100th Post!

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Hello everyone!

Since I'm one of the most Type A folks out there, naturally I've been thinking my 100th blog post for quite some time.  I knew it was coming and I was really trying to brainstorm the best options for what to do for this post.  I knew I didn't want it to be super deep content, just something fun and celebratory and silly and what is more fun than learning absurd facts about someone?!?

Now I know that not everyone cares about random facts about me, but I'm the type of person who likes to internet creep learn as much about someone as possible by reading their internet content and I figured I can't possibly be the only one!

So, here we are: 100 facts/photos/videos/embarrassing stories/etc about me (split into categories, of course!) to celebrate making it to my 100th blog post!  WOOHOO!  Let the awkwardness begin...

About Me

1.  My parents originally had plans to name me Kelly-Jean and then changed their minds at the last minute when I was born. All I'll say about that is "thank goodness." I am very much a Grady.
2.  As a kid I used to HATE my bright red hair, now I love it.
3.  My favorite color is pink. If it comes in pink, I want it.
4.  I love to write letters and have a box of stationary in my room 100% of the time.
5.  I own a stupid amount of clothing. Like, it's excessive. I just LOVE dresses!
6.  Speaking of dresses, I wear them almost exclusively. I just find pants uncomfortable.
7.  I'm obsessed with budgeting and money management. I was even into it as a young child.
8.  I can still sing every word to any song I learned as a kid. My brain somehow remembers these things for life!
9.  I'm never without a book. I quite literally keep one in my purse at all times.
10.  I consider myself a very socially aware introvert - I love people and can interact with them quite well, but logistically speaking I need my alone time to function.


Growing Up

11.  I took the SATs in 7th grade. #nerdalert
12.  As a kid I used to make up songs about anything and everything because, as I mentioned earlier, my brain remembers music WAY better than pretty much anything else. This ended up being particularly useful if I had to memorize something for school. I still remember the spelling and definition of "onomatopoeia" because I put it to the tune of The Mickey Mouse Club Theme to prep for a middle school test.
13.  My older brothers used to call me "Dictionary" because I was obsessed with our  "Mr. Men & Little Miss Picture Dictionary" and I would read it like a storybook.
14.  I was a master Skip-It artist growing up.  I would go outside for hours and just kill it on my pink sparkly Skip-It. (Kinda like this one but way cuter!)
15.  My swingset song in Kindergarten was Gangster's Paradise by Coolio.  Please don't ask me how I learned it because I honestly have no idea.
16.  I once told my family that I thought I was a better singer than Kenny Loggins and at the time I totally meant it. #modest
17.  My brothers will never let me live down the day, in third grade, when I called eating lobster an "interesting concept."
18.  I still have my baby blanket from when I was an infant and I intend to never get rid of it.
19.  I believed in the tooth fairy for WAY too long and I'm unashamed.
20.  I had to get stitches when I was five because of an incident involving my chin and a set of metal stairs at a McDonald's Playplace.

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan Photography <3 

My Family

21.  I am the baby of my family of origin - and the only girl! :)
22.  Growing up, my brothers did every sport known to man, which meant that I also attempted pretty much every sport known to man. For the record, I was unequivocally horrible at every. single. one.
23.  Our family had an Elf-On-The-Shelf when we were all little (it's a big thing now but it wasn't at all a thing then) and he would write us letters in teeny tiny font on teeny tiny paper. (My parents are GENIUSES, you guys!)
24.  My parents met at a wedding when their dates left with each other. No, seriously!
25.  A few years ago my brother Timothy married my now sister-in-law Lee, and I went to the emergency room the day after the wedding with a case of mono so severe I was hospitalized and then on bedrest for six weeks.  What did they do?  It was literally days after their wedding and instead of honeymooning, they were at my bedside taking care of me. Unreal. <3
26.  My brother Andrew is one of the bravest people I know. He's lived in so many different places and isn't afraid to just pack up a suitcase and go where the wind takes him!  I could never ever do that in a million years. I'm so proud of him.
27.  Tim and Lee now have my most favorite baby on the planet (sorry other babies, I love you too, I promise!) --- my nephew Aiden!!!
28.  My family used to have pizza and movie night every Friday as a child and we would switch off who got to choose the movie. Much to Tim and Andrew's chagrin, I would choose "3 Ninjas" pretty much every time.
29.  My parents had this killer idea for chores for all of us - a chore jar that we randomly selected three chores each out of every Saturday - and I distinctly remember somehow actually having *fun* with it!  Like I said, total geniuses!
30.  My new extended family, Christopher's family, contains some of the kindest, smartest, most lovely people I know.  We have already made some pretty awesome memories and I'm so happy to be a part of their family and to be able to make more and more as the years go by!


