Brownie Updates

Brownie Updates
this is the life

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


This week I attended a wedding reception while here in Oroville. It was Natalie Jagodas and I had the opportunity of seeing some of my really good friends. Since Saturday night I have thought about how blessed I have been in my life to be surrounded by great people. This truly has been a huge blessing to me. 

This picture captures some of my oldest friends.
It's not easy growing up. I definitely have had my ups and downs with these girls in this picture, but they are some of my lifelong friends. I am grateful they have forgiven me or moved past all the dumb things I have done and are still willing to be my friend. I have a number of other friends from Oroville that belong in this picture as well. I don't know what I did to deserve so many great people in my life but I recognize it as a blessing from the Lord. 

There are also a handful of people from my college days that are truly lifelong friends. And currently I am attending a family ward, something that is sometimes really hard due to my marital status, but again I have been blessed to have met and become friends with some of the best people. Heavenly Father really has blessed me abundantly in the friend area in my life.

And it continues

This week I am really trying to make sure I get my exercise in. I have been good for Monday - Thursday all summer but then the weekend comes and I fail miserably. The weather has been quite pleasant so that's really nice. Of course that is all changing this week. 

I have been blessed to spend lots of time with Olivia and Braxton this month in California. It has also been great to see my dad so much. He is really making progress. He is looking so much better.
The care center lets me bring Moki in every day. It is so nice. She loves saying hi to all the residents she sees. My dad has always loved Moki so that has been so great. 
Olivia is getting really good at playing games. She played games with my dad for over an hour and he loved it. She did so good with him and it was fun to watch. When he was still so sick he had a conversation with my brother Ben. They were talking about death. My dad mentioned that he wasn't afraid of dying but he was just so sad on what he will miss out on.  I know it is precious time with his grandchildren that kept the will to live alive in him. He really enjoys being around them.

Father's Day was Sunday. It was so nice to visit with my dad. All the kids skyped or called and he had a really nice day. My mom and I took him homemade nachos. My dad hasn't really eaten much since his surgery. He gets sick easy and doesn't love the food they give him. Let me tell you he loves his nachos. I thought we were going to be throwing food away but he ate it all!!!! That hasn't happened in such a long time. I was so pleased that he picked a meal he really got to enjoy. We also brought one of his favorite treats, homemade Carmel popcorn with peanuts. It was a good day.

Some of the pictures with my nieces and nephews.
Bubba making a mess of his ice cream cone.
Olivia doing laps to earn a treat.
 I did Olivia's hair for church. The girl has gorgeous hair.
Swimming at Grandmas house.
It was actually a really chilly day but Olivia and Braxton stayed in the pool for over two hours. Pools are the best when you are a kid.

Sam sent me this cute picture of the Utah boys.
Eating at a restaurant can be soooooo hard.
Katie posted this cute picture of Olivia in Facebook today.
I think she looks adorable in her swim gear. She is loving swim team and it is so fun to see her so excited about something.

Sam sent me this cute picture of Andrew sleeping during lunch.
I believe he said even super Heros need to rest. Love this sweet boy.  

Moki loves loves loves the water. After running today, well she ran I biked, she spent some time enjoying the sprinkler.
I have enjoyed spending so much time with people I love this summer. It's a blessing to be able to do that!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


It has been such a long roller coaster with my dad. He had heart surgery on November 3rd. He walked himself into the hospital, and he is still not home!!!! This has been hard and long and blah, even more so for my mom. It's so weird how my emotions are all over the spectrum in a day, hour, or even in minutes. Watching your parents suffer is horrible and hard. I just want to jump to the part where he comes home, but right now we are still in the middle of the battle.
Lucky for him he has lots of people that love him and are sacrificing tons to help him. And he is doing better. So much better. It just feels so slow. 
Yesterday he wheeled himself everywhere he went, which was huge. His legs just aren't getting strong fast. He is bummed about that and so am I but he doesn't complain. He goes to physical therapy and works so hard. So hard that sometimes he throws up, or gets bloody noses, or starts bleeding excessively out of an open wound. It is like I cheer and cry for him all at the same time. 

My mom is finishing work so I have been visiting the care center everyday. I spend a lot of time there because the truth is, you get better care when your family is there advocating for you. I have had to confront people way more than I like too. It is uncomfortable for me but I want my dad to have the best care. It is good for me to have to do that because I hate it. 

