Sunday, March 1

Reservation Roadtrip

Tyson and I had been talking about going down to see my grandma Brown for quite sometime.  We weren't sure when we were going to be able to make it to the reservation, but knew we needed to make it happen.  My cousin let us know that my grandma was not doing very well and said it would be best to come as soon as possible.  We switched a few things around and were able to pull off a quick trip before heading out to Vegas and New Orleans.  I packed up the girls as quick as I could and we hit the road.  
It took us about 15 hours to get there.  You can only imagine the car ride.  Between the two girls it was very interesting.  We were able to have my sister and BIL come along for the fun.  If they were unsure of having kiddos before this trip, I think this one sealed the deal.  We survived on candy, stickers, chocolate, soda and of course cinnamon rolls.
Once we pulled into town, we knew the trip was completely worth it.  It had been too long since I had seen my Brown side of the family.  We woke up early Saturday morning and were excited to introduce my BIL Jordan to the flea market.  This would be his first time to the reservation.  We wanted to make sure he had the full experience.  
I loved being able to see my uncles and aunts.  It's always so good to be in their presence.  They are the warmest, kindest, loving people I know.  I always feel a little closer to my dad each time I go down to the reservation.  All of my uncles and aunts share his twinkling eyes and biggest hugs. 
^^^ P couldn't get enough of this rocking horse.  If we had room in our car, we might have thought to bring it home. ^^^
^^^ I was so excited to get my fixings of fry bread.  We also got the girls matching turquoise bracelets and Tyson found me the prettiest ring.  We also found some beautiful blankets to take home. ^^^

After the flea market, it was time to celebrate my grandma's 93rd birthday.  Kiersten and I went to my uncle Ken's house to decorate some cakes for the celebration.  Who knew decorating a cake could be so much fun.
When we first went into my grandmas bedroom to say hello, she wasn't very responsive.  I knew she knew we were there and that's all that mattered. 
Penelope enjoyed being surrounded by all of her cousins.  
^^^ I can't get over how much her and Bear look alike. ^^^
We perfecting our fry bread making skills and enjoyed the always so yummy Navajo taco's.  We laughed and cried and just enjoyed being surrounded by all of my family.
We sang happy birthday to my grandma and blew out her candles. 
I am so happy that both of my girls got to be there for this visit.  At the end of the night my grandma was so aware.  She told us she loved us and thanked us for coming.  It meant everything.  I am not sure if I will see her again in this life.  It was really hard saying good bye.  I was just so overwhelmed with gratitude that I got to be there, I tried not to think too much about that.  I have so many fun memories of my grandma.  Even Tyson has a few from his past visits with me.  It was wonderful being able to celebrate her life.

The timing of the trip couldn't have been more perfect.  My uncle told us he had been married and baptized into the church and that Sunday he was going to be ordained a priest.  He asked if Tyson would be able to ordain him.  We got everything approved and were able to be there for my uncles ordination.  It was such a neat experience.  Seeing the joy that my uncle and his wife have found in the gospel was amazing.  My uncle Ken's entire countenance has changed.  It was inspiring.  I look forward to their sealing in a couple of months.  I hope we can make it to witness that as well.

Everything about the trip couldn't have been better.  I know the Lords hand made it all possible.  I love my family so much and am so grateful for the knowledge we have that we can all be together forever. 
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Vegas Baby

Over the past few months Tyson has been extremely swamped with work and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed myself.  He decided we need to go on a little getaway, to give get us feeling back up to speed and rejuvenated.  We knew it had to be somewhere quick, but that offered some fun.  Ty found some super cheap flights to Vegas and that's when it all happened.
I luckily had a couple of months to prep.  I started pumping immediately.  I was so worried I wasn't going to have enough milk to leave for Lucy.  Lucky for Lucy, I happen to be somewhat of a milk maid.  It was such a relief to have enough milk to leave for my baby.  

