Monday, December 22, 2008

I've been sick, okay?

I've been terrible about updating my blog recently, but not without excuse. I'm making a baby. Doesn't that count for something? That basically means that I'm busy cooking all day long, every day. So for the next 26 weeks, if you need me, I'll be busy. Baby making is hard work. :)

This picture was taken in September before I knew I was pregnant. I was just trying to be funny. Little did I know that in one month's time, I wouldn't think it was so funny.

I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!
I found out that I was pregnant in October. In the middle of the month, I realized that I was late. I went to the store and bought a few home pregnancy tests. The first one was negative. The second one was subjective, the line was too faint. Casey wanted to be the judge of the next one, so we waited a day and did another one. He examined the stick before I peed, just to be sure there was no faint line there, and then examined it after. Another faint line appeared, but neither of us were convinced. We wanted solid evidence. I had an appointment with my physician that week and decided to do a more advanced pee test there. I've been doing a lot of peeing on demand lately, and so far so good. :)

Anyways, the doctor came in the room where I was waiting and said, "So you're pregnant, that's good." He was all nonchalant. I looked up at him and said, "Wait. Really? I am? They already have the results? Are you positive? I'm pregnant?" So it was his turn to be shocked. "Oh, well, yes you are. Did they not tell you that already? Oh. Yes. You're pregnant!" He tried to muster some excitement in that last statement. I started laughing and said, "Oh good, thanks for letting me know. Wow, okay." And then he followed it all up with, "This is a good thing, right? I mean, are you married? Did you want to be pregnant?" That made me laugh harder, and I said, "Yes, I'm married. And yes, I want a baby. It's all just really surreal right now." He continued on with the physical and then sent me over to get my blood work done.

There I was, sitting in the lobby, and all of a sudden there were all of these moms everywhere with their babies and a bunch of pregnant girls. That's when it hit me. I started crying and laughing all at the same time and making a spectacle of myself. I texted Casey, "Guess what? You're going to be a Daddy!!!!!!!" He called me and we were both just kind of in shock, laughing, crying, and talking about how surreal it all was that we were really going to have a baby. So that's how it all started.

THROWING UP NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD
A week later I went to Utah over Halloween to take care of my Dad. I was kind of feeling a little bit squeamish, but nothing bad. I totally thought I was going to be one of those lucky pregnant woman that doesn't get sick. I was almost 7 weeks by then, and I feel like I cursed myself. That next week I started feeling terrible. I woke up feeling bad, then it progressively got worse while I was at work. The next thing I know, I'm running from my desk to the bathroom down the hall and throwing up at work. Low point. Sitting on the work bathroom floor and hugging the porcelain, very low point. And I still haven't told anyone at work that I'm preggars, so I'm now the bulimic girl. Oh joy. I thought throwing up at work was going to be the worst it could get. Boy, was I wrong. Throwing up at work is now just part of my workday routine. Check my email, check my voicemail, get organized, throw up, attend a meeting, and so on and so forth with the puking intermixed.

A few weeks later, I was at the gyno begging for anti-nausea pills. Zofran. The miracle pill. One little pill could curb my nausea for almost an entire work day. The medication in no way makes you feel better, it just takes the edge off of constantly dry-heaving and throwing up. I still felt extremely nauseated all day long, but I stopped throwing up almost all together. Except for a few really bad days here and there where I would just spend most of the day experimenting with what food would help. Apple sauce? Yes, wait noooooo. Down the toilet. Toast? Yes, wait maybe noooooooot. Flush. Cereal? Ugh, no. Crackers? Nope. Those days Zofran didn't help, but those days only came once a week. The best part is when people would say to me, "Well it's a good sign that you're sick. Means your baby is healthy and active." I would look at them and want to say awful things that I should never repeat again. But I guess since my baby is doing somersaults in my stomach and making me hate life and feel miserable, that I have something to be grateful for. Like I said before, making a baby is hard work.