My dad still loves to play games. His mind is sharp but he processes things more slowly. He doesn't joke around as much. He also really never complains. And never asks for pain medication. He still won't eat cooked vegetables. He asks for fried chicken everyday, which is hilarious because he never had it that often before. No, we don't give in that often. After almost two weeks of being here I did give in today and he was so happy.

I am so happy I am available to help this summer. It is hard and long and frustrating but I feel so blessed that my situation allows it. I love spending time with him even in these circumstances. 
 I worry that I work him too hard so sometimes I let him take a nap or relax in bed. He still has a long road ahead of him and I am sure there will be lots of bumps along the way, I am grateful he is still here walking down the path of life with us, even through its a very hard path for him right now. 

Nephew and Niece overload

Who knew I could love my nephews and nieces so much. They are the best.
Spending time with them is my favorite.
Sometimes Sam just sends me pictures to make me miss these two so much.
Then there is Braxton who is absolutely hilarious. I had to pull over in the middle of nowhere for him to pee because when he was suppose to pee he just went in and washed his hands to trick his dad. 
I am telling you if he didn't have the cutest face ever he would get in a lot more trouble.

Olivia and Braxton came to my moms house the first weekend I was home. We played and played and played some more. 
A small swimming pool and trampoline are the best entertainment ever. These two played outside all day everyday. I love that they really play well together right now. So fun to listen in on them.

Had to snuggle Katelyn when I took them home.
She really is a doll.
 Olivia started swim team and so while my dad was at dialysis I headed to Lodi to watch. Seriously made me want to join swim team.
I love how Olivia is so excited for it. 
We watched and practiced our selfie skills.
I am a big fan of kids being active so it really was fun to watch.

Before swim team Braxton and Olivia kept me entertained while we played outside and played sequence for kids. Braxton won the first two rounds and big sister was bummed.
Losing is hard. I am glad she didn't quit playing. She tried really hard to not be too disappointed and eventually won the fourth round. The bad aunt in me came out because I took a picture of her in her moment of despair.
 These kids enrich my life so much. I just love being around all of them.

Hiking and biking

This winter I exercised the least I ever have in my entire life. It has been so hard to have my dad so sick. I really have to learn to deal with stuff like this better. When spring rolled around I really tried to force myself to do the stuff I love. I biked to work on most good weather days, then if I did nothing else it was kind of ok. 
We hiked Squaw peak, always a cardio workout. Moki was in heaven. 
Rollerbladed up the canyon a few times. 
Biked 50 miles one Saturday, it was a gorgeous day.
Sometimes I fail at adulting and forget sunscreen. That was a fail and normally I only stay red the day of. This time I was red for three days. Not good.

I am really trying to make sure I get my exercise in this summer because I feel way better if I do. Even if it is hard and I am having a bad day, exercise only helps that. 

But my first day of true summer I overdid it and then was wiped out all week. I commuted on my bike to see my dad. 30 miles each way in 100 degree weather. 
Not one of my best moments. Lesson learned!

I am failing at blogging!

After spring break the weather in Utah was hit and miss. Luckily there were some really nice days and I was able to do some of my favorite hikes.
Moki loves when we hike.

I coached track this year. We had 180 kids. It's always crazy but so fun. Let's just say the coaches were all smiles at the last track meet:)!
My sister in-law Amanda had to go to Wyoming for a day and Sam had work. I got to spend the day with two little boys I love lots. We went to the zoo and played outside until dark. It was so fun.
We always start with the train ride. The animals were really active this day and I got to see all my favorites: baby giraffe named Willow, elephants, the polar bear, the brown bears. Katie and Cierra joined us which made it even more fun. (it took me forever to convince Andrew to ride the carousel and then he LOVED it.)
Sometimes the three year old sits down on the ground to read the map😫! I have to learn to be more patient and remember that everything doesn't have to be done in fast motion.

Meanwhile baby brother is adorable!
Sometimes I just really miss seeing these two so I come visit 
And Andrew tells his parents they can leave.

I am going to be away from these two most the summer and my heart hurts just thinking about it.


Amber and I decided we needed a weekend away. We debated for awhile on where to go. In the end Moab was a great option for us. I could bring...