Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There is Beauty All Around

Neal and I recently got back from a little getaway to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago! We always said we wanted to go to Hawaii, but knew it probably wouldn't be for another 20 years until we had funds to get there. But our good friends in the ward invited us to go with them, and the husband is a pilot and was able to get us AMAZINGLY priced plane tickets. We knew this would be our only opportunity to get to Hawaii so cheaply, so we agreed to go! There were 3 couples in all, and we rented a cute roomy home in Ka'a'awa right across the street from the beach. It was pretty much our own little private beach, because it was small and no one was ever there when we were there! This was our first time away from the kids since Addie was born, so I was pretty worried about leaving her. I panicked and stressed alot before the trip, but during the trip I did pretty good! Of course I missed the kids, but it really is so needed for a husband and wife to take some alone time away from the kids so they can remember why they even liked each other in the first place!! Haha :) Neal's sister Amy was so sweet and volunteered to watch the kids when she very first heard we were going to Hawaii. She watched them for the first 3 days, and then my parents had them for the last 4 days. I stayed well aware what they were doing once Grandma and Grandpa had them; my Dad sent me pictures about every 3 minutes. That kind of made it hard to not miss them!

We would go back to Hawaii in a heartbeat. We both loved the slow, easy going life it provided...especially Neal who was born for that kind of life :). He was DEFINITELY at home there. The weather was beautiful. It stayed in the 80's, and the first few days were cloudy and rainy, but never a downpour, just drizzles. The latter part of the trip was gorgeous and the last day we were there was the prettiest day we had, and so of course we were a little sad we had to leave right then. I won't bore the reader with every detail of the trip, but here are some of the highlights: Beach hopping, our favorite beach was Waimea Bay, where there was even a cliff for Neal to jump off as many times as his little boy heart desired (for those who know Neal's love of cliff jumping). I think we went to Motsumotos (sp) shave ice shop about 4 times during the week. It's the most famous spot on the North Shore to get Shave Ice (yes they call it Shave ice, not shaved) We snorkled in Shark Cove (well everyone but me because of my poor eyesight, and the goggles wouldn't fit over my glasses ;( and saw tropical fish, and swam and snorkled with turtles at Turtle Beach. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center...which was AWESOME AND WONDERFUL! I didn't know the Church started that up for students to work there and fund their education. I got to visit 2 of my cousins that live there and an old friend of my Dad's. We saw Bethany Hamilton (the surfer girl who got her arm bitten off by a shark). We ate at delicious shrimp shacks and fruit stands along the road. Got pineapple ice cream at the Dole pineapple plantation, and learned that pineapples take 2 years to grow! And the funnest thing: The night crab hunting and night snorkeling that the men were so brave to do! This became their favorite nightly activity: snorkeling on our beach at night, finding lobsters, shrimp, and they even caught an octopus! Oh man, I could go on, but I suppose I'll stop as to not make anyone jealous ;)
Even though it was so incredibly beautiful on that island, the week we came back to Utah, I was driving on I80 to get back home at dusk, and was amazed at the orange, yellow, purple, sunset that topped the Great Salt Lake. It really was so beautiful and I thought how incredible it is that one part of the world can be a beautiful tropical paradise, and a different part of the world be a snow capped mountain set ablaze by a breath-taking sunset. Wow, we really must be loved by Heavenly Father to be surrounded by all this beauty.

Besides our trip, I also need to mention that the children's book Neal and his brother and other partner have been working on is finally published and available! It is really neat, and I'm so proud of Neal and his brother for pursuing a dream, and actually making it come true! Check out their website at if you haven't already :)

We also welcomed a new niece into the family almost a month ago! Neal's brother, Lance and his wife Nikki had their 2nd baby girl, Raegan. She is so sweet and cute. I can't believe how big Addie seems now that there's a newborn in the family.
Oh I forgot to talk about the kids! Sorry I'm sure no one is reading this by now because of how long I'm rambling on, but Kyle is finally POTTY TRAINED!!! Wooooooooohooooooooooo. This was such a hard and frustrating thing to go through (like every Mother I'm sure), but he finally seems to have got it down. He is the best big bubba and treats Addie like a princess. Addie turned 1 November 28, and is about 15 lbs I think. She's standing up on furniture and walks around on the furniture, so I'm sure the little munchkin will be walking soon. It'll be the sight of Tooele to see this tiny little thing walking around :) Well, it's time to go build a snowman with Kyle (as long as Addie stays asleep for a bit). Enjoy the pics!
Please forgive me for putting this pic up: Neal surprised us all and stripped into his speedo right before he jumped off the cliff. It was the most hilarious thing I've seen my whole life. Neal, about to break his back and neck

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A few more pics...

