Friday, July 30, 2010


Yesterday would have been my Aunt Elfrieda's 59th birthday. I didn't even get to meet her...EVER {Kristi and I were happily growing in my mom's belly when she died}. She and her husband {Bob} were driving home from the beach {a FAVORITE of theirs} on a Sabbath afternoon when their lives were ended TOO short in a car accident.....leaving my mom and grandparents absolutely devastated.

So yesterday in memory of her we went over to mom's and poured through some pictures while mom shared some stories with us......6 days before they died my mom, dad, grandparents, Elfrieda and Bob had just spent a "perfect in every way weekend" {per mom} together as family.
I know for certain I would have LOVED her greatly.....I carry on her name {it's my middle}, she LOVED the beach, camping, everything out doors, and HATED washing dishes!!
Then after looking through pictures and laughing at all of my mom's hair styles {one day my turn is coming with my own girls} we headed over to Dairy Queen. Because as their *above mentioned* "perfect weekend" came to a aunt & uncle decided that a quick stop at DQ would be the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. My mom said she told Elfrieda about the pregnancy, they hugged tightly, and she ran her fingers through my aunts long blonde hair 2 times.....not EVER realizing that would be the last time. Thank GOD for kids because they bring laughter when sometimes you just want to cry. Mom says that her pregnancy with us turned into the greatest miracle for my grandparents as we pulled them through their deep sadness and into happier days.
I certainly hope I never have to experience loosing 1 or even both of siblings as my mom has. It was nice to stop our lives for a brief time, even though the world kept going, and remember a beautiful sister, aunt, daughter, wife, niece, cousin, and friend. CANNOT wait for Heaven!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chattanooga Trolley Ride

On a whim a couple days ago we decided to go to the Chattanooga Choo Choo and ride the Trolley...or "Charlie" {per Emery Grae}! It's just a fun place to explore!
The girls were able to each take turns pulling the rope to set off the bell at "pedestrian crossings"......the rest of the time we sat back, listened to some history behind the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and enjoyed the ride!
They also have beautiful gardens to walk through, sit in, or run around!
These tickets have been burning a hole in my purse for over a year now and minus daddy, who was out of town on business, it was a perfect afternoon outing!
There's just something about railroad tracks that beg for picture taking! A train taking off down the tracks into the setting sun! Perfect backdrop....despite 2 slightly dirty and sweaty girls!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Browns in Town{s}

Our friends came to visit us this last weekend and as customary with having younger kids it was loud and busy and maybe for them felt a little crazy {as theirs are 10 months and 2 1/2 years old....been there! Mine are especially good at showing their back sides when we are staying with other people and ooooooo making me feel oh so the parent of the year}! But way more than that it was FUN and memories were made and I was able to sit back and smile A LOT {maybe even sometimes while theirs were acting up and mine were good for a change!}!
we swam
we utilized the backyard a bunch....ate popsicles melting faster than could be licked, turned the regular slide into a bullet shooting slide {Owen left with some battle wounds this weekend and we're hoping is gram isn't mad!}
and took baths outside......soooo much easier aside from the parents getting soaked as well!
Did a family first and rode up Lookout Mountain on the incline.....on the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR WE'RE QUITE CERTAIN!
and once we made it to the top we walked a short way to Point Park and meandered around
We ventured back home with FULL intentions of NO NAPS and wearing these kids out a bit more followed by bedtime at a reasonable hour so the adults could get in a few sentences HAPPILY! There is just something about company and vacations that=LATE BEDTIMES! It can't be helped, too much fun to be had!
Body painting with wet chalk
And some of the in betweens of our weekend......horsey rides, "NO PUDGE" brownies {get them people...All Natural Fat Free YUMMINESS}, dressing up, silliness, BABY SNUGGLING by my oldest {oohhh she wants a baby sibling}, and sipping on Izzie's
Sooooo needless today I woke up to a pretty quiet house, made only 4 cups of coffee instead of 8 cups, back to reality of laundry & house cleaning, and OOOPS we forgot to eat 3 meals! So dinner was left over brownies, sorbet, and popcorn in our bed watching "Mary Poppins" We miss you already Brown's!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Left over minutes in Florida

