Monday, November 19, 2012

These things really happen?!?!

"...be more open to the various types of guys that are out there to date...you may be surprised...you should totally start going places alone so all sorts of different guys can approach you..." Etc. etc. etc.

This is the wisdom a friend imparted upon me that was running through my mind on this very occasion. Now, while I think this is good advice I have learned that like all wisdom it has its limits.

There I was alone in Indianapolis waiting for the rest of my coworkers to arrive the next day. Having been DYING to see Skyfall I walked myself .5 miles to the theater and bought myself a ticket, coke and popcorn (buttered, of course).

[insert plug: Skyfall was AMAZING. Walk. Don't run. Now. To see it. This is coming from a girl who, as far as I know, is the only one that doesn't find Daniel Craig mind-numbingly attractive. If that tells you anything. I actually liked the movie for content not eye candy. 2 thumbs waaaaay up!]

Post movie a guy approaches me - early 30's, hipster, wearing a grandpa sweater.

H (stands for hipster): "You come to this movie alone?"

Me: "yeah."

H: "I find that intriguing. So did I. Want to grab a drink?"

Me: "I don't drink"

H: "you can have a coke."

And that's when the advice above came into play...

Me: "ok. sure. I guess."

Before he could walk me through some creepy parking garage that led to the skywalks I suggested we go street side to the well-lit Champ's across the street.

Ten minutes into conversation, we'd already discussed religion, marriage and politics. You know, all the non-controversial topics. The highlight was, and I quote, "I once stole a Mormon girl from a guy." Cool. Don't know what you want me to do with that information. Maybe just try to share a mutual connection to Mormonism? Weird.

Then he side-stepped into several other topics that included "hitting on me" subjects.

Did you know there is a book out there called "The Game" that teaches guys how to pick up "hot babes." He wanted to know if it worked. Survey says....either keep reading or get your money back.

An hour into the convo, I noticed something that hadn't previously caught my attention. He'd been hiding his left hand in his pocket THE WHOLE TIME until this very moment where he accidentally removed said hand only to display his GOLD WEDDING RING on his ring finger.

Eww. I was APPALLED to say the least. Really? He thought I'd be ok flirting it up and having drinks with a married man? To quote Cher: Ugh. As if.

These things really happen?!?!

That's when I asked for my bill so that I could book it out of there only to find out he's staying at the hotel next to me so we essentially had to walk back together.

In typical awkward fashion, we arrived at the hotel and I could tell he was trying to ask for my number. I simply stood as far away as I could, waved in a more-eager-than-usual manner so that I could leave, and sprinted towards the doors of my hotel.

Thankfully my experience didn't turn the movie, Taken, into a trilogy. I don't think I know anyone like Liam Neeson to find me and save me...

I will still continue to go to movies alone on the rare occasion, I actually rather enjoy it. However, I will never accept on offer alone again without ensuring a few facts first...

(P.s. I hope my mom doesn't actually read my blog or she may be upset by my cavalier approach to the whole situation.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.


I've decided to get back into the blogging world. I need more creative outlets in my life and writing is one of those for me.So...here goes...I figured I'd start with discussing my current project I've taken on.

As a former high school teacher, I have seen, firsthand, the effects of poor nutrition in my students. A a majority of them were on free or reduced lunch and it was amazing to watch the shift in their ability to focus in the classroom once they had eaten something.   I couldn't always do much for them, but I did try to provide them with nutritious breakfast or snack options before our big tests so that their minds could focus on something other than their growling stomachs.

Unfortunately, I don't work in the classroom anymore and my opportunities to help provide nutritious meals to children who are hungry has greatly deminished.  That is....until  I discovered The FEED Foundation .

Ever since I was introduced to The FEED Foundation a couple of years ago, I have been a huge proponent of their work. They are continually expanding their efforts to reach more people in order to provide meals for the hungry around the world. If you want to know more about them, check out the link provided above.

So that I don't lose your interest with this post, I will now get straight to the point.  The FEED Foundation has teamed up with Women's Health for the RUN10FEED10 10K. On October 13th, I will be running with friends in this 10K race and am currently fundraising to help have an even larger impact and feed even more hungry mouths. To find out more about the race, my fundraising, and if you'd like to help out - follow this link: http://www.crowdrise.com/katieyounger (No pressure, I'm just trying to get the word out as best as possible.)

For those who are reading this who may have already helped out, I am VERY appreciative of your support.

