Saturday, August 16, 2014


I'm not a regular "Throwback Thursday" participant, but a few weeks ago I posted this #tbt photo to Instagram. It's a photo of me and my oldest friend, Brandi. We are sitting on her front porch on College Street on a summer day, drinking Kool-Aid through heart-shaped straw-glasses. She's wearing a jumpsuit and I'm wearing denim on denim, of course a million sizes too big. I'm not exactly sure how old we are but, based on my hair, I would guess this is the summer between 4th and 5th grade.

A few nights ago I was scrolling through my Instagram feed (oh please, you do it too) and stopped on this picture. I stared at it for a while and tried to remember this version of myself. 

What filled her days? What thoughts rattled around in her mind? What did 9 year old Stephanie imagine her 31 year old life would be like? Am I living up to those expectations?

As I stared at this photo, I started to cry. I couldn't remember enough about 9 year old Stephanie to be able to answer those questions. But the tears that filled my eyes were proud tears - like the kind that inevitably come as I'm watching a runner push themselves during a race or when I hear the collective roar of a crowd applauding a job well done - as I had decided this: 

That 9 year old girl would be pleased with where I've taken her so far. 

I think I have exceeded her expectations. I don't think she had even heard of Seattle, let alone thought that one day she'd call it home. She definitely had never imagined that companies would give her millions of dollars and ask her to recommend how best to spend it on promoting their brand (and that when she did, they'd actually listen to her). She may have thought she'd have a family of her own, but I think she'd be pleased with the people she is surrounded with that love her like family.

It also filled me with hope for the future. If so much has happened that 9 year old Stephanie could never have dreamed of, then what amazing things are in store that 31 year old Stephanie can't imagine?

I look forward to finding out.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

what would my voice over say?

I just started watching Vampire Diaries tonight (Are you embarrassed for me? Don't be. From what I've seen so far, it has all the makings of the perfect kind of terrible television I like.) and as they were both voicing over their journal entries I, again, felt that longing to have a record of the humdrum of my life. I feel like personal blogging is so 2008 - if you don't have a child and aren't posting photos of what you're wearing each day, no one cares - but I'm attempting to rededicate myself.

Now that all of the drafts have been rescued from the Island of Misfit Posts, the next step is to start writing about the present. I should have plenty to say as 2014 has been a doozy so far.

blue-eyed girl. (2012)

Why can't I ever remember my eye color?
Blue. My eyes are blue.
But somehow I'm still always shocked when I notice them in photos.


[2014: Another post where I can't imagine where I was going with it and completely understand why I never published it. BUT, this is still true. I'm 31 years old and I typically can't remember the color of my eyes. I should probably be worried.]

Too Cool For School (6.10.08)

Lately I've noticed that some people are just too cool for certain things. I know, I know...I'm always complaining about something, but I can't help it. I like to observe and I have strong opinions about things that don't matter.

A few examples....

1. Not using an umbrella when it's clearly raining hard enough to justify it.
2. Crossing the street 3 seconds before the sign changes to WALK.


[2014: Now I know why I never posted this as it is possibly the most boring thing I've ever written. I blame it on 2008, however, I have no excuse for why I'm still choosing to post it now.]

seventy five and sunny. (11.1.11)

I talked to my parents this evening. They were in their car (roadtripping it.) and I was in my car on my way home from work (hands free, of course). I was asking about the weather conditions for their travel and they mentioned that it had been 75 degrees at dinner time. SEVENTY FIVE. For the record, I had to scrape my windshield this morning.

But that's not the point.

They talked about how it had been quite warm during the day. So warm, in fact, that my mom had to take her jacket off.
Over her head.
While driving.
And my dad had to take the wheel.

Seems simple enough, but I guarantee you it was not.

And the way I imagine it all going down in my head makes me laugh.

Cheers to fun parents.


[2014: Another conversation I have no recollection of, but the mental image that description conjured up made me giggle out loud. I can only imagine. Also, my sunglasses in that picture? WHHHYYY?]


I left my house at 9:45am this morning and walked back through the door at 11:30pm. I was supposed to go to a social gathering tonight, but didn't, and was feeling a bit guilty about it. But I had just been at my office for 10 hours. On a Saturday. And I hadn't eaten in 11 hours. Not even Diet Coke!

tired + hungry = worst possible combo

I was chatting with a friend about why I didn't make it to the party and was told, "get some cereal and get in bed!"

