Wednesday, June 29, 2005

el pollo loco

I'm Feeling: crazily but happily busy
Background Noise: Carolina in my Mind by James Taylor

I found some pictures of chickens with their heads cut off, but they were a little graphic and disturbing. So I went for the goofy cartoon chicken, which is rather unoffensive. However, the chicken with its head cut off is the general feeling I'm having today. AOP took a solid 4 hours - constantly talking, repeating myself 9 times to 9 different people (of varying degrees of pleasantness), suddenly it was time to meet Mark for lunch at Flat's... then back to the office where I need to make 80 bajillion new folders for all the new students who've come to AOP in the past 3 weeks. Eeek! And - I'll be out of the office tomorrow afternoon, Friday afternoon, and Tuesday. And I thought the summer would be slow! It's better this way, believe me, but it sure does wear on me by the end of the night.

Today's word of the day is widdershins - it means "in a left-handed, wrong or contrary direction: counterclockwise." I think it's funny that left-handed is followed by "wrong." As if those two are synonymous.

Thought for the day: Would you rather have the day be over before you know it, or have it go by slowly but be able to notice every detail?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I'm Feeling: like avoiding yucky tasks
Background Noise: Come Unto Me by Nicole Mullen

While I consider myself in general a reliable, hard worker; I must confess that I at times am only motivated by pressure and/or deadlines. Mostly this occurs when the task ahead is mind-numbingly dull. Today, for example, I need to work on degree certifications for Political Science students who are graduating this summer. Believe it or not, actually LESS interesting than it sounds. They have to be done by Friday, and at this point, I'm still not feeling sufficient temporal pressure to get these things done. I know they have to be done today, because the rest of my week is kinda busy, but sheesh. I do the same thing at home sometimes. Maybe I'll let the laundry pile reach my knees before I wash anything, or wait til every spoon is dirty before I do the dishes. Most of the time, I think I do okay, but everyone once in awhile the procrastinator mite bites me, and I'm down for the count.

On the other side, every once in awhile I get crazy motivated and go nuts getting things done (I prefer those times - feels good to be productive). I wonder if there's any way to bottle that energy and meter it out - like an innoculation when I'm feeling lazy. I think I'm motivationally bipolar or something.

Thought for the day: What's your all-time favorite summertime treat?

Monday, June 27, 2005

not QUITE what my yard looks like

I'm Feeling: like getting things DONE!
Background Noise: Thank You by Dido

After I drove back to Mason from Chicagoland yesterday, I decided to take action in my front yard. About a month ago, we got some cute hanging flower baskets, and flower boxes to hang on the front porch railing. It looked fantabulous for about 4 days, then everything died. And the dead plants have been sitting there ever since, because I am a slacker when it comes to those things. So I went to Meijer and bought some new flowers, as well as 3 new shrubs to put in the front yard (evergreens that are supposed to grow BIG - so I won't have to plant much more), and I stayed outside in the 90+ degree day and dug holes in the dirt and sweated profusely. While not exactly fun, it was really rewarding to finally get something big done. Hopefully I won't kill this set of plants, and they'll look nice for the rest of the summer.

My weekend was fun - I hung out at home with Mom, Dad and Meg (and Adam and Melissa on Saturday for awhile). We played games and went to see Batman Begins. It was good to relax. Thursday night I got to visit Grosse Pointe for the first time - a swanky Northern suburb of Detroit. It was a gorgeous day, and I had ridiculous amounts of fun with Kelsey. The only not fun part was driving home, and even that went by pretty fast.

More transfer students at AOP today - hopefully we can get them done quickly this afternoon. Only 9 are supposed to be coming, so that's a good thing. I started reading a book recommended to me by Kristen - called Sacred Marriage. Holy cow, what a challenging and convicting book already!! It's almost overwhelming (because it sounds hard), but it's also really eye-opening. Hopefully I have the wherewithall to finish, and evaluate some things along the way.

In other news, my hubby is home from Nashville - which rocks! He was only gone a week, but I really notice a difference when he's gone. It was so nice to wake up this morning with his self all spread out over the bed, grumbling at the alarm clock and blearily saying goodbye to me when I left for work. Welcome home, darlin!

Thought for the day: I feel God tugging at me lately (okay, yanking REALLY hard) to change my heart about certain issues and attitudes. What is He doing in your life?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I'm Feeling: a little bit drained
Background Noise: Lean on Me by Bill Withers

AOP was crazy this morning - we were short 2 advisors, and it seemed as thought there were perpetually at least 9 students waiting to be seen. I started at 8, and the first time I had a chance to check my watch, it was 10:57. Yikes. At least it goes by quickly, right?

