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Favre and Favreita July 21, 2015

I didn’t think I would ever go back to Green Bay after my Dad died.

Truthfully, I knew I would never go back. There was no reason to go back. What made Green Bay so exceptional and so very special to me was gone. My Dad was gone, and as silly as it might seem to you reading this Brett Favre was gone, the two things I loved most about that special place were gone, I had no intention of ever going back. I mean sure, in passing I would talk about going to a game but I never sought out tickets, I would talk about the upcoming games on social media but I could barely watch most of them.

Then something happened.

After all the turmoil, after all the hurt feelings, after all the trades, talks, jerseys, trash, arrogance, blood, sweat and tears I saw something I thought I would never see.

Brett Favre and the Packers were talking. Talking about him coming back to Green Bay to retire his #4 and induct him into the Packers Hall Of Fame.

Well, I wasn’t planning on that curveball Brett…WTF?

I remember watching an interview with Greta Van Susteren (who has covered Brett for years) during that interview he said something about being inducted into the Packers Hall Of Fame and what a special moment it would be. Then Greta asked something about opening it up to the fans of Green Bay, to be able to see one of the best quarterbacks ever to play come back to where it all started in Green Bay and see it all for themselves.

I think Brett said “well hell, why not?”

It was almost like he was daring the Packers organization on national television to say no, which I really enjoyed, because if they said no, it would just give me more ammunition to not buy the NFL Sunday Ticket this year.

But the Packers said yes…and my mind exploded.

I remember telling Mr D, if they open this up, I’ll be there. That’s exactly what the Packers did, they opened Lambeau Field to the fans to watch Brett Favre get his number retired and get inducted into the Packers Hall Of Fame (which has never happened at the same time for any player – by the way.) I remember sitting on my bed watching the timer tick down on Ticketmaster, the moment it hit zero I hit refresh and began to enter in my info. I held my breath until I got the ticket confirmation, once I had the email, I sat in the middle of my bed and thought what have I done?

Getting the tickets was easy, even though 67,000 seats were sold in two hours, that part, piece of cake. Going to that stadium, being there, I didn’t really think that part through.

I told everyone though, I told every person I knew I was going to Green Bay. It seemed like some kind of dream I was daring life to take away from me, I never really thought it was going to happen, at least that is what I kind of told myself.  Then I saw this on the Packers website the day I came back to Green Bay:

heal

Seriously…What The Hell?

One thing I do know about myself is that I’m a stubborn ass, but I also hold passion, conviction and loyalty in high regard. I can understand why Favre left the Packers, I can understand why people in Green Bay hated him for it. There was a line drawn across Lombardi Avenue, not necessairly when he went to the Jets, but when he went to Minnesota that some Packer fans could not understand, but I could. In my opinion he was left with no options, I know what that feels like. So he did what he could do at the time under his circumstances while still doing what he loved to do, again.. I understand that logic.

Entering Lambeau Field was suffocating, it was like all the hurt, all the tears, all the mistakes, all the pain, everything that has happened since my Dad died was on the back of my Favre jersey on display for everyone to see. I cried, wiping away the tears trying not to draw any attention to the panic I was feeling.

Then it happened, Brett Favre walked out of the tunnel in Green Bay and 67,000+ people couldn’t stop cheering. He was speechless, he looked around the packed stadium with tears in his eyes like everything that happened since the summer of 2007 suddenly the universe made right.

He said “I could thank all of you until tomorrow, and it would never be enough.”

Because of Brett Favre and the Packers forcing my hand I was able to go back to Lambeau Field. I was able to experience something with my husband and son that otherwise probably would have never happened. I was able to go back on a tour of the stadium and see the absolute wonder in my son’s eyes as he came out of the Packer’s tunnel into the sunlight of that magnificent stadium my dad and I loved so very much.

Before we left, we were able to find my Dad’s brick outside of Lambeau, a present for his 60th birthday.

brick

greenbay johnno

Thank you. I could say it until tomorrow, but it would never be enough….

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Pregnant? That’s A Joke Right? June 1, 2014

Filed under: I am still learning,Johnno,Parenting Kameron,Stuff — stepheppichdaily @ 5:51 am

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant.  I remember exactly where I was.