I feel like I should be sad that it's common knowledge that I regularly eat cereal for dinner, but instead I was pleased.

status update. (12.13.10)

Eating cereal for dinner (at 10:30pm) using questionable milk. Bad idea or worst idea?

J.O.B. (8.14.10)

Being on a new team at work I've become the person that has zero answers. This is hard for me for a few reasons:

1. I hate to fail and this makes me feel like I'm constantly teetering on the edge of failure.
2. For the past two years I was the one that had all the answers. I had so much historical data stored in my brain that someone would ask a question and I didn't even have to look it up.
3. I'm no longer the catch-all for any and all random projects (which is a good thing) but I feel like I
I'm not working very hard.


[2014: Fast forward four years and I'm now a veteran on the "new team" mentioned above. I'm once again the person that has "all" the answers and the historical knowledge and am, again, the catch-all for the random projects.

It's a good reminder to look back at something like this and realize that I'll always worry with change. But in the end, I'll always be okay. I just need to give myself time to get there.

Being on the verge of another big change job-wise, this was a super timely reminder. Sometimes it's hard to gain that perspective in the moment when all the feelings are at the surface, but things have a way of sorting themselves out.]


Miss C's gchat status: "Alright, let's focus. Let's try that."

Me: Did you just quote me in your chat status?
C: Sure did. You've been throwing out a lot of quote-worthy comments tonight.
Me: Have you been taking notes?
C: No. Not tonight at least.


  • I'm still obsessed with all things Cayamo. I can't stop watching videos on YouTube not only of performances I missed on the boat, but more so of performances I saw with my own eyes. Kind of ridiculous.
  • I may or may not have purchased a Shawn Mullins song. Yes, the same Shawn Mullins who sang "Lullaby" (which you might think of as "Rockabye")
[2014: So much blogging about these cruises. But I do still love watching them sing this song. Every time I hear Shawn Mullins sing, I remember how much a love him. True story.]

2009 In Review (1.3.2010)

January: You'll Laugh, You'll Cry: Because people falling down is still funny
February: Puking at salon, Bienvenido a Miami
March: Cruise: And I still never wrote that recap., On This Day Last Year
April: Dancing Fool, SLC!, Laying It All Out There
May: Mom and Dad in Seattle, Golden Girls
June: Seattle Dog Incident, Muscle Tees
July: Skinny Love on Repeat: This song still hurts my heart
August: Goals; Rhythm take you over;
September: What's Going On
October: Inside Out...if I have to pick one
November: Lists: Better Than Eating Disorder
December: Christmas Crazy

Look What I Found (2010)

 2014: Tonight I found a draft from 2010 about finding a draft from 2009. Confused yet?

2010: Tonight I found an unfinished 2009 recap in my drafts. It's still unfinished, but I figure since it's late May that it's as good as it's ever going to get.

2009: I've been avoiding a 2009 recap because it's just too hard. And I would be confused when I looked in the mirror if I didn't try to avoid the hard things in life.
[2010 Comment: Good thing I built a new year's resolution around this.]

Alas, I've convinced myself to give it a go. But they are not rank-ordered because that would have just sent me over the edge.

1. The Swell Season. I didn't want it to end. Ever.
2. Brandi Carlile. Too many to choose from, but probably SLC with my ladies.
3. New Kids on the Block. Seriously. So much fun.
4. Brandi Carlile. Portland.

1. Skinny Love, Bon Iver
2. Warm Whispers, Missy Higgins
3. I Will, Brandi Carlile
4. Virginia May, Gregory Alan Isakov


[2010 Comment: Apparently I don't know how to read because I didn't even have a single book listed.]

TV Shows
1. Friday Night Lights
2. Flipping Out
3. 30 Rock
4. Grey's Anatomy
5. Veronica Mars (3 seasons on DVD in 2 weeks)

1. Babies
2. Cayamo
3. Michigan in August
4. Sunday night Skip Bo with the girls
5. June

Sunday (12.7.09)

Sunday was good. Nothing special happened, just lots of little things that made me appreciate the day.

In the first hour of church a girl was sharing some of her thoughts and she talked about how one day last week when she was on the bus, instead of "silently judging" those around her, she felt a deeper appreciation for those that share her space.

I liked the way she phrased it. And it made me think about those people that share my space.

