april 21, 2014: uggghhhh

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.



The past week I’ve been slowly having a harder time getting out of bed each morning. I keep feeling like I got hit by a train.

This morning has been the worst. I woke up, went for a 2 mile walk, and then promptly brought all of these things to my bed to sit for awhile.

All week long I’ve been carrying my Pine Bros Throat Drops everywhere. There are three flavors; natural honey, wild cherry and licorice. I’m one of those weirdos who loves licorice flavors, so I’m down with that. I love that the throat drops don’t have menthol or whatever. Makes me feel less like I’m sick and more like I’m just kind of battling a sore throat – which is what it’s been thus far.

This morning my honey throat drops are paired with my white matcha tea that I recently received to sample from Red Leaf Tea.. Let me be honest and say that I was so confused about the powder-like consistency of the tea and then looked up matcha and realized that’s what that is. This was my first experience with matcha tea, and while the taste wasn’t compromised… I realized how much I enjoy steeping my tea, and felt like stirring it in was a silly thing. Maybe because it made me think of instant coffee, which is not my favorite thing in the world.

I do like that with this tea I was able to brew to taste, making it a really full, rich flavor. The tea + the throat drops = a perfect soothing morning for my sore throat and sporadic cough.

and now to take on the day.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

2014, days 85-88

Forever months ago I noticed that John Crist would be in Seattle. Homeboy is funny. Proof:

He is just hilarious. And I love laughing. with my friends. so I recruited a small army of friends to go with me. and we were all excited….. until I found out the show was private and we couldn’t actually go! But by then I’d already made plans to take the day off and drive to Seattle, so I did that and then we all hung out on Friday evening. Emily had recently mentioned that she really could use time at camp, so we spent the night with the camp director and his family, who happen to be one of my favorite families in the whole entire world.

Day 85. evening drive to Seattle
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Day 86. beautiful day.
I woke up early with Emily, picked up coffee at the Q cafe to take to Bee, visited him at work, returned to the Q Cafe for a few hours, and then bought my bridesmaid dress for Rachel’s wedding. Emily and I stopped by Brandon‘s house on our way to camp and spent time with him and his wonderful kids and my friend Josh. We did a lot of stuff, and here’s a picture of a tree because I suck at taking pictures of things as they happen.

Day 87. Camp Arnold
There’s nowhere else I’d rather wake up with nothing to do than Camp Arnold. I went on a little trail walk with my favorite ginger E’s. First we stopped by the kitchen, where we were hooked up with sugar cookies. We walked around the A-frames a bit because this might be the last year they are standing. Then came the smartest moment of my day, when I let the 4 year old lead the way on an overgrown trail. We got a little lost. and my shoes got a little muddy. But it was fun, and so worth it.

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We barely escaped the rain by making our way to the dining hall for some hot chocolate to warm up.

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There are absolutely no words to describe how important and special this camp is to me. I hope everyone has a place that is as safe as this one is to me.

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That evening we drove to Tucker’s house. We decided we wanted to make chocolate chip cookies, but we didn’t have sugar. Tucker’s older brother, Braden, who we all know and love so much, works at the grocery store so we decided to dress up for the occasion. Braden said nothing to us, by the way. He walked past us slowly with a disapproving look on his face. I thought our outfits were pretty nice….


Day 88. Washington
I woke up super early to drive home to Portland for work. I think Portland is a nice city, but the state of Washington has my heart. Everything about it is so beautiful.

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Some day we will see John Crist and we’ll laugh so hard we cry. I’m glad to have friends who make buying sugar as much fun as a comedy show.

10 songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life.


{Day 84. me}

I was going to use this post to tell you a few random facts about me {since day 84 was that super cool selfie}, but then I saw this post on Paige’s blog and decided that I’d rather tell you about 10 songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life.

