Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Hampshire

Here are a few pictures from our trip to New Hampshire.

Harry and his big sister Ellie were extra helpful with Mary during our stay. They managed to keep her entertained for four days straight!
Mary Catherine shared her top secret cookie recipe with Ellie and Harry.

Then Auntie Robin dressed her up in her collection of antique children's clothing. This made Auntie very happy and made Mimi very sad. I had a hard time taking this picture because I was laughing so hard. Is that wrong?
On our last night Chris suggested making s'mores in the fancy dining room fire place. That handsome devil (no not Chris, the other handsome devil) in the picture below is our nephew Max. He and I had the job of stick collectors. He collected sticks, I watched and made sure he was careful on the icy stairs. That's what aunts do.
This is Andy, he is my sister and brother-in-law's foreign exchange student from Korea. My sister didn't think having six sons of her own was enough, so she decided to import another brooding teenage boy from a far away land.
Andy said he thought making dessert in the fireplace was a great idea. He was totally thinking, "Crazy Americans!"

Ellie wants a dog so bad for Christmas she was willing to go along with the whole marshmallow madness. This was difficult for her as she has a strong sense of decorum and good manners.
She would do just about anything for a puppy to show up under her Christmas tree.

Santa, if you are reading this blog please do what you can for Ellie. She loves animals and I just know she would be a great pet owner.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Chris, Mary Catherine and I made the long haul to my family's house in New Hampshire for Thanksgiving. We alternate Christmas and Thanksgiving each year spending the other holiday with our family in Maryland.

They always welcome us with open arms and offer the promise of a memorable holiday. We had dinner for 23 people today, 21 of which was immediate family. It's a big family in a big house filled with lots of teenagers.... I mean memories.

Chris is sitting with the men watching television, Mary is tucked in bed upstairs in Ellie and Muffie's room and I should be helping my sister pick up the fourty-seven different dessert offerings we had today. Instead I am in the wacky "Harry Potter's room under the stairs" sort of computer room. It's perhaps the coziest spot in the house.

I thought I would take a few moments to give thanks.

I am thankful for............

The two people that hold my heart, Christopher and Mary Catherine.

Our family. We are truly blessed.

It has been an incredibly difficult year for our family the Browns in Florida. I am thankful for healing hearts and new beginnings.

Flat irons

Automatic timer coffee makers

Miss Peggy. Please promise to keep the doors of your in home daycare open until Mary and any of her future siblings are pre-school age. Pretty please?

Our fantastic neighbors, Erik and Stephanie. They are true friends.

Our mothers. Thank you both for helping us in your own ways.

My sister's fantastic Thanksgiving stuffing. To die for.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here's to full bellies, football and pumpkin desserts!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2nd Birthday Party

Here are a few pictures of the birthday girl. She has a great time at her party. Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us, sent cards, balloons, gifts and called the birthday princess. What a lucky girl!

Somebody was caught having an early birthday treat!

Mary and her cousin Madison who came all the way from Florida to celebrate. We are still talking about her visit. We miss you Maddie!

It's a Bunny Party! We had Max and Ruby cake of course.

Our girl made quick work of her cake.

Mary took a break from the party to color with Uncle Dave.

Here is the little baker enjoying some of her birthday gifts. After I took this picture I told her it was time to take a bath. She replied "No mommy, Mimi cooking for two minutes".

Halloween 2008

Mary Catherine dressed up like Ruby from the Noggin show Max and Ruby. Ruby is very popular at our house (see birthday pictures). Her Auntie Robin took a plain ol' bunny costume and made Ruby come to life. Thank you Auntie!

Due to the large amount of sugar rushing through her system, Ruby wasn't very interested in being photographed.

Kennedy was a sweet little girl monkey. You can't see it very well in this picture but her costume had the biggest belly. So cute! Also worth noting is the fact that her parent give out full sized candy bars on Halloween. They made our fun sized Charleston Chews and Junior Mints look pretty sad.

This was Mary's third Halloween but her first time Trick or Treating. This was one of the first houses we stopped at. Don't be fooled by their light being on and the jack o lanterns on the front steps. These people were not handing out candy. How confusing for a little person.

After knocking on most of the doors in our little neighborhood we headed over to Noni and Pop Pop's house.

Finally she could sink her teeth into that Tootsie Roll she had been eyeballing all night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Overhead at the Polls

Earlier tonight I was signing the little slip of paper that certifies that I am in fact Kathleen P. (no id check, what's up with that?) and getting ready to move to the voting booth. Out of nowhere Mary gets stock straight and yells "Yook Mommy, Kennedy rock the vote!".

Mary's best friend and her mother Steph were in fact standing at a nearby voting booth.

