21 December 2010

"Let's stay-up-the-night-away"

December 10, 2010... the perfect night to "stay-up-the-night-away," according to my 3-year-old niece!

Mike and D were hosting a Christmas party at their house and so the plan was for The Cutest Drama Queen Ever to hang out with me...The Most Awesome Aunt!

The rest of the regulars were out of pocket: B (who really is The Most Awesome Uncle) was out of town for work and my seester (who is The Other Most Awesome Aunt) was going to visit a friend in San Antonio. So, that would leave just me with The CDQE, but I knew I could handle it. After all, in my family I'm "The Chairman of the Board" (I love you and miss you, Uncle Bobby!), plus she only manipulates me a little!!!!

So, my brother brought The CDQE over around 5 and in she sauntered with a cute little gift bag proudly proclaiming: "I brought you a surprise!" When I asked if I could open it, she struck her thinking pose (lips pursed, and pushed to the side... finger tapping her lip... eyes looking up) and said, "Sure." Inside I found a great new wallflower scent and a nice little letter that The CDQE had "written" with a little help (Thanks, D!)...


As The CDQE got settled into what she calls "her room" (it's the one with the toys and most importantly: The Treasure Chest!), the phone rang. To my surprise it was The Other Most Awesome Aunt calling to tell me that she had barely gotten out of town and realized she was way too tired for a 4-hour drive to San Antonio, had rescheduled her visit to see Megan, and was heading over to hang out with us.

When she got here, we loaded into my car and hit the town for a total "Party in the U.S.A.!"

First to dinner (Pizza Inn) where The CDQE kept us entertained, then to Target to do some shopping (all hail the $1 spot), driving around looking at Christmas lights (with shouts of "Wow!" "Look, on your side Jenny!" "Wow!" from the back seat), then back to the house for a bit of Dora the Explorer (Thank you, B for setting the DVR!), and on to the showdown... aka: bedtime!

Now, you must know that The CDQE has always been a master sleep procrastinator! She has many tools and tricks to help you see that she needs to "stay-up-the-night-away" (her words and the catch phrase for the night). Tonight there were a couple of tears because she missed her parents, but after reading, singing, praying, and talking with both of The Most Awesome Aunts, The CDQE finally fell asleep.

Now, I would like to tell you that I was wise and went to sleep at a decent time to prepare for the next day... but that's not me! Instead I stayed up late and when I heard the little voice down the hall telling Jenny around 7 am, "let's go wake up Kirsten," I knew that I had done myself no favors by staying up so late!

We played, watched Dora, feasted on cereal, donuts, and chocolate milk (sugar 'em up and then send 'em home, is what I always say!), and played some more until it was time for The CDQE to head home.

I think we had a good time at our "stay-up-the-night-away" sleepover and I am so glad to be loved by The CDQE (even though she does give this "Chairman of the Board" a run for the money!).

16 December 2010

Songs of the Season

The radio stations have been playing Christmas songs for weeks to help us all find the Christmas Spirit. We hear the "most popular" Christmas songs played repeatedly from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day.

Have you ever really paid attention to what these "popular" songs are telling us year after year, day after day, as we sing along in the car, at work, at home, and just about everywhere we go during this season?

Here are a few of the messages that we hear over and over during this time of year:

  • Deck the halls
  • Santa Claus is coming to town
  • You better not cry
  • All I want for Christmas is
  • Have yourself a merry little Christmas
  • Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for toys
  • We've been good, but it can't last
  • It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store
  • Whisper what you'll bring to me
  • Bring it right here

No wonder we feel compelled to overshop, overspend, and overindulge ourselves and others!

Now, despite the emphasis on what "I'm getting" in so many popular Christmas songs, there are other good messages to be found in these modern-day songs as well:

  • There's no place like home for the holidays
  • Feed the world
  • It's the best time of the year
  • Friends are calling
  • As long as you love me so
  • May your days be merry and bright


In addition to the "most popular" Christmas songs, the radio stations also mix in a variety of "classic" Christmas carols, which have completely different messages:
  • Glad tidings of great joy
  • Joy to the world, the Lord is come
  • Let every heart prepare him room
  • Silent night, holy night
  • Christ, the Savior is born
  • With wondering awe, the wise men saw
  • Good tidings of comfort and joy
  • Oh come all ye faithful
  • Come and behold him
  • Peace on earth, good will to men

But have you ever noticed that these "classic" carols don't get as much play time as the "most popular" songs of the season?

As I reflect on this season, I think a couple of lines from songs in both the "popular" and "classic" categories sum up how I feel the best:

  • Where are you Christmas, why can't I find you
  • Remember Christ the Savior, was born on Christmas day


As Christmas Day grows closer and closer, and as the frenzy and frantic feelings escalate to get presents and packages tied up with strings, to wish you a Merry Christmas, to attend the parties and have a cup of cheer, don't forget that to REALLY make the season bright, we have to make room in our lives for Jesus Christ.



Oh come, let us adore him,
Oh come, let us adore him,
Oh come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

25 November 2010

Living Thanksgiving Daily

It's Thanksgiving and I am blessed! Not just because I had a yummy lunch of turkey, potatoes, dressing, and pumpkin pie but because blessings come into my life every day from my Heavenly Father. He loves each of us enough to bless us daily in big and small ways regardless of how well we behaved (or didn't behave!) on that day.

Although I realize how blessed I am, I also realize that I am not always good about taking time to be thankful or to show gratitude for my blessings.

So, I have been trying to be more purposeful in being aware and being grateful for my blessings- not just today on our nationally deemed holiday of Thanksgiving - but on each and every day.

