Sunday, November 8, 2015

Baby Kora's Birth Story

Three days past my due date, I decided to spend the night at my parents' house while Mr. Brown Eyes went back to work. Brown Eyed Boy and Baby Blue Eyes thought this was a great idea. Spending the night at grandma and grandpa's house = movies, Klondike bars, and sleeping in the guest room in a king-sized bed.
I went to bed with the kids that night around eight o'clock. Then, just before midnight, I woke up feeling contractions. They didn't seem very strong so I was almost inclined to dismiss them as more Braxton Hicks. But a little voice told me to get out of bed, so, with a sigh, I disentangled myself from my snuggly two year-old and heaved my very-pregnant self out of bed.
As a bit of a side note, I have really fast labors that don't follow the typical labor pattern of contractions slowly growing stronger and closer together. So one of my worst fears is not realizing I'm in labor and giving birth by myself on the cold bathroom floor. As my due date approached, I started praying to Heavenly Father that when I was in labor He would help me know for sure.
Although this may be TMI, the answer to my prayer came as I sleepily shuffled to the bathroom and saw that I was bleeding.
Ok, so I was in labor. Suddenly awake, I hurried out of the bathroom. My fingers shook as I dialed the midwife's number. She didn't answer, so I called Mr. Brown Eyes next. Thankfully, he answered right away and said he was leaving the station as we spoke.
Bless my mother's heart, who came downstairs and talked to me while I paced back and forth, waiting for my husband to arrive, keeping my mind off the worry that maybe I had waited too long and we wouldn't make it to the hospital. I dashed outside as soon as I saw headlights flash through the window. Mr. Brown Eyes, in his work uniform, met me halfway down the sidewalk and helped me into the car.
After a peaceful drive with steady but bearable contractions, we arrived at the hospital. Mr. Brown Eyes got me a wheelchair and wheeled me inside, then went back out to park the car. The nurse came around the desk and exclaimed, "Did that firefighter bring you in and then just leave you?"
I laughed. "Oh no, he's my husband."
We went up to triage where the nurse took her time registering me, her eyes glued to her computer screen, asking such all-important questions as whether or not we lived in a house. I don't think she really believed I was in labor, until a sudden, intense contraction had me leaning against Mr. Brown Eyes for support, and I exclaimed, "I need to push!"
That finally tore her away from her computer. "What?"
"She has really fast labors," Mr. Brown Eyes explained, a tiny detail we had failed to mention.
They rushed me to the delivery room then, though they still wouldn't let me push until the on-call doctor had everything ready (I could insert a rant here about doctors, but I'll refrain). One big push was all it took to bring sweet Baby Kora into the world.
It was 1:56 in the morning.
Good thing I listened to that little voice telling me to get out of bed.
Unlike her brother and sister, Kora came into the world without any surprises.

And I'm so happy that she wasn't born on the cold bathroom floor.

Welcome to the family, Baby Kora.

We love you,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Seven Years

Mr. Brown Eyes and I finally got around to celebrating our wedding anniversary.

Just seven months late.

Our plans started out elaborate--I'm talking, like, Hawaii--and then slowly, because of morning sickness, my brother's accident, Mr. Brown Eye's trip to Washington, and then just being too darn close to my due date, fizzled down to an evening hike where we had our first date and a picnic at the spot where Mr. Brown Eyes proposed to me.

Luckily we like each other enough that an evening in the Arizona desert is just as good as a week in a tropical paradise. As long as we're together.

Although a week in a tropical paradise is sounding pretty awesome right now.

Marrying Mr. Brown Eyes is still the best decision I ever made. Hiking that familiar trail with his hand in mine made me even more certain of that fact.
It also made me feel like I might go into labor.
But, alas, we're still waiting on that.
Happy anniversary, Mr. Brown Eyes. Seven months late.

Dreaming of Hawaii,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Writing Pains

Rejection Letter #1:

Only 5.2 million more to go, right?

While a part of me expected rejection when I submitted my manuscript, the less rational part of me (and, let's be honest, the bigger part of me) hoped for instant publication and glory.

So the rejection stung a little, and I considered whether to keep going. Because I love writing for the sake of writing much more than the thought of being published. And if trying to get published is going to be painful, do I really need to put myself through it?

But then I reminded myself that this is only my first rejection, and I've got to wade through a bunch more before I can even possibly consider giving up. I am not a quitter.

So here's to lots more rejections. And probably tears. Lots of tears.

Boxes of Kleenex would be appreciated.

Writing on,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Friday, September 11, 2015


Yesterday Mr. Brown Eyes came home.

I threw myself into his arms and felt whole again.

