Monday, August 9, 2010

New Dorm

Oh my wow. It feels so so so weird to be back in Blacksburg. I feel like I left just yesterday! There are so many things about this semester and year that are going to be different from last year. First off, I have four shiny new keys on my keyring. That's RA power for ya. ;) I got up way early this morning and just got back from Despicable Me with my Dad, Chad, and Chewie, so I'm kinda extremely pooped. Gotta find stuff for the beds and get some sleep, but I'll edit this tomorrow to be more exciting and less "blah blah blah."


Bye until the edit!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dying for Simplicity

Hello! :)

So, I've been thinking for a long long time about simplicity. About what that would mean for me in my life. The way I see it, a simple life is one free of useless distractions to the effect of being able to devote all of your time to loving and serving other people. It would mean cutting back my possessions to only the necessities and/or those things that I need/could use to help others. This has been something on my heart for much too long for me to have done so little about it. So, I'm really hoping that when I get out to school, as I'm arranging my room, I can go through my things and weed out the unnecessary. Goodness knows what I'll do with those things, but I'll assume there's a CHKD or Salvation Army somewhere around. :) I just think it's time for me to act on something that God's definitely been calling me to. I want to rise to the challenge and take that step. It's kind of exciting, really!

In other news, I leave bright and early tomorrow morning to go back to school for Fall Semester. I start RA training Tuesday evening, and it's basically going to rule my life for the next couple of weeks, which shouldn't be TOO bad. ;P I'm desperately nervous about moving in tomorrow. I have wayyy too much stuff (all the more reason to make this simplicity thing really happen! :D). It's going to be LOADS of fun showing Chewie around campus, though! She's going to love it. I just know it. :) I can't wait to introduce my dad and Chewie to Father John, too! I hope he's around the House. If not, I'll just have to have them come up on a Sunday during the school year. :)

Last, but DEFINITELY not least, my dad fine-tuned my bike today! I'm so so so excited to get out and start riding! I'm having the hardest time coming up with a name for her, though. Help? :)

Today, I smelled: heavenly German noodles, called Spätzle, which are pretty much my favorite food...ever.
Today, I tasted: Daddy-grilled steak for the first time in much too long. Absolutely delicious and the PERFECT send-off meal. :)
Today, I saw: 8 gabillion people at Wal*Mart raiding the school supplies to take advantage of tax-free weekend. :P I also saw extremely frazzled Wal*Mart employees.
Today, I touched: the last Skinny Dip bowl and spoon I'll be able to for quite some time. We officially need a legit frozen yogurt bar out at we already?
Today, I heard: my new phone fail at life as it insisted on playing one of its dumb default ringtones instead of "Somewhere Beyond the Sea." I want my old phoneeee. :(


PS. The next time I write a post, it'll be from my new dorm room! WOOOHOOOOOO!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


First of all, I am way way way too tired to be writing this, so bear with me. :P I just got back from a Counting Crows and Augustana concert, which was pretty fabulous except for one little thing...

NOTAR. Yes, Notar. I will never, ever really understand rap. I mean, I'm super impressed with some rappers' ability to "spit a rhyme" in the blink of an eye. I still have to use a when I'm working on a spoof poem or anything that involves a rhyme scheme of some sort. This rapper hails from the Big Apple, and is, as most rappers are, quite full of himself. He paraded around stage, shaking to the music at such to such a rapid rhythm it literally looked like he was being gunned down by a machine gun. Suuuuper awkward to watch if I may say so myself. Plus, he had this song about a matador (if you don't believe me, go to his myspace), and as he rapped it, he actually pulled this towel out of his pocket and started shaking it at his bandmate/singer/whateveryoucallthelessimportantguyinarapgroup. He faked being a bull. I mean. Seriously. This guy was out of control. Not to mention that during the encore when Augsutana and Counting Crows were jamming and having a blast, he was tipping back a beer front and center on stage. Don't get me wrong, guys, I'm SURE he's a lovely person. I just find it interesting that you can make a living doing what he does. :P

My family helped me finish cutting out my care bears today! I have the best family ever. Haha. :)

I'm seriously way way way too tired to think right now, so I'm done for the night! :P Sorry for this lame post. Cheer yourself up with some Matador. ;P

Today, I smelled: the sickly sweet sappy air of a lingering cigar. The smell always simultaneously repulses me and makes me nostalgic.
Today, I tasted: an Otis Spunkmeyer Blueberry Muffin. There's just something weird and wrong to me about individually wrapped muffins. Thoughts? :P
Today, I saw: a five-lined skink. Benny informed me that it's half amphibian half reptile...funky.
Today, I heard: awesome live music. To which I sang/screamed along and lost my voice. :) I love the Counting Crows.
Today, I touched: scissors so many times my right hand is actually bruised. Wow.

