Thursday, April 30, 2009

Round and Round

I grew up rainy, rainy western Washington.

Everyday my mom would bundle me up, shove a peach colored golf umbrella in my grubby little hand and scoot me out the door to the bus stop. As anyone who has lived in a waterlogged area knows, after prolonged rain hundreds of worms crawl up and out of their dirt homes and stretch across the pavement. The deluge of water has tricked them into thinking that a course bringing them directly in front of my seven-year-old girl feet is just as safe as their watery-lawn homes. Poor, deluded creatures.

However, I, having been properly educated about worms, their importance in compost, and role in creating healthy soil, just could not bring herself to step on a single little worm. I'd carefully stretch each converse clad toe from safe footing to safe footing in a Jainist-like effort to avoid harming a single little worm.

The exerted effort meant that I often found myself on the brink of missing the bus.

As soon as I saw that big yellow vehicle round the corner, panic flooded my heart. I have to admit, in my rush to arrive on time at the appointed bus stop location a few of those slimy little guys may have met an untimely end. Don't judge me.

The school bus was an interesting place for me. The driver especially. He was a big white guy who was clearly tired of driving loud, wet children to school. That 1.3 mile drive back and forth, back and forth had done something to him because he thought it was a great idea to play Monster Mash every morning, 180 days a year.

And soon I began to associate this living, breathing person with the big metal vehicle that he drove. In my mind he didn't have a home, didn't kiss his wife good morning, didn't have children of his own to motor around. No. He was actually physically PART of the bus. Like the anima-tronic bears I'd seen at Disneyland.

And I realizedsoemthing. Until this morning, the idea of a melded man and machine school bus driver has lingered in my consciousness.

Every morning at about 7:12 I am to be found walking my dog through our neighborhood. I notice children waiting for a school bus to pick them up. Their sleep filled eyes barely take in my scary bed hair and my adorable puppy. I've heard and seen the bus that gets them. I know it makes a loud sound that makes Roscoe jump and want to scurry between my legs.

But not once have I looked up and made eye contact with the driver...until today. I noticed that, instead of the rotund, white, slightly dirty man I expected to be rockin out to some Halloween-themed oldies music I saw a nice, young blond hair woman. I was a little surprised.

And then she waved at me.

And I waved back.

I realized that she'd probably seen me and my dog everyday of the school year. I was part of her daily routine. And I hadn't even acknowledge that she was a living, breathing person who wore a cute pink shirt and had straight pearly whites.

And then I thought maybe I should stop concentrating on avoiding stepping in crap on the sidewalk. Maybe instead I should start looking around to see the wonderful, kind, happy people that fill this world.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blogger to Blogger

This week I have the privilege to hang out with another Katie (k8 for future reference)! What? You aren't read Replikate yet? YOU ARE MISSING OUT, my friend. Just get a load of these great answers and questions!

K8 asked: Sometimes single people have ideas about what marriage will be like that don't turn out to be true. What is one thing about being married that has been a surprise?

Katie (me) answered: I thought marriage meant that I'd have to give up my fierce sense of independence and every decisions would be a painful compromise. That I'd never get to do things the way that I wanted to do them.


When you marry someone very compatible your choices and decisions are eerily similar. I never feel that struggle to be myself or do things a certain way because the ear doctor generally wants to do things the same way I do. It was really nervous about this before getting married and it has turned out to be a non-issue for us. It's awesome.

The major adjustment I've had to make is I can't watch Gossip Girl or America's Next Top Model or reruns of Gilmore Girls as much as I want. I've got to find times when he's not around because it's just not nice to watch him scratch out his eyeballs with a rusty spoon.

K8 asked: If you could give your sixteen year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Katie answered: Lighten up.

I keep thinking of other advice I'd give myself. I'd say people don't care as much about you as they do about themselves, so stop being so insecure. Or try EVERYTHING. Or keep in touch with this girl, Brooke, who is your best friend now because she is going to lead an amazing life. Or be nice to your mom, she's actually very cool. Or try doing a aren't as uncoordinated as you think. Spend more time with your little sister because you won't always be together everyday. Be proud of driving that old red truck with the Tasmanian Devil mudflaps because it's going to be the source of a lot of great stories in the future. Take an auto shop class.

K8 asked: Tell me all about your very favorite characteristic about yourself.

Katie answered: Jeez, what is this, and interview question? I didn't know I was trying to get a job with your company....

I can make things happen. I attribute this to my mother who is so awesomely Type A and proud of it. I've never met anyone who can so effortlessly pull together so many things at the same time. She taught me to be organized and hardworking and thorough. I may not be the most creative or innovative person in a group, but I have the unique ability to put ideas together and make them happen. A party for 100 people with a minuscule budget and no time to plan? Sign me up. A project at work that involves conflicting personalities and has ground to a halt? I can tackle that. A huge field covered in weeds and crab grass that you want turned into a lush oasis? I'm the girl for the job.

and turning the tables....

Katie asked: How do you simultaneously search out great new music and not become a pretentious music snob?

K8 answered:Considering my own tastes have evolved so much over the years I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have a leg to stand on if I decided to get too uppity about what I like now!

I think it's always a danger when you really love something-whether it's food or music or art or cars or whatever-of becoming a jerk about things you consider to be "below" you. I read an article years ago about the difference between a "foodie" and a "gourmet". The gourmet was considered a person with refined tastes who search out the best food while a "foodie" is someone who simply loves food and will enjoy anything from a hole in the wall taco joint to a high priced steak house. I decided then I would always rather be a foodie then a gourmet when it came to things I loved. Music fills so many needs in me and sometimes Taylor Swift's "Love Song" is more what I need then the very best Radiohead song. I value quality in my music but I think there is so much great stuff out there, and it's so varied, that I don't have time to turn up my nose too much.

