drinking the stars

rain parade

My footprints are on the windshield of your car, from another time, when we listened to a different station, and insisted on a different song. When we argued over verses and opening acts, I took off my shoes, my toes leaving marks, wipes and arcs and pearly beany lyrics. There was a comfort that slipped between us, and when you saw it, you thanked me, your eyes glassy. And I sang, hoping to drown out your smile. Things wouldn’t be serious, they’d be alive. When you’re barefoot, your life feels like living.

The kind of life spoken in facial gestures and curled fingers on knees, touch the only exchange. The steamy windows of your car parade our past; the comfort of our lives lived in feet on the dashboard, when I sang “Killing Me Softly” not so softly. There’s a history on the windows, in stubborn fights, lived in the passenger seat, with tight fists and open mouths, declaring adamant “nevers” and “always” and “don’t interrupt me until I’m finished.”

The way you insisted we kiss when we reached a red light. The way you screamed when you thought I was wrong. The way you grabbed me with a smile, content, on Sunday nights after long vacation weekends. Lived our lives in moments in your car, watching the world as it passed us by, sure, yet still uncertain, that we were a future.

The life of our relationship lived in a car, boiled down to a moment, a radio station, a red light, the leather smell and fast food of a life. Before me there’d have been a tree air freshener and a cassette player, but you’re older now, older than Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” You don’t date anymore but move forward with me, even when you throw things into reverse.

And sometimes when I drank too much, I’d look at you for too long, asking if I told you already how much I loved you. Then I’d rush my hand to the nape of you, massaging my want into you. And you’d shrug as if I hadn’t just pawed my want on you. And you’d ignore my declaration. In the moment, you’d turn up the radio, and I’d realize the way I did it to you too, when you complimented me sometimes. I’d thank you, rolling my eyes, or with a passive “thanks.”  Words exchanged but not digested, prints on glass, revealed only when the weather turns.  And that’s what we were… living our lives, holding onto each other in the inclement weather of our lives.

Rainy Days in NYC


  1. I wasn't sure where this one was going. I thought maybe you'd be bringing it all home with a post about the car, and driving, and how soon you'd be driving with your feet still up on the dash, but with two carseats tucked carefully into the back seat.


  2. I'll never again date a guy who doesn't let me leave my toeprints on the windshield…tried it once, it just doesn't fit.

  3. I'm 19, and constantly perplexed by men. Reading that beautiful homage to your husband, made me feel supremely hopeful.

  4. I have enjoyed your writings so much lately – sensitive and sometimes softly sensual – quite beautiful Stephanie.

    Always love hearing about Abigail and Lucas and happy for you and Phil that are both progressing so well. Their photos are adorable.

    Thank you for sharing. Regards, Fran

  5. That was wonderful and reminds me so much of my emotions, feelings and actions. Time in cars, with music, voices, conversations and destinations is such a huge part of a relationship. Captured beautifully.

  6. Rambling, poorly written and virtually incoherent – this is why friends shouldn't let friends drink and post.

  7. Wondering how you are holding up in this ice storm. Are you at the hospital since traveling is the pits or are you stuck at home? I hope the roads warm up soon. My baby who is 19 is waiting for me to say it is ok for him to take off for his second semester of college. I cant let him go in an ice storm 200 miles so he waits. I am thankful he listens and waits.
    stay warm

    FROM STEPHANIE: We're stuck at home. I'm in bed with a stack of magazines, a pitcher of water, and sitting beside the pump. Phil is outside helping Dulce with her luggage. He's taking photos of frosted leaves and icicles. We were out last night and (gasp!) missed the Golden Globes, so I'm catching up on Red Carpet moments via E!. We'll brave the roads a bit later, to visit with our beans.

  8. Love the new pics, especially 4992, 4993 and 4994 of Abigail.
    And the ones of them spooning are sooo sweet.
    They really are pretty babies.

