My sister-in-law Mindie and her family are moving to Newport this weekend. Mom Stevens was going over to help her pack-up and so Adam and I got to take her oldest boy, Hudson, to OMSI--the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The museum was really entertaining and educational and we had a great time! Huddy was a sweet kid the whole day and didn't whine or complain once about us being a boring aunt and uncle. What we thought was pretty funny was by the end of the day Huddy found this really small "lab" in the museum with a table that had a ton of little rubber frogs on fake lilly-pads and wanted to be there the rest of the time. Kids are so funny--there's a whole museum of dinosaurs and Lego's and he just wanted to be in the smallest room with the smallest little frogs. I basically spent the day brushing up on some human anatomy in the life science area and taking pictures of the boys being boys--I swear Adam is still a little boy inside and I just love it.
This was one of the weirdest creatures I've ever seen. I think it's in the salamander family--either way...it totally creeped me out.
Adam and I are currently in Vancouver, WA spending the holiday with family and friends. We've had an endless array of shopping outings, late night card games, and tasty treats. Needless to say, we're very fat and very happy. I'll make the lengthy Christmas happenings post later--but for now I thought I'd at least let you know where we are, somewhat of what we've been up to, and how much we love all of you. Here's a picture I'm actually really fond of. It feels like one of those pictures our kids will look at when referring to their parents as a young couple. Somedays Adam and I randomly end up matching and Sunday was one of those days.
Well everyone, it's been a year since that magical, blessed day in Manhattan. I can't even believe it. It was so weird to see "December 5th" on my phone. I felt like I should be getting married or something--but that's done. I lovelovelove my gorgeous husband, Adam. He's so good to me and he makes me feel like a queen everyday.
This morning, we woke up, had a great breakfast of omelets, went to the temple, and then finished by going to our favorite restaurant, the Wasabi Grill in Idaho Falls. We got sushi rolls, noodles and tempura shrimp, and Mexican chocolate cake. It was fantastic. Oh and btw, this was the same place and room that we went to and sat in last Valentine's Day. Here's some pics!
black skinny jeans: f21. top: h&m. wedge heals: apt 1. gold necklace: f21. black clutch: unknown brand.
I love you, hunny! One year down and lots and lots to go!
Today was one of those day when I had no idea what to wear. To make matters worse, today happened to be Sunday and my range of possible outfits got cut in...3/5--not that Sunday ever makes things worse, but you know. Needless to say, I left our bed completely covered in rejected outfits. Last night on one of our errands, we went to DI to see if we (he) could find some cheap video game controllers since one of Adam's former co-workers gave him a game cube and games FREE. In guy world that's just freaking awesome. In girl world it's just another uninteresting and coincidentally loud distraction in the house. Good/bad news, he didn't find any. Other good news, I found 2 belts that fit my waist perfectly for 2 bucks. Fantastic.I'm still really annoyed with our camera. Adam says it's just crapping lighting but we really do need a good camera so the pics aren't so blurry.
(dress:old navy. belt: thrifted. brown flats: payless. navy tights: target. striped scarf: h&m)
I got sick a couple hours after we got back from Black Friday shopping yesterday. Nothing major, just a nasty case of a headache, aches, and whiney-ness--nothing that an amazing husband can't handle. I'm a really pathetic sick person, and Adam was really good about pretending that my frequent, high-pitched "honey"s didn't bother him. This evening, Adam asked me if I wanted to go run some errands with him. Since I spent all last night in sweats and an old softball t-shirt and I was feeling better, I got a little bit more dressed than I would have to take a quick trip to Walmart. Needless to say, my purple jeans attracted enough attention from the avid Levi wearers of the prevalent hicks in Rexburg. Oh well, they'll have to get used to it--I sure have.
Anyway, black with a statement article is probably my favorite uniform. It's so chic and easy to pull off. I stayed away from colorful jeans until Mom Stevens basically begged me to purchase them on one of our many outings. I figured that no one with a butt should wear them, but they're actually growing on me, as is my bodacious back end. Sorry for the lack of clarity, we took these in my sister's apartment stairwell that has nasty yellow lighting--it's bad enough that it hid my attempt at a cute smirk.
