Friday, March 31, 2006

so easy to forget

I'm Feeling: really blessed
Background Noise: Piano Man by Billy Joel

Work has been incredibly busy this week - annual enrollment (everyone at MSU picks all their classes for both semesters next year) begins today, and lasts for about a month. Enrollment is staggered so that the world doesn't explode when 40,000 students all try to log into the same website at the same time, but this is the time of year to see your adviser if you're going to go at all. I've had 42 appointments so far this week - today should be a little slower, what with it being Friday AND rainy. But both Wednesday night and last night, I cashed out before 10pm. That's not normal for me (I can usually make it until at least 10:15...) I've been blessed to be able to catch up on sleep though - not everyone can do that.

This morning, I came downstairs as usual - I sit at the kitchen table to read and pray most mornings - and I found a note from my husband and a vase of pretty purple and yellow daisies waiting for me. What a treat!! I've been reminded lately of how much we take for granted daily - I've heard three devastatingly sad stories in the past 2 or 3 weeks - Mike Zegarski's sudden illness, Chad Canipe's unexpected death, and Mark Palmer's death after a long battle with cancer. All three are/were men with wives and young families, and all dearly loved the Lord. These stories rock me to my core - I shed tears for people I have never and most likely will never meet. I cannot imagine the devastation - overwhelming pain and sadness. I take for granted that Mark is with me every day, kissing me good-bye and leaving flowers for me. Please keep these men and their families in your prayers - that our Heavenly Father would come to them and cover their pain. And I must try to remember that we are not guaranteed anything but the love of our Lord - so thank God for all His blessings! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 30, 2006

mass of gas

I'm Feeling: sunny!
Background Noise: Prince Ali from the Aladdin Soundtrack

This morning, the sun was shining so brightly in our bedroom (our windows face east) that I turned off all the lights, and I still didn't wind up with mascara on my forehead or anything. Our bedroom is a golden yellow color too, so when the sun is shining in like that, it just feels so warm and happy.

Did you know... the sun is a mass of incandescent gas - a gigantic nuclear furnace where hydrogen is turned into helium at temperatures of millions of degrees? I didn't either, until I listed to TMBG.

I didn't make it to the gym at lunch yesterday (sad), but I had a good day just the same. I had mashed potatoes at lunch (one of my absolute, all-time favorite things to eat), I got to test-drive a Rav4 (car shopping is a little stressful, but test driving is fun!), hit the outlet mall with my hubby, and round out the night with a shoulder massage and an episode of Friends. Oh, and almost 9 hours of sleep. Hooray!!

Happy Birthday, Julie!! I hope you get to have some fun, and eat some of your favorite things, and laugh a lot. Celebrate with all the people who love you!!
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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

healthy addiction, anyone?

I'm Feeling: cheery, but a nap would be spectacular
Background Noise: Mammal by TMBG

My sublime pilates experience on Monday got me hooked - yesterday I went to the gym during my lunch hour, and today I'm planning on going back - it can be so helpful to move around at lunch. Recharges your rapidly draining batteries, and definitely helps me get through that post-lunch "I wanna take a nap" time. Let me tell you about the fitness room on campus I go to:

It's beautiful - two stories, open in the middle, totally redone about a year ago. I don't really touch the weight-lifting stuff on the first floor much, because let's face it, I'm not much for big muscles. But there are about 25 elliptical machines, 25 treadmills, and 15 stair-steppers. And ALL of them have little TV screens, DVD players, and a place to plug in your headphones. It's INSANE. I can take my Friends DVD, pop it in, and chuckle quietly to myself while burning calories and keeping my heart healthy. Amazing. Plus, since spring break is over, the gym is quieter - not so many people trying to get skinny quickly.

Most of the time, I'm kinda lazy about finding physical activities - they're not usually my top priority, and I don't like skipping other things to get sweaty. But I'm enjoying these lunch-time excursions very much. Hooray for convenience and for almost being able to pretend I'm at home, on the couch, watching TV, instead of running 2 miles on the elliptical machine.
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

splish splash

I'm Feeling: happy but a little headachy (silly weather)
Background Noise: Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary

It was raining when I woke up this morning - while I prefer sunshine, it made me happy for one very simple reason. It was not SNOWing. Praise God for small miracles! Plus, that means that on my way to work, I get to purposefully drive through puddles and see how big of a spray I can make. Awesome fun.

