Best Of..., Family, What's Next...
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Thirty years goes by in the blink of an eye

Our lives changed forever thirty years ago today.

Claire Holsey Brown and Andrew Bearden Brown were born one minute apart on December 20, 1992. (Claire can tell you who is the oldest.) How little we understood then how fast thirty years would pass, but it has gone by in that proverbial blink of an eye.

Brown family (credit: John Thorne)
The Browns – Together in December 2018 and looking forward to the year ahead! (photo credit: John Thorne)

Through the years the milestones have been chronicled on More to Come. To watch them grow into the wonderful adults they’ve become has been the joy of our lives. We remember each phase of that growth, knowing that it wasn’t always easy (for them or for us), but secure in the knowledge that they were surrounded by love.

A favorite picture from 1993
Mealtime in Staunton
At the beach (2004)

Here are a few highlights from previous postings:

  • Every year for 13 years we took a picture of the twins on the First day of school. This post from 2010 looks at the first (as they began kindergarten) and final (as rising high school seniors) in that series.
  • Claire and I took a life-enriching cross-country driving tour in 2014 as she was returning to Southern California for her senior year in college. I wrote extensively about that trip and wrapped it up in Observations from the road: The thankfulness edition. Over 18 days together in a car, I was reminded that she is intelligent, quick-witted, funny, thoughtful, inquisitive, curious, flexible, and loving. One in a million.
  • In 2015 we chronicled their graduations from college, first with Claire, and then a week later with Andrew.
  • Earlier this year, when Andrew announced that he was going to study at the Opera Institute at Boston University, we wanted to acknowledge his many teachers and mentors in All that we owe our teachers. Andrew is an incredibly talented musician with a beautiful gift who has worked hard, with great encouragement and coaching from others, on his craft.
Claire and Andrew do the Danish look
Copenhagen 2014
New glasses
Clarity is a pair of new glasses: Andrew and Claire, December 2016

Andrew and Claire are now both engaged in satisfying careers that uplift and enrich others. In October, Claire passed her Licensed Clinical Social Worker exam in California. She works helping a range of clients navigate their worlds in a small, woman-owned practice in Alameda, California, while also becoming more active in the local community and staying in touch with a large circle of friends.

Claire Holsey Brown, LCSW

Andrew is a professional tenor, whose music continues to engage and inspire others. This past weekend we traveled to beautiful Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington, Delaware to hear him perform as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with members of Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare; the professional Christ Church Choir; and other nationally acclaimed Baroque vocalists: Nacole Palmer, soprano; Sylvia Leith, alto; and Edmund Milly, bass.

Andrew and alto Sylvia Leith perform a duet during Sunday’s performance of Messiah.

Whenever the passage of time comes up, this story from 2014 usually finds its way into the conversation:

I was in the line at the pharmacy this morning, waiting to drop off a prescription.  A mom with a set of boy-girl twins was in front of me, with the children in their two-seater stroller.  (The heavy equipment phase of child-rearing, as we used to describe it.)  The kids were beautiful, and they were having the most wonderful conversation about shoes.  The mom was so patient and kind.  It was a joy to simply stand there and watch the love.

After passing along their prescription, the mom gathered her things to leave. I asked about the twins’ age. She replied that they were two-and-a-half. I smiled, and said I had 21-year-old boy-girl twins, and this brought back lots of memories. The mom asked if I had any advice.  I replied simply, “Savor every moment.”

It has been an unimaginably wonderful thirty years which we’ve tried to savor as best we could.

Happy birthday, Claire and Andrew! We love you and can’t wait to see what’s next in your lives.

Mom and Dad

More to come…


Image of Andrew and Claire celebrating in Paris in May of 2021 by DJB

This entry was posted in: Best Of..., Family, What's Next...


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


  1. I posted this on LinkedIn with the suggestion not to get so caught up in work that you miss the important stuff. One contact sent a picture taken from the chorus of a performance of the Messiah last Sunday. He and others noted that the post resonated.

  2. Many comments on Candice’s Facebook posting of this blog were along the lines of “how did they get to be 30 so quickly?!” Which just reinforces my point. Thanks, on behalf of Claire and Andrew, for the many birthday wishes.

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