Tyson's parents are always so helpful.  They offered to not only watch our girls, but my two nieces and of course Gigi.  I didn't have too much of a hard time leaving the girls, only because I knew they would be in such good hands.  Penelope didn't even blink an eye, when she realized she was going to be able to have sleepovers with her cousins every night.  I also made sure Lucy was sleeping through the night.  I couldn't imagine his parents watching all four girls and getting no sleep.  It all worked out perfectly.  Once we got everything figured out we were off to enjoy some R&R.
We stayed right off of the strip.  I loved our hotel.  You can't really tell from this picture, but our view was amazing, especially at night.
The first thing on our to-do list was to go see a cirque show.  I have wanted to see one for years.  I had heard so many rave reviews and wanted to get my own taste.  We ended up choosing to see the Beatles LOVE show.  It was beyond words.  The performers were amazing.  The music was of course outstanding.  I didn't want the show to end, it definitely left me wanting more.  If we had the time, I would have liked to see every show in Vegas.
My friend Maggie gave us some great restaurants to check out.  I was excited to go out to breakfast each morning.  Tyson and I never go to breakfast back home.  It's one of my favorite things to do, so on vacations I take full advantage.  My favorite meal was located in the Paris hotel.  We sat outside and enjoyed the most delicious ham and cheese crepe and lemon pancakes.  My mouth is watering, just thinking about that meal.  The view was awesome.  We were able to sit right on the strip and people gaze, all while watching the water show at the Bellagio. 
The trip primarily consisted of shopping and eating.  That's all we honestly did for three days straight.  It was so much fun!  Tyson had put some money aside for me to go on a shopping spree.  I loved picking out some new clothes.  It has been far too long since, I had gotten some clothes.  Tyson is honestly the funnest person to shop with.  I'd prefer he just go shopping for me.  He has great taste. 
^^^ We were so thrilled to find out that Vegas had a Shake Shack.  It was just as good as I had remembered it being in New York.  It was a fun flash back to our last trip together. ^^^
^^^ I was so excited to finally get the purse, I had been eyeing for quite sometime.^^^
^^^ I became a little obsessed with acai bowls on this trip. ^^^

It was so nice being able to sleep in every day and enjoy so much needed quality time with my hubby.  I am so grateful for Tyson and all he does for me.  He truly treats me like a queen and knows what I need.  We had a blast and are already looking forward to our next getaway.
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Saturday, February 28

NOLA

Tyson and I had the opportunity to fly to New Orleans and enjoy a few days of Mardi Gras.  We were so happy that Tyson's cousin Skyler and his wife Angie were able to came along for the fun.  It was an all expense paid trip, which made it all the more fun.  A big thank you to Pan America for making this trip possible. 

I had been to New Orleans back when the University of Utah played Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.  It was such an amazing trip and didn't know what to expect this time around.  It turned out being ten times more fun the second time around.  I had a blast introducing Tyson to some of my favorite restaurants and spots.  