 If you're able to help I'd love it, but if you can't at this time I TOTALLY understand and know that you are helping those around you in your own way, big or small, and am grateful to know so many wonderful people who are always helping friends, family, and strangers around them!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

That time your text goes to an unintended recipient...

I have this best friend. We will call her B. Linde, cause that's her name (it's been shortened to protect the innocent). You've probably heard of her before because we are besties that live across the continental US from each other and haven't seen each other in over a year and while that is completely tragic no amount of time can really tear us apart. Because like I said, we are besties.

If you've had the EXTREME pleasure of meeting B., you've also probably had the EXTREME pleasure of her taking a "selfie" on your phone or camera. Like so:

     A Smattering of B. self-pics over the years.

    Now, while we all LOVE having "selfies" of B. on our phones we also like to tease her about it. Thus, I take a self-pic of myself, well, anytime that I can really, to send to her. 

This past road trip was no exception. 

On que, I took a self-pic, to send to her:



And with a click of my little finger, it was sent with the following caption:
"This is the face of a girl that misses you"

WAIT! What?
It didn't send to B.
Nope.
If not B., then who?
It sent to a guy I know whose name also begins with B that I only had met a couple months ago and don't know ALL THAT WELL, although we are friends.  (We will call him B2).

I tried to redeem myself by explaining the mix-up to B2 over text which is just never a good idea because "communication" over text really doesn't exist.

I'm mortified. Humiliated. Embarrassed.

Little do I know, that to add to my social humiliation he is at my house with his roommate and my roommates and they are all having one BIG laugh at my expense.

And that's when B2 send me this pic in return:

Text Caption Reads: "This is the body of a man that misses you."

Yep.  That's my bedroom and bed. 
Yep. I pretty much laughed until I cried.
And then wished his shoes weren't on my bed, but I'm over it.
And then laughed some more. For a good hour or so.
In fact, I'm laughing now as I write this.

And that's how it happened folks.  We've all done it - accidentally sent a message to someone else when we intended it for a different recipient.  Unfortunately, this isn't the only time I've done this.  I could tell more tragic tales that involve guys I've dated, or wanted to date that aren't as funny, and more embarrassingly vulnerable, but let's be honest, I just don't want to re-live those moments.

Thankfully, this one ended in laughter and not TOTAL humiliation.  Good game B2. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again

Today I wake up and the first thing I listen to when I get in my car to go to work is Jesse McCartney's "Leavin."  Why? Because it was one of your VERY FAVORITE songs. I only listen to it in special moments because it reminds me of you. When I listen to it it's almost as though I can see you in the passenger seat next to me doing one of your little Amber dances.

Today I go running and think of you. Because I can.

Today I dance "The HoeDown ThrowDown" by Hannah Montana like we did at your wedding.

Today I write a blog post about you because on this very day it's been 2 years since you left this mortal existence. And I miss you, but I'm at peace knowing without a doubt that I will see you again one day. And am so grateful for all the happy, special memories we have.

Today I call Britt and we talk about how much we love you and I read quotes from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

While it may seem too personal to others for me to write all of this, to me, it's how I cope. By letting you live on through remembering you and ensuring that others know all about you, and how amazing and important you are to me. You are my best friend.

Today I listen to a song from one of my favorite Sidney Poitier movies, To Sir With Love cause I think it describes our friendship.

"But how do you thank someone
who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn't easy
But I'll try
....
A friend who taught me right from wrong
and weak from strong
that's a lot to learn"

I will try to be as good a friend to others as you were and still are to me.

Today I laugh at the pictures we took when we insisted my mom do a photo shoot of us my freshman year of college. Here they are:




And finally, today in  your honor I share a story that you LOVED telling everyone we met, no matter how much it embarressed me.  You so lovingly named it, SEVEN PEAKS-A-BOOB.

Summer of '08 Me, You and Mary decided, in a lapse of judgment, to go to the Seven Peaks Water Park in Provo, UT. It's sketchy and dirty at best. We rented a 2 man tube and a single tube. You and Mary had just made me go on the scariest ride ALONE and all I wanted to do was relax in the lazy river. Thus, I left you two and went floating ALONE. I'd been floating by myself for approx. 10 minutes, with my eyes closed (this fact is important later), when I hear you and Mary EVER SO LOUDLY cackling down the way. I opened my eyes to see what could possibly cause such uproarious laughter but couldn't get either of you to stop laughing long enough to tell me what was so funny.  After about a minute of trying to get ya'll to speak through the tears, I looked down.  That's when I saw it.  My cute, brand new, bandeau, giraffe print swimsuit from Gap had failed me.    The entire left side of my top had fallen ALL THE WAY off my chest.  And I'd been floating the lazy river like that FOR 10 MINUTES. It was MORTIFYING. MORTIFYING.  Who knows how many people had seen and not told me OR how many family photos I am in accidentally flashing people in the background. We laughed and cried the rest of the day about it and you lovingly named it "Seven Peaks a Boob." 
Well Amber, this laugh is for you. Love you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

