Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Team Switzerland

Did I drag my butt out of the house for the midnight premiere of Eclipse? HELL YES I DID!

This is the third year that I have picked up a group of students, headed for lower valley in the middle of the night, and spent hours soaking up the saga that is Twilight. I loved it, I thought it was the best one so far - the acting and special effects were so much better than in the first two. I hate the running scenes in the first movie because they look so fake but now it looks much more believable. The mood was darker and scarier, which was awesome, and all of the important parts of the book were there in the movie.

Was the movie as good as the book? No, they never are. Will I be going to see it again and buying it on Blu-Ray when it comes out? Yes, I will.

Am I Team Edward or Team Jacob? Neither - Team Switzerland works for me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Addison's Island Adventures...

Early Monday morning, I loaded up the car with enough diapers and clothes to last a week and headed west to visit my parents for a week. Derek had to work :( so it was just Addison and I on our little vacation. We stopped in North Bend for a snack and a shopping spree at the outlet mall and then headed to meet my parents at their boat. The Pacific Northwest finally got the memo that it is summer and the weather cooperated (for the most part).

We got up on Tuesday morning and headed for the beach. My dad was so excited to carry Addison in the Baby Bjorn, until he had to lug her up and down the hill to the beach - even 17 pounds gets heavy after a while! We walked along the beach and Addison got to see seagulls, clam shells, a bald eagle feather, and get sand between her toes (which she wasn't too sure about!). Grandpa rinsed her toes off in the water and she tucked her feet up so far they almost disappeared!

On Wednesday mom, Addison, and I went shopping at Alderwood... per my usual, I spent way too much, got way too much good stuff, and had way too much fun doing it. :) I do miss living on the west side when it comes to shopping...

On Thursday, we took the boat and went over to Whidbey Island to visit some friends of my parents. Addison and I walked along the beach and then settled in to enjoy some snacks. Addison tried watermelon for the first time, she loved it but wore more of it than she ate. On the way home, Grandpa let Addison drive the boat. :)

We had some firsts while we were away... first off, pulling up and standing ::points at picture below:: AHHH! She's done it several times now and she thinks it is just SO COOL to be able to stand. Especially when wearing Jellybean Striped Baby Legs. Another first was Addison's discovery of laughing. She has giggled for months now, but she just discovered that if she wants to laugh, she can, and inevitably, someone will laugh back. She was in the tub on night, tooting bubbles, and laughing at herself. I was laughing too, until she pooped in the tub.

After exploring the house, Addison decided it's still more fun to climb people... so, I snapped pictures while she schemed ways to get her hands on the camera.

Friday was my Grandma Cushman's 92nd birthday. My dad and my Aunt Judy picked her up and took her up to one of the waterfalls they used to visit as a family. Mom and I headed into town and raided Babies R Us and then stopped to get pedicures. While we were getting our toes done, we ran into Carole, our wedding planner. It was a chance meeting and it was so fun to see her!! After our toes were beautified, we drove up to Everett to meet for lunch at Applebee's. We ate lunch and visited for a while and then went to a nearby park to have cake. Addison go to go on the swings and she had so much fun!!

On Saturday, my mom and I took Addison to the beach to look for moonshells because the tide was so low. We found a few, but they were still inhabited by their snails. The first one we found was busy eating a clam. I found a little sand crab for Addison to see and she mauled it when it crawled in my hand. Thankfully, the little guy survived and Addison didn't get her first taste of seafood.

Later that day, we drove down to the duck pond to feed the ducks. Addison loved the birds and they were more than happy to snack on our bread from dinner the night before.

Sunday came all to quickly and we had to pack up and head back to the main land. I drove my parents to the airport and dropped them off for their summer long trip to Europe. It was a great to see them and get to spend a full week with them before they went off on their adventures.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Have I told you lately...

... how much I love my daughter?? I've been a stay at home mom for a week now (go ahead, laugh) and I wish I could do it forever. I love playing all day, getting to see all Addison's silly moments, and feeling more like a MOM. When I'm working all the time, I feel like I come home, make dinner, feed Addison, do our bedtime routine, and then it's homework and bedtime for me. Having these days together means the world to me and I want the next two months to go by SO SLOWLY ::did you hear that universe, SLOW DOWN::

Tomorrow Addison and I leave for a week to stay with my parents at the beach... pray for good weather, safe driving, and good sales. Poor Derek has to stay home and go to work while we go and play :( but this is the last time I'll see my parents this summer as they're off to Europe for the summer.