Katie asked: You live so far from family and obviously miss them terribly. Would you consider giving up your rock 'n roll lifestyle to be near them? Why or why not?

K8 answered: Well Katie, this question is pretty much the through story of my life's movie. For a girl who is as obsessive about her family as I am, it's funny that I've spent the better part of 14 years not living near them. I learned long ago that I have to balance the part of myself that would love nothing more then to live next to my sister and go to family Sunday dinner every week with the part of me that is always always always looking for the next challenge. I spent my twenties taking every great opportunity I could get my hands on and I definitely wouldn't take back any of those experiences. I've had a great life and I feel like so many of my teenage fears about how things would "turn out" have been successfully avoided. However, the last year or so I've started thinking that no adventure sounds as wonderful as having my nephews knowing who I am. So I will balance that with the the knowledge that I still need to have meaningful personal opportunities whether that be professional or romantic or whatever and who knows...that might exchanging Christmas vacations in Utah for a more permanent spot.

Katie asked: What is the best job you've ever had and what made it so awesome?

K8 answered: This one is easy and I'm afraid that you only have to meet me for about five minutes to know the answer. My job at the Olympics in Salt Lake was pretty much the highlight of my career thus far and I kind of think it always will be. I still remember the day Salt Lake got the bid and feeling half desperate to be involved. I lucked right into a job in the Sport department in Short Track Speed Skating and Figure Skating and spent two ridiculously fun years getting ready for the Games. I enjoyed everything about it-I had two fantastic bosses who really believed in me and gave me lots of opportunities to learn and grow, I made dear dear friends with coworkers that are still going strong nine years later, I met interesting people from all over the world and got a front row seat to an event that brings the whole world together. One Wednesday afternoon we were at a company sponsored picnic at the Utah Olympic Park, sitting on the grass and enjoying being outside. One of the older guys on the team walked over and looked at the group of young, talented, attractive kids flirting with each other in the sun in the middle of a work day and said, "you guys know this place isn't reality right?" And I think we all laughed and said, "we know". But we didn't really know. As it gets further away I have less of a tendency to make my current job compete with that experience but my time there almost glows when I think about it. It was a ton of work and I know there were tough times but almost every single day I would think-I AM SO LUCKY! I hope I get more chances in my life to feel that way.

Your turn. How do you respond to one of our questions?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No wrinkles here

As you all know, I'm a red head. The type of red head that steps into the sun and IMMEDIATELY begins to sunburn. Unless you are close friends with an albino, you've probably never met anyone with a greater propensity toward the burn that myself.

As a result every summer I scour the market to find the newest and best sunblock around. Last year I found myself a tube of SPF 80 and I thought I was at the top of my game. How could it possibly get any better? Well it does. Feast your little eyes on this product:

The ear doctor just shakes his head at my fanatical desire to maximize my sun blocking abilities. So, I sent him a link to this product. I thought he would be as excited by my find as I was.

He wasn't. He suggested this alternative: would certainly get the job done....

Livin in the hood

The ear doctor officially declared last night the two most ghetto things about me are thus:

1) I smuggle a bag of pre-popped microwave popcorn into the movies. $5 for the stuff they sell there? I think not.


2) I'm really, absurdly excited for the new Dollar Tree store to open up just minutes from my house. What? Who doesn't like finding craft/project supplies for a dollar each?

Really, he should be proud that I've made these kind of money-saving changes in my life. Doesn't he know that I was the girl 5 years ago who went to jcrew and BOUGHT new clothes instead of doing laundry?!?!?!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I was totally going to write a happy, sunny post about my awesome weekend spent between Home Depot and napping on my couch. I promise, I really was.

But then THIS happened:

And now I'm so pissed I can't bring myself to write a single chipper word.

Late spring in Colorado is less than great.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pass the patchouli

For weeks I've been itching to get my balcony container garden started. I've got the containers and the seeds, but need to pick up a couple of bags of good dirt...oh, and clear out the old dead stalks from last years failed tomato attempt.

This morning I forwarded the video that Jordan posted to my mom. I told her that I was inspired and wanted to do something like these people one day. I told her I wanted to be an urban farmer.

I think growing a garden like this in the back yard would be SOOO fulfilling for me:

She laughed at me and said I'd been living in Boulder too long.

I had to point out that it was her fresh spring pea beds that lured my best friend and I out to the garden in the middle of the night to pick and eat fresh produce by the light of our pink anodized maglites. We were in high school and giddy to eat their green little goodness right off the vine. It's her fault I love working in dirt and Barbra Kingslovers fault I want to grow veggies.

Living in Boulder has nothing to do with it. I promise.

It's probably a good thing I didn't mention my newest desire to raise chickens and start a bee colony....

Cool Denver House Friday

I'm not sure if I'm yet a city girl enough to buy this house, but it sure seems like a great investment property. New construction is going up all around this little guy and it is literally blocks from downtown.

This lovely 3 bed, 2 bath, 1666 sq ft brick house was build in 1916 and is listed at $210k. It would really need some elbow grease, but if we were up to the challenge it could be a very lucrative option.

Plus, wouldn't a window basked with daffodils look so cute? Does it look too much like a shop to you? I can't tell....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Fart Bandit

Ummm, I sort of can't believe that I didn't share with you the most momentous occasion of our week! We've been gearing up for this event for months now and I totally failed to share it!