School

31.  I went to Bennington College post-high school and left with a Bachelor's Degree with a concentration in Theatre and Education.
32.  The thing about Bennington is it's a super little Liberal Arts school in the middle of nowhere Vermont.  And by "super little" I mean approximately 650 undergrads when I attended. Yup. Super little.
33.  Before Bennington I was a pretty decent student from elementary through high school, although I loved loved LOVED college and so appreciated the ability to study what I wanted to study!
34.  In my minor years, though, I was a serious band geek (who's surprised here? Spoiler alert: no one) and I did both marching band (I was in colorguard) and concert band (I played the flute for seven years).
35.  I was ALSO a choir geek and was sometimes involved in four choirs at a time.
36.  I got one detention in my entire high school career (for being late to school, which is the lamest reason of all time) and I went to the principal to try to get it changed. More than once.  He didn't relent, but on detention day I got the last laugh - they were doing the photographs for the library bookmark that day!  So essentially I got to be on the school's official bookmark, they gave us candy for participating, and I got to leave detention early!  Hollah!
37.  In 8th grade I got a C+ in Spanish and I cried.  Like a baby.  My mom was like "...Grady, chill."
38.  My friend Patrick and I won the Senior Class Superlative for "Most Likely To Brighten Up Your Day" and I was SHOCKED. When they handed out the passes for the awards, I honest-to-goodness thought it was a joke.
39.  Incidentally, the one and only time I skipped a class was WITH Patrick after they took our photo for the Superlatives.  He drove me and a few of the other winners to Bagel Works.  I hid in the back seat of his jeep and I don't think I've ever been more scared in all my life. We made it back fine and didn't get in trouble but DANG, I remember being ridiculously nervous!  #rebel
40.  My parents used to give me $2.00 for lunch money every day in middle school and every day I'd buy a small bag of smartfood popcorn and a zebra cake for lunch so I'd have enough money left over for an extra after school snack. (Sorry, Mom & Dad...)


Quirks

41.  I always put the radio and TV volumes on an odd number. Always, always, always. When I was younger my brothers would put it on an even number if they wanted me to leave the room because they knew it would eventually bother me so much I'd have to leave. (#rude)
42.  I LOVE live-tweeting TV shows.  I went through the entirety of The Office and then recently I got through all but the most recent season of Pretty Little Liars.
43.  As a kid I would only drink orange juice if it was in a wine glass with ice. Like, my friends' parents knew and would give it to me that way, too.  I have no idea why.
44.  I am weirdly good at parodying songs as I'm listening to them and love to come up with alternate lyrics for things.
45.  I love to research EVERYTHING.  Whatever is going on in my life, I will research for days!  Stepparenting? Check!  Money matters?  Check!  Relationship tools?  Check!  Can't stop, won't stop.
46.  Maybe this is because of my hippie college past but I LOVE these mason jars. We use them at home for drinking cups and have for years and years. Yes, yes, I know, so hipster. Haterz back off.
47.  I judge the quality of a dress by how well it twirls.
48.  Columbine by Dave Cullen is one of my favorite books of all time.  It goes into the misunderstandings and misinformation given by the media at the time of this horrible tragedy and how that reporting actually likely made everything worse. Quite dark, as you'd expect, but a super fascinating read.
49.  I'm very picky about my food - I'm one of those grown adults who doesn't like her food to touch and has issues with mixing textures. It sounds ridiculous, but I promise I can't help it!
50.  I spent a fair amount of months doing daily vlogging back in the day on my youtube channel.  (I take no responsibility for content from 2010 :-P)

