A goal

8 04 2008

I always have lots of goals:  drink more water, spend less money, exercise more…

however I rarely actually set myself quantifiable goals.  I inevitably fail them when I do, and the guilt and let down of failing inhibits me from trying to continue.  I do better at achieving my goals if I just keep them as vague desires in the back of my head.  More of a “I’ll try and do this more”

I’m making an exception though, and that’s this blog.  I’m guessing many had given up on my posting on a regular basis long ago. I truly do miss the experience of expressing myself in this fashion.  I can’t put my finger on what exactly has been inhibiting me.  Yes, I’m busy, and often lack energy, but that’s not the only thing.  I think I’m a bit daunted by all the posts that I haven’t written.  All the things that I’ve thought “I should post about this” and never did.  So here goes.  I’m going to write something everyday that I have access to the internet for the next 2 weeks.  Maybe that’ll clear the air enough that I can start using this as a medium of self expression and a way for friends to keep up with me again.  I think it’s especially important now that I’m not living with the Evanston girls.  Not only will this allow them to still know my day to days which is so important to keeping up friendships, but I’m finding I don’t have as many outlets for my thoughts.  I share with Mike, but it’s different.  And there’s only one Mike.  I used to have 3 very close confidants at my fingertips.


Like Abby said

28 02 2008

I should post more.  Blog that get neglected are sad.  Poor, poor blog.  There there, it’s alright I still love you.  I just…. haven’t been myself lately.

So, I did not get the admission job.  I’m very interested to see who they pick.  Reasons it is good I didn’t get the job:

Now I can be in Urinetown if I’m cast
I won’t have to travel my first year of marriage
I can take the whole week before and after my wedding off!
It would have been a fairly high stress job, now I can find one that hopefully is less stressful

I’ve spent the last few days moving into the new apartment.  I miss my girls alot.  It’s so weird not seeing them.

Last night I went down to my cousin’s house and went over the edits I made on her husband’s manuscript with him and had dinner with both.  I helped edit a book that’ll be published soon!  I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to get out of the apartment and see people every day.  Yesterday I turned in a resume, picked up an app to be a server for the restaurant that’s opening at the co-op in a month or so, and picked up a sub certificate application.  I also sent in my resume/application to 3 other jobs recently.  I check all the job sources that I can think of every day, so I can’t think of anything else that I could be doing to find a job at this point.  I think at this point I’m thinking that I’ll sub and waitress until the wedding and then look harder again.  Unless one of my other leads comes through.

My apartment is becoming beautiful! 🙂  Can’t wait for Mike to come home and see it.  He’s in Colorado on spring break.  Oh, and for the first time I have a close friend who’s pregnant.  Very exciting!

[break for visit from Miriam. yay!]

Now I’m off to see my niece in her track meet.

The people asked and I cannot refuse them

23 01 2008

I’ve been finding it hard to organize my thoughts when I consider posting, so eventually I just don’t, but I do want to keep this thing up.  I was reminded the other night by Megan that there are more people who like to keep up with me this way than I sometimes remember.  So I’ll attempt to make some sense of all the things that have been rattling around in my head these days.

First off, some news.  Most of you know, but that’s ok.  I’m moving back to Goshen.  Mike and I have decided it will be best for us to start out married life there.  I applied for a job as an admission counselor at the college.  I still need to get all of my letters of reference in, but other than that I’m just waiting for them to get back to me.  We’re interviewing for a replacement with the kids.  So far we have found one candidate that we like, but are going to do a couple more interviews to give us some options.  I think we’ll probably hire in the next week or so.  At this rate I’ll probably move back in the first few weeks of March sometime.  Possibly the last weekend of February.

I had been struggling with the decision to stay in Evanston vs. going back to Goshen for several months, but two events over Christmas break played a large role in changing my mind.  The first was a game night with a few of Mike and my friends.  The key here is that last phrase- Mike AND my friends- not Mike’s friends, not my friends, but our friends.  We have mutual friends in Goshen, something that would be completely lacking in Evanston.  The second was Christmas eve with my family we went around and talked about something that had happened this last year that was a high point, and all of my sister’s kids mentioned sports that they were involved in, and I realized that I was really sad to be missing out on all of those events.  Being around both our families is a wonderful opportunity.

