2009: The year of unstoppable me

I am a HUGE goal person, so, of course, New Years is an excellent opportunity for me to write resolutions. My friend was telling me about a lesson she taught on S.M.A.R.T goals

S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Attainable
R: Realistic
T: Timely

It got me thinking about my goals and posting them in public forum. A goal is only a wish if it isn't written down and I thought I might take it a step further by sharing my goals with everyone (I could use all the motivation possible, even if it is harassment by my friends).

-run a marathon (either the Ogden or St. George)
-climb a mountain 5 times this summer
-weigh my ideal weight +/- 5 lbs by 6/1/09

-learn 3 new words a week
-Get a 4.0 each semester
-Read a book a month (other than school books)

-Never criticize my appearance (something I really need to work on)
-Say "I love you" every day to Geoff (this will be EASY!)
-Write in my journal each week

-Read the Book of Mormon by 6/1/09
-Pray 2x a day
-Read scriptures daily (no exceptions)
-Go to the temple twice a month

Maybe I'm being a bit ambitions, but I'd rather reach for the stars and land in the trees than reach for the trees and land in the mud.


A Cedar City Christmas

Well we had a great time down in Cedar City with Geoff's side of the family. It was always BUSY BUSY BUSY with 17 people under one roof, but we had a great time just kickin' back with the family. We took a billion pictures but here are just a few. I hope you all had a SPLENDID Christmas!! I start going to school next week full time and working full time so I may not be able to post as much.

*Side note: Many of you know how nervous I was for going down to my in-laws for the holidays cause my mother-in-law is a fantastic cook and she always has sooooo much food around. I am pleased to announce that I ran 3 of the 5 days I was down there, only taking off Christmas day & Sunday, and I actually LOST a pound! Not too shabby if you knew how much junk food was in front of me 24/7.

Anyways, I decided to try my amateur skills in Photography and took a few family photos.

The Whole Brown Gang!

This pose was Geoff's idea

The Gales: Ethan, Hillary, Allison, Aubrey, Spencer and a baby on the way.

The Costins: Cory, Mindy, Emma and Wyatt

Making cookies

I think Spencer ate the dough more than he helped. Isn't he so cute?

Geoff's dad treated us all to an SUU basketball game. The girls were louder than the cheerleaders.

Look at how spoiled I got from Geoff: I got a new brown coat, a sexy hot black dress, a new purse, a new backpack, a new straightner, cute socks, 2 seasons of friends, a movie, and the nativity set I have been wanting. Good job honey!!

The stuff Geoff got: a Dunder Mifflin Hoodie, a couple of cute shirts, sexy new jeans from Express for men, p90X workout dvds, a couple of movie, a season of arrested development, clinique happy for men cologne an electric razor (not pictured) and a best buy gift card. He got spoiled too.



My greatest gift of all

So I was reading my journal today and I came upon an entry that really made me grateful for a Loving Heavenly Father. Three years ago almost to the day, I was in Houston and single. I had recently lost a fiance' to cancer that summer so it was a very depressing Christmas for me. I wrote in this journal entry that I didn't think I would ever find anyone who would love me or that I could love in return. Two weeks later, I met my Geoff... and you all know the rest of that story.

It's pretty incredible how Heavenly Father knows what is best for us. He knows what we need to endure to be truly happy. Three years ago, I thought life was so cruel and that I would never be truly happy again. Little did I know that in just two short weeks, I would meet a man that loves me more than I deserve and takes my breath away on a daily basis. I feel so incredibly blessed.

Christmas has always been such a special time for me but until I met my Geoff, I never have loved Christmas like I do now. Christmas is about our Savior and celebrating his birth and the love of families. I just want to wish all of you a very happy, healthy and Merry Christmas.


