Tuesday, February 26

7 Years....

It is crazy to think it has been seven years tomorrow since I lost my dad.  

So much has happened since then.

College Graduation, Lotoja, Skydiving, Wedding Day, Motherhood
(All things I had talked to him about doing)

Although each day I have missed having him here with me I still feel his presence.

I know he is still my greatest fan and believes in all my aspirations.

No dream of mine was to big in his eyes.

I have that same determined, passionate, ambitious, free spirited soul as him.

Tyson has never met my dad, but I feel he gets to know a piece of him through my brothers.

Nick shares the same love for hunting and his Navajo culture.  He loves his kids the way my dad loved us.

Tate has his laugh, walk, little legs, broad shoulders, and witty personality.  He can draw, paint, restore cars and motorcycles, and fish just like my dad.

Josh has his thick hands and feet, his genuine smile, and no fear attitude. 

Although my dad had his weaknesses, I know that he did the very best that he knew how.

He no longer has to suffer from addiction and unbearable temptation.

When times get tough I draw upon the remembrance of peace and comfort I felt when I heard the news that my dad had died.  Never before had I known the essence of the word the comforter.  Even still the Lord grants me tender mercies to know my dad is near.  

Every time I hear the Eagles playing or the sound of a Harley Davidson I am reminded of him.  When I see a birds of paradise flower I know he his smiling down from heaven.

I look forward to the reunion that we will have one day.

He still owes me a father daughter dance.

Monday, February 25

Randomness Take #2

It has been two weeks now that Penelope has slept in her nursery.  It was a bit heart breaking at first, but we knew it was time.  She did so great.  It was hard at first to fall asleep because I was paranoid and kept checking the monitor every ten seconds.

Penelope peed on my clean sheets.  Good thing she's cute.

Baby bums are the cutest most squishy things ever!

Penelope still hates tummy time.  Gigi on the other hand has it down pact. 

My hair can finally fit in a pony tail, well kind of, I have to use a million clips and bobby pins to get the back to stay up.

P has almost grown out of all of her shower gift outfits.  I was so happy when I finally got to put her in this one.  The colors look so cute on her skin.

I can't get myself to start working out again.  I just may sign up to get Zumba certified again.  I think this will be the golden ticket to getting back in shape.

I can't get myself to let Tyson take down the cradle in our room.  I am a sentimental fool.  

Target has the best baby clothes.  Each item I find is only $5.  She has two of these jackets.  

I have been put on probation from my Target shopping sprees.  I tend to pick up too many items while I am there.  I am like a fat kid in a candy store.  Love the decor, clothes, food, movies, you name it, I buy it. 

Triple stuffed oreos...... I die!

Homemade oatmeal cookie dough is my favorite.  Recipe here.  I made these the night I went into labor. 

A clean house makes me smile.

Everything is better with Sophie or bunny.

This little girl makes my world spin.

My baby looks like a Kewpie doll.

A sleeping babe in my arms does my heart good.

I live in my Hello Apparel sweatshirt.  If you don't have one, go get one.  You will love it, your husband will not.... I don't wear anything else.

I vacuum my house at least once if not twice a day, this is becoming a problem.

Easter candy has hit the stores.  What is a girl like me to do.

Your sweet comments on my postpartum melt down made me feel so good.  

Tyson booked us tickets to go to New York in September.  Central Park in the fall, need I say more.  Suggestions on where to go, what to see please and thank you!

Tuesday, February 19


I am not going to lie I have been down in the dumps these past couple of weeks.  I am not sure if it was the news of Penelope's heart and allowing myself to feel fear or worry or the frustration of not being able to get rid of this baby weight.  I am sure it is a mixture of all things.  

I have never been one that had to worry about weight.  Growing up I was always self conscious about how skinny I was.  People would tease me and thought I was anorexic, when really I just danced 24/7 and had no time to pack on the pounds.  I hated that I was flat chested and never felt very comfortable around the boys.  All the other girls had curves and I was stick straight like a boy.  Once I graduated high school I happily put on the freshman fifteen.  Since then I had been okay with the way that I looked.  I usually ate what I wanted and was somewhat comfortable in my own skin.  There were always those days where I thought I was bigger than I would like, but every year I look back on pictures and wonder why I thought I was so big at the time.  I think what I would give to look like that again.    

Being pregnant was a brand new thing for me.  I couldn't wait to be pregnant and have that cute little belly that you see so many girls with.  But that stage just never happened for me.  I put on a ton a weight, like 50 plus pounds ton of weight.  My feet were so swollen and killed to stand on for longer than five minutes, which in turn didn't allow me to work out.  Everyone would tell me it was just water weight.  I really wanted to believe them.  I also looked forward to breast feeding because my mom always told me how the pounds just fell right off of her when she breastfed us kids.  