It's Bloggidy Time!!!!

For anyone who cares :) is FINALLY an update of our lives. I probably don't get on alot, because I feel like there isn't much to tell about! I've been thinking alot lately about how frustrating, tiring, wonderful, stressful, rewarding, and amazing it is being a MOTHER. I read something on my Mother in law's blog, and it has inspired me to be better at making my home a "refuge" or safe place that my kids desire to be in. I've been getting frustrated lately about Kyle refusing to nap anymore, and it has made me ornery mope about the whole time he is up when he should be napping. But instead, I should be doing fun things with him, making him feel safe and loved at home, instead of feeling that I'm disappointed in him. I've tried to be more of a fun Mom lately, and let stuff that usually stresses me, slide by. Before I know it, Kyle will be in elementary school, and just keep getting older and older, and then I'll probably just wish he'd wake up from napping instead of now how I wish he'd take one! Kyle turned 3 in July, and is the life of the neighborhood. All the kids (mostly older ones) love to come ask if Kyle can come out in the back (we all share a backyard since we're in townhomes, so I can keep an eye on him) and play soccer or baseball. He just started our little neighborhood preschool in September and loves it. The first day he wanted to ride his scooter, so off we went with him scooting along with his little backpack in tow. He looked like such a grown up. When he came home that first day (my friend picked him up and dropped him off), he walked in the door, and dropped his backpack right by the front and came tromping in, just like he'd been going to school for years. It was so stinkin' cute, I had to laugh. Kyle's such a grateful little boy and never misses a meal without saying "Thank you Mommy for making this. This is good. " haha...what a sweetie. He is definitely stubborn and hasn't slept in his room for months now. We tried so many things to get him to sleep in his own bed after Addie came, locking him in, putting him down with favorite toys, warnings, rewards, taking him back in 30 times(each time he came out, but it became a game to him), lying down with him until he fell asleep, etc. Finally we just could not take it anymore, and he sleeps in our room...but it is still a stressful subject in our home :) He is the BEST big brother to Addie. She adores him, and he lets her tackle him, maul his face, slobber and kiss him, etc. I'm so so grateful that he will be the oldest of our little Brown family, because he has so many "big brother" qualities that I can already see. His younger siblings will be so so lucky to have him as their big bubba.

I've just been so grateful lately for the life that I have. Ever since Addie hit about 6 months old, she's been SOOOOOOOO much happier. It has been a HUGE difference, and it doesn't even seem real thinking about the first 6 months and how we made it through with her non-stop crying, not eating good, not sleeping in the night, etc. She just started sleeping through the night about 2 weeks ago, and it has been such a LUXURY for me! She finally succumbed to sleeping in her own crib at about 7 months, but was still waking up 2-3 times in the night. Addie is 10 months now, about 15 lbs, has 2 teeth, a little bit of hair, and the sweetest little nose that scrunches up when she smiles. She is such a happy baby now, and is a MOMMY'S girl. She loves her Daddy too, but army crawls all over the house until she finds me. I have to admit that I kind of like it :) I feel so blessed to have her in our family and thank Heavenly Father everyday for how much happier she seems in her body and spirit.

We've done some fun things this year: In July we spent the fourth and Kyle's bday (the 3rd) with Neal's family in Kanab. He loved getting so much attention...even fireworks for his birthday! In July my brother Daniel got home from his mission, and my whole family took a road trip out to Omaha where my brother and his family live, then on to Ohio where my Dad is from. Neal had never been out to Ohio or met all the "Ellison" side of the family, so it was a really neat trip. I would NOT RECOMMEND it to anyone...we were gone 9 days, and 5 of those days were spent traveling. actually WAS WORTH IT, even though Addie definitely did not like it, Kyle did really well (for the most part), and I was really proud of him! I got to spend my 24th birthday in Omaha surrounded by my family, and there's not a better way I'd rather spend my birthday. A few weeks ago, Neal got to go to Alaska with his Dad and brothers for a fishing trip. It was a rough 5 days with him gone, but I survived it :) Nikki (my sis in law) and I hung out and slept over at each other's houses since both our husbands were gone. Of course I got an injury while he was having the time of his life...sprained my foot....nothing too serious, but I asked him to take the next flight when it happened. (Which of course he DIDN'T :) But seriously it KILLED! I guess I was being a bit of a baby since he was gone. Okay let's get some pictures rolling of the last like 10 months...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Love it When...

