Friday, August 16, 2013

Last but not Least

Hey Ladies!  I hope that everyone's summer went well!  We were pretty busy this summer.  It was nice to stay in MN and see what it has to offer.  We went golfing, saw the fireworks display in Stillwater on the fourth, had family come into town for a week or so, went golfing, got addicted to a new TV show called "Doctor Who" (....well its not a new show, but its new to us) and just enjoyed some of the sights in the cities.  We also found out that Andrew's parents are going on a mission to Samoa!!  Crazy right?  Needless to say we have been learning some Samoan via our weekly chats with them.  

The head band came to me just a week after I went to girls camp. Our house was a mess of camping gear that needed unpacking.  I have decided to get back into my routine of running every day.  Don't worry though, it did not come with me on the run.  I figured you girls wouldn't appreciate it being used as a sweat band :)

My shop had five weddings to do this last weekend, so that was the day that the head band came with me to work!  

Andrew also finished his internship this week.  I got to visit the hospital and meet all of the people he worked with.  Then they told us about this cute doughnut shop that sold maple long johns with bacon on them.  Needless to say Andrew almost insisted on going after hearing that.  Of and every shop in Buffalo MN ha a painted buffalo outside of it....go figure. 

I also had the chance to take a rain garden class on the edge of this gorgeous lake!  I learned so bad I don't have a yard yet.  

Anywho, I hope this finds you all well.  Travel home safe please! See you soon. 


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

magic in sioux falls

birthday flowers
hey sistas, go sistas, soul sistas, flow sistas! first off, i love all your posts and photos. i'm so excited to hang out with you guys again and to hear about all these adventures in person!

second off, we are having a good time in sioux falls. it is a nice town with a pleasant, family-friendly culture. we spend a lot of time at the gym. but it's south dakota.. there is just not that much stuff to do here.

the headband was a big hit in sioux falls. however, the magic started off slow. this past weekend was a little rough. but of course, the headband never faileth! i wore it yesterday for my birthday, and it did not disappoint.

my landlord's mom, a bohemian herb enthusiast/bachelorette fanatic, invited me over to watch the bachelorette and eat lunch. what a good start to my birthday! also. she is my only friend. anyway, i really enjoyed my time with her. she is an inspirational woman-- i am so glad to have befriended her this summer.

part of the sculpture walk 
enchiladas in an alley. ps--i had to take off the headband after 30 minutes. it hurt my head! but i'll just blame it on my big head. 
when zach got home from work, he gave me some of my favorite things. we went to downtown sioux falls and ate enchiladas in a charming spot. after, we walked the sculpture walk downtown and got a heath avalanche shake at B&G milkyway. that shake was so good, i about died. we watched a movie in the theater afterwards. to top off our night, we watched some bachelorette (it was shot in antigua, where we had our honeymoon! so i had to show zach.) and ate chocolate in bed, which i now regret.

overall, it was an especially special birthday! sorry to get mushy on you, but zach made this day really really good and  i appreciated all the little things he did. maybe it was our positive energy, or the headband's sweet magic, that we had a very happy day yesterday. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Greetings from Seattle

The headband had a wonderful stay in Seattle. And rather than bring it along to one of the day trips we take on the weekend (or because I always forgot it) I decided to experience our typical day in Seattle. So this is what James and I do four days of the week.

Our tiny view of the Space Needle from the run, before the clouds burned off
Our day begins with a little run around Greenlake. For fear of damaging the headband, it did not come on this part of the day. For fear of scaring you with a photo of my staggering behind a stroller it is not pictured either.

After James morning nap, we normally walk over to a nearby wading pool and have a quick picnic lunch or snacks. Our little man loves scooting around in the water, splashing, and playing with his water toys.

James swimming in his baby speedo

Picnic lunch
This particular day with the magical headband Jamie was following the ICU staff around a night shift so he came home early from his regular day shift and we had a family outing to the local zoo. We love it when Dad can come with us on outings--coincidence? or magic of the headband? You decide.

Then we cool off from a hot day in the sun by taking a quick dip in the lake while James is napping.

Even though it was the normal activities that we do, somehow everything seemed a little better with the headband. Thanks magic headband.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Headband's Trip to San Francisco

Rachel gave me the headband right before my parents came into town, and I sent it to Robin (glad it made it to her) right before traveling for a week, so I haven't been on the computer much.

I decided to take the headband to tour San Francisco, hoping the magic this headband possesses would protect us from both traffic and the annual gay pride parade. Let's just say that if I wasn't a headband believer before, I am now. We had a great trip (and only saw two guys in butt-less leather stripper attire). We played tourist and walked around Fisherman's Warf, saw Alcatraz, and drove on some really crazy hills to see the spot in the first picture - which was a beautiful view of San Francisco and some very, very pretty old houses.

No idea why I look like such a goober in both of these pictures, but here are the headband shots:

Here's a non-goober, but also non-headband picture from my family reunion this past weekend.
We really like it here in Pleasanton. Living in this hotel is nice and basically just feels like we're living in an apartment...with daily maid service.  Sophia and I keep busy and have a good routine. It's kind of lonely - especially compared to Como, but I'm glad to have Rachel nearby. The weather here is perfect, so Sophs and I go for walks and to the park almost every day. We also go shopping, run errands, hang out with the friendly people in our ward, and visit Rachel once a week (always a highlight). Russ has every other Friday off, so we fill our weekends with seeing the sights and doing fun stuff. It's a great summer.

I do miss hanging out with all of you. We'll have to have lots of girls nights when we are all together again. Speaking of which, when is everyone coming back?

