February 28, 2014

Stella's Steps

Stella will be walking soon! She took about 7 steps today from our loveseat to the desk without any assistance! Of course, the camera was not rolling at the time, but I was fortunate to see it with my own eyes. I tried over and over to recreate the moment for the camera, but did not have much luck. Here's the best video I was able to get:

Also, here's a sweet video of Stella and her dog, Blu:

February 27, 2014

National Strawberry Day

According to our J.M. Smucker wall calendar, today is National Strawberry Day. Stella wanted to celebrate by dressing up! 

National Strawberry Day

Truth be known, this was just an effort to squeeze every last bit of use out of Stella's strawberry costume from October. We love our little Stella-berry!

February 26, 2014

Trunk Peek-A-Boo

Here's a video of Porter and Stella enjoying a nice game of trunk peek-a-boo. The last few seconds are the best!

February 23, 2014

Ready to Swim

Porter's new swim trunks, rash guard, and sandals came this weekend. Here's hoping for the sake of us all he'll get to wear them soon!

Let's Go Swimming!

February 21, 2014

Mixing Things Up

Here are my future chefs getting their mix on!

Stella's Dream Realized

After discovering that the bathroom door was open, Stella seized the opportunity to finally dismember a roll of toilet paper. This has been one of her lifelong dreams.

Stella: 1, Toilet Paper Roll: 0

Check out the footage of Stella's victorious conquest:

Porter, The Porch Sweeper

Porter has declared himself our official porch sweeper. If any porch sweeping is to occur, he is the one to do it... whether you like it or not!

Porch Sweeper Porter

February 15, 2014

Cleveland Children's Museum

Today, we took the kids to the Cleveland Children's Museum in celebration of Stella's birthday on Tuesday. Not only were all four members of the Stephen clan in attendance, we were also blessed to have Grandma Kaye, Parker (that's what Porter named his Grandpa Frank), and Grandma Bev along for the ride.  

Stella at the Cleveland Children's Museum

Of all the exhibits at the museum, the Big Red Barn section was our baby girl's favorite. Here's a video of Stella taking her brother on a ride in the tractor:

February 14, 2014

Babies are Well

The babies had their well visits today, and all was well! Porter is 3'5" tall (73rd percentile), has a weight of 36 pounds (61st percentile), and his BMI is in the 37th percentile (which according to the doctor is excellent).

Porter & Stella Well Visits

Stella is 28.74 inches in length (35th percentile), almost 19 pounds in weight (34th percentile), and has a head circumstance of 45 centimeters (52nd percentile). Her Valentine's Day could have been better though. She had 2 shots in one leg, one shot in the other, and a finger poke in order to draw blood. Although painful, her blood work was perfect. Praise God!

February 11, 2014

Birthday Lovin's

Daddy was excited to get home from work so he could give his birthday girl some lovin's!

Daddy & His Birthday Girl

Check out the video below:

Happy 1st Birthday, Stella!

In celebration of your first birthday, here's a look back at the first 12 months of your beautiful life:

Happy Birthday to My Baby Girl

My precious little baby girl,

I’m so thankful we have been blessed to have been chosen to be your parents. You have brought an abundance joy, peace, and love into our family. This past year has gone so quickly. It just seems like a few weeks ago we brought you home from the hospital. You, like your brother, have a loud voice commanding attention. You've had a strong desire to be held, carried, played with, and loved on.

Stella Opal Stephen

You have fit so well into our family. You've kept us on our toes with your curiosity. You are totally captivated by your brother and laugh at him being silly. He, unlike your mom and I, can sooth you in your worst melt downs. It warms my heart to watch the bond between the two of you grow.

It is so interesting to watch you develop into a young lady. Your personality is very clear. You are warm and sensitive, caring and sincere. You are very clever and sweet. You have the ability to light up any room you enter. You are such a happy little person that people want to be near you. You have a smile that makes even the worst day at work seem insignificant. God has wrapped you in beauty both inside and out.

Our family is now complete and we are just at the beginning of a long and exciting journey. Just remember, I will be here for you the whole way and you will always be daddy’s little girl.

I love you with all my heart,

February 8, 2014


Brian is blessed! For the last year and a half, he has had the honor of managing an exceptional team in Smucker's Customer Service Department. Recently, they gave him a gift card for Olive Garden (yummy goodness), a bottle of wine (all of which we thoroughly enjoyed), and this beautiful, custom bottle charm that we just adore. 

The Stephen Clan Wine Charm
The elements used in this digital scrapbook creation can be found in Creashens and Erica Zane's "Counted" design kit.

Although we're excited for Brian's transition into Supply Chain Planning, his team in International and Smucker Natural Foods will be dearly missed.

February 6, 2014

The Incredible Hawk

Brian and I had an incredible experience this afternoon. We got to see a hawk up close in our neighbor's front yard!

Hawk in Orrville

The hawk had just caught a squirrel and was trying to enjoy the fruit of its labor. However, with multiple people (including Brian and myself) gawking at it, he or she decided to take its meal to-go and flew away. It was amazing (although the squirrel may have had other sentiments)! 

Incredible Hawk

Not a Bad Way to Come Home

This is how Stella greets Daddy when he comes home from work. What a lucky guy!

Stella Waiting at the Door

Matisse in the Making

Here is Porter's most recent work of art. With his use of color, he may be a Matisse in the making!

Porter and His Art

February 5, 2014

Knock Knock with Stella

Poor, Stella! She keeps knocking, but her Daddy and brother aren't coming!

February 1, 2014

East Liverpool

Today, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the C.C. Thompson House in East Liverpool, Ohio. The house is utterly extraordinary! Not only is it exceptionally well-maintained, it is also full of beautiful artifacts and interesting stories. 

C.C. Thompson House in East Liverpool, Ohio

The house was built by Cassius C. Thompson in 1876. Cassius was the founder of Thompson Pottery, a well-known ceramics business in East Liverpool from 1868 until 1938.

C.C. Thompson House

After visiting the Thompson House, I headed over to the Museum of Ceramics that is located only a few blocks away. From 1840 until 1930, East Liverpool was considered "The Pottery Capital of the Nation" by its large number of potteries producing over 50 percent of America's entire ceramic output. Although there are only 3 active potteries left in East Liverpool, the city does have a rich and interesting history worth exploring.

Museum of Ceramics in East Liverpool, Ohio