A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My house is chaos. I mean, there have been times I have thought it was totally messy and unorganized, but nothing compares to how it is right now. Our kitchen is packed up and sitting in boxes (and out of boxes, actually) in the living room. The microwave is in the garage. The oven is unhooked sitting alone in the kitchen. The fridge is in the dining room. The table is in the living room, along with the barstools. (The couches and piano are covered in plastic trying to protect them from the dust of sheetrocking.) The boys' tents are out of the living room and back to their bedrooms, but their dressers are in the hallway and Becca's room. Becca's room has a hole in the wall to the bathroom where the door used to be. We have plastic hanging up trying to protect the new area from too much dust, but we really should have thought to put them up about a month sooner.

And the upstairs, where it should be nice and clean, well ... it isn't. It's amazing how chaos spreads and how I just can't bring myself to clean the upstairs even though the construction isn't affecting it too much.

I'd post pictures, but it seems like too much effort. The good news, however, is that we're a couple of weeks away from having a nice, new kitchen. We got our a/c back on Friday (HOORAY!!!). We haven't starved yet, and the kids have survived my crankiness. And the best news for Tyler is that we're going to IHOP while our kitchen is out of commission. That has been his dream for a while, and I promised him it would happen while we can't cook (since I'm not nearly the fan of IHOP he and Zachary are).

Our construction has gone pretty fast, but it's starting to get on my nerves ...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Preparing for loneliness ...

I'm REALLY not looking forward to next week. I mean really.

No, it doesn't help that we're going to sweat our guts out earning the "sweat equity" part of the addition. But that's a whole other dreaded topic ...

Three of my buddies have/are going to leave me. None of them told me I stink, but I'm starting to wonder.

Marilee used to come over once a week to scrapbook. Truth be told we really didn't get tons of scrapbooking done, but we got lots of talking time and "less stress" time. It was something to look forward to every week. And then Marilee's husband got a job in Virginia and off they moved ...

Hilary and her girls used to join us twice a week for dinner. Then came along baseball and our renovation, so we faded dinners out and planned to regroup once the addition is done. However, now Hilary has left me to go spend time with her husband in Wyoming for the month of July. Okay, so she'll get to see Lee everyday she's there, but why would anyone want to see their husband more than 2 days per month?

And my mom. :( She used to have Wednesdays and Fridays off of work, so those were our days together. Then she retired, and I could go down and spend any day with her that I wanted to. That was a fun/cool change. We had a scrapbooking marathon last weekend with her, my sister Rachel and me where we scrapbooked until midnight. But now she's leaving for her mission on Monday. Woe is me!

What will I do with all of my "spare" time? I'm going to have to convince Rachel to come to MY house to scrapbook to make sure we both actually do it. And maybe I'll actually get around to cleaning this mess I call home (but don't hold your breath). Anyone have a tissue?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Families can be together forever

We took Becca to the temple today to become an eternal part of our family, and it was awesome! My kids were well-behaved, which helped me enjoy the day so much more. I pray the little ones will remember this day their whole lives, even though they are young.

It's a girl!

I don't think I mentioned that we got a bit nervous the morning of Becca's adoption. We went in, and the attorney informed us that he was keeping his fingers crossed that all would happen that day, because it was possible for the judge to enter the parents' defaults and then schedule a new court date.

Once our attorney got to work talking to the judge we just knew we were in trouble. The problem with pre-paying attorneys is that you never quite know what you're going to get. He was the most unconvincing attorney I've ever seen (except for the stuttering guy on "My Cousin Vinny" which happens to be one of my all-time favorite shows). In any case, he stumbled across his words, kept asking us questions as he was addressing the judge, and just didn't have his facts straight. Sigh.

Fortunately the judge just realized this was the best thing for Becca and did it all in one day. We went down to submit the paperwork and realized he had all kinds of info wrong -- where Paul and I were born, how to spell Nielsen (which he had right sometimes and wrong sometimes), etc. Good thing we had a chance to look at it before it was submitted incorrectly!

In any case, we headed to Olive Garden to celebrate. We were the first customers of the day -- and probably the happiest.

