Monday, June 27, 2011



That's how many days it has been since the day that my beautiful baby girl was born. Things did not go exactly the way that we planned for them to on that day...

She decided that one is never too young to start giving her parents heart-attacks and grey hairs...

She was destined to be a girlie girl from the very beginning...(note the bow-bow)

On that day, we weren't sure that we were ever going to make it to this day...

But here we are, we have come a long ways!

Clearly, still ALL girl.

Today, I would like to wish a very happy 2nd birthday to the love of my life. Alaina, you are the most amazing little person I have ever met. Every single day you do or say something new that surprises me. My heart overflows with joy and love each time I look into your big brown eyes. I can't imagine living even one day without you. Don't ever forget just how incredibly special you are.

I am so, so proud to be your mommy.

I love you, Laina-bug.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


What is it about cliffs that makes them so enticing? What is it exactly that makes otherwise sane, rational people feel the need to walk right up to the edge and peer over? Furthermore, what is it that makes us think that hitting the bottom is going to be any less painful than the last time we jumped off? And yet, we leap time and again, hoping that this is the time the net will magically appear to catch us. We hold our breaths and pray as we take that first step off and begin to free-fall.

Oh and what a glorious feeling it is - the falling. The wind rushes past noisily, blocking out all other sounds and senses until the only thing left is the blissful feeling of complete freedom. Even the nagging voice reminding you that the ground is looming is quieted in that first instant. As the ground draws nearer though, that voice grows louder and more insistant that you hear its simple truth: you are going to hit the ground and it is going to hurt like hell.

In those moments we are torn in opposite directions, trying to prepare for the inevitable and desperately clinging to those final moments of free-falling bliss; all the while, still waiting for the net to appear. It is not until the point of impact, when the ground slams into us, that we fully accept what we have known in our hearts all along: there was never really any net at all.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Change of plans

I had a plan for today. I woke up fully intending on getting about 8 different projects done, a lot of cleaning, and hopefully getting a little writing done in the evening. I sat down with coffee, allowing myself 30 minutes to catch up on some blogs I've neglected before getting started.

It has been almost 4 hours.

Usually, when I get sucked into the internet, it's random articles, that link one to another until a ridiculous amount of time has passed and I have no idea how exactly I came to be watching a YouTube video of a girl high on some good drugs after having her wisdom teeth removed.

Sidebar: You have GOT to go watch it. She even raps. True story.


Today was a different story. Recently, a friend recommended Christa Black's new book, "God Loves Ugly." Since I had never heard of her before, I popped on over to Christa's website to see what she was all life will never be the same. Can I just tell you? This girl has got it going on. I have read, reread, and then read again for good measure, all of her blog. There is not a single post that didn't speak to me, inspire me, convict me, encourage me, change me.

The video about perspective? I need/want to watch it every morning to start my day off.

The post on swimsuit season? EVERY SINGLE WOMAN NEEDS TO GO READ IT. It's not just fluff...amazing. A-MAZING.

I could write for hours about all the things flying around in my head right now. I want to let them all soak in a little longer before I start trying to get it all down on paper though.

And, if I don't get on the cleaning and rearranging, there really is going to be nowhere for my new furniture to go. So, I am off to be productive. You guys, head over and check out Christa.



Be changed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I am...who?

There seems to be a lot of talk lately about labels and how we define ourselves and our roles in this world. Do those lables really make up the whole picture? Or are they just a snapshot, a 3x5, when the real picture is a panoramic? My lovely friend Brianna wrote an amazing post, painting us a bigger, better picture of who she really is. I am so often inspired by her words and this post was no different. So without any more babbling or stalling, here is my own.

I am Stephanie.

I am Betty McSunshine, Ashley, Kiwi, Alice, Georgia, Pima, Steph, Stephie to none, thank God.

I am Queen of Nicknames.

I am mom, daughter, sister, niece, friend.

I am a little exhausted, but mostly invigorated. Life is a precious gift and I don't want to waste a second of it.

I am an imperfect person.

I am giving myself permission to be an imperfect person. It is not an excuse to be lazy, selfish or intentionally hurtful, but a realization that I am human, and as such, will always fall short. If my house is not spotless at the end of the day, if the laundry isn't all caught up, if I didn't cook my daughter a gourmet meal, or get the pictures hung or the flowers watered, it is OK. The world will not cease to exist because my bed went unmade for the 12th day in a row. I can not be everything, do everything, please everyone. It is impossible and unreasonable to ask that of myself.

