Friday, March 27, 2009

Save Me From Myself.

Well, it is Friday and I have yet to work on my paper since returning from my parents house last week. Handsome is travelling and has been for the last couple of days. It was unexpected, but the timing is probably good, for the sake of writing.

I feel like all I am writing about lately is writing this crazy paper. I worked on it for a few (okay, okay, a couple) solid hours this morning, but I am still feeling a little manic about it all. Sometimes I love the subject and feel confident in the work I have done, other times, like this morning, I feel quite down and distressed with the amount of work that remains to be completed.

These times, of frustration and confusion, likely arise when I have put extra pressure on myself. My competitive button periodically gets pushed and then I turn into some sort of Monster, and not the cute ones from Monsters, Inc. That happened today. Its almost like I become a little Smeagol / Gollum creature from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, where the one thing I want is to do really well on this paper and I get obsessive about it and unfortunately, its counter-productive.,

Occassionally, I am able to step back and remember that my self-worth does not come from how well I do on this paper, or how well I do in any of my classes for that matter.

I am reminded that my self-worth comes from my identity in Christ. Because He loved me while I was yet a sinner. He has saved me from myself! I am saved from my competitive no-good self. I am saved from my striving and stressed-and-not-always-pleasant-or-kind-to-the-people-I-love-the-most self. I am saved from good grades and bad grades and any type of academic honors that I might desire.

Praise God for his intervention in even this small area in which I struggle!

I think this is just the kind of perspective change I need today, so that I can get back to work and not feel or think that this paper defines me or has any merit over what kind of human being I am.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fashionista's in Academia.

I must share with you this  group of adorable bloggers. 

Here is the story:

Yesterday I went shopping and I found a well-fitting suit on sale but I didn't buy it. It felt too structured, too boring, too blah.

So I did not purchase it. 

Even though there may be days when I will need to wear a suit for the profession I have chosen.

Ordinarily I think I will be able to get by with professional pieces put together with other pieces that may be prettier than the average suit.

So in my state of feeling bummed about suits and outfits, I stepped onto a trail of looking at fashion bloggers.

(Alright, I know, I should not have been shopping or blogging, but writing. Let me just say I was really tired and couldn't write without doing damage to my paper back to the story.)

So I stepped onto this trail looking for fashion bloggers, possibly those in semi-professional type environments.

And that is when I came upon the most fabulous fashion blog. 

It is a group of three ladies, in academia, who are "on a crusade against the ill-fitting polyester suit of academic yore." 

The site is fantastic and so creative.

They have adorable fashion sense. 

And while I may not be interested in what they study, I was inspired by their outfits.

So much so, that I brought out some items from my closet that rarely ever make an appearance and started piece-ing them together. 

Check them out sometime.  


quote taken from the about me section at

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Take Heart. You are not Alone.

Matthew 28:20(b)

"... Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen."


Monday, March 23, 2009

Returning from the North Pole.

Hello my dear patient readers,

I apologize for my slightly extensive absence. I have been to the North Pole and I am finally back. What a spring break! And what a difference from last year...  You see, last year, my mom and I had the most amazing time in Houston, TX. We went there to shop for a wedding dress as I was newly engaged! Oh what fun, desert tamales, coffee at Starbucks, and the most beautiful wedding dresses I have ever seen or tried on. Ok, basically the only wedding dresses I have tried on, but you get the idea. 

So this year I embarked on another journey, but one that must be taken alone. And one that doesn't involved any taffeta or lace or pearls or high heels, or in my case cowboy boots. Actually, I think I wore the boots some, but that is beside the point. 

As my mom already alluded to, I was working on my "writing requirement" for school. I went to her house to work on it, and no, she doesn't live at the north pole, but the process kinda felt cold and lonely at times, but was also slightly exciting at moments too. I'm still working on it, but I made a great deal of progress.. and I'm no longer in the trenches with it. I almost feel like we got bombed out and now we're being stitched together in a nice little hospital. We may have some more surgery in the days ahead, but we have come back from the far ends of the earth and we are still alive (and this means I am that much closer to graduating). 

My draft is due April 1st...which is sadly not an April Fool's joke. 

