Friday, August 15, 2014

Oregon 2014

We just finished a two week vacation at one of my favorite places in the world.

Meaning Oregon, not Sushi Town, though that is one of my favorite things about going to Oregon.

This year, Brown-Eyed Boy joined us on our crabbing trip. He loved it.

We ate cheese at Tillamook...
Froze at the beach...

Played at Jones Creek...

And ate lunch with ghosts.

This year was the first time we've ever driven to Oregon. Can I just say that sitting in the front seat during a twenty hour drive, mediating arguments between children, doling out snacks, and occasionally checking the map felt like a rite of passage? I feel like I can finally call myself an adult now.

Well, sort of.

I have fond memories of road trips from my childhood. Long days stuck in the car with my siblings, listening to the radio and telling stories, eating fast food and drinking soda, playing with my favorite cousins, and seeing new places. I want my children to have the same experiences.
Except they'll never know what's it like to drive without watching movies or playing games on the tablet for hours.
They have it rough, I tell you.

We had so much fun playing with Mr. Brown Eyes' family.
I married into an awesome bunch of people.
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Truth About Mormon Temples

I recently read a blog post bashing Mormon temples.

The temple is a sacred, cherished place to me, so reading that blog post hurt. In fact, I couldn't even read past the first page.

San Diego California Temple

Days later, it still bothered me. Not because I thought that any of the disparaging remarks were true, but that anyone believed those remarks at all. How could a place so wondrous and holy to me be so hateful to someone else?

So, to clear the air, I decided to post the truth about Mormon temples.

I am a Mormon, I was married in a Mormon temple, and I visit Mormon temples on a regular basis, so I think I'm a pretty good resource.

I also quote from Boyd K. Packer's book, The Holy Temple. It is an awesome reference for anyone who has questions about temples.

Nauvoo Illinois Temple

The truth is, our temples are sacred to us, not secret. There is a difference. Everyone is invited to come to our temples. Yes, you do have to be an active, worthy member of our church. But guess what? Anyone can become an active, worthy member of our church. As The Book of Mormon teaches, “[T]he Lord…doeth that which is good among the children of men…and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female…” (2 Nephi 26:33)

President Packer says, “Temple ceremonies are not something that we try to limit to a restricted number of people. With great effort we urge every soul to qualify and prepare for the temple experience. Everyone who comes within the influence of the gospel is urged to prepare to go to the temple and participate fully in the sacred ordinances which are available there” (25).

And when I say worthy, I am not inferring that everyone else is a "lesser-worthy," or less loved by God. Attending the temple and understanding the things that are taught there requires preparation. Someone attending the temple unprepared would be like trying to take a college-level class before taking the prerequisites; it would only cause confusion and resentment. The Lord doesn’t work that way. His house is a “house of order.” And since it is His house, it only makes sense that “He directs the conditions under which it may be used” (35).

Washington DC Temple

The temple is like a school where we are taught the things of God. In order to learn properly, we need the Spirit of God to guide us.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God...

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:9-11, 14).

Says President Packer, “Without the spiritual atmosphere of the temple itself, and without the worthiness and preparation required of those who go there, the temple ceremonies would not be quickly understood and might be quite misunderstood” (36).

Salt Lake City Utah Temple

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-dsy Saints, I testify that the temple is a holy place, the house of God. It is not a place that divides families. It is a place that brings them together eternally. If the temple divides us, it is because of our choices.

Please go to to learn more.

The Brown-Eyed Girl


I love birthdays. What could be better than a day entirely devoted to celebrating you?
That sounds really selfish, doesn't it?
But, seriously, what could be better?
Here are some pictures of our recent birthday celebrations.

So to all you people with birthdays out there, happy birthday!
Never stop celebrating.
Still five years old at heart,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Rocky Point

Between beautiful beaches, warm ocean water you can actually swim in, and all the Mexican food I can eat, I think I've found a new favorite vacation spot. 