My bus driver that could be Andy Dick's twin.
The woman that sells me Vitamin Water every morning.
The man on the corner of 1st and Marion with the SMILE sign.

All of these people share my space. They are part of my world.


[2014: I don't know exactly where I was going with this post, but I started to think about who I share my space with now...

My neighbors who appear on their porch the minute anyone is coming or going from our house.
Demetrius, the security guard in my building who says good night to me every evening.
The guy working the drive-thru at McDonald's that takes my "large Diet Coke" order on the regular.
The guy in my building that I worked with several years ago, but is always so happy to see me.

I think what I wanted to say was, these people are a part of my world so instead of looking for the fault in others, I should just embrace them and the fact that we are sharing this weird, awesome life.]

If you have something to say... (11.24.09)

...say it to me now.

I saw The Swell Season this weekend and I think my mind may have been blown. It was one of the best shows I've been to...possibly ever. I felt like I just sat and stared with my mouth hanging open for two hours.

Earlier in the weekend I had the chance to go to a free Brandi Carlile show at Easy Street Records. I was tired after a very long week and I think time actually slowed down for the 90 minutes we waited for the show to start, but it ended up being a good time. Below is a video of my favorite song off her new record. The beginning is cut off and it's better with percussion, but you get the idea.

[2014: I was so delighted to find this post in my drafts because I've recently been telling people about The Swell Season show from 2009 and how I think it's still my favorite to date. I just remember sitting in Benaroya Hall on the edge of my seat, hardly able to wait for what was coming next. There were times when the crowd would sing along and I could feel it in my soul. Sounds dramatic, but is true.

Last month I re-watched ONCE and then saw the musical version a few days later at the Paramount. I will admit that I prefer the movie - Glen Hansard cannot be topped in my book - but the way they put the show together and had everyone actually playing the instruments on stage was great.

My obsession has continued and, just this week, I watched the documentary The Swell Season. For some reason, I can't get enough of those two.]

Dedication (10.20.09)

In order to get to the gym last night I nearly had to run over a man.

[2014 Stephanie was thinking, "Man, I really wish I had finished this story because I don't remember it at all" when lo and behold there was a link to Lindsay's blog for more details. Turns out, I still have zero recollection of that ever happening but sounds about right. The strangest things used to happen to me when I first moved here.]

Things I Know (2008)

I don't know much, but these are the things I do know.
  • I should never be allowed in Target unsupervised. Or with any form of payment.
  • Getting up early does not get any easier. People who tell you it does are lying.
  • Riding the bus isn't as bad as I tell myself it is.
  • Musicians can be less attractive in real life, but because they can sing and/or play a musical instrument they become attractive.
 [For the record, all of these things are still true in 2014. Except the bus thing. Riding the bus IS terrible and I've long since given up on it.]


I have a million draft posts dating back to 2008 that I've long-since forgotten. Despite being incomplete thoughts, I think I may post a few.

Get ready for a seven year brain dump.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

family ties.

In preparation for Thanksgiving I was thinking about what I might say I'm thankful for, should we go around the dinner table one-by-one. (Not that it would be so hard to come up with something, I'm grateful for a lot of things, I just really hate to be put on the spot and even the simplest of questions can make me draw a blank when I'm caught unprepared.) In reflecting upon the things I'm grateful for, of course family came to mind, and I realized that I had spent time with each of my family members (and their families) individually this year. I don't know if that's ever happened before, but as I thought more about it, it rose to the top of the things I'm grateful for.

Ella Jean was born on March 14 - a miracle to our family as B&A had been wanting a baby for so long and actively trying to adopt for nearly a year. Obviously I needed to meet her ASAP. With Pikeville being three hours from any airport, we hatched a plan for me to fly into Cincinnati and have my parents time their arrival from Detroit to swing by and grab me from the airport. It all worked out perfectly.

Ella was (and still is) an adorable baby. We spent several days close to home but did get to join Ella on her first walk and her first Easter Sunday. It was fun getting to love on her and just be with her (and Brian, Amanda and my parents, of course).

In April I randomly got a text from Geoff that simply said, "Ever feel like going to Disneyland?" Having never been it seemed like a great idea, especially to experience it for the first time with kids. I knew it would be equal parts work and play (I mean, they didn't invite me just because I'm awesome - the kids couldn't outnumber the adults) but it seemed like an ideal plan.

