West Virginia, Staycation 2014 More.
December 9, 2014



The semester is winding down.. I know this because Chris has been to the library more often than he has been home. This time last year we were still able to enjoy our weekends, but as an EC, he has four (super intense) papers to write.

West Virginia | November 17, 2014
I actually wrote some things down about our trip to West Virignia. Here is what I wrote: “I noticed something recently: the weirdest effect of making new friends in Boston is losing the competiveness with my alma mater. I started putting schools with faces and finding myself cheering for teams I would once loathe. So, when we ventured to Morgantown, West Virginia with our friends Jon Holly Byrd who are WVU alums... yeah, I was still feeling that non-competiveness. P.S. I must note that Morgantown is a good 10 hours outside of Boston. Luckily, the game was on a Saturday evening, so we had plenty of time to get there. We explored their beautiful campus, ate lunch at a burrito place, went to an OU Boomer Bash and tailgated like West Virginians. We even got to meet the President of WVU! Though a few crazy people yelled at us, overall, everyone was very very nice. As we sat in the OU section, our decked-out WVU friends became better friends with the OU people than we did. The game was a nail-biter with touchdown after touchdown from both sides; high fives with strangers were occuring all around.”

Staycation 2014 | Thanksgiving Weekend
For Thanksgiving, we discussed New York (again), Vermont (I want some pancakes from there so badly) and Montreal (only a 5.5 hour drive!), but thought we could save the money treat ourselves in Boston instead. We enjoyed a long walk to our Thanksgiving lunch at the Top of the Hub, the best view in Boston. We watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Chris made a homemade pizza. We went to a spa, watched movies with friends, cheered on the Thunder at TD Garden, got breakfast at the Paramount in Beacon Hill, walked and walked and walked cause the weather was perfection. We picked out where we might live one day, if we were to stay in Boston (South End, next to a little dog park). Starbucks became our rest hub, we'd get our computers out for a few hours of work, then pack up explore more. The weekend ended with a tree-lighting ceremony at Fanueil Hall with some friends.

Recently | November 29 - December 9
We danced laughed our way through Holidazzle this year. The next day, we got a great surprise as it had started snowing! I was kind of a jerk woke Chris up from his deep slumber to see it. The rest of the weekend was filled with little parties, dinners double dates. By Sunday evening, I was so wiped. Since then, we've been busy busy trying to get school / work / freelance / etc. done. I've taken a few breaks - such as going to Brigham Women's to visit Megan Ryan's little girl! It was a special time. At night, I've been reading books about Japan as Chris is going to Tokyo, Sendai, Kyoto and Hong Kong this January. I'm definitely not going, but wanted to share in his experience in some way :)

Countdown to Oklahoma is 10 days!
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Love,
Steph Chris




Recent Trips.
November 14, 2014

After spending almost three weeks on crutches (sprained ankle), I caught a serious travel bug. I dreamed about a EuroTrip, a Thanksgiving in Montreal, heck, even a walk to Whole Foods. I have so much respect for people that have to deal with crutches for longer than I did. The very first day I attempted to walk, Chris rented a car for us to do some leaf peeping around Massachusetts. We found a great scavenger hunt that led us to pumpkin patches and cranberry farms.

This walking was great practice for our trip to Dallas five days later! OU/TX has yet to disapoint, this was my second game once again we crushed the Longhorns. We always stay with EB when we go to Dallas, but this time we convinced our old roomie, Ashley, to fly down from Denver. It was a mini-college reunion after getting to see Jana, Michael, Michael, Andrea, Sarah, Sarah, Brian, etc. (Yes, there are two Michaels and two Sarahs in that sentence) as well.

From then on, I was convinced I was healed decided to go on a solo adventure to NYC. I went to art museums, ate street food, shopped at Uniqlo and..... got really tired. My ankle wasn't used to all that walking.

