The Liebster Award: $hit You Didn't Know About Me

So, I’ve been nominated/given a Liebster Award! I’m not entirely sure what this means but it sounds like fun and it’s from one of the most fun people I know (I’m looking at you Nicolette,) so obviously I have to entertain this! Thanks for thinking of me for this Nic! I’m absolutely digging your blog, funky, random, and darling, just like you and your face. If you haven’t checked out That Girl Nic, you should. Everyone should.

Here is how it works!

  • Post the award on your blog, thanking and linking the blogger who presented you with the award.

  • Write 11 random facts about yourself.

  • The award presenter asks 11 questions which you will answer

  •  

 Random Facts About Trouble.

  1. My plane has a connection in Vegas on my way to Portland this week. I’m worried I might go rogue and have an anonymous party weekend in Vegas.

  2. I have one pet, a beta, named Louis after Louis C.K. (because our fish is a lovable grouch.)

  3. Daria is my favorite cartoon. (Na-na-na-na-na)

  4. Last year I prayed for the Black Hawks to lose so that I wouldn’t have to watch hockey anymore. Then they lost. I’ve carried that guilt with me until last night when they won the Stanley Cup. I’ve been praying for them to win.

  5. Dwayne Johnson is my favorite actor. (Feels good to get that out there.)

  6. I only like olives when they are green and soaked in gin.

  7. I hate the taste of water.

  8. I learned how to ride dirtbikes and ATVs growing up.

  9. One of my goals in life is to have Carl Kasell’s voice on my voicemail.

  10. Another goal is to be an answer on Jeopardy- this can be post mortem.

  11. Ke$ha is the most likely candidate for my alter ego.

Questions from That Girl

  1. If you could pick one useless superpower, what would it be? The trick here is “useless”- I would like the ability to turn my hair different colors.

  2. Biggest pet peeve? Ice chewing.

  3. Coke or Pepsi? Coke.

  4. What’s your favorite joke? How did Canada get it’s name? They drew letters from a hat. “C, eh” “N, eh” “D,eh”!!!!

  5. What is your favorite YouTube video? Herding cats. Because I can relate to this video far too often in my day-to-day life.

  6. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, which would you pick? Yikes. Probably Shrek.

  7. What is your biggest fear? Being the reason the world loses someone I love.

  8. What’s the one thing you never leave the house without? My head, but I would forget it if it weren’t attached.

  9. Favorite book? “I Was Told There’d Be Cake”

  10. Have you ever been in a car accident? Yeeeep.

  11. You can travel through time, but only once.  When/where do you go? Late 1880’s, to the South of France to be amongst the company of Monet and other painters.

Nic- I know I’m not continuing the chain but I had a lot of fun doing this! I am a wimp when it comes to chain things, heck, I get nervous about passing on Amish Friendship bread.

 

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The State of Kate.

Yeppers, just a state of the union, thought about calling it “The Statie of Katie” but decided against it. You’re welcome. 

This week and next represent the climax of my summer. Peaking a little early, huh? There will still be plenty of action in the following days of summer but nothing that quite compares to my upcoming extravaganza.

First big thing- Fitbloggin’!!! I’ve been meaning to spend more blogging time on this but I so totally don’t even know what to expect. What’s a girl like me doing at a conference on fitness and blogging? I’m trying to find a healthier me and I love writing, so I think it all works out. Just to up the ante, I’m speaking at my first conference. I will be leading a workshop with two other accomplished authors and fitness gurus. I’ve already learned so much throughout this experience but I can’t wait to actually be there. Did I mention it’s in Portland, OR? Half of the reason I turned in a topic to speak on was for an excuse to go back out to Portland to visit my cousin, Dan. I’m also nervous/excited because on Sunday I’ll be running my first 10k.

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My crazy awesome cousin, Dan, and i

Then, it’s all about the bride. I’m flying from PDX and will eventually land in Oklahoma City. One of my best friends is getting married! I’m in the bridal party! It’s my first bridal party ever! After a couple of days of recouping in OKC for laundry, we are heading to Austin for a bachelorette dream trip. I won’t give away any details here in case she reads this. Only that we plan on dressing her like a nun and going to lots of places that don’t serve any alcohol.

