Friday, May 30, 2008


I sit in my bedroom tonight not knowing exactly what to do with myself. I did some thinking earlier and realized that there is a dull ache inside me that hungers for community. Since I left College Station I have not had any regular fellowship with other Christians. I wish that I was able to eat dinner with some fellow Believers and laugh and be vulnerable and transparent with them.

I feel dry.

We were created for community, and life without it feels empty. I am amazed that there are Christians who float from church to church, trying to find "the right fit". True, we are able to serve each other better with Christians that share similar beliefs, but there is never going to be a perfect church. I can't imagine not settling into a Body and serving consistently in a group of Christians.

It makes me sad that I will only be in the Dallas area for 7 months or so. I mean, that's what I'm assuming. I want so badly to be plugged into a church, but knowing that it would be for a short time makes me hesitant. I like long-term commitment. In the back of my mind, I ask myself, "What's the point?"

In Ross King's song Happy, he talks about the American megachurch. At one point, he asks the questions

Would you notice if I was gone?
How easy would it be to move on?

I know that the situation he talks about is a little different (he is picturing himself in a church of 14,000 people), but church should still be the same. 1 Corinthians 12 compares the church to a human body. Paul explains that every part of the body is equally important and the body cannot function as well if pieces are missing.

The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
1 Corinthians 12:21-26

If I was a part of a church and I left, the church should suffer somewhat due to my absence.

If you chopped your finger off, you would notice, wouldn't you?

You would feel some pain.

You would find it difficult to continue living your normal life without that finger.

That's how it should be in the Body of Christ. Yet this doesn't happen much. I am going to a church right now that is so big that I feel unimportant. I could sit in my seat on Sunday and it would be no different than if I wasn't there. The service would continue in the exact same way regardless of whether I was there or not. No one would wonder, "Where's Katie?" because it really wouldn't matter. I'm not trying to sound cynical here, but it's the truth, and it doesn't feel right.

Everyone longs to be important to others, and it's no different with me. I will be excited for the day when I can get plugged into a church and know that I won't be leaving for a long time.

As for right now, I am still craving that community, but I don't know where to begin. Please pray for me this summer and next semester, because I want to be a part of a Body where I am needed and I can use my gifts to serve and to minister to others.

I think I've been writing in my blog so much lately because I am trying to connect with people on some level. I know that people read this, and I take comfort in that. It's nice to know that there are other people there, listening. Or reading, I should say! :)

* * * * *

In other news, I went to the mall today to buy some new makeup. It seems like I've run out of the essentials all at once. I approached the Clinique counter and waited for someone to help me. This woman with a thick foreign accent approached me with an unhealthy amount of energy. Why do makeup people have foreign accents? I have always wondered this. Anyways, I told her what kind of eyeliner I use and what color I like, and she told me they were out.

"But I have the mos BEAUUUUTIFUL color that would jus look great on you! Look at dis brown color."

"Yeah, that's nice. I guess that will be okay."

"What kine of mascara you use?"

"High impact. I use brown."

"No no no. I see your hair, it's light, but I think you need more defnition. You use black."

She handed me a tube of black mascara as she closed the makeup drawer. I was not going to buy brown mascara because she said so. And I am too much of a pansy to argue with sales people.

At least I got the free bonus gift. Gosh, I love those things. It makes the pain of dealing with pushy cosmetic sales people bearable.

I bet Austin is reading this and shaking his head. He is so much more assertive than I am. :)

I am getting tired of writing. I have a lot of thoughts now but I should cut it off.

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A History of the Past Week

I have so much to write about! Expect a long post today.

I need to start by going back in time, a little bit, to the weekend. Two of my friends, Macie and Korey, got married on May 24 in Sudan, TX. Austin was a groomsman, so his mom, another B-Co mom, and three other B-Co girlfriends (well, actually they're fiancees) made a road trip out of it. We packed up all our stuff and drove out there in a big Suburban. I only had three hours of sleep the night before, so the day of the wedding I was absolutely exhausted! We had so much fun at the wedding! Korey burst into tears when he saw his bride. It was precious. It was the sort of wedding that you go to and you think to yourself, now there is a couple who belong together and who have their lives focused on the Lord. It made me so happy to watch them get married, knowing that their marriage would be blessed and would glorify God.

I had to say goodbye to Austin after the wedding, which was hard. I wasn't going to see him for at least a month, and it wasn't the idea "goodbye" situation. Our group had just eaten at Pizza Hut and we were parting ways to go back to our hotels. We had to say goodbye in the parking lot, which really wasn't fun. I have such a hard time saying goodbye. I can say goodbye and then the moment I don't visually see that person anymore, my heart wrenches with pain. It's hard to breathe and sadness overwhelms me. I normally have to go listen to some music or do something to get my mind off how sad I am.

