Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Run Like A Girl

Yesterday I signed up for the Nike Women's Half Marathon here in San Francisco through Team in Training. I need to raise over $2k to be eligible to participate in the race since I'm running to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Many thanks to those of you who have donated already and I'd appreciate more if some of you feel so inclined. Click here to donate. This will be my second half marathon, but I'm determined to not get shin splints this time! Plus, I'm going to buy myself a cute new outfit to race in, which will give me some motivation(don't worry - I'll break it in before race day). I only have one more day of boot camp and then my training will officially start. I'm actually kind of excited to get back into running. I miss it, believe it or not.

Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baby Alert!

Well, here he is. Daniel James Grigg. He seems to be a lot more content than his sister was at his age. And really, he doesn't seem to look at all like any of his siblings or parents. Check out those lips! I can't wait to get more pictures and meet him!

Why I'm Always Tired

Don't I look sassy? My bangs pretty much look awesome in this picture. Too bad they never do that in real life.

The other night I went to a "Back to School" party for some of my girlfriends who are moving away to go back to school for real. I had my roommate help me rat my hair and I threw on a cute outfit with the glasses that I rarely wear and wha-la! I was ready to be a BWOC again. Right. As if I ever was one.

I sure am glad that I'm not in school anymore - just the thought of summer almost coming to an end with August coming up on us makes me depressed. I'm much happier these days holding down a real job and having the flexibility to take my vacation when I want to. Speaking of vacation, I realized today that I won't be taking any for a while. I was just looking at my schedule for the coming weekends. I've listed what is in my planner for every consecutive weekend until January.
  • 3 more days of bootcamp for me. yikes.
  • Wedding in Seattle this weekend.
  • 5 days in Las Vegas for work - sleep not included.
  • Bridesmaid time in San Diego (#9 baby!) - and I can't wait for this wedding. Seriously.
  • Emergency Preparedness Fair AND Lake Tahoe with friends. All in 1 weekend? Can it be possible?
  • Pajaro Dunes with friends for Labor Day.
  • My birthday weekend. Who knows what it will entail - but I'm sure it will tire me.
  • San Francisco Mid-Singles Conference
  • Roommate's wedding
  • Annual trip to DC
  • General Conference weekend
  • Trip to Utah for Daniel's blessing and Riley's baptism
  • Nike Women's Half Marathon - when am I going to train for this???
  • {1 weekend off}
  • Two weekends in Atlanta for work
  • {1 weekend off}
  • Two weekends in Costa Rica for Thanksgiving with the fam
  • Holiday Party at work - as I'm one of the people in charge, there is stress involved.
  • And then I'm home for Christmas (!!!) 2 weeks later and the day after Christmas, I fly to Paris for 9 days.
For real, I have 4 weekends free until January. Anyone up for a nap?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bundle of Zundels

So as I already told you yesterday, I spent some time with my long lost cousins last week. Dad, this picture is for you - here I am hanging out with your cousin Wynn Zundel - aka "Bear's Butt" and his wife Sherry Zundel - aka "Wine Maker."

In their family, they all have "Mountain Man" names and those are theirs. In my family, maybe we should have "City People" names. (We're not exactly country people - right, Mom?) We met up for lunch at Boudins after convincing them that coming all the way to Marin without even going into San Francisco would be a crying shame.

Wynn and Sherry are some of the only people I know in the world with my same last name. I once dated a guy who thought it was weird that I knew my 2nd cousins. It's true that I know most of my 2nd cousins and I grew up thinking that this was totally normal. Turns out, it isn't. I guess you just have to be from a really cool family to grow up being friends with your first AND second cousins.

Speaking of second cousins, here is Marlin and Helen, my dad's cousins who I grew up with. I don't even necessarily think of them as cousins. They are more like aunts. Seriously, they are great. I love them mucho.

And speaking of family that I really love - here is a picture of me and my Auntie Ilene. Well, I don't call her Auntie Ilene so much anymore, but she's great. On Wednesday, my family is going to have a new edition - yep, my sister is going to have another baby. Stay tuned for more details and pictures. Yippee!

