Monday, December 9, 2013


Two nights ago John and I sat in his parents garage (they were out of town and we needed somewhere warm) under a patio heater (yes, IN the garage) drinking wine and smoking a cigar.  I didn't smoke a cigar, he did.  And he didn't drink wine, I did.

While he was smoking, and I was drinking, we got to reminiscing about the past (almost) fifteen years of our marriage. Inevitably some of that conversation turned to John having lost his job two years ago and that reminded me of this blog. 

It seems odd that I would have forgotten this blog, doesn't it?  But, I essentially had.  My life has taken quite a turn since the last entry... but that may turn up here at a later date.


(You get that, right?  Up.  The dog...   Never mind.)

When I remembered this blog, I pulled it up and we read through the entry that chronicled some of the awesome ways God showed up for us during that time.  I'm so glad I wrote them here.  It was such a sweet reminder of friends, family, being cared for, and most importantly a God who is always good and is always there.  A great lesson.

From there our talks continued on and we realized that over the years God has worked in periods of two years in our lives.  It seems that we go through transition for two years and then we seem to get to the sweet spot. And considering we are in year two of John's new job this was a very exciting revelation indeed.  :)

I'm sure this isn't the pattern in everyone's life but it's just something we noticed.  And with the noticing has come this sense of anticipation.  Excitement.  An eagerness to obey and listen. 

I am a believer in God as my heavenly Father.  And because I believe that firmly it gives me this great comfort in knowing that I can ask him for good.  I know his ears are especially attuned to me, his daughter.  I know he is looking for those to bless, and I am comfortable asking for good things from a Father who loves me. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Homemade" Ranch Dip

Using a packet of dry Hidden Valley Ranch mix, changing the directions and then calling it your homemade ranch is totally okay.  Because I say.

On the back of the above package the directions call for 1 cup of mayo and 1 cup of milk.  I make it this way all the time for dressing and it is Num Yummy.
When I want a good thick dip for my mounds of celery and cucumbers that follow me polishing off around 15 wings or so I make it this way:

1 packet HV Ranch dressing/seasoning mix packet
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk

You're already excited, I know. 

The sour cream makes it a little more tangy and less milk makes it thicker so that more will stick to your veggies. 

Because who wants to see any veggie showing through where you have just dipped? 

Not me.

Not you.

Go make this.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tip Tuesday

I just realized something: I have strayed from writing about things I love on my blog. 


Time to stop that immediately and get back to talking about only happy things.
Like puppies and ice cream. 

Well, that might be taking it a little far.

How about cleaning.  Now there's something joyful to discuss.

This little tip is currently making me pretty happy though.

We have a shower pan in our master bath that we installed back in Februaryish of 2008.

Odd thing to remember the date of, you say?  As it turned out I got a very special surprise the day I went to pick up that shower pan. 

Anna was born about eight months later:).

Back to the shower pan. 

In the beginning I loved my shower pan.  Scrubbed it weekly even.

And now? 

Who cares?  It's a shower pan.

And then I actually stopped to look at it.

Fiberglass shower pans from Kohler with the non-skid bottom get really nasty if you don't keep up on them.


And then when you read about them you start to learn that they can't be brought back to their original state.  But, I pretty much don't ever take 'can't' for an answer. 

So, I found my own answer. 
And it's amazing.
Vinegar and paper towels.

Line the shower pan floor with paper towels (if you're doing this in a bath tub then I would go ahead and close the drain).  Pour vinegar down over the paper towels until they are thoroughly wet. Leave them sit over night.  The following day pull up the paper towels and you'll see that most of the staining is gone. Take a good scrubby sponge (that's what you call them too, right?) to the rest of it to finish off the job.  Pretty much looks like brand new again!

And it's WAY easier than:
A. Scrubbing until your arm falls off or
B. Replacing your shower pan

And yes.  Those ARE the only other options.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Official!

After nearly two years (the amount of time you have to complete the program, by the way) I am officially...

A certified yoga teacher!
(You like how I changed my name to Stephanie Banana Republic?  You do, don't you.)

What?  You heard I've been teaching since March, 2011?

There's that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Flying by in an Insta(Gram)

It happens every year.

Day one of summer:

 Rejoicing!  We have forEVER!

July 4: 

What??  It's the fourth of July?  We just finished school, like, yesterday.

Panic ensues. 

Mad amounts of ice cream are consumed. 
Leisurely swims begin to look like triatholon training. 
Bed times get later. 
The house gets messier. 
The firefly population decreases significantly in the backyard.  (Sorry, fireflys, they just get excited while holding you)
More ice cream.
Comments like "I'm tanner than you" are regularly heard.
The bike riding portion of the triatholon heats up.
The librarians begin to expect us daily.
Every flavor at the Caboose has now been sampled.  Mmmm.  Gelato.

Oh yes, and tons of Instagram pictures are being taken...

Sox Games
Florida Sunset
Sweet Beach Girl
Beach Photo Shoots
Cousin Time
Daddy Date Nights
 Morning Devotion
 More swimming
 Ice Cream

Summer Joy

And we're just getting started...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It is Easy...

At 7:30 am while the house is quiet.

With a steaming cup of hot coffee in my hand.

Sunlight streaks through my curtains warming the chair I sit in.

And in my lap is Sanctuary.

I memorize a verse and take inspiration for the day.

And it is all seems so easy.

I see my day so clearly and I am so calm.

I am present.

I get it.

And then... I go downstairs.

And I become distracted.

I am finding distraction is what keeps me from living life well.  Fully well. 

It is a daily struggle, but I am up to the task. And will conquer.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tip Tuesday

When traveling home late at night, alone, it is widely regarded as a stupid decision to drive through what is known as a very dangerous neighborhood on a beautiful night. 

I am even one of those people who would regard that as stupid.

But when roads are closed and you just want to get home and you have a momentary mental blank spot on where the road you are choosing actually leads... you become stupid.

And then you wise up.  Real quick like.

And this is what that wising up looks like:

You look around and you feel your cheeks start to burn.

You say a bad word under your breath.

As you roll to the stoplight, of course it's red, you slink down real low in your seat barely peeking out over the steering wheel.

Your palms sweat.

You want to call your husband but are afraid to light up your face with the back light of the phone.

You pray out loud, "Lord please change the light, please change light, please change the light,"  as a low rider pulls up next to you.

Your eyes dart to the sides of the street where men are gathered. 

You actually think to yourself  "I really don't want to be raped or killed tonight." 

You exhale when the light finally changes.

You drive quickly, contemplating blowing every stop sign and light thereafter.

You give in and call your husband saying with quavering voice "Honey, I just want you to know where I am in case something happens."

You listen to your husband say a bad word.

And then you see the end of the scary neighborhood and you don't see anymore scary people lurking on sidewalks and street corners.



An apology for the bad word.

A little scolding from your husband when you get home.

And a hug, too.

Tip for today: don't be so hurried that you become stupid.