15 Minutes of Fame...

In 48 hours, I think I maxed out the "15 minutes of fame" each person should expect in life.  I thought I'd maxed out when I was in this movie with Jude Law and again when I was featured eating a popsicle on the cooking channel, but apparently had a few more minutes left to spare.



Watch 2:20 - 2:40 and I can be seen (a la 5 years ago)  freaking out that I was breathing the same air as Jude Law...and got to touch him.



Me and my friends, Amber and Lauren, can be seen around 15:27 - 15:35, 19:10, and 19:35.

That was my old claim to fame. This is my new.

Thursday, my co-worker and I spent the day touring the District in preparations for an upcoming conference I am in charge of. We got to spend the day getting free admission to lots of fun events and activities and the evening culminated with a Ghost Tour around Lafayette Square.

If you've ever wondered what kind of people go on a ghost tour in the middle of April, your answer would be...drum roll please...Ghost Hunters.  At Halloween, I'm sure you get your run-of-the-mill-average-Joe-who-is-in-the-holiday-spirit.  Not these people. These people were searching for orbs and other ghost terms I don't understand.

I didn't know what to expect on this tour and to be truthful I wanted to "duck out" early because it was late and I was cold. Unfortunately, the guide had let me borrow his (rather large) jacket and I couldn't just walk away with it so I had to stay the entire time. And it's a good thing I did. Otherwise, I would have missed out on a few minutes of fame.

There we were, our little group of ghost hunters, on the steps of a building overlooking Lafayette Square when our guide says,

"In all my years of hosting these tours, someone ALWAYS sits in the dead man's blood."
Ew.
Ok, so the blood isn't there anymore, but he pointed at me and said I was sitting in the very spot that this particular "ghost" had been left in his own murdered blood for 6 hours.

Apparently, he had been caught cheating with Daniel Sickles wife and Daniel shot him in front of many witnesses, but was acquitted in one of the first "crimes of passion" justifying his innocence.

As the story progressed, it was explained that this particular adulterer, Phillip Key, was the son of Francis Scott Key, the writer of our Star-Spangled Banner.


WHAT?!
CREEPY.
"How Bizarre! That's my 5th Great Uncle" I blurted out. (Historical Name Drop)

And that's when the FLASHES began.  You would have thought I was a ghost by the number of pictures these grown adults and their children were snapping of me.  I'm not sure what THRILLED them so much about this little scenario. I don't know if they just thought I was as close to a ghost as they were ever going to see or what. But, for whatever reason, one I shall never understand I kept hearing people say, "That's so cool. Take a picture of her. Take a picture of her."

And with that, I will now be showing up in random family, vacation scrapbooks around the nation.



Just 48 hours later, I had what will perhaps be my final 15 minutes of fame.  And I must say, if it is my last I am just glad it went out with a bang!

Saturday morning, Lauren and I drove up to New York for a concert that night at the Gramercy Theater.  The show was for one of my favorite hip-hip, broadway, lyrical genius artists of ALL TIME...Lin-Manuel Miranda.  I love him. 

Seriously though, this guy has pure, raw, genius talent running through his veins.  I think Eminem is a lyrical genius and this guy blows him outta the water.

Originally, I know him from my obsession with the Tony Award winning musical, In the Heights. Clip available HERE. He spent 7 years writing this musical and was the original star in the role of Usnavi. In fact, I went to the show's final performance 14 months ago in NY and it was quite easily the best musical production I've ever seen.

Anyway, then I fell in love with all of his freestyle stuff, which is convenient because the show we went to see was for a hip-hop, comedy, broadway, improv group he's in called Freestyle Love Supreme.



So, at this concert, I had won an auction and not only did I get to sit front row, BUT I ALSO GOT TO GO ON-STAGE FOR THE FINAL ACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They asked me questions about my day and then turned the whole thing into an improv, comedy rap about my day (Video will be available soon...) They hit all key elements and it was PHENOM.

