Monday, September 29, 2008


So, we've got a lot of things coming up and we just finished a visit with my grandparents, Ken and Char. It was nice to have them here and we enjoyed their company. Annabelle was particularly fond of Char, well more of Char's walker. I should have taken a video of her pushing it around and climbing on it, but I didn't. She was also very taken with Ken. Once Annabelle went to bed, what else was there to do but play cards. We played a very riveting game of Zilch, followed by quit game of memory. What fun.

Annabelle is on the mend from whatever illness she had and so tomorrow, Michael and I are dropping her off at some friends' house and the two of us are heading to Boise for Michael's swearing in ceremony. Then, Wednesday, Michael has to attend a CLE (I can't remember what it stands for, but he has to attend a certain number of them to be in good standing as a lawyer). I have never been away from Annabelle this long and am feeling a little nervous, but I think it will be good for Michael and I to get away for a little while. I'll write about our trip when we get back. In the meantime, here are some pictures of my doting grandparents.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I haven't written in a few days and to be honest, we had things scheduled that I was planning on writing about, but they all got canceled. For example, the members of the Rexburg office of the law firm and their wives were all going to go out to dinner. They said that any day this week would be fine with them and asked Michael to pick the day. So I found a babysitter for Wednesday night of this week. Well, two days before the dinner, one guy said he couldn't go that night, so we switched it to Thursday night. Thankfully, our babysitter (who is Michael's cousin) said she was available that night to watch Annabelle. Well, the following day, another guy said that he couldn't go Thursday night. So, we changed it to Friday night (meaning tonight) and once again I had to ask Christy if she could babysit Annabelle tonight and again she said she could. Well, once again, someone couldn't make it Friday night. So, our big, nice firm dinner has been postponed indefinitely. Michael and I were both looking forward to getting out without Annabelle, especially since the place we were planning on going has a reputation for being absolutely delicious. It's called Stockmans, but I think it's only known around here.

In other news, Annabelle has another ear infection and we're dealing with that. I feel so bad for her because her nose won't stop running and she is constantly plugging or pulling at her ears. She has been waking up screaming in the middle of the night because of the pain (I think) and also has been getting up over an hour earlier than usual for the past fours days. I am also a little stuffed up and am tired due to getting up in the night and early in the morning with Annabelle.

I was asked to play the organ in our ward last week and this week. There are only three people who play and they all have callings. So, the three of us will be switching every month. I took an organ class at BYU, but that was several years ago and I have since lost my ability to play the pedals with even the simplest song. Last week, I practiced a lot and actually got good enough that I could play the pedals on two of the three songs. But when Sunday came, things didn't go quite as I had planned. The opening hymn went fine and I played the pedals well enough, not perfectly as I had wanted, but it sounded okay. The closing hymn was the song I was most nervous about. It was the hardest of the three and I was attempting to play the pedals. Well, I think I was just too nervous because I completely butchered the song. Well, okay I didn't have a complete meltdown, but after one verse, I was so off with the pedals that I just quit playing them. I was so disappointed because I had practiced so hard. Oh well. This week, I got to pick the songs, and I picked some easy ones that I could play the pedals with and hopefully, with practice, I'll do better this week.

My paternal grandparents are coming tomorrow for the weekend and so I'll have more to write after their visit. It will be fun to have them here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Must see Annabelle video

Okay, here is the best video of Annabelle so far. It's the one of her jumping in the bounce house. You'll love it. Make sure you have the volume on.

I couldn't fit the entire movie on my blog so here's the continuing story.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jumping and playing in mud

I live in on a street full of townhomes called "The Meadows". There are about 116 occupied townhomes, with numerous more being built. Tonight, we had a Meadows Block Party to try and help people meet each other. It was funded by the HOA (Home Owners Association) and, although I am not obviously not a member of the HOA since we didn't buy our home, I was asked by a member of the board to help plan everything.

