Friday, April 29, 2005


I'm Feeling: sooo ready for the weekend!
Background Noise: Still the Cross by FFH

I like this picture for a couple reasons. One, because it is pretty blue and purple - excellent colors! Two, because it looks like if you spun it around and around, it would hypnotize you. I think that's kinda cool.

I've been in kind of a funk lately, but not in the way one normally means when using that phrase. Let me explain. My mood has been pretty good - I'm not feeling particularly cranky or upset, but I'm experiencing a weird blend of frustration and contentment. Both emotions at the same time, just about different issues. I'm also crazy busy, but with things that I generally like to do - I just really need 48 hours in a day instead of 24. Then maybe I could get all the things done that I want to do. But part of me still feels like it's getting lost in there - it's almost like my life is going through a funk, not me. I know that sounds really weird, but there it is.

However, my friends are fabulous, my grandpa is okay, the sun is shining today, and in 4 hours - my weekend begins! There are lots of things to be happy about! Hopefully my life-funk will run its course shortly, and I can go back to "normal" life (whatever that means - I don't think I'd recognize normal if it bit me on the kneecap).

Thought for the day: The word funk is really fun to say (I think). Got any other words that you think are really fun?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

summer days

I'm Feeling: happy
Background Noise: Come Away With Me by Norah Jones

I put together a puzzle last summer that looked exactly like that picture - it was 1500 pieces I think... I was unemployed last summer, for those who don't know. I spent a lot of time sitting around the house, trying to make myself busy with funny things like jigsaw puzzles and projects. (yes, for those of you who didn't already know - I am a complete dork) This year - very different story. I have all kinds of things I'm dying to do around the house, and I'm going to have to be a master of balancing my schedule to get it all done. The school year is almost over... I'm happy and sad about that.

Happy because:
1. I'll have more evenings free to catch up with family and old friends
2. The nights get warmer and longer - I love summer!
3. I can work outside in the yard
4. Some of these projects can stop being dreams and start actually happening (I hope)
5. Travel!
6. I get to meet lots of incoming students at AOP

Sad because:
1. Lots of our new friends will be out of town
2. Lots of our new friends will be moving away - I don't like when people leave
3. There will be far fewer students coming into my office during the summer - and they are what keep my days interesting and lively!

Luckily, I have far more things to be happy about in the summer than things to be sad about - and really, I have no idea what is in store for me. Things that seem to be sad or unfortunate often turn out to be blessings, and we get to do things and meet people that we'd never have encountered otherwise.

Thought for the day: What are you looking forward to? What changes are you afraid of?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

nothing but blue skies (and by blue, I mean gray)

I'm Feeling: a little under the weather
Background Noise: When You Love Someone by Bryan Adams

Here are some more flowers... it's another gloomy, chilly, wet day outside - but the weekend is supposed to be a little nicer, so maybe my flowers are doing the trick. Keep your fingers crossed!

I found out yesterday that my grandfather is in the hospital. He had a stroke about a year and a half ago, and has been in a nursing home ever since - he can't talk or move much anymore - but he's been doing well. He also had (has) prostate cancer, but when they diagnosed it, they said it wasn't really that life-threatening. I haven't heard the diagnosis yet today, but it sounds like the cancer has either spread, or some new cancer has popped up. It's really sad - I don't see him much anymore (they're about 5 hours away, in IL), but a lot of my childhood memories are set at my grandparents' house. I used to sit on his lap and read books, or even do nothing at all. And he always had a quarter or something for us when we came to visit, which is pretty stinking cool when you're 5 years old. He was a woodworker/carpenter, and I love that there are things in my house that he made - things that will always carry with them memories of my grandpa. I hope he's feeling better today. Nothing to do but wait.

Thought for the day: What is one of your favorite childhood memories/stories?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

April showers...

I'm Feeling: pretty unremarkable
Background Noise: Raise Your Hands by Bon Jovi

My theory: If I put enough pictures of pretty spring flowers up on my blog, maybe spring will come faster. Yesterday was beautiful, although a tiny bit chilly, so I'm just gonna help things along a little bit.

