Three Things: July 2019

Three movies I've watched more than 20 times

  1. 10 Things I Hate About You
  2. Boondock Saints
  3. Harry Potter and the Scorer's Stone

Three things I don’t do

  1. Wear high heels
  2. Go on diets (attempt moderation, diets)

Three things I'm always up for doing

  1. Snuggling with Babycakes
  2. Visiting new places
  3. Focusing on fixing the problem rather than complaining about it

Three good things that happened this month

  1. Paid off our debt consolidation loan!
  2. Productive family pictures taken
  3. Roomba arrived and it is amazing!


Three things I wish everyone knew so well it was ingrained in their bones

  1. You can change your life, your personality, etc. It won't be easy and it might take a while, but you don't need to complain about things incessantly because you are capable of change.
  2. Everyone truly is fighting a battle you can't see. Pity parties and comparison are pointless because of this.
  3. Failure is fine. It's way better than not trying.


Three things I'm tired of

  1. Apathy
  2. Songs about singing/rapping/etc. We get it, you're an artist, now sing about something the rest of the population can relate to.


Three things I'll never tire of

    1. Reading
    2. Learning
    3. Visiting new places


    Three things I like to photograph

      1. The trees and sky, when I'm lying down during a workout
      2. Babycakes
      3. Bookcovers

      Three things I can't resist

      1. Food
      2. Coffee
      3. Libraries

      It's the Army in Us...

       Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

       Sometimes I will be having a conversation with friends or family, and they act like I have a weird opinion on something. There's really nothing to do except shrug my shoulders and say "It's the Army in us."

      Example: When my husband gets stuck at work during a hurricane and my parents act like it's unreasonable to leave me and my daughter alone during a natural disaster...I just shrug and go "He's safer there, at least he's guaranteed electricity and we'll be able to text at some point. We are stocked up here at home and can stay safe for a few days if needed. At least he's not in Iraq."

      Example: When our friends have a baby or are just stressed out, and we offer to babysit or bring dinner or basically act like family, it's hard to get them to believe that we mean it and are 100% there. Because...we've been in the situation where there was no one but friends, and we know how to step up. Apparently this is not exactly the same in civilian culture.

      Example: When we are always early for events, and everyone else is late, we say "Well we aren't 15 minutes early so really we're late." Because in the Army, on time is late and early is on time. 

      It feels weird to say because at this point, Hubs has been out longer than he was in. 

      I had the realization the other day that I have driven in Hometown longer than I ever drove in Birthplace*. I left for college at 18 and then moved to Texas when Hubs came home from Iraq so I really only drove there for 2 years, 3 if you count the year I had my permit. We've been in Hometown for over seven years now. We've been in our current home for six years now...we lived in five different houses in the six years before we bought it.

      *decided to call the place we currently live (and have no plans to leave) Hometown, and the place we were born/my family still lives as Birthplace

      Sometimes I wonder if we can blame the age thing- Hubs enlisted at 18, had technically signed his contract before graduating high school I think. So I was 17. We got married at 19 & 18...he was out by 23. Those are very formative years, both as individuals and also as a couple in the early years of our marriage.

      Or maybe it's just that military life is inescapably intense. I'm sure not everyone has this experience, or maybe it just manifests in different ways. But most people I know who were in have some characteristics they just can't let go of.

      Or maybe it's all just a convenient excuse, because civilians can't really tell if it's true.

      But it doesn't feel that way. It feels like no matter what, that is our foundation.

      And I'm saying our, but I wasn't in! I didn't live near a post for half of his service, and we never lived on post. Yet even I still feel the effects.

      It still feels like the foundation that we were built on. And it's still a reminder that we are always just a little bit different. Can't tell if it's easier or harder knowing why...or if it just is.

      A Mental Health Day

      Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

      Every few months, I need a mental health day. Not a weekend, not a holiday, not a day where anything special is happening...I need a nothing day.

      I pick a day when my husband is working, and take my kid to daycare at the normal time. I use sick time instead of vacation at work, because it really does affect my physical body to feel this stressed.*

      *I talk about stress or anxiety a lot...I do think there is depression mixed in there too, but that is a second wave that I usually don't even realize because the anxiety is the problem I feel the most...if that makes sense. 

      I completely get that this is a privilege, to be able to do so. But if you can, in any way, I highly recommend it.

      I don't have to do anything on my mental health days. If I lay in bed all day and watch reruns of Dr. Who, that's okay. It's my day.

      Usually I end up doing something, because just the act of giving myself some freedom from my normal schedule gives me motivation and energy to do more.

      Last night, I also skipped Babycake's swim lessons. Hubs took her solo, and I got more done in that hour than I probably had in two days.

      I don't know why, but I've always felt more productive when I'm left alone. Only child syndrome? Perfectionist tendency (if someone is around, they can judge how I'm doing)? Either way, sometimes I just need a fuckin' break.

      So I'm taking it. Because I have to do what works for one is going to do it for me. And it's hard to convince myself sometimes that it's truly necessary and okay and acceptable because my brain too often wants to make everything in the world my personal responsibility and possible catastrophe.