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan Photography

Marriage

51.  My husband Christopher and I met working on a show, The Tempest, together in the summer of 2011. I had zero interest in him at the time. (Sorry, babe!)
52.  We became "an item" in January of 2012 while working in a sketch comedy troop together.  Yes, we were your classic "Show-mance" but we ended up outlasting the production, clearly. ;)
53.  Christopher asked me to marry him at the theatre where we first met and worked together. He was very clever and had my friend Kaitlyn trick me into thinking she needed help with something post-show. Unfortunately, Kaitlyn did TOO good a job of convincing me because while Chris was trying to bring me to the stage to propose, I was frantically trying to dial Kaitlyn on my cell phone to find out what she needed help with! Ahahaha!!!
54.  We have been together for almost five years, but our one-year wedding anniversary is coming up next week!  Goodness gracious, how time seriously flies!!!
55.  Christopher and I went on an epic road trip for our honeymoon (blog post forthcoming!) from New Hampshire to Florida and back again in 9 days!  We visited our alma maters together and ended up at Universal Studios (Hello, Harry Potter World!) before heading back to New England - finding weird and hilarious roadside attractions along the way including a tiny village made for cats and a giant shoe house. I couldn't have asked for a better trip!
56.  I LOVE coffee and Christopher doesn't like coffee at all. It's heartbreaking.
57.  When I went on my trip to Europe, Christopher wrote me a letter to open for every. single. day. of my 3 1/2 week trip!  Honest to goodness, a legit letter for every day - PLUS two extra ones in case I needed them!  It was straight out of The Notebook, you guys. <3
58.  This isn't really about marriage, but it is about Chris so I think it counts - he is one of the most brilliant actors I know.  Not only does he have wonderful comedic timing, but he can also make you cry without saying a word (literally - he has zero lines in the show he's currently doing and he made my mom, cousin, and sister-in-law cry with his performance!). I'm so so proud of him.
59.  We're both introverts, which means we have a tendancy to be a little bit like hermits if we're not careful!
60.  Christopher was married and divorced before meeting me and has a now 12-year-old (whatttttt?!) daughter named Jessica. Which brings me to...


Step-Parenthood

61.  I have known my stepdaughter, Jessica, since she was seven years old. She's now 12, which is absolute crazysauce.
62.  She is hilarious and sassy and an incredible, incredible artist.
63.  Being a stepmother is absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done.  It has challenges I never imagined I'd have to face, and requires things of me I didn't even know were possible.
64.  Jess and I have a wonderful relationship, and one that I truly cherish.  She lives with Christopher and I full time, and has for years, so we're all very close, and function as close to a "nuclear family" as I think could be possible given our situation.
65.  That doesn't mean we're without conflict, though, and it's something I like to write about because when Jessica first came into my life, I had absolutely no frame-of-reference - just no idea whatsoever about how to balance and handle this whole "stepparent" thing.  I'm grateful to feel much more knowledgable now (although I have ZERO doubts that I'll face more hard stuff in the future) and I hope to be a resource to other stepparents who are just beginning to enter these crazy waters.
66.  I've read pretty much every book on the subject I could get my hands on. No, seriously. Ask me about a stepparenting book - it's probably on my bookcase right now.
67.  I know some people prefer other terms, and that's totally fine for them, but I actually intentionally use "stepmom," "stepmother," "stepdaughter," etc rather than some of the current popular alternatives ("Bonus Mom," etc). I want to do my part to take back the cultural narrative that says stepmoms are evil. I don't want to avoid using the term "stepmom" because I think avoiding it gives the idea credibility that it shouldn't have.
68.  I don't use the term "blended family" either, but for slightly different reasons.
69.  I do want biological children someday if God chooses to bless us with them, but I also don't like it when folks ask if I'd "like to have children of my own."  Jessica is my child.  She may not be biologically mine, but she is my child in spirit and in our family and I will treasure and treat her as such.
70.  Something I think a lot of people don't know about stepparenting is that the law is really whack when it comes to stepparents' legal rights - in my state, you have zero legal rights as a stepparent, but you have complete financial responsibilities. (Not that I have any opposition to stepparents having financial responsibilities, let me make that clear, but having ZERO legal rights and 100% financial responsibilty seems pretty ridiculous to me.)



