Tuesday, February 28, 2006

ode to my bed

I'm Feeling: lonesome for my bed
Background Noise: The Scientist by Coldplay

This morning was one of those mornings when an invisible force is actually pinning you to the mattress. It takes an unbelievable amount of willpower to pry yourself away from the flannel sheets, piles of pillows, and heavenly-soft featherbed... My bed was trying to claim me. (The picture is from Pottery Barn, not my bedroom, but it still looks like a comfy bed to me, so it gets the point across.) I nearly shed a tear when climbing out of bed, so strong was my desire to remain ensconced in its warm comfort. Yet alas, here I am at my desk, pulling up students' files, answering emails, and generally contributing to the delicate balance of the working world. *sigh* Hooray for willpower, I suppose.

I think today will be a good day, though. The sun is out (ALWAYS a good thing), I have a busy day appointment-wise (keeping busy is also ALWAYS a good thing), 7th grade volleyball game to attend tonight, and bible study to cap off the evening. I think I'll like today. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 27, 2006

what's up, spring??

I'm Feeling: minorly impatient
Background Noise:
Amazing by Josh Kelley

This winter has not been bad - December was pretty snowy, but January was downright balmy... February has proven to be fairly traditionally winter-ish, but I live in Michigan, so that's normal. However, I find myself growing antsier by the day for the arrival of spring. (I say that as if there is actually a point in time where winter ends and spring begins...)

I'm thinking about plants to put in my yard - I've been hugely unsuccessful at cultivating horticultural life in my flower beds so far. 2006 is the year - I can feel it. Huge, fragrant blossoms will adorn our yard - just wait and see!! Emphasis on the WAIT... considering that the ground is gradually being covered with snow as I type this...

Had a great weekend - got to laugh and play Settlers with good friends, dressed up in a poodle skirt, heard some FABULOUS music at church, went to two bible studies (one with married couples at church, one with 7th grade girls... needless to say, they were very different), and watched a movie with Mark. I was busy and still had time to relax - darn near perfect combo. Here's to starting a new week!!
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Friday, February 24, 2006

roller skates are fun??

I'm Feeling: educated by experience
Background Noise: Minimum Wage by TMBG

For my ninth birthday, I had my party at the roller rink. It was awesome -- rent-a-skate,
chocolate birthday cake in the shape of a cat (my birthday is on Halloween), presents, funky disco balls, arcade games... who could ask for more? When you're nine (and it's the 1980's) - no one! Somehow, some of the magic wears off by the time you hit your mid-twenties. I know this because Mark and I tried to re-live our childhood on our date last night. We swapped roller-rink stories on the way to Edru, talking about the songs we skated to, the slurpees we consumed, the parties we attended, the boys/girls we chased around the rink ... what fond memories!!

I think the reason we don't do a lot of the things we found fun as children anymore is because they are BORING. Seriusly, skating around and around a roller rink is not that fun. I also remember rolling down the hill in our front yard over and OVER again, riding my bike up and down the block, spinning in circles until I fell over, and hanging upside down off the swingset. I bet if I tried those things now, I wouldn't be quite so enamored with the experience.

The one good thing was that we weren't the only people there (at a skate-a-rama, on a Thursday night...) However, the only people that were there seemed to be split into 2 groups:

1. The older men who really are stuck in their 1970's and 1980's roller derby days - they can skate in circles around you on their clunky old skates (rollerblades are for kids!) and while they are fun to watch, it's mildly disturbing to think that their skills are still so well honed.

2. Children who have never had a shoe with four wheels strapped to their feet before, and are clunking awkwardly around the rink, crashing every 4.5 seconds in some horribly embarrassing and potentially painful way. I don't want to watch that - I feel SO BAD for those kids - I remember falling and feeling like a moron... it's no good.

Oh well - at least we have a funny story to tell. And we're not too cool to try it. (Not that anyone has any false notions of our lack of coolness). Have a lovely weekend!!!
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ashley Grace is 3 today!!

I'm Feeling: unimaginative
Background Noise: I'll Be by Edwin McCain

Happy Birthday to Ashley Grace!! Ashley was the first girl born to friends of ours... we were beginning to wonder if boys would be all we'd ever see!! I'm excited because I get to visit Ashley, Maggie (her baby sister) and Heather (mama!) in about 2 weeks - they live near St. Louis and we don't get to visit as often as we'd like. It'll be a fun week with the girls!! Isn't she beautiful?