These boots are probably one of my favorite purchases. Last year, Adam and I were apartment shopping at Walmart and I was pleasantly surprised to find these. Totally simple and not so high that I can't walk comfortably in them. LOVE it.
Adam and I woke up early this morning (like...9..) and decided we wanted to experience the rush of Black Friday shopping. We didn't go looking for anything in mind...just wanted to get out of the house. After about three hours of shopping we didn't buy anything but a caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks. Nevertheless, it was fun--so much fun that we decided to make our first outfits blog post today. Adam's a total pro at posing, but I was a little (understatement) awkward. Adam's outfit is all gifts from me from his birthday. He's a total hottie. My outfit was inspired by one I saw my mom wearing when she was a little girl. The picture is raw vintage, and I love it. So, consequently, the whole day I looked like a 5 yr. old girl in the 50s--oh well, trends can be resurrected.
Today is the birthday of one of my best friends. This woman is not supposed to be an ally or even someone spoken fondly of--but expected to live up to her stereotype as a fierce "frienemy." But my friend can't be more far from the mark. The woman I'm speaking of is my mother-in-law, Lisa "Mom" Stevens.
The purpose of this post is to convey the esteem I have toward Mom, and hopefully we can all learn from her celebrated example.
I started dating Lisa's son, my husband, last summer 2008. I knew I really liked this man, but didn't know how comfortable I was about getting serious with a relative stranger so early on. Right before the semester ended, Adam invited me to go visit with his family for a week in WA before I went home to PA. Completely uncertain, I said yes and traveled home with Adam. During the whole ride, I couldn't stop thinking what everyone would think of me and especially how the Mormon woman of the house would judge me. That's what boyfriends' Moms did, right? I entered their home, greeted by Dad Stevens, but no Mom was in site. Two intimidating men + one uncertain girl friend = a very awkward situation. About an hour later, Mom's car pulled up. There I was--a measly 19 yr. old girl dating her beautiful boy, standing in her living room. I stood, frozen. She came through the door, met my eyes, threw her arms around me and squealed, "She's so beautiful!" I was immediately rushed upstairs to the room she had set up for me with a tote bag full of all kinds of girly goodies and was debriefed on all the activities she had planned for our girl time.
No one has ever greeted me like that. And I was speechless.
And that's how our relationship started and continues. I am continually speechless and in awe of Lisa.
During that whole first visit I was completely overwhelmed by her kindness, openness, and generosity. I was without question her friend. Amongst other things, we went shopping, where she bought me everything in my hands and, as a stood completely helpless, asked if I wanted jewelry too. I frantically texted Adam, telling him that Mom was buying me way too much stuff and he needed to tell her to stop. He just laughed and said, "You just have to let her do it, she loves doing this." No one has ever enjoyed taking me shopping, let alone buying me things. The joy and simpleness of life I learned from the home she ran made me fall in love with Adam. I had never felt so accepted and appreciated in my life and there was no way I could deny my future children that kind of love when I had been so blessed to partake of it. Dramatic? Hardly. To the naive eye I'm just an over-zealous, over-exaggerator trying to prove a point. But to those that have been touched by Lisa, you know exactly where I'm writing from and where my emotions are flowing from.
Mom brightens people's lives. She touches them with hope and simplicity. From my 1.5 years of friendship with Mom, I am convinced that her message, as that of President Gordon B. Hinckley, is that life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured--but it's up to you to make it happen.
Mom tries to make the best out of every situation. For every moment of happiness, there is a party. For every special occasion, there is a phone call, a surprise visit, or a care package. She never ceases to try and make you feel as appreciated and special as possible. Because of her, I knew that eternal happiness was in my grasp, and all I had to do was accept it for its simplicity and promise of a full life.