I’m really excited about the transition and some of the wonderful things that moving to Goshen means in my life.  I auditioned for several shows at New World last weekend including the musical Urinetown which would be a blast to be part of.  I’m really excited about attending Assembly again and plugging back into a small group.  But I’m also so very sad to be leaving the babies and my girlfriends.  I don’t have an really close friends in Goshen.  I have alot of friends there, don’t get me wrong, but none of those relationships hold a candle to what I have with Abby, Becca and Jess.  I will miss them intensely.  I’ve put myself on the fast track to returning to Goshen, but now that it’s actually happening I’m feeling emotionally unprepared for the transition.  Hopefully that changes some as things fall into place with a job and a place to live in Goshen, and as the reality of what’s happening settles in my gut a bit.  Let’s just say I’ve been dealing with alot of anxious energy in the last few days.

Also, I hate waiting for things… like hearing from the college about my application.

Oh and in the last two days I have purchased several things in quantities of 300.  Why does buying stuff for the wedding make me so nervous?

Updates and soapboxes

11 12 2007

Darn, I didn’t realize till just now that the last post didn’t really work very well. Eh.

Sooo… Liz has croup, so it’s just Ray and I for the next few days. Poor girl was miserable yesterday and Ray just wouldn’t leave her alone. He tends to be attracted to whatever she’s playing with, and the concept of “stealing” isn’t even on the radar yet. There was also a distinct lack of sleeping on Liz’s part, so I had a long day of keeping her happy despite a constant runny nose, overly tiredness, and general not feeling goodness.

Becca and I decorated for Christmas last week, although the apartment still needs something to make it feel more right. Stockings on the fireplace for one, and lights around the window. And presents under the tree. Oh, and a real tree instead of our current fake one would do wonders, but that’s just my own bias.

Last weekend the girls and I took Erini to Maggiano’s to celebrate her new jobs. Yum. Maggiano’s has this cool family dining option where you chose 2 appetizers, 2 salads, 2 pasta dishes, 2 main dishes, and 2 desserts and then you get all you can eat and share everything around. You need at least 4 people, but that’s not a problem for us, and if you count the whole other meal you get out of the leftovers it’s a pretty reasonable $25 a person. We also shared around a bottle of St. Michelle’s Eroica Riesling which was simply amazing. Then we went and saw The Golden Compass. Nicole Kidman is amazing. I’ve loved her since seeing Far and Away as a kid. There were a few other disappointing things about the film, but that’s mainly because I just read the books a few months ago. It’s definitely worth seeing. The books are even more worth reading. But speaking of The Golden Compass, I’m going to get on the proverbial soap box for a second and complain about a couple news articles I read the other night about the movie.

I found both these on Yahoo news.

In an article about how much Compass made in it’s first weekend, associated press movie writer David Germain writes :

“The Golden Compass” follows the adventures of an orphan girl hurled into a parallel world of witches, strange flying machines and talking polar bears.”

This makes it seem as if Lyra is from a different world from the one with this witches, polar bears, etc. Not true. She is born, raised, and stays in the same universe for the whole movie.

In an ABC news article about the controversy surrounding Compass, Emily Friedman writes:

“As Lyra gets closer to her goal of reaching the Magisterium — located in the alternate universe of Bolvanger —…”

Blovanger is not in an alternate universe. Again, no one leaves the universe the movie is set in at any point in the movie. I know these seem like small details, but isn’t the news supposed to get things right? This is not about opinion or perspective. It’s simple facts. If you’re going to write a news article, at least know what you’re talking about. Did they watch the movie? I think it would be confusing to have read those article and then gone to see the movie if I had never read the books. It just bothered me.

10 things to be grateful for.

15 08 2007

Stephanie sits down at her computer lounges on the couch with her laptop overheating in her lap. She checks her e-mail checks to see if she has a new e-mail from Mike even though she know she doesn’t. She gets an IM from a guyfriend from college which leads her to reminiscing about a blog her college friends started 4 years ago, and reading those early entries. She tries to find songs to suggest to her friend who’s getting married in a month for background music during the reception. Than, because she promised herself she’d jump back on the horse she checks her WP account which she hasn’t touched in months.