We drove back to Fort Worth the next day, and then I drove home from there. My birthday was yesterday, and I was sad to be spending it without Austin. I didn't have anything fun planned and was a little down about it all. Also, my dad wanted me to be awake and dressed by 9 AM on my birthday because a workman was coming to fix something on the house. I got ready and then laid down on the couch for a little bit since I was so tired. A few minutes later, I felt a hand on my shoulder so I turned around and there was AUSTIN! He had driven alllll the way up from Madisonville just to see me on my birthday. He surprised me with some beautiful white roses and other flowers (I don't know what they're called), and we were able to spend the afternoon together.

We went to this wonderful Thai food place for lunch at The Shops at Legacy and then had fun driving around this place, which is actually a short drive from my house, believe it or not. There were these cool-looking model homes set up, so we toured a few for fun and had a blast trying to escape the Realtors, who would try to ask us questions about what kind of house we were looking for and where we lived now, etc. We just had to listen intently, instead of just saying, "We're actually just here because we wanted to look inside your picture-perfect but almost creepy houses and can't actually afford any of this. We're not even married - we're really just college students." Our favorite house model was actually called the "Savannah" and was WAY bigger than it looked on the outside. It had three stories and all these random nooks and crannies. It was a fun afternoon.

Last night we grilled steaks and sat outside for my birthday dinner. Instead of a regular cake, I had a cheesecake (my favorite). Austin and I watched Star Wars afterwards because he insists on making me a fan.

I got a new iPod player thing since my old one broke, and new iPod headphones since mine were 2 years old and pretty much shot. Austin gave me this awesome candle that crackles like a fire, and the scent is actually called "Fireside".

I love it! As well as the candle, he gave me this beautiful bracelet from James Avery. It is so "me"!!! He was afraid that I wouldn't like it, but I do. I'm not the sort of person who screams and jumps up and down when I open presents I like. But inside, I am going crazy. I cherish presents like the bracelet Austin gave me, and you can bet that I will wear it every day for the rest of my life, or until my wrists get too big. ;)

Another wonderful things that happened yesterday: I got a letter from the College of Education saying that I was officially on the Dean's Honor Roll. I got a certificate and everything, in recognition of my "academic excellence". I basically just got a 4.0 this past semester and the certificate was to congratulate me. :)

Austin left this morning, after I left at 7:40 to go meet the mentor teacher I will have for student teaching. Saying goodbye on Saturday night was hard, but today was so much harder. I really don't like being apart from him! This next semester is going to be terribly difficult with us being about 310 miles apart. Did I tell you guys that he has a job now? I can't remember. Anyways, he is going to be a financial advisor for IMG in Houston. He is going to do GREAT. If you need someone to help you with your money, Austin is the person to go to. He is patient, a wonderful listener, great with people and doesn't shove his opinion down your throat. I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished! He is such a hard worker and yet is so far from being a workaholic. His priorities are straight and he knows what is important. If any of you guys are going to be living in Houston, you should seriously think about buying insurance from him. Wink wink!

Ok, so back to the meeting I had with my student teaching mentor teacher today. Let me just say that I seriously lucked out!!!! I got a GREAT school in a GREAT area. The school is pretty much brand new and has amazing facilities and is just beautiful. Everyone is incredibly friendly and nice. Not to mention, the teachers all seem young and energetic. It's a wonderful environment and I could tell that from just spending three hours there!

My teacher is AMAZING! She is 31 and I think she may be Superwoman in disguise. She is married with two 4-year-old boys and still wakes up at 4:00 in the morning to go work out. She loves to talk and is incredibly friendly. And she is SUPER ORGANIZED! I love it!!!! Her room is neat and tidy and so so clean. She has it decorated like a living room, complete with flowers, a table lamp, homey decorations, beautiful picture frames on the wall containing pictures of her family, candles, [fake] plants and a bookshelf. It's beautiful and so tastefully done. It's rare to see a science classroom like that! I guess it's easy to do when you don't do labs in the same room. There is a separate lab room with state-of-the-art lab tables and facilities. She showed me pictures of labs they had done and it looked like so much fun.

