Monday, November 28, 2011

Mothers & Babies

Birth is not only about making babies.
Birth is about making mothers--
strong, competent, capable mothers who
trust themselves and know their inner strength.
- Barbara Katz Rothman

Sometimes I look at where I am in life and I'm blown away that I'm a wife and a mother.  I'm amazed that I spend each day with my very best friend, that he loves me enough to put up with me.  I'm flabbergasted that there is a little boy crawling around with blue eyes just like me.  Bewildered?  Astounded?  Dumbfounded?  Yes.  Happy.  Content.  Delighted.  Exultant.  Is there a better place to be?  I can assure you there is not.

Little Boy has had me thinking the last few days.  It is so much fun to watch him figure things out.  Not only can he crawl, he'll come find you if you're in the other room.  He's figured out how to pull himself onto his knees and his feet.  Who taught him that?  I was trying to keep him from doing that he's figured that out, he's gonna figure out walking and then he's going to be six feet tall and it won't be cool to attack Mom with slobbery kisses.  I'm going to miss that.



All of this speedy growing and changing has put me in a reflective mood.  A year ago I was just getting past that yuck stage of pregnancy.  The heartburn wasn't going to go away and the uncomfort was just going to get worse as time went on, but it was a happy time.  I couldn't wait to be a mother and for reasons other than not being pregnant anymore.  Isn't it wonderful that we forget how hard those months were?  If we remembered, how many of us would do it again?  I look back on April 19th and remember waking up with contractions, but I remember the excitement, not the pain.  I remember that childbirth was hard, but I did it!  If I did it once, what's keeping me from doing it again (at least Baby Brown on the way--we have to wait for school to be done). 

[I know that not every pregnancy is peachy keen.  Some struggle with getting pregnant.  Some haven't been blessed with that opportunity and might never be.  Just remember to have faith in God, His plan, and His timing.  Find joy in the life that is yours and know that you are a daughter of God who loves each of His daughters equally.]

Babies are special because they make women into mothers.  Being a mother gives you the opportunity to work with a husband and with God in raising a child.  Never forget that you cannot do it on your own and with God nothing shall be impossible.  (See Luke 1:37)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gila Valley Temple

We went to the Gila Valley Temple last Friday morning.  We went to the open house and Tony took the youth in our ward for a baptism trip, but this was the first time we were able to go and do ordinances there together.  Afterwards we went around telling everyone that this was the twelfth temple we had been to together.  A dozen temples!  Seriously?  We're losing count already?  Good thing we have a blog that has kept track for us.  We've really been to a baker's dozen.  This was temple number 13.

We have been to the following temples (not in order):
     San Antonio
     Salt Lake City
     Oquirrh Mountain
     St. Goeorge
     Las Vegas
     Gila Valley

The Christmas nativity

This temple trip was special.  We were able to seal my great-great grandparents Royal Elmer Tranmer and Ruth Anna Hauntz.  We also sealed my great-grandmother Isabel Clarice Tranmer to them.  She was also able to be sealed to her first husband Frank Albert Shinkle and her second husband Henry Scott Ziegler.  Grandpa Ziegler was also sealed to his first wife and their daughter.  I knew my Grandma Ziegler, Isabel, so these sealings were particularly special.  The sealer told us that we could kiss over the alter since we were being sealed for my grandparents.  It is so important to seal our families to us for eternity.  It is also important to be reminded of the promises we made when we were sealed almost two years ago!  I love my husband!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

This is Happiness

Here are some more pictures from our Thanksgiving trip this year.  We are so grateful to be members of such close and loving families.  It's hard to take turns,  Browns...Shinkles....Browns....Shinkles, but we enjoy every moment we get to share with each of them.  This year Thanksgiving was with my family and we will spend Christmas with Tony's.

A few of the boys I love the very most.
Add Hayden...too bad we're missing Pops.

Really, Jeri Lin?  A picture?

He's a little scruffy, but my favorite Bryton.

Hyrum loves to treat you like a jungle gym, and Grannie loves her boy.

Hyrum wore himself out with all of his playing.

Uncle Luke can do cool tricks...

...and he's really fun to wrestle with.

I think Tony realized that P90X goes out the window when you've got a bunch of bedlamites to wrestle with.  He just watched in amazement.  He's waiting for the day when he gets to be Hyrum's bear trap...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Too Much of a Good Thing

You've heard the phrase too much of a good thing?  In other words, excess can cause you harm?  Is there such thing as too much of a good thing when that good thing is FAMILY?

