Monday, January 31, 2011

Fun Weekend in NC!!!

We took a last minute trip down to NC this weekend to see friends and look at a few houses to buy. What a great time it was! I didn't take hardly ANY pictures, but have a few that others gave me or from my phone. Adria, you are the greatest hostess, and inspire me everyday to be a better home decorator, more relaxed parent, and better person. Thanks for being a great example to me. (I didn't get a pic of her but her cute kids are below!)

Purple Mustaches: cute Addilyn and Macey! (a delicious HEALTHY shake with spinach that we all enjoyed)
Cash and Alex also enjoyed it - and they had the most fun going to check these mustaches out in the mirror in the bathroom after!
Drink up Alex - this cutie is going to be one good athlete! He has some "mitts" as Chip put it - and was so good to Cashee!
Ah...LOVE Griffin's expression - so before we left they were "just hanging out" as Cash put told me!
Cute Cash - love him!
Griff loves Morgan, and as you see below is a good poser for pics it seems!
His first visit meeting "Aunt Vonni" as Cash calls her - we love her and Cash has asked 3 times today if we could go to Aunt Vonni's house to play.
Cash liked Zach and took to wrestling pretty quick.
Cash - shooting and hiding Zach

Way too funny these 3!

Mark, Chip, and Zach - pretty soon this kid is gonna outgrow Chip - he already outweighs him by quite a bit!
Yvonne, Me, and Morgan - oh boy - Morgan you are so grown up and I wish so bad you guys lived closer! We had a great day hanging with these guys! Thanks Yvonne for being my shopping buddy and once again helping me decorate and pick stuff out for Cash's seems you are always helping me with his room! haha (not a good pic of me but the only one I had with these 2 cute gals so had to put it in!)
It was such a short trip, and yet so fun to reconnect and feels like we never left in some ways. Only good CLOSE AWESOME friends can you not see for over a year and then call up and go stay with and resume as if you had never left! I LOVE my friends in NC and it was so great to see everyone! Can't wait for another visit. Then, on the way home we got to stop and eat dinner at the Petersons with my dear friend Emily Jones and her cute cute kids Lizzy and John, or little John as I call him! They were so cute and it was fun to see how big lizzy has gotten since our last playdate, which was before China. Can't wait for another one soon - come stay soon guys! The food was absolutely amazing and broke up the ride home for us perfectly - glad you provided that much needed rest stop and entertainment for us!
Also, think we found 2 great houses to purchase and that is exciting too - more to come of those and pics later.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bedtime Moves!!!

We did it - and it has been a TOTAL AWESOME success!!!
Cash moved into this cute little toddler bed and a new room on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, and Griff moved out of our room in the Pack 'n Play and into the crib in Cash's old room the same night! Can hardly believe we have our room back to ourselves, but I must say...."why did we not do this 4 months ago?" Oh wait, because we were moving across the world, transitioning all sorts of other things, and we are just finally now getting settled back in after the travels, sicknesses, and all that and ready to actually have normal lives again....or so we think!

Anyhow, Chip decided it was also a good time to get rid of the binky for Cash. I wasn't sold on it, and so for his first nap (ie the pics below, I gave it to him). That night when Chip came home Cash handed it to him and told him he was all done with it and to throw it away. Chip did, but then picked it up later and put it in his pocket. After Chip left back to work and I tried to put Cash down for bed, he wanted it back and wouldn't go to sleep. At 11 pm he was still up - and I was going crazy. I just wanted to give it to him, but Chip came home then and convinced him that Lottso - the bear on toy story- had taken it. Hmmm......lying to your kids! Not a good idea.

Anyways, we had to lay with him til he finally fell asleep, but Chip thought it would be fine. I told him he could get up with him in the night when Cash woke up crying. He said ok. Well, at 3 am the tears began (altho now I am not so sure it was over the binky). Anyways, after 10 minutes of screaming that he wanted his mommy and no even sort of calming down - I couldn't handle it and went back in there and ended up calming him and putting him to sleep while laying on the floor. Thanks Chip for the brilliant idea!

Well, Griffin on the other hand slept from 8 pm - 7:30 am, woke up, ate, and went back to sleep til 9. He did SO great and I am thinking the crib is much more comfy than the pack'n play - that or he isn't woken up by Chip's snoring. jk!

ANyhow, the next day Chip made a deal that Cash could have a big Buzz lightyear on Saturday if he went to sleep without his binky for the rest of the week. I thought it was crazy and once again, after listening to crying for 30 minutes over his nap, gave it to him and then he took a 3 hour nap. However, he threw it away upon waking up and told Chip when he came home he was big and didn't need the binky. We'll see I thought.

