Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We've Moved...

...both physically and on the internet!

Over the July 4th weekend, we packed up our Fairfax apartment, and moved to a new place in Arlington. Thus, if you want to mail us anything (aka a housewarming present...JK!!!) please use this address:

Stephanie & Shane Stewart
5055 S. Chesterfield # 314
Arlington, VA 22206

As for the internet, we've moved as well. I've been AWFUL at updating this, and hoping that I will be better with the new site (since posting pictures is much more convenient). Thus, to stay on top of everything that is going on, please see our new page http://keepingupwiththestewarts.shutterfly.com/

Thanks for reading! Miss you all tons!


Stephanie & Shane

Monday, April 20, 2009

College 101

Shane and I both learned an important lesson this weekend -- we are no longer college kids and can no longer drink like college kids! Ouch, a painful, but necessary lesson!

No details are needed other than it took Shane twice as long to chug a pitcher of beer then it took his brother, Kyle. And afterwards, Shane still did not look like it was sitting well in his stomach.

You might be wondering why in goodness's name he was chugging pitchers of beer -- all a little Aggie tradition! For those of you that don't know, every graduate of Texas A&M gets their class/school ring. However, before you are entitled to wear said ring, you must first dunk it in a pitcher of beer and drink the pitcher (or if you do not drink, according to Liz you can dunk in a pitcher size portion of ice cream...which seems even worse to me!). Thus, this past weekend was Kyle's ring dunking weekend, and Shane suprised Kyle by flying down for the weekend and dunking with him. Poor Shane -- he still has to dunk one more time -- when Cody graduates in 4 years! Hopefully, he'll be able to finish in under 2 minutes still :)

As to me, I just had a girls weekend in Philadelphia. Way too much vodka was consumed. Oops. Yesterday was spent on the couch. However, aside from learining that I can no longer drink like a college kid this weekend, I did learn that regaining such abilities is quite simple -- just enroll in Business school. Apparently, classes and learning are secondary to drinking and partying...hmmm...

Alright, our webcast just got canceled, so its back to work (not mindless listening) for me.


Steph & Shane

Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekend of the Easter Bunny

Thankfully, its Friday. Despite only working 3 days due to a lovely sickness, this week has seemed like the longest week ever! The cough, congestion and sinus pain is FINALLY going away, albeit still not 100%...I am just hoping that Shane does not come down with this lovely sickness...and just in time for the weekend nonetheless.

Tonight we are going to Red Lobster to celebrate our 8-month anniversary. Wow. Time flies. I cannot believe that we've been married 8 months already. No complaints from this girl. Every day seems to get better than the last, which is hard to do! I can only hope that other couples are as happy and lucky as us! But yes, Red Lobster. In keeping with our tradition, we go out to eat as a couple once a month. Normally, we pick "new" or unique to the area locations for our monthly feast, however, not this month. It is Lobsterfest...and the TV ads, plus the mere thought of the cheesy-garlic biscuits, won us over. Needless to say, I am excited for tonight, but keep reminding myself to lower expectations about the food because it is just Red Lobster.

After dinner, our friends Alli and Matt are coming over for game night. Another highlight of the weekend as we will introduce them to our favorite game -- Settlers of Catan (Thank you, thank you, thank you to Liz and Taylor for introducing us to this game!) On first glance, this game is quite strange and you immediately begin to doubt how it could be fun, however, within the first 20 minutes or so, you are hooked. And can't wait to play the next game. Its a combination of Monopoly and Risk -- however, it doesn't take take nearly as long (1 hr on average) and the best part of the game is that you get to barter and scheme. Shane comes up with the best "tactics" ever. Needless to say, I can only hope Matt and Alli like it as much as we do!

Tomorrow is errands day in preparation for our "Nomad Easter Dinner". Several of our friends in DC, like us, are not from the area, and choose not to go home for Easter. Rather than have everyone do nothing at all, Shane and I are hosting an Easter meal on Sunday. Everyone brings a dish to pass and enjoys a (hopefully) yummy meal. I am excited and intrigued...how are 8+ people going to fit in our little one bedroom apartment? Looks like this meal is going to be eaten on the couch and in other random spots!