Seeing as we arrived right in the middle of Mardi Gras, the streets were packed.  There were people everywhere.  I was surprised how many families and kids were out and about.  Apparently the schools shut down for Mardi Gras.  We luckily stayed in a hotel, right on the parade route.  We definitely felt spoiled not having to wait around all day for a good spot.  
^^^ We were greeted with the yummiest King Cake. ^^^
^^^ Our fist stop was to Cafe Du Monde.  Their beignets are out of this world. ^^^
We spend our fist evening with the Vice President of Pan America.  We met for dinner where Tyson was brave and tried muscles and oysters for the first time.  We then went to his house, which was gorgeous.  He was a previous owner of an art gallery and had some of the paintings hanging throughout his house.  It was seriously beautiful.  Following his house tour he took us to our first Mardi Gras parade.  I had no idea what to expect and boy did it exceed any expectations I had.  There were marching bands from all around entertaining us right and left as well as huge floats with men in white masks, throwing heaping piles of beads.  I can't even begin to describe the amounts of beads we got.  It was quit comical.  Beads were literally flying at my face.  I almost passed out from an enormous bag hitting me strait in the eye.  Things even went blurry for a minute.  We caught the strangest things imaginable, everything from a rubber chicken to light sabers.  And don't worry, there was no flashing necessary.  
^^^ Whoever had to clean our hotel, was left with pounds of beads.  There was no possible way to take them all home with us.^^^
The last time I went to New Orleans, I wasn't very adventurous when it came to trying the food.  I wanted to make sure not to make the same mistake this time around.  Tyson was surprisingly on board.  We ate everything we could get our hands on.  We ate crawfish, oysters, muscles, jambalaya, red beans and rice, collared greens, bread pudding and bananas foster.  Everything was amazing!
The crawfish were actually pretty tasty.  Tyson even enjoyed them.  They were a lot of work for a little amount of meat, but tasted too yummy to pass up.  They were cooked in the best seasonings.  I wish there was a way I could have bottled up all of that southern spice.
^^^ The French Quarters is a must.  We watched the street performers and enjoyed our fare share of people watching.
We decided to only go down Bourbon Street during the day.  It was already crazy enough during daylight, we didn't want to imagine what it would be like during the night.
^^^ The costumes and street performers were awesome.  I love the deep culture down South. ^^^
^^^ I couldn't get over the size of these necklaces. ^^^
We spent Valentine's Day in NOLA.  It was one to remember for sure.  We started out the day with shopping and ended it with a yummy dinner and yet another parade.  We couldn't seem to get enough of the flying beads.
^^^ Angie and I found these matching dresses on sale at Anthropologie.  The sale was too good to pass up. ^^^
^^^ I feel so lucky to have this handsome guy by my side. ^^^
Our last full day in New Orleans was my favorite.  We ate at the most phenomenal restaurant.  The Sunday brunch had some of the best food I have ever tasted.  It's the oldest restaurant in New Orleans and home of the bananas fosters.  It was incredible.
That night we enjoyed a movie almost entirely by ourselves.  The theatre was empty because of another parade going on.  It's crazy how the town shuts down.

The food, company and memories will be ones that I cherish forever.  I am so grateful we were able to getaway and of huge  thanks to Tyson's parents for once again watching our girls.   
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Lucy Six Months

Dear Lucy-

Today you turned six months old.  Is this really happening?!?!  You are growing into the cutest baby I have ever seen, of course I am biased, but I'm pretty sure you get more adorable every day.  You are so much fun and are really starting to come to life.  Each day your personality blossoms more and more.  You have the sweetest nature about you.  You beam at the sound of your mama and daddy's voice.  Penelope makes you smile more than anyone around.  You love when she shakes your blabla rattle in front of your face.  This past month you have learned to full on belly laugh.  It's the most darling sound I have ever heard.  Mama finally has you on a good schedule and you are like clock work when it comes to sleeping and eating.  You took your fist bite of cereal a couple days ago.  At first you didn't know what to think, but by the third bite I couldn't get it in your mouth quick enough.  We can't wait to introduce you to other baby foods soon.  If mommy needs to get things done you happily play in your bouncer or sit on the counter in your bumbo, while I do the dishes.  If you are ever upset, the sound of the vacuum calms you right down.  The sound of running water has the same effect.  You still dislike your car seat, but almost always fall asleep as soon as the car turns on.  I have a feeling you are going to be on the move sooner than we know.  You roll all over the place.  You know what you want and make sure to get there by steamrolling all over the floor.  We've tried sitting you up, but you topple right over.  I imagine it's because of all of that extra chub.  Your rolls are so scrumptious.  I swear a new rolls appears every day.  Your chubby feet are still my favorite thing, as well as that chunk of hair on top of your head.  It's the perfect length that allows mama to clip a bow in.  You are a true dreamboat and wouldn't change a thing about you.  We love you to the moon and back ten fold.  
Love,
Mama and Papa
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