This past weekend was a wonderfully crazy one.


Short version:

-I met Peter’s kids.

-And spent Easter with his family.


Long version:

As I walked up to Peter’s house late Saturday morning, I started getting nervous again. I thought I had shaken all my jitters and worries, but apparently that wasn’t the case. What kind of questions are they going to ask me? How is this supposed to work with him if they don’t like me? What if I’m not ready to meet them? My hands were instantly sweaty as I knocked on the door, but within 30 seconds all the uneasiness went away. His daughter, who’s 4.5, told me she wanted me to sit with her in the recliner until we left. I think I was trying to prepare for meeting them by thinking of it as an interview with serious questions and such, when really, kids that age just want someone to play with and pay attention to them.

It probably helped that his kids are both really well behaved, respectful, and we had stuff planned. Kids are funny though, they don’t understand having a need to be accepted and liked, and therefor they just accept and like everyone. Peter says they really like me, and I’m not trying to be cynical, but I can’t help but think that they like everyone. He assures me though that they really like me. Before they went to bed, they asked, “Miss Stephanie, are we going to see you tomorrow?!” And that’s when I about died.

Honestly, in my perfectly planned out life plan I didn’t see any kids in my life until I was at least 30. I want them, but I didn’t think I’d have them until later on, but life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls that really end up being underhand pitches. (You like that baseball analogy?) Peter was an unexpected surprise that has turned into this wonderful thing I can’t imagine being without, and he just happens to come with two adorable, sweet humans. He told me before our second date, which was the day after the first, that he had two kids. At that point I already had such a strong connection with him that even though they were eminent, I didn’t have any worries or insecurities about the things that would go along with that in the future, which I saw with him before that second date. The heart is an amazing thing, just when you think it’s as full as you’d ever need it to be, it makes room for more, and I’m happy to fill it.


Sunday morning started early, but I showed up with coffee, so everything was fine. The four of us drove to Everett, where Peter’s parents live, and went to church. Lunch was lovely, and I was appreciative of all the veg friendly foods available for me. (Peter’s mom even made the potato casserole without cream of chicken!) After lunch we just sat around visiting, talking about Jean’s book, my trip to Dubai, and a multitude of other things. I don’t think any of us really wanted to leave, but Peter had to get the kids back to their mom, so we had to go.

For me, it’s never been about the holiday, but more about the people you get to see and spend time with. Holidays without my family have been somewhat emotional for me the last year or so; I’m still figuring out how to come to terms with this, because, in the long run, I probably won’t be moving back to Syracuse. Family is one of the things that I hold dearest, and to be able to have found someone who understands that, and is the same way, is immeasurably amazing. It’s an incredible feeling finally realizing that you’ve made yourself a new home.


– S


[331] I Have an Ass That is Lazy


My heat wasn’t working this morning so I wrapped myself up in a blanket and plopped my ass on the couch. I listened to the Syracuse game, which we won, obviously. I also had the Seahawks/Giants game on mute, and basically stopped watching after halftime because it was just too depressing. I also took a nap this afternoon, because, frankly, laying on the couch is exhausting.

I’m going to be home in 5.5 days and I can hardly contain my extreme excitement. Gah!


– Stephanie


[330] Everything’s Been Owned Before


I did a bunch of shopping today, and only got some of what I needed, slash wanted. I hit a couple of consignment shops hoping to find some small side tables for the living room, but the ones I liked were either too expensive, too used, or there was only 1. I did manage to find some pretty, sparkly candle holders and some pillows for the couch. I also may have purchased a sweater with the sole purpose of wearing it on the airplane next week when I go home.

Comfort is key when it comes to traveling.


– Stephanie


[329] Nostalgia


It’s been almost 2 weeks since I left my temporary home in Kirkland with my aunt and uncle. I was feeling nostalgic so I stopped over after work to just hang out and stay for dinner. It was really lovely; I got to play playdough with Christian and eat crab cakes and risotto. Even though I’m finally getting into my routine at the new apartment, it still felt weird leaving to go home. Maybe that feeling will go away one day.


– Stephanie


[316] A New Chapter


I’ve been trying to come up with the exact words of how I’m feeling about moving into my new apartment, and it’s been way harder than I thought. After I left my aunt and uncle’s tonight someone asked me if it was a bittersweet shit-just-got-real moment and I told them it was more like an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

Over the past 10 months not only has my family given me a place to stay, but they’ve involved me in their lives. I knew it was going to be hard moving away from my mom, dad and sister, but I don’t think I realized right off the bat how much easier it was going to be with family around. We went out for countless dinners and outings that allowed me to get to know them better.

I was actually nervous at first to live with my aunt because we’d never gotten to spend more than a week or so together at a time in the almost 20 years that we’ve known each other, and I felt like I didn’t really know her that well. That nervousness quickly went out the window. Kelley is thoughtful, kind, strong, warm, generous and just generally an amazing woman. She’s wonderful with my cousin, her drive is inspiring, and her sense of humor is right up my alley. I feel privileged to have gotten to know her and now I don’t even remember what it was like before. Not only is Kelley my aunt, but now I’d consider her a friend as well.

My uncle, Pete, who also happens to be my godfather, has always been pretty easy to get along with. Before moving out here he would hint that the scenery was beautiful and that it would be great to have more family on the west coast. Once I decided that Seattle was my next destination he was more than generous with knowledge, helping out with my car when it got shipped, picking me up from the airport when I landed January 19th, and taking me in with open arms. He helped facilitate the process that eventually got me my job at Microsoft. I never felt like I was a guest at their house, and subsequently it became my home.

As I was getting ready to leave, my aunt told me to keep my key, and that I was welcome at the house whenever I wanted. That’s about the time I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. On my way to the apartment she sent me a text that read, “A few tears after you left…we love you!” I don’t know that I’ll ever have the exact words to express how fortunate I feel to have them all in my life, but hopefully this will suffice.

I love you guys more than I can express.

– Stephanie


[314] Thanksgivingfulness


Today everyone and their mother posted on Facebook about being thankful. I however did not partake in this. I think it’s a little selfish and kind of fake to make such a public display of thankfulness on such a cliched day. I’m not judging anyone who does it, I just feel like I should, and do, tell all the people I’m thankful for how fortunate I am to have them in my life on a regular basis.

Being away from my family has made me appreciate the time and interactions I do have with them. I feel more compelled to tell them, and the other amazing people I have in my life, how much I love and care for them. Christmas is right around the corner, and I get to go home for a whole week. I almost don’t care about presents and all that superficial bullshit; this year getting to see and spend some quality time with my family is what actually matters.

I’ll be home in almost three weeks and at this point and I couldn’t give two-shits about anything else.


– Stephanie


[310] Dresser…I Don’t Even Know Her!


Today was another busy, busy day. Unfortunately it started early, but fortunately it was early enough that I was able to start building the dresser that I got at Ikea yesterday. I got the entire frame done in a little over an hour and then hopped in the shower to get ready for another date…with the guy from yesterday. We decided to go to Discovery Park, and it couldn’t have been a nicer day to explore and take a walk through nature. Then we went to a bar with NFL Sunday Ticket to watch the Giants game, but because they were losing, and sucking beyond belief, we left after halftime.

When I got back to my apartment I finished the dresser, cleaned up, and left to go back to Kirkland. (I feel like I’m in this weird in between place. More than half of my things are at the new apartment, so I’d call it home, but I’ve been living at my aunt and uncle’s for almost a year, so I would also call that home. Then there’s actual home in Syracuse, which will always be home. I guess it’s better to have three homes than zero.) With Thanksgiving just a few days away I’m feeling pretty blessed.


– Stephanie