Sunday, January 24, 2016



Saturday, January 23, 2016

December 2015

This was our first Christmas staying in Florida with no family visiting.  I was nervous how it would be but it actually turned out to be so great!  It was fun to establish new traditions for our little family.  After arriving home from the wedding, we sat down and planned out Christmas activities for almost each day in December.  Here some fun activities we did.

A fun mutual activity making cards and hot chocolate packets to deliver the next week while caroling.

On a side note, I loved reading THIS article.  Mothers, please read it!!

I saw this idea on Pinterest of putting together little bags with food and water and a pass-along card to hand out to people who may be asking for money at stop lights or other places.  It's the best feeling to hand them out instead of driving by not being sure what to do.

This is a perfect depiction of how Ollie feels when daddy comes home.  

A cute Jazz bear from Uncle Ryan

Finally got mats for our kitchen - and super cushion-y ones at that!!  Only 4.5 years later.  :)

A fun Personal Progress night

Love this boy

Ollie loves "his" cupboard.  

His little curls on the back of his head just make me melt!

Look at that serve.  Go Jace!

Loved having friends over for a Christmas potluck/cookie decorating night

Loved having the house full of babies

Lymans, Barwicks, and Benches

Ollie & Ayden, two months apart.  They were being so cute!

Lindsey & Emma have become my dearest friends out here (missing Emma here, meant to take this pic before she left).  

Eying them...

Fingerprints on the glass - want to remember and cherish this stage.

If your baby wakes up with little brown specks on his face...go check his crib:

Christmas decorating and music-blasting time

Christmas light sparkles

Fun at Bass Pro Shop meeting Santa!

So grateful to the Barwicks for getting us in Hollywood Studios to see the last year of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!


A tender mercy when our sweet friend Craig Larson's song came on Mormon Radio.  
He passed away a few months ago.

At Sea World watching our favorite shows!
O Wonderous Night show

Shamu Christmas Miracle show

Ollie and cupboards...

The whole neighborhood probably heard my squeal when my neighbor texted confirming they would be coming to church the next day that we had invited them to!!  Miracles happen.  We've been praying and praying for missionary opportunities while living here and although they don't happen as grandiose or frequently as we desire them to, they do happen slowly and in God's timing.

Yummy Korean beef lettuce wraps

The next neighborhood over has the most beautiful Christmas lights.

Carrying on the Stephenon family Christmas tradition of making apple cake!

A happy boy at Panera Bread

We went to Disney's Grand Floridian resort and saw their amazing life-size gingerbread house and humungous Christmas tree.

Look at those ingredients!

Ollie gobbled up his first Dole whip

Haha Photo Booth makes a comeback :)

Made some yummy gingerbread white chocolate truffles

Our neighbors who moved a few months ago came to visit and bring Ollie a Christmas present.  It was so good to see them!

Loved this pic from back home.  Seth & Jace

Super fun YW Christmas activity

Sis Rivera made an amazing gingerbread house.

Watching Elf

I made a homemade pecan pie.
Now I can say I did it but I'm still a fan of store-bought.  ;)

Cute sisters and momma at our favorite Greek food place

Wrapping time

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

We had a fun morning opening gifts and eating breakfast.  Ollie loved the wrapping paper.  

Then we had fun FaceTiming our families and watching them open some gifts.  A notable moment was watching dad "re-propose" to mom as she opened a new wedding ring.  She lost hers a long time ago. So cute!

We had a yummy Christmas dinner with the sister missionaries.  It was my very first time cooking the entire dinner by myself.  
Ham, apple & yam casserole, sour cream potatoes, salad, rolls, and pecan pie.

Later that night we drove to Celebration to see their Christmas lights.  They were beautiful.  
It was a wonderful Christmas!

Lovin those cupboards.

My sweet friend Lisa from my working days came to visit.  

In a desperate attempt to figure out how to make him eat vegetables (which he doesn't love) I decided to blend them up in a green smoothie with fruit and he loved it.  

We had a great time at our neighbors' New Year's Eve party.

2015 was a really, really hard year and also a really, really joyous year.  It's interesting how life works that way.  I guess the best things in life require lots of hard work and dedication.  
Here's to 2016!!