Lights at temple square & a tour of our small love shack

So tonight Geoff and I went down to Salt Lake to have dinner at my grandparents and to also go see the lights at temple square. The whole block is seriously magical and I loved it. Definitely felt the Christmas spirit in the air. Here a couple of pics we took:

So I have been telling my mom for MONTHS that I would post some pictures of our little shack of an apartment. And by a small apartment, i mean SMALL... but it's cozy and I feel like I have made it into a nice home for us. We will only be here another year and then off to Houston to save for a house soon. Enjoy =)
Our tree.

This is our new TV and the poor man's fireplace. Ha ha.

Love seat.

Couch. Love that picture above it of the SLC temple. Geoff gave that to me for my last bday.

Our tiny bathroom.

Our shower. That's right... No tub. But at least we get clean =)

SMALLLLL kitchen. I love to cook so I can't wait for a bigger kitchen, someday.

The dresser my parents gave me for my last bday.

Our bed. i love it more than anything!

Small eating area.


Don't know how he does it!

Just wanted to announce that this past semester my husband has worked 40+ hours a week and took 15 hours of school... and he got STRAIGHT A's!!! I must say, I think I married quite the smarty pants!


Christmas Tag

Christmas Tag!!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? All of my presents are wrapped in red foil paper with gold polka dots... way cute!
2. Real tree or artificial. I have an artificial tree but I think real trees are much prettier. Just a hassle and don't last as long.
3. When do you put up your tree?? Um I think the day after Thanksgiving would be good, but I will admit, I put mine up a little before Thanksgiving this year (I know, I am an impatient little kid!)
4. When do you take it down? Around new years day.
5. Do you like eggnog? sick! No way. i think its so gross.
6. Favorite gift you received as a child. a jewelry box and a diary with a lock
7. Hardest person to buy for. Geoff's parents. They are both SO different. My parents I always get them the same thing cause they love it (gift card to olive garden and a gift card to the movies)
8. Easiest person to buy for? Geoff. The kid has SO many hobbies and interests its ridiculous!
9. Do you have a nativity scene?? No, I have been looking for the perfect one and haven't found it yet.
10. Mail or email Christmas Cards? I mailed them this year.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A guy once gave me HOT PINK high heels. So not cute.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? easy! National lampoon's christmas vacation. HILARIOUS!!!
13. When do you start shopping? November-ish
14. Have you ever recycled a present? Not a christmas gift but I have with wedding gifts
15. Favorite thing to eat or drink at Christmas?? My mom makes the most incredible sugar cookies... they are so soft and yummy. I made them yesterday for a family party and they were gone in minutes.
16. Lights on the tree? Of course. Mine are "pearl" lights. They are pretty cool.
17. Favorite Christmas Song? Oh Holy Night... so pretty!
18. Travel at Christmas of stay home?? Well since being an adult I have either gone to Texas to be with my family and now we are headed down to Cedar City for this Christmas.
19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Yes.
20. Angels on top of a tree or a star. I have a pretty gold star.
21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning? we open one on christmas eve, usually pjs... and then the rest on christmas day
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? hmmm snow. I think its pretty but i hate driving in it with a PASSION!!!!
23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? I have a texas shaped ornament my mom gave me. Makes me miss home a little but happy that I am from such a great state.
24. Favorite Christmas Dinner? My mom always makes a ham with fancy potatoes and yummy pies and of course homemade Granny Bell Rolls... mmmm... i can feel my cholesterol rising just thinking of it!
25. What do you want for Christmas? I honestly got what I wanted. Read here.


Reaching a new milestone

Many of you who knew me growing up knew I was very overweight. My weight at one point was almost 250 pounds. When I turned 20, I finally got my act together and decided to do something about it. So I lost weight the good old fashion way. Lots of working out and sweating and a totally makeover on my diet. I lost about 70 pounds in about 6 months. After that I kind of came to a screeching halt on weight loss. No matter what I did, I couldn't lose any weight. About 3 months ago, Geoff and I decided to try the "Body for life" diet which is basically just small meals throughout the day that are ultra healthy, 6 workouts a week and taking a day off to eat whatever you want and give your body a rest from exercise. And its working!! I have lost about 23 pounds and down to 160 lbs. It feels awesome. I am still not where I want to be, but its a start! And tonight, I ran 8 miles without any trouble. If you had told me 5 years ago that I could run 8 miles no problem, I would have laughed at you. It feels pretty darn wonderful to be able to reach this new milestone.