Theatre

71.  One of my favorite things in the entire world is theatre.
72.  I have participated in on-stage productions since I was eight years old and in technical aspects since I was twelve.
73.  The photo above is from a production of South Pacific that Christopher and I were both in last summer. It was seriously a blast and a half and I'll never forget that show and the fun we all had!
74.  In college I was able to perform in a show called "David's RedHaired Death," and I highly recommend all of you stop what you're doing and find a copy and go read it right now. This piece changed the way I look at life and performing and I'm grateful I was able to do it.
75.  Another play that I think is really phenomenal is a piece called "Gruesome Playground Injuries" and I was able to Stage Manage a production of this several years ago as well. I ran four boards at once (live video footage, light board, sound board, and computer projections) and it's one of my proudest technical works to date. Plus, I just had a phenomenal experience throughout the whole rehearsal process with the cast and crew.
76.  I am a TERRIBLE dancer. No, seriously. It takes me 100 years to learn a dance piece (Or, as my good friend Bartley so kindly puts it: I just need to "marinate" on it) and my technique isn't great, honestly.  BUT I have learned to get decently good at the "fake it 'til you make it" method and it's served me well in my theatre career.  A confident smile makes a big difference, ya'll!
77.  My very first show was a youth production of "Johnny Appleseed" and I played a little girl named "Red Delicious" and a cardinal named "Scarlett."  High-quality theatre here, people.
78.  I ran a youth theatre program for several years post-college and it is one of the things I miss most in my life.  I ended up having to resign from my position for complicated reasons but it's still painful to think about and I really do still miss that job and most of all miss my former students.  I feel very very blessed to have had that experience, regardless of the eventual outcome.
79.  I met my two best friends (who would later be my two maids of honor) in a production of Oliver! when they were ten and I was twelve. We've been best friends ever since.
80.  If I had to choose one single activity that has changed my life the most overall, I think theatre would have to be the answer. It has enriched my life and complicated my life and brought joy to my life and, ultimately, it introduced me to myself as I was growing up, and eventually to my husband as an adult!  I am so, so grateful to this art form and will forever be involved in it and indebted to it.

Likes & Dislikes

81.  I LOVE Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. Like, it might be a borderline obsession.  I drink one bigger than my head every day, regardless of the season.
82.  I do not like yogurt. I can't stand it.  I wish I did because I know it's super good for you, but I just can't get into it. I don't even like being in the same room as someone who's eating it (I'm talking to you, husband!) because it grosses me out that much.
83.  I would be 100% lost in the world without my planner. Like, I would actually genuinely have no clue what I was doing on any given day - I depend on that thing to keep my life together and if I'm without it for any reason I feel so stressed out until I get it back again.
84.  I just can't get into watching movies. I like movies, I just don't love the part where you have to decide to watch one. When I do sit down in front of a movie, I usually love it!  But I'm not the type of person who ever thinks "Man, I just wanna watch a movie tonight!"  It just doesn't happen.  It feels like such a commitment to sit down for two hours and watch something in a way that watching three episodes of House, MD does not... Whoops!
85.  One movie I DO love, though, is Drop Dead Fred.  It is literally my favorite movie of all time --- and apparently $49.99 on amazon? #worthit, honestly.
86.  Don't even think about getting near me with spicy food. It feels like it'll burn my mouth to even be in the same room as anything spicy. (Christopher, on the other hand, LOVES spicy food. Yikes!)
87.  Lately I've been super into Instagram!  I've been trying to get better at editing and curating and I LOVE to look at other people's feeds, too.
88.  I kinda mentioned this earlier but I feel very strongly about it, so I'll say it again. I HATE PANTS.  They're so uncomfortable, they're like leg cages!  I just don't get the appeal.
89.  I love love love candles!  I have way too many and I get way too excited about them and protective over them.  A few weeks ago I had to leave the house earlier than expected and I literally asked Christopher to set a timer to he wouldn't blow out the candle too early and make the wax uneven in the top... It's fine, you guys, I promise, that's not weird...
90.  I absolutely ABHOR cleaning up gross food. It's my top least favorite chore. I'm so serious about it I mentioned it in my 6 Things I've Learned in 6 Months of Marriage post --- because I HATE IT.  Get away from me, gross food - I shant deal with you!