Another busy day in the office - 11 people scheduled, and I'm gonna try to hit the gym at lunch. I've been such a lazy pile of bones lately - got to try to get my butt in gear. Pilates yesterday rocked my socks - it was tough and relaxing and felt good... I wish it was more than just once a week. I have a hard time doing it on my own at home. Got to run - work is calling!!

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Monday, March 27, 2006

red bull, anyone?

I'm Feeling: less than top-notch
Background Noise: Undone by Lifehouse

Ever feel like you need an emotional energy drink to get you through the day? I feel that way right now... I need some sort of injection of life and love and laughter to get my sorry butt moving. My physical energy level is pretty good today - I feel mostly well rested, and I'm excited to go to pilates class in a few minutes. But my emotional energy is dragging its knuckles on the floor and whining. I know it will get better. I know I need to decide to make it better. I know, I know, I know. I'm getting there.

I've been talking with my seventh grade friends about the fruits of the Spirit lately - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I notice that honesty isn't listed. Interesting - I get caught here sometimes - when are we being inauthentic and when are we being positive? When are we being just plain whiny, and when are we genuinely expressing frustration and hurt? At what point will honesty hurt your relationships? I have a problem with this, because I'm a pretty open person by nature. Gets me into trouble on occasion. I think my emotional energy draught is due in large part to my overt moronism when it comes to these things.

I know it will get better. I know I need to decide to make it better. I know. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 24, 2006

don't get caught in the undercurrent...

I'm Feeling: relaxed
Background Noise: Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi

Have you ever done the "stream of consciousness" thing? Just spend 30 seconds or so typing whatever comes into your head. I thought I'd try it today. It could be a little dangerous (or just plain boring), but here goes nothing:

my arm is itchy. i'll be glad when it's not so dry in our house although by july i'll probably be whining about humidity. it's impossible to please me - or anyone really... why are we like that? never satisfied - i wonder if that's a good thing or bad thing - it probably depends on the situation. sometimes it's nice to not be easily appeased - it means you ask for and expect the best from people, although i know some people who do that too much and it winds up being problematic.

Interesting... I got from dry skin to expecting the best from people in 30 seconds flat. Isn't it wild how our brains can do that? I play that game in my head sometimes - where you realize you're thinking about something kind of unusual, and then you try to track back to figure out how you got to thinking about it in the first place. I don't know about you, but I think the world's best hounddog couldn't track my thoughts sometimes.
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Thursday, March 23, 2006


I'm Feeling: a little used, but that's OK
Background Noise: Word of God Speak by Big Daddy Weave

Most days, I really like my job. There's a lot that's fun about it - I have autonomy, I get to meet all kinds of people, I can watch students progress through their time in college. However, yesterday and today I've run into one of the things that is hard for me about the job. Advisers tend to be a catch-all, first and last stop for concerns. A lot of the time, that means that students come in and complain, rant, rave, vent... and the problem isn't me. It's someone else, and there's nothing I can do about it. That frustrates me - I want to be able to help, and it's not that much fun to talk to someone who is massively irritated at someone else. This morning I realized that it's just part of the job - I need to not take it personally when students come in crabbing and yelling about stuff. It can be hard not to feel like a landfill or storage unit - just there to be a place to leave unwanted stuff behind. But a lot of the time, people just need someone to listen to them. MSU is a big place, and it probably feels a lot more productive to vent to a person who works here than to just sit and complain to your roommate. In reality, I'm blessed to be able to serve as an outlet, give students some release and a sympathetic shoulder. I hope I can do that well for them.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

... but why?

I'm Feeling: a little out of sorts
Background Noise: The Disctrict Sleeps Alone Tonight by The Postal Service

I've heard people say there are no stupid questions. I've heard people say there are no inappropriate questions. (In certain cases, I'd have to disagree with both statements...) I've heard that there are unanswerable questions (I guess "I dunno" doesn't count as an answer...) Here are some of them:

Why do irons have a setting for permanent press?
If all the nations in the world are in debt, where did all the money go?
If the number 2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still number 2?
If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
What if there were no hypothetical situations?
Will your answer to this question be no?
If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?
Is there another word for synonym?
Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice?"
If you choke a Smurf, what color will it turn?
Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
If swimming's such good exercise, how come whales are so fat?
Why don't sheep shrink in the rain?
If a person told you they were a pathological liar, would you believe them?