Buddah said it best : It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or demons, heaven or hell


A Christmas Miracle

A couple of weeks ago, Geoff asked me what I wanted for Christmas... after listing a few of the materialistic things I wanted, I really pondered on what would make me truly happy this Christmas and immediately I knew what it would be. I wanted to hear from my little sister. Becky and I have had a strained relationship for quite sometime now. She has had some very tragic things happen to her in her life. We live different lifestyles and its put a damper on the close bond we used to have. She hadn't spoken to me for six months. I had tried calling and texting almost daily and got no response. It has weighed very heavy on my heart. It has been the focus of my prayers. Anyone who has known me, knows that my sister is my favorite girl in the whole world.

Well, the other night, a Christmas miracle happened. After over six months of no contact, my sister finally texted me back and said "I love you Cami". It brought tears to my eyes and I know that this really was a miracle. I love Christmas. I love how it can bring the best out of people, mend hearts and bring families closer together. I am so grateful for my baby sister. My Christmas is now complete.


You have to pick your battles.

I not only strongly dislike cats, but I am also allergic to cats. Much to my dismay, Geoff has fallen in love with a stray cat. He got our recycling trash can and made a home for a stray cat right outside our door, talk about an eye sore. He is so happy about it though, so I have to just let him be happy about it for a few days. The only thing I am worried about is that this cat has tried several times to get into our house and seeing as how both Geoff & I are allergic, this could present a problem. Oh well... you just have to pick your battles. (I told him if this cat keeps trying to get in, I am going to drop it off in a box at my friend Jen's house who loves cats, ha ha).


Leaving footprints on my heart

I know I have talked about my job numerous times but sometimes I just get an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the joy & happiness it brings into my life. Many of you already know that I work at day center for adults with disabilities with soon to be 27 clients & 10 staff (we are getting new clients this next week). It's a pretty incredible place. It has its flaws & moments where I am pulling out my hair (mostly due to noise levels and being in charge of running the whole program... you think a kindergarten class is loud & noisy- you aint seen nothing yet!!) But overall, the opportunities to serve these amazing people has taught me more than ANY college class I have ever taken or will take.

Today something very touching happened. I was walking around my building making sure everything was running smoothly and one of my clients waved at me trying to get my attention and then signed that he loved me. Normally I don't condone this because we try to teach them socially acceptable things to do/say in a "normal" work setting but I couldn't help but smile and let it melt my heart. What a great example of unconditional love. I have worked at my job for almost 3 years now and I (besides my direct supervisor) have worked with these clients the longest in our portion of the company, so it's a cool feeling to know that I have not only touched these client's lives for good, but in return, they have touched mine more than they can possibly know.

When Geoff and I move in a year to Texas, I am going to cry my guts out leaving my job. And although I plan to always be in the special education field for the rest of my life, I will miss these special people dearly. It's like the saying goes: Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.



My perfect little black dress arrived in the mail today! Too bad I have to wrap it up and put it under the tree... I am still so excited though!!


Holiday photo shoot.

The pefect black dress

Ok Geoff thinks I am CRAZY, but I have been very fixated on getting this dress. I have always wanted the perfect little black dress but have never been able to find one I adore and simply get the cheapo ones to get me by. Well, I have done it, I found this dress and can't stop thinking about how cute it is... here is the catch, its a little on the expensive side, its $90. Now back in my single days, this wouldn't have been such a big deal. I was known to shop at banana republic and buy one dress for $150 and never think twice but you other married folks out there know how that is hard to do when your money is accountable to somoeone else as well... But the thing is, those banana republic dresses/skirts that I bought years ago, I STILL wear. They are classic and probably won't go out of style for a really long time. Geoff told me to really think about it before I decided to get this for Christmas. What do you guys think? Is it worth it to pay more for this dress and wear it for years to come? Or, should I wait it out and hope that something less expensive comes along?