Totally Random

91.  The photo above used to be not only my facebook profile picture but was, at one point, one of the pictures I chose to use for an online dating site.  Great choice, right?
92.  I own two record players and probably something in the range of 50+ records.
93.  I think foaming soap is at least 70% better than non-foaming soap.
94.  I own seven separate pairs of glasses and I change them out depending on my outfit and mood.
95.  My very first blog post (on gradybird blog anyway!) was a four question Q&A with a photo of me wearing devil horns... I'd like to think I've come a long way, folks!
96.  As a child I used to collect baseball caps, specifically strange/unique ones, and I had not only four sequined hats, but also a solar powered fan hat that I would wear regularly. Clearly I was an extra cool kid.
97.  My taste in music is all over the map - I like musical theatre, country, folk, pop, and a whole lot of other stuff, too.  Putting my ipod on shuffle is a total adventure.
98.  I'm a woman of faith and a strong feminist and I absolutely do not think those two are mutually exclusive.
99.  One time at an audition when I was in 4th grade I told a super accidentally-offensive (in that "kid who doesn't know what they're saying" way) Catholic joke. I got the part.
100.  I've been writing for as long as I can remember.  In high school and college I used to journal so much that I filled up upwards of 45 paper journals alone with personal thoughts, poems, short stories, and just about anything I could think of. Writing is a true passion of mine and I'm so grateful to be able to share that with you all, here!


WHEW!  Thanks everyone for reading - if you made it this far you are a star! (And, you might actually love to internet creep *almost* as much as I do! I salute you, my friend!)  We'll be back to your regularly scheduled programming later in the week :)

Hi, I'm Grady! Welcome to my blog :) A little about me? I'm a smitten newlywed and brand-new stepmom living in New Hampshire. My day job is boring on paper but great in real life (just like Dunder Mifflin!), and when I'm not working I love to spend time with my family, perform in or manage productions at the theatre, and eat ice cream while listening to yet another financial management podcast.  I write about my marriage, step-parenthood, and whatever else is going on.  Be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest, and subscribe to my blog!
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My Whimsical Wedding - The First Look



My husband Christopher and I are only a couple weeks away from our first wedding anniversary!  I am freaking out --- I'm so excited on one hand, but I'm also kinda bummed because I LOVE being a newlywed and basking in that silly, lovey, ridiculous glow. (Let's be real, though, I'm a total sap and will probably bask in that sappy-ness forever!)

But being so close to our anniversary is making me go back and relive many of the incredible aspects of our wedding day.

One of my absolute favorite moments?  Our First Look.

I am a traditionalist for the most part, so I was originally very anti-First Look, and wanted Chris to see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle.  But as I thought more about the process, I realized something very important: I wanted this special moment to be something between us.  As two introverts, I knew we were potentially going to find the more "showy" parts of our wedding difficult to begin with, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense for us to be able to have this beautiful, precious, close moment NOT happen in front of 150 people.

No stress about exactly what our faces looked like to everyone watching and no worrying about being shy if tears came - truly no spectacle aspects at all. Plus, perhaps most importantly, we would get to talk!  We would get to see each other for the first time and have these incredible emotions and be able to verbalize them!

Although I do find it super romantic for the couple to first see each other from down the aisle, I did always feel concerned about the fact that if that were me, I wouldn't really be able to say anything to Chris!  I might be able to throw in a quick "You look so handsome" or "I love you" or "Hi" or something, but we would be just standing there in front of everyone, so we'd have to make it quick ;)

And I'm just not that type - I want to be able to express how I'm feeling (Words of Affirmation is for sure my Love Language) and on what day would that feel more important than on our Wedding Day?

So after talking to my friend Katie, who did a First Look with her husband and highly recommended it, and asking my photographer Laura Marie about the pros (Amazing photos! Formal portraits can happen BEFORE the wedding so you actually get to go to your cocktail hour! Private moment for the couple!) and cons (Not traditional! Not having that "first seeing you down the aisle" moment!), we decided that we were gonna go for it!

And I do not regret it one bit.

I also asked Christopher why he was glad we did a First Look (without telling him what I'd written, of course!) and this was his response: "Because we got to get that nervousness over and have a little private moment together beforehand."  My sentiments exactly, husband. <3

I'd like to add now that yes, we absolutely got some killer photos from our First Look, and the video footage melts my heart every time, but those truly aren't the real reasons I would recommend it - that precious, quiet time together before the hubbub and celebration of the day is something I will truly treasure forever.

Also, for the record, I definitely do not think that having a First Look made the moment of me walking down the aisle any less magical - as a matter of fact, as a person who gets pretty anxious at times, I think it actually may have made the moment even more magical, because I was able to enjoy it without being too stressed or self-conscious to focus.

So yes, of course I think every couple should do what is best for them, but if you're getting married soon and you're still on the fence about whether or not to do a First Look, I would seriously recommend considering it.

Plus, I mean, just look at these photos...


















