Thank you Stephenie for doing a guest post today.
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Stephenie.
Stephenie was always inspired by the water and loved when her parents took her on vacations along the East Coast of the United States simply because Stephenie was very much inspired by all the ocean had to offer. She could search all day for sea shells and treasures, build sand castles, let the waves lift her off her feet, taste the salty water and listen to the waves lull her to sleep at night.
Stephenie swore she would live near water when she grew up. Like most children, Stephenie thought being "grown up" was a far time away, but somehow it happened. Time passes by ever so sneakily and before she knew it, she was all grown up and ready to buy her first house.
Stephenie really wanted a dream house on the ocean.
But because of responsibilities like jobs and family, she didn't want to move far away. Because of realities that are inevitable when you're "grown up" (like expenses), she couldn't afford a mansion on the lake in her small town of Ithaca in upstate New York.
Instead, she and her husband settled on a tiny Cape Cod style home that was a super fixer-upper.
Despite the fact that they knew nothing about home renovations, they slowly but steadily made progress on their house and love where they live because, although they don't live directly on a body of water, Ithaca is a town known for its beautiful gorges and waterfalls.
It's common to see people wearing shirts that say "Ithaca is gorges" because of the 100+ gorges and waterfalls that are located within 10 miles of downtown.
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Taughannock Falls is 215 feet, which is the highest waterfall in New York State, approximately three stories higher than Niagara Falls.
Of course, besides the waterfalls, Ithaca is known for being the home to Cornell University, which is a beautiful campus with old, ornate buildings. Like many of the residents of Ithaca, Cornell is the place of employment for Stephenie's husband Jason.
And they also love birthday parties, like this Mexican-fiesta themed party Stephenie threw for Jason's birthday a few years back. Not only was there a taco bar, several different kinds of Mexican sodas (and beer), but everyone brought a different kind of salsa for salsa tastings!
Or this Harry Potter themed birthday party Stephenie and Jason threw for their daughter Imani. They turned their whole basement into a dungeon where the guests attended classes in potions and magic.
So although Stephenie is all "grown up" -- having a kid, being married, owning a house, decorating a house, hosting parties -- she often contemplates what it means to be "grown up." Sometimes she admits, she still feels like a little kid inside -- giddy with excitement, except she's giddy with excitment about getting new windows instead of roller skates.
And sometimes, Miss Stephenie tells Jason that they are not "grown up" at all . . . they are just pretending to know what they're doing . . . dressing up and playing house.
PS - A HUGE thank you to Grace for allowing me to post on her blog today. I am honored to have a space on the blog of such a talented and creative blogger. By the way, you can find me and Jason playing house over at Decorating Addiction.