15 things that make me so happy [part 2]

15 things that make me so happy // stephanieorefice.net

In November I shared a list of 15 things that make me so happy. For awhile I never thought I could experience happiness again because I was really hurt and confused. but storms eventually die down, and I’ve been so incredibly aware of the things that make me so happy that I just want to share them. I’m not going to repeat ones from my previous list, though my love of Chipotle only grows by the day.


My friend Ernie did this awesome Kickstarter campaign where he did an album of 90s R&B acoustic covers. They’re done SO WELL and I had the joy of seeing much of the project develop from the front row. The album finally released and he sent his pledge rewards and tucked away into mine was this little drawing by Layla, keeper of my heart FOREVER.

Layla Halter doodle // stephanieorefice.net

Today I got Starbucks and the lady in the drive thru said “I have that same car! Same color, too!” so we talked about how AWESOME our cars are… and today when I drove 2 hours to camp and had barely used up 1/4th of my tank of gas I was like “YEAH THIS PRIUS IS SO AWESOME!” Also yesterday morning Toyota gave me a $5 Starbucks card… just for having a Prius.

It weirds me out how many people aren’t really hip to Shirley Temples. 7-up and cherry flavor… and if you’re lucky, a cherry or two. If you’re SUPER LUCKY the people at Buffalo Wild Wings will make you a Shirley Temple to-go with FIVE cherries on top. yes please and thank you!

Shirley Temples // stephanieorefice.net


All summer long I’ve gone on walks around Camp Arnold scoping out the various patches of blackberry bushes and a few weeks ago THEY WERE FINALLY RIPE! I’ve found a few really great patches of them and we have a decent patch down the road from my house so I’m even more excited to go down there and get BUCKETS FULL OF BLACKBERRIES! I don’t know if I even like EATING blackberries (I mean, I do when I’m picking them) I just love the whole experience.

Okay I’ve discovered recently how much I’ve enjoyed making little things for my blogs, like tweaking my header and working on the various little elements. Sooo I decided.. you know what I’m just going to start an etsy shop and sell digital prints. I only have 6 prints available, but I’m SO EXCITED to keep making things. Even if it’s mostly just for myself. In honor of how happy I am about this, if you use the code HOORAY when you purchase a print, you’ll get 50% off. Do it.

justalittlebitlouder etsy store // stephanieorefice.net

I  am SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY to be able to look over at my dresser and see an uncluttered space where the stuff I see has purpose and intention. I’m really excited to tackle bigger tasks like my desk drawers and DUN DUN DUN under my bed when I have more time, but for now I keep looking at my dresser and sighing a big sigh of relief.

I love the little prints from my Instax. I am really careful about what and when I take pictures with it since the film costs money and isn’t always the most convenient to get my hands on, but I LOVE having little tangible treasures from memories with people I love more than anything in the world. Lately I’ve been thinking back to a day last summer when we went on a walk picking blackberries and Ellen took the picture that changed my life. An instant camera really takes the fun to a whole new level.

blackberry picking // stephanieorefice.net


My friend Cassie (HI CASSIE!) was reading my blog (I LOVE when my ‘real life’ friends read my blog, by the way. It keeps me humble because I can’t pretend to be cooler than I am) and she was looking at my 101 in 1001 list and decided she wanted to take on the task of helping me watch all of the Star Wars movies. We’ve watched the original trilogy and now we’re on to the new ones! She is ultra brave, if I can brag on her for a minute. She’s a single foster mom and she is CHANGING LIVES. She’s opening her heart and home to children in deep need, and she’s doing it all on her own. That said, anytime I can support her in the littlest ways… I’ve got her back, 100%. So when we watch Star Wars, I provide the Slurpees. Coke for her, Banana for me.

slurpee run // stephanieorefice.net


Okay everyone I’m officially late to the succulent party but Found on Fremont had a bunch of little succulents and I kept looking at them and FINALLY I was like.. I MUST HAVE ONE! So I bought one…. and then I went back and bought another one. I love how full of character they are.

succulents // stephanieorefice.net


I don’t upload Facebook pictures in real time. Every so often, I’ll upload 40-50 pictures to an album titled 2015 (last year’s was 2014) and I LOVE watching people like or comment on the pictures. It makes me happy and I always wish I took even more pictures than I already do. Pictures are my absolute favorite, and I LOVE when my notifications blow up because people are interacting with them. Even my humble little phone pictures!

Each summer I usually pick a Madeleine L’Engle book to read. This year I picked up a book I’ve been wanting to read for awhile – Penguins + Golden Calves, all about icons and idols. It’s crazy how over the years Madeleine L’Engle (through her writing) has become one of my closest friends. She just GETS me. One day I’ll (maybe) write ALL about penguins and vulnerability and how I”m learning to stay soft even through hurt. Today is not that day, but one day I might.

Penguins + Golden Calves // Madeleine L'Engle // stephanieorefice.net

Some days I am overwhelmed by the magic of technology. I can be texting four people about the same situation, sharing information and opinion and feeling… and none of those four people are anywhere near each other, but we are all mutually connected by experience and thought and the ability to communicate with each other immediately. Yesterday was one of those days as my phone blew up and I couldn’t respond fast enough.