Last night my beautiful roommate Abby, in an attempt to encourage me out of my current worry/stress induced slump, told me 10 things that I should be thankful for. And as she said, they are not in order because that would take too much brain power. (It was midnight and I hadn’t been able to sleep) So here goes.

1) Mike. I have a wonderful young man who is in love with me and who’ll be home in LESS THAN A WEEK. In Abby’s words, less is a beautiful word to be able to put in front of week.

2) My job. I have a great job that I enjoy with bosses that value me and that pays me more than adequately.

3) A roof over my head, and the knowledge that I’d never have to do without one.

4) A family that although is somewhat non-traditional is always there for one another.

5) I have my physical health.

6) 3 fabulous roommates who love and support me.

7) I have intelligence and reason. Or at least Abby says I do ;).

8 ) I have scars, both physical and emotional that show that I’m a survivor and that is a cause for hope.

9) I have a cat and cats are cute.

10) I can dance. I have something in my life that can bring me great joy.

So what are your ten? Seriously, if you read this, no matter how you happened this way, I encourage you to comment with then things you are grateful for in your life. What fun!

Goshen for the weekend

30 06 2007

I’m doing laundry the “old fashioned” way, one load at a time.  No I’m not doing it by hand, but it’s weird having to switch loads so much and spend a whole day doing laundry.  Also my stupid cat must have slept in my hamper because everything is still covered in cat hair even after it comes out of the drier.

My post almost started “Home for the weekend”, almost.  But Goshen isn’t home.  Evanston is.  Or wait.  Where is home?  If “home is where the heart” is, Guatamala might be the strongest contender.  But then there’s my family (mostly in Goshen) and my flatmates (right now, all over the globe).  Honestly, home is such a vague notion for me.  It has been since we left this area in 5th grade.  One of my strongest desires is not to struggle with what to call home.  I want to feel settled in one place, with my strongest ties in that place.

I love coming to Goshen, but it’s always a struggle making time for everyone and having the right priorities.  It’s not quite as hard when Mike’s not here, because there’s not the draw to spend all my time with him, but it’s still difficult.  I want to spend plenty of time with my family, but there are alot of friends to see as well.  My parent, my two nieces, and my baby nephew went to the zoo today.  I really wish I had gone with them.  But I didn’t and instead got my laundry done, had lunch with a friend and hit up the 50% off sale at Goodwill for some silverware for when Becca and I move into our condo (Abby owns all the silverware).

Work is stressful.  But it’s getting better and Erini is working out really well.  It’s so nice having someone I’m comfortable with and who I know isn’t going to flake out on me.  I was dreading the summer with the other woman we had hired because she was tiresome to be around all day for a variety of reason, and I’m so thankful she quite.  I’m not usually so turned off by a person, so I was surprised/concerned about my response to her.  But she’s gone, and for the most part I’m just not worrying about it. The really interesting thing was that the girls didn’t like her either (especially Liz) which I just chalked up to her being a stranger, but they’ve taken to Erini alot better.

Ray (my new little boy) is growing on my quite a bit.  At first I was skeptical about having a boy to work with since I’d been with the girls for so long, but I think mostly I was reacting to the idea of learning to know any new baby.  I’m going to miss Rose so very much.  She’s my little sweetheart.  I hope to visit her in Seattle sometime next year when I go out to see some of my friends, but I realize she probably won’t remember me!  More than likely she will never really remember who I am.  I find that very strange, since I’ll never forget her, and she means so much to me.  It makes me sad.

Abby (Oregon friend who’s getting married) changed her date to the 14th!  So I’m going to Oregon twice in a month’s time.  And Mike’s going with me 😀  Grrr.. but it’s expensive even for a short weekend trip.  Sigh.  I get to go try on bride’s maid’s dresses tomorrow though so that’s exciting.

Alright I think I’m done with random updates.