I love it when Neal updates the blog. The last 2 posts are from him, and it cracks me up the pictures he chooses to put on and the way he describes things. I obviously hadn't done it in awhile, so I'm glad he feels the need to update!

I haven't even written how it has been having 2 or the story of how Addie got here, but to make a long story short: Two kids is way hard...kudos to all the Moms I know out there with any number of kids. If Addie slept more than 40 minutes for a nap or at night in her crib, it might be easier...I don't know. She is probably around 9 lbs now, and just passed her 4 month birthday. I'll know her weight for sure next week with her 4 month checkup. She came 6 weeks early when we were visiting Neal's family in Lehi over Thanksgiving. We were planning on bringing home Thanksgiving leftovers...not a baby. She only had to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks, which was FOREVER to me, but I know for others who go through preemie babies it was probably really fast. It was honestly one of the hardest things Neal and I have had to go through... Neal still working(he only took like 1 day off), balancing between the 2 kids...wondering if I should be at the hospital with Addie or home with Kyle. Thanks to Lance and Nikki we had somewhere to stay close to the hospital (she was at Alta View hospital in Sandy). But even though it has been a rough couple of months adjusting to everything, I am so grateful for Addie getting here safely and for the joy she already brings into my life.
I love it When...
She blows raspberries at me
if I say one word in baby talk to her (gee or goo), she goes off on a whole story in baby language
she smiles and laughs out loud
Kyle touches or kisses her, and is shaking all over like he is trying to contain all of his love for her
I ask Kyle to tell her a story and he sits by her, holds her hand, and makes up a story
Addie lights up when Kyle sits down by her to play with her
her beautiful blue eyes get really big and round when she sees her Daddy come home
she sleeps for an hour in her own bed
she's screaming in someone else's arms, and calms down in her Mommy's
I love my 2 kids and am so blessed to be trusted to care for them while they're here on earth.
Addie Marie...4 lbs 13 oz, 17 1/2 inches. 11-28-09...yes the day of the big BYU vs Utah game, and yes Neal stayed with me in the hospital and didn't go to the game :)

Addie's blessing day
Kyle's Blessing day...We think they look just alike as babies. Sorry you can't see Kyle very good in this pic

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pic 1- Kyle getting a little Kirk Hammet on us with his spread eagle.
pic-2,3 a nice little sledding trip to enjoy the wintertime, Kyle has probably never cried as hard as when he realized his hands were numb and he didn't know what to do about it.
Pic-4 Trying to teach Addie how fun it is to be a Dolphin,
Pic-5..Kyle is a great, big brother, always trying to kiss her little hands as hard as he can. gritting his teeth because he doesn't know what to do about all his love for his new little sister.

Its timely

So its a grand time to be updating the ole' blogosphere, Pic 1,,a little snow football for Ky and Yaddy, they didn't want to come in, it was such a nice day. Picture 2, you will see a nice christmas present of our little girl Addie sitting on the couch. Kyle is wondering why their was an orange in his stocking and not more candy. Meg is sporting a nice christmas bathrobe. Pic-3 Keeko got Curious George for Christmas which he has watched approximately 1203 times since. Pic-4 The groggy Lance taking an afternoon snooze with Kyle and Hailee. Pic-5 Bo knows baseball...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lovin' Fall

We are loving the fall weather, and we even loved the snow that showed up before Halloween! Here are just a few pics of Halloween, and Kyle as a cabbage patch kid. We're getting anxious for our baby girl to join us...but we need to decide on a name. Let us know if you have any great girl name ideas :)

Donut eating contest at a Halloween Party...the boys got pretty aggressive attacking those things!

Wanting to blow out the candle in the pumpkin...he thought it was someone's birthday since we had to light a candle.