Sunday, December 30, 2012

I'm Back!

So I obviously decided to take a hiatus from the blog after sweet Anderson Brown arrived! :)  I was still trying to work and was committed in 8 million directions after Anderson was born...then our baby sitter moved away so working and watching 2 babies did not make blogging possible. But I'm now slowing down, have stopped working and ready to try it again. I miss having the kind of "documentation" I used to have of our crazy life!

So to catch up over the past year, I feel like I should dedicate this first blog to my one year old, Anderson Joshua Brown!

And here are some pictures of his first birthday party - A Winter ONEderland! So we now have a ONE and TWO year old! Fun times! :)

Love this little guy! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ahoy it's a Boy!

Can't believe last year I was revealing my baby girl's new nursery and now I am revealing our future baby boy's new nursery!  If you recall from previous decorating posts, I am a beach bum and my house is decorated in a coastal cottage style.  I veered from that with Mary Harper's nursery ( and did an elegant light pink, beige, browns room for her but after Anderson's gender reveal ( I figured why not carry on the nautical theme in Anderson's nursery?!

I knew I did not want to do the traditional red and navy nautical theme and found 2 photos I wanted to use as inspiration that I shared with Lindsay at LDS Designs.  
Here is what the nursery looked like before decorating began..
And here is what it looked like after!
Whale artwork from 
Oar from TJ Maxx
Outfit and hat from a consignment sale!
Dresser and crib from a friend selling them on Facebook! Got both for just $350!

Old trunk of Josh's great aunt
Loved this Volkswagon car I got from Ross
We had this rocking chair in the bonus room from when Mary Harper was born but didn't use it much so decided to use it in Anderson's nursery instead of buying him a new one.

Found this bumper pad from Cocalo at a consignment sale (never used) and found coordinating pieces on Ebay.

Lamp, small stool and piggy bank: TJ Maxx  Buoys: Hobby Lobby Table: Steinmart
My mom made these curtains for me.  They are supposed to look like material used in sails.

Such a creative way to hang!
Rope tie backs
From Anderson's gender reveal!
Porthole mirror and basket from TJ Maxx
I just love how his room turned out!  But I am in no hurry to do a third nursery! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Best. Day. Ever.

Back in September, Josh and I had the opportunity to meet my hero, George W. Bush.  It really was a surreal moment for me.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am a "bit" obsessed with GW.  I really want us to be friends.  :)  But for now, we have at least had our first introduction. ha!

When it was our turn to get our picture made with him, I feel like I was literally running towards him.  Luckily, I was visibly pregnant so the Secret Service was probably afraid to tackle me.  But as soon as he saw me he said, "Congratulations, when are you due?" And so I told him my due date and then proceeded to tell him that I wanted to name my son after him and he asked W? I said "YES! But my husband made me name him after him instead!" He got a big laugh out of that and hugged me and gave me a kiss!
Note: I was pushing for Anderson Walker Brown...but Josh is making me go with Anderson Joshua Brown - go figure.

He really did spend more time with us talking than he did with others and I told Josh it was because he could sense that I loved him. :) Josh then talked to him about meeting him once before with Governor Sundquist and he told us to tell "Sunny" hello.  And then we had to move along. Which made me sad.

Later we got to listen to him speak and then there was even a more casual setting where he sat and answered some questions.  He was so funny and had the audience laughing all night.  We got to listen to him talk for over an hour and I could have sat there all night.

So that was my special moment with President Bush.  And I will remember it forever! I'm still waiting to get invited to his ranch in Crawford so we can sit around and hang out like pals. But until then, at least I have this picture.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Catch Up! 12 months!

So I've been a bit busy with campaign work as of late - I have NO idea how I managed to make myself busier than ever right before giving birth...but I did!  Anyway, so I never made Mary Harper's picture in her 12 month sticker but here are some of our professional 12 months shots and her 12 month stats.

Weight: 24 lbs (95%)
Length: 30 inches (80%)
Head: 17.99 (72%)

She now has 4 teeth on top and 2 on bottom - I think, will have to check and make sure that is right. A few weeks after her 1st birthday we took away her bottles for good and she's done very well so far!  I was afraid the night time bottle would be hard for her to give up but it really hasn't been an issue.  I just hope she doesn't start wanting one again once she sees little brother with one!

