Monday, September 29, 2008



Citigroup buys Wachovia bank assets for $2.2B

So what? you might ask. What does this have to do with you or why would you title this post "Feeling Sooo Blessed" when yet another large financial institution takes a fall and will exist by itself no longer. In these scary times where big banks are falling right and left this is NOT a good thing. And yet, I stand by the title of my post. For me personally, and my little family, I feel incredibly blessed.

For those who don't know Chip worked for Wachovia up until September of this year. He worked in the investment banking group, and more specifically in the leveraged finance group. He really enjoyed his job and learning the tools he needed in order to get into Private Equity. However, WE did not enjoy his hours. He worked between 80-100+ hours a week all the time, could never schedule a vacation, had to work almost every weekend, and then got a bonus that was not at all what we expected/hoped for. Thus, when the job opportunity came in for him to make the switch to Private Equity a year before we were planning, he jumped on it!!!!

I did NOT want to leave Charlotte, our house, our ward, or our many great friends. And 3 weeks after having a baby is NOT A FUN TIME to move to a new place where we no NOONE. I have been very sad and sometimes wondered if I wouldn't have been happier to still be down there, even with Chip working the crazy hours. However, I knew that we were supposed to make the move here and that things would turn out.

Little did I know that I would see what a blessing this job opportunity really was so soon after moving here. This announcement today that Wachovia is being bought by Citibank has profound effects on the economy, and more specifically the Investment Banking group that Chip was in --- altho the retail headquarters will most likely stay in Charlotte, as of the end of this year the Investment banking group will no longer exist at all in Charlotte -- meaning Chip would not have a job had he stayed. He has been SOOO SAD all day for his friends and co-workers who lived there, and just the overall state of the economy and what is happening to all the banks. It seems the question is now "What bank will fall next?"

We live is some seriously scary times. With the bank getting bought, the demise of his old group and the thought of him being in big trouble and not having a job had we stayed there, coupled with the gas crisis going on in Charlotte right now -- I can just say that I am SOOOO happy to be living in VA, where Chip has a job that is stable, he loves it, and we can go places as we please right now.

Sometimes our prayers are answered quickly, sometimes slowly, sometimes in ways we want, sometimes in ways we don't understand; but they ARE answered and I feel that now I am seeing the WHY of so many prayers I offered and the reasons behind the HOW and WHY that I questioned. I do know one thing is for certain: PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED

I am so grateful today to feel the blessing of prayers being answered and the ability to see a little glimpse into part of the reason that we had to move!!! I truly feel BLESSED today!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

a LOT of firsts!!!


We have had so many changes lately in our lives, and specifically with little Cash! I finally found the camera cord, after much digging, since we moved and so wanted to post a bunch of pictures! I decided to just post all the "FIRSTS" that we seem to have experienced since Cash was born!!!

His first bath -- he loves the water!!!

Getting dried off!

First shower - due to a blowout diaper (just a quick rinse off)

First move - one last nap w/ dad in our NC house

Following with his eyes

First going away party - all decked out!

First time tummy time - loving it!!!

First time dressed up - blessing day! Handsome boy!!! My mother-in-law made his cute outfit! (more on this in next post)

First time at Vapianos restaurant in DC - yum! yum! (ps - this place does NOT have a changing table in the bathrooms.....guess they don't normally have newborns eat here)

First visit from Grandma Betty - he loved her!

First visit from Grandpa Charlie - he loved him too!!!

First time in new outfit from Brent & Britta (ironically, I woke him up 2 this night to feed him)

First time napping in his crib - I stayed in his room the entire time just watching him!


My favorite onesie (also from Brent & Britta) -- isn't he soooo cute!!!

Looking so serious!

Couldn't get enough of him!

Dedicated to Chip - hopefully he really will be like his Dad!

He is already liking football, and he has the big hands of a wide receiver!!!

The look of a champion!

Stats at one month: 10 lbs. 10 oz., 22 1/4 inches long, and strong as ever!

First time with play gym: thanks Susan Jones for this great toy!!!

Loving the music and fun toys!!!

This past month has been Crazy, Exhausting, Scary, Exciting, Fun, Sad, Interesting, and SO FILLED WITH LOVE!!! I can't adequately express how much I LOVE being a mom and the love I feel for my little son! He truly is a blessing in our home and each day fills our home with a sweet spirit! I absolutely love my little guy and can't believe how much he has changed so quickly! I just want to keep him small and sweet and innocent forever! However, knowing that is not possible I look forward to seeing more of his sweet little personality come out this next month! We love you little Cash!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Rarely does a show bring about my emotions, much less reduce me to tears, and yet after watching the season premier of BIGGEST LOSER last night, I was sitting there in a pool of my very own tears. Yes, folks, this show had me bawling like a baby.

I think it is awesome they have a reality show that actually does CHANGE PEOPLE -- and not just going from being a nobody to the next American Idol with all the fame and glamour, or signing a 110 million dollar contract for a show in Vegas, but actually changing people from being on the road to an early death to healthier, skinnier, happier, overall better people!

I had not watched previous seasons, and yet after watching last night I am hooked!!! I was completely caught up in the life stories of these individuals, their horrible health habits, and their struggles and internal turmoil they all have --- and I can NOT wait to see the results! After only 1 week some had lost as much as 30 lbs!

This is total inspiration, and as this is the first week I have been able to exercise since my little Cash was born, I am totally inspired to get off the couch and get exercising and eating healthier! Now, all I need is somebody to yell and be as tough on me as Bob or Gillian is on the new contestants --- any takers? I am currently in the market for a trainer!!! I am open to ALL advice as to how to get my body back to a pre-pregnant state!