I am a good friend and I am fiercely loyal. If you need me, I am here. Regardless of the day, the time, the reason, if you call me, I will come. No questions asked. I am forgiving but I don't forget if you hurt me or my family.

I am a judgement-free zone. I may disagree, it may not be what I would have chosen, but I respect that we all have the freedom to make our own choices. I will never judge you. In return however, I ask that you not judge me. I absolutely refuse to build relationships with those who do.

I am bold and intense. I am loud and my brain has no filter. I am going to say something that hurts your feelings at some point. I am going to apologize for hurting you, because I am truly sorry that I did. I am never going to be intentionally mean.

I am addicted to post-it notes and quotes. Lucky for me they go together so well.

I am a creative soul. I love to make jewelry, cards, things for the house, etc. My favorite thing to make is baby blankets. As I sit with the soft yarn intertwined around my fingers, I pray for the child it is going to. That it will keep them warm and offer them security. I secretly hope that they keep it always and pass it down to their own babies.

I am brave. I am also terrified. Of so much I don't even know where to start. But I refuse to give in to the fear. So I put on my big girl panties and move forward, one tiny step at a time.

I am a believer in Jesus. I believe that He loves me always. I believe that He loves you always. I am so thankful that He extends grace and mercy to a train-wreck like me.

I am in love with my daughter. I am the mom who stares at her in awe and wonder. I am proud of her and the little person she is already becoming. I am her protector and I am always surprised how quickly that shield flies up.

I am incredibly blessed by amazing friends. Marcel Proust said, "Let us be grateful to those who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." My friends dry my tears, make me laugh, love me when I'm unlovable. They even hold me tightly while it storms and cover my ears when it thunders. Did I mention I am scared of storms? I am a sissy.

I am a writer. I write every single day, even if it's just for 5 minutes. I want to publish the novel I am working on. It is the first one that I believe actually has the potential to not suck. I dream of the day that I can hold my book in my hands and weep because I actually freakin' did it.

I am at peace the second my toes hit the shore of the Pacific Ocean. As the freezing water rushes past my ankles, my toes dig in a little deeper and root themselves to the spot. All extraneous noise dies, the voices in my head shut up, and all that surrounds me is the whipping wind and crashing waves. That is what happiness sounds like. I am blissful.

I am me and I am the only me there will ever be. I am strong and true and brave.

I am ME.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Borrowing words of wisdom

I have been reading the words of Anne Jackson for almost 4 years now. She has made me search deeper for answers, given me hope, inspired me to act and challenged me to love more with each new post. She wrote something about a month ago that broke my heart completely. I wept openly as I read her words, aching for this woman I have never met because, I too, have been there. It is a unique form of grief that is indescribable on most days.

A couple of days ago, she wrote this. In it, she said everything that I wish I could say. She put on paper (or screen, if you will), all of the words that have been blocked inside of me trying to find their way out. So tonight, I ask you to go and read her words, really hear them, and remember that we are all imperfect people in an imperfect world.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

No Words

Writing is how I process things. I have to pour everything out together, stream of consciousness style, and then sort through it until it all makes sense and fits into place. While sometimes I get to the end and nothing fits or makes sense, I never have a problem with the spitting it out part.

Until now.

Now it's going something like this:

Stare at blank screen
Type a few words
Delete those words
Type new words
Delete those words
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

I keep trying to get out all of the thoughts that are swirling around in my brain so that I can make sense of things. So far, I've got zip. Nada. Nothing. Meh.

And so another night passes, without words, without answers. Tomorrow, I shall try again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Love in the Home

One of the blogs that I am absolutely addicted to is Brooke over at the Veleber Chronicles. Her words always whisper quietly to my soul, often saying exactly the thing that I need to hear. This morning was no different. Her post on love was a perfect reminder to focus on the things that are truly important. I am re-posting her poem, but encourage you to go and read her entire post as well as her older material and be blessed!

“Love in the Home”

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in it's place,

But have not love, I am a housekeeper -- not a homemaker.

If i have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,

But have not love, my children learn cleanliness -- not godliness.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.

Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.

Love wipes away tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.

Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love is present through the trials.

Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child,

Then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Love is the key that opens salvation's message in a child's heart.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.

Now I rest in God's perfection of HIS glory.

As a mother, there is much I must teach my child,

But the greatest of all is love.

--Author Unknown