I think my creative juices are close to flowing again, though you probably can't tell it from this post. We were close to hypothermic last week, as I was functioning in a time warp and I don't think many of my bodily fluids were flowing at any normal speeds, especially not creative juices. But during this week and the next, I will still probably be slightly absent... but I hopefully won't go a full week without an update!

I suppose that is enough with my complaining and exaggerating. I'm just feeling fairly good about only needing 8ish pages and having 10ish days to write those. And the other pages that have been written, have been edited. (Man, I just can't stop myself from writing about my writing.)

More exciting things to come later. Maybe a recipe or some fabulous find or some scriptural encouragement. Who is to know at this point. 

Thank you again for your patience. 

-I'm here and I'm still writing, 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Katie's Absence.

Hi, this is Katie's mother.

Katie is diligently working on her writing requirement at school. She has sequestered herself at my home, has overtaken the dining room with research, and has been demanding snacks. She always had quite the flair for the dramatic.

I have missed her writing, and I recognize some of you may have also. I explained this to her and she told me I could tell you what was going on. She explained to me how to post, and I'm guest-posting about her absence, in her absence.

The silly child says she has no creative energy left to blog, but will hopefully return soon. Do not lose hope. Today she is editing, and I'm certain she will have more research and writing to do after this edit, but eventually her brain will return to its newly created blogger state and she will be able to write to you, which I am certain she would prefer over this paper she is working on.

Now, I'm off to enjoy my new illustrated copy of The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White. She
picked it up for me at the local bookstore when she went out in search of a new Thesaurus. Oh the joys of writing and words and style have once again filled my home.

Thanks for reading.
-Katie's Mom

Monday, March 16, 2009

Almost-healthy. Indulgence.

Chocolate is one of my best friends. We regularly get together for afternoon snacks and desserts and other fun times. We laugh together, we watch movies together, sometimes we cry together, and we have a particularly sweet relationship for at least several days out of each month. We are true to one another and have been present with one another at both the best and worst of times. 

I basically like all forms of it... Actually, no, thats not true. I don't settle for a chocolate candy bar very often, because I just know it won't do the trick. Its like cheating because I'll have to have more, better quality chocolate later to make up for the mistake I made on a whim at the grocery store check-out line. (Not always true if we're thinking about Twix or KitKat, but this is ordinarily the case). As with most candy bars, tI'm not a big fan of plain chocolate chips or Hershey's kisses, but if either are included in baked goods, it is a totally different story. 

When I'm in desperate need of a chocolate fix (like a I'm-gonna-flip-out-in-two-point-three-seconds-if-I-don't-have-some-chocolate), my go-to is the Ghirardelli Brownie Mixes. Oh. My. It's the most delicious thing to ever come out of a box. Usually I satisfy the craving by making the batter, and savoring a spoon-full or two. (Yes, I know the health repercussions I could suffer form eating raw eggs in batter, but that doesn't stop me.) This type of situation usually only occurs two or three times a year. And one of those moments might be coming soon... 

But I will share with you my newest chocolate obsession. Introducing...

Chocolate pudding, with freshly halved strawberries and a little whip cream! Can I say so fabulous and so easy! And even the slightest bit healthy tasting because of the fruit. Ok, just kidding, but still. This is my newest fresh, delicious spring obsession. And it is fairly "budget-friendly" becuase strawberries are reasonably priced (and you only need a few), pudding is a heck-of-a-deal, and with the small amount of whip cream I use, it's completey affordable too. Just thought I'd share.

*If you haven't tried the brownie mix mentioned above, you must. You don't have to try the raw batter, but make the mix, cook the brownies, and hide them, so you can enjoy days and days of deliciousness that tastes homemade. Actually, tastes better than most homemade brownie recipes I have tried. Just my opinion. The only downside is that it's not exactly budget-friendly, but if you only make them three times a year... 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chicken Soup for a Not-Feeling-Very-Well-Physically Body and Soul.

Handsome was sick earlier in the week. Poor boy. He doesn't get sick often, so when he does, it usually hits him pretty hard. One night I decided he probably needed some chicken soup, because he was feeling well enough to eat something, but most things didn't sound too good to him. My mom's chicken soup always makes me feel better, whether I'm recovering from a stomach virus, a head cold, or some sort of emotional hurt. So that (with some variation) is what I made him. 

