Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Happy Easter!

I can personally testify that following our Savior's teachings and example has helped me feel peace, guidance, happiness, and hope.  I invite any of you struggling with questions, temptations, challenges, or anyone seeking more joy, peace, stability, or love to pray to Heavenly Father and ask that you can feel your Savior's love and presence more in your life.  I know that will be granted to you.  I know that all our Savior desires is for us to live with Him again one day, and it is through Him and His Atonement that that is all possible.  Turn to Him and follow Him!  We can start small in our life and eventually our life can be changed.  Finally forgive that one person.  Recommit to reading the Book of Mormon each day.  Set a goal to attend the temple once a month or more.  By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

Monday, March 21, 2016

February 2016

Smoothie mustache man

For Jared's birthday, I got him this outdoor game set that brought back lots of 
fun childhood memories. Remember those velcro balls and mitts?

Love this pic from Jace

Love those chubby arms and hands

Ollie loves his socks and washcloths and they 
always end up around/behind his crib during naptime.  

First haircut

These homemade Oreos were delicious.

Love that cute profile.

I will never get over those cheeks!

Love Costco.  It was time for a big boy car seat for Ollie and Costco offered the same one we were looking at at Babies R Us for $30 cheaper.  I also was shopping for baby girl clothes for some friends and all I can say is we better have a girl one day because ^^^ 😍😍😍!  

February 11-16 my parents came to visit!!  They came here for a work conference for my dad and they were able to stay with us and play.  My dad's conference was from 7am-noon each day so by the time we got ready and going and did some of our girl stuff errands, he was back and ready to play. 

They arrived on Thursday and it was so cute to watch my mom jump out of the car to hug us on the driveway.  I loved watching them interact with Ollie.  There's just something about other people loving your baby as much as you do.  We ate some dinner, talked, relaxed, and watched American Idol.  A textbook Stephenson night. 😃

Hotel Reid ready for service

Always running to open doors

Friday we went to Wild Florida!  We had a great time walking around the park and then got to go on a fun airboat ride.  Ollie wasn't a fan of the noise canceling earmuffs.  We saw lots of gators.  We went home and ordered one of the most unhealthy things but one of my and Jared's favorite splurge food item - Little Caesars Deep Dish Bacon Wrapped Pepperoni Pizza.  We Facetimed with Aly and it was fun catching up.  I miss her and wish my siblings could have come too.  Then we watched another favorite show, Shark Tank.  

At one point I asked my mom if she ever feels as if her role as a wife and mother revolves around food.  Planning, prepping, cooking, eating, cleaning up.  Now that Ollie has been eating table food for a few months I feel like that's what I'm constantly doing.  My mom's response was, "Yes, absolutely, and Great Grandma Lua said something once that helped change my perspective on it, 'Just love them and feed them.'"  Great advice, and I can work hard at doing those two important things.  Food = love.

The best ever pulled pork sandwiches on garlic bread at Wild Florida

A multi-tasking grandma: feeding a grandson and facetiming a daughter

My mom helped me decorate our house since I am 0% knowledgeable on that subject and she is 100% amazing at it.  So Saturday morning my mom and I shopped around for valances and drapes.  We were able to find some cute ones and I can't believe how much they make our home feel warmer and more home-y.  Then my dad took me to Costco and stocked us up.  I am vowing to do that for each of our children as often as we can because truly, I dream about walking through Costco and getting whatever I want besides the normal frozen chicken and toilet paper, so I kept having to pinch myself to remind me this was real life and not a dream!  Then we went to....a luau!!  It's owned and operated by a family in our ward.  They put on such a great show.  It's authentic, funny, and professional.  My mom got pulled up on the stage to dance.  :)

Roasted pig!

Go momma!

Sunday was Valentine's Day.  My mom helped me prepare one of her famous roasts (that never turns out well when I prepare it :/) Of course, it came out perfect and delicious this time.  :)  Something about her presence.  We went to church and I loved introducing my mom (dad was at his conference) to people and we have come to love so much, and to introduce people we love so much to my best girlfriend and momma whom I love so much.  She is so loving and is the epitome of charity in my eyes.  She offered to watch Ollie during the third hour so I could attend Young Women's which was so nice!  I haven't been able to do that in 14 months.  He's still four months away from being old enough to go to nursery and his whole first year of life I was usually in the mothers lounge feeding him during the third hour or I was wandering the halls with him so he wasn't a distraction to the YW.  When we got home we enjoyed the yummy roast for dinner.  I made Pioneer Woman's sheet cake which my parents loved.  Chocolate will never get old in this family.  Then we went on a walk.

Valentines card from the YW to the bishopric

Playtime with grandma during third hour

Monday my mom and I did more shopping.  We ate at a Greek place for lunch which is another favorite of ours.  Once dad was home (and it was Jared's day off which was great!) we went to the Florida Mall to walk around.  We saw the new Cake Boss bakery, the new American Girl doll store, the M&M store, and the Crayola Experience. Afterward, we ate at Shake Shack, facetimed with Mikele & Seth, watched Ollie burn off steam running around the house entertaining us, and then they helped me research insurance and TMJ stuff.  

These Crocs were so funny

Wall of crayons

The American Girl doll store was amazing.  And a little crazy too. :)  You could get your doll's hair done...

...And have lunch with your doll.  A fun place making little girl's dreams come true.

Loving the chocolate shake 

Tuesday we returned a few things and did some shopping. Then we went home, ate lunch, played with Ollie, and then they had to leave. :(  A few other things about this trip:  Ollie LOVED grandpa and always wanted to play with him or be in his arms, and one thing that stuck out to me was when they said, "We are only as happy as our saddest child."  They are so loving.

She helped me with outdoor stuff too!  New chairs and cushions.

Sometimes I think it would be easier for no one to ever visit us or us go home to Utah to visit because it's so darn hard to say goodbye.  But then again I wouldn't trade these experiences and memories for anything so I'll just keep getting good at "see you later's" instead of "goodbyes." 

Making Grandma Stephenson's granola

Our Laurels with Sister Mabey right before her baby was born

Playing a hilarious game for mutual.  The first person of a team had to try to grab the last person of another team's flag off their waist, and your group couldn't come apart.

Got him some sandals.  That face 😍

What the "pet hotel" (where our family's dog Bella was staying at while my parents were here) told my sister Lauren when she picked up Bella.
Seriously dying over these texts 😂😂😂

My handsome hub
A tie my friend Macy got him on her mission in Cambodia

Been working with my friend Emma to recreate this for our youth bulletin board at church.  Thank goodness for her!

We watched this movie on a Sunday night and it was really good.

My little wanderer

This happened, and I have no words and just want to pay this amazing act of service 
forward a million times.
Prayers are answered and there are angels on this earth.

We had a great New Beginnings.  Our YW President's creativity astounds me.  Oh and per her request, the leaders did our hair like Dorothy.  😄

Can you even believe these ruby shoes?

Ollie loving tomatoes

Walking to get the mail

Some favorite spiritual finds this month:





A great insight from Elder Dallin Bryan

Love this


Grateful to learn from others' experiences

Love this perspective