Monday, December 21, 2015


Last year at this time, Colton (aka Elder Stock) told me how excited he was for 2015 since it would mark the year he would only be serving the Lord. I joined in his excitement and tried to imagine the wonderful things that would unfold. By February, I was shocked to find that 2015 would be a notable year for me too. Since then, I have spent countless hours in prayer, at the temple, reading scriptures, The Proclamation, and General Conferences talks. I've been blessed to have family to listen, encourage and love me. I've cried so many tears and tried and tried to come up with a plan that would have things work out the way I've always wanted them too. But I couldn't. Finally, I accepted what I knew was the right path for my life. Once the choice was made and carried out, something flooded back into my life...........


Soon, I will be divorced. It's a title I never wanted, but I have found that this title isn't defining. Who and what I am tell the story more than my marital status. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have always relied and leaned on my Savior and Heavenly Father, but this year has elevated this devotion and need. I have faced situations that terrified me and on one very dark day I heard the still, small voice whisper "Let go. and I will build you up again." I'm so thankful for the strength to follow that voice. My fear left and I realized that I can go forward, in any situation.

I have also been the recipient of so much love from family, friends, ward members, and co-workers. Everyone has shared the faith they have in me and it has strengthened me. I've tried so hard to be strong for my children and give them the best. They in return have added to my strength. They are amazing and learning to rely on the Lord as well.

Two days after my life changed in February, I wrote this in my journal.

I know who I am. I understand the atonement more and know that I'll understand it more next year. I trust in my Father and Savior. I know these things shall pass and one day I will return to them. The only thing that is in my control: Who will I be by then. I will continue in a path of righteousness. I will seek first the kingdom of God. I will love. I will hope. I will not fear. I will have faith. I will grow and be strengthened despite the sorrow. I will move forward. I know that I fear God more than man now. I will continue to seek His words and understanding. I will love and not hate. I will find goodness not bitterness. I will partake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that time will pass, bills will get paid, and God will answer prayers. I know that He is mindful of me and my family. He comforts me and will continue to comfort me. He loves me. He lives!

May you all have a very blessed Christmas and remember our Savior who gives us HOPE.
Artwork by Jenedy Paige

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I just finished my year in Pathway through BYU-I!!!!! I'm so happy! Now I'm finishing the application to BYU-I and should start classes toward a degree this fall. I wanted to share the last essay I wrote for my English class. I forgot how much I enjoyed writing. I have so many experiences in my life that I would love to write about for my children to have. After I shared this essay with Colton, he commented on how it gave him insight on what we were dealing with. It's just the push I need to keep writing.


A phone call in April 2004 changed my life in an instant. "Would you adopt my baby?" my cousin requested. "In a heartbeat!" I quickly replied. Suddenly, the disappointment of the past was gone. God was blessing us with another child. Just three days earlier my life was headed in a different direction as I dropped off our remaining baby items at Deseret Industries. I wanted our home to reflect the reality of our lives. I had two wonderful little boys, Colton, 8, and Asher, 5. I loved being their mom and had a strong desire to have a large family. Unfortunately, the doctor recently confirmed there wouldn't be any more children. My husband blamed himself despite my reassurances that he didn't cause his fertility problem. Accepting the doctor's diagnosis had been difficult, but I had done it. Now, one phone call changes all of that.

Four and a half weeks later, I was in the delivery room while my cousin delivered my son. It was so surreal. This miracle I witnessed had me trying to figure out how I could be so blessed. I knew the moment I saw the top of Kyler's head that he was my son, the paperwork was a mere formality. 28 hours later, our baby was handed to us in the hospital parking lot. It was quiet and simple, many significant moments are. As we drove home, I would look behind me and see Colton, Asher and Kyler all strapped into the van. I couldn't stop the tears. Did this just happen? Was I really driving home with our three boys? My gratitude was overflowing.

A few weeks later, my husband took the boys to Cub Scout Day Camp. I had been looking forward to this since Kyler was born. I would have 3 days in a row where I didn't have to fight with anyone to hold the baby. I did what anyone would do with a newborn, got in my pajamas and camped out on the sofa with him in my arms. I snuggled him with his little head nestled in my shoulder. I cradled him in my arms while he slept. I kissed his little forehead over and over. I held onto him the entire day and loved every minute of it. Again, how did I luck out and win the lottery with this child?

Sitting on the sofa all day wouldn't be complete without the TV being on. As I was watching Kyler sleep, I heard a commercial come on about a certain brand of pregnancy tests. The voice said, "It's how I knew Benjamin was coming". I was immediately drawn down memory lane. I could see in my mind's eye how exciting it was finding out I was pregnant for the first time. I was able to surprise my husband with the news and it was a day I will never forget. Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The next year, I was taking a pregnancy test again. I was so excited for those two pink lines, so was Tony. Colton arrive the next spring.

