November 29, 2011

Fear and Faith

It's funny how fear of things changes over the years. When I was younger I had this poster that my Aunt Jenny gave me for my Birthday hanging in my room. I loved the poster. It had ballet slippers laying on top of piano keys, with roses all around. It was awesome. However, in the dark the laces to the ballet shoes made it look like there was this really dark face. It scared me if I ever woke up in the middle of the night disoriented.

Fast forward...

Now I have a family.

One of my biggest fears is my house blowing up with my family inside. I know that it sounds crazy, but it scares me so bad. What are the chances right? Well, lets just say that I know someone, who knows someone, who knew someone that this exact thing happened to.

In a round about way I faced this fear the other day. Here at our house we have a large propane tank in our back yard. It allows us to have heat, and hot water, and a stove that works. Great right? Of course! Well, we had a little change a roo go on in the back yard. I paced the whole time. (Lets just say that I can often be a 'worse case scenario' person). I would have left the house to run errands, but I had to be here. Fortunately the guy calmed my fears and showed me the safety precautions he takes before switching everything out.

Here is what it looked like.

More with facing my fears later...

November 26, 2011

Our Newest Addition

Meet Ruby

She is our new yellow lab!

And if you will notice, she isn't quite exactly yellow. Hence the name Ruby.
We are thinking "Ruby Red" but are still a bit undecided. 
We got her today, Santa came just a little bit early.
Ruby is my Mr.'s puppy, but let me just tell you:

I picked her out, and I picked her name. I think that I did really well if I don't say so myself! ;) She is pretty cute, and a very good dog (so far)! Here is how I know.

She is "birdie" which is good for bird hunting. (She has actually attacked a pheasant...yes it was already dead, but she went crazy on it!)
When she goes outside from being inside, she goes right to the grass and does her business.
She LOVES Bristol. Literally loves her.
And best of all, when it was bed time we put Ruby in the garage until we had gotten the kids down.
Before we could get out there and make her a comfy little bed, she had done this:

She pulled a blanket down from a bench all by herself and snuggled right in. She is so smart!
When we found her she was fast asleep. She did wake up, but she didn't move! Poor girl is tired!

The kids love her. And I think that Ruby has found her "Mommy." When she is whining, she stands at my feet and wants to be held. I think I've got another baby on my hands. Hopefully she is still a good dog tomorrow!

November 24, 2011


I love Thanksgiving. Big feasts, tearing up when you hear what others are thankful for, PIE, and being with family. It is so great! I hope that you are having a great time with your family, and if you need a place to come for a good dinner, come on over. My mom won't mind!

This year I have really noticed now rushed Thanksgiving is. It only takes a couple days or so to prepare Thanksgiving Dinner, and then it's over. The world also starts with Christmas preparations before Thanksgiving is even here. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, but Thanksgiving deserves a little bit of recognition. I'll admit, I like to have the majority of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving, but I do love to kick back and enjoy November. I am truly grateful for the holiday.

I start the morning off by having a BIG breakfast. Followed by watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is so much fun! A light snack before the turkey, and then I chow down! My mom each year buys little chocolate turkeys for each place setting from Lee's Candies. They are so good! Dinner is followed by visiting, and pie. And then a little nap or two with some football going on in the background. My cousins go to a good kids movie each year, and we might just take Lil' Bris this year. I think she would love it.

A little twist on Thanksgiving this year is that my Grandpa is in the hospital. He had a bit of a surgery, but will be just fine! He will be there for a few more days. What a bummer. I've caught rumor that some of my cousins will be taking him some dinner, I hope so! I love that man!

Have a wonderful feast today! I hope that you are surrounded by those that you love!

November 23, 2011

Confessions, at last

The other night I was calming my sister's 2 month old baby down. She is TINY. Smaller than Big T ever was. I was looking into her little eyes and it hit me HARD that I want another one so bad. I started doing "the blink." They weren't tears of joy either. Why?