*Bonus- this dress comes with both a red and black sash! And the picture doesn't do it justice!

PS: i am baking my own turkey today because Geoff wants his own Thanksgiving leftovers... wish me luck!!



I just bought these jeans

In a size 7/8!!!!!! I haven't been that size in suuuuuuch a long time!! I am down 21 pounds now and it feels amazing! Thats all.


Randomness from Geoffrey K Brown

Ok, so last night Geoff and I had our usual Saturday night date. He spoiled me and took me to Maddox (so so SO good, we had to drive to Brigham City to go, but by far the BEST restaurant in Utah I have ever eaten at) and then we went to Twilight (LOVE love LOVED it!!).

In between dinner and seeing the movie, Geoff had to stop and get his weekly dose of McDonald's vanilla ice-cream. It's like the only dessert we ever eat now that we are on that Body for Life program. Anyway, as we were sitting there eating our ice cream cones, Geoff pauses, looks at me, and says "You know what I really wanna see someday? A black person speaking chinease. Now that would be cool!"

i just sat there very baffled at what he said. Probably the weirdest most random comment he has ever made. I hope it made you laugh just as it did me.


An attitude of Gratitude

Our November issue of the "Ensign" still has not come, so for visiting teaching this week, I looked up an article on lds.org, and I searched "gratitude", which I thought would be a good Thanksgiving message to give. I found a great talk by President Monson titled "Attitude of Gratitude". Basically he just lists the things he is most grateful for, and it really made me reflect on the things I am grateful for in my life. He listed 6 specific things:

1. Mothers- i truly feel spoiled having the mother I have. My mom is a pretty special lady. Something I admire about her is the ability she has to reach out to all people. Almost every major holiday and a lot of sunday dinners were filled with strangers that she invitited that had nowhere else to go. She is a pretty amazing woman and continues to bless my life. I am very grateful for my Mom.

2. Fathers- Besides Geoff, my dad is probably my best friend. For those of you who know my dad, you know what a strong, spiritual leader he is. He was just recently released from the stake presidency, after 13 years of being a bishop or in a stake presidency. He never once complained of what was asked of him and served with all his heart. I am grateful for my father.

3. Teachers- I am glad President Monson mentioned teachers since both Geoff and I plan to be educators for life. i have been very blessed with some incredible teachers in my life. I had a fifth grade teacher, Mr, Holland, that has had a great impact on my life. One day, a rude 5th grade boy was making fun of me pretty harshley, and Mr. Holland pulled me aside and made it very clear how special he thought I was, and to never give up on myself. I still remember that to this day. i am grateful for the teachers in my life.

4. My county- I feel so blessed to live in this great country. it's nowhere near perfect, but there is so much good that comes from the United States of America. Without this promised land, the gospel would not have been restored. I am so grateful for my country.

5. My friends, My spouse- I have some of the greatest friends in my life. I can honestly say that the best friends in my life are my siblings. One of my greatest blessings is my sweet husband Geoff. I will save you all from all the mushy talk, but Geoff has blessed my life more than he will ever know. He is the kindest, sweetest, most thoughtful man I have ever met. i will always be thankful for my friends and my sweet husband.

6. My savior- Of course, President Monson said the greatest blessing we all have is our savior, Jesus Christ. It is really hard for me to put into words how I feel about our Savior, so i will just say this: I know he lives and I will forever be in debt for what he has done for me in my life. i am grateful for Him.

I am so thankful I came upon this talk. Sometimes I feel like I complain about the small things in my life that I don't like that sometimes I take all these blessings i have in my life for granted. I am going to try harder to live with my life with an attitude of gratitude.


Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree...