It’s taken me like an hour to come up with this list, because there are SO MANY. Some of the songs were no brainers, and others were up against a couple other songs by that artist (Davíd Garza and John Mayer especially). But this is the list I decided on.

songs for the rest of my life by stephanie orefice on Grooveshark

10 Songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life.

#1. Home by Marc Broussard
This is a perfect open highway song. The first time I ever heard this song, I got goosebumps all over my arms.

#2. Rhymes for Honeys and Beats for Boys by Davíd Garza
I was torn between this song and Cold World, but I ultimately ended on this one because when I listen to it I think of nobody but Davíd, and I am so grateful for his creativity and his… self. Plus I really love the way that this song sounds so much like controlled noise. I have no idea why.

#3. Say So by Allen Stone
My friend Allen Stone wrote this song with my other friend Ernie Halter (see # ) and whenever I heard this song at Starbucks I would call Ernie freaking out. He thought I was being chased by a man with a machete. This song is SO FUN and SO CATCHY and basically applies to my life at any given moment. Plus my initials are SO, so I just feel really important. ;)

#4. Pretty the World by Matt Nathanson {When Everything Meant Everything version}
One year Mei-Ling and I drove to Spokane to see Matt Nathanson and on the way back, we listened to this EP on repeat and named days like that – crisp air and blue skies – Matt Days. This song also appears on Beneath These Fireworks, but the BTF version says “show me how pretty the world is ’cause I want something a little bit louder,” and I have always loved the version that says “just a little bit louder.” You know… like my blog name. ;)

#5. You’re the Ocean by Teitur
I wish that I could have put the entire “Poetry & Aeroplanes” album as one song, because it’s all that great. This song has so many great little lyrics. and I love the way he sings the word “ocean.” It’s my go-to Teitur song, and he’s kind of the silent champion of my iTunes library because he’s one of the few artists I can listen to in any mood.

#6. Angel of Mercy by Jonny Lang
I had 9 songs picked out and was downstairs switching over my laundry, trying to figure out a 10th. Then I realized… every morning I wake up and look at the Jonny Lang setlist from the BEST CONCERT EVER OF MY LIFE that is taped to my closet door, and I could not believe I hadn’t picked out a single Jonny Lang song. Most of these songs are at least a few years old, because how can you know if a song will last the rest of your life if you’ve only listened to it for a year? Angel of Mercy has been one of my favorite Jonny Lang songs for 15 years. which is over half my life… and crazy to think about.

#7. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over by Jeff Buckley
This is the song of rainy days. It’s also the song of someone ripping my heart out of my chest and smashing it up right in front of my face. “She’s the tear that hangs inside my soul forever.” WHAT. That kills me. It is one of the most beautiful songs in the whole entire world, ever.

#8. The Heart of Life by John Mayer
So hard to pick just one Mayer song. SO HARD. His music is the soundtrack of my life, no joke. But this is the one that kind of gets me through the really rough times, over and over and over. I see no end to that.

#9. Lighthouse by Ernie Halter
The first time I heard this song was from Ernie’s computer, played in my car, driving from Seattle to Portland at 2:30 in the morning. Written for his friends who have stood by him in the good and the bad. Ernie has been one of my safe people, even when our lives looked radically different from each other’s. Not only is the song itself beautiful, but hearing the words through one of the most familiar, comfortable, loving voices in my life makes it that much more meaningful. It is such a wonderful gift he’s given to his friends in this song.

#10. Fires by David Ramirez
This is the newest song, I only first started listening to David Ramirez last summer, but now I listen to him every night before bed because of that voice. And like so many of these songs… it is so beautiful. I wish I could hang it on my wall and walk my friends to it so they could stare at its beauty with me, and look at the little brush strokes and shadows.


What are 10 songs you will listen to for the rest of your life (if you can get it down to 10)?

Linking up with I am Mrs. K‘s April blog challenge.

2014, day 82. #throwbackthursday ;D



Day 82. #throwbackthursday

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 12.27.17 AMI’ve always wondered why really popular hashtags never seep into other social media platforms. Like… everyone knows about #tbt, but it’s mostly confined to Instagram and Twitter. And then the blogs! So many blogs have weekly link-ups that mostly exist as blog posts and are loosely attached to instagram feeds or whatever.