Anyways, just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter! Miss you all tremendously!


Stephanie and Shane

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's here!

Opening Day 2009! Cubs v. Astros TONIGHT at 7:05 EST. Luckily, it is on ESPN2 so we can watch it from the comforts of our own home -- another drawback of not living in Chicago is that unless we go to a bar, we won't get to see half the games as they are broadcasted on Comcast Sports Network -- and not only will I not get the Chicago feed of that station living in DC, but I won't get the channel at all because we have Cox cable. Boo. Luckily, we can still watch all the WGN games! But thankfully ESPN saved us tonight -- from having to be surrounded by people watching the NCAA Finals game -- MSU v. North Carolina (Go Michigan State!)

However, back to tonights game. It is fabuluos that baseball is here, and even better that Shane's team and my team get to kick off the season against each other. Since we can't be at the game, we are going to pretend -- tonight's dinner is hot dogs, peanuts, and beer! Fingers crossed for a Cubs win!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weird? Who Me?

So today I went to Cosi for lunch, only to discover that they have unveiled their "spring" specials. One of the specials was an edamame salad with a wasabi dressing...I hate wasabi so this was out of the question, however, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE edamame -- I can go through bowls of the shelled edamame with sea salt in a matter of minutes. Thus, I figured I'd have some added to my otherwise boring salad.

BIG MISTAKE. First, they do not taste the same. I am not sure if it is the shell that makes the difference or if Cosi just bought bad edamame, but these are gross. Second, Cosi normally skimps on the toppings. You are lucky to get five chopped pieces of tomatoes in your salad. Not the case with edamame. They are everywhere. Seriously more little beans than pieces of lettuce. So much fun to dig through my salad to try and avoid them! I will never get them again! I'll stick with the shelled, frozen kind of edamame...speaking, of Costco was out of the big bulk bags yesterday. Major bummer!

Anyways, aside from the mass quantities of edamame beans in my salad, everything going really well. Shane and I had a pretty relaxing weekend -- date night in Georgetown on Friday night(dinner at a bbq restaurant, followed by the movie "I love you, Man") and then, eye doctor, bikram, bumming on the couch and girls night (boys night for Shane) on Saturday. Regardless of how laid back the weekend was...it still went way too fast. If anyone has the secret to slowing weekends down, please let us know ASAP.

Alright, better get back to avoiding beans and getting some work done!

Miss you all tons!


Stephanie & Shane

PS -- Keep Toni in your thoughts today as she is undergoing surgery to fix her ACL. No fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ooops...its been almost 20 days!

Since I last posted I blog! I promised myself that I would be better about posting, but look where that has gotten me. Since the last post, we've been busy, well as normal! Just working, school, hitting the gym (but no running for me) and going to bikram yoga. We've even turned others on to this activity! Seriously, if you are looking for a challenge, try it. I really want to do the 60 day challenge (going every day for 60 days)...we'll see...at first I thought cost would be a the deciding factor, but given that its $16 a class to drop in, or $120 a month...it might make more sense to do the monthly. And then my one argument for not doing the 60 day challenge is out the window...

But back to running...I can't run for 3 -6 weeks. Boo. I either have a torn meniscus or IT Band issues. I am hoping that its just my IT Band and that bikram will help stretch me out as I really want to do the Virginia Beach half marathon in September (we've already registered if anyone is interested!) Speaking of half marathons though, Florida and the Disney Princess run were fabulous! Disney truly puts on a wonderfully organized race. However, my only complaint were miles 7 - 10...arguably the toughest mental miles and it was a straight stretch of highway with virtually no fans or entertainment. Not cool at all. Hopefully they can address this.