Addison is wearing her "Twinkle Toes" shirt that we got at Old Navy - my dad uses that nickname ALL the time when he can't remember someone's name... I think it's so cute!!

The post where I get all gushy about how great my husband is...

You know, the Father's Day post. That guy ::points up to picture:: is the most amazing man in the world. I talk to friends and family and tell them how he's up in the night with me when Addison wakes up (and has been from the beginning) making bottles and changing diapers, he cooks, he cleans, he crawls around on the floor entertaining our baby, he picks me up off the floor when I'm so sick that I can't stand up, and he does it all without asking for anything in return. When we came home from the hospital and I was scared to pick up Addison wrong for fear I'd break her, he was the one who put her in the car seat and took charge when it was her bath time. I still stop and stare at him in wonder some days... because I don't know how I got to be so lucky.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I am an only child. Up until a few years ago, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I had the undivided attention of my parents and got to go places and do things that most of my multi-sibling friends didn't get to do. I loved being the only one. Now, I'm older (some might say wiser but it's still up for debate) and I understand what I missed out on. Having a sibling would permit me one person in my life, near my own age, who was always there. I get that siblings don't always get along and sometimes they don't even like each other, but at least they have that option...

Let me start at the beginning...

Growing up on the outskirts of Marysville, I was surrounded by boys. My neighbor, Matt, and I were practically raised together. Our parents were all friends and we spent endless weekends camping and hiking with them. Matt let me tag along with the boys, he taught me to climb trees, build forts in the blackberry bushes, catch tadpoles (and release them in a neighbors pond... NOT a good idea), and do all the 'tom-boy' things I loved as a kid. We learned to shoot guns together, chased each other around the campfire, and were pals for my entire childhood.

Then came middle school... suddenly, it became taboo to be friends with a boy if you weren't going to call him your 'boyfriend'. Since Matt and I were practically siblings and that would have been a tad bit incestual, we went our separate ways, only talking at the bus stop. Fortunately, around this time, I met Becca. We took horseback riding lessons together and pretty soon were inseparable. I mean that. She went to a different school but every second that we weren't in school we were together at the barn or at one of our houses. That continued through high school and although we lost touch when I went to college, she was still the maid of honor in our wedding and someone that I still count as a friend, even though we almost never get to see each other.

High school. Ugh. I lived on the fringes of the in-crowd... I didn't do sports or any trendy activities - I rode horses and that was not on the acceptable list of things to do. I was however, friends with some of the 'cool kids' and they kept me around although I was never really included in anything... Looking back, I really hated high school. I did find one amazing friend in my three years at MPHS - Lisa. We met in some random math class and pretty soon we were carpooling to school and holding up signs for a car show in our bikinis on the side of State Street (which made the news, mind you). I took her to the doctor when she thought she was pregnant (which ended up being correct) and we taught swimming lessons together to the SPED kids in our district. But again, I left and went to college and we lost touch. Lisa was a bridesmaid in our wedding and her daughter was our flower girl and I love her and her adorable family to death... but I can't remember the last time I saw her in person.... :(

I met Derek right off the bat in college, and per my M.O. I built my life around him. We spent every waking moment together and I didn't really have time to make a lot of friends. Those that I did make ended up either a) moving away or b) becoming psychopathic stalkers (okay, only one of those). We moved to Yakima right after we got married and soon after I started attending CWU to get my teaching certificate. I slowly got absorbed into a group of girls that I really got along with and became close with one who I would say, for a time, was my best friend. Things in that group went to hell in a handbag and we've lost touch, to say the least. My neighbor Amanda was also one of the closest friends I've had here in Yakima, but she and her hubby moved to Seattle in January for his job and we don't talk nearly as much as I'd like... So again, I moved on and started trying to meet new friends. I have a great group of girls that I get together with every month or so but no-one that I feel comfortable calling up at 9pm and bawling my eyes out to when Addison had a rough day or Derek and I had a fight. I don't have a best friend. A BFF. Hell, I don't even have a BF, and that's what makes me sad.