Of course, there are other questions that are tough/impossible to answer that are much less fun than these. Why are some people so critical? Why can't smart, talented people find jobs? Why are people lonely? I've had lots of questions like these rolling around lately... and I have no answers. I know God is in control, and His plan is spectacular, and sometimes that's all we get to hold onto. Lucky for us, it's enough. His grace is sufficient!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

are you ready?

I'm Feeling: full of lunch, and mildly frustrated with my computer
Background Noise: Above Ground by Norah Jones

Ok, so it happened again today. Not sure if there's some funny blog-bug on my PC, but I wrote a delightful post, and it acted like it was uploading, then it's nowhere to be found! No warning, no way to go back and try again... just lost. All my fantastic ruminations and pontifications are scattered in cyberspace. I'm gonna have to remember to copy what I write before I click the "publish" button, so that I don't have to suffer so dramatically again. (I know, my life is awfully stricken with hardship).

Anyway, I was thinking about what a planner I am. Today, I've had all these students show up completely unprepared for their meetings. This is understandable to a point, because the only reason they are coming in to see me is because they don't know what's what. But there are some questions I cannot answer without more information from them. For example, here is a summary of a conversation I had with a student this morning.

Student: I got accepted to a summer program at American University, and I wanted to know if the credits will transfer back to MSU.
Me: What will you be enrolled in?
Student: I don't know.
Me: .... well.... it's hard to say, then.
Student: Ok, well that's really all I wanted to know.

Does that seem valuable? I think something was missing. Mostly, I just feel bad that he came all the way in and because of missing info, I was unable to give him any concrete information.

As I thought about this phenomenon (rampant unpreparation today), I realized that I spend a majority of my time planning for things. Now, this habit of mine has some distinct advantages.
- I'm fairly reliable and organized
- When unexpected "challenges" pop up, being overly prepared makes them easier to handle
- I generally have a good idea of what's going on around me, and when and why things are happening

However, I've noticed distinct disadvantages as well:
- Spontaneity can freak me out, which makes me a little less fun than the average bear
- It's harder to live in the moment, because I'm usually thinking about the moment that's coming 5 moments from now
- I can get more caught up with details than with the people involved

I'm working on finding a balance - both at home and at work. Mark and I joke about having 8 kids someday, and I know that he mostly likes the idea because I'll have to relinquish my fiendish grip on my precious plans. Kids systematically un-plan your life, and I guess I could use a little of that.

Are you a planner or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantser?
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Monday, March 20, 2006

take two

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

This is my second blog for today. I wrote a lovely, thoughtful entry earlier, and for some reason - it simply disappeared when I clicked "Publish." Grrr.

Anyway - today is the Vernal Equinox - which means that daylight and darkness should be equal today, and from here on out, our days will be longer than our nights! Sounds FAB-ulous to me!!

Random Facts #3:
1. I cut my own bangs this morning - they were getting far too long. I'm in need of a regular - old - haircut sometime soon, but I just couldn't handle them anymore. Silly unmanageable pieces of hair.

2. I check my email compulsively at work - but if I'm at home, I basically don't touch the computer. Ever.

3. It takes a long time for things to get old to me - I can re-read books over and over, watch movies and TV shows again, listen to the same songs. Kinda weird, maybe a little unimaginative, but hey. Whatever floats my boat, right?
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Friday, March 17, 2006

made me chuckle...

My supervisor got this in an email today, and it made us laugh. This strategy is not recommended, but it makes for a good joke!

How to Stay Married

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. "Honey," he said, "that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the dolls."

top o'the morning to you!

And the rest of the day to you!!

I'm Feeling: sooo happy it's Friday and sunny!!
Background Noise: Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer

Happy St. Patty's Day! Our office is appropriately decked out in green shirts, blouses and jackets - some of the gals even have "Kiss Me, I'm a Spartan" shirts on. Rhonda's 14-year-old daughter told her she looked dorky - but I think it's kinda fun (I guess that makes me a dork too...)

I'm excited about this weekend - we don't have big plans or anything, but I'm hoping to get some stuff done around the house and relax a little. WeatherBug says the sun is going to be out this weekend - I love that!!

Happy weekend! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 16, 2006

put your running shoes on

I'm Feeling: ready for a long day (I think...)
Background Noise: Valentine by Martina McBride

Marathon is a word that (for me) automatically brings up images of torturous drudgery - running for hours and hours, exhaustion, pain, and crazy people (who REALLY wants to run that long just for FUN?) Ironically, tonight I have the privilege of taking part in what MSU calls the "Marathon of Majors." Luckily for me, it's nowhere near as bad as the word marathon would suggest - although it is a long night of a LOT of talking. Essentially, all the colleges/departments at MSU get together and answer the questions of the masses of students looking for something meaningful to study during their tenure in college. The bummer is that it means I don't get to leave work until after 7pm. I guess I have to earn my paycheck somehow...

