Sep 3, 2014


It is always at the most inopportune moments that life throws the curve balls my way. But I guess if it weren't an inopportune time, it really wouldn't be that much of a curve ball. 

Suddenly, the end of August and most of my September have become full of travel dates. I'm not so sure how I feel about this. Considering I've already done one trip, and the mess that is my house hasn't recovered, I think it's going to be a long month. 

The good news is, the more things I have to do, the better I get with time management, and overall I accomplish much more. Case in point - I will be blogging on the regular. 

For now my brain looks and feels like this:

I complained to my mom last night that I didn't want to be a grown up and have to make decisions anymore. I then quickly realized that I'm 31 years old and it's a good thing to have to make decisions. Although, it really doesn't make them any easier. **Side note** My mom immediately pointed out the fact that I'm thinking positively. Something that wouldn't have happened even a year ago. I also would have never considered this decision for a second because of my anxiety. Maybe I am making steps in the right direction!

I am a creature of habit. Growing up, twice a year we would move our bedroom furniture around. By the time I got to about 8 years old, I asked my mom if I could just leave it one way. I've lived in my house now for 6 years, and never have I moved the furniture (other than to make room for the Christmas tree). I don't like change. So that makes decisions that will create big changes even harder. 

For now, I have a big decision to make. In true Stephanie fashion, I created lists - pros and cons. And I'm trying to convince myself that CHANGE IS GOOD. 

How do you handle change? Love it or hate it?

Aug 20, 2014

Another Year Older

I know it's been awhile since I've posted - I had a case of Summer. I was just too busy doing anything and everything that I seriously took a step back from blogging and technology. It was very nice to just go out and enjoy the summer! But now I'm back and ready to get back into the blogging groove.

For now, let me just update you on my summer. . . . 

>>>> I took some painting classes . . . . 

because my friend and I bought a ton of Groupons. Good thing I love to paint!

>>>> I enjoyed a couple of pool parties . . . . 

>>>> I went to the Ohio State Fair with my mom . . . . 

I had never been to the Ohio State Fair, and I had a BLAST. Of course I enjoyed food, pet a cow, saw the infamous butter cows, and got to spend the entire day with my mom! Later that night we went to a concert at the fair - The Beach Boys with John Stamos. We were too far away for me to get any good pictures, and I learned that I can NOT take selfies, but it was still a GREAT time. If you ever have a chance to see The Beach Boys - go! 

>>>> I went to the farmers market, and harvested lot's of veggies from my garden. . . . 

  • Top pic of green beans are from my garden, along with the head of lettuce at the bottom. 
  • Middle picture is a random creation I made one night that turned out fabulous. Recipe will follow next week.
  • I completely copied off of Stephanie's idea and froze corn on the cob to eat this winter. To see her instructions, click here.

>>>> I participated in Make-A-Wish "Walk For Wishes"

>>>> And finally, I turned 31 on August 4th.
It was a Monday, and I went to work, but I did enjoy a nice lunch out at a local Mexican place (I never go out for lunch, so this was a treat). I bought myself an awesome red velvet cupcake (in the pink box), and I had a few drinks with my best friends (including one pink birthday shot). 

My sister's birthday is August 8th, so just like every year, my family decided to celebrate our birthday's together. It was a real treat for me, because they came down to visit me, instead of me heading home. My dad even did all of my yard work for me :]

We then enjoyed a night out on the patio at one of our favorite restaurants. It was party on the patio night, so there was a band, and I surprised my sister with a cake and balloons. It really was a fantastic birthday celebration, and I was so happy to spend it with my family. 

So, what have you been up to this summer??

Jul 9, 2014

Confession is Good for the Soul

It's been awhile since I've linked up with Kathy and I def have some confessions this week. 

I confess . . . 

. . . I went to a concert last night for the first time in several years and am hating myself today because of it. Not because I drank too much, but because I stayed up too late. I just can't handle 4 hours of sleep anymore :( 

Gorgeous view of some of downtown Columbus. The weather was perfect last night.

. . . I did buy a beer at the concert and it was $9 for 32oz!! By the time I was half way through it, the beer was warm. I will remember to drink prior to a concert next time.

. . . While I spent all day Friday getting my house back in order, it only took me 10 mins to turn it back into a disaster last night. Why can't dishes magically do themselves, and clean folded laundry just appear in my drawers?
(I was going to post a picture of my kitchen table here, but I was too embarrassed)

. . . I recently decided to start watching Grey's Anatomy from the start on Netflix, and I'm suddenly binge watching. It's amazing how much you forget, and since I already know the characters intimately it is like watching from a whole other perspective.