The following week (Oct. 22-26), Chris had off for job interviews. Yes, HBS gives many many many days off during the year for their students to get a job. So during that week, I spent time with my boss in New Hampshire while he stayed in Boston to interview. By the end of the week, we were on our way to Orlando! Some of our friends organized an awesome Disney trip that we couldn't turn down. As you might know, Chris proposed at Epcot, so I'm positive it's the happiest place in the world. The next two days we managed to see every DisneyWorld park: First, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom (my personal favorite) and finally, Magic Kingdom. We rode roughly 12 rides per day. It. was. AMAZING.

And more recently... Chris flew out to San Francisco last week for another interview got to see our newly married friends TJ Taylor! And, just last night he flew out to St. Louis for... a baseball game! Just kidding, another interview. I mean, it's great that these companies are flying him out to potentially give him a job... but man, I miss him.

Love,
Steph Chris




Six Years of Happiness.
October 25, 2014


Top Left: Snow Day in my dorm room at the University of Oklahoma (2014) | Top Right: Ride the Ducks in Branson, Missouri (2014) | Bottom Left: Riding the subway in Washington, D.C. (2014) | Bottom Right: In the Campanile in Florence, Italy (2014)

In October of 2014, Chris Shilling became my boyfriend. We had spent a few months of dancing around the scariest question, "What are we?" By now, most of our friends know that we met in the hallway the day I registered to attend the University of Oklahoma. Chris knew he met the girl he wanted to marry after 30 seconds and we spent a summer writing (online) to one another. When school began, he pursued me like no guy ever had before. He actually called, texted daily, and invited me to his resident's events (he was a cool RA during this time). One day I would whole heartily believe he liked me and then the next day I would lose all confidence. In my mind, Chris was a very popular guy on campus and I was just another friend that believed in his niceness.

One September evening, Chris asked me to go to his favorite place on campus with him. Back in the good ole days, the OU Stadium had a chain link fence you could actually climb to get in. I was still living off my high school adrenaline and didn't even think twice about sneaking into a college stadium at night. He took me up to a platform just under the giant video scoreboard. From there, we had the best view of Owen Field and the campus. But instead of looking out, we decided to lie on our backs and look at the stars. I look back at this moment and realize now that we somehow always knew we'd be together - that the few hours we spent talking that night were only to catch one another up on our entire lives. When I returned to my dorm room that night I was certain Chris Shilling had a crush on me.

Funny, our relationship still wasn't official for an entire month after this night. It took a lot of guts (on my part) to shakily tell Chris I liked him even if it meant ruining our relationship. He smiled and said, "I thought you could tell this entire time that I liked you back."

We were so young when all this happened - he was 20, I was 18.
But I knew I had found the most perfect person for me.
Thanks for the most incredible six years, boyfriend (who is now my husband).

Love,
Stephanie



 

One Final Year in Boston.
September 23, 2014

Top Left to Right: Walking over the Charles River; Madonna Concert; Polaroid from Zara; Fashion's Night Out buddy; at the Point for an OU Sooners watch party; getting costumes from Garment District; ski lift up to mountain bike riding; New Hampshire ski resort living; 80's costumes for retreat; Pac Man cake; Chris Andy's piano neckties; Waterville Resort, New Hampshire; Metric Concert; Copley Square; Georgetown Cupcakes; Bodega (Shoe Store)

Let me start at the end go back to the beginning. I know how blogs work.... You read the first two sentences and move on. So, basically Chris and I have switched places and I am now the injured one. I sprained my ankle being a hooligan on the Boston streets this weekend. I've never used crutches before, so I looked like such a weirdo stumbling in and out of cabs. I have tons more empathy for Chris's ACL situation after this- it is no fun sitting in bed all day.

Besides that little spill, Boston has already been a blast. Partly due to the friends we missed oh so much over the summer. We've gotten to catch up, see some shows (like Madonna! What?!) and go to New Hampshire. I'm surprised I didn't get injured in New Hampshire after we took a terrifying bike ride down a mountain. Two of our friends were injured enough to have an ambulance come up the mountain... True story.

This weekend, Chris's best friend Mark came to Boston! His visits are always a good time. My favorite part was eating fresh oysters for the first time at Neptune Oysters Friday evening. Sixteen-year-old Stephanie Daniel would have never imagined having oysters in Boston, Massachusetts. I couldn't even watch a Red Lobster commercial without gagging back then. Anyways, Mark, you are the coolest. Come back soon.

