Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Christmas Time in Matthews

You know, being here in DC has made me realize a lot of things, but one thing in particular. I need some time in my real home town. I haven't been since before moving to San Francisco. So I'm going for a few days in December. It's easy to remember who you really are when you go back to where you grew up. I am who I am because of the life I had in that small suburban town. I'm especially excited that it will look a little like this when I'm there.

I've always complained that the one thing I never liked about going 'home' is that my friends who have never left home kinda treat me like the girl I was in high school. Stephanie from the 90s was great, but I've changed a lot since then. That Stephanie was naive enough to think that she'd be married by the time she was 21 and have a few kids by the time she was my age. ha! Life was just so simple then.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Livin' it up, East Coast style.

Here I am in Frederick, Maryland. Work went incredibly well today and I'm wondering if its because we're missing something huge or if its because we really do have everything under control. I guess we'll find out in a few weeks when we get to New Orleans for our big meeting. :) Little did I know but here in Maryland I'm staying really close to where "The Great Liquor Store Fire of 2007" happened. And I didn't think that Frederick was really even on the map. I was so wrong.

The past few days here have been great. Melissa, Aaron, and I got to spend a few hours with Scott; and girls, if you live in the greater NYC area and you're single, let me set you up. I couldn't promote someone more. I've also spent a lot of time with Melissa which has been really good for me. Being here in DC always makes me feel like I'm almost "home" since it looks a lot like the place where I grew up. I can't get enough of the trees and the rolling hills. The humidity is another issue, but today it was barely humid and the sun was shining. Simply amazing. Tomorrow I get Chick-Fil-A for lunch and Melissa is taking me to get a pedicure in the evening. Doesn't get much better than that, does it? I mean, really.

Mel and I talked tonight about doing an "experiment" and I think I might just give it a whirl. For more on that, you'll just have to stay tuned. I hope everyone is doing well.

Friday, September 21, 2007

And I'm off...

I'm taking my yearly week-long trip to the country in Frederick, Maryland. I'm going for work so it won't be all fun and games, but I am planning on spending some quality time with some close friends while there. I'll have my laptop with me, so there may be some blogging, but we'll see how things go.
Supposedly this cute bridge is in Frederick, so if I find it, I'll take some pictures of my own. Have a great next week and a half everyone!!

I'm on a roll, kids.

So by now I'm thinking that I should have set a theme for the week and had it be "Stephanie's week in pictures" because I've been pretty good at telling you exactly what I did every night this week. Don't you worry, my friends. I know that my life is so exciting that you're all dying to know every day what I did the night before, so maybe I'll keep this up for a little while. And maybe I'll also lay off the crack. ha. (just kidding, Mom)
So yeah, today, Thursday, me, Tiffany, and Tommy went to the temple up in Oakland. Well, there were lots of other people there, but we went too. And on the way, Tiffany decided to buy a bike. She was really feeling the urge to own something today, and we weren't about to stop her. Tommy was a little worried about fitting the bike into his car, but with a little oomph, we finally got it in. Tiffany was trapped underneath it, but once and a while you have to make sacrifices for the things you really want.

She definitely didn't seem too unhappy about it. I'll have to take some more pictures of the bike for you, because it is sweet! From what we can tell, it is a 1960's Schwinn with awesome handle bars and its a cool green color. Her name is Juliet in case you're wondering.

I snapped a quick photo of the temple as we were leaving. It was an awesome night to be at the temple; so many good friends were there. Seriously, it was great all around.

We got ice cream at Fenton's afterwards which was nice, but the service stunk. So we ordered some to go and went home. Another awesome day and I'm up late again. Staying up late + Getting up early = Not awesome.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hyde St. Fun

So every night this week I've been busy and last night was no exception. My friends Gazelle and Jason invited me and Silvia over for dinner. The food and company was great. Seriously...Gazelle can make some mean shrimp linguine.

The only thing that we were missing at dinner was Todd.

We waited for him (for a little while) and even had a place for him at the table.

And then Silvia got over missing Todd and decided that she wanted to take his blanket home.

umm, Todd, you may want to check and see if you're missing anything.