. . . I have another packed weekend, and I'm kind of sad. I really enjoyed last weekend, the extra day was awesome, and the no responsibilities was perfect. I'm going to have to manage my time well so the house doesn't get out of control. Once my house is out of control I can't handle it. Everything spirals downward from there. 

What are you confessing to today??

Jul 7, 2014

Long Holiday Weekend

Happy Monday! I hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day! I did exactly what I set out to do this weekend - cleaned and relaxed. 

Thursday night was spent at the local bar enjoying some cold beverages for a friend's birthday. 
He wanted to ride the bike, but was too nervous. So we took a picture of him on it instead.

Friday morning I hit the ground running on my house. I had been traveling for the past two weeks and my house was a disaster. I deep cleaned the kitchen, swept the whole house, cleaned cat world and finally unpacked. It felt so good to have some order back in my house. I took a nap, cooked an amazing late lunch, and then did all of the yard work. It was a perfect day, and the whole time I kept thinking about everyone that has fought for my freedom to do whatever I wanted that day. Unfortunately I didn't get to see any fireworks - I was able to see them last year, but the trees are too big now. I will have to venture out next year, because it doesn't feel like Independence Day without fireworks. 

Saturday was amazing as well. I woke up knowing that I had absolutely nothing to do, and had 2 full days to do it. I went to a local breakfast place and enjoyed the perfect weather outside.

Later that day I read a book outside with my pup, and then decided to take a nap. I'm pretty sure Cooper was enjoying life this weekend too.

Sunday was more of the same, but with laundry, grocery shopping and (minimal) food prep. Although I had all this fresh delicious food, the patio called my name and I spent way too long out there reading. Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for bed. 

I had great intentions for jumping back on the swimming bandwagon today after work, but mother nature has different plans. While I sit here typing this I need to turn on my office light because it's so dark outside. Hopefully I will get home and do my food prep, and not get lost in my book again. But it's so hard to resist a thunderstorm and a snuggle on the couch with the pup and a good book. Keep on the lookout for my book reviews later this week. 

How do you like to read? Snuggled up? Poolside? In bed?

Jul 1, 2014

Travel, Travel, Travel

Oh Hi! 

How have you all been doing? Clearly I've been absent, as I've had to travel for work the past two weeks. Last week was a planned trip to Atlanta (which meant flying), but the week before was an unexpected trip to my corporate headquarters in Chicago. 

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you will know that I don't travel well. Flying makes my anxiety go off the charts. In fact, just sitting here thinking about it freaks me out. Typically I'm OK once I get in my seat and see who's next to me, but up until then I will be a wreck. 

The bonus of my surprise trip was that I didn't have to fly (YES) and I didn't have to drive. So on the way into the city, I actually got a few pictures. I can't tell you how many times I've been to Chicago now, and I don't think I've ever taken a picture of the skyline. 

As you can see, it wasn't the greatest weather.

The trip to Atlanta went as well as can be expected. I freaked out before the flight, got on the flight, and then worried about the flight home for the next three days. Good news is that once the plane takes off I'm able to settle myself down fairly quickly. This is a HUGE change from last year. I flew last June and sweat bullets the entire 45 min flight. I remember thinking to myself I was going to die every second I was on that plane. So the fact that I'm only freaking out until the plane takes off is great. Maybe one day I won't be nervous to fly at all (maybe). 

This past weekend I was at my parents the entire time for several family events. First, we did a memorial service to place my Grandma and Aunt's ashes in a vault. It was hard bringing up all of the feelings again, but it was nice to remember them too. I shared my favorite memory of my Grandma:

I was terrified of dogs when I was little (I was involved in a dog attack). My grandparents always had a minimum of three big dogs, and upon arrival, they would bark and bark and jump around like hyenas. The absolute worst part of going to my grandparents for me was getting in the front door. But my grandma would always scoop me up and put me on top of the big chest freezer until the dogs calmed down. And then, once everyone had left the room, she would take me down and let me choose a treat from the freezer. The freezer was HUGE and seriously looked like the ice cream aisle at the grocery store. Anything ice cream related was in there, and I always got to choose whatever I wanted. In my little kid mind, this was the best thing in the entire world. 

Immediately following the memorial service, we headed to my dad's side of the family for a birthday party for my Grandpa. He turned 85 on Saturday and we all got together for a typical Jones celebration - lots of drinking and eating. 

I made a scrapbook of all of the Family Weekend Snowmobile trips that started in the late 80's.

He also got a "walking stick" that is about 7 foot tall. I guess he has been refusing to use a cane, so my uncle figured this was a little more dignified. Unfortunately, it's very clear that he needs something to help him with his balance lately. It's really hard watching my Grandpa get old - he was the man that rode the jet skis just 4 years ago. But luckily for us, he is still great at his favorite activity - drinking. And with that comes the good stories. The memories of me visiting and having a few drinks with a lot of stories and laughter will be with me forever. 

