Thursday, July 30, 2009


The scene: Me, wandering through Banana Republic looking at all their cute stuff for late summer/early fall, thinking about how momentarily pleasing it would be to just go crazy and spend a fortune...wearing a brand new BLACK short sleeved summer-weight sweater.

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.

Me: Thanks!

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

Blogger to Blogger

This week my dear friend Allison is reporting in from Texas. Now, normally I wouldn't interview someone who has a "by invitation only" blog since I think it cuts down on the fun for everyone who hasn't had a chance to read about the guest, but Allison is just too cool NOT to interview! Seriously, I've been reading her blog for years now and if I had to pick internet/blog people to meet in person she would easily be in the top 5.

Katie asked: Dating older men. Does age matter? How old is too old?

Allison answered: To me, age is just a number, because everyone is different. Mr. Big is quite a bit older, but most of the time when I'm around him I forget this, because of his spunk and spirit. And man, he's in better shape than ME! I find myself trying to keep up with HIM! As far as dating goes, it's kind of nice because it seems like there is less pressure. I'm just taking things one day and enjoying the moment, and he's completely cool with that.

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??"

Katie asked: If you had the time/access to take classes, what 3 new skills would you like to acquire?

Allison answered: First I would take classes to achieve a masters of science in engineering. Second, I would take classes to achieve a PhD in engineering. (I think) I ultimately would love to teach at the collegiate level, so both of these are plans/dreams of mine. Third, would probably be Spanish classes. I would love to be fluent in another language and as beautiful as French and Italian are, I think Spanish is the most practical for potential every day use. (And I'm cheating and naming a 4th choice: ballroom dancing!)

Katie asked: You recently ended a long and very serious relationship. What have you found eases the pain the best? Is there anything someone did that you think specifically helped?

Allison answered: I think the key is always focusing on the positive and remembering that life can always be worse. I count my blessings daily. I have so many of them. From the little things like a fun new pair of heels, to the big ones like my great support system in my girlfriends.

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!

...and then...

Allison asked: Your sense of style is very classy and flattering to your physique, yet is fun and fetching. What/who influenced your fashion? What are your top favorite stores/brands?

Katie answered: Wow! What a nice compliment! To the ear doctor and myself, the highest compliment you can pay someone is to call them thanks!

If I had a ton of money and the life style I'd wear Grace Kelly inspired looks every day of the week. However, that's really not practical for me...a 50's sun dress does not really blend well in machine shops. As a result I like to go for a Kathrine Hepburn vibe...I love wide-leg trousers and button down cotton shirts. That's my uniform really.

This look is kind of hard to achieve for me. I don't have the patience to shop vintage. Anthropologie is too expensive and often the pieces are not structured enough for my taste. Jcrew is lovely, but I'm realizing most of their clothes are designed for straight, linear body styles...not a great compliment for my hourglass shape. Banana is usually where I end up...but I often wish they'd use more interesting colors and prints.

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 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


One Christmas when my little sister was about 5 she received the perfect gift. The kind of gift that thrilled her to the core. The kind of gift that left the giver overwhelmed with joy to have given such a perfect gift.

What was this object that made my little sister's heart swell with excitement? What made her little face crack open with a smile so big her face wasn't large enough to contain it? What gift will forever live in infamy in the memory of my family?

Surely it must have been a barbie dream house? Right? Or a shiny pink bike complete with banana seat and rainbow handlebar tassels? Or maybe a brand new puppy?

It was none of these.

It was an electric slot car racing set.

Yup, as soon as her little blue eyes fell on those hand-held controllers with their whippy little antennae she looked up at our parents and with the glee only truly expressed by the joy of a 5 year old exclaimed, "Oh, mommy, it's TWICE what I WANTED!!!!!!!!!!"

And now, more than 2 decades later this phrase has lodged itself in the vocabulary of my family. Only when a gift is really truly appreciated and loved is it deemed twice what the recipient wanted. Attaining this appellation is the goal of every family gift. It is judiciously granted only when truly warranted.

That time has come again. Feast your eyes on what the ear doctor MADE me for my birthday:

Have you ever seen anything so lovely? I can't wait to put it in our new house and fill it with pictures, books and mementos that remind me of how much I love this man! Plus, how could you not love something wrapped with a big red satin ribbon and dedicated by a hello kitty birthday card?

Babe, it truly is TWICE what I wanted!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Skip the gym

Reasons why my entire body is sore this morning:

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

Blogger to Blogger

This week Megs of Mmmboppin stopped by for a little chat. And guess what...she's the best. I mean, honestly, how can you not love someone who makes desperate runs for cupcakes and made her blogs' banner a talking taco? You can not.

