Thursday, June 25

smokin' hot

not sure how we got so lucky to have chris.
so glad there is a day to honor him and the father that he is. he's pretty tough on himself and always thinks he needs to be better (which is something i love about him), but he's most definitely the perfect papa and husband for us. 

we made these silly glasses and hid a couple presents around the living room for him to find.

the kids wrote some special cards and one of my favorite lines was from ellie. she said "my daddy treats me like a flower." it melted me.

jack was so excited to tell papa about the texas bbq magazine subscription that he got him... you can see the excitement in his face in this picture.

we also got him a kitchen blowtorch... you can see the excitement in his face in this picture.

chris has been wanting a legit smoker for quite some time now. so we bought one and hid it under the couch for him to find too.

just kidding.
he decided enough was enough and ordered a yoder smoker for a combined father's day/birthday/christmas gift...... for the next 5 years :)

he's already made his best batch of ribs yet! we're pretty excited for the wonderful meals and this bad boy will produce in the future. I can already see the bbq shindigs with friends.

because chris' birthday and father's day are so close together, and because we'll be in florida on his birthday next week (eeeek!), and because his favorite treat in the whole world is cheesecake, the kids decided i should make him a key lime cheesecake to celebrate. so despite the fact that chris is our family's cheesecake baker, i decided to give it a whirl. and it didn't crack! hooray!

happy father's day and early birthday to this smoking' guy. 
we are so excited to keep the party going and celebrate your birthday next week in florida!


Wednesday, June 24


while the kids were at school on their last day, i got a text from katie that said "don't think about it, just say yes- come to dallas with us after the kids get out of school tonight for a rangers game. just do it!" well, it doesn't take much convincing for us to go on an adventure :) so to dallas we went! 

we love these guys.

the drive wasn't bad. only about 4.5 hours. we got there friday night and then on saturday we swam at the hotel, took a tour of the stadium, and ate some pretty doggone good bbq before the game.

watching these guys try to decide which seats to buy was hilarious.

these kids get along so great (most of the time). they have a cousin-type relationship. its truly wonderful!

owen was able to take a nap during the game. and while he was awake, he loved all the noise and people to watch.

we ate so much junk throughout the day that chris woke up at 1 am and threw it all up. he never felt sick though, so he got up, puked, and went right back to sleep!

ben and katie were nice enough to watch our kids early saturday morning so chris and i could go to the temple. we did sealings. it was so much fun being there with chris. sadly, its been awhile since we've been able to go together other than for youth baptism trips, which is a great experience too, but its been quite a long time since we've done sealings. 

love this man of mine.

we packed some stuff to make lunch on our drive home sunday so we didn't have to stop at a restaurant. we figured this gas station was a good place to picnic on the sabbath since it's sign talked about Christ :) 
Jesus + nutella sandwiches + gas stations = perfection

there had been so much rain in AR, TX, and OK during the week and weekend that part of our route home was flooded. it added about an 1.5 hour detour onto our trip, which is about 1.5 hours too many when you've got a 7 month old with you. 

all in all it was a great little getaway! we really liked dallas and can't wait to explore more of texas sometime.

Saturday, June 20

fun, fun and more fun!

we have done quite a few exciting things the past couple months and I've done a terrible job documenting them, so here goes!

last month Chris and I attended a Wounded Warrior Project Gala with several of chris' coworkers. we had such a great time eating and dancing and dressing up. the last time we dressed up was about 10 ½ years ago... for our wedding. 

Yellow Morning Photography: Wounded Warrior Gala 2015 &emdash;

i definitely wish we had more excuses to get all gussied up! chris was smoking' hot in that tux. I've got butterflies just looking at these pictures again!

another great evening we had (just the two of us) was an early celebration for my birthday, which isn't until august

we dropped the kids off with the smith's for an overnighter and headed up to Rogers to see not just one of my favorite bands, but two...
Dashboard Confessional and THIRD EYE BLIND

i love dashboard, i can't lie. and yes, chris carrabba is just as cute as he was when i was in high school, but nothing could beat third eye blind! my sisters and i have been listening to them since i was in fourth grade. crazy! chris told me to get whatever seats i wanted, so of course we went with the standing section so i could rock on baby, rock on. 
and i did. 
and there were only two people in front of us.
and the bands were awesome. 

chris was such a good sport to put up with my music, the crazy loud ringing in our ears (we're getting old!) not to mention the crowd, but especially the lateness of the night... he had to be at work at 6 the next morning. hopefully it was worth it to him, it certainly was for me!

something else that has been so great for our little crew has been the new waterpark, Parrot Island, that opened up down the street from us. gma and gpa brower gave us season passes for christmas and we have definitely been putting them to good use, especially now that the water has finally warmed up.

 chris has been working a ton, but if its slow on the weekends he can sometimes sneak in a quick visit. we took him dinner one night and he surprised the kids by taking each one individually into the doctors lounge and let them pick out an ice cream bar. holy moly, that was heaven for these guys! Owen really, i mean REALLY loved his first taste of an ice cream sandwich 

something else that has become a fun weeknight activity for us this summer, has been roasting marshmallows. we usually make smores and sometimes we even make scary faces in front of the fire. and sometimes, if i'm lucky, chris will give me a kiss and one of the kids might catch it :)

the kids partcipated in tennis camp again this summer and had so much fun. Ellie even won the camper of the day award!

we had a good size group from the ward that participated this year, including the peczuhs and smiths.

we've also taken a trip to dallas and celebrated chris for father's day and his birthday, but those will have to wait cause this ended up being way longer than anticipated!