I was smoking a cigarette outside after church (yes I went to church) and it made me sick. I had been smoking for years and I never remembered lighting up making me feel so ill, like I was going to pass out. My girlfriend that was with me said “you’ve been feeling weird lately, are you sure you’re not pregnant?”

I laughed.

The idea of me being pregnant was a joke. I was married at the time, but we weren’t each other’s biggest fans.

That was a Sunday.

Tuesday I bought a pregnancy test.

My girlfriend was with me when I found out that I was going to be a mother.

I sobbed. I thought of every despicable thing that I had done over the last few weeks (which I later found out was approximately two months.)  I thought, I’m not ready.

Is anyone ever really ready?

Fast forward fifteen years.

Fifteen years. I’m tough, but fifteen years?

I remember when I was fifteen and what assholes I thought my parents were.

My son is named after Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Kameron with a “K” because I decided he was going to have to spell his last name for everyone for the rest of his life, so why not add that exclamation point?  “Yes, I’m Kameron with a “K”…

After all he’s my son; I don’t play small ball.

It’s been so hard for me to watch him become a man. It’s so hard.

Tonight he asked me what time he was born (I have no idea why.) I told him he was born at 7:47 pm in room 2020. He looked at me and I told him “I always said you would be a pilot, with perfect vision.” He laughed and walked away; I was immediately transported to that moment when I knew life would never be the same.

My son, he’s such a good man.

I don’t know how it happened, I wish I could take all the credit, but I can’t.

  • Johnno – Thank you for everything, we miss you so much, every day.
  • Mr. D.  – You are the definition of a good man, I am so thankful that Kameron has you as a role model.
  • Mr. Clady – Thank you so much for believing in Kameron, you are a fantastic inspiration to everyone.

I can’t wait to see what Kameron does in the years to come…. I’m sure it will be expensive.

 

 

 

What’s The Big Deal? December 5, 2013

Changing your profile picture.

I see people do it every day. I see people change their pictures several times a week, and I think if they can do it why can’t I?

Well the answer is simple to me. It might seem irrational and ridiculous to you, but I can assure you as I sit here writing this, it is not simple. It’s gut wrenchingly painful.

Then you might say to yourself, what the hell is she talking about? Stephanie has changed her Twitter and her LinkedIn profile picture this week, and I would look at you and say, you’re right I have, but not my Facebook picture. In fact there have only been a few variations of my Facebook profile picture over the last four and a half years. You might recognize them.

Image Image Image Image

Image

Ok, so let me stop you right there. In your mind, if you don’t know me, hell maybe if you do, you’re thinking c.r.a.z.y. To me it’s not, I’ll explain. Twitter is where I go to blow off steam, have some fun. I’ve seem some crazy stuff on twitter, and I’ve been a part of some of the crazy on twitter…I’ll be the first to admit that. LinkedIn is a business page and I treat it as such. I share information and updates about social media, hardly ever about my personal life. I mean if you were stalking me LinkedIn is probably the last place you’d want to go. I’ve even been quiet on my blog, not intentionally, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to actually sit and think about things like this. 

The other night I was writing a blog about social media and resolutions for 2014, which made me think, what should I change next year? The thought came almost immediately to me, like my Dad was screaming at me. I ignored it and pressed on, I have deadlines you know. Then again, like he was standing right in front of me saying “enough already, change the damn profile picture.”

I stopped, looked around, and started to cry.

Facebook is where I reside now, it is where I spend most of my time. I do most of my work on Facebook. Facebook is also my personal space. It became really personal a couple of months ago when I found out that my space had been violated.

But I’m Stephanie right? I like challenges. I thrive on variety and change. Dullness and routine is the quickest way (if you’re trying) to get rid of me.

So why can’t I change my profile picture?

Because it’s the last thing.

I have changed the picture, but it’s only been variations of Dad and I together. If I change that profile picture it’s almost like (to me) I’m saying goodbye to my Dad forever.  If my Dad were here today he would say “isn’t that the dumbest god damn thing you’ve ever heard?” If it were someone else I’d say “hell yes.”

The problem is it’s not someone else, it’s me.

