Sunday, April 26, 2020

Easter Sunday- Clay's Blessing Day

This Easter was extra special!  We blessed Clay in our home and also watched General Conference— the solemn assembly commemorating the 200th anniversary of the first vision.  It was a neat day and the silver lining of having church at home was we were able to have parents and most siblings join via zoom that otherwise would not of been there. Here is excerpts from Clay’s special blessing: 

 Clay Nelson Stevenson
Clay, we bless you that you can understand your divine identity as a son of God that by knowing that divine idenity it can help you find joy in living the gospel and find strength to live the gospel amongst a world that can seem confusing and troubling at times.

We bless you that you can take strength from gospel principles,
take strength and utilize the power of prayer that you can establish a relationship with your Father in Heaven, that you can go to Him with whatever and anything that you need or ask or desire.

We bless you to understand and to feel the love that is around you, the love from your earthy family and heavenly parents. We bless you to establish quality relationships among family and friends that you can draw close to your brother Luke. Learn from his example and be an example yourself to others.

We bless you that you can understand the wisdom in choosing friends and choosing the right friends that will have influence on you to make rightous decisions and we bless you to influence those people around you to make decisions that will that will keep them, and take them back to the gospel path.

We bless you to be a light and to find joy in not only living the gospel, but sharing the gospel as a missionary. That you can find joy in service and sacrifice that you can sacrifice freely and often. We bless you that you may become familiar with and understand and live the blessings of the temple, that a temple marriage and blessings of eternal family and we also bless you that you can take the time to develop a testimony of your own, to decern right from wrong and understand the power of the atonement and the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We bless you to utilize the atonement and to feel the love of your Savior.

Clay you are loved, we bless you with strength both phyically and spiritally to have bright days ahead.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Easter Hunt

This year the easter bunny visited our house! He took all our decorated eggs in the night and hid them at the park. He also left a trail of little treats to our new sunday clothes (that grandma & grandpa stevenson got them, thanks!) and left a little note. It was extra fun and Luke used his "finding powers" to find all the eggs and then played with them the entire day loading them in trucks and building 'parking lots' for them.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Sakura Season 2020

This year, we didn't enjoy the blossoms of Japan like in years past. We stayed indoors and didn't ride the train to our favorite spots. We had picnics on our kitchen floor. We luckily live around lots of blossoms, but Japan hasn't been on a strict lockdown like in other countries and it was pretty busy out and about, even around our place so we stayed inside for the most part. It was also so sad because my parents were suppose to be here visiting when cherry blossoms were in full bloom and we lined up ticket perfectly only to be canceled. 

I snuck out a couple mornings when it was still quiet and enjoyed them a bit and got a few pictures of the magic. I'm so curious if we will be here next year or not for the blossoms! Also... in our next house I want more windows and maybe a little yard... just dreaming :) 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Finding Balance?

This week I put the cheese away in the freezer on accident and put Lukes's pants on Clay without even realizing it until they were on. 

These days are exhausting, but so happy too. I'm struggling finding my balance though. 

My brain is always jumping from one thing to the other and never really doing or finishing anything properly. 

It's like, 'lay right here, forget everything else be in the moment.' But also: hang the laundry, clean up the breakfast mess, get everyone ready, submit order, make the bed. 

What's for dinner tonight? We don’t have that ingredient. Dangit. What else? Hum.

Finish Clay's paperwork...should we do the scheduled vaccines with this chaos?... it can wait right?....

Figure out how to do young women's online and send that zoom link. It’s Wednesday today. I got to send it now, before I forget again. 

We need to buy more garbage bags. 

Did I respond to that email? Need to do that.... 

Crap, Luke needs to go potty and Clay is still latched. Lift Luke one armed still nursing Clay. Skills. 

I should call a sibling... it’s been awhile, oh wait, it’s 3pm here, too late again and everyone is asleep....

Start a class, get interrupted, never finish it, start something else. Never finish. 

Come Follow Me. Read scripture. Finish reading. What did I just read? Guilt.