Monday, May 18

A little bit country

Ellie taught us how to square dance for FHE last week. I can't even put into words how much fun we had! We have the kids teach the lesson every once in a while, but for whatever reason we've never thought to have them be in charge of the activity. We'll definitely have to change that because it was a blast. The first graders learned how to square dance last week at school. She felt super cool knowing how to do something that the rest of us didn't have a clue about. And being able to then teach us how, well that was just the cherry on top! She and daddy were partners and I switched off with the little boys. I wish I had thought to take some pictures throughout. At the end I hurried and captured a little bit of miss Ellie dancing with Jack (along with a guest appearance by charlie and his light saber).


Tuesday, May 12

things i want to remember

owen is a special boy.
he's six months now and that kind of boggles my mind. how? how is he already six months? I'm embarrassed to admit that i don't remember many of the details about jack or ellie when they were at this stage. that makes me sad. i know we had all those special little details with them. i remember a few about charlie. i think one of the reasons why i don't really remember too much is because at the time i thought i'd be having more babies and i'd be able to relive those moments again and again with each new addition. but this might be the last time we have a little one, we don't know. besides the fact that I'm experienced enough to know that each baby has their own special habits and details. 
i don't ever want to forget how owen concentrates so hard to get his hand up to my hair and gently twirls it between his sticky, chubby little fingers while he's sleepily breastfeeding. i don't want to forget how sweet his breath smells while he runs his hands over my face and bites my nose. or how his little body tenses up in anticipation for tickles when i say "i'm gonna get you!". i don't want to forget how he always scoots his head into the corner of his bed before falling asleep. 

or how smooth his plump little feet are from heel to toe. i don't want to forget how his eyes light up and smile when he sees jack or ellie or charlie and especially me or papa. or how squishy those cheeks are when we kiss them over and over and over. and that head. he has the softest, smoothest, warmest head. or how he stops whatever he's doing when i say "you are... so cute" to smile directly at me. i don't want to forget how surprised he is when he splashes his face while slamming his strong little arms down in the water thats pooled by his side during bath time. or his grunts of frustration when he rolls over onto his belly. he doesn't like to be on his belly. or how his tongue curls on the sides when sticks it out because he's slightly tongue tied. i don't want to forget how warm and soft his tender skin is under his neck or how much he tries to fight the urge to laugh when i nuzzle right under his chin with my nose and lips. or how ticklish his armpits and back are when you barely touch his skin. 

i don't want to forget how much he loves to jump in his jumper and how strong and muscular his calves are because of it. or how every once in a while while eating, he'll look up at me with his smiley eyes and we will both start giggling. it takes a moment for him to start eating again, but as soon as he does it happens all over again. or how hard it is to get him to laugh out loud if he doesn't want to. i don't want to forget that during the quiet moments, my heart almost hurts because it's filled to bursting with love for him. and i really don't want to forget how happy he makes our family. i've never seen so much love for a sibling before. every milestone is so much more monumental when you have an 8 year old, 7 year old, and 4 year old cheering him on. i hope i remember these little details forever.


owen had his first real food last night, besides a little rice cereal. jack got to feed him his first bite as a reward for doing the dinner dishes and ellie got to pick out his first real food: pears.

Friday, May 8

may holidays

the first week in may has some pretty sweet holidays.

first up:
the kentucky derby!
which technically isn't a holiday, but its a reason to celebrate nonetheless!

we each picked out the horse we wanted to win and placed our bets on a candy bar. we grilled burgers and then chris made some virgin mint juleps to drink during the race that were so so so tasty. we've never had the real deal so we have no clue how they compare, but these were delicious. in the end, mama won the candy bar because my horse came in 2nd, jacks 3rd, and ellis's 4th.... not too shabby for not having a clue about horse racing.

next up:
may the 4th be with you!

the kids have really been loving star wars. we started watching them a few weeks ago and this holiday conveniently fit right in! the kids wore star wars shirts to school, then we had chocolate cake that looked like chewbacca (its a stretch, i know) for an fhe treat, followed by a viewing of episode 1. such a fun night!

and lastly:
cinco de mayo!

this may give thanksgiving a run for its money as the tastiest holiday of the year. we grilled yummy meats and cooked up tortillas, all while dancing to mariachi music and wearing mustaches.

that night we went and watched chris play softball. he's on the ward softball team. they play against other church teams from the area... mostly baptist teams. chris hasn't played since our rexburg days, but that doesn't slow him down a bit. he hit a homerun during the first game!