Thursday, December 31, 2015


You can get engaged! 

You can get married....

Your family size can double,
And sibling count increase dramatically...

You can travel to Alaska on an epic honeymoon....

You can not leave the honeymoon and live in Hawaii together.....

And move into a new apartment home with a man....

You can buy a new car...

You can wish you bought a different car....

Your favorite brother can graduate and get a mission call and move to Australia.

Your little sissy can get engaged, married, and knocked up with a baby boy. 

You can work 6 jobs over the year (combined).....

You can finish 2 1/2 semesters of college...

So yah, a lot can happen in a year.

2015 has been pretty magical. It's crazy to look back on these twelve short months and see how far we have come and different things are now. 

Although most our changes have happened in a gradual way, with us growing more and more aware of what’s going on, there is still a sense of wonder and amazement when I look back on this past year.

I'm exited for another year of adventures to come with Riley! The future is really wide open spaces for us with graduation around the corner.

Together we have been creating dreams and listing places we want to go and things we want to do in this next chapter of life. 

I think it's important to dream and believe in those dreams. However, we must hold on lightly enough to them to allow the unforeseen divine to step in and spin us in all the right ways. Here's to 2016 baby! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Oakland Temple

"You are never lost when you can see the temple. The temple will provide direction for you and your family in a world filled with chaos. It is an eternal guidepost which will help you from getting lost in the 'mist of darkness.'"
—Gary E. Stevenson

I love the temple. I love being married. I love that we can be together forever through eternity. I love that we can do temple work for those that are passed on and didn't get the opportunity. I love the peace that comes inside these sacred walls.
Today was a beautiful day at the Oakland Temple. We did sealings together with Riley's family and my heart was filled as we all came together to do sealings for other families so they too can be sealed together forever. Happy Day!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Time in The City

We are spending Christmas with Riley's Family in California. There has been lots of great moments and memories in the past couple days and we lots more days and memories to come. I'm just laying in bed now and it's Christmas morning.... We still have the whole day and ahead of us!  I'm looking through pictures and I have some many good ones of the beautiful San Francisco lights. We also saw A Christmas Carol! 

Christmas Came Early

Christmas came early with a massive family "Google hang-out" on Christmas Eve talking to our Caden Moncur. He is serving a mission half-way around the world in Austrilia! He's is the only boy in the family and the hero and protector of his sisters eyes (and our dad too). Talking to him made me get so teary eyed and miss him. Missions are the best though and he is doing so good. Heavenly Father is really molding him into such a good leader and example. He is picking up quite the Aussie accent too and so handsome. I love him. I'm keeping all his letters online for everyone's viewing pleasures:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Facial Matters

Remember, Remember those days of Movember. 
Riley has been growing a mustache since the beginning of this November and now into December.
Its a pretty big deal in our lives.
Its graduated from the "mexi-stash" stage and is visible now and even slightly bushy and has potential to curl.
Except, for one part... right in the middle it doesn't grow hair
(right where people have that dip above the upper lip, yah his is hairless...this is also where he sweats and it puddles).

He named it "Guiseppe."
Yes, that is the mustache's name.

Latley, when we kiss... Riley will ask:
"Do you like kissing Guiseppe?"
and I'm like: "no, i like kissing you."

The first time "Guiseppe" showed [on] his face was right before we got married.
 Like literally right before.
Riley drove from California two days before the wedding
 and just in time for our "Bridal" pictures with a half-hour to spare before pictures.
Riley asked if I liked the mustache and told me the given name...
Then he proceeded to tease my mom 
and tell her he was keeping it for the wedding and pictures.

It was funny.
I love him.
Riley, not Guiseppe.
He shaved it. 

(I made this video of him fixing 
his stash when he was recoding for something else...)

But now Guiseppe is back and better 
and staying through the Christmas break,
 just in time for the "Stevenson Family Pictures."
It really wouldn't fly on my side.

I might just shave it off in his sleep for these pictures though....
Ba ha ha ha. 
I wouldn't. 

On another facial note...
Riley has serious "Beard Envy."
Yes, it is a real condition.
Every time we pass a thick, full bushy beard... Riley will pause and admire.
Then he will turn to me and say:
"I would pay $500 bucks to grow that beard right now."
(The amount of $$ changes depending on beard status, but can get in the thousands).
He can only grow a patchy beard that is sparse and pretty terrible....
Maybe one day.

This week he told me of a conversation in a class. 
Everyone was to name which "super-power" they would have.
He told the class "flying."
But said to me he thought about it more...
 and if he could choose his super-power would be to "grow a nice thick beard."

I was shocked....
 Then he replied:
"I would grow a beard while flying."

I love Riley.
Or Mexi-Stash-Riley or Patchy-Beard-Riley. 
He is so funny and handsome.
I personally like Clean-Shavin-Riley, if I got to pick.

I do love these Movember days though,
He plays with his stash subconsciously...
 and it does tickle my face when we are real close. 
Happy Movember! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Be Inspired in Less than 10 Minutes

One of my favorite messages of ALL TIME is given by: 

Friedrich Enzio Busche 

It is simply some of the very best advice and wisdom in life. Every time I listen to these words I feel more inspired and have a renewed desire to be better and live more like our Savior. 
Trust me, I have watched it time and time again over the past 5+ years.

Ready to feel inspired?! Watch this video and let the Spirit do it's magic. 


This is made from a BYU Devotional, given on May 14 1996. 
The speech was entitled "Unleashing the Dormant Spirit" and can be found at
It is seriously fantastic and largely unknown, plus his accent is great.
I pinky promise you will feel better after watching and more inspired.   

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Truly satisfying!

Often in the late nights-- between falling asleep and still thinking-- is when my best ideas and revelations come. It's when I'm not distracted by other things around me and my feet are motionless and life is still. That's when I feel inspiration's quiet voice more clearly.

