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Stephanie Kepke
New York
I am a stay at home mom to three boys, two dogs, two frogs and a hamster. In my pre-kid life I was an arts reporter, copywriter, web site content provider, etc. I studied fiction at the New England Writer's Workshop and various other workshops. I just finished my first novel, Goddess of Suburbia. Oh and I'm pretty sure I'll never catch up on laundry.
Recent Activity
Hi Steve, Thanks for your comment! I'm happy to give you advice :) We did end up with two dancers at my son's bar mitzvah, but we did everything a la cart and we added them the week before. Crazy - I know, but it ended up being a lot cheaper that way. We also completely changed the decor three days before party. I was guest blogger on Mitzvah Market and all the details of our party (and the last minute changes) are in my final blog post here: If you scroll down to the bottom, you can find all of my other posts on planning quickly and on a budget. I ended doing most of the planning only three months before, because my father unexpectedly passed away six months before the party. And yes, I do think the dancers added to the party - we had two. They kept the kids entertained and played games with them too. I hope this is helpful. Let me know what you decide to do. Good luck and mazel tov!!
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2013 on A Bittersweet Place at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
I’m not a shallow person. I care deeply about many important issues – the environment, animal rights, human rights and a myriad of other causes. Most importantly, I know that beauty is only skin deep. But, skidding towards my forty-fifth birthday has turned me into a shallow narcissist. I stare at myself in the mirror and wonder if I need a face lift or maybe just some Juvederm. I smooth my skin back and curse my fear of doing anything more invasive than applying night cream that promises to slough off dead skin while I sleep, leaving me radiant in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2013 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
I always dread parent teacher conferences a bit – ever since a conference when my son was in second grade and a school psychologist made me cry, saying, “You don’t even know what’s wrong with your son. How miserable you must be.” Well, we did eventually find out what was “wrong” – J has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you already know that (and if you don't here are two previous essays about it - Twice Exceptional and Crime and Punishment). What you may not know, though is that in the years... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Thank you so much for your comment! I'm so glad you were moved by my story. I sent you an e-mail on Wednesday. I'm sorry that it took a couple of days to send you the e-mail and that I haven't been able to comment on here until now. My son (the one with OCD) had surgery the day that you posted your comment. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you - I would, of course, love to speak with you. I am putting up another post on OCD now - this one feature's my son's story in his own voice.
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2012 on Twice Exceptional at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
I have really gone back and forth about writing this blog post for several reasons. For one, my son is on Facebook and I don’t want him to know what I have been going through lately. For another reason, I am an intensely private person, especially when it comes to certain health issues. Now, that might sound strange, because almost all of my blog posts are extremely introspective. I plumb my psyche for most of my material and my readers know a tremendous amount about me, my family and my take on parenting. This subject has just been hard for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
There is a house in my neighborhood completely decimated by Hurricane Sandy – the front crushed by a once towering, magnificent old tree; the white Toyota in the driveway flattened into a broken mess of glass and steel. Every time I drive by that house, there is someone taking a picture of the grim scene. Every single time, without fail – and, I drive by that house at least 4 times a day. Even now, when most of the tree has been cut away, with only the trunk left on the car and a gaping hole where the roof was,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
I don’t usually enter the political fray on my blog – I’m not a pundit, nor do I ever pretend to be. I write about my inner life or parenting or a health crisis or even my dog’s illness, but I’ve never written about politics. With the presidential election just over a week away though, I feel the need to make my voice heard. And, even though I’m fairly certain I won’t sway anyone and I may very well alienate some of my readers, if there’s even the slightest chance that I might make just one person think twice before... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
My husband and I had a little disagreement the other night. It’s a disagreement that we’ve had many, many times over the course of our nineteen years together. “It’s boxing on ice,” he declared, referring to my beloved sport of hockey. “It’s kill the guy with the puck.” “It is not boxing on ice,” I countered vehemently. “There’s finesse to it. It’s poetry in motion.” “They count hits. What kind of sport is that?” he shot back. “Why are there even hits?” “There are hits, because a clean hit gets the man off of the puck, allowing you to grab... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
The first four paragraphs of my novel, Goddess of Suburbia... The paparazzi start trailing me the moment I pull out of my driveway at 532 Rockwell Circle. My street sounds fancier than it is – mostly ranches and capes dot the landscape of postage stamp size lots, a slice of blue collar in this middle class Long Island town. My street has never seen a line of paparazzi follow anyone and they certainly have never seen the paparazzi follow a worn out mom dragging her cranky son to Shop Rite for eggs and milk. My neighbor glances up from watering... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
It’s always hard celebrating a holiday for the first time after a loved one passes away, but if that holiday is also the anniversary of when your loved one either died or fell ill, it’s doubly hard. So, how do you keep the holidays joyful when there is a thread of sadness weaving its way through the festivities? I have to say that I honestly don’t know, but hopefully by tomorrow night, I will have an answer for how I tackled that dilemma. Passover starts at sundown tonight and brings with it not only matzo, wine and of course the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