Therefore, in trying to be more grateful each day I have been keeping a gratitude journal in which I write at least 3 specific things at the end of each day for which I am grateful. The funny thing is that once I start writing, I usually surpass my self-imposed requirement of "just 3 things." I am pretty sure that the reason this happens is because once I sit down to specifically think of a few things I have been blessed with that day, my heart and my mind are opened to seeing so many more of the blessings I have been given, and so I usually have a longer list than what I started out to create.

It's also interesting how close I feel to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when I take time to express my thanks and gratitude daily. I think that I draw closer to Them as I recognize all that I have been given. I have also noticed how much happier I am and how much more love I feel for my family, friends, and fellow man when I am purposefully focused on being grateful.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin once gave a talk titled, "Living in Thanksgiving Daily", where he said that "Those who live in thanksgiving daily are usually among the world's happiest people." I want to be one of those people!

There are a million reasons not to be happy in this life - hey, the world is tough! But, Elder Wirthlin said that "living in thanksgiving daily is a habit that will enrich our lives and the lives of those we love" and that sounds so much better than being miserable!

So, how can we live in thanksgiving daily even after the turkey and the rolls and the pie are put away this year? Elder Wirthlin suggests three things that we can implement into our lives to be the happiest people who live in thanksgiving daily:

  1. Open our eyes. See the wonders and the beauties of the world around us each day.
  2. Open our hearts. Let go of negative emotions and fill our hearts with love.
  3. Open our arms. Bless the lives of those around us.

Today I had the chance to open my eyes and see the beauty of the small town of Nauvoo, Illinois which has incredible significance to those of my faith. And although it was incredibly cold (I mean, there was ice on the Mississippi already!), as B and I explored and learned about this incredible place, the beauty of this area that was once a swampland, was impressed upon me.

I also had the chance while in Nauvoo to open my heart and feel incredible love for people I have never met. It is amazing to me that the early members of The Church of Latter-Day Saints who lived in the 19th century set out in great faith not only to be servants of God but to build an incredible community founded on faith, kindness, compassion, and great sacrifice.

Finally, I had the chance to open my arms and found a small, but very worthwhile way to try and bless the lives of others. One of the great things about exploring Historical Nauvoo is that at each of the sites you visit there are awesome Senior Missionaries who have given time from their lives to serve and teach visitors about these incredible sites. We were so blessed to have great tours and information shared with us by these incredible missionaries and so I put together candy treats to give to them today as they served on this Thanksgiving day. As I extended my arms to drop off this bag of treats, I was overwhelmed by their gratitude and thanks for my small gesture of appreciation and my heart was full!

What an incredible Thanksgiving! I was with B, who I love more than anything, in a beautiful place where the Spirit of the Lord is incredibly strong, and I was given the chance to show my appreciation to others. The blessings in my life are amazing!

18 November 2010

Sneak Peeking Harry Potter 2010


A couple of weeks ago the 9th grade Biology teacher at school popped into the library to tell us about an opportunity she had worked out to see Harry Potter 7, Part 1, at an early showing at Movie Tavern and asked if we were interested in tickets. Um... YES!!!!

Not only is she the 9th grade Biology teacher, she also happens to sponsor the Harry Potter club at TVS which has quite a large number of participants.

The dealio was that she would have to sell every single seat for us to rent out the theater for a special showing. Myself and my friends Jennifer and Marcy snapped up the chance to go and I scored a couple of seats.

So... fast forward two weeks (actually I am pretty sure they were slow weeks as we eagerly anticipated the sneak peek!) and the time to hang out with Harry arrived!

It was definitely the highlight of my day - especially after a crummy dr's appointment that included a rather painful procedure as part of a follow-up appointed to a sickness I have been battling. Thank goodness I had Harry to distract me and help me realize that there can definitely be more painful experiences to endure than a dr's visit!

Before the movie started the manager explained to all of us that Warner Bros. had given special permission for us to have this advanced showing (massive cheers filled the theater 'cuz ya know, we're special!) but that under no circumstances were any of us to have our phones or cameras out at any point during the movie (cue all the camera flashes to instantly start going off - mine included!) and then encouraged us to sit back, dig in to our complimentary bag of popcorn (delish!) and enjoy the movie. So we did!

The movie was great! And being in a theater filled with great friends, my school community, and my fantabulous sister was a blast!


Now the hard part - waiting until July for Part 2 to be released! This is purposeful punishment from the production company! Boo!

So what are you waiting for? Get outta here and go see Harry Potter for yourself. It.Is.AWESOME!


05 November 2010

Hooray for Cool Weather!

But an even bigger HOORAY for car seats that warm up for you at 5:20 am on a shivery fall morning!

I love it when the weather cools down! Texas is blazin' hot in the summer and so these cool, crisp, sometimes flat out cold days feel great. Of course, I realize my limits of appreciation for cooler weather do not extend beyond the borders of cool weather in Texas, and I know that I am not cut out to experience the really cold weather of other parts of the USA. (I'm a wimp, really!).

So, now that it is cooler it's time for:

  • my flannel pjs (and I am not ashamed to admit that I love changing into them right after school, but I promise that if I go out, I change back - PROMISE!)
  • hot chocolate (yummers!)
  • wrapping up in a blanket on the couch (which the cat tries to steal from me - BRAT!)
  • snuggling with "The Radiator" (aka: B - he radiates serious heat!)
  • watching a good movie

Actually, this sounds like a great plan for TONIGHT!!!

30 October 2010

Saving money? Being frugal? HOW???

So, B and I are making a HUGE decision in our life that will require some serious sacrifice for the next year so that we can be more debt-free and save enough for the path we want to walk.

The problem is.... ME!

I'm just keeping it real because I am not frugal... at all! I admire people who are and I want to be. I need to be. I should be. I'm just not and I really don't know how to be. But I HAVE to figure it out.