Fast forward to three months postpartum and I am having a really hard time.  I haven't lost a pound in over two months and my wedding ring is no where close to fitting.  The first 30 pounds came right off, but ever since I have just been at a stand still.  I have been eating healthier than ever and have been working out.  Don't get me wrong I still have my treats here and there but nothing like I used to.  It has been very frustrating.  Everyone around me tells me how great I look, but all I see if a girl still wearing maternity jeans and very unhappy with the way I look and feel.  Tyson is a sweet heart and does nothing but try to make me feel better about myself.

I don't like feeling negative and really want to be comfortable in my own skin.  I have grown up with my mom, who I think is gorgeous and tiny as ever.  She is always telling me how she doesn't like the way she looks.  It must be a girl thing.  The other day I read a quote on Pinterest that said something along the lines of, I never heard my mother talk good about herself, I never heard my friends talk good about themselves, and I never heard my sisters talk good about themselves.  I am going to make sure that I talk good about myself so that my daughter will know how to talk good about herself.  This really stuck out to me and hit a chord within myself.  I want Penelope to always know that she is beautiful and that Heavenly Father loves her so much.  I want her to know that she is so special and that she is wonderful in every way.  I don't want her to think less of herself for any reason.  

I know that Heavenly Father loves me and is so proud of what I am doing as a mother.  On the way home from Newport Tyson and I stopped off at Cafe Rio.  There was the sweetest lady there wiping down the tables.  She saw Penelope and asked her name and how old she was.  Just as I was about to leave she told me how great I looked.  I of course don't know how to take a compliment and told her thank you but that I had a long ways to go.  She told me to say thank you and to feel good about where I was.  It was something simple but I know that it was a tender mercy.  A sweet comment from a little stranger.  She really made my night.

I am learning to love myself.  I have a long ways to go but I want to for my daughter.  Isn't it amazing how our babies can help us be better people without even knowing it.  This is a new stage of life for me and a growing experience for sure.  I am continuing to learn about patience and with prayer I know I can see myself the way the Lord would have me.  

A Much Needed Break

This past weekend we took a trip down south, to Newport and San Clemente.  

Penelope has become quite the traveler these days.  Thank heavens she is a gem in the car and doesn't mind being in her car seat one bit.  I have become the pro at pumping and feeding along the way.  Oh the joys of breastfeeding.

I love that my sister Kiersten only lives five hours away from me.  It sure has helped my homesickness to know that she is in the same state as me.

She lives in San Clemente, where my brother in law Jordan is based for the military.  I am so jealous of their living situation.  It is so gorgeous where the live.  I couldn't get over the view from their apartment.  Each morning we woke up and took the pups on a walk.  It was so good for my soul.  The weather was perfect and the scenery was just what I needed.  

One of the mornings we took a walk down to the grocery store and on our way back we stopped at a doughnut shop.  It was torture pushing the stroller up the hill, back to her house, with the aroma of doughnuts taunting me.  Kiersten made us the best fruit smoothies every morning.  I am now addicted and crave them all the time.

Since we were out in the sunshine so much, I wanted to find P her very own pair of sunglasses.  I about died when my sister found this pair.   I also had a bit of fun shopping myself.  I have no dresses that fit me so off to Anthro it was.  I found an amazing dress and am so thankful that Tyson let me get it, with no complaints.

We were able to watch our good friends Shaun and Brooke Tucker get sealed for time and all eternity in the Newport Temple.  It was such a tender and amazing day.  I am beyond thrilled and happy for them and their little family.  The temple was so beautiful inside.

Gotta love the smooches that leave Tyson with dashing red lips.

After the sealing we made a quick stop at Sprinkles Cupcakes.  

Oh these cupcakes..........

We got red velvet, salted caramel, vanilla, and coconut.

They did not disappoint!

We then went to the most delicious Italian restaurant to celebrate the sealing of Shaun and Brooke.  The restaurant was called Maggianos.  The parmesan chicken was my favorite.  I hope to go back in August.

Monday morning we went to our favorite breakfast shop in San Clemente.  We sat on the patio and enjoyed the fresh air.  I love going out to breakfast, it is a rare occasion in our household.  

We also went to my favorite dog bakery and store.  We picked out Gigi some cookies for a late birthday present.  I can't believe our puppy is already two years old.

Another highlight of the trip was taking the pups on a walk along the trail at the beach.  It was a gorgeous day.  We saw a couple of doodles along the way and had to say hello.  They really are my favorite breed of dog.

I loved taking Penelope on the beach for the first time, although she slept almost the entire time.