Katie asked: Your man is an engineer. Do you think this affects your life or marriage in anyway? What would be different if he were in another line of work?

Megs answered: My Dan is indeed an engineer which means he is a whiz when it comes to figuring out the why behind everything. Both of my parents were teachers (kindergarten=mom, and HS English=dad). I became a teacher. I figured everybody was just into reading and talking about reading and teaching people about reading. But not my Dan. He likes numbers. He makes spreadsheets. He calculates stuff. He surveys. He can explain the dangers of liquefaction in the Salt Lake Valley. Dan's profession definitely affects our marriage because we balance each other out. I'm the talker; He's the thinker. I'm the worrier; He's the do-er. I'm the writer; He's the calculator. I'm the pie-in-the-sky-dreamer; He's the one who figures out how to make it happen. I can't really imagine any other profession that would suit him or give him so much satisfaction.
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.

Katie asked: I'm nervous enough about having one baby. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant with twins?

Megs answered: Honestly, I was freaked out. I think I told the ultrasound technician to shut up. I had a 1 year old daughter who was running around the doctor's office and I was so stunned that I would soon have 3 children under 2 that I couldn't wrap my head around it. I was terrified. I think that I was probably so scared because I had already had a child and knew about the sleepless nights and the stress and the worry that comes with having a baby. I thought it would basically be impossible to manage 2 babies at the same time. Luckily I had a friend, Kim, who had twins. After picking her brain a bit, I figured out some of the logistical things like how it is humanly possible to nurse 2 kids at once and what things babies can share (a bassinet when they're tiny) and what they can't (a bouncer). Turns out that dealing with twins isn't impossible and things are getting easier all the time. I've learned that when it comes to raising babies you just have to embrace the chaos and go with the flow.

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.

Katie asked: What is your favorite color and what do you think it says about you?

Megs answered: My favorite color is green. Green has been my favorite for a long time.

When I was in junior high I loved forest green. Then, I liked the good robust kelly green. Now I like the brighter shades of green like lime or spring green (the color of aspen leaves when they first open in t he spring). Dan and I designed our own wedding invitations and they were this bright lime green that I was just nuts for. I think it probably shocked some people when they opened the envelope. But I loved it because it was such a happy color--not too cheery (like yellow) but a mellower sweeter kind of happy. I think that having green for my favorite color says that I'm versatile, fun, easy going, happy, a little bit crazy (or a lot crazy), and super cool. So incredibly cool.

...and then...

Megs asked: Where did you grow up (you don't have to be totally specific if it's a secret and all, I'm just curious)? What's something you LOVE about your home town?

Katie answered: I was born in Salt Lake and moved to the Seattle area when I was 4. After I was 14 we moved to Spokane, WA which is about 30 minutes from the Idaho border, and since that's where I attended high will always be my home town. Spokane is a special place...slow paced...a little backward...but lovely in it's own way. I have two very favorite things about the place.

First: Zips. Oh, sweet glory, how I miss Zips. A greasy local hamburger chain that was just down the street from my high school. At least twice a week my best friend Brooke and I went there for a cheeseburger and fries. The burgers are so good and melty you can slide your tongue right between the meat and bun and get the most delicious cheesy coating you've ever experienced. And the fries? Amazing. They're thick and crinkle cut like the frozen oven fries you can get at the grocery store...but they come in a big tub in which you can easily drown your teenage angst.

The second think I love: Lilacs. When Spokane was originally established there was a city ordinance that every house built had to have a lilac bush planted in the yard. The result is that the city is not literally DRIPPING with blossoms at the beginning of May. There is a huge night parade and the air is heavy with the sweet scent. In the middle of town there is a big park that has a dedicated area just for these huge ancient lilac bushes. I used to go there on my own a lot and just sit and be amazed by how beautiful they were.

Megs asked: Now that we have a million kids (or 3... just seems like a million), it's quite difficult for Dan and I to find time for going out on dates. We do enjoy cuddling with some slurpees and popcorn and watching a flick after the kids have gone to bed. Do you and the Ear Doctor have any favorite movie recommendations? (We do NOT appreciate Keanu Reeves just so you know. I think the Lake House was one of the most painful things we've ever watched.)

Katie answered: Well, now that you asked, the ear doctor and I are pretty expert when it comes to watching movies. Actually, I have to be honest here. The ear doctor is and expert at WATCHING movies, whereas I am the champion of the world at sleeping through movies.

When we were dating this drove him C-R-A-Z-Y. He'd come over, we'd snuggle and I'd promptly pass out. However, one particular cinematic triumph was so amazingly gripping that I just could not tear my eyes away. I'm sure you are saying to yourself, what, pray tell, could that classic American film be?