This week ROSCOE TURNED 1!

Of course, we couldn't let the occasion go by without doing something totally dorky and spoiling him rotten. What kind of owners would? So, I decided to do this:

At first he was curious.
When he tried to rip it off before I got some good pictures I scolded him and he felt bad.

But not for too long, because we had a party to get to! The hat didn't last very long when he started playing with his girlfriend Sidney who lives one floor beneath us...

All in all, I think he had a pretty fun day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blogger to Blogger

I've been a faithful fan of Girl From Florida's blog for-EVER people. I seriously think this girl is the coolest. If you like the type of blog where you get to read someone's thoughts, see their cute daughter and drool over some great food spreads THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!

GFF asked:What is one of the most romantic things Ear Doctor does for you? (I'm talking those little day-to-day things, like always making you fresh coffee in the morning or making sure the oil in your car is always changed)

Katie answered: Well, we don't drink coffee and I am the one who enforces the oil changes at our house...but the ear doctor does a lot of other things for me to show he cares. Whenever I'm feeling horrible he always jumps up from whatever he's doing and he gets me the Tylenol and a glass of water. I haven't done this for myself in the past 2 years.

He also brings me cookies and/or chips home if a sales rep brings free food in for the audiologists. He understand my love for Nacho cheese Doritos. He makes the bed when I'm feeling too tired or rushed to do it. I hate a messy bed and he really couldn't care less if we made it or not, so I know he does it for me. He locks the door with me inside when he leaves for work early and I'm still in the house all alone. He wants to make sure no one could get in and hurt me.

GFF asked: Do you have an item from your childhood that is still near and dear to you? Tell me about it!

Katie answered: Actually, yes I do. It's a music box with a little yellow chick that has a magnet in the bottom. A matching magnet in the base forces the little chick to dance around in circles. You can see from the wear pattern that it's taken quite a few loops. I used to sit on my mom's lap as a little girl and we'd watch this little duck make the rounds.

She gave this to me about a year ago and I love it so much I can't even begin to describe what it means to me.

GFF asked: You know this was coming... when will you be adding to your family? Besides the pup, of course! (C'mon, you said no one ever asks, so I had to!!) :)

Katie answered: Well, since you asked, I'll tell you where my mind is at on this one. I'm really quite scared to be a mom. The responsibility, the sacrifice, the daily grind. It is pretty daunting. And there's really no going back once you make the choice. When I was thinking of getting married I was similarly nervous. I had to wait and wait and wait until I felt at peace with the decision. Then the ear doctor made me wait LONGER and I just wanted to do it already. I want to get to the same point with starting a family...and I know I'll get there sooner rather than later. I'd rather have more moments of excitement than dread from the very beginning of it, you know?

Also, I believe that we need to be financially secure to start a family. I don't mean that we need to have a big beautiful house with 2 luxury cars and all that. I'm talking I want to be able to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. In addition, the ear doctor has Type 1 diabetes, so excellent health insurance is a MUST in our lives. Right now the ear doctor is finishing his PhD and as a result my job is our sole source of income. If I were to have a baby our income would be cut so drastically that meeting those two vital needs would be a challenge...and I just don't think that is the right thing for us.

I know a lot of people who attend the same church as me (LDS/Mormon) might frown on this. We've been advised from the leadership of our church not to put off starting a family for financial reasons. But we've also been strongly warned to stay out of debt and to always be financially responsible and in dependant. For us, it seems that the second council is guiding our decisions at the moment.

And turning the tables...

Katie asked: What are you most excited for in your upcoming move to Guam?

GFF answered: The food, of course! I can't wait to experience another culture in depth and learn about their way of living... especially the food! I get very, very content in my comfort zone, so I tend to stick with the same day-to-day routines (including meals). When we moved to the keys, I was instantly thrown head first into a wonderful world of fresh seafood and tropical fruit (and had to leave my family's butter-dripping-Southern style meals behind!). We eat fresh fish 3-4 times a week (H catches it!) and there are more coconuts, mangoes and papayas than I know what to do with around here. I hope to find more unique tropical fruits in Guam and try some of their local specialties (red rice, Chamorran coconut chicken, etc).

Katie asked:Do you still own the infamous butterfly shirt? The one that attracted your husband so well?

GFF answered: That shirt is long gone... thankfully! My post-baby body will never, ever again sport half shirts shaped like butterflies. Maybe I will wear a shirt with butterflies on it. Like a fitted T-shirt that covers stretch marks! And my comfy sports bra...

Katie asked: People say blogging is narcissistic. How do you respond?

GFF answered: Of course it is, but within reason. We all need our outlets to let off our steam, and blogging is the perfect choice. I think that you don't need therapy if you have good girlfriends... or a blog. I blog for myself- as a record of my life- and I like to have my memories recorded somewhere accessible.

But I also LOVE reading other's personal lives, thoughts, and feelings... especially if it's ALL about them! One of the main things that turns me away from a blog (besides being a boring political blog, or a nazi terrorist or something!) is a blog that is all, "What's your favorite food today? and what do you think about that, readers?" I don't read blogs to answer other people's questions, I read to learn about people out there in the world and see life through their eyes. I may be in sunny KW celebrating Easter with my husband and daughter, but I also get to experience Easter with a girl in chilly Utah with her huge Mormon family, and a girl in Georgia who's pregnant from IVF, and a Southern American in London with her romantic husband. I love that! I like to read a blog that reads like a journal or diary entry. Bonus if it includes food pictures! I've learned so much about other cultures and religions through blogging, and truly feel that I've made friends via the blog world.

In that way, it's not narcissistic at all.