No word on the co-op, although we’re supposed to go to a co-op meeting on the 9th so that people can meet us if they want.  the 9th also happens to be the half-way mark for Mike’s trip.  Can’t come fast enough.

Not obligated

18 06 2007

Now that I’ve released myself from feeling like I should blog, I really want to.  So maybe that last post was a lie.  Also things have calmed down in my life a bit (sort of).  Things that have been happening recently:

I started working with all three babies.  We hired a woman to help me, but she quite suddenly this weekend after just 4 day.  That was stressful.  But my friend Erini agreed today to fill in for the rest of the summer.  Thankyou so much Erini!  You’re a gem.

We’ve pretty much been accepted for the coop that we’re trying to get into, so now it’s just a process of waiting for two of the units to open up (only one needs to open up for us to move since Abby’s gone and we can squeeze 3 women into one condo for a little while).  This could happen any time.  But there’s complications with the one that’s supposed to be opening up soonest.  The woman who lives there is having trouble getting into her new condo.  So it could be next week or it could be in two months.  I’m bad at this sort of unknown waiting.  Grrrr…

Also, a friend of mine from H.S. (also named Abby) just got engaged and is planning on getting married in Oregon sometime in September.  She asked me to be a bride’s maid 🙂  She was going to be one of my bride’s maids, which reminds me, I STILL have her bride’s maid’s dress in my closet at my parent’s house… I’ll have to remember to take it this summer.  Any ways, the complication is that she and her fiance set the date for September 29, the exact same day that I’m supposed to be in my friend Fallon’s wedding!  Abby and Edder (short for Edwardo I think… hum, should probably know this) are considering changing the date of their wedding.  I’m not the only reason, but I’m part of it.  How amazing is that!

Their engagement got me thinking about Mike and I (big surprise there right), but for good reason.  Abby and I told each other about our perspective new relationships in the same phone conversation just over a year ago.  She and Edder have been dating just over a month less than Mike and I.  It’s been interesting to watch both of the relationships grow and compare notes.  I’m a bit jealous of Abby that she’s reached this stage, one that I definitely want to be at, but at the same time, I’m really grateful for the fact that Mike and I need to take things slower.  We’re not at the same place in our lives, he’s still in school, and most of our relationship has developed from a distance.  I’m glad we can’t move as quickly as Abby and Edder could because it would be too fast for me.  I’d be dealing with alot more fear.

A group of interns has come to Reba (our local church) to learn about intentional community.  It’s been fun to start getting to know some of them.  Three of the guys live in the apartment above us and they invited our apartment (unfortunately Abby and Jess couldn’t come due to the fact that they were hopping the pond and spending two weeks in England) to dinner on Friday.  They served Becca and me an amazing meal of Indian curry, eggplant stirfry, and a milk and rice pudding with saffron in it!  Pretty impressive given the fact that they hadn’t had any food in their apartment the day before.

A sunny day in town

19 05 2007

Music: Kiss from a Rose by Seal

Last night Tara, a friend from Goshen, came up to visit and today she, Abby and I slept in, had a leisurely breakfast, sat around talking and interneting and then went out into the sun.  We walked to the farmer’s market which opened in town today, but it was alot further away than we thought, so we got there as most of the booths were tearing down.  So we walked back and had a lovely Thai meal at Cosi noodle and stopped in at a cute boutique where Tara bought a sunny yellow dress and wore it out the shop.  I’m salivating over a cute white top, but it’s a bit pricey for such a simple piece.  I also ran across to The World Market which is my new favorite store!  I got a Goats do Rome rose’ for $5 on clearance and beautiful earrings.  I covet a darkwood carved screen and an amazing desk.  Maybe when we move…

After that we walked down to some shoe shops so Abby could look for shoes for her amazing summer travels.  Then another boutique that I love to go into and dream, but where the dresses start at $100.  On to Jamba Juice before taking the L home.  The entire afternoon was graced by the warm sun,  a gentle breeze and good company.

Sacrifice for Gain

16 04 2007

I just finished reading a post from A Girl and a Boy. She talks about how in life we often think of each step as a step up, bigger apartment, more amenities, better paying job, etc. She offers instead the idea of life as a web on which we can move in all directions. She also talks about how each time we make changes in our life, we often sacrifice in order to gain.

