Did you miss me?

This blog is dedicated to everyone who was like, "Kate, it has been so long since you have blogged." (Nothing motivates me quite like remembering that I'm not the only person who reads what I write.) The longer I go without blogging, the harder it gets to start again because I become overwhelmed by all the things I should have said. But that's no way to live my life. Here’s a glimpse into what I should have blogged about these past few months.

1. Fall makes me happy and sad simultaneously.

Real talk: I don’t have time to carve you, pumpkin.

Real talk: I don’t have time to carve you, pumpkin.

Funny how fall ushers in both the most color of the year and the most darkness. I miss the leaves that have already fallen, and I miss the sunlight in the evenings, but I love the crispness of this season and the hints of the holidays ahead.

I always get all excited about fall and then fail to follow through with most of my autumnal plans. Exhibit A: I started carving a pumpkin the other day and only got this far.

I'm not letting myself feel guilty about buying a $4 pumpkin and then not carving it. In fact, I'm considering my failure to carve this pumpkin to be a victory over false guilt. There are more pressing things in life than making Pinterestastic pumpkins. 

2. I'm over pants.

One time my mom applauded my April Ludgate impression when, in fact, I was not doing an April Ludgate impression. Sometimes I do Mona-Lisa Saperstein impressions, though.

One time my mom applauded my April Ludgate impression when, in fact, I was not doing an April Ludgate impression. Sometimes I do Mona-Lisa Saperstein impressions, though.

I used to be one of those people who was a hard pass on leggings as pants, but then I tried leggings as pants and repented of my legging-hating, pants-wearing ways. Here's how to make the transition smoothly:

  1. Invest in thick, non-see-through leggings.
  2. Make a friend confirm the non-see-through-ness of them.
  3. Stand in different lighting and make your friend confirm the non-see-through-ness of them again.
  4. Make another friend confirm the non-see-through-ness of them.
  5. Still wear a shirt long enough to cover your rear.

(I will debate you in the comments.)

3. My Facebook newsfeed is like babies babies babies babies BABIES.

This may be my favorite GIF of all time.

This may be my favorite GIF of all time.

Babies in Halloween costumes! Babies in their mamas' bellies—already in Halloween costumes! Babies with their baby friends! Babies holding other smaller babies!

Let it be known that when I finally have babies, Lord willing, I will ABSOLUTELY INUNDATE all of your newsfeeds with pictures of their little faces. Just returning the favor.

4. I am mad at every person who has ever heard of Greg Laswell and not told me about him.

Recently found his music on Spotify and cannot stop listening. This song at right + "New Year's Eve" + "That It Moves" + "And Then You" are my favorite songs of his. It’s the perfect writing music.

I found his music after hearing “Wonderful Unknown,” which he sang with his wife, Ingrid Michaelson, on her new CD. The bridge—“In the best way, you’ll be the death of me"—gets me every time. How countercultural.

5. I LOVE RUNNING. I LOVE RUNNNNNNING!!!!!

That is how I feel every Tuesday and Friday when I get to run and, consequently, get a crazy endorphin high. (Seriously never let me do drugs.)

This past month marked ten years since I quit running due to leg pain. Forty percent of my life. That old lower leg pain is almost entirely gone, but the knee pain plagues me still, and two runs per week is about all these knees can handle.

I'm still doing the run-walk intervals my PT recommended a couple of years ago. I stop every 90 seconds and walk for 30. I hated it when I first started; stopping and walking feels like the ultimate defeat to a runner. Runners are the ones who tell themselves it's all mental and I've totally got this and just push through. But I've found that forcing myself to rest throughout each run has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in my return to running. It improves my form and lessens the strain on my joints and enables me to run farther in the end.

It has actually reminded me of the principle of taking a sabbath, which seems counterproductive until you try it. But once you do, you realize that you needed this rest thing, that you are only human, that you were bearing burdens that weren't yours to bear.

I'm still recovering, still have good and bad days, still get discouraged and fearful about my legs and my running. But things are looking up, and the Lord still knows what he's doing. When I see other runners out and about, I pray the Lord will strengthen their joints and muscles and keep them running. Will you please pray for my little joints and muscles? They've been through so much.