So yesterday, I went around to every occupied home and placed a flier on the the door informing the tenants of the party. But when today came, it was pouring rain and I wasn't sure it would clear up in time for our gathering. Thankfully, it did and we had a fair number of people turn out.

The most notable event of the party was the inflatable bounce house. Annabelle went crazy when she was inside. She wouldn't stop screaming and loved being chased by all the big kids.

Make sure you check back with my blog this evening. I have a great video. Annabelle is absolutely adorable and having the time of her life, but Michael has the laptop with the video on it so I have to wait until he gets home from work before I can upload it.

Another thing she really enjoyed was playing in the mud. Due to the amount of rain we received today, some spots of the lawn, particularly the part located by the playground, were really muddy. Annabelle tried to get on a swing, but slipped and fell in a pile of mud. Once she found out how fun this was, she couldn't resist rolling all over in it. Here's a picture.

Overall, it was nice evening that followed a glorious BYU victory over Wyoming 44-0. Days just don't get much better than this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Puppet arms... and legs

Usually when I am doing the laundry, I put Michael's socks on my arms and come up with a quick puppet show for Annabelle. Today was laundry day, but I didn't have a chance to perform a show. Annabelle beat me to it. Before I knew it, she had already gone through the basket of clothes and pulled out a sock and was trying to put it on her hand. She needed some help, so I put a sock on each hand. But it didn't stop there. She then tried, with sock-clad hands, to put more socks on her feet. Obviously, since they were Michael's socks, they were went pretty far up her legs. Here are some pictures.

Here are the two most beautiful girls on our house.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Baby's best friend

Annabelle has not been one to get too attached to stuffed animals. She has a baby doll that she gets when she goes to bed, but I have forgotten to take it on some trips and Anabelle hasn't even realized she doesn't have it. I have her stuffed animals, all five of them, sitting on her bed and she has never shown interest in them.

So, imagine my surprise when all of the sudden a few days ago, she starts carrying the largest of the animals around with her. She likes to give it hugs. Sometimes, I move the bear's head and talk in a low voice, as if I'm the bear, to entertain Annabelle and she loves it.

Here is a picture of Annabelle giving the bear a piggy-back ride.

And in this picture, she is giving him "five".

I took two short videos of Annabelle playing with her new best friend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A first time for everyting

Everyone experiences something for the first time. Annabelle had a few "firsts" in the past few days. I've been trying to teach her some colors, but didn't want to use the same one toy we've been using. I thought I could mix up our color learning with something new. After some deep thinking, I remembered we had the game Candy Land that we had yet to open. So, Annabelle and I played our first game of Candy Land. Annabelle would pick a card and then I would move our pieces to the right spots. It was unbelievable how the game turned out. My first or second card put me way up at the top of the board, almost near the finish. I thought that it wouldn't be a very long game and that I would win easily. Well, that's not what happened. Each card kept working out really well for Annabelle and not good for me. Within another few tuns, I had to go back to near the starting place and Annabelle jumped ahead. She ended up winning pretty handily after all.

(I'm the yellow piece and Annabelle is the blue piece. Look at how badly she beat me.)

Another first Annabelle had was driving. Well, kind of. When we were at Michael's grandparents' house this weekend, Annabelle had the opportunity to sit in the driver's seat of Grandpa's car. We were getting ready to go somewhere with Michael's grandpa standing by the open driver's seat, when Annabelle pushed, I mean literally shoved, him out of the way. She then proceeded to climb in the car and was pushing the buttons on the door and turning the steering wheel like she was driving. She looked so happy to be up there. Too bad she won't be doing anymore than that for 15 more years.

Monday, September 15, 2008


By some miracle, we were able to get tickets to the BYU vs. UCLA football game this weekend. We traveled to North Ogden Friday evening and stayed with Michael’s grandparents. Michael’s dad also met us there. We had a very nice visit together that night. Saturday morning, we drove to Provo for what we were hoping would be a total BYU domination. Once in Provo, we went to Michael’s brother Drew’s house where we donned our official BYU gear. Aren’t we a good looking group? My brother Joel also came over and we were ready to go cheer on our beloved Cougars.

