05 May 2013

A new normal

It's all fun and dandy to say 'we got a new pup,' but then you disappear for a month and spend your days trying to figure out the new normal. What will my life be like now that I have this being I am responsible for? Lately we have been up between 630-645am taking the pup out. Everyday. Even sundays, after too many mint juleps. Loving daily walks as a family, ranging from hardly making it down the block to an Odin marathon of a whopping 2.5+ miles! Teaching simple commands to a 3 month old pup who would rather be mouthing on your arm then listen. Three-a-day feeds, pooper-scooping, dog-wrangling when you're already running late, ahhh. Puppy heaven!!!

This is the stuff of responsibility, huh? I have been somewhat spoiled in my existence to not have another who solely depends on me. Part of my rationale for welcoming a dog into my life was a more intentional practice of unconditional love. Seems to be working pretty well, at least thus far.

People don't lie when they say there is nothing like coming home to a furry little love bug who is OVER THE MOON that'd you've arrived. Black work trousers aside, its a happy and heart-bursting exchange that money can absolutely not buy. We took a big leap of faith- me, especially- and even in the worst of moments, a new normal has settled in and I wouldn't change it for the world. There is one furry little boy to thank for that!

09 April 2013

rocking my world

Probably should be working on about 1,000 other things, but i'm practicing being purposefully playful with my time.  today alone has involved work commitments, grad school class, and internship commitments. add to that this perfect little pup and trying to maintain my sanity...But the truth is there is so much to celebrate, goodness that won't come again at the same rate, and if i don't celebrate now, when will it be a good time?

a few things that are rocking my world:

meet odin theodore
this pup: Odin, our chocolate labradoodle! he's 9 weeks old, 11 pounds and a total love bug. paul and i are over the moon! yes he is like photographing a curly, tootsie roll pup.
paul and odie

his first day home

sunday morning sweet puppy eyes.

dinner at rye celebrating kit: kit and bob are friends for all seasons. while we only get to see them from time to time, every time it's a fun reminder of why having cultured, interesting folks in your life is an absolute pleasure. bob surprised kit with a birthday celebration at swanky rye on market. in his toast he said, 'to the one who keeps the ship afloat.' so sweet. we all had such a ball. more times like these:
sailing together.
uofl men's basketball team are the 2013 NCAA National Champions! not only is paul beside himself because he's been waiting for this amazing accomplishment for 27 years, but this Cardinal fan couldn't be more proud of the talented group of young men who showed such perseverance in light of kevin ware's horrific injury. #L1C4 forever!
CARD Nation, baby!

and...a little bit of self pep-talk::::::

grad school=almost over next tuesday [4/16] is my FINAL class period for all of grad school. with just one more internship semester to go. i'm more excited than ever and so grateful for the support my family and friends have shown me all these years. not just in regards to encouragement and support, but patience patience patience while i try to handle the balance of this monster task while working full time. google 'grad school' images and this is one of the first to populate.
oh wait...i look like that ALL the time.

so looking forward to finding that fine balance again very soon. no excuses. only pouring myself into a life that thrills me in the best of ways. curly hair and all.
xoxox stephanie

26 March 2013


while reading through some old posts, i found this excerpt from a 2007 blogpost:

"so i write letters. i keep stamps in my wallet, in my car, on my desk. good pens are everywhere. gluesticks & old dictionaries cover my room. i wake up on sunday mornings and can't move around for an hour without searching around for my journal, my watercolors, my paintbrush, bits of inspiration collected throughout the week...and finding myself once again in my chair, at my desk, creating. these are the proud moments of my existence. it feels natural and right and organic to sit there and let out what is bursting forth from within."
 isn't that so me? 

me + my favorite red moleskine journal

something from within, put on paper with ink
sometimes it feels like we know ourselves too well, and as we recognize engrained habits, responses, desires, we find ourselves performing them like clockwork. sometimes we're annoyed with our bad behaviors, other times we're impressed with our persistence or relieved for the familiar comfort these behaviors provide after a long day. 

then there are other times when we feel outside of our bodies, wading deep past what we know of ourselves and performing some strange act. the shame gremlins show up here, taunting us and hoping to lure the fraud syndrome out. 'you probably don't deserve that 
promotion/compliment/award.' 'you're overwhelmed because you can't handle it, loser.' 