6. I'm in the market for a bookshelf.

My bedside table is starting to get cray. Here are a few of the books stacked there currently:

  • Knowing God by J.I. Packer
    • I've been told approximately 10,000 times to read this book, SO I'M DOING IT. . . SUPER SLOWLY. I like it, but I find it hard to read more than a few pages at a time. It has reminded me of the fact that I am literally in a constant state of breaking the second commandment. PTL for the new covenant, amiright?
  • Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
    • I'm almost finished with this, but I don't want it to end. It's sort of in the same vein as Blue Like Jazz or Surprised by Oxford because it's part memoir, part testimony. The author tells of her conversion to Christianity from Orthodox Judaism, and she structures the story around the church calendar. It's full of reflections on the sacraments, but because it's written like a story, it feels more accessible than a lot of Christian books that keep you in your head the whole time.
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
    • Anne Lamott gets me. (Or maybe she just gets humans.) This book is full of her thoughts on writing and, by extension, on life. Her tone is so conversational that her writing sounds effortless at times, but this book confirms what I've heard before: The easier something is to read, the harder it was to write. This is my favorite bit: "People tend to look at successful writers . . . and think that they sit down at their desks every morning . . . feeling great about who they are and how much talent they have and what a great story they have to tell. . . . But this is just the fantasy of the uninitiated. . . . Very few writers really know what they are doing until they've done it. Nor do they go about their business feeling dewy and thrilled. . . . For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really $%@&!# first drafts." PREACH, Anne Lamott. I'm 25, completely done with school (maybe . . . er, probably) and still learning the merit of $%@&!# first drafts—in writing and otherwise.

 7. BEING 25 IS HARD, but I’m trying to be 25 wisely.

My bad advice radar is going   weeooo, weeooo, weeooo.

My bad advice radar is going weeooo, weeooo, weeooo.

I saw this on Pinterest today, and it made me want to bang my head against the wall. (Seriously, why do I even go on Pinterest?)

This whole "your twenties are all about yourself and your independence" nonsense makes me want to scream. If you have no obligations, grow up and get some obligations. If you work 24/7, chill out; your career will not keep you company when you're 80. And if you think you have nothing to lose, you’re likely to look back on this decade and realized you lost more than you bargained for.

Go ahead, sue me for saying it. I'M GETTING BOLD IN MY OLD AGE.

8. Mornings are so underrated.

Speaking of lies we unquestioningly accept from culture at large, perhaps one of the strangest is that mornings suck and we should all sleep as late as possible.

I have recently started getting up an hour earlier, and I’m finding that this 60 minutes of margin has become the most productive and cheerful part of my day. (You do have to go to bed an hour earlier for this to work. #math)

I was wide awake this morning (SATURDAY, whaa?) at 4:45, and I actually tried to go back to sleep, but my body was like, HELLO, WORLD. HELLO, SATURDAY. HELLO, LIFE. LET’S DO SOME CLEANING.

This is my get-out-of-bed-already mantra for the difficult days: Getting up early is hard, but being up early is worth it. Turn the light on, Kate.

Can anyone second me on this? Or at least try it and let me know how it goes?

9. A to Z is my new fave show.

I'm mad that no one is talking about it. This is the cutest show, you guys. Everyone please watch it and get back to me. Go. Watch. Now. While the early episodes are still on Hulu!

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10. PTL for Skype.

I've been spending a lot of time on Skype lately. When I moved to Missouri, I used to talk to my parents on FaceTime all the time, and I remember chatting with them on my couch one time—by myself, eight hours from home—and just marveling over the fact that there was technology that would let me see their faces and hear their voices and that I had it in my hands. Does that sound stupid?

I remember feeling in that moment as though maybe God had made FaceTime just for me—as though he'd looked at his wrist in 2010ish and known that Kate was going to be far from home soon and that he better prompt Steve Jobs (or whomever) to get on it. I know this is inaccurate, so don’t jump on me; the Lord's plans and promptings of other people do not revolve around me. But this is what I mean: Sometimes his provisions seem so specific to my little heart that I can't use the phone or Skype or FaceTime or Voxer without thinking that their very existence and my very access to them is a reminder of the Lord’s love for me specifically.

11. New Taylor Swift finally.

It was a very good year.
It was a very good year.

What can I say about Taylor Swift that would convey the depth of my love for her?

I have had 1989 on repeat for a week now, and I'm already sad that I must again wait for more music from her. My immediate favorites are "All You Had to Do Was Stay," "How You Get the Girl," and "I Know Places.”