Bye for now, lovelies. :) I have ONE day until I go back to school. WHAT.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Helloooo. :) I would apologize for not writing a blog last night, but given what I was doing instead, I don't really actually feel sorry. ;D Last night somewhere around 10:30, I received the first of many HIWELCOMEHOMEWEMISSEDYOUSOMUCH hugs from my dad, who's just returned from a year-long tour of duty in Iraq. And, well, anyone reading this who really knows me knows that 10:30, or even 11:30 when we returned home from the airport, is not so late for me that I wouldn't be able to get a blog up. However, I was spending time with my whole entire 9-person-plus-one-dog family crammed into our little kitchen. :)
As soon as everyone else ran off to bed, I ran TO my bed, but not to sleep. Rather, I curled up with my laptop and spent three hours putting together a video of my dad's return from Iraq, which, if you're friends with me on facebook, you may have already seen. Needless to say, I fell fast asleep while the video was exporting to my computer from iMovie, and thus, my friends, no blog yesterday.
I definitely considered writing a post today for last night and editing the time to make it look like it was from last night, but, well, we all expected me to fail BEDA anyway, so I figured I might as well meet your expectations. ;) That's not to say I'm not going to keep trying to blog for the rest of August, but I missed a day now, so it won't be perfect. Boo. :(
In other news, I should point out that I deserve a round of applause for cheating the US Mail system. I completely abused the privilege that is a postcard by writing on both sides of the divide and cramming the mail-to address up in the top corner where hopefully the angel sorting the mail would see it. I received confirmation that my postcard arrived safe and sound today, so I'm happy. :)
I spent all day today working on the nametags for the girls living on my half of the hall. I do believe I informed the lot of you that I finally made up my mind to stick with the care bears, so, I was cutting, pasting, tracing, freehand drawing, penknifing, taping, and gluing all day. Usually around this time of year, I literally ache to go school supply shopping. After today (and tomorrow, most likely), I'll probably want to run screaming in the other direction the next time I catch sight of that part of Wal*Mart (which I do, um, daily :P). Seriously. My hand is cramping from so much use of scissors. Gah.
Okay, the whining doesn't give you a fair indication, but I had a fabulous day. :) It started with waking up after getting somewhere around four hours of sleep because we all thought I was needed to drive one of our cars to the dealership, but, after thoroughly waking up, it was decided my services were unnecessary. I dithered for a bit and then kicked myself in the butt to go to Mass. Which, I'm so so so glad I did because today was the first Friday of the month, which means (OMG FATTY FRIDAY KATIE. Ahem. Excuse us.) that we had an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. :) All of the Knights were out in full gear, swords and all. I love First Fridays so much. And not just for the chocolate silk pie.
Wow. I'm all over the place tonight, so I'm just gonna stop while I'm (not) ahead. :P

Today, I smelled: sautéed onions at 11:00pm when my mom and dad came home and started preparing the Polish food my grandpa made and packed for them. :)
Today, I tasted: said Polish food, which was okay without sour cream, but AWESOME with. ;P Of course.
Today, I touched: a glue stick for the first time in a looong time.
Today, I saw: the Jonas LA episode that airs Sunday night (I love On Demand!). I wish someone could psychoanalyze me and figure out just why I'm so enthralled by the Jonas Brothers. :P
Today, I heard: Sheryl Crow singing with Hannah Montana? Funky. But I do love me some Sheryl. :)

Bye for now, loves! <3

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


On the eve of the very end of my father's deployment, my mind is so full of just SO much. I really can't verbalize much of what I'm thinking or feeling about anything going on in my life right now. I'm pensive. And, usually, that'd be a good thing for this blog. When I have a lot on my mind, this is where that "lot" usually ends up--jumbled and confusing, sure, but it ends up here nonetheless. However, tonight, I somehow just can't find the words to say what it is I'm thinking. There are so many things going on in my life right now, both ugly and beautiful. Maybe these things will find their way onto these "pages" at some point in the near future, but maybe not. In any case, it would seem to me, that although it can be overwhelming, pensiveness is a thing to rejoice in. It does us good to close our mouths--or stop our fingers from moving across a keyboard--sometimes. It does us good to just be quiet and really listen. So that's what I'm doing tonight, loves. I'm sorry if that seems to be a copout, but I promise I don't intend it to be.