I've checked out some books from the library specifically about women who have learned how to save (and I think that checking these books out from the libary instead of just buying them counts as a "frugal" decision, right!).

I've read some ideas on how to create visual aids to help you see where you spend your money, what your goal is, and how you are doing in accomplishing your saving goal.

I know one of the first things I have to do is STOP EATING OUT so much! Not just to save money and be frugal, but it's not a healthy lifestyle. I'm not going to ban eating out completely, but I definitely need to curb it. That means I have to do something I don't particularly enjoy: cook! (Of course, if anyone wants to be my personal chef for free, I'd take you up on it!)

And now I'm standing here saying "Hi. My name is K and I have a problem saving money."

So, I'm going to start by practicing the art of saying "no, I'm not going to eat out today" and "that's cute but I don't really need it" so that I can help us reach our saving goal. After all, what we want is worth so much more than eating out or shopping in the $1 spot at Target or hitting Hobby Lobby or... well, you get the point!

Of course, if anyone has any practical suggestions or ideas for being more frugal (or learning how to enjoy cooking more!), I welcome your thoughts.

20 October 2010

It's B's Birthday!

I wanted to come up with an idea that would be a super creative, over-the-top, amazing, outstanding, outlandish, incredible, unbelievable, never-been-seen, flat out AWESOME way to celebrate B's birthday and brighten his day.

After all, I love him more than anything and he spoils me a tad bit (just a tad bit, not too much!) so I have been thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking and, well...

...today is his birthday and I've got nada!

It doesn't help that I have been sick with this and sick with that for the last two weeks and am zombied out on several different prescriptions.

But maybe, just maybe, the fact that B is swamped with work right now and can't really celebrate with me tonight anyway will give me some extra think time to come up with a PHENOM celebration for when we can celebrate together (FYI: I am currently accepting any and all fabulous ideas in the comments section!).

So, until I come up with something awesome to celebrate this incredible guy...




all I can say is:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, B!
I LOVE YOU!!!!


You make me happier than I could ever say!

Love, K

29 September 2010

A Whole New Sense of Appreciation

Allergies... flared

Asthma..... slightly flared

Lawn......... managed

Gratitude for The Lawn Fairy's gift..... greatly enhanced

Appreciation for B that he keeps our yard maintained and manicured.... IMMEASUREABLE!


Last week the rains came down and the grass came up. B is swamped at work right now and after the surprise gift from The Lawn Fairy a couple of weeks ago, I certainly didn't want to let the lawn go any longer.

So, with nice weather abounding and since I was around, I decided to get out and mow the lawn. DISCLAIMER: It has been many, many, many, many years since I mowed the lawn. I mean... MANY!

I called B to get a quick review of how the lawn mower works. Don't laugh. It's electric- ya know, to be more green - with a one-button-start option... and the last time I mowed the lawn - many, many, many, many years ago - it was with a gas-powered, string-pulling, good-luck-getting-it-started kinda mower. So, I needed a quick tutorial, but I'm a fast learner and got it rolling with no prob.

Then I mowed the lawn - just the front, and the sides - no frills (like edging or trimming the hedges. Thank goodness the lawn fairy did such a good job there). All I did was mow. It looks good. I got out there and did it. I'm proud.

But the reality check is that... it's hard work, it kicks up my allergies and asthma, and I'm not even done!

This makes me appreciate B soooooooo much more for all the hard work he regularly does to keep our yard nice. Especially since he usually mows the front, edges, trims the hedges and trees, and then moves on to the back yard, which is sometimes an even bigger job. And for me, well, the backyard may just have to be a job I pay someone else to do!

I love you, B!

15 September 2010

The Lawn Fairy

I pulled into the driveway at 5 pm after a LOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGG day at work filled with:

  • running the book fair,
  • working on a school-wide reading event for next Tuesday,
  • talking with parents on conference day,
  • meeting with a teacher about a unit we are kicking off tomorrow,
  • and planning for an upcoming visiting author,

when what do I see?

...my lawn nicely mowed and manicured.

Now, there are people in the world who are regularly greeted by a beautifully maintained front lawn courtesy of a great lawn service. Great idea and I would love to have that service, but right now we aren't those people.

We are the people who tend to the lawn on the weekend (and by we, I mean B!) after a week of work and other commitments. We work really hard (okay, B works really hard) on Saturday morning, or sometimes even after work in the evening, to mow and edge and water so that our lawn isn't the neighborhood sore spot.

So we (meaning B) either do it ourselves OR we have started to have one of the young men from church come and tend to our lawn for us (also usually on the weekends) so that B can work on other things.

Funny thing was that this morning when I left for work, I thought to myself... "Self, you need to call [young man from church] and see if he can come mow the lawn - especially since we had all that rain last week." To which I replied and said, "Self, I'll do that tonight after I watch the premiere of Survivor." And myself said, "Great - get 'r dun." (I didn't really have a conversation in dialogue, this is just to add to the effect of the story. Just saying. Don't think I'm crazy. Even though I might be. A little. Here and there. Anyway...

I went to work (see the looooong note above!) and then I came home.

As soon as I pulled into the driveway, I knew that someone had been to my house and had mowed, trimmed, edged the lawn and it all looked so purty that I thought, "Did B get home from work early and decide to mow the lawn?" Then I realized that no, it couldn't have been B, it was way too early for him to be here.

I was on the phone with my seester sharing my shock and awe at what I was seeing, when a light came on in my head (this one was a bright one, too!) and I realized my lawn had probably been tended to by my awesome next door neighbor.

So, needing to know the truth for myself, I went over and knocked on the door, As soon as he opened up, I knew that I was right and started to cry ('cuz I do that!) when I asked, "Did you mow my [insert cracking voice] lawn?"

