Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On eyebrow waxing...

Ok, so I would imagine that most of you who read my blog regularly have had your eyebrows, or something waxed before. I underwent my first "eyebrow waxing" yesterday, and with my fair skin, I have yet to recover. I was pink and red all day yesterday, and now I have pimples or something very tender growing just under my left eye...ew, gross, I know! Anyway, I'm hoping this is the reaction to a first time waxer, because I definitely want to have it done again. You see, I inherited the Child family curly, unruly super thick eyebrows, this has been a LONG time coming. I have waited to long to have such fine looking brows, and am happy, amidst the slight discomfort.
Now, on to other things, here are some pictures documenting what has been going in the Stevens household this past week. First off, Drew and Cameron have been playing together more and have come up with a new game, with my help. I place Cameron in Drew's very large dump truck and then Drew proceeds to zoom Cameron all over the house, or up and down the sidewalk in this case. It is very entertaining to watch...and I constantly have to tell Drew to slow down (there have been a lot of tight corners that have resulted in rollovers). The best part of it all though, is that Drew will get tired of providing the ride, and will just randomly stop and start playing with something else, meanwhile, Cam will sit in the truck and wait until Drew comes to push him funny, I'm giggling right now as I write this!!

Last night, we were all outside enjoying our newly fenced and cemented back yard and I decided to snap a few pictures. Here are some of my fav's...the first I was trying to take a fun artsy shot, but Cameron just wouldn't have it!!! I did get some cute ones of TJ and each of the boys, but the best one of the night was for's scowl. I think his features are likely to freeze into this scowl...he does it SO much!!

And last, but not least, I show this adorable picture of Drew this morning... he found this Lady Bug and it crawled all over him. I just love this picture! I love how you can see his expressive eyes and eyebrows, and the sprinkling of freckles over the his nose and cute!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My sweet Drewbie

I know it's late, but I have to blog this before I forget!! For some reason, Drew has had quite a lot of little boy gas today. At our house we call them "fluff's." Anyway, as TJ and I were getting Drew ready for bed this evening, TJ started to call him funny names because of his er...problem. He started calling him Sir Fluffs-a-lot, Fluffalupogas, Fluff's a lot boy...and so on. So as we knelt down to say prayers, we reminded Drew to Thank Heavenly Father for his favorite things, activities, memories of the day. And Drew, bless his sweet little heart thanked Heavenly Father, and I quote "that we could say funny names tonight." He was thankful for other things (gladly!). TJ and I could hardly hold our laughter in!! We were cracking up! Sweet, sweet, Drew, how you make Mommy and Daddy laugh...we LOVE you!!!!

What I've been up to this past week...
click here to see more :)

credits: Weeds and Wildflowers Gina Marie Huff's Happy Garden; font: suzie's hand.

credits: Weeds and Wildflowers Gina Marie Huff's Loving You, A Better Me, Cherish Alpha, Happy Garden. ksharonk frame, font: suzie's hand.

credits: Weeds and Wildflowers: Gina Marie Huff's Knocking On Wood, Happy Garden, Cherish Alpha; Heidi Williams' Warming the Heart and Seeing Stars; Font: Swingset.

Credits: Weeds and Wildflowers Gina Marie Huff's Happy Garden

Credits: Weeds and Wildflowers Gina Marie Huff's Spreading Cheer, Breath of Fresh Air, Happy Garden Doodly Scraps Alpha; Gina Marie Designs: Template; Font: Tingle Institute.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A great life...

