Friday, June 28, 2013

friday randomness.

Hello friends.

I'm back to blogging after a week with my extended family in Oak Island, North Carolina.  Actually I've been back for several days now, but haven't quite gotten back into the swing of things.  I blame it on Vacation Steph.

She was out in full-force.

I completely checked out from reality, which I often have a hard time doing - I even left my Blackberry at work!  Yes, I'm happy to report I stayed locked and loaded on my family.  I played golf, ate good food, sat in the sun, and wore very little makeup. It was marvelous.

And then I came back to another busy news week that has left me feeling exhausted - and not terribly moved to write. Back to reality. So serious.  Boo.

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I mean, what do I tell you about my little ole life that could possibly compete with the Paula Deen controversy, Wendy Davis' marathon filibuster (that involved a back brace and a catheter) and Wednesday's historic Supreme Court rulings in favor of same sex couples?

I can't think of anything that I could write that could possibly add to the multitude of commentary already out there.

But a blogger I admire and respect - Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery - so eloquently articulated many of my own feelings about the subject in her own blog.  I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE / BEG you to read.  Her words are SO thoughtful, SO very poignant, SO right on.  I wish I had written it myself.

One line in particular shook me to my core and has stirred up all kinds of thoughts I plan to write about, and share over the next few days.

"Maybe we should all be required to pick an issue that requires US to change and not OTHERS to change. I think that’d be good.

Ahhh. So. Many. Thoughts. 

But it's the weekend, and I haven't the brain cells left to take it on.  So, I will leave you, instead, with a few random and awesome thoughts. 

First, in the awesome category --

One of my oldest, funniest, and most talented friends Cindy has two pieces of her artwork featured in this year's Coastal Living Show House in Daniel Island.  Anyone in the Charleston area can tour the house (all proceeds go to charity) or check out Cindy's artwork here.  In addition to loving her and her family, I'm so impressed with her artistic talents and proud of this huge accomplishment.  Her paintings are so colorful and happy - a lot like Cindy herself.   


Also awesome - this Relix article with Ed Helms, aka Andy "Nard Dog" Bernard from "The Office." One of my favorite television characters of all times also plays the banjo and shares a mutual respect for Phish?  YES!

And Spanx is coming to Atlanta - and by that I mean the flagship Spanx store.  My stomach hurts just thinking about all the binding and sucking in that will be happening there come November 2014.  But seriously, thank God for Sara Blakeley for making us look good. 


And on to the random - if you need me this weekend, I'll be at home figuring out a way to cook and eat the $210 worth of groceries I bought at the DeKalb Farmer's Market on Tuesday.  Six bottles of wine are included in the purchase, but I think I was briefly hypnotized by all of the fresh produce and I went a little lot crazy?

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Did I mention I live alone and am leaving town again on Wednesday?  If anyone has suggestions for things to cook with leeks, I'm all ears. 

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

stevie: my love, my hero.

To anyone with taste in music, there is only one answer when someone invites you to a Fleetwood Mac concert.

That answer, of course, is an enthusiastic yes.


Yet, when my friend Chuck asked me if I was interested in taking his ticket because he was going to be out of town, I actually hesitated for a bit.

Not because I don’t love Fleetwood Mac; not because I don’t think Rumours is one of the best albums ever recorded; not because every time I hear one of their songs I’m not instantly filled with nostalgia.

But because I felt guilty about attending this concert with anyone but my Dad, who introduced me to the band and who, since I was very young, has called me “Stevie" after the one and only Stevie Nicks.

I’m not entirely sure why he started calling me that – I mean, my name is Stephanie, so Stevie isn’t really much of a stretch. I also have an abnormally deep voice, wear long flowy skirts and have always loved to twirl, so the comparisons are certainly there.

Now completely aware of what a bad ass Stevie Nicks is, the name that used to bother me when I was a kid, I wear proudly as a badge of honor. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be nicknamed after a woman who writes meaningful (and beautiful) music and still looks and sounds the way she did 35 years ago?

Yes, I did feel guilty about not going with the man whom I give most credit for introducing me to good music. But if someone literally drops a ticket to Fleetwood Mac in your lap, you go.

Especially with fun people like Martha and Jarek, who happily invited me take Chuck's place.

You MUST go.

And so I went.

