28 September 2008

making it all work. this is life.

i love: frozen mango chunks. waiting for paul to come home on sunday nights. spending the day napping. my dad calling to share his love for the 50th birthday celebration we had last night. the sister. all things alicia yost. old french dictionaries. the cowardly lion that sits on my desk. drika b bags on etsy . a new card idea. watercolor pages to work on: one for each day this week. annapolis with the pink house ladies in two weeks. finishing the evening with a meal with boopy. quiet. markers. hot apple cider tea. a mosaic on flikr.

1. Top Chef - Cupcake of the Week Final ! - "The Stephanie", 2. Soto Ayam (Spicy Chicken Soup), 3. Untitled, 4. Parasol, 5. i hope that's a joint!, 6. Fortune in a cup, 7. Tarde de Otoño en Bicicleta, 8. szechwan peppercorn creme brulee, 9. FLy°aWaY°My°LOvE, 10. breathless, 11. You don't have to look far..., 12. the office

So, here's the deal... made a mosaic after answering the following 12 questions about me:

1. first name? (stephanie)

2. favorite food? (recently: soup)

3. high school? (fauquier high school)

4. favorite color? (turquoise)

5. celebrity crush? (ryan gosling)

6. Favorite drink? (coffee)

7. Dream vacation? (argentina)

8. Favorite dessert? (créme brulée)

9. be when you grow up? (heart piercing cards, owner)

10. love most in life? (love)

11. One word to describe you? (spirited)

12. Your Flickr name? (heart piercing)

23 September 2008

faLL faLL fAll

and the light at the end of the tunnel in this city has officially burnt out.

the next big opportunity flushed, and me, wondering, really? what am i missing here? do you ever stop and think: does everyone else see something i don't see?

part of me wants to throw it all to the wind, "haVe it ALL," i would yell as i released handfuls of responsibility, upkeep, frustration, letdown. but another part of me a sailboat, ready and waiting for the wind. patient, but prepared. i have a suitcase. i have a mode of transportation. i have a dream. now what?

what is whispering?
what is trying to speak?

my prayer: trigger my heart, life, i am ready.

i'm going to start tracking ideas that i have. it would be fun to look back in a year or two when i finally get it in gear and make a step----that's part of what makes blogging such a blast. such exposure. such heartfelt release. such response.

ideas of the week:
1. office of international affairs positions in OTHER cities.
2. paul going to UC Davis to get a degree in viticulture. moving this spring, saving a bunch of money and working a bunch, TOGETHER, having a space, TOGETHER, living and traveling the east coast.
3. moving to alexandria/dc area in the *near future* to be near family and friends and to pursue careers...

just in the midst of me typing this today paul found a wine position in alexandria and i found a job at paper source in georgetown.
um is that the wind i hear?
posting a card tonight that fits this subject perfectly: change is in the air.

19 September 2008

bored or incubating in the womb

i have a really lovely friend named erincita. we met in spain. at first we were a bit apprehensive: she was small, quiet, and BRILLIANT, i was big, boisterous, and totally creative brained. think: of mice and men. right. when we met on January 31, 2005, we were both totally unaware that someday we'd never be able to forget one another. she was from florida and i was from virginia. now we've both traded in those passports for ones that read "world citizen." but that's a longer story than i think you're willing to read.

i was just looking at a card she sent me from my birthday---a red, pulped paper card with a gold stamped burning heart on it. a milagro for those of you who speak spanish and know the jargon. this card, wonderfully crafted in latin america, serves as a reminder in many ways. it was sent with an incredible matching image silver magnet, some discos, and a lovely scarf by vera. tons of awesomeness in one package but more than just a gift. a simple reminder of presence.

i also have a really fancy friend named julie leidner. i hope she doesn't mind me posting her name on my blog, because i'm doing it for simply selfish reasons. i do believe she will be incredibly famous someday and i want to be able to say: "see! i knew you when..." well anyway, she's the totally admirable type; the kind that makes you hold your shoulders a little bit more sweetly, dab on your favorite lipstick a little more often, hold your pen a little differently hoping your handwriting will resemble hers. she's just THAT type- THAT wonderful and THAT real and THAT talented. well she sent me on a little treasure hunt to retrieve my birthday gift, and i should say at first i was a bit apprehensive. a strange request has the ability to move us outside of our comfort zone, and we would NEVER want that. or would we?? it was the extended celebration of my 24th birthday, so i figured...whyyy not. off on the treasure hunt i went! really it involved a trip down her lovely street, some admiration for those home that are history, the sneaking up some creaky front porch steps, and the opening of the vestibule door. not so scary after all and the treasure was completely worth the exploration. it was a wonderful surprise, a watercolor original done by the lovely julie, titled: "He fashioned her with hands of gold." its a retelling of german mythology (correct me, please JL): a girl's father cut her hands off, and he offered her golden hands to remedy his mal behavior. so there she is, handless, gazing at the golden hands created for her on a darling platter, and the banner over her reads: "He Fashioned her with hands of gold" in lovely, ONLY JL script. even paul said: SHE has amazing handwriting.