The blushing bride.
The blushing bride.

Packing for a conference and for a bachelorette party is difficult. The two don’t really overlap. At all. The scariest part of all of this though is the fact I’ll be travelling alone. I know, what a wimp. I’ve never had a problem travelling alone before, and I know I’ll be fine now. There’s just something really nice about being able to leave you carry on with someone while you use the ladies room. I had dragging my luggage into bathroom stalls. So where does this anxiety come from? Last December I had my first ever cancelled flight. The people at Southwest were great about it but I was a wreck. I don’t handle changes in travelling plans well. The last time things really did not go as planned was my trip home from China in 2009.

Last December, my better half was already in Chicago-land and I was flying in Friday evening to be able to make a Christmas party that we had attended the year before. There was a terrible snowstorm in Cleveland and my plane was delayed from 4 to eventually midnight. Inevitably, despite my most hopeful wishes, it was cancelled. Boyface was at the party without me and so close to the holidays, I felt awfully lonely. Fortunately, my ride to the airport was able to come retrieve me (thanks, Dan!) and I was rescheduled for a 6 a.m. flight the following morning. After a completely sleepless night I hopped on the plane with no problems but I think I’m still a little scarred from all of that waiting, all of that not knowing, all of that time of having no control of my destiny.

I think I’ll be working out a lot this week to keep the jitterbugs out of my system! Tonight will be an avalanche of laundry with a packing extravaganza on deck for tomorrow. I’m also trying to make sure I take time here and there to be so grateful for all of the positive people, events, blessings I have in my life that keep me so active.

 

Dear 16-year-old me,

Sometimes a blog post haunts you. In a good way. When I turned 25 I didn’t have the gumption to write, 25 things I did this year, or 25 life lessons. I’m still (and always will) be in awe of Regina Brett’s 50 Life Lessons from when she turned 50 and I know I’m not quite there yet. Jessica over at JAMinCLE, wrote “26 Things I’d Tell Myself on my Sweet 16”. It’s hard to describe how I felt reading this list; happy because there’s someone else who understands where I was at when I was 16 and managed to become someone I relate to now. Below are Jessica’s 26 things (in pink!) with my commentary, to see her full explanations go here (which, I really, highly recommend.) I just found myself thinking about these things for over a week and how funny it would be to actually be able to tell my 16 year old self any of these:

1. I know you’re jazzed about getting your license, but be careful. Sixteen-year-old Katie, in four days from now, you will be driving during a thunderstorm. You will be behind a Toyota Highlander, the car in front of the Highlander will stop very suddenly, right in front of your destination, your church. Do not slam on the brakes- if you do, you will rear-end the SUV that is full of Girl Scout moms that you know, on their way to see a movie.

2. Be kind to your body, it’s beautiful and the only one you get! Seriously- I have no idea where these heel spurs came from but I imagine it had something to do with wearing converses all day, every day, between waitressing, skiing, rollerblading, and track.

3. Liking school and loving to learn IS actually cool. Just admit it, you like learning, and reading, and don’t be afraid to take AP courses, you’ll regret only taking one that got you college credit.

4. I know you’ve missed your sister while she’s been away at college, but you’ll get the chance to live with her again. At 16, I was not missing my sister because she’s four years younger than me. So I would tell my 16-self to try a little harder to get to know your sister because you’ll need each other later on.

5. Keep writing. Yes! Keep writing. You’ve been crazy/stupid to write a blog since you were in seventh grade, why stop now? Your writing will be your therapy. Don’t stop writing in college either. Take writing classes.

6. Your family will heal itself. Families are delicate. Try not to define who is family and who is not right now. Remember, people are capable of great love and great change and never give up.

7. Family first. Perhaps it’s when you want to run the farthest away from your family that they need you the most. They don’t understand your sarcasm, so stop trying to make sarcasm around them work. There’s a good chance you’ll still be learning this lesson well into your twenties.

8. Drink lots of water. I know you hate it, that won’t change. Even just eight glasses a day, your skin will thank you. Don’t wait until you’re 25 to realize that usually you’re not hungry like you think you are, just dehydrated.

