3 now!). She's always been there for me. I call her just about every day with some type of question, if not just to chit chat. I'm grateful for the wonderful friendship and close relationship we have. If only we were geographically closer! I know I'm lucky!

Mom--Happy Birthday!! We love you so much!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Flashback Friday: Tree Tag

Years ago, my dad was over the Young Mens program at our church (meaning he was the leader of all the boys 12-18 years old). One particular batch of boys always seemed to pull practical jokes on my dad/our family. It went everywhere from carving their names into his old truck, to dying my dog's hair red, to the following story.

Twelve years ago, I remeber being a little sick around Christmas time. I woke up in the middle of the night and went into my parents room to find them wide awake, whispering in the dark, while peeking out their bedroom window. What were they looking at? This:
The boys had collected all their families Christmas trees, and placed them on our porch and mail box. Once they were long gone, my dad loaded up the trees in his truck, and I accompanied my parents to return the favor. We stopped by each home and placed one tree on each doorstep. The boys woke up the next morning, quite confused. Don't mess with the Browns.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Welcome, Gavin Jordan!!

My sis-in-law, Rachel, gave birth to Gavin Jordan Brown on Saturday, January 3rd. He already melts my heart! CONGRATS Jordan and Rach! We love you all and are so excited to meet this bundle of joy!

Ahhh, look at those chubby cheeks! Meet Gavin Jordan Brown. 9lbs and 20.5 inches.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Eve: Football, World Record, Michael Irvin, Sparklers, and Family...

We had a blast New Years Eve! Such a blast, that I may have fallen asleep before ringing in the new year! It started off with the Sunbowl game. Every year, Cliff's mom's company gets tickets to the Sunbowl game, and when we're in town we get to tag along! We were on the 50 yard line, 12 rows up. GREAT seats. Thank you, Dad for babysitting!

Too bad the game was so boring (0-3), but we still had a blast. We were part of a world record and sat next to Michael Irvin. Proceed for details...

For halftime entertainment, it was none other than the Village People. They were SO entertaining, and I am NOT being sarcastic! The stadium set a world record for the most people participating in the Y-M-C-A at once. At first, Cliff was not a good sport (I'll spare you the dialogue), but ended up fully participating while we watched the Village People shake their booties (we had the back view). I was laughing and dancing the whole time.
Marcy had a client that backed out the last minute, and had tickets to the Captain's Club (press box seats). So at half time, Cliff and I roamed up there, and set next to #88, former Dallas Cowboy, Michael Irvin. A high school friend (whom I cheered with) was actually taking him around everywhere.
Next, we stopped by the Brackens (my cousins). Below is my cousin, Matt (you may have read about him on here) and his fun girlfriend, Amy. They both go to BYU-Hawaii (the most wonderful place ever), are total surfers, and totally cute together. I was so excited to meet her!

Below: My aunt, Alaine (Matt's mom).

Next stop: The Jessups for sparklers. Stone got a preview with the Sparklers at my Dad's. My Dad bought a bunch of sparklers, and Danny and Stone had a BLAST.

After the Sparklers were gone, Stone and Danny played around on the kitchen table. Stone was determined to drink some syrup, but had no luck.

We had a GREAT time in El Paso with food, family, and friends. No matter how fun vacation is, it always feels good to get back and into a routine. I'm really excited for my New Years Resolutions. I feel confident that I'll stick to them this year.

Welcome, 2009!

BFF Sha-Nay-Nay

While in El Paso, Shannon and I went out to lunch, as usual. If you keep up with my blog, you've read about her/seen her. Cliff, Stone, and I also stopped by her home so that Shannon's mom could see Stone.

Miscellaneous Christmas Pics

Well, we are back from a FUN trip to El Paso. I posted a couple times while there, but here are some miscellaneous pictures from Christmas day and day or two after. Soon to come: New Years Eve pics.

Below: Grandma Jessup (Cliff's mom) and Stone
Below: This was Stone's favorite Christmas gift. A big ole' Tonka dump truck. We had fun pushing him around in it, as well.
Below: The two grandpas! Cliff's dad and my dad.
Below: Family pic Christmas morning
Below: My little songbird singing while I played.