Friday, October 31, 2014

This is Halloween

Does anyone know that song? The one that goes, "This is Halloween, this is Halloween" (That's the only part I know because I've only heard it once at our ward trunk or treat party). Well, it's stuck in my head. I bet you can imagine how one sentence repeated over and over again can get annoying fast.



I am happy to be alive. It was a very interesting night. And I heard reports of there being slushy snow that melted when it hit the ground (but snow none the less!).

Wowzah. What is happening in this world?

Here are pics from last week's trunk or treat! No one really knew who I was. I did get a Mrs. Incredible, which is pretty cool, but no. I was Batman's good lookin' (haha) sidekick, Robin. Ryan thought it was funny that the flier said no cross dressing and then there is me...pretending to be a guy. Whoopsies.

I do have a lot to update the BYU game we went to and DISNEY WORLD!!!! But until then, you can go to to see the pictures. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Prayers and Preschool

Lately, Jackson's been all about saying his prayers by himself. I must admit, it's pretty cute some of the things he says. For instance, tonight Jackson was saying his bedtime prayer, and this is what he said, " Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for bubbles, nursery, cow and animals."

Yesterday, after my parents babysat Jackson, all he wanted to say was, "Thank you for Grandma and Grandpa...." He wouldn't say anything else, so I tried to prompt him, by saying, "Thank thee for..." and he finished with, "Grandma and Grandpa" a second time. Well, alright then. Guess he had fun while we were gone. :)

In other news, Jackson has started going to preschool. He loves it! There are 5 kids total in preschool, and they are all from his nursery class at church. Us moms all take turns teaching each week. My turn is coming up soon. Wish me luck!

On the drive home from school, I always ask Jackson what he did. It's interesting to hear what he says. Sometimes he will actually talk about the lesson, and other times, he will tell me what his favorite toy he played with was. He is learning a lot, and is always proud to show Ryan his school folder when Ryan comes home from school. Jackson's folder is red...which is conveniently his new favorite color.

All in all, I am pleasantly surprised with how much Jackson likes school. I thought for sure we would be preschool drop outs!

I have a picture of Jackson's first day of school, but I'll have to post it another time. My camera is in Jackson's room, and he's sleeping. Until then, adieu, and see ya next time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sharing is Caring

Whenever Jackson sees me on my computer, it's hard to get anything done. He usually tries to steal it from me so he can watch a show or play games. Well, tonight was no different. I was using my computer to look up something, and Jackson came over and said, "Jackson computer!" I looked at him, raised one eyebrow (Yes, I'm talented), and said quizzically, "Jackson's computer?"

Jackson then looked at me sheepishly and said, "Mama's computer" in which I told him that was correct.

He then thought for a second and said, "Share, Mama! Share!"

There is no winning when it comes to a two year old...
(But at least I know Jackson understands what sharing means!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Who are the Stephens?

If you find yourself asking that question, you should probably watch this video.

(I actually made this video for our upcoming family reunion, and Ryan requested it be put on the blog. Huzzah!)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Comfort Food

Ryan eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at least once a day. It is his staple, go-to meal.

A couple weeks ago, I made a meal after church. He looked at me and said a little hesitantly, "Is it okay if I still eat one pb&j? I'll still eat some of your food."

I was kind of expecting this, so I told him I wouldn't be offended.

"It's my comfort food, y'know?" he replied.

I had to laugh at the irony because this is what I was serving.

Roast and cooked carrots.
Comfort food at it's finest.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Sometimes during the day, I mentally start writing a blog in my head. I always plan on actually typing it out, but I never do. At least there is some effort, right?

Jackson is quite the busy bee. He is very curious about the world around him, and he probably asks me, "What's this?" ten times a day. They are usually simple things, like carpet, a hem of a blanket, a zipper, electrical outlet, etc. One time I put a shirt on him, and he said, "What's this?" pointing at the cute little pocket on his shirt. It's fun to see the wheels in his head turning. Sometimes I will see him studying things trying to see how they work. Can you say engineer in the making?

Yesterday, I had just picked up my dry cleaning, and I asked Jackson what he wanted to do. "Do you want to go see books and legos? Or should we go to the store and play toys?"

He thought for a second and said, "ZOO! Tiger! Rawr!" This kid loves the zoo. He asks to go all the time, but we can only go on Saturday when Ryan can come with us.

