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Thank You, Obama

by Stephanie Casher on January 20, 2017

224331_1056698851374_9476_nI’ve been on Team Obama for almost ten years, well before he won his first primary. I’ve read his books and followed his campaign and career very closely. I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character, and I’ve never understood it when people professed that they “hated Obama.”  I mean, seriously, how can anyone hate Obama?  I’ve seen him speak in person several times, and Barack Obama is one of the most charismatic and likeable people I’ve ever encountered in real life.  He is a good man. The embodiment of class, intelligence and integrity. And during his historic campaign, he was our idealism personified. His election as the 44th President of the United States was a defining moment for me and my generation.

Whether one agrees with his policies or not, you can’t deny the positive impact he has had on this nation. He loves this country and battled against unprecedented resistance to make it better. He took an economy that was on the verge of collapse and stabilized it. I remember what the economic landscape looked like before he took office — the large numbers of people getting laid off and unable to find work, people losing their homes or finding themselves underwater. This was happening all over America, to us or people we knew. Obama pulled this country back from the proverbial cliff, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that particular accomplishment. He stabilized the economy, created jobs, and reduced the unemployment rate. Gas prices came down.  Shoot, he even got Bin Laden. And on top of that, he created a system that provides health care for millions of Americans. He didn’t do all this for himself–he and his family have jobs and health care. He did it for the American people.

Not to mention the fact that a cooler dude has never inhabited the Oval Office.  Have you seen him slow jam the news?!?!

And don’t even get me started on Michelle Obama. That woman is #Goals. Seriously, as awesome as Barack is, the man married waaaaay up.

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I feel incredibly thankful to have had eight years of Barack Obama as my President, and I admit, I’ve been all in my feelings about the end of this monumental era in American History. Barack and Michelle have been stellar role models for our youth, governing with grace and humor. In so many ways they were so relatable, so human, and they changed our perception of what was possible. And that is a legacy that no one will ever be able to touch.

Thank you, Barack.  Thank you, Michelle.  And God Bless the United States of America.

PS:  After I posted this, I saw on Twitter that Barack and Michelle plan on continuing their good work. Join them at https://www.obama.org 

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How Leaving the Country Saved my Sanity

by Stephanie Casher on January 18, 2017

Being abroad for almost a month was a healing experience. When I set off for my trip on December 18th, I was still processing the results of the U.S. election. I was anxious, mildly depressed, and legitimately fearful about the fate of our country and the world. As a woman of color, I find the racial climate in the U.S. terrifying. Some people don’t understand the emotional and psychic fatigue that comes from sustaining a level of fear for an extended period of time. People eventually start to crack. Getting far away from America proved to be just what the doctor ordered for my mental health. The distance put a lot of things in perspective.

On the other side of the world, in the Philippines, I unplugged from media chatter and commentary about current events. With limited access to wifi, I wasn’t online enough to be able to watch my friends fight about politics on facebook, much less participate. I turned on a television maybe three times in three weeks (each time I was attempting to watch NBA basketball), and detoxed from the hysteria. Eventually my blood pressure regulated and some of the anger and fear subsided. I could breathe. I was able to find joy in things, and reclaim shreds of optimism. I was falling in love—with the Philippines, my family there, life. I was remembering all the things to be thankful for, and that it wasn’t all gloom and doom. [click to continue…]

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This is 40

by Stephanie Casher on February 21, 2016

On January 5th, I celebrated a milestone birthday — the big 4-0. If I’m blessed to live to eighty, half my life is officially behind me… which is deep when you sit down and think about it. So naturally I’ve been doing a lot of meditating about what it means to enter this new decade of life…

I didn’t feel different when I turned thirty, but I’m not gonna lie, forty feels different. You have finally reached that age that your ten-year old self considered “old.” You are undeniably an adult, and if you’re not doing adult stuff, folks are gonna look at you sideways, lol. As they should. ;) By forty, one is officially grown, and should start acting like it.

