Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I have so much to blog about our Christmas Season. We had a wonderful trip back to Utah and I have so many pictures to share. I will hopefully post that all soon!

As for today, we are starting the 3 day potty training. I feel like I have no idea how to potty train at all. Sam is 2 1/2 and we are out of diapers so I think its a great time. Well that and I have been reading about it for months :)

So the 3 Day Potty Training basically says no internet/tv/phone or other distractions while you focus on your toddler... so farewell for a few days. WISH US LUCK :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's a GIRL!

We are so excited to be expecting another baby girl. Samantha told us all along it was a girl. Nic and I both thought it was a girl as well, but the majority of our family was convinced it was a boy. I am so thrilled to be having another girl. I love having one girl already but its an added bonus that I already have clothes for this baby. We love the name Brooklyn and we are still searching for a great middle name to go with it.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Brown Family Peanut Butter/Chocolate Fudge

If you are from Pennsylvania, you love the combo of peanut butter & chocolate (yes, that's a fact). One of my favorite Christmas traditions from growing up was making fudge as a family to give out to our neighbors. I can still picture my dad beating the mixture and all of us waiting to add our ingredients.

I finally got my own Jif Cookbook a few years ago (they are very hard to find). I wanted to keep the tradition of making this fudge with my family and I was determined to make the perfect fudge. Since my mother-in-law is an excellent cook she helped me do a lot of testing last year. Our main objective was to get rid of the grainy consistency. She taught me a lot about making fudge and I think I finally got it.

Sam and I had fun starting our holiday baking today.







A couple fudge tips from Char (MIL) & Jenny (Sister)...
  • Do not scrape the sides of the pan! Biggest learning thing for me.
  • Let it cool for just a minute before adding pb, chips, & vanilla at the end
  • If it's not completely set up, put it in the fridge

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday Night:Exploring Reno

We went to Reno to do some Christmas Shopping on Friday.
 Ok, this Barnes & Noble is so out of control huge.
 They had a Polar Express Storytime so we took Sam to it.
 The conductor came over to Sam and sang to her, he found us afterwards to tell us how cute she was (we already knew that ;)
 This picture still has Nic and I laughing. This little girl was walking around with Sam the whole night. When it came Sam's turn to sit on Santa's lap she went up there with her. Her parents didn't even pull her off while I was taking the picture. So here is Sam, Santa, and a some girl!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby #2

What is your guess...BOY or GIRL??

My family's predictions so far are...

Jessica:
Boy
May 3rd
weight: 8lbs 2oz
length: 20"

Jenny:
Boy
born Mother's Day (May 13)
7lbs 15oz, 20"


Mother-in-law:
Boy
May 11th at 7:36pm
8 lbs 10 oz.
21 1/2 inches long


Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Tree

First year getting our tree on our own (without my FIL's truck). Turns out our car works just fine. Extra bonus, Christmas trees are like 1/2 the cost here compared to at home.

 Sam loved helping Nic with everything


I am really miss my fireplace when it comes to decorating. We made it work.
I love having the tree up in the house, it's one of my favorite parts of Christmas

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so excited to celebrate Thanksgiving this week. I really love to reflect on my many blessings. Here is my list, which I know does not include everything I have been blessed with.
  • A wonderful family (immediate, extended, in-laws)
  • Everyone in good health
  • Nic having a job in such hard economic times
  • Being able to be a stay at home mom
  • A home to rent that I love
  • A husband who is hard-working, loyal, honest, handsome and so much more!
  • A little girl who is adorable, healthy, smart, funny and makes me happy everyday
  • A car that is reliable
  • Social Media (love blogs & facebook)
  • My dishwasher (having never had one before now, I am in heaven!)
  • The ability to have children & be a mother
  • My computer, especially the internet
  • Friends I have had since Elementary School & Junior High (they are my dearest friends still today)
  • My phone
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and the happiness that it brings me
  • My kitchenaid mixer
  • A garage (especially in cold weather)
  • Our little one on the way (what a miracle childbirth is)
  • Traveling home for the holidays
  • So many dear friends

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quick Weekend Recap

Holiday Pictures @ Temple Square
 Lots of pasture/animals/Grandpa time
 Nephew's Play
 Nephew's Football Game/time with cousins (great win Pirates!)


Beautiful snow storm (wish I could bring winter weather back to NV)
It was so amazing to go home. I cried as we came into Utah. I never thought Utah was anything special and I didn't feel like I needed/wanted to live there for the rest of my life. I don't know if it seems better comparing it to Nevada, or if it's more than that.

When Nic had his internship in Washington DC it was such a major life changing event for me. I became much more independent there and opened my mind to so many things. It was our time there that made me really want to live out of state. I loved experiencing a variety of cultures, I loved experiencing a different place to live and a much different way of life.

Nevada has been such a different experience. Maybe it's because I knew we were only in Washington DC for a short time and Nevada could be more permanent. Maybe it's because DC is such a neat place that anyone would love living there. I really don't know. All I know is that this does not seem like a place I want to stay. It doesn't seem like a place I want to raise children. I don't like living by casinos and brothels. I don't like living in a place where the people seem sad and unhappy (not the people in my ward of course, they are great). And you already know how I feel about the landscape/sagebrush/weather.

Going back to Utah actually made it worse I think. I thought I knew what I was missing, but it was more evident while we were there how much I was actually missing out on. Family is a very obvious reason why it's hard to live away.