9. Your dance moves will only continue to improve. Sure, you’re learning how to do the A-town Stomp and the Cleveland Shuffle right now, but only when you take a classical style dance class in college will you learn to appreciate it as an art.

dance

10. Your empathy is your best quality or your worst quality, choose wisely. Your empathy will lead you down a dark path of trying to take care of others who don’t want to take care of themselves. Remember, you can’t care more about someone than they care about themselves.

11. Stop obsessing. Believe it or not, you will learn to like sleep, try to get a jump on that. Laying up at night and ruminating over things you wish you would have said or done differently will not make things better, it will make you worse.

12. “This too shall pass”, I promise. You often make mountains out of molehills, as mom will tell you, over and over again. Remember, when you feel anxious, or sad, or nothing, and like the feeling will never go away, it will. You’re in charge of your depression, so get in the sunlight or on a treadmill, like right now.

13. Taking a trip to NYC to celebrate graduation will be a great choice. I didn’t copy this word for word from Jessica, but I love that we both took trips to NYC senior year. I went during spring break and missed some other opportunities but got to be in NYC with one of the most compassionate people I know and enjoyed eating candy for dinner because we could and seeing The Producers, no beach could have topped that.

NY

14. You’ll get big boobs. Well, big might set the bar too high, the good news is, you’ll get ‘em!

15. Don’t lose your sense of humor. But do be careful with it. Feel free to go wild with your cheesy, pun intended humor but reserve your biting, sarcastic humor for the right audience. Not everyone understands that your observations come out of love for the world around you. Don’t be afraid to always watch Daria.

16. Take your Dad’s advice. The door only swings one way. Show respect. When you’re given enough rope, don’t hang yourself with it.

17. You will never grow into your big feet. Or in my case, your skin will never magically clear up. It will always be a work in process as you change locations, lifestyles, water sources, etc. Be prudent.

18. There will be a monster hurricane that hits New Orleans as you begin your first week of college. It will haunt you and nag you. You will go on a church work trip the summer after your freshman year of college to help gut and fix houses down there. You will be leading the devotionals. You will find hope in dark, cockroach infested places.

19. Be authentic. Right now, it’s easy to know who you’re not and I know you’re having trouble finding out who you are. I’m glad we decided the dreadlocks weren’t for you. If you want to be a cheerleader who listens to ska music, just do it.

20. Fart jokes and people tripping or falling will still make you laugh 10 years from now.  Okay, this doesn’t make you laugh now and it won’t in 10 years from now, but the man you love does enjoy this humor. It’ll make you smile and laugh to see him smile and laugh at this kind of stuff.

21. Trust your intuition. When your gut speaks, listen. If you think something’s going on that you don’t know about, there is. Don’t be afraid to trust common sense, that wouldn’t hurt either at this point.

22. Everyone grieves differently, be kind to yourself. You’ve been really lucky up to this point about not feeling you’ve lost someone before their time. This will not be the case in a few years. In fact, you haven’t even met the first person to go before his time. Appreciate every day you’re given.

23. Your Mom always encouraged you to appreciate the simple beauty, the awe of nature, the creativity of art, and the magnificence of ancient architecture. Okay, so this isn’t exactly your mom, but don’t be afraid to ask her for help in the art side of the world. It turns out she’s taken photography and drawing classes; she isn’t so shabby. Embrace your Mom’s fear of color and love her for it. It wouldn’t kill you to tone down the color once in a while.

24. She’s a good egg and will stick by you through the best of times and worst of times. For this, it means the person you celebrate your 16th birthday with. You will be at Shan’s house, working on memorizing Catullus and a presentation on the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. You’ve known her since first grade but are only now re-discovering the playful, emotional, loving relationship you have with her. Rosemary will make you burgers for your birthday dinner. This will be on of your favorite memories. You will cherish it. Rosemary will be the second person you feel you’ve lost too soon. Take no hug or warm welcome for granted. Shan will follow her heart to Cincinnati, Boston, and then New York- support her.

shandino

25. You’ll start a blog when you’re 24. It will revolutionize your world. Well, you’ll start a blog (your sixth?) when you’ve finally settled into the big kid world and it will continue to challenge you. It will help others reach out to you and help you reach other. Having an online journal will be a whole world in ten years. Tread lightly.

