Thursday, March 29, 2007

bad habits?

That picture totally grosses me out - who can bite their nails that much?? I bite my nails - not as a nervous habit, but when they're looong or snagged or other things - my teeth work as a makeshift grooming device. It's a habit I wish I could drop, as it basically precludes me wearing any sort of nail polish. What about acrylic nails, you ask? Oh, I've tried that too. I rip them off. Once they start getting loose, I tear those nasty little nails right off my fingers. Yes, it hurts. And it looks terrible. Which is why I don't pay someone to glue fake nails to my hands.

What bad habits would you get rid of if you could?

ps. This just in from WKAB - Katie DID get to the grocery store yesterday. She is now in possession of Eggo waffles, yogurt, cheese, and other sundry items. Thanks for your concern.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Breaking News

Good Morning, welcome to the WKAB News at 7:32am. We have a few very important updates for you today.

First up this morning: the weather! It's chillier than yesterday, and still a little rainy. But rain is a good thing, because it means it's too warm for snow!

Also, recent studies show that Katie needs to go grocery shopping. This conclusion is based on evidence that suggests no breakfast foods exist in her home, and that the apple and pear sitting in her fruit bowl have passed ripe and moved on don't-touch-that-it-might-disintegrate. She is also in need of cheese.

In other news, it appears that it's occasionally a very good thing to go to bed shortly after 9:00pm - however, you may wake up at 2:21am, 3:24am, 4:30am and 5:36am. Even if it's your day to *sleep in* and your alarm is not scheduled to go off until 5:50am.

Finally, an hour-long pedicure on a Saturday morning seems to be just the way to kick off your weekend. And springtime in general. We suggest scheduling one today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

god is good

Why is it so easy to forget that God is good? When I survey the world around me with *open* eyes, I'm absolutely floored that it can ever leave my mind for a moment that my Lord is full of grace I cannot comprehend. Here are some things that have brought me to my knees lately...
1. I haven't been very good at concealing the fact that life has been a little rough on me lately. I know the blog has been vague, which leads to some people worrying... Mark told me last night that our friend D asked if "Katie was okay." I don't talk to D often (really ever - we pretty much just exchange birthday emails), but apparently she reads my blog enough to know something's been up. (I read her blog too, but she's had the same post up for months now... *ahem*) :)
I'm okay - I've deliberately been vague because, although blogs beg a sort of strange intimacy, there are some things I just didn't feel like posting on the internet.
2. I came to work yesterday to find an email from a friend I've known for nearly 7 years - we don't see each other a whole lot anymore, but we read each other's blogs, and keep up on life in general. She'd been thinking about me a lot lately, re-read some of my blog entries, thought it was clear that I was struggling through something, and (although she knew none of the details) sent me an email that so clearly spoke to what I was going through that God's great power and love gave me chills.
3. My hubs gets a daily devotional email (or two or three) and he shares them with me once in awhile. The past three or four ones he has shared have spoken so directly to me that I had to stop and collect myself a little. Today was yet another instance of that.
When I am at my loneliest, most vulnerable... He sends the most unexpected joys my way. How can I ever pretend that I am not wholly cared for? His power is made perfect in my weakness - and although I really detest being weak, He shines so clearly for me in those moments that I have to praise Him for those too.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.—Philippians 1:6

Monday, March 26, 2007

i need to work out

I went for a walk with Mark yesterday - I'm not sure how long the route that we walked really is - but mapquest says 4.84 miles roundtrip.
Today - the part of my legs that connects to my body is in pain. I know that almost 5 miles is a long walk. But still. We moseyed - we sauntered... we only got a little sweaty, and that's because it was so beautifully warm outside.
I'm a wuss.
Conclusion: I need to work out more often. Even if it's just taking a 90 minute stroll around downtown Mason.

a meme for Monday

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:29am on the clock in our bedroom… which is actually 5:19am everywhere else in the Eastern Time Zone.

2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds – somehow the pearls speak to a level of refinement I just don’t possess. I like sparklies.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I don’t know if I’ve ever been to the cinema. But the last movie I saw at the theater was, um… Music and Lyrics. (I had to check and see which movies have been out recently)

4. What is your favorite TV show? I watch Friends on DVD, Gilmore Girls on DVD (not the current episodes) and Scrubs on DVD. I don’t watch much current TV – although I caught one episode of the “Grease” reality show, and thought that was fun. I like singing and dancing.

