Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Did I mention...?

I had such a fabulous weekend, I feel like I need you catch everyone up on a few things!
So, in case you didn't know....
... I love three day weekends!

... I'm thankful for our troops


... I'm in love with my new nephew


... I have the best girlfriends in the world



... I'm running a half marathon in October (?!?!?)


... I set a personal best for a run this past weekend... just over 6 miles!

... I've nearly finished our guestroom!

... These guys did NOT disappoint this weekend!

... I'm so excited to plan my hubbys 25th birthday for this Saturday!


... It's also our third anniversary this Saturday. Awww. I'm so lucky.

... I'm so happy this is a short week! The weekend will be here before you know it!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Success


"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded."



Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forgiveness

A few years back I had a friend who I helped out, letting her stay with me at my apartment for a month or two while she was having family issues. Her family really hated me for it, and I remember both her mother and sister leaving me rather unpleasant voicemails on my cell. My friend eventually worked things out with them and moved back home. So that was it? No apology for how cruel they were towards me? Was I supposed to just forget the nasty voicemails and distain I knew they felt towards me?

Somehow, I knew, even back then, how important it was to forgive them for what they had done to me. I knew deep down they were only fiercely protecting their daughter/sister and I probably would've done the same thing if I was in their situation. Yes, I helped my friend and I wouldn't change that. I'm glad I did. But more than that, I'm glad I chose to forgive them without waiting for them to ask for forgiveness.

I clearly remember how free I felt after making that small decision in my heart to forgive them. It was so liberating. I wasn't waiting on anyone, and I didn't feel the need to justify my decision. I was free. It's true what they say, that to forgive is to set a prisoner free, and to discover that the prisoner was you.

How many times I have held onto a grudge, being completely justified for doing so, and wishing, waiting for that day I know they will come crawling back to me, begging for forgiveness. Your mind quickly forms a downward spiral every time you think about that person... hoping they are miserable, knowing if you can't stop thinking about it, they must  be thinking about it too. "It's just a matter of time," we tell ourselves.

All the while, a prisioner in our own mind.

I find myself in a similiar situation right now. A friend needing my forgiveness - but not asking for it. Being hurt by someone you care about, being rejected because you tried to help, and being ignored out of fear are realities we've all experienced. I cannot control the choices others make, even though sometimes how I wish I could. Don't we all want to play God at one point or another, taking away someones free will because we know they are only hurting themselves? How desperately I wish I could free them from their chains, if only they would allow it.

How ironic that I can clearly see the hurt someone else is doing to themselves, and yet cannot see the hurt I am causing myself by withholding forgiveness. God must get a little smirk on his face when I talk about this sort of thing; about how I wish I could free someone else, when I myself still need to be freed.

So I'm faced with a choice. Forgive them - and release all of the hurt, wrongdoing, and ignorance on their part. Never to be held against them. Never to dwell on it again. Forgiven and free. Free to make their own harmful choices without judgement from me. Free to change, free to stay the same.

My only other choice is to knowingly become a prisoner, and that sounds very unpleasant to me.

Because one day, that mother and daughter did come back to me and ask for my forgiveness. Years later. I wasn't waiting on it, expecting it, or even hoping for it. I was kind of shocked, actually. Because I was already free, hadn't thought of that situation in years, and had absolutely  no hard feelings against them.

So what did I say when she asked, "Stephanie, will you forgive me?"

"I already have."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thank You + Weekend Project

I first want to say thanks to everyone for your supportative comments on my previous post. I really put myself out there, and I appreciate your positive feeback! I will keep you updated as things progress, and have been inspired to continue being honest and upfront - thanks to you!

I took this past Friday off and enjoyed a fantastic, long weekend. Eric left Friday afternoon for a friends birthday party, so I did some shopping (of course!). I was in the mood to buy some house deocrations, so I stopped by a store we have around here, Old Time Pottery, which has the BEST decorating stuff for very good prices.

They had two entire isles of beach decor and nautical looking stuff. I was suddenly inspired to re-do our guest room which I haven't touched since we moved in six months ago. It was a horrible peachy/pink color and has been on the top of my "to do next" list for a while. I left the store with $100 in decor that I thought would work, then went home to research nautical looking rooms.

This was our guestroom two days ago:























The first thing I noticed in my room research was the use of beadboard as a common theme for nautical-looking rooms. How hard can that be right? I stopped by Lowes and their sheets of bead board were about $20 each... not too bad. I decided to go for it.

I texted Eric to tell him what he could look forward to as soon as he got home, and he agreed! I was on a roll. I woke up Saturday morning and kept scheming even more... getting the room ready, and looking up tutorials on how to do beadboard DIY style.

As soon as Eric got home, we went to Lowes and got started!


















We painted the top half of the room a light tan color, then started cutting the beadboard. We bought some sort of jigsaw thingy to cut it. Everything I read said to use some sort of liquid nails, then hammer a few finishing nails in just to keep it in place.

