Friday, May 25, 2012

A teaching moment

Wow it's been forever since I've posted!!!  Sorry about that!!

As I am quickly approaching the birth of another baby and the baptism of Brendan I've hit a time to grow through struggles and to reflect and build on my testimony.  This night was one such moment.  A teaching moment in the early morning that has most likely done more for me in bringing the spirit back in my life than anything I have done on my own.  It is true that a child will lead us..........................

My Journal Entry (5/25/12) 5:10am
You never know when those teaching opportunities will come.....even at 5 am when you 10 year old son wakes from having a bad dream about the "end of the world."  Poor James was filled will such terror that he was shaking. I had the opportunity to talk to him about the coming of Christ, the Millennium, about every spirit in the spirit world getting to receive a body and the the eventual baptism of the earth by fire so that the would be changed into the Celestial Kingdom (Perfect in every way).....and about living at resurrected beings with our families forever.  After telling all this and how we don't have to worry about anything but preparing for the Savior to come again he said I'm still shaking.  I asked if he had prayed and would like to listen to music. While I went to find his MP3 player I saw him kneeling in prayer on the foot of my bed; an image to melt my heart.  Then, as I turned the music on and placed an earphone in his ear he said: "Mom, I think I know why I was suppose to have this dream."  I said, "Why?" He responded with: " I could learn more about those things." Wow!  If ever there were a manifestation of how strong these spirits are that have been sent to us now and how great a responsibility we have to put them in touch with themselves!  There is indeed no greater reward then the joy we feel as a mother when our children have these wonderful growing moments.  There is no other job I'd rather have!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Life is Crazy Fun!!! Keyword CRAZY!!!

We decided to celebrate the month of December today.....well at least Mother Nature did.  Man, snow and our poor Willow was already starting to bloom.

It's been awhile since I updated our blog so here's the rundown:

Sean's still co-chair of Safety @ UPS and driving all over the place because he's just too efficient and quick at his job. It seems like he's always the go-to guy.  But, it's work and work is GOOD!

I'm not working from home, doing some Executive Assistant work for relatively new company out of Salt Lake.  At times it's been a lot of work and at others it's just an internal struggle to hold back and not try to "fix" everything. I'm also going back to school and just completed my first course in over 10 years.  Wow, I'm a little rusty but at least I pulled off a B.  I know what you are saying right now.....I'm CRAZY!  Yes....yes I am! ;)

The second half of soccer season is now in full swing and despite James not really wanting to play anymore he stuck it out and played a mean game of defense at the first game Tuesday, without even attending a practice yet!  I think he may like it now! :)  Brendan is also getting more involved and involved in the swarm to help his team keep the ball.

School is going well for both.  James brought home straight A's. I was soooooooo PROUD!!! (It's acutally the 1st year they start giving them actual grades). Brendan has greatly improved in reading and all other aspects!  He is currently going through Speech therapy @ school and showing good signs there.

My darling Mom I'm sorry about everything!!!....I fear Jess is straight from the mold.  She is so much like me it's scary!  Although whatever shyness I experienced as a child, not 1 ounce made it into her! :)  She is DRAMA, excitement, more DRAMA, Creative, Nurturing, SMART as a WHIP, TALKATIVE, EX....PRESS...IVE and a Whirlwind of song, dance, screams and laughter!!!!!  Yep, I think she's like her MOM!  I wouldn't change her for the WORLD!!!!

Bryce is growing up and has turned into a FULL Blown TODDLER BOY!!!!  He's a lot like Brendan and collects little things almost always having a few things in her hands....from rocks, to little stuffed animals (particularly Boots, Dora & a tiger), to tuber-ware with snacks, to "Baby Dinosaur".  He too is a Chatter-box!  It's so cute!! His favorite thing to do now is "Swwing".  We set up some swings on the apple tree and he'll run like the wind to beat everyone else to the swings.  Once there he throws his belly down on the seat and runs his feet beneath him to take off like Superman.  It's so cute!!!  He'll absolutely stay there for hours!!