I feel like I'm in a blogging funk lately - just a couple paragraphs recapping my day, and let's be honest - my life is not that interesting. Maybe I should start some kind of series or theme for a little while - any great ideas?? The creative juices aren't flowing so well these days. So, with no other original though today, here goes some random facts:

Random Facts #1:

1. Today I am wearing a Care Bears bandaid on my left thumb.
2. My socks are green, and my shirt is green, but they don't actually match. I'm faking it.
3. I have a bowl of mini-Reese's on my desk, and in 6 months or so, I think I've only eaten 3. Not to say that they're all old and yucky - other people eat them. I find I get more visitors if I buy their love with chocolate and peanut butter-y goodness.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

olymp... yaaaawwwnn....

I'm Feeling: ready for spring!!
Background Noise: Rio by Duran Duran

Confession: I love watching the Olympics, but I cannot stay awake to see how they end. I don't remember this from childhood... perhaps because my parents usually taped stuff we like to watch and we'd wait until it was convenient to put the tape in. Perhaps it's a side effect of living in the Eastern Time Zone now... Maybe I'm just plain turning into an old woman. Whatever it is - I can't make it much past 10:30pm... and it always seems like that's when the interesting stuff is coming on! I missed the aerials (fancy flippy ski jumps), the end of pretty much every figure skating event that's happened so far... bummer. I would say I'd try again tonight, but I really like getting my sleep. Maybe I'll try taping it...

It's lovely outside today - 38 degrees and sunny. I wish Michigan's weather was a little more reliable, and this could be taken as a sign of spring's imminent arrival. But alas, we'll have single-digit weather again next week, rest assured. I'll take what I can get, when I can get it though. It's a nice day today. This morning as I was walking across campus to a meeting, I heard birds chirping. Fabulous. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

all smiley!

I'm Feeling: happy
Background Noise: Laugh as the Sun by Rusted Root

This is Maggie - she's the beautiful daughter of friends of ours - and she turns 1 this Friday!! I saw this picture this morning and it made me smile - I hope it makes you smile too!!

Random Observations:
1. It's way more fun to still be in bed when Mark gets up than the other way around. (two days in a row now... my life is so hard)

2. My fingers are perpetually cold.

3. Time is irrelevant. Today I had one student show up an hour and 45 minutes EARLY for an appointment, and another show up an hour and fifteen minutes LATE. What gives?

4. 22 degrees feels like springtime after days of single-digit windchill.

5. Sunshine makes everything better.
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Monday, February 20, 2006

manic monday

I'm Feeling: a little jealous that Mark is still in bed right now...
Background Noise: Down Where the Green Grass Grows by Jed Marum

Wow - busy weekend!! The dance went SO well on Friday (Mark and I tried to look presentable...) - we had about 100 people show up, and people seemed to be mingling, dancing and generally having fun. It's hard to tell - last year we didn't know anyone, and didn't have much fun. This year, we knew at least a dozen people (not WELL, but we're getting there) and I had a ton of fun. SUCH a big thanks to Brooks, Molly, Mike, Janae and Alison - who gave up their Friday evening to help us serve. You all rock!!

Saturday I got to spend time with my friend Katie - we made gingerbread lattes and talked and watched
In Her Shoes - good movie, but the first half is really hard to watch. People were being selfish, getting hurt... but the story was neat, and it ended well. Yesterday I helped in the nursery at church, went to the service (Noel preached, and it was very good), and then we had 6 or 8 people (YoungLife leaders and Mason High School folks) over at our house from about 12 until 6:30 - eating pizza and PB/choc/banana bread, playing ping-pong, foosball, air hockey, euchre, George, signs... it was loud and fun - we know some truly cool people.

God really answered prayer this weekend - I feel like a lot of ground was gained with some of the people at church - working together on a big project does that. I was encouraged by time with Katie, and I had fun with everyone over at our house yesterday. Spending real time with God every morning does wonders for me as well. It's cool to sit back and realize the way He answers our prayers and takes care of us!!
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Friday, February 17, 2006


I'm Feeling: antsy
Background Noise: Love Shack by the B-52s

Last night I was at Riverview for about 4 hours, helping to set up for the Valentine's Day we're having tonight. I know it sounds corny, but the church is really going to look beautiful - there will be a DJ, we have a real dance floor, tables with centerpieces and candles and linens, and balloon pillars with drapey tulle... it should be fun. I enjoyed working last night to set up too, although the last hour or so I was turning to mush. The people are all really nice, we laughed a lot - I'm starting to feel like less of an outsider in the group. But I still get that feeling from them - that "We're not quite sure about you new people, and we have a good group of friends... should we really let you in?" feeling. It's a totally understandable feeling, because it stinks to make friends and have them move or leave... But it's a bummer to be on the outside, trying to work your way in. I have lots of fabulous friends right now, but I do miss the community we had at our old church. There were lots of fun couples - good friends.

