Ah, A new year has arrived. While I'd like to believe that I will blog more this year, I am not making any promises that I will probably break.
Last year held some exciting events for the Brown Family. We FINALLY sailed off (or flew off rather) that terrible Island of Oahu (that I do kind of think about fondly from time to time now). I miss my Ms. Liz & Mr. Charlie, Sherrie & Phil and of course my Barb & Dave (who have since gone back to Germany on their next adventure), but not before visiting us in Colorado for one good Patron night :).
We had a house built for us (over the phone) here in Colorado Springs and closed it in June 2011. We love it, it's amazing, it's big and it's just perfect for us. Five Bedrooms, finished basement w/rec room, loft for Andy and I with our giant flat screen and Lazy Boy Recliners and 3 1/2 bathrooms, kitchen with island and a decent sized fenced in yard. Not to mention a view of Pike's Peak. It's just wonderful.
Andy got a new truck shortly after we bought the house, well the same weekend actually. It's a Titan he loves it, it's perfect for him and as he says, it's the only thing he owns that is just his.
My brother Donald got married to his long time sweetheart Kristen Wiltse this summer. I demanded that I get off of that damn island in time to be there for the nuptials and my loving husband made it happen. Thankfully I had some extra help from Momma Gail with the kiddos and we got to spend some time in MO with my Sis-in-Law Amanda & family and of course the Webb's and Gowen's. It was cold in MO when we got there, well I thought it was, everyone there just figured I was crazy. I did forget how excruciatingly painful and HOT it can be in TN that time of year though, and even though it was just the end of May, it felt like mid July! Lucky for us we got to TN just in time for the cicadas to hit and they were EVERYWHERE!! It was quite the experience. We got to visit with Nelson too while we were in TN, but shortly after my brothers wedding, he too packed up his life and moved to GA where he got offered a job he couldn't refuse. My brother and his bride had quite the lovely wedding though. I am so happy for them.
After closing the house we headed straight up to NY to get my LEO BUDDY and to see my BABY BABY Sister Amber Jean graduate high school. She looked lovely and I'm so proud of her. HHS has a new auditorium, it looks nice, it was very strange visiting one of my old Alma maters. As much as I miss my family, I don't miss Upstate NY very much. A big thanks to my sis Ang and her hubby Jim for letting us stay a few days and for taking care of my big fat ass dog! Even though, I think it's your fault he's fat now.
We headed back to Momma Gail's in NE, she knows that I couldn't possibly thank her enough for all that she did this summer, keeping the kids, driving half the country with me, but I'll say it again anyway, you are much appreciated.
We moved in finally at the very end of June, right after celebrating our 9th Anniversary and my 34th Birthday.. Yeah I turn the big 3-5 this year.. scary! The kids have adjusted well, made friends and seem to be enjoying their schools. I think they are all happy they are in different schools from each other this year. Can you believe my Emily is a freshman and Billy isn't far behind? Furthermore can you believe that Grace will start school in the fall of 2013?? CRAZY!! Aiden is in 2nd... man where does the time go?
We've had a few visitors already. Mom and Aunt Margo came to visit and painted all of the kids rooms while they were here. We love them, and thank you both for all the time and effort you spent. It never goes unnoticed.
Ms Liz visited us too!! Although, I feel your visit was ENTIRELY TOO SHORT, I was glad to spend time with you and thankful to you for making me look amazing for the Ball Andy and I attended.
I'm looking forward to many of you visiting us this year.
We've been prepping for yet another long separation from each other.. cheer up peeps, don't be sad, we're out of Iraq now and that's one less war zone for us to be in... although I'm not thinking it would be to far fetched to say we could end up in some others? This separation won't be quite as long as the last 4 have been, there will be no R&R, which may be a blessing, since we won't have to say 2 goodbyes. Yes he is headed over the ocean and of course you all know since this is the Internet, that's all you get here. We are very happy to be part of a line MP Company again. I decided to join up into the FRG again. I started as a POC but you guys know me, I just think things have to be better than okay and families deserve to have a really great FRG, so I volunteered to be FRG LDR after a little while. Some other awesome ladies have also volunteered their time so I'm excited about it. I really do enjoy helping other families like mine. Plus I've already made some really great friends that I would trust with my kids lives. And, I like our Chain of Command, they seem level headed, committed to the soldiers and their families and determined to have a successful mission. I actually TRUST THEM!!! I'm not easily impressed but it seems this company is going to do good things. Lord knows they've been training and prepping like crazy.
Speaking of the Lord, I've strengthened my faith a bit this year. I have a long way to go yet, but I've started to go to church. Peterson Air Force Base has a great contemporary non-denominational Christian service on Sundays. The kids and I went on a retreat with the church and we loved it. Had a blast, met some great people. I still have a hard time getting fully involved, I'm a bit gun shy considering I had stepped away from church and religion for so long. I think that's why I like this service, b/c most of the people attending are military so we have a common bond there, and it's not you must be a Catholic, or a Protestant or a Methodist or whatever... you can just go and BE and listen to the message, and talk and walk with God how you feel comfortable without judgment. Plus I get to wear jeans to service so that's great for me too and they don't care if Grace gets antsy or loud lol.
I'm content right now where I am, where we are in our lives. 2011 was a crazy ride. I'm excited to see what 2012 brings for us. We will celebrate BIG THINGS this year. Andy and I will be married 10 YEARS this June, some of you placed bets we wouldn't make it past 6 months.. did you ever pay up??? I will turn 35 and while it feels like I'm getting old, at the same time, I'm realizing I need to grab my life by the balls and embrace the now, because I still have a LONG way to go before old age puts me in a grave. Billy will become a teenager at the end of this year. Emily will be 15 which is old enough for a permit in Colorado apparently? SCARY I KNOW!! Aiden and Grace will celebrate another year in their beautiful, carefree young lives.
That's all I have for now, I'm sure I'll post some bitchy madness over the course of the next 12 months but I'm hoping to also bring you some laughs and good things to report.
Until we meet again dear friends, I wish you love, happiness, peace and contentment in your own life, and I wish us both many many more years of friendship with each other. LOVE TO ALL.