SO THAT'S THE RUN DOWN.  Oh, I almost forgot apart of my Student Development course I had to write an Autobiographical paper.  So, for any that are interested I've included it below.

(14 pages 1.5 spaced to be exact.  The department said they'd never received one so long...of course it may have helped if I read the instructions of "2 pages double-spaced"....oops! )

Stephanie Marie Sargeant Orullian

          One cold February morning in 1978 after many false alarm trips through parley’s canyon, I was born to Sandy and Michael Sargeant at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.  Being the first child, the first weeks were eye-opening for my parents who spent many sleepless nights battling a colicky baby. Many stories are still told about how my grandparents and my parents would take turns around the clock trying to sooth my cries.  All were quite exhausted.  I guess even a little red curl on top of my head was enough to support the reputation of a fiery red-head. 

          My first year of life continued in my parent’s apartment in Park City, UT.  According to my mother I was a pretty carefree child with big blue eyes and curly red hair, who completely melted the heart of my Grandpa Bowman.  I was referred to as his “little dolly”.  I’m sure I didn’t mind the attention.  Apparently I was a happy little baby once I got past the colicky stage.  There is even photographic evidence of sitting atop my Dad’s shoulder laughing hysterically as I grabbed huge sections of his thick 70’s hair and smothered my face in it.  Another documented incident shows me sitting on the front porch chewing on a large tomato and completely covered head to toe in the rest of the newly delivered case of tomatoes.  To this day fresh grown tomatoes are a favorite of mine.
          Shortly after I turned one, we moved into a new home my Dad built in Heber City.  This home had all the wonders of the perfect kid’s playground from an indoor racquetball court my siblings transformed into a roller skating rink, to a giant playhouse complete with swing set and sandbox.  A portion of our back yard also had a little hill which my siblings and I utilized well.  In the summer we’d set it up for slip n’ sliding and in the winter it turned into the perfect little sledding hill.  It was a wonderful paradise!  

          While in Heber five younger siblings were born.  First in line was my sister Brenda, 18 months my younger, then two years later came Jenny and finally a brother, Adam two years after that.  Many fun times were had dressing up my baby brother in dresses and makeup.  Thank goodness he didn’t take to it.  Another memory I have included my sister Brenda and me encouraging my brother to climb into the dryer for a “fun ride”.  She held down the door safety latch while I pushed the button to turn it on.  I don’t know how much he enjoyed the short rider.  My mom wasn’t too thrilled either but we reassured her that we left the dryer door open. Truthfully, the first rotation scared me so much that we immediately released the safety switch shutting off the dryer.
It’s amazing that my mother trusted us to be big sisters to two more sisters.  Two years after Adam was born, our sister Mindy came.  I remember the night clearly because we had taken a family trip to the drive-in in Springville to watch Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.  Just when it was getting good my Dad turned to us and said that we needed to leave because my Mom was going to have the baby.  The ride home through Provo Canyon was quit chilly because my mom had taken all our blankets since her water broke. Early Sunday morning my parents, who had left us with a sitter, called and told us we had a baby sister.    After Mom brought her home we forgave them pretty quickly for disrupting our movie.  Our new sister was named Melinda. Two years after that big event my sister Kelly came.  She was a beautiful baby with big dark eyes.   Brenda bonded immediately with Kelly being able to share the day of her baptismal confirmation with Kelly’s baby blessing.  

          Good times were had in Heber City by all.  Life was carefree and the neighborhood was safe.  All of us kids in the neighborhood made great memories catching frogs in the pasture nearby, hiking the hills to go tubing down the canal and playing night games practically every night throughout the summer.   My siblings and I also had a lot of fun playing at my Dad’s construction shop located right by the Heber airport. We had a blast running through the fields, having inter-tube rides attached to the snowmobile in the winter, and riding on the big construction equipment.  We even adopted a stray dog every once in a while showed up at the shop.  After we started feeding him he decided to stick around.  We always claimed he was half wolf.  He must have seemed big for us kids and may have been some kind of German Sheppard mix.  

