31 Day Blog Challenge

Over on my personal journal, a few of my friends have started doing a "31 Day Blog Challenge". I have loved reading their entries each day and decided I wanted to hop on board. I'm always late to trends anyway, so this will be no exception!

1. Introduction and recent photo

(More of these new family pics to come, but first, just a preview!)
My name is Kelli Joye (don't forget the E!) Mattingley Brewer. That's what it says on my driver's license. I'm 29 years old, the baby of 5 and the one left with the responsibility to round out the 17 grandkids to an even 20.

I was born in Bethesda Maryland at the same hospital the President is seen at. I was brought home and raised in the same house for the first 18 years of my life. I was an unplanned accident, although my mom is quick to add that she was incredibly grateful for another little girl. As a result, there are 5 years between myself and my older sister. I was "annoying", so I got used to being independent and playing on my own - which has carried over into my personality in adulthood. Growing up I was all about playing "olden days", playing "grown up" and doing arts and crafts with my mom. I had an awesome childhood and felt I was well liked in school. The thought of my kids not being liked, being picked on or being teased keeps me up at night - I don't ever want my kids to go through what I saw others go through.

I graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in art and focus on graphic design, 6 years after I started. I changed majors, went through 2 years of horrible sickness and mis/undiagnosed gallbladder issues. After surgery it was removed, but left me with lots of classes to makeup and what I would come to find out years later is a gastrointestinal disorder similar to the effects of Crohns, called Microscopic Colitis. It's kind of a big part of my life, dealing with the side effects and planning my days around bathroom availability or possible anxiety attacks, otherwise I really wouldn't have mentioned it.

While I was out at school, I met the boy in the red Structure hat that would eventually become my husband. Even though I blew off my first date with him, we were soon inseparable, and he said "I love you" about a month and a half after our first "hello". We spent our first summer apart (although we visited each other in VA and MI) and reunited for another semester of school in the fall. He proposed the morning we were set to fly home to VA for Thanksgiving. I tease him all the time that I don't have a great story, and I really don't, but I got my ring and my man so it's all good.

Once I graduated from school, we hung around in Utah for a few months so that we weren't making a cross country trek in the middle of winter. On Valentine's day, 2009, I found out I was expecting our first baby. In April we said goodbye to our friends and home of 6 years and drove cross country to VA. Our plan was to find jobs immediately or maybe look down in North Carolina if things didn't pan out in the DC area. Adam found a job within a week, and we were so excited. After a failed attempt to rent a townhome, we realized buying was the way to go. The economic downturn worked in our favor. After 5 failed contracts, we finally closed on our townhome - about a year after we arrived in DC and about 11 months later than we expected. Still, we loved living with my parents and the help with a newborn baby was amazing. Everyone who knows my Dad knows he has a special bond with Autumn as a result. EVERYONE.

We've since added Brody to our family, and now we have our picture perfect boy and girl. However, we don't intend to stop there. You can expect more Brewer babies in our future.

I consider myself a stay at home mom, but realistically I am a business owner and have been a professional photographer since shortly after Autumn was born 4 years ago. I have had a camera glued to my hand since my first pink 110 camera in elementary school, and got into the business sort of on accident. Now, I run a very successful business and love being my own boss, making my own forms and running the show. I have grown to love the business aspect of it just as much as the creative side. I love having an outlet and something to keep me on my toes.

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm currently the Primary President, overseeing all the children ages 3-11 for 2 hours every Sunday, and many hours throughout the week as I plan, organize and "get 'er done". I'm grateful for my faith and my testimony, and have always encouraged questions and interest to dispel stereotypes and misinformation out there about the religion.

We love our home, even though I struggle to keep up with the messes two little ones - and myself - make. We love our neighbors, including my parents and sister who live barely 2 miles away in each direction. I watch shows like Teen Mom and realize just how lucky I am and how much I love my sweet little family and the pretty ridiculously awesome life I have.


  1. You really are one of the coolest and best people I know. Loved this post!

  2. I should do this, too. Maybe it'll get me blogging more again. NY resolution, maybe? LOL