AND they did an improv rap on Katniss Everdeen. HELLO?!?! LOVED IT.

I didn't think it could get any better.

And then, I got to go backstage and hang with the guys...AND...I asked Lin-Manuel if I could rap with him.

His reply, "YES! But, can I videotape you rapping for me?"
"Uh. Duh."

So he did.

And then there was another guy there filming me rapping with him that could potentially be used in the future.

Anyway. It was amazing. I am still waiting to get the official picture back from them and then I will post it. But, until then...enjoy this pic from the night!




It was a dream come true. Truly. I am still on Cloud Nine.
It's not letting me rotate. So, until I figure that out, we are sideways.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An ode to Mere Bear #SISTERLOVE

I have the best sis in the world and today is her birthday.  Therefore, and without further adieu here is...

ODE to MERE BEAR #SISTERLOVE

 









32 years ago on this March 13th day
A little girl named “Miss Mere-y” came to the world to play

She has fiery red hair like Anne (always spelled with an “e”)
And has spent 26 years putting up with a “plump little sister” like me

The memories we share are far too great to try and number
But many involve road trips where we’d often wake you from your slumber

“Mere! Wake Up! It’s Camel Rock!” Dad would yell
And then there were the days that we’d go “home” to THE DEL

Of course I can’t forget that time you threw me into the river
I told mom then and there, “I shall NEVER forgive her!”

But really how could I stay mad at you for long?
I’ve just tortured you since with every Backstreet Boys song

As the “mosquito” you were known on the basketball court
You’d BUG ‘em to death so they never knew you were short

As school mascot you learned to lead the teams to victory
And help Tom and I out when we’d be quite contradictory

Luckily you no longer try to host a “tee-tee” party
Instead you just amaze me how you’re always such a smarty

Except that one time you weren’t smart enough to hide that belly button ring
I can still feel the pain when I finally let you take out my first set of earrings

I’d love to dust off our old Super NES
Playing Super Mario and Donkey Kong with you was always the best

As we’d listen to the Cranberries and Nirvana turned up way loud
On National Sister Day you just make me SO proud

You made my fave pumpkin pie for me once after a long day
I’d cry when you left for Camp Longhorn each Summer cause you were away

In one weekend Jurassic Park five times you did see
And helped me when I couldn’t ride a bike in the Tour D’Trinity

I felt on top of the world going for a drive in your green 4-Runner
As a member of a Rock ‘n Roll ladies band you’re clearly a stunner


Thanksgivings are best snuggled with you and Allegra watching Dark Crystal
But, I’d sure stay out of your way if you’re holding a pistol

May you never run out of money again like that one time in Japan
But you can guarantee we’ll always be stuck watching WWE again, and again

And never again will my bangs I let you cut
Which is probs for the best cause it sure put mom in a rut

I wish you’d never left Bunny Long Legs in that New York City taxi
And that I could find that special candid I once took in the backseat

You are wonderful mother, sister, and friend
As your love for your family you so kindly extend

So whether skiing in Snowmass or hiking the Oregon Coast
You are the sister that I love the most

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Special Thanks for a Special Man.

When you are a "lifer" at the same school for 15 years, it stands to reason that as you grow older and reflect on those formative years you realize just how much the person you've become has been shaped by those very halls you walked, friends you made, and teachers who painstakingly took the efforts to teach you not only their subject matter, but also about love, life, service, and how to stop socializing ALL THE TIME so that you can accomplish your studies.

When one of those teachers is a special man named, Mr. Ford, he deserves a special thanks.  Unfortunately, he may not know any of this, but I found that what makes me happiest in life is remembering those around me and being grateful for them.

So, even if it is a little too late, a special thanks is in order to you Mr. Ford, for you...

  1. helped me to actually enjoy getting to school at 8 a.m. for your first period "study hall" even though I'd been up since 6 a.m. for an early morning Seminary class because you always greeted me with a smile and a listening ear for my next dramatic story.
  2. taught me that history, is in fact, NOT bunk. You taught me to LOVE history. Not just like history, but LOVE it. I learned to love history so much I would be convinced to take Mrs. Cooper's AP History classes in 11th and 12th grade.
  3. and your teachings I wanted to continue my passion for history and politics and studied for a History Minor in college.
  4. taught me to appreciate political satire and cartoons.
  5. taught me what a lexicon was and added several new words to my vocabulary every week...even if I didn't always want to learn them. I am grateful now.
  6. helped me memorize all the words to "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel (although you didn't know that) because they were framed on your wall and I would memorize them when I got distracted in class.
  7. comforted all of us in your class on September 11th when we sat in the room frightened, watching the planes hit the WTC towers.
  8. gave me a place to go to for lunch at times when I just needed to get away and chat when I needed to vent or escape.
  9. taught me how to be responsible by not going easy on me and teaching me that much was expected of me, but I was very capable of reaching those expectations.
  10. taught me to channel my inner creativity and laugh at myself...
video
(A preview, of a video we once did for one of his class assignment...)