        Every so often we would visit the Heber airport where my dad would board us on a little single propeller Mooney he bought from my grandfather.  He would take us for airplane rides or on trips to St. George to visit our grandparents. While my siblings absolutely loved the flights I developed my fears for heights and roller coasters.  I do remember a flight I thoroughly enjoyed when my grandpa took us up in the Mooney and flew us over the area where my dad was camping with the scouts.  We got to fly over and drop tootsie rolls out the little window.  That was a fun memory.  If I remember correctly the tootsie roll bag got caught in a nearby tree ripping the bag open allowing it to rain tootsie rolls near the scouts and my dad.

         It was during my childhood in Heber that I developed a love for animals.  We adopted our first stray cat Ashes when I was young.  She was a beautiful Russian Blue.  From one of her litters we got to keep a son we named Blair.  I’m not sure what happened to Ashes. One day she just didn’t come home.  Blair also disappeared. I think he ended up catching a ride in my uncle’s truck and traveling to Midway.  We never did see him again either.  Not too long after, my sister Jenny brought home a beautiful calico kitten from the neighbors. We easily succeeded in convincing my mom to let us keep her. Patches, we called her, became my best friend.  I would spend hours on the steps in the garage just petting her and talking to her.  She was always so sweet.  I think this is what started my close bond with cats.

             Not too long after my 10th birthday my dad’s construction business was struck hard by the construction drought and we decided to move to California in search of work.  We moved to Seal Beach in Southern California.  It was so different.  We felt like hicks moving to the big city. I remember people asking me where I was from because of my distinct Heber Valley accent.  I never knew I sounded different.  I started 6th grade there at McAuliffe Middle School.  Though it was really scary leaving friends behind in Utah and even more so being shy about meeting new ones, I was lucky to meet my best friend Vilita Jaramillo.  We are still good friends to this day.  

             Vilita was practically an only child, having an older sister nearly 18 years older than her.  My household was so different. I think she was awestruck by how many siblings I had.  She was welcomed quit easily into our family and came to know each member. I in turn loved how quiet her house was. Her parents were well off we loved being together and getting spoiled.  We loved spending time swimming in their pool, trying to see who could endure the sauna the longest and lounging in our swimsuits in the giant Jacuzzi tub sipping from a can of Coke.  We were the best of friends clear through middle school and on into high school. 
          It was toward the end of middle school that my mom had my 6th sibling Rebecca. My poor brother Adam was heartbroken it was another girl, but he warmed up to her once she was brought home.   I remember my mom bringing her to school so I could show her off.  As you can imagine all the girls my age where so enthralled and flocked around her to grab her little hands and coo at her.

           About a couple years after Becca was born our family embarked on two new adventures.  We moved from a 4 bedroom 2-story house to a 2 bedroom condo in Los Alamitos, which was only a couple of miles away.  There in the shopping complex right by the condo my parents opened a candy shop we named Sweet Reflections. About nine months later my baby brother Nathan was born, completing our family of 8 kids.  Many days were spent walking the party lot by our gated community to the candy shop where my sister Brenda and I took turns helping to run the store and helping to watch our younger siblings.  

          We had a blast running the candy shop.  The free samples of candy and unlimited frozen yogurt were an added bonus. One of our favorite things to do was to dance to oldies tunes as we closed up the shop.  We also thoroughly enjoyed singing at the top of our lungs to Harry Conick Jr. around Christmas time.  Christmas was so fun and festive at Sweet Reflections.  Unfortunately, with reconstruction of the parking lot and struggling chain stores in the shopping complex we had to close the door after only a few years in business.  Fortunately we were able to take with us fun memories and good job experience.  My two youngest siblings who practically grew up in the shop also took with them a mouthful of cavities. 

          A year a two before we were forced to close the shop we moved from the small condo into a home in Garden Grove, about 8 miles away.  We started going to a new ward and stake, but were still able to attend school in Los Alamitos. It was in this home on Emerald Street that I turned sixteen, got my own room (setting it up in the garage), had my first date and many after that adopted another calico kitty I called “Miss Kitty”, started my first “real” job at Dairy Queen, went to prom and graduated from high school. 