  9. Drunk?
    Aren't you supposed to be breastfeeding?
    It doesn't even sound like you are writing about Phil, but a past boyfriend.
    What's wrong with you?

  10. It's so inspiring to see that even in the midst of all the chaos you've been going through, you still have the ol' googly-eyes for your hubby. Just checked out the latest photos of the beans– who look like they're growing by leaps and bounds, BTW– and I could just eat them up!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the shots of the two of them together. How can you do anything but walk around grinning like a boob after bringing something like that into the world?

  11. Loved this. It brought back so many memories from a younger, uncomplicated life – although at the time, everything felt so complicated. Nice post Stephanie.

  12. I really enjoyed this post.

    I love the newest pictures of the beans. You and Phil have decorated their rooms so nicely- they are adorable.

  13. Would you PLEASE tell us who Dulce is now? Kim? Jen? Hmm… So curious, and I don't even know why. Pretty crazy, huh? The new pictures are so precious. They are such adorable babies, and they've filled out so much. I love that they're together now. You must be eating them up!

  14. Good god. Give the woman a break. What better time to have a glass or two of wine (or whatever) than when the babies are in the fine, caring hands of the hospital staff? If there was a problem, she'd sober up in a hurry – but god on toast – she deserves to let her hair down.

    Stephanie – I looked at the new photos of the babies – honestly, they are absolutely precious! I think the one of them spooning should be on the cover of a magazine! It reminds me of every sweet thing I have ever known.


  15. After reading every post for the past year, I wonder as of late how you can deal with the surge of people judging your every mood and choices. I thought the post was great, it captures another snapshot of you life in your great descriptive style. As for drinking, I don't know how you could cope with the angst and stress that comes along with joy of your babes , with out blowing off some steam everyonce and a while. The negative attitudes reflected are so pedestrian. It's great that you choose your own path!!

  16. I think that some people surf around the 'net looking for someone to put down. It just makes no sense to me.

    I think that the post was wonderful. It brought back a lot of memories for me… :)

  17. I would think that by now people would stop being so judgemetal of Stephanie, after all she is a grown ass woman who is spending quiet a lot of time around doctors and nurses, I really don't think she'll do anything to harm her babies..

  18. I think it makes some people feel better to criticize others. A few seconds of typing and they hit "post" and for short time, they feel important. Some people need that because in their real life they don't have any influence and feel kind of powerless. So I guess strike out on a blog and empty all your angst if it prevents us all from reading about you in the headlines tomorrow. Obviously the majority who post here don't agree, enjoy the blog and just scan over your diatribe to read the other comments.

    Samuel Johnson said, "A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still." Shoo fly shoo.

    Janel, a long time lurker

  19. This post is one of the reasons why I started reading your blog in the first place. By the way, I've been meaning to ask you…

    How is Linus reacting to all the changes?

  20. Damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.

    Meaning Stephanie is blasted if she posts a baby blog report or doesn't. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Sad really and hope Stephanie takes the reins once more and just posts, HOWEVER THE FUCK SHE WANTS TO!

  21. I'm a first time commenter but have been reading for some time now. First of all, I wasn't sure when I read this whether this was a current event or past. Maybe I'm a moron but I think people shouldn't be so quick to assume you were literally drunk when writing it.

    As a mom of three whose firstborn was a preemie, I understand all too well what you're going through (with two babies, no less!) and the need to blow off a little steam. 3 Teens' Mom has the right idea… with your babies in the care of the hospital staff now is the time to unwind. With all the worrying you're doing otherwise it's the least you can do for yourself. I enjoyed a glass of wine or two when my daughter was in the NICU, pumping and dumping afterward. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this and I was even encouraged by the NICU staff. Parents have done much worse with their children around. People need to get a clue.

  22. I forgot, I wanted to say I absolutely love that spooning photo of the babies and it warms my heart to know they're together now. And the nursery is gorgeous. I love the bedding you chose. Congratulations.