Baby spit up on clothes....  but behind on laundry... decide to not change and wear clothes. It will happen again anyways today. Makeup today? Meh. 

Everyone is asleep, stay up and have some ‘quiet time’ and do art or something for myself. Loose track of time and go to bed late.... wake up three times before morning to nurse Clay. Regret staying up.

My brain literally jumps around allll day and unable to commit to one thing at a time. At the end of the day feeing like I got absolute nothing accomplished and the guilt doing everything halfway. Like, playing all day with Luke, but occupied with something else. Doing everything and doing nothing.

 I keep trying to adjust my expectations. I feel with just Luke, I would get behind and catch up and things would settle for a bit. With two kids, I feel like I never get caught up and have so many desires and things pulling every direction and wish I never had to sleep but need sleep more than ever. It’s a constant juggle and haven’t really figured out balance yet. Also, just feel dumb talking about it because so many parents have more kids and careers they are managing. 

Just a lot of thoughts and distractions and interruptions. I’m not sure the solution, or if there is one. Satan’s biggest tool in my life for sure right now is distractions and trying to figure out how to balance, lots of really good things but what’s most important and putting off my selfish desires. Always reminding myself, everyone is well fed and very loved and that’s something and matters. 

Update...after writing all this last night and posting, I woke up to Clay hungry and full of smiles at 5am with no chance of sleep (he’s so so cute in the mornings). Decided to get up and bike with him in carrier and read scriptures to stay alert and came across this verse and was so fitting. “See that all these things are done in wisdom and order. . . all things must be done in order.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Luke Lately

One of the people I look up to and admire the most lately is my little Luke. The world has changed around him drastically this year but Luke has stayed consistently happy, always moving forward and never looking back. I’m in awe at his ability to adapt and deal with change so easily. Sometimes I forgot he’s only two, because it’s so fun to hangout with him. We went from going to the park multiple times a day to almost never (these pictures were taken before 7am or at dusk when everyone was gone). I love this boy and of kills me he turns 3 next month. 

  • “Messy food” - he likes “plain” noodles and rice, not mixed with pasta sauce or anything. I have to rinse the curry and separate veggies and sauce on side and can’t be together. I tried to cook a marshmallow on the stove for him to 'try' but he wouldn’t eat it because it was “dirty.”
  • Clean up time- he says he has a “stomach ache” every single time we have to clean or do something he doesn’t want to go. Every time. Who taught him that is my question!
  • Dislikes when anyone messes us his toys or road or anything he’s building and working on (which is near impossible when it takes up our entire floor space).
  • FaceTime- he is really ‘hit or miss’ but for the most part he is a different kid when we put him on to talk to family. 

  • spicy salt (red pepper flakes) request with every meal and have to convince him it’s not good with breakfast foods
  • Indoor picnics
  • Filling up with gasoline, food is his fuel. “The cars need some gasoline... translation: time to eat or drink with the cars”
  • Story time includes only books that have a car or tractor in it. He acts out the cars or airplane with Panda.
  • “Splendor Roads” (see photo below for reference, our favorite game has turned into something else completely).
  • Jenga building and bananagram staking 
  • Picking scabs and nose...
  • All sweets!
  • Wrestling with Dad and "train rides" with Clay on Dad's leg
  • Dance time to THIS SONG (only this song...).
  • Other favorite song though on repeat during day: “Life is a Highway” from Cars.
  • Anything Lightning McQueen always! 

The picture above and below are the two different faces he makes when I say "smile" ... neither his natural smile ha.

 "Mom take a picture of my trick"
 his jenga creations are really impressive, he did this by himself:

spender roads, don't you dare step on it. . . 

we also play a lot of hide and seek, find Luke in the on below :P
getting yoke
we've gotten really good use out of the piano box, Luke even slept in it a few times :)

 First thing in the morning, "THE SUN IS AWAKE!" . . . its not even 7am.... 
Found these last four pictures from last year, and makes me extra miss his long hair.