Confessions of a Pageant Girl

Something happened to me my second year at Ricks College that I frequently forget about. It started one day in April when my roommate Toni and I saw an advertisement in the school paper asking girls to audition to be on the Homecoming Court for the following year. I looked at her and said "Wouldn't it be hilarious to say that we tried out to be on the Homecoming Court?" Our friend overheard the conversation and encouraged us to do it. I mean...I don't have anything against pageant girls, but I'm just not one of them; so I thought it would be funny.

We went to the meeting a few days later to get more information. All the girls there (but me, of course) were well dressed and looked like they could have been in a beauty contest that evening. We were told that if we wanted to audition we had to be either sponsored by a student organization or 500 students had to sign a petition to nominate us. Auditions would be held in September, so we had all summer to practice our talents. I hadn't been super involved at school until that point, so I had no chance of being sponsored by a student organization. Toni and I knocked on every door in every apartment complex on our street until we had well over 500 signatures each so that we could leave for the summer without worrying about it.

I had plans to learn how to clog so that my audition would be funny, if nothing else. That summer I worked in downtown Charlotte and I spent all my free time doing everything but learn how to clog. My grandiose plans to become a professional clogger in two months were foiled. I got back to Idaho at the end of August and realized that our "try outs" were the following week. Lucky for me, I have a backup talent. I've actually played the violin since the age of 5, so I picked up my violin and practiced a song that I'd known for years. My roommate in the meanwhile started throwing together a song to sing. Neither one of us was prepared. At all.

The day to audition came. We threw on some dresses and headed to campus. We both did moderately well on our auditions and had a great laugh about it. The next morning, the results would be posted in the student center, so I told my roommate that I'd check the list on my way to class. I walked up to the list and there it was. My name. At the bottom. I was so excited that I was on the list of people who didn't make it; especially because that meant that my roommate would be in the pageant. Then I did a double take. Oh wait. "That list is the people who will be in the homecoming pageant. Crap!"

The next few weeks I was involved in dance rehearsals and interviews, parades, photo shoots, etc. I wasn't the only one shocked by this. There were posters all over campus with my mug right on them, so I had multiple teachers bring the posters into class to announce to the class that I was on the homecoming court. I was mortified. Really, this was supposed to be a joke.

And here's what you've really been waiting for. Drumroll please...............

We wore these awesome (and hott!) outfits during the Opening number. But it got better. We did a quick change on the side of the stage and ran back out in the outfits below to dance to some N*Sync song. Yeah, it's time to be jealous of my mad dance skillz. I also had mad violin playing skillz and my question/answer session was WAY better than our girlfriend from South Carolina.

And here's the Homecoming Queen herself, Christine. She won Miss Congeniality too based on the court's votes, so we were all really happy for her. Seriously. No "Drop Dead Gorgeous" Mishaps here, kids. This is Rexburg, Idaho, after all.

And ironically enough, it was 6 years ago today that I participated in the very last Miss Ricks Homecoming Pageant. Ricks College turned into BYU-Idaho the next year and the sports program was dissolved. All that = no more homecoming queens or pageants.

Just so you know, the poster with my mug on it is still hanging up in the closet of my old bedroom at my parent's house in Utah.

Ok start being jealous.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Today after work I went to see my coworker's baby!! So stinking cute. I could have held her all night. I might have to go back in a few weeks to fill up my baby holding quota for a few months.

Continuing the Birthday Celebrations

Tonight, Rita took me out for my birthday. I know, I know, my birthday was a few weeks ago, but who says that you can't go on celebrating? We went to a nice Middle Eastern restaurant in the Mission called Majool's Sky Terrace and it was great! I mean...when you order the chicken and they bring you out an entire chicken (imagine a midget Turkey if you need a better mental image than the below picture), what's not to love? And I might add that it was mighty delicious. Thanks Rita!!!

here's Rita carving the chicken...

Before going home for the night, we stopped at Bi-Rite Creamery. Rita told a little fib and said that it was my birthday. So before I knew it, the lights were all off and the staff was singing me happy birthday with a full-on birthday cup o'ice cream.

Happy Birthday to me!

So then when I got home, two of my ultra fun friends were getting ready to leave my house. You may remember these two characters from this episode on the Outer Banks of NC this past May. I love seeing people who make me laugh and bring back good memories.