(side note) JL, i can not even believe that you remembered by ancient request and i SO appreciate this gift. i will, officially, treasure it for all my days. and i fully intend to will it to my most creative child. dear peasant beauty of a friend, thank you so very much

i guess these gifts, both incredibly memorable and meaningful, were intensely good for me for a plethora of reasons.
reason #1: it is so good to be KNOWN by people. to be open to sharing with them about your life and to receive their love and affection and admiration. i feel so deeply blessed with their kindnesses, as with many peoples', and reassured that they are knowing the parts of me that are true, through and through. when the day is over, i am known, and still loved. that is such a good lesson for us all.
reason #2: sometimes i have to be really intentional about practicing receiving. paul is constantly working on this with me, and getting all this love surrounding my birthday (aka my life celebration) was really keeping me in constant practice!
reason #3: presents are so fun! we forget to play like we're kids once we get cubicles and VOIP phones, fancy white-out applicators and busy schedules that involve: grocery stores, post offices, and bills. i am so incredibly guilty of this. but it's interesting: everyday that i sit in my cube doing work that only benefits someone else's dream, i think of myself in this place experiencing the complexities that lie between these two ends of the spectrum: dying or incubating. I can keep on, keeping on in this place: Head Down, no voice, no creativity, my soul squashing under the weight of somebody else's vision, OR I can stay here to make the means for that which I fiercely believe in--the thing that calls my spirit out to play, my gifts our to be given, my self out to be know.

16 September 2008


thirty pounds sounds like a lot.
but ten is doable.

i spent 19 minutes last night convincing paul that i had signed up for weight watchers. part of me would really LIKE to sign up for something, own that i need to lose ten-twenty-thirty pounds. but the central part of me thinks that's somewhat shameful. as if having admitted this not-so-fun-fact people will only now begin to notice that i have the extra weight already packed onto this "soft" body. it is a really sensitive subject: weight.

but ten pounds, almost everybody in this country could stand to lose ten pounds. and the people who don't need to often don't know it. when i encounter the vary rare human being who doesn't obsess over their weight and (seemingly) has no need to, i will from now on CELEBRATE them. that is certainly something they should be proud of.

i don't exactly want to become a calorie counter, but i assume i probably consume too many. so right here, right now i'm getting to it. i'm taking my 15 min breaks everyday and filling them with a brisk walk. i'm working out with michele consistently---and GETTING MY OWN BODY in motion as much as possible. i'm saying yes to breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and NO to late night eating, excessive alcohol, random intake, and unplanned, unhealthy consumption. i'm drinking water---as much as possible---green tea, hot tea, 100% pure juice, and a bit of red wine. i'm packing veggies into every meal. fruit will be my best friend. i'm not eating a morsel after 8pm. i'm hitting it hard because it's been too long of putting it off.

summer of 2005 a friend and i took photos of ourselves in bikini's and intended to lose 15 pounds a piece. i'm not sure if we ever did, but i still have that picture floating around somewhere and right about now i bet i'd think that version of me looked pretty dang good. i need some accountability, obviously, and some friendship for this flight. i've got the lovely sir paul who encourages me to do whatever i think necessary to feel great. i've got michele who says "well 30 will take a while but as soon as we flush that first ten we'll be pumped for the road ahead." i've got lots of motivation: a new bike, a healthy body that MOVES, a mind that is sharp and FULL of good ideas. and i've got you.

what do you say, are you interested in coming along for this ride?? are you willing to sign up with me? meet me in the park Louisville and let's get moving. contact me if you're interested in starting our own little (free) version of weight watchers. i don't care if you're in Providence RI or Portland OR. you can be an accountability partner if you're willing to take that first step. it just means walking, working towards a common goal, logging meals and sending encouragement. i'm in. i'm interested. i'm invested in making me fine-tuned to how I like. be it ten-twenty-thirty pounds less than what i am right now. i'm on my way...

