Friday, June 29, 2012

Commenting Challenge, Day 5

CommentChallenge

Today’s topic is our Dream Vacation!

This is a hard question to answer. I’m not sure that I have a specific “dream vacation.” Stephen and I just got back from a cruise about a month ago. It was our second cruise together, and my third. I absolutely loved it, more so than my two previous cruises. It was sooo relaxing, just being away from everything and not having to worry about to-do lists. It was wonderful.  But I don’t really think that’s a dream vacation. To me, a dream vacation is something that we will probably never have the money to do. I imagine a dream vacation for us would be somewhere overseas. Stephen would probably say Ireland, and I would probably say England. We would both like to visit Australia, as well. Why is this such a hard question for me to answer? I think instead of one big dream vacation I would prefer smaller medium-size vacations every few years. Is that selfish?

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I’m so glad that I’ve done this challenge! I’ve found several new fun blogs to read and I hope I’ve gained a few new readers as well. I also feel like it’s kind of gotten me back in a blogging groove so I hope to continue to post on a semi-daily basis… maybe! I still have lots to catch up on just from this summer alone – like the cruise!  But for now, clean dishes and Walmart are calling my name. Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Commenting Challenge, Day 4!

CommentChallenge

Continuing on with Jenna’s Commenting Challenge today. Today’s topic is hobbies…

Well, let’s see… I would say my hobbies include cleaning house, picking up after my two-year-old son and 31-year-old husband, cooking, doing laundry, running errands… oh, wait…

I enjoy blogging and reading blogs, obviously. I love spending time with my family – my parents, brother and sister-in-law, mother-in-law, extended families, etc. I enjoy playing games… usually once or twice a week you can find Stephen and me playing card games with  my parents. We enjoy Hand & Foot and Spades.

Stephen and I both like to watch tv… although Stephen more than me. I’m a fan of crime shows like CSI and Law & Order… Stephen really isn’t. We both like to watch Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and The Biggest Loser. Those are “our shows” during the fall/spring. We also like a few food network shows like Chopped, Restaurant Impossible, Next Food Network Star. During the summer we LOVE Big Brother.

I like to read, although I don’t read now nearly as much as I used to. My most recent read was the Shades of Grey series. To say I loved it would be an understatement. I know it’s cliché, but I also love love love the Harry Potter and Twilight series. I’m a romance novel girl… hand me a romantic fiction book and I’m all over it. I also enjoy most John Grisham books. I’m sure there are other more recent authors I would love but after I had Christopher and especially after I went back to college, I rarely read for pleasure. Maybe that will change now that I have my degree? Hopefully.

I love listening to music. Most days I would choose listening to Pandora over watching television. (Pandora’s Today’s Adult’s Top Hits Radio is what you can always find me listening to if I’m on Pandora.)  Right now I’m obsessed – OBSESSED with Adele. I could listen to the entire 21 album over.and.over.  Seriously.

I love to travel and vacation. My parents were always really good about taking us on fun family vacations when my brother and I were growing up, and now Stephen and I try to be like that. It’s hard sometimes because we are short on money right now, but we try to save up for small vacations – like Branson – at least once a year. Stephen and I just went on a cruise last month. Half of it was a Christmas gift from my parents, and the other half was my graduation gift from myself. (Or Stephen, seeing as how I haven’t really brought any money in over the past two years. Ha!) We LOVE cruises.  I also love snow-skiing… I’ve been several times with my family, but Stephen has never been, and I haven’t been since 2005. So our next big vacation will be snow-skiing, I think. 

I like to bake and throw parties and pretend like I’m a photographer and take walks and I love to jog – although you wouldn’t be able to tell that by looking at me! Ha! {Anybody else out there doing C25K?}

That’s all I can really think of right now. I’m hoping to find a few bloggers with hobbies and interests like mine!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Challenge Day 3!

Whoops! Forgot to blog yesterday. Actually, I didn’t forget.  I thought about it several times, but I was busy with other things all day. I spent a lot of time filling out an application for the local public school system… by some miracle (I believe it’s totally a God thing) there is an opening at the middle school here (as of YESTERDAY!) in my certification area. EEK! So exciting. I’m hoping and praying that this is “the job” for me. I could not have asked for more PERFECT timing or PERFECT position. I turned in my application this morning. I’m hoping to hear about an interview some time next week.

I thought I’d catch up on Jenna’s topics.  Yesterday’s topic - What is this blog about?  It’s pretty much your normal mommy-blog. I do occasionally try to blog about things other than my son and family, but I mainly blog about what we’re up to! Like most mom blogs, this is my “scrapbook” of sorts, and I try to document at least the big things that are happening in our life.  This year I’ve fallen behind, mainly because of my last semester of school being so crazy and time-consuming! I’m trying to catch up over the summer, but I haven’t blogged as much as I thought I would. I’m enjoying spending my time with Christopher and I hate to be on the computer when I could be spending time with him.