As Colton was almost two, I was discouraged I wasn't pregnant after ten months of trying. To compound my frustration, my neighbor announced that she was expecting in the fall. She said I should have another child too and I just brushed it off, not wanting her to know my heartache. When I went back inside my home, I suddenly remembered that I hadn't been feeling well lately. I had thought I was just coming down with something, but the conversation with my neighbor made me curious. I took a test the next morning and discovered I was pregnant! I immediately drove to Tony's office and shared the wonderful news.

Now my thoughts were on this precious child in my arms. I wanted to stroll down memory lane with Kyler's pregnancy too. As my mind went to recall, I had an unsettling experience. I drew a blank. I had never had that happen to me in my life. The more I tried to recall my pregnancy test, the bigger the void in my mind seemed to be. I started to panic. How on earth could I not remember? I thought, "Poor Kyler, he's only a few weeks old and I can't even remember getting pregnant!" I put more effort into this and really tried to recall. I couldn't remember taking a test. I couldn't remember going to any doctor's appointments. I couldn't remember being pregnant at all.

Just as my despair was climbing, I decided to look at this logically. I'll go back nine months and retrace my steps. He was born on May 19th, nine months earlier was August 19th. That didn't make any sense that was our anniversary! How could I not remember getting pregnant on our anniversary? If I were pregnant in August, I wouldn't find out until September. September sparked the memory of driving with the boys to Idaho to visit my aunt and uncle on their farm. We all had a wonderful time. But wait, I couldn't drive to Idaho and be pregnant, I'm extremely ill during my pregnancies. Now my heart and mind finally connected, I wasn't pregnant in September.

I never took that test for Kyler. I never felt the sickness take over my life for twenty weeks. I never made a doctor's appointment. I never felt him kick me or have the hiccups. I never felt a labor pain. I didn't push him into this world. Another significant moment just happened in a quiet and simple way; I became Kyler's mother. God placed this child in my arms and I discovered the miracle of motherhood doesn't happen with two pink lines, it happens with love.

Friday, June 19, 2015

MOPRO (East Valley Mormon Prom)

I love the movie Pretty in Pink, do you? It was a great teen movie about trying to find where you fit in and love....because what would a teen movie be without love! Andie (Molly Ringwold) visits her friend Iona (Annie Potts) and mentions she might not go to the prom. Iona tells her: 
I have this girlfriend who didn't go to hers, and every once in a while, she gets this really terrible feeling--you know, like something is missing. She checks her purse, and then she checks her keys. She counts her kids, she goes crazy, and then she realizes that nothing is missing. She decided it was side effects from skipping the prom.
As a teen, I was worried this might be true. As an adult, I can tell you it doesn't matter! Of course now that I think about that, my overexcitement (is that a word?) when my boys attend Prom (or Homecoming, Winter Formals, Morp....anything really) and the need to photograph it until my camera begs for mercy could be a side effect from not attending my own Prom.
Oh well!  On to the photos!!!
Makenna and Asher
(they met just before this photo was taken)
Another shot of the couple at the Riperian Preserve.
(photographed by Rachel Johnston)
 (photographed by Rachel Johnston)
 (photographed by Rachel Johnston)
 This was a fun group to attend the East Valley Mormon Prom with.
 I love seeing all the girls dressed up and giving their own personal flair to what they wore.
 Handsome young men!
Such a great group of kids. 

 Rachel asked them to jump over their dates. Only one did.
 And when he landed, he kicked up a tons of rocks on his date!
 Time to head off into the sunset
East Valley Mormon Prom
May 9, 2015


Nothing is so beautiful as spring
the glassy pear tree leaves and blooms, they brush
the descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
with richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling
- Gerard Manley Hopkins

Obviously, Mr. Hopkins didn't live in the Valley of the Sun!
Spring is a small fleeting thing here.....and starts with blossoms in January. Waiting until February to snap a few photos greatly reduced the number of blossoms I could find. The green leaves were fighting with the blossoms for space. Enjoy this for a brief moment....much like our Spring.
Asparagus Quiche, so delicious!
I looked out the window...
 And what did I see?
  Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
 December brings ripe citrus

 We plant our winter grass at the beginning of October. 
By March, it's on it's way out.
The End

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Remember being 16....and feeling like that.  Remember thinking that it was a mere formality that you still lived with your parents because, after all, you were running your own life.  Asher is in the middle of Prom Season.  Colton attended 2 proms his sophomore year.  Asher will be attending 3.  (So happy we bought him a suit!)  I certainly hope it's not a competition.....if it is, heaven help me when Kyler is a sophomore!

