Honestly speaking

So, Meg gave me this loverly award.


Apparently there are rules that go along with this, so here they are, taken directly from her site.

1. Choose…blah, blah, blah…brilliant in content or design

2. Show the…blah,blah, blah…can keep the nifty icon.

3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself

 So, here I am, forced to come up with 10 more honest things about myself.  Not that every other thing I’ve shared with you hasn’t been honest.  Honestly!

1.  I’m a video game nerd.  While I may not be dropping out of school to compete in Guitar Hero tournaments , I do enjoy playing. We finally got a Wii and a Wii Fit to go along with it.  Right now, I am addicted to Shawn White Snowboarding.  And Oh!  Dr. Mario and I are best buds. Since everyone I know refuses to play that with me, I am forced to play people from all around the world.  And just for the record, the Wii Fit is pure genius…it actually got wordy with me recently for neglecting to exercise for 26 days.  And then told me I was a bodybuilder, go figure!  It’s actually fun and is a great way to exercise.  I own at least a dozen workout/yoga/pilates DVD’s and none of them have ever been able to keep me interested long enough to even finish. 

2.  Right now, I am growing my hair long so I can chop it all off and donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and am so glad I finally am.  I am hoping by this spring or summer it’ll be long enough.

3.  I recently found out that Derek had originally planned to take me scuba diving in California and propose underwater, but due to the weather it had been cancelled at the last minute.  I probably would have been in too much of a panic to even realize what he was doing anyway.

4.  I could watch The Food Network all day long.  I always see something so delicious and then promise myself that I will try it out.  I never do.

5.  Jeans and I have a love-hate relationship.  I’ve always had the darnedest time finding perfect jeans, and am still not sure they exist.  If they don’t have at least a 36 inch inseam, I can’t wear them with heels.  Then there are the almost perfect sample jeans that taunt me from the shelf, given to me by my personal fashion assistant, who happens to work in fashion marketing and is always sending me the latest and greatest samples they no longer need.  They are so blessedly long, I could cry.  They are also all size 6.  Days of single digit sizes, I really miss you…please come back to me.

6.  Come to think of it, most clothes and I have the same type of relationship.  The tops and a few of the dresses he sends my way end up working fabulously, because they are small and long, which is what I require, thanks to the small bust and long torso.  My lovely body type takes all the extra baggage and deposits it directly to my butt, hips, and thighs, so my upper body rarely changes.

7.  Moving on.  I’m a crazy nut about laundry.  While I’d love to let Derek do the laundry once and a while, I won’t let him or any other person on this planet touch it.  I take such extreme care with everything that you’d think it was solid gold.  I have specific outfits for everything I do, and I never allow myself to wear things outside the boundaries. 

8.  I don’t mind letting people borrow things, but it irks me beyond reason when people forget they’ve borrowed something and either (a) never return it,  (b) keep it longer than necessary or (c) when things are returned in worse condition than they were given out in.  If I borrow things, I always do what I was supposed to do with it and then promptly return it.  I itch to mention to people when they’ve borrowed things and had them too long, or ask them to treat them respectfully, but am too nice to ever say anything. 

9.  I almost joined the Navy at one point.  Right after high school, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, and looked into joining.  It wasn’t for a few months that I finally realized I wanted to go to college, and so began my seemingly never ending journey.

10.  My most tremendous fear in life is raising a child.  For a while, I was unsure I even wanted children, constantly worrying that I would do everything wrong.  I finally just shoved the fear aside, telling myself I could do it and it’s okay to make mistakes.  I still get bouts of panic, though not as serious as they used to be.  But I know it’ll all be worth it.

Now it’s my turn to pass this along. First, Em, because she needs to get back on the wagon.  Second, my mom, well because, she’s my mom and all. And third, Kel, because she has the greatest way with words, and she’s hilarious!

Sadly, there is no hidden message or underlying reason for this post

Can we please talk about babies for a moment?  Since mine don’t have that soft, sweet smell, are covered in fur, and sleep on the floor, I have to settle for doting on my nephews and niece.  Let me tell you, that’s a pretty hard thing to do.

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Or not.  That little guy I am holding there is my brother’s son, who I just saw for the first time since Christmas and am refusing to let him grow up any further. 