Mom has known sacrifice. She is a faithful woman. She forsook her family's esteem, and, with faith, joined a cause she knew was greater than her. I believe great blessings from heaven come to someone who possesses a spirit of sacrifice. I don't know it like Mom does, I only know that I am a selfish beneficiary of that sacrifice, as will be my posterity and those to come. I respect her, I unconditionally love her, and I only have fond memories of her. She is my bff to watch girly dramas and shop till I drop with--anytime and anywhere for any amount of time.
But what's the amazing part is that it's never about Mom. My addiction to shopping is finding the skirt that snugs my butt and accentuates my waist, but Mom's passion is watching your face light up when you find the perfect pair of pumps or when tears come to your eyes from a thoughtful Christmas gift. It could be shopping or skate boarding--if you enjoy it, Mom is there to do it with you.
So, this holiday season, when Mom makes you fashion-show your new jammies or really get into Christmas bingo, know that it's all because she wants to make each year memorable and special, and no matter how rebellious we are, we always remember how funny last year was and how excited we are to get together again.
But for now, let's honor this day as one to cease stressful, complicated living and celebrate the blessings we have and continue to enjoy because we, by chance, have known and been known by Lisa Stevens.
I love you, Mom. Your generous gifts, frequent calls, and unforgettable outings are understood far beyond the obvious--I know you act on love and that love changes me. Each correspondence leaves me feeling optimistic and confident that I can let come what may and love it.
I think my favorite memory with you was your presence as you stood in the bride's room of the Manhattan temple with me as I put my wedding dress on. You were one of 3 women who had that experience with me, and the spirit testified to me that, because of my marriage in the temple, you would be my eternal Mom and friend. At that moment, there was no age difference or discrimination--in the Lord's temple time did not exist and I experienced a taste of the unity of heaven. I felt unbridled respect and godly love for you and my family. I felt that we were daughters of God that had merely come to earth at a different time equal to a blink of God's eye and that we would share memories into the eternities together.
I believe I have a friendship like those Christ teaches about--friendships that enrich our lives and are based on unconditional love and sacrifice.
Happy Birthday, Mom. Know you're loved, appreciated, and revered as a women that has sacrificed her time, energy, resources, and very life for the happiness of everyone but herself. If that isn't an example of a true Christian than I don't know what is.
So I've decided that our blog needs to be more of an electronic journal. Adam and I aren't very good at keeping a written record of our life together, so I think this is the next best option. No, it's not going to be filled with juicy drama or family secrets, as one would record in a diary, it will just be a more detailed account of our lives...when comparing it to all the other posts. What brought this on? I was really inspired but HER. I found her blog on another girl's fashion blog I've been following and was impressed by her consistency in posts and how organized of a record she has put together with her and her husband. LOVE it. If anyone can set up my blog like her's (**cough cough, Matt Stevens**), I'd be very thankful.
Now, what's your job?:
Hold me to it.
Call me out when it's been two or three days and I'll make it up to you.
The night before my birthday I was in my Church History night class and felt that since my head was about to explode and my stomach wanted to expel all kinds of stuff, I had endured my longest day of the week long enough. Consequently, I texted Adam to come get me an hour early. He agreed and met me outside the building, standing by his car. "Your present is in the back seat--so you can't look," he so casually confessed. I said, "Fine, whatever." As I slid into the front seat I noticed something stirring behind me. Was it Brynne?--no. What is a dog?--no. Better. IT WAS MOM STEVENS! She flew into Idaho Falls just for ME. After jumping over the back seat and tackling her to the...seat... I bursted into tears and couldn't believe she was actually HERE in the BURG--as the embarrassing pictures she took can attest--I was out of my mind excited.
Not only was Mom right here for now but she was staying until Sunday...5 whole days of Mom awesomeness. We spent the next day together after class and then got a fantastic surprise at my fabulous (say fabulous as many times as you can forever--it was that fabulous) surprise birthday party Adam, Mom, and Brynne put together. Everyone dressed up as their favorite Gossip Girl character--and of course, I got to be Blair. It was sooo much fun. I think my favorite part of the night was when my best friends from PA stayed late and danced to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" with me like 5X. I got to spend my birthday with the people in Rexburg (currently) that I love the most and no other gift could compare.