Well this was the first piece... and it didn't go so well.


















First of all, the "glue" Eric picked up ended up to be some sort of caulk. Definitely not glue and definitely didn't work. Second, the white nails we picked up were so flimsy and would NOT nail into the wall at all... kept bending and breaking and it was a trainwreck.

Eric's next idea was to use screws. I didn't like it, because I know most screws aren't white and are much larger than nails. But we took another trip to Lowes and picked up some screws (surprisingly found some with white tops) and came back to try them out. Turns out that was a horrible idea, because the screws worked, but they tore up the beadboard so much it left a giant brown spot where the screw was.

So, off came that first piece of beadboard. It was getting close to 10PM so we called it quits for the night.

My parents Skyped me right about this moment, so I talked to them for a bit. Both of my uncles were also with them, because they helped work on my parents fixer-upper house they bought in Indiana. I told mom we were having a "beadboard crisis" and they suggested renting a nailgun. Brilliant (although not in the budget - I was desperate).

The next morning we woke up and headed to Home Depot for the nailgun and a few other things - like more glue (we KEPT buying MORE GLUE. We started off with two tubes, and ended up using like 10. We also kept buying more beadboard - and we learned that the people at the store will CUT it for you! That way it actually fits in your car without having a "moving violation" as my deputy sheriff husband was sure to point out as something we were doing, and it takes them all of 3 minutes! Oh the things I learned...). So another $100+, several tripped circuits, three more trips to HD, and nearly second-guessing my beadboard "brilliance", we were on a roll getting the damn beadboard UP!




Just a note on the nailgun. My parents had suggested that we nail it in on a down-angle that way it stays in better. I mentioned it to the guy at the rental store and he very much suggested against it... giving me the "I was a carpenter for 10 years" speech and even demonstrated how the nail would stick up on top if you did that, etc. etc. So the first few nails we put it we did straight into the wall--- and they all went straight in and disappeared. Even turning the compressor down didn't help, they were going straight through.

So Eric decided to angle it, and guess what? It worked like a charm. It stopped going straight through and the nail didn't stick up at all. I guess my suggestion here is to listen to your parents! LOL.


















This took us the majority of the afternoon. I think we picked up the nailgun about noon and finished up around 9PM. The guy at the rental store was trying to be helpful and said that if we wanted to save money, we could pick it up at 3PM and return it by 9AM the next day for a 4-hour rental (instead of all day). He was all like, "Well it doesn't take that long to put beadboard up...". I looked at him, laughed, and said, "You obviously don't know us!" :-)

I was stuck doing the math on the cutouts for the outlets... and ohmygod I had my fill.


















It was time for a Slurpee break!























Miss Layla was exhausted too...























Another little tip - we kept getting scuffs and dirt and fingerprints all over the white beadboard (and the walls too) so I used my little Magic Erasers and they work BRILLIANTLY. Just be careful, sometimes they work too well and take the white finish off!

After the beadboard, we got most of the trim up too! Some pieces are uneven and need caulking (I guess that caulk Eric got will come in handy afterall ;-), and cutting the corners to fit at 90 degree angles was a challenge... but it was coming together!


















Once we got all of it up that we could (still needed one more piece), I had Eric help me put up the decor, vaccum the floor, switch out the bedsheets, and we were DONE FOR THE DAY!

CHECK IT OUT! :-)






















I love it. It looks exactly how I thought it would. It is so peaceful and "serene" in there now. After we were done, Eric and I just sat on the floor for 10 minutes admiring our work. Man, it feels good.

I'm going to pick up a few more decorations today over lunch and see what else I can come up with. I want to get new bedsheets (or at least pillows), curtians, and maybe a little chair for the corner. I'm so excited about it! I have another long weekend coming up (yay Memorial Day!) and I plan to finish the little details.

Don't you want to come stay in our guest room now??!? :-) I'm exhaused and sore today, but it was worth it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

As promised...

So in a recent post I said I was going to start being more honest and vulnerable. While it may be a stretch to say that typing something into a blog is "vulnerable", to me it's a step in the right direction.

I've decided to tell you guys something that I've kept hidden pretty well for about six months, and only a few people know. I didn't tell many people because I don't like being asked alllllllllll the time about it, or being the center of attention, or having people worry about me or feel sorry for me. Those things I hate.

So please, don't do any of those things! :)

Bascially, we've been trying to get pregnant since November. Bam. There, I said it.

I'm not sure why it's been so hard for me to talk about (other than the reasons stated above), except that I thought we would get preg right away and I could then start talking about it. Except, pretty much the opposite has happened. It's taking forever, we're having problems, and now I'm struggling and can't talk about it. Or, didn't think I could, but now I'm choosing to.

Yesterday, my period started for the first time in three months. And NOT because I'm preg. It's because I have something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which I discovered about three weeks ago by my doctor. I've had irregular periods for, like, ever. The only time they were regular is when I was on birth control for about three years right up until I got off it in November of last year. Then they slowly started going back to the typical "crazy", and then it started becoming months - two and three months - apart. NOT normal.