My calling in church is a relief society teacher-- that is what kept me up at night most recently. The topic of my lesson: "missionary work."  During the week, I thought about my grandpa joining the church around my age now and his influence on me and the generations to come. Then I drifted in thoughts reflecting on my own mission and how much I loved serving full-time. The memories in dedicated service and the people I met still so close to my heart and worth more than anything. The time serving in Brooklyn and Idaho will always be on the highlight reel of my life.

I thought about how satisfying and sweet the restored gospel is and thought of Lehi's dream and my mind pondered one scripture specifically: 1 Nephi 8: 11-12

And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.

And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

The fruit of the gospel does taste so soooo good and Lehi wanted to share it and desired everyone to partake of the scrumptious fruit that symbolizes the blessings of the Atonement. Partaking of the fruit of the tree represents receiving the ordinances and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ—therefore having the atonement more obtainable in our lives and accessible. The fruit is described as “desirable to make one happy” and produces great joy and the desire to share that joy with others.

I then pondered about myself—I thought about my own personal inability to taste and smell now and how food has completely lost its flavor due to my head injury. I reminisced the smells of clean laundry, the exhaust from the snowmobiles, and the smell of the outdoors and taste of home cooked meals. I thought about how much I miss those and really miss the taste of a single peanut butter cup. 

wish sometimes I could once again bite into one and really taste the chocolate and soft peanut butter combo and then just be so sooo satisfied. I thought about the nerve in my head that no longer functions and thought about missionary work too--Maybe because it was late and I wasn't sleeping but it all made so much sense to me without my senses-- something clicked and was made real. 

Many people in this world don't know how good the gospel taste and how much comfort comes with the fruits of the spirit and the peace of eternal truths and access to the atonement. They simply lack that sense and connection without the ordinances and knowledge of restored gospel. 

I thought about how insignificant but strong “my craving” for little taste of candy can be... how I miss it… how I long for these senses to return. . .  How I have tasted and smelled once but no longer have that capacity or know how to get it back.

I thought about how I do have something that taste far better and how others in this world are unaware, but many are craving it more than anything this world has to offer. The knowledge and connection to access the atonement of Christ and feel that divinity is more sweet and powerful and is truly satisfying. 

The gospel is far better and sweeter than anything I know. It provides the nourishment needed for the sickest souls--it provides comfort for the sad, and strength for the weak, it brings joy and satisfaction to those that are alone and those just starving for truth and purpose. It is for everyone and is the one fruit that can make one whole and brings real joy and happiness to all that partake sincerely. How sweet and wonderful the gospel taste and how we must not forget, but share it with the world.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Lessons from the Gas Station:

This weekend I learned a valuable lesson in the most unlikely place.. I was working with Pu’uwai and my shift was about over—it was 6:57pm and I got off at 7:00pm. We were in the car returning back to hs house from taking Pu’uwai on the train ride in the Kaneohe mall. It was a good shift, but I was ready to drive home and cuddle and just be with Riley!

As soon as we pulled into the driveway of his home, his sister said she was going to run inside and get the bankcard to fill up their van with gas. I only had three minutes left and it takes that long to just drive down one way to 7Eleven from their house to fill up.

I was slightly annoyed because I knew she knew the time and that this extra trip would make me go overtime and put me home later. She didn’t say anything else though, but proceeded to get the card inside and then the next minute we headed off to fill up the van.

When we got to 7Eleven, several other cars also wanted to fill up. Half of the pumps were "out-of-order" and so we waited for a few cars to finish up and then pulled up to one of the two functioning pumps at the station. 

It was now pass 7:00pm.  Pu’uwai just sat next to me looking out the window mesmerized by car headlights passing by against the dark sky. The sky was dark--I should be on my way home, but wasn’t. He just rocked back and forth dancing and excited to be outside of his house, completely naive to the time and world around him.

His sister was outside the car now pumping the gas. After a couple minutes, I heard it click indicating the tank was full and then watched as she continued topping if off a few more clicks trying to get an even total: $41.01--She accidently went over one cent. She then grabbed the receipt and got in the car and looked at us in the backseat.  She told me she was going to run inside quick and get food inside the station and would be back soon.

She turned and went inside 7Eleven, I was now more than slightly annoyed,. she knew I was overtime and didn’t say anything. I rolled my eyes to myself and proceeded to watch Pu’uwai. His runny nose had somehow made its way down to his mouth.  I wiped it as he continued to sway to the lights of the highway and sound of the music in his head.  A couple more minutes passed. I looked at his sister from inside the car go back and forth the isles grabbing some food and snacks and then finally she was waiting in the line to ring up.

She paid for the items and walked out the store.  I watched impatiently as she inched forward to the car, obviously on her own time. Before getting to the car she suddenly turned and walked to a homeless man. I hadn’t noticed him this whole time I had been waiting for her impaciently. He was huddled next to the station sitting on his blanket with a jacket over his head. The rain was slightly coming down and he was alone. She gave him all the food she had just carefully selected and bought and returned back to the car empty handed. She didn’t say anything and we proceeded on our way back to their house.

I learned a couple lessons that night and the spirit taught me a little more! If we worry too much about ourselves, we don't have time for others. I was so anxious to get to my own home and husband that I didn't notice the man without a home. I was so annoyed at Pu'uwai's sister taking her own time when in reality she was just serving her grandma by filling up the tank and then getting food for a complete stranger when they really don't have much food themselves. I learned that we must not be too consumed in our own world and time schedules to notice others in need. & we must not be quick to judge and realize that everyone has good in them.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hawaii Halloween Festivities

hawaiian halloween

hawaii halloween
I did every other picture in black and white... for some reason the black and white effect seems more halloweeny! :)