Well, last night he went right to bed - with NO binky, and slept through the night and was fine. So yeah for him! I still think naps are a little tough as he is currently upstairs yelling my name - but hey - one day at a time!

He LOVES his toy story bed and we love it too. We got this cute little pottery barn bed off craigslist with the mattress on a steal of a deal, and then the cute buzz and woody comforter set at Target and I am having so much fun decorating - pics of the room to come soon!

Sleep tight my little bed bugs (and now i am off to take a nap too with them!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some things are better here it is!

For a long time I have been pondering this very thing - and when I read this I just wanted to copy it and paste it over to my blog since I agree 100% with everything she said and she put it all so eloquently - Thank you Jessica, cute prego girl, for writing down my thoughts so well and letting me steal this post so I can refer back to it often and remember the wisdom in it. Thanks for taking time to write it down, me read it and copy it, and for feeling the exact same way as me! Thanks for being a great mom! The below post is written by Jessica Brown - and is so very true! I love it!


I was trying to evaluate why some days the kids behave so good and others behave so bad. After a lot of thinking and discussion, I came to the conclusion that the answer lies in my own attitude. It sounds so simple I know, but allow me to explain. On days when I have the right perspective in mind, I feel a sense of beauty in my roll as a mom. I feel excited to have a day with my kids. It's another day to teach them good things, to provide happy memories, and to laugh together. To make cookies, build forts, play princesses, have tea parties. To read books, memorize scriptures, learn primary songs, do chores, practice violin, color, learn to cut, learn to dress, learn, learn, learn. There is so much I want to teach and give my kids, so many memories I still want to create. On these days my kids are happy to be my kids. On these days my kids feel loved, because I have spent quality time with each of them. On these days my kids go to bed without a fuss, because they have gotten what they need and they are happy.

On the other hand, the bad days usually happen as a result of the bad attitude I wake up with. I wake up feeling behind and anxious. I have an unrealistic goal to accomplish too many things in one day. I have my own agenda, but none of it involves time with the kids. I have no clear goals or activities planned for them. They are in the way, and I need simply to just find things that will distract them from interrupting me. Instead of a mom, I feel like a babysitter, counting down the hours until my other half can relieve my of my motherly duties. I'm grouchy and mean. The kids get bored and want attention, and as a result act in a negative way to get the attention. On these days, I ironically get way less done than I should have. It is on these days that I don't feel like cooking anything for dinner. It is on these days that I go to bed feeling discouraged and regretful, but also, determined to make the next day better.

As a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a neighbor, a friend, a visiting teacher, and a member of the church, there are always going to be things that have to get done. I can't simply neglect the house, or my callings, or other relationships to focus only on my children. I don't think that is how life is meant to be. Family comes first, yes, but there are other things that also need to be taken care of in the line up. Children need to be loved. They need to have quality time with their parents, but they also need to learn to give, and to work, and to sacrifice.

Life is one big balancing act. It just is. And a part of our test on earth is to figure out how to beautifully balance life. I don't have it figured out, but I can tell you that I really think for me, my attitude of motherhood makes all the difference in how my day goes. And there are certain things that I have found ensure the "good attitude switch" to be turned on.

I read a book once on parenting, that gave the analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask first when the airplane is going down. It seems so wrong at first thought, to think of securing our own oxygen mask before securing our child's, but the point of the analogy is that if you don't have any oxygen, how are you going to save your children? I think this concept is naturally counter-intuitive for most of us mothers, because we want to give to our children before we give to ourselves. And often times we get to the end of the day, or perhaps the beginning of the day, and we realize we never even put our own oxygen mask on. I think we have to fight the natural selflessness that is in us, and be a little selfish, so that we can be even MORE selfless to others around us. For me, I have learned that there are certain things that give me oxygen, so that I can be a good mom to my kids, and have a healthy attitude of my roll as their mom. These things are what really make the difference in my good and bad days, and it has nothing to do with the attitude of my kids.

FIRST: The most important thing for me is to have meaningful prayer and scriptures study. The earlier on in the day kids wake me up. So I do it during nap/quiet time. But I always try to pray first thing in the morning, even if the kids are awake. I take a minute to myself to pray for guidance and help through my day. This is key for me.

SECOND: Exercise. Another obvious one. For me, if I have exercised, I'm just a happier person, and I have energy to do the things I want to do.