Today’s topic is Social Media!  I luuurve me some social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter (@stephn85), Pinterest, and Instagram (@stephn85). My twitter account is protected and I limit who can see it – I have more people on my twitter who don’t know me “in real life” than people who do. I update Twitter more often than I do Facebook. Feel free to add me!

Favorite websites? I don’t really have any at this point. I love reading/lurking blogs. I check twitter and facebook multiple times a day. (I’m obsessed.) I try not to be on my computer a lot right now, so most of my online browsing is done on my iPhone (addicted to it) or my iPad (my parents got me one for graduation and I LOVE it.)

The hubby and I are headed out of town today to replace my lost Social Security card. There are days when I’m quite sure I would lose my head if it weren’t attached to my body….

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hi, Y’all!!

Hey! I am participating in Jenna’s Journey Commenting Challenge this year. Welcome to my little blog!

My name is Stephanie… I’m 26 years old, married to Stephen, and mommy to cutie-pie Christopher, who will be three in August. I live in a little town in Western Arkansas.  I just graduated from college last month. I’ve been in and out of college since I graduated high school in 2004. It was after my son was born that I decided I had to go back and finish my degree, as working as an associate at Walmart was not going to cut it for me or my family. So I spent two long, hard years commuting back and forth from Arkadelphia, Arkansas, (a 4-hour round trip commute) and finally finished up my BSE (education) degree last month.  I am now in the process of trying to find a teaching job! (You can scroll down a few entries to see my graduation post.)

My husband and I both love to travel, play games, have a good drink, and spend time with our families. We play cards with my parents on a weekly basis and my brother Tyler and sister-in-law Britney are our best friends.

My husband works at the local newspaper, but he is also in the process of finishing his degree – also in education. We’re looking forward to both finding teaching jobs and seeing what the next chapter of life brings us… we’re up for just about anything!

Thanks for visiting!

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Stephen + Stephanie, September 2008

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Christopher Tyler, August 2009

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Christopher’s 1st Birthday, August 2010

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Christopher’s 2nd Birthday, August 2011

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Christopher & Me – May 2012

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Britney, me, & Ty – HSU Graduation May 2012

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Stephen + Stephanie, May 2012 – leaving on a cruise!

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Christopher – June 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Wedding and Family!

Oh my... First post from my iPad! My parents got me one for graduation and aim in LOVE with it! Perfect gift for a new Business/Tech teacher!
Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful daddy's out there! To my wonderful dad and my husband...I am so thankful for both of you!




Friday, June 15, 2012

Quick Trip to NWA

At the beginning of June, we had the chance to go to Northwest Arkansas for an overnight trip. Stephen had two sporting events to cover on two consecutive evenings, so instead of him making the trip by himself twice in two days, we decided to just book a hotel room and have the whole family go.

We basically just had one morning and early afternoon to explore but we had several things we wanted to try to squeeze in!  First on my list was… (don’t laugh!) finding the Duggar’s house! My husband officially labeled me as crazy. I was able to use my super sleuth skills to find their address and I forced Stephen to drive me by it. He really thought the whole thing was super nuts but I thought it was awesome!

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From there we went to Bentonville because we were planning on visiting Crystal Bridges Museum. When we arrived at the museum, we discovered that it didn’t open for another hour or two, so we decided to explore Bentonville a bit. I’ve mentioned before that Stephen and I would love to live in NWA. We just love it there. We found the Bentonville Square and it was seriously SO neat!

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The original Walton’s 5-10 was located on the Bentonville town square, and it has now been turned into a Sam Walton/Walmart museum. Even though Stephen and I did not enjoy being employees of Walmart #67, it truly is remarkable what Sam Walton accomplished and the museum was really neat.  The red and white truck parked in front of the store is a replica, Sam’s actual truck was inside the museum.

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The city of Bentonville had these weird pink snails all over the place. I looked it up and it was to spread the word about some hotel being built nearby.

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After exploring downtown Bentonville, we made our way back to Crystal Bridges.

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The museum was really interesting! There are neat trails and sculptures outside that you can see, but it was hot and we were getting hungry so we decided to go grab lunch at a popular NWA place – Abuelo’s.  After lunch we did a little driving around Fayetteville and Stephen had to meet someone real quick on the Fayetteville Square. I remembered reading about a cupcake place on the Fayetteville Square and realized we were parked just a few doors down from it, so we had a treat from Bliss Cupcake – YUM. Don’t know why I don’t have pictures of our yummy cupcakes? Oh well. After cupcakes it was time to go to the sporting event that Stephen was supposed to cover – a basketball game. And after that we headed home!