<3 <3 <3 
Interested in any of my other wedding posts?  Check 'em out!
Engagement Photos
Bridal Shower
Bachelorette Party
Rehearsal Dinner
My Perfect Dress
The Bridesmaids
The Venue
All photos by the ridiculously amazing Laura Marie Duncan Photography



Hi, I'm Grady! Welcome to my blog :) A little about me? I'm a smitten newlywed and brand-new stepmom living in New Hampshire. My day job is boring on paper but great in real life (just like Dunder Mifflin!), and when I'm not working I love to spend time with my family, perform in or manage productions at the theatre, and eat ice cream while listening to yet another financial management podcast.  I write about my marriage, step-parenthood, and whatever else is going on.  Be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest, and subscribe to my blog!
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Stop Asking

Dear World,

Please stop asking me if I'm pregnant yet.

No, seriously.  Stop.  Stop right now.

Don't ask about it.  Don't hint about it.  Don't joke about it.

Just don't.

Here's the thing:  Not only is it, first and foremost, very much none of your business but that's also a ridiculously personal question.

It's a question that, for me, makes me stress out about my life, makes me feel self-conscious about what I look like (Why are they asking me this? Are they trying to say I look pregnant? Do I look pregnant?! etc), and it also makes me feel like I'm not allowed to be excited and happy with my life as it is right now.

I'm a newlywed, so I get asked this question an awful lot, and honestly it feels horrible every single time.

When Christopher and I moved this February I was so incredibly stoked about it!  We had lived in our previous apartment for several years and, although it did the job we needed it to for our first place, I was BEYOND ready to live in a real house!  With stairs!  And a yard!  Sure, sure, it was really half a house and we were still renting, but to me it was a massive step up and something I had been hoping would happen for probably at least a year prior to us actually finding the place.  But DANG, you guys, if almost everyone I told about moving asked me the very clever, super subtle, not-at-all transparent question: "How many bedrooms does it have?"

TWO.

It has two bedrooms.

One for me & Chris, one for Jessica. That's it.

Could we figure out how to make it work if another human came on the scene?  Well, sure. I suppose we'd have to.

But we weren't moving because "we needed a bigger place, wink wink" - we were moving because it was something we had been looking forward to for ages and we finally found the perfect place for us.

But every time I excitedly told someone about our new house - this thing that, to me, was ridiculously awesome in its own right - I was met with questions about something else altogether.

And the thing is I want to have children.  Growing up, that was always something I was very clear about.  I wanted kids.  I even thought that I wanted to have kids right away after I got married.  Most everyone in my life knows this about me, so I'm sure that's why a lot of people feel comfortable asking about it.  But I'm not pregnant yet.  And every time I hear that question, I'm reminded of that.  And sometimes all I can think about is how much I wish I was.  But also, truthfully, some days the idea of ever having a baby sounds downright terrifying. Now that it's a real possibility I've slowed down my timeline a bit. And you know what? That's okay.  And I shouldn't need to explain it to anyone.

It's not just a casual thing you're asking about when you ask someone if they're pregnant. When you ask someone if they're pregnant or when they're going to get pregnant, you're asking them about their life choices, their body, and yes, their sex life (yikes bikes!) - and I can assure you that if these things were any of your business, you'd already know them.  You don't know if someone has decided they don't want children or just found out they can't have children or has recently had a miscarriage or, God forbid, is just living their life on their own timeline.

It's a big thing to ask.  It's a really big thing to ask, actually.

And you know what?  When I'm pregnant, I promise I'll let you know.  I'll let everyone know.  I probably won't shut up about it, honestly.

But until that day comes - until it's true - everyone should probably just stop asking.



Hi, I'm Grady! Welcome to my blog :) A little about me? I'm a smitten newlywed and brand-new stepmom living in New Hampshire. My day job is boring on paper but great in real life (just like Dunder Mifflin!), and when I'm not working I love to spend time with my family, perform in or manage productions at the theatre, and eat ice cream while listening to yet another financial management podcast.  I write about my marriage, step-parenthood, and whatever else is going on.  Be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest, and subscribe to my blog!
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The Stepmom Letters: You are Home!



Dear Jess,

You are home!  Everything in the world that was weird feels right again. I know that sounds dramatic, but I really mean it, lady.  You are back and I am being made fun of for being old and we're already making inside jokes and laughing uncontrollably and making up new games and playing old games and DANG am I just wicked excited right now!