She's getting a lot more steady now walking so it's not quite so stressful watching her walk around anymore.  Her vocabulary is just growing and growing. She can basically repeat back anything we try to get her to say now.  When we say Mary Harper Brown, she says NAME.  It's too cute.

One of her new favorite toys is her baby dolls.  But she's started shortening the word BABY to just BEE.  So Anderson is now being called, Bay. Yes, that would be Bay Brown. ha! Josh and I had MANY discussions that I wanted him called Anderson not AJ and here Mary Harper comes along and gives him her own nickname. Bay. I guess it could be worse.

She still sleeps from 7 am til 730 am and still taking two naps a day.  Sometimes she'll take 2 long naps but she's getting to where she only does one really long one and then just a 45 minute nap for #2.  She now will give us kisses when she's in the mood. :)
Here are more pictures from our 12 month photo shoot.

And here's what "Bay" looked like when Mary Harper was 12 months!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mary Harper's 1st Birthday - We Had a Ball!

Still can't believe how quickly this first year has flown by!  Seems just like yesterday we were bringing our sweet baby home from the hospital.  And yet we just celebrated her 1st birthday!  Since I knew I was going to be pretty pregnant at her 1st birthday party, I started planning about 3 months in advance so I could pace myself.  I started searching for cute ideas online and found this wonderful blog detailing a "Classic Red Ball" party and knew that was going to be my theme!  Note: the funny thing is that I always thought it was silly to throw first birthday parties since the child won't remember it.  But after a surviving a year of parenthood (and Mary Harper surviving us), I wanted to celebrate!!
I knew I needed help to even come close to duplicating the party I saw online so went directly to the source and had party planner Jessica help me with a few items.  Jessica has a fabulous Etsy site (Pen and Paper Flowers) and she helped me with items like water bottle and food labels.  (If you click on the smaller collages, the picture gets bigger).

I had my sister design the invitation based off of Jessica's cute design and then was referred to another great Etsy site (LePoppyDesign) from a friend who did my banners, napkin bundles, favor tags and other cute paper decorations.

On the water labels we just used one sticker that had her name on it and another that said: Turning ONE is a BALL!  The favors were red M&M's and big red gumballs with a tag that read: I hope you had a BALL! Love, Mary Harper.  The napkin bundles had an assortment of tags (Mary Harper, the number 1, Happy Birthday Mary Harper, etc...).
I ordered the M&M's (really knock off M&M's), cherry gumballs, lollipops and chocolate covered sunflowers seeds all in red from Candy Warehouse.
Brooke O'Dell of Ice This Cakes not only did our cute smash cake, but she also made delicious (and perfectly themed) Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a sour cherry ball on top!
She also made mini cheese truffles in goat cheese with parsley and cheddar jack with pecans, marinated mini caprese bites on a skewer and yummy mini stuffed red potatoes with bacon and chives.  If you can't tell, all of the food had either a red or ball theme! :)
In addition to cupcakes and our other sweets, I HAD to order cookies from one of my favorite vendors, Phoebe's Cookies! Her cookies are not only ADORABLE but are DELICIOUS!  Seriously, how cute are these?!
In the front yard, in addition to red balloons, I place one huge red ball (exercise ball) at the mailbox and two smaller red balls near the front door.
In the back yard, I purchased lots of red beach balls from Oriental Trading to place in the pool.  I also placed three more large red balls in the landscaping near the pool, had three round tables with red tablecloths, red tubs to hold beverages and other red accents.
For Mary Harper's outfit, I went to my friend Melia of Cherry Tree 123 who makes lots of her custom outfits.  She did such a great job capturing the theme in a really cute outfit!  Mary Harper wasn't a big fan of the hat so I had to work to get that photo!
For her 1st birthday gift from her mommy and daddy, we got her a wooden red piano that she LOVES! Guests brought unwrapped toys for a local charity.
One of my favorite pictures of the day is the one below.  That picture just screams pure joy...and what better emotion can you wish for your child!  She really had such a fun day at her party which made me very happy (even though I know she won't even remember it)!  I know it was a lot of work for a 1st birthday party but I enjoy planning events and this one was extra special.  
And of course we had to have an outfit change after the cake!
The party took a lot of planning and lots of work but all in all, I think it was a successful first birthday.  Mary Harper truly had a BALL and I hope our guests did as well!  

Happy first birthday to our sweet baby girl!
We love you! 
Mom & Dad