This has been a particularly hard week for me as a mother. I have had some "issues" with Drew that have had me questioning if I was fit for this job. The good news, is that I have concluded that I am. I don't believe that I am perfect, but that I have the desire (thank goodness, right?) to want to do better and to try harder. My Heavenly Father has blessed me with an extremely bright little boy whom I love so much. He has also given me, with Drew and Cameron in my life, MANY opportunities for patience. This is a virtue that I do not possess when it comes to children. I know that I have each day to do better and to work harder at being a better mom. For this, I am so very thankful. I need to spend more time on my knees asking my Heavenly Father for help and guidance as a mom. Especially after hearing Elder Ballard speak at the last General Conference. I take my responsibility as a mom very seriously and realize the huge trust that my Heavenly Father has in me to send me his special little boys. I love my life right now and wouldn't change it for the world! I have THE most amazing husband who is turning out to be such an incredible dad. I love that about him right now! There is a lot to love, but lately it's like he has gone the extra mile for our kids and I love him so much for it. This morning, TJ asked Drew what he wanted to be when he grow up...a Doctor, a Fireman, a Policeman...etc. and Drew said, "I just want to be like you Daddy." TJ and I were both speechless! What a sweet thing to say! Even more, was where it came from. It came from such an innocent, naive, sweet, honest place. He is my amazing little boy. I love him so much!
I love my little Cameron too, even though he doesn't seem to understand (or doesn't want to understand) NO. He is so sweet and is cuddling more and more and is trying to talk. AHHH! I just love it! I'm going to end with a layout I just made with a picture of TJ and cameron. It is sooo sweet. I love it! Enjoy.

credits: Weeds and Wildflowers designs: Gina Marie Huff's Soft and Shabby Elegance paper pack, Playing with Wire Frames (W&W collaboration), Believing in you, Grandmas Pressed Flowers (W&W collaboration), and Cherish Every Moment; Heidi Williams' Vintage Comfort.

Friday, April 18, 2008

One Fun Weekend

Last weekend TJ's older brother Brad and younger sister Janelle and her hubby Kirk came into town to celebrate TJ's Grandmothers 80th birthday. TJ's family are rarely ever in the same state at the same time, so it was really fun to spend time with everybody. Brad and Janelle & Kirk came on Friday night. We had fun that night playing guitar hero- this came is SOO addicting! Thanks to Janelle and Kirk for bringing guitar hero down to was so much fun.

On Saturday TJ, Brad, Craig and Kirk all went golfing. TJ had never been before but after getting a "birdie" he declared golf his new hobby. Later, we all met at Karen's (TJ's mom) house for a open house for Grandma Miller. It was fun to see people I hadn't seen in a while, and some of TJ's cousins (most of whom he hasn't seen in at LEAST 10 years) came too.

After Grandma's open house, a bunch of us went outside and rode four wheelers around Karen and Craig's backyard. I had never ridden on one was pretty fun, I would definitely love to take one of those to Bear Lake and ride around on the beach! Drew LOVED riding on the four wheelers, although he hated going down the hills! He rode a couple of times with Kirk and then with TJ...this boy is ALL boy.

On Sunday, we all sang (by all I mean TJ's siblings and their spouses-and Craig and Karen) in Craig and Karen's ward. Karen is such an AMAZING musician!

She arranged "Reverently, Quietly" and it was so beautiful. I really enjoy singing with them. I'm not very good, but because they sound so incredible, I feel like I can blend in and I love just being in the experience. We spent the rest of Sunday making Chile Verde with TJ's fam (a Stevens family favorite!) and then it was time for the weekend to be over. It is always too short! It's always sad to see Brad and Janelle & Kirk leave...this family has so much fun together. I love you guys! Thanks for a fun weekend!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

More New York!

I really meant to have these two posts be closer together, but I just haven't had the chance all week. It was fun to see all of your comments...and I'm glad that you all agreed about the MOL! I'm so grateful that TJ and I were able to go on this trip together! We had such an amazing time and our relationship grew so much. I hope we have more chances to just get away so that we can be together, just the two of us, more often. We don't always have to go to New York necessarily, ;)
So before I blab too much more and get too mushy...on with the rest of the trip!
On Sunday, we decided, due to pre-scheduled events, to go to Chinatown and Little Italy (known for the shopping).