There’s not much that I remember from those basic college classes outside of my English major – sociology, history, etc. But, one thing that I do remember very clearly is the case of Kitty Genovese. Supposedly dozens of people (thirty eight to be exact) witnessed her murder, but not one person intervened. Later on, that report was debunked. A more accurate account of the night stated that a dozen people heard some sort of disturbance, but that the majority did not realize that a woman was being attacked. Most thought it was a group of drunk friends or perhaps a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Note before reading: This essay is a snapshot of my emotions during a very trying time and not an indictment of anyone involved. Things have improved in the short time since I wrote this. My son's teacher has a much better understanding of him and genuinely seems to be making an effort to help him succeed. In addition, he will now be receiving the services he needs in order to achieve the greatness that I know resides within him. ******************* The punishment should fit the crime. One would think that a school, of all places would follow this edict and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2012 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Carpe Diem #1 Her pale blue eyes cloud over As she speaks of him The other one she could have loved A wrinkle forms between light eyebrows As she thinks of him It could have been She says Out of sync He was in a war She got divorced He got married If I had just gone to see him She says I love my husband, But I loved him too It could have been I think hard on this He is dark With eyes made of light We are out of sync He says We can’t be Not now... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2011 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
“There are always things left unfinished,” the rabbi said as he turned from my father’s body. We had been sitting in the hospital for hours and none of us could bear to leave, even though there was nothing left to do, nothing left to say. My father had been sent home the day before with, while not a clean bill of health, certainly an optimistic outlook that the episodes of chest discomfort, dizziness and fainting were behind him and a healthier tomorrow beckoned. The last thing that he had said to me when I left his house the night before... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2011 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Cleaning up the kitchen the other night, I found a purple post it note stuck to the floor. I picked it up and squinted at the scrawled writing. “Who is…” I paused and looked closer at the paper, “Gerald McGaybutt?” Hysterical laughter from my two older boys ensued. They thought it was great that I walked into their trap. I, however, wanted to cry. I have tried so hard to increase their compassion and open-mindedness. My kids would never, ever utter a racist comment, but it seems like prejudice against gays is the last frontier. It infuriates me when I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2011 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Thanks, Laurie! I appreciate it! And yes, it is very cool to have dinner with old friends after V Day :-) Love you too!
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2011 on Valentine's Day at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
I used to hate Valentine’s Day. If there was a “bah humbug” term for February 14th, I would have uttered it all through my early to mid twenties. In my early twenties, I was simply disappointed – either I wasn’t dating anyone or my boyfriend just didn’t measure up. But, there were some lean years when Valentine’s Day wasn’t just disappointing – it was the darkest day of the year. Even when I started dating my future husband, I just felt it was a lot of pressure to be perfect, when life is often anything but. The Valentine’s Day I... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2011 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
There has been a lot of talk lately in the news about bullying – its devastating effects; how to stop it; how to prevent it from happening at all. Unless you are living under a rock, you know that bullying is a crisis in our country that needs to be stopped – a completely preventable cause of death in healthy adolescents. The recent spate of bullying related suicides surely can make any parent shake in his or her shoes. Every time I read about a child who has killed himself or herself thanks to merciless taunting and physical aggression, I... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2011 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Every year on New Year’s Eve, I sit down with a pretty piece of paper and a smooth flowing pen and record my resolutions for the year. Then, I promptly break them. I may just be setting myself up for failure, though. I think that the time to reflect upon resolutions should not be when the champagne bubbles (or in my case, sparkling cider) are still tickling your lips, but in the dreary days that follow. In the dark hollows of late January and February, it is so easy to lose the optimism and energy that spawn those declarations of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2011 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
If my shameless attempt to a get a few extra clicks beyond my regular readers (you know I love you) worked and you are expecting a bit of erotica, sorry – this is a classic horror story of the spinning head and split pea soup variety. OK, so I’m not quite as bad as Linda Blair, but I do act possessed far too much for my liking. Enough that sometimes I scream at my kids so loudly, I hurt my own ears and feel like my head is exploding. Far worse though than the burgeoning headache and sore throat that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2010 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Stephanie Kepke is now following Stephanie Kepke
Dec 7, 2010
Among the myriad decisions you and your child will make when planning a bar / bat mitzvah, there is only one that has the potential to change your child’s life forever: the mitzvah project. A well chosen mitzvah project – one that takes your child’s passions into account – can ignite a life long love of philanthropy. The glitz, the glam, the fun, the dancing – all those things evaporate into thin air, ephemeral pleasures. But, the satisfaction that a child gains from actually making a difference in another person’s life can fuel an addiction to doing good. via Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 7, 2010 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
I stumbled into a time machine recently – no, it wasn’t a magical hot tub, nor was it something out of HG Wells. It wasn’t even a fourth dimension wormhole. My time machine was a red folder, the color softened with age, the edges frayed. It was stuffed with pages and pages of my past – short stories, novel excerpts, personal essays and tiny scraps of paper, scribbled notes from which I hoped fully formed work would spring. The folder had been sitting in a tote bag in the cubby of my desk, ignored since my mother had handed it... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2010 at Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Stephanie Kepke has shared their blog Boys, Dogs and Chaos
Aug 5, 2010
Stephanie Kepke is now following Jeannie Feldman
Aug 2, 2010