I used Swanson's broth, because I definitely didn't think about it early enough in the day to make my own. I also bought a few ready-to-go items, so that my prep time would be shorter and so Handsome would have something in his precious tummy sooner. (Did I mention that earlier in the day I forced him to finish my mint Oreo blizzard from Dairy Queen, which wasnot a good I definitely had some making-up to do, and I needed to do it quickly). 

Here is a general recipe of what I did, in case you don't have basic (use ingredients mostly ready at the store) Chicken Soup recipe.

You need:
Chicken. I shredded a few legs and the breast of one Rotisserie chicken. (I really liked the taste / texture of it shredded.)
Cut up one half of one white onion.
Cut up six stocks of celery. 
Cut up about one small bag of baby carrots.
3/4 of one bag of wide egg noodles. 
2 boxes, and 2 cans of chicken broth. 
2 regular potatoes, cut into bite size pieces.

I essentially just poured it all together and let it cook for maybe an hour-ish before we sat down to eat. The carrots were not as soft as I would have liked, but by the next day (I let it cook for a while after we had dinner)...they were doing well. We have plenty of leftovers. (So much, actually, that I might invite you over. Oh, except our house doesn't fit a lot of people. And that would probably require a plane flight and a little more notice anyway). I froze about 1/2 and we have been eating the others for dinner. This recipe is good for the budget! 

Anyway... I was proud of myself. I know it is not the fanciest or most difficult soup, but it hit the spot for these two lovebirds on a cold, and a little bit sick, week. 

Here are pictures: (I had to take them myself, and I don't know much about lighting at this point... so they would have probably looked a little nicer had Handsome been the camera operator and feeling better...but you still get the idea.)

So, if its cold at your house, and your up for a relaxing night in, I hope you will be inspired. And I would add green beans the next time I cooked it, but I didn't think to do so that 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Big Surprise! (or Reveal I suppose).

Take a look at my new blog design!

  After endless hours of searching about how to do a design on my own, how to this and how to that, I decided it could be an "early-half-birthday-present-to-myself." (Handsome says: 1. People don't give themselves presents--to which I say I must be the first woman you have met-, He continues: 2. People don't celebrate half birthdays!--to which I say, welcome to my family--and He finishes with 3. At our age, people don't get birthday presents--to which I say, I am not that old and even if I were, I will be getting birthday presents for the rest of my life-- But I digress.) The amount of time I was researching new designs was beginning to infringe on my abilities to do good school work... so I decided to go with a professional. 

And I'm quite happy with it. 

Hilary, at Simply Yours Designs, was fabulous to work with, so I highly recommend her to you. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So. Excited!

A little change, a little surprise is on its way!

Stay tuned.


Monday, March 9, 2009


I added a blogroll, of the blogs I read fairly regularly. If you would like to be included, let me know. 

Handsome's Names List.

I had so much fun with this, I sat on the couch last night with my man and asked him these questions to create his very own list. 

1.  Rock Star Name (first pet/current car): Winston Tundra

2. Rapper Name (favorite ice cream flavor/fav type of shoe): Coffee Birkenstock
3.  Native American Name (favorite color/favorite animal): Navy Dog (if this was the rapper one I would write it Navy Dawg)
4.  Soap Opera Name (middle name/city where you once lived or were born): Earl Cheyenne 
5. Star Wars Name (He had one previously from high school also!): McJod Chalb of the planet Avelox. (Same planet as me). 
6. Superhero Name (2nd favorite color/ favorite drink): White Coffee
7. Nascar Name (the first names of your grandfathers): John Harley
8. Stripper Name  (the name of your favorite perfume, cologne or scent/favorite candy): Adventure Starburst (switching the order sounds better... Starburst Adventure)
9. Weatherman Name(your 5th grade teacher’s last name/ a major city that starts with the same letter): Howe Hartford
10. Spy Name: (your favorite season/favorite holiday): Summer Christmas
11. Cartoon Name: (favorite fruit/ article of clothing you’re wearing right now): Strawberry Warm-up Pants
12. Hippie Name: (What you ate for breakfast/your favorite tree): Yogurt Live Oak

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Fabulous Find Friday.

