Monday, November 30, 2015

I'm Grateful for 13 years

13 years ago we were so young. We were naive to what being married and being parents meant. But we were so in love and we got married in my parents front room before a lot of family and a few friends. I don't think either of us had any idea what we were in for and what these 13 years would look like. We went from this...

To this...
I really can't believe how fast time flies. On one hand I can't believe it's 13 years already and on the other hand I can't believe it's only been 13 years. He has been by my side through thick and thin (and that includes our waistlines) and we have struggled together through parenthood, lost jobs, lots of moves, many tears, an abundance of laughs, physical pain, and insurmountable joy! And there is no one I would have rather had with me. Since our last anniversary, we were blessed with Samuel, a new job after 7 months unemployed, some serious back troubles again, and a back procedure that may have finally given Ben some relief. There have definitely been some tough moments but also lots of happiness and love. We have much to be grateful for and I can't wait to see where the next anniversary sees us.

Samuel Teddy Bear ~ 10 months

Samuel is 10 months old now. Time is just flying by and we all keep talking about him turning one soon and Soren and I are having the hardest time with it. We want this baby to stay small for forever. 

This was the first picture I took but soon it went to this...
He was not having it this month. But this has been our life. He was a total beast this month while getting his first tooth. Two more teeth are in the works and we're hoping he's not as grumpy with those but so far it's not looking good. He cries every time the kids leave him and go to their room to play or go to bed without him. He crawls everywhere and gets into everything these days. His favorite thing is peek-a-boo and Soren.

These pictures make me get all teary. Soren was playing with his action figures and of course Sam crawled over, but instead of picking up and moving his toys, he handed some to Sam and played with him. It was the sweetest moment between these two brothers. Soren sure does love having a little brother and Sam already adores his older brother. I hope these two stay friends for a really long time.

She turned 11!

My one and only daughter turned 11 this month. This girl is spunky! She is so smart and incredibly talented. Shelby is so helpful and has become such a good big sister, especially to Sam, but she takes care of Soren too. She fights a lot with Stryder and sometimes makes us crazy with her girliness, but I'm so grateful that she is part of our family.

This goofy face loves pandas and mermaids and has become obsessed with Hunger Games. She's read all three books and we are working on seeing all the movies.

For her birthday she got her ears pierced again. She had them done when she was 6 months old but sometime around 4 or 5 years old they got infected and kind of closed up. I probably could have tortured her and forced an earring through the holes but we chose to go with a less painful way and just re-do them. She was so brave and thought it was going to hurt way more than it actually did.

She found out a few days before her birthday, that she had got the part of Miss Hannigan. We are so excited for her and can't wait to see her sing and dance.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Golden Hour Halloween

I love taking pictures of my kids! I love that they love to dress up and humor my crazy ideas. Pictures in their costumes is what makes Halloween so great for me. This year we caught the golden hour before we started trick or treating. And I think the little drive and walk down the trail was totally worth it!

Of course my Samuel Teddy HAD to be a teddy bear for his first Halloween. And dang if he wasn't the cutest little bear EVER!

Sadly, there is no water around for this pretty mermaid. Her tail apron and top were handmade by me and she loved it. 

Stryder is so fun at Halloween. He's always so excited about dressing up and gets so into character. This Ewok costume is also handmade by both myself and Ben. His mask was a "deady bear" mask we found and then was totally altered into a much friendlier Ewok mask by Ben. I sewed the orange hood.

Soren loves being superheroes and this year he chose the Green Arrow. We went more with the CW show Arrow look than the comic book character one and Soren was a little bummed how few people knew who he was. But he was the best Arrow in my book! And his mask was hand painted by Ben.

Now enjoy more pictures of my awesome kids in costume because I couldn't post just one of each of them :)

 Happy Halloween from the Brown kids 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daddy Daughter Halloween Party

A couple weeks ago Shelby and Ben attended the Activity Days Daddy Daughter Halloween Party. It was Harry Potter themed and everyone came in their Halloween costumes. Ben and Shelby had a blast. The leaders seriously know how to throw a party and decorate to the 9's.

One of the leaders hand wrote this Dumbledore quote and drew Hogwarts on this giant chalkboard. She's kind of really talented.

Did I mention that I'm an Activity Days leader? Ha Ha! I came dressed as Lois Lane with Sam as my Superman.

The decor was awesome and the girls and dads had so much fun. I'd call that a great success!

Samuel Teddy Bear~ 9 months

On October 20th, Samuel turned 9 months old. It seems like just yesterday that I was 9 months pregnant with him. Now he's this adorable baby with a serious stubborn streak and the cutest personality. He's become so curious and has been army crawling all over the house. He's just barely figured out the hands and knees crawl. He's developed a love of food, especially bread and different flavors of those squeeze packs and gogurt. But he still nurses a lot and we both love those snuggles. He pulls himself to standing so easily and loves to turn off his daddy's xbox. He makes the cutest faces and the silliest noises that make all of us laugh. At his 9 month well check he was 18lbs 15oz which is just under the 50th percentile. So he continues to be our littlest guy. We sure do love him.