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These two belong to Derek’s sister.  The boy just turned two the day after Christmas and the sweet little girl is seven months old.  Those two couldn’t be more different, he is a little hellion (though I suppose most two year olds are) who I don’t have a single picture of with a smile on his face, and she is all smiles and laughs.

And if you’re like most people I know, I’ll give you the shortest answer I can right now.  Yes, the feeling is there, and it’s not going to leave.

Really, who doesn’t need another obsession?

I often wonder what life would be like without the internet. 

I created a Facebook account some time ago, and actually forgot about it.  Recently, I got an email from an old classmate of mine through Facebook, mentioning our 10 year high school reunion next year.  (Honestly, WHERE did the time go?)

So, I started finding more and more people I knew, and have gotten reacquainted with people I thought I’d never talk to again.  It’s great.

So, I am trying not to spend copious amounts of time on the internet like I usually do when a new obsession comes along.  Blogging did it for me, Myspace did it as well (which ended almost as quickly as it began), not to mention the 600 email accounts I seem to have.  Now it’s Facebook.

Will it ever end?  I expect the initial wave to be over soon, and then it’ll become just one more place to visit every so often.

There are times I’d like to forego the internet entirely.  Some days are spent aimlessly on the computer, accomplishing nothing from the reality of my day to day life.  It’s frustrating and annoying, and most of the time, completely unnecessary.

But you know what?  It’s way too entertaining to stop.  Or perhaps I could admit to myself that maybe, just maybe, I need a life.  Does anybody want to give me one of those, I’m not sure where to find them.

Me, Moi, Mnie, Mich, Minua

I actually meant to post this for my 100th post, but forgot.  Anyway, coming into a close 102nd, I upped the stakes and listed 102 things about yours truly.  I’ll admit, it’s not the most interesting list, but I am definitely not the most interesting of people.  Enjoy!