5. What did you have for breakfast? Apple – all sliced up.

6. What is your middle name? Anne.

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mmm… we like Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, American… I even had Hungarian a few months ago, and it was also VERY good.

8. What foods do you dislike? Onions… oysters… that’s about it.

9. What are your favorite chips? I like the Baked Ruffles. And the Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips.

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? I’ve been listening to a lot of Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits. Old school all the way.

11. What kind of car do you drive? A Nissan Versa Hatchback. I’m in love with it.

12. Favorite sandwich? A club, I guess. I like melty cheese.

13. What are characteristics you can’t stand? Unreliability, rudeness, self-centeredness. I’ve been known to display all of these at one time or another. Or another.

14. What are your favorite clothes? I love my Old Navy sweatpants – they’re two sizes too big, and I could live in them. Otherwise I like comfy skirts and gauchos in the summer – I like comfy, soft, moderately stylish… and if I can be barefoot – even better.

15. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go? I’d love to go to Australia with Mark… back to Europe with Megan… to the beach/on a cruise with anyone who will come along…

Where is sixteen? Sliding away into the past… with all my baggy tshirts, scrunchies, and the 1985 Chevy Celebrity I drove back then.

17. Where would you want to retire? A house in the mountains on a lake in North Carolina or Tennessee – in a small town but about 30 minutes from a big town. Not too picky, huh?

18. Favorite time of day? Mornings – once the sun is up. And sunset in the summer.

19. Where were you born? Bolingbrook, IL.

20. What is your favorite sport to watch? I can handle college football – I like baseball in person (mostly because of hot dogs and peanuts and things like that) – and I’ll watch MSU play hockey – or the NCAA tournament.

21. Coke or Pepsi? Whichever is on sale, although I try not to drink much of either.

22. Beavers or ducks? No thanks.

23. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning – once I’ve had a shower.

24. Pedicure or manicure? Pedicure. I pick at my fingernails… getting a manicure is about as useful as flushing $35 right down the toilet.

25. What did you want to be when you were little? A mommy, mostly I think.

26. What is your best childhood memory? Messing around with my siblings I guess – at grandmas, at the pool – wherever.

27. Ever been to Africa? No…

28. Ever been toilet papering? I don’t think so (that’s pretty sad that I can’t remember…)

29. Been in a car accident? Only a couple minor fender benders until about 6 weeks ago. Then I totaled my brand new car. God kept me (and the other gal) very VERY safe.

30. Favorite day of the week? Saturday – work is over, and it’s not almost Monday.

31. Favorite restaurant? I love going to the Peninsula Grill near Traverse City… but we go to Smokey Bones a lot too.

32. Favorite flower? Roses.

33. Favorite ice-cream? Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

34. Favorite fast food restaurant? *hides* I’m a sucker for McD’s – I know it’s gross, but sometimes, it just tastes SO GOOD.

35. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? Once – although we did some research, and my teacher failed me for something that isn’t actually illegal. I passed for real the next time.

36. From whom did you get your last e-mail? A student in the program I coordinate.

37. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Never ever ever would max out a credit card… but probably could do some real damage at Ann Taylor Loft.

38. Last person you went to dinner with? My sister and I picked up Jimmy John’s subs this weekend and brought them home to eat. Does that count?

39. What are you listening to right now? Big Shot by Billy Joel (told you)

40. What is your favorite color? All of them.

41. How many tattoos do you have? None. Although I just had a dream that I was going to get one. It was weird.

42. How many are you sending this Email to? No one – it will be posted on my blog, which is read by about 4 people.

43. What time did you finish this e-mail blog entry? Dunno – I’m not done yet.

44. Favorite magazine: Real Simple

45. Coffee or tea? Coffee – although it has to relatively doctored up… I ordered a decaf tall easy vanilla nonfat no-whip Cinnamon Dolce latte at Starbucks this weekend. YUM.

46. Do you tan easily or burn easily? Burn. Then peel. Then freckle… then the cycle starts over.

47. Do you color your hair? If so, how often? Nope – I go with the natural mousy brownish color. It’s irresistible.

48. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? The Nissan Versa I currently am driving.

