Thursday, July 30, 2009
Shopgirl: Oh hi, welcome to banana! We have a bunch of really cool stuff that just came in this morning. You should check them out.
Shopgirl: If you need anything, let me (starts having a coughing fit)...
Me: ...let you know?...
Shopgirl: (laughs) yeah.
I continue to peruse the racks for about 5 minutes. Then, I'm approached again by the same Shopgirl.
Shopgirl: Do you ever wear navy?
Katie: (kind of confused by the question lobbed from left field) Umm...yeah. I love it.
Shopgirl: Yeah, I think that would be better.... (trails off, turns around and continues to fold shirts on display)
I was a bit bewildered by the strange question. As I left the store I started to wonder what she possibly could have meant. I'm starting to think that she thought I looked horrible in this BRAND NEW black top I'm wearing today. Could I possibly look terribly in black? Is there anyone on planet earth that looks bad in black?
I may just have to change my entire person image perspective now...
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Along the same lines, but not specific to dating, my roomie is another great example of someone significantly older than me who I see as my age. I hardly ever think about how old he is and what a great difference there is between us. In the opposite spectrum, you would think my mother is older than HER mother. It makes me sad for her, because her attitude toward life makes her seem and act a decade or two older than what she really is. All of this to say, I think age is a state of mind. A part of me still feels 18 at times. I have to stop and think, "wow, am I REALLY an adult??"
These have been specific thought choices I have made recently: I could go to bed thinking about how sad I am that I'm alone, or I can be thank full that I have such a comfortable bed and that I can sprawl out and have the whole thing to myself! I could be scared about being single ("oh no, what if I end up alone forever??"), or I can think of the endless travel possibilities out there that are now cheaper with no one to plan around. It's all about which end of the binoculars you view life through.
I think positivity is the key to life, and I firmly believe that's why I'm so lucky. My mom is probably the one person who has been the most influential person in my life - in such a way that I don't want to be like her and end up like her. I love my mother with all my heart, but she is my life example of how harboring hurt, anger, jealousy, negativity and bitterness can affect you. At some point, every one is dealt a bad hand in life. It's up to YOU to trade in a couple cards to make it better. It's either that or fold. I choose to play. Life can be too fun and exciting!
Allison asked: I seem to have forgotten, so remind me: How did you and the ear doctor meet? And was there a specific moment where you realized he was IT, and that you did not want to live without him? If so, what was that moment?
Katie answered: The ear doctor and I met at church. It was probably a Thursday evening after work at bible study type activity. He'd just moved to Colorado and didn't really know anyone. I walked up to him and asked him for his phone number.
I honestly don't remember having a moment when I realized he was "the one." All I know is that our first date together felt so right. We were so similar and fit each other like gloves. It freaked me out because I was applying for grad schools all over the country and wasn't ready to figure someone else into my plans. Staying here for school and marrying him is the best choice I've made in my life this far.
Allison asked: You have previously asked several bloggers about their thoughts regarding blogging being narcissistic. This recurring subject makes me wonder if that has been a contention for you? If so, in what way?
Katie answered: I always ask that question because I think it's so interesting and everyone's answers always fascinate me. This blogging medium is one of a kind. So personal...yet so detached.
I never thought of it as being narcissistic at first. I am notoriously horrible at talking on the phone and keeping my mom/extended family in touch with what I'm doing. So in the beginning it was an easy way for me to let them know what I'm up to. And I guess that's kind of self-centered thinking that they'd take time out of their day to read up on me without any seeming interest in their life on my part. But, my family loves me...I knew they'd be interested.
And now? Strangers read this blog! They're interested in the ear doctor and I. And that feels good. But here's the flip side...I read OTHER people's blogs. I'm interested in what they have to say...what they ate...how their kids are growing up...everything.