We spent several days at the parks and wore ourselves right out. Temperatures hit 100 degrees which, for this Pacific Northwesterner where temps max in the low 90's for maybe one week a year, were nearly too much to handle. It was fun to spend a significant amount of time with the kids, since I see them maybe once a year.

J and I had a standoff when he decided to test my patience (while I was outnumbered) and run away into the crowd while I chased after him with a double-stroller carrying his brother and sister. But he was also so brave and went on a lot of rides even though they scared him a little. Watching him walk through the park with the map wide open, like he was on a grand adventure, was the cutest.

C and I bonded over his love of rockets and came up with a game where he would make a rocket ship with his hands and I'd countdown "3...2...1...BLASTOFF!" and then his "rocket ship" would takeoff, his hands shooting in the air. Somewhere along the way he started "breaking" the rocket right before I'd get to the blastoff part and thought that was the funniest. He also made me laugh the hardest when we stepped off It's a Small World and he just laid down on the ground (wearing his backpack leash, which was a true necessity) and wouldn't get up.

A was a doll and I taught her to say "CHEEEESE" (or at least a prolonged noise that sounded like it) for the camera. Those big blue eyes and toothy grin are to die for.

Annie made her way to Seattle in June and, with her having visited before and done a lot of the typical touristy things, we made it a trip of mini-adventures. We took a hike to Franklin Falls, took the ferry over to Whidby Island and stopped at various landmarks from the bottom of the island all the way to the top, hit Deception Pass, Carkeek Park and more. The weather was perfect (rare for that early in June) and we soaked it all in.

After two failed plans of getting down to Phoenix, I was finally able to make it work to visit Julie and her family while she was on fall break. William and Elizabeth are fun little buddies.

William doesn't stop talking and loves having his picture taken ("Take a picture of me!"). A couple of nights I was able to join in the bedtime routine and as I rocked him in the rocking chair I just listened to him talk and talk and talk about the whatever thought came into his head. Those moments with him were some of the most enjoyable I'd had in a long time. There were a couple times where he'd lay next to me on the couch, throw his leg on my lap and point to it or put my hand on it, wordlessly requesting a tickle. I could only think about the many, MANY times I had done the same things as a child to his mother and it made me smile.

Elizabeth is a smartie. She was sick (they both were) for a lot of my visit, so she spent a lot of time resting with the iPad playing some educational games. She was recognizing letters, rhyming words and tracing letters like a pro. One of my favorite moments was when she wasn't feeling well she asked if we could lay on my bed and I scratched her back as she fell asleep. I recorded a video of her singing a song about a bumble bee and here scratchy, little sick voice is too cute (and sad).

I spent Christmas with my parents this year. We saw B&A and Ella a couple times before they headed down to Kentucky and the rest of the time was just Mom & Dad and I. With the weather being a bit of a wreck, we stayed pretty close to home - watching the first season of The Blacklist, a couple seasons of Sherlock and eating dinner with the 3pm crowd on the regular. We turned our Christmas traditions upside down and had Christmas breakfast for Christmas Eve dinner and opened presents on Christmas Eve night to ease the hustle and bustle of Christmas morning. It's always good to go home.

In the end, we didn't go around the table one-by-one on Thanksgiving, but I thought what better time than on New Year's Eve to look back at the last year and reflect once again on what we're thankful for?

It's been a good one.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

the latest obsession.

You guys, I know that I'm ten years late to the party (literally, 10 years) but can we talk about The OC for a minute? For a girl who owns every season of Dawson's Creek on DVD (true story) and has watched the entire series of Felicity more than once, you'd think I would have been all over this show when it aired. My only excuse is that I was in college and watching TV was not at the top of my priorities. But I missed out.

Until now.

I'm on season three and still loving it.

Sidenote: Binge watching TV is a dream. Not having to wait a week (or a summer) between episodes and having it suck my life away - super awesome. Seriously.

And Seth Cohen. Could not love him more. WHY isn't he on TV in 2013?

There will be one, if not two, four year olds standing next to my bed earlier than I would like in the morning whispering, "Stephanie, wake up!" and yet I can't stop watching The OC. And I have taken the time to blog about it.

It's okay. I know I live life in the fast lane.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

that's my jam.

I'm embarrassed to admit that the first 10 seconds of this commercial make me laugh every time.