Today I saw my friend Michael from across a field. I walked up to him and threw my arms around him and hugged him with all of my might. A little bit later I was standing around, drinking a cup of water, wondering where I fit in with this big crowd. Michael was driving by in a truck. As he slowed down, I walked over and got in. I didn’t know where he was going or what he was doing, all I know is that being near him makes me feel safe. I try really hard to keep my platonic friendships very platonic, and part of the joy in having firm boundaries is the freedom to move about within them.

I’m at Kuratli for the week for Family Camp. and I love knowing that I packed everything. There’s not this feeling of “NOOO I FORGOT CLEAN UNDERWEAR!” (I’ve done that) or “I DIDN’T BRING A HOODIE!” (it was so chilly) or “I HAVE NO APPROPRIATE FOOTWEAR!” (flip flopsssss!!!). It’s a really great feeling to not be second guessing that.

A few years ago, I discovered my bravery for the first time. It was bedtime and we were on campouts at the campsite called Arrowhead. A norovirus swept through the camp, and even though everyone else in the cabin I supported got sick.. I didn’t. and I was able to step up and lead and help in ways I NEVER imagined I was capable of. For some reason, this summer I’ve been drawn to Arrowhead over and over again. It’s nothing super beautiful to look at – just a clearing with a fire pit in a place that used to have an archery range. but that little field holds some pretty powerful memories.

Once, I had a really great talk with the Lord. I think it was in 2005. I went walking down the driveway at camp and I picked blackberries and poured my heart out to the Lord. Maybe that’s why I love blackberries so much – I always remember that super fond memory. This summer I’ve done a lot of heart-pouring at Arrowhead. I admitted some pretty liberating truths and I surrendered a lot of silly expectations, and I can’t wait to one day drag a sleeping bag to Arrowhead and sleep under the stars there again.



  1. July 30, 2015 / 11:45 am

    I totally want a hybrid car! Especially if you get gift cards to Starbucks…jealous! 🙂 I looove Shirley Temples. So good. BRB buying that ‘this is how we do it’ print because DUH! I hope when we move we can get a bigger place and I can fit a desk (or at least a dresser with a wider top) and I can sport it there!!!

    • July 31, 2015 / 3:54 pm

      haha the $5 doesn’t even negate the interest charge i pay each month! haha. but i seriously LOVE my prius. i walked into toyota and was like “easiest sale ever.. give me a prius.” i got in one and drove it 3 miles and then bought it.

      && yay!!! i can’t see how it looks!!

  2. July 30, 2015 / 11:48 am

    what? you got a starbucks card just for having a prius?! awesome!!!!
    congrats on the etsy shop 🙂 and i love notifications too! whenever i uploaded my wedding pictures, i had like 200 notifications the next time i logged on!!! crazy!!

    • July 31, 2015 / 3:55 pm

      yeah!!! probably the least they could do for owning my first born at this point haha. THANKS!! i’ve been working on making lots of new prints to add… it’s really fun for me to do and i’m kind of like… um why did this take so long?? haha.

      OMG! i could only imagine the way wedding pictures would BLOW UP your notifications haha.

  3. July 30, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    I’ve never had a Shirley Temple before! I need to try that, sounds delish. 🙂

    • July 31, 2015 / 3:55 pm

      WHAAATTTT!!! order one the next time you’re at a restaurant… it’s SO GOOD!!!

  4. July 31, 2015 / 12:33 am

    You inspire me every time I read your blog. It seems like when I am going through things, you seem to be tackling a lot of them at the same time. even though Im way older than you. Which probably means you are way ahead of me in the “getting your stuff together” phase of life. I know I don’t comment often, but I do really relate to many of your posts. I will try to be more diligent about telling you.

    • July 31, 2015 / 3:56 pm

      LEAH! <3 we absolutely need to adventure together for a day and talk about it all. i don't think there's any ahead or behind… we do it all at our own pace, based on what cards we've been dealt, you know? i really appreciate you <3

      • August 3, 2015 / 2:10 pm

        Yes! I am going to Greece and Croatia in September but August isn’t too busy yet if you want to try and get together. And thank you! I really appreciate you too 🙂

        • August 3, 2015 / 2:10 pm

          I’m working on my debt repayment too, but the plan is more to not go into more debt while on my trip and then hit it hard when I get back.

          • August 4, 2015 / 2:33 pm

            grace! grace is so important. i feel like so many people in the world don’t even care about debt repayment so the fact that you’re aware of it makes you lightyears ahead of where you COULD be, you know?

        • August 4, 2015 / 2:33 pm

          hey! i’m hoping to come up to seattle sometime next week – want to say our goodbyes to the q cafe and catch up there?

  5. July 31, 2015 / 2:39 pm

    I’m crossing my fingers that there will be more Disney prints to come on that esty shop of yours 🙂 You are awesome!

    • July 31, 2015 / 3:56 pm

      ANY REQUESTS!?!? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. July 31, 2015 / 5:05 pm

    A dream is a wish your heart makes…when you’re fast asleep 🙂

      • August 4, 2015 / 2:32 pm

        haha NO WORRIES! i’m going to get on making this. i’m thinking blue and glitter. <3

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