We had such a fun time on just a one-day excursion to a place we’d like to eventually call home. We love NWA and all that it has to offer and our “goal” is to move to that area eventually.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Days + The Dogs (but not the dog days of summer)

I’ve really been enjoying this weather recently. It’s perfect – warm, but not that blistering scorching heat that will be rearing its ugly head in late July and August. I’ve been trying to take advantage of the weather by playing outside and going on plenty of walks. My stroller didn’t see the light of day for most of the fall, winter, OR spring, so I’ve been trying to remedy that. I really enjoy walking outside and have even gone a few times by myself – actually, with our Boxers, because it’s just enjoyable for me.

Speaking of our Boxers… they drive me nuts. One day I’m ready to get rid of them, the next I’m begging Stephen not to give them away – “Stephen! They’re part of our FAMILY! We can’t just give them away!”  Jasper has GOT to quit chewing every little thing he gets his mouth on. I don’t know what we’ll do if he keeps destroying things. He’s basically eating our money, and it’s so frustrating.

But he’s so pretty…

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sweet Bella-boo

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Baxter – obviously not a Boxer, but I can’t leave him out.
This picture is from this April as well, and he was really shaggy.
He has a much better looking summer cut right now.
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Stephen went into work late this morning and didn’t come home for a lunch break, so after Christopher and I were finished eating lunch, I texted Stephen and asked if he would like for me to bring him something. I decided that IMG_3218since it was nice weather outside (and cloudy, which is a blessing for me because I get “sun sick” easily, even when the weather is cool) we would walk to his office.  It’s just a few blocks away from our house – just a block past the park, (I actually Google mapped it – it’s only 8/10 of a mile) so I decided to walk it! I loaded up Christopher and we decided to take Baxter with us. We walked to Stephen’s office and delivered his lunch to him.  Then I decided to walk to my mom’s office, which is just a few more blocks down the road from The Star.  We hung out there for a few minutes, caught our breath and enjoyed the cool air. Baxter especially like the break, and was panting so hard that mom felt sorry for him and found a bowl for him to drink some water out of! (I’ll add here that she didn’t offer me anything – just Christopher and the dog. Thankfully, I had brought my own water.) ;-)

We left mom’s office and headed home. I was trying to avoid the park (I just wasn’t up for it today and preferred for Christopher not to see it- he mentioned wanting to play there on the way to The Star) so I headed home by going past James’ (if you’re local) and realized that I was just a half mile away from my dad’s office… so I asked IMG_0058Christopher if he wanted to go see PawPaw, and of course he did – so we ended up walking to dad’s office, as well. By the time we got back home, we’d been gone over an hour and a half and walked 2.5 miles. The jogging stroller killed my calves.  Ouch. But we had fun! This afternoon we chilled at the house and watched Mickey Mouse and Christopher took a late LATE nap and I even napped on the couch for a few minutes before making dinner. I’ve been really good about making lunches and dinners and eating out less since summer started. Tonight we had tilapia, rice, and green beans and it was all delicious! Last night I fried squash… It was Stephen’s first time to have fried squash, which is funny considering I didn’t know there was any other way to eat squash (or okra, for that matter) when I was a kid. It was yummy!

Today was another great summer day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Graduation {alternatively titled: I DID IT!!!!!}

On May 11, 2012, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education! I know I finished college in an unconventional way, but I finished and that is really all that matters. In fact, I think that I appreciate this degree more now than I would have if I had finished college the traditional way – four years straight after high school. I worked hard for this degree, traveled God-only-knows-how-many miles, cried many tears, stayed up plenty of late nights, and spent a ton of time away from my home and family. It was very hard at times, but I made it!

I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without my family. My mom kept Christopher for me, so I was able to go to school 2 hours away and not worry about his health or safety. One semester, he spent two nights a week with her because Stephen and I had to leave for school at 6am – and it was easier to let him spend the night with mom instead of trying to wake him up and get him dressed and over to moms super early.

My entire family was encouraging and supported me (and Stephen) during our journey through college. Ty and Britney let me use their apartment on multiple occasions. I spent a week there alone while they were on a cruise and I was having to attend Internship Orientation in January. They let me keep food there and eat lunch there.

Stephen – my husband. I would not have, could not have, gone back to college and finished my degree if it had not been for him. He encouraged me on the nights I didn’t want to continue. He worked his tail off at his job so that I could afford to not work while going to school. He went to school and still worked hard at his job. He had it much tougher than me, but he insisted that I focus on school, Christopher, and our home so that I didn’t have to worry about working. He helped me with assignments, calmed my fears, wiped my tears, and never gave up on me. I will never be able to repay him for all that he did to help me through the last two years.

Enough mushiness – moving along.

