Monday, September 17, 2012

happy birthday, marci

Today is Marci's birthday, so I wanted to dedicate a post to her.  I don't think I could accurately describe our friendship in words, so instead I'll let some pictures do the talking.  But basically we met in kindergarten, became inseparable in seventh grade, and for the past fifteen years have been there for each other through everything.  I love her, and I'll never let her stop being my friend.

A production of Oliver! in seventh grade. (No, I never had short blond hair, that is a wig.)

In eighth grade we performed Guys and Dolls - Marci was Adelaide, I was Sister Sarah.  We're singing Marry the Man Today here, a duet.  (Oh yeah, she has a beautiful voice and can act.)

I don't know what we're doing here but I love this picture.

  At Hume Lake.

Here we are in the basketball trophy case in high school.  Why?  I don't know...because we were that cool, apparently.

This picture is from Marci's 16th birthday.  I arranged a surprise trip to take her to see Les Miserables in a limo.  Don't you wish you were my friend in high school?  I don't do cool stuff like that anymore.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures from when Marci was homecoming queen.  Yes, she was homecoming queen and class president.  (Marci was the cool kid and I just tagged along, and usually people were like, hey Marci, who's that girl you're with?)

I also don't have any pictures of us from her wedding (hmmm, Marc, maybe send me some of your wedding pictures), but she was a stunning bride.  Like, indescribably stunning.  I cried a lot on her wedding day.

I do have this one from my wedding day.

...maybe this one's a little better, but the above picture is most "us".

I love this girl a lot.  She's put up with me for a really long time, and still laughs at my stupid jokes.  What a friend, right?  She's beautiful, talented, intelligent, kind, loves Jesus, and she's basically just really great.  Marcela, if I could I'd take you to Les Mis again...or to the mall, and then we'd drive by the Scranton house and scare ourselves...

Happy Birthday to one of the best friends a girl could ask for.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

On School...and Old School

I am very grateful to be in school right now.  After not being able to attend school for a year, it feels great to finally feel like I'm making progress again.  I know higher education is a privilege and a luxury, so overall I'm thankful I can attend school and pursue my degree.

My Shakespeare class is still going well; in fact, I managed to work Friends references into an online discussion, and my professor and another student and I began describing and quoting favorite scenes from the show.  It was awesome.

I'm trying to have a good attitude about my IT class, but most of the time I hate it.  Today I actually told Sam that I didn't care about my grade as long as I passed, meaning I'd be fine with a "C".  I've never been fine with a "C".  I've never been fine with anything less than an "A".  Apparently this class will finally break through my perfectionist-overachieving-student attitude.  (My college advisor would be so proud!)  The good news is I only have six weeks left of the class and then I'll never have to think about it again!

Also, I'm going to vent for a moment.  Why do people automatically shorten names?  I introduce myself as Kimberly, and people call me Kim.  In my online class my name is clearly written as Kimberly, and yet people respond to my posts by calling me Kim.  (So far this has only happened in the IT class, not Shakespeare, which is another reason I dislike IT.)  Consequently I've decided that I will start calling everyone by just the first syllable of their name.  Is your name Brenda?  I'm calling you Brend.  Is your name Andrew?  I'm calling you And.  Is your name Lisa?  I'm calling you Li.  Sorry people, it's only fair this way.  Apparently "Kim-ber-ly" is wayyyy too long to say or type, so I'm shortening everyone's names so I can be just as lazy.

The good news is that I had the weekend off - my very first weekend off!  It was lovely!  The only bad part was that I woke up at 4:30 on Saturday, wide awake and completely unable to go back to sleep.  This morning I woke up at 6:15, again wide awake.  Maybe someday my body will realize it can sleep a little longer.

And here are just a few fun pictures from the weekend.  I had a more interesting post planned, but my brain has decided to stop cooperating after reading for two hours about HTML.  Sorry.

Yesterday Sam and I made banana pancakes with coconut syrup.  YUM!!! Gluten-free pancakes aren't as good, but it's still nice to be able to eat pancakes sometimes.  I grew up with pancakes every Saturday morning, a tradition I'm determined to continue when Sam and I have kids.  