Maybe tonight will be a turning point - we get to hang out, dance, eat, and have a good time... I'm looking forward to making some new friends, maybe getting to the point where we're comfortable going out for dinner or coffee or shopping or something. I like eating, having coffee and shopping. :)

Have a lovely weekend. To those of you (slackers) who have Monday ("President's Day") off work (you bums) - enjoy your extra relaxation time! (lazy good-for-nothings)
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Thursday, February 16, 2006

in need

I'm Feeling: sorry for myself
Background Noise: In Need by Sheryl Crow

No one has commented on my blog since 2/6... that's ten days. Is there something I'm missing?

Josh is 2!!

I'm Feeling: like dessert would hit the spot right now...
Background Noise: Another Day from the RENT soundtrack

I want to wish my friend Joshua Thomas a very happy second birthday (he's the handsome fireman in the picture). It's hard to believe he's already two years old. He's such a happy boy - lots of smiles and silliness, and he loves to throw things and sing songs and dance (very much a BOY). Love you, buddy!!

Today has been slooooow in the office. Funny - the past couple days have been one thing after another, lots to do... then today, it just stopped. I had one appointment scheduled - it was pleasant, but now my office has tumbleweeds blowing across the floor and that eerie deserted cowboy town music playing in the background.

Not much to report - life continues as always - things have been good lately. I'm having fun at work and at home, and I'm starting to feel that I'm making good use of my time these days. I still need to find a way to squeeze in a workout once in awhile... maybe that will be my task for next week. Baby steps, Kate.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

git R done

I'm Feeling: productive... AGAIN!!
Background Noise: Into the Sun by Lifehouse

I don't know what I'll do if I continue having these amazingly productive days at work. My time seems valuable, I am clearing lots of things off my desk, and am having meaningful conversations with students. Wild!!

I broke through the drudgery that descended upon me yesterday, and am now waiting for the unwarranted wrath of students to show itself. I informed 15 or so students today that they will not be graduating this Spring... that usually brings in some unhappy phone calls and emails. Not my favorite part of the job, by any means, but hey. We can't love EVERYTHING.

I had chili for lunch today...
Mark had a chili cook-off at his office today, and I guess I was feeling jealous. It was good, but I don't like it anywhere near as much as the chili I make myself. :)  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

i heart you!

I'm Feeling: pretty stinking good
Background Noise: Tower by ISH

Happy Valentine's Day! (I went for the slightly less traditional heart-art this morning.) I like Valentine's Day, and not because I really care about "Hallmark Holidays" or about getting flowers or chocolates or stuff like that. I like days that encourage us to let our friends and families know that they are loved. It's fun to show people, in big or small ways, that they are precious, important, and beloved. Plus, I like conversation hearts. The sugar gets me a little cracked out, but they say funny things like "Angel Face," "You're Cool," and "I'm Bashful." Then you get to eat them. Good deal. I also get to wear my sparkly Valentine's socks that I've had since high school or something. I'm not really a grown-up with a full-time job... that's just my cover! :)

Strange Valentine's Day phenomenon happening here today... I have only ONE appointment scheduled. Is everyone else busy with all-day-long Valentine's plans? Yesterday, I was busier than a one-legged-hurdler. Today, I'll be forced to make a dent in the drudge work that I don't really care for. Boo. Come back, students!
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Monday, February 13, 2006

woe betide me!

I'm Feeling: a little discouraged
Background Noise: Another First Kiss by They Might Be Giants

So I typed an entire blog this morning - it was witty, informational, and fun (if I do say so myself) - and the silly system timed out before it was able to upload. Now it's late afternoon, I'm drained of all creative juice, and I feel bad that I can't duplicate the sublime blogging experience that you all should have had with this morning's post.

ReCap of Katie's Monday:

Arrive at work - no heat in the building. In fact, the vents are all blowing ferociously cold air. Katie puts on scarf and gloves, and shivers at her desk for 3 hours until the heat comes on.

Lunch at the Union - fun, since Jane is back in the country (my boss, she was in Australia for three weeks). We laughed a lot, and speculated that if men had to participate in a male-equivalent of the mammogram, they would find a better way to do it. Just picture it...

This afternoon - back to back appointments, very busy, very long (all of which is good, it makes the day fly by and makes me feel productive), but now my throat hurts and my voice is fading.