             My high school years were chalked full with academics, performance choir, early morning seminary, and jobs.  I also became more involved in my ward and stake, taking on youth leadership roles, planning service projects and helping to organize youth conferences.  It was at one of these youth conferences that my sister Brenda and I met a group of guys that we formed strong friendships with that are still intact today.  One of those guys is now my brother-in-law, Brenda’s husband.  Although church activities and dances were a blast with our group of friends and high school was okay too; I looked forward to the day that I could turn in my application to go to BYU.  Although years had passed since I left Utah and I was well adjusted to California life, I still yearned to go to the alma mater my parents often spoke of throughout my childhood.

             Come senior year I waited on pins and needle to hear from BYU.  Finally, the letter came and I was heart-broken and upset. I was so upset I ripped the acceptance letter up into tiny pieces.  My acceptance was conditional.  Although I had developed plenty of leadership skills in my activity on the youth stake committee; one semester in my freshman year at school and average ACT scores required me to attend summer school in order to continue on into the fall semester.  After some time to calm my nerves and a caring mother beside me, I taped the letter back together and decided that it would be okay.  I got in and that was all that mattered.  It was an extremely fast jump from high school to college. After graduating on a Thursday we had leave immediately after I got home from the all night Senior Night at the school to get me to BYU on time for the summer term starting the following Monday.  

             Despite the lack of sleep, I remember the trip being so exciting.  I couldn’t believe I was going to BYU.  A couple of friends from high school and my old Seal Beach ward were also following me to BYU. One was actually the guy I crushed on all through middle school and high school.  Thank goodness my crush didn’t scare him off and we were still able to be friends. Another schoolmate also ended up coming to BYU although he wasn’t a member.  He went to BYU on a full-ride quarterback scholarship.  His name was Kevin Federick.  He really didn’t know me and I was okay with that.

             Summer term started with saying good-bye to my mother in the parking lot at Deseret Towers.  I think she had a harder time then I did because she said she cried the whole trip home to California. During summer term I lived in S-Hall with a tall, blond, skinny California girl named Emily.  She was so sweet and oblivious to the drooling guys around her.  We had so much fun that summer, meeting boys, spelunking, having campfires up the canyon with a bunch of friends and singing on Sunday night’s in the tunnel by the Marriot Center.  We were two California girls having a blast. Although, I did spend a great deal of time consoling the poor guys she left in the dust.  Sometimes I think it’s just as hard if not harder for guys to get the clue when a girl is just not interested in them.  It was a wonderful summer!

              Once fall started I moved to U-haul and roomed with a girl named Rozalyn from Portland, Oregon.  Wow, we were so different.  We managed to get along okay but I bonded more with the groups of girls on my floor.  We were in BYU 81st ward which I think was the strongest, most close knit ward that ever was or will be at BYU.  It was truly an amazing experience!  I got to witness the strength of all when the ward as a whole held a special fast for my dad who was without work and in desperate need to find some.  I couldn’t believe how willing everyone was to do this for me and my family which they had never met.  It was a beautiful thing I will never forget.  

              While my parents struggled at home, I struggled to keep up with paying for school taking on early morning custodian jobs. One of those jobs landed me at the Beane Museum at 5am. I so grateful for that experience now because it’s so fun being able to show my own kids around the Beane Museum where I spent many early mornings cleaning.  I particularly like telling my boys about the room with hundreds of giant cabinets with thousands of drawers of insects in them.  It was such a creepy experience having to go into that pitch black room nearly a football field in length.  While most of the specimens were dead, there were still some live ones waiting to be pinned. Yuck, I shiver now just thinking about it!

             After winter semester I moved south of campus and continued into spring semester.   After spring semester and a full year of schooling straight out of high school, I was ready for a break.  I decided focus on work for awhile.  I ended up getting a couple different jobs in the typical call center environment of Utah Valley; one at Sears Teleservice and another at a survey calling company.  I didn’t enjoy either but I can chalk it up to experience and a little extra dough in my pocket.  