Today, I saw: a beautiful silent lightning storm. Crazy, considering the Mother Angelica episode I was watching tonight made mention of just such a storm.
Today, I heard: the words, "Daddy is coming home tomorrow." with definite promise.
Today, I tasted: Bubble Tape. You know, the little pink package with the super sugary gum inside? Mmmm. :) Tastes like 4th grade.
Today, I smelled: the eight-thousand little hand lotions Chewie made me test to see if I liked enough to keep as she attempted to clean off her dresser.
Today, I felt: a tight, loving hug from each of the little siblings I'm going to miss so much while I'm at school. Trying desperately not to take any of it for granted.

Goodnight, loves. And God bless you, whether you know it or not. ;) <3

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Kara--The Boss Lady, The Thug, The Resident Advisor

As you may have gathered from my last blog post, I'm going to be an RA for at least the next year at Virginia Tech. Now, I understand that this might come as a surprise to some of you, considering what you know about me, including how shy I am, how unimposing I try to be, and how, well, let's face it, AWKWARD I am. It's okay, guys. I'm just as shocked as you in some ways. But perhaps none of us were as shocked as my dad. I distinctly remember telling him I got the job; his immediate response was, "! Of all my daughters [of which he has three], I would have pegged you last as likely to be an RA." Haha. Thaaaanks, Dad. ;)

But at the same time, there are a lot of things about myself that I think fit the job. For one, I have this incessant need to be friends with, well, everyone. I love getting to meet and know people. Secondly, more than anything else in the world, I love getting to help people, and as an RA, that pretty much is the overarching job description. Maybe it sounds silly, but I love having to drop everything I'm doing to help someone else with something they're working on. It may not always turn out so well for me and what I had been working on before the desperate plea for help, but, in the grander scheme of things, that doesn't matter all that much to me. Third thing worth mentioning? I have a ridiculous imagination. Maybe you wouldn't have thought that necessary to be an RA, but, from my experience so far, it's been quite a huge help. Please, take a seat. Maybe go grab a snack, too. When I get going, I really don't stop writing. Let me explain just how my imagination has related to my job thus far.

When I first started speculating about taking the job, I turned to my friend Maggie to discuss just what it would be like for me to be an RA. Of course, for us, that meant coming up with what it would be like to be an RA if she were at the same school as me. What we came up with was absolutely ridiculous. It involved doing rounds wearing sheriff badges, boots with spurs, and vests. We played out this hilarious scenario in our heads to the point that we were both gasping for lack of breath from laughing so hard.

Apparently, however, I wasn't done dreaming about ridiculous scenarios for what it would be like for me to be an RA. Stumped about what to write about tonight, I turned to a few people for suggestions. One such person, who claims he didn't want me to recognize him publicly for his involvement in my shenanigans, was half of the mastermind behind what follows.

Since yesterday, I have officially decided to run with the Care Bears name tag ideas, joking that the girls on my half of the hall could be Kara's Bears (yeah, yeah, I know. That's not exactly a testimony to my imagination. Just wait.). When I admitted the ridiculousness of my "Kara's Bears" ideas to He-Who-Chose-Not-To-Be-Named, he remarked "...You're the boss and you can do whatchu want!" And, therefore, dear readers, THIS is, apparently, what I want:

+ Kara's Bears will refer to me as Boss Lady and say "Yes ma'am" and "No ma'am."
+ Better yet, they will refer to me as Mama Bear. Um. Yeah.
+ I will always wear a tweed jacket and have an unlit cigar hanging out of my mouth.
+ When I walk down the hall, any Bear I pass will stop in her tracks, utter only where she was going and with whom she was going with to that place, and then carry on her way.
+ Any time there is more than two Bears in the bathroom, more specifically the shower stalls, they will be required to sing a Disney song in three-part harmony
+ Each Bear must list me as their mother on Facebook
+ At the end of each week, each Bear will be expected to tell me something they've learned that week in school

After only a few weeks (maybe even just days!) of my absolute tyranny as Boss Lady/Mama Bear, my Bears will be so terrified, they will start going to my building coordinator with testimonies such as the following:

It's Sunday afternoon. A tearful Funshine Bear walks into the building coordinator's office, sits down in an overstuffed armchair and begins sobbing, leaving mascara all over the chair's fabric. Mr. Building Coordinator tentatively hands her a tissue, seemingly afraid to get too close, perhaps imagining her weepiness to be contagious. She accepts the tissue and begins blubbering, without being prompted, "This one time, I was just in my room, painting my fingernails, and Mama Bear--"
Mr. Building Coordinator cuts her off, "I'm sorry, who?"
Funshine Bear looks up at him from the wrinkles of her soggy tissue and says in a matter-of-fact tone, "My RA, Kara. That's what she makes us call her."
"She makes you--"
Funshine Bear cuts him off this time. After all, she's Funshine Bear and not Perfect & Polite Panda, "Can I please just finish?"
Mr. Building Coordinator, taken aback, simply nods. Funshine Bear blows her nose into her tissue once more and then continues,
"Thank you. As I was saying, I was just sitting in my room, minding my own business, painting my nails, when all of a sudden Mama Bear stormed in without knocking or announcing herself, snatched the bottle of polish, and crushed it under her steel-toed combat boots, shrieking something about how the color was too similar to her own to be tolerated while I was living under her roof!"
Funshine Bear bursts into tears as she relives the memory, and, at this point, Mr. Building Coordinator is so terrified of Mama Bear himself, he refuses to confront her for fear of having his bottle of nail polish crushed underfoot, never mind the fact that he's a man and doesn't indulge in painting his nails...often.

Um. Yeah. So, there you are. Maybe I'm not so qualified for this job after all. But I've got training in a week, so we'll see by then, won't we? :) Before I'm too embarrassed to give publishing this a second thought, I'm just going to go ahead and fill out my Sense Survey for the night and click "Publish Post". :P

Today, I smelled: chili simmering on the stove while I read Emma in my bedroom. Apparently my sense of smell is clairvoyant. Remember how I thought last night's dinner was chili? Well, tonight's actually was. :P
Today, I saw: that Penelope is available to Watch Instantly on Netflix! So exciting. I haven't seen that yet. :)
Today, I tasted: a spoonful of Red Velvet Cupcake frozen yogurt from the Skinny Dip that Chewie brought home after work and offered to share with me. :)
Today, I heard: Father John's Easter Sunday homily! His homilies are now available for free through iTunes HERE. :D Geeking out. :)
Today, I felt: the weight of an inky fountain pen in my hand and remembered what it feels like to handwrite a letter. Pure euphoria. :)

That's all for now, lovelies! Thanks for putting up with my craziness. :) Mama Bear OUT.


Dear Blog,
I. Am. A. Perfectionist. Seriously. It's disgusting. While discussing this with my mom today, we determined that we are 100% sure we have absolutely no idea from whom I got this trait. We definitely know it wasn't either one of my parents. Neither of them were fantastic students, although they're both brilliant in their own respects--my mother in compassion, forgiveness, and motherhood; and my father in common sense, fix-it knowhow, and fatherhood. Do you want proof of my perfectionism? Well, even if you don't, I have a story (or three) for you.

Story number one. As you well know, my dad gets home from Iraq in just a few short days. To welcome him home, my family is creating a large banner on a blank white sheet we bought at Wal*Mart. My mom hinted that I would be the designer behind this project, so I dragged Chewie along to Michael's, where we bought red and blue paint, as well as yellow ribbon and some military camouflage print duct tape Chewie insisted upon. Upon arriving home, we spread the sheet out onto the dining room table. Chewie immediately got out two paper plates and dumped the paint onto them. I, on the other hand, snatched a ruler from the kitchen and began determining the height and width of each letter in each word we intended to paint onto the sheet. My mother and Chewie stared at me blankly before deciding that I was out of my mind for trying to make the letters so neat. After that, every time I tried to make a suggestion or raise a concern about the plausibility of the ideas they were proposing, I was shot down for "being too complicated." As a result, I became very frustrated and decided to walk away from the project for a little while. I felt like an utter jerk for having made something that was supposed to bring us all together tear us apart instead. I just couldn't work with the idea of not trying our absolute best to make the banner perfect for my dad. When I came back to see what my mom and Chewie had done so far, it looked pretty darn good, and they'd even taken some of my suggestions, such as alternating letter colors between blue and red and mapping out the space required for each letter. Funny how they're willing to take my suggestions after I walk away, hm? ;) So in any case, I sat down with the banner a little while later and began to add my own perfectionist touch to it, tweaking smudges into straight lines and lining the letters to give a 3-D pop to the words. I just couldn't leave well enough alone. SIgh.

