Thursday, September 29, 2011

BIG news at the Brown's!

Well, I'll just get right to it...


That's right folks, (if you did your math correctly) we're having a baby! Baby Brown #1. And we're so excited. It happened a lot faster than expected so I was a little shocked and naturally anxious, but now that the news has settled we are so thrilled and so grateful!

I am almost 10 weeks and due on May 1st. The perfect time to have a baby - I guess...

So I found out August 20th - the night I got home from our HUGE Dressing Your Truth Annual Event. I was suspicious I might be pregnant (for the obvious reason) plus I was breaking out and had an unusual amount of un-welcomed zits. And 2 weeks prior I opened a fortune cookie from Pei Wei and found a fortune that read, "Your dearest wish will come true within the month." I knew.

And of course,  I saved it.

Right after we found out we went on a family vacation to Hawaii and I kept my lips shut. Seriously, the last 5 weeks have been so long. I have had to check myself from blurting it out or saying anything too obvious that would give it away. Some people figured it out though. 

We told Sarah and Chris first - they guessed it. And when I told my friend Veronica, she said, "I knew when you bought Junior Mints, something was up." Haha.

We went to see my midwife at 8 weeks (I thought I was actually a week further when we went in) to check the heartbeat. She couldn't hear it right away so she got the ultrasound machine out and we got to see the little peanut and the heart beating! It was soooo cool. I have seen ultrasound pictures before and they are just fuzzy black and white pics that don't really mean a lot, but man, when it's your own - it is the coolest thing ever!



We then waited until my birthday weekend to tell family.

In my Type 2, want-to-be-prepared-and-plan-ahead-ness, I thought long and hard about how I wanted to tell everyone. I had so much fun doing so!

Here's how I told...

My sister, Jenny: She lives in West Virginia, so I sent her an unannounced piece of mail with the 1+2=3 picture and a copy of the ultrasound. She had no idea and called me screaming and shouting! She said, I am laying down. She was sooooo excited. It was so much fun!!!

The Brown Family: We did a little early birthday celebration on Saturday and Tanner gave me a BYU onsie. When I opened it they knew immediately what it meant - well, except for my mother-in-law who thought it was BYU socks for a while. But she figured it out. They were thrilled. (Listen for when McKinley gasps and says, "You guys..." She figured it out first.) I think Tanner was a little excited and forgot to turn the camera to them, but you can see them at the end!


video



The Tuttle Family: We celebrated my birthday on Sunday and before I started opening my gifts I gave a small gift to my parents. A family picture we had taken in Hawaii that I got framed for them, as well as some individual pictures of each couple, in which I snuck the ultrasound and the 1+2=3 picture. When my mom got to the ultrasound she didn't put it together until she saw the 1+2=3 picture behind it. You can see the shock in both my parent's faces in the video.


video


Friends: I mailed out the 1+2=3 photo to a few friends. I love to think of the look on their face when they open it.

Work: We had a work party the other night and I said I had a quick work announcement, "As the head of Events and Products, they needed to mark May 1st on their calendar for a very important package that will be arriving." They looked at me funny for a second and then I said, "In other words...I'm pregnant!"

So fun!

For the most part I have been feeling really good. I have had a few occasions of morning sickness. The worst has been food aversion and feeling sick because I'm not eating enough. I had a little bit of a cold for a few days as well. But overall, I feel blessed to feel so good.

I am so excited to share the news with all of you!!! Thanks for your love and support.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Hawaii with the Fam!

Aloha! I've been to Hawaii about 26 times in my life! I know! Crazy. My grandparents have a beach house over there so all we have to do is get ourselves over there and there's a camp waiting for us. It's hard to say no to. Plus, my mom is a Type 3 and she likes to do stuff - so for a while we were going there twice a year! 

But I have to say there are definitely a few trips that stand out among the rest. And this was one of them!

I mean look at those faces!!! I love my little nephews. They are sweet like sugar!

Joseph, 2 years, Type 3

Seth, 4 years, Type 4

We had a lot of fun playing in the water! Joseph is fearless! Seth likes to take his time.


Seth was more a sand guy.

I'm amazed how kids know how to navigate technology so well.
They love Angry Birds!
Look at that little duck face!
Well, I guess they learned it somewhere....



Just can't get enough of it!
Ch-eeeeee-se!




Oh yeah, Tanner was on this trip too. He's such a good sport - he knows how much I love these little boys and lets me play with them to my heart's content.


Love these pictures!







 At the Dole Plantation on the Train Tour.


Pretty Rainbow! 