This is actually something I’ve been thinking alot about since finding out that Mike’s going to be in Chicago next spring. I’m ecstatic about the fact that I’ll see him more. I’ve always disliked the fact that we have trouble knowing some of the more mundain elements of each other’s lives because when we are together it’s a bit like being in a bubble. We alter our normal routines, and spend alot of concentrated time together often just the two of us.

I’m also relieved that I know longer have to deal with the black hole of uncertainty that existed because we had no real concept of when we would be in the same place. A year, two years, three? Could I wait that long? Was he worth waiting for? I fought that battle recently, and came through with a resounding “yes, for now I chose this path”. I want to see this relationship to the end, whatever end that might be. But it was still really hard not to be scared. Especially because there are parts of my subconscious that are still afraid that I’m destined to be continually rejected by the men I fall for. Discarded for a better model because they didn’t truly love me, I just tricked them into thinking they did by loving them as hard as I could.

But now it’s a solid, tangible 10 months. Still a while, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll stay in Chicago after he graduates, but at least I have this three months to look forward to and hold onto when I get impatient with the long distance.

But what am I giving up? There are always sacrifices to be made even if we don’t see them till much later. The one that I’ve been thinking about is the dynamic I have with my roommates. I’ve already had to make sacrifices with my time with them because of my relationship with Mike, but that’s going to intensify when he’s living within visiting distance. I will have to be more conscious of how I use my time, and how my relationship with Mike is affecting my relationships with the girls, and apartment dynamics as a whole. If Mike and I work out, I’ll have years to spend with him, but I will only be living with these girls for two years, and most likely we’ll all move in different directions and spread out across the country and quite possibly the world in the coming years. Being in community with them is a luxury I try very hard not to take for granted. Hopefully there will be no regrets.

An e-mail to a close friend

5 02 2007

Music: Homebird by Foy Vance

(I think this e-mail sums up recent events pretty well)

Well, let’s see. Things with work are good. Sometimes I can’t wait for the girls to get a little older so that they are quite as dependent on me. I don’t mind the dependency, or take care of them, it’s only a problem when they both want my attention right now. Liz especially can be fussy and want to be held simply because she’s tired, which makes it hard to give Rose the time she deserves. Especially now because I’ve been working with her on learning to sit up and it sucks when I have to lay Rose down during some of the short time when she’s awake and not being fed or changed or tired and falling asleep. So there are times that I get a bit frustrated that I can’t give each of the girls the attention I want to, but as they get older that will get better.
I went back to Goshen this weekend. It was a good trip, but way too fast. I got to see all my family that lives in the area, except Matt (Karis’ husband) because he was working, and my oldest nephew because he was on a church retreat. I wish I could have spent more time with them, but I also spent a good portion of the weekend catching up with friends. I’m beginning to realize how much I miss having a strong, varied, and extensive community. I love the town of Evanston, but I don’t feel close to people here except for my roommates. I miss so many people from Goshen. It was wonderful to see Mike because I’d had an emotionally draining week for various reasons- two very stressful, disturbing dreams, and having a talk with a close friend about something I did in the past that was very hurtful to her that she didn’t know about. She’s really angry at me, understandably, but it’s really hard because it’s something I’m not proud of and it makes me feel small and pathetic. But I’m also a different person than I was when it happened and I hope she can see that and forgive me.
The more time I spend with Mike the more I realize how well we respond to each other. He has a real calming affect on my life. We are able to be completely open with one another even when it’s hard. I trust him, which is important given the distance. He’s someone who I can talk to when I’m dealing with real issues of life and faith, and he processes them with me. I never feel like he’s judging me, which is something I have struggled with when it comes to alot of people I’m close to. But he also helps me own up to my own faults and issues. I’m still scared of opening myself up to potentially getting very hurt again. I’m not sure how to get away from the fear, but so far I’ve been able to keep it from disabling me in the relationship. Sometimes it’s so hard for me to talk myself down from giving up because it takes so much time and emotional energy to keep up the long distance relationship. I’m hopeful for it though.