Brent (on the right) told us that while his motto for 2007 is "This is my now", his motto for 2008 is even catchier: "Bigger, Better, Rougher, Tougher." It sounds like a Toyota Tundra advertisement, but that gets me thinking...what should my motto for 2008 be? Maybe I should wait to decide until the winner of the 2008 season of American Idol sings the winning song. I just googled the phrase "motto for 2008" and the first one to come up is "Still the choice of champions." Maybe it's a sign.

...then again, maybe not.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Horn Almonds

One of the first weekends I lived in San Francisco proper, a friend took me to the Russian Bakery on Geary & 20th Ave to have a Horn Almond. After that one excursion, we would go there every few months for special occasions to have one of these delectable pastries. I hadn't been there in well over two years, but today when Roommate and I were driving by, I couldn't resist. So delicious.

Picnic in the Park

Today we had a ward activity! Yea for activities!

We met up at Golden Gate Park and the weather was just perfect: a little chilly and then the sun came out right before we left. I love that about the fog; sometimes it lifts when you least expect it.
Here I am getting some Italian love with Andrea S. PRONTO!

Andrea P. brought her cute little dog Zoe and she was the star of the picnic for sure. All the boys were in love with her. Isn't that ironic? The boys were all paying more attention to the dog than they were to the human girls right in front of them. Typical.

Dave was even doing a weird little dance for Zoe; he claims that he was just copying her, but if you check back in the previous pictures, you can see that he was doing his weird dance well before I took this picture.
Our picnic was graced by the one and only Daryl. This picture is just for you, DJH. Its my proof that I love your stinking guts. I've known you longer than anyone else at the bbq and I think you're fabulous. Everyone including me in SF misses you for sure.

Colin and Jake were on the verge of playing Croquet...but I'm not 100% sure that it happened.
All of a sudden, something went running by...

to the right...

and to the left...

but it was only Andrea and Zoe....

ah, good times.

LOL!! (no pun intended)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tuesdays with Morrie

I'm a little late in reading this book, but better late than never, right? I found it at Goodwill a few months ago and while I don't think it quite lived up to its hype, I still cried at the end. I did appreciate the lessons that the book taught, i.e. that most of us don't take full advantage of the life that we've been given until its too late. Very insightful and it was a nice, easy read.

Now back to "If on a Winter's Night a Traveler" by Italo Calvino...I needed a bit of a break. rodents.

Today at work the five of us who share a row of cubes were all talking to the VP of our department. When she started laughing at us, we wondered why. Then someone took a picture of us looking like little gophers sticking our heads out of the ground. Hilarious.
Happy Friday, everyone.

just so you know.

Seriously, I hope I get back to really blogging soon...but I thought I'd warn you that tomorrow I have some major deadlines at work, so I doubt its going to happen for a few more days.

Before I go to bed though, I want to give a major shout out to Jacque who will be giving me another niece or nephew in late March/early April. Yeah, she isn't technically my sister, but we're about as close of friends as they come, so she's already calling me "Aunt Steph" to her unborn child. I guess I'd better start looking into tickets to Iowa.
If I can make it to Illinois (she lives on the border of Iowa/Illinois) in 2008, that means I'll have traveled there 4 years in a row. Other than Utah and California, I haven't been to a state four years in a row for personal travel in my whole life. Weird.

Tomorrow I'm teaching my roommate to ride the bus. This is going to be exciting.

ps. Do you like my new header? :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Not Myself...

Ok so my blog friend Heather left me a comment today saying that I've seemed a little down lately and I thought to myself: "Ok, self. The jig is up. If people who have never met you in real life can tell that you haven't been yourself lately, time to come clean."

So yes, I've been in a funk for a while now.

My job is a bit stressful right now to say the least. My boss had a baby today actually, so when she comes back to work in January, life is going to be quite a bit easier for me. I'm SO happy for her and her husband and I can't wait to hold her little baby girl. The work load is a little heavy though. I'm super grateful for the experience that its giving me and I am learning loads!! So I can't really complain about it...but it does stress me out a little bit when I leave work thinking: "I could stay here until 10pm tonight and still have piles of work to do tomorrow..."

