Photo Challenge – Day 27.

Day 27 – A picture of yourself and a family member.

I haven’t said much about these folks, but they are from my earliest memories, all sewn together as one…

Me (in the middle) with DebraDeanGayla.

This is in my backyard on Harvey and I was abbbbout….3, maybe 4…but I think 3.  ( I was SO cute…pfftp!)

These three were my first friends (well, with the exception of Johnny Buss that I followed around EVERYWHERE!) but it was always us…

They are my first cousins on my dad’s side…and before long, there was a Cindy and much later a Cheryl.  So I have lots of family that sadly, I miss more than I can admit, because it’s foolishly been way too long with most of them being so close.  *sigh*

Dean, seriously, the only boy cousin I have…has features and looks of his Uncle Sam.  And it hurts my heart and makes me love him more.

Gayla, the one chick I wanted to be like, ALL the time.  And my goodness, how she loved playing with me.  I couldn’t wait to see Gayla.

Debra…this chick is cool.  Always was…even as a young child, I remember thinking…”I will never be Debra.”  She is like Joan Jett cool…and TINY!!!  holy cow! she’s so cute!

I miss my extended family.  My Aunt Dovie, the second cousins I have never met…the cousins I never see.

Methinks a family reunion should be planned.  If for no other reason that I can play with my cousins again!

For all of you…my debradeangayla…my Cindy and yes, even Cheryl….you have a part of my heart…the best part of my past, of my dad, your uncle, our grandmother lives within each of us…

I miss you and love you very much!

Photo Challenge – Day 26.

Day 26 – A picture of something that means a lot to you.

Many, many things run through my mind…my faith, my kids, my wife, my family…but they all know and they have already all been featured and well…I gotta keep their egos somewhat in check…so, this is a photo of somethings that mean a lot to me…

My friends, my soul sisters, my passion in life…the ones who are there, through thick and thin…who love me for me…

There are several that are missing from this picture, that makes them NO LESS important to me than this group does.  For my Sam & Glenn, for Pam and Maria, for Morgen and Dana….you too, are my dearest, my sweetest…I am so glad I met you, got to know you, reconnected with you and found a new appreciation for those around me. 

Folks, you won’t find people like this anywhere. They are amazing…from the hug when I walk through the door, to the phone call or text message just to let me know they care…I am in it with this group for the long haul.

And for as much as I will forever have their back…they have mine.  And that brings me a world of peace.  And happy…lots and lots of happy…

Photo Challenge – Day 24.

Day 24 – A picture of something you wish you could change.

funny enough, it’s not that I CAN’T change it…it’s I am too impatient to wait…

Yes, that’s me….yes, that’s my hair in two years ago this month…

I would love to have long-ish hair again…I cut it off and donated it to Locks of Love two years ago in memory of loved ones lost.  And well…I have kept it short, going shorter and shorter for two years.

I tried to grow it out once before and as soon as it touched my ears, I was done…cut it off!!!  I don’t have the patience for the “grow out” stage…I want it long overnight!

And no….I won’t do extensions…cause that would just be weird…

My folks may have to deal with “Troll Doll” hair for a while…I am thinking I need a change…

Photo Challenge – Day 23.

Day 23 – A picture of your favorite book.

I am sure you are expecting some grand novel or rare obscure reading….actually, I was trying to find something that would make me look way smarter, more existential than I am….but all I got is this…


I STILL have my copy of this book…from my childhood and I have read to both my kids dozens and dozens of times….

I can identify with Toad, the cynical, moody Toad.  Not that I AM a Toad….most days.  But I love the story of true friendship.  The kind that two people balance each other out.  That one compliments the other and the sweetness that comes from that…

I had all four at one time…now I have the first one…someday, I will complete that set…just like my Frog completes….me…(I had NO choice….)

I think I am gonna go find it now and catch up with some old friends!

Photo Challenge – Day 22.

I haven’t forgotten that I am supposed to do this daily, but my life gets in my way at times and this one took some time…

Day 22 – A picture of something you wish you were better at.

This was hard…not because I am that conceited that I am great at everything…but that there are MANY to choose from…some of them personal, some of them not so personal…some comical, some just plain obvious…

And I did learn that you DO NOT ask your daughter or your wife what their opinion would be…oh no…because then, they turn into comedians and tell you all sorts of things upon which you can improve.  I may speak to them again in about a year….

So I came up with this…

“I’m late! I’m late!  For a very important date.  No time to say “Hello.” ” Goodbye.”  I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!!!”

I know EXACTLY how long it takes me from shower to perfume to get ready for various thing….how long for work, for family dinner, for a party or for an event….I know to the minute how long it takes…and I run about 5-10 minutes late for most things in my life. 

I cannot EVER be on time to anything.  With the exception of my birth, I have never been on time.  EVER. 

I try.  I do…

Something will stop me…doesn’t matter….I get so distracted by everything when I am getting ready for anything…it’s so frustrating to the wife…she’s ready in 7.45 minutes.  And taps her foot and watches the clock….I worry sometimes that she’s having a seizure, then I realize, no, she’s only rolling her eyes at me…God love her…

It’s a genetic trait…my dad…always late.  My daughter, late, late, late…I have long said, she took 22 hours of hard labor to get here, we all wait for her…and I can’t yell or fault her for it…she get’s it from me.

Now, right now…I should be getting ready for a family reunion and to run a couple of errands…

…but I got a couple of minutes…

All colored images above are copyright of Disney.

Photo Challenge – Day 21.

Day 21 – A picture of something you wish you could forget.

I don’t want to ever forget anything.  I live my life learning from my mistakes.  For instance:

  1. Trust my instincts….if someone seems to be a jerk…leave them in the past, don’t contact them on MySpace, Facebook, by smoke signal or carrier pigeon….they will alway be a jerk and you are to run far, far away….
  2. Trust specific people…when Kenner calls someone walking bullshit…do not date them…they ARE walking bullshit.
  3. Trust your feelings….when you find someone who takes your breath away and you can’t catch it…marry them.  In Iowa…
  4. When it comes to family…forgive.
  5. When it comes to money…don’t loan, give.
  6. Don’t keep score.  It’s a waste of time and you come off looking petty.  I spent years keeping score with the Respondent…I have learned to let that go…he won’t be anything more than he is and I won a long time ago…
  7. Love like there is NO tomorrow.
  8. Snorting WHILE laughing is awesome and the best ever.  And you can NEVER laugh or smile enough.
  9. Lead by example…most won’t learn from listening, they will learn from watching and experiencing.
  10. Don’t be afraid to hug someone…you never know when they need it or for what reason…

I want to remember everything.  Every word, every lyric, every walk in the sand, every “I love you!”  I want to remember the joke, the punch line and the end of the movie.

I want to remember the hurts, the sorrow, the healing and the forgiveness.  I don’t want to forget anything.

I have been blessed with an amazing memory and retention skills for all things useless….I can’t remember where I left my keys or to call the doctor (again!) before he comes and straps me down…but I can remember people, places, situations and I can change MY behavior.  Maybe not theirs, but mine is all I am responsible for.

I have said it before…I wouldn’t change anything about my past….it led me to my present and is shaping my future.  I wouldn’t have these memories if I changed one thing…

And I am REALLY digging where I am now….my life rocks!


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…