Today I get to dine with my friend Jessica - we've been good friends for 5 years now, she was in my wedding and I in hers, but we fell victim to the classic move-away, don't keep that good of touch syndrome that can strike so easily post-college. Anyway, I'm pumped to hang out with her again - she's a sweet gal and I love her! Unfortunately, that means the guest room is gonna stay trashed at least another night or two... oh well. It will get done eventually, right?

Today is gorgeous - sunny and blue skies and green leaves waving in the wind... not exactly like my picture. In case you can't tell, a storm was moving its way through Paris (picture taken atop the Tour Eiffel). Just another awesome picture of the power of our God.

Thought for the day: Is there someplace in your life where you need to take a chance, but are too chicken to jump into the deep end?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

funny stuff

I'm Feeling: like getting silly!!
Background Noise: Blowing in the Wind by Joan Baez

Everyone has a penchant for being struck by certain things. Some people like bright, clear summer days when everything around them is alive and rejoicing. Other people love raging storms; the raw power of our God leaves them breathless. Or when its raining and sunny at the same time, or when you can see the moon in the middle of the day. I feel like I've been given a peek behind the scenes... and that God has a wonderfully playful sense of humor. "I wonder how many people will notice if I stick the moon out there at 4 in the afternoon... hehehe."

About a week or so ago I talked about silliness, and I've decided that I'm gonna focus this summer on retrieving mine. Seriously, I used to be such a silly kid - I giggled hysterically with my friends, made up dorky songs and dances and did funny voices and faces all the time. Now, I still do some of that, but somewhere along the line, I got stodgy. I sing along with the radio in the car, but usually only if I'm alone. I'll crank the stereo and dance around my house, again, only if I'm alone. When I was a kid, I used to roll down hills in the grass, lie on my back for hours and look at the clouds, pick dandelions and blow the dust to the wind, run around the backyard for the sheer fun of running... why is it we stop doing those things as adults? In the past couple years I've noticed a disturbing tendency to get irritated around extremely giggly girls. Why?? It's an awesome thing to have such joy, and people with whom to share it. When did I become such a stick in the mud? I need to be kept accountable to live life lightly and with a joyous spirit - to appreciate funny things and relax in my life. Maybe I can turn this thing around yet! :)

Thought for the day: Is there something you really enjoy that you haven't treated yourself to lately? Or something fun and silly that you used to do?

Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm about to go pro...

I'm Feeling: curiously hungry for 10 in the morning
Background Noise: Share the Well by Caedmon's Call

I got to try my hand (and feet, legs, arms and back) at skiing again this weekend - haven't done that since last fall. For those of you who don't know, my water skiing ability (or lack thereof) ought to be studied. It took me FOREVER to figure out how to get up on the skis... now, I can't figure out how to stay up. I'll last 15 seconds or so, maybe 30 on a good day, then I'm out. Mark says I'm really close, but since I'm clueless, it's hard to tell what I'm doing right or wrong. I just keep trying things until something works. I got to wear a wetsuit for the second time in my life yesterday though... always a treat. Makes you feel like a human sausage. (On a semi-related nerd note... I like typing the word skiing... very rarely do I get to put 2 i's next to each other).

Today I have to do transfer orientation. Not as much fun as freshmen, because they're crankier (lots of times, for good reason). The nice thing is that my part is in the afternoon, so I didn't have to be here EXACTLY at 8 this morning... even though I was. Funny how that works out. I also get to have lunch with Katie today - I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully the day will zip right by, and I'll jet home to relax and get some stuff done. I emptied one of the guest room closets yesterday - it needed to be cleaned out, but now it appears that the green room has vomited random books, papers and boxes all over itself. Sigh - these things always get worse before they get better, but it's a little depressing in the meantime.

Thought for the day: The average ear of corn has 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows. Makes it sound like a lot more food than it is. Does anyone know why it's called an "ear"?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Kelsey NeeCole

I'm Feeling: so good!
Background Noise: Light the Fire by Fusebox

I just had lunch with my friend Kelsey - she is an awesome woman of the Lord, and she makes me laugh - a top notch combination, if you ask me!! She's also my manager (someday I'll be a famous actress) and my therapist. Woman of many, many talents. Hopefully I perform one or two valuable tasks for her as well - I can only hope. Lunch with Kelsey always makes me smile - it's really sad that she moved to Grosse Pointe, but I'm praying that God will keep our friendship alive and kicking, despite the distance. We're really only at the beginning of a relationship, and just thinking of the blessings God could bestow because of our interaction makes me want to jump up and down.

