Sunday, February 21, 2016


Hello family and friends. The day has finally come!

Shawn Stephenson and I are getting married 
on April 30, 2016 in Portland, OR!

Our Story

Shawn and I met online. Yep, you read that right! We began sending messages the week of Halloween and bonded over card games and movies. Shawn didn't waste any time and asked for my number that same week. I was a little nervous, but appreciated that we weren't going to live in the online world forever. I clearly didn't have anything to be nervous about because our first phone conversation was 6 hours long, and we've talked every day since. 

Our first date was on Saturday, November 7. Shawn lives in Sisters, OR, 3 hours from Portland, but made the drive over the Cascades, through torrential downpour, to meet me in person. We met downtown for some lunch and then spent the rainy afternoon painting little owl ornaments. We were having such a great time, that we decided to continue our date (I count the second half as our second date). After we finished our ornaments, we drove to Rainyday Games and Shawn bought me 5 Crowns, to go with the water proof cards that he brought. Because we both like to play games, he wanted to make sure we had some to play whenever he came to visit. After playing a round of 5 Crowns (12 phases), we went to see a movie. After an eleven hour date, Shawn made the drive back home. 

Our first and second dates were a success! From then on, we've taken turns making the drive through rain and snow to spend time together. Getting to Friday is always a highlight and it's always hard to say goodbye on Sunday. It was really nice to get to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years with him and his family. I appreciated getting more than 2 days at a time together and meeting all of his family, including his two boys, Josh (11) and Blake (9). 

In January, Shawn and I took a road trip for him to meet some of my family in Boise. We couldn't get everyone together, but I wanted to him to meet my parents and some of my siblings. It was really nice to see how easily he fit in with everyone.

We are still waiting on the ring to be made, but are in full swing with wedding planning. There are lots of details to coordinate, but most importantly, we are excited to start our lives together! Shawn is so thoughtful and good for me in a lot of ways. He always makes me feel special and taken care of. I am so excited to start this next phase of our journey together! 

The finished owls from our first date.

The orchids Shawn brought me on our first date.

Thanksgiving with Shawn's family

Trying to get Shawn to smile

Shawn's first cake EVER was for my birthday! He made me my favorite, chocolate & peppermint!

My test run for my snow chains. First time ever putting them on was my drive to Sisters for Christmas. I'm basically a professional now.

Christmas with Shawn's family.

Josh and Blake making a gingerbread house. Blake couldn't resist making a super cheesy face.

Getting Blake ready for sledding...trying on my snow pants. I'd say they are a little big.

Taking pictures of the ranch for his dad...why not take a selfie in the snow.

Couldn't resist a goofy face picture.

On the drive to Boise to meet some of my family.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Still Alive in Portland

Can you believe that tomorrow will be the year mark of me moving to Portland?!?! I can't. I feel like it has flown by. As we watched conference this morning, I thought, I kind of miss Utah. Then as I thought some more, I realized, not as much as I thought I would. Several times in the recent past, I have had the thought multiple times, I really like where I live.

So much has happened in this year and needless to say, I did not keep up my blog posts. So here is a random selection of highlights.

I Donated my Hair! 

I've always wanted to donate my hair but have never had it long enough to give what was required. My hair is one of my favorite features and I greatly appreciate the fact that I inherited my Dad's hair. When I first moved to Portland, I kind of felt like cutting my hair but my sister in law said she loved it long and to keep it a while longer. I decided to give it a try having LONG hair, and I actually loved it. I think it got a little out of hand. When I finally decided to cut it, I felt I could be close to the donation requirements, but worried it would have to be SUPER SHORT. I have always shied away from short hair since my 6th grade year, but really wanted to donate my hair. The hairstylist measured and I just decided to do it. Can you believe that it didn't end up being above my shoulders once I cut it?? Yeah, it was THAT long.

 I weighed it because I thought it would weigh a lot...but it didn't really. 2 3/4 ounces.
 I donated one strand and two smaller strands. It was kind of fun to see them twist. The thick one made a beautiful spiral curl.
Just to illustrate how thick all three strands put together were. INSANE!


Where is Whitney??

 So even though I have lived in Portland since October 2012, I feel that I spend very little time here. I do spend time here, but I realized lately that I have been away from Oregon one week out of almost every month. Here is the break down of where I've been this year.

October 2011 - moved to Oregon, so didn't leave once I got here
November 2011 - Thanksgiving in Seattle
December 2011 - Christmas in Seattle
January 2012 - I can't remember, but maybe Seattle, but maybe I was in Oregon this entire month
February 2012 - Long weekend in Seattle
March 2012 - Boise
April 2012 - Seattle
May 2012 - Seattle
June 2012 - Utah
July 2012 - Stayed in Oregon, but Utah friends came to visit :)
August 2012 - Boise (2x) and Atlanta
September 2012 - Syracuse
October 2012 - Atlanta and Seattle
November 2012 - ??
December 2012- ??

Kind of crazy to think about how much I have traveled this year. I'm thinking next year I will try and stay in Portland a bit more, but who knows what the future holds. :)

Family Visits

I have tried very hard to spend more time with family and I have loved it! Last year I had a goal to visit all of my family within the year. This year I have spent a lot of time with family as well, so I decided to post some highlights. Even though I sometimes want to have my independent life and struggle between single life and family life, I LOVE MY FAMILY. We have our struggles and disagreements just like every family, but at the root is love and the knowledge that we can be together FOREVER.

Most recent trip: Syracuse, NY

 Us at the Sacred Grove. So peaceful and beautiful.
 Asked not to take anything from the Grove, so had to take a picture :)
 All three of us in the Grove. 

Seattle Visits

 First ride around the hospital, quite a moment. So many more moments to follow.

 So glad we were there for this!
 Had so much fun with our tent. Love hearing his giggle.
 Before we left
 During some alone sister time.
 Took her nap on my bed while I was working one afternoon. Found her like this :)
 We worked SO hard on that cake. We had A LOT to live up to since our sister is a PROFESSIONAL at decorating cakes. That soccer ball took forever to make it look right, and yes, we colored and glued toothpicks. We were pretty proud of ourselves.
 Sure love our little train conductor!

Utah Visit


 Just like their dad :)
 Match made in heaven?!?!

Boise Visits

 FHE while watching the kids. Monopoly anyone? I forgot how long that game is.


California Visit

Me and the girls

Gotta have our upside down girls picture :)

Oh so happy!

Hawaii Visit


 Vegas Visit 

OK, none of these are in Vegas, but I did go to Vegas :) I just realized, I don't usually take pictures at home. So I used other trips to include my parents.

If you've made it this far, Congrats! I think I'm done for tonight, but hopefully I will have other fun adventures to post soon. Stay tuned and I'll try not to make you wait too long.