Your turn. How do you respond to one of our questions?

My day downtown

Last night the ear doctor and I took our annual trip to Jen & Jerry's for free cone day. The shop is right smack in the middle of Pearl Street, a place I love with all my heart. It's 4 blocks in the center of the city dedicated to an outdoor pedestrian mall and it always exhibits the best cross-section of Boulder life. If you ever come to visit me, this is one place we will defiantly go.

Walking down this street you can see everything from homeless hippies banging their bongos to crazy out of control co-eds to uber-tan, ultra-fit, septuagenarian millionaires who just ran 20 miles around the city and are stopping by for some free range, organic chicken salad.

On our walk last night we noticed a new restaurant...a glorified potato bar. I had to take a picture for my pal Sarah who LOVES Boulder, but HATES potato bars....

On Pearl Street you can get pretty much any service, including a $10/5 minute massage from this slightly creepy, pony-tail wearing masseur. Would you pay this guy to give you a neck rub?

And last, but certainly not least, Boulder thinks of the kids. Did you know that there are more dogs per capita that kids in the city limits? Maybe that's why the playground here is a bunch of big boulders nestled in dirty gravel surrounded by a brick pit?

Sounds like a concussion waiting to happen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Clipped for the future

Have I mentioned before that I love landscaping? Well, I do. I can easily spend hour after hard working hour with dirt caked under my nails and mud stains on the knees of my jeans. I've actually considered doing it professionally in my next career.

I'm sure this love stems from the Saturday after Saturday after Saturday that my mom forced my whole family to work in the yard all through our childhood. Those memories of working hard, together, and only stopping to take a late afternoon lunch of tuna fish sandwiches has cemented in my soul a love of all things outdoor.

Which is why when I saw this photo on isuwannee I literally gasped. It is perfect. It is virtually clipped and added to my digital landscaping inspiration book.

Someday this will be in my back yard.

Monday, April 20, 2009


So I've been following the Bright Side Project for a couple of months now and, wouldn't you know it, I WON SOMETHING!

Not only something, I won SHOES! But I'm having the hardest time deciding which to pick. Dear readers, help me choose.

Green: I would wear all the time. Versatile, nice pop of pattern

Shiny: Great for work, love the cut-out details, I don't own ANY pointed toe shoes

Ruffles: When would I ever buy myself such fantastic shoes? Never. Shouldn't a freebie be the time I go all out?

What would you do?

EDIT: I thought this was really funny. When the Ear Doctor saw the ruffle ones he skrunched up his face and said they looked like mushrooms. I've tried my best to convince him that they'd look really cute on...but he's skeptical....


This weekend I helped throw a party for roughly 100 people. The original plan was to hold the event Friday at 6 pm.

Friday morning Denver got it's last exciting middle of spring snow storm. As I looked out my office window and saw the snow on my sill topping out at 8 inches I was pretty sure the party wasn't going to happen. After a flurry of emails the decision was made to reschedule the party for Saturday night. Hundreds of calls were made to every person invited to tell them the new plan.

This was the moment when 16 year old Katie starts to whisper, "this is going to be just like your birthday when you invited 40 people and 6 showed up...give aren't that cool."

But I looked her in the eye and told her to just go back to her insecure hole. The party would go on!

Saturday at about 3 pm we went to the venue and realized that the wet heavy snow had found its way under the dilapidated shingles. We were informed that water in light fixtures is a bad idea. Apparently this WATER was a fire hazard. Yeah, I didn't ever think that water could pose a fire threat, but I guess I'm wrong.

So, 3 hours before the party a second set of a hundred call were made and location of said party was changed. At this point I was pretty sure that no one would come. The roads were covered in deep, slushy snow and had I not been an organizer I'm not sure if I would have braved them to make my way.

At 5:45 the tables were set, the music playing and the food just about ready to serve.

And the hall was empty.

FEAR rushed over me. No one was coming. With all the changes and upsets I thought, surely, people would throw in the towel.

I . was . wrong .

In 20 minutes the hall was filled with happy, excited, friendly faces despite the crazy weather. All in all 30 lbs of carnitas tacos were consumed, 2 pinatas mangled by excited, overfed children and all 100 people had a great time.

So there, 16-year-old-self, you aren't too bad after all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cool Denver house Friday

Alright, this cute house is really tiny. Probably too small for us, but I can just picture myself sitting on the porch in the middle of the summer sipping lemonade and watching the kids ride their bikes by.

The cost for this 3 bed, 1 bath, 955 sq ft house? $145. Plus there's a 2 car garage...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sick Streaks

Our new across the hall neighbors are gross. Gross with a capital G.

Their major offense? They have the world's leakiest garbage and drag/spill it down the 2 flights of stairs that we share in order to get to our parking lot. Almost every morning I am met with this kind of horrifying sight:

What kind of person does that? Who doesn't notice they are leaving a huge smear of nastiness wherever their bag goes and freakin DOUBLE BAG it!?!?! Times are NOT that tough. It makes me want to get protective booties to wear over my shoes.

The only thing that fixes my mood after seeing a scene play out like this is a new-found joy in my life. There is a radio station here in the Denver area called "The Party." It's been around awhile and I never listened to it because I figured with a dumb name like "The Party" it had to be focused on the 11 to 17 year old demographic.

However, when I got a new battery for my car all my preset stations were wiped and I had to search around to find them again. This happy accident led me to "The Party."

And I was is a music station for teenie-boppers. But not today's teenie-boppers....the teenie-boppers of the 1990's!!! (That'd be me!)