I'm toying with the idea of doing a blog post in which I analyze Taylor's lessons on love in a song-by-song breakdown of the new album. Would you guys like that? Sort of like a true-or-false quiz covering Taylor's take on life.

12. One year in Louisville.

Halloween marked one year since I moved to Louisville. A WHOLE YEAR. It almost pains me to say that because—though some things about living in Louisville have been great—in general, the year has been marked by loneliness. It's not that people here haven't been welcoming and friendly; they have. It's just—honestly, I think it would be difficult to feel settled anywhere when you’re just one person and 97% of the people you love live elsewhere. I picked Louisville for a lot of reasons, but one was this: I’m tired of moving. Oh, my little heart. I switched schools in 2003, moved states in 2004, graduated from high school in 2007, graduated from college in 2011, graduated from grad school in 2013, and that adds up to five community changes in roughly a decade. I just wanted somewhere that I could stay. I’m tearing up as I write this. On paper, Louisville looked like a logical place to try to settle, but, in reality, I’ve never felt more unsettled in my life.

13. Travel-fest.

Mah people.

Mah people.

Travel stresses me out. I love it in theory and enjoy it once I’m doing it, but when I’m planning for it, I have to, like, repeat Psalms to calm myself down. When I was little, I dreamed up this thing called “Vacation Preparation” and made my brother and sister participate in it with me.

Every summer, for two weeks before vacation, we would have daily meetings in our (non-air-conditioned!) attic in Pennsylvania. There were folders and a Fischer-Price chalkboard involved. As the name suggests, we spent these meetings prepping for vacation. More specifically, we prepped for the road trips. Who was sitting where? Which stuffed animals were we bringing? Did they all have carseats? What candy did we need? How were we going to ration the candy over the course of the 15-hour drive down south? (I remember that one summer we actually decided on one piece of candy per hour, which, in retrospect, seems super self-controlled for three elementary schoolers, but we were also the type to have daily meetings in the attic, so.)

In the year-ish since I moved here, I’ve traveled to Columbia three times, West Virginia twice, St. Louis twice, Chicago twice, Nashville, Georgia, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Charleston. Undoubtedly, all this travel has added to my stress level and sense of unsettledness, but it’s so good for this little heart of mine to see the people I love, and I’m finding myself curious about where the next twelve months will take me.

Adulthood, you know?

Getting Lost in Louisville

This is one of those posts in which I try to make up for lost blogging time by mushing a bunch of mini-posts together. (Mini-posts are becoming my M.O.) Here are some snippets of my life lately:

1. I have a job!

Lovin’ my cute desk and my   November wallpaper  . It is an accurate description of how I feel about my new job.

Lovin’ my cute desk and my November wallpaper. It is an accurate description of how I feel about my new job.

As part of my ongoing attempt to be a grown-up, I have taken a job. I am the marketing coordinator for a company that is based in West Virginia and has additional offices in Louisville and St. Louis. This job is roughly 1000% better than I expected my first job to be. My day-to-day is a mixture of writing, design, editing, planning, and teamwork.

I have this idea that God looked down at me and rubbed his chin and said, "Hmm, Kate needs a job in Louisville. How about I give her THE ABSOLUTE BEST JOB FOR HER IN THE WHOLE CITY?"

I hope to blog more about my job soon, mainly to offer hope to the frazzled, weary students who are too frequently told, "This is the most freedom you'll ever have! Enjoy it now!" Take heart! That's hogwash.

2. I have roommates!

Roomies Jamie, Rachel, and Becca + their froomie Liz (who moved out to get married but who is still an honorary member of the house) and   moi

Roomies Jamie, Rachel, and Becca + their froomie Liz (who moved out to get married but who is still an honorary member of the house) and moi

I live with three other girls in a big ol' house in Louisville. Having just moved out of a house with three girls whom I adored in Columbia, I considered living with three girls to be my dream arrangement, and that is exactly what I ended up with.

I'm pretty sure that when God was rubbing his chin about my job, he also said, "And she needs roommates, so how about I put her in the ABSOLUTE BEST ROOMING ARRANGEMENT FOR HER IN THE WHOLE CITY!?"

Two of my roomies are moving to Boston in the spring, and I'm already sad about it.

3. Louisville is super confusing.

Well, hello, giant man at the mall.

Well, hello, giant man at the mall.

