Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Friday, February 25, 2011

Our Story: Then and Now

Then:

Mike and I met in 2003 at Graceland University in Lamoni, IA.  He was praying before his meal in our college commons and I was impressed that a big-shot football player bowed his head infront of his team mates and peers.  Ofcourse, being the outgoing girl I was, I immediately introduced myself and told him how cool I thought it was that he openly prayed before he ate.  That year we only would talk a couple more times as we didn't really hang out with the same crowd.

Mike was unable to attend GU my sophomore but, fortunately, returned my junior year.  It was this year that we would become very close friends.  I was the house president for the all female floor I lived on -- Paloma -- and my duties kept me from attending off-campus social activities.  Mike was going through a transitional time in his life.  He was reading the Bible daily and truly seeking the Lord.  Because of our circumstances we spent plenty of nights studying and hanging out in my dorm room.  That year we: spent Thanksgiving week together, went to house-sponsored functions together, prayed together, dyed his hair together, went to the library together, went to church together, watched movies together, and almost kissed.  :)  By the end of the school year, people were asking, "Why aren't you guys together?"  However, we spent the summer apart and actually dated our on and off long term significant others. 


*** May 2006.  At a Paloma "Fun in the Sun" function.  Still just friends.  :)

By the time our senior year started we both started to think about one another as more than just friends.  It only took a few weeks and Mike and I couldn't deny our intense feelings for one another.  We started dating and we both will witness to the fact that we knew from the start of our relationship that we would get married.  This being said, we spent our every free moment together -- literally.  I remember how much I missed him when he had to go to away games for football.  Mike and I first expressed we loved one another in October 2006 when I went to visit my friend, Carrie, at her University in Indiana.  I had such a good time but couldn't stop thinking and missing Mike back in Iowa.  It was so nice to finally say the words I had been feeling for the last couple of months!  That semester we enjoyed making dinners together, going to COSA events together and watching Grey's Anatomy together.  However, our grades began to suffer!  In December I flew to CA and spent 4 weeks with Mike's family while completing my middle school practicum.  It was lots of fun and I got to see how loving the Stephens' are -- which made sense because Mike was always so loving. 


***October 2006.  At a Stewart Manor function in Des Moines. 1 month into dating. 

Our last semester in college flew by as I was doing my student teaching as well as writing my senior thesis and Mike decided he wanted A+'s in every class.  Mike got a job with a company in Kansas City and shortly after I was offered a job in Excelsior Springs, MO teaching 11th graders American Government.  On May 15th 2007 Mike asked me to marry him by sending me on a walk-down-memory-lane scavenger hunt that ended with him riding up to me in a Knight's costume on a white horse!  Ya, you heard it right, a white horse! We graduated 3 days later and spent the next month in CA for Mike's brother's and best friend's wedding.  Once we got back to KC we started to wedding plan immediately because we had set the date for that October!  To say the least, the next 3 months were crazy! 


***January 2007.  At Pismo Beach, CA.  The first time I saw the Pacific Ocean.

On October 20th, 2007 (13 months after we started dating) we were married in Geneseo, IL by my father.  It was a beautiful, 75 degree day and both Mike and I will testify that the Jesus Christ was the center of the ceremony.  Our first year of marriage was incredibly busy and I'm not quit sure we were prepared for what the "real world" had to offer.  However, we managed to get by and had lots of great experiences.  We lived in a tiny 500 square foot appartment in North Kansas City enjoying its many perks such as large pool and tennis courts.  We bought our precious Sammie girl right before Christmas and fell in love with her the fist time we held her in our arms.  We traveled to Jamaica for our honeymoon that July -- it was so beautiful and such a blast.  We both changed employers and moved into my parents retirement home while they finished their last year of work in Illinois.


*** October 2007.  Our Wedding day -- a few minutes after we said, "I do."

Our second year of marriage was also busy but we were getting the hang of cohabitation and the thing our parents and teachers had warned us about -- real life!  We both had 30 minute commutes to our work places and living out in the good ol' Missoura country had its perks and draw backs.  Mike liked being able to walk around the house naked and I liked the space my parents house afforded us.  However, we both agreed that living 20 minutes from civilization sucked!  That year we: went to CA for Christmas and celebrated Mike's mom's 50th!, visited my sister and her husband in Frederick, MD, and bought our first home in Lee's Summit, MO.


***June 2008.  In front of the White House while visiting Lib and Dave in MD.

We spent the first half of our third year remodeling the home we bought.  God really blessed us in the fact that we were able to get 1/2 off the morgage through a government program for teachers called, "The Good Neighbor Next Door Program."  Remodeling was crazy and a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be.  For me, it was terrible -- I still can't look at a can of paint with out some ill-feeling.  For Mike, it was a lot of hard work, a lot of learning, and sort of an adventure -- although, I know he got sick of it too!  Fortunately, he had some good friends helping him most of the time.  In December, we moved in!  Hallelujah!  After that, we couldn't bring ourselves to do a home project for a good 6 months!  In January, we started to attack our student loan debt again and began to examine our budget for future family planning; as I was anxious to get started and had "baby fever" to say the least.  We decided to start trying that summer (2010).  I was soo excited!  Mike still had concerns, especially financial but he too was amused thinking about being a father.

***November 2009.  Taking a break from our home remodel. 

Now:
Soo...that is what we did!  Once June rolled around we started trying for a baby.  Unfortunately for us, pregnancy was not a bing-bang-boom -- you've got two lines on the pregnancy test -- kind of a deal.  In fact, it would take us 7 months to see that second line!  During that time we (especially me) had a lot of highs and lows.  However, God taught us (especially me) a lot about patience and faith in our journey to pregnancy and I am certain that it was His plan for us to get pregnant at the time we did -- December 27th to be exact.  Our 4th year of marriage started in chaos.  I was in my 4th season of coaching cheer, finishing up my masters, and worrying about my grandmother's health (She died in November -- I had the BEST grandmother anyone could ever ask for and I will forever miss her).  Mike was also busy at work closing out 3rd quarter and traveling to Mumbai, India.  We feel God knew that even though we wanted a child that it was just not the right time.  And, now I can't imagine having a baby in a month (which we would be doing if we were to have gotten pregnant that 1st month).  I am thrilled thinking Mike and I still have 7 months to prepare and enjoy just the two of us (3 if you count our Sammie girl).

*** January 1st 2011.We were 4 days pregnant in this pic and didn't even know it!  :)

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    Love,
    Libby

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