I can't tell you how the melodic offerings of Lauryn Hill's Killing Me Softly has soothed my soul after almost slipping in the neighbor's grease slick. How passionately I sing along with TQ and his account of life in the Westside. How deeply I feel Gwen Stefani's pain while I belt out that I, too, would like you to not speak. How really and truly I, like my good buddy Montell Jordan, know how we do it.

Now if only I could get my dumb neighbors to figure out how we do it too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Need something to brighten your day?

Click over to my COUSIN'S blog.

If it doesn't make you smile from ear to ear then I feel sorry for you and your cold, unfeeling heart.

Blogger to Blogger

I'm so excited to share my little blogger to blogger interview with you this week! If you don't know Emily's blog where she shares her awesome style, you are in for a REAL treat! I love this girl, and in my eyes, she can do no wrong.

Emily asked: What was the 12 year old Katie like? How are you the same today?

Katie answered: It's funny that you ask, because right now I'm probably more like 12 year old Katie than I've ever been. I went through a rough patch (high school, undergrad) where I felt very insecure and kind of lame. I thought everyone was judging me and as a result I was very harsh and judgemental. 12 year old Katie would not have liked the older version of herself at all.

However in the last 5 years I've really learned to lighten up. To laugh and be goofy. To not try so hard to try to convince everyone else that I've got it all together. Because, really, I don't. Wonder and excitement have come back to me and that is how 12 year old Katie would have had it.

12 year old Katie was fascinated by flight and Egypt. She wanted to explore the Oceans. She wanted to eat a whole box of cheezits without any restriction and she loved playing with her friends. That's pretty much me today.

Emily asked: When did you know that engineering was the right career for you? Did someone inspire you to make that choice?

Katie answered: I've always liked science and math. I blame my parents for sending me to science camp when I was little and for getting me both a microscope and telescope. I'd dream about how to build things and once, at 16, found myself in the middle of an alpine lake lashing dead logs together to make a raft for myself.

My mom realized what I was before I did. She suggested that I look into engineering when I got to college. I remember my first engineering class which was basically a 1 credit weekly lecture where they talked about different topics. The first or second lecture was all about how people invented the tempering process for glass windshields that makes it safe for use in front of people in cars and I was hooked.

Engineering is amazing. You learn basic principles of the universe and then combine that with your creative mind to make life better for all humanity. It takes the raw creativity of an artist mixed with the scientific know-how of a physicist to be a good engineer.

Emily asked: If you could quit everything right now and do whatever you wanted for the rest of the day...what would you do?

Katie answered: Well, it is beautiful right now and I just found out that you can actually take DOGS into Rocky Mountain National park! I'd grab the ear doctor and Roscoe and head up to the mountains. We'd stop by Big Al's BBQ shack for lunch and get a little white box of maple with walnut fudge in Estes Park. Then we'd hike until sunset.

And then it was my turn to do the asking...

Katie asked: You always seem to be so polished and put together. Do you really feel that way?

Emily answered: Wouldn't that be nice!? I'm far from always polished or put together. I have the boniest elbows on the planet, a penchant for dropping food on the floor during parties and have more than my share of insecurities. But I do try. I've always been fascinated by "adulthood", even as a kid. I couldn't wait to get my first pair of heels and have my own apartment. Being an adult comes with all these great opportunities to dress-up, eat chocolate whenever you want, have fancy things, throw fun parties, and travel around the world. I love being an adult!

Katie asked: What is the biggest difference between dating and being married to Rob?

Emily answered: Married life has been delightful! After living together for 7 years, I wasn't sure anything would change in our relationship. But now that we're married we're more focused on taking care of each other and it really feels like our own little family. The one big difference I noticed right after the wedding is that I worry now about Rob's safety. On our honeymoon hikes and adventures, I worried constantly!

Katie asked: People say that blogging is narcissistic. How do you respond?

Emily answered: There's a thin margin between self-reflection and narcissism. I honestly don't see a lot of the narcissistic side, at least in our blog "community." It's funny to put that in quotes because I really do see it as a community. Blogging is all about sharing your life with others. Which seems to me to be an act of generosity. Following other people's blogs has helped me become more open and less judgmental. For my own blog, writing helps me focus on the fact that my life is pretty great right now. Blogging helps me stress less and appreciate life more. Community, acceptance, appreciation...all good things!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Best day of the year

Today is take your daughter/son to work day and, can I just tell you, I am LOVING it! It is so cool to see all these professional engineer guys bring their kids to work. I love seeing the more personal, sincere family side of all these guys.

It doesn't hurt to have some cute little high pitched voices floating up into the air either. The energy they bring with them is palpable and make this place SO much more fun!

I wish they could come everyday...although I'm not sure how much actual work would get done...

My new favorite place

Yesterday I went to lunch at a new place and upon walking in I breathed a sign of relief. It was like I'd finally found a place that was designed specifically with me in mind. Just take a look at this interior:

What you are looking at is a franchised burger joint called Larkburger. Can you believe it? I couldn't. The burgers are awesome, only a little more expensive than your average fast food place and can be topped with real Tilamook cheddar served with a side of truffle Parmesan fries.

It's especially cool because every bit of packaging material is compostable and their used canola oil is recycled into bio-diesel.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A little bling

Did the Easter bunny find her way to your house this weekend? She sure came to ours! Just check out the total score that I made:

Yup, I can feel your jealousy through the Internet. You better believe I proudly wore these to church.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cool Denver house Friday

Another really cool house that is priced at least 100K lower than any other house on the street is this baby:

Built in 1906, and for only $199K this 3 bed, 2 bath, 1472 sq ft charmer is ready for us to bring it up to snuff. I just love the porch and the chimney. This one would require some serious work, but I'm sure my dad wouldn't mind coming to town to help out...
Right dad?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bang watch 2009

I knew that when I got my bangs cut I'd need to get them trimmed a lot. But I can never find the time/energy to get them clipped. As a result?

