Monday, April 18, 2016

Steph @ no particular milestone

Since I've been doing updates on everybody else recently, I thought it might be a good time to post one on myself! I don't usually ever talk about my own interests and growth on the blog, since I'm usually behind the scenes and just generally update on our family activities and such. :)

Right now I am 28 years and 8 months old, which is a rather un-exciting age. 28 has been good to me so far, but 29 is coming up really fast, and it feels weird to have gone through this decade so quickly. The years 10-19 seemed to take a lot longer than 20-29...

Just really loving my glasses! I'm becoming increasingly more blind in my old age.

For the past two years I have been a full-time student at BYUI, and it's been amazing! (But also a ton of work and really stressful.) Since reaching our goal this past month of becoming debt free, we re-evaluated the pros and cons of me being in school right now, and decided together that this is a good time to take that leap of faith and settle into me being a full-time mom. :) It's always been the goal, but when Kate and Edwin were babies I had a full-time job and Jon couldn't find consistent work. Once we moved out here to Idaho, things started falling into place, and once Jon had a couple semesters of adjunct teaching we were able to see that he can support us, and I need to trust that it's working! So as of this Spring semester I have officially withdrawn my enrollment from the school. I know we aren't 100% in the place we'd like to be yet (we still look forward to having one full-time job someday, maybe even with benefits!) but the point is that we have what we need. It's tight, but we are in a great ward, in a community that we never expected to love like we do, and we're planning for the most awesome family Summer that we've ever had, plus exciting adventures for next year. Things are good, and even though it took a few years longer than we originally planned, I don't want to miss this time while the kids are little and really need me at home the most.

Blacknose sheep from Aunt Michelle :D

mini-Jamba's with my pals!

I die!! <3 td="">

While being on break this past week, and facing my full-time mommyhood square in the face, I've had a lot of time to think more about myself and my likes, dislikes, interests, and goals. I'm working toward being more physically fit, and healthy overall, and I'm also embracing my bakerella side. I've made some sort of cake, cookie, or dessert almost every other day in the past two weeks!


So here are just some things about me that I've thrown together:
-Oatmeal Raisin cookies are my all time favorite!
-I have a love affair with Panda Express. Which is about as legit Chinese as Taco Bell is legit Mexican, but I love them both. My favorite plate: orange chicken and honey walnut shrimp with fried rice on the side. In fact, Panda Express was the first thing I asked for after Edwin was born. Thanks to some amazing friends for delivering on that wish while I was in the hospital. <3 p="">-My favorite meal to go out to eat for is breakfast. I especially love egg scrambles or omelets with goat cheese. :) That, and large fancy muffins.
-I could pretty much live off of Mexican food for the rest of my life. Too bad most of it is covered in cheese :(
-One of my favorite things to window shop or browse for are accessories. I know I'm 10 years old, but I seriously love Claire's. The problem is that I swoon over costume jewelry, but then I never talk myself into actually wearing it. I find myself becoming ever increasingly conservative in my earrings and necklaces. I wear studs and posts of simple pearls or single stones most of the time. Although I love the look of rings on every finger, if I ever try to wear more than two rings at a time, I feel like my hands are drowning. ;)
-Current jewelry goals: getting a really good birthstone ring.
-I hate the word "Wanderlust". I deal with it, but honestly it's right up there with "moist".
-At church we are occasionally given positions to serve in, like as Sunday School teachers, or in leadership roles. Right now I am the first counselor in the Relief Society presidency, which is the organization for all adult women in our ward area (a ward is a group of families who all live in a close regional boundary area, and meet together as a congregation on Sundays). My job is to coordinate our Sunday meetings, so I take care of the lesson schedule, hold teacher training, and make sure the music is lined up each week. The BEST part of this calling is being able to serve the sisters in our ward and get to know them better. We have weekly presidency meetings, plan monthly activities, visit our sisters, and provide for their needs. The ward becomes your extended family. I only do a small part of this, and it is a huge group effort, but it's been one of the best callings I've ever had. :)
-I like to take selfies, but hardly ever post them. Also, I don't understand duck lips...
-I realized about a year ago that I have the makeup bag of a 7th grader, and I set out on a quest to learn what to actually wear and how to wear it. :) I started interviewing my friends via text message to find out what they use and why. I want to makeup like an adult with brushes and stuff! I began a journey of makeup confessions and experiments... only to find that I really didn't have the time or money to do so. haha! It's still a work in progress ;) But I feel like I'm on the right track to looking more like an almost 30-something and less like a high school freshman.