I spent the morning going through old photos (and you'll find out why tomorrow), but I ran across this fun one.  Apparently I was way ahead of the chambray trend.  In fact, I'm guessing I was maybe ten in this picture, which means I rocked this style seventeen years ago.  Who knew I was so fashionable?

And here I am looking really cool practicing my saxophone.  Remember, band was cool!

And now I'm going to work on tomorrow's blog because I've been lagging in my goal of five posts a week...oops.  Happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

not-so-superficial things, part I

Yesterday I wrote about the superficial things that were making me happy.  To be honest, yesterday was just not a good day at all, so I felt like I had to focus on insignificant but positive things that I can count on to make me smile when I'm feeling blah.

But to be sure, there are far more things that actually matter that I consider blessings.  My mother-in-law has been listing the things she's grateful for on her blog, much like Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.  Some things on her list are pretty basic, like "sprinkler systems" and "pancakes for dinner".  Others are major, like "the constancy of God".  Yesterday I listed a few little things, but today I think I'd like to publicly thank God for some of the big things, specifically my husband's family.

I might as well start with my mother-in-law, since I'm talking about her blog.  Basically, I'm certain I have the best mother-in-law around.  My mom always loved my dad's mom, and said she never understood why there was such a negative connotation regarding mother-in-laws.  I always hoped I'd be lucky enough to get someone like my Grandma Wuth, and have the kind of relationship with my husband's mother that my mom had with her husband's mother.  If you take one peek at Noreen's blog, you can plainly see that I'm lucky to know her - even luckier to be married to her son.  Noreen is so sweet, so smart, and so funny.  She's incredibly encouraging and positive, even though the past few years have been very difficult.  I'm also grateful for my father-in-law, and the amazing example Woody has been of trusting in God and persevering.  He is so joyful, always smiling, and I love watching the kind of husband he is to Noreen.  I don't think I could ever think of a negative thing about either one of them - except for the fact that they live too far away.  Thanks for being awesome and raising a son for me to love, Woody and Noreen.

Besides his mom, I think two other women influenced Sam greatly, making him the man he is today.  One of them is Grandma Oda, Noreen's mom.  If I can be thankful for a mother-in-law, I'm also thankful for a grandmother-in-law!  But the great thing about her is she has never made me feel like an "in-law".  From the beginning, she treated me as if I were her own grandchild, and does the same with Brett and Brady, my brothers-in-law.  I can always tell when Sam has talked to his grandma on the phone - he is more calm, definitely wiser, and usually highly motivated.  She's one of the most generous people I've met, and possibly the most inspiring.  She has mastered the art of living life to the fullest and makes the most of each day.

The other woman that influenced Sam in a huge way was Sara.  I couldn't possibly describe in one blog how her strength and character influenced her big brother; I don't even think a book would sufficiently describe it.  Though I only knew her for two years, I witnessed an incredible faith and indescribable joy in Sara throughout her journey with cancer.  I'm so grateful to have met her and developed a friendship and relationship with her.  She's the one who "proposed" to me with a sister's ring after Sam proposed, which was Heidi, Kari, and Sara's way of inviting me into the family.

I was pretty intimidated coming into a family of three girls and a boy, particularly because I come from a family of three girls and a boy, and as sisters we are very protective of our one brother.  But they couldn't have been more kind and welcoming to me, even putting up with my dry humor and sarcasm.  (It didn't hurt that I loved musicals and Friends, either.)  I've been so grateful to have Kari here in Salem, a built-in friend when we moved here, someone I can be real and honest with, knowing she won't judge me.  I really wish Heidi lived her as well; she and I could talk about and share books, she could teach me how to run, and she'd probably be making us laugh constantly.

I'm really grateful for these people because they all had a part in making Sam who he is.  He's not perfect, but he is a wonderful husband and person.  He always tries to take care of me, make me happy, and improve our marriage.  He encourages me when I need it, and challenges me when I need it.  I'm simply blessed to know him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

superficial happy things

Just so you know, I have about twenty half-finished blogs that I haven't published.  I have been writing a lot in the hopes of trying to post more, but I don't want to post something boring or without much content just for the sake of posting.  And sometimes what I write comes out more like a journal, and there are some things I think about (a lot of things, actually) that should stay off the internet.