OK, after a long battle, I finally won. We put up our Christmas tree this week. Now before you judge, hear me out. Ever since I was little, Christmas decorations have brought me a natural high. There is nothing like the feeling you get looking at a beautiful Christmas tree and decorations. Last year I was able to finally design my own tree & I fell in love with it. I honestly would LOVE to decorate trees for a living down the road. It's so much fun.

Some of you know that at my job, I manage 25 clients with disabilities and 10 staff. This job is amazing but it also causes a lot of stress in my life. Especially lately. So, I decided that since rarely do I get to come home to my sexy husband (I work 8-4, and he works 4-12:30, sucks I know) that I needed something to come home to. So after much debate & even bribing Geoff with a new pull-up bar for his new hot body....and he agreed!! i love him.

So here is a picture of my christmas tree. It's hard to see just how pretty it is in the picture. But here ya go- I can't wait to see other's tree!!


Bacon Potato Chowder...mmmmmmm

Hey everyone, I am making Bacon Potato chowder and let me tell you-- Its sooo good & really easy to make!! And you can make it healthier if you want. I made a few substitutions in the recipe to make it really low cal & you can honestly NOT tell the difference. It's delicious and perfect for a cold winter day!

Bacon Potato Chowder

6-7 peeled cubed potatoes
1 small onion diced
2 cans of corn, drained
1 package of bacon (I use turkey bacon & its sooo yummy)
2 cans cream of chicken (I use the 98% fat free kind)
16 oz sour cream (I use the fat free kind)
3 cups cream (I use skim milk)
3 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp parsley

Combine everything in crockpot on high for 4-5 hours of low for 7-8 hours.

You can add cheese and crackers if you wish. I am serving it with yummy french bread. I can't wait to get home from church to eat it!!

I really hope you guys try it- you won't be disappointed. It's easy to make and it makes alot!


Catholics backing us up! Way to go!


Standing for what I know to be right

The last few days, Geoff and I have talked in great detail about Proposition 8 and our belief in our church. I feel that it is my right, as an American to stand for what I believe is right and share it with those I love.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I hold an temple recommend and keep that a very sacred treasure. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. I know it is only through his atonement and his plan for us that we can return and inherit all our Heavenly Father has to give us. I know that this is the only true church and that it is led by a living prophet. I know that Pres. Thomas S. Monson is that prophet. I know that Joseph Smith restored this church and brought fourth the Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

As far as Prop 8 is concerned, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" provides enough of an argument, at least for those who consider themselves faithful members of the Church as to why Prop 8 needed to be passed. If that isn't enough I think the letter from the First Presidency urging the members in California to put our best efforts into seeing is passed, does that.

We don't have a Prophet just to follow when we agree with him. Our opinion doesn't make something right or wrong in the eyes of God. That's God's call. It's how we use our agency to be obedient to those things He has asked us to do that does.

The Proclamation wasn't given just to us as members of the church, but to the world. They were warning the world as to what will happen if these things continue.

These men are prophets, seers, and revelators. I raised my hand to the square a few weeks ago at General Conference to sustain them

The bottom line here is simple.
A. Acting on homosexual urges is a sin. One of the main reasons we came to earth is to start our own family. And as the proclamation states, marriage is between a man and a woman
B. In regards to Prop. 8, the Prophet has asked us to support it, not the republicans or the democrats - the Prophet. If you sustained him as such in General Conference, if you hold a temple recommend and said you sustain him as the Prophet, and if you say you have a testimony of the restored Church as led by the Prophet then what more proof do you need?

Many have called the LDS church, a church of "hate" and "discrimination". I was deeply saddened of the images of peopel screaming outside our Holy, sacred temples this past week with signs that were hurtful & untrue. I ask them to reconsider this opinion. The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints are always on the front lines when there is a world disaster. When hurricane Katrina hit, members in my stake in Houston and many others from around the world, rolled up their sleeves, drove to New Orleans and went to work for days. This has happened throughout our church history. How is that a church of hate? Just because we don't recognize homosexual behavior as something that is right, doesn't mean we "hate" them.

