Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dropping like flies.....

So many people have been getting sick!!! My husband, sister, sister-in-laws, co-workers, neighbors - I am scared it is only a matter of time until I drop as well. This respiratory season has been terrible and from a business standpoint I love it. I sell antibiotics. I could make a killing. But as I was sitting in a doctor's office waiting to peddle some drugs, there were people hacking up lungs all around me. This particular office had a pediatrician practice as well and there were soooo many little people running around coughing on everything. Including me :) I am not typically a germophobe, but this season has kind of turned me into one.

I am now a freaky hand washer. Correction, I have always been consistent at washing hands, but now I have now taken it to a level where my hands get chapped more often than not. Every time I see one a container of hand sanitizer, I instinctively reach for it. On average, I am in 9 offices a day that doesn't even include the mini spray bottle of hand sanitizer in my car. So I am washing on the upwards of 20 plus times a day. In hopes I can kill those little guys before they take me down.

Wish me luck!

My newest best friend:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Brother, The Biggest Loser?

Oh no, my brother got voted off the Biggest Loser!

Just kidding. This is Mark - one of my favorite contestants on the show. I am a fan and was bummed to see him go, but was it because he looks like my own brother so much? You decide:
I am not the only one that sees the resemblance. Let it be known, Tim is better looking and younger and never weighed upwards of 3 buck, however the grin and eyes and some facial expressions are pretty similar. When I mentioned how much they look alike to Tim, then forced him to watch an episode, I think he was offended. In his opinion, he has never been a big guy that needed to go to a fat camp to solve his bad habits. So he probably won't be too pleased with this post. :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Fun of Family

So let's talk about how much I sincerely enjoy my family. There is an instant friendship with all cousins, aunt, uncles - you name it - we just are a bonded group that enjoys each other. This is due in a large part to the fact that we try to meet together annually. This is a tough feat to pull off but worthwhile. Because of the efforts of my family, I can go to most cities in the Western Hemisphere and visit a family member.

In fact, I remember going to Israel in 2000 and having my mom email and remind me that my cousin Irene was in Haifa with her husband. We never met up but not for a lack of trying - our schedules just didn't permit the time.

So last night was a fun surprise. Darren and I were getting ready for bed on Sunday night and we hear a knock at the door at 10pm. Thinking to myself - who on earth can that be?, I open the door to see my cousin JB standing on my porch! I just starting laughing. I haven't seen in him about 3 years - and now he is the father to 2 children. Santa Vaca! So he came in and we chatted for about 45 minutes. Turns out he was visiting a friend that happens to live in my apartment complex and they mentioned I live around the corner and he decided to pop in for a visit and catch me up on the Jack Brown family news . It was a pleasant surprise and there was no worries about how messy things are or the fact that I am in sweats and ugg boots. Come on, it's family. Seeing how I often drop in unannounced on various family members, I sure hope they like the surprise as much as I do!

Picture from the 2005 Brown Family Reunion. This picture shows about 1/8th of the attendees.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


This was the day that everything changed. It was the day my Mom passed away. Every year I remember this day. Not in any attempt to wallow in remorse but to make sure I don't forget. As time goes by, you do start to forget. Little things like the way she smelled or even the sound of her footsteps at home. My brother had made a cd of a Relief Society lesson she had given at church. When I first listened to it, it took my breath away because it sounded like her. And to me she sounded like home.

There are some important things that I haven't forgotten. She is a Mom. She shaped my world. She taught me how to love, she taught me how to share, how to talk, how to read. She taught me how to live. Everyday that I live, everything that I love, anything that I learn - has always been following in the footsteps of Mom. My job going forward is to remember what I can and apply it to my own life. The missing-you-so-bad-that-it-hurts never really goes away - your heart just grows strong enough to deal with it. I don't wallow because my Mom never would.

Today is just a day of reflection and remembrance. To my friends who never knew her, here were some of her finer qualities:

Mother - (to 11 children, which she bore naturally)

Wife - She shared 40 happy years with my Dad

Testimony - Her most valued possession - her relationship with her Savior saw her through some difficult times.

Energy - Very active and very fun. Always getting people together for activities which typically involved some amount of athleticism.

Humor - Could laugh at anything. Easiest way to make her not mad was to make her laugh (which I used to my advantage as a teenager).

Athletic Ability - she was simply AMAZING at any sport she attempted. In college she lettered in Softball, Basketball, Volleyball, Diving and Swimming and was tested as the most coordinated athlete at BYU (out of men and women). She was ranked as a Masters division tennis player, played on the Mexican Olympic Basketball team, participated in the Pan-American games and was named female athlete of the year in Mexico. The year she passed away she was still doing back flips on the trampoline. Sometimes I wonder if I really AM her daughter.