I may do this on occassional Friday's, or I might do a Materialist Possession Monday, every now and then... I don't think I'll turn it into a weekly thing, because I don't want the pressure of it (cuts off the creative juices) ... and I want to keep you on your toes!

And I know I (semi)-recently posted another ring that I thought was fabulous, but I am going to do it again! Most days I wear two bands on my left ring finger (wedding and engagemet), a cross ring on my left thumb, a watch on my left wrist, and I leaves my right side totally naked. (Gasp!, I know.) So sometimes my mind starts wandering about what I could use or buy to decorate the other side. And about that same time that I start clicking around on James Avery

This week's is lovely and I think it would be quite fun for spring...
Disclaimer: I don't really, really want these things, but I think they are fun to look at. And that is why I share them with you dear reader. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's a Strange Thing Being a Woman.

Strange thing being a woman: Men are born being Mister's their entire life. 
Women are Miss as little girls and young women.
Ms. as they age or I should say become "of age".
Mrs. when they marry.
Ms. when someone isn't sure if they are married.
Ms. sometimes because it is less syllables than Mrs., and people get lazy. 
Mrs. still when widowed. 
Dr., Doctor, The Honorable, The Reverend, many a military title, etc., are other titles that a woman could possibly acquire in her lifetime. (I know this is the same for men, but just wanted to point it out.)
Ms. still, even if they acquire another title, when someone is unsure or unaware of that title. 

Interesting... And this is just "Titles." No wonder some women sometimes struggle with identity issues. 

Anyway, Happy Birthday Mrs. Kelley L.--your first birthday as a Mrs.! I suppose I should have said Happy Birthday Mrs. Rhett, but you know me ;)...I hope you have fun on your trip to Tucson!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Miss You Mamaw.

Today marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of my dear sweet grandmother, whom I called Mamaw. She was a wonderful woman and she is missed by both my mother and I, and my mom's best friend Stella who helped care for my mom's parents in their elder years. And I'm certain there are others who miss her too, though I won't go through a list or try to name them. 

She had a fairly remarkable, but at the same time, ordinary, life. I'll share a few of the highlights with you. 

She had a college degree before most women were able to go to college.
She was a working mom in the 1950's and 1960's.
She was the best cherry pie maker I have ever met.
She was a teacher to countless numbers of children. 
She spoke Spanish and English, and helped little children learn both.
She was a daughter, to both her parents and her husbands parents.
She was a sister to many. 
She was a mother to four.
She was a grandmother to four also. 
She was quite possibly my mom's best friend.
She was probably a huge influence on my mom and helped shape her into the woman my mom is today. Which in turn has shaped me into the woman I am, and am becoming. She was the wife to one man, with whom she shared 67 blessed years of marriage, but this is not to say that she didn't share in many heartaches or have difficult times. 
She loved the Lord and Christian Radio.
She passed on a legacy of faith to my mother, for which I am thankful.

I remember going to her house as a child and having so much fun playing in her closet and getting Cherry RC Cola's from her pantry. She always stored them up for me, so I could have a few when I came to visit. These were the years she taught me about QVC, and how to purchase something from there. 

I remember when she and my grandpa moved to my hometown and I was sad we wouldn't be able to go visit them in the other city any longer, but was excited when I realized we would be seeing much more of them. I remember unpacking things in their new home and picking fruit off the tree in their new backyard to make a pie. I remember pitting cherries for the same reason. And I remember listening to her tell my mother and I each step to take to make a pie taste just as good as the one she had made. 

She used to tape television shows for me on nights when I was away from my house for church or school activities. We didn't have a VCR that recorded, and she did, so she learned my television show viewing schedule and would tape the episodes for me each week. 

As she grew older, my mom and I would sneak over to say hello and goodnight in the evenings, or to say bye before I left to go back to college. Sometimes, she and my grandpa would already be laying in bed and we would listen to them talk to one another. How tender and sweet were those moments, that the Lord let us have with them. Other times we would talk for a few minutes, after her radio program had finished but before she was ready to sleep. I loved going over, but sometimes now I wish I had stayed there longer during those visits. I wish I had soaked it up a little bit more or been more thoughtful to let her know that I loved her dearly. 