You know it's bad when your husband says your starting to look like an English Sheep dog:

I prefer to think I'm starting to look like the sexy torch-singing pound dog, Peg, from Lady and the Tramp.

I'm OK with that.

PS, this movie made me infinitely happy this morning.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Blogger to Blogger

Next up? My pal Erica from Her Bloggity Blog. Every Monday this girl puts a list of awesome stuff that looks like I could have pulled it myself! I've been dying to ask her a few questions, and this is what I came up with.

Katie asked: Erica, what item of clothing do you buy most frequently and what do you think that says about you? (girl, I've seen those stacks of jeans in your closet....)

Erica answered: I suppose the item I buy most frequently would be tops (it's a generalization I know, but work with me here :D). Yes it's true I do in fact have a few jeans (and be few I mean a double digit number that won't be revealed), but that's because different washes and cuts cater to what ever mood I'm in and how I'm feeling. Feeling a little bloated...wear the broken in boyfriend style jeans. Want to look a little more put together...try a dark wash trouser jean.

Back to tops - You can't have too many. I used to have a bazillion tees but have realized over the past few years I'm digging more the plain tops with some cool detailing (ruffles, intricate threading). I also love a good silk blouse. Banana Republic rocks in this category. Score some sweet silk tops from them by checking their sale racks (I NEVER pay full price) or doing a little searching on Ebay. For some reason the shirt looks better/feels better if I know I scored a deal :).

What does this say about me? 1. The way I dress depends on my mood2. I love clothes and care about the way I look. 3. I love a good deal4. My husband is a good good man to put up with my clothing habits.

Katie asked: Were you afraid/nervous to have kids? Why/why not?

Erica answered: Yes and No.

No - Before I was actually pregnant I wasn't afraid. I grew up the oldest girl in a family with 5 other siblings. My little sister is severely handicap and while at home it was my job to care for her. Because of this responsibility (along with being the oldest girl = slightly bossy but very responsible) it seemed as though I had cared for a child/children all my life. In fact, when I was first married I had told my husband that I didn't want kids for at least 3 years so I could have a break.

Yes - Once I was actually pregnant I got a little nervous. I distinctly remember one Saturday while pregnant, that Bret and I played Super Mario Bros. 3 on our old school NES system all day. He was wearing a Lego shirt and I was wearing a shirt that had the phrase "Squeeze Me" with two lemon slices on the front (I swear to you I didn't get the double meaning..I just liked the green shirt with the yellow lemons. It wasn't until a coworker of mine pointed it out that I got it). I remember wondering how in the world we would be parents when we were (are?) so immature?! At first I kinda joked with Bret about my thoughts, but as I pondered on them a bit more (you know...when it wasn't my turn to play) I realized that I was going to be responsible for another human being...and that's when fear and nervousness greeted me with a huge slap in the face.

I will say however, that even after having 2 kids it's still pretty scary when I stop and think about my responsibility to these two little people. I think it's okay to feel that way, in fact if you don't feel that way, that's when I would worry. Those feelings keep us in check and make us want to do better, which in turn make us better parents, people and role models to our kids.

Katie asked: People say blogging is narcissistic. How do you respond?

Erica answered: Narcissism describes the trait of excessive self-love or being self absorbed. So I'd say HECK YES!! blogs title is "Erica's bloggity blog" pretty sure it's not a blog about Silly Sally or Debbi Downer? It's all about ME, ME, ME!!!

I initially started my blog as an outlet for the bazillion things going on in my head and to let family and friends know what's going on in our lives. It was faster for me and more convenient then picking up a phone and talking. So I was being selfish. I was writing about my thoughts and my kids. I'm so self absorbed!

I have met so many wonderful people who inspire me (see all about me) and who give me creative ideas. It makes a hard day I am having a bit better to know that someone else out there can relate.

I enjoy witty, sarcastic humor and so many of the blogs I read out there contain that. I love being able to have my own little space of the great WWW where I can write whatever I want, whenever I want.

Now I'm pretty sure those people who say blogging is narcissistic didn't mean it the way I just interpreted it. I am sure said people don't blog themselves or they would realize that it's a sort of positive narcissism. Yes we write about our lives and our thoughts because...well, that is what/who we are, but the blogging world is what you make of it. You can allow your blog to be just about you and write post solely for comments of praise and recognition, which would make it be something of a negative narcissistic nature. But I tend to think, at least for me and the blogs I read our purpose for blogging is different than that. We write to keep record, to share and communicate to like minded people out there.

Blog on I say...BLOG ON!

And then she asked me:

Erica asked: Homemade Mac n Cheese or Kraft?

Katie answered: You probably innocently threw this question in without really thinking about the serious and weighty thought required to answer this. You see, Kraft Mac n Cheese is my secret guilty pleasure. When the ear doctor isn't home for dinner I find myself gleefully skipping toward the food storage closet to find that precious blue box of goodness. I make the whole thing and gloriously slurp the finished product out of the pot I used to boil the noodles. No need to dirty a bowl! On the other hand Homemade is creamy and I don't feel nearly as guilty about serving it to my man as a dinner. I put crumbly crunchies on top and it is Delicious.

For me, I can't pick between the two. They are the yin and yang to my cheese comfort food cravings. The world wouldn't function properly without the two in a perfect symbiotic balance.