BABY SIGHTING #1 (7 weeks)
The first ultra sound went well except for the part where they didn't tell me it was an inner-ultra sound. Imagine my surprise when they were like take your pants off and open up. I was picturing how they do it in the movies all cute with the jelly on your tummy. Sorry, no. Not for the first one at least. Let's just say it was a bit painful, with pressure, and awkward. But I guess I need to get used to all of that stuff down there. The doctor said everything looked great. Strong heartbeat, good size, and everything that was supposed to be in there, was there. Doctor said, "Kind of looks like a gummy bear, doesn't it?" To which my helpful husband replied, "I LOVE gummy bears." Good Casey. Maybe you'll have that in common?
BABY SIGHTING #2 (11 weeks)
Second ultra sound was a little rocky, but worked out in the end. Apparently my uterus is really far back, not sure what that means. The doctor tried doing the cute jelly on your tummy routine with me, but to no avail. She couldn't find the baby. What? Seriously? So once again I had a play date with the inner-ultra sound thingy, but since it was old news to me by now, I was a pro. Then it took like 30 mins of her jabbing around inside me to try to get a good shot of the baby. She kept saying, "Wow, you're baby is so long that I'm having a hard time fitting all of him on the screen." Casey was beaming at that point. I just wanted the jabbing to stop. Finally she got a few good shots of the baby and said that everything looked great. Her guess was 70% chance it's a boy. Casey, beaming, all over again.
BABY SIGHTING #3 (12 weeks)
The third ultra sound went fantastically. It was a sequential screen where they measure the back of the baby's neck to check for down syndrome and other various genetic disorders. This one was the best, by far! It was just like the movies. A dark, quiet, warm room with scented candles and Christmas music playing in the background. Casey and I holding hands while we watched our baby on the plasma TV. And a warm jelly on the belly ultra sound. I loved every minute of it. I wanted to stay in there all day long looking at our baby. We got great shots of his profile, his hands (he was totally waving at us, my kid's a genius), his legs, and his little body. And we got to hear his little heartbeat! It was so much fun. Luckily our baby was moving around so much that the nurse couldn't get a clear shot of the neck. So we were in there forever just checking out baby Patterson. I know now why I've been so sick. This baby is a mover and a shaker. He was dancing and jumping all over the place and would do exactly opposite of whatever the nurse needed him to do in order to get a good shot. It was hysterical. Then all of a sudden he went to sleep. Which made me super sleepy. I totally fell asleep on the table with my baby asleep inside me. Awww, so cute. Then another doctor had to come in to help the nurse get a good shot of the neck. They both said that everything looks really great, and they think it's a boy, but still too early to tell.

ENTER SECOND TRIMESTER
I'm 14 weeks right now and finally in the second trimester. I'm actually starting to feel a lot better. I have only had two Zofran in the last four days, which is huge. And the nausea is now tolerable. I don't feel sick all day long, but I throw up at least once a day still. Hopefully the sickness will be over soon, and I can start really enjoying this little baby inside of me. I can't wait to start feeling him moving around and kicking. Despite all of my complaining, I really feel so blessed to be carrying one of God's children inside of me. I cannot wait to be a mom. I wish my Mom was still here with us to enjoy this with me. But I'm so happy that my Dad is still here with us. He is doing really good. Check out his Phil Brown Updates blog in my family section if you want to know more about how he is doing.

We will be finding out the sex in mid-January, so I'll let you know how that goes. Boy or Girl, Casey and I are so happy to be entering the parent/family stage of our lives.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm it. I'm always it.

I have been tagged three times since starting my blog, and I have yet to participate. I keep putting if off and hoping to find time to do it later. I guess later is now. The following will be a far too long post in response to those three tags. Enjoy!!!