On the flip side, it was AWESOME to get to run THROUGH Cinderella's castle!! (which we later learned is closed off to the general public during normal hours of operations) More importantly, the fact that it was a Disney Princess run made it truly a remarkable weekend. It was very inspiring to see that many women, gathered in one place, all with the same goal and determination to achieve that goal. The women that I ran with were nonetheless inspiring -- Toni ran with a torn ACL, her mom ran with numerous injuries, and my mom ran her first ever half marathon! I am so proud of each of them! Thanks for a wonderful weekend! Currently all of the pictures are on snapfish (Shane took our camera to Philly for boys weekend, which makes NO sense to me!), but as soon as I get the actual files, I'll post some for all to see!
Well, I really should get back to work...not that much work will get done today or tomorrow as its March Madness! I cannot wait! Such a great time of the year...and it leads to another great time of year...baseball season! Nothing much planned this weekend for Shane and I other than watching games and hanging out at a local watering hole with some friends...oh and probably some bikram!
Talk soon, love and miss everyone!
Stephanie & Shane

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Heat Wave

In an attempt to (a) get in a weekend workout and (b) escape the supposed 4 - 8 inches of snow expected for Virginia, Shane and I went to Bikram Yoga this morning. For those of you who do not know, Bikram yoga is a series of 26 moves done concurrently in a 105 degree room. Yes, 105 degrees...I think that is hotter than Chicago got in all of 2008!

Needless, to say Shane felt right at home when we first got in the room. It seriously took him a solid 10 minutes to sweat. Not this Chicago girl. I walk in the room, and the sweat starts pouring out. This endured for the next 90 minutes. Shane was sweating within 15 minutes of class starting. By the end of class, nothing is dry. Not even a single hair on your head. For example, and honestly one of the grossest things every, the man next to me sweat so much that his entire towel (that you stand and lay on) was soaking wet, his shorts were soaking wet, and every time he moved you would hear the "squishing". It was gross. Albeit, afterwards, partially because you sweat out every toxin in your body, and partially because the sequence of events is just plain hard, you are exhausted, but relaxed. It is such a great feeling...and thus, lead to such a great Sunday!

We are going to try and do Bikram at least twice a month. The place we went to actually has a 60 day challenge...not sure what it entails, but I am intrigued. I might have to ask about it next time I go. Not sure I could handle 90 minutes of sheer sweat downpour for 60 straight days (nor do I think that I could afford it @ $16/class. Although you can buy packages and save some $$), but we'll see. If I do ask and or take on the challenge, I'll let you all know!

Anyways, back to the rest of our great Sunday, which was really pretty uneventful! After we showered and cooled down, we headed to Pei Wei for lunch, ran some errands, and then watched the Illini (boo on the loss) while doing homework for grad school. For the first time in weeks, we weren't stressed on a Sunday! Yay!

Alright, back to work. Hope all is well with everyone! This week is pretty uneventful, but not next weekend. Shane and I will be going our separate ways :( He'll be in Philly for a boys weekend and I'll be in Orlando for a girls weekend and running another half marathon (best part of which is that I get to RUN THROUGH Cinderella's castle!). We'll post after the weekend...or maybe before! In the meantime, miss everyone a ton!


Steph & Shane

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ready to Settle Down?

First and foremost, and hopefully, she doesn't kill me...Congrats to Liz & Taylor! They are expecting a little one this fall! I am sure that they will be the best parents ever!

And no, that does not mean that Shane and I are ready to settle down just yet. However, in the past few weeks, something has definitely "clicked" in both of our brains. We both have come to the same conclusion that before we can even remotely consider adding to our family, we would really like to purchase our first home. Something about apartment living and raising a child just does not seem appealing to us. However, given that the days of 0% down or 80/20 loans are long gone, in order for us to purchase our first home, we need to save a significant chunk of change for a down payment.