I blogged recently about how so many of my friends have moved within the past few months. I have been trying really hard to make new friends and meet people, but its a little hard when I feel like I just got a friend divorce. And as much as all of you would like me to post about that one, don't get your hopes up. Don't get me wrong. I have a plethora of amazing friends. Really. They live in the LA area, in DC, Iowa, Utah, Arizona, New York, and many other random places around the US (and of course, SF). I just wish I had someone to hang out with every day. Someone I could count on to just be there when I need them.

My ex-boyfriend sent me an email the other day with pictures of him and his new fiancee, which is super weird since he never exactly told me he was even dating anyone (I did know though...). What's the proper protocol for this, btw?? I would think that a simple email saying that he got engaged would be sufficient and appropriate, but pictures??? I could go on, but I'll stop here for the fear of offending said ex-boyfriend who probably still reads this blog.

I am going to see Colbie Caillat on Saturday which I am stoked about, and then I just might go see Brandi Carlile again when I'm in DC in a few weeks. I'm also going to see Melissa, Aaron, and Scott in DC in a week and a half which will be good for me. It was good to see my parents on Sunday, but two hours isn't a whole lot.

I think I just need some time to be normal again. I am happy and life is good; don't worry. So sorry to all of you out there who have realized that I've been in a funk. Please still be my friend. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Oh the memories

Melissa emailed me the link to her wedding pictures today and these are my favorites...of me at least. :) The biggest memory I have with all of these pictures is that it was BLASTED hot that day. As in...I don't think I've ever been so hot in my life, hot. really.

Melissa & her 'maids'...even though I'm the only single one in the picture. From left to right, Emily, me, Mel, Maralee.
Oh how I love this picture. Matt, Me, Mel, and Scott.

Me and Melissa dancing at her reception. I'm learning that I can't take a dancing picture with my mouth shut. This may need to be something that I work on.

I would also like to add a disclaimer that there is no specific reason that Aaron isn't in any of these pictures. I like you, Aaron, I promise.

Tiffany and the Tambourine

I wanted to give a little shout-out to my awesome new roommate Tiffany. Turns out that we have some mutual friends (go figure) and my favorite thing about her is that she owns a friggin' tambourine. Well, there are lots of things that I like about her, but that is definitely one of my favorites. Her mom is hysterical, she's super sweet, funny, and did I mention gorgeous?

Basically, it's really nice to have laughter back in the house and I'm so glad that Tiffany is with me and Roommate. Hooray.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Code

There's a gate like this close to my house that prohibits our neighborhood from using a road that could really shorten my commute time to/from work and if I want to go see some friends who live up the road. So one of our friends/neighbors came over last night and told us that while he was on the shuttle to work that actually has access to this convenient road, he watched the driver punch in the code...

Yeah, that's right. He told us the code and now I plan on using it everyday. I love San Francisco.

The Stephanie Zundel Retrospective

...or at least that's what my roommate called it when she sent out the evite. It was definitely the best party that I've been to in a while, which made my birthday that much more awesome.

Here are some fun pictures that we took towards the end of the night.

Stu, me, and Zach...
The timing was a bit off on this one so it turned out pretty funny.

Here's kind of a group picture before the stragglers left. Not sure why my mouth is wide open in all the pictures...but I love Ed's pose and Kris's hair.

And just in case you're curious, I'm loving my new roommate Tiffany. She is great. I love that my house is once again filled with laughter and happiness. I'll have to write a more detailed post on her later.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I love it when things like this happen!

Yesterday on Clementine's blog, I saw video from A Fine Frenzy and loved it. Before heading out to the Brandi Carlile concert, I noticed on my ticket that A Fine Frenzy was opening! How serendipitous!! I've rarely been disappointed with opening acts here in San Francisco, so I was excited to go see them. Go here to listen to some of their music. Or go here to check out their website.

Took the words right out of my mouth..

Tonight at the concert, I cried a few times. Especially when I heard the following song:
Its called "Turpentine". I'd heard it many many times before, but you know how sometimes you hear a song and it makes you think of something specific?
And to the person this song is dedicated to, you know who you are.