HUSBAND TAG
Name: Casey Ryan Patterson
1. Where did you meet? Health class at BYU
2. How long did you date before you got married? 1 year
3. How long have you been married? 3 and 1/2 years
4. Who is smarter? Book smart- me. Health, fitness, vball, construction- him
5. What is your favorite feature of his? His height
6. Who cooks more? Me
7. Does he have a nickname for you? Yes...princess or kid
8. Who is the first to admit they are wrong? Usually him
9. What is his favorite food? BBQ Chicken or corn chips with crazy dip concoctions
10. What is his favorite sport? Volleyball
11. When and where was your fist kiss? June 2004, playing spin the bottle in his apartment
12. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? Cuddle and watch a movie at home
13. Does he have a hidden talent? He can juggle anything and he's really good with nun-chucks
14. How old is he? 28
15. Who said I love you first? He did. One of my all-time favorite moments.
16. Guilty pleasures? Volleyball. Volleyball. Volleyball. Sneaking candy.
17. What do you admire most about him? His passion
18. Do you think he will read this? Probably not

Three's
3 Joys
1. Casey
2. Disneyland
3. Family

3 Fears
1. Dying young
2. Losing Casey
3. Failing

3 Goals
1. Start working out again
2. Find a job that will let me work from home
3. Scrapbook

3 Current Obsessions
1. TV
2. Sleeping
3. Year supply

3 Random Surprising Facts About Me
1. I'm pregnant. Tee hee.
2. I watch an average of 4 hours of TV every night after work. Guilty pleasure.
3. I set 4 alarms every night and I have to check each one 3 times before I can go to sleep. Even though I always wake up to the first one. Just in case, I guess.

Eight's
8 Favorite TV Shows
1. Gossip Girl
2. 90210
3. Privileged
4. Fringe
5. The Office
6. 30 Rock
7. Project Runway
8. Top Chef

8 Things I Did Yesterday
1. Slept in
2. Ate three bowls of cold cereal
3. Went to church
4. Taught the Young Women's lesson
5. Ate 6 large dill pickles and a heaping plate of nacho's
6. Watched 4 movies
7. Cuddled and cried with Casey
8. Fell asleep in his arms

8 Things I Look Forward to
1. Thanksgiving in Utah with my family
2. Listening to Christmas music
3. Christmas parties and Christmas time
4. Moving to a bigger apartment
5. Not feeling sick anymore
6. Having a baby
7. Being a mom
8. Not working anymore

8 Things On My Wish List
1. Take a tropical vacation with Casey
2. Tour Europe again
3. Go on a cruise
4. Visit New York City
5. A healthy baby
6. Be a good mom
7. Raise a close, loving, and faithful family
8. Casey's volleyball dreams to come true

I tag Nikki, Jenny, and Kimmy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VOTE for me???

Please don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday, November 4th. This is a very important election for our country. Let your voice be heard.


Also if you live in California, please read up on Proposition 8. Please help us keep marriage between one man and one woman. It will affect more than you think. My friend Carrie sent me this amazing article, and it really explains how I feel about Prop 8. Please read it and decide for yourself.

Prop 8: It's Impact: GREAT by Susan Noyes Anderson

"I'll begin by affirming that I have no bias against gay individuals or groups per se and that I respect them as friends and associates. Neither do I oppose domestic partner statutes affording them any and all legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples in a marriage relationship. (Family Code 297.5) What I do oppose, specifically, is changing the legal definition of marriage to anything other than between a man and a woman. Here's how I see it. Domestic partnership is a newer status, engendered (and rightfully so) to support/protect the rights of same-sex couples. Marriage, on the other hand, is an ancient institution with well-established parameters developed more years ago than any of us would want to count and supporting/protecting not just the relationship between a man and a woman but the children that naturally result from the biological nature of such a union.

It is my deeply held belief that marriage is ordained of God as a sort of three-way contract with Him, made by a man and a woman who wish to welcome God's spirit children into their home. It is also my deeply held belief that no man or woman has a "right" to expand or redefine an institution as set forth by God. His law is not ours to change. We have no authority, as the California Supreme Court apparently believes it has, to "legislate from the bench."