I did not want to leave.  Spending quality time with my sister was so great.  We stayed up watching Parenthood, eating licorice, making cookies, painting our nails, and talking every night.  I sure love Jordan and Kiersten and am grateful I not only have them as family but have them as friends.

Lover's Day

I look forward to Valentine's Day every February!  I love the decorations, candy, flowers, cards, and having a day set apart to show my loved ones, just how special they are to me.

My mom still sends me and my little family homemade Valentine's in the mail.  Her words always make me feel so good.  I don't know if she knows this, but I have saved every one of them.

It was even more fun this year having my very own baby cupid.  I enjoyed getting her all dressed up and making her a bow.  

Holiday's are even more fun with a baby.

I made and delivered sugar cookies to the girls I visit teach and Tyson delivered them to his home teaching families.  I love any excuse to make sugar cookies.  Now if only I could remember to make more dough.  Every time I make sugar cookies I hardly have enough for Tyson and I to enjoy.

I love my Valentine Tyson.  He makes everything in my life better.  He makes every day so special for me and Penelope.  I love him more and more every day and am so happy I get him forever.

Now off to enjoy some more of my See's chocolates!

Tuesday, February 12

Grandma Brown's 90th Birthday

My Grandma Brown had been on my mind a lot lately.  I knew that I wanted to go see her because of her age and health and was trying to figure out a good time to go down and see her.  It just so happens that no sooner than a day after talking with my sister-in-law Cortney about a good time to go down, I received an invite from my cousin to attend my grandma's birthday celebration.  We knew that we couldn't miss it, so we rounded up the troops and made our way down to the reservation.

Tyson and I picked up Kiersten in Barstow and made our 14 hour drive.  It actually went by pretty quickly and it was nice to spend some quality time with my sister.  My family all fit into two hotel rooms.  It was hilarious.  The room smelled awful with my brothers crammed in there.  There was no where to walk and train station right out our window.  It made for some good laughs and not so good sleep.

Saturday morning Tyson and I took Penelope to the trading post to pick her out a turquoise bracelet.  I had one all growing up, that my uncle had made.  I wanted her to have one as well.  We also got her a dream catcher that was purple to match her room.  I loved my dream catcher when I was younger and swore that it helped me not have bad dreams.

That afternoon it was time to head over to the Stake Center for my grandma's birthday party.  I couldn't wait to see all of my aunts and uncles and especially my Grandma.  My cousin Stacie did such a great job of orchestrating the surprise for my Grandma.  There were pictures of my Grandma's life posted all around the gym, a birthday sign, and even a DJ.  The birthday cake even looked like a Navajo rug.

My Grandma looked beautiful.  My aunt and cousin had worked on getting her ready all morning long. Her jewelry, dress, and moccasins were gorgeous.  As she walked through the doors half of us yelled SURPRISE while the other half started singing Happy Birthday.  It was very comical.  As we made a second attempt to sing Happy Birthday, my grandma started dancing and shaking her hips.  It was so cute.  I now know where I got my love for dancing from.

Each one of her children came up and gave her a hug. My grandma has a hard time seeing so they all told her who they were in her ear.  She was brought to tears to think that everyone came for her.  She couldn't stop thanking everyone for coming.

 All the grandchildren then came over to her and gave her the biggest hugs.  

After everyone had wished her Happy Birthday it was time to dig into the Navajo Taco's.  They were delicious.  We love going down to the reservation to get our fix.

It was then time for Penelope to meet her Great Grandmother.  It was so cute to see her in her arms and with matching turquoise, I might add.  

I was so happy that Penelope was also able to meet one of her great aunts and most of her great uncles.  

We were also able to catch up with some of my cousins. 

After we ate the cake and ice cream it was time to dance.  They had a DJ and boy did we dance.  I have never seen my Uncle Delbert get so low.  After that we watched my grandma open up her gifts.  She got some slippers, pictures, a shawl, perfume, lotion, soap, chocolates, jewelry and so much more.  All of my siblings and I gave her a photo album of different trips we had made down to the reservation and pictures of us with her.  She has always wanted us to send some down to her, so we thought it was the perfect compilation. 

My cousin Stacie and everyone else worked so hard and it definitely paid off.  The day was perfect!

I always have such a hard time leaving the reservation, once I am down there.  It is always so fun to be surrounded by so much family.  They are all so happy and make my jaw hurt from smiling so much.  I am so happy that Penelope was able to meet her Great Grandma Brown and all of my other family.  I always feel especially close to my dad when I see my Brown side of the family.  I know that he was looking down from heaven and was so proud of all of us making the trip down to see my grandma.  It was the perfect day for a wonderful grandmother.