Unfortunately for us, I think we'll need more than what we can find in the couch cushions in the next year...conversely, this is what has "clicked". In the past few weeks, we have both been analyzing our expenses and trying to save were possible. Some prime examples include cutting the cell phone bill down from the $99/month plan to the $50/month plan; looking into DirectTv (with no HD) to drop our cable bill from $80/month to $40/month; looking for apartments that are significantly cheaper than our current place; etc. Although the changes are not monumental, when added up throughout the course of the next year to year and a half, they should make us that much closer to owning our first home, settling down, and starting our own family. In the meantime, we'll just continue to dream about our first home. Our latest favorite website -- http://www.har.com/

Hope all is well! I'll write more soon -- a little summary of our Valentine's Day activity - a wine tour of some Virginia wineries! Love, Steph & Shane

Friday, February 20, 2009

Go Cubs Go...

...and its only the middle of February! However, this post has nothing to do with how well they will do this year, or whether or not "this year is the year", rather we are about to embark on the annual Cubs nightmare for all fans...trying to get tickets!

Basically, the open up what they call a "virtual waiting room" at 10:30 EST. Once in the waiting room, you do just that...wait! Tickets offically go on sale at 11:00 EST/10:00 CST. At that time, they begin "randomly" (or so they say) selecting people out of the wait room and give them the opportunity to purchase 6 tickets. Normally, opening day, Cubs/Cards, and Cubs/White Sox are the first to go...sometimes purchased by fans, other times purchased by so-called just trying to make a few bucks.

Shane and I will both be entering the waiting room in one minute...in an attempt to score at lest 6 bleacher tickets to the Cubs v. Astros game on May 16th...no only will Shane get to see his Astros play, but more importantly, I will get to do the following
- Spend a weekend in Chicago
- Celebrate my last year of my twenty's with none other than the awesome Mrs. Susie Kiefer (we are turning 28 again, right?)
- And get to see Lawren, Jen, Shana, Carrie, Kate, Toni, Sam, Tiff, and more! All of my friends that I miss dearly!

Alright, back to work. Fingers crossed that I get in and can purchase tickets. Not exactly excited about the idea of scalping...despite its successfulness in the past!


Stephanie & Shane

UPDATE: After nearly 3 hours of sitting in the virtual waiting room, I finally got in, but then was informed that I could only buy 1 ticket...just 1 frickin' ticket! So after purchasing, I continued to wait for another chance. Luckily, while I was waiting, Carrie was able to get in an purchase her second ticket...and bless her heart, asked if we wanted it for Shane! Which of course, we said yes...and its a good thing too. I got a second opportunity to buy tickets a mere 10 minutes later and low and behold all of the bleachers for the May 16th game were sold out. Ouch. Oh well. At least I don't have to sit and wait anymore...and we have 2 tickets for my birthday fun day with my friends! Thanks again Carrie, you are awesome! And have a least a beer coming your way!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cherry Blossom Run

Steph and I are participating in Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run 2009. We are also running this race for the Children's Miracle Network in an effort to raise donations for this organization's charity. Please take a look at the link below and become more informed about the organization and their cause.

You can help support me by making a secure online donation to Children's Miracle Network using your credit card. Click on the link below:
Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals. Each year the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. To learn more go to

Thanks for your support!
Shane and Steph

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is our night at the Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball! It was a blast and was neat to see all the concerts, etc. More pics to come.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Where Did 2008 Go?

Wow. Time really does fly. I cannot believe that 2008 was here, and is now already gone. So much happened in 2008, marrying my best friend, moving to DC, etc., I cannot even begin to imagine what 2009, and the future for that matter, holds. However, I do realize that there are certain things that we can do right now, starting today, to help make all of our future dreams a reality.

So many times, we begin the new year, with a laundry list of resolutions. "I will go to the gym." "I will drink less." "I will lose 5 lbs." Nothing is wrong with any of these resolutions, but for the fact that they are fleeting. Not in the sense that they aren't plausible, but in the sense that they are typical and only in our mind. Never once do I remember writing down a new year's resolution. Well, 2009 will be different. I've decided to take Toni's lead (thanks for the idea) and blog about my resolutions. That way, everyone knows what I've set out to do throughout the year, and hopefully, everyone can help keep me on track.