Of course, I understand that not every American or Californian agrees with me, and I have no problem with that at all.
There are many, however, who do agree. A number of people in our country (myself included) view marriage as a sacred estate whose purpose, at base, is procreation. Countless more, while not seeing this as a religious issue, are simply opposed to the idea of making marriage an umbrella category for every type of pairing entered into by committed individuals.

In their purely secular view, marriage is marriage and domestic partnership is domestic partnership...historically, two different things. Indeed, why imbue an already established word, "marriage," with new definitions? It becomes confusing. Such new definitions, arguably, are best served by an equally new word. Should an e-mail address have the same nomenclature as a url? They are both internet addresses, but the dynamic, the process, and the end result of their use differs. Specificity in naming them, therefore, makes sense.

Other groups who support Proposition 8 are concerned about the manner in which a liberal state Supreme Court stepped in to overturn a law voted on and put in place by the people of California. Furthermore, a number of legal experts feel that the Court's ruling has established gay individuals as a "protected class." This status would likely make it difficult for individuals who are not gay to prevail in lawsuits where religious rights and gay rights come into conflict. Recently a doctor, whose personal religious views and conscience did not permit him to inseminate a lesbian woman, was sued by her and lost, even though another doctor agreed to perform the procedure. She had alternatives, in other words, but she was not satisfied with them. This suggests to me that the purpose of her suit was to satisfy one thing and one thing only: the need to see her rights as a gay person prevail over this man's right to freedom in practicing his religion according to his conscience. In all fairness, whose rights would be most violated here? Does his choice keep her from being inseminated as a lesbian woman? No. Does her choice to sue him (and win) keep him from practicing his beliefs (and medicine) as a religious man? Yes. She has other options. He does not. And yet, her rights prevailed...a harbinger, many people believe, of things to come. At the very least, a legal precedent has been set.

Another potential problem has been seen in Boston, where gay marriage is already legal. Catholic Charities has closed down operations there because it cannot arrange adoptions for same-sex couples and still maintain integrity with Catholic beliefs. Even though same-sex couples could have used other adoption agencies, the operative agenda was to see a gay person's right to adopt win out over the Catholic church's right to practice its religion and manage its adoption agencies in accordance with its core beliefs. Once again, religious rights lost the battle where there should be no battle at all. In essence, the right of gay couples to adopt at ANY agency they might want to approach was deemed more important than the right of an agency (run and based upon the Catholic religion and its tenets) to self-determine in accordance with its core beliefs. The Church was forced to either surrender its own rights or shut down. In this instance at least, gay rights trumped the rights of a religious group or individual. Where is the justice in that, especially if it becomes the national precedent? Where is the justice in having schools (at best) validate and (at worst) present ideas of marriage and family that are directly contrary to parents' religious beliefs? Should churches be sued if they refuse to allow same-sex marriages in their religious buildings that are open to the public? These are all concerns of mine.

More than a few opponents of Proposition 8 label any person who supports the idea that only a man and a woman should be eligible for marriage as a "hater." Those who espouse same-sex marriage too frequently view those who oppose it as (best case) homophobic and (worst case) bigots who want to deny the rights of fellow citizens simply because their lifestyle does not agree with more traditional views. Both of these assumptions are patently unfair. What's more, they worry me, for they suggest that views based upon religion are now being classed with views based on racism, ageism, or other prejudices. Religion is not a prejudice, it's a right, as valid and sacred as any other. Yet, opinions based on religious belief have become suspect, and the right to exercise religion is becoming somehow "less worthy" than other rights. People do have a right to act in accordance with their religious beliefs, and those beliefs should be respected, not suspected.