The last couple weeks have been crazy in this office! I knew enrollment time would be busy - lots of people with lots of questions about their coursework and requirements. It's really fun most of the time - I like when people leave here feeling significantly better than when they walked in. I'm a strongly empathetic person (to my downfall, sometimes), so I am very much affected by others' responses to me - for example, it's really hard for me to shake it off when a student leaves my office in tears, even if it had nothing to do with me. On the flip side, it's a huge upper to have students leave smiling, saying that they feel so much better about next year. Yay - me too!! :)

Thought for the day: Are you good at putting yourself in someone else's place? Is it always a good thing to do?

Monday, April 25, 2005

what's another word for ridiculously busy?

I'm Feeling: slightly overwhelmed
Background Noise: Baby Boom Baby by James Taylor

Mark and I got back from Traverse City yesterday - and the 25th Annual Michigan HOSA State Conference was a smashing success!! We're tuckered out, to be sure, but it's good to know that all that hard work paid off so well. Check out some of the comments made about the weekend!! Our fantastic friends Katie and Kelsey made us a cake last night to celebrate the completion of the conference - it's good to be loved!!

Now I'm back at work - I played catch-up all morning, returning emails and phone calls and whatnot. It's good to be missed, I guess, but definitely overwhelming to come back to over 100 emails in just 3 days. I think we'll be okay though - nothing disastrous went down in my absence, so I chalk that up as success!! This is the last official week of class at MSU - next week is finals, and graduation is May 6 and 7! I know this will make me sound old, but time sure does fly!! It's been a good year, though - lots of changes (both good and sad) and new people (all good!) and new experiences.

Thought for the day: If you could take a trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go? (Did I ask this one already? If so, sorry - I'm trying to brainstorm for our big Europe trip in May/June!!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

batting 1000

I'm Feeling: like I have a big week coming up!
Background Noise: Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble by Delirious

I'm batting a thousand for fun lunches so far this week - Dana yesterday, and Beth today!! It's really aweseome to have such good company - really amazing women that I look up to a lot. Everyone should have friends with such strength of character - and senses of humor!! :) Beth has such an open and honest personality - she shares easily and truthfully, and is a great listener with a b-e-a-utiful smile.

The picture is of Brussels, Belgium - we are trying to plan a trip to Europe, and are looking for someplace fun to go (fun = not everyone would think to go there, and not too expensive). Brussels looks beautiful, has tons of history and architecture, and is only an hour and twenty minutes by train from Paris! It has potential...

I won't be posting for awhile - I'm leaving tomorrow for the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, MI for the Michigan HOSA State Conference! Woo hoo!! Seriously - the resort is beautiful, and some of my favorite people in the world will be there - Becker and Dave and Jamie and Kelsey and Dana and Beth! It's always a lot of work and running around and late nights and stress, but in the best possible company!!

Thought for the day: The bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissable in an American court. I just have a funny picture of a bloodhound in a suit and tie, sitting there chatting away about the crime scene. He has a big moustache too.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Happy Birthday

I'm Feeling: not really sure how I'm feeling...
Background Noise: Building a Mystery by Sarah McLachlan

Happy Birthday to my friend Katie! 22 whole years old today! Woo!! Katie is a beautiful girl with a big heart and I love her!

In other news - things are a little hectic today - no real good reason for that either. I had lunch with Dana at Flat's. Very good food and very good company - it was the first time Dana and I have hung out, just the two of us. She's a fun person - lots of laughing and smiling and funny comments. Dana is one of those people that everyone just wants to be near - people watch her and care what she thinks (me included). It's been really cool to get to know her better and see what kind of person she is: how much she loves her friends, her integrity and passion, and her beautiful soul.

Thought for the day: More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in airplane crashes. I never really thought of donkeys as a mortal threat. Guess that shows me.

