Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting to Know Yoooouuu

My friend, Staci (no pun intended) tagged me in her "Get to Know Me" post. Libby did one, too, so I'm jumping off the cliff and letting you into my mind space. But not my personal space because we all know that weirds me out unless I want you there.

The Rules:

You must post the rules.
Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
Tag eleven people and link them on your post.
Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Now, right off the bat, I am in violation of the rules. That's how I roll. You tell me to jump, and I say "No, YOU jump." I just don't have eleven people to tag. Staci and Libby are my only blogging friends that post with any regularity, so I don't really want to tag them again. It would turn into a blogging black hole, and none of us want that.

Here are the questions posed by Staci:

1. Do you have a signature (or simply favorite) perfume? What kind is it?

My favorite ever is "Love Spell" from Victoria Secret, but I ran out, so I wear "Pure Romance" from Bath & Body Works the most. There is a love theme to my perfumes. What's that about? (Also, Mom and Dad gave me "Beautiful" by Estee Lauder for Christmas one year, so I wear that on special occasions.)

2. If you had to pick one song to be your ringtone–FOREVER–what would it be?

This is actually a very easy question to answer for me: "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2. It's only my favorite song ever. Be warned, if you are ever in a vehicle with me and this song comes on, it WILL be turned up and belted out at an ungodly volume. That is unless everyone in the vehicle has a problem with it, and in that case, I'll just ball up in the back and rock back and forth, weeping. ("Need You Tonight" by INXS runs a close second.)

3. Favorite kind of shoe?

I would choose bare feet, but that's not a shoe. My favorite kind of shoe is a flip flop. I have been known to wear them year round in my younger days.

4. What was your favorite subject?

History or Spelling. (I accidentally typed "History of Spelling" at first. Now THAT would be a subject I'd enjoy.) I was really good at spelling as a child. Maybe that's why I get easily stressed out by reading my Facebook news feed.

5. Do you enjoy exercising? Do you actually exercise?

The only exercise I actually ENJOY is shrinking the distance between my food and my mouth. But that's how I got to my current physical physique. I need to start exercising. I actually DO enjoy it when it happens, but it's just so BORING. I sound like such an amazing person. I'm going to move on now.

6. Favorite season?

I love both spring and fall. BUT I would say year after year I am falling harder for fall. HAH. Falling. Nevermind.

7. How often do you go out to eat? Where?

Too often, and I would say I mostly go to Applebees (with my awesome friends), Taco Tico (with my awesome brother), and Tres Amigos (with anyone who I can drag there).

8. If you had to donate all your money to one charity, which would you choose?

Oh dang. I have no idea what SPECIFIC charity I would give to. I'm just going to say I'd give all my money to NewSpring (my church) because they give to a bunch of different charities. Either that or I'd give to a crisis pregnancy center. It would be so easy to say "I'd give all my money to the children in Africa!", but seriously. I think people overlook the need in our own country waaaaaay too much.

9. Name a detail that you always notice that most people overlook (nice paper, clean cars–something like that)

I always notice which way the toilet paper is put on the roll.

10. Most-used tool in your makeup bag? (You can tell I’m writing this for girls)

I'm not a HUGE makeup girl (see random things about me), so I don't really use any tools. BUT I will use one of my makeups in its' stead: My Clinique Long Lash Mascara. Holy goodness. It's all I ever need.

11. One cherished memory.

Any memory involving my Papa. He was a very funny guy and I loved him very very much. (He was pretty much like my dad, just older.) I remember when he died, my grandma told me one night, "Your Papa really really loved you, you know that?" (He wasn't a man who wore his lovey dovey feelings on his sleeve.) I just kind of took that statement, folded it up, and put it in my heart.

As far as memories go, anything involving my family. Immediate AND extended. There are a lot of us and we always have a good time. They're my favorite thing about my life, even though I've wanted to seriously injure them at times. (But who can say they HAVEN'T felt that way about their family?)