Bristol was born 5 weeks early. I was pre-eclamptic, and because Bristol was completely breached I had an emergency c-section. She was in the NICU for one week. read more here
Then Tytan came along. I was determined on having him naturally. Then after 11+ hours of "contractions", 3 epidurals, and an immense amount of pain (to keep it short) Dr. O. demanded another uterus was rupturing. Dr. O. was right, 4 of the 5 layers of uterus was gone and Big T was 10 lbs, not 8. Oops! read more here

So, getting my kids here isn't that easy. I can do it right? Well...this is where my denial issues start to come in.

See, if it isn't bad enough having tough delivery and recoveries, I have "Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease" on top of it all. This is rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc. all squished into one thing. So basically my joints            
There, I said it for the world to hear.

Let me explain. I was diagnosed at age 18 during my second semester of college. I was so mad, yet relieved that I could get relief from the pain. Arthritis runs in my family, so I wasn't too surprised. (On a side all of you who witnessed a complete change physically, emotionally, and in my personality while a Freshman in college...SO SORRY. My meds required a lot of sleep which was hard to get, and they made me lose my hair, get sick when I ate, develop sores in my mouth and nose, and get tired really fast. Had I known they would do that to me...I may have just gone home until I adjusted. I really am sorry!) But,little did I know what the future held.

Dr.s have told me that a large family just isn't in my future. Ha! What do they know? Not much...I'm going to have 6 or 7. Heavenly Father will help me along the way.

So here are the issues:

1. Two c-sections means all c-sections from here on out. That's major surgery folks, and a little frame like mine can only handle so much of it.
2. A ruptured uterus means a long recovery, and careful examination after giving birth
3.UCTD means going off of my "heavenly" meds in order to have safe pregnancies
4. No meds means pain
5. Pain means joint deterioration
6. Joint deterioration means...well lets just stop there.

My goal is now 4. Just pray I get there k?

I'm not opposed to adoption. To be honest, I haven't given it that much thought. We will see what the future holds!

Now...don't think that I am in the depths of despair over this. I am content with who I am and the trials I'll go through in order to make it back upstairs. An even bigger blessing is that I have two healthy, and adorable children. I would go through it all over and over again to have them here with me. My Heavenly Father has a plan for may not be my idea of a plan, but is it ever? And in this Season of Thanksgiving, I am so grateful to be here with the body that I have. What a blessing motherhood is, no matter how our children become ours. I love them more than anything!

Thanks for listening. If you read that deserve a prize!

November 22, 2011

Music Fixed, Almost

I play the violin, or the fiddle. 
Whichever I feel like calling it at the moment.

My violin in Carthage, Illinois. *
When I was a Sophomore in High School, I received the best Christmas present EVER.
My violin. It is beautiful. 
I was taking lessons at Hartz music shop in Meridian. 
I walked into the room, and my teacher wanted me to play a new violin they had in,
just for fun.
I fell absolutely in love with it, and fortunately Santa figured it out.

Well, years have passed and this poor fiddle has been through a battle.
It has lived in Utah, California, Canada, Illinois, and Idaho.
This may be cool if you are a person, but not a very fragile piece of wood.

I took her to the shop.
It is going to be a long haul. Some compare it to going in for major surgery.
A crack in the wood that was once sealed, is now completely laid open.
Yuh oh. Because it costs a pretty penny, it will have to stay open.
I'm sorry. But! It has new strings, new pegs, and a new bridge. 
That will do for now! Hopefully we can still make some great music together.

And spread the word. I am taking students!
Both classical and fiddle. 
So excited!

*Yes, you just might recognize that window.

November 20, 2011

Thoughts of Spiritual Uplift

The unthankful heart discovers not mercies.
Let the thankful heart sweep through the day,
and as the magnet finds the iron,
so it will find in all, in every hour some heavenly blessings.

This week has been truly crazy. 
An emotional roller coaster.
And in the midst of it all, my heart is full of gratitude.
Gratitude for a Heavenly Father that loves me,
knows who I am, what my heart desires,
and who has watched over me and those who mean the most to me.
My cup overfloweth with the tender mercies from Heaven.

My sister walked away completely uninjured from a very severe car accident
The first on the scene was a first aid and CPR certified gentlemen.
He stayed with her until the police arrived.
Thank You.

