Monday, October 5, 2015

FHE for Two

Before my husband and I were married, we talked a lot about the importance of having Family Home Evening (FHE) in our home. We came to the realization that if we wanted to have FHE with our future kids, it was important to start now as a couple. 

In our 4 months of being married, we quickly learned that FHE with two is not always the easiest. Our desires and attempts seemed hopeless. What were we supposed to do to reach our goal?

Luckily, conference brings answers to the questions of our heart. Our answer came in one simple phrase: ponderize. 

During conference, Elder Devin Durrant invited all to choose a verse of scripture to ponderize (80% ponder, 20% memorize) each week. We realized that this invitation was the perfect solution to our FHE dilemma. 

The solution: Study a conference each week for FHE, and based on our study, choose a scripture to ponderize for the week.

Tonight was the first night of us trying this new FHE solution and it has definitely shed a new light on the beauty of FHE as a couple. I'm excited for this new learning and growing journey! 

What do you do for FHE? What have you found effective?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Our Story: David and Stephanie

David and I met in our singles' ward here in Mesa. 
He was living here for the summer, working at an internship in Phoenix, and had just moved into the ward. 
I moved back home at the beginning of the summer, and moved into his same ward just a few weeks after David. 
On my first Sunday in the ward, David just happened to pull into the parking lot at the same time as me, and say hi to me as I was walking in. I didn't think too much of it, other than the fact that he was being nice. 
I ended up sitting down in the row behind him during the first hour. 
When that portion of church was over, my friend that I was with introduced me to David and the people he was with. Once again, I didn't think too much of it because I was new, and my friend was just helping me make friends. 

About two or three weeks later, I was teaching Sunday School and David happened to be in my class. 
It was my first time teaching Sunday School, and I just remember being impressed by a guy who was with it and participating the whole time. It was David. 
after class ended, he stuck around til everyone left and then thanked me for the lesson.
At that point, i decided I wanted to know more about this guy, so I texted my friend who introduced us to find out who this guy was. 
That didn't get me very far, so I just decided to not worry about it. 

About a month later, I went to a service project for church. 
as they were organizing groups, David volunteered to be one of the drivers for a group. 
(I hadn't seen or talked to him since the Sunday School lesson)
He asked who wanted to go with him, and no one said anything at first, so I decided to be brave and volunteer. 
Best. Decision, Ever. 

One other girl ended up coming with us, but David and I were able to chat a TON during the whole service project.
It was awesome to be doing service together, and to get to talk and laugh with him the whole time. 
When we got back to the church, they were having lunch for us, so I decided to stick around. 
During this time, David and I got to chat a lot more and just have fun. 
As I was driving home I thought, "David would be fun to go out with."

About 2 hours after I got home, I received a Facebook message from David that said:
"I didn't get a chance to get your number earlier today, so I have to be lame and ask for it over Facebook."
So I gave him my number, and then he called me shortly after and asked me out to dinner for that evening. 
Our first date consisted of eating dinner and talking for 2 hours. 
I loved that we had been talking all day, and still were able to talk and laugh together that evening. 

This is from our second date!

From there, he kept asking me out, and I kept saying yes. 
We pretty much spent every day together from then on until he left for Utah, and since he has been in Utah, we talk for at least two hours every day, and have fun times when we take trips to see each other. 

I am excited for our story to continue! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The story: 
I was in the office making copies and trying to get things prepared for my substitute and my weekend trip to Utah.
While I was making copies the principal's secretary came in and said, "There's a parent by your classroom waiting to talk to you. They seem pretty angry."
So I stopped my copies and headed to my classroom and saw NO ONE! 
I was confused as to where the parent may be and had the thought that the secretary may have let them in my classroom. 
SO I peeked into my classroom, and realized the secretary wouldn't let them in my classroom without me being there, so I turned to leave. 
As I was turning to walk away, the door flew opened and a voice said, 
"Aren't you going to come in?!"

It was David!!
I was beyond excited {and surprised} to see him! 
I was flying out for his birthday the next morning, so I was surprised that he came down! 

After controlling my excitement, I was finally able to ask what he was doing there. 
Then he got down on one knee, said some sweet things, and said 
"I am here to ask you a question. Will you be my wife?"
I said yes, and he said some more sweet things.
Then he read "Oh the places You'll Go" (which is my favorite book and we read it on our second date) to me and had added an extra page with a picture of us, filled with a sweet note. 

It was the best surprise ever!!! 

I love this sweet man and feel so blessed that I get to spend eternity with him! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Because I can celebrate TODAY!

Today, through a conversation with my boss, I was reminded of this: 

So here's what I'm celebrating {TODAY}:
-I've almost made it through my first quarter of teaching 
-My students HAVE learned and progressed
-AT least once a day I hear the phrase, "I like coming to school," or "I will miss you Ms. Allred"
-In 3 short days, I will start a 9 day vacation
-In 5 short days, I will get to experience my first live General Conference 
-Through the long busy days that have ensued, I've still been able to take time to laugh and smile each day

Let's be honest, life is much more enjoyable when you {Celebrate}.
What are you celebrating today?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Insane Courage

a few years ago, I kind of became of obsessed with the movie, "We Bought A Zoo."
I loved the story, the message, and most importantly this quote from it:

As I have been reflecting on my life as of late, I can't help but to think back to this quote, 
and how true it has been. 
Many great things in my life have been the result of 20 seconds of insane courage. 

