Photo Challenge – Day 19

Day 19 – A picture and a letter.

So, I know that this is calling for a photo and a letter that is personal and that means something to me…but I am going to give you this…

A picture of a letter…or a note as it were…

Before Cell Phones and text messages…this is what you did….old school!

So, Daddio was a pack-rat of the highest degree and kept everything….upon his death and clearing of his home, I came across boxes from my childhood; boxes of Barbies, of baby clothes, of photos and a box full of notes from my high school days.  So, with this challenge that should really be called The-30-Day-Challenge-That-Is-Taking-Stephanie-FOREVER, I opened the note box and have spent the better part of the evening reading and laughing…trying to conjure memories of last names, of places, of people…

I love every one of these notes…and hold my friends, Ursula, Shawna, Robin, Jeana, Lynne, Michelle and Camille in my fondest of memories and so close to my heart…these friends, these notes, bring back a time of innocence, of drama, of longing…it is simply amazing.

And as amazing as it is, I have a few observations:

  1. What the hell is the Max factor?  I have notes from no less that FIVE of my friends that all dated, made out with, snuck out with and god knows what else with this man?  At the time, I was over the moon “in love” with Max….and that dick he was, he went with ALL my friends and they in turn TOLD ME ALL ABOUT IT…..and one actually states “You don’t know what this feels like, going with him, because you never have….”  No….all my friends did.  But thanks.
  2. We were some boy-crazy fools.  For the following in no specific order:
    *  Ernie
    *  Sean
    *  Chris
    *  Kevin
    *  Steve
    *  David

    I mean seriously!!!! It was all about the boys and our endless scenario planning of how we would tell them, exactly what we would say, or better, what our friends would say…

  3. My handwriting hasn’t changed much since 7th grade.  Which is either a good thing or a sad thing.
  4. Even as young as twelve, I was a person that people came to with their secrets to keep.  I have “one-off” letters from random people who say things like, “I know we aren’t BFF, but I feel like I can talk to you.” Or “I need to talk to someone, please listen…”  I think I missed my calling.
  5. We were artistes.  The doodling, the drawings all of it….are hysterical! Band names, boy names, funny faces, block letters…it’s all there.
  6. I also have spiral notebooks that we would pass back and forth…THOSE are the true timeline…and these are my magical journey to the 80’s…the music, the styles, the movies…again, the innocence.

There are so many to choose from, but some I will not post, because they are mine, they are special…some have last names and if you know me…that I don’t do.  I will put a first name out here and other than my own name, I keep the others neutral…unless you know me, then you know who they all are…

There is the one from Ursula about a certain boy Richard and some blue glittered underwear.  It had me in tears.

There is the one from Robin about shrimp and raspberry gum….and her eternal fascination with all things Steven Tyler.

There is the one from Camille, apparently I pissed her off and she states she hopes someone stomps my butt someday and when I am older, all my friends leave me and I am truly alone.  She ends it with a “LYLAS Cammie” and a “PS, Mr. Neal’s test is easy, just know letter buys and story problems.  Call me later!”  (I am sure there are one or two people who would like to friend her on Facebook…relax, she’s not there and well….she still Loves Me Like A Sis, according to the most recent e-mail I got from her!!!)

There is the one from Michelle that tells me that “Freaks Rule!” and she wants to get backstage at Kiss.  She was a Paul Stanley addict it seems and I was all about Gene Simmons (had to be the tongue!!!)

At one point, it seems to be all about my prom dress and a BLACK CADILLAC (I told Crystal to shove a limo up her nose!).  And there are several notes about dress shopping, the mall, Godfathers Pizza and JJ Muggs.

Oh….I am smiling, I am remembering and I am loving the fact that many of these people are still in my life.  And I can’t wait until we can sit and dig through these and talk….talk….and talk!

for my NMHS family….Go Stallions!!!!  Big Blue Rules!!!

Birthday Wishes.

Yep, I survived Forty…the big 4-0…


It’s been a year…and well…I wouldn’t trade a single minute of it and am looking forward to 41 with lots of love and laughter.

I have been blessed with amazing friends and amazing family.  I am luckier than I deserve to be and grateful of it each and every day.  The lessons I have learned in my years add to this journey…

Here’s to another one…

Photo Challenge – Day 18

Day 18 – A picture of your biggest insecurity.