One week of AOP down, five to go. Overall, I'm having a lot of fun. I repeat myself about 6 times in a 3 hour period, but I get to meet a lot of fun new people, and they give me a lot to look forward to about the fall. I also got to have a nice chat with Dawn (she works a level up from me, in the College office) today - I like her a lot, and it was good to spend some time chatting with a professional colleague. I'm still getting used to being a career woman.

Thank the Lord for Fridays - I'm really needing this weekend!! Hopefully some good relaxing will take place. And since I won't be blogging again until Monday - Happy Father's Day to all the dads I know! The world is a better place because of you - and the Lord is blessing your children abundantly through your daily lives!

Thought for the day: What do you want for your life that you are afraid to ask for?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Who are these attractive people??

I'm Feeling: hungry!
Background Noise: That's When I Love You by Phil Vasser

Why, they're my family, of course!! Meg, Mark and David, lounging on a bridge over the Seine in Paris. It's so funny to look at pictures of people you see all the time, in normal places, doing mundane things - and see them hanging out in Paris. I mean, I know we were there, I know we saw cool things... but sometimes, when you come back home, it's hard to actually believe you were there and did and saw those things.

I love lists. Those who know me will not be the least bit surprised by this news. I make to-do lists of all sorts, and get a strange pleasure from crossing things off as they are completed. Sometimes (okay, a lot of the time), when I make a new list, I'll put a task on it that I just finished, just so that I can cross it off immediately. Lists just look better when things are crossed off them. I have a bunch at my office that are work related, some that are home - project related (that list, unfortunately, moves at a snail's pace... and no, not the pace of a Jamaican racing snail. A regular old sloooow snail). I also keep lists of personal goals and habits I want to keep up. Just something quirky about me - add it to your list of nerdy things Kate likes to do.

Thought for today: What could happen today that would make you jump up and down with excitement and anticipation?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Jardin des Tuilleries + silliness = good picture

I'm Feeling: encouraged
Background Noise: Free Fallin by Tom Petty

We visited the Jardin des Tuilleries in Paris, after soaking up some artistic history in the Louvre... Mark and David have a particular appreciation for sculpture, as shown above. :)

I'm feeling pretty happy today - nothing spectacularly over-the-top going on, just some good encouraging moments. And it's not even 2 in the afternoon! AOP began today, which was really fun - as I mentioned before, I really like incoming students, and it's fun for me to explain their requirements, answer their questions, and help them leave feeling less confused, more relaxed, and excited in general about what's on the horizon for them. And I feel like that happened today. I met some cool men and women, made them laugh (again, another really important goal of mine), and got to spend some quality time with other advisors - which I don't do very often. Then I got to talk to MaryBeth - I used to work for her, both for Orientation and in her house (I watched her children). It was nice to catch up and hear about her family. THEN I got to have lunch with Dana - it's basically been a year since we've hung out (okay, a couple weeks, but still), and I had a great time chatting today. My salad at Panera was delicious, and my company entertaining. We're still getting to know each other, and I think we are different in lots of ways, but I can see there being a lot for us to gain from each other. At any rate, it left me feeling cheerful and smiley, and like I have friends. Always a huge plus in my book.

Thought for the day: Are you silly enough? Sometimes I think (okay, I know) that I'm not. Or at least I don't let other people know how silly I actually am on the inside. Why is that? Silliness (when not inappropriate) is endearing, uplifting, and funny - all excellent things! I should be sillier...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Bushel and a Peck

I'm Feeling: a little damp (I just walked back to my office in the rain)
Background Noise: When I Praise by FFH

This was one of my favoritest parts of my trip to Europe - my sister and I got to see Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre... and YES, that's Ewan McGregor in the picture with me (okay, it's a picture of him in the picture with me) because we saw him perform live on stage as Sky Masterson! It was sooo much fun - aside from the fact that I love the show in general, the fact that Ewan (and Jane Krakowski - who rocked!) were performing live, feet from me, was just totally fun. I was grinning like the village idiot the entire time. Never wanted it to stop. Plus, we scalped the tickets outside the theatre from two funny women who promised they weren't up to anything "dodgy." I love London.

This weekend we were in Spencerport, NY - a rocking suburb of Rochester - with our good friends Mike and Kristen and their 2 boys. I felt so at home all weekend - it was such a blessing to relax and catch up with people who know you well and love you. I ate a TON of food, played on the trampoline and in the kiddy pool, went to the playground, took a nap, went to Michael's with Kristen, ate more food, read the boys bedtime stories, played Euchre and UNO Attacks... it was such a good time. Minus the 6-7 hour drive it takes to get there... worth every minute.

