Friday, July 15, 2016

Oregon 2016

Just when it started getting miserably hot in Arizona, we made a getaway to beautiful Oregon: 




Everyone kept apologizing for the cold weather. And I just laughed.

Visiting with Mr. Brown Eyes' family was fun just like it is every year, but I can't really call it a vacation.

"Vacation" denotes rest and relaxation. And, let's face it, traveling with three kids--one under a year old--is neither restful nor relaxing.





Between back-to-back potty breaks, overtired babies, late nights, tantrums, and a whole lot of whining, there were plenty of times I wanted to pull my hair out.

But the good times made it all worth it.




Nothing says family bonding like twenty hours in a car together.

 

But now...we just might need a vacation from our vacation.

Happy Summer,
The Brown-Eyed Girl


Summer Is...

Arizona summers suck. And yet the buzz of the cicadas, the smell of sunscreen, and the hum of the air conditioner are as familiar and comforting to me as blankets and hot chocolate are in the winter.

I don't think I could ever live anywhere else.

Here is what I love about summer.










Staying cool,
The Brown-Eyed Girl


Monday, June 6, 2016

Sisters

As the sixth of six sisters, I know how much sisterhood can suck.
 
Like how you can cry for hours in your room after dropping your sister off at the airport. Or how you can feel like punching her when she says something hurtful--but probably true--about you. How she can ruin your life by telling you Santa Claus isn't real when you're only five years old.
 
How you can feel like you've lost her forever when she makes friends who are way cooler than you are.
 
And yet, years later, you're still her friend and the others are long gone.
 
 
Isn't that what sisterhood is? A friendship that can't be broken by miles or change or upheaval. A friendship bound not only by love and affection, but also by family and blood.  While other friends have come and gone, I have always had my sisters. And I am forever grateful for that.
 
Now that I have two girls, I hope they discover the joy--and annoyance--of sisterhood the way I did.

 
Right now their relationship is pretty simple: Blue Eyed Girl loves Brown-Eyed Baby with all her little three year-old heart. She gives her kisses and hugs. She sings to her and tries to give her her pacifier when she's crying.

She also hits her with toys and lands on her face while doing somersaults. It's what sisters do.
 

I hope in years to come that they play dress-up together, collect My Little Ponies, and make mud pies outside. I hope they share clothes, get their ears pierced together, and stay up late talking in their room until I have to come in and shush them. I hope they cry when they're apart and laugh until their sides ache when they're together.

I hope they grow up and take longs walks together, talking about life and boys and the women they want to become, sometimes getting caught in the rain and running to a neighbor's house for refuge. I hope they take road trips together and pass the time by making up ridiculous stories.

I hope they are bridesmaids in each other's weddings. I hope, if they are ever pregnant at the same time, that they do not rip each other's heads off and fight over maternity clothes. But if they do, I hope they whisper sincere apologies and go on to snuggle each other's babies close to their hearts just hours after they're born.

 
Sisterhood can suck. But it is so awesome.
 
My Sisters are the Best,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

The Dinosaurs

Warning: There are some very messy dinosaurs on the loose.

If they get into your house, they may engage in some of the following behavior:

Staying up late watching movies

Emptying your drawers

Making attempts at oral hygiene

Eating all your candy
 
Your initial reaction will be to blame your kids.
 
Don't blame your kids.
 
It was the dinosaurs.
 
Who knows where they will strike next.
 
Don't Drop Your Guard,
The Brown-Eyed Girl


Friday, June 3, 2016

The Little Things That Get Me

I firmly believe that it's the little things in life that bring true joy.

Growing up, this scripture from the Book of Mormon became our family motto:

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..." (Alma 37:6)

I am my happiest when I slow down and enjoy the little things. Here are a few that I have enjoyed lately:



 


 



 
(I take a lot of pictures of Brown-Eyed Baby sleeping because it happens so rarely.)
 

 
What are your small and simple things today? I hope you take the time to see them.
 
Loving the Little Things,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Being a Grown-Up

A few weeks ago, in the middle of watching "The Good Dinosaur," our living room suddenly went black. And by black I mean so dark I couldn't even see my children sitting right next to me.

My heart plummeted and my thoughts went dark, too, like Oh my gosh, what happened are we under attack is it just our house or are the neighbor's lights on I can't see anything what if there are monsters in the shadows...

At the same moment my kids clung to me, shouting, "Mommy, I can't see you! What happened? Why is it dark?"

Feeling their little arms wrapped around me, I realized I had to shut off my own overactive imagination and, for my children's sake, act like an adult.

It kind of made me miss the days when I had a bigger hand to hold, when someone older and wiser than me shushed my fears, tucked me safely and snuggly into bed, and turned the light off for me.

I may be 32 years old, but I have never felt the passage of the years. I can't pinpoint that moment when I ceased to be a child because so often I still feel like one, a little girl masquerading as a grown woman and the mother of three children.

When did I become an adult? When I turned 18? When I ventured away from home for the first time? When I bought my first car? When I got my own insurance and went to the dentist without my mom? When someone first referred to me as "ma'am" instead of "miss"? Or was it when the midwife placed Brown-Eyed Boy in my arms, when I became responsible for someone other than myself?

Or maybe pieces of my adult self formed through those experiences, one by one, instead of all at once.

In that case, I think my pieces are still being placed. Because though I am obviously an adult physically, mentally...I think I still have a lot of growing up to do.

That night when my kids and I were plunged into darkness, I squared my shoulders and put on a brave face. I grabbed their hands and led them--carefully--through our pitch-black toy-strewn living room, found a flashlight and lit some candles. As that flicker of light fought against the dark, I breathed a sigh of relief along with my children.

But I never let them see how scared I was. And, hey, that's part of being an adult, right?

Just like eating all the leftover frosting and watching My Little Pony.

Not that I'd know anything about that.

Still Growing Up,
The Brown-Eyed Girl



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Leap Day

In the words of Phil Dunphy: “You’re given this gift of 24 extra hours. You can’t waste it at work or school. You have to do something extraordinary, something shocking.”

I can't say that we did anything extraordinary or shocking on Leap Day, but I definitely wanted to make it special.

So I kept Brown-Eyed Boy home from school.

 

And I tried to say "yes" more than I said "no."

As a result, we stayed in our pajamas most of the morning. We built a fort out of couch cushions. We played a game at the arcade. We ate Nutella and crepes (or skinny pancakes, as they are known in our household) for lunch. We visited Mr. Brown Eyes at work and ate ice cream with dinner.

And we had a picnic at the Phoenix Temple.
 
 


It was a good day.

Until our power went off in the middle of "The Good Dinosaur" and I had to walk through the pitch blackness searching for a flashlight, two terrified kids clinging to me.

Other than that, it was a beautiful extra 24 hours that I am so glad we had.

Happy Leap Year!
The Brown-Eyed Girl