Sunday, January 17, 2016

Snowshoeing

I love to snowshoe when the weather cooperates. Last year the weather never really did cooperate so this year has already been great for outdoor winter activities. Because it is a long weekend I really wanted to take Andrew snowshoeing at some point this weekend. Saturday worked best and his mom wanted to join us. It was me, Amanda and the two boys ready for an afternoon of adventure. We had so much fun. Luckily we were all easy going because I learned with two little ones in tow it is good not to have any expectations. We had tons of fun but it was a lot of work. Moki came as well. I love spending time with these people.

Andrew started off trying out snowshoes.
 He was pretty much adorable. The weather was perfect, lightly snowing.
 We went up Millcreek canyon. It is close to their house and they allow dogs so that worked out well.
 Andrew was not fast in the snowshoes but he was so cute to watch. He trekked a few hundred yards or so and then was ready to ride in the backpack. I will say we went later in the afternoon so he was pretty tired. I think he could have gone further in the morning.

Dan saw this picture and said Andrew should not be allowed to be so cute. Obviously I agree. There is something about him peeking around my shoulder in this picture that kills me.
 And then there is this guy.
 It really was a nice afternoon that got us all outdoors. I am so glad we had no expectations because it was a great afternoon.

 Emerson is such a sweetie.
 A scenery shot.
 All done.
 It was a great way to spend my Saturday. I had played stake basketball in the morning and done a few chores before heading to Salt lake. I spent the day up there. By the time I got home I was exhausted. I almost didn't set my alarm because I went to be before 11 and I thought there is no way I will sleep later than 6 or 7. At the last moment I did set it for 8am. Good thing because I still hit snooze before waking up. I slept great and slipped in a little late for 9am church....oops. Thank goodness there is another day to rest before going back to work!



Last of the wedding Pictures

I wanted to wrap up my posts about Aaron's wedding. Nancy, Loralie, Katie and I traveled from Utah together. It was a fun girls car. We did a lot of traveling that weekend. It took me an entire week before I felt recovered. I was a little sick as well and so I think that also slowed me down. I finally started feeling better on Friday.

The Saturday after the Oroville reception we hopped in the car and headed to Visalia California for another reception. Visalia is 6 hours away from Oroville. We left in the morning, stopped at the hospital, met up with the boys for lunch, and then finally ended up in Visalia. It is 6 hours south on HWY 99. It was raining like crazy when we got down there, this was a problem because the reception was outside. Luckily we got everything set up and the rain went away during the reception. It was chilly though and so none of us put on our nice clothes, we are white trash like that:)

The outdoor tent looked great with all the lights and lanterns.
There were a couple fire pits to roast marshmallows and stay warm. We spent a lot of time huddled around them. Another reason not to wear our fancy clothes.
 Two little boys loved roasting marshmallows but refused to eat them. Stinkers!

 Emerson hung out with me for a little while.

 The kids were over the reception and so my cousin Katie and I attempted to entertain them away from the guests. More Katie than me, she is great with little kids. We went on a walk. Our walk turned into a zombie walk because Braxton demanded that we do that. Who has ever even heard of a Zombie walk? Not me. Basically I waled in Zombie mode and chased the three year old boys. When they shined their lantern on me I had to freeze. It was actually really fun and a little crazy. It kept them entertained for awhile so that was a win.
After the reception my mom, Nancy, Loralie, Katie and I drove as far as we could and then got a hotel. We made it to Modesto. We got a room and slept in. The next morning we had to head back to Utah. We stopped in Sacramento again and saw my dad and then hopped in the car and drove all day. Blah!!! I am so over that trip. It was a short and fun weekend. Love my family!

Here are a few more pictures I enjoyed that I wanted to post from the trip.

My mom looked beautiful.
  Hanging out while they take pictures.
 My favorite kids.
 Olivia sure loved on Emerson this trip. You can tell she is ready for a baby at her house. Only one more week sweetie.
 Sam's cute little family!
 Caleb with his long and flowing hair.
 And Emerson eating Amanda's shoulder. He does that a lot these days.
It really was a great day. During the sealing President Papa talked about that because of the atonement my dad could be a part of the ceremony because of the covenants he has made. I am not quoting it directly. But it was a sweet moment. To realize that even though my dad was sick in a hospital bed this moment with his entire immediate family in the temple would be made up to him. I don't know I don't understand how it all works but I do know that while he missed the wedding and that is really sad the atonement covers those feelings and because of Jesus Christ it will all be ok. And I know he would not have wanted his entire immediate family to be anywhere else at that moment in time!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Oroville Reception

Friday night we had the Oroville reception. So many ward members made it possible for us to pull it off. People really stepped up to serve. From serving food, to making cookies, they just helped so much. It was pretty low key. I loved being able to see so many people I love.

Angelee, who I missed at Christmas because she was traveling all over the place.
 Liz and Mikila who helped in the kitchen and were life savers.
 The Lowry's stopped by and brought Krissann.
These are the only people I have pictures with but I got to visit with so many people I love from Oroville.
My California relatives all made an appearance which was so fun!