Friday, April 15, 2005

River North Chicago Dance Company

I'm Feeling: tired, but happy
Background Noise: Grace Flows Down by Heather Rider

Tonight I get to go see the River North Chicago Dance Company perform at the Wharton Center on campus - I'm really excited!! I've pretty much danced my entire life - mostly ballet - although I am finding out that my passion is more modern/lyrical/jazz now that I'm a little older. I have an appreciation for the freedom of movement, I think. My friend Katie is coming with me, and we get to sit in the front row of the balcony, right in the middle - good seats!! I also get to go to YoungLife tonight, where my friend Brooks is leading our lesson, and I got to hang out with my middle school friends at lunch today. So chalk up Friday, April 15th as a pretty stinking good day! Oh - and yesterday, I talked to my friend Dana on the phone for the first time - a monumental step in our relationship! :) It's been a big week for me, that's for sure.

Thought for the day: There are approximately 75,000,000 horses in the world (in tribute to Mark's blog on Wednesday). That's a lot of horses.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

ladies and gentlemen...

I'm Feeling: like I could go back to bed for awhile
Background Noise: Hands of the Potter by Caedmon's Call

Here are some of my top fives (in the grand tradition of Mark and Brooks):
5. green grapes
4. mashed potatoes
3. yummy salads (as opposed to yucky salads)
2. tacos
1. pizza
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
4. Goonies
3. About a Boy
2. A Few Good Men
1. Steel Magnolias (I know it's really sad, but it gets me every time - plus I love Southern accents!)
5. Angel by Sarah McLachlan
4. How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin
3. The World's Greatest by R. Kelly
2. If I Stand by Rich Mullins
1. When You Say Nothing At All by Allison Krauss
5. What the fat?
May even your nights be filled with sunshine, the busiest of days end nestled in the provider of your sustenance and may you know your guiding light is present even when unseen.
3. The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
2. Sometimes, it's not about you.
1. Nobody likes you any less.
5. cookie dough ice cream
4. Snickerdoodles
3. anything with chocolate and peanut butter together
2. chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
1. apple pie
Qualities in People
5. motivation
4. wisdom
3. approachability
2. humor
1. sincerity
Physical Activities
5. trying to water ski
4. playing on a trampoline
3. hiking
2. tennis
1. dancing
Books (other than the Bible)
5. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
4. The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs
3. Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
2. Thursday Next novels by Jasper Fforde
1. All 5 Harry Potters by J.K. Rowling
Things to Do
5. workout - it makes me feel good!
4. go out to eat with friends (food AND good company - can't be beat!)
3. take long walks - the more scenic the better
2. read a good book
1. make things (quilts, blankets, cards, presents, etc...)
5. Qdoba
4. Flat's Grill (East Lansing)
3. Cosi
2. Olive Garden
1. Peninsula Grill (Traverse City)
School Subjects
5. Psychology
4. American Sign Language
3. Literature
2. History
1. Math
Electronic Device/Appliance
5. hair dryer
4. refrigerator
3. microwave
2. cellular phone
1. computer
Stores I Should Buy Stock In
5. Hallmark
4. JoAnn/Michael's
3. Meijer
2. Gap/Old Navy
1. Target
Defining Moments
5. getting dumped by a guy for the first time
4. moving from home to college
3. graduating from grad school/getting a full-time job
2. April 29, 1999 - up til 5:45am - that night changed my life!!
1. Hearing: "I Mark, in the presence of God and these witnesses, take you Katharine..."

Thought for the day: If you could ensure that your children never have one experience that you have had, what would it be, and why?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

on this day in history...

I'm Feeling: a little drained
Background Noise: Still Voices by PW Gopal

On April 13, 1796; the first elephant arrived in the United States, from Bengal India. It's kinda funny to think of elephants being shipped across the world. What a process! And where was this elephant going? Some kind of preserve/zoo (it's funny to think of 18th Century people getting ready for a day at the zoo... ) or did some rich guy just want the biggest and baddest pet he could have? Check this out
(from the Elephant Joy website.):

"Elephants often express what can only be described as joy in many different facets of their lives. Due to our lack of knowledge of their expressions only the most blatant responses can be partially understood.

Some cases in which Elephants show explicit joy are:
In the greeting of a friend or family member (even a human friend)
After the birth of a baby elephant
Playing games

Typically this expression of joy takes place in the form of a greeting ceremony. Obviously, there are may other aspects to this ceremony that goes without recognition, but joy is one of the most predominant factors. When family members or friends meet, they can be seen to become collectively involved in a joyous meeting. This is usually observed when a friend or family member is absent for a long time. When he/she returns, an incredible welcoming takes place. During this greeting the elephants involved will spin around, defecate, and urinate. With their heads held high, and ears flapping they fill the air with a symphony of trumpets, rumbles, screams, and roars. " What if we greeted each other that way? A little awkward, I'd think.