So here are some surface-level, mostly superficial things that have made me happy recently:

Bouquet, gluten-free cookies, and a card for my last day at Starbucks.

(Yes, the note on the card says, "I love your really ugly faces.")

My panther scarf.  Yes, I love all things feline...

...obviously, because check out my new slippers:

Willow didn't know what to think of them...

My brain feels a little bit fried after the last week.  Starting the new job while still at the old job, along with starting school full-time made me busier than I prefer.  But the good news is that I love the new job!  So far I've only hung up on one doctor, and he was really nice about it.  Now I'm going to watch a movie on Netflix and try not to fall asleep.  (And yes, the movie is homework for my Shakespeare class.  Seriously, best class ever.)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

On How I Know I Picked the Right Major

My major is English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing.  I think it's the right choice for me.

I had a professor who tried to convince me to switch to English Literature since he said I was actually good at literary analysis; but alas, I don't have as much fun writing about other writers as I do writing my own stuff.  Also, it's much easier to get a job with a Creative Writing degree than as an English Lit major.

Ha.  Obviously I'm joking.  This girl has no unrealistic notions about a plethora of jobs awaiting writers.

I'm taking Shakespeare right now, which I love, and an internet technology class.  This technology class is required for all students - I would never voluntarily sign up for it.  It's only five days into school and I hate this class.


I love my Shakespeare class.  My fellow English students are awesome, naturally.  Clever, witty, funny, insightful.  My professor, who records his lectures on podcasts, is highly entertaining.  The first podcast began with the musical introduction to "Officer Krupke," which I immediately recognized and subsequently began singing along to.  I found the lecture interesting, entertaining, humorous, and enjoyable.  I can't wait to start reading for this class, and learning more of Shakespeare's brilliance.

My technology course is not fun.

I tried logging in to the stupid course, using a code that was mailed to me.  This code, consisting of thirty characters, cost me $160.  Contrast that price with the cost of the requirements for my Shakespeare course: free.  My professor just said we need access to several plays, and I happen to own the entire works of Shakespeare.  (I asked for it as a nineteenth birthday present.  Yes, Shakespeare, I love you long time.)

So...$160 for a stupid code that gave me access to a stupid online book filled with soundbytes I have to listen to.  The speaker on the soundbytes is completely monotone, and talks about things like binary.  If any of you struggle with insomnia, I will happily send you the code so you can listen to these soundbytes, which are sure to put you to sleep.  But you will have to pay me $160 to email you 30 digits, which I'm told is actually 30 bytes.  Interesting, right?  I didn't think so either.

Anyway, as I tried logging on to the computer, I could not log on.  I kept getting stupid error messages.  (I know what you're thinking - I desperately need this class.  This is true.)  But wouldn't the creators of the online book try to make it easy to log onto a technology course designed for people who know nothing about technology?  Nope.  They made it way more confusing than my English class.  I finally clicked the "Help" icon, and the first thing I heard was, "It's easy logging on to My IT Lab!"  Excuse me?  Easy for who?

I'm not going to lie.  I flipped off the computer.  With both hands.

Finally I logged onto the stupid class (not easily, thank you very much) and began falling asleep.  To distract myself, I tried knitting, then I began to eat candy corn, and finally I watched the clouds roll by.  Literally.  See?

Needless to say, I have a tummy ache from too much candy, I ran out of yarn because I was knitting so much, and I am desperately hoping this class gets better as time goes on.

All this leads me to believe that I'm positive I've chosen the right major.  The fact that I get so excited about English classes, that I cannot wait to do the homework for them, shows me that I'm in the right spot.  And no, I have no future in computer programming or any other type of technology.  I will put up with the next seven weeks of class, and maybe I'll even learn how to do cool things with my blog.  But I'm not a fan of this dumb class.  I don't enjoy discussing bytes, CPUs and motherboards.

(However, the mention of motherboard did remind me of "motherboy" on Arrested Development, which reminded me how happy I am that they are making more episodes.  Then I thought how sad it is that Will Arnett and Amy Pohler are divorcing.  Then it made me want to watch Arrested Development and Parks and Rec simultaneously.)