My son choked at a restaurant. 
I'm grateful that I'm good at the finger swipe,
even when everyone is staring at me.
It was a close one.

My daughter was a champ at a difficult Dr.'s appointment.
She is going to be great!

Someone very near and dear to my heart was found cancer free.
I could say the words over and over.

November 14, 2011

Your Questions, My Answers #1

Hey Steph! Love your idea and I'd love to ask a question that has been on my mind lately.  What I want to know is what factored into your decision to have your first child, what were your factors that you and Tyrell considered and prayed about? What stability do you think a relationship needs and what lifestyle do you think a couple needs to be ready for, for that huge jump? I know the timing different for everyone, but could you give me a little bit of commentary on what timing was like for you and what felt right and what didn't? You are en educated woman who lives the gospel and I'm really just needing some advice/commentary/discussion about this topic lately!

This is such a loaded question, and so many factors go in to deciding to become parents. With that said, I'll share with you my thoughts, which don't necessarily make them right for you

Why we waited 2 years: 
My Mr. and I knew that we wanted to be married for a little while before having children. We wanted to know how each other "worked." How we thought about things, handled hard situations, celebrated, how we expressed different parenting ideas etc. We thought that this was important before bringing a baby into our lives. I also knew that it would be too hard on me to have a baby while still in school. (We did cut it close, Bristol was born 3 months after I graduated college.) A lot of moms do have babies while in school, it is possible, but not for me!

When I (we) got baby hungry:
I think every couple does it. We are out in public and see a baby. The wife cries, and the husband wants to play with it. It started happening to us. We wanted one. This meant we wanted the one screaming her lungs out too. We wanted to scoop her up and make her feel better. Babies aren't all roses. But they sure are worth every second of it! We prayed and asked for guidance, we also went to the Temple. Since we believe that it is a commandment to "multiply and replenish" it was easy from there. We had the go ahead from our Heavenly Father. We were so excited. However, in giving advice, deciding when and how many children to have are very private decisions between husband and wife, and hopefully the Lord. These decisions should be prayed about, and when you receive your answer, act upon them with faith. 

Having kids is a huge jump in marriage. You can read every book, ask everyone for advice, but you still can't get completely prepared. You just don't quite know what it is like to have a baby until you do. You have to jump into it with both feet and have the faith that you will know what to do when challenges arise (a baby that hasn't pooped in 3 days) or know how to find out what to do. This is when moms, friends, and sisters advice come in handy!

TyRell and I also prepared our home. We wanted a home filled with love without bias. We wanted a clean home where the Spirit could dwell. And we wanted funds sufficient enough to pay for our children. We weren't rich by any means, but we were comfortable. Our children were expensive to get here, and we had an inkling that that they would be before they were born.

You also won't know quite what unconditional love is until you have a baby. Oh my the love that just makes your heart explode when that little bundle of joy is placed in your arms. You also won't know what being selfless is until you have a baby. A woman gives her body to the growth of a baby, and afterward gives every minute. This is not meant to sound demeaning. When I think of mothering, I think of Christ. It is such a Christlike act. It is beautiful and will make you grow so much! I can't quite think of the right words to describe it!

My heart goes out to those women who are or want to be mothers. It is such a divine calling. My prayers are with those who are preparing for parenthood. 

If you would like more insight on becoming parents, read this and this.

Bristol born March 16, 2009

Tytan born February 24, 2011

Please feel free to add more insight to mine...I could go on and on and on...but you don't want just my opinion! :)

November 13, 2011

Thoughts of Spiritual Uplift

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough and more.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past and brings peace for today,
and creates vision for tomorrow.

November 11, 2011


Did you ever have to make a wish at 11:11 o'clock when you were younger?
I always did.
How cool is today's date? I LOVE it!
I'll be wishing all day for these things:
(in no particular order)

good health for my kids
success in business for my Mr.
a happy home always
safety for me and mine
safety for my Sister Missionary, Ashley
happiness for all of our Veterans and those currently serving
a Happy Holiday Season (13 days 'til Thanksgiving!)
a grateful heart
health, safety, and happiness for all of YOU!

Enjoy today's date. It'll never happen again in your lifetime!
(Okay, so we could say that about every day, so just enjoy the journey every day!)