This isn't meant to be a 'woe is me' post (okay, maybe a tiny bit)... but I'm really starting to feel like that guy from 'I love you, man' who starts friend dating to find a best man for his wedding. I feel like at 28 years old, everyone has already made their connections, everyone else already has a BFF.
The problem is, I'm weird. I'm neurotic. I'm silly. I'm self conscious. I'm completely OCD. It takes a really special person to 'get me' and still love me. When I become friends with someone, I give my all and I expect the same in return - it's not that I'm looking for someone to lean on and vent to as much as I'm looking for someone who will do the same in return. Someone who I can confide in and not worry about being judged or talked about... someone who will sit and eat Ben & Jerry's with me after a shitty day. Someone who will gush over Coach bags and cute shoes and who understands how freakish it is to find that wiggly, jiggly, flabby skin on the back of your arms... a girl friend.

So my questions to my interweb friends - who I love very much... is how do you go about making friends?? Not just people that you can have a drink with every once in a while, but honest to God, FRIENDS. Cuz apparently, I missed the memo...

Monday, June 14, 2010

9 months...


Nine months. When I first got pregnant, that sounded like an eternity. I couldn't wait to meet you, to see your face, to hold you in my arms. I counted each day and week and looked forward to when that 'finish line' would appear in front of me. Then, before I knew it, you were in my arms. Now, nine months has flown by so fast that I feel like I can't even catch my breath. For the first time, you have been outside in this world longer than you were safe inside my belly. I can't really explain why, but that is a bittersweet milestone for me. I felt like up until now, you had spent more time inside me than you had in the world, and somehow that made you more 'mine'. But now the scales tip, and each day you've been outside longer... each day you get bigger, smarter, sweeter, and more like a little person and less like a helpless infant. I'm thrilled to see you thrive, to watch you discover the world around you, to see you reach for me and smile at your daddy. But I'm also sad because it's going too fast - already we're talking about your first birthday party... how can that be?? What I am thankful for is that now I get to spend almost three uninterrupted months being a mommy. My days consist of you baby girl and I'm so excited to have you all to myself for the summer.

As always, I love you peanut... more than life.

- Mommy


Here is what you've been up to lately:

Loves: Scooting! Mommy's purple coaster set! Bath time! Hanging upside down! Being outside! Skyla! Your pool! Pulling everything off the coffee table! Necklaces! Flirting with strangers!

Hates: The changing table! Nose sucky thingy! Pooping! Getting out of the tub! Seeing your bottle and not getting it right that second! Not being allowed to chew on electrical cords!

I have been told you pulled up on the coffee table and stood up, but since I wasn't here to witness it, I refuse to believe it. My baby girl isn't standing yet. No way, no how.

June 12, 2004

Six years ago I married the man of my dreams. As I walked down the isle, I believed that I knew what love was - but now I realize, I only had a glimpse of love. He is my best friend, my husband, and my whole world. He gives everything and asks for nothing... He is more than I deserve and everyday I thank my lucky stars that we found each other.

So here is to the next sixty years...

Across the years I will walk with you,
In deep green forests, on shores of sand,
And when our time on Earth is through,
In heaven too, you will have my hand.
-Robert Sexton

Thursday, June 10, 2010

School's out for summer!!

No more lectures, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks! (Or something along those lines...)

What a year it's been... I started the school year on bed rest and had Addison three weeks after school started. I took as much maternity leave as we could afford and started my year just after Thanksgiving break. It was awful being away from Addi - the first day back I cried and cried and seriously considered quitting my job. But it got easier (slowly) and as I got back into the swing of things I even started to enjoy my job again. I'm not going to lie and say this year was a piece of cake - I struggled with learning to balance mommyhood and being a professional, I struggled with not getting the year off to the start I would have preferred, with not having enough time to cover everything I needed and wanted to, and with students who didn't want to meet me halfway in their education process. I said goodbye to some of my favorite kids (I know, teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but I do.) and will be saying goodbye to my principal today. I'm going into the summer not knowing who my boss will be, what I'll be teaching, or what the next year holds for me but I go into it also knowing that this was the hardest year EVER and I survived. Now I get two and a half months to spend with my daughter and hubby, to work on my Masters, and to (hopefully) get a tan - if the sun ever decides to show up here in Washington!
Happy Summer!!

If you want so see other pictures from our last few days of school go here.

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