Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas! This year has be pretty magical and full of cheer. We feel so very blessed.
In the spring we found out we would have an addition to our family and we were overjoyed. Wesley Jackson Brown just recently joined the family officially on December 7th. He has proven already to be his own person by arriving later than the due date — unlike his brother. We were waiting and expecting him the whole month of November, only to find he wanted to wait until December!
Caleb is doing great as a big brother. He wants Wesley to come with us everywhere, which of course he will. He also runs to him in the morning and after nap to say hello. I have a feeling they are going to get along just fine. Here’s a video of some of their first interactions.
Wesley is our sweet, little Christmas-time baby and we are so in love. Being a family of four is already proving to be great.
This year we got to experience the terrible twos with Caleb. Which, strangely enough, ended up not being too terrible. Oh sure, there are days where he may have been difficult, but that’s life raising a kid. Right?
Caleb is full of personality and he makes us smile everyday. Our hearts melt when he tells us, “I love you,” or hands us a dandelion. He is such a smiley, happy kid and we feel so blessed.
This year Caleb started beginner’s preschool at First Presbyterian Preschool here in Tacoma. He had no trouble transitioning to the school life. He ran right into the classroom the first day and had enjoyed school ever since. Mom enjoys the break two times a week for about three hours. One of our favorite moments was the school’s Christmas concert where Caleb’s class got to sing. In our opinon, Caleb was the star of the show (watch it here).
Beyond school, Caleb’s biggest development this year has been talking. He talks in full sentences now, although some of them are in a yoda-like in structure. When he’s not talking up a storm his favorite pastimes are running, jumping, riding his bike, and climbing especially with his friends.
This coming year will be fun as he turns three on January 2nd!
Our pup is now four years old! Although, she still acts like a puppy (she’ll forever have the nickname, “Asha Pup” with us). She is so great with the kids for which we are so thankful. She still enjoys her walks and chuck-it sessions at the field. But most of all, she enjoys just being around the family.
Trips & Visitors
We had some pretty special trips and awesome visitors this year.
Caleb loves his time with both sets of grandparents, and we got to spend some quality time with both this year.
In March, Caleb and I (Heather) enjoyed a week in San Marcos with the O’Neill grandparents. Not only do we love getting time with the grandparents, but the weather isn’t too shabby either. We visited a second time in August (check out more about the August trip here).
In April, the Brown grandparents visited us here in Tacoma. We shared some of our favorite places with them and spent some great time playing together.
We headed to Chicago in June to attend my cousin Scott’s wedding and visit family. It was Caleb’s first time in Chicago, and was fun to introduce him to the O’Neill and Merkner relatives. We got to enjoy some fun Chicago activities as well - Navy Pier, Millennium Park, strolling downtown, and taking the train (Caleb’s first train ride!). But we really loved the family time with aunts, uncles, and cousins! (See more on the Chicago Trip Snapshots post!)
In September, we tackled an almost six hour flight to Kauai with a two-and-a-half year old toddler and a 30-week pregnant mama. This might sound crazy, but it was so worth it to see the Brown grandparents there. They are living the dream in Kauai for a year and we snagged the opportunity to visit. We had the time of our life especially Caleb. He couldn’t get enough of the beach and ocean. He was practically surfing on the boogie board. Our time there was so special and we made some great memories. (See more on the Look Back: Kauai in September with the Browns post!)
In addition to the big trips above, we also had some of our own little adventures around the PNW and some nice visits from friends. We really take joy in exploring our little corner of the country.
Josh continues to work for the Washington State Nurses Association. He was brought on full-time last year as Director of Digital Transformation and Membership after having them as a client with his former employer. The office is in Tukwila, so luckily he doesn’t have to commute all the way up to Seattle. He enjoys mentoring and growing his team and working on new technological capabilities for the association.
As for me, I am just about to head into my third year as Chief Operations Officer of the Brown Household, aka a Stay-at-Home-Mom. I work hard on keeping Caleb busy and getting his energy expended each day. We still enjoy heading to the YMCA, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, or a nearby park. I also try to keep the house tidy and get some delicious, nutritious meals on the table. Now, if only Caleb would eat those meals. #momlife
Our year has been full of merriment and joy. We hope you had a wonderful and memorable year. We love and miss you all.
Joy & Good Tidings,
Josh, Heather, Caleb, Wesley, and AshaIt’s