Erica asked: I've always wanted red hair (boy would I look fugly with red hair). Some stylists have strong opinions about what colors red heads can wear and what colors they can't. Do you think wearing purple or light pink is tacky and clashes or is it fashionable?

Katie answered: OK, so here you've once again touched on a topic I have a passionate opinion about. And something that a lot of non-red heads don't realize. There is more than a single complexion for a red head. Some look great in pink (my little sister), some look dead (me). Also, purple? I love wearing purple. In fact, today is a purple-tacular day. Just like with everyone else, you have to find what works on an individual level. The blanket denial of one color of clothing to an entire hair color demographic is just silly and shows lack of experience.

That being said, I am almost always wearing green.

Erica asked: Why do you allow for comments on your blog? How do you feel about people who throw fits when they get low comments on a post?

Katie answered: First part, why I allow comments. Well, to be perfectly honest, I like knowing that someone out there was in some way affected by what I wrote. It's a little ego booster. Also, I like getting the feedback and it's interesting to learn which topics my readers are interested in (buying houses, apparently). Thirdly, I find myself discovering new favorite blogs through my comments. I think that's how I found you, Erica. I do not like the rude, mean spirited comments that I get really frequently, but I've learned to take the bad with the good. Sometimes the mean comments are right and it lets me really think about what I'm writing. Sometimes they aren't and I just have to let them roll off my back. I've just learned to be quick with the delete button and not think about it again.

Second part, feeling bad about low comments. I didn't know that people threw fits over this. Do they really? It used to bum me out when I took the time to write a really personal and what I felt well written post about my life and I'd get no comments. And then the next day I'd right about eating a sundae and McDonalds and I'd be flooded with responses. It was then that I realized that most people will respond to something that is quick and easy to digest. Something that they can relate to. I write the good posts for me now and don't care if I get a single comment on those entries.

How would you answer any of the questions asked?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tis the season

Last night we, along with probably every other American family, spend the night filling our houses with the pungent aroma of vinegar.

We always dye eggs.

And I love it.

Well, we started the process by putting setting out all the bowls and putting one of those little color tabs in each. Am I the only one who, at this point, is reminded of those teeth-scum/red dentist tabs? You remember the ones. In kindergarten they'd come in and make you chew one up to show who was brushing well and who wasn't, thus beginning the self-conscious paranoia in each little child's heart that something is wrong with their teeth?

Oh? Just me....Let's move on.

As usual, we just used the normal PAAS kit, and I only have 1 beef with it. Do we really need 3 different shades of blue in the kit? Since when is "denim" a color that is so basic it needs to be included in the standard kit of colors?

And here is my second beef with the standard PAAS kit: only 1 wire/dipper thing? Do they really think there are a lot of people out there dying Easter eggs ALONE? Isn't it kind of a family/roommate/group activity? Don't those little dippers cost like .03 cents each? Why so stingy? I mean, the ear doctor and I actually had to share it while we waited.

The thing I love the most is watching the ear doctor come up with new and funny ways to dye the eggs. While I love to just make bright patterns, he always makes them into something. This year what did he make? Well just take a look...this are across the top:

From left to right, his are: a CU egg (do you have any idea how much work it takes to get brown right?), a "club promoter" egg (complete with pink fitted button down shirt and cuff-links), an anatomically correct brain, and a plumber wearing his DENIM jeans too low...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Another brainchild

Saturday morning the ear doctor sat bolt upright in bed. His first words to me were not the usual, "good morning my sweet love. I am the luckiest man in the world to wake up to such a beautiful, creative, smart, funny girl"

Oh no.

This morning he said, "I have the best idea for a blog!"

Blinking off the heavy sleep weighing down my lids I thought I'd lost my mind. This is my husband, right? The one who sort of teases me about writing a blog? The one who himself promised to answer my reader's questions on my blog only to sweep the offer under the rug? He's now having dreams about starting a blog and already has a well-defined, cohesive topic the likes of which my blog will probably never be able to attain? As the world SPUN OFF IT'S AXIS?!?!?!

So I replied, "oh, yeah? What is it?"

With a look of pride in his eyes, he responds, "It's called Limey know, like pirate-speak for lime lovers? It'll be a whole blog about things that are good with limes!" (pause, during which I scratch my head) He continues, "And I already have the first post! DIET COKE!"

To which I reply, "Oh, really? What are you going to write about diet coke and limes, my sweet?. . . oh, wait, you mean the whole post will just be 'Diet Coke' with no other explanation"

"Yeah, it'll just be a list of things that are good with limes."

Something tells me that the ear doctor may not quite have a grasp of what is required to have a successful blog? Although, until I'm in the position to have a million readers chomping at the bit for every pearl of wisdom doled out from my fingertips, maybe I'm not the right person to judge....

Friday, April 03, 2009

What I could do with this house

Well, the ear doctor and I are about 90% convinced that we'll be buying a house this year. I am excited/nervous/overwhelmed with this prospect. So, until we really get our acts together and save up some dinero, I'm going to show you houses here in the Denver area that I would love to get my hands on.

Starting with this lovely:

According to Zillow (not the most reliable or accurate website), for $229,000 we could get this great old 4 bed/1.5 bath/1763 sq ft house in a great up-and-coming neighborhood. The kitchen needs and upgrade and the yard is tiny, but don't you think the potential is irresistible?

Something must be drastically wrong with it to be listed at this price.....


Sometimes the ear doctor goes on food kicks. In the past these kicks have been the following: anything with chipotle flavor, chocolate chip cookies, and pastrami sandwiches. Right now? He's favoring scoop-shaped chips and bottled salsa.