My health.  Or the unknown of it failing…

It’s not known to many….I’m not a hypochondriac, in fact, I am the polar opposite of that…I refuse to go to the doctor.  I loathe doctors, dentists, therapists, chiropractor, etc…

I fully believe it comes from the  sickness that has invaded my adult life through my loved ones.  From my former mother-in-law to my father to my great-grandmother to the non-genetic family and my own mother.  All the adults in my life that have had a huge impact on me.  They all have suffered and with the exception of my mother, they are all gone.

I have watched my loved ones suffer and be helpless.  I have spent more time sitting in hospitals praying, pacing waiting rooms, talking to doctors and eating cafeteria food, than I have on all vacations put together.  I hate it.  I hate the smell, the sounds, the bright lights, the feel of the furniture…all of it.  I hate it. I hate how I can’t fix it for them.  I can’t make them better…

So you would think, “Steph, you should go to the doctor, do the yearly check ups, watch your health, just to avoid it…” But, for some reason, I am like an ostrich…I just stick my head in the sand…don’t judge me…and everytime I go to the doctor, when he checks the ol’ blood pressure….I hold my breath until he tells me it’s ok.  It’s normal/high ok, but not alarming….and what I need to do…

I fear that if I know then I begin dying, not living.  If I know that my time is limited, every day becomes another goodbye.  That there are going to be words that I don’t get to say, people I don’t get the chance to talk to or say things that need to be said….That I can’t enjoy the life God has given me.  It’s my countdown…and the countdown scares me.

Don’t get me wrong…I do take care of myself.  I do go to the doctor when absolutely necessary…I do listen to my body…I do watch what I eat, how my blood pressure is, I do stop when I need to.

It’s the skip of my heart that unnerves me.  Every once in a while, I can feel it…and now, I just sit, I rest and then I start moving again…it’s not anything that my doctor worries about.  I know what causes it…and I know what I need to do.   The wife hovers, the kids come to check and it’s the look in their eyes that I don’t want to see.  That I will at some point, cause the same feeling of helplessness in them that I have carried for years.

Yes, my insecurity – my health. Some would be surprised, thinking it was my weight…but no….my sister told me that I am the one person she knows that is most comfortable in my own skin.  I am.  I am a big girl, I get that….it’s not like I don’t own a mirror…but I am okay with how I look.  I am not the ugliest girl at the dance….so I got that going for me.

I check in with the doc….I promise.  I know how I felt when I found out HOW sick my dad was without me knowing…without sharing that with me…I feel sad simply because he was alone with that knowledge.  So is it better to HAVE the knowledge…do you share that with others?  Or if you HAVE that knowledge, do you keep it to yourself so you don’t inflict pain on others?  It’s a slippery slope.

Now, this doesn’t mean I am dying…no, in fact, went to the doctor a bit while back and I am healthy…blood pressure good, lung sounds good, he’s not concerned with the ticker and has told me what the skips mean and how they got there…I’ve lost some weight and watch it daily on my fancy bitch of a scale.  I eat better and most importantly, I don’t stress any longer.  I let shit go…

I plan to be around for a very long time….lucky you!  Lucky ME!!!


Photo Challenge – Day 17

Day 17 – A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.

Well, this could be a toss up…my back is currently hugely impacted from the sod that we laid yesterday in the backyard, alas, I don’t quite think that is what the challenge is supposed to be about…

So, with that in mind…it’s gotta be….

It’s all legal-like…

If you never thought a piece of paper could impact your life, you would be wrong.  I am legally her wife.  I am legally bound to this person.   I was committed to her in my heart way before I took the vows.

However, once we took those vows, once we made those pledges, in front of others, in front of each other…it meant something

Maybe not to anyone else, but to us…it’s about us.  It’s about just us.

Photo Challenge – Day 16.

Day 16 – A picture of someone who inspires you.

She may or may not believe me when I tell her this, so I am gonna just put it in writing…

You, lady…inspire me.

This chick is too cool to actually be my friend.  I mean, she’s THAT chick….the one that everyone is drawn to, the one that everyone listens to.  I am way not as cool as her, but I WANT to be.  Ursula is the one who inspired me to start writing, after I began reading her blog,   I started reading years ago and I haven’t quit. 

Ursula inspires me to know more about the world around me, about my city, about myself.  She is giving, liberal, sharing, happy, direct, FUUUnnny and just freakin’ cool…She challenges me to think outside the box, to not be like the majority and to march to the beat of my own drummer.  Oh, and I can never forget, a Democrat….long live the blue…

Ursula, you have been in my life so long, you have been a part of my sweetest memories.  I thank you for being my friend, being on my side…I thank you for inspiring me to be a better me. 