So my doctor told me I have POS (yeah,  it feels like a piece of shit!), gave me a prescription for some medication (progesterone) that I take for 10 days, and then should have my period. Apparently it works, but let me tell you, the first period you have after not having one for three months is a bitch. Just trust me on that.

I don't write this for sympathy or pity or whatEVER. I write it for me, to start sharing what is really going on with me and what I'm actually struggling with. My life is far from perfect. I struggle with feeling like something is wrong with me because of not being able to get pregnant. And the longer it goes, the more I want to have a baby and the more I feel like a failure.

At first when we started trying, I was like "Eh, I could take it or leave it" and if it happened, it happened. But now... I'm like so ready. Sure there are things I'll have to sacrifice and work harder at, but I'm totally there. Plus, it's like my OB said - once you start trying, you'll see babies on every corner and suddenly all of your friends, cousins and sisters are pregnant. True story.

Also, I started a "secret" blog about trying to get preg just so I could write and no one would know. The blog only has like six or seven posts, and I'm debating posting them so you can see the background. Part of what prompted me to talk about this whole thing, is because I see how differently I write when I know no one is going to read it. It's funnier, way more honest, and more interesting. I've gotta start getting over myself and start writing like a real person, regardless of who reads this.

Thanks for listening... you guys are the best! Now I feel so much better and will start talking about it for real! Haha.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Hangover pt. deux

Yesterday was quite a day at the office. A few people got laid off and six others are leaving our agency for another (we're "outsourcing" because of budget cuts). Stuff like that just.plain.sucks.

Soooooo... I'm focusing on good news! I cannot even begin to say how excited I am for this movie!!



My favorite part is Alan screaming, "Oh my word!!!" LOL. Classic.

May 26th hurry up! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last launch for Endeavor

Space Shuttle Endeavor just left the earth about 5 minutes ago on it's final journey! All of us over on the Space Coast are gonna miss seeing this in our backyard...























I remember watching the launches while standing on top of our pool slide even when we lived 3 hours away from Kennedy Space Center. Now I'm lucky to live about 30 minutes away, and can walk out the front door and see it liftoff. It is such an amazing sight to see, and it will be missed! :(

Friday, May 13, 2011

I have a confession

I am not the type of person to put out the details of my life out there for the world to see. Heck, my husband is lucky to pry me open enough so that I'll tell him. I'm very private, consertative, and quiet. Something I'm learning about myself is that I like keeping things inside because it's safer that way. The secrets are safe with me. I'm still in control. I can choose to tell you or choose not to.

Apparently, in real life this makes me come across as sort of a snob and someone who has a perfect life. Because when I pick and choose what I want to share, I rarely share my struggles, but only the "fun" and "happy" things in my life. No one can critcize those things, and neither are they very controversial.

However, I am also not being honest.

For those who know me, they know I am far from having the perfect life, and that I do struggle with a lot of things. I think if most people knew the inner workings of my mind they would run in the opposite direction as quickly as possible.

But maybe, just maybe, there are people out there who would appreciate the honesty, the struggle, the sometimes frightening/depressing/confusing inner workings of my brain. Maybe if I start sharing the "whole Stephanie" I would find some friends who share the same struggles, and who are genuine, honest, caring people.

Because to be quite honest, I'm pretty much fet up with most of the people who I have considered to be my friends in recent years. The few individuals I've met since moving over here three years ago are good to party with, good to have lunch with on occasion, and are in general good people. But they are not meeting that soul need  I have... that I'm basically dying on the inside for... the people who know  you, who can tell you the truth, who you can

Monday, May 9, 2011

Love Wins

I was fascinated. Read it.



Also read: http://www.gregboyd.org/blog/rob-bell-is-not-a-universalist-and-i-actually-read-love-wins/

"I enthusiastically recommend Love Wins because of the way it empowers readers to question old perspectives and consider new ones. Unless a person reads this book with a preset agenda to find whatever they can to further an anti-Rob Bell agenda (which, I guarantee you, is going to happen) readers will not put this book down unchanged. To me, this is one of the main criteria for qualifying a book as “great.”"

- Greg Boyd

Vacation

We had such a good time on vacation in Blue Ridge, GA. The cabin was out in the middle of nowhere and we almost couldn't find it! Once we got there it was totally relaxing and gorgeous.

Spent quality time with my hubby and the in-laws...


Went hiking...


Had some good food...


 Here's proof that I read my book (and finished it!)


  Only got lost twice! Haha!

And our pups were so happy to see us when we got home!


 It's good to be back! I have lots more pictures but I decided not to overwhelm the post with all of them. This is my first full week back at work. But don't worry, I'm already planning our next two trips - a girls weekend for all my lovely ladies and vacation to see my parents/family in Indiana over July 4th!