Killer Clowns from Outer Space.


Some other recommendations:

Run, Fat Boy, Run I thought this movie was going to be horrible and lame but I haven't laughed so much in a really long time. And I don't think it was because I was going in with low expectations either.

Up If you didn't see this movie you are MISSING OUT. I bawled my eyes out during the first 20 minutes of the movie and was motivated to appreciate my husband more every day of my life.

Avoid: New in Town. We watched last Friday night and it gave me a migraine. I haven't had one in years...thanks a lot Renee Zellweger.

Megs asked: Freak out! I just RSVP-ed and sent in my registration money for my 10 year high school reunion. Now I need to look good! Where should I look for a dress? Any recommendations?

Katie answered: The first two places I turn for a cute dress are 1) and 2) the sale page of jcrew. However, since you live in Utah I bet a ton of people go to shabbyapple for their dress needs. I HATE it when people show up wearing the same thing as me so I might avoid that if I were you.

For style advice, check with Emily does on her What to Wear series. She's got great taste and has opened my mind to a lot of options I don't usually consider.

Obviously, if you have the cash, Anthropologie is a great option...but it's usually beyond what I want to pay. You can get great deals if you go to their back sale rooms...but they get picked over pretty quick. I think they move stuff back to the sale room on Tuesdays, so that might be the best day to go.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

sharpen your pencil

When I was little my mom gave me a pad of graph paper. White paper with a 1/4 inch blue grid printed all over it.

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!

no dents here

I'm really starting to enjoy my new job. The whirlwind feeling of I-don't-know-what-the-crap-is-going-on is dying down to a lilting breeze of uncertainty. The ground beneath my feet has stopped shifting like quicksand and is now just a slightly ramped floor...not sure, but navigable.

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 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

Setting my offering at thine feet

I feel like the ear doctor and I have made our first real offering up to the homebuying Gods.

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

Cool Denver House Friday

Do you think I'm crazy for really loving this house?

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

On the hunt

Last night the ear doctor and I went for our very first scheduled meeting with our realtor.

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 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

Stolen property

Do you have any really defined roles in your relationship? Because we sure do in ours.

In our partnership it is my job to get the mail...mainly because I LOVE opening letters. But lately every single package has been for the ear doctor. And usually this wouldn't bum me out, but my birthday is coming up in the next few weeks and seeing a package smashed so lovingly by the mailman in our tiny box kind of thrills me to the core.

I get flash-backs of the birthday boxes my grandma used to send me when I was 7. They'd be absolutely COVERED with packing tape, more to prevent premature prying by little anxious fingers than to ensure safe delivery. I was the kid who opened all her gifts early...I couldn't stand the suspense. These boxes would be so strapping-tape encased that my mom would have to whip out a full sized bowie knife to open the suckers.

So now you realize why seeing package after package marked for the ear doctor is a bit of a let down.

You see, my amazing husband has found and fully capitalized on the $1 used book off Amazon. For the past 2 weeks we've steadily received these books and the ear doctor is over the moon about it. Most of the books he's getting are for the course he'll be teaching at CU in the they're about race and culture.

I never really understood how people were really making a profit off selling a $1 book. I mean, it can't cost them much less than that to procure it, right?


Turns out the ear doctor has been buying "hot" books off the Amazon used books black market.

I gotta keep a closer eye on that guy...soon we'll have a pet tiger or something.

Blogger to Blogger

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.

...and then...

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

supply and demand

My perfect, adorable niece is 2 years old. And struggling with the concept of sharing. My sister is a bit frustrated with the shrill and constant insistence of "MINE." With the ruthless combination of gleaming hardwood floors and 14 ft ceilings their house is a resonating sound box for the possessive declarations. And I think it's getting old.

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

Product Endorsement

I don't usually use this little corner of the web to post about products. There are so many better, prettier, cooler blogs out there showing us awesome ways to spend our hard earned pennies. I don't really feel like I can offer anything unique or interesting to that discussion, so I tend to stay away.


Saturday night we hosted a really awesome game night. One of our classy guests called ahead to ask if she could bring anything. I told her not to go to any trouble at all...just come and bring her winning personality. She, of course, just could not arrive empty handed. And, boy oh boy, and I glad she didn't!

She brought these little beauties:

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 while watching Uncle Buck:

And then I just couldn't fall asleep without them:

And then this morning I needed more while I was showering:

And I needed extra strength that only cocoa roasted almonds can provide while ironing my shirt:

And I could never have completed my hour-long commute without them:

All in all, this is my new favorite addiction. RUN, don't walk, to Costco and get yourself some of their chocolaty goodness!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cool Denver House Friday

I think I'd take a paint brush to the scalloped shingles, and I'd REALLY paint those scary red walls, but other than that it looks pretty cool.