Contrary to (some) popular opinion, it is entirely possible to believe that men should not "marry" men and women should not "marry" women without bearing any malice at all toward the men and women in question. I fully support their right to form loving, committed unions under the protection of fair and equitable domestic partnership laws. For me, supporting Proposition 8 is simply about believing that marriage as an institution is ordained of God, between a man and a woman, with procreation as its greatest end. Period.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Family is Forever

Thank you for your concern and your prayers on my father's behalf. He is doing better. He will be released from the living facility today and go home for the first time in three weeks. He is excited to be home. He is still very weak, but doing better. I am flying to Utah to take care of him over Halloween. I'm so excited to just sit and talk with him. I will update you on his health after I spend some time with him. For more information on how he is doing, go to Phil Brown Updates in my family section. My sister Nikki and my family in Utah update that regularly.

Casey and I were fortunate to go to Utah in August for a Phil Brown Family Reunion. As soon as we heard of Dad's Stage 4 cancer, we knew we needed to get together. We wanted to spend time with him and get a family picture. The last family picture we took was the day after Casey and I were married three years ago. Yes, that's right, Casey and I had to come to a family gathering the morning after our first night "together". Awkward. Well awkward seeing my Dad, but just funny when everyone else, including my little nephews, were making fun of us. The photographer had problems with his camera that day, so we got a good shot, but it was fuzzy. We took this opportunity to spend time with our Dad and to get the last big group shot that we will ever take. You can't possibly imagine how hard it is to get everyone together. For the first time in ages, we had every single member of the Phil Brown family present and accounted for in this picture.

It was definitely a memorable experience trying to get one sick grandpa, eleven kids, eleven spouses, thirty-four grandchildren, and one grandchild-in-law into one photo with everyone smiling. The pictures turned out great. We were so happy. The photographer has not finished cleaning them up and we haven't picked the large group shot yet, but here are some samples of how good they were.

Here are the people that I am going to spend forever with. I love them all so much.

Phil Brown Family 2008

Dad with his 11 kids

All 11 siblings from oldest to youngest

The Patterson Family 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update on Dad

Philip Ray Brown (8/7/08)

I posted earlier about my Dad being diagnosed with stage 4 Multiple Myeloma (plasma cell cancer). There have been a lot of changes since then so I thought I would update his situation. The doctors were relieved in the beginning that he had this type of cancer because it typically responds well to radiation. The radiation makes it go into remission and MM cancer patients can live years with this disease. We took that as good news. And I was excited that we were talking years instead of days. But as with all types of cancer, you never know what to expect.

My Dad finished radiation treatments a few weeks ago. One of his tumors was almost completely gone, so we knew it was working. When the radiation was over, he was supposed to return to himself (meaning less pain, more energy, more mobility, and more Phil-like), but that was not the case. His body started deteriorating after the radiation treatments. He got a yeast infection on his throat (didn't know that was possible, but Dad's body found a way for it to happen) and couldn't eat for a week. His body has become frail and weak. (The doctor explained to us that his bones were like swiss cheese with holes inside of them because of the MM.) One night he got up in the middle of the night without his walker and fell over which resulted in four broken ribs. Those broken ribs, along with many other pains, make it hard for him to breathe and to walk.

At the beginning of this week, the doctor thought that he had a blood clot in his lungs. And I just found out today that my Dad has pneumonia and is being admitted to the hospital as I write this. This scares me for two reasons in particular. One is that I'm not there and that is killing me. The second reason is that with his weakened condition, he has a small chance of fighting the pneumonia. Especially in a hospital rampant with disease. And he's old. So today I write this post in hopes that whoever reads this will say a small prayer for my Father, Philip Ray Brown. A prayer of hope that he will not be in pain any longer whether that means he is with us longer or he joins my Mom in Heaven.