comment with your email or email me stephanie.tabb{at} if you want to hear more. <3

14 September 2008

heavy winds and a breeze in the heart

sitting in a foreign house, with foreign pets and the unknown moans and groans of another's house, paul & i awoke this morning to a sunny bright day. fresh and ready for our leisure. then the winds started picking up, tree branches scattered across perfectly pruned lawns, sun-brellas flopping and shaking. at first, very delightful winds. calling out the whispers in my heart. these breezes were, at first, refreshing.

fast forward 3 hours.

heavy winds wallowing outside, echoing noises i've never heard. groaning & it's noise started to make me shudder with fear. it was almost as if the earth itself was roaring at our city. echoing its frustrations and telling of its anger. blowing with ferocity and sweeping and swirling around me, i was honestly somewhat afraid. takes a bit much for me to admit to something like this.

then a tree branch, an oak i think,crashed down right in the front lawn, just barely grazing the house. so treacherous & unexpected. so not as bad as it could've been. and i was on the phone, in my heart gripping shudder and raced around. the noise alone sent me running. it was absolutely frightening, and all along i was so so safe.

i am thankful for these moments, mostly because they are the ones that really mind me: i'm alive. and i find myself doing what matters--not grabbing for possessions, but running for safety. grabbing for the ones i love and holding them tight.

of course, you must know, as i sprinted out into the back yard, i thought to myself: my journal! i had just worked a masterpiece that morning and i was sad to part ways with it. but it would've been worth it. *it would have majorly been worth it.*

everything is okay here now. dying to have a camera but i don't so my words will have to suffice.
planning to wear long shorts to work tomorrow because that's all i have. hope that's OK HSPPO.
hope everyone else is okay, that their homes aren't damaged beyond repair, that this community will unite to reconstruct.
thankful for many blessings as i type this. thankful beyond thankful for safety. lifting up thoughts for all those feeling less than safe tonight. we must begin now to do the work of peace & justice. to brave the heavy winds with courage, to blow soft breezes between the hearts of humans. we must do all this together, hand in hand, brick by brick.


08 September 2008

drum roll please...

my oh my, is it possible to LIVE in love? to wake up every morning with a sweet body, soft against your own? to request a fiesta that somehow incorporates every playful aspect that you could've imagined, and having not time to allow yourself to imagine it, somehow manifests itself anyway? magic? i think so. i KNOW so.

the wonder & magic that was last night, a pinata party to celebrate my 24th birthday was ultimately MORE goodness, MORE wonder, MORE love than i have experienced in a long time: between self and self, and self and other. oh! let me soak it up for aLL the year ahead, let me not miss one drop.

05 September 2008

a sweeter, softer, steffi

You are not my self-healing mat. I am not an Exacto knife, sharp and always knowing the way through. I apparently need to be more soft, less Great-Wall-of China, burning arrow hurling b----. A bit less on defense all the time.

Is it my fault? Was I like this on my first birthday, in that 1985 McDonald’s play ground, shoving my little sailor-outfit way to the teeter-tooter with a particular monster’s image on it? Did Emile skin his knee because of me? Was Caroline crying because I got cake first? When I think about it, of course, I can’t remember. Thought I've heard some stories, and I know my family history and I almost see the need I've inherited. Protect yourself, from men especially. That is a long story for another day. Back to today...

But I do remember plenty of days of playing defense: First in some Fauquier Country Parks and Rec outfield on the Purple People Eaters softball team. Then when Daddy Dave was the coach of our first County League soccer team. Then on the Fauquier Magic, I was the tallest & strongest, the stopper with a reputation (or so I believed). I was the “biggest” is what they used to say. These days that’s portioned out to mean big hair, big feet, big dreams of a softer, sweeter steffi.

Then in high school oH, the gLory daYs, when I was the leader of the field hockey pack, a graduating senior squad with 11 women, aLL sTrong and TouGh. And I was most certainly not the toughest of them all (insert photo of Ashley Sides, Liz Edrington, or Alex “Big Bopper” Skoglund). However, I was certainly the individual who centered and focused our squad. I was their “Rock,” their Protector and Defender. Not that I chose that role, I just naturally slid into it. I was a freshman when I joined to Varsity squad, to watch Stacey Svitako like a hawk and BE like her. She was strong and soft. She was swift and mighty. She was the perfect balance. But I was still me after that season.

