Stephanie Giese is a wife and mom of three who spends her days sticking out like a sore thumb in Amish country. Her work can be seen on her blog, Binkies and Briefcases, or stephaniegiese.com. Stephanie is a contributing writer for Smart Magazine and has been featured on In The Powder Room and My Life And Kids. She is one of the co-authors of the new humor anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone and is scheduled to release her first children’s book next year.
How old are your children? Boys? Girls?
I have three kids. My oldest is a boy. He’s 6. The younger two are girls, ages 4 and 1 and a half.
B.C. (before children) what was your career? Have you picked up where you left off, or chosen a new path?
I was an elementary school teacher and gifted specialist in my BC life. I would love to get back into the classroom one day, but right now it is next to impossible to find teaching jobs in Central, Pennsylvania. I’m very blessed to be able to stay home to focus on my kids and my writing. This year has really taken off for me. I have started writing for a local magazine, been featured as a co-author of the new humor anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone (you know something about that, right Keesha ;) and signed a contract for my first children’s book.
What continues to surprise you about motherhood -- in relation to yourself or among moms in general?
I am constantly surprised by the ability we all have to roll with the punches, laugh, and get back up and try again. Any other job that combined nursing, teaching, food service, and customer relations would have a pretty high turn-over rate, I imagine, but we just plow through and eventually come out the other side having raised adults. (or so I’m told.)
When did you start blogging? And of course, you've gotta tell us why!
I started my blog, Binkies and Briefcases, in 2010 as a New Year’s Resolution to “be a better blogger.” We had a small family blog before that, but we were absolutely horrible about keeping it updated and friends and family kept asking for more current information. I found that I really liked having my own online space and the community that came along with being a “mom blogger.”
What is at the end of your blogging rainbow? What are your goals as a writer?
I have visions of starting an online conservative humor magazine, but I know myself well enough to know that I just don’t possess enough technical ability right now to make that happen. This year I am starting to go to blog conferences for the first time. (Bloggy Boot Camp in NC and Haven) I’m hoping to network with other bloggers and maybe a few brands and expand my reach.
My goal as a writer in the past had always been to just be a writer. I didn’t really have a clear idea what that meant, but now that I am beginning to start to see my pieces in print and get paid for them, I think I am there. Of course my three ultimate goals as a writer would be:
1. See a book on the NYT Best-Sellers list
2. Write a screenplay that becomes a blockbuster (or have one adapted from one of my books)
3. Be interviewed by Oprah
Your best "Dear God, why me?" mommy story?
My son is quite a pistol, so there are MANY. One that comes to mind at the moment happened when my he was about four. I was in the other room tending to his sister and also very pregnant. He said he was going to the potty, but while he was in the bathroom he decided to “help” me clean by squeezing FOUR (yes f-o-u-r) tubes of toothpaste onto my hairbrush and scrubbing it all over the room. The very next day he dumped an entire bottle of bubble bath into the toilet, clogged it, and flooded the bathroom, the hallway, and the bedroom next door with bubbly toilet water. It was like a scene from a 90’s family sitcom, but it’s not nearly as funny while it is actually happening.
What are your guilty pleasures these days?
My husband and I watch entirely too much TV after we put the kids to bed. Our favorite shows right now are The Following, New Girl, and Duck Dynasty.
If the universe said, "You can experience this one thing for one whole day," what would you choose?
Sleep. I know that’s boring, but I’m pretty sure anyone with young kids would have the same answer.
Your advice to bloggers, both newbie and seasoned?
Network. A lot of people ask me specifically how to do this. I recommend joining networks like The SITS Girls and trying to go to conferences if you can. If that is too overwhelming, try forming a Facebook group of local bloggers from your area. When you can meet people in person it goes a long way!
Also, make sure that your blog has its own social media pages. It drives me a little bananas when I want to follow a blog and the only option I have to do so is to subscribe to a feed.
The last piece of advice is more for myself, because I still don’t understand it at all: Learn how to use Google +.