Unfortunately,  I learned that Mr. Ford passed away today. And so, I am feeling nostalgic for home, high school, and those who've helped me get to this point in my life.

He is a great man who taught so many, loved so many, and was greatly loved for his contagious smile and personality.  


"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." Psalm 18:2

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Six Degrees of Seperation - Karl Rove and Melanie Griffith

If you've never played Six Degrees of Seperation with Kevin Bacon, you should. Play here at the Oracle of Bacon. Basically, the idea is you connect Kevin Bacon to any other celebrity (or 2 random celebrities) and there will be no more than 6 connections. The FEWER the connections the better.

So...we are going to play that today here on my blog. Except, instead of Kevin Bacon we will use me as the link. And, instead of random celebrities we will use Melanie Griffith and Karl Rove.


Now, I'm not even going to try to deny it. I love meeting celebrities (as evidenced HERE and in future posts). I know it's pointless, stupid, ridiculous, and they put their pants on one leg at a time just like us, but I can't help it.  I mean, I did spend my fair share of time at the Sundance Film Festival each year in college, in addition, to getting my hands on as many backstage passes and charity events as I could, and stalking around LA and NYC, to name a few. But even more than meeting celebs I love when they love meeting me.

And with that bit of information...let's play.

We shall start with our D-List celeb Melanie Griffith.  If you don't know who she is...no worries. You probably just didn't grow up watching Working Girl and Now and Then over and over and over again like I did. But, perhaps you know her from her dashingly charming husband, Antonio Banderas. 



So, there we were on our usual vacay relishing in the tradition my dad and bro started - tricking me into thinking they've spotted a celeb.  1 of every 2 times they actually do spot a celeb there thus, I'm 50/50 on believing them. When they told me they ran into Melanie Griffith though I brushed them off.  I mean, couldn't they at least make up a celeb I'd care about?

The next day, my sister, neice, and I went white water rafting (Yes, contrary to some people's opinions I LOVE the outdoors).  We loaded the bus and were waiting for the other adventurers when I found myself watching this particular woman boarding with her family (sans husband). I laughed to myself as I saw her REALLY big lips and thought of how funny it was that she looked like Melanie Griffith.  The stranger took her seat behind me with her daugher and I suddenly felt this tap on my shoulder.

"Hi, I'm Melanie." She said in her little mouse-ish voice extending her small hand for me to shake it.

"Hiiiii...I'm Katie" I responded whilst simultaneously glancing over at my sister who was giving me that weird look of why-is-Melanie-Griffith-so-interested-in-chatting-it-up-with-my-little-sister face.

"Have you ever been on this raft trip before? What can we expect? I'm a little nervous." Mel asked. And with that we were close friends. And by close friends, I mean I've never spoken to her again, but we did all have an enjoyable day rafting the rivers of Colorado together and created many memories.

Alright, so we've got my connection with celeb #1 down.

Next up...drum roll please...Karl Rove. (Ok, CELEB may be a little of a stretch...we will call him a political celeb)



Christmas 2010. On my flight home for the holidays.  I notice this older man in a cap continually looking at me. I smile because I feel like I recognize him too, but I can't quite put a finger on it. 

And then...I hear that one obnoxious passenger on the plane, "Look who it is ladies and gentlemen!  We've got Karl Rove on the plane! I'd love to switch seats so I can sit next to him! I'd love to ask him ALOT of questions." And the radio personality didn't quiet the entire time until we touched down.

I approached Karl (2 rows behind me) just as a friendly gesture to say sorry for the obnoxious man in the row between us.

"Hi. Mr. Rove. You may not remember me, But..."

"Katie, right? You're (insert dad's name) daughter. I thought I recognized you. I noticed you when that guy in the Ireland shirt dropped you off at the airport (my buddy Stephen has NEVER been more thrilled that Karl Rove knows who he is) but I couldn't tell if that was you or not."

