Posted by: littlebitofparadise | April 13, 2012

Meet the Fam

Happy Friday, friends! Today meet Curlylocks and the Three Bears who live at my house.

Curlylocks: in our story, that’s me. I’m a convert to Catholicism (my father was a Presbyterian minister when I was a little girl. My whole family entered the Catholic Church together in 1990.), the oldest of eight children (six girls and two boys; My dad likes to point out that even our three German shepherds have all been girls…), and I was homeschooled from K-12 before attending a Catholic university and earning a B.Ph. in theology. I grew up on the southwest coast of Florida and yes, I’m a sun worshiper, I wear flip flops year round, and I love all things beach and water sports. Love.

I spent the majority of my 20s single and working for my Dad’s ministry, Family Life Center International and St. Joseph’s Covenant Keepers. In 2003 I founded a national Catholic young adult initiative called NEXTWAVE, and simultaneously launched the first worldwide Catholic radio talk show for young adults, called NextWave Live. It aired weekly on the EWTN Radio Network from 2003-2009. What an incredible adventure that was to talk each week with young adults from around the world, from all faith backgrounds and walks of life.

I moved to Greenville, SC in 2006, and that lovely spot of God’s creation is where my parents and siblings still call home. It’s also where I lived when I met MacGyver (my Hubby) in 2008. We met on Catholic Match, a website for single Catholics, and after dating long distance for almost a year, we were married in the summer of 2009. (I’ll tell you all about our crazy romantic courtship story in another post).

And now I live in beautiful Northern Virginia with the three handsome bears I’ll tell you about in a minute. I used to be the world’s biggest hot tea addict (Seriously, I should own stock in Tazo and Lipton.) until I met MacGyver, who got me addicted to coffee as well. Now we feast on Mystic Monk Coffee roasted for us by Carmelite monks in Wyoming. It’s a high point of every morning. I love fashion, although when the weather is warm it’s much more likely you’ll find me in $5 Old Navy flip flops with my sundresses, rather than cute strappy 5″ wedgies. I’m addicted (majorly) to Pinterest. What a incredibly fun time-waster that website is in my life! And I’m not sure what you’d call my relationship to the Food Network. “Addiction” is putting it way too mildly. One of my life dreams is to cook like Bobby, in Ina’s kitchen, with Paula’s sweetness, Alton’s knowledge, and Rachel’s laid-back finesse, and to look like Giada while I do it (how anyone can eat homemade four cheese ravioli and still look like her is a mystery for the ages…) “Food Network In the Kitchen” is one of my favorite smart phone Apps.

My favorite “periodicals” are the Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel catalogs that show up regularly in my mailbox. I rarely buy anything from either store, but I crave all of it. I’m the queen of Pottery Barn knock-offs. I shop at HomeGoods and Michaels and thrift stores and consignment sales and do my best to create a Pottery Barn look on a dime. It’s one of my favorite hobbies. I’m learning to be braver with a can of spray paint, and thanks to Pinterest I’ve been bitten by the DIY-bug of late. More on those adventures another day.

My biggest life adventure started July 3, 2009, when I married MacGyver. He is my best bud and I’m a very lucky girl to be his bride. In our first two+ years of marriage we’ve been blessed with two bear cubs already. No we’re not on drugs and yes we did it on purpose. Motherhood has changed me forever and blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done. Troubleshooting control room equipment in the final 90 seconds before a live radio show or interviewing a famous/difficult guest with a hundred million people listening in was a cake walk compared to keeping bear cubs fed, changed and happy. But I wouldn’t trade my boys for the world.

Now let me tell you about my three favorite people.

Papa Bear: aka Peter Weinert.

Pete is happy and he is fun. We met online upon his return to the U.S. after almost two years in Iraq, serving our country as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (Go Army). I nicknamed him “MacGyver” shortly after we met because in addition to his travels to crazy places all over the world, he had recently climbed Mount Elbrus and Mount Kilimanjaro, he was reading through the entire Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, he knew more about medieval history than anyone I’d ever met, spoke Arabic fluently, dreamed about joining the Knights of Malta, had an intense love affair with Bryer’s mint chocolate chip ice cream, yet loved nothing more than to spoil rotten his army of nieces and nephews. The guys in Pete’s gym at work call him “Captain America,” but to me, MacGyver fits better. I think he could fix just about anything with a paperclip. What I love most about Pete is the fact he loves Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith above all else – even me and the bear cubs. I think that’s the secret to a happy marriage: find a guy who loves Christ even more than he loves you.

Toddler Bear:

Mark Ignatius, our firstborn, turned 22 months this week. His name means “Fiery Warrior,” so we kinda blame ourselves for his rambunctious, 10000% extravert and on the go personality. Mark loves people, adventure, and learning anything new. He’ll say “hi” and “thank you” and convey his life story about firetruck and dump truck sightings to the person at every store checkout counter we visit. Mark is an audio learner, and we’re perpetually amazed at how many things he’s learned from songs. He’s also unusually verbal for his age. Shortly after his first birthday last summer he truly became Motor Mouth, and hasn’t stopped talking since. This week I found out he can recite the entire “Our Father” prayer by himself. Hearing my 22-month-old say “tray-pass-sses” has got to be one of the sweetest moments of motherhood thus far.

Baby Bear:

Luke Augustine is our 4-month-old 21-pound bundle of sweetness. Truly, he is my angel, albeit a chunky one. Yes he cries, yes he still gets me up several times a night, but he always seems to do it with a smile, and somehow that makes my 2:18am snuggle/feeding time with him last night a-okay. And the 5:43am one too.

So far, Mark and Luke seem to like each other. Occasionally Mark begs me to put Luke “Back in bed Mommy!” But usually they are good pals. Here’s a pic from our trek with the double jogger yesterday. Don’t you love their matching orange hats? (Target, my other home).

So that’s our little family. Curlylocks and the Bear Cubs are uber-happy that today is Friday. Papa Bear will be home this afternoon and won’t have to leave us again until Monday. Mark and I are making homemade pizza dough today, since Friday night is homemade pizza and Netflix night around these parts. And since it’s Easter week, yes, there will be vino.

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading!



  1. Steph, this post makes me so happy! Loved reading it, and can’t wait to read more! 🙂

  2. So fun Steph! Love meeting your family 🙂

  3. Always tickled by these posts!

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