We were able to sleep in and around noon we stumbled out of our hotel to catch a subway to Little Italy. We were hoping for much more than Little Italy really was. We were hoping that there were people speaking Italian in every shop (so TJ could practice). We found a couple of very authentic deli's that had real parmigiano cheese, italian meats, sodas...the works. TJ bought a huge chunk of parmigiano cheese to bring home. We sampled some baked goods and some gelato that was delicious! Then we went over to Chinatown. Other than the shopping-which was actually very stressful-I really didn't care for Chinatown that much. There were wierdos EVERYWHERE! The reason the shopping was stressful to me was that I promised my sister that I would buy here a bag and sunglasses and was worried that I wouldn't find something that she truly liked. Also, there were so many stores, that we kept thinking that we would find what we were looking for at the next store, and the next, and the next...I did end up finding an adorable bag and bought some perfume that I've always wanted-but couldn't justify buying otherwise. Having, visited Italy and China before, I felt that these two places were nothing like the originals. I don't think that they were meant to be like their parent countries necessarily, but if guess if you've never been, you'd expect to feel like you were smaller versions of those countries. We left Chinatown having purchased all that we wanted without spending too much. I don't know that if it was because it was Sunday, or the fact that drastically different places can really affect me were to blame for my negative mood, but I just felt uneasy and that things were not right. I won't get into my weirdness. :) After visiting Little Italy and Chinatown, we decided to go back to our hotel to drop off our purchases before we went to the Lion King. We were in a huge hurry because there was a restaurant that came highly recommended by some native New Yorkers that we met in a Deli a few days before. TJ and I decided to take a Taxi, in hopes that it would get us there faster and to give our poor aching feet and TJ"s hips a rest. The restaurant (Italian) looked like it would have been delicious, but it was a little too pricey for us so we headed over to Times Square to eat at Ruby Foo's. R.F.'s was recommended to us by TJ's mom before we left. This restaurant was a fusion of all things asian (according to our waitress) and we ended up thoroughly enjoying the food. TJ got sushi, I still can't eat it. I try it every time someone offers me a free taste (I wouldn't ever buy it for mysefl!) and don't like it every time. Oh well, the other food that we ordered was AMAZING! After dinner we headed over to the Lion King and bought Drew a stuffed Zazoo (the bird) and the coolest replica of Simba's (the grown-up Simba's) mask. The show itself was UN-believable! The singing was amazing, the costumes, the humor....every way they portrayed the story was so amazing!
The next morning we woke up early so that we could visit the World Trade Centers site, Wall street and the financial district before we had to be to the Yankees game. Sadly, there was not much to see at the World Trade Centers site. There was a huge hole about 50 feet deep surrounded by tall fences that were covered by some sort of material that had small rips and tears (the only way we saw this big hole). There was this guy playing Amazing Grace on a flute that really made the whole experience a little more poignant. I was hoping to see more. I really wanted to have a more interesting experience while visiting this place that rocked our world 6 1/2 years ago.
After we visited the WTC site, it started to had been threatening to do so since we had first arrived, thank goodness we thought to bring umbrellas. We started walking over towards Wall street to see the financial district and we ran into this graveyard next to a church. It was so odd to see this in the midst of all the tall buildings. TJ and I wandered around the graveyard and found a grave site that dated back to the early 1700's. I loved the shapes of the gravestones.

After visiting Wall street and the financial district we decided to catch the subway to Yankee stadium. At this point I was not very excited (I had been up to this point) about the game. I didn't want to sit in a wet stadium for four hours! Well, we would end up not having to do so....We got to the stadium (it was still raining) so we each bought a Yankee's hat and headed into the stadium. There was security checking everyone's bags, so we opened ours to be checked and were told that they were too big to be taken into the stadium. They told us to go across the street to check them at a bowling alley, but when we tried to leave, the security guards told us that once we left, we couldn't get back in. Fortunately, the guy taking the tickets had mercy on our poor, poor little souls and told us he would let us back in. At this point we were both frustrated, but I was also mad. I had my brand new camera, ipod, my get the picture, all of my nice stuff in that bag and I had to trust some drunken baseball fans to watch my stuff...right. Well, I didn't have a choice, so I just rolled with it. Then we got back to the stadium and proceeded to wait for over 2 hours just to find out that the game was going to be cancelled. This was after we spent 20 dollars on stadium food! Let me tell you...angry Yankee fans are not fun to be around, everybody was cursing and yelling and was crazy. It really was so sad though, because this event was what my husband was looking forward to the most. He was devastated, my heart ached for him. This game was special because it was the season opener for the Yankee's last season in Yankee stadium and the Yankee's are my sweetie's favorite baseball team. He overpaid for the tickets that we got, and was able to get a pittance from a scalper on the side of the road as we left. And, I saved the best for last, it stopped raining just MINUTES after we got out of the stadium and didn't rain for the rest of the day! By far, this was the hardest day of the trip.
After the sad Yankees experience, we decided to go straight home and take a breather. I was feeling very dizzy so I decided to take a nap. When I woke up TJ had the idea to try another famous pizza place and then walk around SOHO. So we went to this pizza place called Lombardi's and it is the first pizza place established in the United States! Pretty cool huh! Their pizza was the closest to the real thing that we have ever tasted here in the US. The atmosphere was really laid back and fun. The restaurant was gorgeous. Here is a picture of TJ enjoying his pizza:

After our amazing pizza experience, we went to SOHO....on the way we saw a small little place called rice to riches. At first we thought it was sushi or something. It was a dessert bar that served only rice pudding. What?!?!?! We were definitely interested, so we went in and TJ just had to get some. His favorite desserts are ice-cream and rice pudding. There were about 20 flavors to choose from. There was chocolate chip, caramel, hazelnut and original with raisins...the list goes on. TJ sampled a few and decided to go with the chocolate chip. Note: At this point I wasn't too interested (I'd just thrown down on pizza, bruschetta and coke). After a few bites, he freaked out and told me I had to try it. It was INCREDIBLE! We walked around SOHO for a little while then decided to go back rice to riches. This time we got a bigger size of caramel with pound cake croutons to go on top, to share. TJ was pretty impatient, but I made him wait until we got back to our hotel to eat it. It was,, so good. It was so good in fact, that the next morning, one hour before we had to leave to go to the airport, we took the subway and a very short walk to go there AGAIN. Yes, again. We got chocolate chip again to share but neither of us were even hungry so we decided to save it until we got to the airport.
The taxi drive to the airport was quite a bit shorter than we thought it would be and arrived over three hours early. Surprisingly, the security people let us take the pudding into the had to go under the X-Ray machine though. There we waited and then enjoyed the pudding when we were finally hungry again.
After a slightly delayed flight, 6 hours on a plane sitting next to a questionable character, we arrived safely home. It was good to be home and to see our beautiful mountains again.
1. Rice to Riches
2. Being Together
3. The amazing bagel sandwiches for breakfast
4. Seeing Wicked AND Lion King
5. The view from the top of the Empire State Building (even though it was FREEZING cold!)
6. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
7. Seeing the Statue of Liberty
8. Little Italy-the gelato.
9. The shopping in China Town
10. Experiencing this incredible city!

The top 10 not so favorite things about New York
1. Missing the Yankees game..... :(
2. How sore my feet and TJ's hips got from walking around so much
3. How freezing it was in the line to ride the ferry to the Statue of Liberty (2 hrs!!)
4. The crazy swearing guy right in front of Grand Central Station
--I can't think of any was just too great of a trip.
I just (really quick, I know this has been one long post) tell my sweetie how grateful I am for him and how AMAZING I think that it is that he put this whole trip together from start to finish. Thanks for a wonderful five years my sweet, sweet, sweetie!


Thursday, April 3, 2008


You'll have to bear with me, because this is likely to be one LONG post...I'll try to keep it simple! So, as many of you might already know, (due to an earlier post) TJ surprised me with a trip to New York!!! We left last Thursday (the eve to our 5th anniversary). We were able to see and do SO much! We stayed in Manhattan about 5 minutes from Grand Central getting around was easy. On day one (Friday) we got an early start to head over to the Lincoln center for the performing arts to see the New York Philharmonic! We got there one and a half hours EARLY so we walked over to central park to check it out. Because we were there in March, we didn't see the park in its most glorious state, but nonetheless, we were happy to enjoy such a peaceful place amidst all the concrete. One of the highlights was walking into "Strawberry Fields." This was a portion of the park that was dedicated to John Lennon. This picture was a favorite. The flowers on the mosaic were put there by a man who put's some sort of peace offering here every day and has done so for 10 years.