Speaking of zoos...

Last week, Jackson came down with the chicken pox. It was a rough week for everyone. Luckily it was Ryan's one week off, so we teamed up to help Jackson. I don't know if Jackson would consider it helping. He HATED taking his medicine! We would have to hold him down and force him to swallow. In his defense, he is usually not that difficult, but he had sores all over the inside of his mouth, tongue, and throat. Poor guy. He didn't eat or drink anything for two days straight, except for the milk and pedialyte we forced him to have. On the fourth day, we got a Smoothie King, and his eyes lit up, and he drank the whole thing. This was a huge relief. You should have seen Ryan and my silly, happy grin as we watched Jackson scarf the smoothie. *Phew*

We definitely learned patience that week.

*Warning: The pictures you are about to see will pull at your heartstrings and make you feel sad for this little boy*
Day 1

Spots. Why are there spots?

Day 2 
Finally asleep after a rough night. Poor guy had blisters in his mouth and down his throat.

Swollen lips, fever, and crazy cool hair

We could've played "Connect-the-Spots"

"Fix it," he said.

Day 3
Grandpa brought Mr. Fu to help Jackson feel better. He also brought pudding, popsicles, and yogurt, but only Ryan and I ate it.

Day 4
Drank a smoothie FINALLY and zonked out.

That blessed smoothie

Day 5
This pretty much summed up our day...and week.

The only place that made him happy was Grandma and Grandpa's house. Guess where we went that weekend?

Just in case you were wondering, this is Jackson on Day 8. So much better. We couldn't find his shoes, so he got to wear his Holland shoes. This is the classic smile we would get since it hurt too bad to smile for real.

I wish I could say he is back to his regular 'ol self, but he actually has a bad cold/fever right now. This poor kid can't catch a break!

At least he is building up his immune system!

And Jackson has this book.

I think that animal can relate to Jackson.
And we did end up taking him to the zoo.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt with a Twist!

Jackson had a blast on Easter.

He loved finding the Easter eggs and getting presents. What kid doesn't? For Easter, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house and ate a delicious meal of ham, potatoes, veggies, and more. It was scrumptious! We then had an Easter egg hunt and hid all of Jackson's eggs with Mickey stuffed animals. He thought it was great fun!

He was too lazy to hold his basket, so I'm the one trailing behind him.

The proud parents
My parents had a great idea to put tiny glow sticks in some of the eggs. We had a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt, and it was really cool!

Jackson was so excited and was literally running from egg to egg, chucking them into his basket. When he got all the eggs, he looked around and said, "More? More eggs?" He had me hide them 3 times.
For dessert, I made vanilla bean buttermilk cupcakes and Oreo cupcakes. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but they were really good. I wish I had thought to take a picture of them. Thank you, Pinterest!
It was really fun to watch Jackson get into egg hunting this year. Of course, Easter isn't just about the eggs and chocolate. I appreciate all that Christ has done for me. He has given me hope that I too may live again. #Becauseofhim I can live with my family forever.
If you have time, watch this cool video.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Confessions of a Recovering Chocoholic


Ha, just kidding. I'm not really a recovering chocoholic, but that would be a cool story.


Due to my fun stomach problems, I was forced to give up chocolate. In October, we made yummy, yummy s'mores with ooey gooey, sweet, delectable, delicious, drool-worthy chocolate.

Why is it in the bathtub you ask? Because it was Kid's Day. That's why.

I paid for the s'mores indulgence for about a week. I was in bed swearing I would never eat chocolate again. And I haven't. I admit to eating an occasional nibble here and there (probably only 3 times) from Jackson's chocolatey treats, but overall, I have held firm.

I made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, MY BIRTHDAY without chocolate.(RIP my beloved Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. Oh how I miss thee.)

But by far, the hardest holiday to not eat chocolate is EASTER. CURSE YOU CADBURY FOR HAVING SUCH DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE EGGS.

Jackson was snacking on one today, and I'm pretty sure I was watching him with drool trickling down my chin.

Can. Not. Wait. For Chocolate. Season. To. Be. Over.

The End.

On a side note: Is it sad that I have referenced these delectable eggs every year since this blog has been born? Probably.

I hope you all have a Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What a Week.

Warning: This post is just of me complaining. That is it.