Thank you.
Lexi, Casey, & Dad (8/7/08)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Love Playing Dress-Up

My favorite thing to do when I was little was to play pretend and dress-up. Whether that meant dressing myself up or dressing up my barbies, it didn't matter, as long as pretend and dressing up was involved. So when my friend Parker invited me to play on her Six-Man team, I was more than happy to play because the Six-Man tournament is like pretend dress-up for the adult volleyball world. I played on the Sunset Tan team and Casey played on the Spyder team (aka 801 team filled with his Utah buddies). It was so much fun. You dress up and play volleyball. Does it get better than that? My team ended up taking 16th place and Casey's team took 3rd place. This is definitely going to be an annual thing for us. Here's a picture journal of the weekend.

Sunset Tan Team 2008 (I'm kneeling in the middle)

Spyder Team 2008 (Casey's standing far left)

Me blocking the ball

My hot man,"Thor"

Coral, me, Baja, Rica, & Blair watching the boys play

Me & my Baja (Yes, that's a fake horse she's holding)

Baja & Tyler

Two of my favorite girls. Rica & Baja (ELK 4 LIFE)

My favorite guy with two of my favorite girls

Casey's man friend Joaquin

The Kids at the 2008 Manhattan Beach Six-Man tournament

Friday, August 29, 2008

Closet Whale Rider

Have you seen Whale Rider? I have. I own it, I love it. There are two main things that I love about Whale Rider. The first one being that it's my favorite movie to act out in charades. (Remember that ELK?) Ask me sometime and I'll show you. You'll never forget it.

The second and most important thing is that I have secretly wanted to be a whale trainer my whole life. What's that? Yes, I am a closet whale rider. Except that I've never actually ridden a whale. So I'm a closet whale rider hopeful. My family used to go to SeaWorld a lot when I was young and I fell in love with Shamu. I was also awed by the fact that those lucky trainers in whale suits got to swim with her. Maybe a little jealous too. I have a secret fantasy that whales are drawn to me and if given the opportunity to bond/train with one, I would be like the boy on Free Willy or the girl on Whale Rider. My Shamu would love me, do anything I asked, and we would do things that trained whales have never done before. At least that's how it goes in my fantasy.


So, Casey had a volleyball tournament in San Diego in July and I found out that he had never been to SeaWorld. WHAT???? How is that even possible? So I took it upon myself to remedy that right away. Luckily our friends Mark and Janean have season passes, so Casey was able to fulfill my childhood wish for free!!! (sidenote: I am obsessed with theme parks and adventure parks. Casey cannot stand them. He goes only to make me happy. So when I told him he was going to love SeaWorld, he was like, yeah okay Lex. Surprise, surprise. Casey did end up loving SeaWorld because there were no rides to make him sick, he didn't have to walk very much or stand in lines, and he just had to sit back and watch animal shows all day. For Casey that equals a fun day at an adventure park.) The best part of the day was of course, the Shamu show Believe. That was when Casey truly found out about my secret whale trainer fantasy. All he said was, "Cute kid." How patronizing. I guess he just doesn't understand my true passion and gift. Whales are drawn to me. He just doesn't see it.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Glimpse Into the Future...

The other day I got an email from my friend Jenn Pilch. She's quite the character. She said that she had a glimpse into my future. I couldn't stop laughing at what she sent me. Before I get into that though, this is how it all started. She says that every time I call her, she thinks to herself, "Oh my gosh, Lexi's pregnant and she's calling to tell me." It's a good thing I don't call her every day. So we had a long conversation the other day about the different ways to tell people you're pregnant. We both decided a text was completely kosher, but I promised to her that if I was pregnant, I would call her. Just so that when I am actually pregnant and calling her to tell her, she can say, "I knew it. I knew that's why you were calling me." :) Anyhoo, back to the glimpse. She sent me an email with actual proof of what my future son will look like. Here was her reasoning:
  • Lexi looks like Julia Roberts.
  • Casey looks like Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone years).
  • Therefore, our son will look like a Macaulay and Julia offspring.
Well, it just so happens that Julia Roberts does have a son, not with Macaulay, who strangely resembles Macaulay Culkin. Jenn sent me this picture just to show me what I can look forward to someday. So without further adieu, here he is in all his glory, our son, Macauley Roberts Patterson.