We've had quite a fun time letting everyone know Becca is officially a Brown! We put a sign on the garage that says, "It's a Girl!" (The dollar store doesn't have signs that say, "Adoption is complete!") Most of our neighbors thought it was very cute and clever, but some were very confused. One poor neighbor called and said she felt so embarrassed she hadn't known I was expecting and offered me dinner. Too bad -- I like dinners I don't have to make! :) Others thought maybe this was our way of announcing a pregnancy we had previously concealed. Nope. Just a way to let everyone know that Becca is ours. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Press Release: Brown Product Name Change

Paul was very concerned about my lack of PR when I didn't write a press release for Becca's adoption. So, here goes:

For Immediate Release

Contact: Denise Brown

Brown Inc. Changes Product Name to Align with Product Line

Analysts don’t expect much change based on the name modification,

but feel it is a huge benefit to the corporation

June 8, 2009, Spanish Fork, Utah – Brown Inc. announces it will change the name of its product acquired from a sister company more than four years ago. The product, Becca Nielsen, has officially had its name changed to Becca Brown to better align with Brown Inc’s current product line and with corporate vision and goals. Co-CEOs Paul and Denise Brown are excited about the change, which gives them full legal power over decisions regarding the product.

“This restructuring to our corporation won’t change anything about how the corporation operates,” Denise said. “However, it makes our oldest product feel more a part of Brown Inc. and it will allow her to be a permanent part of the corporation. We couldn’t be happier!”

Although Becca has been a part of the Brown product line for years, Brown Inc. was never sure of the product’s future with the corporation. However, this court-approved change in name ensures that Becca will be a permanent part of the Brown Inc. product line.

“We have only one more step to fully absorb Becca into the Brown Inc. family, and we plan to take care of that at the Provo LDS Temple next week,” Paul said. “Once that ceremony is performed, Becca will be stuck with Brown Inc. forever, much to the delight of all of us.”

Becca Brown, which is Brown Inc’s oldest product, is packaged as a typical teenage girl. Brown Inc co-founders hail the tremendous growth of the product since being acquired by Brown Inc., even though she wasn’t developed properly through her beta and early release stages. “We’re happy to report that her maturity enables her to avoid other glitches other teen girls have, such as crankiness, pettiness, meanness, and unnatural concern for unimportant things,” Denise said. “All in all we couldn’t ask to have acquired a better product!”

Other products at Brown Inc. have welcomed Becca into the product line with enthusiasm, although they continue to push buttons to try to bring out aforementioned glitches. “We figure this is normal in all product lines,” Paul said.

About Brown Inc.

Brown Inc. was formed in 2000 with the merger of Paul Brown and Denise Palmer. It now has four products in its line: Tyler (released nearly 8 years ago), Zachary (released 6 years ago), Shayla (released 3 years ago) and Becca (released 15 years ago by a sister company and permanently acquired in 2009 by Brown Inc.). Brown Inc., which specializes in adorable babies and family fun, is based in Spanish Fork, Utah.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's official!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

We're going there someday ...

Great news: We have a court date for Monday for our adoption of Becca. This has been an interesting experience I never thought I'd go through ...

A couple of months ago Paul and I started to feel like we needed to adopt Becca. We're not sure exactly why we're feeling it now since she's lived with us since she was 10 (and is now 15). We had originally been going down the path to get approval to have her sealed to us without legal custody, but then we just knew that adoption was what we needed to do.

So, we found an attorney to find out what process we need to follow. We talked to several, and I just don't like attorneys! What other service do you have to pre-pay a big chunk and then HOPE you get the service you want ... We found a good guy, but he's not been very communicative. That's been annoying to me, because I know anytime I call him he bills us (as would any attorney), and he's $150/hour! Anyway, I digress ...

We talked to Becca's mom and dad and were surprised by their responses. Her mom, who is still in contact with her, said she would support the adoption since it is what Becca wants, which was a surprise to us. Her dad, however, surprised us by saying no. He has to pay child support, but hasn't seen Becca since she was probably 2, so we figured he'd be happy to be done with his payments several years early. (It will end up saving him nearly $18,000!) He was tricky to track down, because he doesn't want Becca's mom or sister finding him. Even when we got a message to his mom to call us, he blocked his number when he called so we couldn't call him back. In any case, he basically said that Becca is his and he isn't willing to give her up. Huh? Then why haven't you done a thing to try to see her? People are strange -- I think it was more that he didn't want the Browns to "win."