My oh my. I just had a doozy of a week. It ranges from not getting $40 worth of groceries I paid for ($30 of which was frozen burritos. Don't judge. They're really good!) and not being able to change my middle name on my driver's license because my signature wasn't legible (what???), to being the only leader in the YW presidency for the next couple months, among other things. Poor Ryan has to deal with me, his stressed out wife, on a daily basis.

I was not a happy camper when dinner was half way done and I discovered I didn't have the rest of the ingredients because Target apparently lost not 1 but 2 of my bags. I was too preoccupied with the whole frozen burrito fiasco to notice the other items missing. I actually went BACK to Target literally 5 minutes after I called to get my frozen burritos. A lady there said she had it for me at the Customer Service desk. When I got there, they had mysteriously disappeared and the lady had gone home. IN 5 MINUTES! The poor guy that replaced her had no idea what I was talking about, and I was almost in tears thinking $30 was down the drain. Luckily he refunded my money. I know someone out there is snacking on my burritos.

But on the bright side, Jackson's been exceptionally good today. Smart kid.

Update: Do you know what happens when you complain about your week? You have a worse one! I can now add stomach flu and cold to this list. Blah! My poor child hasn't left the house in days. To get through, I just keep telling myself that if this is our biggest problems in life right now, things aren't bad at all. There are worse things in life to be dealing with!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Short Stories, Part II

Jackson found my old drivers license from when I was 16. He held it up and exclaimed, "Mama!" and cooed over it for awhile. Later, Ryan found one of his old school IDs from high school and said, "I bet Jackson won't recognize me." In the picture, Ryan's hair was longer and curly and he definitely looked younger. Jackson took the ID and studied it for awhile. Finally, with uncertainty, he said, "Mama?" in which Ryan responded, "That was probably the best thing you could have said."


My parents, Jackson, and I were at Walmart the other day. We bought Jackson letters and numbers to go in the bathtub. Jackson was too excited to wait until home to open the package up and tore it open in the shopping cart. He played with them a little bit until we got to the car. We started loading the bags, when frantically Jackson started yelling, "WAIT! Wait, wait wait!" and started shoving the letters into the package as fast as he could. I think he was afraid we were going to leave them in the cart!


Jackson pretty much knows all his letters. He identifies letters all the time on buildings, buses, walls, you name it. One day, I brought him inside from the parking garage and he exclaimed, "5!" Sure enough there was a 5 on the wall because we were on the fifth floor. I never really taught him his numbers and was curious how much he knew. We stopped outside our apartment--#5110.

Me: What number is this?
Jackson: 5!
Me: What number is this?
Jackson: 1!
Me: What number is this?
Jackson: 10!
Me: What! You know the number 10!?

This little boy is smarter than I give him credit for!


We showed Jackson a picture of himself when he was a baby. "Baby!" Jackson said. We told him it was baby JACKSON. He thought it was so funny. He held the picture with a proud look on his face.


Jackson was in his high chair playing with Playdough. He likes to make little Playdough balls. Sometimes to get my attention, he'll throw some on the ground. This time was no difference. "Oh no!" Jackson moaned. "Balls! Oh no!"

I asked him, "Jackson, did you do that on purpose?"

"On purpose." Jackson repeated.

"I knew it!"

Jackson just grinned.

"You have no idea what you just said, do you Jackson?"


Love my little boy!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Short Stories

Jackson is at a really fun age right now. He is talking a lot better and is so curious about everything. He says such cute things. I need to start writing them down or I forget them. I already feel like there's so much I have forgotten, and it makes me sad. So here's to being better about blogging!


Lately Jackson has been obsessed with letters. He loves the Leap Frog Letter Factory show. He watched it one day in the car about a month ago. It must have sparked his interest because one day he came running out of his closet holding up some letters that used to hang on his wall. "A! Mama, A!" I was impressed. I had tried to teach him the letter A a couple months before, and he wasn't too interested. He kept insisting the A was a D. Now he is a sponge and begs to watch the Letter Factory every day.

My dad bought him this Letter Factory toy, and he loves playing with it and learning his letters. He will watch the show and find the matching letter and hold it up. He also enjoys stealing my book from me. "Mama's book," he'll say and then he will find all the letters he knows in it.