Everything in the classroom has a place. She showed me a binder for each six-weeks semester and inside had a separate plastic sleeve for each day. She also journals and loves to draw and doodle - she had made two full composition notebooks full of teaching ideas and activities. Each page was colored with crayons and pencils and had pictures on it. My teacher presented me with a binder she had made for me (it had my name on it and everything!) when I first got to the classroom. It had divider tabs for sections like "Observations" and "Lesson Plans". She had put a lot of pages in it already and told me she would work on it more over the summer. When I told her my major was science and math, she said, "Oh! Well I'll get you observing some in the math classes. I'll arrange it so that every day when the teachers print off their resources, they'll print an extra copy for you and you can start a math binder, too." REALLY!?!? I mean, I think I got the best teacher out there!!! She was so prepared, organized, friendly, and fun. She told me that her student teaching experience was awful and she cried every day. She is doing so much for me and really wants me to have a great experience. What an answer to prayer! She introduced me to everyone and was just so excited to have a student teacher. I am going to have a great semester in the fall, despite being so far from my Austin.

Anyways, that's pretty much it for the last few days. It's been jam-packed with busyness and activities. I've had so much fun and am looking forward to the rest of the summer. I just need to get a job, now!

Gotta go eat dinner. I'm starving!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Mmmm, Close Shaves...

I got some new razors today and I am SO excited. I love getting new razors. They are so beautiful and clean and ready to make my legs remarkably smooth. I can't wait to use it tonight when I take a bath! I prefer the Schick Quattro for women, and I normally get the disposable ones. It has four blades which as you all know is the way to go if you want baby-smooth skin. And considering that each disposable razor is about $2.15, I'd say that's a pretty good deal.

My friends Erin and Summer are coming to stay at my house tonight so that we can go to Korey and Macie's wedding tomorrow, which is 6.5 hours away. I've never really driven through west Texas, so I'm kind of excited. I drove to El Paso on a bus when I went to Mexico, and I remember looking out of the window in the morning after a long night's drive. I saw brown mountains and no grass. At first I thought I might be on the moon, but I was wrong. It was just west Texas! I wonder if Sudan looks anything like El Paso. Probably not. Anyways, I am getting ready for Erin and Summer to get here. I cleaned my room, the kitchen, the bathroom, the kitchen again and have done 3 loads of laundry so far. I also baked two dozen muffins for the morning: 12 Cinnamon Streusel muffins and 12 Blueberry muffins. YUM!! My mom was kind enough to buy the muffin mix as well as juice and water for breakfast. We are leaving from south Ft. Worth at SEVEN in the morning tomorrow so I will have to leave here at 5:30 or so. Good grief.

I think I'm probably the cleanest person in my family. I love to clean, organize and make the house feel cozy. I love having company because it gives me an excuse to get the house looking really nice. I also light candles to give the room ambiance and make it smell good. I think that running a bed and breakfast would be fun, except that I wouldn't want to cook in the morning. I would hire a chef. ;)

One thing that I really really dislike is a dirty kitchen. I don't mind messy living rooms or bedrooms but when the kitchen gets neglected, I want to cry. I cannot bear to leave my house if the kitchen looks awful. This has happened a lot in college, and I hated it. Austin knows how much this bothers me, because I was often emptying/filling the dishwasher whenever he would come over to my duplex. I also hate dirty countertops. YUCK! I can't stand crumbs or spills. Paper towels are my best friends. (I know you eco-friendly people are cringing.)

My family is not very good at cleaning up after themselves. Our house is pretty clean, but the kitchen is the one room that often looks like a tornado hit it. When I wake up in the morning, after everyone has left for work or school, the kitchen looks disasterous. There are jelly jars left out, bread crumbs everywhere and bowls of old cereal sitting in the sink. I want to throw up. Sometimes I try to ignore it, but most of the time I end up cleaning the entire kitchen to make myself feel better.

I am going to have so much fun having my own house one day. It is going to be pretty darn clean, most of the time. There will probably be clothes all over my bedroom, though. I have a bad habit of trying on four or five different outfits in the morning and then failing to hang up or put away the clothes I don't end up wearing. Before I go to bed at night, I normally have to put away 10 or so articles or clothing.

While I'm on the subject of being weird, I will also add that I make my bed every morning. First thing. Before I'm ever really out of bed. I feel that a made bed makes the room look complete. I can't stand a messy bed. I often make the bed if I stay at a hotel, especially if I stay there for more than one night.

Well, it's probably time for me to go take my bath and shave. Yessss....!! I'm excited.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Truffles and Tea

I just spent the last five or so minutes looking for the chocolate candies my mom bought today. She likes to hide sugar products in our house so that no one can find them. I am absolutely craving chocolate right now, and I cannot find it anywhere. I used to be pretty good at finding the treats in the house, but I guess my skills have left me.