I got lost literally every time I left my house for the entire first week that I lived here. Now, having lived here for almost four weeks, I can say that I only get lost about 40% of the time. I blame my lostness on the fact that we fell back to EST three days after I moved, so I've done a large portion of my new-city-navigating in the dark.

4. I picked the right time to move...

because Louisville just got an H&M! Who wants to make a weekend trip to stay with me and shop at H&M!?

See that cute leopard scarf I'm wearing up in that picture above? Yeah, FIVE DOLLARS at H&M. It's bad stewardship not to buy a $5 leopard print scarf.

5. I still miss Missouri.

My heart hurts just to mention it. I can't wrap my head around the fact that I've been gone half a year. I remember visiting Columbia when Jane moved there in August, and I cried to my small group and said I needed a job and friends in Louisville, and I know they have prayed for me. I still feel the effects of my church there in so many ways.

When people ask me where I moved to Louisville from, I never know what to say. I think I say Versailles half of the time, and I say Columbia half of the time.

6. Versailles is only an hour away. 

You know what's nice? This year I will drive ONE HOUR home to Versailles for Thanksgiving instead of EIGHT HOURS. I have this personal goal to feel as though I live in both Lexington and Louisville, and I have three trips home planned for the next month, so I think I am succeeding at this goal.

7. I'm going to Sojourn. 

I'm getting plugged in, and I've joined a small group there. I like Sojourn because the gospel. It feels so overwhelmingly large at this point, but yesterday morning when I walked in, I found that one of the girls from my new small group was waiting for me in the lobby, and that just warmed my heart so much.

8. This is definitely a seminary town.

Approximately 80% of the people I've met in Louisville (and 100% of my roommates) either currently attend or have graduated from Southern Seminary. It is 70% intimidating and 30% fascinating.

It is not uncommon for our conversations to involve references to Wayne Grudem, John Calvin, complementarianism, heresy, and Albert Mohler.

(Addendum: I wrote those last two paragraphs of this blog on Saturday, and then Sunday I had lunch with my three roommates, and our lunchtime conversation culminated with each of us explaining how many points of T.U.L.I.P. we held to. There may also have been a copy of Systematic Theology brought to the kitchen table. It was like A CARICATURE of a conversation that seminarians would have. LOLOLOL.)

9.  I speak in abbrevs too much.

I never realized how ridiculous it sounds when I say BRB, JK, LOL, and IDK (and hashtag) until I caught myself saying them in the office. But part of my job is handling social media, so it's just fitting, right?

10. I am in room-decorating mode. 

My bedroom looks way too much like what I imagine nuns’ bedrooms look like. GOTSTA get some color.

My bedroom looks way too much like what I imagine nuns’ bedrooms look like. GOTSTA get some color.

Remember how in my very first post on this blog back in 2007 (!!!) I said that I had ordered a hot pink bedspread for my dorm room?

Well,I had that bedspread (and matching hot pink and lime green decor) all through college and grad school, and I got a little hot-pink-and-lime-green-ed out. I know you are all shocked.

In thinking about decorating my new room here, I realized I wanted white. All white. It's so calming and peaceful and clean. So I bought a white bedspread. And, y'all, I highly recommend. It makes me feel as though I'm sleeping in a marshmallow.

Unfortunately, though, a white bedspread + a white desk + a white chair + a white dresser = a room that looks far starker than I'd expected. So I'm on the lookout for coral and gray accents, but I'm having trouble finding them, seeing as it is NOVEMBER, and retailers aren't crazy about the coral this time of year. If anybody knows where a girl can order a coral throw and some coral pillows up in here, let a sister know.

11. My legs are still cranky. :(

Oh, my heart.

Pink skin and taped knees after a chilly run. When you see runners happily jogging down the road, please think of me and pray for my little aching knees. :(

Pink skin and taped knees after a chilly run. When you see runners happily jogging down the road, please think of me and pray for my little aching knees. :(

Many of you know that I've slowly been returning to running after several years of being sidelined by chronic leg pain.

That old pain that I dealt with in high school and college is almost completely gone. (PTL!) But in trying to get back into running, my knees (which had never before been the problem) have given me a lot of pain on and off. Right now, the pain is on. I wrapped up five more weeks in physical therapy this summer before my move, and I'm not sure how much it really helped.

(Interjection: Does anyone know a physical therapist I could marry? That sounds like a joke, but I'm kind of serious. I just need my own personal PT who's stuck with me for the rest of his life. I've been through ten in recent years. At least give me an honorary doctorate in physical therapy. Something.)