Monday, July 28, 2008


This little song makes me laugh every time I hear it; mostly because I do this every time I meet a cute guy. And really, this is dedicated to Mauri because as we all know, its much easier and painless to date and breakup with someone in your head than it is in real life.

And You Think You Know Someone

Last week I spent some time with my family who lives in the area since we had some out-of-town relatives visiting for a few days. It was great as usual to spend time with them and especially my grandmother. For those of you who know me personally, you probably either know my grandma and have laughed with her before, or you've heard me talk about how amazing she is. Seriously - what is not to love about this woman? Doesn't she look like the sweetest thing ever?

Well, that's what I thought too; and then I got the following picture from my aunt - this was taken Saturday I believe. This is my 94 year old Mormon grandmother whose picture is in the dictionary next to the word "decorum". I have no words for this picture. If you have words for it, I'd like to hear them in the comments.

And with that, I bid you a Happy Monday.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Caption Contest Already Won

I just had to post this. My coworker sent me this picture the other day that he had found on my facebook page and ever-so-lovingly put a caption on it. I wasn't exactly thrilled about the caption, so I just deleted it. Not that I was offended, I just didn't really think it was funny. I mean - was the bird saying "Kill Me" because I was petting it, or was the bird saying "Kill Me" because thousands of people had been petting it during the day? I wasn't sure I wanted to know.

After chatting with my coworker about the picture and why I didn't think it was funny, I got the following picture in my inbox. I must admit - I got a good laugh out of it.

Thanks for the laugh, Eric. Have a great weekend, everyone. I'm off to Orange County for a bridal shower tomorrow and good times will be had, I'm sure.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh Pioneers!

My coworkers and I have a slight addiction to this website, so a few months ago, I made this picture and sent it out to them for a laugh. Happy Pioneer Day to everyone who is celebrating this great holiday. Last night I spent some time with extended family and it was so wonderful to hear the stories of those who made it possible for me to be where I am today. My great great grandmother walked from Illinois to Utah with a handcart and 7 children by herself. I still get chills when I watch this - its an oldie but SO AWESOME!

Really? A Pop Star?

When I got a call from my friend Dan in LA asking if his friend could come stay with me for a few days, he said "Oh yeah - and she's a Finnish Pop Star and she's a really good singer." What? To be honest, when I posted her music video the other day, I hadn't even met her yet.

A few of you said to me that you expect these kinds of things from me. Like I know lots of famous people or something. Well, I do know him, but he's not exactly a pop star like Jonna. I may have mentioned before (?) that my roommate's boyfriend is from Norway and I mean - he had heard her music before, so I think that she really is really famous even though you or I in the American world may not know it. anyway.

Jonna and I had a great time together over the week that she was in town. We went out to dinner several times, she toured around the city very successfully while I was at work, and she definitely sang for me on command whenever I asked her to. Here we are at a black and white dance in Menlo Park on Saturday night. This girl's got moves.

And did I mention that she's one of the sweetest and most fun people I've ever met? We went to see Mamma Mia together on Saturday and not only did she sing along with every single song, but she danced down the hallway afterwards while singing. Seriously - a girl after my own heart.

I mentioned to her on Sunday night that it is funny how the previous Sunday, neither one of us knew that we'd have such a good new friend within the week. Sometimes life brings you exactly what you need right when you need it. It's just too bad that she doesn't live here in the Bay Area. We watched a few of her music videos together on Sunday night so that she could tell me what was going on in English. I couldn't help but laugh and say - "That doesn't even look like you!"