I love my family! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a great trip!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

EUROPE TRIP Part 4: SLOVENIA

And here it is folks...the final post of our Europe Trip...finally.

I have some other things I'd like to blog about, eventually, but I don't like to go out of order, so it will be nice to have this series wrapped up. And hopefully you'll enjoy reading it too.

Slovenia (next to Bulgaria, for obvious reasons,) was my FAVORITE part of the whole trip. We were only there for 2 1/2 days, which wasn't enough, but it was lovely!!!


Most people probably don't even know where Slovenia is - or that it is even a country. That's what I thought when my little brother Mark opened his mission call in 2006. It was soooo exciting. I received my mission call about 2 months prior and was going to Bulgaria and then to find out that Mark was going to be in the same part of the world was so exciting!!! We were in the MTC together for 4 weeks. We saw each other everyday and even got in trouble for being too close together. (You're not supposed to have any sort of "more-than-friends" relationships as a missionary.) But we broke the rules and I hugged him a few times. :)



Mark had always said Slovenia was beautiful, but until I saw it for myself I just didn't understand.

Imagine Switzerland (if you've been there, or seen pictures). Rolling green hills, quaint little villages, white cows and sheep tucked in the green. Now times that by 10 and you get Slovenia. The mountains are more intense and the villages are smaller. It also has a very "small country" kind of feel. There are only like 2 million residents, so they are able to keep things clean, tidy and controlled.

Another bonus is that there are fewer tourists and very few Americans (but everyone speaks English), so it adds to the feeling of adventure and vacation.

Lake Bled

On our first day we headed to the mountains (didn't care to see anymore cities) and spent some time at Lake Bled. That church is on an island! This picture hardly captures the real-life beauty.




We originally had planned on staying at a hostel in the main city, but after being there we were really hoping to find something else. It was nasty and hot. Word to the wise: Don't go to a hostel after age 21. They are not for married couples.

We quickly learned that just about every other home in the villages had rooms (sobes) for rent. So we started searching. We knocked at the first house, which was unfortunately full, but fell in love with the garden (below)!!! It was heaven to us Browns.

Honey Bees!

This is the norm! Everyone has a beautiful garden where
you will always find cabbage and pole beans!
Blueberries

Tanner and I were really in heaven. I LOVE the outdoors. I love green stuff! The air was crisp and full of fresh oxygen! Seriously, it was the norm for everyone to have a great garden, fruit trees, and fresh flowers!



We eventually found a "sobe" for about $60 a night in a beautiful town nestled in the mountains and by a beautiful lake. It included a delicious breakfast with homemade juice, yogurt, fruit and eggs from the farm!

We went on a little hike in the morning.
A house nearby.
Where we stayed. Our room is on the top balcony.
Our little car!

The next day we drove around some more and stopped by a few lakes.



Peek-a-boo.
Everyone had their own little corn crop too.


Lake Bohinj

We stopped by Lake Bled again and just couldn't resist jumping in!!! It was soooooo clear. After getting out I felt like I had just bathed in purified water. You could see down as far as the light would shine. It was amazing. Ready, 1...2...3...jump!







We then went to a famous river, Vingard. It was about a 1 mile walk over the river and through the woods....(um, no grandmother's house there...) on these cool wood walkways. You can see in the pictures below how clear the water is! Just breathtaking.


That goes down at least 30 feet!




Can you see the fish?


After 2 great days in the mountains we headed over towards Maribor on the east side of Slovenia. (It takes less than 2 hours to drive across the tiny country.) Mark lived in Maribor for 1 year, so he had a lot of fun reminiscing and showing us around. We went to church the next day. I really enjoyed the small branch. The Slovenian people are so open-minded - the way they talked about their relationship with and love for Jesus Christ was really beautiful. They are a special people.

Then we went to visit a family that joined the church while Mark was there. They were really sweet. Very poor, humble, and happy. What was really cool was that I could understand when they were talking! At one point I was translating for Tanner!! 

So, I speak...English, French, Bulgarian, and apparently Slovene! Haha, not really, but I could understand a lot! It was so cool. I love languages! I love learning of their origins and how all the different languages are connected and the similarities in the words. I don't know why, but it's just something I love. I'd love to learn a few more languages in my lifetime. I'm sure I'll learn Spanish eventually.

We had a great time and I'm grateful for the opportunities I have had to see so much of the world so early in my life. During all my travels there is one thing I am always struck by - we really are all the same. We all want to be loved, to love and to be happy! 

The next morning we departed! Voila! C'est tout. Това е! Ciao bella!