49. What is your most dreaded household chore? Gosh – I detest dusting. I’m no good at putting away clean, folded laundry (don’t mind the other steps of the laundry chore). I’m sure I could stand to clean the corners of the kitchen more often. And I’m miserable at pulling weeds. Good homemaker, I am, huh??

50 Who do you tag to complete this meme? Whoever wants to. I’m too wishy washy to actually tag anyone.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I <3 sunshine!!

When I first moved to Michigan, people talked about Seasonal Affective Disorder (appropriately acronymed SAD) - where in the 11 months of the year that it's cloudy (ok, a slight exaggerations), you actually experience an emotional response - depression or sadness... I thought it was kinda crazy. Yeah, it's more fun to have the sun shine, but does cloudiness REALLY make people depressed?
I don't suffer from SAD as much in the sense that I'm depressed in the winter as that I notice a marked change when the sun comes out and spring shows up. My mood is SO MUCH BETTER on days like today (almost 60 degrees, sunny) than on yucky mucky winter days. I love it. Plus, I'm driving to Chicago tonight to visit the family, and it's much more fun to drive when the weather is nice. Makes being in a car for 4 hours as enjoyable as possible.
So have a great weekend - enjoy the sunshine and the springy weather!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

where have i seen that before??

My little sister had a fun quiz on her blog today... and I scored as high as anyone did (although I'm not sure I think the test was totally fair....). So I'm copycatting her, and posting one of my own. Have fun!!

Create your own Friend Test here

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

prayer of my heart

When I was growing up, we had crocus lining the front walk - they were always a good (and welcome) signal that spring was coming. Mark and I don't have any at our house now, but there's something in the air that feels like spring may be starting to get serious about showing up. It's supposed to be sunny and 41 today - not super warm, but sunshine is always welcome, and is just as much a sign of spring in Michigan as rising temperatures and little purple flowers.

I've been neglecting my blog a little bit lately, and that's been deliberate. It's been a really rough week or two (a rough winter, for that matter) and I felt like the only thing I would do if I blogged was complain. And I don't want to do that. Whining about the tough stuff won't make it better or easier.

Lord, You are faithful. You are constant. I praise You for being Lord of my life, and for gently reminding me that You are good - through good times and bad. The circumstances of my life do not change Your holiness, Your incomprehensible grace for me. I know I am resting safely in Your hand, and though my life feels so very out of my control, that You are guiding me. You have never left me. Lord, I thank You that You can be seen in all things - in joy and in sorrow. Thank You that when I am weakest, Your strength is made perfect. I am learning the secret of being content in all circumstances - You know that I'm not very good at it yet, but I am learning. Father, I praise You for Your bigness - that You cover all things, and in You all things hold together. Hold me together, Lord. Thanks for little joys - I will treasure those up and store them, knowing that every good and perfect gift comes from You.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Rough Road

I've been absent from my blog for awhile, aside from the obligatory, low-effort collage I put up yesterday afternoon. It's been a rough week... work's had its challenges, our calendar has been pretty full, and my general emotional state has taken a bit of a beating.
I'm looking forward to this weekend - it'll be busy, but with some good stuff I think. It'll be nice to have my mind and time occupied, and I get to hang out with Mark (one of my favorite past-times) and some other really fun people (middle school friends!!) and maybe catch a movie. If I get to have popcorn at the theater, it'll be just a gold-star weekend all-around.
On top of that, the average high temperature for the next 10 days is 49.1 degrees. To some, that may not sound like much - but in Michigan, where we are beset much of the year with dreary gray skies and arctic winds... it sounds like a little piece of heaven. And 7 of those days show at least partly sunshiney days predicted. That's a good deal, little lady.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I found this online - and I thought it was kinda fun. Some of it is accurate (almost scary how much it sounds like me) and some of it isn't. But it makes for a pretty blog post!

Monday, March 12, 2007

good weekend

I got to do a lot of relaxing, a lot of laundry and cleaning (yup, it's possible to do both), hang out with 10 funny toddlers in the nursery at church, talk to some people I love on the phone, and spend some quality time with Mark's family at our nephew's birthday party. No pedicures or spa time - but things wound up getting a little crazy (in a good way) this weekend. I just ran with it.