  23. Who's Dulce?
    Is poor Linus still going to Lea when the beans come home? (I hope hope hope hope not – he's your first bean!)
    What did it feel like being drunk for the first time in months!? Delicious huh?
    I guess we're not going to see the wedding pics for some reason, huh.

  24. Oh, y'all stop freaking out. Stephanie wasn't drunk with her babies in NICU. She wrote that when she was drunk way back when she was pregnant.

    The thing about the NICU is that they regulate and severely limit the inake the baby gets at first, so in all likelihood, there's a backstash of milk. I'm betting colostrum was spread out over a week instead of the usual few days, for example. So one evening of pump and dump isn't detrimental to the babies.

    However, while I understand – and I personally do, believe you me – how hard it is to have to leave and not take babies with you, if you ever begin to feel like you cannot cope without having a drink or a glass of wine, that is a different matter entirely.

    NICU moms have about a 75% rate of Post-Partum Depression, though it's less an issue of hormonal imbalance and more an issue of "This is an awful way to start motherhood." You are going to need to be aware of that, Phil is going to need to be aware of it, and you are both going to need to keep an eye open.

    You are by no means doomed to PPP, but it's a rather distinct possibility, so please take care of yourself.

    Beautiful babies. Beautiful, beautiful babies. I'm so sorry they aren't home with you yet.

  25. Didn't a commenter yesterday suggest that trolls (I include judgmental twits and general twatwaffles under that rubric) be entirely disregarded? I'm on that.

    Isn't Dulce the friend who talks funny? Kind of like a cross between Joan Crawford and Snow White's Wicked Queen?

  26. Since the twins were born, Stephanie is probably feeling extremely close to her husband – just look at the amazing babies they brought into this world.

    It seems to me that she is simply remembering them dating – before becoming husband & wife or a mother & father.

    She posts these blogs for her to look back on and remember – not for us to jump down her throat for not agreeing.

  27. It's comical really, listening to how SOME people choose to interpret this post. It's a post I wrote "drunk" the other night… it's why I categorized it under "drunk." I don't have a category titled, "slightly soused," so my two glasses of red wine buzz fit nicely under "drunk." And what the fuck is wrong with my drinking?

    Yes, my children are in the NICU, and it's stressful and depressing and really hard on both of us. And I had a friend in town, so after breast feeding at the hospital, we went out for dinner, and I had wine. Are you fucking kidding me with the "how could you drink?" crap? I've gone my entire pregnancy without drinking, and now, I am certainly allowed to have wine. In fact, a few of my doctors have recommended a glass or two to help relax me and increase my milk supply. Because I'm such a stress case, it can only help.

    Yes, this post was about Phil. And no, I'm not explaining anymore.

  28. I have been checking the comments all day to see if Stephanie ended up having to justify herself once again…
    To be honest, with all the negative feedback on her blog, during such a hard time in her life, I am surprised she just had the two glasses.
    For all the people who are negative posting, you are ruining this blog. I come to this blog to read about Stephanie’s progress, and recently the enjoyment of her posts is being tainted by the thoughtless comments of others. If all this negativity continues and Stephanie starts to post less frequently then I would not be surprised. Stephanie & Phil are going through a very delicate time, and Stephanie is letting us peer in through a small window and experience all this with her. If I was Stephanie, the enjoyment of this blog would certainly be wearing thin by now. Before people post, can they just remember this… Who the hell are any of us to judge her?

  29. Bravo, Stephanie, bravo! I just read every single comment, and was astounded at some of the crap people were saying.
    It was a beautiful post, you are a beautiful person, and most importantly- a beautiful mother.

    Btw… Austin is freakin' cold right now! I was spoiled to our "warm" winter, and am not used to this! Brrr!!!