I really might have to take a trip to Helsinki next year to visit her - but I told her that I'd only come if the Finnish paparazzi follows us around everywhere. Doesn't that sound like a good plan?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Things One Can Do With Fire

On Friday night, I got a last minute call to see if I wanted to go see the Chihuly exhibit at the DeYoung museum. Of course I jumped at the chance since I've always loved his work - after seeing random pieces at the Olympics in Salt Lake in 2002 and at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Needless to say, this exhibit did not disappoint. Every piece was just breathtaking. I've seen glass blown a few different times - in Venice and in Bath and it is definitely no easy task - I can't even imagine the process for making every piece of Chihuly's artwork. The picture below is similar to one of the rooms of the exhibit - pieces of glass are placed on top of a piece of glass that you walk under. The pieces are all so intricate and if you look closely you can even see little people floating randomly throughout.

This goes without saying, but if you are in town, go see it now. And if you don't want to go see it alone, give me a call - I'd love to see it again. One of the coolest things about the DeYoung is that on Friday nights, the museum stays open until 8:45 and they have live music in the atrium. Lucky for us we were able to catch the last song of the jazz band and get a little dancing in. So much fun!

On our way back to the car, I wanted to go check out the reconstruction that they are doing on the shell in the music concourse, and we found some people doing some pyrotechnic circus routines - granted, these may have a real name, but I have no idea what it is.

We watched them for quite a while and saw some really amazing things. I'm not really sure how one gets involved in learning how to spin fire around their body, but it was pretty cool to watch. I can't think of a better way to spend an evening in San Francisco. From art to dancing to a live jazz band to watching pyrotechnic routines in the park, everything about it was perfect.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

About 30 minutes after getting home last night, I laid down on my bed to take a nap. I woke up at 11 and talked to my roommate for a bit, but other than that, I slept the entire evening and night. I think I may have been a little tired from this last week. Pictures to come tomorrow.

{found on etsy}

Monday, July 21, 2008

How Can I Resist You?

Go see this movie. Sing along. Dance. Love it.

Don't be surprised if I dye my hair blonde this week - the hair in this movie may have pushed me over the edge.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sign Girl

Yesterday I met a lot of "famous to me" people at the Westin St. Francis. I got a gig holding a sign for a blog-related party with BlogHer and it was really interesting hiding myself behind a sign and watching all of these women from all over the country who know each other through this medium that you're getting to know me through right now.

So many people who I have read about and laughed about were right there - and I didn't say a thing about having a blog or knowing any of them. All of this made me think about the reasons that I blog. Really, it came down to one thing. It is for me. I don't really care who reads it or if I'm not connecting with my readers as well as I could, and heck - I certainly don't want to make money off it (at least right now). I'm not in the business of marketing my blog for reasons other than a good laugh now and again. I'm so grateful for the friends that I've made because of this thing - seriously - there are lots of you out there that I wouldn't have ever known otherwise.

Has anyone out there had any experiences like this? Hiding behind a mask so that you could just watch the action even when you're kind of in the middle of it?

PS - Whoorl's hair is just as fabulous in person. Just thought you should know.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Open Letters

Dear Ben,
I have thoroughly enjoyed drooling over you for the past year, but my crush has to end. I know that right now you are mad at Felicity, but you have been really dumb and I can't take it anymore. Good thing we are breaking up within the next few weeks when I am done with season 4 because you are constantly a train wreck waiting to happen. Granted, you're a really hot train wreck, but still.
With love,
Steph who can't take the drama

Dear Parents,
It is really frustrating that you live on the other side of the world so that I can only talk to you before 12pm or after 11pm. I am not in the habit of plugging in my blue tooth, so I can't talk to you on my way to work, which is also incredibly inconvenient. Maybe I should call you right now while I am on my lunch break.

Your Loving Daughter

Dear Mosquitos,
Stop sucking my blood while I am sleeping. Yesterday I counted 9 bites on my right arm alone. Seriously - stop. The only ventilation I get in my bedroom is if I leave the patio door open, so if you wouldn't mind going to draw blood from some dog instead, that would be great.

Itchy & Scratchy

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Middle of the Week Randomness

Last night I attended my monthly LAC meeting where we made personalized aprons and learned how to make fancy appetizers from Chef Tom. I'd sampled some caviar in the past, but I'd never so thoroughly enjoyed it as I did last night. boo howdy - it was yummy. We had some good times last night and as always, it was good to see everyone. Hopefully there will be pictures to post sometime today.