THIRD: Eat healthy. On days that I eat unhealthy, I feel discouraged, and have less energy. It is worth having a little self-control to feel good for the whole day. The better I eat, the better I feel and the better of a mother and wife I am. I love realizing that the key to happier days is something that I can control. It's all in my own attitude. It's all in putting on my own oxygen tank first so that I can have a good attitude and help my kids get the oxygen they need. My oxygen is studying the scriptures, having a meaningful prayer, exercising, and eating healthy. It's so empowering to realize that how my day goes is up to me, and no one else!

What's your oxygen?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


For the FIRST time ever I dressed these 2 as twinners in the same outfits!
They look pretty dang cute I think!

Happy boys!
My little sweetie pie!
Hello Handsome boy!
Enough photos - I am hungry!
Really Mom - I am done!!! (are those teeth buds I see on bottom?)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Family Photos in AZ....

Have I ever mentioned how much i LOVE my in-laws?
I have the BEST family ever to marry into!
We always have a blast with them, and this year was no exception!
I only wish we lived closer so we could hang out more!
I love you guys!
Family pictures are quite the event with 5 little kids - Cash was crazy the ENTIRE time because he wanted his WOODY toy (actually Cohen's) and threw fit after fit when we wouldn't let him hold it! But still - we got quite a few good shots!

Not to mention - they are a great looking bunch! The whole fam (minus Heidi)
Cool place huh?
4 sisters - BEAUTIFUL girls! So happy to call them my sisters!
Silly faces - we have way too much fun together!
The handsome Brown family - I think this looks like a picture that could be the picture of a cast for a new TV show - perhaps Traditional Family, or something like unto it?!!!

Hold hands and run! Trying to figure this out!

Precious - Cash and Della doo hugging - they LOVED playing together, and were so funny having their little conversations! (not to mention the best thing ever Adella blaming Cash for getting Hannah's purse and dumping all the stuff when she did it - it was awesome!) But they do love each other and are so sweet!

Chip and I - NOT my favorite pose, but boy do I love this guy and since it is only pic of just the 2 of us, I had to include it!

Love my little family of all boys!
Best buddies - love them to pieces!
The only pic Cash was happy for because he could finally hold Woody!
Cash saw this and said "why is Cash crying here?" My thoughts exactly when we were there - we gave him Woody to try to help - but he just didn't want to let him go!

Thanks Jamie for taking these and putting up with all the shennanigans of getting them done! I love you Browns!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas Catch Up!

We had a WONDERFUL Christmas this year - and pretty much celebrated with presents ALL month long it felt like! We really were so blessed and spoiled this year, and having kids to watch enjoy the spirit of Christmas (especially the getting - but trying to also enjoy the giving) was so much more fun!

Since we went to AZ for Christmas this year, we did our presents under the tree before we left! Cash could NOT have been more excited! Here he is with Griff before opening began!

Griff was happy in his Santa suit in the exersaucer, and Cash had his Harry Potter wand (aka his pencil)
Cash telling Griff we are going to open presents, and casting a spell on him too!
He opened this present first - and pretty much didn't care AT ALL about anything else -- should have saved it for last! O how he loves Toy Story! This picture doesn't even begin to describe his excitedment!
Daddy got a tool set with a battery operated drill that he wanted, some shirts, and some pictures of the family all framed! Cash was excited for the tool set too!
Here is Cash with all his presents - he wanted to play hoops but we were literally walking out the door to catch the flight as we finished unwrapping the last of the presents!
I would say we were sure spoiled - and also among the favorite presents was a bible book from Grammy - Cash and I read at least 50 pages a day (good thing they are short), and he always wants to read the same stories over and over! What a great Christmas for this little guy!
I was also REALLY REALLY spoiled this year and love what Chip gave me - my favorite things being the Iphone4 and this awesome new IMAC that I am typing on right now! (also for him) He really is the best present giver and always does awesome gifts! Thanks Santa baby!

Christmas morning was awesome! These cousins were so cute and I was a little worried about Cash freaking out over other presents and wanting theirs - but he was great and was helping Grandma Betty pass out all the gifts! He had SO MUCH FUN with cousins Adella and Cohen - and still talks about how he wants to play with Della Doo and Coco Bean all the time! Wish we lived closer!
While in AZ we had family photos (everyone was there but Heidi) and it was a bit crazy - but here is a little preview of some that were posted for us!

the whole family!
Cash was really frustrating to us as he brought Cohen's Woody and wanted to hold it for every picture. He threw an absolute fit when he couldn't have it! But still - these cousins are way too cute!
This was actually the last picture taken, and we were joking that we should try to get a shot with all the kids crying - well -- pretty much it occurred!