On an entirely separate, and mostly meaningless note... I ate lunch on Tuesday at Bruegger's Bagels (yum!) and there was a sign advertising their green bagels (in honor of St. Patty's Day, of course). They'll turn anything green these days, won't they?

ps. Thanks for listening to me last night, Tucker. I feel lighter this morning.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

i'm a pod person

I'm Feeling: not quite myself
Background Noise: Beautiful Soul by Jesse McCartney

Someone/something has taken over my mind today. Normally, I consider myself a fairly positive person - I try to keep my energy level up and I generally enjoy myself from day to day. Today, I've got a full-on case of the BUMMERS. Not sure why. I'm just feeling overwhelmed, ignored, pressed for time, and generally BLECHY. Please pray that this feeling lifts soon - I much prefer being content, in-control and generally un-blechy.

I worked through lunch today, so I'm leaving now. Have a good day!
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Monday, March 13, 2006

take a little time

I'm Feeling: blessed
Background Noise: Let's Hear It For the Boy by Deniece Williams

Well, I'm back from my excursions across the midwest! I had a great trip - it was fun to see my sister and my parents, and I had a blast with Heather, Ashley and Maggie (pictures to come!) I was blessed with good driving conditions, and safe, speedy travel. The only problem now is that I need time off to recover from my time off!! It's tiring to drive all over the place and be on the go - but work is busy right now (which is both good and bad), so no more time off for Kate for awhile.

As I wade through emails, voicemails, and regular mail - I'm struck again by how important it is to focus on things we care about. And that's not to say that we don't/shouldn't care about our work. But there are so many bigger things in our live - it would have been easy for me to say that I shouldn't take 4 days off to drive to Scott Air Force Base to visit my friends - too much will pile up while I'm gone, blah blah blah. But the truth is that not SO much piles up, and I was really blessed by time with a great friend and her beautiful children. Work will always be there, and for the most part, it can wait a minute/hour/day/week for you to focus on people and things that are more valuable.

Leave your bed unmade and spend a few more minutes talking to God. Leave the laundry for another day or two and spend your Saturday with some fabulous friends. Let your emails pile up a little while you take some time to get in touch with someone you haven't seen in awhile.

This is a lesson I need reminding of constantly - it's very easy for me to get hung up on details and organization. Today, I like that I can let some things be messy, and know that I've spent some of my time in a way that brings glory to God. Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 06, 2006

can i go home?

I'm Feeling: (I know I'll regret saying this later...) bored!
Background Noise: Your Song by Ewan McGregor (from Moulin Rouge)

It's officially MSU's Spring Break - the vast majority of our student population has migrated south for a week - in search of sunshine, warmer climes, sand, and (let's be honest) attractive strangers of the opposite gender. This means that campus feels somewhat akin to a ghost town - snow is blowing across empty streets, our building is chilly and quiet, and I have one, count-em, ONE student on my schedule for today. I'm not complaining (not REALLY), but I do prefer being busy.

For example - Saturday, I stepped out of my role as professional academic adviser, and into the role of Mrs. HOSA - the wife of the state director of
Michigan HOSA. This meant that we got up EARLY on Saturday morning - Mark hopped in his car and headed to Dearborn, I hopped into mine and headed for Bay City (and our friend Jamie headed to Macomb). We were each running a regional conference for HOSA (about 300 students travel to compete in health-care related events). From the minute I arrived at Delta College around 7:00am until the moment I left at 4:30pm - I was busier than a one-armed guy driving a stick shift racecar. It was great though! - I mean, I'd prefer to sleep in on most Saturdays, but I really like the "people are relying on me to answer questions, stay organized, know what's going on, and put out fires" kind of feeling. Wouldn't necessarily want to do it every single day of my life, but I really thrive in that kind of environment. Plus, the conference went SO well thanks to all kinds of other people involved - Patsy, Amy, Al, Betty... it was a good day.

Yesterday I got to spend a few hours with some of the 7th grade girls I am closest to through WYLdLife - Courtney, Natalee, Huntar, Christy, Ellen, and Maria gathered for a small-group bible study + dinner. It was fun, and so encouraging. I love those girls!