I watch you grow away from me in photographs
And memories like spies
And salt betrays my eyes again
I started losing sleep and gaining weight
And wishing I was was ten again
So I could be your friend again

These days we go to waste like wine
That's turned to turpentine
It's six AM and I'm all messed up
I didn't mean to waste your time
So I'll fall back in line
But I'm warning you we're growing up

I heard you found some pretty words to say
You found your little game to play
and there's no one allowed in
Then just when we believe we could be great
Reality it permeates
And conquers from within again

These days we go to waste like wine
That's turned to turpentine
It's six AM and I'm all messed up
I didn't mean to waste your time
So I'll fall back in line
But I'm warning you we're growing up

We're OK I know we're OK
These days we go to waste like wine
That's turned to turpentine
It's six AM and I'm all messed up
I didn't mean to waste your time
So I'll fall back in line
But I'm warning you we're growing up
And for your viewing pleasure, here's a video of her singing this song:

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Listen for yourself...

you've probably heard this song or seen this video already...

here's another one. since I like you.

Just you wait...I'll have pictures from my birthday party up in no time.


Friday, September 7, 2007

I don't know why this website was cracking me up so hard tonight, but the posts today are seriously great. I have a friend coming into town tomorrow, so this weekend will be full of good times for sure. Not only is my birthday party tomorrow night, but I'm going to see the one and only Brandi Carlile on Saturday. I'm obsessed, I know. My parents will be here this weekend as well, so I'll get to spend a few minutes with them, I hope.
I was just thinking that it would be great to have a weekend full of nothing to do. But then I immediately thought: "But then I'd be bored out of my mind. What would I do?" Yeah...totally defeats the purpose of having a weekend full of nothing. Well, being able to sleep in would be a complete luxury at this point in life, so maybe I should take a weekend and do nothing but read and lay in bed. And go running with Andrea. We're going to start again next week. Seriously this time.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thank You

Work/Life is kinda crazy right now, so sorry for the lack of posts. I just wanted to say a quick but heartfelt thank you for all the birthday wishes that I got yesterday. I felt so loved! We're going to party tomorrow night at my birthday party, so I can't wait!!
  • Silvia, Tommy, Rebecca, Peter, Andrea, Daniela, Stu, and LaNae took me out for pizza.
  • I made up with a friend who I hadn't spoken to in a month.
  • I got a package from my parents with lots of fun presents from their recent travels; there was even a journal inside the package! :) And I loved the birthday card from my nephews.
  • I ended up getting a new phone, which wasn't so much in my plans, but its always fun to have a new gagdet if your old piece of crap chocolate phone dies.
  • I finished organizing my room for the most part and got ready for Tiffany to move in today.
  • I went to Ana Mandara for lunch with my coworkers.
  • During a department meeting, we all got drumsticks in honor of my special day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

San Diego and a Foldyover

This should sum up the entire trip, but the below pictures do it more justice than this sign.

I spent no time laying in the sun on this trip. I only spent time playing in the water to maximize the beach experience. The waves were unfortunately a little too rough for my raft. Good thing it doubles as a beach air mattress.

Other than playing in the water, I spent time with so many amazing friends. These are two of my favorites amongst many other favorites. It was so good to see Buck and Fifeski; the last 3 months without them just haven't been the same.

And this is my pseudo little sister. We grew up together in NC and since she lives in LA, she came down to hang out with me for a few days! Seriously love this girl. Scary how much we look alike here.

Me and Bucky.

Kim came in from Arizona to spend her birthday with me in SD! We became bestest friends15 years ago and the fun has never stopped. We hadn't spent much time together in what seemed like ages, so it was great to be back together for the weekend.

Karen & Scott rocked it out playing Karaoke Hero.

One of my favorite quotes from the trip was when Buck looked at Dan and said "Sometimes I wonder if my love for Dan Fife will ever end." My favorite thing about this picture is the girl's face on the left. Classic.

Scott Porter also came to play...and holy cow he is hilarious.

The sunset on Sunday evening was beautiful, so we all walked down to the beach to enjoy it.

Me, Deb, and Kianna.

LaNae and me :)
While playing charades on Sunday night, Zach used the word "foldyover." What is a foldyover, you ask? Well, a foldyover is a single piece of bread, folded in half. This is not a half-sandwich, people. A foldyover is special. So on Monday morning, Zach made me a french toast foldyover with peanut butter filling. Amazing. Please note that this is me after three hours of sleep after I had just been woken up by a swift bread ball to the face. (Don't ask)

Can we go back now?