Love,
Steph Chris

P.S. The last photo up there ^ is of the shoe store Bodega. The front is a fake convenience store you walk through a sliding Snapple machine to a cool shoe store. Read more about it here.



 

Roadtrip from Portland to Oklahoma City.
September 23, 2014


Fact: Chris and I are road trip champs now. We don't even plan hotels anymore - we'd rather wait till we're tired to find something along the way. Sounds like beginning of a horror movie, right? Since we took the southern/California route to Portland, we decided to take the northern/Utah route home. Luckily, we had people to stay with in Salt Lake City Denver. We missed our road trip companions (the Linvilles), but it was nice to have a whole back seat to fit more of our endless Nike gear we bought. In Salt Lake, we had a relaxing evening with Chris's grandma her brother eating a home cooked meal sitting on their back porch. They even got up at the crack of dawn to fix us breakfast.

We had some coffee with our Oklahoma/Boston friend Joey just before finally getting on the road. Joey is originally from Tulsa, but lived in Boston for a year with his wife Elizabeth. They were some of our first friends in Boston we wept like children when they moved to Salt Lake. We had the quickest of quick stops in Arches National Park. We are both bummed we could only spend an hour there, but no worries... we're dragging our future kids there on a smelly RV. We made it to Denver just in time for dinner with my favorite red head, Ashley. My friends Ashley Jordan (both originally from Oklahoma as well) now live in Denver with three other awesome girls. I love seeing all of them; they are living the life!

Jordan I got to take Chris to Jelly for the first time (always delicious) then we got back on the road for the lamest part of the drive. Denver to OKC is just sad. I didn't excited about anything till I saw a Braum's in Kansas. But we made it! Our few days in Oklahoma were a blur of eating visiting friends, family and co-workers. One of my favorite things we did was go to a drive-in movie with my best friend from high school, Philip and his wife Bonnie. It has definitely been on my Oklahoma bucket list, so it was great to go there with two friends I can't stop laughing around. Sometimes I get overwhelmed stressed when we go back home, but moments like this make me miss Oklahoma a lot.

Love,
Steph Chris


Final Days in Portland.
September 23, 2014


Top Left to Right: My fellow graphic design friend, Tyler, moved to Portland; Bike Race; Our roomie, Brad, enjoying some Screen Door; Midnight snack at VooDoo Donuts; My little Texan, EB, at VooDoo; buying screenprints; Multnomah Falls; Checking out the Rose Gardens; evening on Mississippi Street, Jeld-Wen Field (next to our apartment); Last night in Portland; eating some Pok Pok with Uncle Ken!

I've never experienced a beautiful, fall like summer before. Oklahoma makes that impossible. We only had two hot days I'm convinced my friend, EB, brought it from Texas! EB I were roommates for two years in college and she was my maid-of-honor :) She is the best tourist on the planet cause she is excited to do anything. The more I plan, the happier she is.
Thanks for coming, my love!

My final take aways from Portland proceeds as follows:
Favorite Restaurant - Pok Pok (Outdoor/Indoor Thai food)
Favorite Outdoor Spot - Multnomah Falls the Oregon Zoo
Best Food Truck - Koi Fusion or the Creperie
Reason to Move Back - Short, cheap flights to Hawaii
Best View - Portland City Grill (top floor of tallest building)
Most Interesting Celeb Moment - seeing the cast of the Real World: Portland filming.. or our friend who works on Grimm
Biggest Bummer - No longer being near a Salt Straw (best ice cream, ever)

Hope to see you again, PDX!
Steph Chris





 

San Diego Weekend.
August 13, 2014

San Diego, your weather is amazing. One of my best friends from college ( my favorite asian) moved to San Diego last summer and I finally came to see her! At this point, I had been in the Portland airport three times in two weeks. But, I didn't want to imagine what flying from Boston to San Diego would be like, so I needed to take advantage of west coast living.