1. Since we’ve established that my name is Steph, I’ll tell you that my middle name is Marie
2. If I ever moved away, I wouldn’t be able to live somewhere that didn’t have four distinctive seasons
3. My wedding was exactly what I wanted, you can read a little about it here
4. I write for pleasure, and eventually may try to publish something I’ve written
5. Most stories I write come from characters my dreams conjure up
6. I feel that the pressure of a deadline would take everything I enjoy about it away
7. I’ve always wanted to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef, but after a recent snorkeling trip, I don’t think I’d have the courage
8. As luck would have it, Derek now wants to learn how to scuba dive and proceed to dive as many places as possible
9.  I am not good at accessorizing
10.  My very best friend is gay, and I love him to death
11.  We were born exactly two months apart, and grew up next door to each other
12.  The only states I’ve visited  are; California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  I’ve driven through many more, but never actually stopped
13.  My favorite childhood memory is going fishing, and I miss it so much, I can’t wait to get a boat of our own
14.  I don’t like cities full of tourists
15.  I always try to imagine Detroit as a city full of tourists, which is extremely difficult
16.  I have a respect for Detroit that I didn’t have when I was younger
17.  I’ve always wanted a truck, but have driven compact cars all my life
18.  I enjoy the downward part of snowboarding/skiing, but going up scares me
19.  I’d love to be a wedding planner
20. The only time I’ve traveled out of the U.S. is when I went to the Bahamas for spring break in 2001, and the many times I’ve traveled over the border into Canada
21. The only other foreign places I really hope to visit in my lifetime are Australia and  Ireland
22. I’d also like to see more of the States; Maine, Alaska, Oregon and Hawaii being the highest on the list
23.  In high school, I had more guy friends than girlfriends
24.  I was the only girl in the auto mechanics classes
25. I have an older brother and a younger sister
26. I don’t see the problem people have with being a middle child, I turned out alright
27. For the most part….
28. I am happy that I spent so many years in college searching for what would make me happiest
29.  I fell in love with Derek when I was 19
30.  I will never get sick of watching Friends episodes
31.  The friend that introduced Derek and I had a crush on him at the same time
32.  She stopped talking to me shortly after that, when she realized we were going to stay together
33.  I’ve seen her once since then, right before we got married
34. I very rarely wear makeup
35.  I don’t like interrupting people, so when I am listening to people, I don’t usually say much
36. I could eat seafood everyday for the rest of my life
37.  I have astigmatism, and had to wear hard contacts for years
38. I am not creative in an artistic way like my mom and dad, but am in other ways
39. Derek is an extremely talented wood worker, here is our beloved entertainment center, and here are some of his early projects
40.  I always wished I could paint
41.  The first time I cut my hair since 7th grade was at my senior all night party
42. I’ve never been able to curl my tongue
43.  I don’t like gambling
44. I really don’t like drama
45.  I love getting great deals on things
46. I have the best family anyone could ask for
47. I freak out every time there is a microwave with leftover time from heating something.  I am overly compulsive when it comes to hitting the clear button
48.  My dogs ALWAYS make me smile, no matter what
49.  I can’t stand it when short women date really tall men
50.  My two best friends are from my childhood, I am proud of that
51.  They live on opposite ends of the country and I don’t see them very often
52. I never dated anyone taller than myself until I met Derek
53.  Every Canadian I’ve ever met has been awesome
54. Derek grew up on the edge of Canada and spent much of his childhood there
55.  I used to spend hours practicing writing, so my handwriting would be perfect
56.  It still isn’t
57.  I used to be a smoker
58. The only time I don’t mind talking on the phone is while I am driving, which I know I shouldn’t do
59. Other than that, I largely prefer face to face, emailing, texting and blogging
60.  Growing up, I hated being tall
61.  I love being tall now
62.  My husband makes me feel short
63. If I ever bought a vacation home, it would be in the mountains
64.  I would love to teach my dogs to pull a sled
65.  I have a hard time making friends
66.  I wish I had more reasons to get dressed up and go out
67. I am an excellent listener, but horrible at giving advice
68. I freeze up when people cry and never know what to say
69. I am extremely obsessive about my paranoia.  Some days, a few hours after I leave the house, I’ll worry that I didn’t shut something off, or didn’t lock the door or that the house will be a pile of ashes when I return
70. At our first house, I had a fear of natural light and kept most windows covered 90% of the time
71. I’ve tried to improve with our second house, and only have blinds on most windows
72. I excel at organization
73. Not so much with clutter
74. I used to write love poems, and even won a few cheesy awards on the internet
75. One guy even emailed me asking for permission to use one of them when he proposed to his girlfriend
76. I said yes, and so did she
77. My So Called Life was an obsession of mine, and I still wish it hadn’t gotten cancelled
78. I play the piano
79. I once tried to learn how to play the drums and guitar…I was told to stick to the piano
80. I can’t start a fire without some sort of liquid stimulant
81. The first concert I ever attended was Porno for Pyros, and if it hadn’t been for the adult accompaniment, I wouldn’t have been allowed to go
82. Everywhere I wore the t-shirt from that concert, I got into trouble
83. I started working when I was 14, at a local flower shop
84.  When the new VW Beetles first came out, my mom was one of the few people to actually get one
85. I took my road test in that car, and the instructor was so busy asking her questions about the car that he was barely paying attention to me
86. Only in rare cases do people pronounce my married name correctly
87. Derek and I never had a honeymoon
88. I am a sucker for cheesy romance in the form of books, movies and songs
89. I’d much prefer to fix something myself rather than pay someone to do it
90. This comes from my dad
91. I believe that your dreams will not come true until you believe in them yourself
92. I used to live in the moment, I don’t anymore
93. Planning is an aphrodisiac to me
94. I don’t like driving at night
95. I have a college degree in Computer Aided Drafting
96. The only place I draft is at home
97. Some of the other areas I was interested in at one point or another were; Mechanical Engineering, Computer Programming, Construction Management and Business
98. I knew for sure I wanted to go into the medical field in 2007, when a few of my family members were hospitalized for various reasons
99. I want children
100. I’d also love to adopt
101. I don’t exercise nearly as much as I should
102. Sterling silver roses have always been and always will be my favorite (for anyone that’s wondering, they are actually purple)

Vacationing, Part 3

We took a trip down to Key Largo to go snorkeling.  I love water, as long as I’m not in it.  But, as nervous as I was, I managed just fine.  Everyone else had a great time.

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We saw barracuda, sea turtles, jellyfish, which almost gave me a heart attack when I suddenly looked up and ran face first into one, and plenty of cute little reef fish.