He wanted to talk to Becca, but I informed him that he was not allowed to by law. He said that wasn't true. I said I had a copy of the paperwork that prohibits him from having any contact with her until he meets certain obligations (which he has had more than 10 years to complete), and that he hadn't met any of the obligations. He then went on to tell me that it applied only to Becca's sister, which is not true. Too bad I can read.

Fortunately he called back later (still blocking his number) saying that although he wanted a relationship with Becca (which I still find funny since he wouldn't even give us his phone number), but that his family (aka wife) didn't want to have to pay child support anymore, so he'd support the adoption. I told him good thing, because we were adopting her whether or not he supported it!

Anyway, he said he would give his consent on three conditions: 1. That child support would cease. (Duh!); 2. That he would be forgiven all back-due child support; and 3. That he could explain to Becca himself why he was allowing the adoption to proceed.

I told him Becca didn't want to talk to him, but that he could call and we would let him explain to her on speaker phone his reasoning. We set a date and time, and then he never called. So much for stepping in to have any kind of relationship ...

Anyway, we (meaning the attorney) drafted up the paperwork and sent it to both parents. Becca's mom didn't like the wording of the paperwork, but she agreed to sign it anyway -- but only after insulting me and telling me that I don't truly have Becca's best interest at heart and that I can't be believed. Sigh. Becca's dad was served the paperwork, but rather than sign it and return it he opted to let the 30 days expire, which means he forfeits his rights to have any say.

In any case, I called the attorney this week since I knew the time had expired, and he set a court date for Monday! We are so excited at the possibility of having her legally ours. We're praying the judge finds everything in order, because we can't wait to go here:

I had heard conflicting reports about how long you have to wait to have an adopted child sealed to you, and I have since found out that it can happen the second it's legal. We could leave the courthouse and head straight for the temple to make Becca ours forever if we had arranged it with the bishop. We are so happy to have her with our family eternally, and we are so happy to have the opportunity to take all of our children inside the temple for the ceremony. What a huge blessing!

In any case, we'll let you know when it's official ...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This is where my parents are headed ...

Before receiving their mission call, my parents' bishop and stake president said they had received a call from the mission office. This call was to say they had a special assignment for my parents, and that it was going to cost more than my parents had planned on spending on their mission. My parents accepted the news and waited for their call to come. Due to Memorial Day, the call was a day "late" arriving ... and when they opened their call I don't think this is what any of us were thinking:

Sure enough, my parents are headed to the Nebraska, Omaha mission to do facilities management. Who knew Nebraska was pricey. :) Their MTC date was to be June 15, which is more than two weeks before their availability date. Fortunately (for them and us!) they're now not leaving until June 29 so my dad can fulfill some other obligations. By the way, our addition was not one of them! :)

My parents will be awesome missionaries. Although I'm very excited for them to have this awesome experience they have planned for years, I sure will miss them!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My baby is 3!!!

I cannot believe my baby is 3! Shayla shocked us three years ago by coming to us more than two weeks early. Both of my boys had been late, so I was shocked and confused when my water broke that morning. But boy, oh, boy did we love having her join our family! There were a lot of babies born that day, and one of the nurses walked into our room and said, "Oh! Yours is the cute one!" Yes, she is ...

Shayla is such a sweet, sweet, sweet girl! I've heard that girls have so much attitude, and thus far I've LOVED my little Shayla's sweetness and joy. I was just realizing today that by her age my boys had stood in time out A LOT ... and with Shayla all I have to do is threaten time-out and/or count and she stops whatever she is doing. (In fact, since she's only had to go to time-out twice, I'm not sure she even knows what it is!)

Anyway, we feel blessed beyond measure to have such a sweetheart in our home. I took some pics for her birthday that are just adorable! You can see that she's definitely growing up, but she still has a little of her baby cheeks. I'm guessing by next year those will be gone, so enjoy while you can!

I seriously just can't believe how cute this little girl is!