Blogging has moved beyond individuals writing about their daily lives thereby elevating their mundane tasks. It's a community. Each blogger contributes to the community by posting and commenting as much or as little as they like. It's not about, "LOOK AT MY GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH..ISN'T IT THE BEST!" It's about, "I had grilled cheese and it made me feel happy like I did when I was a kid, and I bet you know how that feels, and, look, we're sharing a memory!"
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
1) For my birthday last Thursday the ear doctor took me to jump street...a place filled about 30 extra bouncy trampolines and even more excited tweens. Sure, the ear doctor and I were the oldest people getting our jump on by about 15 years...but man-o-man was it fun! And it fits in perfectly with my birthday theme of doing kid-approved activities. It ranks right up there with last years trip to a water park and my 23rd roller skating birthday.
2) Friday I took my birthday money and made my way to the mall for a shopping bonanza! Do you have any idea the tole a mountain of clothes hangers takes on your triceps? It's pretty intense.
3) Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to help my good friend pack up her house and move to a bigger place. The catch? She's about 4 days from her due date! We had to get her up and out of that place as fast as possible so that her new little girl had a house set up to come home to. I don't think I've ever moved someone at a more furious pace!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
But I'm sure we'd have a different marriage dynamic if we were both math nerds or literacy geeks. Basically, I am just so glad that my husband is in a line of work that he loves. He comes home to chaos every night so at least he comes home happy.
Don't be scared, Katie, having a baby is wonderful.
And having twins is totally cool now. Everybody from Ricky Martin to Jennifer Lopez is doing it.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I loved this pad...and why?
Because I would spend HOURS laying out the floor plan for my dream bedroom. The typical features of this "bedroom" pretty much always include the following:
-A secret single lane bowling alley
-A big pit filled with foam like at my gymnastics lessons
-A dark room to develop film
-An entertainment area with every cool gaming system
-A water bed
-A normal bed
-A soda fountain complete with dumbwaiter to send stuff to my mom in the kitchen
-A room totally covered in inflatable cushions like a huge permanent jumpy castle
Making these plans would occupy hours and hours of my time. I'd even measure out standard door widths and chair sizes so that it was as accurate as possible.
And so it probably comes as no surprise that when I started college I seriously considered becoming an architect. However, sad for me, BYU did not have an architecture program. I ended up in a very similar field where I used a lot of very similar skills...but floor plans still kind of thrill me to the core.
Add that to the recent house hunt and I'm a full-blown house designing enthusiast at the moment. Which is probably why the site Slow Home has been sucking and free time I have. I just can't get enough of it. If you have a few minutes and you like analysing floor plans then this is the place for you!
The only thing I really can't stand is the commute. How do you people do it? I've never before had a commute longer than 15 minutes. And now I drive at least an hour all the way across the city. It's mind numbing and frustrating and so annoying to lose 2 hours of my day just in transportation.
2 hours that I could be spending with my lovely husband meticulously checking zillow.com for magically appearing houses for sale (we've become a bit fanatical lately).
And since I had to get to work this morning at 7 am I found myself falling asleep at 9:30 last night.
And since I went to bed so early I missed the torrential downpour, tornado touchdown 15 miles away, and the resulting golf ball sized hail that built up 3 inches deep.
And, worst of all, I missed my wonderful husband running out into the feverish pitch to move my car from it's vulnerable open parking spot to more suitable, covered protection. My husband, who HATES to get his clothes wet while he's wearing them. My husband who was bone tired last night after a long day of work. My husband who could have just sat in bed and continued reading his book.
That's my awesome husband!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Instead of spending a perfect Colorado summer weekend camping beside an alpine lake we found ourselves driving, eyes peeled for addresses and the tell-tale red balloons indicating open houses. We didn't get to tell jokes and stories around a crackling campfire, our bellies full of foil dinners and smores. Oh no. We spent our time talking to pushy/desperate real estate agents about old water heaters and cracks in foundation. We didn't wake up in a cool tent to the chirping of birds and the scuttling sounds of squirrel feet. Instead we went from unconditioned house to unconditioned house smelling old cat pee and dank 100 year old basements.