Anyway! This picture was actually taken on a Sunday but I’m going to post it on a Thursday because YOLO… I do what I want.

A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to start scrapbooking. Which to me means gluing things on paper and putting them in clear little sleeves. Nothing super fancy (though I did go buy a paper cutter so I could finally make straight lines). As I was sifting through my box of pictures, I came across these two gems. The first time I met Joshua Kelley and the last time I saw him. It feels like just yesterday, but it’s been YEARS. One of my all-time faves.

2014, week 12.

I’m so close to being caught up I can almost taste it. Then maybe I will blog about things other than 365. Maybe. Probably not, but maybe.

Day 76. aka St. Patrick’s Day!

Day 77. Late night blogging.
I’m not good at blogging late at night. Some people are, but I really am not. I’m the best at catching up when it’s like 11 am and I have all day to sit at Starbucks and bounce between WordPress and Pinterest and make phone calls and write letters and read and then go back to blogging…. all the while refilling my caramel iced coffee with cream. But I’m trying.

Day 78. Brides
I’m one of those freaks of nature who absolutely LOVES weddings…. and all things wedding related. I have a bridal magazine collection that teeters between pathetic and impressive. Maybe it’s imprathetic. Anyway. I bought a new one, since I haven’t in awhile.

Day 79. IKEA
One of my favorite tag feeds to browse on instagram is #ikea. I love to see what people do with what they find at IKEA. The #ikea feed was the inspiration behind my bedspread. Stopped by IKEA and picked up a few things. Have I mentioned yet (yes I have) that I’m trying to change the feel of my room by simplifying and being more aware of the things I put in it? One day I’ll be able to share pictures. One day.

Day 80. Maggie.
I love Maggie. She is wonderful.

Day 81. Bible Bowl
It was a beautiful day at camp for our Bible Bowl competition.
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2014, day 74: bliss bake shop

Day 74. Bliss Bake Shop

When I first moved back from California, I spent 3 days a week with my pastor’s boys. Now I only see them around the church. I decided to surprise them. I picked them up and tried convincing them that they were going to go try sushi. Instead I took them to a cute little bakeshop that is down the street from them. I watched as their faces and hands got mess with melting ice cream. My life is tough.

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Our friends should not be an audience.


Right now a bunch of people I really love are all gathering at my beloved camp, where they’ll pray and worship and have a lot of fun together. I won’t be there. My life doesn’t naturally flow into that camp anymore, and it’s been the bloodiest wound in my life the past two years.

So when I noticed that my Facebook newsfeed was full of people talking about the event, I realized that I’m going to have to stay off Facebook for like… at least two weeks, as people update and reminisce.

Follow me on this.

Last year one of my friends had a miscarriage, her third one. We were talking about it and how at that same time a friend of ours was posting pictures of her baby bump and the nursery’s progress and anticipating the arrival of her baby.

Our friend is so wonderful. She’s not mean spirited or anything. But knowing that situation, she would have never run up and said “LOOK AT HOW THE BABY IS GROWING! COME SEE MY NURSERY! ISN’T THIS OUTFIT CUTE?” There would have been some discretion, some kindness, some carefully chosen words and a sensitivity to the situation.

An audience sits to watch someone perform. There is distance. They face each other. They are not on the same side.

Facebook messes us up. It tells us that there is us, sitting at our computers or holding our phones in our hand, and then there are the hundreds or even thousands of people we are connected to. That’s not friendship. That’s not relationship.

When our friends become our audience, we are no longer actually living life with them. We are performing a carefully choreographed dance to seek the approval of many with no concern for our friends in the back row who cannot walk.  Our friends are on the stage with us, moving together and watching us sing from the stage. They are the company. We cannot lose sight of this any more than we already have.