Based on the outrageous ticket prices, the huge venue, and the myriad of Fleetwood Mac hits, I knew going into it, there was a good chance that the show would be like every other typical, “I’m-so-famous-and-everyone-feels-lucky-to-be-here-so-I-don’t-have-to-try.”

But like Eric Clapton and Hall & Oates (two other big shows I enjoyed this year), Fleetwood Mac was on my live music bucket list and shouldn’t be missed. Unlike Eric Clapton and Hall & Oates, though, Fleetwood Mac was phenomenal.

In addition to being completely complimentary of Atlanta and the fans here, they played for 2.5 hours, speaking to fans in between songs like they were taping an episode of VHI’s Behind the Music.

They performed as if they were doing so for the first time and to a crowd they were sincerely trying to impress. Hearing songs I’ve grown up listening to and loving is always an emotional experience for me –the return on investment I get from the money I spend on concerts always makes it worth it, even when the show is just okay.

Fleetwood Mac far surpassed my expectations.


Also, I'm completely fascinated with the relationship of Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham and have wasted at least three hours over the last couple of days doing Google searches about them and watching videos on You Tube (read: loser). Their love, their breakup, their decision to keep performing together despite their personal history – it adds an extra layer of intrigue and awesomeness. 

I really wanted to tell my dad, who texted me during the show his sincere disappointment we weren’t enjoying the show together, that he didn’t miss out, and that the concert wasn’t anything to get excited about. But that would’ve been a lie.

So I told him the truth.

I told him how amazing it was, how happy I am that he still calls me Stevie and promised him that when Fleetwood Mac tours again, we have a date.

Friday, June 7, 2013

vacation steph.

Happy Summer Blog Friends!

For those of you out of work and out of school for a little while - congratulations on choosing a gig that gives you a two month break in the middle of the year.  I tip my hat to you.  My days of having summers off are long over, but I still look forward to this time of year.  

Oppressively hot days by the pool, boozy nights at the beach, concert tours, barbecues, seafood - what's not to love?

Yes, the lazy days of summer are here - emphasis on the word, "lazy."

My creativity seems to have slowed considerably in the last few weeks, hence the lull in blog posts.  After a brutally busy winter and spring at work, I have never looked more forward to the start of summer - a Memorial Day vacation specifically - than I did this year.

Not because I was doing anything particularly special.  Jacob and I went to Charleston, which is where I've spent nearly every Memorial Day for the past decade; then we went to Pawley's Island where his parents live.

Hardly the exotic vacation I've been dreaming about.  This was an extended weekend to South Carolina - where I grew up; where I lived most of my life; where my people are.  We certainly weren't crossing things off our bucket lists.

I grilled out, I sat in the sun, I played beach games and drank cold beer.

I watched golf on television and napped on the couch.  I took a boat ride and sipped cocktails at sunset.

I went to bed early and slept late; I played tennis, I played golf, I played bocce ball all on the same day.  Hardcore.


In other words, I did things I've done my entire life in the state where I grew up.  Absolutely nothing was fancy, absolutely nothing was new.

But absolutely everything was wonderful.

I started this blog on the premise of doing new things every single day as a way to soak up every last minute of my 20's.  Project 29 to 30 forced me to step out of my comfort zone; I ate different foods, traveled the world, learned new skills.  It was a year for which I have no regrets; one I'll never forget.  

However, the farther I'm removed from that experience, the more I am convinced that the thrill-seeking, spontaneous element of my personality - the traits that moved me to tackle such an ambitious project - they might've have also been the source of much distress for me over the years.

Perhaps it's maturity, or maybe just a cocktail induced revelation, but my completely chill Memorial Day weekend reminded me of what I'd started to suspect since turning 30: true contentment isn't made up of shiny new experiences and constant change, but instead finding beauty in our everyday, predictable lives.

Don't get me wrong - I'm already gunning for an exotic vacation that requires a plane ride and a passport - traveling is one of my true passions in life that brings me much happiness.

But surrounded by the calm of the ocean and the people that I love - there is much happiness there too.  Of that I am sure.


Last week, I felt completely relaxed - like a person I don't even know.

Vacation Steph.  She's tan, she's happy, she's (for the most part) anxiety-free.

Earlier this week, my friend Emily asked me what I was doing next weekend and I told her I was going to the beach.

"Weren't you just at the beach?" she asked me.

"Yep," I replied.

Consistency is key.