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The water was extremely choppy, which made navigating a bit difficult and swallowing sea water pretty easy.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience, though it wouldn’t have broken my heart if the barracuda hadn’t been there, flashing those sharp teeth with a smile.

Companions

My Aunt and my Mom tagged me with this one.  While I can’t quite beat their list of pets, I will talk about what I have had.

1. What is the first pet you remember? 

That would be Tiffany.  She was a great dog, but I don’t remember much about her.

 2. How many different kinds of pets have you owned?

Let’s see.  Dogs, cats, hamster’s, birds, fish (including octopuses and sharks), a horse, and I think that’s it. 

3. What was your strangest pet?

I’d have to say Kirra is the strangest of them all.  All her little idiosyncrasies are hilarious, and very odd.

4. What is your dream pet?

To me, there is no dream pet.  I’d be happy with any animal.

5. What is your nightmare pet? 

Not one of those either.  Every animal deserves a home and a second chance.

6. Your best/ funniest pet story…

The best I can think of right now is the nicknames we have for our dogs now.  Away from home is usually the only time I call them by their given names.  Kirra is usually Poo, or Pooh bear, or some form of that word, as well as Pook or Pookie, Munchkin or Pumpkin.  It’s weird, I know.  When she was a puppy she had an intestinal parasite that took us months to get rid of, she had constant diarrhea and eventually the name just stuck.  Keiko gets called Buddy, Bud, Mister, Little Man, Teddy Bear, or Chewy because sometimes when he whines, his voice quivers and it sounds just like Chewbacca.  Surprisingly, they respond to most of these names just as they would their normal ones.

Another funny story is when Derek first started an aquarium and lionfish were one of his favorites.  He had two of them and had had them for a few months, and they’d never given us any trouble while we were feeding them.  One day, Derek was gone and I was feeding them when the little one, the one that usually cowered in the bottom corner of the tank while a hand was in the tank, decided to dart up to the top and sting my finger.  I knew it wouldn’t do any real damage, but it stung real bad, and after a few minutes, my entire hand was swollen to the point that I couldn’t move my fingers.  The pipes had frozen, so there wasn’t any running water in the house at the time, when all I wanted to do was plunge my hand into a bowl of cold water.  I was reduced to using the toilet, and it was pretty funny.

7. Tell your worst/ saddest pet story…

There are two that come to mind.  First, when my first kitten, Samantha had to be put down when she was young after getting sick from drinking anti-freeze.  I loved that cat so much.  Second, last year when I had to get rid of my horse, Echo.  That was the toughest decision I’d made in a long time, but was necessary.

8. Did you ever have a scary animal experience?

Yes.  At our old house, I was walking the dogs one day, the same route I took them every day and passed by a house that a dog always sat in the doorway of.  This day, he somehow escaped and started running after us.  He looked harmless, so I just held my dogs tight and started to walk away.  The woman who owned the dog came running from the house, screaming at me to get my dogs away, that her dog would kill them.  At first, I didn’t believe her, but then a fight broke out and she wouldn’t even approach her dog, or yell at him.  She simply kept on screaming at me to get away from them, when I obviously couldn’t.  I just started running, yanking on my dogs until finally they were free from the other one and she was able to grab his collar.  I never walked by that house again.

9. What was your favorite pet?

I’ve loved all my pets equally, and will continue to do so.

10. What did you really want to tell us about pets that didn’t fit into the other questions?

Only that pets aren’t pets to me.  They are part of my family, they are my children.  And they truly are a man’s best friend.  It’s an everlasting companionship that never falters.  I can’t remember a day in my life when there wasn’t an animal around and I don’t see that ever changing.

I tag whoever wants to be tagged.  We’d love to hear your pet stories!

Vacationing, Part 2

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New Year’s Day, we were some of the few people up and about early in the morning.  But, we were well rewarded. 

We took an airboat ride on a nearby nature preserve, much like the everglades, and saw some spectacular sights.

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As well as some not so friendly Florida natives.

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At the time, I thought this would probably be our only chance to see some gators, but a drive along the southern tip of I-75, also known as Alligator Alley, produced dozens of them.

They dotted the edges of the canal running along the road, and even a couple of crazy people were putzing along the canal in a rowboat.  Now that’s a boat trip I’d rather never experience.

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