April 18, 2015
Held at Stephenie Meyer's Home
 Zack & Megan and Hannah & Asher
Asher & Hannah

 I took 199 photos.....199!!!!
Half of them were just trying to get these two to jump....
This is the funniest shot to me.  Asher in full Mario pose and Zack just looking on.
 Mormon Gansta
 Finally, they could escape their mothers and the camera. 
Stephenie Meyer was so kind to take a photo with everyone!
Scottsdale Mormon Prom (SCOMOPRO) does it up right!
Thank You to Stephenie Meyer for an incredible evening!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Kyler is one month away from moving up from Cubs to the Boy Scouts.  It's such a big deal...especially when it's your youngest!   I love that he has a great time at his den and pack meetings.  I appreciate all the leaders that have worked so hard to provide a nice program for Kyler and the other boys.  
 I will say that I was thrilled to be done with the Pinewood Derby!!! 
This is the 9th and final car for the House of Steve!
Kyler's Stats
2013 - 2nd Place
2014 - 1st Place
2015 - 1st Place
Congratulations, Kyler!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Life is full of adventures!  Last year, Colton was about to turn in his mission papers.  I was excited and nervous all at once.  I couldn't wait for him to get out and serve since he wanted that so badly, but I was nervous.  I didn't know where in the world he was going.  I wasn't ready to let my baby leave the house and our communication would be limited to a weekly email.  By the end of March, he had turned in his mission papers.  
(the day the mission papers were turned in)
The wait began.  It was less than three weeks and the call arrived.  So exciting!!!  Our house filled with tons of people ready to hear the news....Canada Vancouver Mission, English Speaking.  (relive it here)  Well, the next few months passed quickly.  Colton graduated, 
(Goodbye, ACP!)
was ordained an Elder, went to the Gilbert Temple to take out his endowments
(Tony, Colton, Grandpa, Uncle Jean-Jacques)
 and we shopped for mission clothes.  
(this pile doesn't include the suits and extra pants!)
(again, the suits would be picked up later.....
now how are we going to get this all in his suitcase?!?!!)
Just after his graduation, I found out about Pathway through BYU-I.  (learn about it here)  I decided to sign up and had until September before I started.  During the summer I had such strong feelings hit me that I needed to really jump into volunteering full force! Yada, yada, yada.....I now work at Asher's school.  (Find the details of that here.)   Before I knew it, I was working 16.25 hours a week. I kept telling myself that I was finding more to do to help me not miss Colton.  I worked for a few weeks before we took Colton up to the MTC.  
(driving up to the MTC) 
(Saying goodbye at the curb)
I did surprisingly well.  After dropping him off we drove straight home.  By the time we were in Southern Utah, I was calm, but so, so sad.  We stopped to fill up the car and grab something to eat.  I first went to use the restroom, the stalls were all taken.  Pretty soon a door opened and there I was......FACE TO FACE WITH A MAN!!!!  The man looked all around and realized he was in the ladies room.  That's when he looked at me and said "I'm so tired!!!" and then promptly ran out, completely mortified!  All of the emotion of my day finally came laughter!  I couldn't stop laughing.....major laughing.  It was just what I needed to cheer up again.  I know that man ran all the way to his car and back on the road, but I wish so bad I could have said Thank You to him.  The Lord knows just what we need and I consider that a tender mercy ;-)  
Thankfully, I went home and back to my job.  It's just what I needed!  It hasn't been easy to add school and work to my life that already includes a sophomore, 5th grader, husband in college and the bishopric, my young women's calling and a missionary to write. (writing the missionary is fun!)  Let's just say that the first semester didn't include much house cleaning or grocery shopping.  I'm getting into a better routine and am proud to say I am just over half-way done with my year of Pathway.  I can't wait to continue on and get my degree!  
As for's SPRING BREAK!!!  I go back to work and the kids go back to school on March 24th.  I plan on enjoying every minute of this much needed break.  (I still have my school, but it's much easier to get homework completed with more time on my hands)  I also plan on posting regularly since I love using this blog for my family history.  And who wouldn't want to share for posterity a proud parent moment from Colton's letter yesterday.  He said, "I owe everything to my parents.  They are prime gospel teachers.  THAT is called magnifying your calling.  They could have just been normal and kept me away from the stove and the highway, but instead, they invited me to come unto Christ.  Now I can help others do the same."
 Elder Stock has invited many to come unto Christ, 
but he was able to see these three choose baptism in Duncan.