Sunday, November 30, 2008

No Blue!

When Brian and I bought our house six years ago we realized that there was a lot of updating that had to be done. While there were other contenders for first place, the room that expressed this the most was the upstairs bathroom. To put it in one word, it was BLUE. All blue. I don't even know the technical crayola name for the blue that it was. And I say "was" with such a smile.

Since the upstairs restroom is usually out of the public eye it was not the first room that we invested remodeling money into. But then we had a serious OSHA violation earlier this summer that pushed that bathroom remodel job to first priority. We went away for vacation for a week and when we returned there was a slight mold problem. I'm so embarrassed to write it but I gotta tell the truth so there it is.

Now I wish that I had taken some "before" shots but honestly, the bathroom was so ugly that I wouldn't do that to you. So here are some shots of the remodel in process. You will see a hint of the blue that permeated the room.

This is my favorite one. After the drywall was ripped down this note was found on the shower. For some reason the note went unread since there was blue EVERYWHERE in the bathroom.

Oh here it is. Can you see the blue? What am I saying? How can you not see it?!

If you can tear your burning retinas from the blue toilet, please take note of the blue wallpaper. It covered the room from floor to ceiling. No joke. What you can't see is the blue tile that not quite matched the rest of the blue, yet was just as nausiating.

Ahhhhh this is so much nicer! Since this is the kids bathroom we wanted to keep it simple. The tub is nice and low so even Jamison can step in without any help. The white wainscoting is so much easier to clean than paint. We chose a light grey paint for the upper part so that the room wasn't all white but also not a very dark color. We haven't bought any curtains yet but it will probably be a simple white roman shade.

Notice the huge bathmats. When I'm bathing the kids I need complete floor coverage. The same goes for the toilet/sink area. Yes, it covers the tile I'm in love with but this is a kids bathroom. So let's be realistic.

I also still need to get a taller step stool for the kids. Apparently the vanity we purchased is much taller than the one we had. Jamison uses the bottom drawer to step up and grab the toothpaste to suck it dry.
This faucet was the idea behind the bathroom. We didn't really have much of a scheme but we wanted it to look a little retro (Brian hates that word but what other word would work? I'll take suggestions in the comment area) but again, simple, so that when the kids destroyed it we wouldn't be heartbroken.

We think the tile matches the whole retro (Brian: insert your adjective here) idea. The grey matches the walls.

Currently, this is my favorite room in our house. It's crisp, clean, and most days does not have Strawberry Shortcake Straberry Passion toothpaste smeared all over the vanity.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Total Eclipse of the Heart A.K.A It's Like an Episode from LOST

So Brian and I had the privilege of a road trip about 2 months ago. We are used to road trips. Our entire dating relationship was about road trips. Or at least a bunch of 1 hour road trips between Searcy and Little Rock, Arkansas. Then there were the numerous 24 hour trips from Searcy to Albany that involved much music and discussion.

So for our recent 5 hour road trip Brian created a play list. A most wondrous play list. It was all '80's prom songs. I was in karaoke heaven and Brian was the subject of a 4 hour concert.

And then came the discussion. One of my most favorite songs was coming on- Total Eclipse of the Heart. Oh how I love this song. In fact, we even have a history with this song. When we were on a vacation in France (on another road trip) this song came on.
Katie: this sounds awfully familiar....(i've always been bad at interpreting French lyrics)
Brian: it does. (starts humming) It's Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Brian: that's what i said. no need to yell.
I then proceed to videotape the car ride so I could have a recording of the French version. Four whole minutes of French highway and Si Demain (the French title of Total Eclipse). It's one of my most favorite memories. you can listen to it and see the video here: http://http//

Anyway, I've always had some wording problems with the song. Luckily, it's easy to make it sound like you know the word to the song when you're screaming them. Until Brian heard me in our most recent car trip.
Brian: ummm what did you just sing?
Katie: well. To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I can never figure out what she is singing at that part.
***no talking as we are intently listening to the music***
Brian: she's saying "We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks"
Brian: i know. that's why i said that.
Katie: For years. I'm talking decades I could never figure out what she was saying. Now you listen to the song, barely in its entirety, (in a language other than French) and you figure it out. It makes me feel inadequate. I'm very impressed.
Brian: you're welcome.
Katie: Doesn't this sound like it should be a Meatloaf ballad?
Brian: It does. It's the perfect song for him.

And then we created a Saturday Night Live skit based on the song and it was hysterical. But it probably won't be as funny if I write it here. If you want to call me I'll tell you. It sounds much funnier when I say it.

So that would have been the whole story. Yes, it would have been short. But I like the story and I wanted to share with the Internet. Then, I decided to do some research on the song before writing the post. HOLY COW. I have even a deeper connection with this song then I ever dreamed about. (full disclosure: all of this info is from wikipedia so take it for what you will.)