26. Your journey is unfolding exactly as it should be. Whatever hurdles you’re going over, walls you’re running into, doors that are closing, are happening for a reason. Over time you will find yourself saying, “I would have never imagined myself here but I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Happy Father's Day: Hollywood Edition

What can you say about the man who made you possible. Who taught me how to ride dirt bikes, drive a manual, and the value of hard work. My Dad might be the only person I know who is more stubborn than I am; I imagine that’s where I got mine from. Despite having a Capricorn and a Taurus under one roof, there are a few things we agree on. He knows everyone, even my driving instructor. I can only hope my kids will have to deal with that, “Are you related to a Vic?” I’ve heard that so many times and it’ll never get old. I’m always proud to reply, “yes, I’m his daughter.” Mostly because I’ve never been asked that in a situation that would reflect poorly on him.

My Dad never missed a beat to say he was proud of me. Growing up as an insecure, bullied, awkward kid, that means a lot. He was proud of me even if I got a B, not the A, even if I didn’t win, or didn’t get something I wanted. Even now, when I text him, a brief conversation rarely ends without “lv u”- translation: love you.

His friends call him Hollywood. Which I can, kind of see. He can be a showoff, whether it’s wheelies on his dirt bike or getting on a speed track. He’s talented when it comes to motors and wheels. Have I mentioned that his other friends go by Monkey, Buzzy, Weasel, and Bozo? I didn’t know until sending invitations out to my high school graduation party what their real names were.

I hope I have my Dad’s sense of humor. It’s a mix of annoying older brother and purely, simply funny. If you fall for him telling you to look out the window for a deer, you might get a playful jab in the shoulder, keeps me on my feet. Every song that comes on the radio is his song. I have also adopted this philosophy.

I’m sure that our greatest memories are yet to come but until those I have a few stand-outs. Long road trips with him at the wheel. Parking the van on Daytona Beach. Searching for firewood at campgrounds. Going fishing on a boat in Maryland. Our Motorcycle trip before I went to college. Many search and rescues for my Jetta. The list goes on. I’m very blessed to have a father like mine. He represents so much of what I value and I don’t think it’s a coincidence; loving what you do, surrounding yourself with good people, and working hard.

fathersday

Thanks, Dad & Happy Father’s Day!

Mountain Mama & Her Curves.

Recently, I had the pleasure of driving to Grantsville, West Virginia for a bridal shower. I’m not being sarcastic. It was a 60-something degree day out, my windows were rolled down, and the sun was shining. Just me and state routes. West Virginia has a few more hills than Ohio, that’s why she’s call the Mountain Mama. If West Virginia was a woman, she’d look like Sophia Vergara…dangerous curves ahead.

Source

No speed limit is readily posted on these state routes. I saw a couple signs for 55 mph hear and there, so I assumed that’s what I was aiming for unless told otherwise. Despite the lack of speed signage for the road in general, WV makes up for it in signage for each and every curve in the road. Each bend in the route has it’s own sign. The sign will indicate if there’s one turn and in what direction or if there’s multiple turns- which the squiggly is not necessarily navigationally correct. The most important part though, each sign has assigned a speed to that particular curve.

One curve may be 35 mph, but the next one, 30 yards later is 40 mph. They’re very specific. I drive a car that I wouldn’t be afraid to rally and was excited to see how she did on the turns. I went around one 30 mph bend at 40 mph without so much as a lean, then I took a 40 mph bend at 50 mph and found myself clutching the steering wheel, praying I didn’t roll off the cliff. Who sets these things?

I ask because that’s a job I think I would enjoy doing. West Virginia, if you hired me, I would be glad to test all curves and set consistent mph estimates. I would base each curve off of several tests, using trucks, jeeps, kia rios, different seasons and weather, and find the happy medium to keep motorists safe. How does one get this job? What’s the official title? Curve tester? Sounds like a pickup line.

 

Any how…Happy Friday! We made it! Despite flat tires on Monday and thinking Thursday was Friday all day, I’m pretty happy with this week. Today has not started off great though, 1. The Ke$ha concert is canceled. Gr. 2. I left my phone at home. I can’t even remember the last time I did this. When I got to work and saw it wasn’t in my purse, there was still a gleam of hope that maybe I left it in my car, then I saw an e-mail from Boyface, subject line: Scene of the crime. Attached to the email was this picture:

SOTHC

Son of a butterfly. No worries, I will press on, despite the problems I’m blessed to have.

