Wednesday, November 3, 2010

we're so proud...

Happy Halloween!

Here is our baby on her second Halloween! She went dressed as Eebee, her favorite doll. We went to Night Eyes at the zoo on Saturday evening and couldn't have asked for better weather! Sloane was a peach and was so good about taking only one piece of candy and putting it into her bag!

Sunday, October 3, 2010!

This past weekend was quite possibly the best weekend I've had in a long time!

Saturday started off with a bang when the best husband in the world (John) let me sleep in until 9:30! After Sloane's nap we loaded up the car and headed down to Howell's Pumpkin Patch in Cumming.

If you have not been to Howell's I'd high recommend it! They have a wonderful selection of pumpkins, gourds, mums and Halloween/Fall decor and many, MANY things to keep kids entertained for hours--even young ones like Sloane.

The first thing that caught her eye was of course the baby pony. With no hesitation Sloane walked right up to it and "patted" it. Note- this pony was much smaller then Midas.

I think Sloane could have spent the whole day
feeding goats. I watched in fear waiting for one to bite a finger off but John assured me that that wouldn't happen. Knock on wood

I think the highlight of the trip (for me at least) was petting the Charlotte, the calf. I love cows and if there is one thing I miss about Winterset it would be driving to Des Moines and seeing all the cows on the way. I was so excited (as was Sloane) when we saw a single black calf just outside the grounds on a "leash". I didn't see anyone around her so I figured it was ok to take a closer look.

If we had room for her in the back of the Vue I would have taken her! She was so sweet and would have made a PERFECT friend for Midas.

After realizing that only two of the three hay bails we bought would fit in the car we headed home just in time to make some chili, put Sloane to bed and watch the Iowa game. (Well John watched the Iowa game...I went to the mall for an hour of alone time-- heaven!)

Sunday was just as great as Saturday. I feel like we're always saying, "Sometime when we have a free weekend we'll have to......(fill in the blank with a list of 100 things we should do)." With nothing on the planner today we had plenty of time to relax, clean, cook and play! Again, the best husband in the world started my day with a fountain pop and Sunday paper from Casey's! Love him!

We cleaned out both of our closets and stored Summer stuff and sorted Fall/Winter clothes! I love changing seasons-- bringing out sweaters and coats you haven't worn for months-- it's like shopping for free!

We finally hung Sloane's growth chart in her room, along with a few other pictures and last but not least we began our training with Midas! I know he's six years-old but he's developed a few bad habits over the past few years that we really need to break. We ordered "The Dogfather" training DVD's and so far, so good!

We even had time to go to the PapaJohn Sculpture Park in Downtown Des Moines. I'd love to have known what was going on in Sloane's mind when she saw some of these works of art!
Below are a few other pictures from the weekend!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sloane Brees- the next Piscasso!

I purchased the "beginner crayons" from Target last week and yes, she tried to eat them. And yes, I drew the smiley face as a demonstration.

I didn't think she did too bad for her first run! I'm working on finding a frame for my baby's first work of art!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brees Family Reunion

Last weekend John, Sloane and myself traveled "down south" for the Bress Family Reunion in Trenton, Missouri. Just like most family reunions there were a lot of people who I didn't know but it was fun all the same. :)

It's held every third Sunday in September at a cabin in Trenton complete with a small pond and a ton of land! Thanks to a heavy rain that morning there were spiders, bugs and frogs galore which of course fasinated Sloane. Once again, she proves she's braver than her mother-- she definitely got her love from all things nature from her father's side!

If you know John, you've probably heard him brag about the "Brees lifespan". And while John will boast about anything he can, he does have a point. I have yet to meet a Brees man who is not fit, active and healthy regardless of age!

This picture is of Sloane (the youngest at the reunion) and Ernie's uncle, Koran (the oldest at the reunion-age 89!). I think it's important to note that he did just finish a game of washers before this photo.

After all the food and running around John's aunt Terree was kind enough to share a drink of her water with Sloane. Actually, I think Sloane just finished it off for her and then used it as a sand shovel :)

All in all, we had a wonderful weekend! We even had a chance to spend the night and Grandma and Grandpa's in Corydon the night before. Sloane loved the elementary schools playground, meeting Jack (again) and of course spending time with G'ma and G'pa!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Last weekend John and I traveled to Minneapolis so I could compete in my first triathlon!

I opted for a short distance than John's triathlon, as running is not my forte! I swam 500 meters, biked 15 miles and ran 3.1 miles. I knew starting the race that I could do all three of these as separate events, but was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do them back to back.

I got off to a rocky start in the swim. I tried to keep up with the "big dogs" and got gassed early.
Thankfully, I was able to make up some time on the bike and finished the run sloooowly, but I did not stop, and did not walk!

John and I figured if I did well in all three legs, I could finish around 2 hours. I finished in 2:01:23! I was pretty happy. I had a great experience. My good friends in Minnesota, Christine and Neil came to cheer me on, and of course John was there encouraging me too.

And...I have to throw this in too....after the race we grabbed some lunch and spent another 6 hours SHOPPING! It's amazing what fatigue and soreness I will work through just to go shopping :). John was a good sport about it!

Sadly, I think the triathlon season is about over for the mid-west but John is going to get one more race in this season in Waterloo on September 26! I think we're hooked!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

John's Triathlon

On Sunday John completed his first Triathlon!

1500 meter swim, 26.8 mile bike and 6.2 mile run-- all under 3.5 hours!

The first Omaha Triathlon kicked off at 6:03 am with the swim and while the water was warm and the weather was perfect John said the bike and run were tougher than expected (both full of hills and uneven trails).

