Monday, March 30, 2009

Dear Dean and DeLuca,

I am so happy you are near my hotel to greet me after a day in business meetings. Your shop is just the funnest thing ever, and your food and ambiance is quite desirable. I now see what the hype is all about. Though I may have inhaled a week's worth of calories [thanks to your killer turtle brownie], I thoroughly enjoyed the goods you offered me for my dinner tonight.


Off to start burning the calories...
Kendal
(and for everyone else, in case you were wondering, I was in AZ, where I dropped Stone off at my mom's for a few days while I headed to SC & NC for a business trip).

Flying...

....without a child is SO much easier. Less Noisy? Absolutly. More enjoyable? Not necesarily. Extra nap time? Indeed. A little loney? Perhaps. For 10 of my last 13 round trip flights, I've had this on my hip:

And I missed him on my hip on last night's flight.

Miss you, boys!

Love,

Me

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy 29th Big Bro!

Happy Birthday, Tanner!! My oldest brother turned 29 today. We often had family birthday parties together growing up since our birthdays are a week a part, and you can't pass up a birthday BBQ at the park in Mesa in March. I was reminded of that today when we strolled to the park (oh yeah, hi, I'm in AZ) in t-shirts and jeans with the smell of orange blossoms in the air.

Jordan lucked out because everyone felt sorry that Tanner and I got gifts, so he always raked in a few gifts, as well. I don't know if I buy into the whole middle-child-syndrom thing.
I started running track the summer after 3rd grade. Tanner had been running for a couple years, so I joined his same summer track team. He was in long distance, but they put the little people in just a standard group for shorter races. I wanted to be like Tanner, so my second year, they let me run long distance with the older crowd. My love for running long distances remains, thanks to Tanner. We've even run a marathon together. And now our kids will grow up best little buddies!

For a great tribute and pics of this man, click here!
Happy birthday, Tanner! We love you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

24 still feels young...

Though I have now turned twenty four, I don't feel as old as I will when I turn twenty five. ...but not for the obvious reason you are thinking (25 comes after 24, thus being & feeling older is inevitable). It has to do with 24 being an even number. Let me explain. Even makes me feel young. Odd makes me feel old.
My sixteenth birthday was a BIG deal. I officially entered the dating world and I obtained a driver's license. Two of the most important things to a 16 year-old girl. I spent my birthday in Hawaii. And while all of that is a BIG deal, turning 16 did not make me feel older. I felt like a really lucky 15-year-old with all these added perks.

Now when I turned 17--nothing spectacular, especially comapared to the previous birthday. But I felt older. Much older.

18. Big deal. Officially an adult, graduated high school and embarked on a new life of my own. All really big things. So I should begin to feel old, right? Not really. I didn't feel older. Just felt like a 17 year old adult.

19. Now I began to feel myself age just a bit. Maybe it's because this is the age that young men in our church go on a 2 year mission and the missionaries have always seemed so OLD and so MATURE to me. Even when I was 21 and 22, I still felt younger than them (I now feel older than them...finally. Maybe it's because we help feed them now).

...OR maybe it was because I got MARRIED at nineteen!!!
20. Even though I entered into the TWENTIES, I still felt 19. I was a little dissapointed that I couldn't call myself the nineteen year old bride anymore. ...a teen bride. I can think of a couple people that are laughing and rolling their eyes at the teen bride comment (ahem, Mom).

21. Now I began to feel old. Finally the age to legally consume as much alcohol as I could imagine. Oh wait, I have never once had a sip of alcohol. And that is the truth.

....this was the year I graduated college, started a career, and got pregant. A BIIIIG year. So I felt a little older, rightly so.

22. Big year. I had a baby, continued my career (now from home), put my hubby in law school, but I still felt 21.

23. Nothing huge. But saying 23 made me feel old.

24. I still feel 23. I feel young, yet I feel somehwat accomplished. I'm 24 with a hubby of almost five years, a soon-to-be (July) two year old, a degree, and a career [from home]. For the next 360 days or so, I'll remind myself I'm closer to 20 than to 30. Once I turn the big 2-5, I am sure I will feel a bit older. But until then, here's to 24!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Twenty Four

When I was young, I would often write down qualities I'd expect my future husband to have. ...qualities that were almost necessary. I never thought, however (only could imagine), that I'd have such a thoughtful, romantic, creative husband. And for this, I am grateful (I know...I'm a broken record).

Birthday #24 was a definite treat. Before each little gift or outing for the day, Cliff had a little invitation that looked like this:
frontback
It's little things like this that make me stop and think to myself, "Really?! I'm a LUCKY girl."

Cliff woke me up with breakfast in bed and the video shown below in the previous post. Breakfast in bed: EGGS BENEDICT! My absolute favorite, which is also a special-occasion-only food. First time for him to make it (it's tough to do by yourself, because you do everything at once). Hollandaise sauce makes me a happy girl.
Then we went to the gym, came home, showered, and he gave me my next invitation saying I had a noon appointment for a pedicure and manicure. OOOOOhhh what this does to a woman. I felt brand spankin' new.
When I got home, he gave me the next invitation and a bunch of gifts. One of the gifts was a kite, and we took Stone to the park to fly our kite in the beautiful spring weather.



Then, Jon and Kaylene watched Stone, and we went out to dinner and a movie (thanks J & K for watching him!). We got home, and when I thought the day was all over, I had one last invitation for a movie at home (if you didn't know, we really like movies). The invitation accompanied the newly released Twilight (which he stood in line for at midnight on my birthday!) and one last gift. Man, do I have the best husband ever. He really made a production of my birthday, and celebrated the whole day. He put so much thought into every detail. Twenty four has treated me VERY well thus far. Thank you, babe, for the most wonderful day. I loooooove you soooo much!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flashback Friday: Happy Birthday to me!