Random things about me:

1) I was born premature and with my left hip out of socket so I had to wear a brace for the first 6 weeks of my life. I was a TINY baby. My dad always tells me that when they took me back for my doctors visit, the Dr. remarked that he'd never seen a baby that had been taken such good care of in a brace like that. I didn't have any marks or bruises from it. Dad says it's because Mom wanted me so bad and for so long. Also, I have to pop my hips a lot and sometimes I get stuck sitting down until I can pop it.

2) "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is my most watched movie of ALL TIME. Frankincense is my favorite brother.

3) When I was 3 years old, my number one jam was "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes. Had I known that would be a theme in my life, I would've chosen a better song. (No, I wouldn't.)

4) My dog, Cordelia, was SUPPOSED to be named Banshee Rufina. (If you know her, you know just how un-bansheelike she is.)

5) I love love love George Michael. Wham AND solo.

6) I really hate doing my hair and makeup and I feel like less of a woman for that.

7) I actually prefer breakfast sausage to bacon, and I fear this makes me a horrible human being.

8) I love hats, but I don't wear them all that often. (Mostly because I forget about them.)

9) I love drinking water. It's pretty much all I drink.

10) I am a SUCKER for a good costume drama. 6+ hr BBC miniseries? BRINGITON!

11) My greatest desire in the world is to be a wife and mom, even though I downplay it a lot. I mean, I don't need it NOW, but I would prefer it happen before I'm 45.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


On this Valentine’s Day, I pledge to be happy. To be happy where I’m at, and to be happy for all the Valentines around me.

Sure, it’s easy to get all bummed out and feed into the whole “Singles Awareness Day” hype, but come on. There are 364 other days in the year (365 in 2012) to be all mopey because you don’t have someone in your life. Actually, scratch that. You have people in your life. You just don’t have the one person that you want in the one capacity that you want them in. I have plenty of people who love me. Why should I get down just because I don’t have someone to fall asleep with? Not to mention that I know plenty of couples that sleeping is the only thing they LIKE doing with the other person.

You can get happy in the same pants you get depressed in.

People are people. No one will ever make you 100% happy 100% of the time so stop looking for it! YOU determine your outlook on life, not your relationship status! I really hate the whole “You complete me” line. How about “Hey. I like being around you most of the times. I think my life might be a little more enjoyable with you in it. Let’s be together till we get old and die, like our grandparents did.” Now THERE’S a statement I can get behind.

Today, I will be happy for my friends receiving flowers. Goodness knows they deserve them!! I will look around at all the husbands and boyfriends buying their significant others flowers and candies and thank the Lord that one day I might have a thoughtful man of my own. (But mostly I’ll just say “AWWWW!!!” really loud when I think of how pleased their lucky ladies will be.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Child Vs. Adult Reactions

I was up sick at 4:30 this morning and for some reason, in my delirium, my mind wandered back to a birthday of mine.

I think it must've been my 12th or 13th, I can't remember for sure. It was one of the awkward stage birthdays, I know that much. (You know, the awkward stage that I've in since 1997? Yeah. That one.) We were at homeschool skate (cue laughter) and for some reason, they thought it was really cool to announce birthdays and make you skate a lap by yourself while "Happy Birthday" played over the loud speakers.

Of course, as SOON as I caught wind of my "friends" plans (I'd say they were more like traitors), I hightailed it to the bathroom. The problem with being at a skate event is that your feet are usually strapped into some type of wheeled shoes and this, of course, makes it very difficult for you to dig in your heels and put up a fight. I was dragged, "kicking" and screaming to the floor and tossed over the threshold. I was completely thrown off balance, so not only was I in the number one place I did NOT want to be at that moment, I was flailing my arms about like a crazy person and trying not to fall.

As I was laying in bed this morning, still cringing at the embarrassing memory, I thought to myself "How could I have reacted differently?" and my wise 27 yr old answer to my past self?

"You should've just fallen down and played dead."

