Announcing the name of our new blog...

Our first pregnancy experience resembled a movie from the Middle Ages. No ultrasound, no technology (except for the heartbeat monitor, which in itself resembled something from the Middle Ages), no medicine (except for the epidural after 18 hours of intense labor), laboring at home, laboring at the midwife's house, good old fashioned hard pushing and groaning.

This time, not so much...

Though we are still choosing to go with a midwife, she is a nurse practitioner who has an office with a doctor. We also decided (though we could have chosen not to) that we wanted to "peak" and find out the gender, even though we enjoyed the suprise of not knowing Caleb was a boy...a girl named Caleb would have been a bit awkward in 8th grade...

So, you're all dying to know.

Maybe I'll reveal the truth in this blog...and maybe I won't.

Ok, it's a girl.

P.S. We're not changing our blog address, I just don't think "3hotbrownies" is going to be completely accurate come October 26.


5 years and counting...

Five years ago, yesterday...we were all dressed up...black suits and white dresses...anxious feelings and restless internal butterflies...finally...we were getting married. With 9 bridesmaids, 9 groomsmen, 4 candle lighters, 4 flower girls, 1 ring bearer, and 600 people, we said I do...and we did.

Reflecting back on the last five years, a couple memories come to mind.

1. Our first home, a 600 sq. ft. mother-in-law cottage on the outskirst of Redding that had no hallway in it, but it did have a fireplace. And it didn't matter. It was ours.

2. Baptizing my wife in 2004. No greater joy. Don't worry, I let her come up for air.

3. Putting our dog, "Gracie" (the cross-eyed canine), to sleep after she bit a neighbor dog. I don't ever want to have to do that again. After a couple months of mourning, God blessed us with a chocolate lab from an uncle/aunt. We named her "Ally".

5. Buying our first home on Cirrus St. (though we wish now that it wasn't so, but nonetheless, a good experience and great memories in that place.)

4. Helping our dog, Ally, through 2 separate litters of puppies. Imagine me, wearing yellow dish gloves, kneeling behind our dog ready for whatever life form was going to pop out and say hi.

5. My wife starting contractions at 4am in the morning on Sunday, July 22. Coming home the following Wednesday with a brand spanking new baby boy. Giving him the tour around the house and realizing that we're growing up and doing grown up things.

6. Knowing that God was calling us to move to Salem, OR. Packing a Budget Truck and driving 6 hours north to start our new journey.

God has been good. A lot of people told us that "the first year of marriage is the hardest, so beware." We're still waiting for that "hard" year. God has been faithful and it hasn't always been easy, but I am blessed with a wife that loves the Lord, a son that loves to smile and bounce up and down during worship music, and a new baby on the way. He is good. And I love being married.

P.S. My wife and I signed a five-year extension on our marriage contract. See you in 2013.


Brown update...

I know, I know. It's been awhile. Ok, it's been two weeks. So here's the skinny...

Kara & Caleb got to travel south to Redding, CA for five days and they had a blast. Kara said it was so refreshing to be back in a place that was familiar as well as be around her friends and family. It seemed as though Caleb, though 9 months old, had no problem remembering faces and recognizing voices. She spent much of her time catching up with friends and family, still not feeling like she got enough time with everyone. But when you've got 1,000 people to see, what are you gonna do?

In our effort to gather friends and support here in Salem, we have spent a couple nights hanging out with Logan & Erica Martin (worship leader & wife) eating meals and playing board games. They have become very special people to us as well as Jen & Jeff Roth (our landlords who live below us). It's nice to have such welcoming people live so close to us.

I (Jeff) am continuing to train for the half marathon on June 14th. This past Saturday, I ran 8 miles. Whew! It's weird to say that. The thought of running at all was a joke just a year ago. Now I'm looking into buying the special shirts that prevent your nipples from getting sore, because mine are. And Caleb has mysteriously learned to grab Daddy's nipples while playing with him in the bed early in the morning. Don't know where he learned that...KARA!

Kara went to her second midwife appointment to check on Baby Brownie #2. Heartbeat was strong and fast - faster usually means it's a girl, so all smiles. At the next appointment, we will have an ultrasound & find out the gender of this one. Caleb is grabbing Mama's belly at times, not sure if he realizes his career as a big brother is about to begin.

We are doing well. Thank you all for your continued prayers. The weather has become gorgeous which allows us to get out more often. Outside + sunshine - rain = happiness.

Kara and my sister, Juli, showing off the bulges.

Caleb and his future wife, Chesnie, flirting.
Caleb shows off his "high-five" skills to Aunt Melissa.
If Baby Brownie #2 is a bass player, we're set.
Chesnie's 2nd birthday party
Finally ridding his head of the mullet.
Good times with friends at Bandito Burrito.