We had to split up the group, as our seats were not together, so Michael and his dad sat together and kept Annabelle with them the whole game (they sat in the shade for ¾ of the game and had some very nice older couples that adored Annabelle), while Joel and I got to sit together in the blistering sun.

The first quarter of the game started out well. We managed to score and keep UCLA off the board. In the second quarter, we exploded. UCLA had three fumbles or interceptions in a row and within 5 minutes of the 2nd quarter, it was 28-0. We were playing extremely well and capitalizing on any mistakes by the Bruins. The final score was 59-0 BYU. I couldn’t believe we had shut UCLA out. It was as if the BYU team knew we, the Browns, were traveling far and wide to make it to this game and they wanted to play well for us.

Annabelle had a great time cheering for BYU. Michael said that although she didn't understand football, she knew what to do when everyone else cheered. She would clap and yell as loudly as she could. She would wave her arms and was one of the greatest 18 month-old cheerleader BYU has ever seen. Thankfully, she was not in the sun most of the game and didn’t get sun burned. I, on the other hand, was not so lucky and totally forgot to put on sunscreen. Don’t worry, I don’t need any scolding. I definitely learned my lesson.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


As some of you know, today is a very important day. Finally, after waiting 6 weeks, we received the results of the Idaho bar exam that Michael took in July. I am happy to announce that Michael's name appeared on the list of those who passed! YEA!!!! All of his hard work and long hours of studying paid off. He will be sworn in at the end of this month.

Thank you for all of the prayers and thoughts for us. Studying for the bar exam was a long and stressful time and we are so glad that it is over and that the results are what we hoped they would be.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fashon Designer in Our Midst

We still have the borrowed helmets and Annabelle cannot stop playing with them. She is constantly trying to put them on or buckle them up. Today, I found her lining up some balls against the couch and putting the helmets on them.

Here is a video of her playing with the helmets.

She is such a smart kid. I'm so lucky that she knows how to make things look good.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Free time

Yesterday, Michael was invited to play tennis with some of the other attorneys in his firm. They met in Idaho Falls, about 30 miles from we live, at 7 am. Needless to say, Michael got up pretty early in order to get there on time. After playing for several hours and since he was in town, he headed to Sam's Club to get some diapers and other things. By the time he got home, it was 11:30. It felt like a weekday to me just because Michael leaves early in the morning to go to work and I'm home with Annabelle. Now before you think I'm complaining, let me finish the rest of the story. Once Michael was home, I fed Annabelle some lunch and put her down for a nap about an hour later, then tidied the house because there was a possibility we would be having company over to watch the BYU/Washington football game. It was a difficult game to watch, but thankfully, BYU pulled out a win. Soon after the game finished, the guy who had come over to watch the game at our house asked if Michael wanted to throw the football around. Of course, how could he turn down such an enticing proposition? So once again, I found myself watching Annabelle by myself. A couple of other guys ended up joining the game and I know Michael enjoyed himself. I, on the other hand, was struggling to keep my fearless and curious daughter out of trouble. She has been throwing tantrums every time she doesn't get her way and has learned the words, "No", "Don't", and "Stop" and likes to say them to me a lot. In addition, I have found that for some reason my patience is not where it should be. I think Annabelle has already entered the terrible 2's and that stage of life requires tons of patience from the parents, so this is not a good time for me to be losing it. But, I've also found that I'm not as patient with Michael, either. I have no idea why this is suddenly happening, but I'm trying to work on it.

Anyway, the point of this article is not to talk about my issues with being impatient. Michael could tell from my telling him and also from pure observation that I'm struggling a little bit and could use some time away from Annabelle. So last night, after coming in from the football, he offered to watch Annabelle for the rest of the night and let me go do whatever I wanted. And again, tonight he offered to take Annabelle on a walk and let me be by myself. I thought about having some me-time. It's been a while. Of course, I have some time when Annabelle takes a nap, but I never know how long it will last. Last night, I turned down the offer, although I was touched. And tonight, while I was alone, I spent the time cleaning the floor (I know, you're not supposed to do chores on the Sabbath, but Annabelle had spilled some milk and other substances on the floor and you couldn't walk on it without your feet sticking to the floor). I got a little but of piano playing, but not much.