Like a Box of Chocolates.

Rainy Days & Rhubarb Pie.

I could have written a country song about Monday. I woke up late, couldn’t find stuff, told my boss I’d be late, wasn’t ready to deal with Captain America traffic in the pouring rain, and then got a flat tire. I’ve never seen a tire so flat in all my life. Sitting in my car in my heels and sundress I was ready to give up. I took a personal day and tried to figure out if I had a spare or not. Called Triple A and everything was fixed by about lunchtime. Since I felt like all of my bad luck had been used up that day, I decided to make a pie.

flat

I had never made a pie before but I had watched my mom make a few. She makes it look a lot easy than it is. I had rhubarb from the CSA we’re doing this summer and the number one thing anyone should do with rhubarb is put it in a pie. For our cabin weekend a couple weekends ago, I made a rhubarb crisp. It was good, but too sweet. I love rhubarb for it’s tartness. I basically followed this recipe from Saveur with some of my own additions and subtractions. I had to roll out the top crust four times. I still had to patch a crack on my last try but at some point you say to yourself, good enough. I didn’t put butter and sugar on top and I’m still not sure if I should have or not.

pie2
It’s hard to tell, but I cut a little heart into the center!

There was a lot of fake pressure to produce a glorious pie. The first time my partner-in-crime had a bite of a rhubarb pie my mom made, he said “I’ll marry you if you can make a pie like this.” Was he joking? Absolutely. Did I still have an urge to back a badass for him? Yup. After the pie was done but still warm, we dished up a couple slices. I couldn’t help myself and asked, “waht do you think?” His response? “It’s good for your first one.” I was not thrilled with his response but he was right. It was too sweet and not tangy enough. The pinched crust was too thick. The good news is, we had another couple slices last night but cold and it was WAY better, like, almost how my mom’s tastes, better.

A Joke.

I hope I grow up to be like my Gram. She’s full of surprises. I was talking to her on Monday and we have yet to get together for my birthday that was almost a month ago now. (Where does time go?) She made the comment, “I could always mail it” and then added, “but I probably shouldn’t since the west side has dogs sniffing packages.” Wait, was that just a Chris Perez joke? From my Gram? Oh, heck yes.

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This Ride.

If I could describe my training and weight loss in a picture, it would look like this:

Two weeks ago I saw a number on the scale I had never seen before. I started getting back in shape, saw some improvements, and then I threw all of my hard work away in just two party weekends. I also had the opportunity to see yet another number on the scale I hadn’t seen before. I’m surprised I didn’t cry. I’m back on the wagon and seeing slight improvement and I’m trying not to be too hard on myself and it’s going well. I’ve got a plan. I know, I had a plan before, but I didn’t flush that down the toilet too. In addition to keeping track of my workouts and runs, I’m also now keeping track of what I stuff my face with on a daily basis and I’m back in cahoots with my accountability partner. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to walk through every morsel I’ve had. I’m not there yet. I’m also just really bad at taking pictures.

Side bar: I lost my camera (somewhere in my place) but need a new one anyways. Any recommendations? Nothing too fancy shmancy? Should I just be using my phone?

So here’s the half marathon training plan so far:

June 12

Not a lot to talk about here folks. Last week was crazy at work and I missed my Wednesday and Thursday runs but did a great job of resting on Friday and Monday. I didn’t get my 7m long run in on Saturday at Middlebass, but I did play volleyball for four or five hours, that counts for something, right? I may need to move cross-training to Mondays permanently. Yesterday, I remembered everything I needed to work out and I ran 3.5 miles outside.

As I suspected, I am much slower when I run outside versus on a treadmill. Without a belt demanding I go a certain pace, I tend to not go fast. I would hear the milesplit yesterday “10:30” and think, crap! I’m faster than that! Then I would pick up the pace and I really do feel comfortable at a 9:50-10 minute pace, then, my mind wanders. I’m thinking about bachelorette parties, happy hours, food, jewelry organizers, and before I know it, I hear the next milesplit announced, “10:40”.