I was SHOCKED. I mean, SHOCKED. I had met this guy for maybe 10 minutes at a 4th of July/birthday party 4 years back. I certainly DID NOT expect him to remember me.

Pics from aforementioned party.













 Anyway, we chatted for a bit as we walked to collect our luggage and then said our good-byes. I went to greet my Uncle who wass picking me up when suddenly, Mr. Rove returned.

"Hey Katie, our luggage is over at carousel 2 if you want to join me."

My Uncle is in a little shock and asks, "Is that Karl Rove and did he really just direct you to where you can pick up your luggage?"

"Yes. Yes it was."

I don't think I have ever been so cool in my Uncle's eyes. 

Everyone else around us at baggage claim kept whispering, "Whoa! That's Karl Rove, but wait...who's that girl?" It made me laugh. 

So there you have it.  My two new friends, Melanie and Karl, now have an even shorter link in Six Degrees of Seperation than any they had before. Me. If all 3 of us are ever at a party together I'll be sure to introduce them.

(Oh, and a quick shout out to my roomie who wanted the world to know that she and Karl Rove both went to the same high school AND university. Which she learned thanks to Morgs #braggingrights)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How 'Bout A Little Pick-Me-Up?

Sometimes after you've had a bad day, you just need a little pick-me-up...quite LITERALLY.

For me, pounding the pavement, running as fast as my legs will carry me helps get over a bad day. When I run, I get in this zone that NOTHING can penetrate through. NOTHING. In fact, I was once running directly past a friend yelling my name at the top of her lungs directly in front of me to catch my attention and I didn't even notice she was there. Oops!

Mostly an irrelevant picture other than the fact I feel this post needed a visual and it's proof that I run.  Humble brag moment: Lance Armstrong also ran this race with  me. Bucket list win!


So, this story takes place on one of those types of days.


It was my freshman year of high school and because my stepsister was a personal trainer I worked out at this small, private gym that was mostly used by office tenants in the building. In other words, there was NEVER anyone there. It was my own perfect, private little space to be alone in my workout. 

And the best part, there was a TV and DVD player so I could watch movies or episodes of Friends while I worked out. PERFECTION.

Well, there I am, minding my own business and running my little heart out...when all of a sudden...I hear a key turn in the gym door.  Curious and confused as to who in the WORLD would be coming in I stepped onto the sides of the treadmill (while the treadmill is still in motion mind you...) 

I turn my head toward the long mirror opposite the door to catch a glimpse of who is walking in.  Much to my shock some attractive man walks through the door.  Naturally, I go to take a second glance.

Unfortunately for me though, this second glance led to injury.

I never really mastered that whole concept of if-one-part-of-your-body-moves-the-rest-of-your-body-DOESN'T-HAVE-TO-FOLLOW.  It's just like when you are a kid playing Super Nintendo (and listening to The Cranberries cd cause it is the early 90's after all)  and  in order to get Mario to jump you feel like you actually have to jump up with the control. Or to get him to turn back around to the left I'd have to also yank the controller to the left...pushing the left button just didn't seem to do enough.

This was just like that.

I craned my neck to get a better look AND that's when my body followed...ONTO the moving treadmill.

I don't really remember what happened next. Only what I imagine must have happened. 

The treadmill catapults me against the wall where my body leaves a sizable dent in the wall and I wake up to Mr. Mystery Man picking me up off the ground to wake me.


I went running that day for a little pick-me-up and quite literally got picked up instead.

*(Truth be told, I was so embarrassed I started working out at a different time afraid I'd run into him again.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweetest Ambrosia



Today is the birthday of my "Sweetest Ambrosia." That was my family's nickname for her. She didn't like it very much, but she put up with it because that's what you do when you love people.

It's been almost 2 years that she's been gone and I still think about her and her wonderful example each day.  Now, however, it's usually because I'm laughing at some memory or some crazy thing we did and less because I don't know how to move on without her because I learned that I don't really have to. She will always be a part of me. 

You see, last time I was home, I found myself going to speak with her at her graveside, as I do each time I go home. This time was different though. What started out as my usual tears of sadness quickly turned into tears of joy.

There was so much I wanted to tell her about my life that she had missed out on sharing with me - boys, a new job, hopes for the future, new experiences, etc. I was used to sharing everything with my best friend and I hated not having her a phone call away. And that's when I realized that just because she wasn't necessarily here with me anymore for this moment she was still living my life with me and a major part of my life.

In the past year and a half so much of who I have become is in large part because she passed away, which in large part continues to make her a significant part of my life.