1. Curb the Sweet Tooth -- I like sweets. Maybe a bit too much. Cupcakes, candy, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, ice cream, cupcakes. If it has sugar in it, I want it. Well, my brain does. Not my stomach. Thus, I am officially resolving to limit my sweet intake to one sweet per week. This originally started out as the only sweets I could eat were cupcakes. I figured that cupcakes (and good ones at that) are not easy to find and thus this should be an attainable goal. However, Shane pointed out that this would be too easy for me. Because of my cupcake obsession, I (a) tend to seek out the closest cupcake and (b) I have a knack for locating cupcakes in the most obscure locations such as airports. I must have a 6th sense for the nearest bit of perfection. Thus, rather than limit myself, and potentially deprive myself and/or overindulge on cupcakes, I had to make a minor change. Thus, one sweet per week. And it must be portioned controlled.

2. Actually Work Out -- And by this I mean abs, butt, legs, arms, etc. Running for 45 minutes no longer constitutes a legitimate workout. I must do some kind of strength exercise following every run, and such activity must be for at least 15 minutes. Thus, every stint in the gym must include at least 30 minutes of cardio AND 15 minutes of some sort of strength training. I know, I know...its not a ton, but every little bit helps.

3. Type Less, Talk More -- In an age of email, instant message, and blackberries, we are always connected to our friends and family. Catching up is as close and easy as our finger tips. However, the past few days, I realized just how much I miss everyone that I don't get to see and interact with on a daily basis. For example, all of the wonderful women who were in my wedding...I don't know that I've heard most of your voices since that day. Sad really. Thus, I resolve to pick up the phone to catch up, like the good old days. Heck, like in junior high and high school...remember when our parents couldn't pry the phone away from us? Emails are okay, but not a replacement for the phone.

4. Spend Less -- This is a no brainer. I am a girl. I like to shop. Half the time I have no clue where my money goes. However, given the fact that Shane and I cannot wait until we can own our own house and thus need to save a considerable chunk of change for the down payment, not knowing where my money goes is not a good thing. However, it is foolish to think that I can just resolve to spend less and that it will magically happen. Thus, I resolve to record (and share with Shane) every single dollar and cent that I spend. The less I spend, the more we save. Simple equation. And with writing everything down, that Starbucks all of a sudden isn't quite as tempting?!?!

There, I think that's enough. Who knows. Maybe there will be more to come. I am sure that there will be more frivolous ones like "to slow down", "live each day to the fullest", "find more me time", etc. But let's be honest, in a world where years zip by like days, that might not be possible. Thus, I think the four above resolutions are enough for me this year...and hopefully, if I am able to hold fast to them, when 2010 sneaks up on us, maybe I'll end 2009 a little bit better off then it started (whatever that is suppose to mean!)

Alright, back to work...maybe if your lucky, Shane will share his resolutions with y'all as well.



Monday, January 5, 2009

Ironies of traveling

So, it took seven flights, and nineteen days for me to finally declare DC as home. This is quite shocking because in the four plus months that we have lived here, it has not so much as crossed my mind...except to maybe assert that DC would never be my home.

However, after a brutal day of travel yesterday -- we left the house at 5:20 AM, with connections and layovers in Mexico City and Chicago, and didn't arrive home until 11:40 PM -- I have finally succumbed to the realization that Chicago is no longer my home. For the past four months, and for at least the next twenty months, home is in Washington, DC (or Fairfax, Virginia if you want to be truly accurate). As great as it was to see everyone, and as much as I miss everyone already, it is truly a relief to be home. Sleeping in my own bed had never been so enjoyable.

Well, back to work...and only 3 more hours until I go home. Hmmm...I wonder where are next home will be? Hopefully, our next city will be our last. We did a lot of talking this past week and we cannot wait to find a city, buy a house, and make it our home. Oh and start a family too...but for all you antsy parents and aunts and uncles and friends, don't get your hopes up too soon. We aren't ready for little ones anytime soon. At least not while home is in DC because who would we have babysit? :)

Love always,

Stephanie & Shane

PS -- Happy 2009 to everyone!