Thought for the day: The average person's hair grows 590 inches in a lifetime. That's almost 50 feet of hair. Yuck.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

my mistake

I'm Feeling: kinda mellow
Background Noise: Flashdance - What a Feeling by Irene Cara

I must apologize - I skipped over the fact that yesterday, April 11, was Barbershop Quartet Day. I'm so sorry. Not sure what was happening in my brain that I missed that one. When I Googled "barbershop quartet" - I got 213,000 websites. Multiply that by 4 people in each quartet - 852,000 folks dressed up in stripey vests and straw hats. Interesting.

I only have nine appointments today - practically nothing! I switched back to my good old half hour appointments (I had bumped them up to 20 minutes for "busy season" ie. enrollment), so now I have slightly more manageable workloads.

Thought for the day: The average person is about a quarter of an inch taller at night. Wild. I always feel shorter at night, mostly because I'm all slouchy with sleepiness.

Monday, April 11, 2005

what the fat?

I'm Feeling: pretty stinking good
Background Noise: Beautiful One by By The Tree

This is the group of people Mark and I went "up North" (only to Houghton Lake) with this weekend. It was awesome! I had a spectacular time getting to know some of them better; building new friendships. We ate candy necklaces, delighted in made-to-order omelettes, spent time learning about arara, tamarisk and broom trees (desert plant life), and generally enjoying the company. As is generally true with trips like that, the ride up and the ride home had to be the best parts - I'm continually amazed at how we are provided with people with whom to share our lives, and how much fun you have when you relax and get away for the weekend!! Thanks to James, Katie, Brian, Steve, Marty, Mark, Dana, Kelsey, Beth, Audry, Emily, Jillian, Katie, Brooks and Mark for a truly memorable weekend!!

On a separate note, we are closing in on the countdown to the end of the semester - only 3 more weeks of class left for MSU! It's starting to feel like spring is here to stay as well, which makes an obvious difference on campus.

Thought for the day: The average American will eat 35,000 cookies in his/her lifetime. What the fat? - that's a lot of cookies!!

Friday, April 08, 2005

pretty as a picture

I'm Feeling: cheery! :)
Background Noise: If I Stand by Rich Mullins

That's Houghton Lake - I'm going there tonight with a bunch of friends from Young Life - I hear it's going to be a life-changing weekend, so I'm pumped! It will be fantastic to get away from normal life for a night and enjoy the company of some truly encouraging and faithful people. Let's hear it for the weekend!

On a less interesting note, I went to the dentist today for the first time in nearly 3 years (I know, I know, but I didn't have dental insurance as a grad student!!) Luckily, my mouth is very "boring" - meaning no cavities, no decalcification, no crowns or root canals needed. Phew!! To celebrate, I took my newly clean mouth to Panera to have lunch with Kelsey - tasty food and belly laughs - what a good combo!!

The sun is shining today, and that makes my life great. I hope your Friday is blessed with good friends and high spirits!!

Thought for the day: A person uses approximately 57 sheets of toilet paper a day. Hmm... there are about 20 of us going to Jillian's cabin tonight - I hope there is enough to go around!!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

it's all fun and games until...

I'm Feeling: sooo stinking tired!!
Background Noise: random clanking and clunking from the elevator - I haven't turned on my music yet

We visited our new friends, Kate and Sid in Ann Arbor last night. Kate is a law student at U of M, and Sid teaches high school. We ate our first grilled dinner of the season - burgers (thanks, Sid!), walked to the park with their dog (a Rottweiler named Radish who is totally scary looking but actually a really sweet dog - as far as we can tell) and then played Scene It, which Mark and I have never played before. Although we got home waaay too late, we had a really good time with them.