I've always worked out and danced growing up, but I've never been a runner. I've never had an interest, nor did I think I would be very good at it.  This past year, I knew I needed to pick up a hobby that cleared my mind. Something that made me focus so hard that I forgot about things that hurt me.  So, I started to run.  On March 24, 2011, the day before my 25th birthday, I ran my first half-marathon. NEVER in my life did I think I would do something that. I ran it because of her. Once again she was still a large part of my life.

There have been other aspects of my character that she has also helped shape over this past year, although I won't get it into them right now.  Suffice it to say she has helped me to become braver and to remember that we will feel pain at times, but that pain can heal through the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That we are capable of overcoming things we never imagined we would be capable of.  That makes me braver.  And so, she is still a very real, influential part of me.

She has helped me to remember to express my love for my family and friends more fully and to forgive them and serve them more quickly...although I have a lot of work to go.

This post may be more for me than anyone else who may read it. It may seem strange to some to write about something so personal and yet, here I am writing.

Why? Because I think that we learn from each other and from the experiences of others and so...I share my story.  I know I'm not the only one who has ever had something difficult happen in their life. We all have. So, how do we deal with these things? For me, it was the strength of my faith, the amazing people in my life, and honoring her name. I write this because I feel like it allows her example and the impact she had on many people to be remembered and carried on.


Amber had this drive that showed in everything she did from playing volleyball to receiving her Master's degree. She could walk into a room and make friends with anyone there because of her friendly, bubbly personality. She cared about her friends and family and was constantly doing heartfelt things for them. Whether it was making a blanket for me with all our inside jokes on it, or staying up for 24 hours straight to help me write my final 60 page paper for college, she took the time to really understand, care for and love her friends. I want to cultivate more of those traits in my life.

Looking back, I am overwhelmed by the number of people and opportunities I have had that have helped me realize that life is difficult, but we can work through the difficult things together to become stronger. Thank you. All of you.  Friends, Family, and Strangers. I am thankful for each of you and the part you play in my life.

As for Amber, here's to all our memories: T&T runs at Midnight * Driving around blasting rap music with your subwoofers * Toilet papering houses in high school...and maybe once more after that * My 21st birthday in NYC * graduation dinners* Skiing in Snowmass * The Miley Cyrus Concert * Sundance Film Festival * Celeb stalking* The "Seven Peaks-a-boob" incident * Mamma Mia * Graduation trip to NYC * Rosa's lunches * Sonic runs * Laying out poolside * hot-tubbing * Summer of '08 * Freedom * Mixed CD's * volleyball games * "drive-by's" * Christmas Tradeshows * Bunco *  Dominos and Phase 10 gamenights * dances * and so much more.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I hate it when I lose...to a dog.

No one really likes to lose...especially when you lose to a dog. Here's how it happened:

I walk into my dad's room, having been away from home for 4 months, and hear my dad say "I love you so much little girl."

Naturally, I respond. "Well, thanks dad. I love you too"

That's when I notice the look on his face.  It was a look of TOTAL surprise.  As in, he had no clue I was standing there and he says, "Oh, I wasn't talking to you. Sorry."

  So...if he wasn't talking to me...who was he talking to?

Yep...that's right...he was talking to this little girl - our Chihuahua:



















Slightly offended, I may have let out an audible gasp and asked who he loved more.  Clearly, I expected the response to be me...WITHOUT hesitation.  Instead, here's what I get:

"Katherine G (short for Katherine the Great) let me ask you a question:  "If I were to lock you and Callie (our chihuahua) in the trunk of a car for a couple of hours and then come back and open the trunk which one of you would still be excited to see me?"

Clearly I wouldn't. The Dog wins.

So far it's Chihuahua 1, Katie O

Monday, January 9, 2012

Purple Cookies and Parental Advice...

Parental Advice. 

We've all received it. 

Some of us have listened to it.

Some of us haven't. 

I usually listen when my parents give advice. They are kind of brilliant and I've learned that when I haven't listened to their advice...in the end, they were usually right, so I should have just listened to them in the beginning.

Here's some quick advice Mama Y and Papa C have instilled in me over the years:
  •  Never play leap frog with a unicorn.
  • Never eat yellow snow.
  • Eat your dessert first. Or sometimes, just eat dessert for dinner.
  • It's always good to be in the catbird seat. (I still don't really understand what that one means...)
  • Run in a zig zag motion when running away from a crocodile.
But perhaps the most UNIQUE advice I've yet to receive comes in the analogy of...

a PURPLE COOKIE.