Oh and the concept of a secret ballot doesn't exist in the mind of a two year old. It didn't bother me too much but it did make it a bit awkward for the others nearby when Mary announced "Me mommy vote for Bama."

Election Day 2008

I was really going to try to keep this blog non-political but for those of you who know me you know that is just impossible. It's part of what makes me me!

For political junkies Election Day is like Christmas (not the religious part, just the wake up Christmas morning and see your gifts under the tree part) but it only comes once every four years. And while the past eight years I've only had tube socks and itchy wools hats under the tree, this year..... this is the year I get the pony!!!

I was listening to CSPAN (geek!) on my way to work and Mr. Zogby of Zogby International, the highly respected polling experts said these magical words, "If you are coloring in your electoral map at home tonight, you might need an extra blue crayon".

Okay, I just had to get that off my chest. And to all the loved ones I have offended with this post (thank goodness Aunt Jean doesn't have a computer) I hope you know it is all in good fun.
I just want to encourage everyone to vote today!

And as they say in Chicago, "Vote early and vote often!". I kid, I kid.

Friday, October 31, 2008

2 Year Check Up

Yesterday Mary Catherine had her two year check up. For those of you keeping track, her 2 year stats are just about the same as 18 months....

Weight - 26.5 lbs
Height - 32 inches

It was an uneventful visit (those are the best kind) other than the nasal flu mist. This replaces the flu shot for most little ones that are 2 and older.

While we are talking about the flu....... run, don't walk to get a flu shot. I had the honest to goodness flu last year on Valentines day and it was miserable. I got tuckered out opening my eyes and my skin hurt, ok? It was that bad. I've passed on the flu shot for most of my adult life. Never again.

The doctor did tell Mary she has to eat more veggies. Her steady diet of goldfish, honey wheat pretzels and bananas did not impress the pediatrician. I'm starting a letter writing campaign to plead with Pepperidge Farms to start making those little fish with some broccoli in them.

Does anyone have tips on how to get a veggie-phobic two year old to eat the good stuff?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Birthday Princess

Mary Catherine woke up earlier than usual this morning making a weird/scary noise that reminded us of the Great Whooping Cough Episode (May 2007 - October 2007).

Chris hopped up and brought her into our bed. She seems to be just fine. My guess is that she opened her big blue eyes at 5:40 am and said "Wait a's my birthday! I am not going to sit here in this crib all alone. It's my birthday, people! Hmmmm, what can I do to get them in here ASAP......oh right, scary, choking-like cough. That gets them every time."

Once we were all up and getting ready for the day she really got in a birthday frame of mind. She asked her Daddy to put on her "birthday princess" shirt and requested cupcakes for breakfast. I explained that the cupcakes I made were to share with her friends at daycare, probably after lunch. The birthday princess then put up a big fight when I tried to put on her shoes and coat.

When we got to her Noni's house it was obvious that she knows how to treat a birthday princess! Big, shiny balloons, a Dora cupcake with two candles, and a giant stuffed Dora waiting to be unwrapped. Mary's face lit up and I'm fairly certain she gave me a look as if to say "now THIS is what I'm talkin' about!"

Thank you Noni (who will be a birthday princess herself tomorrow). I think you made her day.

You made it a lot easier for me to leave Mary on her birthday morning knowing she was celebrating in style with her Noni.

Happy Birthday Mary Catherine
Mommy and Daddy love you with all our hearts!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Lately Mary has been telling me (and anyone else who will listen) that when her daddy is at work he is busy making donuts.

Looks like Chris's donut making days are over.

We woke up to very chilly weather and while Mimi and I sat in a nice warm car, my sweet husband scraped the ice off of the windshield. After the de-icing we headed to Noni's house. On our way she asked "Mommy, where did Daddy go?" I answered as I usually do, "He went to work". This is the part where she usually tells me "Daddy is at work making donuts." Not today......

Congratulations Chris, you now work as a Car Washer!

Children really do say the funniest things.

Note: My apologies to any donut makers or car washers who might be reading this silly little blog. You are doing God's work really. Who doesn't love a fresh donut and a clean car?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Get Well Wishes

Our brother-in-law and Mary's Big Uncle Dave is in the hospital this week. He just had surgery to remove kidney cancer. His surgery was very successful and he should be feeling like himself just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

We just wanted to remind Uncle Dave and all the Broadbents that they are in our thoughts and prayers. Sending lots of love from Maryland!