See how much I'm learning?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

ramblings of a sleep-deprived lost-addict

Guess who worked their last open ever at Starbucks this morning?  That means no more running to my car at 4am, terrified someone's waiting in the shadows to grab me, no more taking my lunch break at 8am, no more having to tell people, "I have to go home and sleep, I open," and no more getting off work  early afternoon with a headache and feeling lethargic and yucky the rest of the day.  I still have two more closing shifts to work until I'm done, but no more opens!

And guess who has a lot of homework to do but would rather ramble on her blog?  Actually, what I really want to do is watch Lost on Netflix.  I only have five more episodes, people!  I think I should just spend the rest of the day watching episode after episode until I'm done.  If anyone supports this idea, I'm doing it.

Guess who stayed up really late one night watching Lost and finished the entire season without me.  Yeah, that would be Sam.  The bully.

Guess where we get to go in two weeks?  Lake Shasta.  (Is it Lake Shasta or Shasta Lake?  I've always called it Lake Shasta.)  And guess who we get to see?  All our friends from Petaluma!

And guess who gets to be called Kimberly at her new job?  Me!!!  They already have a "Kim" who works there, so they said that I have to go by Kimberly.  Boo.  Yah.

Sorry I made you all guess so much on this silly post.  I blame my lack of sleep and headache.

Oh yeah, and check out the new blog on cat allergies (that I wrote at 3am since I had to post it by 5am and had to work at 4am).  Yes, I'm tired.

Cat Allergy Relief

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Whole and Holy

The above verse has become my mantra recently.  I just keep repeating to myself, "Whole and holy, soul and body."  Lately I've tried to be mindful of how I'm living, as I want to be purposeful in the things I do.  I find I'm most content that way, probably because of my nature to want to be productive and healthy.  (I think that description sounds much nicer than Type-A and anal.)  It means that sometimes it's difficult for me to relax or just let go of things, but at the same time, I find opportunities to relax more often when I'm purposeful in the way I live.  I'm trying to focus on implementing things that nourish me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, while avoiding the things that leave me feeling divided or incomplete.

Forgive me for the short post this morning, but I start my new job in a few hours and a new term begins today.  I'm currently enrolled in Shakespeare and an internet technology class.  Shakespeare is already proving to be awesome, because I love Shakespeare and because my class is filled with writers and readers (and, you know, we are a pretty cool group).  However, the internet technology class is going to be pretty time-consuming, filled with busy work and stuff I do not understand.  (Perhaps by the end of the class I'll understand it.  One can hope, right?)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Woes...and wows.

I thought I'd write again about my week's woes, but then I realized it just sounded like I was complaining.  I really don't want to sound like I'm complaining, so I decided to add in some "wows".  I know, right?  Woes and wows?  I am soooo lame.

Oh well.

First the woes.
  • For the first time ever since we've been married (I think), Sam and I have to pay for our water.  Previously our landlords have done it, but now we get to be grown ups and pay for our own.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem, since I try to conserve water as much as I can anyway, but...I like to take baths...often once a day...sometimes twice in the winter.  So...we got our first water bill.  And I can't take as many baths.  And I'm sad.
  • In the past few weeks three different people have talked to me about someone who is making life miserable.  With each person, the offender's name was Kim.  No, they weren't talking about me, and no, the three people don't know each other and the Kims are all different people, but still...I nodded along in support and said things like, "Yeah, Kim sounds like she needs to grow up, what a jerk.  Kim's mean," all the while wondering if these people were subconsciously mad at me because of association.  And this happened three times!  And y'all wonder why I prefer being called Kimberly?  Something about the name Kim just has negative connotations.  I blame the Kardashian.
And the wows.
  • Today is this girl's birthday (the one on the left, obviously.)  I call her a girl still, even though she's married with two kids, because she's my sister and I probably always will.  Also, I'll always call her Booty, though I have never figured out why I call her that or why it stuck.  I'm pretty thankful she was born, because she's a fabulous sister, and because she makes adorable babies for me to love.  Happy Birthday, Booty!
  • Tonight Sam and I are going to a wedding.  Yay for Jay and Sheena!  Yay for love!
  • Tomorrow is my parent's anniversary.  Yay for my parents, who are probably more in love now than ever after 34 years, and for their example to me and Sam!
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