After central park we walked back to the Lincoln center and on the way saw this:

For the rest of the trip TJ or I would burst out at random..."when there's gum on the ground, in the neighborhood....Who ya gonna call.....GUM BUSTERS!!" This was one of the funniest things we saw on the trip!
The NY Phil concert was pretty amazing! The only downside was the comments from the mean old lady at the end of the show. The conversation went a little like this:
MOL(mean old lady): "Young love is so sweet."
ME: "Oh, how sweet, we are celebrating our 5th anniversary..."
MOL: "But it is very disconcerting to me that you were cuddling and leaning in towards each other so often (we leaned in maybe...MAYBE five times by the way). I wasn't able to enjoy the concert because I couldn't see
TJ&I: stunned silence, with jaws on ground.
--an interjection, for those of you who know TJ, how many of you have ever heard of him being speechless?
MOL: a sweet if she had just done the world a favor, by telling us "young lovers" off.
EWWW! I was so mad, and so sad. I almost cried on the spot! TJ and I spent the rest of the day saying things like..."I still can't believe that mean old lady said....," To say the least, it put a bad taste in our mouth for the rest of the day.
The rest of the day consisted of walking around and seeing some of the different sites in NY. We saw Rockafellar (wow...I have no idea how to spell that!) Center, 5th avenue, Times Square, the empire state building, St. Patrick's cathedral and Macy's (the absolute largest department store I've ever been in-and in the world!)
Here are some pictures:
Some of my fav's from atop the Empire State Building:
What cute couple....awwww...

I still can't believe how HUGE this city is!

My handsome hubby:

The Channel Gardens in Rockafellar Center. We were so glad to see these flowers...they were some of the only ones in NY!

This picture (you'll have to forgive the orange, I forgot to change the settings on my camera...duh) is of St. Patrick's cathedral and when we walked in it was like going from NY city to a beautiful Cathedral in Italy...this hold's quite a bit of significance with TJ and I because TJ served his mission in Italy, and we spent three weeks there together when we were just newlyweds. The picture barely does it justice! This cathedral was INCREDIBLE!!

At the end of the day (around 8pm) we decided to call it was freezing and we were sooo tired!
The next day (Saturday) we woke up early again and headed off to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We got there around 9 am and noticed a HUGE line and realized that it wasn't for the ferry tickets, so we breathed a sigh of relief and went to buy our tickets. When we went to go get in line to wait for the ferry, we ended up having to get in this HUGE line. It was sooooo cold and WINDY outside! We stood in that stupid line for two hours!!! It was worth it though, because seeing the Statue of Liberty and the NY skyline was an incredible experience. Ellis Island was pretty cool, but after all the standing in line, we were pretty worn out when it came to look around there.

After Lady Liberty and Ellis Island we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge-one of the highlights of the trip! It was suggested, in our guide book, to walk from the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan side. The guide book also said to visit one of the top 5 pizza places in NY afterwards. So we walked across:

We got to the other side and started walking around looking for the pizza place...and TJ, in typical male fashion, decided AGAINST calling for directions (I must say here though, that he did all navigating during the trip and was awesome...except for this). We walked around for an HOUR...!! We eventually found out that we were on the wrong side of the, cricket....what now? So, we decided to take the subway back across to have the pizza. TJ and I were willing to go through this for world famous pizza...So, we find the pizza place and there is about 20 people standing outside and we ask the people at the front of the line how long they had been there. ONE HOUR! By this time my husband desperately had to go to the bathroom and we were starving (poor us). So, we decided to go back and go to Times Square for pizza at a lesser, but still famous pizza place. We were able to get in at a decent time...thank goodness and the food was wonderful. After dinner, we started walking around looking for something to do. We were in middle of all the Broadway Theatre's so we thought we would try to find a show. Our first choice was "Wicked", but TJ had already tried to get tickets back in January and they were sold out...a long shot. So we headed over to the theatre, even stopping at and almost buying tickets for "The Little Mermaid." When we got to the Gershwin Theatre (for Wicked) we saw a small line of about 12 people and found out that this was the "cancellations" line. So we got in line, waited for 15 minutes and thought, who would cancel tickets to Wicked, and walked out of the Theatre, only to hear a Theatre employee say, "...your chances of getting tickets tonight are really good." to the other people in the cancellations line. So we went back in and stood in line for another hour and thirty minutes and at 7:59 (one minute to showtime) got two tickets!!! We had a to pay an arm and a leg each :) for them, but it was SOOOO worth it!!!

...until later...guys! Or else this post will be too long!