Looks delicious, right? You know you want it. mmmm...yummy.

The story of the PURPLE COOKIE begins several, several months ago when my mother and I were having a discussion about the complexities of dating.

Mama Y: "Let me ask you a question."

Me: "Yes?!?!?!"

Mama Y: "What is one of your favorite desserts?"

Me: "Duh. A chocolate chip cookie."

Mama Y: "Ok. I want you to imagine the BEST choco chip cookie you've ever tasted. Got it?"

Me: "Yeah."

Mama Y: "Ok. Now, imagine your FAVORITE chocolate chip cookie was sitting on the counter in front of you.  The only catch is...it's a purple chocolate chip cookie. So you don't know that it's the BEST you've ever had.  Do you pick it up and try it? Or do you leave it on the table?"

Me: "No. I leave it on the table. It's a purple cookie. That's weird. Who trusts a purple cookie?"

Mama Y: "Exactly. I think you understand what I'm saying."

Me: {pausing for a moment to ponder on the analogy...} "OOOOOh. I get it. So, you're saying there are a lot of guys out there that I should be interested in or give a chance, right? Cause on the outside they may not look or seem like the kind of guy I'd be interested in, but on the inside they are exactly what I'm looking for, right?"

Mama Y: {awkward pause.} "No. I'm telling you not to be a purple cookie. You need to always present your best self so people don't pass you by and mistake you for a purple cookie."

Hmmm....not AT ALL where I saw this conversation leading.

I'm pretty sure my immediate response was, "I have to hang up the phone and go call my sister right now so we can discuss this."

Since this conversation, all I have to ask people is, "Do I look like a purple cookie?" If they say yes. I know I should probably go inside and change.






Wednesday, January 4, 2012

5th Grade...Driving...

Summer of '08.

There is no way to describe it really. I mean, we would all wake up. Go to school until noon. Come home. Eat lunch. Play a round or two of the card game Egyptian rat screw. Lay at the pool for 3 hours.  Take a break at 4:00 for Happy Hour Sonic drinks.  Commence laying at the pool for a couple more hours.  Eat dinner.  Have dance parties or make up dances until 2 am. Go to bed. And do it all over again the next day. It was bliss. Pure bliss. But definitely not reality.

Perfect Example:



Apple Bottom Jeans. We did this at every dance that Summer. Don't judge us. It was college.

Ok, well on with the point of this post.

During Summer of '08, the girls would ALWAYS ask me to tell this story at LEAST once a day.  I'm not really sure why. It's not even that it's that funny. But, in their honor and in memory of Summer of '08 here goes...

5th Grade. Driving.  Well, not really driving. I mean, I was in 5th grade and all. Really, I was sitting in the back of a suburban minding my own business. Not the normal back though, but the WAY, WAY back - you know, the trunk where people throw all their camping gear. We were on a school camping trip on the way to Big Bend playing a seemingly innocent game of truth or dare. I should have realized then that playing Truth or Dare ALWAYS leads to something stupid, ALWAYS.

And so, there I was...trying to make a good impression with my peers and not wanting to chicken out.  I chose dare because let's be honest, who chooses truth?! If you chose truth you were either called a wuss OR had to divulge all your secret crushes. No, trust me, dare was the way to go. Or so I thought...

I was dared to "moon" the next car that drove by. Seemed simple enough. (As a side note children I don't condone this type of behavior.) I would never see the car again AND I would save face in front of my friends. Win/Win.  So...the next car drives by and my little bum cheeks are exposed.

UNBEKNOWNST to me the car driving by was another suburban full of 5th grade boys from my class. You can imagine I am PERISHING when I realize.  But, I remain mostly calm hoping that none of them would ever know it was me!  After all, there were 6 other girls in the car. It could have been any of us.

Except, I forgot one little detail...I had a very specific body type. You see, my thighs were as wide as my ankles which were both smaller than me knee cap combined...see.

No. They would definitely know it was me.  Therefore, my only hope was that they hadn't seen.

Upon arriving at Big Bend, I gained my composure and stepped out of the suburban acting like nothing happened...assuming no one saw.  Scratch that...PRAYING no one saw.  When first thing, my teacher, Mr. Mays, approaches me and says, "Katie, I hear it's going to be a full mooooon tonight, but then again, you already know that." And walks off. I was HUMILIATED. Let me repeat that. HUMILIATED.