So I tried this week. I had Angela take a picture of me in the office this week with my new “geek” sweater on, saying it was to “prove to my sister” that I had a sweater that actually said “geek” on it. Then I tried again, until I found out it was “Unselfie Tuesday” or some kind of crap like that. So I figured it just wasn’t time for me to change it. Until I racked my brain trying to think of a blog to write last night and came up with “Social Media Resolutions.” Clever I thought; until I started thinking about my own social resolutions and the Dad interference.

First on the agenda for 2014, a new profile picture for all of my social media platforms, including Facebook (GULP). I can’t do it because I take terrible pictures of myself and Mr. D is pretty much useless with a camera. I need a picture, and I know exactly what it looks like in my head, and my Dad would be proud of it, and of me, I think he would be proud of me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Wicked August 22, 2013

Tonight I was chatting with my best friend Brandy that is celebrating her 18th wedding anniversary this year to her husband Lonnie. I introduced them by the way… I should get some kind of best friend credit for that.

Anyway, while we were chatting she mentioned that “Wicked” was coming to town and tickets will go on sale in September.

August and September are sketchy months for me because of my Dad. I’m over the top emotional, I take everything personally. I smile, and hide my emotions. Honestly, I just do the best I can, for everyone I can, until after September 15th.

Anyway, this was not supposed to be a “feel sorry for Stephanie moment” because there are times I can laugh about my Dad. I can remember things about him and appreciate the times that we had, and the times that were especially funny. Which brings me back to Wicked.

You see Johnno was never a “let’s go to dinner and see a show” kind of guy. He was always “there’s a football game on, and where is my damn beer and onion dip” kind of guy. So when my mother started buying tickets to Broadway shows like Wicked, well, my Dad was less than enthused.

There are many moments with my Dad that I won’t forget, and this is one of them. (If you never met my Dad you could never really appreciate this, but you could see the humor in it.)

Wicked was at the Murat, we (Dad, Mom, Mr. D, and I went.) The conversation after the performance went like this….

Mom:  Wow, what a great show!

Me:  It really was great.

Mr. D:  It was awesome!

Johnno: Yeah…

Mom: (Asking everyone) Did you cry at the end?

Me: Yes!

Johnno: I cried too..

Mom: Really? You did? (more interested in my Dad’s response than anyone else.)  (Sounding hopeful..)

Johnno: Yeah, I cried…. I was just so happy it was finally over.

Mr. D said tonight that was one of his favorite memories of my Dad.. “Johnny Carson couldn’t have written a better script, that was one of Johnno’s all time greatest lines.”

That’s a memory that still makes me laugh.

 

I Am My Father’s Daughter August 14, 2013

johnno volume

I caught myself today driving with the top down in my car, listening to a “Wings” CD thinking to myself what a great moment, then reality (the bitch that it is) sunk in.

My appreciation for music, the “British Invasion”, and why I turn the volume all the way up in my car and pretty much embarrass Kam while I dance and drive in my car came from my Dad.

My Dad loved music, he loved it so much.

I don’t imagine my Dad ever being a musician, he never wanted to be a headliner. He was much happier behind the scenes. Truth be told, my Dad always wanted to be a DJ.

I’m not kidding.

I remember when I was a kid him making tapes of “The John Eppich Show.” Transferring albums to cassette tapes, adding his own improvisation between cuts. I can still see him sitting on the floor at our old house on Norwaldo making those tapes, yelling at me and my sister if we stomped across the carpet covered hard-wood floors. “The record skips if you walk by like that, walk softer damnit.” I can still see him in his huge headphones hunched over his cassette recorder with his microscopic microphone recording his favorite songs. Maybe he was living out a dream he had for himself that never came to pass, or maybe it was just a fun hobby. Whatever it was, “The John Eppich Show” didn’t survive the several floods that we had on Norwaldo. At least that’s what I think. If there was a cassette that survived I would want to have one of them. I would find a damn recorder to play it.

I am grateful that I have my Dad’s albums, and that I have a record player to play the records on. Sometimes it makes me sad listening to the songs that are so familiar to me growing up. Wishing I could look at my Dad and hear him say “that’s a helluva song baby, some day someone will be impressed that you knew that song and who sang it.”

Truth be told, the only person I was out to impress was him.