Then I cried a little bit more when he said, "I just thought I'd help you guys out."

And then his sweet wife interjected, "We'll call him The Lawn Fairy!"

So, I gave him a hug, cried some more ('cuz that's what I do!), and walked back across my beautiful lawn with a heart full of thanks that we have such great neighbors and that my life was blessed today with such a generous gift.

And now as I cry again while I write this ('cuz that's what I do), I realize that there are still good, kind, charitable, thoughtful people in a world that is more often than not filled with selfishness and greed, and my heart is happier.

All because The Lawn Fairy is one heck of a guy!

10 September 2010

How do you...

... change poor sleeping habits?

... use time wisely?

... balance life?

... stay spiritual?

... stay healthy?

... stay connected?

... put priorities in order? (and keep them there!)

... follow through?

... live righteously?

... show you care?

... unwind for real?

... live life well?


Just thought I'd ask!

06 September 2010

A Special Edition of K's Randomness

This special edition of K's Randomness is brought you by my grammatical "friends," Simile and Metaphor!


Metaphor says:
Housecleaning is a pit of quicksand you can't avoid. No matter how many times you try to get around it, you suddenly find yourself stuck in the middle of it.

Simile replies:
Lysol/Windex/409 are like the branches you hold onto to get out of that housekeeping pit of quicksand.



Simile says:
The alarm(s) going off at 4:45 am Monday - Friday is like a pitcher of ice-cold water suddenly thrown in your face - shocking and disorienting all at once.

Metaphor replies:
Having the chance to teach an early morning religion class to a group of awesome high school youth who know who they are and what they stand for in a world that seems crazy is worth every single drop of that cold splash of reality when the 4:45 am alarm(s) sounds.



Metaphor says:
Spending time with someone you love is a perfectly baked double-chocolate brownie that has just a little crunchy covering but a perfectly soft and melty center.

Simile replies:
Saying "see ya later" to that someone you love stinks like rotten eggs.


Thanks to my "friends," Simile and Metaphor for sharing my thoughts so well tonight! The only random thing that I can express better than either Simile or Metaphor is that...

I LOVE B!

and that's not random... that's just ALWAYS!

22 August 2010

Family and friends make life better

Life gets hectic for all us, right?!?

Fortunately the chaos seems to rolls in waves so that when your life is hectic (aka: me... right now), you have friends who rush in to help you with your madness because their life is "less hectic" (face it, "less" is probably the best we get 'cuz nobody I know ever feels completely hectic-free!).

Then, your crazy, hectic sprint in life slows down a bit (P.S. I'm looking forward to that!) so that you can step up and help your friends who are now experiencing their own crazy world.

Tonight I realize how blessed I am to have good family and good friends and I feel fortunate to KNOW I am cared about by so many different people!

The list of amazing people that I have cheering for me and supporting me right now in a crazy transition time could go on and on, but tonight before I go to bed (I know, Mary, I should already be there!), I would like to say a special thanks to these people specifically:

  • My sister for being my project manager!

  • My mom for saving the day when printer issues threatened to sink me!

  • My dad for bringing me the paper delivery I needed so desperately.

  • My friend Laura for checking on me.

  • My friend (and blog stalker!), Mary for being my "go-to-sleep-earlier" phone call as well as my "'time-to-wake-up-earlier" phone call (GOTTA start that routine!).

  • My friend Rachel for patroling my Facebook status to make sure I'm not on there instead of sleeping so that I can actually get up when Mary calls!

  • My awesome hubby whose love and support for me has no limit!

I'm serious when I say that this list could go on and on - I know I am blessed that so many people care about me and are watching my back so that I can be successful.

I LOVE YOU ALL and thank you all for caring about me and for helping me to KNOW that whatever I am called to do, I can succeed. After all, I am blessed with good friends, a great family, and a Savior who truly gave His life for me so that I could live mine.

Life may be crazy - but it is good!

(and now I'm going to bed.... really, Mary... I promise! Well, after I update Facebook... but I won't be on there for long, Rachel... cross my heart!)

20 August 2010

Dear Google Reader....

... I love all that you do for me!

You collect all sorts of interesting information and hold onto it patiently until I have time to get around to browsing what you have collected.

You are always there and I know that at any given time I can discover any number of incredible things, such as:

  1. Amazing transformations of trash to treasure...

  2. Incredible home renovations - all done on the penny-pinching budget of amazingly frugal and supremely talented DIY home fashionistas...

  3. Ideas for creating a scrumptious, gourment meal from a perfect meal plan carefully coordinated to use ingredients from a well-organized food storage pantry or from the results of a well-cultivated, perfectly plotted home garden...

  4. Homes that are clutter-free, polished and poised in tasteful decor, and perfectly suited to be the setting of the next epic romance movie waiting to be produced...

  5. Projects, projects, and more projects - all reflecting superb creative power and execution...

  6. A plethora of strategies, tips, and ideas for keeping everything I could possibly ever own in this lifetime (or the next) perfectly sorted and organized...

  7. Simply incredible and fun party ideas that leave me dreaming of a job as an Event Planner (or maybe just ideas for the next great party I'll "just have to" host!)...

With all of these options to browse during my "free-time" (note the sarcasm, Dear Google Reader, because there is NO "free-time" available in my life right now), I find myself drowning in too many great ideas, too many projects, and too many inconsistencies in what I see in your archives and the reality of my life.

So a change must be made. I'm sorry, but we need some time apart.

Don't be sad, Dear Google Reader, I still love you and I really do appreciate all of the wonderful options you offer, I just have to get real about the time I have to hang out with you.

I'll still pop in to visit. After all, the most important thing you do for me is help me stay current with friends and family. I thank you for this great act of service.