We made this offering in the hopes that fortune would smile down on us and reward us with a house. A home. A place we can paint the walls, fix the crown moulding and move on in. A place Roscoe can romp in the back yard and we can have friends over for game night.
So now that we've made the sacrifice I feel more hopeful that great properties will begin to come our way. Because, if not? I want my weekend back!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Just take a look at the interiors:
Amazing, eh? So retro that I think it is fabulous. The real challenge with this one would be choosing which details to keep and which to modernize so that you still kept the groovy vibe but made it more appealing to the general public. Am I alone in thinking that this house could be drop dead gorgeous?
It's a little our of our price range, but if you've got $270k you could have this retro-fabulous 3 bed 2 bath 1727 sq ft house all to yourself!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Except, it didn't really feel very official since our realtor is a very good friend from my old job. And most of the houses that we saw were so far from viable options it was kind of a joke. We met up at a house that was designed backward, faced an amusement park and had a cramped stairwell to the basement that was totally encased in tile, a la a shower stall. It's redeeming quality? The miniature ceramic deer by the tree in the front.
The second house we saw had 7, YES 7, bathrooms. I couldn't believe it was possible to have 7 bathrooms in a 2000 sq ft house, but these people managed it. I think in a previous life it was a privately run cheap-o nursing/convalescent home which just made me really sad. I kind of hate how many nursing homes we have in the US....but that is a post for another day.
One house was beautiful, but had many offers already on the table. Another house was wonderfully remodeled, but in a horrible neighborhood. Another had a HUGE crack through the entire foundation where a tree was trying to get inside. The cute one with the rainbow shingles I posted last week has a terrible steep and narrow stairway put to the minuscule upstairs bathroom.
As our agent drove us back to our cars I was feeling dejected. I knew in my head that there was no way we would find out house on our first venture out. I knew it was silly to expect that. But my heart was a little broken. I'd really hoped that we'd find a house that we remotely thought had at least a little potential.
I was totally bummed. Bummed and depressed and feeling a bit of dejected fear. When we came back to our apartment it felt so good and familiar that I considered throwing in the towel on the search. It just seemed too hard.
But then the ear doctor reminded me that good things usually come after we're put to the test. And this afternoon my sister said, "Katie, that's why they're called a diamond in the ROUGH...you have to go through a lot of rough to find them." It is called a house HUNT after all. Maybe I just need to sharpen my weapons and don my armor.
Between the job change and the house search it seems that 2009 will be the year I voluntarily forgo the familiar and comfortable with the hope that, in the end, the reward will outweigh the requisite sacrifice.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This week the awesomeness that is Raven stopped by for a little blogger to blogger action. She recently took a trip to my little hometown and found out that it is just as AWESOME as I keep describing. And she gave a perfect play-by-play over on her blog so you should go check it out.
Katie asked: I probably missed it somewhere, but where did the name Sprog come from?
Raven answered: Sprog is what I understand to be a British slang for child. When I first got going on the Internet I didn't want to be going on about my son without his okay and at that time, he was too young to really give that approval freely. So, I figured if I talked about him mainly under a nickname, he really couldn't fault me for it, much, as it would be too hard for anyone that knew him to find anything on him. Most of my posting is done under my nickname as well, so that really made sense to me but as I've been posting about him for so many years now under that name, the online nickname has naturally progressed to be one he's called at home. Usually Sprog, but sometimes: Sproglet or Sprogzilla.
Katie asked: If you were all alone for a night in the house what would you eat? Do you hoard or secret anything away?
Raven answered: Oddly, I would make myself my homemade creamed spinach, if I had to make something from scratch; it's so quick and so satisfying. If I have something ready made like cake? That's DOA for sure, especially if it's the lemon crack cakes from Costco. I have to hide that, but it's mainly from myself! If you've never had it? Please heed my advice and never try it, that is a serious addiction I am trying to break.
Katie asked: Why do you blog? What do you like the best about the forum?
