Friday, July 24, 2009

Random Bits & Pieces

Due to the fact that it has been a while since the last time I blogged about life this one will likely be lengthy as well as full of bits and pieces of life lately. Feel free to read this in chunks so that you don't have to spend hours reading about my life! ;)

Now that I am the proud owner of a new pair of running shoes, I have been back out on the roads running. I had forgotten how refreshing running is. Every time I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement my mind instantly clears and all of the things that were weighing me down fly off with each step. Some of my greatest conversations with God occur while I am out running. I am going to do my best to keep running, and hopefully be in good enough shape to run a half marathon in October!

As the new school year approaches I am discovering that my desire to shop for things for both my home and classroom grows stronger every day. As I am out and about making my list of things I need, things I would like to have, and things that I will definitely have to wait a while for, I find myself in Hobby Lobby at least once a week. Don't worry, I do not buy something every time I am in there, although I wish I could. I have found a couple of deals that were too good to pass up.

The canisters below were 50% off and go perfectly with my dream kitchen. The shelf in the picture is going in my classroom, and will be the home of my student's book boxes. I am excited to find it a home in my classroom. One day when I am super rich (because we all know teachers make lots of $$$) I will buy to my hearts content from the isles of my new favorite place, Hobby Lobby!
I am officially convinced that Colorado is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Being back in the mountains for a week was amazing. As we hiked up in the Rockies I found myself snapping picture after picture, just like a tourist. I guess living away from the mountains makes me appreciate them so much more. My breath was sucked right out of me with each glance and new turn along our hiking trail. The mountains symbolize home for me. One day I hope to be back by them.

There is something about the mountains that testifies to God's greatness. The strong, rigid peaks remind my of His strength, a strength I can lean. Each rocky stream is a gentle reminder of God's gentleness and His tender love for me. The whole scene is a reminder of the depth of God's beauty and the beauty He has created in me. I could go on and on, but I am thankful for the chance to experience this part of God's creation again as well as for the reminder it provides of His character.

If you have never been to the Rocky Mountains, you must put it on your list of things to do. There is nothing like a hike in crisp, cool mountain air, with the bluest skies you've ever seen, and mountain peaks capped with snow, and trails lined with trees. I can't wait to pick out a few of my favorite pictures to frame and hang in my house to always remind me of home and God's majesty.
Now it is time to talk about friends! What a great joy it was to catch up with all of my wonderful friends. I really needed this time with them to rejuvenate me, and remind me that no matter where I am I will always have them. I was able to share lots of laughs, and catch up on their lives. Being with my friends brings back a rush of wonderful memories that we have shared, but also gave us a chance to create new memories in our now more adult lives. The distance between us has helped to strengthen the bonds between us. So, thank you girls for all the ways that you have been there for me, and I know that you will always be there for me when I need you most. I am always here for you too, any time you need me!
Friends Pictured Below: (bench) Courtney, Me, Kristen
(standing) Me, Chrissie, Jamie
Here are a few pictures from the Bridal Tea hosted by one of Bailey's family friends. It was a wonderful afternoon, and a great way to celebrate Bailey. In the picture is: Me. Bailey, Jordan (her sister), and Jenna.
Weddings always remind me of why I love Stinson. They bring back a rush of memories of our wedding day and how we have started our lives together. I love that I I still feel the sensation we first shared at the start of marriage. The excitement of seeing each other after a long day, wanting to be near each other, and finding ways to let each other know how much love there is for one another. I continue to learn more about Stinson the longer we are together. I feel like currently God is teaching me just how to respect Stinson in the ways that speak love to him as well as how vital it is to continuing building a strong marriage.

Stinson has been working so hard learning all kinds of new things. Working with our neighbor on his days off from Lowe's learning carpentry skills that will come in handy when we one day have a house of our own. Football season is quickly approaching, and he is getting excited for it to begin again. He has really found his groove coaching. I know that God is going to use him in so many ways on and off the field. I too am excited for football to start up again. Every Tuesday and Thursday I am out at 7 on 7 watching him coach, and believe it or not, I still enjoy it even though he is not playing. It is definitely a lot less stressful and I am not worried about if he will start, it is much better to be on the coaching side of the ball!

I love my brother and sister! It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with them throughout Ryan & Bailey's wedding week. Even though we are all older we are still close knit and enjoy being around each other. As the older sister, it has been such a joy to see how they have grown and matured as people. I am continually amazed at what a mature man my brother is. He has such a kind, generous, loving heart. Though you may not know it, he listens to and picks up on everything you say. He knows just what you need done, or just what to do to make you smile and feel special. I know that Ryan will always love, cherish, and care for Bailey. He would do anything for her happiness, and will continue to seek God to be the man that she needs him to be.

My baby sister is growing up before my eyes. It seems like just yesterday Jenna was a freshman in high school. Now she is out in New York trying out the modeling scene and becoming an independent woman. Jenna has so many wonderful things going for her and has a heart that loves people. Every person she comes into contact with instatnly loves her. God's grace and love radiates out from her warm smile and brightens every room she walks into. I know she is going to continue to grow into such an amazing woman, who goes on to do some incredible things for people and herself.

God has richly blessed me with wonderful siblings, including a new sister that I love like I have grown up with her. She is so perfect for Ryan and our family!

Here are a few family pictures from the wedding weekend. I will try to keep this one short. My family is everything to me. I love every moment I get to spend with them. God has blessed me with parents that have become best friends as I have grown into adulthood, and they will always be people I deeply admire. I know that every member of my family will always support me, and will always be there with words of wisdom when I need them. I will always treasure all of the ways they have each shaped my life as well as the examples of how to live life glorifying to God and the leagcy left by their marriages.

Post rehearsal dinner we ened up having a family photo shoot with one of our waitresses. We had lots of fun being silly and laughing together. I think that it will be something that all of us remember for the rest of our lives. So, now it is time for a few words about the new Mr. & Mrs. Foster! The wedding was absolutely beautiful and perfect for Ryan and Bailey. I cried, I wasn't sure if I would or not, when I saw the look on brother's face as he watched his wife walk down the isle towards him. I could see his love for Bailey in his eyes and smile as he watched her walk towards him. Bailey's eyes too spoke of her love and devotion to Ryan. As an older sister, it is just what I have always hoped for in a wife for my brother.

The Tapestry House, an old Victorian-Style home, was the perfect setting for their day, and the weather could not have been more perfect. The ceremony was held outside on the lawn under the gazebo. The ceremony was a tribute to their relationship and all the was it has brougth honor to God and each of their families.

So many friends and family members came out to show their support for Ryan and Bailey. I know that they will have a wonderful life together, and it is sure to be full of adventure. Bailey looked gorgeous, Ryan was handsome, and my parents looked great too! Beautiful is the word to describe their special day.

Stinson and I are off to Dallas next week to Visit Sara, Kennedy, and my wonderful mother-in-law, Jennifer. I am sure that in the coming weeks I will have m.ny more exciting things to put up on my online journal!


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  2. Great post Steph. You sound like you are in a really good place right now and I am so happy for you! Thank you for being the awesome friend you are and reminding me how lucky I am to live in this state!
    Love you and hopefully we can catch up over the phone soon!

  3. love the canisters...hope you get that dream kitchen one day...
    Lovely blog post!

  4. Loved the post! What are you using to edit your photos? It looks cool! I've been using and it's been fun playing around with all the different effects. Can't wait for Thursday!