      But anxiety and depression and stress lie. They tell you that you have to keep going in one specific direction or do one specific thing and that breaking that pattern will be the end of the world (okay, or maybe that's just me). And once you know something that helps, even just a little, you absolutely have the right to do use that knowledge and take care of yourself.

      Show Us Your Books: July 2019

      Hello everyone! So far, July has been pretty busy for us...and swim lessons just started! So, not expecting it to slow down too much for a few weeks. Still, I managed to get some pretty good reading in.

      The Dinner List by Rebecca Serles
      This book was...interesting. Young woman actually has the dinner- you know, the "What five people would you have dinner with if you could choose anyone in the world?" It was good, a bit of suspense and drama regarding the different relationships - familial, friend, romance. Not something worth rushing out to read but not a regret either.

      This book was really interesting. I honestly didn't remember much about it, I just had it on my TBR- probably from some point of this link-up. It's about two sisters and flashes between the present and the past. I've never seen anorexia portrayed like this, from a familial bystander and over such a long time frame. It was a compelling and worthwhile read. 

      The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
      Let me tell you, you get some interesting looks when you carry this book around. It was interesting to read about sociopathy, although how she defined it seems to vary compared to some quick online search. Either way, it was interesting to read about conscience and lack thereof/etc. If you are someone who enjoys psychology/sociology type theories and views then I'd recommend.

      Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff
      I've heard a lot about this book, so I bought it with a gift card I got for my birthday. It was good...not as good as I wanted it to be, if that makes sense. I think a lot of some self-help/inspirational books should be much shorter than they was good, important, and stirring but got repetitive after a bit.

      Goodreads describes this book as "a fierce, hysterically funny memoir that reminds us that comedy equals tragedy plus time." Don't think I can really do any better. It was a good read, and I'd recommend if you find the general human condition of emotion interesting.

      This was a random and fun pick. A while back I read Circe and loved it, but wished I could remember more about the various Greek deities mentioned throughout the story. This would have been a perfect companion, and I'm glad to have it in my arsenal for future reference since this pantheon is so often referred to.

      Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor
      I loved this book, I stayed up late to finish it and cried at the end. It was interesting to read about depression and I deeply appreciated that it openly and respectfully discussed the variety of causes and triggers and methods of dealing with depression between people. I liked that people were shown with nuance. This did follow the John Green pattern a bit- meaning, it was slightly unrealistic situations for teenagers but it was so beautiful and the characters were so real that I do not care because I love it. Characters over plot for me, every time, and this did that wonderfully.

      Life According to Steph

      What's New: July 2019

      Hubs & I went beach camping in June and it was amazing! We stayed at the Oregon Inlet Campground with several friends from our church small group. The camp sites were a little closer than expected, but it wasn't too bad. The only awkward part was that to walk either onto the dunes or to the bathrooms/showers you had to basically walk through someone's site. But...totally worth it. The hike through the dunes to get to the beach was more than I expected, but it was gorgeous so I didn't mind at all.

      Babycakes is signed up for swim lessons starting this month. It's just for a few weeks, and it's a really well-loved program in the area. It's her first time, and I'm a little nervous. As a baby she hated any kind of moving water, from the ocean to splash pads and sprinklers. She's getting better- every year there is a little improvement. We've been practicing having her blow bubbles and put her face in the water every night during her bath, because I've heard that's the first thing they work on in the class.

      I'm also thinking of signing her up for a tennis class. One of her little besties does dance and she recently made a comment that she wanted to go to class too. I really don't want to be a dance I'm looking at other alternatives but she's about a year or two years young for most things. We really want her to do karate or taekwondo, and honestly I think she would like it. But, I can't find anything for her current age range.

      Hubs & I are paid off our debt consolidation loan this month!!! Whooo hoo! We've managed to do it in half the expected time, which is AMAZING. It's not all of our debt- but it's by far the biggest chunk of it. And the fact that we've done it early gives us way more hope and inspiration to keep going. We could realistically pay off all debt except our mortgage within the next 3 years. Which is amazing! I know, getting into debt is bad in the first place, but I'm SUPER proud of us for taking responsibility and correcting this error.

      WTF is with these super long sunny days?! I am SO OLD you guys. It's 8:00 and time for Babycakes to go to bed, and Hubs and I are dragging...and it's still freakin' light outside. It's barely July and I'm ready for dark and cozy winter nights.

      Linking up with See You in a Porridge!

      Random Things from Journey in Motherhood (Part 1)

      There's lots of things that Hubs and I have tried to hang on to about ourselves and our lives through out our new (ish) journey through parenthood.

      But there's also some things that happen that remind this is a completely new aspect of life.

      Like, when I'm making us sandwiches and realize I accidentally cut my own sandwich into quarters along with hers.

      Or when I find that annoying ass loud toy that I hid two years later behind the couch.

      And I'm pretty sure I did Plaster of Paris as a child...but you would never know it from the absolutely and complete mess I made of the gifts we tried to do for Mother's Day. Although I had a friend who also said it was a maybe we can just blame PoP in general.