Yesterday, my car got what she finally deserved - a detail job - and she's looking great. It makes me really happy every time I get in the car. That was LONG overdue. If I actually clean out the trunk, then I'll really be set.

Tonight I'm going to be rather busy as soon as I get home from work - and I really hope that I can get to bed semi-early. Bootcamp this morning was really hard - my chest still feels tight from running up/down the Lyon Street stairs. I mean - running them once is one thing, but whoa; I wasn't expecting nonstop running of the stairs for the full hour. Some friends are gathering tonight to have a Pre-American Idol audition concert. Oh how I wish I could be there tomorrow with my friends to cheer them on. I mean - my everlasting crush, Ryan Seacrest, is going to be there...sigh. Other exciting things are coming this weekend, but you'll just have to wait to hear more about that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

North Beach by Night

Last night I had the pleasure of going on a walking tour of North Beach with some friends. For those of you who don't live here in San Francisco, North Beach is basically the Italian district as well as the place where the Hustler Club can be found - amongst other things. We learned a lot about San Francisco history - that there are lots of boats buried underneath the streets since a big portion of the land here is landfilled, that it is called North Beach because it used to be north of the beach, etc. Although the majority of the tour was about bars and strip clubs, it was really interesting and we even saw some local celebrities walking around. No one like Sean Penn or Sharon Stone - just the woman who introduced topless dancing to America. And THAT my friends, is a true story.

If anything, this tour makes me want to spend a greater amount of my time in North Beach. There are some great shops and its very pleasant, especially on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Then again, I enjoyed it last night and it was cold and windy. :)

In other random news, Jonna is staying with me and my roommates for a few days while she tries out for American Idol. Check out this music video - she's a pop star in Finland. Keep in mind that the video is Finnish - its pretty awesome.

More updates on that through the week I'm sure.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Part 2 of NC: In Which I Tell You About The Rest Of My Trip

Since Jacque is such a good friend, she suggested that we go celebrate part of our 4th of July in Stumptown Park as I have a lot of sentimental memories here from my childhood. Maybe if you blow up the following picture you can see why I was a little shocked about the entertainment selection of my old hometown. I mean - this place is full of conservatives. I don't know if the good ol' boys down the road were planning on seeing a drag queen act, but hey - whatever.

Here's our gang - Jacque, Me, Nick, and Aaron. Jacque's mom was so nice to watch the baby so we could go and hang out in the park for a little while.

Even after 9 years of being away, I spotted 4 people that I knew in the crowd. Unfortunately, I only said hello to 2 of them since the others were my old neighbors who had a son my own age. We grew up together and we didn't exactly get along. I'm sure he's changed and we've both grown up, but I just couldn't get the courage up to go say something. And I'm 99% sure that they didn't recognize me.

On the left side of this picture is the old Matthews Baptist church. My friend's dad was the minister there when we were in elementary school. And right behind it is Matthews Elementary. Too bad you can't see it - its a beautiful old building. If you click on this link you can see what it looks like now. The old building was turned into a community center when I was in high school, but it was in use when I was there.

It's weird to think that Jacque and I have been friends now for 20 years. Since we met I don't think we've ever gone more than a month without speaking...and a month is pushing it. We like to tell people that we've been friends since we were knee-high to a grasshopper. She's the kind of friend who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. The last time I had really spent a significant amount of time with her was in Alaska when she worked there as a tour bus driver.

I didn't see very many friends while I was there, but I did see Brandy. We became really close in high school when we were in the marching band together. Since I'd seen her last, she popped out a kid and bought a house - and I was excited to see both. I had a really fun time playing with Jacob and he's a really cute and funny little 3 year old. Brandy even sent me a text the other day telling me that Jacob woke up on Friday morning saying "Mommy, I want Stephanie to come back." How cute!

