Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meet the fam

mom and dad
best parents ever!

getting ready to put in his mission papers
and a fabulous singer

also a fabulous singer
and a smooth dancer

a born athlete
he leaves a trail of swooning girls in his wake

a creative genius

adorable. just plain adorable

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The still, small voice

I have no voice. This is how it went down:

Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache, neckache - basically everything from the neck up was not feeling awesome. I was fairly concerned about this because I was supposed to work during the day Friday, and then do balloons for 3 hours Friday night and 4 hours Saturday morning. However, I took some meds, dad gave me a Priesthood blessing, and I actually ended up feeling pretty well during work, and then was able to do the balloon gig that night.

Friday evening I went to bed rather late, and got up rather early Saturday to go do the 4 hour balloon gig. I was feeling fine when I started working at 9am, however, by 9:30-10:00 my throat started to feel kinda scratchy, and definitely by 10ish I was very hoarse. Jonathan so lovingly described it as "You sound like a smoker Steph". Awesome. So I finished the balloon gig, all hoarse, and went home, and throughout the day I just got progressively hoarser. My brother's thought it was great.

I thought that after sleeping for a night, my voice would be better in the morning. But, this morning (Sunday morning) I woke up, and had... absolutely no voice. I can whisper. And that is all.

Ok, I do think that it is kinda funny. Yesterday half my words came out as random squeaks. The funniest part, though, is today sometimes when I'm talking/whispering to people, they will inadvertently start whispering back. Bahaha.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Survival of the fittest

Last night I decided to make myself a salad for dinner. Think lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and avacado. Yes, it was tasty. This is definitely one of the great parts of being home - my mom has a much larger food budget than I do at college. So salad's such as these, and other nice food options are available. Let's face it, I just don't eat much steak as a poor college student. The downside of this, however, is that I also have 5 perpetually hungry younger brothers, 3 of which I swear are perpetually starving. So my mom goes shopping, gets all sorts and varieties and types of nice food, brings it home, and hours later it is not to be found. No seriously. The other day, my mom goes to Costco and comes home with, among other things, a 24-pack of yogurt. This is around 7 pm. The next morning, I go into the kitchen, open the fridge and notice that there are 10 yogurts left. 10! It's very distressing. Enough so that, with some of the hot item foods, such as yogurt, I have taken to hiding a few for myself, to ensure that I will get 1 or 2. Now this type of survival of the fittest doesn't apply to all the food in our house; so far, I haven't witnessed any rush on the carrots. And it is nice having my mom there to buy all sorts of food that I don't really get to buy on my budget. However, at least at BYU, I knew when I bought a loaf of bread and 2 string cheese thingers that they would all be there the next day when I came home. That's all I'm saying.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2,969,924 seconds

5 weeks from today I will be on a plane headed for France.
Lets just be happy about how fabulously soon that is.


Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace?
When other sources cease
To make me whole?
When with the wounded heart
Anger or malice
I draw myself apart
Searching my soul

Where, when my aching grows
Where, when I languish
Where, in my need to know
Where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand
To calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand,
He, only one.

He answers quietly
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds
For my beseeching
Constant he is and kind
Love without end.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I've been doing an interesting conglomeration of jobs since I've been home. Mostly what I've been doing is working as a substitute paraprofessional in the school district. Paraprofessionals (or paras, for short) work with the special education kids, either in resource rooms for kids with mild learning disabilities, autism rooms for kids with autism, or the multiple needs rooms for kids with severe mental and physical handicaps.

It's so sad how hard of a time these kids have. For me, school has always been a breeze. All through high school, I understood my hard classes without really trying. (College is a totaallly different story). I'm not bragging or anything here, its just how it was. The kids I work with struggle to understand simple concepts, and have difficulty applying the same concept to a slightly differently worded problem.

Some kids are completely non verbal. They can't control their bodies very well. They need assistance with some of the simplest daily tasks.

There's lots of examples. But the thing is that all these kids are still so special. ok lets get over the hoaky-ness of that statement and take it for what it means. They are really special. And I like working with them. It's challenging, especially since I'm just a sub, I'm in a different school every day. But I like feeling like, even if it was just for a day, even if it's just a very little bit, I might have been able to help them.

Also, it reminds me that my life is so easy.

On a completely different note:

Why is it at times so difficult for me to forget the past, recognize the changes and really trust what someone is saying?

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Big accomplishments of my life:
Memorizing the Sermon on the Mount
Practicing 57 hours on my flute in one quarter for band in middle school
Holding a current temple recommend
Being at an advanced level of speaking French
Surviving 5 younger brothers
Being a balloon artist
Being a French gospel doctrine teacher
Being voted "Most Likely to be President of the US" from my 5th grade class :)
Having someone tell me that I have a "light" in my eyes
100% attendance in seminary my sophomore year
Winning an intramural basketball championship
Surviving Minnesota winters