So, I'll see you soon and even though I won't be able to hang out as long as I have in the past, we'll still be friends. Promise. As long as you still keep me posted on what matters most!

Love your pal,
K

13 August 2010

Summer 2010 - Lots of Fun in the Sun!

01 August 2010

The Promise of Possibilities

This coming week has the promise of possibilities because Brian is off for the week! Woot! Woot! So, this week we will divide our time betwen "Project Week" and "Party Time!"

"Project Week" projects:

  • Go to the grocery store (why should one of us have to face that madness alone!)

  • Dum, da, da dum... the garage! Clean it, organize it, park my car in it! Then we can check it off our "Amazingly Long List of Things To Do Around the House" (for this year!)

  • Create a pantry inventory

  • Organize and assemble our Emergency Documents binder

  • New blinds for the middle and master bedrooms

"Party Time" plans:

  • Visit the MOLA (Museum of Living Art) at the FW Zoo

  • Attend the temple

  • Have breakfast at Paris Cafe (aMaZinG!)

  • And why not lunch at Yucatan Taco Stand (deLiSh!!!)

  • Dinner will be home-cooked for most of the week. After all... we have a meal plan!

And the most exciting thing about this week of possibilities...
being together!

23 July 2010

Summer Recap... WHAT?!? NOW?!?

Yep, it's true - back to school is quickly approaching and even though I hate to think that it is time for a "Summer Recap," the reality is that a new school year is staring me in the face and I am rushing into it headfirst (even though that could cause brain damage!).

FYI: For anyone who really thinks that "teachers get the summers off" - I'd like to find out which teachers you know that are living that life, cause I need to talk to them and figure out how to cash in on that part of my career since I haven't managed a "summer off" yet in 13 years of being an educator. Holy crumb, just by saying "13 years as an educator" I felt myself age!

So, here are some of the things that I would have to include in my summer wrap-up (oh yeah, I have pictures, they're just still on my camera!)...

  • Taught classes at our school's summer enrichment camp.

  • Co-facilitated the Community Partners Program at school where students in 7th - 12th grade act as a board of trustees to learn about non-profit organizations in our community and then decide as a board which organizations to disburse grant monies to and how much each will receive. A totally AWESOME experience!

  • Met with the young lady who will be my intern this coming year.

  • Went to San Antonio to visit family that I love.

  • Hosted an Open House to celebrate my seester's graduation with her Masters in Social Work from UTA.

  • Went to my little nephew's blessing.

  • Had some friends over for a chat session. It was such an uplifting evening where we talked about the talks given during our Church's spring session of General Conference. I loved being able to share my thoughts and feelings and to discuss these things with some people that I love and respect a lot.

  • Went with Brian to Houston for a week where I: Caught up with a friend that I worked with at Sycamore when I was just starting down the road that would lead me to"13 years as an educator;" Visited with Matt-ay Sapp-ay (he's like a brother-from-another-mother, since he grew up in our house with my youngest brother and has always been part of our fam); Went to the Holocaust Museum of Houston and was overwhelmed by the emotion of that event in our history - how anyone could think it wasn't real is beyond my understanding; Met some of Brian's co-workers (who were funn-ny!); Survived the torrential downpour of rain compliments of Hurricane Alex (who thankfully did not make landfall in Houston as originally predicted); Read a couple of great books while hanging out in the hotel room during the previously mentioned torrential downpour; Saw The Last Air Bender (and surprisingly liked it!); Went shopping; and mostly... I just enjoyed being out of town with B!

  • B and I went with our friends Shelby and Kirk to see a late show of Eclipse as a spur-of-the-moment decision the day we got back from Houston because Shelby was going to miss our July 8th GNO. It was soooo much fun and we all think that we should do more random things more regularly! Just cause we age doesn't mean we get old!

  • Girls Night Out events to see: Letters from Juliet (such a cute movie) and Eclipse (the movie event of the summer!).

  • Went with the "Sunshine Girls" to deliver "Buckets of Sunshine" to some friends.

  • Had a great time on the 4th of July at Heather and Spence's awesome get-together.

  • Celebrated my birthday... 35 years of living life... I hope I'm living it well!

  • Started planning for my new responsibility of teaching the early morning youth scripture study class (aka: Seminary) this coming fall. And when I say early morning, what I mean is... 17 teenagers (9th - 12th grade) get up and come to a 5:45 am class to study and learn the scriptures together Monday - Friday during the school year and I have the amazing opportunity to teach this class. I love working with these youth and even though 5:45 am is SUPER early, I am excited to be able to teach this class. Having been a student of early morning seminary many years ago, I know that there are great blessings that come from starting your day studying the scriptures.

  • Dealt with home repairs like: replacing a section of pipe under our foundation (which is thankfully all finished - including the carpet being restretched) and having the air conditioner repaired when it went on the blink.

  • Spent time with ALL of my family! Both of my brothers that live out of state came in with their families for a week and so we created "Camp Sturgill" with activities that all of us could do together each day (and by all of us, that would be 21 people - ages 2 months and up). It was fun to see everyone and I enjoyed spending time together.

And something that was really awesome this summer:

  • Celebrating 15 years of marriage with B - whom I love more than anything!


Now to get ready for the school year - our teacher inservice days start August 11 and then school starts August 18.

So, farewell Summer of 2010, it has been busy but fun!

15 July 2010

The B&K Dust Bowl

A lot of dusting and cleaning and dusting and cleaning has been going on over here at "The House of B&K" since the pipe-job was completed last week. As we make our way room by room, I am amazed that even though all the doors were closed and thick plastic was put down, the dust from the foundation being jackhammered is EVERYWHERE!