There is an air conditioning vent that blows on the exact spot on the couch that I always sit at. I think my dad might have planned it that way. I have to grab a blanket and cover up my feet so I don't freeze to death.

Oh! Christina just yelled to me from the kitchen and said that she found the truffles. Sweet. (Literally!)

In case you didn't know, I'm going to be 22 in just five days. I feel kind of old.

I just made myself a hot cup of tea. One of the most fun things about Austin's visit here was that we had about three or four cups of tea every day. Austin used to hate tea, but now he loves it. We went to the store and he bought some different kinds of tea, including a sampler with four different kinds in it. We even started a list of new kinds of tea that we wanted to try. It was so much fun to eat breakfast in the morning and drink tea sitting out on the deck. The thing I love about tea is that you can make a cup of it very easily (it's just hot water and a tea bag) and it's so cheap. PLUS, it doesn't make your stomach hurt! I love coffee, but it's so hard for me to drink sometimes because it makes my stomach hurt a lot. Tea is very good for you and it makes me feel great.

Time to go enjoy my tea.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Middle of a Great Week

Austin left my house earlier today after staying for almost an entire week. We had so much fun! I am very sad because that is the last real time we will get to hang out for about a month or so. I will see him on Saturday for Macie and Korey's wedding, but after that I probably won't see him until July or so.

We enjoyed spending time here in the Denton area. One of my favorite days was Monday, when we went over to a local nursing home to hang out with some of the residents there. Austin loves old people and we both enjoy talking to them and visiting with them. When we got there, we talked to the receptionist, who directed us to the activities director. Turns out that one of their volunteers called in sick that morning and so we were assigned to do the crossword puzzle with some of the residents. We had a big crossword board that we could write on with a dry erase marker, and a very used book of puzzles. We would call out the clue (very loudly, since most of the ladies could not hear very well) and then the ladies would shout out their guesses. I almost burst out laughing on more than one occasion since our conversations went a lot like this:

Austin: Ok, the clue is "steep, craggy hill".

Me: It's three letters.

Lady #1: A mountain?

Me: No, it's three letters.


Lady #2: A cliff?

Austin: No, not quite.

Lady #1: A mountain?


Austin: Why don't we leave this one and come back to it later.

(Later on)

Austin: So the answer is "Tor".

Me: I've never even heard of that word before!

Lady #1: I have! You've never heard that? Like, "I tore my dress?" or "I tore my shoe?"

Me: No, it's "Tor", spelled "T-O-R". It's like a mountain.

Lady #1: You're looking for the word "Climb"!!! You CLIMB a mountain, you don't tear it!

Austin and I just stood there, trying to keep from laughing...

After the crossword puzzle, Austin played the piano and sang after Lady #1 said, "Wouldn't it be great if we had a guitar or a fiddle...?" Haha. Austin serenaded the ladies with one of the only piano songs he knows (a song one of his friends wrote after breaking up with his girlfriend) and then we sat around and talked to a few of them in the lounge before we left. It was a great afternoon.

I also got the opportunity to show Austin the house that I was born in. It looks sad now and I'm pretty sure that some college kids live in it.

Today we had a picnic at the park down the street with my mom. It was fun drinking our hot tea outside and eating our sandwiches in the beautiful outdoors. Austin left this afternoon and so I've been hanging out at home since then, doing a little laundry and watching American Idol with my mom. David Cook just won. I'm happy for him, although I haven't been an avid AI watcher this season.

This evening my mom pulled out a bunch of old photographs she had found and we looked at them on the couch. I found a few that I particularly liked and scanned them.

Here's my parents before they were married. Just look at those snazzy dressers!

This is me in our backyard when I was pretty darn young. I am holding a home-grown tomato. My head is incredibly large.

This is me and Anna at my very first ballet recital. I was 5. We danced to "Do Re Mi" and that yodelling song about goats from The Sound of Music

Here's a picture of some corps guys with Reveille. I think it's funny because this picture was taken in 1974. They still look EXACTLY the same! And the guy in front (the senior) is an RV. I thought that was cool.

This is my mom when she was 21. Doesn't she look like us girls?

Here's Nana! Just as glamorous as ever! I'm not sure when this was taken, but I'm assuming it was in the 70s.