According to the Free Encyclopedia:
In 2003, Kareen Antonn approached Tyler to record a duet. Si demain... (Turn Around), a French language version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, was released on December 19, 2003 and incredibly went to No. 1 in France (for ten weeks).

This would make sense since we were in France in April 2004. But the release date would only be recognized by some of you. It was one year later, December 19, 2004 that Lily was born. (if you do the math there is even more meaning behind our April vacation and a December baby but I'll let you figure it out)
Then I read this:
Steinman had given the song, along with "Making Love (Out of Nothing At All)," to Meat Loaf for his Midnight at the Lost and Found album. However, Meat Loaf's record company refused to pay for Steinman and he wrote the songs himself. Steinman's songs were then given to Bonnie Tyler.
So I just found all of this out about an hour ago. I made Brian pause the tv so I could give him this incredibly

Ha!! I was right!! It was supposed to be a Meatloaf song!!

So I just found all of this out about an hour ago. I made Brian pause the tv so I could inform him of this amazing and astounding discovery.

Katie: "....can you believe it?! Can you see how connected I am with this song? Not even mentioning that it was inspired by Wuthering Heights which inspired my recently discovered love of New Moon (Twilight is released tonight at midnight!! If you were near me I said that in a very high and squeaky voice). Can you believe all these connections?!?!?
Brian: "it's so uncanny it's like an episode of Lost."
Brian: "i know. that's why i said that."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm It

I have been tagged by my Georgia peach Ashley This is unlike any "tagging" that I have ever seen but it should bring up some fun posts on other blogs. The rules of "tag" are like this: go to your fourth picture folder and then to the fourth picture in the folder. Write four things about that picture (on your blog) and then tag four other people. I can't wait to see what pictures are dug up!

1. This was taken in July when me, my sister, and all our kids were at Camp Hunt. INSANITY.

2. I love how Lily's nail polish is chipped and on it's last day.

3. I used to pick Queen Anne's Lace all the time what I was at camp so I felt a little nostalgic taking this shot.

4. I actually should have deleted this picture a while ago because it didn't turn out exactly like I wanted it to, but something made me keep it. It must have been the fact that deep down I knew I would be tagged and if I had deleted this picture then my tagged picture would have been of a half-way built nursing station on the camp property. so this is much better.

I tag:
Rachel Lu
Reagan (maybe she'll actually post something now)
and my new friend Amy/24 Crayons

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Month Ago...

the leaves were beautiful and still on the trees.

Now the only leaves that are left are ready to be picked up by the side of the road and today it snowed. I'm so glad I live in a place that has seasons. I may not feel so passionately about it in mid-March but today I love it.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Congratulations on one week of marriage, Reagan and Nate!

**There was a picture of me and Reagan but my vanity won't let me post it because I look awful!**

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Right to Choose

Ahhh I bet you thought I was going to get all political on you. Well, I am, but not about what you think.

Since I've had kids (almost 4 years *sob*) I have had a HUGE perspective change on feminism. Growing up, I was under the impression that I could grow up to be whoever I wanted to be and do whatever I wanted to do. This right was given to me by the generations before me who fought for equality for women.

For all of my middle school years my mother was going to grad school in the evenings for her Master's of Education. Now that I am a mother of two I realize how insane that must have been for her. Additionally, my father was traveling 3-4 nights out of the week for work at that time. Does this situation sound appealing to any of your mothers out there? I doubt it.

I clearly remember the sound and smell of her tan typewriter in the kitchen. I remember hesitantly touching a key and the huge noise it made as it punched the paper. It felt so powerful to type. But mainly I remember hearing that typewriting click clacking after I was put to bed for the night. So after a day of taking care of our home, her church responsibilities, and me and my sister, my mother then went to work on essays and papers.

I'm sure that somewhere down the line my mother influenced my idea that I could do whatever I wanted professional regardless of whether or not I had a family. But to be honest, I have no recollection of my mother ever telling me these things. She was (and is) by no means someone I would label "a feminist". There were no rallys or marches for us. We did not have NOW signs in our yard. But her actions probably reinforced what I was being taught in school - girls could do the same thing as boys.

So when I had Lily in December 2004 I took a small maternity leave and then headed back to work. While before I had her I was working 50-ish hour weeks I toned it down to 40 hours while my mother watched her.

This worked out well for about 5 months. Then she kinda woke up from her sleep-all-the-time-infancy stage and became a very addictive little baby. It was at that point that I could not understand why I physically, mentally, and emotionally could not handle working that much. I was easily distracted, forgetting things, and even (gasp) getting disorganized. I found myself staying up later and later to try to get "everything" done.

And then I lost it. I did not want my mother to watch Lily, I wanted to watch Lily. She was my baby and I was her mother and work was getting in the way of what my gut told me to do. Luckily, I was able to distribute some work to others, convince myself that the company didn't need me to survive (that's still up for debate), and reduced my hours. And that made things better.

