Today’s featured blogger is Stephanie. She is a constant wellspring of optimism, IT IS AMAZING, and I love checking up on her family. Love. So I know you will too =) And here she is in her own words:
I am Stephanie. I am twenty-five, a wife, a mother, a photographer, a rainbow, a vegetarian, a dog-owner, a lover, a hugger, a kisser, a passenger (I don’t know how to drive our car, it’s a manual), and in general, really, really, really happy. I have an awesome husband, Sean, who is brilliant and strong and passionate and courageous and absolutely divinely gorgeous and sweet. I have an amazing son, Jasper, who is the absolute light of my life. I love hanging out with these two guys, and want to be with them as much as possible. I’m also a blogger, which is how I came to know the ever-lovely Sarah.
Despite that huge list, I don’t like to really be defined.
1. What is something that you feel very, very strongly about?
I think my problem is that I feel very, very strongly about a MILLION things. I am very concerned about public education and the present and future of children—ALL children. I don’t think children from one neighborhood should get better schools than others, and I think everyone should be down for paying taxes because of the part of it that goes into schools—I am very concerned about community solidarity and support, and generating it, and keeping it going. I wish communities cared more about everyone in their city, their state, etc., and not just the people who live on their street or wear the clothes that they wear or go to the same coffee place.
I care VERY deeply about food and quality of food and everyone being healthy. Similarly, I feel strongly about the environment, and the ways that the two go together. I encourage vegetarianism because I think it’s Earth-friendly, but I don’t push it on people. I encourage recycling and reusing. I encourage organic farming and eating.
I feel very strongly about the “conflict” between Israel and Palestine. I don’t think either side is entirely just and right, but to be succinct, I do think most Palestinians have suffered far more than most Israelis.
I feel very strongly about my family and the families that I know and the families that I don’t. I feel very strongly that we all deserve love, joy, and happiness.
2. How have you changed the most over the past five years?
Oh, wow. I’m not even sure where to begin! Five years ago I was 20, and if I’m remembering correctly, I was doing the following: waiting tables at Ruby Tuesday, which also meant spending copious amounts of time going out, dancing, and drinking, attending community college and having no clue what I wanted to major in, and in general running around with friends and having a good time. I hadn’t met Sean yet, which is so trippy to think about—I always forget that we haven’t known each other for our entire lives. I’m much more responsible, financially-speaking, now than I was then, and all previous notions of what love is and isn’t have been totally obliterated since meeting Sean. I’ve become a mother in the past five years, and this experience has changed me profoundly, and continues to do so every day. I’ve discovered two passions and professions that I absolutely adore and am excited about—one is photography, and I am working as a professional wedding and portrait photographer now. The second is becoming a doula/birth assistant, which is something I plan to do by the end of this year. I’m attending a certification class in September! It’s very exciting to be so into work—I never thought I’d have a job that I love so much, let alone two! Truly, the biggest changes have been with Sean and Jasper. These two guys have touched me and molded me and colored me into someone that I like being. I am tremendously happy, upbeat, and positive. I don’t let haters get me down, and I’m not as effected by the negativity of others as I used to be. I think knowing real love has been a HUGE part of this—loving and being loved is something I will never take for granted. And then having Jasper on top of that..! I didn’t know how sweet life could be. I think really…these two have helped me realize and shown me that if you really know love, it’s nearly impossible to be a negative person.
3. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
Once all of us (I have three siblings) were playing outside while it rained. It wasn’t storming, but it wasn’t sprinkling—it was just a really nice, soft, glorious afternoon shower in the spring. We all played together and played apart, and at one point, I was pretending that I was in a rain forest. It’s not a particularly unique thing to do, but I was having a great time. I climbed up in this tree that had these gigantic leafs and shook the branches so that the rain fell harder on me. And that was basically it—pretending to be in a rain forest and playing in the rain. I love that memory.
4. If you dig a hole through the center of the Earth, where will you end up? (Be creative!)
If this is asking where I personally would LIKE to end up, I’m going to say…right now, Tibet. I think it’s KIND of cheesy, but I’ve recently gotten pretty interested in Tibet and the Dalai Lama and Buddhism. Don’t tell Sean, because he’s been trying to get me into Buddhism the whole time we’ve been together—one of our biggest (and only) fights was about Buddhism! It was really about religion in general, but somehow came down to Buddhism. Anyway, I’d really love to experience the Himalayas. I’d also LOVE to end up in India, particularly Mysore. Sean and I spent two weeks in Mysore (and three in India) a few months after we got married, and wooooow…wow. That is my idea of a perfect place. If this is asking where I think you’d end up, I’d say it’s up to the individual.
5. Okay, tell us one story that your family will tease you about until the day that you die.
I keep putting this one off because I really don’t know. Sean and I don’t tease each other often, and I can’t remember anything I did that was so mortifyingly embarrassing AND that my siblings know about and would tease me about. It’s not that I haven’t had a million embarrassing things happen, it’s just that they don’t know about a lot of them. I think I’m lucky in that I have a pretty good relationship with my sisters and brother, and they’ve always been really cool with me and me with them. I’m sure once I send this off a million things will come back and I’ll remember them, but right now..? Sorry!
*** I received a few e-mails about how the Behind-the-Blog posts were missing last week. Honestly, there was a lot going on and the whole thing slipped my mind until it was too late. So I postponed everything. There is only going to be one Behind-the-Blog post a week until life settles down a bit. Sorry! Oh yeah, and volunteers? I haven’t forgotten about you, I PROMISE. You will hear from me…eventually =)