Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon
There is no need to fear big.  The only thing to fear is living small,
and thereby robbing yourself of hope and opportunity. Living 
small often leads to desperation, starving our lungs of oxygen and
making it difficult for us to belt out that song we have to sing.
from: Put a Cherry on Top
by: Ben Behunin

Families are  amazing and such a vitalizing and fruitful thing!! Everywhere I turn I see beautiful people that I love!!
THis week I've been thinking about you Stephen, my dear nephew-in-law. Its been fun to ponder your life...what little I know of it..and to come up with lists of things I love about you.  Granted, I dont know you well...but yet my list has grown.
First off Im going to rant a bit about those that profess that living in California might make one soft.  Whatever does that mean!!!!?? I thought soft was a good thing is this tough, hard knock world!!??
Just because its temperate...
because you dont have to fight the elements...
because plants spring up and thrive all year round...
because the ocean is close by to loll one into a state of Zenful peace...
because windows stay open and breezes ruffle the curtains..
because anything goes..and no one cares ....which I believe is a good thing...
Anyone who wants this, dreams this, is this, longs for this, is alright with me. And I happen to know that you do indeed want this again. Who knows if we'll ever have our desires fulfilled...but California dream'in is alright with me!! Anyone who loves the beach as much as also alright with me!!
You are a California beach bum without the bum, but with added  panache!!
You are a man who'd give you the shirt off your back, plus your wetsuit AND  throw in your  surf board too..if I needed it. You'd bend over backwards to be sure I was  happy. Thats just the way you are!!

Stephen, you're a teenager in a mans body...with a heart as big as California. Please do not be offended by this comparison I make of you resembling a teenager...for in your  case its  a great thing!! Your spirit will never grow old! Oh what a blessed gift that is. I read book after book on how to help this be in my life...and to you it just come natural! Oh how I envy this in you my  friend.
Should anyone  be lucky enough to watch you in the kitchen...bare footed and blissful as you make breakfast or the best Lasagna I've ever eaten, they'd know what I mean by teenage spirit!!  You love learning how to make food healthy and delicious and sharing it with those that visit!! In fact, I learned something from you that we now apply in our own kitchen...instead of using Mozzarella for melty deliciousness...use Monterrey Jack!! Its so much better!!!
You are the most empathetic man I know as well. You seem to easily place yourself in anyone's shoes and feel what they are feeling...and then know how to help. I've seen you do this with your beautiful wife, and with your gaggle of boys and dear Dasiy. You've done it to me and to most of my family...and you and they may not even know that  thats whats happened...but its there!!  What a gift my friend!!
Oh how you try and try to get 'it right' my friend. Please know that you already do have it right!!  Please let your Peter Priesthood complex wash away with the Pacific tides. There is no such thing as perfection...thank heavens!! Continue to be just you!! You is what we love best!!! Peter Priesthood is boring. You are not!! Let Peter Priesthood look down his perfect nose...and you keep doing what you do best..and thats being you with a heart of gold!! We are all so very lucky to call you family my friend!!
You and beautiful Jenny are my version of perfection...with all the imperfections that none of us can escape...but you are  making it into something wonderful and better than the 'norm.'
If I had to reduce my remarks about you down to a few sentences, I would lead a creative life and for that I will envy you till the day I die!! I will be looking to you for inspiration, for this is what I love the most about you and people like be young and vibrant at matter the age or circumstance!!
Keep living the dream my friend...whether in California, Utah or wherever the tide takes you!!
Love YOU!!!
Stephen...Jenny said that you dont like this picture!! Are you nuts!!!??? There is no better smile and no better hair on the planet earth!!!  GQ should be banging down your door!!! Love you!!

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