When my knees feel good, I'm so hopeful about how far I've come and about my plans to run until I'm 100 years old. But when my knees hurt, I just want to curl up in a ball and weep. I so quickly revert back to that little 15-year-old girl who had too many doctors tell her they didn't know what was wrong. My head knows it's a different injury, but my heart doesn't.

I just want to run. I just want to run. These years of leg pain have been my greatest sadness.

12. The Lord is good.

Even when I am in pain.

Anticipating life in a new job and a new city was horribly frightening to me, especially before I knew where I'd be working and whom I'd be living with. I wrote a blog post about my fearfulness, but it was a million years long, and I never ended up publishing it. I may still post it after the fact.

I prayed all summer for a job and for roommates, and the Lord one-upped my prayers by giving me crazily more than what I had asked for. But I have prayed for nine years that the Lord would heal these legs so I could run again, and the Lord's answers have mostly been confusing. Why bother healing me the first time if you were just going to let me get hurt again, God? I ask that question a lot.

But this is what I know: I know that God has always provided for me. I know that he has provided the aforementioned job and roommates as well as every other blessing in my life. I know that he always has more provisions up his sleeves. (Does God have sleeves?) I know that he loves to heal and that he has the ability to heal my legs with a word. With a thought. And I know that if he isn't doing it, he must have a really good reason for not doing it. He withholds no good thing from me. So I will keep praying, and I will keep crying, and I will keep running on the good days, and I will keep hoping and expecting that the Lord has something good up those figurative sleeves of his.

13. This song is on repeat. 

I heard this Matt Maher song on Pandora recently, and I've been listening to it on repeat ever since. I went to go get the YouTube link for y'all to listen to it and realized he RECORDED IT WITH AUDREY ASSAD. Hello, she is my favorite singer! (Last night I actually dreamed I met Audrey Assad and hug-tackled her and said, "Your music changed my life!")

"My one defense / my righteousness / oh, God, how I need you"

14. You should go see About Time. 

It is so good on so many levels. I knew basically nothing about this movie before I saw it. (Didn't even know it was rated R until I was already sitting in the movie theater ... oops.)

Anyway, the trailer doesn't do it justice, but, y'all, this movie is so good. I am not normally a movie crier, but there were tears streaming, STREAMING, down my face by the time the credits rolled on this one.

I hated   Love Actually   and LOVED this movie.

I hated Love Actually and LOVED this movie.

I know what you're thinking: Rachel McAdams is on the cover, so the whole movie is probably about an unrealistic Hollywood touchy-feely romance, and she probably gets cancer and dies. You are so wrong. SO WRONG. On both counts.

This movie is about the man on the cover. (No spoilers here.) He learns that he, like all the other men in his family, can travel backward in time. I want you to pause with me right now and contemplate how you think this story will go. A man in a movie can go back in time and undo or redo things. I'm pretty sure that Adam Sandler was in a movie in which he could control time, and all I really remember from the trailer is that he used the power to slow-mo the lady jogger on the road and fast-forward his wife's talking. Eww. But that is a pretty typical Hollywood portrayal of men, right? If they're not totally unrealistic, perfect dreamboat Ryan Goslings, then they're lazy, selfish, and immature Adam Sandlers.

But the guy in this movie was just a normal, hard-working, nerdy guy who was faithful to his wife and loved his children and used his time traveling almost exclusively to love his family better. CUE TEARS. My friends and I all came out of the movie just really wanting to get married and have a million babies. For real. How often do Hollywood movies portray love as something that requires selflessness rather than something that justifies selfishness? LIKE NEVER. But this one does, which is why it is my new fave.

Anyway, go see this movie. I want to see it 10 more times.

p.s. It was rated R for legit reasons, so you may want to read a more detailed review before buying tickets, but I think the good stuff is redemptive enough that the movie is worth watching.

15. I will blog more soon. 

Now that I have verbally vomited my every thought onto the internet, it's time for me to sign off. I've gotten out most of the blog posts that piled up in my brain, but not all of them. Hashtag winky face.

A bunch of little blog posts mushed into one.

1. Back in Missouri

Drove back to Columbia last Saturday after another tearful goodbye. My brother rode with me to keep me sane. It was dark by the time we pulled into town and still dark when I said goodbye to him at the airport the next morning. The darkness somehow exacerbated by sadness, and I was a mess until I got to church and remembered why I had loved this city. "I'm so happy you're back!" were literally the first words that greeted me when I walked in the door. And then I got a hug, and, oh, I could've just crumbled into it.