Let’s make what could be a LONG story short: I eventually ended up being a leader among the fabulous women of my year. We were strong together, but individually, I was their Great Defender. I was their “Rock” and I was the one who was the last line of defense. So this role is a role I know well, and naturally knew how to be successful at. It has been a long time coming, now, relearning this story of self, trying not to always operate from that place. Trying to remember this life is not about scoring goals or protecting a goal. Trying to remember, everyday, day in and day out that I am not the sculpture made of rocks I once had displayed in my locker, made for me by some teammates. Not a joke.

So you, you aren’t my self-healing mat that I slice into with my Exacto knife. But you understand, that’s something I’m learning. I don’t come from a life that has sculpted me to be that way. I come from the defense squad; I’m the captain and the MVP of that team. But I love you, and for the sake of you and I, I am throwing in the towel, disarming, rising above the analogy of me versus you. Taking flight into the existence that is beyond what I know, incorporating who I am and where I came from, but changing my posture to a softer, sweeter, Steffi.

03 September 2008

ban do

oh my goodness. an early birthday present. and a heart that exploded upon receipt!

Paul Weldy, i LOVE you from the bottom of my heart!

02 September 2008

a message to myself

_please see the note below_written today, one week before my birthday_placed on my calendar @ work_a week from today, will my life change?

dear twenty four year old stephanie, its your birthday! can you believe that its been twenty four years that you've been alive? you've spent every single one of them loving yourself just short of fully. perhaps you should reconsider. perhaps you should make sure to love on yourself a bit extra and be a bit sweeter to your self and your future. your twenty fourth year can be exactly the same as the rest: long, hard, heavy, too big, or it can be different than them all. you decide, remember? take a stride in a new direction. be a bit more alive in all that you do. give unlikely happenings a likely chance. live alOve. say to yourself, today and everyday: there's nothing wrong with you, now when will you start living that way?!?! love love love your twenty three year old stephanie self

01 September 2008

a promise

been working on building up the etsy shop these days...getting ready to send out a shop announcement to all the friends and family and everyone i know (and hopefully YOU know!) but in doing this i haven't kept up the blog as much! i'm starting to feel the need, the pendulum is swinging back in this direction, and that is a really, really good thing. i miss this place to compose words and thoughts and photos and dreams. i miss hearing stories and reactions and the little love tidbits you all leave me.

i promise i'm going to make an effort to be more consistent about this blog. i have gotten warped and wrapped into my ETSY shop---updating it, posting items, shipping items!!! it seems a bit like nursing a new child. welcoming it into the world takes much more consideration and care than i ever would have imagined, but i love it more than i knew possible. i am making cards without even knowing that i'm doing it; selling cards to people who surprise me with great joy. thank you world and universe and friends and lover---thank you for all you do to keep me moving forward.

and speaking of moving forward, i took a *bit* of a hit this week. another brief moment of rejection when i heard back about the internship at the pc(USA). to say i was expecting better news is to say i was not already planning my "i found a job speech" to my co-workers. alas, i was met with yet another email assuring me "i was a suburb candidate, however..."

these are the kinds of moments in your life when you realize nothing, no single thing, moment, decision, event can break you. you can fall apart and sob and sob and sob and you will still wake up the next day. you will buckle over into the arms of someone who desperately wants to know what you need to hear, but instead they will just hold you. they will wrap their long limbs around you, remind you of your roots that will not be torn from under, and shade you from the harsh light, too bright for your already fatigued self. in this moment you will grow, just a bit, and beautifully. you will see that you can stand more than you imagined: defeat, rejection, despair. you will collect yourself, the sky will be painted new shades of blues, and you will greet the day. even you will do this in your rare moments of pain and sorrow.

so many of my nearest and dearest met me with blessings and love this past week. my immediate reaction is to "repay" them---how can i thank you to the extent that i would like? i think i've found out a way to do so: hear their words. soak their love and adoration into my skin. wear it everyday. love myself, now and forever. praise the two feet and ten toes that carry me around everyday. honor and decide to put courage into my dreams. live well, fairly, justly, and with love on each breath that i breathe. that will be my gesture of gratitude. that will be my promise of presence. that will be my song. that will be my gaze, ever forward; knowing wholly and fully there is love and support and wellbeing and guidance and another sunrise to await.