            Come fall I returned home to California for a little time to get reacquainted with my friends and family. Fun times were had going to young adult dances every weekend, random trips to the beach, hanging out at Disneyland hotel (before California Adventure or the multi-level parking was constructed), going to amusement parks and dating around.  It was during this time that I meet one of my best friends Brian Hand.  He was a relatively new convert and together we had a single goal to help my sister Brenda come back to church and a gospel centered life.  We did a lot together, Brian, Brenda and me.  

             During my stay at BYU my parents had moved a few streets away to a house in Cypress.  It was there that our little group of friends, minus the ones on missions, spent many late nights watching movies or just sitting around talking, raiding the fridge and laughing hysterically. We attended Cypress singles ward together and Institute which was located right across from Cypress Community College.  Brian at the time was the Institute president and really helped incorporate my sister and me into all the institute activities.

              A little over a year later I decided it was time to go back to BYU.  Brian, whom I was now dating, drove me with a friend back to Utah.  It was an awesome and emotional trip.  He still needed to serve a mission before he reached the cutoff and I still needed to go back to BYU.   After taking me to my new place, Brian and I said goodbye.  It was a very difficult departure being just the beginning of a romantic relationship but also having to leave my best friend.   I think somehow both of us knew things were going to change so it also was like saying goodbye for good.  

              We were right things about things not working out.  He decided to explore France and some feelings he had for an exchange student following her home and spending a few weeks in Paris. I always knew he wanted to travel the world so I didn’t object but with this decision I knew it was over between us.  It was absolutely heartbroken. The damage was already done even though he returned home having found out that it wasn’t at all that he thought it might be.  We did remain good friends never the less, but took separate ways down the dating road. 

              While living in a condo north of BYU campus I was introduced to Mary Kay Cosmetics.  I’d always struggled with my skin and the drying affects of Retin-A, and so I was elated when I discovered that their skin care line helped clear up my skin making it soft and beautiful.  I was sold.  Having an entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to become an Independent Beauty Consultant.

               In the spring I moved into Stadium Terrace and decided to give the Mary Kay career my all.  I was a very successful consultant.   It forced me out of my comfort zone by meeting new people and presenting to relative strangers. Through this experience I learned I could be independent and confident.  At that time I was looking good, having become a vegetarian a year before and shedding the “freshman fifteen”. I was also feeling good finding strength in independence and being confident.  Unfortunately, I had a serious lesson to learn about finances. I had purchased the majority of my large inventory on credit which added up to nearly $10,000 of debt and no additional income.  I spent all my money on bills, food and product without any sustainable client base to reorder.  I quickly realized the importance of avoiding debt, paying your debt down, and reinvesting in your business. 

              This cruel but important lesson forced my hand in seeking other employment at the new Dillard’s opening at the Provo Towne Center.  While my job as a sales associate helped a little I felt I was still drowning in debt.  It was with a heavy heart that I decided to return home to my parents, sell back my inventory and get a full time job to pay off my debt.  It was a tough lesson to learn but a good one.  I was able to get a job working at Robinson’s May in the local mall because of my experience at Dillard’s.  Through hard work, credit counseling and the support of my parents I was able to pay off my debt in just over a year, buy a car and get promoted to one of the youngest department heads (only 19 years old).  I know it was both my experience with Mary Kay and Dillard’s that helped me move quickly up the ladder and into a prestigious leadership role with comfortable wages for a single girl.   

              Things were looking good in my life but I still hadn’t found the guy I wanted to marry. Brian was now on a mission and had a girlfriend so any future that might have been explored was on hold.  I did date around a lot and had a few serious relationships but they never worked out. With my financial life in order I turned my focus to my inner self and the childhood trauma locked away inside.  I wanted to become the best me and hoped in doing so I would find a wonderful man who was working to be the best him.  I sought counseling through LDS Social Services.  It was there unbeknownst to me that I met my future father-in-law.  

             He helped me work through various issues and find healing and joy through the atonement. As a bonus I learned a little bit about my counselor’s son, Sean.  I learned he’d had also gone through a tough breakup at the same time I had.  That he too was struggling with the dating game and wanted to get married.  I found out that he was up at BYU so I decided to look up his information through the student directory and send him an email.  Low and behold he got my email despite rarely using his BYU email and not being an enrolled student at the time.  He was a little surprised getting an email from a total stranger; but luckily that didn’t scare him off.  