On the evening of the 4th, we went to Jacque's brother's house. His neighbors had fireworks, so he invited us to come and watch. Holy cow. I had forgotten that I was in the South and that we'd have amazing fireworks that would be illegal here in California probably.

These huge fireworks were right over my head, so after a 45 minute long fireworks show, it looked like I had taken a bath in ashes. So worth it though. Baby Connor even loved it!

We had a good old fashioned southern barbecue on Saturday and Jessica & Rachel stopped by to say hi. I met these girls when I was about 14 and we spent most of our summers together at either youth conference, camp, or EFY. We also ended up going to the same colleges, so we've kept in close contact over the years. It'd been years since I had seen them though - so thanks for coming, ladies!!!

Going to North Carolina was just what the doctor ordered. And for the record, the picture of the blurry house at night was Pace's in case you were wondering. Hopefully next year I'll be able to go back for my 10 year reunion and see everyone again. For having so many amazing friends, I don't see them nearly enough.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Favorites Friday

So yeah. Part 2. It's coming, I swear.

So here are some of my favorite things from this week for your enjoyment.
  • I started bootcamp, which I found via Oh Happy Day. I've had my trash kicked every morning this week. Awesome.
  • I made these amazing apple dumplings last night with a friend and holy crap, they do not disappoint. Seriously, make them this weekend and make sure that you aren't the only one home so you don't eat the entire pan by yourself. {via The Pioneer Woman}

  • I finished The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers at the beginning of the week. Beautifully written book about finding love and peace. Now I'm reading The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. A lot more fluffy than McCullers, but how can you not like a story that has to do with mermaids?!...well, kinda.
  • Tara, one of my closest friends, called me this morning to tell me that she gave birth to #2 this morning. Hooray!
  • A friend of mine here in San Francisco is auditioning for American Idol next week and he invited me. (I'm not going to audition - just chill with him in line and watch the madness) You know me. I'm like 80% going to be there. duh.
  • Kristine and I are preparing for our "Frenched on New Years" adventure already. Here's the conversation that Kristine has mapped out for us to have with some Hott French men:
    Salut (Hello)
    Tu me fais penser a quelqu'un que je connais. (You look like someone I know.)
    Est-ce que tu as une petite amie? (Do you have a girlfriend?)
    Nous allons prendre l'air? (Would you like to get some fresh air?)
    Je te veux. (I want you.)
    Embrasse-moi! (Kiss me.)
    and just in case things get out of control
    Vas-y mollo! (Easy tiger!)
This weekend should be pretty relaxing. I'm hoping to catch up on sleep and watch some Felicity - and go running if I can pull myself out of bed in the morning! I hope yours is just as great.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NC Part 1: In Which I Tell You About Some Places That I Love

Would you like to take a walk down memory lane with me?

When my family moved to North Carolina, I was only 7 years old. Going from Vallejo, California to Matthews, North Carolina was quite a big change. Before moving, I was sure that we were not only moving to another state, but to another country. It was incredibly humid outside, the locals talked funny, and we lived in the middle of the woods, but my sister and I thought we'd died and gone to heaven by moving into this "mansion" of a house. :) So many memories here - prom pictures, sledding down the hill during the ice storms, and many more. We lived here for 12 years and it is still weird for me to think that some random people are in my house.

We lived pretty far back in our neighborhood - we were exactly one mile away from the entrance to the main road. I told my mother once that we would have saved years of our lives if we had only moved into a house up by neighborhood gate. But if we would've done that, I wouldn't have grown up seeing this house every day:

This picture is definitely for my family since I don't think that anyone else would understand. Notice the Datsun sitting out front and the huge bushes. Look familiar? Sometimes it is nice to know that some things never change.

The night before I left, Jacque and I decided to go grab a bite to eat at my favorite taco bell in the entire world. This was our crew's meeting place in high school - the movie theater is next door and a lot of exciting things happened here for some people. (ahem) And there were teenagers loitering in the parking lot by the time we left. I'm glad they got the memo about what Providence High School students should be doing on a Saturday night.