No surface was safe (even B&K were both covered in the gritty particles of the dust) and now although we are still waiting for the carpet to be tacked back down (fingers crossed for tomorrow!), "The House of B&K" has moved into clean-up mode following what we will now refer to as... "The B&K Dust Bowl."

Furniture has been moved, shelves cleared, closets thrown open - all in an attempt to get things shiny, sparkly, and dust-free. Of course, B is a tremendous help, but the big shout-outs of appreciation have to go to our good friends, Swiffer and Pledge, who have shown up everyday and worked and worked until they are "worn out." Thanks you guys, you are rockstars in "The House of B&K!"

Now I'm off to rest before the dawn breaks on a new day and the quest for clean continues (never has "The House of B&K" seemed so B.I.G.). I just hope that I'll be working around the carpet-layer (is that what you call the guy who can tack your carpet back in place?) and that things can be as shiny and bright as possible for my bro and his family who will be guests at "The House of B&K" for the next week. Good thing they're family - 'cuz maybe they'll forgive me if things aren't quite up to the standards of a good, old fashioned bed-n-breakfast. After all, I'm just hoping for dust-free!

07 July 2010

Dear Professional Plumber...

Did you notice the shiny white bathroom? How about the lemony-fresh scent of Lysol? Did you see that I followed your suggestions to remove anything from the walls that I didn't want to get dusty?

Well, I did it all to help make your job of replacing the 'y' joint of our bathroom pipes as easy as possible after you have to roll back our carpet and chisel into our foundation in the middle of our hallway.

And now I would like to thank you in advance for doing such a good job, for hanging plastic to prevent dust from overwhelming us, for being so excellent that it wasn't necessary to "chase" any pipe (fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed), for working so quickly, and for getting the city inspector lined up to come check your work in a timely fashion so that the hole in our floor could be closed up by Friday.

Of course, I'll properly thank you once you finally get here today to get this party started!

22 June 2010

Sometimes I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder...
How some people become the "role models" of today. I mean seriously, there are a lot of people with talent in this world, they just have no standards or sense of decency, and yet they are "icons" of their industries. GAG ME!

Sometimes I wonder...
"why love has to be such a battlefield... a battlefield... a battlefield!" Well, not really. I don't live in a battlefield of love, the lyrics to that song just popped into my head. Totally RANDOM! And now, as I think about it, why does love have to be that kind of experience for so many people? It shouldn't be, and yet for some, it is.

Sometimes I wonder...
Why Texas summers seem to get hotter and hotter and hotter. Surely the summers get hotter because of global warming or something other than my increasing age number.

Sometimes I wonder...
How to be better today than I was yesterday.

Sometimes I wonder...
Where the cleaning fairies have disappered to 'cuz they sure aren't cleaning up after me!

Sometimes I wonder...
If what I do really makes a difference.

Sometimes I wonder...
If my blog stalker friends are ever entertained when they read my random thoughts!

Sometimes I wonder...
How I got to be in mid-30s

Sometimes I wonder...
What to eat for dinner. Okay, I wonder this A LOT. I have noticed when we have a meal plan for the week that I wonder this less often, but the frequency of a meal plan has decreased in the last few months!

Sometimes I wonder...
Why I am a responsible grown-up (mostly!) and so many other people are not. How did I develop that trait?

Sometimes I wonder...
What the world would be like if we cared about each other just a little bit more like we care about ourselves.

Sometimes I just wonder...

How about you?

13 June 2010

15 years with B&K


Thursday, June 10, 2010 brought with it 15 years of marriage, 3 years of dating, and 2 months of flirting at work and talking on the phone before we ever went on that 1st date when I suddenly went shy and couldn't utter a sound. Yep, that's right... speechless... K couldn't think of a thing to say... what was that all about?!?

Good thing the speechless issue ended later that night when we got ice cream! I'm sure there are days when B wishes I would go silently shy again, but one of the amazing things about B is that he may wish it, but he never says it, and that's just because he loves me.

So, what have we done in 15 years? It is a lifetime, right! Well...

In 15 years we have lived in:

  • a tiny apartment with no yard
  • a small duplex with a small yard
  • our beautiful house with a large yard and huge trees

In 15 years we have visited:

  • Oregon (countless times, countless places!)
  • Niagara Falls (Canadian side)
  • Utah (Salt Lake City and Provo)
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Palmyra, New York
  • Hot Springs, Arkansas
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Sedelia, Missouri
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Massachusetts (Boston, Plymouth, & Springfield)
  • Colorado (Seven Falls, Cave of the Winds)
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas

In 15 years we have been blessed with:

  • an eternal marriage
  • 10 nieces and 3 nephews
  • a cat who loves us (even though she loves no one else!)
  • college degrees
  • good health
  • jobs that we enjoy
  • a great circle of friends
  • family who loves us

In 15 years we have faced:

  • the difficulty of not having children
  • the loss of our grandparents
  • the loss of B's dad

In 15 years we have learned that:

  • being married is not always easy
  • sometimes you have to admit you were wrong
  • love grows deeper with communication and respect
  • sometimes you give, sometimes you take
  • we each have strengths, we each have weaknesses
  • support is paramount to success
  • sports CAN be enjoyable
    (B always thought that, K had to learn it - and it really only applies to basketball!)
  • you can have fun together without spending a dime
  • dating each other is still important, even though you're married
  • someone always has to take out the garbage!