I have some people very close in my life who struggle with their sexuality. Do I hate them? No. I love them more than they know. But, I will never turn my back on what God has told us is true and right. Because I love God more than anything and will always do my best to do what is right.

As for my blog, this is my blog. I will consider your opinions, I will even post them. But please remember that these are my opinions and beliefs, please at least respect that even if you do disagree with me. I love having a diverse group of friends and associates and I hope you all know that this blog was not to hurt or offend anyone. I just had to say something and stand for what I know to be right.


Ramblings from Mrs. Brown

Well it looks as if Obama has won. I can't say I am too happy about a socialist running our country.. .and as my older brother put it, we now should all "hide our money under our mattresses, Obama is coming!"... ha ha ha. I wasn't all super excited about McCain either, but he was the lesser of the two evils. I wish Romney would have stayed in the race. Maybe in four years, right?

Anyways, on a happy note, Geoff has almost reached his goal of 185 lbs! I am so proud of him! When we got married he was like 225 lbs, and in less than three months he has lost about 40 lbs! Amazing how it just sheds off of men. I have been doing the lifestyle "Body for life" with him, but I have only lost about 15-16 lbs.

Most don't know this, but I was pregnant about a month ago, but miscarried so my body is going through some adjusting I think. It was a rough & painful and devestating experience which I am still coming to terms with, but I know it was God's will... So we will just keep at it & when Heavenly Father wants a baby to come down to our family, we will be ready & willing!

I am so excited to get back into school next semester. I have taken a few semesters off, due to getting married and wanting to support Geoff so we wouldn't be starving and could live comfortably, but enough is enough! So next semester, Geoff and I will both be going to school full time AND working full time! We will NEVER see each other, except on the weekends. But that's pretty much how it is right now anyways. But I am SO excited to get back into the swing of things. It feels good to have an end in sight. I am going to try and graduate through all online classes, so it may take me a little longer, but it's the only way I can go to school & keep my job, which I LOVE! Plus when we move to Texas I can just finish school via the internet.Anyways, this post is really random and has no point other than to share my happiness with those I love!


True aggies!

Geoff became a true aggie last night! woo hoo!


New family photo!!

Geoff and I decided to be spontanious this weekend, so we went up blacksmith fork canyon, which was beautiful, and we took some "family photos". I think they turned out pretty good. Here is my favorite:


Geoff, the vampire!

So last week, Geoff came to my work (a day program for adults with disabilities) as a guest "reader" dressed as a vampire. He read some spooky stories, some halloween poems, did the "monster-mash" freeze game (which was so fun to watch him do... I am just glad he is cool enough to let his guard down and be silly with my clients), and played halloween bingo!

It reminded me why I love him so much. He is so good with all people, of all abilities. Geoff has so many talents, but one that really shines is his ability to make everyone feel special and loved. Anyways, it was just fun to have him there. I feel very blessed to have a husband who would take a big chunk of their super super busy schedule to act like a kid. He is 'da bomb!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies...mmm

As many of you know, I adore anything pumpkin flavored, so I love autumn for that very reason! I am currently making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for all my staff for our meeting tomorrow, and even though I won't allow myself to eat any of these (Geoff and I are doing body for life diet, which really isnt even a diet, its just healthy eating, he is down almost 30 lbs, and I am down about 15, dang men who can lose faster than women!!)... I am going to share my recipe for these cookies. Enjoy!!

1 c. butter softened
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tspn vanilla
2 c. flour
1 c. quick oats
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn cinnamon
1 c. pumpkin
1-1 1/2 c. choc. chips

- cream butter & sugars. Beat in egg & vanilla. Combine flour, oats, soda & cinn. Stir into creamed mixture alternating with pumpkin. Fold in choc. chips. Bake @ 350 for 12-13 minutes... and enjoy!!!!