Monday, November 25

the move


after saying goodbye to our loved ones,

and vacuuming one last time,

and having one last treat at our little home,

we hit the road!


that first day was a tough one. its a good thing chris and i were each driving a car because i was pretty emotional and was able to let it all out without feeling self-conscious in front of my excited husband. not that he would have minded. i just would have tried to put on my brave face instead of facing my real feelings. but once it was out, it was out.... for the most part.

we crammed the first day with a lot of driving and stayed in macon, georgia the first night. 
my mom lived in macon when she was a kid, although I'm sure its changed drastically since then.
after breakfast we set out again for another long day of driving.


we drove through alabama, mississippi, and stopped for the night in downtown memphis, tennessee.
we loved downtown memphis!




we ate dinner at the famous Rendezvous restaurant.
surprisingly, it was horrible food.
but still fun.



and somehow we still managed to eat all our food....


afterwards, we hopped on the trolley for a ride around town.



charlie loved the trolley.


we stopped for some maggie moo's ice cream.


the next day we made it to arkansas!
it was halloween and our friends, the smith's, hosted a fun halloween dinner/trick or treating bash!
it was so much fun reconnecting with the smiths and getting to know some new friends. there are some wonderful people in arkansas.


the next morning we got the keys to our rental and unloaded the truck.



our heater had issues, but it just gave us an excuse to use the fireplace and wear our beanies.


everything is unpacked, but I'm still trying to figure our what to do with all of our palm tree pictures :)

jack and ellie started school on the 6th. they are enjoying it, even though they are in two different elementary schools right now. there was no room in kindergarten at the school we are assigned to, so ellie goes to beard elementary on the other side of town while jack goes to woods. this might be my only major complaint about this area. but as soon as a spot opens, ellie will be able to move over and join jack.


they LOVE having no uniforms for school. they each get their own computer at school and they have started saying "yes ma'am" and "no, sir" so i really can't complain too much!



Saturday, November 23

what love looks like











these are the folks that helped us.
they painted. they hung doors. they babysat. they cleaned. they made meals. they packed boxes. they even took some of our crap.
unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of those that came to help load our truck or unload once we got to arkansas. but there were many people that helped facilitate our move.
we feel so blessed to have these people in our lives.
thank you!

a (last minute) halloween spooktacular!



with mom leaving for hawaii, us packing for the move and then visiting idaho, and bo and larissa's trip to puerto rico, we just didn't think we would have time for a halloween party. so we didn't plan on it. BUT, the desire was too strong! mom put together a last minute bash one night while bo and lari were gone. it was a success, although we did miss our traditional party with the thompsons.

we had mummy dogs and a witches brew. 
along with cheetos. these kids all love cheetos.


played pin the spider on the web


decorated monster cupcakes




and threw sticky eyeballs on the mummy



and of course, no browne halloween party is complete with out the oreo game. since I'm missing my family right now, i'll add the videos even though we are probably the only ones who enjoy them. but in case you enjoy watching others look like they are having a seizure (aka down right foolish), watch on...

video




Thursday, November 21

Western Adventure 2013: REXBURG


rexburg is such a special place.
one of the things that makes it so special are the people.
we were able to visit a few, very dear, friends while we were there.

first we visited chris' great friend, megan, her two little boys, along with her awesome mom, kris. they took good care of chris while he was a student there.... not to mention that kris always, always has banana creamies. she even shared them with us during this visit. it was so neat to see them and see how megan's little family has grown and how happy they are. isn't that the best? to see good friends and know that they are happy?

our next stop was to see berniece brown.
berniece is a special lady.
one in a million.


when chris was driving down a street in 2002, he saw an old lady (berniece) shoveling the snow in her driveway. he stopped and asked her if he could help and she said no, thats how she got her exercise, but that he could visit with her. so he did. and he went back often. they became special friends. i met berniece in 2004. she is a firecracker and smart as a whip. she has a green thumb and is a wonderful gardener. she taught elementary school for many many years. she prefers living on her own and refuses to live with her children. chris calls her each january on her birthday. she'll be 90 on her next birthday! she's so very special.

chris loves this picture of her family. 
she is in the upper left corner.


berniece hates that picture because her ruffled collar is flipped up. she just can't believe that the photographer didn't tell her. she gets fired up telling that story, which makes us laugh.

when we pulled up in the driveway, berniece said she wanted to take us to a great little place for lunch. after we visited for a bit, we loaded up and she took us to arctic circle :)
we feel so lucky that we got to see her. she's been a great influence for us.

october 25, 2013


september 11, 2006


 after saying goodbye we headed up to the byu-i campus.
holy moly!
it has changed so much!
the new i-center is breathtaking and mimics the conference center.


several times while walking around i heard groups of girls oohing and awing over the kids. one girl even said, "oh my gosh! i can't wait!". at the moment i felt like gaging. charlie wouldn't stop yelling to hear is voice echo in the big buildings, jack wouldn't stop running, and ellie was whining. but really, when i look back at it, i probably would have thought the same thing as a young college student... even if i didn't say it out loud ;)

we visited chris' favorite professor, brother palmer. he's awesome and gave the kids several cookies and filled my backpack up with kitkats for later.

of course we had to stop and visit "the steps"


this is where chris proposed on a sunday evening in august 2004.
awwwww, so romantic!

.....minus the nonstop running and screeching from the munchkins....
we took one picture and knew it was a bust, but hey, we tried.

it was winter when we first started dating and when we would go for walks, i would freeze. so we would take a break on these heated steps to warm up. during the summer, we would stop here to read together. so when we finished reading an article in the ensign one summer night, i was totally surprised when chris picked some flowers from the flower bed and proposed.
those days seem so long ago.

we ended our visit by driving by the beautiful rexburg temple and it took my breath away. 
we love rexburg.
i think i used the word "special" a gazillion times, but thats what rexburg is to us.


Western Adventure 2013: BONE


we went up to uncle R's family farm in bone one afternoon.

best.day.ever.




the reason for our trip to the farm:



after a quick lesson on horses and how to act around and treat them, uncle R took them for a couple rides. at one point ellie was shaking, she was so excited!


possibly my favorite picture of the whole trip:




video


just chillaxin' with grandpa 


in the evening, uncle R built a bonfire and we roasted weenies and mallows and even had a chance to ride the 4 wheeler.





this girl could not have been any happier!


i mean seriously, how gorgeous is that?