Raven answered: I blog as a way to connect to other people. Before I was laid off from my job at HP, I was a tele-commuter and the internet was a way to have contact with the outside world, when not working. Of course, back then it wasn't blogging, it was online message boards and eventually MySpace but as those fell off (MySpace can be CREEPY) online friends had discovered blogging and it seemed like the next logical step. I love that you can always find someone that shares the same interests as you do, no matter how physically far away they may be from you. I've met a lot of wonderful people through blogging and even had the pleasure of meeting some of them in person; I hope that it's something that continues far into the future.
It feels oddly comforting having this network of people to turn to with my questions, thoughts, triumphs and even struggles or failures. All of my friends and family are completely used to me bringing up "my blog friend so and so" in conversation now, it's that much a part of my daily life.
Raven asked: Here, I'm handing you an open ended plane ticket. Where are you going and for how long? In addition: light or heavy packer?
Katie answered: Just one ticket, or two? Because it makes a difference. I'm not one of those people who can just take off alone and really enjoy myself. I prefer to experience things with people I love. So, if you just gave me one ticket I'd head back out to St. Louis to see my sister and her kiddos. I'd convince my mom to meet me out there and we'd have a blast for a week.
However, if you gave me two tickets and endless vacation time I think I'd want to take a trip with the ear doctor to Italy. We'd spend the rest of the summer bumming around Europe. I'd get to see my brother in London and I wouldn't take very much more than a cute skirt and a huge empty bag to bring back cheese and chocolate.
Raven asked: If you could go to culinary school would it be for pastry or regular cooking? Which type of cooking do you prefer?
Katie answered: I think I'd prefer pastry school for a couple of reasons. I like the precision of baking. I always bake by weight instead of by volume. I like working on the same thing over and over until it's perfect. I like the effort required to make something perfect...and all that points to pastry. Plus as much as people drool over a perfectly made entree, they pretty much always satisfy their guilty pleasure with dessert.
Having said that, I really think I would enjoy either.
Actually, my current obsession/brilliant idea is to run a sustainable Bed & Breakfast where my guests arrive in the afternoon, help me harvest some veggies from the garden and then I make them a fantastic dinner/breakfast from what they picked. A smaller, Colorado version of Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
Raven asked: Is somewhere else in the world you see yourself living someday, like in your retirement years, or is Colorado it for you?
Katie answered: Colorado has spoiled me. The weather is perfect, there is a ton to do outdoors, there is enough "culture" for me and the cost of living isn't terribly high. There are only a few other places I've been that compare. Santa Barbra was spectacular...but unless we win the lottery I don't see that any time soon.
I think I need to travel more and see great places in the US to even comprehend my other options.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
So she's wondering how best to teach her daughter that, in fact, some things are NOT hers.
But really, that's a tough lesson to teach. It takes years and years to develop an innate sense of sharing. A mental framework that subconsciously guides each of us to determine what is OURS and what is not. What we can give up and what we don't need to. How we split what we have and what is considered selfish.
And this morning the ear doctor and I realized that we approach this dilemma from two very different camps.
On Saturday we went to Costco and picked up our first (of many I'm sure) flat of peaches. There were 12 in all. Almost immediately, we both had one on Saturday. Then we shared one on Sunday. Then I took one to work yesterday and had another for breakfast this morning. So out of 12 how many are left?
As I sliced up my peach this morning I could feel that the ear doctor had something he wanted to say...but couldn't get it out. We sat at the table and I knew there was something on the tip of his tongue. And as I was fishing the last of my cheerios out of the milk he turned to me and said, "We share differently. For you sharing is time limited. There is a certain amount of something and we both have equal opportunity to get some but when the supply is gone it is gone. You have a limited amount of time."
I thought that was kind of funny...but true. So then he continued, "For me, sharing is number limited. If there are 12 peaches and two of us then, to me, that means we both get 6 regardless of how long they last."
He likes to savor, to wait for the perfect time to eat his "peaches" in life. But I like to experience things over and over and over.