 Linda Cherry seriously has mad cake making skills!



 Bubba was very anti family picture.
 So tired. It had been a very long day.
It was a fun night celebrating Aaron and Jacklyn.

Wedding day hospital stop

My Dad has been struggling since he got the sepsis. This last week they finally started waking him up again but he is back to square one. Talk about heart breaking. I visited him on Thursday when we came into town and it was so hard. It is just a really hard place. And I just feel so much love for him and my family and wish that it could be easier. But for now it isn't. And that is ok. Hard but ok. I spent a few hours crying on Thursday. Crying that my dad was still so sick, crying that we were all in town and he was stuck in a stupid hospital, crying that he was missing Aaron's wedding, crying for Aaron that he was missing his wedding....so yeah I cried a lot. I think I really needed those tears to come out though because Friday the hospital visit was great.

Friday was the first time that we have been allowed to enter his room not wearing hospital gowns and gloves. He had MRSA in his trach site and as a precaution we had to suit up to see him. The MRSA is thankfully gone and so is the sepsis.

All the gradkids got to come in and say hi. They all handled it so well. Braxton and Andrew even came back in. It is no easy task seeing your grandpa hooked up to a million machines and so sick in bed.

It's the first time he has really been able to talk since he had sepsis. His voice was quiet because he had to talk over the ventilator, but he did it for the whole visit.

We really overwhelmed him. OOPS! We just were so excited and for some reason it is easier to talk to him and not be sad when we are all there.
 My brothers were so great with him. Holding his hand, talking to him and just letting him feel their love. I think he was a little confused that we were all there. He grabbed Dan by the arm and pulled him in close and asked if he was dying. All of us in church clothes surrounding his bed was a little overwhelming. Dan assured him that he was not dying but he had some fighting to do. I watched the conversation from the side and Dan handled it so well. We told him Aaron got married. He looked a little sad and frustrated and then he asked if it was in the temple. We said yes and he just looked so relieved and said good. We told him president Papa did the sealing and he said good.
He asked my brothers to give him a blessing and wanted my mom and I to be there as well. What a sweet and special experience. The love I felt for my family at that tender moment was amazing. And if I am honest I could not even hear the blessing. By this time we had gotten him all worked up and so only Sam and Caleb were in the room and the rest of us watched/listened from the hall. The spirit was strong and I just know Heavenly Father loves that man and the love my dad has for his family was felt.

Aaron and Jacklyn came by the hospital after we all left. They also had a great visit with my dad. My aunt Virginia finally kicked them out because my dad needed to rest and they had a reception to get to.

This visit was a tender mercy from the Lord. I visited my Dad on Saturday and Sunday and he did not communicate as well or respond as well on either day. He just was so alert and talkative on Friday which was a huge blessing for our family.

Aaron got married!

2016 started off with a great family event....a wedding! That is something to get excited about in the Brown family:) While the timing didn't thrill anyone I love how everyone made the necessary sacrifices to be there. That's what you do for your family. It was a really really fast and crazy weekend, but so fun. I am now sick and exhausted but there is always time to recover now that I am home.

My mom has been so busy going to the hospital everyday to be with my dad that the wedding was really causing her lots of stress. Can I just say I love Oroville? So many people stepped up from our ward family, to Aaron's co-workers, to my mom's co-workers to help us pull off this event. I have never felt so blessed and so grateful to be on the receiving end of such generosity.  It really blew my mind. Such good good people. They lifted a heavy weight from my family at a time that has just been so hard. I will be forever grateful to those that stepped up when we needed it. We could not have gotten the gym to look like this without help. It was beautiful.
Aaron and Jacklyn got married on Friday January 8th in the Sacramento Temple. President Papa, our former principal, bishop, and stake president, is now the temple president and he performed the sealing. Such a neat experience. He did a wonderful job. It was so hard to not have my Dad present. My heart was breaking a little but I know he would never want Aaron and Jacklyn to postpone their wedding on his account. Driving to the temple was CRAZY! I forget about Northern California fog. It was so dense but once we got on highway 50 the fog was gone and the day was absolutely gorgeous.
Finally married. And then there was the usual million pictures. Yes I will be posting a ton of them.
 It is hard to get everyone looking at the same time!


 I wish I knew what we were all laughing at in this photo but I love that we are all laughing.
 Love all of these people.


 Cuties.
Trying to keep two three year old boys entertained took lots of people.

 Olivia was being a stinker about getting a picture with Anthony.


 Me with all my nieces and nephews. Can't wait for the new girl addition coming the end of this month.



 Trying to get the kids to be normal for the pictures was no small task. I loved going through the group pictures and zooming in on them. They are all so cute.

 We told them to hold hands. Andrew makes an attempt.
 Goes 90% because his cousin is being stubborn.
 DENIED!!!!!!! Braxton was being a stinker, a cute stinker.

 Two happy people!
And the two cutest boys ever award goes to these two.
The temple was a great experience. We did all the family pictures and then we hopped in our cars and headed to the hospital to see my dad.