The best of all of us.

The high country lost something precious today. Those sensless tragedies that befall big cities and high crime areas just aren’t supposed to happen here. An officer doing his job opens a door and scene. He’s done. Just like that, a light goes out. A community is forever changed. It sucks.

To compound this Nightmare, his first child is due next month. No matter your religion or beliefs, I dare you not to care. Think of your kids, your friends and family. It breaks my heart. My thoughts to the family, I wish I could do more.

I am so proud to be a member of this community right now. The outpouring of love and support I’ve seen has been amazing. I’m glad we still feel and arent so desensitized that an event like this doesn’t shake us to our core. I love my high country.

If you don’t care, take a moment and breathe, love those you love, appreciate what you have. And send thoughts, prayers, good karma, or whatever positive feeling you can to his family so they can heal.

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class reunion

you may be of the camp that really enjoys class reunions. if so, more power to you. on the flip side, there are those like me that shudder at the thought of returning to my high school days. i just wasn’t a fan of high school. so i surrounded myself with a group of friends (a couple from high school, the rest from college) with varying ages and we became a class of our own. we are those people who can go 6 months without talking and get together and not a day has gone by. we’ve been through marriages, divorces, births, and deaths. through it all, we’ve had each other’s backs. i love these people.

so, we have our own class reunion i suppose every year. we are the asu/woodlands/caldwell/boone class of 1999-now. and sure enough, we have class reunions. the fifth annual one of these is this weekend and in addition to the excitement of seeing everyone, there’s a sense of coming home. yes, i own my own house and grew up in blowing rock, but i think of home as a feeling, not a spot. i get that feeling everyday i pull into my driveway, but also when i get a hug from my dad or play beer pong (terribly) with my friends.

this year should be interesting. i can almost predict what will happen (if you are an attendee to this shindig, look for yourself here) a postmodern interpretive dance will take place. there could possibly be a roman candle fight. someone will drink too fast and crash out shortly after dinner only to wake up and start again later. there will be tears, but also an overabundance of laughter. there will be hugs and photographs and a crazy dog. fewer of us will smoke cigarettes than the year before. we will reaffirm our amazing friendship and eat some hella good food. it will be epic.

i’m single and i know it

you know how couples seem to be everywhere these days? doing all sorts of “coupley” things? well, it doesn’t bother me. seriously… i don’t begrudge you for having found someone you want to spend that much time with and share that much of your youness with. i suppose if the perfect man ever fell out of the sky and directly in front of my face, i’d be all for the couples stuff too.

i’m in my late twenties and i’m single, add to that, i’ve never been in a long-term committed relationship. i really enjoy being single. i love that i am responsible to no one but my dog, that i can plan my career and life moves without considering someone else. it sounds selfish. hell, it is selfish i suppose, and maybe had i ever had that kind of spark with someone i would be singing a whole different tune. as it is though, i know exactly who i am without having to define that through other parameters. all my single ladies enjoy the single life. use it to find out who you really are, what you really want, and what you want to make your life into. know that should the right person never come your way, you will be ok.

that being said. there are some minor inconveniences to being single and in your late twenties. for certain events (not all… it depends on the event type and attendees) it’s hard to go alone to everything. speaking from a practical view and a whimsical one. on the practical side, it’d be cheaper if there was someone to split presents/cab rides/etc. with. from the whimsical side? especially with weddings, it’d be nice to have a dance partner. and someone who you know is in it for the long haul with you should the event turn out to be awkward or something (i suppose that’s whimsical and practical). i’ve never been someone who just brings “dates.” it’s just too much work to bring someone no one knows and have to explain all night who this person is. then if you bring a friend, again… you constantly have to explain yourself. so, it’s just easier to go alone.

anyhoo. what i’m saying is, the single world is not a barren land of waiting-to-be swept away, it’s not a death sentence. it’s a great place to do some soul-searching. if your single, stop looking. you’ll be amazed at what you find.

it’s a journey filled with potholes.

i quit smoking.

on january 16, 2012 i put down my last cigarette. now, understand something about me and smoking. we were more than on a first name basis. it was a committed relationship of ten years. a pack a day. for ten years. now i know that there are people out there who will say (and my dad is one of them) it’s just a matter of willpower, mind over matter, blah blah blah blah. well, the fact is, it’s the single hardest thing i have ever done in my entire life. moving out of my dads house? no big deal. buying a house? psshhht. facing down four hours of hand written comprehensive exams to obtain my masters? cakewalk. six months in and almost every day i still get that feeling of wanting one.

anyone who tells you quitting smoking is easy is either lying or never was truely addicted.

that being said, i think it’s time for me to take stock of what i’ve been up to the past (almost) 6 months. i quit drinking for three months (because we all know how well drinking and smoking go together). st patricks day blew all that to hell in a handbasket, but, i didn’t smoke. i was triumphant, elated, and severely lacking in my usual tolerance level. but that day was a milestone for me. i cut loose in a social setting and was able to retain that responsible part of me that said “nuh uh… you’ve worked way to hard for this to give in now.” oh! did i mention that the first three weeks after you quit smoking you desperately want to murder everyone?

it seemed at this point that everybody and their brother was running. i suppose that could be part of the college town thing, in march spring break looms like some kind of sand filled, oh-please-let-me-hook-up-with-someone-attractive loomy-thing. however, i thought to myself, what better way to hasten the process of returning my lungs to their pre-nicotine state than to run? bonus round? if you run and you smoke, it hurts worse to run. thus, in stephanie logic, it would help me keep quit.

running? also hard. nothing like kicking an addiction, but really? everyone makes it look so easy! the first day i put on my spankin new brooks shoes i (a) fell on my face and scarred my shin and (b) realized i couldn’t run a mile. not even a half of a mile. quarter of a mile? nope. i could run without walking exactly 1/10 of a mile. pathetic. and i’m not an inactive person, never have been. i hike, i ski, i swim, i even occasionally went to the gym. it was pathetic, but, nothing worth doing in this world is ever easy.

so i get the whole runners high thing now. no, i’m not a marathon runner, not even close, but i can run a half a mile almost without walking. and on the elliptical, i can finish a 5k in under 30 minutes. i’ve had to contend with shin splints and blisters that have necessitated cross training, but i really can’t complain about that. and progress hasn’t been as… well… progressive as i hoped but hey! it’s all about the journey right? not the destination? i actually feel bad if i don’t get exercise.

i get that i sound like i drank the kool-aid. maybe i did. or maybe i should have drank it ten years ago so that i wouldn’t be so far behind now.