Academic Orientation (AOP) starts at MSU today - meaning beginning tomorrow morning, the next six weeks will be full of me attempting to get new students class schedules they like, and helping them feel connected to MSU. I'm looking forward to it, actually. I really like talking to new and prospective students, and I think the busy-ness of it will resonate with me. Meanwhile, time to catch up on some of the slightly more mundane office-y tasks (filing, updating students' grades, etc...) Happy rainy Monday!

Thought for the day: I got to eat my first homemade twinkie this weekend (thanks Sarah!), and it was awesome. I don't like regular twinkies, I think they're nasty, but this was delish. Check this out though - makes me laugh.

Friday, June 10, 2005

I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles...

I'm Feeling: like a traveler!
Background Noise: I'll Join the Rocks by FFH

Paris, in my opinion, is a beautiful city. Like most big cities, there are times when it could be cleaner, or when it doesn't smell very nice... but it's gorgeous. Even the signs for the subway are fancy, see? (Black and white pictures always make things seem fancier, too). We were only in Paris for about 12 hours - rode the train in the morning, and back in the evening. But it was awesome - we saw Notre Dame, Jardin des Tuilleries, the Louvre, traveled to the top of the Eiffel Tower (which is really stinking tall), and a lot of the city just from walking around. I adore the cobblestone streets and wrought iron balconies and street vendors and architecture - there is so much to look at. My rolls of film are primarily filled with images that I thought were pretty or artistic - very few people in them (and if there are people, I tend to take candids). I think my newest ambition is to be a photographer - I have so much fun finding a subject, and making something fairly normal into a really cool picture.

Today, less than 4 days after crossing the Atlantic Ocean, Mark and I are going to cross Canada. I know, not quite the same, but I'm equally excited about this trip. We get to spend the weekend with Mike, Kristen, Timmy and Joshua in Spencerport, NY. I'm pumped! They moved away about a year ago, and Mark and I haven't stopped missing them since. We'll play with the boys, talk, eat, jump on the trampoline... I can't wait.

Thought for the day: Are you good at keeping in touch with friends after they move away?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Skiing, anyone?

I'm Feeling: not too stinking bad, thanks for asking
Background Noise: I Just Wanna Be Mad by Terri Clark

My husband Mark loves to ski - both water and downhill. In the summer, it's about all you can do to distract him from his desire to be out on a boat, "tearin' it up." Well today, his wish comes true - he gets to hit the lake with Brooks and Dana. He's pretty excited. Me - I'm a miserable skier, although it's certainly not for lack of trying. (Not sure if that makes it better or worse...) But alas, I can't go today - appointments and whatnot at the office... *sigh* What a bummer to have responsibility, right? :) Maybe I'll be able to go next time.

In the meantime, I have a whole evening to fill up by myself - this happens fairly frequently, so I'm pretty skilled at entertaining myself, but I'm not sure what I want to do tonight. LOTS of things on my list... drop off film from the trip, get a haircut, pull weeds from the flower beds, clean out either of our two junky guest rooms, sit and read a book... Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Back in the States

I'm Feeling: relaxed
Background Noise: Grace Flows Down by Heather Rider

Hello!!! It's good to be home - I actually missed blogging a little while we were away (although the trip was so busy, there wasn't much time to think about it). Once I get some pics developed, I'll start sharing a little more about the trip - suffice it to say we had fun, saw a LOT of stuff, and spent some money! :)

I woke up this morning at 3:30am or so to the sound of the guest room door being blown open and shut by the wind (it doesn't latch well on its own)... then I noticed lightning, and soon after, thunder. Now you know I love storms, but not quite as much when it means that I have to shut the windows in my un-airconditioned house (it actually reached 90 degrees inside our house last night - yucko!) The rain cooled things off for an hour or two, but the temp is quickly climbing back up toward 90. I really like summer, but I'm only a fan of sweating if I deserve to be sweating. And sitting in your living room reading a book is NOT an activity during which you deserve to sweat. Hopefully it will feel a little cooler today - but God bless the sunshine!! It's fantastic, and gorgeous to look outside - green trees and grass and blue skies. Gotta love it. Yesterday morning was one of those times that makes me wish I didn't have to do any work during the summer - just lounge around my house and get things done, play in the flower beds and work on some projects. Under a big tree (which we don't have) in the front yard (which can't really be qualified as a yard yet, although it's getting closer, much to the relief of our neighbors).

Thought for the day: No word in the English language rhymes with the month, orange, silver and purple. Seems hard to believe... what about trunth, blorange, dwilver and quirple??