And that's how we solve problems in adult land. If it's potentially embarrassing and/or unpleasant, just fall over and pretend you're no more.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

First Kiss

I really like writing about things from my past. In my life, I’ve found that I can go through just about anything rotten and horrible and awkward just as long as I can retell the story and get a couple of laughs out of it. I would call it my “gift” but that just sounds too Oprah of me, so I won’t.

Blogs on the subjects of my childhood or recent-ish past might not be very popular, but for some reason, I like telling these stories. Besides, it brings back good memories for my Mom who is still my number one fan. (Mom, you might not want to read this one. It might possibly bring back bad memories. Turn a blind eye, or read on. It’s your choice.)

Today, I’m going to tell you the story of my first kiss. It involves my ex-husband, who might not be so happy that I’m putting this out here, but in order for him to convey his displeasure, he’d actually have to contact me and I am fairly confident that will not happen. We’ve just done too good of a job of avoiding each other for the past 3 years to ruin it now.

When I was 19, I met a boy. A boy who was 24. I fell instantly and inexplicably in love. In fact, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one. I’ll just chalk it up to youth. Yeah? Yeah. Let’s roll with that. I met him in June, and we would occasionally see each other at events involving our other friends. My parents met him in July and they were all “Uh oh”, but didn’t really do anything to stop it until the following December. (But that’s a whole other story.) In October, I invited him to go to a Halloween party with me and in November, he had surgery on one of his ankles. I can’t remember which ankle. It’s not that important. What IS important is that he was on crutches.

I can’t remember how or why, but we started hanging out a lot around the middle of November. Since he was on crutches, I volunteered to be his chauffer when we hung out. (I tell you what, it is paining me greatly to write these words. I have to break about every sentence and a half to bank my head on the table and yell “STUPID! STUPID! STUUUUPIDDDD!”) Our so-called “Hanging out” consisted of going over to my friend Liz’s house and hanging out with her mom and siblings.

One night, November 16, 2004 to be exact, we went over to Liz’s and my ex (let’s call him “Guy”) suggested that we go back to his house and chill. When I say “his house”, I mean his parent’s house. I was NINETEEN! I didn’t think it was weird that he still lived with his parents! I still lived with MINE! (My brother is now 24, and when I look at where he is with his life, I see why my parents had a problem with Guy’s housing situation.) Anyway, man was I stupid! I told Liz that we were leaving and that if my mom called and asked where I was, to tell her that I’d just left. Then, Liz was supposed to call me on my cell phone and tell me that my mom had called so I could hightail it home. Flawless.

After we arrived at Guy’s house, we decided to go in to watch some TV. Only he didn’t turn on the TV. He started kissing my cheek and it weirded me out so I awkwardly tried to deflect the kisses and carry on a conversation instead. I made no eye contact, I just looked around the room and studied the wood paneling and glamour shots of his sisters from 1979. I finally decided that I’d had enough and that I should be getting home. It was after 10 and my mom and dad were probably wondering where I was. He got up (after I handed him his crutches) and he walked me out to my car. After more awkward conversation, which involved me keeping my hands in the pockets of my open coat and flailing my arms about, he grabbed both sides of my coat and pulled me closer to him. I, naturally assumed that instead of just trying to steady himself, he was wanting a good night kiss. I innocently leaned in for a quick peck when I was shocked, surprised, and displeased to find that A BOY’S TONGUE HAD ENTERED MY MOUTH! (You see where this is going, don’t you?) I quickly stepped back, alarmed and outraged, and as I did so, I knocked him off balance and onto his recently surgeried foot. Did I mention it was icy outside? It was icy outside.

As he stood there trying to muffle his cries of agony and suppress all of the curse words he knew but wasn’t supposed to utter around such an innocent girl, I did the only thing I could think of.

“Um…. I better get home. My Mom’s probably worried.”

