Tuesday, August 30, 2011

El Paso

We really do love El Paso. Like a lot. I think it's a place you have to grow up in to appreciate and love. I don't know that we really ever appreciated it as much as we do these days. I guess we're desert rats, in love with the Southwest. So any chance we get we like to visit! We've been lucky to go home several times recently for weddings that I've shot, and most recently, for Cliff's high school reunion.


First off....80 has never looked so good. Meet my grandma, whom Stone refers to as Grandma Dotty:
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Isn't she so cute? Looks too good to be 80, that's for sure!
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I love these two ladies!
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Stone has a really hard time with goodbyes. He sometimes gets a little mean when saying goodbye because he hates it so much. Here is example number one from the trip. He was grumpy the morning that Jordan's fam came by to say goodbye before heading home. Stone wouldn't say goodbye to Gavin. We had a similar experience that night when he had to say goodbye to Danny. More on that later.
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After they had left, Stone started crying that he didn't get to say goodbye (we tried!), so I ran him out, and he was able to bid farewell to Gavin, whom owns the most delicious cheeks and red hair.
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And I post this last picture for one reason. It is the most flattering and lovely picture of myself. BAHAHA. Kidding. It was the only one of my dad and Jordan all trip. Jordan didn't even let me go put on some makeup real quick. They were in a hurry. (I may have run off to put a little mascara on). Hello bed head (mine).
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And a trip to El Paso would not be complete without Danny. While we were at the reunion one night, Marcy and Kevin took all the grandkids (Danny, the twins, Sebastian, Luke, James, Stone) to Western Playland--a little amusement park. I need to get some fun clips and pics that Marcy took. Stay tuned for those!

Monday, August 22, 2011

TEN!

Cliff graduated from high school TEN years ago. Which means we started dating TEN years ago! Which also means Jordan graduated TEN years ago. And lucky for us, the rival high schools (Cliff=CHS; Jordan=FHS) had a combined high school reunion. We were the only two high schools on the westside of town. The other 20 in our district (I'm not even exaggerating) were on the other side of town. Therefore, though total rivals, the schools mingled a lot through the years, and they decided to combine the reunion.


The CHS graduates associate me as Cliff's wife. The FHS graduates associate me as Jordan's sister. I had to make it VERY clear that I was not tagging along with my brother, like I may have tried to do once or twice a decade ago. My how things have changed. Because these days, we actually do hang out. I loooove his wife, and now that he and Cliff are not grunting at each other on opposite sides of the football field, they kind of like each other, too. :)

So here are our engagement, I mean candid, I mean, semi-posed shots, before taking off for the Saturday portion of the reunion.

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Pardon the quality and size of the next pictures taken with my phone. I sent them to myself as small files:

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We had fun with Jordan and Rachel. Always do!
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Jordan and Cliff each won a prize that night. One winner from each school that has the most children. We're Mormons, what do you expect? hehe :)

We had a GREAT time. Though the turnout was not phenom (considering each graduating class had 600+), we really did have so much fun. It was fun for me to mingle not only with Cliff's friends, but the peeps that graduated with Jordan, as well. And Cliff had a great time catching up with old buddies.

A few more El Paso pics up next...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Balloon Festival

A few weeks ago, I got an early morning text from my friend, Nancy, telling me we should take Stone out to see the hot air balloons. I had no idea what she was talking about at first. Cliff had just returned home from the gym, and I asked him if there were hot air balloons in the sky. He said they were everywhere. So we woke Stone up, and Cliff took him out on a morning drive to see all the fun balloons.


It was the weekend of the Great Texas Balloon Race. Thanks to the low down from Nancy, we headed to the festival that night, rode some rides, indulged in fair food, and got up close and personal with the hot air balloons.

We had a great time! These are the kind of moments I hope my kids will always remember. I love our fun, family outings.

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This was the exit of the Fun House, and Stone was a bit terrified to walk through. It spun around, and he didn't know what to make of it. They stopped it for a quick second, and he SPRINTED through it before it started up again.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Arizona and a Funeral

My Grandpa (Brown) passed away on July 9. It was expected, but it's always still hard to say a final goodbye. Charisse, my aunt, asked the grandkids to sing a primary medley, and asked me to sing a solo during it. Practice went well, all was well. Until it was time for me to actually sing, and I just started to cry. I think I got about 5 words out. Oh well! The funeral was beautiful, and my dad and his sisters did a great job organizing it. It was so fun to see all my Brown cousins--who I have not seen in years.


I got to spend time with both sides of my family, and despite the circumstance for being in Arizona, we had a great time with everyone. Since it was a quick, last minute trip, Emerson and I went by ourselves.

She fell in love with Milo, my mom's dog...


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We got to go swimming with my dad and all my dad's family at a little family party. She started to feel sick this night, and you can tell:

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Got to see my cousin, Trevor, who I hadn't seen in a long time. We used to go on trips together with my aunt, Charisee, and give each other a hard time. I may have pushed him in the pool for old time's sake.
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We got to see this delicious new addition to the Jordan Brown family:

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Got to hear this adorable red headed delight sing songs, read stories, and give us his "stinky" face and "don juan" face:

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Got to hang with some of my girls, whom I love love love (again, look how sick my poor baby looks).

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And got to have a fun family dinner, including my grandma:

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I wish I would have taken more pictures! We had a great time on our quick trip. I loooove Arizona. Even in all 110 degrees. It's actually been hotter in east Texas this summer than Arizona, so I'll take it. :)

And now we're getting ready to head to El Paso for Cliff's high school reunion!