           We emailed back and forth and gradually moved on to phone calls when we finally decided to meet.  The day before my cousin’s wedding I flew up to Utah and meet Sean in the early morning hours.  He absolutely and literally took my breath away standing in the doorway of my cousin’s home.  If it weren’t for the cat that tried to make a break for the door, which Sean quickly grabbed, I’m afraid that awkward eye-locked moment may have gone on a little longer.  We began our marathon date at 6:00 am with baptisms at the Provo Temple.  From there we went back to his apartment where he made us breakfast.  Breakfast was followed by strolling around Provo Towne Center looking at the Christmas decorations.  We talked and hung out never skipping a beat.  Later that evening we went to dinner at Brick Oven.  By then I had already grabbed his hand.  He now says that my forwardness scared him, but I think he liked every bit of it.  After dinner we returned to his apartment to watch the movie Hello Dolly.  After a wonderful date with wonderful conversation and great company he took me home to my cousin’s home around midnight.  There on the front steps he gave me big hug goodnight.  I went into my cousin’s house and rushed to her bedroom, and exclaimed “he didn’t kiss me!” Groggy- eyed she looked at me and asked, “what and that’s a good thing?”  I cried, “Yes, he didn’t even try to and I almost every guy I’ve date had kissed me on the first date.”  She rolled over and calmly said, “Steph, that’s great but I’m getting married in the morning. I need to get some sleep.”  I humbly apologized and wished her good night.  I knew at that point that Sean was different and I might just marry him.

              Fast forward two months, a couple “I love you”s, a couple plane trips and shopping trip to Fred Meyer Jewelers and I had moved back to Provo as I anxiously anticipated a proposal.  A couple weeks into January and Sean started off my morning by giving me a single rose. Periodically throughout the day I found another rose for me.  Later that night he took me to a BYU basketball game and gave me more roses but did not propose. I grew very anxious.  Immediately, after the game when went to dinner; again another rose but no proposal. Finally, he blindfolded me and drove me around for while then stopped the car. As I sat in the front seat still blindfolded I heard him get out of the car and mess around in the trunk.  Finally he came around to my side and helped me out of the car.  I felt the slight incline of a rocky road and wondered “where in the world were we”.  He then took off my blindfold. I looked around and saw him on one knee with more roses and a ring box in hand parked on the side of a road.  He them told me to turn around and there behind me was the Timpanogos Temple.  It was beautiful! I started to tear up as I turned back to him.  He proceeded to read a poem to me about first love and growing old together sobbing as he read.  This brought on more waterworks for me.  There we were both sobbing and trembling as he asked me to marry him.  I of course said, “Yes!”  It was beautiful and so heartfelt.  I loved it!

         Fast forward four moves, one BYU graduation, four kids, three cats, two dogs and a bunny later and you get to us who just celebrated our 11th Anniversary.  It wasn’t quite the big-to-do that the proposal was, but that’s what four kids and eleven years does to you; makes you happy just to get out of the house together, alone.  We celebrated this year’s Anniversary by returning to Brick Oven; the scene of the crime.  We talked about that first date and how I stared so intently at him that it made him nervous.  I still think he enjoyed every minute of my full undivided attention.  Heaven knows it doesn’t come often now. 

             We are very blessed to reside in Orem, UT near the shadow of our alma mater where we can carry on the tradition to our beautiful children: James 8 years, Brendan 6 years, Jessica almost 5 and Bryce 2 years old.  They are the joy of our lives and as true blue as their parents and both our parents before us.

Monday, January 31, 2011

This touched my heart

This is why we are here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Blog

So I've collected little motherhood tidbits from my posts and thrown in others some from friends and created Adventures in Motherhood

Check it out and
send me your funny motherhood stories / comments to post.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Adventures in Motherhood, Part 2

Breakfast = the aftermath of a hurricane where the ocean is made of juice and the trees of cereal

Fun times! :)