We had a blast in Thatcher celebrating Thanksgiving.  We had somewhere near 40 people coming in and out of Grams and Papa's house this week.  My grandparents spoiled us rotten with delicious food.  The best part, however, was just being together as a family [although we were really sad to be missing Dad this year].  I took so many pictures!  Over 100!  Most are of Hyrum, of course...he hit some major milestones.  He's crawling like a fiend and has started to pull himself up!  I am amazed with how much he improves everyday and how he figures things out. 

 "A grill?!" you say.  Why, yes.  Yes, that is a grill and that is our Thanksgiving dinner in the making.  Hyrum, with his green beans and turkey [Gerber style] probably had the most traditional Thanksgiving dinner...

Papa and all of his wonderful helpers put together Mexican Bar-b-que for Thanksgiving every year.  Thinly sliced, delicious steak on homemade tortillas with homemade salsa and homemade guacamole.  Then you add green chiles, cheese, queso, or whatever else your heart pleases and then you eat!  And if you try really hard to control yourself, you can have some jello salad and pie [chocolate if you're me, pumpkin if you're Tony]. 


And of course, "Look, Mom.  I pulled myself up!"  What a big guy!!  He really is compared to Gunner and Gavin, the two newest members of the family!

I'm so proud of my aunt Teonna and uncle Luke for making such beautiful little boys!  They have five kids under the age of five now, but they're cute as can be and such a wonderful example to us!

More to come in the next few days, because remember?  There's no such thing as too much of a good thing when that good thing is FAMILY!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Homework Makes You Ugly

When Tony was growing up he had a puzzle with a frog on it that said, "Homework makes you ugly!"  This week I've come to the conclusion that that puzzle was right.  Any homework that keeps a princess from getting her beauty sleep can turn her into the ugliest frog...

This last week was absolutely crazy.  You noticed?  Yeah, I didn't even have time to blog about my woes.  I had classes galore.  On top of that we had Long Term Care from 1-8 on Tuesday and 1-6 on Thursday.  And if that's not enough, the Long Term Care Project was due and we had an ATI test.  I ended up pulling an all-nighter on Wednesday so that I could complete my LTC project.  I only got about a total of 2 hours of sleep between 530am on Wednesday morning and 9pm on Thursday night.  I never do that.  I do my darn tootin' hardest not to procrastinate, but I've come to grips with the fact that when you're a mom, things never go according to plan.  I was trying to work on the project a little bit each day for the last few weeks, but something always kept me from getting it done.  Luckily, it did get done and I think I did an acceptable job as well.

This semester has been a tough one, but it has been a blast.  I loved Long Term Care.  I was a little surprised how much I enjoyed the elderly.  They reminded me of Grandpa Burgess and I love Grandpa!  I am grateful for the experiences I had there.  To the CNA who let me help her with giving a shower: Thank you for letting me help.  Thank you for teaching me as we worked.  Thank you for your smile.  I was able to give insulin twice.  It was exhilarating.  I had so much fun!  My favorite part, though, was feeding the Alzheimer's patients.  On our first day, I felt an overwhelming feeling of happiness as I did for someone, something they could not do for themselves.  I realized that I really do want to be a nurse!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time Out for Women

During the first weekend in November, I went on a spur of the moment weekend getaway with my mom, aunts, Grams, and cousin.  Hyrum, of course, came along too.  I hadn't planned on going, but a friend of my mom's had a baby get sick and she didn't want a ticket to go unused.  Tony was going to be working most of the weekend, so I went.  I'm so glad that I did.  I love every bit of quality time I get with my mom, the most amazing woman in the world.  Plus, it was fun to be with the other women in my family.  They are such great examples to me!  Grams, Jonna, Sherra, Casey, Teonna, Rocki, and Brittney!  What spectacular women!

Time Out for Women is held on Friday night and then all day Saturday.  It was held at the Phoenix Convention Center.  Speakers such as Mary Ellen Edmunds, Brad Wilcox, Linda J. Eyre, and Shawni Eyre Pothier shared inspiring messages about what it means to be a wife, a mother, and most importantly, a disciple of Christ.  I loved hearing Hilary Weeks perform.  She has an incredible voice and such uplifting music.  Aside from Time Out itself, it was fun to chat with the girls, spend the night at the resort, go out for dinner together, and catch up on all that is going on in our busy lives.  We were sad that Teonna had to leave early.  She was a trooper for being there and being 36 weeks pregnant with twins!  Hooray for two happy baby boys, Gunner Wade and Gavin Edward, that joined our family this week!

