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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

An Update on my Brother

I posted at the beginning of May about my brother being badly burned. I am happy to report that he was able to go home to his family yesterday. He still has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but he has made incredible progress and will continue to do so. He's stubborn.

Thank you to everyone who offered faith and prayers on his behalf. His healing thus far is nothing short of a miracle.

The Lord works miracles, you know. All the time. Sometimes we just need to open our eyes to see them.

The Brown-Eyed Girl

Friday, June 26, 2015

Father's Day California Rolls

When Mr. Brown Eyes and I first got married, going out to eat was a major chore. We would spend hours just trying to decide where we wanted to go. Sometimes, the decision was so impossible to make, we just ended up staying home.

That was before Mr. Brown Eyes was introduced to sushi. And before we discovered some amazing conveyor belt sushi restaurants not far from where we live.

Now Mr. Brown Eyes is very predictable when it comes to eating out. He wants sushi every time.

Which at least makes the decision of where to go out to eat a whole lot easier.

Because I love his stinking guts, I made Mr. Brown Eyes (well, and me) this pan of scrumptious little beauties for Father's Day dinner:

Not authentic sushi, of course, but still delicious.
And this was the first time I made California Rolls (almost) entirely by myself, so I was pretty proud.
Happy Father's Day, Mr. Brown Eyes. I love you (and your love of sushi).
California Roll Queen,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rocky Point 2015

Our second year in Rocky Point flew by.
"Five days on the beach," we told ourselves. "That should be enough."
Um, no.
Really with travel time it was only three days on the beach, and it flew by so fast it doesn't even feel like we were there.
Thankfully, I have the proof: 


Between playing in the ocean, building sandcastles, eating tacos (and donuts), and discovering all kinds of sea life, we had a blast.

In closing, I wanted to show you this. It is a mango sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder, the juiciest, sweetest, most succulent thing you will ever eat. My life is changed forever. I will never look at a mango the same again.

Happy Friday!
The Brown-Eyed Girl