Monday, December 31, 2012


I am going to let the "30 Reasons to be Thankful" posts serve as my "Why 2012 Was Awesome" posts. Because you don't need to read it twice.... and I don't want to type it twice.

Today is New Year's Eve. Woo! We have no plans. We will most likely stay home and fall asleep around 9 or 10 and do nothing exciting (except read, play some video games, watch some Dexter...).

But here are our goals for 2013.... I generally hate making New Year's resolutions since I fully believe in working on things and bettering myself at anytime of the year, but here we are anyways. Bret and I made a pact for a couple of them.


1. Re-dedicate to fitness and health.
2. Pay down debt.
3. Stick to weekly budget.


1. Continue to read more books. This obviously hasn't been an issue since I got the iPad mini, but since school and work are both starting back up, and I'll be working part-time again at PetsMart, I am going to have to really work to make sure I make time to read. For the record, I recommend Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Still Missing by Chevy Stevens, The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky, to name a few.

2. Work on having a positive outlook on all things. Admittedly, I have to try pretty hard to not assume negatively about most things. Obviously, this affects a lot of the relationships and important things in my life. I want to work on my default though process to be positive and to generally give people and things the benefit of the doubt.

3. Lose weight. (current weight 130. goal weight 125). I'll be straight with you. I have gotten lazy. I basically eat whatever I want and I haven't run consistently in about 6 months. This is a problem. Because I have gained 5 pounds of that weight I have worked all year to lose and I don't want to see these numbers anymore! My goal is to lose this little bit of weight again and to work on strengthening my body at my own pace. Living with two very fitness and health motivated people can be a little stressful especially when it's hard to make fitness a priority with all of the things listed in goal one. I hope to make this a priority that is manageable for me and my schedule.

4. Stay dedicated to training Darcy. She is doing great. She has learned so many things and by working with her on obedience, her potty training has soared and so has her cuddliness with me. I have a tendency to be a part of the pack instead of one of the leaders of the pack. I have noticed a huge behavior difference with Darcy since we started. She already knows go to bed, sit, down, wait, take it, speak, leave it, and we are working in paw. So proud of her!

Bret + Stephanie:

1. Don't eat out! We want to save money for goal two, and for goal three, we really want to focus on eating at home and being healthier in our meals. Since I am vegetarian (almost 5 years going strong!) and Bret isn't, we make most of our meals separately, which means we have to be diligent about groceries an actually making food instead of relying on going out.

2. Save, save, save to do things around our house that we really, really want/need: complete backyard fence, remodel kitchen, refinish living room floor.

3. Workout + Read. I have agreed to work out at least three hours a week. This includes: Insanity, running, or lifting in the garage. Bret has agreed to read at least 70 pages per week in any book of his choosing. We are gonna keep track of these things on the blog so you all can see, and to hold us accountable!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

30 Reasons to be Thankful, v.4

So hopefully I can get this all into one post. But let's be honest, there are 17 things and that is a lot of things and I really don't want you to be bogged down with reading things that are boring. Mostly this will just be a list of things with small explanations because let's be honest again. Tomorrow is the last day of the month and obviously I will have to write my obligatory "2013 Goals" post. I'll make sure to limit my blog commitments on that list since I am so terrible at keeping them. My point is. I procrastinated and....... yeah.

14. The ability to go back to work at PetsMart, even if only for a few hours a week, to work for people I respect and genuinely want to do a good job for. I will be selling training classes and probably doing a bit of customer service as well. Bret and I were talking about how summertime will be and I definitely need something to focus my energy on. Remember the time I said there would be no explanations? I lied.

15. Puppy kisses and puppy growls and puppy snuggles.

16. All of my amazing Christmas presents. I will have to say that this has been, by far, the best Christmas ever. I have gotten so many amazing and thoughtful gifts.

17. MarioKart, Super Smash Brothers, and Tetris on Nintendo 64 with my BB.

18. Missing my students so much that I would forgo this last week of Winter Break to be back at work.

19. This nice, relaxing time off from graduate classes. They can be so stressful, no matter how reflective and growing they are to me. I love every minute of school, but relish the extra time I have to spend with my furry family.

20. My Mazda3. Because, duh.

21. Mellow Mushroom pizza.

22. Meeting Bret's sister for the first time and getting to hang out with her all week. She's awesome and I already can't wait until she comes back next year<3

23. Watching Harry Potter at a sleepover with my little sister and my littlest puppy.

24. A boyfriend that offers to sleep on the couch so that Cate and I can share the bed, sweeps the floor so I don't have to, and fixes the sink and dishwasher with me in mind. Love him <3

25. This fuzzy blanket from my parents for Christmas. I basically bring it everywhere in the house with me.

26. Mom

27. Dad

28. Silly text conversations with my brother about the conversation I had with my sister about how Tony is hairy enough to be a puppy.


30. EOS lip balm. Anti-climactic, I know. But I literally have EVERY flavor. omg.

Happy end of December!!!

Stay tuned for posts about:
2013 goals
1 year anniversary with the boy (Wednesday!)
and a new "House DIY" feature. WOO!

xo Stephanie

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Can't Even. (or 30 Reasons to be Thankful, v.3)

I typed this. Then I read this. And it sounds like..... I haven't done any of it justice. But I gotta get it out of me. So, here you go, internet.

Today's agenda in Ms. Mazzella's room.

Obviously, I am a teacher. And obviously, I am more than a little sentimental. About most things. To be honest, I once got misty eyed over seeing how excited a cute little pup on our street was to be let into his home by his owner. These are the things.

Then, the Sandy Hook shooting happens, and it puts all of the things into perspective. I spent, literally, all weekend torturing myself (and Bret) by reading every possible article, watching every possible video clip, and imagining this horrible tragedy play out in my mind over and over. Then, I spent the rest of the weekend counting down the time until I could go back to school and love, love, love what I do and proverbially hug all of my students.

I have honestly been wishing (and probably subconsciously believing) that by taking all of these details about the shooting in, I could somehow take on some of the pain and grief that these families and this community must feel. It has taken me almost a full week to figure out how to say what I want to say.

Considering that these children were first graders and that my sister just turned 6 on Monday, my gut reaction was to make sure Cate knows how much I love her little cute face and her little smarty-pants self and how the families in Newtown can possibly manage to watch the world keep moving after they experienced such a loss.

Sorry for these jagged thoughts.

Anyways, this situation has made me consider my job (and my little sister) in a whole new perspective over the last week.

13. Cate. (again (for different reasons this time)) Basically anyone that knows me knows that I plan on never having kids. And basically everyone who knows that has told me that it will be different  when it happens, even though I remind them over and over that it just won't. Thankfully, I have a little bitty sister to remind me to keep my crap together. She pushes me to be a role model, to be honest and to try my hardest and I could not, would not want to ever imagine living without her. I wish that I could share her with all the people who are hurting from this tragedy the most.

14. My career. (again (for different reasons, again)). I put my heart and soul into my job and this tragedy made me ask myself: "Could I or would I do what those amazing heroic teachers did for their students?" Without question, yes. Absolutely. Even for those kids who write mean nasty messages about me because I made them make up their late work. Even the kids who spit sunflower seeds on my classroom floor even though it is expressly forbidden.

I really, really love them.

And I really, really hope that this shaken community can find some type of solace in the holidays with their families and friends for support.

I still don't even feel like what I have said here covers how I feel. But this is what I could get out, so this is what you guys get. My heart is broken, broken, broken for the families of those precious children and all amazing adults who protected them.