I ran to my car, got in, and drove home as fast as I possibly could, yelling at myself the whole way home. “How could you be so stupid?!?!? You’re such a dork! He’s never going to call you again!!” while thoughts such as “Can I fake my own death?" and "Is immigrating to Canada a viable option?” ran through my dumb head.

I went to bed, but couldn’t sleep. I was a crabby person to live with the next few days and every time my mom, dad, or brother would ask me what was wrong, I would snap back with “NOTHING.” or “I HAVE A HEADACHE.” (Yeah. A headache named “Guy”…) I couldn’t tell anyone! I didn’t even tell my best friend! I ignored his calls for days until finally he called one night when I was at Olivia’s house watching a movie. Surely if I answered, I could just pull off the giggly girl defense, play as if nothing happened, and he would leave me alone for the rest of my life, right?

“Have you been avoiding me?” he asked.

“(To Guy) No! (to Olivia)*BAHAHAHA!* (to Guy) Why would I avoid you? (to Olivia) *HAHAAH!* THAT’S MY FAVORITE PART! ANTHONY ANDREWS IS SO CUTE AND FUNNY! I WISH HE WOULD MARRY ME! (to Guy) Sorry. Why would I be avoiding you?” I replied.

“Because you haven’t been answering my calls.” he pressed.

“(To Guy) Oh! (To Olivia) *BAHAHAHAH!!!* (to Guy) I’m sorry. I’ve just been really busy.” I responded.

The conversation continued like that and he got me to agree to hang out later that week. I knew I should just tell him to go away, but once again I was afraid of being lame. Being upfront would be way more lame than biting your tongue and ending up married and then divorced because you were too chicken to just tell someone go to stick their tongue down someone else’s throat, right?

*Head hits desk.*

End scene.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More Proof That I Was An Awesome Kid

Let’s talk about 2nd grade, shall we?

When I was 7, we moved from our small trailer of happiness in Augusta, Kansas and moved to Wichita and into a bigger house of not quite as much happiness, but it was still ok. Wichita is also in Kansas, but you probably already know that. I will devote more stories to times in that house, but right now I am going to tell you about my experiences in the new school that came with the new house.

In Augusta, I went to public school. I was an amazing child (I really was. Just ask anyone who knew me back then) and I look back at Kindergarten as probably the highlight of my life as far as beauty and brains go. Let me tell you, me and the alphabet people were GREAT friends. There was Mrs. A and Mr. H and all 24 of the other inflatable letter characters that hung from the ceiling. We were tight. My teacher, Mrs. Dodds, took pictures of all of her students at the beginning of the school year and mine was particularly noteworthy. Mostly because I was the only one who struck a pose. I had my summer tan and my long brown hair that fell just perfectly without me even trying. I had TWO boyfriends, Johnathan Perkins and Jeff Krause. I liked Johnathan the best. He was actually the real one. Jeff just followed me around. Johnathan and I used to play like he was Mario and I was Princess Peach and he was saving me from all of the evil. Jeff always wanted to play too, so we made him be Yoshi. Kids are weird. Jeff always gave me presents, though, so he gets points for creativity even though they were quickly deducted for his crazy hair. (I think I might even still have a pair of Garfield earrings he gave me once…)

1st grade was mostly the same. I was not super popular, but I was not super unpopular either. I remember hanging out with some of the not-so-popular kids. One in particular was named Monica. I liked Monica. She was kind of a crazy kid. She looked like a pixie and had long blonde hair that was always tangled. I remember some of the kids asking me “Why did you go to Monica’s house? She smells bad and she always has Koolaid on her face” “Well, so does Billy! AND Christopher! And you like them because they have ROBOCOP action figures!!” That silenced them, alright.