From a previous post, you'll know that Lisa is OCD, which makes her the world's greatest host/planner. She planned out great dinners, movie tickets to Dark Knight, tickets to the San Diego zoo, nap time, dinner at Ra Sushi, drinks at a rooftop bar, brunch and a day at Cornado Beach. I need her for all my trips. So many great memories from this weekend.

Can't wait to visit again, my little asian!

Love,
Steph Chris

 


Abuelito's Birthday.
August 13, 2014

This year, my sweet abuelito turns the big 8-0. My family decided to throw him a surprise party about four months early (not too sure why...) my mom asked me to consider flying down to Central Mexico for it. The last time I was there I was a senior in high school, which was 6 years ago! Since that past visit, I've graduated college, gotten married had a slew of jobs. I never had a job in high school, so it was a great accomplishment to have many jobs under my belt now.

This trip was so eye-opening and provided plenty of time to really think about my life. My mother grew up in Irapuato, Guanajuato which is four hours north of Mexico City. It's a huge city with hundreds of years of history. What's magical about this place, is that it's hardly changed since I was a kid. The same stores, people, and graffitti are still around. My mom's best friend still lives down the block, including her four boys who were my Mexican best friends. I enjoyed the trip, but it was a little long. I was ready to see Chris again!

P.S. Abuelito enjoyed his birthday party, he had some of his favorite tequila danced a few times with my mom.

Love,
Steph Chris

 

Left our Hearts in San Francisco.
August 13, 2014

The weekend of July 20-22, we ventured to San Francisco to visit our friends Mimi Joanna, who are Chris's classmates in Boston. But they weren't the only friends we met up with - we also saw other classmates my partner in crime, Teresa! (She's pictured in the third row of photos) The weekend started out with great apartment views of the city. Does everyone in San Fran have an awesome view? I think so. We spent most of the night getting to know Mimi's friends at another fantastic San Fran apartment, stopping by the infamous Tonga Room and running around China Town.

Saturday, we had a late brunch with new friends (Oklahoma needs to get on this brunch thing, stat) and long walk around the city, including Crissy Field area. A beach is always nice when it has a view of kite surfers and the Golden Gate bridge. After some much needed naps, we then celebrated JoJo's birthday in a private karoake room. The boys brought the house down with some amazing renditions of Macy Gray and KC JoJo songs. I was also excited I got to see Teresa that evening -- she and I got to hang out a lot while we were in Boston I was really missing her!

Sunday, we went to a Craft fair to visit Chris's friend Lara, who is from Yukon, Oklahoma. Small, small world. She sells jewelry, so I snagged a pair of her triangle earrings and bought some screenprints on the way out. Chris gets annoyed with how many screenprints I buy sometimes. We finished our trip in San Fran by riding bikes getting In 'N Out.

Like I said, I think I'd like to live there someday. How bout it, Chris?

Love,
Steph Chris





Seattle, Past Present.
July 19, 2014


I'm a very nostaglic person (at least about 9th grade and on). Therefore, I couldn't help but dig up photos from Chris and I's first trip to Seattle in March 2014. I had hardly ever been out of Oklahoma, so a trip to Washington with our friends Mark and Rachel for spring break felt super grown-up. Chris and I had only been dating five months, so I was so excited to meet his aunt and uncle for the first time (they live in Olympia). During this trip we also drove to Portland, where I now remember telling my friends, "Seattle was cool, but I think I liked Portland more."

This past weekend, we drove up to hang out with Uncle Ken Aunt Ellen in Seattle again. Uncle Ken just retired from the military, so had some time to take us to a fantastic lunch on the shore, a Mariners/Rangers game and cook a homemade meal or two. Our friend, Kristin is also living the military life in the Seattle area, so she stopped by to introduce us to her new puppy, Ike. I need a dog so bad.

We've been enjoying these short weekend trips - we work very hard during the week so we can enjoy every moment of the weekend. Tomorrow we leave for San Fran to hang out with our friends, Mimi Joanna!