Story number two. As an RA, I have to make name tags for each girl who will live on my half of the hall this semester/year. We are charged with the responsibility and given the freedom to come up with our own ideas and designs for said nametags. WELL. I was originally going to do something simple, like quality printed images of cartoon characters or the like. Then, that not being good enough, I changed my mind to designing individualized rubber duckies on foam cut-outs. Today, I finally settled on the idea of crocheting a smiley-faced fried egg for each girl's name tag. It's absolutely bonkers. I have at least 36 girls under my domain, which means 36 hand-crocheted fried eggs. Not to mention I planned to hand-embroider each girl's name to her egg. Umm. WHAT. I've done TWO so far (without even having stitched on the faces, and my hand is utterly exhausted. Really. What am I doing to myself?

None of this is helped by the fact that I think I've changed my mind about my design...yet again. I'm thinking Care Bears now, as a play off of my unoriginal nickname Kara Bear. Each of them can have a different bear, assuming there are at least 36 different care bears. Heck if I know. Hahaha. I'll have to do some research! But ONE thing is for sure: I am NOT hand-crocheting care bears. ;P Who knows if I'll even switch to this idea. I'm a mess.

Today, I heard: some of the most ridiculous stories come out of my siblings' mouths. I'm going to miss them.
Today, I smelled: acrylic paints. Not unpleasant, but odd just the same.
Today, I touched: so much yarn my hands feel dry and achey.
Today, I saw: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe paired with French subtitles that I read aloud while making fried eggs.
Today, I tasted: fresh-from-the-oven brownies. Yummm. :)

Until tomorrow, lovelies!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

BEDA, I hope.

Well, hello! It's been quite a summer for me here in flat, sunny, humid Chesapeake. Sounds lovely, hmm? Well, it was, no sarcasm intended. :) Unfortunately, however, my summer is just about up. I can officially feel the clock ticking down. I leave...IN A WEEK. Holy moly. Seriously. When did that happen? I must admit I'm excited, but, at the same time it came WAY too soon.

In more exciting news, my dad returns home this week! It should be around Thursday or Friday, MAYBE Wednesday. I can't believe it's officially been (more than) a year since he left for Iraq. We're all so proud of him, but even MORE excited that he's finally coming home! A lot has changed since he's been gone. For starters, Chad's dating someone! And someone fantastic at that. She's so sweet! In fact, I'll be seeing her bright and early tomorrow morning at 8AM because she's coming to surprise Chad on her only day off from work. Quel adorable! ANYWAY. Many things have changed for us since my dad left, but I'm hoping he transitions very smoothly back into life here at home. :) In the very least, I hope he's still got his knack for discipline, because my younger siblings are getting out of hand with the backtalking. Time for the Man of the House to lay down the law again. Hahaha. They're still the cutest, most loving kids ever, though, so I suppose they'll do. We'll keep them a little longer. ;)

I've just started reading "Emma" by Jane Austen again for the second time! That does not mean that I've read it before, but rather that I've started to read it before. Hahaha. I have a feeling I'll make it through this time because I'm more obsessed with Jane than I was before (believe it or not!). Once I'm finished with that, it's on to Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park. And then I will officially have read all of Jane Austen's published works! :) Super exciting if I may say so myself! And I do! Haha.

As you may have guessed from the title (or already know because you're Katie and you're the only person who reads my blog anyhow...HI KATIE), I'm going to try to Blog Every Day in August! We'll see if it actually happens. You guys know I absolutely rot at trying to keep promises about blogging. But if SOMEONE (hinthint) would remind me every day, it'd be easier to remember! :)

In the BEDA spirit, as suggested by HayleyGHoover, I'm now going to make my sense list of the day:
Today, I smelled: chicken patties, which smelled like chili from upstairs. Strange sensation.
Today, I touched: the back of my oldest little brother's new buzzcut, which is one of the most spectacular feelings in the world. Seriously. Go find someone with a buzzcut and rub the back of their head. Thank me later. :P
Today, I tasted: delicious Skinny Dip frozen yogurt--milk chocolate with diced strawberries and chocolate sprinkles. Mmmm.
Today, I heard: our angelic pianist at Church sing for the first time. It gave me shivers. So beautiful!
Today, I saw: two girls walking in the middle of the road, whom I glared at incredulously and promptly felt bad about and wished I could find in my neighborhood to apologize to. Sigh. :(

Bye for now, loves! <3