***03/13/08 - Correction. My Dad informed me today that I was wrong - she lettered in 5 sports at BYU - the missing one was Volleyball. :)

And here are some pictures:

A picture of her basketball days. She is the one with the ball. Are you kidding me with those legs? This game was in Mexico, and soon afterward she was named female athlete of the year. I think they were afraid she was going to kick them with her muscular legs if she didn't win. :)
A picture of my Mom, Misha and myself in the Colonies in Mexico - we have just gone tubing and I was the shortest child ever.

Here she is in Europe during college. Yes, she is wearing lederhosen.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Disneyland Pass

I think as residents of Southern California, we have an obligation to visit the happiest place on earth. Often. As annual pass holders, we try to sneak away often to visit a ride or two and then maybe get some dessert at The Jazz Kitchen on our way out. The secret? Only go for an hour or two in the wintertime and park in Downtown Disney. The Annual Pass? One of the best investments we have made.

Here is a picture of us in front of It's A Small World After All.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Love that

Let's talk about a few of my newest crushes. Anyone who has seen me in the last 2 weeks has seen me sporting some of my new birthday presents. And I heart all of them.

First my sweetheart bought me this:

A huge bottle of my favorite perfume, Stella. The great part is that I had just ran out of my tiny bottle and was complaining about it. He heard and he bought - I LOVE that he bought it and I LOVE that he listened carefully.

Then I got together with the girls for sushi and was presented with two great presents.

1) Jo Malone Perfume
2) A gift card for Tory Burch, which allowed me to buy these:

Hmmmm - I am a lucky girl! After this treatment, I might want to celebrate birth-month! Thanks again girls!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Love this

So I am posting a few of my loves. Seeing how this is love week and all. Of course there are some loves that everyone knows about - husband, family, religion (all in the number one spot) but I want to talk about a few of my favorite things. That maybe everyone might NOT know about.

1st love - Books.

And I mean any book. Whether it be scripture or children's book, cook books, fantasy, sci-fi, romance novels, magazines, instruction manuals - I simply love words. It is rare (or a terrible book) if I don't finish a book within a day or two. It helped that my parents are reading junkies as well. In fact, I don't think I have every seen my Dad without a book in his back pocket.

For every reader there is one book in their past that lit the passion for reading. For me - it was "Little House in the Woods" by Laura Ingalls. I was in first grade and I still remember how exciting it was to imagine the story of a little girl in the Wisconsin woods. From there I was a junkie.
Does anyone else still read children's books? (Harry Potter does not count - but I read that too) I still have a slew of them in my bookcase that I will crack open to read my favorite parts again. Some of my favorites from my little years:

- Anne of Green Gables series
- The Little House on the Prairie series
- A Little Princess
- A Wrinkle in Time
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
- The Little Lame Prince
- The Great Brain series
- Holes (okay I bought that as an adult - I still buy kids books. No judgment please)
- Summer of the Monkeys (simply amazing)

As I have gotten older, I have found some authors that make me chuckle from their clever compilations - Bill Bryson, David Sedaris. Some that leave me in wonder - Hyrum Andrus.

I am going to recommend a book. Probably one of my favorites - at least top 10 but one of the clearest books solely based on the craft of writing. Don't judge the author:

Yeah - that is Stephen King. Creator of some pretty scary stuff. However, he is the creator of some pretty great stories like - The Shawshank Redemption. Trust me, he has a gift - but a lot of the time he uses it for horror. But one book in particular was so fascinating. I loved it. I have owned probably 6 copies and lend them out, never to come back. But I know I could buy it again:
With On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft - you see who Stephen King is - where he gets his ideas, his flaws, his inspiration and most importantly the craft that he loves. Spoken so clearly you wish he wrote more books that didn't leave you with nightmares.

What is your reading love?

PS - there is some language in this book. Just have to give that disclaimer.

I miss....

My husband.
He's only gone for 3 more days....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

One Fine Day

Tim and Heather & Co. came to visit one afternoon (along with Casey and Lexi) and for a brief moment, our little home was full! I quickly realized that I didn't really have any treats for the little people like crackers (is it weird I have not purchased crackers in about 5 years? I only eat them when other people have them). All I could offer up was some carrots and apples. Like a lame aunt who doesn't have kids :) What Aunt Nikki DID have was accessories for Kiki to play with and she was kind enough to pose for some pictures in my shoes and sunglasses. Which suited her perfectly. Kiki is such a girly girl. I rarely see her in pants. She prefers skirts. And even had a Skirt Party for her birthday. She is devoted to all things feminine.

I love this shot because it shows how big these shoes are on her little feet and I admired her walking skills in over-sized platforms.

I love her pose here. This was naturally how she put her feet when I told her I wanted to take some pictures.