We needed a little down time away from Disney and so it was spent like this:
making tie dyed t-shirts at our hotel
playing tether ball
relaxing at the pool.....we must have circled that lazy river a hundred and three times
getting to see our friends Tim and Erika whom the girls ADORE....and maybe it's cause Erika took them on "jungle safari's" through the lazy river
or Tim LOVES to be just a silly as Emery
munching on one of our favorite snacks "Pirates Booty"....never heard of it? GET IT!
picture a bit blurry cause remember I said it rained A LOT!!....still raining....still swimming
and finally on our last night in Florida the Reiner's graciously let us have a sleep over
we had yummy home made food which we were sooooo ready for, comfy beds, adult conversation, and just being in the company of people you love and love you right back!
oh and p.s.....visit the Reiner's cause you can't set foot in their house without getting's GREAT!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Animal Kingdom

Our last day was spent at Animal Kingdom and we all agreed it was on the top of favorite days!
We started the day out with a quick hello with Pooh
and tigger.....there's just something about "him" that gives you a BOOST of energy.....could be all that jumping!
we hopped on a few this point Emery was VERY certain of what she wanted to ride and what she DID NOT!! She clearly stated she would much rather sit and watch then ride the scary ones!
We visited Mount Everest
and the oldest decided she wanted to ride the scariest ride there.....TWICE! So the parents each got in on some of the adrenaline pumping fun! Kayden and Jon rode in the VERY back the 1st time....2nd time around she and I were put in the VERY front and she got the life scared out of her!
a little close up shot!!
While Emery was completely content walking through Asia seeing Komodo Dragons
Asian Bats
and an array of beautiful exotic birds!
we stopped for lunch and when Jon brought the drinks there were NO lids and cardboard type straws.....SAFETY first for the animals! LOVE!
We went on a safari of the best parts of the day
AND of course you can't be at Animal Kingdom without being blown away by the Tree of Life
I could have really taken a picture of each animal but I're welcome!
Last stop before exiting was a 3D movie "It's a Bugs Life"......SO FUN! So many unexpected's (I know NOT a word) that you're laughing and screaming all at once!
I must leave you with this (appropriate with seeing above): the BIGGEST HUGEST BEAUTIFULLEST grasshopper we've EVER seen.....and yes Kayden wanted to snatch him up and take him home!
We left EXTREMELY tired from 4 VERY FUN and LONG days.......still not sure we've completely caught up on sleep.....eerrrr at least the parents! So many memories were packed into those days but we were ALL very happy to return to our Home Sweet Home!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


We spent our 4th of July at Epcot......weren't sure the kids would enjoy it as much as we would but we all ended up enjoying it equally!
I don't think I mentioned in the previous post that it rained on and off the entire time we were in Florida (although I did capture several shots of sunny blue skied it may appear that I'm telling stories but I'm not! It rained!). Once we embraced that fact that this would be a rainy vacation and picked up some cover-ups we decided rain might not be a bad thing. Disney in July=HOT! So the rain worked on our side and cooled us off a bit!
This particular day was extra rainy which is why some of these pictures are a bit dark!
There was a great aquarium which sheltered us from a downpour and by the time we finished and headed back outside it was only drizzling
The girls had little interest waiting in line to meet characters at Disney.....fine with us. But they happened to spot ALL 5 character's they were interested in seeing all in 1 building and decided this line was TOTALLY worth the wait! INDEED IT WAS!
This was one of the times we realized we brought them at a perfect age because they were OVER THE TOP excited to meet them, SOOOO believing they were real!
maybe even we believed they were real too! :)
We then made our way around the world....taking an extra long break in Deutschland cause that's where my roots are!
Asia was a fun hands on stop
Rounding the end of our world tour the girls were given a mission! Listening to clues given through a cell phone
they took a trek thru Italy
*If you ever go you must do this! It's FREE and FUN...if you've been to Disney you share in my excitement of ANYTHING free!!*
We ended the evening with fireworks.....although it started drizzling and we got worried we may not be able to see them!
But hey what were we worried about??......we were in a "magical" place and WOW was it ever a great show!
We missed our 4th of July traditions back home but we made some FUN new memories that will be with us forever!