In the next year we hope to:

  • take advantage of the time we have together
  • get some things done around our house
  • explore new places
  • save more money and eliminate more debt
  • eat at home more often (even if this means K has to learn how to enjoy cooking. Yes, I can do it, I just don't like to. Plus, B is better at it anyway.)
  • spend more time reading the scriptures together
  • grow even closer to each other, to our friends, to our family, and to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ

B - I could not ask for a better husband, a better friend, a better support system than I have in you. I love you with all my heart and I am so grateful to be taking this journey in life with you. Who knew we'd get to the fabulous 15 so quickly! I look forward to an eternity beside you. Thank you for being my rock - always! Love, K

08 June 2010

Confessions

Okay, so Confession #1 is that there are really no juicy or exciting confessions in this post. I just thought that the title sounded intriguing and that it might draw you in! Don't be sad. Maybe you'll just get a good chuckle out of what I do confess and then you can forgive me for false advertisement!

Confession #2: I am thinking of legally changing my name. That's right, no more "K." Instead I am thinking that my name should be Ima, as in "Ima Procrastinator!" Of course, then I would have to rename this blog and "B & Ima" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "B&K."

Confession #3: I hate summertime in Texas. That's right, I used the words "hate" and "Texas" in the same sentence - the shame of it for a Texas girl. But, there is only one reason I would go there - summer in Texas is HOT! Blazin' hot...Burn-the-skin-off-your-thighs-when-you-sit-on-the-leather-interior-of-your-car kind of hot. What makes it worse is that it doesn't even cool down at night....not at midnight and not at 3 am (I know 'cuz I stay up that late). Don't get me wrong, I love Texas, just not in the summer.

Confession #4: I stay up too late. If you didn't know that, then let me officially introduce myself to you so that we can be friends... My name is Ima Procrastinator and I stay up way too late!

Confession #5: I'm an addict. Let me explain, maybe you know where I can get help for my addiction to... DIY Network, HGTV, and the home decor/home improvement blogs I stalk. That's right people, I live in the "I could do it if I had time, talent, and money" fantasy world of knocking down walls, adding on rooms, and "designing on a dime" with such relish that I could be the next "Design Star." Don't Judge Me.

Confesssion #6: I am HORRIBLE at staying in touch with people I love. I think about friends and family in other places ALL THE TIME. I have good intentions to show that I am thinking of them (gifts that need to be mailed, cards that just need to be addressed, etc.). I know what they say about the road paved with good intentions, I just forget to complete the communication pass. It really is a problem that leaves me feeling like a loser because I don't want my friends and family to think I don't love them or think about them... because I do.

Confession #7: I think that it would be fun to be a party planner. I love the planning, the decorating, and the execution of an event... but I HATE the cleaning, the cleaning, the cleaning. Oh yeah, it would be fun but I don't want to work with drama divas - you know, the ones who want you to help them but then do things their way.

Confession #8: I might be a drama diva - but only a tiny bit.

Confession #9: I want to be a better steward of all the blessings in my life but I struggle to do this on a regular basis. Some of the things I really want to do better are: use my time wisely, be more financially wise, balance my responsibilities, follow the counsel to be prepared, work on my family history. I have really felt the push to do a better job in these areas of my life but I don't really know how to get going and stay going.

Confession #10: Sometimes I wonder if I have ADHD. Well, minus the H, cause I'm too tired to be hyper. So I guess that would just be ADD and I'm pretty sure that I show symptoms.


Confession #11: That's it. Nothing more... tonight. This post is already enough to be too much information for anyone who might have stuck it out this long reading!

But hey, thanks for letting me confess! What do I do now?

12 May 2010

The sweet smell of victory!

So, my friend Lisa is fantastic... fabulous... fun-loving... AND she just turned 40. She thought such a momentous occasion would go by quietly and without any fanfare. Um, hello .... I don't think so! The big 4-0 should be acknowledged and celebrated, after all "40 is the new 20!"

I have to admit that I am feeling pretty good about my skills of stealth and my ability to not only plan a fun-filled surprise party for her under her nose, but even better... she helped me plan a lot of it without even knowing the night was all about her. Bwaa-ha-ha!

The key to the success of this event were my co-conspirators: our fabulous friends who participated, the awesome and amazing B (I love this man! He cooks and cleans and helps me get ready for such shindigs!), and of course our friend Chris - Lisa's hubby - and "the inside man!"

Lisa thought she would have a quiet family celebration followed by a delish dinner with my seester and I at Pappasito's and that would be it. Bwaa-ha-ha... I don't think so!

Then Lisa and I started planning what she "thought" would simply be a Girls' Night to watch the Twilight movies in preparation for the upcoming June release of movie 3 - Eclipse. Little did she know that:

  1. This was a surprise party for her!

  2. This was a surprise party for her!

  3. This was a surprise party for her!

All I can say is... Bwaa-ha-ha! (I've been saying that alot in my super secret emails to the other conspirators and now it seems I can't stop!).

With everyone but Lisa aware of "the real deal for Saturday"...

  1. The food menu was planned
    (OG breadsticks & salad AND Brian's famous meatballs)
  2. A basket of favorite things was put together for Lisa's gift
  3. An incredible Twilight-themed cake was created
    (Wow, Laura... it was AWESOME!)
  4. The decorations were put up
    (Thanks Karin and Shelby!)
  5. And the evening entertainment of watching Twilight was planned

Because Lisa rocked the Bella look at my Halloween par-tay, she and I thought it would be fun if everyone dressed as a character from the book. Well, we all dressed up - just not like she thought! While Lisa sported a modified version of her Bella look, the rest of us dressed in Twilight colors - red, black, and white.

To make sure it was a surprise, everyone arrived early and my seester picked her up just to make sure her arrival took place at the exact right time.

Everything was perfect: Lisa was surprised (the look on her face when she figured out what was happening was PRICELESS!), the food was delicious, the company was great, pictures were taken (Thanks, CJ!) and the evening was a blast!

Happy birthday, LaLaLaLeesa! I know that you wanted a quiet celebration of your big day, but all of us sure had a great time celebrating with you!