Here's some pics:
Our talented friend Amber from our ward asked people to "volunteer" for photography sessions with her, as she's trying to get back into the trade. I instantly took up the offer and am so glad I did because she took the best fall pictures ever. I love getting our pictures done because I think it's important (and neat) to look back with our kids at what we looked like in our younger years. Here's a bunch:
The Friday before Halloween (the 30th), Adam and I dressed up for our ward's Halloween party/cake decorating contest. I was a cereal box and Adam was a cereal killer (pun). We whipped these things up in literally 15 minutes and surprised everyone with how witty and original we can be--right. It was way fun though. As a new year is only another year, Brynne and I decided to practice our long standing tradition of Trick-or-Treating every year--and since everyone here is our age or 10 years old, verses local residents being our parents or grandparents age--we realized this was going to be kind of awkward if we didn't find a twist to going. Luckily, we found one. Brynne and I borrowed a little girl from my ward and took her Trick-or-Treating. Since most parents were out taking their own little ones around the neighborhoods, the majority of our stops left bowls of goodies outside their doors. And, no, we didn't take only one. I was a princess, Brynne was Joe Dirt (with a mullet whig), and our little friend was the cutest witch ever. Long story short, we got a ton of candy, of which we took inside, poured all over the floor, and completely devoured. No pics of this one, sorry--it would have meant less time for candy grabbing.
Here's some pics of the party though--
Currently, I am finishing up on day 3 of my sugar fast. Adam and I agreed that if I would give up refined sugar until Thanksgiving that he would in exchange go lifting at least 3 times a week. I can't even tell you the pain. I feel like I'm detoxing or something--whatever that feels like. Someone said giving up sugar is like an alcoholic giving up alcohol. Holy cow--no wonder everyone drinks.
Another beautiful birthday is just around the corner for Britney. It'll be a day to celebrate life, those in it, and the food that makes it bearable. But what would best mark the end of a wondrous year and welcome the start of 365 days of unpredictability? A wish list. I know, random, right? But this is a different wish list--one that requires looking forward, not back. Besides--it's my birthday--and I can wish if I want to.
Wish #1 - A little boy with Adam's eyes, ears, and everything--who would be legally our's (no street stealing).
Wish #2 - An overnight nursing degree.
Wish #3 - A black, four-door Merecedes Benz (don't ask me the model, I have no idea)
Wish #4 - These:
Girls, get yourselves a pair(s) of platform ankle boots/rocker heals. They will make you happy. They also come in a variety of styles--making them ageless = Moms, get a pair.
Wish #5 - A check in the mail for $100 million, and also a letter from our bank telling us we don't have to pay back our school loans.
Wish #6 - Have Rachel Zoe style me and, because I look so awesome, pay me to wear designer clothes and come in for weekly styling/fittings.
Wish #7 - Own a private jet with free gas and maintenance that takes me all across the world to my millions of private runways, including the front doors of delicious restaurants.
Wish #8 - A big custom made home with spiraling marble stair cases and LG red washer and dryer.
Wish #9 - A complete white wash of the government. We need new people to corrupt it.
Wish #10 - A plastic card that is honorable world wide for free stuff.
Wish #11 - A personal masseuse.
Wish #12 - A mountain full of gold to pay back our debts to China so everyone would stop freaking out.
Wish #13 - A brand new house for my parents.
Wish #14 - Adam to design a world-wide logo (same as Coca Cola, Nike, etc.) so he can instantly peak in his career and be recognized globally as awesome.
Wish #15 - Finding the cure for cancer.
Wish #16 - A button that makes everyone instantly successful.
Wish #17 - Another button that instantly changes my outfit.
Wish #18 - One more button that makes me instantly ready for bed.
Wish #19 - The ability to fly via sheer awesomeness.
Wish #20 - A digital map that shows the exact locations and intents of every bad person in the world.
Wish # Above everything - Exaltation with my husband and family.