count it pure joy

"Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous glowing pearls. and strung together, built upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person. it takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less faulous and dramatic than that "one big moment"...i believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on theflowers growing in your garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living is choosing to believe that there is nothing more sacred than this day"
-oh shauna. you amaze me.

it's 9:oo, i've been at the deli for a couple hours now, my first mayterm exam is tomorrow, and Lord knows i do not want to drive up that mountain. so i'll blog for a little while and let my mind have a rest.

i enjoy my job.
&& i am realizing more and more what a blessing it is
to have positive people to work alongside,
a paintbrush in hand,
and to simply love what you do.

little things we should not take for granted.
because really, they are where your heart is found.

that is what i am working on this summer.
really appreciating, taking time to love,
learning how to give more,
and i want to hear more people's hearts.

moscato, sin in a tin, & most deliciously, my juju.

oh my oh my.
dear juju,
maybe you will read this.
maybe you will not.
but i hope you know how wonderful you are. you are finishing a huge milestone in your life and beginning a new chapter, and it is so so so beautiful. it is more than evident that the Lord has taken hold of your heart...so wherever you end up amazing things will happen and you will glorify Him. you have been a huge influence in my life. and this past year have become a role model to me, i love you so so much and it kills me that i cannot drive down and see you strut your stuff across that stage as you graduate COLLEGE! i love you so much! thank you for all the naked swims, karaoke nights, beach trips, wine nights, dave, your free spirit, your unconditional love...you inspire me and challenge me to be a better sister, friend, daughter, and you have taught me to see myself in light of our Father's light and to always be shining for him. thank you for your prayer. you are my soul sister. you are incredibly loved, and i hope you know that.
love, stephanie

confession #4339&4340: i do not like apples too much, in fact they are probably my least favorite fruit. and i look foward to watching american idol every week probably a little toooo much.

little me

tell me please: what is your love language?


turkey and dorrito sandwich please

and a week later. i am back in florida.

so since wednesday i have showered once, slept less than two hours each night, and brushed my teeth sparingly...it is sunday now. i don't even know if i want to attempt to capture the chaos of the past couple of days. lots of time in the basement, 24 hours to evacuate, no water, no elevator, && MOVIN OUT. complete devastation. and an incredible amount of mercy and grace.

i cannot do much except sit. i cannot really sleep. nor can i really gather or comprehend what has happened. i just don't know how to cope, or when it is appropriate to acknowledge what i can and cannot handle. when should i pay attention to my fears and anxieties, and when should i just put my head down and barrel through? what is too much? i am just rambling. a lot is just flowing through my mind, i am just going to let it all overflow and continuously write whatever hits my heart. it may be joyfuL, it may be painful. but i whatever comes out it is raw.

now i am sitting in the Leisure Bar in downtown Pensacola.
kings of leon is playing and i wish i was 21
so i could too join "brunch and bubbles"
sipping champagne and oj...
but dang this cafe au lait is rather
not so delightful though,
i locked my keys in my car.
both sets too.
i am that good:
my spare in my backpack,
my set,
sitting in the seat scoffing at me.
shit. i would.
after playing phone tag for an hour with the locksmith
he eventually found me on S Palafox
he busted my car open
handed me my keys
he was a funny little character.
he made me smile,
i had no money to tip him
so i gave him a box of oreos that i had from our tornado stash
and he accepted them happily with a
"fuck yeah"

yesterday i was in chattanooga.
it was all so fast.
what i was begging for: the end of the semester,
it came literally in a whirlwind.
it was all so fast.
and it has made me numb.
very numb.

after the locksmith went along his way, so did i. i drove down Palafox, right onto Cervantes, and left onto 17th to visit my favorite little girl. i arrived at Georgia's and she greeted me wearing her minnie mouse dress, and a glass of ice water with lime in hand. what a great little host :] she even insisted on eating my ice cubes for me - only the small ones though, small enough to fit in her mouth, because if they were big she was convinced they were colder - not only did she share her glass of water with me, she was also very generous with her stick on earrings that she got for Easter. she had "SO many" that she could spare me a strip of neon pairs varying in shapes; diamonds, hearts, ovals, and stars. she made me wear just about every pair at once, which i later discovered at Publix when the cashier laughed at me...that i left them all for the entirety of the day...oops! oh how i love her so. as i left she took me to a tree in her garden and picked me a few loquats...as she handed them to me she asked me to spend the night. we are known for our sick dance parties to Yo Gabba Gabba songs...but i could not sadly, because i had to go babysit. i drove away with a cheer filled heart. my heart was so full of love, i cried.