I'm officially giving notice that my blogging habits may fall by the wayside this week - I'll be traveling to Scott Air Force Base in IL to visit Heather, Ashley and Maggie - and I'm not sure what my time/computer access will look like. Hopefully I come back loaded with stories and pictures to share!!
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Friday, March 03, 2006

grown-up hubby!

I'm Feeling: blessed
Background Noise: The Longest Time by Billy Joel

You may or may not be aware that today, March 3rd, is an extremely significant day. This day marks a total of 30 years that my husband Mark, has been living on this earth! At 4:44pm, on 3/3/1976 - the world welcomed Mark William Burley into its ranks. And he's done some pretty cool things so far!

- jump out of an airplane
- climb the stairs of the Eiffel Tower
- had the opportunity to kiss the Blarney Stone (but decided to pass for sanitary reasons)
- visit the Ukraine and Kosovo on a missions trip
- ski at Whistler, A-Basin, Jackson Hole, and a bajillion other places that I can't remember...
- stay (multiple times) in the HMFIC suite at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City
- graduate from the BEST school ever - Michigan State!
- snorkel in Hawaii, jet ski and parasail in Key West, water ski at Uncle Tom's Cabin, surf in Venice, CA
- play air hockey, ping pong, and foosball in his own basement
- visit friends all over the country - Florida, New York, New Orleans, California, Minnesota, the UP...
and most importantly...
- know and love our Lord Jesus!

Yer one cool cat, Mark B. - I hope that your middle - 30 years are even better than the first!!

Oh - and seriously - more than 2 people read my blog. Please fill out yesterday's census. And have a happy weekend!! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 02, 2006

a census is to be taken of the entire blogging world...

I'm Feeling: inquisitive
Background Noise: Company Calls by DeathCab for Cutie

March is apparently the time for birthdays - at least in my circle of acquaintances. "Happy Birthday!!"s go out today to Mike and Scott - two good friends from our old church who have moved to Spencerport, NY and Scott Air Force Base, IL; respectively (although Scott is currently stationed in Iraq, and has been since October). I think they turn 33 today. Happy Birthday, guys!

Today, I feel like taking a blog census... I have an idea of how many people read my blog because of
ActiveMeter, but I'm not satisfied. So here goes:

1. Who are you? (this is not meant as a deep, philosophical question... just a name will suffice)
2. How do you know me?
3. How long have you been reading my blog?
4. How often do you read my blog?
5. Do you have any grand and fabulous ideas on what I should post about? Or things that I have posted about that I should NEVER mention again?
6. If you know me in real life, do you think that my blog provides a decent representation of my actual personality? And if you don't know me in real life... what kind of picture does my blog paint of me?
7. If you don't know me in real life... why do you read my blog? If you do know me in real life, please take a moment to compose a haiku (or poem of your choice).

I have to confess that I find blogs a little addicting - not necessarily mine. I mean, I like posting, but mostly because it's fun to know that there are people who like to read it. But I really like reading them too... funny, random stuff you might not ever hear about normally gets highlighted - and I get to keep "in touch" with some people I don't see as often as I'd like.

Random Facts #2:
1. I "window shop" online. Seriously - I'll go to websites, find things I like, even add them to my "shopping cart" - and then not buy them. Is that weird?
2. Yesterday I had Mango-Peach flavored applesauce. It was pretty good - although I like Pear flavored applesauce better (and it's green too, which is cool).
3. Here is the haiku I wrote for my little sister (I confess, I stole the idea from her!):
Megan's hair has curls
My hair is brown like hers but
It does not have curls
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

someone has a birthday!

I'm Feeling: like hazelnut hot cocoa is NOT destined to be my #1 favorite flavor of all time...
Background Noise: Word of God Speak by Big Daddy Weave

Today is my dad's fiftieth birthday - Happy Birthday, dAd!! I know most people aren't that agog (weird word, look it up!) about getting older, but I think it's pretty cool. Granted, I'm only 25, so I have little credibility in this area, but still. My dad's done a lot of things with his life - he's been married for 29 years, he has three kids, two kids-in-law, a silly beagle, mad golfing skills, a nice house with a gi-normous TV and a leather couch to accomodate all of us watching Mystery Men at Christmastime... what more could you ask for? I think it's kinda cool to look at your life and think "I really have done a lot of cool things... I'm blessed!" So here's wishing Dad a blessed and happy birthday!! Posted by Picasa