Skyping with (most of) the fam on my first day back in Como.

Skyping with (most of) the fam on my first day back in Como.

The back-and-forth-ness of graduate school has done such a number on my heart. Being away from my family and Kentucky friends weighs on me so heavily, and so much of me just wants this semester to fly by. But I know that when it comes time to leave my Missouri friends in May, I will be an absolute wreck — a giant tear duct in human form.

2. Semester shock

Classes are over, so this semester I'll be occupied with my professional project (which is like a big internship, but we're not supposed to call it an internship) + my assistantship + my master's research. I would be excited if I weren't so anxious. I love my professional project so far. It's really the prospect of doing my research on top of it that sounds impossible. Let's not talk about it.

3. Sabbath

Speaking of not talking about it, my roommate, Bekah and I are taking Sundays off this semester. Shocker, right? I read this book over Christmas break, and it made me want to cry. Not because it is sad — it isn't — but because it reminded me of how tired I am and have been throughout my entire college and grad school career. The main reason I dreaded this semester was that I was so beyond worn out and beaten down last semester. I just couldn't do it any more. So, despite my uncertainty about how all my work will get done in the next few months, I've decided that none of it will get done on Sundays.

Oh, and I bought a "luxury sleep mask" at Walmart for $4. It is hot pink — fuzzy on one side and satiny on the other. It makes me feel very restful. And luxurious, duh.

4. Reading

Speaking of books, I have a problem, y'all. I have a problem with starting books before I finished my last one and then not finishing them. My bedside table is now host to nine books that I'm "in the middle of." A few of them are even from interlibrary loan, which means I went out of my way made a librarian go out of her (his?) way to get them for me.

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Maybe thinking I can finish non-school-related books in grad school is setting my hopes too high.

4. Smoothies

In the same way that I am the type of person to start a book and never finish it, I am the type of person who pins a lot of things to Pinterest and then never makes said things. But I saw this green monster smoothie pin last Tuesday, and I went out later that day to get the ingredients. I have made it three times since. I have a feeling it is going to be my new go-to meal. It feels indulgent, but it's oh-so-easy to make and oh-so-good* for you. The perfect combination!

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*What is the correct way to punctuate that? "It's, oh, so easy..." "It's oh, so easy..." Set off interjections with commas, right? But that looks so weird. Sticking with hyphens...

4. Running

Speaking of things that are good for you but also wonderful, I have been running more and more lately!

Er ... I wrote that sentence last week when I was all excited to tell y'all how much better my legs have been doing. Today I sat back down to work on the blog post I left unfinished, and that sentence is mocking me. My left knee has been hurting again. Aching hips are keeping me awake at night. Before this week, I was running great, and now I'm in pain again and trying not to be discouraged.

Here's to hoping this setback won't last long. I'd had at least two months of doing really well before this. Boo, you know? BOO AT PAIN.

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Apparently retailers think that people have already given up on their new year's resolutions, so they have discounted workout wear. Snatched up this cute pink running jacket for TEN DOLLA NO HOLLA last week. Talk about a score. Pictured right before I hit the pavement in 19-degree weather. I told you I love running.

5. Pop culture

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So much good stuff going on in pop culture lately, you guys. I have thoroughly enjoyed the return of Downton Abbey and The Bachelor, and I want to see Les Miserables approximately a thousand more times.

In related news, I want to marry a barricade boy. They're just so studious and masculine. I know Les Mis isn't primarily a love story, but the scene in which Jean Valjean basically passes the torch of protecting Cosette on to Marius made me swoon and long for times past. You know, times in which men were men and women were women.

6. Dating

Speaking of men and women being men and women, this article, "The End of Courtship" that ran in the NYT recently was totally singing my life with its words and killing me softly with its song.

"Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of 'asynchronous communication,' as techies call it. In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.

'I’ve seen men put more effort into finding a movie to watch on Netflix Instant than composing a coherent message to ask a woman out,' said Anna Goldfarb, 34, an author and blogger in Moorestown, N.J."

I thought this was a problem unique to Christian culture, but apparently I was wrong. Read the article, marvel at its accuracy, and weep for our future.

