Sunday, August 28, 2011

Two Big Boys

Guy Smiley turned three months old on August 24th! He is getting so big. Guy has a smile that is so infectious and he wears it constantly. All you have to do is make eye contact with him and he'll reward you with his million dollar smile. It gets me every time. He is a very sweet baby and loves the presence of his big brother Cash. He quiets down and stares whenever Cash is near. Just hoping for some interaction with him. Cash is so sweet with him. He loves giving him hugs, sometimes a little too roughly, and loves to come over and act like he's taking care of Guy. "Oh, da beebee," he says. And then he'll pet his head, rub his foot, attempt to put the binky in, or give him a toy to play with. I caught him going in while Guy was sleeping and putting toys in the pack n play just in case Guy wanted to play with them. I love seeing those two interact. 


Here is what I've learned about Guy in three months: He has a very impatient side when it comes to feeding time. He wants it and he wants it right now! Otherwise he is a very good baby. He can roll from his belly to his back and then back to his belly from both sides. He coos all day long. He just started laughing a little bit. He can grab toys and hold on to them a little better. He smiles more than any other baby I've ever seen. Still has red hair, although it is growing in strawberry blond on top. He is strong for his age. And he drools like nobody's business. Most importantly, he is such a sweetheart. On days when I feel like I just can't do it anymore, he gives me a big ole smile and makes me instantly feel happier. I just love him to pieces.

He was cooing and talking like crazy in this picture.

Cash is sleeping in his big boy bed! He slept in a bed part of the time that we were at the homestead, so we decided to try it out when we got back. We put the twin bed in his room on the floor and hoped for the best. It hasn't been easy, but it's going a lot better than I expected. In the beginning, we had to lay down by him for a while before he would be okay with us leaving or he would fall asleep. After a few weeks, he just needs a bedtime story and then he is good to go. Naptime has been a little bit tricky, but it's been okay. He cries when I shut the door for naptime, but only for a little while. He plays with his toys for a while and I have no idea where he ends up, but he sleeps eventually. One morning I walked in to check and see if he was even on the bed and snapped these pictures. I can't believe how big my little Cashman is. Next step...potty training.

My two big boys.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Remembering Dad

It's the one-year anniversary of my Dad's passing and I spent the day doing nothing. Casey was in Norway and the boys and I weren't feeling great. So we just sat around the house. I had a lot of time to think about my Dad. Man, do I miss that guy. I wanted to pick up the phone and hear his voice. Or tell him about all the funny things that Cash is saying/doing and how cute Guy is. I can just hear him making a joke about Guy's name. He had a great laugh. For me it wasn't a sad day. It was a day to remember him and what a great Dad and Grandpa he was.

My Dad was always very supportive of my athletic career, but it was after my Mom passed away that he became very involved in my day-to-day life. He worked really hard to make sure that he was there for me in ways that my Mother would have been. We worked together to figure out dinners, laundry, cleaning, and family time. He was always there to help me solve a problem when I went away to BYU. He reassured me that he was only a phone call away. I spent most of my college life calling him for advice on everything. He never missed one of my home games at BYU and missed only a few of my away games. We were a team. We were as close as a father and daughter could be. And I miss that. But I'm grateful that he was there guiding me, encouraging me, disciplining me, inspiring me and supporting me over the past ten years. I have a great amount of respect for my Dad and such a deep love for him. He is missed, but always remembered.

Brown Reunion 2011

We traveled to the Whiting Homestead in Northern Arizona for my family reunion on my Dad's side in August. Casey surprised me by coming home from his world travels to road trip with us. I was so happy and relieved to have him there not only for his help, but also because it meant we were spending time as a family. The road trip felt longer than it actually was because our little Honda Accord was packed to the brim with camping stuff, baby stuff, and clothes. We are quickly outgrowing our little car. To break the trip up, we stopped half way and stayed the night at our friends Erica and John's house. We had a little bbq/swim party, and then danced and karaokeed the night away to Michael Jackson on the Kinect for Xbox 360. It was uh-mazing. I love hanging out with the Crismon's. Also, my friend Carrie was visiting from Australia so she joined in on the fun too!

The Whiting Homestead goes back generations in my family to my Great-Grandpa, Edwin Marion Whiting, and my Great-Grandma, Anna Maria Isaacson, who started it as a place for their family to gather. Now four generations later, Cash and Guy are visiting the homestead and playing with their cousins. Growing up in Mesa, we spent summers there to escape the heat in the valley of the sun. Some of my earliest memories are of exploring the woods, building forts and swinging on the rope swing with cousins. It is one of my favorite places on earth. I am so happy to be passing this tradition on to my little family.

Cash had a blast just being a boy. He was totally in his element. Getting dirty, exploring, making new friends, and following his cousins around. Here are some pictures to show how much fun we had.

We were there for six days and I wish we could have stayed there longer. I know I say this a lot, but I really love my family. They are just the best. I have the best time with them and it doesn't matter what we are doing.

My time at the homestead rejuvenated me. It's always a difficult transition with a newborn and having a second child is a lot of work. I've felt deflated lately. Casey is gone traveling a lot and being a single Mom is hard. This trip was a breath of fresh air for me, literally and figuratively. It felt good to get out of California on a little family vacation to the mountains of Arizona, and it felt good to breath some life back in to me. I feel like I get stuck in the daily grind of Motherhood and it's nice to escape that every once in a while. We always end our family reunions with a testimony meeting and this year we doubled up. After the main meeting, our immediate family circled together around our campfire to have our own Phil Brown testimony meeting. It was such a special time that I don't want to write too much about it. But I will say this. It was one of the most spiritual and healing testimony meetings that I have ever been apart of. It's the first time we have all been together since my Dad passed away almost a year ago. It gave us a chance to talk about him and celebrate him in his favorite place on earth, his family homestead. That gathering lifted me up and really strengthened me. Helped me to remember the legacy that my parents left for us. As we sat there and talked, I just had the most overwhelming feeling that my parents were really proud of us for being there. Family was everything to them and they have passed that on to us. It was moving to sit there and talk, some people told stories, some bore their testimony of a myriad of things. But the common theme was family. And I'm so grateful to be a member of the Brown family.

I can't wait to spend the rest of my life taking my kids to Brown family reunions at the homestead and helping them create lasting memories with their family.