One of my most favorite rememberings from 1st grade was a group of us girls camping outside the 6th grade science class window and yelling “WE LOVE LANDON!!!” at the top of our lungs until the teacher walked to the window and yelled at us. We were such DAREDEVILS!!! (Also, check us out loving the older men. Ehhh? Ehhh?) Well, Landon’s girlfriend found out and came over to tell us to stay away from her man. She was NOOOOOT nice. Why on earth would a 6th grader feel threatened by a gaggle of 1st graders? No clue, but she brought an 8th grade boy with her to reinforce her point. The boy yelled at us and sneered some nasty threat to which I even shocked myself by replying with an “OH YEAH?”. He was taken aback. He walked a step further. “Yeah.”
“OH YEAH??” I stepped forward as well, my feet CLEARLY having decided to take over the rest of my body.
This continued until I was nose to nose (actually more like nose to chest) with the guy and on my fifth “OH YEAH!?!?!?” the bell rang. Boy hightailed it, and I was rewarded with a small glass collie figurine from one of the girls for my bravery. (I was so BA in grade school! What happened?!?!?)

All of this to say that I was somewhat used to being on an even playing field with my fellow students.


2nd grade was my wakeup call to the real world. I started going to a private Christian school and it was HORRIBLE. Up until this point, I was unaware of money and the power that comes with it. It was the first time I started feeling self conscious about things. It was the first time I was not only excluded, but OPENLY excluded from some activities. I remember one girl named Bethany did NOT like me for some reason. We were three days into the start of school! I hadn’t even given her a reason to dislike me yet! Maybe it was my nose, who can tell. She put birthday party invites in EVERYONES shoe cubby EXCEPT for mine. “I’m sure she didn’t mean to!” my teacher Mrs. Black tried to reason with me as Bethany stood behind her and scowled at me. “I’m sure”, I replied. “It’s ok. I have better plans this weekend anyway.”

BURN!!! Take THAT, Bethany!! (Bethany conveniently moved about a month later, thus freeing up my life.)

Being unaware of the power of money, I was also unaware that special privileges could be awarded to you if your parents or grandparents gave “monetary blessings” to the school.

And that’s where Caitlin Hoffman comes in. Caitlin was your typical spoiled rich girl. The only child of divorced parents, she had long, flowing, blonde hair, a radiant skin tone, and two perfect little moles on her face. All the boys loved her and Principal Loewen and the teachers loved her EVEN MORE. All the girls loved Brandon Urich. It was because he was SOOOOOOO CUTE and his dad was Randy Ray Urich, a local DJ for KFDI and therefore he was PRACTICALLY FAMOUS!! Caitlin decided that Brandon was her boyfriend, and he was whipped. They were the Brangelina of New Song Academy. (Not saying that Brad Pitt is whipped, but you know what I mean.) Despite Caitlin being a sub-par singer (we have videographic evidence of this), she somehow “miraculously” ended up with the lead solo as “Mary” for the “Joy to the World” Christmas extravaganza.

My all time favorite run-in with Caitlin was over a spelling book. Spelling was my favorite subject and I was good at it! So good that Mrs. Black would sometimes use me as an example. (I failed to mention that 2nd and 3rd grades were combined into one classroom at New Song.) “Katie!”, she would exasperatedly yell “Spell oxen!”

“O-X-E-N.”, I would answer, embarrassed, and look back down at my history book on the other side of the room.

So, you can imagine my surprise as I walked by Caitlin’s desk one day and saw her reading a “Mandie” book, cleverly cloaked behind her spelling assignment. In my outrage, I marched over to Mrs. Black’s desk.

“Mrs. Black”, I said. “Caitlin is reading a ‘Mandie’ book instead of doing her spelling words!!”
“SHHHHHHHH!!!” was her curt reply. “Did it ever occur to you that she has PERMISSION? Go. Sit. Down.”

And that’s when I realized that the world is not fair, that grownups can be just as corrupt as children, and that you cannot count on people getting in trouble for doing the wrong thing. On my way back to my desk, I angrily vowed to try not to be one of those so-called “grown ups”.