And the last picture may be one of my favorites. Almost every weekend of my teenage years was spent here at my friend's parent's house. If I was out past curfew on any given night of the week, you could bet a lot of money that this is where I was. Oh, the memories.

Since I've moved around so much during the past 9 years (I've changed my address 11 times and had 35 roommates since I left for college). Hold on. Sorry - I'm still caught up on the fact that I've had 35 roommates in the past 9 years. Holy crap! What was I saying? Oh yes. Since so much has been inconsistency in my life in recent years, it was nice to know that some things don't change; like the colors of the shutters on the house I grew up in - that the same neighbors still live across the street, that the weirdos who live by the stop sign are still weirdos!

I guess that's what I love so much about North Carolina. Things don't change there as much as they do in my own life. It is perfect in its own quirky ways and it was exactly what I needed this past weekend. More to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

4th of July Pictures Delayed Due to Laziness

Last night I went with my roommates to The Little Chihuahua. It was extremely delicious. After we got home, Kirsten and I went on a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the nice weather and then afterwards, I got sucked into a book, which means that you'll have to wait until tomorrow to get pictures from North Carolina. Unless I get sucked into the book again.

So until then, here's a cute picture of me and the roommates.

Aren't we cute?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tea Anyone?

To start off my long weekend, I was generously given a half day at work last Thursday. Jessica had the day off as well and since she barely moved to the area, we hit the town. She had never had Thai food before, and since it is one of my all-time faves, we hit up Osha on Union Street. After a wonderful lunch, I asked Jessica what she'd rather do more: The Japanese Tea Gardens or the DeYoung Museum, since I'd never been to either. She told me that she'd like to continue with our Asian theme, so we quickly made our way over to Golden Gate Park.

I'm not sure how I'd never gone here before, but if you're looking for a beautiful and relaxing place to hang out for a few hours in San Francisco, this is definitely the place. We both really really loved it.Did you know that fortune cookies were invented here in about 1914? Jessica and I decided to stop in the little cafe and get a drink and some snacks - as well as sample the infamous fortune cookies. Of course they are no different than fortune cookies anywhere else, but it is neat to eat them in the place where they originated.

Here's our little self portrait in front of one of the many pagodas. The rest of our day included going to Nordstrom Rack, Target, Oceans Taqueria for dinner with Peter, and running other random errands. I stayed with Jessica's family while I was in Charlotte this past weekend, so it was rather ironic that she took me to the airport on her way home that evening. If I told you that we were really sisters, would you believe me?

Monday, July 7, 2008

But You Can't Go Home Again

Please excuse the really bad copy of this song, but this song fits my weekend perfectly. I had such a wonderful time in Charlotte. Many many thanks to Jacque and Aaron (and fam) who fed me and kept me well entertained. More pictures and stories to come.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of july from north carolina!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Excuse Me; Are You A Model?

Have any of you looked at July's Real Simple magazine yet? My coworker/BFF Rebekah had a full page spread! Of course her "before" picture looks nothing like her in real life - she ALWAYS looks great and fabulous, but doesn't she look amazing in this picture? I tore out her page and asked her to sign it for me so that I could put it up on my cubical wall - it says "Big Hug, Little Kiss - Rebekah." And in case you're wondering, she did get flown to New York for a few days for the photo shoot and she did get to keep the clothes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rooftop Adventures

Yesterday was Colin's birthday, so a few of us gathered on the roof of his building for a little party. I wish you could see the scenery behind us - good thing that Rebecca was showing off her muscles for you so that there is some exciting scenery. Minus the pretty fountain, the view was basically like this. So pretty!

And since it was Collin's birthday afterall, here is a picture of Collin AND my roommates! I've kinda been holding out on that one for some unknown reason. Maybe its because they are so beautiful and nice and talented that I didn't want you to start liking them more than me.

Please notice that it is July 1st today and last night we were wearing coats, scarves, gloves, etc. Nothing like a summer outdoor birthday party in San Francisco! Happy Birthday, Collin!