On a side note - Griff turned 6 months yesterday and is growing bigger each day! I love him to pieces, altho he has lately been giving me a run for my money! He wasn't sleeping and then upon Chip's arrival home last night he solved the problem in 5 minutes - put a hat on this little baldy head, and he slept through the night again - guess he was just a little cold! Let's hope that works tonight too! He is darling and so smiley, and by far the cuddliest one in the family! I love snuggling him in and holding him as he sleeps!

Cash loves him too and is a great big brother - getting things for him all the time, playing with him, talking to him, and making him laugh harder than anyone else ever can!

What a great life we have!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Burnt to a Crisp!!!

This is what happens when you cook fudge brownies for 25 minutes at 450 degrees!!!
Note to Self: the box says 350! (there is no 4 anywhere on the box - upon second look I realized this and wondered how I ever thought I saw 450)

Oh well - makes for a great picture frame for my cute little cheeser!
But really gross brownies and a horrible burnt smell!
Take 2 was much better - I would post a pic of them but they are already all gone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Cash has now had a cold since November 25, 2010!

Every time I think he is almost over it - BAM! It flares up again!
Last night with a temperature of over 102 - I was worried!

We got it down with Tylenol, but today at his nap as soon as he laid down it struck again and the fever was back up to 102!

I really REALLY would like for him to get rid of his drippy nose, cough, and hot fever for good! Please sicknesses - STOP attacking him NOW!!!

Poor Cashee - I love you and i just want you to feel better!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Starts tomorrow at my house!
All goals will be started than!

It is going to be a great year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ending a Decade....Starting Over!!!

It seems weird that this year is really over! Last year on this day I was still in Utah enjoying time with family, feeling sick and nauseous from pregnancy, anticipating with excitement and yet totally scared about the unknown of moving to China and what our lives would hold, trying to keep track of my one crazy and energetic 1 year old who seemed like a lot to deal with, and gearing up for my month of single parenthood while Chip would be off to China that seemed like it came too fast, and yet didn't end fast enough!

Now that has come and gone - and I am busier than ever with 2 cute and crazy boys that keep me on my toes all the time, I have survived 2 trips back and forth to China and found I LOVED living there and even sometimes miss it still! I survived having a birth there, have the cutest souvenir to show for it, had opportunities and experiences of a lifetime, met some of my bestest friends in the whole world that I will keep forever there, came back in time to share Halloween, bless Griffin, and enjoy my November trip to Utah, had the flight home from Hell that will go down as the worst flight ever from Utah back to VA, and then had a great month again before heading off for the holidays, including a trip for Chip to China, and my sister getting to come stay with me for a week! Wo! If I had to tell you what this year would have held in store for us I would have been way off --- and I am guessing that if I had to guess what this next year would hold I probably would be even farther off! And yet, I am starting to like that. The unknown is scary, daunting, and sometimes even seems a little too overwhelming to think about - and yet I have learned I am stronger than I think sometimes, and that the surprises and adventures sometimes lead to the best things - even if they are hard and I wish I could not have to endure them sometimes! I am actually really excited about this next year and seeing where we end up! I guess I am learning to embrace change, am a master at moving now and packing up, and I am excited about the opportunities and adventures ahead.

As this year closes I can't help but also think about the past decade. Where was I at 10 years ago? It is hard to believe what has happened since then. I was just a freshman in college, with my life completely ahead of me for me to choose the path....i was loving the social part of school, not really working on the academic side at this point, hadn't even given dance a try, hadn't met sooo many of my now best friends, was living in the dorms at BYU, didn't have a clue at what I really wanted to do, and life was just great! Well, than came a years of changing majors, my awesome introduction and obsession with ballroom dancing, new friends, boyfriends, loves come and gone, broken hearts, more new majors, the accounting program, the love of my life, masters programs, internships, marriage, moves to new states, new cities, and around the world, 2 kids, and now we are at today! WO! Tons of changes, and yet a fabulous 10 years to speak of! Most of my favorite memories of my entire life are within this decade! Seriously - what an awesome era!

So now, for what will come to pass the next decade - well, hopefully a few more kids to add to the family, staying in shape and becoming a hot mama and trophy wife, sporting events of the kids, school projects, family vacations, 10 year anniversary, baptisms, Cash getting the priesthood and becoming a deacon, family reunions on both sides, settling down somewhere we want to be for a long time, decorating a house how i want to, good health and success, and staying strong in the church! These are a few of my desires for the new year. I have a list of goals I have already set and am excited to dig in and achieve them all so I can check them off my list! I LOVE checking things off my list - even if it is something as simple as "eating dinner"! If it is on there, if i get to check it off I feel great about my productivity!

So anyways - what is on your list for this next decade?
And what were you doing 10 years ago at the start of it?