My husband has been dropping hints for years that we should buy a camper. After three days at an RV Park on the beach , I think I actually want one more than he does.
He couldn't be happier.
Me gusto mucho,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Showing Off

I remember the days, back before I was married, and even after I was married but before we had babies, when I was very annoyed by people who seemed unable to talk about anything but their children.
"Don't they have any other interests?" I would ask myself. "Don't they realize that not everyone wants to talk about their kids all the time?"
And then I had kids, and I became one of those annoying people.
I try not to be. I don't walk into work and tell the girl sitting next to me all about my son's latest bowel movement or my daughter's new tooth. But when conversation turns to our weekend plans, I inevitably start talking about my kids.
Because, well, my plans kind of revolve around them. They are a huge part of my life.

I try not to go on and on about them when talking to people who don't have kids because I remember what it felt like when people did that to me. I would think, "Great, your kid's wonderful, now can we please talk about something I can relate to?"
But sometimes it's really hard not to go on and on about them.

I understand now how kids take over your life.

They astound you and frustrate you, overwhelm you and amaze you.

They make you laugh and cry and beam with pride.

And it's really hard not to share that with everyone around you, even people who you know, in your heart, don't really care.

So, because I am amazed and astounded by my children everytime I look at them...

because it's almost Mother's Day...

and because I am one of those annoying mothers...

I wanted to show off my precious babies.
I'll refrain from telling you about their bowel movements.
Happy Mother's Day,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A User's Guide to Easter Jellybeans

Do you remember when jellybeans were big, chewy balls of goo that stuck to your teeth and came in a small variety of gross flavors? As a kid, if I ever got jellybeans in my Easter eggs, I would pick out the red ones and throw away the rest.

Then Starburst jellybeans came along and revolutionized the jellybean world.

Now there are so many different kinds of jellybeans I can't keep track of them all. 

Every Easter, I wonder how the different jellybeans compare to each other. So this year, both to answer my own question and because it seemed like a good excuse to buy a bunch of candy, Mr. Brown Eyes and I ventured into an educational endeavor to try as many kinds as we could, then rate them against each other.

I had Mr.. Brown Eyes rate them because, even though he'll eat whatever I cook for him even if he doesn't like it, he's got really good taste. After all, he married me.

So here it is. A little late for Easter, but there's always next year.

A User's Guide to Jellybeans, by Mr. Brown Eyes

Not super flavorful, but enjoyable. Powdery texture the moment your saliva hits it. Soft, not very chewy, doesn't stick to your teeth.
Gluttony Level: The desire to eat them isn't super high, but they'd be easy to put down.

Mild fruity flavors reminiscent of the candy. Enjoyable but not memorable. Crisp outer shell, smooth, non-sticky interior. Kind of like a baby starburst, but more gummy.
Gluttony Level: High potential--crispness curbs gluttony (a little).

Enjoyable classic flavors with a sugary aftertaste. Classic jellybean texture, not too sticky. Recognized the flavors from my childhood.
Gluttony Level: Mild, not very addictive.

Light, soothing flavors. The words "supple" and "satiny" come to mind. Almost melt in your mouth. On the edge of what you would define as a jellybean.
Gluttony Level: High--smooth on the tongue.

Many different enjoyable fruit flavors, some bland, some tart. Crunchy outer shell is thoroughly enjoyable. Slightly stick to teeth, but not bothersome. Hard outer shell combines to give crunch throughout chewing cycle. Hard to classify as a jellybean. If you like Nerds and jellybeans, you will be in heaven.
Gluttony Level: Extreme. Referred to as candy-coated crack (in certain circles).

Strong fruity flavor, but the fruity essence comes after a couple chews. Initial bites are subdued, slowly exposing the sensual core. Standard jellybean texture, moderately sticky. Delightful, unique flavors.
Gluttony Level: Moderate to high.

I hope this guide aides you in your jellybean selection. Happy Easter!

And happy bellyjeaning!

(I can't tell you how many times I almost typed that),
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Happy Easter

We had a lot of fun decorating eggs and eating jellybeans and hunting for Easter eggs.

But we tried to remember, amid all the fun, the reason we were celebrating. The reason we were so happy.

It's because Jesus lives.

He suffered for our sins, our hurts, our weaknesses, and sorrows. He died for us. He rose from the grave. And because of Him, we can know peace and joy and forgiveness and Eternal life.

That is a reason to celebrate.

I know He lives,
The Brown-Eyed Girl