Love,
Steph Chris

P.S. We also recently celebrated Chris's 26th birthday around these parts. We went to 7-Eleven to get him a free slushie (I think he should get two free slushies for also having a birthday on 7-11), but they told him it wasn't free anymore. Those little tricksters only have free slushies from 11-7. How rude!

Happy birthday to the greatest husband on earth!







Mt. Hoodin' Around, The 474 Takeover the Zoo
July 8, 2014

Pictures from Top Left to Right: 1) Multnomah Falls, Oregon 2) Chickens at Sakura Ridge Bed Breakfast 3) Kayaking the Columbia River (seperates Oregon and Washington) 4) Mt. Hood up close 5) Chris and Colin with a street band 6) Elephant ride at Cargo, Portland 7) Mark, Chris and Scott's birthday party 8) Kids at Saturday Market, Downtown 9) Boys visiting Mt. Hood 10) A bear sneaking up behind Chris at the Oregon Zoo 11) Aquarium at the Oregon Zoo

The past week has been utter bliss here in Portland. We celebrated the one-year anniversary in Hood River, Oregon - a land of waterfalls and breweries. We ate, we hiked, we kayaked, we explored. Though exhausted from the weekend, we only had two days to prepare for the arrival of Chris's college roommates -- the 474 boys. Living with six boys for a few days was definitely interesting - probably the closest I will get to frat house living. Boys, we already miss you.

Today, we attended church at Amago Dei with our roommate and some friends, ate sandwiches on a patio and went to the zoo that is right next to our apartment. Chris and I love zoos, well, I love zoos a little too much.

Coming up this weekend... Seattle!

Love,
Steph Chris

P.S. Also, we found out our friend Valerie just moved to Portland - so I'm super pumped to have another girl around to explore this city with!






Happy Anniversary, Husband!
July 2, 2014


It's true what they say... the first year of marriage goes by so quickly. Looking back, I realized how lucky I was to have such great friends and family to help with our special day. While I have no idea what food was served or what decorations made it to the tables, I remember each and every guest I talked to, danced or made eye contact with.

Since last July 2nd, we've survived a very hot Oklahoma summer, drove 1,700 miles to Boston, moved into a 500 square foot "home", started school again, had our first Thankgiving with a crowd of New Yorkers, flew to Turkey/Denver for a week, started a company together, tore an ACL, ran around New England in general, drove another 2,300 miles to Portland (saw a Grand ole Canyon on the way) and kayaked the Columbia River.
Among other things.

Chris, I love you and can't wait to get a puppy with you someday.

Love,
Steph


Life Lately (According to iPhone Photos)
June 26, 2014


The website got a small re-boot. I get sick of looking at my designs over over, so expect it to change often. If I had more time I'd re-design it perfectly, but this will do for now. It's 11:30 p.m. and in Portland that is late for us. Chris's schedule for Nike begins at 6:30 a.m. so he and our roommate Brad can work-out before work. They usually come home around 7 p.m. This gives me a whopping three hours to see Chris before he has to sleep. Work for me has been super busy as I am working on NINE iPhone/iPad apps and one website.

Though it seems like all work and no play, we actually use our free time more wisely to take in everything Portland has to offer. In a short three weeks we've eaten at many food trucks, ran into a few celebrities, bought tons of Nike gear, attended a Timbers/Sounders game (and held a pre-game at our apt for the Nike grad interns), gone wine-tasting, met up with friends from Boston, attended the Track Field Olympic trials, hosted several guests, went to a very weird yoga class, got stuck in a naked bike ride for over an hour (don't ask...) and more!

As an aspiring anthropologist (I sometimes wish I chose this as my major instead of design), I am trying to document what I notice about this city as opposed to everywhere else I've been. So far, the weather is what is most startling. It's rained almost every day. Summer doesn't officially start till next month! Isn't that nuts? I am freezing.

I'm most excited about this weekend - I planned an anniversary weekend for Chris in Hood River, OR. It'll be a weekend of hiking, bee keeping, herding sheep, kayaking, wine-tasting and eating tasty food. The bee keeping and herding sheep will take place at a working farm bed breakfast.. Haha. Hope Chris loves it!

Love,
Steph Chris







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