then to porto i drove to meet up with Zoe and Sofie again...i ran out to the soundside to find them bungeeing and swimming...and i was greeted with hearty hugs and giggles. and it was about 5pm so we headed back to tower three and raced to Zoe and Sof raced to the showers, as i prepared dinner. I fixed a salad with greens, cherry tomatoes, craisens, and almonds. i also fixed some peas and bread, and we all sat together around the bar. we then threw in a cookie log and waited for about 15 minutes for it to bake. and sofie came over to me and said, "Stephanie you would be a great mom..." the little moment made me smile, and my heart warm. the moment quickly passed though and were playing JUST DANCE on the Wii and Zoe taught me how to "WOP" hahah and we eventually gave up on the game and spontaneoulsy started our dance party. we dougied, jerked, and listened to lazy day by bruno mars nothing short of a billion times.
we danced it out
brushed our teeth,
and cuddled on the couch,
and took turns reading Shiloh aloud
in country accents

and the way Sof would light up at the suspense, her eyes would get big and her jaw would drop, and she would interact...it was exciting to me. we only got to chapter 13 out of 15 so she promised to text me to tell me who Judd Travers shot - the doe or Marty. I wanted to read ahead, but she made me promise to not read it while she was sleeping so i slipped the book into her backpack in obedience to my promise - so she could finish reading it on her way to school on the bus.

night one at porto looked a little different however. Sofie caught me up on all her third grade drama while helping me cook and create desserts for girls night. she is a great little host as well, she provided everyone with blankets, pillows, and worked the complicated dvd player i have no business messing with. we eventually cuddled on the couch all watching "life as we know it" which she especially liked because the baby shared her name..."sofie"...me and sofs were the only ones who stayed up long enough to watch the whole thing, we shared a pillow and cried together. i like watching movies with Sofs because she asks a lot of questions and demands explanation. and it opens up a lot of conversation and new perspective, it is refreshing. being with her last night made me so excited for the day i become a mom. her hugs are warm and her questions innocent.

check out our creation...
sugar cookie cake with
nutella and bananas

i like being back in florida. before i went out to the condo i met Hales and Sofs and Zo
i met them at Laguna's, Sabine's bar on the boardwalk...parking was hellish so i parked way down at the end of the beach and walked along the bay shuffling between families and tourists waiting for their buzzer to allow them seating in hooters, castaways, or papas pizza...and i could taste the salt in my mouth and my ears were tuned in to the local musicians covering sublime and slightly stoopid songs trying to take advantage of the tourists who would gladly drop a buck or two into their guitar cases...once again i am here with the people i love so i stood for a second to take it all in watching the reflections dance on the bay...it is my favorite the lights of the boats, moon, and shops dance in the ripples of the calm bay, and not even a minute passes and i smothered with hugs. oh the love! zo and sof led me to Lagunas where we shared pistachio creme burlee and raspberries and sofs asked me to tell tornado stories and to describe in detail how tornadoes work, she wondered how i still had a car, if my things got sucked up in the storm, and if i was scared. she said she would prefer if i didn't go back to chatty and stayed at the beach...and then she lost interest in tornadoes and then insisted i drive her to school on monday morning. zoe on my other side told me about her boyfriend and showed me pictures on her droid and told me that i was pretty, which really touched me more that i thought those words could, maybe because lately i just feel anything but pretty.

concluding thought: our hearts need time spent with children.
&& shout out to william...whom i am skyping right now and we are making turkey dorrito sandwiches together. holla!
lots of love, stephanie

cheezy confession #576: i love the new britney spears song.
next on the book list..."Light Box" by shane jones.