This little house was built in 1908, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1375 sq ft is $250k. Yes please!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

More characters around the complex

As the ear doctor and I sat back on our couch this evening all we wanted to do was rest. The ear doctor was all tuckered out from "playing around all day on our stolen wifi" and I was burned out from my horrible daily commute to and from work.

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?

Being a mom

The ear doctor works from home about 75% of the time during the summer. He sits in a very uncomfortable chair at our kitchen table and squints to read his laptop screen despite the streaming sunlight and ever-present Colorado dust. He does this because it's the only spot in the house where we can "borrow" Internet from one of our neighbors. He'll sit there for hour after hour typing away.

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?

How much is too much?

My little sister currently lives in a GORGEOUS 100 year old home in St. Louis. They bought for about $80K and over the past year have put blood, sweat, tears and an additional $20K into it and it is just awesome.

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

Your thoughts

Does this look only work because it's on a model who is probably 8 feet tall? Because I really like it...

(chris benz as seen on Seesaw Designs)

Although I might get a few stares in the machine shop if I come to work wearing an orange turban and gold peep-toes....

Step 1: getting the money

As I've mentioned a *few* times, the ear doctor and I are looking to buy a house. Well, for some reason I've been dragging my feet on actually getting going. I admit it, part of me was a bit intimidated. And the thing I was most intimidated by? Talking to a lender.

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?

Blogger to Blogger

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 I knew we had to go there. That picture is me standing and posing with the bottom jaw of a mammoth. Cool, huh!?!?!

and then...

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

Fashion statement

Getting gifts for my brother-in-law is tough. Not because he's picky, but because he doesn't really need anything. He's not the type of guy who really likes having *stuff* around. As a result, I never know what to give him to show him I care.

Once I got him a solar powered flashlight because the company said that every time someone bought one here in the US one was given to a kid in Africa. I like the idea of providing light for someone in Africa who might need it...and who couldn't use another flashlight, right?

Which is probably the same reason I really really want a pair of these shoes:

Part of me thinks they look kind of funny and another part of my doesn't really care what they look like. And then another part of me wonders if they could possibly be as comfortable as they look and the other part of me wonders if wearing these makes me a bit too hipster for my own good.

And the last part of me smiles from ear to ear thinking of some cute kid who didn't have shoes running around with her very own pair of new bright pink kicks.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Insult to injury

Remember how I used to get the awesome magazine Domino and how that lovely publication went belly-up? Well, the powers that be decided to start sending me a different magazine to finish my subscription.

And I knew that they were sending it, but I wasn't fully prepared for this to arrive in my mailbox:

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.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Cool Denver House Friday

So, do you like this house or not?

The two-toned brick is kind of, well, interesting. Am I being blinded by that adorable old (probably original) kitchen sink?

All this vintage charm could be ours for $175. It's the magic 3 bed 2 bath combination with an amazing 2789 sq feet.
Should we get it?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Benedryl....what's the point?

About 3 days a year I get a startling, annoying, full-blown allergy attack. For those of you who are blessed, blessed children of God and aren't affected by the microscopic messengers of Satan that gently float in the air, just waiting to be inhaled into pink, unsuspecting lungs, consider yourself lucky.

Having an allergy attack the caliber of which I have the yearly joy of experiencing is soul shakingly horrible. The cruel joke is that they usually occur after a perfectly beautiful, achingly idyllic early summer day. The kind of day you look back on during a gray winter afternoon that induces yearning for sundresses and huaraches.

Which is exactly the type of evening I experienced Monday night. As I sat, my fingers entwined with those of the one I love, watching our beloved little boxer prance and play at the dog park I had a subtle premonition. The slanting light from the sun setting over the purple Rockies was just too lovely. The way my adorable pup looked up at us with pure unconditional love was too sweet. The sweetness lingering on my lips from a self-indulgent run to Baskin-Robbins was too fantastic. Something was about to hit.

And on the drive back to the house it did.

If you've never sneezed 23 times in a row, you won't really be able to empathize. By the time I flew up the stairs and threw open the door my mind had turned from the sane this-will-knock-me-out-for-at-least-12-hours thought process to the harrowed if-I-don't-get-some-benedryl-immediately-I-may-loose-my-mind mentality.

So, with great relief, I swallowed that little pink pill. The pink pill of doom. The pink pill that induces such deep slumber and body-numbing properties that I am stoned for a full 20 hours after ingestion?

And so here is my question: What is the point of taking a medication that blissfully removes all symptoms of said horrifying allergy attack only to replace it with Snow White-like death-sleep?