I was hoping to run the Ohio City 5k this weekend but I’m going to run the seven miles I missed last Saturday instead. As much as I love that race, I know that would mean going wild & out afterward and I’m really hoping for a productive, quiet weekend.

 

The Crazy Rebel(s).

Are you tired of hearing me sound all fitness-guruey and being way too stiff for my normal ramblings of almost sensible logic? Me too. Today, I would like to talk about two things, crazy and my sister. If you know crazy, and my sister, you know the two go together well- but I’m learning overtime she’s not crazy in the Snookie way, which one would suspect.

This all started with an old memory stick I found as I clean and shift. I found myself emptying a junk box from not this past move in September but from the move before that, last August (so that would be…2011?) Two Octobers ago, I lost my MacBook to a freak apartment leak and lost all of my pictures, writings, etc. that weren’t at one point e-mailed or Facebooked. When I found this holy two gigs of days past, I couldn’t wait to see what gems were on it. Nothing too exciting, a few folders of pictures to print from my sophomore year of college, some old resume drafts, and a couple school assignments. One quick assignment stuck out to me in particular from a freshman orientation class I had. If I had to describe the teacher in one word, I would say passionate. I have no idea what the prompt was, but here is the raw transcript:

I’m a crazy inspiring rebel. This fits my academic persona because the ad describes a passionate eclectic human. I’m passionate about learning, books, questioning and I know my academic career will contain all of these.

        College should encourage passionate thinking, embrace different thinking, facilitate extreme and outrageous ideas. If students didn’t think a little crazier than in high school, college wouldn’t be the cultural expressive outlet I know and love.

        I am crazy because of my passion. My love for tangible text is ridiculous. Above all my crazy, quirky aspects I believe I can change the world. I dropped honors for this seminar. I want to be challenged and provoked to imagine what I can accomplish.

        I see terrible things in the news everyday, I seek out the unfortunate events because I feel they need my attention. After reviewing these events I am left feeling helpless, futile. I’m broke, can’t donate blood, earning a degree in international business. What can I do for my world around me? How can I help those in need?

        My bliss is found through other’s happiness.

I mean, wow. I still feel this way but perhaps a little more worn on the edges. A little more jaded. A little more faded. In college I learned how to present myself but I never changed from the empathetic, crazy person I was. I never strayed from the path, four year degree, white collar job, back to school for my Master’s. I’ve never questioned if this is the right path for me but I’m not living this life because I’m scared to live another either.

Which takes me to the other find on the once lost, now found memory stick, four pictures of my little sister and I.

sistercollage

One from a visit to me in college, one from before a football game, and two from the last family vacation we took over five years ago. The sunbathing photo was taken the day I earned my worst sunburn ever. My sister inherited the navajo gene and I, the albino. If I ever have a child, I fear for their skin. Have I ever mentioned that my partner-in-crime got hives from Banana Boat Kids once? We’re screwed in the beyond sensitive skin department.

My sister and I have always been night and day. Growing up, I always thought she had a lot to learn from me but recently I’m realizing there’s a lot I can learn from her too. She’s more patient than I am. She waits to act until she’s sure. I was trying to run before I knew how to walk and she didn’t take a single step until she was sure she wouldn’t fall. After high school, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do yet and she tried college for a couple of year but without direction, she didn’t feel she had a purpose there. She came home. Which, God bless my parents, couldn’t have been an easy thing to do. I can’t imagine taking a break from school while your friends are still there. She worked and waited, worked and continued to live her life. Recently she started going to classes again and I can feel the difference when she talks about them now as opposed to the first time around. She’s got something in mind and she’s not going to fall, because she’s ready.

In my mind, she was crazy enough to do her own thing. Acknowledging who you are, what makes you happy, what doesn’t, and pursuing what does isn’t always an easy thing to do. Especially when it feels like you’re going against the grain. When I reflect on some of the leadership positions I held, clubs I joined, classes I took, did I do it because it made me happy or did I do it because I was supposed to? My little sister was crazy to go against the norm to find what fit both the categories of makes her happy and is what she’s supposed to do and I couldn’t be more proud of her. It’s good to know we have two crazy rebels in the fam.