Turning forty may trigger a mid-life crisis for some, but I’m pretty proud of where I’m standing at this moment in time. I have a great job. I found the perfect partner to share my life with, and I married him. My life is filled with family I want as friends, and friends who feel like family. I own a home in one of the most beautiful cities in California, and besides my mortgage, I am debt-free. I’ve written and published two books. I have the means and ability to travel often, and I do. For the most part, I no longer care what people think, and have cultivated a healthy sense of self-worth.  My girlish figure is long gone, but I’m at peace with my womanly curves, even if they take a bit more effort to maintain, lol. And thankfully, I still have my health and mobility. All in all, life has been good to me thus far, and I’m excited to see what the next decade brings.

12605342_10207110689579286_4262707948357475844_oMy best friend, Kelly, turned 40 a week after me, so in mid-January we headed to Jamaica (with our husbands) to celebrate. Cause that’s the kinda stuff you do when you’re grown and have your ish together. ;) For eight, bliss-filled days we were in paradise. Pristine beaches. Warm, clear water. Beautiful people. Fueled by jerk chicken, Red Stripes, and fruity rum drinks, we explored the island at our own pace during an epic vacation that was equal parts relaxation and adventure. Hands down, one of my best birthdays ever.

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Pro travel tip: Heading to a tropical island in the middle of winter is always a good idea. While folks in California were braving El Nino, and folks on the east coast were being buried in snow, we were enjoying 80 degree weather in shorts and tank tops, swimming in the ocean every day, fully immersed in island life. Yeah, mon. Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

I wrote a series of travel blogs about our trip, in case anyone wants to read more about our adventures or plan their own trip to the islands. Enjoy!

Jamaica – Practical Matters

Montego Bay

Ocho Rios

Port Antonio

Photo Album

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Status Update: THE SPACE BETWEEN

by Stephanie Casher on July 20, 2015

BOOK UPDATE:  The Space Between is now available for purchase and download on amazon.com!  Thank you for your patience, and I can’t hear wait to hear what ya’ll think of the new book!

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Our Italian Honeymoon

July 9, 2015

In June 2014, James and I celebrated our foray into married life by taking an epic honeymoon.  For three weeks we traveled all over Italy (after a few days in Amsterdam), immersed in all things Italian.  This was a dream vacation for me, as I’ve always been a bit obsessed with Italy.  I love everything […]

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Phyllis Estelle Garrard Lewis ~ In Memoriam

April 2, 2015

This past weekend, I gathered with family in Maryland to say goodbye to my dear mother-in-law, Phyllis Estelle Garrard Lewis.  It’s been a difficult couple of months for my husband and his family, as we braced ourselves for her passing, gathering to say our final goodbyes.  I will always cherish the memory of my last […]

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Cover Crisis

November 21, 2014

So we’ve hit a snag in the cover design process… and I need everyone’s help. We’ve been working on the design for The Space Between cover for the past few months. This has been a really challenging process for me, because I’m not really visual, so I didn’t have a “concept” in mind for the […]

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THE SPACE BETWEEN – Next Steps

November 9, 2014

We’re getting close to release time folks and fans! I know many of you have been patiently waiting for news of the release date. Though the book has been completed (yay!), it still has to make its way through the publishing pipeline before it will be ready for public consumption. Here’s an overview of what’s […]

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THE SPACE BETWEEN

July 7, 2014

STATUS UPDATE: I’m in the home stretch!  Only TWO chapters left to write for my next novel, The Space Between, the sequel to When Love Isn’t Enough. Almost there!!!

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The 7-Year Hitch

January 23, 2014

Last December, James and I celebrated our seven-year anniversary by getting married. After deciding in late-October that it was finally time to tie the knot, we threw together a very small, last-minute ceremony here in Santa Cruz. While I don’t recommend trying to throw together a “wedding” in under two months, it ended up being […]

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