-I am also on a mission to find a fantastic red everyday lipstick. Recommendations would be appreciated.
-About 11 years ago I was an avid musician. I would play for hours every day. I always told myself that I wouldn't be that person who stopped and let music become something that "I used to do". I still have my flute, but I haven't touched it in months. When I do occasionally practice, the kids just cry at me and say it's too loud... haha! I still imagine that someday I will join a community orchestra or something. :)
-Dark chocolate is the only kind worth eating.
-I LOVE camping! It's always been my favorite kind of vacation.
-I've never been to Hawaii, but I would really really like to go someday. Maybe just one pampering resort vacation would be fun ;)
-My favorite book genre is memoir, and my favorite book series are Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia. My favorite author is Roald Dahl, and I especially love his autobiographies. The book that made the biggest impact on me growing up was The Giver. I've read it so many times! -- no, I have not seen the movie. C.S. Lewis is also amazing, and I'd love to read everything he's ever penned. The list of books I would LIKE to read is unfortunately much longer than the list of books I have read. I used to read constantly, but now I think that the last time I read a book all the way through was about a year ago... and it was for school. Still I like to spend hours wandering bookstores, and have a hard time leaving without at least a few to add to our bookshelves :)
-While I love being a mom, it's also the hardest thing ever. And hard in ways that I never expected. Mostly it's just hard to never get a break. Or be able to pee alone. It's like every time I enter the bathroom the kids decide to sit on each other or break something. I have so much respect for moms.
-One thing that I really love, but would like to be TONS better at, is photography. It's a fun medium of art, but I would really like to actually take a class someday. That's always been a far off goal.
-If there is bread in the house, I WILL eat it without reservation. I cannot take a loaf of homemade bread out of the oven and not cut off a hot slice to eat with butter and honey. It is impossible to resist.
-One of the best traditions that Jon and I started over the years has been collecting mugs. We don't own any regular glasses, but every time I open the cupboard it makes me smile to see where we have been. Every mug holds a memory. :) The goal was to have these hanging on the wall to save cupboard space. Someday we will do that.
-I think spa style bathrooms are amazingly gorgeous. I'm a sucker for the white towels and natural light with candles and plants mixed in. I've been trying to get our family bathroom to move in this direction for years. This is my someday bathroom.

If you want to see other stuff I'm up to on a daily basis, or things that I like, follow my Instagram here or my Pinterest here. I'm REALLY into food. I would also really really like to make a Spring grapevine wreath for our door. So that's a current goal.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. :) More life adventures up ahead!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jon @ 31 years

On Monday Jon turned 31!

Because he had to work (adulting sucks) we had a birthday brunch at home. The food was so good it was pretty much all gone before I had a chance to take any pictures! We had roasted red pepper, spinach, and goat cheese omelets with homemade strawberry pastries. mmmmmm :)

loving Edwin's super-cheesy-squinty-eyed face right here!

After brunch we had a Nutella chocolate cake! Turns out it is possible to overdo it a little on the ganache... it dripped over the whole cake and pooled on the cake stand, haha! Next time I'll remember that less is more ;)

Jon was completely spoiled by friends and family on his birthday. :) I got him a new pair of hiking boots, because his old ones went to hiking-boot-heaven a couple years ago, and he definitely needed some for our Year of America with all the camping we'll be doing!