I don't have a specific flashback today like the Friday norm, but I thought I would flashback to past birthdays considering my birthday is tomorrow!!

I always got to go on REALLY fun trips for my birthday. ...Okay, not exactly, but I like to say it like that. My birthday always fell on Spring Break, which meant I spent birthdays in amazing places with FUN things to do. Hawaii TWICE, San Antonio (hi Sea World and Six Flags), San Francisco, Utah ski trip, and many trips to visit both sets of grandparents in Arizona. One spring break, I even threw myself a surprise birthday party (yes, I did).

This is now my FIFTH birthday as a married woman, and Cliff always makes me feel like a QUEEN. My first married birthday (birthday #20!), he got me a bike to ride to and from school (see a related post here). We lived up on a steep hill, and I loooooved coasting down it, but coming home was a killer. I don't know if I ever made it up just biking.

So here's to happy day to me tomorrow. And happy Friday to you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let's water the flowers...

With the exception of this freezing weekend, our weather has been beautiful. Cliff had the itch for spring planting in our little patio a few weeks ago. I LOVE it. He did a FANTASTIC job. He added a few more things to it today. When Cliff first planted the plants, Stone immediatly picked up on the word "flowers", and now Stone makes sure we water the plants every day.

He is such a good helper, and he LOVES LOVES LOVES to play with all his cars on the patio.

He even knows who Rosemary is (we planted a rosemary bush), and makes sure she gets plenty of water.

"Mom, I do have a chin, right?"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Afternoon at the park














Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Awkward Gap

As we walked into church today, Cliff experienced the awkward gap and errored on the side opposite of his usual Texas manners. To his shame, I will recount what happened.

Scenario: Walking into church, we were followed by a family, led by a mother and little girl. As Cliff puts it, "had they been right behind us, naturally, I would keep the door open for them, and let them in. However, if they had been too far behind us, keeping the door open, would seem showy, and force them to quicken their pace. Thus, defeating the purpose of a pilot act to make their day easier."

And so, there was a "too-far-behind-to-keep-the-door-open-politely" gap, or so Cliff thought, until the 5 year old girl said, "Mommy, he didn't open the door for us."

Understand, that to a Texas raised man, like Cliff, this was one of the most disgraceful moments of his life.

In the future, if you see Cliff holding the door open for you while you are still parking your car, you will understand why.

Sorry, Havilah.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Al Gore, you can kiss my...

....well, nothing, really. I'd really rather you never kiss anything of mine, but come on. Global warming?! It is March 14 in TEXAS, and we are experiencing freezing temperatures.


I cleaned out our closet last weekend, and put away all clothes winter. After all, our temperatures were BEAUTIFULLY between the 70s and 80s. Unfortunately, I had to pull out the warm clothes this weekend.
Oh well...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flashback Friday: It REALLY started at a red light

Most friends and family know that Cliff and I grew up going to the same church, and therefore, have known each other for 17 years. WOW, right?! Well, since we grew up kind of knowing each other, that "wow" moment when we really discovered each other was delayed to the incredibly mature age of 16 (me) and 18 (Cliff).

Once the "noticing" began, things moved along rather quickly considering we were in high school. We started talking, and one Tuesday, I was headed to my friend, Kerry's, home where a bunch of people were meeting to caravan over to Taco Tuesday at La Hacienda. Cliff's house sits on a corner near a major intersection of the Upper Valley, and I would pass it EVERY day. As I passed it that particular Tuesday, I saw him pull out and knew he was headed to work. I decided to make a [MAJOR] detour to Kerry's home, and I kind of went in the direction Cliff was headed. He was WAY ahead of me, so I gave up, slowed down, jammed out to my mix, and proceeded to Kerry's. Five minutes later, I came to a red light, and lo and behold, there was Cliff. I pulled up next to him. He slowly turned his head, was a little suprised, and there he gave me that smile and butteflies-in-the-stomach inducing wink.

I learned after the fact that it was at that moment that he decided that he needed to move in for the kill.

The rest is history.

May 2001

Monday, March 9, 2009

Science Spectrum

This weekend we went to the Science Spectrum and had quite the time. Check it out.
(it's kind of long, but if you make it a little passed half way, you will see our frightened boy next to T-Rex...and we're really not as mean as it looks. Or so we tell ourselves).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Utah!

Well, we just got home from a fabulous trip to Utah to meet this little guy:

GAVIN JORDAN BROWN

Jordan blessed Gavin in our church on Sunday, and so we made the trip up. Isn't he just too scrumptious? He is such a good baby. His manurisums remind me a lot of Stone when he was that age.

We had a blast with family and food (isn't that how it always is??). We have now been away from Utah for a year and a half, and I didn't realize I missed it until this trip.

After I graduated, we moved to Salt Lake, where I started working, while Cliff finished up his last year. So we had been away from Provo for 2 1/2 years, and being back brought so many newlywed/college feelings and memories back.


Proud parents (Jordan and Rachel)

My grandma! She just got home from serving a mission for our church in Puerto Rico and Houston.

Grandma and my mom

My dad, Stone and Gavin. Stone is giving Gavin a kiss.

Cute cute Chloe. Isn't she just adorable? This is Tanner and Charee's girl.


You can't help but kiss these chubby cheeks.

I love this pic. Jordan and Stone.

Dad, Stone, Gavin

A trip to Provo would not be complete without a stop at El Azteca. This was part of mine and Cliff's weekly diet when we were in school. Once we moved to Salt Lake and he was still going to school (I was pregnant), he continued to bring it home.

Aren't those booties so cute?! Rachel's mom made them.