Family, History

Stepping back to 1860s: Holden, Utah

For many years, I have wanted to explore Holden, Utah a small town located just north of Fillmore, Utah along Interstate I-15. There just has never seemed to me any time, until now. I was always curious, but I recently learned Holden was the place where my great-great grandparents Joshua and Lizzie Stevens (Walter Joshua Stevens and Elizabeth Kenney Stevens) met and fell in love one hundred and fifty years ago.  Now, I had to go.

My family and I drove into the quiet town in the morning after it had snowed although it was early spring. The fields were green and still damp from the melted snow. The sun was out and the lone mountain peak to the west glowed in the morning sun.

Holden is a quiet farming town with around 250 residents. Quaint homes line the small main street with a modern town hall sandwiched in between.  It was neat to explore the streets, but I was on a mission.

Ages ago, I came across old photos of some of the homes in Holden at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. These photos belonged to Joshua’s younger sister, Abigail Stevens who was married to Brigham Young Jr. These photos were taken of homes belonging to the Stevens family:. the father, William Stevens, Walter Stevens, Sr., Edward Stevens and David Riley Stevens.   I wondered if the homes would still be standing as they were built in the last 1850s, early 1860s.

I wandered around town trying to locate these homes or the lot on which they once stood. I found one and was so excited and then I saw a man standing outside the home across the street and I talked to him.

He said his name was Edward Thomas and that he didn’t know much about the homes, but his brother, Frank who lived in the home would. I knocked on the door and was pleasantly surprised to that Frank was an artist and he knew exactly what homes I was looking for.

Frank is currently working on a painting picturing Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum as they ride away from Nauvoo to go to Carthage Jail.  Mr. Thomas is also a former army colonel and served in Vietnam and Desert Storm.

His website is…/artist-s-biography. Here are some photos of the paintings in his home.

He helped me locate the Stevens’ homes and I will forever be grateful.

walter stevens home
Walter Stevens, Sr. home, photo undated
Walter Stevens, Sr. home today

This is the home where Joshua Stevens grew up. They’ve added a porch and some of the landscaping has changed, but who thought a home built in the late 1850s would still be in such great shape? Especially with the bricks coming from local brick-kiln way back then.

Walter Stevens, Sr. home another view today
david riley stevens home
David Riley Stevens home
David Riley Stevens’ home today
david riley stevens home now
Front view of David Riley Steven’s home
edward stevens home
Edward Stevens home
edward stevens home2
Edward Stevens’ home
Edward Stevens home today


Edward Steven’s home today


This home is the William Stevens home. Walter, Sr., Edward, and David Riley Stevens’ father.


stevens family siblings

William Stevens’ children.  Back row: David Riley Stevens, Edward Stevens, William Stevens, Jr., front row: Albert Stevens, Rachel Stevens, and Walter Stevens, Sr.

Family, Motherhood

Motherhood is a Great Achievement

Today my twelve-year-old son needed help finding old photos for a class assignment. The photos celebrated certain milestones in his life from his first step and losing his first tooth to his first day fo school and his last day of elementary. As we journeyed into each photo instantly I was there again. Tears formed in my eyes. I couldn’t help it. How could twelve years have gone by so quickly? I’ve heard other mother’s say ‘enjoy them, they grow up so quickly’ and I am finally getting it. I used to think I needed to do ‘great’ things like finally finishing my novel or having a successful career in order to be ‘important, but honestly,and  I am finally realizing motherhood is and always will be my greatest achievement.

My oldest at age 4

Where has the time gone? Wasn’t it just yesterday I was holding my first baby in my arms? I looked up to my son (literally he is 5 inches taller than me now) and thought he is no longer a boy, he is becoming a man. He is a kind, respectful, smart, and talented person and I couldn’t be prouder. They always say it goes by too fast and I realized tonight it does. Too many times I have wondered over the years about my own worth because I am “just a mom” but I am my son’s mom and I have been able to enjoy each and every stage of his life.

Me and the two oldest six years ago


If I could get in a time machine now and go back to the stressed out me when he was a brand new baby I would say, “hold him a little longer for me.” Oh, how I miss his chubby cheeks and cute voice as a toddler. How he thought he was saying his name when he said, “Bobo,” but he was way off. How he loved taking baths so much he jumped into the tub with all his clothes on. How he said, “Peedow Parwkee” as really “the guy” who was Spiderman. How he would cry because he didn’t want to grow up and he wanted to always “stay little.” How he wondered why “Dount Cuckoo” (AKA Count Dooku) was so mean and could choose the dark side of the force.

“Do or do not, there is no try” -Yoda

Even as I write this, tears are falling. They are a combination of happy and sad.  I always thought I had to be making some kind of money to be “worth” something, but I can say for the first time with all the power that is in me that I am worth everything to the three boys who call me “Mom” each day.  Sometimes the endless loads of laundry and dishes get seem more important because I like things tidy, but they will always be there–always, but my “little” kids won’t be.  Each day I need to remember this and enjoy my boys with all of my heart because they are and always will be my greatest achievement. 

The Three Amigoes


Billy Dean

Let Them Be Little

I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand
Felt so good in it, no bigger than a minute
How it amazes me, you’re changing with every blink
Faster than a flower blooms they grow up all too soon

So, let them be little ’cause they’re only that way for awhile
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh, but let them be little

I’ve never felt so much in one little tender touch
I live for those kisses, your prayers and your wishes
And now that you’re teaching me how only a child can see
Tonight while we’re on our knees all I ask is please

Let them be little ’cause they’re only that way for awhile
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh, but let them be little

So innocent, a precious soul, you turn around and
It’s time to let them go

So, let them be little ’cause they’re only that way for awhile
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh, just let them be little