Isn't he adorable? We're so proud.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Casey in the AVP

The main reason we are living here in Huntington Beach, CA is so Casey can follow his dream of being a professional beach volleyball player on the AVP tour. It's not like he had to twist my arm to live here, I mean c'mon it's California and we live three blocks from the beach. It is just hard to be away from my family and friends in Utah. Whenever I am missing Utah or thinking about how expensive everything is, all I have to do is look at Casey's beaming face after a he plays, and I realize that it's all worth it. Casey is living his dream, and I'm helping him.

In July, I watched Casey play in the AVP Long Beach tournament where he took 9th place. I was so happy that I finally got to see him play! Casey has impressed me so much this year with his passion for the game, determination to get better, and his work ethic. There has been a lot of buzz about Casey this year with AVP players calling him "the next big thing" and "an up and coming AVP star". I'm not sure if he believes it yet, but I do. I'm so proud of him. This was his first full time season playing and he already did so much better than we had hoped. I can't wait to see how he does for the rest of this summer and the summers to come. All the way to the London Olympics in 2012!

P.S. In September, Casey was nominated as "Rookie of the Year" for the 2008 AVP season. He didn't end up winning, but it was a huge honor to be nominated. We attended the AVP end of season banquet and it was so fun to rub elbows with all the Olympians. Hopefully that will be Casey some day. :)

Patterson Family Affair

On Monday, July 21, 2008, Casey's Grandpa Apperson passed away. Lloyd Apperson was 89 years old and though I only knew him a short time, I quickly gained a respect and deep love for him. He was a WWII Veteran who cherished his faith, his family, and his music. And I am proud to be a part of his legacy.

I remember the first time I met Grandpa Apperson. We drove over to the Veteran's hospital where he was living to see him. As I walked into Grandpa Apperson's room and he embraced me for the first time, I felt like I had known him forever. He was so special to me, the instant I saw his smiling face. I just knew he was my grandpa, and I could feel his love for Casey and I. We sang, talked, laughed, cried, and visited. He played the guitar and mandolin for us, always with a smile on his face. I will cherish the time we spent with him, and I am fortunate to have great memories of him to pass onto my children.
The funeral was very healing and inspiring as we joined together to remember a great man. After the funeral we all gathered at the Patterson's house to celebrate his legacy of music and family. Good times! Grandma Apperson is such a courageous, kind, fun, and selfless woman who just loves her family to pieces. It was so great to watch her happiness, despite the loneliness she felt, at having her family gather around her and lift her spirits up.











Thursday, August 21, 2008

Funk, Funkety, Funk

You know how you feel when you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night and you know what's going on, but at the same time you don't understand it clearly? Kind of dazed and confused? That's how I've felt for the past month. I'm kind of in a fog, a funk if you will. And I am using that as my excuse for why I haven't posted anything lately. In the mean time, here is a picture of something that made me smile recently. I couldn't agree more...

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Daddy and Me


Some of you may know this already, but most of you don't. I just wanted to share with you what has been happening since July 9th.

My Dad, Philip Ray Brown, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 Multiple Myeloma (MM) also known as plasma cell cancer. MM is a type of cancer of plasma cells which are immune system cells in bone marrow that produce antibodies. Myeloma is incurable, but remissions may be induced with various treatments.

We have been waiting for over two weeks to get this diagnosis. It might seem strange to hear that this is actually good news, but it is. Originally we thought it was terminal. We thought this was the end. We were saying our goodbyes. Then we took more and more tests, saw a few more doctors, waited more, and then received a hopeful prognosis. The doctor said that he could probably live a few more years with treatments. Years. Not days. That is really good news, considering. It's not curable, but it is controllable. Treatments will include radiation on the 2 largest tumors on his chest and pelvis, and various pills for the 6 smaller tumors in his ribs, spine, and upper back. He is in a lot of pain and can barely walk, but the doctor assures us that the treatments will help to subside this by shrinking the tumors. He has a long hard road ahead of him with radiation and treatments, but he is still here with us. Here for longer than we thought. And that in itself is so comforting.