Typical picture of my dad. His eyes are ALWAYS closed.

I didn't get back to my house until Sunday evening, and as always, there are about 200 things waiting to be done. But that should conclude my travels for the summer, and I plan on getting all aspects of my life back on track this week and next. That means better eating, swimming after work, blogging regularly, keeping up on housework, and trying to enjoy some of my summer. As for now, I think I'll get all of the inside chores done tonight. While the grass is extremely long, it's raining once again. It has been like Florida here - raining every day. No wonder the grass always needs cut! 

What have you all been up to? 

Jun 16, 2014

My Dad

I will have a full recap of the Ohio Bloggers meet up tomorrow, but I wanted to take some time to talk about my dad today. There are 2 people in my "real life" that know about my blog, and they don't know what it's called. So the likeliness of my dad reading this is extremely rare, but I wanted to write it anyway. Especially since I didn't get to spend the day with him yesterday.

OSU vs that team up north - in the shoe, 2012

My dad and I are exactly the same. This means that we don't always get along - I want to be in charge of everything, and so does he. Luckily for me, he is really laid back, and 90% of the time he deals with me. 

I have always looked up to him in every aspect of life. He is smart, hard working, and built a company from the ground up. I wanted everything he had. He went to OSU, I went to OSU. He bought a house by 25, I bought a house by 25. He had a family by 30, and I'm . . . well . . . not quite there. 

My first Christmas - 1983

So lately I've been thinking about everything my dad has done, and how awesome his life has been. Then I start thinking about how I feel like my life has been not as awesome. And the more I think about it, the more I know that I have to stop comparing myself to him. He is the best father there is (other than his constant farting), but he isn't me, and I'm not him. He is a great role model for me, but I need to write my own story. 

My prom - 2001

So while I absolutely love my dad, and I will always look up to him, I'm not going to try to be like him in every single way. But, I am going to continue to do my best to follow these characteristics:
  • Be frugal (although let's be honest dad, I will always have to have more than 2 pair of shoes). This also means being smart with all investments.
  • Do my own yard work. While it may be easier to pay someone, it's not money well spent, as the feeling after working your butt off in the yard is amazing.
  • Keep up on all the scheduled maintenance for my car.
  • Cherish family, and visit as often as possible.
  • Love the Buckeyes and attend as many Buckeye sporting events as possible.
  • Remember that a cold beer at the end of a long day does actually make things better :)

I leave you with this amazing picture that 100% sums up my dad. He is always happy with himself, and never cares what anyone thinks. 

How was everyone else's Father's Day? 

Jun 12, 2014

Thursday Thoughts (Randomness Everywhere)

Thanks to everyone for the condolences for my family friend. It was an INSANE weekend at home with lots of family in town. That included SO much food, lots of catching up, and of course some drinking. I hate to say we had a good time, because there were many rough times, but it's always good to see family that I haven't seen in awhile. 

I had an amazing time at the wine tasting last Thursday, and ended up buying 4 bottles of wine. I don't even like wine! 

I look more drunk than I was. And I need to learn to not put my hair in a ponytail!

Two of them were for my mom (she asked me to buy them), one of them is the only kind of wine I really like (Riesling), and the last one I bought because the bottle looked cool. I have full confidence that it will consumed by one of my friends before the summer is over.

The last bottle is the cool one. Although you can't tell in this picture.

Luthor's birthday was on May 18th, and I just got around to giving him his birthday treat (canned food). He is modeling his gorgeous haircut in this picture. As my friend says, "The hit with a lawnmower look." I cut his fur with scissors because he freaks out over the noise of clippers, and about every six months I have a meltdown over his extreme amounts of fur that is all over my house, so I chop it off.

I took the plunge today, and ordered my very first Erin Condren planner. Or, I will once I can get through on the website. I've been piecemealing my planners for years, trying something new each year, and hating it each year. I never have EVERYTHING I want in one place. I always end up with extra notebooks and envelopes full of stuff. I'm beyond excited for this planner, and can't wait for it to arrive. I hope it is the planner of my dreams! 

I'm going to my first blogger meet up on Saturday. I'm not nervous yet, but I'm sure I will be once I have to start getting ready. I've never met anyone that I've only known on the internet, so this will be interesting. But, this is one of the reasons why I wanted to start a blog - I loved the idea of the blog community. Plus, it will be the last time to meet Shane before she moves to Australia. If you are in Ohio and are a blogger, you should consider going. It's at a brewery, so it's right up my alley :]
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What are some of your random Thursday thoughts?