Because of Insane courage:
I have a master's degree. 
I am teaching kindergarten. 
I am in love with the man of my dreams (that story will come soon). 
I am incredibly happy with life. 

Courage is a beautiful thing! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lessons Learned in Dating: On Insecurities

Tonight, while I was on a date, I had some insight to dating and the dating process that I've seem to have never thought about in my life.

Just a quick disclaimer: I'm not a dating expert. In fact, I'm far from it. So these are just my thoughts based on experience from tonight.

The story: I went on a date with a guy tonight. During the date, we were asking each other questions...pretty typical for the first couple dates. Well, as I asked him a question. He paused for a moment and said, "this is something I am insecure about, but I'll share it anyway." He then shared a dating insecurity with me that he has.
Rewind to a few days ago: same guy and I were talking and he shared that he feels like part of finding the one we should marry comes from feeling secure in our insecurities when you are around that person. Brilliant, right?!

My insight from tonight: as I got home and reflected about tonight's date, like I always do when I get home, this thought popped into my head: Successful dating comes from understanding that we all have unique insecurities. Just like my date shared an insecurity with me this evening, I have my own insecurities as well. However, being a successful dater comes when we realize that each person has their own things they worry and stress over. Those things play a role in the dating process and relationship process. As we are able to understand one another's insecurities, we will have a greater empathy and understanding of that person.

I feel like in dating, there is a great focus on "what can I get from this?" And often times because of insecurities, and that self focus, we get frustrated during the dating process. The success comes in recognizing that there are insecurities from both people involved. As a result of recognizing, the focus should be "what can I give to help both of us overcome our insecurities?"

As was mentioned in the disclaimer, I'm not a dating expert. This was just some insight I had tonight that I felt was worth sharing.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


First off, I realize, It's not really THAT late. 
But, let's be honest, when I work and get up early, I go to bed by 10 every night. 
So, yes, in my world now, 9:20 is late. 
And yes, this post is not really planned out, so there will be ramblings. 
sorry, not sorry. 

So, today marked my official first day of work for my new career. 
Let me tell you, these past few weeks have been filled with a wide range of emotions leading up to this point. 
These emotions have not been limited to: 

IT's been a crazy journey setting up my classroom, thinking of ideas for meet the teacher night and the first week of school, thinking about my students and what kind of teacher I will be, and mentally preparing myself for this big day in which I officially start my journey as a new teacher. 

I have to admit, there have been a few times when I stopped and thought,
"Is this right in my life? Is this really where i am supposed to be?"

Side note: It is not uncommon for me to have this thought during times of big change. 
A lot of times having this thought scares me a bit though because it causes for great reflection and often times many changes that I did not expect, as I realize Heavenly Father has a different plan for me. 
So as I had this thought this past week, my mind flashed back to those instances: a broken off engagement, deciding not to go on a mission, deciding to be a teacher, ending up in graduate school, and moving to various places.  
In each of these instances,  I felt like I was striving to do good things, and then realized there needed to be changes in my plan. And each time, through all the stress and anxiety of the decision making process, I was able to see a greater vision of Heavenly Father's plan for me. 

Anyway, I digress. As you can imagine, as I've been reflecting on where I am at in my life, and having all these past instances come to mind, I have been feeling a little anxious that there might need to be some major changes in my life. 
However, it was amazing to feel all of those anxieties be ceased today. 

As I was sitting in my teacher training, in a room filled with brand new teachers, I felt this great peace in knowing this is exactly where I am supposed to be in life. 
as the presenters gave information about this coming up year, and gave advice to all of us first year teachers, all of my anxieties turned to peace and excitement. 
I feel like I was rejuvenated with this passion and excitement for my career ahead of me: something I lost sight of during the stress of prepping my classroom and preparing my meetings. 

It excites me to know that I am in a career that is dedicated to helping mold the lives of young children. 
Yes, that is a somewhat scary thought. 
But, it is also motivating to me to be the best I can be. Not only for myself, but to help my students. 
As I was sitting in these meetings, I thought back to the tender moments I had student teaching, and being a long-term substitute, and it filled me with excitement to know that I can have those experiences each day of my career. 
That is amazing! 

All in all, it just feels good to know that I am where I am supposed to be in life, and doing what I am supposed to do. I heard in a talk once, by John Bytheway that Heavenly Father wants us to make decisions in our life. 
Often times in this decision making process, He will tell us no when there is a better plan for us, and let us keep going if we are heading on the right track. 
I honestly don't know why my life has been filled with so many "no's," but I am grateful to feel that this next chapter in my life is marked with a big, 

I can honestly say Life is good. 
I am excited for this new, exciting chapter of my life!