Reading my blog you may think that I am not trying very hard to like it here, I feel like I am. We do any activity in town that we can find. In my opinion, it's just a hard place to live. I am also willing to admit that this whole experience may be a lot worse because I am pregnant. You can blame everything on hormones, right?

So for now I am trying to look forward to our 2 remaining visits home. Nic and I are trying to figure out our future and decide what we really want and will make us happy. I will keep trying to find the good here so that I can make the most of this experience. Maybe time is all I need?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Virginia City

We had fun exploring Virginia City on Saturday. It's only about 20 minutes from us. Virginia City is an old mining town and it literally looks like it did 150 years ago. There is nothing modern and most of the buildings and homes are all original. Here is more info if you are interested: http://www.virginiacity-nv.org/. I loved walking around and exploring the cute city. Besides it being 20 degrees, we had a blast.
Sam wanted to ride this Rudolph outside the Christmas Store...not the smoothest ride! 
video
Nic and I still can't stop laughing!
 We pulled over to take a picture of the wild horse sign, its weird to see this sign without a rider on the horse. Just after we turned the corner we saw a whole herd crossing the road. Pretty cool!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November is here!

This is my favorite time of year! November 1st -December 25th! A lot of people give me a hard time for starting the Christmas music on the first of November, but I can't get enough of the Holiday Season. I group Thanksgiving & Christmas into the "Holiday Season" and I love both months so much. I don't mean to sound corny, but there is no other time of year where everyone openly recognizes, worships, and honors the Savior..so why not make this part of the year last as long as possible?

If a live Christmas tree would last for 2 months I would put mine up today!

I have never been away from home this time of year. I hope we can find ways to make it feel like the holidays here. Some of my favorite things about this time of year (that I am missing already) are...
  • Downtown SLC: decorations, lights, temple square, horse drawn carriages
  • Bountiful Christmas/Light Parade
  • Festival of Tress (this will be the first time that Nic and I miss this)
  • The Nutcracker with my mother-in-law & sister-in-law 
  • Baking with family
  • Malls & Stores all decorated
  • Scones at Winder Dairy (which we hope to fit in while we are home for Christmas!)
  • Black Friday Shopping with Sisters
  • Christmas/Window Shopping at all of the Malls
  • Driving around looking at Christmas lights
  • Getting our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving
  • Snow on the Mountains
Are you a November 1st celebrator or hater?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

A new friend of ours here in Carson City invited Sam and I over for a Halloween party last week. She did such a good job and the kids loved every minute of it.
Making mummy pizzas (aren't they cute?)
 Candy Necklaces (you can tell that most of her candy did not end up on her necklace)
 Decorating sugar cookies

Next, we had our neighborhood trunk or treat which was so much fun.
 Sam was too small for all of the games, but everyone was so nice to let her play anyway.

 On Halloween we took her around to a couple of houses in our circle and she had a blast!


I hope you had an awesome Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Carson City Day: 23, 24, 25, 26

I am a couple of days behind in blogging, sorry! Basically the last few days have been uneventful so there is no reason to give each day it's own post. I will just do some updates instead.

How am I feeling about Carson City: It's getting better. Maybe that's because Nic will finally get paid this week, maybe that's because my in-laws were just here, maybe it's because I am planning my trips home for the Holidays..who knows! Baby steps, right?

Pregnancy: 12 weeks, just finishing up the first trimester. This pregnancy is definitely easier than Sam's. I have to fight morning sickness a lot, but I don't throw up that often (which is the biggest difference). I nap everyday when Sam naps and that is such a blessing. I have random stomach pains/cramps a lot that I don't remember having the first time around, but other than that things are great. I have my next doctors appointment next week.

Nic is loving his job. It's been a great learning and growing opportunity and we both feel very blessed with this job. Everyone he works with is really nice and its a great work environment.

Looking forward to Nevada Day this weekend (we will find out what that is all about)!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Carson City Day 21, 22 : Surprise Visit!

This has been the worst week for my homesickness. That's mostly because my sister Wendy went home to Utah for her Fall break and it made me so sad to not be home with everyone. Well, my in-laws made an impromptu trip here Thursday night. It's just what I needed. When Sam woke up Friday morning she was in pure Heaven to see 1/2 of her family who she loves and misses so much. We had the best weekend playing and showing them around the area.

Playing in the leaves
 Joe's in Reno (so cute, 50's style diner)
 Driving up to Lake Tahoe
(This place totally changed my opinion of living in Carson City!)
 Crossing over the Nevada/California State Line
 I loved Lake Tahoe and all that surrounds it. It's like Park City mixed with a beautiful lake and forest. It has adorable shops and boutiques with a lot of restaurants and activities. It's only a short 20 minutes from our house. I just can't believe that such a beautiful place is right through the sage brush covered mountains.
 The water was so clear

 Even though it was freezing, Sam cried when we made her get out of the water
I was so excited when I saw this Chevy's sign! We fell in love with Chevy's when we were living in Washington DC last year. They don't have any in Utah so I am so thrilled there is one close to us again.
Making their fresh tortillas
 SO good!

Needless to say I am totally in love with Lake Tahoe and all that surrounds it. It really does make living here easier knowing that there is that kind of beauty and fun so close.
Thank you Gary, Char, Kimmy & Daniel for making the long drive out here and making our weekend!
(we welcome any visitors, any time...hint, hint, wink,wink)

Now I only have 30 days until we get to go home for Thanksgiving!!