Sometimes he will find non-letter objects and bring them to me. He found a Frisbee with a hole in it and said, "O!" Or even black tape. "O!" he exclaims proudly. He does get some letters confused, like A and V, M and W, and S and Z. When I try to tell him it's actually a different letter, he looks at me like I'm crazy. Overall, he does pretty well.


One weekend, we went to the zoo with Jackson and the tiger there was really active. It kept pacing back and forth by the glass. Jackson thought it was pretty amazing and kept waving HIS tiger in front of the glass to show the real tiger he had a tiger too. It was pretty cute. We stayed there for a good portion of our zoo visit.


When Jackson wakes up, he looks for Ryan in two different places--in the office and in bed. When he can't find Ryan, he asks me where Dada is. I always tell him, he's at school! When Ryan comes home, Jackson gets really excited and runs and gives Ryan a big hug. It is pretty cute. Today, Jackson and I were running errands, and Ryan got home before us. Jackson didn't really pay Ryan that much attention when we got home, so Ryan requested his daily hug. Jackson quickly said no and tried to run away. Ryan picked him up and started to hug him, and Jackson started screaming (and laughing), "No! Dada, STOP IT!" Yes, that is his new phrase that we all love *cough, cough*

Speaking of which, Jackson also has learned to scream, "No!" over and over again. We also love this...not. We have been trying to teach him how to say, "No thank you" instead. Wish us luck. He is really good about saying please now, so maybe there is hope.


Jackson has this new found love for babies. He loves to look on Instagram with me and watch all the baby videos. He will sometimes request them, "Babies, please?" Whenever he watches them, he gets this almost goofy smile on his face. I'm pretty sure he thinks babies are adorable.

He has 2 small tiger stuff animals and 1 bigger one. He calls the 2 small tigers the babies and the bigger one the mommy. He then kisses them. Sometimes he will feed them "Babas" and put them to bed.


Whenever Jackson wants us to go somewhere or to follow him, he will grab out hand and drag us along. I'm pretty sure he thinks he is the boss in this family. If we don't follow him, he gives us a small smile and says, "No, no," very sweetly and then pulls harder. Sometimes he will even go behind us and push us until he gets his way.


Two things that Jackson hates are (1) Baths. I think this stemmed from him having his hair washed and getting water in his eyes. I have to literally force him in the tub. Once he's in there and playing with his bath toys, he is happy as can be and doesn't want to come out. Go figure. (2) Bed time. He doesn't want to go to bed ever. He has become quite the expert at prolonging bedtime. He's learned to ask for a smoothie right before bed. This is Ryan and my weakness because they are healthy and so good for him. Jackson also learned to run up to Ryan and snuggle with him. This is the only time he will snuggle, and so it's hard for Ryan to send him to bed. Jackson has also been known to hide from his bedtime diaper change, request multiple high fives, kisses, and "ugga muggas" in his crib to prevent us from leaving, and when all else fails, will cry just for those few extra minutes he doesn't have to go to bed. This makes bed time quite the task.


Jackson has a hard time with prayers. When we say it's prayer time, he starts whining and complaining pretty loudly. We realized it's because whenever we say a prayer, we make him do something he doesn't want to do--sit down and eat or go to bed. This makes it embarrassing at church when they say it's prayer time at nursery, and he is the only one yelling in defiance.


Today, Jackson's cousin, Christian, came over to play while his siblings went to the temple. Jackson was pretty excited. They played really well together. Jackson has what we like to call a totem pole. Whoever is at the top is Jackson's favorite, and he will only let that person do things for him. I'm usually at the top. Grandma trumps me a lot of the time. Well Christian trumped both of us tonight. Jackson kept trying to get Christian to take him out of his crib. He wouldn't let anyone else do it. Unfortunetly, Christian is 9 and not old big enough. After awhile, Jackson finally let me do it, but it took some encouraging.

When Christan left, Jackson waved and said, "Bye, Christan!"


Jackson was playing with his toy drill today. He was drilling a toy screw into the platform thing. He was concentrating so hard. When he actually did it, he threw his hands up in the air and screamed, "I DID IT!" It was pretty cute. He then stuck the drill in his mouth and turned it on, just to see what would happen. He quickly pulled it out and laughed like it was the funniest thing in the world.

"I did it!" (Sorry it's blurry! Cell phone pic.)