P.S. - This is far from a complete family photo. Sorry Muffy, Alex and Oliver. Maybe next year Mom and Dad will invite you to be in the picture :)

Twenty-three months

MC turns TWO in exactly one month! Life with an almost two year old is anything but boring. She has favorite songs (Allergies by the Bare Naked Ladies), favorite shows (Max and Ruby) and favorite foods............. oh wait no she doesn't. She hates to eat in the presence of her parents. It is very frustrating at meal times and often embarassing. Our apologies to the patrons of Potbelly Sanwiches in Annapolis last Saturday afternoon.

But all screeching aside she is a perfect little pumpkin and we are enjoying watching her grow.

One of her favorite things to do lately is to walk with Mommy to get the mail.

She always starts out very excited about the adventure to the mailbox.

Once that mail key is in her hand she is all business.
It is at this point that she usually starts asking if there are any lollipops in the mail box for her. That isn't even our mailbox. Ours is too high for her to reach so she pretends with our neighbor's mail box. Which is fine until she breaks the key off in their lock and is arrested for mail fraud. Once the mail (and sometimes lollipops -thank you Nana) is in our possession it is a mad dash back to the house to sit on the steps and see what treasures our mail lady has delivered.
This day she was thrilled to learn Lands End was having a sale on anoraks. "Ook Mommy, Mimi jacket". And this photo was taken seconds after I suggested we go inside and have dinner. She has perfected the Throw Yourself on the Ground and Go Limp.

By the time we get inside and she gets in her book basket all tantrums are forgotten. Being almost two sure is fun :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cookies or "Is my kitchen THAT cluttered?"

Large iced coffee...check
Multiple dish towels hanging from or sitting on most free surfaces...check
Window flair....check
Something on every square inch of my counters and island... check my sister was right! Eventually we all really do turn into our mothers!
(In my mother's defense, she would never have that much stuff on her fridge.)

Notice the pug at her feet praying for a dropped cookie
Mary 's first time "baking" with Mommy. Showing off Mimi's now famous Slice and Bake Pumpkin Cookies.
Trying to resist the temptation of the cookie doughYup. I let her try it.
Waiting for the cookies to bake was the hardest part.
And this is the face she gives me when I ask her to smile for the camera.

The cookies were a big hit. She shared them with the neighbors, her Daddy and her friends at daycare.

Edit: After posting this I was looking through old pictures online and came across this gem. It fit the baking theme and made me laugh out loud so I just had to share it.

Time Flies

When did they turn into little girls who love hand bags, pretend make up and pushing doll carriages?

Mary and Kennedy yesterday afternoon

Those same little sweethearts just about one year ago!

Last year at this time Kennedy's parents just found out she was going to be a big sister. It won't be long before Mimi and Kennedy are dressing this little guy up in doll clothes and forcing him to ride around in their doll carriages.

Don't let the serious expression fool you, he is quiet the love bug.

Would you like Fry-Fries with that?

Mary: "Where Daddy go?"
Me: "He's at work."
Mary: "Oh yeah, make money". "Where Georgie go?" (George is our pug)
Me: "Georgie is at home waiting for us."
Mary: "No, Georgie at work.....make fry-fries (french fries)."

So THAT explains the furry little polyester uniform I keep seeing in the laundry!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

3 years ago.........

Three years ago today Chris and I were celebrating our marriage with most of our friends and family.

Just about every detail of that wonderful day still resonates with me. From the picture perfect weather (which I am sure was a wedding gift from my Dad) to hopping in the garishly decorated car at the end of the evening and every moment in between.

The two of us have grown to a family of three since Labor Day Weekend 2005. We've had our fair share of ups and downs since then. Luckily we've been blessed with more sunny days than cloudy ones.

Here's to spending a lifetime of sunny days (and cloudy) with my best friend!

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Week at the Beach

We spent the last week of July at the beach in New Hampshire with my sister and her family as well as two of our cousins and their families. We had a wonderful time thanks to good company and great weather.
Chris and I would also like to personally thank the genius who invented the head rest mounted dvd player. This modern marvel made the 9 hour drive (each way) so much more pleasant.
Here is what you came here!
Our niece and nephew Ellie and Harrison
These two were the BEST helpers all week. Mary is still asking "Where niecey and Harry go?"
Mary and Bozo Crazy Driver!

Mary Catherine and Daddy in Newburyport

Mary fell in love with the train table
......and the rocking horse
Here's Mary reminding Mommy and Daddy what flowers look like if you remember to water them regularly. We're still waiting for one of us to develop a green thumb.

Here are Tess, Mary and Ellie after the delish steak dinner that Chris prepared for the group.
How cute is she????
Ellie played such jazzy tunes on Tess's Barbie guitar. Mary just had to dance!
Mary, Fuf, Ellie and Harry hiding in the back.
She loved the sand so much she ended up dipping all her beach snacks in it.

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