So, here's my problem. I am constantly busy, whether it's cleaning the house, doing laundry, making dinner, taking care of Annabelle (which she needs A LOT of active attention), etc. Long gone are the days when I could go out and do anything I wanted. But now, when I'm given a chance to do just that, I can't think of what I want to do. Do I read or spend a night on the town (I'd have to drive to Idaho Falls to really be able to do something wild) or maybe just a nice refreshing walk around the street of town homes I live on? There are things that I enjoy but they all involve the family. I mean, really, what do women do when they have free time? This is just something I will have to relearn as time goes by.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Biker girls

So, today was just another ho-hum day for Annabelle and me, that is until the late afternoon. I took Annabelle to the swing set just outside our place and happened to see one of our neighbors come riding up on her bike with her 1 year-old son sitting in back of her on a baby seat. We did the obligatory small talk and eventually got around to talking about her bike. She offered to let Annabelle and me use it and I took her up on it right then and there.

So, we strapped on the helmets we also borrowed from them and took off. I have been wishing that I had something like this because it seemed like it would be something that Annabelle would love. I thought that maybe the helmet would be a problem and she wouldn't want to keep it on, but surprisingly, it didn't seem to bother her.

As we were getting ready to depart for our first bike riding adventure, I noticed that the our neighbor's horse was right next the fence, so I rode up along side it and got a picture of Annabelle and the horse (which by the way, she now knows what sound a horse makes. Isn't she so smart?).

Once we got back and got off the bike, Annabelle wouldn't let go of the helmets. She had to carry both of them by herself back to our house. And ever since we've been in the house, she has been constantly putting them on and carrying them around everywhere.

We had a great ride and I plan on going on many more rides. Here is a short video I had my neighbor take of us cute biker girls.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Hockey moms 4 Palin"

I don't know how many of you got to watch the Republican National Convention tonight, but everyone, no matter what party, was anxious to hear from the VP nominee Sarah Palin. Michael and I watched some of the speeches by other well-known names, such as Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, off and on, while also keeping an eye on the women's quarter-finals of the US Open. But once Sarah Palin entered the stage, we were all about the politics.

Her appearance on stage was well received and she tried to begin her speech probably about 3 times, but the crowd was not going to have their standing ovation shortened. It was very obvious why Palin's high school nickname was barracuda. She stated the facts why Obama would not be the best president for our country. She listed off her own qualifications. She spoke of John's McCain's patriotism and desire to help our country be a better country. She spoke elegantly, but with strong conviction about the direction our country needs to go and how to get it there. And although her name has been dragged through the mud during the last several days, she said what she wanted to say and did a great job of exciting the crowd.

People were wondering what made Sarah Palin so special, and her speech tonight answered that question. I am very confident that she and McCain are a great team and I hope we see them make it to the White House.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Annabelle, The Builder

Tonight as I was making dinner, Annabelle was in her usual place, perched on a chair next me to me at the counter. I gave her some spices and cans to play with and this is what she did with them:

After I videotaped the above clip, I was at the stove cooking and after a few minutes, I realized that Annabelle had been very quiet on her chair. I looked over at her and she had somehow stacked the spices on top of each other. How she balanced them, I'll never know, but I had to get it on camera.

I know this entry has a lot of videos in it, but I can't help but show off how adorable my daughter is. In this clip, it's not what you see, but what you hear. I was taking Annabelle's shirt halfway off so that her arms and head were stuck inside the shirt. She thought it was hilarious and giggled uncontrollably. I needed both hands to do this, so I put the camera on the couch and tried to get Annabelle in in the picture, but it didn't work very well. Oh well. It's the laughing that makes this video worth it.