I remember the last Christmas.  She told both my mom and me to choose a piece of her jewelry as our gift that year. It was so sweet of her, and we enjoyed talking about some of her jewelry pieces with her. 

She knew that Handsome and I were engaged before she passed away... and I think she was looking forward to our wedding and was happy for us to be getting married. While she only met him once, I think she liked him and the stories my mother and I had shared with her about him. Sometimes, too, I wish they had had more time together, because she was so very important to me and because he is so very important to me. That I hadn't been so slow to introduce them, so that maybe he would understand a little more of who I am because of her, and that maybe she would have just known a little more about the man with whom I will share my life.  

I miss her. And I'm honestly not sure I ever finished grieving. I said that to the husband in the fall, and I don't think he quite understood me, but I've been very irritable the last few days and I think this might be part of the reason why. I didn't really let myself cry much. And I'm not sure I really know how one grieves, but I suppose time heals pain, or more accurately, that the Lord heals us and sometimes it takes some time. This is not to say that I won't still feel a twinge of hurt for years to come when I think that she missed my wedding and will miss both my brothers and my graduation from college and graduate school, respectively,  and someday maybe his wedding, and my children, her great grandchildren, but I also can't focus on this because we were so blessed to have been able to share so much of our lives with her. And she lived a long, very full life. 

And I rest knowing that she loved the Lord and soaked in the His Word all through the last years of her life. She was blind, you see, so she continually had messages from Christian broadcasters on her radio, or listened to books on tape--including the first two of the Mark of the Lion trilogy--which we shared a love for. Everytime, almost, that I went to see her she was listening to some teacher of the word, or to some music worshipping God. It was encouraging to me to finish the race. 

It is amazing how big our God is that he brings us together, to one another. That He puts people in our lives and that we have something common in knowing Him. Through generations of time and very different life circumstances, there is still the common thread of His work and His story and His plan. I'm thankful we, my grandmother and I, shared Him. And I'm thankful that He is so much bigger than any one of us, or any one of our lives, and that there is this common thing among Christians, that transcends generations, centuries, and time. 

Oh how I miss her, but oh how thankful I am that I knew her and had her in my life. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Today, you turn 22 and I know you don't read this blog, but the woman who birthed you occasionally does and your birthdays are as much a celebration for you as for her! (I think I scheduled this to post at the same time your were born! but, I could be wrong...Mom?) 

You, younger brother, are one of my favorite people.
You are fun to be around and interesting to talk with. 
You think a lot and you care deeply for people in your life.
You are a good student, in school, but more importantly in life. 
You are a pretty good driver, even though you like to drive fast when I ride with you in the car. 
You don't care about being popular or doing the "in-thing," but you stand by your convictions. 
You have an adventurous spirit, that I do not have, but that I admire in you. 
You are not a hypocrite.
You like me even if I drive you crazy. 
You love our parents. 
You are passionate about the Lord; about learning about Him, growing in relationship with Him, and leading others to find Him and His work in their lives. 
You care about the salvation of your friends, the study-abroad students, and others you haven't even necessarily met. 

You are so special to us. I love you and I'm so proud of you.

-Sister, Ka-Te

And to everyone else:Today is Square Root Day, a rare holiday that occurs when the day and the month are both the square root of the last two digits of the current year. Numerically, March 3, 2009, can be expressed as 3/3/09, or mathematically as 3² = 3 × 3 = 9. 

Happy Square Root Day!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Random List of Thoughts.

1. I completed a whole months worth of posts in February!

2. Handsome is sleeping like an angel.

3.  We watched D2: The Mighty Ducks last night. 

4. And had pizza for dinner. I'm seriously wanting to do the whole thing over again tonight.

5. I love pizza.

6. We don't eat pizza enough.

7. I worked on my paper for my writing requirement a little this morning and it is only 8:15 am right now! This paper is looming over me and I have one month from today to get it finished. Eeek! Pray for concentration and motivation if you would. 

8. I'll probably be a little less present around here and I'm gonna try to get on a schedule for posting. I'll keep you updated. 

9. I'm going to go get ready for church. 

10. Hopefully Handsome and I can study together today.

11. Because I got no studying done yesterday due to a head cold / allergies. I might have broken through the worst of it already.