Dinner and DIG with our WYLdLife team tonight - should be really fun. The kids crack me up, and I love our team.

That's it. I'm truly sorry that you missed out on the masterpiece I created earlier today. Perhaps tomorrow's luck will be better.
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I'm Feeling: colder by the minute
Background Noise: Daughters by John Mayer

What a pleasant welcome on a snowy Monday morning - to walk into your office and be greeted by arctic air blowing ferociously out of my vents. That's right, ladies and gents - there is no heat in South Kedzie Hall today. The thing that really gets me is that there's not just No Heat... the vents actually blow frigid air. Why? I'm wearing my scarf and an extra sweater (I tried to leave the gloves on too, but it makes it impossible to type). Brr.

On a happier note - I had a great weekend. Friday night I ate sushi (delicious california rolls, miso soup, salmon and tuna... mmmm...) and got Starbucks and watched a movie with my friend Katie. Saturday I slept in, spent time in the Word, worked out, had lunch with some friends, and got the laundry almost all done. (Another point for me in the Katie vs. Force War). Saturday night we drove out to Mark's sister's house and spent time with Martha, Mike, Steph, James and Johnathan. There was pizza, brownies, and lots of laughing - good times all around. Sunday was church (always good), lunch with my friend Beth who is about to move to Japan, and dinner at Smokey Bones. YUM. I got to hang out with lots of people I care about, and I feel fairly well rested and ready for another week.

Did you do anything fabulous this weekend?
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Friday, February 10, 2006

i love today!

I'm Feeling: accomplished (and so happy!)
Background Noise: The Trouble with Love Is by Kelly Clarkson

This is one of the funniest pictures I've seen in a long time. Makes me want to put a swing set in my backyard. Once it's warm enough, of course.

Well, last night I battled with the force mentioned in yesterday's blog - the war might not be over yet, but I certainly won a battle! Dishes - done. Dirty laundry - removed from our bedroom. Clean laundry - put away. Counter - cleaned off, mail sorted, CDs put away. Hooray! In your face, force!

I also got to sit in the squishy blue velvet chairs at Starbucks for an hour and a half last night with my friend Katie. Had a Cinnamon Dolce Latte (yum!) and talked about life. It was nice to get out of the house, even if I'm an old woman who gets sleepy at 9:00 at night. One of the things I talked with Katie about is how I've been miserable at spending time with God lately. She's going to help hold me accountable to spending time with Jesus everyday. This morning, I read 1 Samuel 16: 1-13. This is where God has Samuel anoint David as the next king of Israel. It's a cool story - God really shows us that His plan works not on sense, but on grace.

I think my good mood today is directly attributed to dragging my butt out of our ultra-comfy bed (the softest flannel sheets EVER in the world, PLUS a featherbed) and spending time with my Savior. It makes all the difference. I also took a couple hours off work this morning to get some things done - I returned cans/bottles at Meijer, exchanged the bunk DVD I bought on Tuesday, got a new charger for my cel phone, went to a bookstore to fruitlessly search for a book by Beth Moore, and picked up lunch for today from Target (it's yucky outside and I don't want to walk anywhere if I don't have to). I've already been more productive today than I've been all week. That either means I'm normally super lazy or I was on warp-speed turbo mode this morning. Probably the latter - I think my Cinnamon Dolce Latte had time-release caffeine, because I woke up super-chatty. Ask Mark. He was bewildered.
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

tell me a story

I'm Feeling: narrative
Background Noise: Don't Tell Me by Avril Lavigne

There once was a little white house in a nice little neighborhood in a little town in Michigan. Inside this house, walls were painted red, orange, yellow, green and blue. The couches were made of denim and the refrigerator was shiny and black. Two people lived happily in this house, but unbeknownst to them, another force had moved into the house as well. This force had no form, no smell, and made no sound. But its presence left undeniable evidence.

This force generates piles of dirty dishes that sit in the sink and get crusty. This force keeps clean laundry in the dryer for days, allowing it to get all wrinkly again. This force piles up all the unopened junk mail on the counter, and mixes it in with important mail, so that everything is confused. This force keeps the two people from putting clean laundry away in their drawers and closets, so that piles of clean clothes get mixed in with piles of dirty ones, until no one can tell the difference. And this force gets into the closets in the guest rooms and fills them with junk, so that the person that opens the closet is deluged with minorly useful items that simply cannot be thrown away. Oh, and the force creates dust bunnies the size of basketballs.

The End.