I'm so grateful for my mother.  She is one of my biggest helpers.  She is always willing to watch Little Boy.  She goes out of her way to do anything she can to make us happy.  Most importantly, she has taught me what it means to be selfless and charitable.  She is one of the most Christ-like people I know.  I hope that I can learn from her example and become the kind of woman she is.  I love you, Mom!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Tony's been teaching seminary for 4 months now!  He's grown a lot and is continually improving.  It's really stressful for him sometimes.  He always wants to have a lesson that will be applicable to a group of teenagers, but it also has to be fun.  On top of that, he never knows when Brother Moon will be stopping by to watch a class and critique him.  Brother Moon's feedback is phenomenal!  He always has great ideas for how to improve.  We always enjoy his monthly inservices.  They've asked him to be the guy to teach the teachers how to be teachers because he is a spectacular teacher himself!

Every now and again, Hyrum and I go to the seminary with Tony so that we can help him plan a lesson or just so that we can be with him for a little while.

As for whether or not Tony will be doing this for the rest of his life...

Brother Vellinga from Salt Lake came to visit last week.  He's the guy who watches ALL of the student teachers from all over the country and then ranks them.  He and Brother Moon watched Tony teach and gave him excellent feedback.  We were able to go to an inservice with him and he also came to our house for a home visit/interview.  He asked us about us, why would Tony be a good seminary teacher, where would we want to live if we could choose...  We really enjoyed visiting with him and hope we left an impression.  He will come back sometime next semester to watch Tony again.

The next step will be an interview with one of the Quorum of the Seventy, if they think we're good enough.  And if we make it that far, we'll have to get approval from someone on the Church Board of Education.  And then if they think we're good enough and if they have openings and if we're a good fit for that particular opening and if...if...if...if... THEN they could hire us full time and we would be ecstatic!  It's a very competitive position.  Tony is doing his best and we know that if the Lord has seminary in our plan that it will happen and if He doesn't and we don't get hired, we'll be all the better for it.  It has been wonderful to watch Tony progress.  He is going to be a better husband, father, young men's leader, etc etc etc because of seminary this year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Uncle Bryton

Hyrum is so lucky to have an Uncle Bryton.  He's a silly guy, but he's a lot of fun.  He loves music and art.  He's currently working on his Eagle Project.  He's going to be painting two 15x20 foot canvases for a local elementary school.  The canvases are going to be for the Arizona centennial.  He had to design the canvases and will probably be getting a group together this week to paint them.  Hooray for being an Eagle Scout!

Bryton is also a great example of being missionary minded.  He is always willing to share what he believes with others.  He loves to share his Mormon Boy Swag on his blog.  We're so excited for him to leave on a full time mission in just about 1 year!  We will miss him, but we know he will do a great job.  Someday, Hyrum will follow in his footsteps.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Latest on Hyrum's Mobility...

It would appear Hyrum is more interested in the camera now than the stackers.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Boys

No woman, girl, or lady is as lucky as me.  I have a most wonderful Husband.  I have the most sweet Little Boy.  It is such a blessing to be Wifey and Momma to these two handsome boys.

10 Reasons I Love Husband

1.  He works so hard to support our family.
2.  He teaches me something new everyday.
3.  He forgives me when I'm a rotten stinker sweetheart.
4.  He spoils me.
5.  He introduced me to the delicious food of Texas: Braum's, Freebirds, Cheddar's...the list goes on.
6.  He's the best dad a BOY could ask for.
7.  He cuddles with me in bed.
8.  He holds my hand.
9.  He thinks he's lucky he got me.
10.  He made me a Wifey.

10 Reasons I Love Little Boy

1.  He has blue eyes like Momma.
2.  His sweet giggles when we tickle him or make faces or give him kisses.
3.  He's so stinkin' cute in his stinkin' cute clothes.
4.  His cute little hands.  His cute little toes.  His cute little bottom.
5.  His fresh clean smell after bath time.
6.  He's so peaceful when he sleeps.
7.  He makes me slow down to enjoy the little moments.
8.  His silly faces.
9.  He smiles at me when I come home from school.
10.  He made me a Mother.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Manster

manster (n) a little boy monster
2 days old
85 days old
181 days old

They grow so fast!  It's hard to believe that it's the same baby!  It's been a pleasure to watch him change, to see him learn how to use his little body.  The best part, though, is seeing how much he's stayed the same.  He is still the quiet, happy little boy we met that first day in the hospital.  He has a gentle spirit.  Tony and I feel so blessed to be the parents of Hyrum Joseph Brown.

P.S. The swing has been retired to the storage closet.  Hyrum learned how to turn himself upside down and all around in it--even when he was buckled in!  So...until the next babe...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


October has flown by, but that doesn't mean we weren't up to a million things.  I feel like I photographed a life's worth of pictures in the last 31 days.  Here are some that didn't make their way to the blog.

True dad, carrots and all...

Our Messmaker

Judge me for grabbing the camera.


Glad we caught the month in pictures!!