Friday, September 12, 2008

What does it equal???

All the happenings of the last 3 weeks:

-Having a baby
-Almost dying while giving birth
-1 week visit from Mom (wish it could have lasted MUCH longer Grammy)
-Weekend visit from Sister-in-law Beth
-Labor Day Breakfast and 5k run (1 mile walk for me and Cash) with the ward
-Final Girls night out at my house in NC ---waffle/icecream night, Office re-runs, and lots of girl talk
-Goodbye party with all our AWESOME friends in NC
-Showing our house as much as possible to potential renters (we finally got some we think)
-Shedding many tears as my life in NC was coming to an end TOO quickly
-1 week visit from Chip's parents (we wish this could have lasted longer too)
-Blessing little Cash on September 7, 2008 in the Mountain Island Ward
-Hosting 50+ people for dinner after the blessing --- and yes, I did ALL the food!!! (turned out delicious thanks to all of Grammy's recipes)
-Shedding more tears as goodbyes were said to all my ward friends
-2 days of the Movers packing and loading all our stuff (thank heavens we didn't have to pack anything or try to move all our stuff ourselves --definitely the way to move)
-4 hour drive to new home
-1 night at a hotel since all our stuff was packed and not yet at our new place
-1 day watching loaders unload and unpack all our stuff into our new 3 story place -- yes, lots of stairs
-1 day going to Montpelier and dropping Chip's parents off in DC
-1 trip to Vapianos w/ our friends the Jardines -- the greatest restaurant ever in DC
-2 hour drive home very late at night w/ the best baby traveler ever
-1 day (today) of unpacking rest of stuff and organizing things in our new home in Charlottesville
-Much less sleep all of these nights due to feeding a newborn
-1 perfect little baby traveler who is the greatest little guy ever

What do all of these equal?

very, Very, VERY exhausted parents, missing camera cord at the moment, and yet a SUPER GREAT ADVENTURE and MEMORY MAKING MOMENTS in our lives!!!!!

Pictures to come soon of all these different events!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


As if having a baby and quitting my job weren't enough for life changing events all at one time --- but now add another HUGE one -- we are moving!!! Not just down the street or into another neighborhood here in Charlotte, but to another STATE! Next Tuesday we will be moving into our new place up in........Charlottesville, VA.

Yes, pretty crazy to move from Charlotte, NC to Charlottesville, VA --- but due to a job offer for Chip that we couldn't pass up, our little family will be relocating! I am extremely sad to be leaving our home here, which we love so much! More though, I am sad to be leaving our ward and wonderful friends we have met! We have made the greatest friends and thinking about not having them close makes me cry....thus i am still in denial of this move! (at least for 5 more days)

Anyways, I hadn't posted pictures of all the rooms in my house yet because I wasn't finished decorating, but due to us moving and my decorating coming to a halt - I wanted to put up a few pics of the place we have called home this past year!!! Hopefully we can find someone to enjoy it as much as we have!!!

Welcome to the Brown's Home

Common area right outside our home

Where the cookin' takes place

Other side of the kitchen

The dining room - w/ art picked out by Chip

Formal living room - Chip stained all the black tables!!!

Love the curtains - also picked out by Chip

The guest bedroom and office for 1 more week!

The master bedroom!

Master bathroom -- going to miss that big tub!

Also love the granite raised vanities in all bathrooms

Not featured: The baby room (will do that in the new house once it is finished); the upstairs family room where we spend most of our time hanging out and watching TV.

This is a little taste of where we have lived the past year........we will miss our house here a LOT --- being our very first House we bought ourselves it has SO MUCH sentimental value to us, and has been wonderful over this last year! We will miss it!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You Are a Purple Crayon

Your world is colored in dreamy, divine, and classy colors.

You hold yourself to a sky high standard, and you are always graceful.

People envy, idolize, and copy you without realizing it. You are an icon for those who know you.

And while it is hard to be a perfectionist, rest assured it's paying off!

Your color wheel opposite is yellow. While yellow people may be wise, they lack the manners and class needed to impress you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Missing GRAMMY already.........

We were so lucky to have had my mom come stay with us for the past week. We had a great time just resting, talking, eating good food, shopping, and hanging out! It was such a blessing to have the extra hands to hold little Cash when I needed a break or extra nap, the best babysitter ever so that Chip and I could leave for a few hours by ourselves, and the greatest example of what a mom should be staying with us!

I LOVE my mom and as Chip often says (and it IS so true) -- "if I turn out to be half as good a mother as my mom is to me I will be a success"!!! I truly do believe that as I am starting to realize more and more even in the 2 weeks I have been a mom how much work motherhood takes. I am so lucky to have had such a great mom and didn't think it would be so hard for me to say goodbye yesterday when the time came to take her to the airport. In fact, I cried myself to sleep the night before just thinking that she was going to be leaving and I wouldn't have her around or see her for another 2 months! Sad!!!

Cash also LOVES his GRAMMY (i refuse to call her Grandma because she seems too young to me to be a grandma --- and so we have settled on calling her Grammy). She was so good with him and he loved having her hold him and play with him, and by the end of the week I think he recognized her and knew her too!!! We will miss her a LOT, and will just have to settle for lots of time on the WebCam so she can still see her favorite grandson!!!

We love you Grammy!!! Thanks for the fun week!!!

Grammy w/ Cash on Sunday after church

Playing w/ Grammy

Grammy LOVED taking pictures of Cash playing w/ Dad!!!

She still has the magic touch and entertained Cash for hours!!!

Grammy was giving Cash a photoshoot every time we turned around!!!

Labor Day - off to the ward breakfast and 5K!

Finishing up our mile walk -- getting back into shape slowly!!!