Another week, another wonderful blogger to share with you! She is so well-rounded and driven and someone who I admire for all that she juggles so well. I hope you love “meeting” Stephanie and that you’ll pop over to her blog to check it out!
Q: In three sentences or less, tell us a little bit about who you are.
A: I am married to a police officer, and we have two kids: George, who is almost 3, and Daphne, who is almost 8 weeks old. We settled down with our family in our home state of Missouri with our dream jobs after moving around with grad school and the Army. I have many hobbies including crafting, watching as much TV as possible, exploring the MO state parks, and I dabble in photography as a side hustle.
Q: When and why did you start your blog?
A: I started my blog in 2012 when my husband began his Army career. Tom was about to deploy, and I had told my friends I was going to craft my way through his deployment. They encouraged me to document my “crafting” experience through blogging, and off I went. The blog has evolved to much more than a crafting journal over the past five years. I have written about light hearted stuff like the Bachelor, but I have also exposed myself on the blog by sharing some of my lowest moments. The blog has become a scrapbook and a therapist of sorts for my life.
Q: Who do you think would really enjoy your content?
A: I think my blog has a little bit of everything, so that is hard to say since I am not consistent with my material. I write about my book/TV obsessions, my on again off again relationship with fitness, our DIY projects with our house, and my experiences with being a mom and wife. I hope that people enjoy my honest word vomits because I will often talk about my anxiety and the hardships that I have faced as a professional, wife, and mother.
Q: I saw that you’ve worked at several universities! What do/did you do, and do you have a favorite place you’ve worked?
A: I am currently an Assistant Director of a Student Success Office at a small private college. I oversee our retention efforts in several capacities, and our office creates initiatives to aid students when they hit obstacles in their higher education careers. These obstacles range from academic preparation to being able to afford the cost of college. I specifically work with students who are on academic probation. They are required to meet with me throughout the semester, and we work on individual success plans to get them back on track. I really love what I am doing with them because it recognizes that we all have struggles, but we can overcome them if we use our strengths and recognize where we need to grow. I enjoy helping them create some ownership and motivate them to finish their degrees. I also have created and teach an advisor training course.
This has been really fun and challenging to work with my colleagues in a different way. This fall will be my second year teaching a First Year Experience course, which I really enjoy since it is not typically the population that I work with.
As far as what is my favorite place that I have worked? That is so hard to say! All the schools I have worked at hold a special place in my heart and gave me something at that time of my life. I really do think that I have my dream job right now so I love that and very grateful how everything has fallen into place there. I also lived out one of my bucket list items of being a mascot, so that is pretty hard to beat! However, I think Iowa State was really special because it was my first professional job out of grad school. I held this job when Tom was deployed so I really dug in there to forget that distance especially since at the time I was not at a military base. Iowa is such a special place and a hidden gem of the US!
Q: Do you currently work, or are you a SAHM? What do you enjoy the most about the route you’ve chosen?
A: As I mentioned above, I do work full-time. I am currently on maternity leave since I just had Daphne in May though, so I am enjoying the SAHM life for the time being. I do love being a working mom because of the people I work with and the students I get the chance of coaching.
Engaging in the educational setting I work in provides me with a personal identity that I believe that I need to be a sane human being. It may sound selfish, but I really like having another identity that I get to focus on that is just for me. Being part of these students lives I also believe help me to be a better mm in some ways, so I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from them. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are my number one priority. There are parts of me that would like to stay home and be that everything for my kids, but I know that ultimately they would not get the best of me if I was with them all the time. Working full-time makes me really appreciate the moments I have with my kids and want to make the most of the minutes that we are playing trains or running through fountains. I think it makes me more present when I am home because I do spend a large amount of time away from them. It has also helped me settle down as a control freak because I have to lean on other people to help these kids grow.
I am noticing it a lot now that I have been home since May that I like to dictate everything that is happening to them, and going to work helps me relax with that mentality a little bit. I have written a couple posts on this topic since I have held both roles. There are definitely positives and negatives to both, but I think you ultimately have to just make the best of the situation you find yourself in and what works for your family.
Q: I know you love doing projects around the home! Do you have any favorite “before and afters”?
A: I haven’t done the best job talking on the blog about the recent renovation to our house. I definitely love how things have turned out, but we did not DIY it. We are in the midst of creating a craft room, which will be my favorite DIY once it is done since we got all the pieces from a Habitat Restore! Anyway, to pick something that we have completed, it was a furniture project. We made the furniture for the nursery of our first born, and it is now in our second child’s room. I love this personal touch and how perfect it is for us. Here is the post about making them.
Q: I don’t think I’ve featured a blogger in this series yet that crochets! (I could be wrong though.) How did you learn to crochet, and what do you enjoy making?
A: I learned how to crochet when I was seven years old by my dad. It helped me to sit still and focus more. I still really enjoy it because it makes me be still but yet makes me feel like I am still accomplishing something. I don’t know if I have a favorite thing to make, but blankets are kind of my go to thing. I think this hat was my favorite thing as the final result. So cute!
Q: What tips do you have for those who would like to learn how to crochet (me!)?
A: I actually wrote a post with my suggestions to learn how to crochet. I honestly love watching YouTube tutorials. They are really good for a visual person like me who cannot follow the crochet diagrams. For the longest time I only did straight lines because that was all my dad had ever taught me and the diagrams made no sense! My biggest advice is to just keep trying. Your first project may look like a mess, but crochet is definitely one of those crafts that you have to keep working at to understand the feel of it.
Q: Where should readers start on your blog?
And just for fun…
- Pizza or pasta? How do I choose between these two carbtastic items? Pasta is kind of our go to meal though, so that would probably have to win based on the amount of times we consume variations of pastas.
- Running or biking? Running for sure. I am kind of a baby on a bike after a while. I also love to run distance races!
- Straight or curly hair? I would love to have curly hair, and I am contemplating getting a body wave before I head back to work. My hair has a split personality where parts of it are stick straight and other parts have a weird wave.
- Library or museum? Library! Bring me all the books! Tom and I want to amass enough books to have a library in our home someday complete with a rolly ladder.
First time to my blog? Welcome!
Hello, hello! I’m Erica. 🙂 I created the Saturday Sit-Down series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured in the Saturday Sit-Down.
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in early 2018 and would love to feature you! Email me at WHIMSICALSEPTEMBER@YAHOO.COM to get in touch.