In conclusion, I have been watching Bachlorette. Drew is so attractive. I told Russ I wanted a 24 hour pass to go to Arizona, find Drew, and then come back to our family. Russ said I could, but when he told me what I would have to trade in return, I decided I'd just stare at Drew for 2 hours every Monday night. (I wouldn't have really done it anyway... In case anyone had doubts.)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Return to North Carolina

23 Weeks!

Hello Sistas!

It has been a busy summer! First I went home for a month to visit family which was wonderful! After that I went to Washington DC with family and visited other historic sites nearby. My favorite was Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. We walked through his home and all over his estate. It was absolutely beautiful! After that I finally made it to North Carolina!

Baby girl Udy

We found out we are having a little girl and are so excited to meet her in November! I've been enjoying shopping for baby clothes and such! She is quite active and likes to kick after meals. She is especially active after I eat fruit. Maybe she will be ballerina like her mom?

Recently Lance's parents came and visited us. We went to the coast and played at the beach over the weekend and then went to Mount Airy home of Andy Griffith! We had a fun time with his parents. 

This is my sister, Casey. She deployed to Kuwait July 6th. I'm glad I got to spend so much time with her before she left. I'm really grateful for her and the sacrifices she makes for our freedom. She is an inspiration to me and our family. We will see her again next May. God be with her til we meet again! 

I hope you all are enjoying your summer! I look forward to returning to Minnesota (I can't believe I'm actually saying this) where our friends are :-). Hopefully the winter will be kinder to us! 



Monday, June 24, 2013

O-O its magic, you knooooooow!

When reading the title you MUST sing it! I hope my sistas are all enjoying their summer! I know I am :). But I can't wait to see you all again.

The magic of the headband began to work even before it reached my head. Until about a week ago, we hadn't been getting our mail from Minneapolis, or the stuff that was being sent directly to our Cali address. I was afraid that the headband wasn't going to make it to me because I called in to the post office to fix the issue after the headband had been sent and should have already arrived. A little mailing issue was no match for the headband, however, because it found me, and the two of us have had a grand time together.

This weekend, with the headband gracing my head, Pedro and I got to spend our second weekend alone since arriving to California. All the other weekends we have been with the other UofM Sutter Residents exploring Yosemite National Park, and Monterey. We made the most of our alone time by having a day long date.

We went to Manteca and Stockton to watch World War Z, visit the Pro Bass Shop (like Cabellas), eat at Johnny Carino's, and go mini golfing. What was so special about this day of dating is that it was a great way to remember our time together since we met. In Pocatello, there is a mini golf course just down the road from where we grew up. When we were dating and engaged, we went mini golfing quite a bit. The lady that owned the course loved us and would always let us play several games for the price of one. One of my favorite pictures of us from when we were dating was taken while mini golfing.

When we were dating
I didn't think to get Pedro in the picture for this, but he probably would have said no anyway.
The other blast from the past was going to our favorite Italian restaurant Johnny Carino's. This place is sooooo good. We love the bread and oil they serve, and their tiramisu is divine. We had Johnny Carino's cater our luncheon on our wedding day. It was fun to reminisce about that beautiful day and to eat some delicious food.

Pedro and I love a good movie, and even more, we love Zombies, so watching World War Z was very fun for us. The Bass Pro Shop was huge! This place has a freaking huge fish tank, a waterfall, a ton of stuffed animals, an archery and gun range, shooting arcade games, an old fashion candy making shop, a full size tree, and tons of clothes, guns, camping gear, bows, knives, shoes, grills, and so much more! It was really fun to walk through and see all of the animal displays.

This picture is not the greatest, sorry!
It was a very fun day. Most of all I enjoyed spending time with Pedro. It was nice to go on a date. We really need to do that more often. The magic of the headband taught me many lessons this weekend about focusing on your spouse and giving them your full attention. With today's technology it is all too easy to sit next to each other, but play on your phone or computer and not really pay attention to the person next to you. This weekend showed me that I have not been paying enough attention to Pedro and that life is so much better when we are spending time together, totally devoting our full attention to one another. I have really felt the love of the headband this weekend and I hope you all can feel the love that it holds. Thanks for being such wonderful friends and examples to me. I love you girls!

{I will give the headband to Adri this week when she comes to hang out with me. Then she can send it back to Robin.}

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Steph and Jon-UT summer update

Hola sistas!

This headband holds magic. The day it came in the mail I found a new temple dress for $7.00 at a thrift store (the magic was working even when it was in the mailbox) and here I am in this pic holding a form to be a temple worker at the Bountiful temple!

I am still getting approved to work there, and it might not happen....but there is a chance I could be a temple worker when we are back in Minneapolis too. So that is pretty exciting.

Jon is doing good in his internship. He's been busy, but we've been filling our evenings and weekends with all sorts of togetherness activities. We have been visiting my family in Lindon and his here in Kaysville. It's been super hot, so we have been having water fights between the two of us. We go to the occasional baseball game and lots of walks at night. We have been home videoing ourselves more and that has been fun. We are making memories and loving our little family. It's been a good summer so far and it's going by fast.

I spend my time reading, studying, and picture taking. I have named this summer the summer of building talents and testimony and loving people.  I have felt busy and productive busy. It's been nice not working, but I am thinking about getting another job when we get back to MN. Not another nanny job. nope.

well sistas I hope you are all loving your days and are happy. We will have to have a big party when we all return :)


p.s. I will send the headband to Rachel tomorrow! Robyn is still in DC