And as expected, despite his extreme exhaustion following the race, John was already looking for his next race to compete in that evening!

He is somewhere in there...

Out of the water, headed for the bike
Off on the bike!
Just starting the run! Even stop to pose at the finish line- what a trooper!


A couple weeks ago we took our annual Brees Family trip to Ely, MN and had a WONDERFUL time! Having never been with Sloane I was worried about bugs, cold weather, and sleeping arrangements but it could not have been more perfect!

Jane and Ernie and Jaclyn and Aaron we all so eager to take her for a walk in her wagon or out to feed the ducks. Everyone was so helpful, John and I hardly lifted a finger!

Here are a few of the photos....

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Our first official birthday party was a success. Sloane made out like a bandit- tons of books (wish she honestly loves), adorable outfits, a castle climb and slide, and a wonderful wagon. I think she'll be pretty busy for a while!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Sloane!


Now that it's behind us the first year felt like it flew by but I swear there were weeks, days even hours at times that felt like this day would never come.

Becoming parents (I think I can speak for John as well) is easily the most life changing and challenging experience we have ever had. Totally worth every missed girls night out, poker game or dinner date of course; parenting has certainly had its highs and lows. We really want to thank every single one of you (g'ma and g'pa's, aunts and uncles, friends, cousins) who have helped us as we adjust to our new life. It really does take a village to raise a baby (and their parents).

Sloane, John and myself are so very lucky your love and support.

I swear Sloane knew it was her birthday today. She was a peach the whole day! We celebrated with a few presents, a trip to the zoo and the to coldstone creamery--where Sloane had her first licks of ice cream (tiny licks from your finger don't count!). What more could a one-year-old want?

A nap......? :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Another benefit of belonging to the YMCA- water babies!

It's essentially 30 minutes of parents singing and kids splashing. Sloane really likes the water. Last week John took her while I took photos. This was the very first one I took, and by far the best.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


A few of you had asked when we were going to update our blog again- so I figured it's time!

A lot has changed since I last posted! We sold our home in Winterset after deciding that we were just a little too far away from work, friends and the daily activities we really enjoy! So, we are now happy residents of Des Moines! We found a beautiful home to rent just outside of Downtown. I can't even begin to tell you how happy we are! John is home before 5pm, We have a membership to a gym that has childcare, we've had many play dates with old and new friends and Midas (can't forget about him) has a fenced in yard and another English Mastiff, Stella next door to court!

And, as of Sunday we have a new walker in the family! Sloane took about five steps on her own! We have yet to catch it on camera but as soon as we do, we'll be sharing! Considering Sloane loves to get into everything (cabinets, cords, stairs, you name it) I've got the house pretty well baby proofed. I'm hoping this new skill won't bring too many bumps and bruises!

Below are a few recent photos of Sloane....enjoy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


best friends

first, of many presents

ugly sweater party

after bathtime at gma & gpa brees'

all bundled up


I know I haven't updated this for a LONG time, but I wanted to start with pictures of our house.

If you haven't heard, we arrived home after spending four days away (John at the Orange Bowl, Annie in Ames) to a cold, COLD house. The thermostat read 40 degrees to be exact!

We called Holt heating and cooling and a man came out right away to look at our furnace. He was able to fix it. By the time we went to bed the house was up to 65 degrees. John and I were getting ready for bed when John tried to turn the water on in our master bathroom. Nothing. Flushed the toilet, nothing. Open the shower door, the knob was bulging from the shower wall! John checked the other bathrooms and all of a sudden ran up stairs and said, "Annie, what the (fill in the blank with your own exploitative) is that?" in reference to the gushing water noise. It sounded like every shower, washer and sink was on in the house all at once. The sound was horrible. We knew there was water somewhere it shouldn't be, we just couldn't find it! I ripped Sloane out of bed, ran downstairs. It was still dark but I could see water cascading down the walls of our entry way, living room and kitchen. John grabbed a few things, I grabbed the diaper bag and formula, threw on boots and bolted to the neighbors.

Ryan, our wonderful neighbor, followed John back to the house where they we able to turn off the water and contain as much of the mess as possible. They were kind enough to stay up until after midnight helping set up a bed for us and Sloane in their home.

We went back to the house this morning to assess the damage. Wet.

Our insurance claims rep. set up an appointment with First Call Construction and they were able to make it to our house by noon! Side note-- wonderful guys. They drove from Des Moines, were professional, clean, quick, I could go on and on! So far, they have ripped carpet from the basement, which will need to be replaced and peeled back the carpet in the living room to dry out. They are coming back tomorrow to replace/repair leaks in the plumbing which will mean we won't have much of a ceiling in our living room. They will also need to cut a few holes in our master bathroom to repair damage to the shower. The damage to the carpet in our living room and hard wood floors is to be determined.

The good news...
1. We have insurance.
2. They were able to leave us with a working bathroom.
3. John didn't have to travel to work today in the bad weather.
4. I didn't really like the carpet in the basement anyways.

While I'm thankful they were able to give us running water, I think we're going to find another place to stay for the next couple of days. Our living room is still soggy and it has three fans running which make it very loud and drafty. The only places in the house they aren't being occupied by fans or dehumidifiers is the office and upstairs, which makes it kinda a boring place to be trapped in!

I'll do my best to keep everyone updated on any new findings.

Oh, and for are you who are concerned about Midas. We extended his stay at the doggie B&B when we came home to a cold house and then extended it once again this afternoon once we realized the there would be many men coming and going. The women at the kennel said to take as long as we need because she just loved Midas and thought he was such a fun dog! It's nice to know that he's getting love while we take care of our house.

(in case it isn't clear in the pictures, the dark flooring is whats wet)