It’s hard to tell who was more unimpressed with my foray into the world of private Christian education, me or my parents. Fortunately for me, my brother had a TERRIBLE time in Kindergarten with ADHD and a teacher who had ZERO patience and wanted just to keep him in time out all the time. Our parents yanked us out of there and from 3rd grade on, we were homeschool students.

My brother graduated from college in 2010 at the top of his class, thank you very much. “Stupid kid”, indeed!

The jury’s still out on me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stories. You Know You Want Them.

Hey! I'm alive! What????

So, I kind of lost track of my life there for a minute. I also lost track of why I started this blog in the first place. It wasn't to draw pictures or video my face. It was to WRITE STORIES.

I actually wanted to draw a couple of pictures with this one, but I can't find my awesome drawy thingy.

Today, I am going to tell you a story from my childhood. I don't think I have told a story from my childhood before.

A little bit of background: I am a firstborn child of an Ulster Irish father and a Texan mother. This winning combination was destined to make my life far superior on the awesome scale. Obviously.

With such awesome parents producing such awesome offspring (my brother, Bill, and I), there is clearly only one course of action. Action that my parents took very, very seriously.


Now, when you're an itty bitty baby kid, you don't really realize just how protective your parents are. Sure, your friends get to do a lot more than you, but seriously. They're always covered in band aids and who wants that?

We grew up in a trailer. A NICE trailer, but a trailer nonetheless. Also, we had a kick awesome chain link fence. BE JEALOUS. Our yard didn't really seem all that small when we were mostly into baby things like attempting to hit a giant golf ball with a giant club. (A feat that I only managed to do BACKWARDS, much to the chagrin of my father who was REALLY hoping for a daughter who could make it on the Women's PGA Tour.) Also, there were large shrubs to climb (our trees were too big) and mud to eat from Mom's gardens.

Then it happened. We graduated to bicycles. Well, actually I had a bike and Bill had one of those "Big Wheels". Remember those things? Big (to a baby child), plastic, and louder than a banshee.

Ooh! Ooh! Quick! Just thought of another Big Wheel story. Once, I went over to a friend's birthday party. I think I was in Kindergarten. They had an unfinished basement that was very exotic to me. (Seriously. Trailers with basements were NOT an option in our neighborhood in '91. Trust.) My friend had one of the awesome girl Big Wheels. The white one with the lavender seat and light green wheels. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. It was in the basement, and for some reason the group of girls thought it would be awesome to see if you could start at one side of the basement, pedal as FAST as you could, and then stop yourself with the other basement wall. Who would do this? Who would complete this task? Who would be the brave one?

Me. DUH.

And I couldn't figure out why my Mom wasn't super impressed and proud of me when I showed her when she came to pick me up. What part of me crashing into a wall at breakneck speed and causing a loud "CRACK" sound as the front wheel hit and my head flew backwards WASN'T cool? (It was the first of many times I would be excited and proud as my Mother looked at me absolutely mortified. July 7, 2007 anyone? I digress.)

Where was I? Oh yes. Bicycle and Big Wheel.

In our front yard, there was about 10-15 feet of cement sidewalk. I can't remember because I was a little kid and I'm sure it seemed bigger than it actually was. The house is gone now, so I can't go measure it. Maybe it was 8 feet, who really knows? Sometimes, we wanted to ride our bicycle things but Mom and Dad didn't feel like going down to the cemetery for a walk. What were kids who weren't allowed outside the confines of the chain link fence without adult supervision to do?

That's right.

Ride your bike 10 feet (about 1 1/2 pedals worth), get off the bike. Turn it around. Ride back.

We would do this for HOURS. We would start after dinner and keep going until bath or bedtime. We were HARDCORE. We didn't find it odd at all. Oh, what the neighbors must have thought of us. "Those strange Irish children are outside on their bikes again! This is as amusing as watching small dogs chase their tails!"

We also thought that if we accidentally kicked our kickball into the outside exposed gas line, that our house would explode. But I'm pretty sure Dad just told us that because it made a REALLY annoying noise if you were in the house.