He loves when he finds this red ball around and on this day he wouldn't give it up for anything. I had to hurry and grab it to take the top picture.

This is our favorite Sam face and luckily he makes it often and sometimes on command if you do it at him first.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Samuel Teddy Bear~8 months

Sam celebrated 8 months on September 20th, while we were in Henderson. Yes, I brought his blanket and bear with us just so I wouldn't miss it. This crazy baby has really challenged us. He has figured out how to pull himself up to things. First it was up to his knees and then slowly but surely he was regularly standing. We all hate it when I put him in footie pajamas because he needs more saving as his feet slip and slid out from under him. He has taken several tumbles backward onto the hard tile but continues to get back up and try it again. He is steady sitting up and moves to crawl away easily. Still no teeth but I'm ok with that. And he still army crawls, no hands and knees just yet. He loves the squeeze packs of apple sauce and the kids have even been able to feed him those. This boy is seriously trouble and keeps us so busy but I don't think any of us would trade him for the world.

I love his little chubby feet and bum when he sits like this. 
This is a shot of him when he was first pulling himself up on his knees. Oh we love this little bug.

September Overview

Here's a recap of our September in pictures. 

Sam is growing so fast and wants to be on the go a lot of the time, so when he snuggles in for even a few minutes it has to be documented.

 September 9th is National Teddy Bear Day. Of course, we celebrated with our Samuel Teddy.

This beauty got glasses! She can finally see the board at school. 

Little bear fell off our bed and face planted it. He wakes up so happy and quietly and crawled across our bed without a sound. Next thing O know he's screaming and laying flat on his back on the floor. He must have nose dived and then flipped onto his back giving himself so pretty awesome rug burn on his nose and forehead. He looked worse than this picture the next day as it started to scab over.

Toward the end of the month, we headed to Henderson. We were able to get all my parents grandkids together for pictures. These kiddos sure do love each other and spent as much time together as possible that weekend.  

My cousin was baptized that weekend as well. It was so neat to be a part of it. Ben, Trevor, and Stryder even did the musical number. I love these faces and miss them dearly.
At the baptism, I asked, or maybe forced, all my cousins that were there to take a picture. Apparently, Lauren thought our line looked a little like prom so she had to hug her date. I am so blessed to call these hilarious, awesome people my family.

And we finished the month checking out the blood, super, lunar eclipse moon. The kids thought it was pretty creepy but way cool.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Haircut

About a week after Sam turned 7 months, Ben and I finally bit the bullet and cut Sam's hair. I'm so glad we did because it was always in his face but man it hurt my heart a little. A few tears may have been shed and not from Sam. He actually just grunted and gave us his angry face. When I look back at pictures from before we cut it, I miss it so much but I also kind of forgot that he looked like that. His new hairdo has just seemed to fit him and his personality perfectly while still making look like a little baby instead of a big boy. And check out those lashes. He's just kind of really cute!

Samuel Teddy Bear~7 months

Our little Samuel is not so little anymore. This past month he has decided that he can sit up and army scoot/crawl across the room. He loves to watch his brothers play around the room and thinks they are so funny. They are the best at getting him to smile and laugh. I'm so grateful for those big kids who love our little bear.

 I mean look at this face. I can't resist it!

 I really love that birthmark too.

My parents bought this onesie for Sam because it looks exactly like something my dad would wear. He's so stinkin' cute but getting way too big!

Back to School 2015

Summer ended all too quickly and school is back in session. This year it has hit me pretty hard that my kids are really getting old. Stryder has moved on to the Jr. High and Shelby and Soren are still together at the elementary school.

Soren is a 3rd grader! His teacher is Ms Monson. He was bummed that he didn't have any of his good friends in his class but he's making new friends and seems to be enjoying third grade so far.

Shelby is in 5th grade and stuns me daily with how pretty she is. She's very tall and almost as tall as her teacher again this year. Her teacher is Mrs. Tory and Shelby is loving her class. She ran for student council vice president the second week of school but sadly didn't win. Shelby, however, was a rock star and simply moved on finding new things to do and try.

This stud is a 7th grader. He's made the jump to a new school with 8 different classes and teachers. I've been so worried about this phase but he's doing surprisingly well and just takes care of everything like a champ. He's kind of growing into an incredible kid.

These three have been super amazing kids. We have put them through so much over the last few years and I don't think they know how awesome they are and how grateful I am for their help and good attitudes. Of course, things aren't perfect but they have graciously gone through trials and challenges with their parents, moved to a new state, been so understanding when money is too tight for all the fun extras, and remind us daily how much they love us. I'm pretty blessed to call them mine.