You are changing the world, one step at a time.  I am glad I get to witness that!

All the big Texas love I can muster is surrounding you!!!

Photo Challenge – Day 15.

(I know I am supposed to do this EVERYDAY…but damn, I am busy…what is that?!?!!?!!!)

Day 15 – A picture of something you want to do before you die.

Visit Jerusalem.  To see where it all began… 

Just to experience it, to wrap myself up in it and connect with my faith on a level that I can’t even begin to imagine.

Photo courtesy of

Photo Challenge – Day 14.

Day 14 – A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

Mi Familia…

and more mi familia…

No, you shouldn’t be surprised….they are what shapes me and makes my world and occasionally my head, go ’round. 

These folks….they are mine.  Either genetically or I won them in the marriage… I will protect and defend them at all costs and love them unconditionally and forever…



My strongest lifeline, my beginning and my end…is my family.

Photo Challenge – Day 13.

Day 13 – A picture of your favorite band or artist.

Do not laugh at me.  I LOVE him….!!!!


Neil Diamond, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 2011.  Thankyouverymuch!!!

I have seen this man every time he has come to Dallas with the exception of twice in the last 16 years…and he gets better and better.  So do my seats…

AND, how many people can say that Neil Diamond opened a door for them and escorted them to the bathroom??!?!?  oh, yeah….ONE…..ME.  Yup….

So, I know in my heart, that the next tour, my Girl is so gonna make sure I am there…singing my heart out and acting a fool…because it’s infectious, I never leave without a smile on my face and a song in my heart…

I don’t know a person who doesn’t know every word to Sweet Caroline.

There aren’t many artists left like him anymore….gonna go turn on the Heartlight now….

Photo Challenge – Day 12.

Day 12 – A picture of something you love.

So, so easy…

My beautiful life.

My life…it took years and years of experiences that made me laugh, cry, hurt, be angry, be sad and to forgive to get here.  All of these experiences shaped me into the person I am today. 

I cannot begin to think of my life as it were anything other than perfect for me.  I smile so much more than I ever have.  I am more confident, more decisive (except about where to eat!) and more in tune with my partner, my kids and my family.

For the first twenty years of my adult life, I have let others guide my decisions, guide my emotions and pull me around in the way THEY thought was best.  In trying to “protect” me, they did damage.  And I allowed it. 

Now….I have people who push me to be better, to make me be the best Stephanie I can be.  And you know what?  I fucking LOVE this Stephanie. 

I love that I can see happy in damn near everything.  I can feel and say exactly what I WANT to, not what’s convenient for others. 

I love that my kids laugh with me, cry with me….and above all are brutally honest with me about where they are, what they need from me and how I affect them.  I love that they trust me enough to tell me these truths now, when before they didn’t feel they could.  That our bond has grown so much stronger.  The old adage is “Mother’s Boys, Daddy’s Girls…”  Well….these two are mine.  100% all  Mommy’s Boys and Mommy’s Girls. 

I love that my wife is who is she.  Period.  I love that we have known each other longer than we haven’t.  We weren’t always “hanging out” or being all “buddy- buddy” in our teenage years, but I can track back knowing her 29 years!  I love that even when we didn’t know each other, that we circled each other…growing up blocks apart.  Sharing a pediatrician….it’s these small coincidences that turned into the miracle that we are.  From the moment it hit me, “she’s my one” I couldn’t bear to be apart from her.  Luckily, I have the rest of my life to love her.  To respect and admire her.  To be her wife.

I love that my mom, sister and I have walked through fire.  Not actual fire, but emotional fire that we heaved upon each other.  We each had people in our lives at one point or another that did nothing more than stoke that fire and feed it with their own bullshit.  We each let these people sway us, our decisions, our actions and our words.  In the past two years, I have made a point to put the past hurts and words aside.  To throw them out, I can’t change them, but I sure can learn from them.  I have learned that no matter what, other folks will come and go….we are genetic.  I can’t sell them, give them away or push them off a cliff.  I was a daughter and a sister WAY before I was a mommy or a wife.  Our relationships with each other over the past two years have DRASTICALLY changed in such a positive way…if you knew us before, you wouldn’t even recognize it…

Yes, I love my life.  I love everything about it.  I love that I float on my faith, I travel with love and blessings.  I live for each day and try to live each to the fullest. 

It’s good to be me!