I was so happy at graduation. I couldn’t quit smiling. I kept having to choke back tears during the beginning of the ceremony – while the speakers were giving their speeches. I just couldn’t believe it was finally happening! I managed to not break into a big ugly sob, thankfully.

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Where’s Stephanie?landscapegrads

Me and My People:
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Me + My Boy:
{My main motivation for getting my degree}
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After graduation, we traveled north to Hot Springs, to celebrate! We had a delicious dinner at Olive Garden, compliments of my awesome parents. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day! =)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

fun with Nana

My mother-in-law came down from Missouri for my graduation and spent the week with us before my graduation. She had some work she needed to do, plus she wanted to spend time with us. We had a fun week visiting with her! One day we took Christopher to the park.

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Christopher loves going up this ladder thing. It scared Nana to watch him do it!

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Even yours truly played for a few minutes. :)

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Love this sweet boy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Today

I have SOOOOO MUCH to blog about! I know - I say that every time that I update this ol’ thing! I wish I were dedicated enough to sit down every night and write about our day… and maybe as the summer progresses, I can get into that habit.

I have SO MUCH to blog about over the past few weeks, but I am just going to do a post over “today” for now. We are loving summer SO much! I love not having to worry about school, homework, etc. I have really been enjoying my “free” time. I’m also excited knowing that I will always have fun summers with my family. Our days recently have consisted of lots of fun outside, swimming, playing, watching Thomas, playing games, etc. We are loving it!

Christopher woke up early this morning. He had wet the bed – something that happened for the first time just yesterday, so I was really surprised when it happened again this morning. We (Christopher and I) had planned on spending the morning delivering some goodies to my parents at their work offices. What goodies, you ask?

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Homemade oatmeal cream pies. Oh. My. Goodness. Deliciousness.  I could tell by the number of cookies that the recipe made that I would need to be sharing them, and as soon as I stuffed three in my mouth without thinking about it ate one, I made a decision to get them OUT OF MY HOUSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I love sweets and I love baking, but I will eat all.day.long. without even thinking about it. I literally have to get stuff out of my sight (usually out of the house) to keep from stuffing myself silly. Yes, my self-control is sad.

Anyway, since C was up early and it was a pretty morning outside – mid-60s and warming up, I decided to walk to our local park and play for a little while, then keep walking to my mom’s office and deliver her cookies to her.

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We were at the park no more than 30 seconds when Christopher announced that he needed to pee. He may or may not have peed on a little rock building close to the playground. (Hey Park People – let’s get restrooms closer to the playground side of the park, huh?) Approximately 4 minutes later, he decided he needed to POOP, too.  WELL. No way was I taking him to the nasty park bathrooms to do a #2, so I loaded him up in the stroller (thankfully I had taken the jogging stroller) and RAN all the way to my mom’s office, telling him the whole way – DON’T POOP IN YOUR UNDERWEAR!!! WAIT TILL WE GET TO GEEGEE’S OFFICE!!!! I’m quite sure it was a site to see. And hear.

And what do you know – we get to my mom’s office and his need to poop magically disappeared. Sigh. We delivered mom’s cookies to her then took her car back to the house because I wasn’t going to risk walking home with a possible poopy situation.

We delivered my dad’s cookies to him in the late morning – and while we were at his office Christopher actually DID relieve himself (number 1 AND 2)  so we went back by the park on the way home. Somebody was nice enough to leave a wad of gum on a slide and christopher went over it before I realized it, resulting in this leg and jeans being covered in nasty already-chewed gum. Lovely. AND Guess What! We were there for about 5 minutes and he needed to pee. AGAIN.  I don’t miss diapers, but MAN. It’s exhausting running errands when you constantly have to stop what you’re doing to go to the bathroom to maybe pee. There have been times when we’ve been in walmart for 45 minutes and gone to the bathroom three times.

Anyway… back on subject. We got home, (took his shorts off before getting in to the carseat) had lunch (corn dog, mommy! and ma-an-cheeese!) and played in the yard for a few minutes before naptime.  This afternoon we’ve watched Thomas the Tank Engine, colored, and played in the sprinkler. And I say “played” – but really that means that I got C all dressed in his swimming clothes and his new water shoes that I bought him and then we went outside to run in the sprinkler, but he was scared of it and I ended up holding him and running through it myself (dressed in workout clothes) and getting myself soaked. I’m sure the people driving by our front yard got a kick out of that. :)

Tonight we’re grilling steaks. Yum! Tomorrow is daycare day – we decided that 2 days a week, Christopher would continue daycare (which he LOVES, thankfully) and that would give him the social interaction (he needs it) and it would give me two days a week for myself, for running errands or getting the house and yard cleaned up, etc, that way we can enjoy the other five days of the week!