It's strange how much a day can mean to you when it could be the last day. A year seems like an eternity and I'm so grateful that I have the possibility of more time with him. I love my Dad very much. He makes my life better because he's in it.

Thank you to my family and dear friends for all of the love, support, flowers, and prayers. For more information on my Dad and updates on his health, check out the Philip Ray Brown Updates link in my family section.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I love me some red, white, and blue!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays! Here are the top reasons why I go crazy for Independence Day:

Celebration. Casey and I celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary on July 1st. It's so nice having our anniversary by the 4th because there is always a guaranteed day off of work and so many fun things to do. And our anniversary always ends in fireworks! I love Casey very much. He is so good to me and I'm very grateful for him in my life. Happy 3-year anniversary kid!



Concerts. Casey surprised me with tickets to watch the firework spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl. I was super excited because I have always wanted to go ever since watching Bette Midler perform there on "Beaches". It was inspiring to sit in the hills of Hollywood and listen to the great patriotic songs of our nation played by the LA philharmonic. The production ended with an incredible firework show right behind the Bowl. We loved every minute of it. Casey did a great job of planning a romantic and fun anniversary weekend for us!



Competition. This year I was excited for the annual 4th of July Huntington Beach 5K race and breakfast. I made it to the race but I had crazy shin splints from preparing for the run all week, so I biked the 5K on my beach cruiser. I'm pathetic, but still patriotic!



BBQ's. Casey was out of town for a beach volleyball tournament on the 4th, so I went with the Morphy's to a ward BBQ. It was so fun to sit around and talk to the ward members and eat all day long. Then I came back from that BBQ and my apartment complex was having another BBQ, so I sat around with them and enjoyed it all over again! My neighbor, Diana West, sang us the most beautiful a cappella version of "God Bless America". It was the perfect theme to a perfect day.

Parades. The HB parade ran down main street where we were having our BBQ, so we sat on the lawn and watched the parade as it passed by. It was so fun and inspiring to see the little kids perform and the veterans walk with pride. The parade was so fun, all 3 hours of it!!



Patriotism. Everywhere I went and everywhere I looked in HB there were flags, banners, and the bold freedom colors of red, white, and blue declaring our independence. As members of the armed forces passed by, there was silence and thanksgiving. This holiday reminds me what it is to be a citizen of the United States of America. We are so blessed and fortunate.


Relaxing in the Sun. One of the best things about this holiday is that there is a lot of sitting, talking, relaxing, and enjoying the beautiful weather. I went to the beach with some of the families from my apartment complex and it was so fun to just sit there in the sun and talk. My whole weekend was spent hanging out with family and friends in the sun. That for me is the best time there is.

Music. What's a 4th of July without a stake church production? The Huntington Beach Stake put on a patriotic production that was filled with families all singing and dancing to our Nation's favorite songs. Watching the little children sing about peace, love, and freedom brought tears to my eyes. They were so bright-eyed and ready for the future. And we all stood with our hands on our hearts as we listened to "The Star Spangled Banner" and watched the men and women of the armed forces in our stake conduct the American Flag ceremony. I love our flag; what it represents, and what it has witnessed.



Fireworks! I ended my Independence Day celebration with the Morphy's at the HB pier where we watched another incredible firework show. The fireworks were shot off the pier and it was magical to see the lights dance across the ocean. It felt like you could reach out and touch them!


Remember that there is no time like the present to share memories and laughter with those you love. It was beautiful to sit and watch the simple joy of a child's first firework show. The 4th of July is such a happy occasion. I feel like a little girl full of wonder and awe each time it comes.