7. Blogging

Look whose blog hit 50,000 views this week! Little old me. Thanks, everyone! Thanks for reading and putting up with the fact that I began four paragraphs in this post with the words "speaking of." You are all the best.

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Eight Mini-Posts

One: 

I first heard of Audrey Assad like two and half weeks ago, and her music has basically been keeping me sane ever since. Some mornings I literally listen to "Sparrow" on repeat from the time I leave my apartment to the time I get to campus.

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If you don't have Spotify, that playlist won't work, so you can hear her on YouTube.

Two:

I went to Kansas City last weekend with Melissa, Hayley, and Bekah, and it was such a wonderful little brain break for me.

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Bekah and I met some men while we were there. By which I mean, Bekah took a picture with a statue, and I took a picture with a headless Gap mannequin. I have a stronger than reasonable appreciation for the Gap menswear mannequins. They just dress like they could hold down jobs, okay?

Three:

As evidenced by the aforementioned photo of Mr. Mannequin and me (look closely), I have recently/rapidly developed an overwhelming love for iced coffee. This may or may not be the result of an overwhelming workload. I've always hated coffee, but now all of a sudden I can't get enough of it. If it is icy and creamy and sweetened, OBVS.

GET IN MY LIFE,  ICED COFFEE.

Autumn is an inopportune time to realize that you love an iced drink.

Four:

My parents came to visit me a few weeks ago, and it was just the best. My dad and I got to go to the Mizzou vs. Georgia game, and now just looking at the pictures makes me miss them so much it hurts. I can't wait to see them next month.

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AREN'T THEY THE CUTEST!?

Five:

Speaking of cute people whom I love and miss, I GET TO SEE THESE GIRLS THIS WEEKEND. Pardon me while my heart explodes.

See how I was all puffy-eyed in that last pic? That was our last school day at Asbury. My heart was being ripped into a billion pieces. Saturday — for the first time since graduation — we will all be back together, and we will be celebrating sweet Katelyn's wedding. I cannot wait.

I cannot wait. I cannot wait. I cannot wait.

I think being at Mizzou has given me an even stronger appreciation for the time I spent at Asbury. I love Mizzou, but sometimes when I talk to undergrads, I get almost overwhelmed with sadness about the fact that they're all missing out on the small college experience that I had. Getting to go to Asbury was — and will always be, I'm sure — one of the biggest blessings I've ever been given. These girls are such a huge part of that blessing.

Six: 

Speaking of going to Katelyn's wedding, I am going in an AIRPLANE. I have not been on an airplane since 1999. NINETEEN NINETY-NINE, Y'ALL. That was like the olden days.

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Seven: 

The girlies and I went to an advanced showing of Pitch Perfect a couple of weeks ago, and it was hilar. I can't wait to see it again now that it is in theaters for reals. It was basically everything that Glee should have been. And now I have a crush on the main guy, which should come as a surprise to no one.

Eight:

I have used various forms of the word "overwhelmed" far too many times for a single blog post. Sometimes I feel the need to go back and carefully edit my blog posts and make myself sound more articulate and less like a 15-year-old girl. But sometimes I am like, "WHATEVS. I SPEND SO MUCH TIME EDITING STUFF THAT GETS GRADED THAT I AM NOT GOING TO SCRUTINIZE WHAT ISN'T GETTING GRADED." And, yes, I do think in all caps. That, too, should come as a surprise to no one.

Things I've been meaning to blog about.

1. I hate it when TV/movie characters kiss right after they have woken up.

Worst time to kiss ever. Some of you are probably like, "Kate, how do you know?" And that is a pretty good question. But, in my opinion, the fact that there's a famous musical called Kiss Me, Kate entitles me to be the kissing police. And I say: Go brush your teeth.

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The above screencap was taken from the most recent episode of The Lying Game, which I attempted to watch — at Gwen's urging — in the J-Lib today. I don't normally watch television shows in the library, but I had just finished a test and wanted to reward myself. I cut my show-watching short, HOWEVER, when that kiss started to happen. I was like, "Gwen, I cannot watch people kiss in the library." Twenty minutes later when Gwen was still trying to get me to watch the show, totes adorbs undergrad boy sitting next to her said, "I don't think anyone would be embarrassed if you watched people kissing in the library." ! ! !

p.s. I make no apologies about my love of a select few ABC Family dramas.

2. Mizzou invented homecoming.

Did y'all know that? It's on Wikipedia and everything. I became a Mizzou student just in time to experience their centennial homecoming celebration, which I consider pretty good timing on my part.