Today, as we remember September 11th, 2001, I am sobered by my blessings. After a very long two and a half weeks, Mr. Brown Eyes is home. I can hug him and kiss him and listen to his laughter.

On September 10th fourteen years ago, so many people hugged their loved ones for the last time. Instead of waking up today, like I did, in the warmth of love and comfort, they woke up to heartbreak and tragedy that I cannot even comprehend.

May we never forget the lives lost and the courage shown on that terrible day.

May we put aside our pettiness and love deeper.

May we remember our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of Him, death is not the end.

Holding Mr. Brown Eyes close,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Missing Mr. Brown Eyes

For years now Mr. Brown Eyes has talked about going out to fight wildfires over the summer.

He's gone out to a few small ones here and there, but every summer, it seems, the big ones escape him. Either we're on vacation or his department isn't sending out any crews or there aren't any big fires that need extra resources.

Which has been fine with me.

This summer, however, with the entire northwest blazing, I kind of knew Mr. Brown Eyes would get his chance. After a short stint on the Willow Fire in Lake Havasu City, he told me he was at the top of the list to get sent out again, this time to Idaho or Washington.

I tried to prepare myself. But seriously, how do you prepare yourself to be without your husband and best friend for two weeks?

Last Sunday, I excitedly welcomed Mr. Brown Eyes home from his forty-eight hour shift at the fire station. One minute we were snuggling in our bed, talking about the possibility of going to Cabo for the weekend, the next his phone was ringing and instead of getting ready for church, he was packing his equipment to go to Washington for two weeks.

And I was in tears.

A part of me wanted to pull the pregnancy card. He couldn't possibly leave me with the kids for two weeks while I'm so emotionally unstable. I knew all I had to do was say the word and he would stay. But I also knew how badly he wanted to go, how he planned for this for years. I couldn't keep him home just because I was too selfish to let him go.

So I let him go. And now we're counting down the days until he comes home.

Even though I feel like a part of me is missing, I have to admit, I like telling people where Mr. Brown Eyes is and what he's doing. I am so stinking proud of him.


Meanwhile, we're trying to make these two weeks as fun as possible.

I mean, as much fun as two kids can have when their mother is 33 weeks pregnant and as big as a whale.
Only 500 million days to go,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Surviving Summer

I've been pretty nervous about being pregnant through the blazing Arizona summer.

While I'm sitting in the cool AC in my house or at work, I think, "No problem. This summer's got nothing on me."

Then I step outside and instantly feel sweat dripping down every unspeakable part of my body, and I start yelling at my kids for every little thing as I buckle them into our oven of a car, and the only thing I want in the world is a bucket of ice water poured over my head...then it occurs to me that I'm pregnant and it's hot, and those two things may not be the best combination.

Which is why the kids and I had Sonic slushes for dinner the other night.

But as long as I have the AC and my parents' pool, I'm good. So good, in fact, that I've actually been noticing things that I kind of love about Arizona summers:

1. The fiery sunsets

2. Low, billowing thunderheads on a hot afternoon

3. Cicadas buzzing in the trees

4. That deliciously cool feeling the second you jump into the pool

5. The low rumble of thunder in the distance

6. Flip flops

7. Tan lines

8. Watching my kids learn to swim

9. Camping at Clear Creek

10. Flowers blooming on the only plants in my yard I've managed to keep alive

11. Sonic slushes. My new favorite meal.

Happy Summer,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The First Step

This past weekend we had one last hurrah before Brown-Eyed Boy starts kindergarten.

I make it sound like starting kindergarten is equivalent to the world ending, but that's because it is.

To me.

A piece of my world is ending. The piece where I am part of Brown-Eyed Boy's every day, every hour, every minute, always there to play with him and laugh with him and dry his tears, there to hold him close and protect from all the scary things out there in real life.

I know he will love school, and he's definitely ready, but it breaks my heart to think of all the not-so-fun things that happen there, to think that he is growing up and this little step into kindergarten is just the first of many that will take him far away from me.

I'm not ready to let go, even in this small way. I wish I could protect him from everything that could ever hurt him. I know I can't, and I know it wouldn't be good for him if I did, but I wish I could.

Am I the only mother who isn't dancing a jig as she sends her firstborn off to school? This is supposed to be a happy time, right?

Being pregnant probably isn't helping.

Tomorrow I will put on a happy face while Brown-Eyed Boy dresses in his new school clothes and slips into his backpack. I will walk him to his classroom, watch him settle into his seat, and smile as I wave goodbye to him. I will accept that school is now part of our lives and do everything I can to help Brown-Eyed Boy succeed.

But today, I'm going to cry.

Because I swear it was just yesterday that he looked like this:

They don't lie when they say they grow up so fast.

And I love every minute of it,
The Brown-Eyed Girl