I love this girl. I’m so excited for you to meet her. I met Becca several years ago when she moved to North Carolina, where Matt and I were living at the time. She spoke in Stake Conference and I just knew I liked her. We got to know each other, and I was right. She’s awesome. Blog friends, meet Becca (I stole this picture from Facebook):
Hey there. This would be Becca, and we’re here to talk about Stephanie. Oh wait. Shoot. No. I’m supposed to… say something… about myself. Let’s see. Well, I’m 31 years old. I grew up in Salem, Utah, famous for the freakish carp in it’s pond and not much else. I spent most of my growing up years gazing over distant horizons and dreaming of being somewhere, anywhere far away. As soon as humanly possible.
Fast forward 14 years, an associates degree and bachelor’s degree later, and you can now find me living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Very glad to be a returned missionary (Zurich, Switzerland mission). Married to the man I adore more than anything (3,049 days into our ever after). We have 3 Kids. I love planning trips, taking trips, taking naps, dabbling in graphic design, planning weddings, homeschooling, reading multiple books at a time, and trying to keep up with Steph’s Conference Book Club. Oh. And I teach 14 ten year olds in primary. So, factor that in.
What’s your favorite part of motherhood?
Um, my kids are? I mean, really. Subtract the messes and the whining and you have these people who are just the most amazing people in the world. If I sit back and watch them, I can’t believe that I get to live with these children. And I see their weaknesses and their flaws (which makes me realize that they certainly see mine), but it’s also such a party to watch them come into their own. We laugh a lot. Plus, we have dance parties with our kids all the time and they are our favorite thing ever. You haven’t lived until you’ve danced to Shakira on New Year’s Eve with your 6 year old.
My favorite completed goals…
I. Drinking hot chocolate in the Alps, in January.
II. Seeing the sun rise over the Atlantic and set over the Pacific on the same day.
III. Getting married in the temple.
The thing I regret not doing the most? Going to BYU Jerusalem. (It was cancelled the semester I was supposed to go, but just the same.)
The goal that I’m currently working on: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (tentative 2013 climb)
Brag for a minute. Do it. What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?
Dreaming. I am a dreamer. And a planner, when it comes to events, holidays, birthdays, etc. I’m not particularly “crafty”, but I love anything that’s beautiful, and I find that the beauty of any special day is in the loving details. I love teaching Relief Society, and public speaking is fun. I can be pretty laid back which, with homeschooling, is a really good thing. I really try not to take life too seriously. And I’m finally good at making my own bed, so that’s a big accomplishment.
What are you loving lately?
Cinderella pumpkins. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Mosiah. Milk chocolate chips (normally, I like dark chocolate.) Cinnamon Chex. Birthdays. The book Johnstown Flood by David McCullough. NPR. My youngest when she says “UGH” to herself. Pinterest. Lists, apparently.
What do you gravitate toward during your unscheduled time?
Oh lawsie—SLEEP. I wonder if there will EVER BE A TIME when I’m not exhausted. I tell my spouse, on a fairly regular basis, that when I die he is not to disturb me for 1,000 years. My idea of heaven is a big huge bed with a down comforter, fluffy pillows, and a cool breeze.
Tell us some of your best mom-tricks (things you’ve figured out that work well for you).
*A package of new bandaids will keep a toddler really busy on long car trips.
*Celebrate Thanksgiving. Really. Make it a whole month of real, honest service and gratitude. Your Christmas will be a million times better.
*Use the phrase “In our family…” I find that it works better than just “Don’t hit!” If I say “In our family, we are kind to each other. That means we don’t hit” it seems to work better. (I can’t remember where I read that. Somewhere.)
*Get out, alone, one night a week, for at least two hours. Recommended by my ob/gyn for postpartum depression and I swear by it.
If you were in charge of a girls’ night out, what kind of activity would you love to plan?
Now, I’m an event planner, so this is going to sound odd, but really? Some of my most meaningful “night out” moments have happened just chatting in a car as I’m being dropped off. Those really incredible, heart-connecting talks where both people feel really understood and loved. In an Ensign article in 2001, Elder Maxwell said “How wonderful it is (and we’ve all had these experiences) when we can gather in circles of friendship large or small with shared gospel values. Sharing is like gathering around conversational bonfires that grow warm and bright against the horizon. You will find the memories of those bonfires achieve a lastingness—not because of what you wore or what the menu was, but rather because of the shared expression of love and testimony.” I have found that I crave that. So, as impossible as it would be, if I could plan a night out, it would be filled with *real* conversation.
What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?
This year, after some real soul searching, I have gained an incredible testimony of the sacrament. I never realized before how INCREDIBLE it was, or what power it could have in my life if I’d let it. So that’s been a big, defining thing that’s pretty recent. I have a testimony of Heavenly Father, and that He has a plan for my life. Interestingly, some of my greatest gospel struggles have to do with being a woman and a mother, but it is my past experiences with Him that help me to have faith through those struggles. I love the Book of Mormon, and find great motivation in it to do better and be better. I’m currently working to deepen my understanding and build a better testimony about charity.
Let’s say you’re dying in your sleep tonight. What would you eat for your last meal?
I would have real Swiss food. Zopf (braided bread) with some of their hard cheese from the Alps. A real salad made by a Swiss mom—it knows no comparison. And Lindt’s Christmas chocolate: cinnamon coriander. You can’t buy it here.
What homemaking job/task gives you the most satisfaction?
Creating traditions and holidays, which includes how I decorate my house. The chance to make things magical for my kids brings me a lot of joy. Along with that, I love creating a Sabbath atmosphere in my home on Sundays. My Mom always put a nice tablecloth on the table with a picture of the Savior, then turned on soft music. That was what I remember waking up to, every Sunday of my life. I’m working to find my own way to provide that experience in my home, and feel really happy when I’m able to have a good Sabbath with my kids.
What’s something unexpected in your life, and how have you dealt with it?
So many parts of motherhood have been unexpected for me, but my biggest trials have all had to do with pregnancy. To date, I have had one text-book pregnancy, one very complicated bed-rest pregnancy, one second trimester miscarriage, and a baby who came so fast she was born on the couch and then spent 2 weeks in the NICU, all of them followed 6 months later by post-partum depression. Awesome. As I’ve tried to make some sense of the “WHY” to all of that, and dig deep for the faith to have the two more kids we feel we’re supposed to have, the temple has been absolutely crucial for me in holding on to a bigger picture perspective. I know Heavenly Father loves me, but He is also asking me to make some real sacrifices. I will admit that there have been moments and even months when I have had to struggle and wrestle with that. Times of anger and sorrow—even times when I just plain told heaven that I didn’t want to hear it, thankyouverymuch. But there have also been great blessings. I’m not through this yet. It is definitely a work in progress. But, yes. The temple is what has helped me to make the most sense of it.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Would it be really bad to admit that I think the song “When Will My Life Begin?” from Tangled is every stay-at-home mom’s theme song??? For real. Go listen to it and tell me I’m wrong.
Tell us about your blog.
Oh man. Well, my blog is a real work in progress, but I try to keep it real. www.fairanddelightsome.blogspot.com. I named it “Come What May and Love It” before Elder Wirthlin’s talk ever became a vinyl saying to stick on your wall. *grin* I just try to share the funny little things that happen that no mom dares admit. I feel like, if nothing else, my purpose in life can be to show other people that at least their life isn’t as redneck as mine.
I told you she was cool. Thank you, Becca. Please say hi to her here either here or on her blog.