Ever feel as though your life is like a treadmill that is keeping a certain pace (or speeding up) - and somehow, you are strapped to it and can't get off, but you're really tired and don't know how much longer you can stay on your feet? I'm starting to feel like that - but in an exhausted-I-need-a-break kind of way, not a depressing-I-hate-my-life kind of way. Because I love my life. And I love all the things that are keeping me so stinking busy. But I tell you what, a break would be FANTASTIC right now. I just need one day to sleep - straight through. But I really hate to miss things, so let's face it, I'd never actually do that. I'll just have to suck it up. This too shall pass.

Thought for the day: Every square inch of the human body has an average of 32 million bacteria on it. Ewww - wash your hands, people! :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

green pastures

I'm Feeling: thoughtful and content
Background Noise: Where Everybody Knows Your Name by Gary Portnoy (Cheers theme)

I took this picture last summer in downtown Chicago. It just seemed like a neat snapshot of life - nothing spectacular or exciting - just companionship and a moment's rest. I'll be the first to admit, sometimes people drive me crazy. But there are other times (like today), when our humanity strikes me, and I just feel so compelled by the people around me. I love being taken unaware by that feeling. Yes, sometimes people are selfish, rude, impatient, and proud. But just as often, people are considerate, sincere, brave and humble. We are capable of so much - today I am reassured in the potential of humanity.

ANOTHER beautiful day too - although rumor has it that it's supposed to rain. That's okay with me, as I'm a HUGE fan of spring/summer storms. Just as long as I don't get soaked.

Thought for the day:
The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache on a standard playing card. Weird.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

hoops and yoyo

I'm Feeling: just fine
Background Noise: Bright Caroline by PW Gopal

I like to send e-cards, and is my favorite place to send them from... and Hoops & Yoyo are my most-favorite-EVER cards to send. They're hysterical. Always make me laugh. Go to Hallmark's website, and bookmark the Hoops & Yoyo page, so that whenever you are bummed out at work, you can click on it and laugh.

I have 13 appointments today - gonna be a busy one! I left my house at 7:40am, and I think I won't be back there until after 11pm. That's a looong day - but it's filled with good things, so hopefully, when I wind up back at my abode late tonight, I come in high spirits. I get to hang out with Katie, Katie and Jillian again; which always rocks my socks. AND - it's supposed to be 75 and sunny today. Yippee!! Happy Tuesday!

Thought for today: What three words best describe you?

Monday, April 04, 2005

conjunction junction...

I'm Feeling: a little on the worn-out side
Background Noise: Hakuna Matata from the Lion King soundtrack

Remember when you were a kid, and you had all those great encyclopedia-like books with answers to every question (and lots of pretty pictures?) I'm wondering why those are in the kids' section of the bookstores - most adults I know (myself included, to be sure) have forgotten a lot of what we learned in elementary school. I bet a 4th-grader could kick my butt on a science test. Since I left high school, I spent six years filling my head with "higher learning" - stuff about business, advertising, and higher education. Not that the stuff I've learned in college and grad school wasn't important; I just feel like actual knowledge about the world has fallen out of my head. My exhausted, fuzzy state of mind is probably not helping either.

Life is busy right now - lots going on at work, lots going on for Mark at work, and lots going on outside of work. Busy is good - I prefer busy - but I wouldn't turn up my nose at a night of laying around my house with a good book and going to bed early. (Why is it that sleeping in is so much preferable to going to bed early? If it's the same amount of sleep, what difference does it really make?)

Thought for the day: Are you attracted (not necessarily in the romantic sense) to people whose personalities are very different from yours, or very similar?

Friday, April 01, 2005

I'm Feeling: so good!
Background Noise: more elevator beeping

I took the morning "off" today... although I didn't exactly sleep in and lounge around. I woke up at 6:30, did a bunch of housework, ran to Meijer, ran home (not literally), couple more errands, lunch with Kelsey, then to work. I was busy from the second I woke up, but I can see a distinct difference in myself at work today. I guess taking a breather is helpful - just a tiny break from my regular routine, and I'm happier, friendlier, and more patient -- which I'm sure my students appreciate!!!

Beautiful weather, fantastic fun friends, and a weekend with my family - all reasons to be happy! Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Thought for the day: My life and my happiness are my responsibility - what am I doing to make the most of today?