Now that Jackson is talking more, he wants to make sure he is understood. He will repeat things over and over until I repeat it back to him showing him I understand. The problem is that sometimes I can't understand what he is trying to say. The other day he was saying something like, "Dist! Dist! Dist" I had no idea what he was saying, and he was very persistent. Finally I pretended like I knew what he was talking about, "Oh! Dist!" and he then nodded his head in approval and walked away.


Jackson loves his elephant backpack. I think he sees Ryan with his backpack and wants to copy him. He insists on putting his "pack pack" on and walking to the car, except he only walks a couple steps before he dramatically plops on the ground and can't walk anymore. I guess those "pack packs" are heavy things!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Meet Buzz


One night, about a week or so ago, Jackson was really excited about something. He kept pointing and trying to get Ryan's attention. At first, Ryan thought Jackson was excited about a book, but when he picked it up, Jackson said, "No! THAT!"

There on a ground was a ladybug.

We have a ladybug problem sometimes, so we usually just kill them. We thought Jackson was upset about it, so Ryan killed it and threw it in the trashcan. Wrong move. Jackson was devastated. His poor bottom lip was sticking out, quivering. He had huge crocodile tears streaming down his cheeks. Poor guy, we felt really bad.

Ryan took the ladybug carcass out of the trash and let Jackson see it.

Jackson endearingly named the bug "Buzz". I think he was trying to say bug, but it sounded more like "Buzz". "Buzz!" he would say proudly, pointing to his new pet. "Mama, Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!" He was so excited, he grabbed the paper towel and ran towards me.

I hate bugs. Hate them. This was my worst nightmare. I scrambled away and yelped, "No! No, no, no, no!"

Jackson was completely offended. With one last effort to show me how cool Buzz was, he chucked the dead bug at me.


We finally threw the bug away after Jackson went to bed. "G'night, Buzz!" he exclaimed lovingly.

The next morning, Jackson was asking about Buzz. "Buzz? Buzz?"

Eventually, we found another one, and Ryan put it in a jar. It is now Jackson's pet. He proudly carries the jar around. This one's name is Buzz too. We keep collecting Buzzes and now there are 3 in there (although I think one may be dead). We looked up and saw that ladybugs eat aphids and sometimes leaves, but we are feeding our Buzz apple peels. He is still alive, so he must be okay. Maybe he is snacking on the dead Buzz.

Jackson loves his new pet so much, he even posed with it and said "Cheese!" for me.

The best thing about Buzz is that if he dies, there are always more Buzzes, and they look exactly the same!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January in a Nutshell

Time to dust off this ol blog. I couldn't let January pass me by without updating my blog at least once.

Let's rewind a bit:

Christmas was magical. We were in Washington, and Jackson was at such a fun age. He participated in some of the festive activities this year, and it makes me even more excited for next year when he can participate even more. Ryan's parents worked really hard to make everything perfect. We were definitely spoiled.

Christmas was extra long for us this year. We got back to Georgia and had another Christmas celebration with my family. Both of my sisters and their families were in town. Jackson loved having so many kids around. He was a little overwhelmed at first, but warmed up pretty quickly.

Most recently, we have been sick with a flu. Ryan was so so sick. We were blessed that he got sick on a 3 day weekend, so he didn't miss as much school. The doctor prescribed him Tamiflu, which is supposed to reduce the amount of time you are sick, but it actually made him even more sick. He stopped taking it after a day because he was getting better anyways. Jackson, who was the only that got the flu shot, also ended up getting sick. I wasn't nearly as bad, but am still battling the body aches and overall yucky feeling.

Yesterday I woke up from a nap and felt worse than I did before the nap. I was so bummed out because I thought I was getting better. I was sick all night and was wondering how I was going to make it through today with Ryan being at school and Jackson being extra needy. We were blessed yet again when it snowed and Ryan's school got cancelled.

Ummm yes, you heard that snowed in Georgia!!! This happens once every couple years and when it happens, the whole city shuts down. Jackson LOVES the snow. He has been walking around the house saying, "Snow! Snow! Snow!" He begged to go outside on the back porch and was sooo happy when we took him "sledding".

Traffic has been crazy with everyone trying to go home and the snow still piling down. We have heard sirens all day long and hope that everyone makes it home safely.

Anyways, that is our life right now. Hopefully February brings warmer weather and healthier days.