I know the transition back is always hard. I know the transition back this year was extra hard, but the most important thing is that you're here!  I know your friends can't wait to hang out with you, and our family is so excited to hear all about your trip, and Daddy and I are over the moon to be able to get crushed in Clue and Mille Bornes and Exploding Kittens again.

I know this is hard on you. It's not that I think it is - I know it is.  I wish there was a way to make it easier, kiddo, but we really do the very best we can, and I hope you know that. We are here if you want to talk or not talk or watch movies or walk around the neighborhood or call your mom or sleep in late, or whatever you need, okay?

It's wild and wonderful having you back, and I can't wait for a new year's worth of adventures with you.

Love you more than yesterday.

Hi, I'm Grady! Welcome to my blog :) A little about me? I'm a smitten newlywed and brand-new stepmom living in New Hampshire. My day job is boring on paper but great in real life (just like Dunder Mifflin!), and when I'm not working I love to spend time with my family, perform in or manage productions at the theatre, and eat ice cream while listening to yet another financial management podcast.  I write about my marriage, step-parenthood, and whatever else is going on.  Be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest, and subscribe to my blog!
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Taking Stock: July



This July was an absolute blast...

My forever friend Devin visited New Hampshire with his girlfriend and we all had a wonderful time wandering around and hanging out together.

My bff Becky's Bachelorette party went off without a hitch and was quite the event with a three-course meal by a professional chef, manicures for all, and giant floaties in a gorgeous lake!!!

My nephew Aiden remained ridiculously cute, as per usual.

And Christopher and I were able to take a hilarious, wonderful, lovely vacation for a week!

So many adventures!  So much fun!  Such a great month :)








Making: our house as spic and span as possible for Jessica's return!
Cooking: almost nothing since Christopher and I were on vacation this past week!
Drinking: new cold brew coffee I just tried for the first time! Delicious!
Reading: The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-first Century (affiliate link)  YOU. GUYS.  This book is an absolutely fascinating look at the history of marriage, particularly for women, through the ages.  I started it on our vacation and kept reading pages and pages out loud to Christopher because it's just fascinating. I'm not finished yet but I would highly recommend it so far.
Wanting: this upcoming week back at work to go well.
Looking: forward to taking my parents to a James Taylor concert in a few days! Eek!  So stoked!
Playing: "Love Songs Radio" playlist on Pandora! <3 
Wasting: nothing! I'm seriously soaking up every last minute of vacation time.
Sewing: Nothing YET, but I did look at "10 Easy Sewing Projects" on Pinterest, so that's something, right?! haha

Wishing: I could stretch out this vaca even longer!  Going to sleep tonight is going to be so tough!
Enjoying: My cup of coffee, my music, and this air conditioned room!
Waiting: for Jess to come home!  Just a few more days!!!
Liking: so much. I'm so grateful for the life I have, I really am.
Wondering: what fun things Jess is going to want to do this coming weekend!
Loving: the Lilac scented candle next to my record player right now.
Hoping: my August is as lovely as July was!
Marveling: at how big and how small the world is. <3 
Needing: to write a letter to a friend!
Smelling: the aforementioned lilac candle :) 
Wearing: my "Blogging All Day" t-shirt. ahaha True Story. <-- UMM this was my answer last month BUT IT IS TRUE AGAIN!  Too weird!  I swear, I don't always wear this when I write! 
Following: so many new people on Instagram!
Noticing: how utterly content I am.
Knowing: every single word to the Hamilton soundtrack. I'm available for birthday parties, by the way.
Thinking: about reading more of my Wife book after I finish this post.
Bookmarking: so many great blogs!
Opening: the package for the new bookshelf we just bought to hold our surplus of family board games.
Feeling: Sleepy. Happy. Excited for Friday!


What about you? How did your July go?  
Are you taking stock of your life this month, too?  Feel free to share your URL below!

Hi, I'm Grady! Welcome to my blog :) A little about me? I'm a smitten newlywed and brand-new stepmom living in New Hampshire. My day job is boring on paper but great in real life (just like Dunder Mifflin!), and when I'm not working I love to spend time with my family, perform in or manage productions at the theatre, and eat ice cream while listening to yet another financial management podcast.  I write about my marriage, step-parenthood, and whatever else is going on.  Be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest, and subscribe to my blog!
Read more »