Here's to a busy, but hopefully really productive and rewarding week. Spring break is over at MSU, and the students are going to come flooding in soon. I'm on guard!! :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

isn't it funny

I am not a self-professed "morning person". I imagine that "morning people" jump eagerly out of bed, anxious to start the day in the wee small hours of the morning. Not I. I prefer to sleep until my body wakes itself up (which these days is no later than 8:30, unless I'm sick). When I do get out of bed though, all it really takes is a shower for me to be up, chatty, and ready to go for my day. Dear Husband Of Mine is in NO WAY a morning person. He wakes up slowly, not talking much until 9:00 or 10:00 if he can help it. He just *loves* my talkative morning persona - when I asked him if it was endearing or irritating, he replied, "I take the 5th." How diplomatic of him.
This morning, I woke up in a really good mood. I've often wondered what it is that makes that happen. Why do I wake up some days, wanting to steamroll anyone and anything that deigns to get in my way or ask something of me? Why do I wake up other days practically grinning - almost irritating myself with my own dad-gum cheeriness?
I have no answers - but I do know that the snow is melting (for the 87th time since last week) and the sun is shining and WeatherBug says it's going to be 45 whole big fat degrees outside tomorrow! In Michigan, spring isn't really reliably "here" until it's officially summer... but I do enjoy these glimpses.
Got a semi-relaxing weekend coming up, and it looks like Mark may be gone tomorrow night and all day Saturday - any ideas what I can do to keep myself busy?

Monday, March 05, 2007

seasons of life

Usually, when I think of seasons of life, I think of big, long expanses of time. "Seasons" like ChildHood, Teenager, AdultHood. Today, I'm thinking of my "seasons" as more realistic chunks of time... and I'm overjoyed to report that I feel like I'm coming out of a really rough, cloudy season.
The past few months have burdened me emotionally: with questions about ministry and my spiritual gifts, admitting that God is in control of my life and not me, feeling some intense relational voids, and struggling with being in the Word and in prayer as I ought to be. Of course, throw in totaling my brand new car, and my goose was pretty well cooked.
I've had some good time to think and pray lately, and had a great conversation with Mark on Thursday night, and as a result, God's really been churning things in my heart. The sun is breaking through the clouds on some of those issues. He's made it clear that I really need to embrace the life and the roles He's given me today, and do so joyfully. I'm making progress. I know that He knows the desires of my heart - and that it's okay for me to have those desires. But it's not okay for me to let that keep me from the life He died to give me.
The life I have right now may not be the one I would draw up for myself if I was given the paint. However, my artistic skills are nothing compared to my Lord's - He can fashion a life more intricately woven with love, challenge, laughter, sorrow, joy, wisdom, pain and contentment than I could ever dream. A life where He is the center. I need to teach my wandering heart that my treasure lies in Him - not in the things of this world or in the plans that I have for myself.
His grace is sufficient for me.

am i mean?

A student just left my office - he was looking for someone to tell him what elective to take this summer. This is a guy who is 6 credits away from graduation (ie. I would expect him to have an understanding that he is in control of his education, and has his own opinions). He has one required class left, and one elective to take.
He sat in the green office chair next to my desk and stared at me when I asked him, "Well, if I said to you 'You can take ANY class you want,' where would you start looking?"
He had no answer.
After rephrasing two or three times, he said, "Spanish?" (a question, not a statement)
We looked at Spanish courses - the times didn't work for him, and he immediately said so, then stared at me expectantly.
After 10 minutes or so, I got him to realize that (I think) it really is best to think about what kinds of things you'd like to learn about (and pay a lot of money and spend a lot of time on) and look for courses in those areas. I'm not trying to be unhelpful - just the opposite - I want him to have courses on his schedule that he wants and is interested in.
I finally said to him, "I wish I had a file labeled 'Good Courses for Dan' - but I don't. You're the best one to answer that question."
He seemed awfully disappointed in the service he got today. I feel a little bad about that - but how are you supposed to recommend courses to someone you met 30 seconds earlier, who won't give you any input into their likes, dislikes, or interests?