And this whole time I've been eating the "peaches" he'd set aside for himself because I thought he didn't want them. I didn't see him eating them and I didn't want them to go to waste.
How do you share? Do you and your significant other share the same way? Do you find yourself eating their peaches, or having yours stolen? Has it ever caused a problem?
Monday, July 13, 2009
These cocoa roasted almonds have changed my life. For the past 36 hours it just hasn't been the same. I can't stop eating these little gems! I had them last night while checking blogs:
And then I just couldn't fall asleep without them:
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
As the results show from So You Think You Can Dance started up we were thrilled to be serenaded by a semi-rhythmic banging sounds emanating from below our balcony. Confused by the sound, we paused the show/muted Mary Murphy's fingernails-on-a-chalkboard screams and perused the situation.
I was really surprised at what we found.
A couple of guys (not involved in any alcohol imbibing...I checked) had erected a game of throwing beanbags through holes cut in plywood. Does anyone else find it strange that a couple of 20-somethings guys are filling their down time with carnival games? Do you think they get each other huge stuffed teddy bears for getting all the bags through the holes?
Is this some kind of fad or trend that the kids these days are into?
Except for the occasional break when our little Roscoe needs to go out. The ear doctor takes these mandatory breaks to get out, stretch his legs and walk around the apartment complex.
As the summer has progressed I've noticed his increasing annoyance at the people who lounge by the pool. Sure, I'm annoyed by and jealous of the 20 somethings that are "taking" summer classes at the community college and have all afternoon to read murder mysteries and drink diet coke. Who wouldn't be?
But the slow burning disgust that the ear doctor is working on is directed at someone else. I guess there are a couple of moms who take their kids to the pool...all day...every day. They lay there in the sun, zoned out to the world while their kids run screaming in all directions.
It bothers the ear doctor because he assumes that they all have husbands who are working hard at a job to support their apparent rock 'n roll lifestyles.
I'm not sure how I feel about the situation. What about you?
When my parents were first married they bought a crappy little house on Bryan Avenue in Salt Lake. By the time they started getting really bothered by the fighting neighbors and the sketchy transients they'd totally renovated the place.
My grandparents...well...they've never owned a house to which they didn't build a beautiful addition.
My aunt and uncle on my mom's side bought an investment property in the city where their kids went to college and significantly upgraded the place during the 3 years their kids needed housing.
On my dad's side I have an aunt and uncle who were professional flippers for about 5 years.
I tell you all this so you realize the type of background I come from. When buying a house this background has led me to really want to get a house that I can improve. A house that I can gain some sweat equity. I see no reason to pay for upgrades that someone else made that aren't really my taste or style.
But I also realize there are some limits to what I can and should do.
We found a bank owned property in which I see serious potential. We've driven up, peaked in windows, circled the property and spoken to the neighbors. It's in a perfect neighborhood and listed FAR under the going price. But it also probably needs some serious repair work...probably a total overhaul.
So my question for you is this: how much is too much? When does a diamond in the rough/great investment become a scary money pit/bane of your existence?
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Up to this point we've just been scouring the Internet and doing drive-bys after work. But then we found a house that looked really interesting and I realized that if we found the perfect house we could loose it because we hadn't even started talking to the bank! For some reason just calling someone up and asking for a few hundreds of thousands of dollars seemed daunting.
But guess what, it isn't. It's a piece of cake! I just filled out some forms online and the NICEST woman at Wells Fargo called me back in about 2 hours with some questions. Tomorrow I should get their answer and (hopefully) my pre-approval amount soon thereafter.
Turns out it was a total snap and now we're really off and running for the biggest purchase of our lives. Wish us luck!
One more thing...I've been told by a few friends that I should get multiple lenders to give me an estimate at the same time so I can compare. What do you think of that? Did you do it when you financed your house?
If you haven't had the chance to head over to She blogs, She blogs, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!? Alison, the talented, beautiful, awesome author is just about as great as they get. But, word of warning, don't read her posts with a mouthful of diet coke unless you like the cruel burn of carbonation in your sinuses.