BOTTLED SALSA, people!!!

Personally, I'd almost rather eat a chip plain than to smear it with overly-tomato flavored pre-made salsa. But the nostalgic flavor of Pace Picante is what he wants. I guess it reminds him of his high school friends, or his eating style in the dorms...a more innocent and carefree time.

And, really, it's OK with me. If he wants Pace, he can have the whole jar to himself.

Do you like pre-packaged salsa? Wouldn't you rather me slice up some fresh veggies and make a delicious pico de gallo?

I guess we all know what I'd prefer...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The big day

When you are nervous how to you act? Shy? Quiet? Reserved?

Not me.

I get kind of loud goofy and excitable. My heart starts racing and the thin filter between my brain and mouth completely dissolves and I am left spurting out every thought that drifts by. Which typically is a bad thing. Especially when I'm being evaluated or judged. When I know someone is trying to figure out if they think I'm good enough or not I become the class clown. It's kind of horrible, really.

Today is one of those days and I am already starting to feel the please-laugh-at-my-jokes bubbles percolate in the pit of my stomach.

But, I'm lucky to have a husband who understands this about me. And wants to help. How do I know this?

He got up early this morning to make me the full, grand-slam breakfast at home. Eggs, bacon, brown sugar pancakes will all help me anchor those bubbles in my stomach.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Blogger to Blogger

I've been blogging for a long time now and one thing has frustrated me. I get to "know" these other cool bloggers, but it kind of feels one sided. I never get to ask any questions of them. I figured that other people might feel that way too, so I've decided to start this new thing.

Each Wednesday I'm going to have a different blogger answer 3 questions that I've been wondering about them and they'll do the same of me. Should be cool, right? I think so.

First up? Janssen from Everyday Reading

Janssen asked: As a married LDS couple, do you get asked a lot about when you're going to have kids? Because people sometimes say to us that we probably get asked that all the time, but I've only ever had ONE person ask me when we're going to have kids and it was at work!

Katie answered: Actually, I'm pretty surprised and impressed that I don't get asked this very often. Maybe people have received the memo that it's none of their business and if I want to talk about it I will? Or maybe they just think that because I'm older than 23 we might be trying and there might be something wrong with us and it would be really rude to bring it up?

Just for the record (as far as I know) there isn't anything wrong with us. We are just waiting until we feel like it is the right time for us. I actually have a really serious fear that when we are feelin it we'll find out that there is something wrong. Sometimes it keeps me up at night.

Janssen asked: What's your one favorite material non-necessary possession?

Katie answered: Hmmmm, this is a really great question. The first thing that comes to mind is my violin. I love playing it and feel so lucky to have had such awesome parents who invested in my musical education. Whenever I think about my apartment burning down, this is the first thing I think I'd want to run and save.

Janssen asked: You've made me wish on a regular basis that I lived near you so I could invite myself over for dinner and partake of your gourmet offerings. What do you like to cook/bake the most, and will you please give me the recipe so I can pretend I'm at your house?

Katie answered: Wow, what a nice compliment! Asking someone what they like to cook/bake the most is like asking which kid they prefer. Impossible to answer. However, these two cake recipes are so mind blowing that I look for ever opportunity to make them. Seriously, they are both AMAZING! Coconut with lemon curd and Chocolate with Fleur de Sel Caramel.

And now to switch sides...

Katie asked: Did your parents read to you as a kid? How do you plan to share your love of reading with your future kids (if you choose to have them)?

Janssen answered: My parents did read to me a lot. My mom read aloud to me (I'm the oldest) starting when I was about five. I remember her sitting next to me on my twin bed reading the Little House on the Prairie books for hours while my younger sister fell asleep in the next bed over. In fact, my mom read aloud to me so much that year, that she lost her voice completely for about a year and although its fine now, she can't sing very much anymore because she loses her voice too easily. I hope she thinks it was worth it! My dad would occasionally read a book outloud to me and my siblings, if my mom wanted a break for a few weeks. Although he read only a fraction as many to us as my mom did, they are very memorable and still number among my favorites: Cheaper by the Dozen, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Five Children & It.

Also, I was homeschooled at least part time until I went to college and my mom read individually with each of us everyday. The books we read at night were usually more light, while during the day we read more classics, like Jane Eyre, Treasure Island, and a Tale of Two Cities. Most of the classics I've read were with my mom, outloud.

I plan to do the same thing with my kids - read to them all together at nights and then individually during the day, if we homeschool. If we don't homeschool, I'll read to together at night, but probably not during the day.

Katie asked: Close your eyes and hold our your hand. What do you most hope to be in your hand when I tell you to open your eyes back up?

Janssen answered: If you've read my blog for even one second, you probably know how much I love love financial security. So I'm going to say $100,000,000. Do you have $100,000,000 to give me, Katie?!

If that's a no, I'll settle for a never ending gift card to Ross.

Katie asked: People say blogging is narcissistic. How do you respond?

Janssen answered: I can sort of see where people who think that are coming from - why would I think that people care at all what books I read this year or what kind of cake I had for my birthday or what my new living room paint looks like? But on the other hand, for most blogs, there is the chance to respond, to offer opinions, and to really connect with people. I mean, isn't writing a book MORE narcissistic? You expect people to pay for it and you have no where to tell the author what you really think about it.

And lets be honest, half the people who rant on about how stupid blogging is and how they'll never ever ever do it, eventually get their own blogs and then ask us all to come read. Who's narcissistic now?

Now it's your turn. How would you answer one of our questions?