  30. I think that SK has a way of dealing with personal adversity that works for her. When I think of children in the hospital, I think of sobbing 24/7, of standing vigil, of obsessing. Hey, I did this with my own healthy newborn. But maybe her way of handling trauma by still finding time for lifes indulgences is an easier way to live. SK, I do think that you need to be up for people throwing stones if you are going to blog about drinking, or doing any type of "happy activity" when the kids are in the NICU and especially if you are breastfeeding. It works for you, but will seem odd to some. No one has walked in your exact shoes, but readers have the right to disagree with your behaviors just as you have the right to engage in them.

    FROM STEPHANIE: "be up for people throwing stones… especially if you are breastfeeding."

    I don't get it. I am breast feeding and would never endanger our sweet beans. I've already posted on this site about "pump and dump" and the benefit of milk screen strips which tell you if there's any alcohol in your milk. I also stated that I breast fed and THEN had some wine. And quite frankly, even without all this explanation people should KNOW I would never dream of harming these already at-risk children. I honestly don't know what my drinking and having babies in the NICU have anything to do with each other.

    They are my children, my sweet little beans, and I want them home with me. I have a lot to celebrate in my life, including them. So bring on the goblet.

  31. Stephanie-

    People are so incredibly judgmental of you on this blog. I don't know how you manage to stay so open and honest through it all. I would just say fuck it and close the thing to comments. But no, you take it, and gracefully. Very brave and admirable of you.

    And listen people- the woman is allowed to have 2 glasses of wine after giving birth and being a huge ball of stress. Give it a rest already. People in glass houses, etc.

  32. the "hugweb" picture overwhelms my heart with so much joy and happiness. it's amazing. i can't believe a picture can have that effect. i can only imagine that you stare at that picture and a peace comes over you. it's like an "all is right in the world" feeling.

    **also off-topic question: in a book review i saw somewhere the reviewer commented on how you described your mother-in-law as looking like she just swallowed a southerner and that whole disco ball reference. it's driving me crazy because i turned the book back in but weren't you really describing the mother in law at your cousins wedding in that instance? burning question, not sure why.
    your book is fucking phenomenal and two chapters into it i was already sad that the end was approaching. just ask phil if you can go to "summer camp"* in the hamptons for some "literary research"* and then write another book about it. your stories were delicious and im craving more of them. (*-and i was only kidding)

    FROM STEPHANIE: You are correct. The reviewer got it wrong. And my second book is literally about "summer camp." I'm trying to get back to working on it, but it's tough when my mind is so much with my children right now. I'll get back to it soon.

  33. I hear you. I am just sayin – people are going to judge. Strangers on the street. Its the hardest part of motherhood – I had a woman yell at me for being on my cellphone while pushing the stroller!

    Or, maybe its just NYC.

  34. Hi Stephanie,
    You must get so frustrated with the people that just don't get it, having to explain all the time. They should know by now that you are a smart woman & well aware of making sensible decisions. Doctors have always recommended beer (especially Guinness) or wine to help with milk production. Take care.

  35. "I think it makes some people feel better to criticize others."

    Not for nothing, but 90% of the replies on this blog are of the 'best thing I ever read' variety. IMHO, it's okay for the people reading this blog to have an occasional negative comment. Otherwise, the comment section would be entitled the 'positive comments only' section. Personally, I find that moderate drinking helps alleviate the stress of life. But if someone else chooses to disagree, it's not because they are hateful misogynists. They too are entitled to their opinions.

  36. just curious-
    this is a little off-topic, but i was just wondering, how do the twins compare to pictures of when you and phil were babies?

  37. Glad you replied to those nay-sayers, but sad that you'd even have to. Jeeze people, chill out and quit being so bitchy and judgmental. We all have the right to leave comments, but no one has any room for judging here. Pfft.

    Anyway, Stephanie the nursery is ADORABLE. I swear, it looks like it comes right out of a catalog. Beautiful. The twins are looking so good! Gorgeous babies =)

    FROM STEPHANIE: Thanks. I still think the nursery needs a little something more. I might hang painted wooden letters, spelling out each of their names on the walls above each of their beds, perhaps hanging the letters with different colored ribbons. We'll see.

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