Amongst other things, Jon received cards, birthday care packages, a new edition of Munchkin, lots of yummy candy and treats, and a NEW CELL PHONE. (*cue angels singing*)

He had his last one for about 6 years. It would randomly shut off on him, you could only talk on speaker phone, and it was very much an old-non-smart phone, so it was getting increasingly harder to text with him and take pictures--or do much of anything--because his phone was not compatible with any type of emoji or fun. NOW his phone is extremely more fancy than mine. It even tells you how many more minutes until it reaches a full battery charge when you have it plugged in! The reason he held off on getting a new phone for so long was because he did not want a touch screen keyboard. In the end, Blackberry came out with a genius new phone called the PRIV which is the same size as my Samsung Galaxy S5, has curved edges like the Edge, with the same Android OS and touch screen capabilities, but with the added addition of a slide-up screen that has a full tangible keyboard underneath! (like the old Chocolate phones from around 2006) It's basically Jon's dream phone. Everything he ever wanted, including an 18 mp camera... are you kidding me??

Jon's coworkers even made his day at Porter's special by decorating his car and bringing him cupcakes and cookies. #spoiled

Let's also not forget that we surprised Jon a few days before his birthday with a bowling night!

The kids helped me make mini Nutella cheesecakes in homemade chocolate cookie cups (*swoon!*), and then we rocked out at Fat Cat's with an hour of bowling! (Which I am still totally sore from, btw.)

The night was so fun, that this is the only shot I actually got of anyone really bowling, HAHA!

Who says that getting older means your birthdays can't be amazing??
Happy birthday, Jon!!
Showing that third decade of life who's boss. ;)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

9 & 10

With our recent 12 year anniversary, I realized that I never did blog posts for our past two year's wedding anniversaries. Since we've been in school here at BYU-Idaho, our anniversary is in the middle of the Fall semester, and so it's made us a little more creative in finding ways to celebrate. :)

10 years! The day we got engaged on the left (Aug 2005) and anniversary pictures (Aug 2015)

In 2014 Jon and I celebrated 9 years of marriage! We had been living in Idaho for about 3 months, and going on some sort of mini-trip together (as is our usual tradition) was just out of the question. We had been hoping to go to Twin Falls and stay in a bed and breakfast and explore this new countryside that is Idaho, but unfortunately with classes, and Edwin only being 7 months old, it was just a hard-learned lesson that our money and time was tighter than ever. Instead we stayed in town and went out to dinner at The Hickory! We had heard great things about the BBQ there, and we were definitely not disappointed.

As the traditional gift for 9 years is wicker, I got a picnic basket (of sorts) for Jon, filled with brownies and Martinelli's for an indoor anniversary dessert picnic. HAHA!

Seriously, you don't want to picnic at the park when it's covered in snow and -11 degrees outside.

Year 9 wrapped up nicely, and then we were off on new adventures in 2015. It was a year of major growth for us all individually and as a family! Then November came around again.

For years and years we had planned on going to Hawaii for our 10 year celebration. Neither Jon nor I has ever been, and we really looked forward to it! But... we had made some major goals to have all debt paid off by April of 2016, so instead of going on a trip, we saved our money and had a nice dinner at the Copper Rill in Idaho Falls. :)

The traditional gift for 10 years is tin/aluminum, so I found this Celtic aluminum infinity knot Christmas ornament on Etsy and gave it to Jon so that we can see it on our tree each year and remember our first decade of eternal marriage!

The best part of celebrating our anniversaries is of course never the trip or fancy presents, but getting to talk about our year, what our favorite parts were, what the worst parts were, and what we want to do better in the coming year, or 10 years!

Our hard work definitely paid off, because we were able to pay off 100% of our debt by the beginning of March this year :) I am so proud of us and the work that we've done in the past 10 years to build our family and get to this point. We also appreciate all our friends and family members who have supported us and helped us reach this goal. Now we are saving for a Year of America road trip this Summer, and who knows what anniversary 11 will bring??