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Here I am pre-homecoming parade with Gwen, Melissa, Mollie, Whitney and Jessica. Yes, you should read their blogs, and, yes, journalism school is weaning me off the Oxford comma.

3. Speaking of Missouri friends, I have them.

I haven't posted many pics of them on here, but we do fun things like Wednesday lunches and Thursday small group and apple-picking and shopping and Orange-Leafing and birthday partying and House Dec-seeing. Oh, and lots of grad school workload commiserating. (Do you like how I started that sentence with regular nouns and then switched to all gerunds? My brain. It is dead. It is throwing parallel structure to the wayside.) These friends are what I am most grateful for about my new life.

4. Speaking of Missouri friends, I have no guy friends.

That is a slight exaggeration. I have approximately 1.8 guy friends in Missouri, and that number results from the fact that I know approximately four guys in Missouri but know them, on average, only about 45% as much as you need to know a guy before you can call him a friend. I've always been that girl who hates hanging out with guys, but I'm really beginning to miss male company. I especially missed it a week and a half ago when I needed new brake pads and had no idea what to do. I especially especially missed it a couple of weeks before that when I broke the mini-blinds in my shower and had no idea how to fix them.

5. There's a window in my shower.

Yeah, the one I shower in. And the blinds in said shower broke. And by broke, I mean snapped in two at the top and fell out completely. Not having a father or brother or other male friend to call for help with my blinds, I resorted to covering the window with various household goods. First I made a barrier of shampoo and conditioner bottles on the windowsill. That lasted for two weeks or so. Then I replaced the bottles with two giant strips of aluminum foil, which I taped to the tile around the glass. That lasted for two days or so. Then my roommate Scotch-taped the blinds apparatus and put it back up like a champ. I guess I didn't need a man after all, just a roommate and some Scotch tape. (Never ever let that become my mantra.)

6. I've started saying "y'all" more since I moved here.

I think this is part of the reason why Mizzou is probably switching to the SEC. They can't handle all my southern-ness.

7. This picture is the background on my computer.

It has been such a comforting reminder to me lately when I've been stressed about schoolwork.

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8. My grad school workload is leaving my life in disarray.

Exhibit A: Monday's cereal bowl sitting on my desk. Exhibit B: My clean clothes still in the laundry basket two weeks after I washed them. Exhibit C: The tape on those mini-blinds I told you about. I realize this is not a very blogger-y statement to make. Bloggers say things like, "Look at my wonderful crafts. Look at my hipster husband. Look at my vintage dresses. My life is so pulled together." My life does not feel pulled together these days. I do not make crafts for my hipster husband whilst wearing vintage dresses. But I do dry my hair on a fairly regular basis, so that's something.

9. Spotify is my new best friend.

Lately I've been listening to lots of George Winston, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Blake Stratton. Weird combo, I know. When I'm stressed about homework, I all about some Bethany Dillon, Jimmy Needham, Robbie Seay Band and Jenny & Tyler. Are y'all on Spotify yet? It is seriously my favorite new internet thing since Twitter. Who Whom are you listening to?

Go listen to this on Spotify ASAP.

10. I went running the other day. 

It was the seven-year anniversary of my stopping running due to injury. Seven years. I can't believe it. I wanted to blog that day. I wanted to provide a little two-years-later update since my last major post on the topic. But I found myself swamped with schoolwork and unable to carve out the time. I did carve out the time, however, to go for a little mini-run, and it was wonderful. I wanted to test my legs and see how they'd hold up. They held up well, and I was even comfortably sore in a nice muscle-y, non-injury way for a couple of days afterward. I have made so so so so much progress in the last year. Maybe more progress in the last year than in the six years that preceded it. I will try to get that all out in blog form soon.

View from my mini-run. Not even kidding. Approximately two minutes from campus.

11. It was sunny last week, but it has been gloomy this week.

It is putting me in a funk. Don't let my oh-so-pale skin fool you — I need sunshine to function!

12. This sentence was in one of my class readings this week.

Do not attempt to read it. It will hurt your brain. I just wanted you to see how long and ridiculous it is. 201 words. Not cool, author. Not cool.

13. My mom and sister are coming tomorrow.

And by tomorrow, I mean today! Woohoo! I'm so excited.

Insert joke about how they are matching here.

14. On that note, it is my bedtime.