Ok, now that everyone is afraid to visit our house ever again (we DO clean it, I swear), can I just say that it really does feel lately like my house is working against me to create clutter and mess? It's weird.

p.s. The picture is from the camp we were at last weekend. I love WYLdLife!!Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

things I don't want to know...

I'm Feeling: creeped out
Background Noise: Daughters by John Mayer Trio

Here is possibly one of the creepiest things I've found online yet...
http://www.deathclock.com/. You give it information, and it tells you when you're going to die. Then it tells you how many seconds you have left to live. Yikes! Right now, under the "optimistic" mode - I'm gonna kick it on February 19, 2082. I'll be 101 years old at that point, which is a long way away, but there's still something awfully chilling about reading the sentence "Your personal day of death is...." and then seeing the seconds tick away. Pretty trippy.

I'm tired this morning - after work yesterday I went straight to Meijer to do some turbo-shopping for tonight (date night dinner), then I went to Mason Middle School to watch the 7th grade volleyball games - lots of my friends were either playing or watching, so that was really fun. I got home at about 6:30, made a PBJ sandwich, and headed out the door at 6:45 for 4 hours of meetings for WYLdLife and YoungLife. Got home around 11:30. Crashed. I had fun doing everything I did last night, but I missed my "unwinding" time. I know the Energizer bunny keeps going and going and going... but does it ever get cranky?
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Monday, February 06, 2006

I'm Feeling: like sneaking back home to take a nap in my soft soft bed
Background Noise: Get Rhythm by Joaquin Phoenix

We had a super fun weekend up at
Timber Wolf Lake - there were over 500 people there, mostly middle school kids, and it was a blast! It snowed all weekend, which was chilly, but it meant that we could go tubing and sledding and throw snowballs. The tubing and sledding part is cool, but the snowballs were a little out of hand - mostly bands of vagabond middle school boys were chucking balls of icy snow at innocent pedestrians. I think everyone at camp got hit in the face or neck at least once.

We had 20 people in our cabin - 17 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls, plus Kara, Amanda and me. I laughed SO much - they all crack me up - they're so silly, so loving, so real... it's just an honor to get to spend time knowing and loving those kids.
Even if it means you only sleep about 5 hours per night on a mattress on the floor (at least I had the mattress!)

Mark and I got back home yesterday around 4:30, devoured a large pizza, watched the Super Bowl through droopy eyelids and crashed into bed. It was great to go to sleep before midnight - I just wanted to sleep until 10 or 11. Maybe I can hit the hay early tonight. Maybe...

Did you do anything fun this weekend?
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Thursday, February 02, 2006

no time for pictures

I'm Feeling: bizzy
Background Noise: We'll Never Know by Lifehouse

I've been darting around all day, getting various errands/tasks completed that have to do with the multitude of commitments in my life... it's fun and a little stressful. Mostly because I want to do the very best job I can with everything on my plate - my work, WyldLife, my friends and family, Mark... I don't always feel like everyone's getting the best from me that they could.
I love my life and all the things and people in it - I just hope I'm giving them what they deserve!

Mark is off to HOSA's first regional conference of 2006 (Region I, in the Upper Peninsula). He'll drive down tomorrow when it's over to meet us at Timber Wolf Lake for the weekend with our middle school friends - there will be over 500 campers there this weekend! Amazing!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

trickery and taxes

I'm Feeling: massively hungry
Background Noise: California by Phantom Planet

I'll admit that I'm a bit of a tax snob - I never really saw why a regular person (that is, no home business or other weird things to file) couldn't prepare a tax return him or herself. I use TurboTax and it's proven to be fairly simple. So far, no IRS folks beating down our doors or anything. However, this year, I'm slightly baffled. In the past, we've gotten a decent amount back (the fact that my income was well below the poverty line for the years I was a student had a lot to do with that) - this year, unless I'm missing something major, our return is looking mighty small. (Please note that I'm not whining - I know it's great to get anything back at all - I'm just expressing my ignorance of the system).

Everyone told us that buying a house would be great for taxes - huge write-off, etc. I just don't understand how we're suddenly getting so much less back. If Mark were filing alone, he'd get a ton back - same for me. So why is that when we file together, our return suddenly shrinks?

It just always seemed like a nice reward for putting up with the pain of collecting tax documents and putting them all together myself that we got a fat little check at the end. This year, my anticipated reward is not so motivating.

Ok, enough about taxes - the sun is shining, it's 38 degrees, and it's almost lunchtime. Really, life can't get much better than it is right now! :)
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