for the past 9+ months, this dualistic experience has kept me drifting between familiar me and foreign me. recognition of who i am and who i want to become, and the behaviors to follow suite.

b.j. fogg

late last year i discovered the work of b.j. fogg, a stanford university professor of persuasive technology and his baby, a program called tiny habits. i was fortunate to attend a workshop he gave at health fitness corporation and personally participated in the tiny habits program shortly thereafter.  i would totally recommend it if you're interested in the birds of view of noticing what you're doing and how to possibly create new habits through baby steps (no extreme dieting here!). for your first week of tiny habits, bj says: "This week is about practicing, not about solving that one special problem in your life." (if i had only ONE special problem, dr. fogg!)

so what do tiny habits and this 2007 quote have in common? i'm reminded that some things, perhaps the things we love most, are engrained in us. and if we skip the cool-kid act, we might find that we begin to LIVE from the place where what we find ourselves doing is that which comes most naturally. that 5+ years later, you find an excerpt from your own blog that surprises you, because it could have been written 5 years ago, or 10 years ago, or just this past weekend. 

what would it take to be brave enough to live--yes, really live--from THAT place?

24 March 2013


Updates from around my life lately:
  1. I could eat chia seeds on anything: cottage cheese, oatmeal, midnight batches of cookies, salads, and so on.
  2. I've been sick, achy and complaining the past 4 days, especially when Paul's around. That equates to about all of the time.
  3. I fell totally in love with being an auntie, again. Baby Cami turned 1, Grant came to visit sans mommy, Eleanor has been learning new words and phrases from her days at school and it's hysterical, and Sofia...well she's just Sofia. The bees knees little 3+ year old. 
  4. I absolutely have the biggest girl crush on goal-crusher and resident badass Jacki Carr. #sorryI'mnotsorry
  5. Hot tea by the gallon has been consumed. This late March cold spell in Kentucky makes me a whore for hot tea and more backscratching than usual. And I'm ok with that.
  6. I'm counting down the days until class is over. Weeks, days, assignments away from grad school being in the rear view mirror. One semester of internship left and then it's BOOYAH...Throwin' that cap!
  7. We're bringing home our chocolate labradoodle puppy in less than a week and I'm beyond excited. Can't think of a time in life when I've experienced such anticipation. Sweet puppy kisses and spring walks and a new running buddy and learning the groove of another being... Paul's dedication to sharing our home and making it a place for this pup is about the sweetest thing ever. Get ready for never ending puppy stories. [p.s. this is a true example of how i've changed as a human over the past 10 years.]
  8. Recently my dad and alicia and paul were having a conversation about how my artistic style, while evolving, has a specific look to it. What a compliment. My heart wants to spend more time in that space. Haven't hung there lately and I can feel it. Reference item 2.
  9. An all-consuming work deadline has both been totally overwhelming and totally heart-warming at the same time. The generosity of folks who know you're on a timeline///the challenge of totally new topics (have you ever selected industrial toilet paper dispensers?)///the maintain-your-sanity while going all out? #humbled
  10. On two separate occasions, I have found myself stopped dead in my tracks with such gratitude for what life holds. The first time it was when I was pulling fresh sheets and towels out of the dryer. I literally thought to myself: I love the smell of life, real, just-as-it-is, life. A few deep long breaths of that hot, fresh air had me still with gratitude. And the other time I was hopping in the back seat of my parents car, heading to dinner, manhattan fresh in my belly, pinching myself: my heart is so grateful for my amazing family + sweet relationships that I treasure. 
The visual version of these updates:

Happy Sunday, loves!
I'm running a bubble bath and finding some of my favorite pens. 

Wedding Photo Book

10 February 2013

let love in

letting love in feels like the brightest, shiniest thing on earth. on the coldest day, it can warm you to the core. yes, we are flawed, fatigued and fast to criticize our most true selves. love won't stop at the boundaries of where we are comfortable. it wants the truest you to open your heart wide. let love in.

2013 has arrived. and this year is going to hold such good things. i'm sure of it.

i've looked at this (my) blog one hundred times since i last posted...i hesitated, wondering if i was ready, thinking about a return. what would i say? but this photo of my sister and her sweet daughter say it all. i'm back, ready for some fun, and letting love all the way in.

may you find some joy in doing the same. xo