There were so many more pictures, but those were just a couple that I scanned. I hope you enjoyed them! I think I'm gonna go finish my laundry and clean my room. I'll write again soon, hopefully.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Hand Modeling

Earlier today, my mom showed a YouTube video to me and my sister Carolyn. My whole family had been making references to the "hand model" this past weekend, and I was curious to know what they were talking about. Here's the video that we watched (I guarantee it's worth the whole 10 minutes):

Ellen Sirot is the country's most famous hand model. She also models her feet and legs. The video will tell you more about her lifestyle and habits and explain what she does. I looked her up on Google and found her personal website. I was just reading her "Hand Care Expert" section in which she explains the importance of hand care. These words stuck out to me:

What do your hands say about you? Do they convey what you would like them to? Or do they reveal more than you would like?

What do my hands say about me? Those words are stuck in my head right now. In the video, Ellen explains that she does not do any work. She doesn't do the dishes, take out the trash, cook or clean. On her website, she states that she hasn't touched a piece of paper in the past ten years. She wears elbow-length gloves 24/7 and avoids any activity that will build muscle in her hands. She also doesn't allow her hands to get wet.

What do my hands say about me? I look down at my hands and notice that they are pretty ugly right now. I tend to have very predominant veins (is that the right word?) that stick out and are quite lumpy. I don't moisturize, really. My hands get washed about 20 times every day. I have scars on my knuckles from the time I knocked my hand against a door. I also have two scars on my wrist (same size, shape and in the EXACT same place) from the times I burnt myself while taking cookies out of the oven. I have a callus from writing. My nails aren't manicured. My cuticles are not the best. And I have very strong hands. They give a lot of back massages.

What do my hands say about me? I want to use my hands to serve others. I want to use them to give hugs, to comfort the hurting, to love others and help others. I want to use them to flip the pages of books, pick up animals or hold young children. I want to use them to cook for friends, clean up the house, wrap a present, decorate a Christmas tree, give massages and type on this laptop. I want to be able to drive, take a bath or shower, carry my own suitcase and not be so afraid of getting burned that it prevents me from baking cookies.

Think about your hands: they are used for so many things! I can't imagine a life where I can't use them in the way that I would like. Ellen is certainly missing out on so much. Apparently she is married - how does that work? I use my hands so much to show people that I care about them. And what about children? I doubt that she has children. I don't know that this is what she is doing, but can you imagine caring so much about your hands that you sacrifice having children and raising a family? If you hear of a friend who has had major surgery and can't take care of their family would you care so much about your hands that you don't cook them a meal and offer to look after their kids? Imagine not being able to go to the beach or go swimming. How do you read? Do you have a personal reader? I'm trying to figure this out. Do you think that Ellen is happy? Do you think she ever wants to take off those gloves and go to the park or jump in a pool? Well, I guess that your hands would get hurt VERY easily after being protected for so long. Reading a book would probably make them bleed.

I am just trying to imagine a life like that. It seems so pointless and empty. I prefer a life that leaves scars on my hands, builds up my hand muscles, tears up my cuticles, breaks my nails and dries out my skin. It's way more fun.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My Brain is a Disaster

Sometimes I'm worried that I'll be one of those moms who forgets she has children and accidentally leaves them at home while she goes shopping. I am aware that there are moms who leave their children at home on purpose, and I sincerely hope I won't be like that, but that's not what I'm talking about in this post. I'm talking about the moms who sincerely forget about their kids and accidentally drive off without them.

About an hour ago, I stuck a leftover brownie in the microwave while I was on the phone with my mom, and walked in the other room to do something so incredibly important that I forgot what it even was. That phone call lasted about 10 minutes, I proceeded to hang out in my room and pack various items into boxes so I can move out of my duplex soon. It wasn't until five minutes ago or so that I remembered my brownie, and literally ran back to the kitchen to make sure it was okay. Turns out it wasn't that bad, and I was able to add some ice cream on top of it and make a tasty treat.

Forgetting things like this is not uncommon for me. I removed towels from my dryer this afternoon that had been there for at least two days. I also consistently place important items in completely random places, which leads me to forget where they are very easily. I will even sit there and talk myself through the placing process: "I'm putting these buttons that fell off my winter coat in this Ziploc of random CDs, and then I am placing it in this Old Navy bag filled with the contents of my desk, which are mostly pens and pencils. And then I'm going to write about it in my blog, so just in case I forget where I put them, I can look back and check."

No joke, that is an actual thing I did today.

I am cooking dinner for Austin tonight. I decided to make rosemary chicken and vegetables. It has cous cous with it and I'm making corn bread. Corn bread probably doesn't really go, but I saw it on the spice aisle at HEB and it looked good. (This is a picture from the actual recipe.)

Right now, however, I have to go look for cardboard boxes with my sister.