I’m not perfect in any way, and I’d say my struggle with social media might be unhealthy, but I crave real community. Not “likes” and “shares,” but actual sharing life. I challenge you all to live more life with the people who are naturally in it. Don’t drag others into the “shareable” moments, just let them be treasures in your heart.

2014, week 11.

Day 68. Scrimmage
With the divisional Bible Bowl tournament coming up at the end of the month, we met up with a Salvation Army church nearby and had a little scrimmage match. We won the first scrimmage and they won the second. Spoiler alert: we were against them in the divisional final, and they beat us but it was our first loss and since it’s double-elimination, we will be facing them one more time in a few weeks.


Day 69. Julep
You guys, I am so down with Julep. I’ve been working on not biting my nails and having lots of fancy colors has made me kind of develop a thing for painting my nails.

Day 70. X
…but it’s okay because grace.

Day 71. nightstand
I’ve been in the slow process of simplifying my life. My room and my walls and my closet, and part of it was my nightstand. It usually just collects junk but I switched in my silly reading lamp for this adorable lamp I found at Target and organized the nightstand, and now I love it.

Day 72. Darby Smart
I recently purchased a Darby Smart box. It’s brilliant – it’s a whole craft, and they send you everything you need. Because I had the day off, I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to be a little creative.
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Day 73. Brick.
A friend of mine contacted me awhile ago about using Salvation Army uniforms for a production of Guys & Dolls, and we hooked them up. As a thank you, I was given 4 free tickets to see the show. It was in an old, closed school building. It was the first nice day we’d had in awhile and I just kind of stood staring at this brick for awhile, soaking in the last moments of the day.

2014, week 10.


Day 61. Young Adult Dinner.
Salvation Army pastors in the area invited young adults over for dinner. We made it ourselves (okay so my friends made it and I played with the kids, pretty typical) and enjoyed a time of discussion afterwards.
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Day 62. Mocha Club
I donated $50 to my friend Annie‘s purpose project and as a result got to fill out an application to go to Kenya with her. My application wasn’t chosen, but I am just SO EXCITED that her project was funded and she totally raised an insane amount of money in a very short amount of time.
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Day 63. Lipgloss
As part of my never-ending quest to simplify my life, I have started to go through my bathroom closet that is just overrun with stuff and organize it all. I am one of the zillions of people with a chapstick problem…. the big problem being that I lose them and then replace them and then find them. I went through pockets, checked drawers and decided to use my old accessory hanger as a way to keep track of my chapsticks… and discovered that maybe I have a lot more than I realized.
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Day  64. Dis n Dat.
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Day 65. Hot chocolate and popcorn
After Valentine’s Day, I got a bag of snack-sized tutti fruity flavored kettle corn. And I am trying to ration them, because they are so… so… good. and throwback to winter: my Mickey Christmas mug.

Day 66. flowers.
Winter is brutal, man. So to have a beautiful day and notice the color starting to spring up in our yard gave me a whole lot of hope. Hope that the cold warms, the ice melts, and there are days full of light ahead of me.

Day 67. rain.
And then….. right back to the rain. These two pictures in a row make me think of a great Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers song that says “you’re still here like a flower in the rain; you get knocked down then you rise up again.”


2014, week 9.

Day 55. overachievers
So I’m not sure how these people fit all those bodies into such a small car, but kudos. And yes, this is a super zoomed in picture from my phone.
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Day 56. Jamestown Revival
When I was in Nashville at the end of January (it feels like just yesterday!), we went to see Ernie‘s friend’s band play. They were really good, and I was able to see them at the Bing Lounge. I took my dad :)

 Day 57. X
Oops…. :)

Day 58. ridiculously good ideas
This is basically the most perfect notebook of all time, ever.
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Day 59. Nottles. 
I spent the day with my favorite little gingers. We fed their chickens and I pushed them on the swings and it was – and always is – just what I needed. They never cease to humble me with the way they love me.
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Day 60. hearts.
Can you guess which holiday I am missing so bad?