It was around that point that I slowly began to understand what the feminist movement impacted me negatively and positively.

I had no idea that I couldn't do everything. Wasn't that what I was told in school? Why couldn't I excel at work and be the perfect mother? Why could I not keep my house organized and my voice mails kept piling up? Why couldn't I physically, mentally, and emotionally handle everything like they said I could?

BUT WAIT. They never said that.

Feminism only gave me the CHOICE to do these things. That idea was like a slap in the face. Maybe this was apparent to lots of other women out there, but I was in the dark about it. I felt incredibly deceived and broken. What was I going to do? This revelation put me in a weird spot for a few weeks until I realized that this was actually a wonderful thing.

I was going to accept it. And that, actually, didn't take that long at all. I was relieved to finally understand my place. If it weren't for the feminist movement I never would have had the choice to work or stay at home. While I chose motherhood to become my career, other woman could chose not to. Like my friend Natalie. Or Oprah.

It actually has become a slight soapbox for me and if I find anyone who is interested in talking to me about it, they become my best friend...whether they want to or not.

The most recent example of this was at Reagan's wedding last weekend. I have know Rena for probably 12 years but only through Reagan and I can't even remember having a conversation with her without Reagan being present. Rena is pregnant with her second daughter. At the reception I had a brief conversation with Rena about motherhood, intelligence, and societies perception of that combination.

Rena is one of the lucky ones that gets to stay at home with her kids. Isn't it odd how this is now looked upon as a good thing? Two decades a go it was almost looked down upon to be a stay at home mom. Unfortunately I believe that ideology has led us to a place, as a society, where it is almost impossible to have a stay at home mom. It is heartbreaking to hear my friends who are mothers wish they could quit work and stay at home with their kids. But they can't afford to do that.

Now we can discuss the definition of "afford" to the enth degree but let's just leave it at that.

Rena was saying how she loved staying home with Helena but if she happened to be in a conversation circle that turned to professional talk, she was ignored or disregarded. When she was once looked to for professional advice and guidance she was now indirectly told that she no longer belonged to that group because she was a stay at home mom now. In effect, she said, they were indicating that she wasn't intelligent as she once was.

What is that about??!!? Maybe it's a southern thing. Or she chose the wrong people to talk to. Either way it comes down to the fact that women now have the right to choose motherhood, career, or a combination of both. And whatever choice we make shouldn't impact societies' perception of what our brains can do.

On a side note - another negative that (I believe) feminism has brought upon us is the degradation of males. Wanna know why it's hard to find a good, strong, male leader? One of the major contributors to that small selection is feminism. (other factors include loss of close communities, absent male parental figures, lack of rights of passage, and less commitment to the Church). True feminism is about equality - not that boys and girls need to be raised alike and not that one is better than the other.

I am incredibly blessed to be able to work part time and stay at home with my kids the rest of the time. If I could stay at home full time I'd do it in a minute. I know in the deepest part of me that being a mother to Lily and Jamison is what I was born to do. If I feel any career pull it is to make sure that my kids are raised to be faithful Christians, polite, respectful, healthy, and can contribute to society (basically not live off the state) . The rest is peripheral, in my opinion.

Thank you mom - and all those crazy feminists who fought for me to have the right to choose!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Saturday night Kristen and I spent the night at my cousin Sharon's house in Little Rock. (Thank you Sharon, Uncle Nick, & Aunt Kathy!) Kristen was busy on the internet and I COULD NOT sleep. I thought happy thoughts, I did breathing techniques, I tensed and untensed all my muscles from my toes to my head but still - no sleep.

I needed a book. I always read before I sleep but the book I brought was getting on my nerves. So I meandered into Sharon's room to see if she had a book. And there it was. A little book that I now like to call THE BEST THING I HAVE READ IN A LONG TIME.

A few people have recommended this book to me but since it's a "young adult" book I kinda wrote them off. I will admit I actually look down on a lot of Young Adult books but I was so wrong about Twilight. I couldn't put this book down. I completely regret that I didn't discover Twilight when it came out in 2005. I finally fell asleep in the middle of reading it. (and then woke up again to talk to Kristen and Sharon in the middle of the night but I'm rambling...)

I was planning on purchasing the book the next morning in the Little Rock airport but I'll post about that experience later. All that matters is that I was able to purchase this little nugget of gold in Charlotte.

Yesterday I then went to Barnes & Noble (where everyone should mortgage depends on it) and purchased the box set of the Twilight series. YOU SHOULD ALSO GO DO THIS. If you haven't read these books yet get ye to a Barnes & Noble and purchase at least the first in the series.

I dedicate this post to Sharon. If it weren't for her wisdom in choosing books and my inability to sleep I would never have discovered this literary treasure.