November 10, 2011

We are Ready!

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Ok ok. It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I do love my Christmas songs.
We are gearing up our cold wear, and my oh my this little lady looks pretty dang cute!

We usually try and buy neutral colored clothing to be passed down, but I just can't help with the pink. 

November 9, 2011

Hidden Treasures

Lately Bristol has been "hiding" her toys in random places. Last Sunday she came into the house looking for one in particular. We ransacked the house, and found it in the kitchen cupboard. They are all over the house "sleeping."


We don't want to wake them up. (This goes on all day.)

And oh the surprise when we find one that had been forgotten about!

I love this new habit. I feel like I'm in the kitchen all day either cleaning or fixing meals. It can be monotonous at times. So this has brought a whole new element of humor into the routine. How often do you find a play horse taking a nap under a blankie in your pie dish? I get a kick out of it!

November 8, 2011

Trusting Mail Carriers

Did you know that mail carriers used to deliver children for 56 cents?

That's a story opener isn't it? Here is what I know...

Last week my mom went to her local USPS office to deliver two packages to my sister Ashley in Cambodia. This was a long process. When delivering large packages over seas you must list each item separately on special forms. There were so many different items in the packages that it took 5 forms. THEN the USPS employee must enter each item into the computer along with the address, weight, etc. This process was going to take a long while, so this employee handed my mom an article to read while he processed all of the information.

My mom first noticed the black and white picture of a mailman with his mail carrying bag slung over his shoulder. In the bag was a toddler. Yup, a toddler. The article explained that "back in the day"(not sure of the time) mail carriers were so trusted that people would send their children in the mail. All for a cost of 56 cents. If it was an overnight trip, the child would stay at the mail carrier's house. Isn't that bazaar?!

It got my mind whirling around a bit. If I decided to send my kid to Grandma's house, I could just ship her off for a lovely little price.

YA RIGHT! Like that would ever happen these days. My Grandpa thought..."There's a new way to take my Grand kids to Guatemala fishing!"

This just cracked me up. And, it doesn't stop here. I plan to pay a visit to this post office and read this article for myself. (Hopefully make a copy too!)

November 7, 2011

I've been "Featured!"

You have probably seen this post,
but it was recently featured here!

Check it out! 
I'm pretty excited.

November 6, 2011

Thoughts of Spiritual Uplift

For the Beauty of the Earth
For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flow'r, Sun and moon, and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent,child,
Friends on earth, and friends above, For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.
Hymn #92 LDS Hymn book

Owyhee River

November 4, 2011

Your Questions, My Answers

I have wanted to try something a little bit new on the blog here. I'd like to answer your questions about anything. I realize I'm young, with not a lot of experience in life, but it could be worth a shot! 
Ask me anything! Personal questions would be great too! Periodically I'll post the questions and answers on the blog.

e-mail them to me at, or leave a comment!

November 3, 2011

Obsession Understood


Does the phrase "Organize photos" make you cringe? Not me...

So, maybe I'm not so good at taking them all of the time (getting better). But that doesn't mean I dont' love them! Flipping through pictures whether in my hands, in a book, or on the computer is just awesome. I could do it all the time. And here's why.

I have a very crappy memory. I didn't realize this until my  husband was talking about his younger years, and I seriously couldn't remember a thing from that time period. I'm not joking. I have what I like to call a "trigger memory." Let me explain. A certain current event, or photo will usually have to trigger a memory from the long ago past for me to remember it. And then I'm on a roll. I can tell ya what I was wearing, who was with me, often the smells in the air, etc.

It was my "Aha" moment. I finally realized why I obsess over going through photos. It is complete nostalgia. And so with that, I have no fear and a lot of excitement for the task I have taken upon myself.

My Mom has about eight huge boxes of unorganized photos in her house dating all the way back to 1984. Guess what I just offered to do? Organize them...dun dun dun. I have already gone through one box in just a couple of hours. I group them by year, then by event. And let me just say, I am so grateful that I have most of my pictures on my computer and backed up in a couple of places. I group them by year, and then in sub files by month. That is just how my brain works. I love it love it love it.