Alison asked: As an LDS blogger what are your policies on referencing church or other uniquely LDS phrases? Do you think about it, or do you just speak as you normally would?
Katie answered: I ALWAYS think about this...and I'll tell you why.
For my 21st birthday I had a big group of friends all go out to dinner. I had about 10 friends that I'd met through church and 10 friends that I'd met at work. I thought it would be awesome to let my worlds collide and that everyone would have a blast getting to know new people.
I was wrong.
My church friends just talked to each other and used so much church jargon that they left my work friends feeling isolated and stupid. I was so frustrated I could barely stand it. I promised myself from then on to be very careful to only use words and phrases that everyone in the general public can understand. When I feel like I must use a church specific word I try my hardest to explain it to my reader so that everyone can understand and feel included.
Alison asked: What's the best compliment someone could give you about your blog?
Katie answered: Really, any time anyone says anything nice about my blog my little heart beats faster and a smile spreads from ear to ear. There are very few things that make me so proud. This blog is such an extension of myself that praise is very personally felt. It goes right to the little insecure spot in my soul and helps erase it away.
Having said that I specifically love it when someone says that I a) made them laugh or b) make them think. One time my grandpa read and told me that I should have been a writer...Ill NEVER forget that.
Alison asked: Maybe I missed it along the way, but what's the story behind your profile picture? It's too good to be true.
Katie answered: Actually, I don't think anyone has ever asked...and it's a shame because that picture cracks me up.
Last year the ear doctor and I went to South Dakota for a road trip and stopped by at a huge woolly mammoth dig. The ear doctor loves dinosaurs and paleontology with the undying affection of a 10 year old boy...so I knew we had to go there. That picture is me standing and posing with the bottom jaw of a mammoth. Cool, huh!?!?!
Katie asked: If you could suddenly be the BEST at one talent/activity/thing what would you choose?
Alison answered: I'm pretty upset about the fact that I have almost zero musical talent. I think genetics are to blame...but then again, I never practiced when I was given lessons. I mostly just argued. But if I had stuck to it I think I would have made a really good lead singer or pop star. So if I could wake up tomorrow with a new skill it would be that I would become a triple threat like J-Lo.
Katie asked: What is your favorite thing about Pennsylvania?
Alison answered: The east coast and I generally don't see eye to eye. My self-deprecating humor baffles most people I try to have friendly chats with. But I do love how close Pennsylvania is to a lot of really amazing places. You can hop on over to D.C., NYC and even check out the liberty bell. Which, by the way, is WAY smaller than you think it's going to be. It's also cool to see the European influences in the architecture and old homes. The west coast is much younger.
Katie asked: What are the little things that Eric does to show you he cares? What do you do for him?
Alison answered: Eric is always nice to me. No matter how snarky I get, how crazy my emotions jump, or how depressed for no apparent reason I become, Eric is never mean. He always speaks to me with kindness and love. He also tells me everyday that I look pretty. And I never get tired of hearing it from him. In fact, I'm so spoiled that if I get dressed for the day and he doesn't make a comment on how cute I look, I will kind of follow him around showing off my outfit until he remembers to tell me. He never withholds love. As for keeping him happy, I think it's really true that most husbands are happy if their wives are happy. So I try not to let myself go too insane. He also loves when I cook, so even if I'm not in the mood I try to always make him good food.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Who in their right mind thinks that this is an acceptable substitute for lovely design and interesting articles a la Domino? And to make matters worse, the entire cover is dedicated to my personal nemesis...Taylor Swift. I just can't stand this girl after hearing her "sing" on Idol or America's Got Talent or something a few years ago. Why did it have to be her mug glaring back at me and my poor broken heart? She knows. She knows what this is doing to me. She knows how much this hurts. Just look at the sneer in her eyes:
She knows what this is doing to me and she's HAPPY I'm in pain.