* Our friend Wendi wasn't here yet when we took pictures and I guess I was so enthralled by the movie when she got here, that I forgot to take any more pictures, but I am soooo glad she came!

** The awesome quotes that I framed and displayed around my house came from the great website, Hostess with the Mostest.

25 April 2010

The Gift of Today

For the last couple of weeks I have really been reflecting on the gift of each day. Two Monday's ago a family I know lost their 17-year-old son suddenly and tragically as a victim in a violent crime and since that day I have found myself much more pensive and thoughtful about each day that we are given and how we use that gift.

This young man, Eric, made an obvious impact on so many lives. As news that he was in critical condition after being shot by burglers in his home reached the community, friends and family began to flock together seeking ways to comfort and be there for one another.

When it became obvious that Eric would not recover from this incident, and as his family made the decision to give life to others by donating his organs, the circle of supporters grew even larger and a memorial was organized for and attended by hundreds of youth from church and school who felt the impact of this tragedy.

Then, when Eric's life on this earth was no more, visitation and funeral services brought hundreds and hundreds of people who in some way had felt the impact of this one life.

The funeral was a powerful experience. Despite the intensely overwhelming sadness of losing such an amazing young man, the Lord's Spirit was even more intense and love and hope wound their way into the hearts of everyone there.

The eulogy delivered by his older brother was beautiful, the scriptures shared by his sister who was also at the house during the shooting were powerful, the excerpts of letters written by family members about Eric and read by his oldest sister were joyful, and the message of Christ's love and the power of His Atonement for each of us that was shared by his bishop (and my dad) brought hope to all.

Eric's swim coach also took part in the funeral service and shared the quote, "you can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples that will come from one seed in that apple."

And so, I have been reflecting. There is no way to tell the impact that each of us can have on any given day. We all interact with countless numbers of individuals, in a variety of experiences and situations. Some people we know, some we don't. Some situations are positive and happy experiences, while others are trials from which we must grow.

The question I ask myself as I think about the obvious impact that this one young man had at the age of 17 on such a diverse range of people from varying age groups, ethnicities, races, and religions is this:

What am I doing today to make a difference?

And with this question in my mind and in my heart, I hope that I will continue to be more aware of "the gift of today."

02 April 2010

Spring is all about new life!

I love Spring!


Winter is coming to an end, warmer days are enjoyable, the sun stays out longer, people are outdoors and wave or smile (or both) when they see you, blades of green grass start to appear, the birds are chirping, flowers bloom,windows are open, there is a smell of lemony freshness that comes with hurculean efforts of cleaning the house, the world just feels happy. Of course, I also love that I still have Spring Break (see previous posts) - a benefit you get when you stay in school ALL your life!



Spring just brings a new sense of life to the world.



This is also the time of year when we celebrate Easter and remember the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave all of us a new life by conquering death for each of us. What a gift! One for which I am truly grateful.




This spring is extra special with a new little life, my nephew Hudson, joining my family.

(7 lbs 6 oz & 20 inches long with LOTS of hair and a killer grip!)



My seester and I had the awesome opportunity to actually be in the delivery room when The Little Guy was born. It was incredible! I couldn't help it, I cried when he was born. How could I not! And by cry I mean big tears swelling up in my eyes... a huge lump in the throat that I couldn't swallow... I was overwhelmed! Then HE cried and I just joined in!




My sis-in-law was a ROCK STAR... surriously!



It was amazing to see my brother in the role of husband, coach, supporter, and new dad. I can't believe that this guy is MY "baby" brother!




Not only did I get to be there when The Little Guy was born, but his Big Sis stayed with us through the weekend and had Brian and I laughing a lot!






The Madster always makes you feel like you are important ("Helwooo!"as she runs at you full speed to hug you), she's helpful ("Come on, Kirsten. Kirsten, come on!" with her hand out to help you get up so you can play or dance), she's thoughtful ("Want some?" as she offers you the string cheese where she has taken a bite from the middle), she's concerned about others ("You happy?"), and she's loving ("I WUV YOU!" full voice with a big squeeze around the neck).





I think Mike and D are doing a great job raising Maddy and I know that she will help them teach these lessons to "Baby Hudson".



She will be a GREAT big sister!



I know because I'm the expert on being the Big Sis!!!


Welcome to our family, Baby Hudson!



22 March 2010

The Inevitable End of Spring Break

- EDITED: I forgot to include Friday night (Sorry D, my brain might be scrambled after the first day back to school.) So if you read this earlier than scroll down to read more about Day 5 -

The end of any break always comes too soon! Despite the inevitable ending of Spring Break, I am just grateful for the simple fact that I had a break from work with time to reconnect to my home environment, opportunities to do good, and the chance to sleep in!

The end of Spring Break came quickly and I neglected to wrap-up the week with the same gusto that I started with (tell me that happens to other people too!).

Anyway, I concluded my week off with...

  • A trip to the podiatrist, complete with shot and anti-inflammatory pills to try and get a flared up nerve in my foot back under control. There was no denying that I had to seek outside help when I woke up on Thursday morning and couldn't walk... Seriously. I crawled to the bathroom... For reals. It made me realize that #1 I don't like crawling and that #2 I need to dust the baseboards in the hallway. After sitting on some ice for awhile (my foot, that is), I was able to get to the doctor for the aforementioned treatment - which DOES.NOT.FEEL.GOOD. I mean, there is this huge needle moving in and out of the nerve that is screaming and even with some good ol' numbing medicine, it still freaking hurts when it starts, but... I am grateful that I could get in and that the shot did it's job. Otherwise I could have been crawling a lot longer... and who knows what else I would have seen at ground level!


  • Rested, iced my foot (see previous bullet filled with sarcasm), took anti-inflammatory medicine, rested, iced my foot (see previous bullet filled with sarcasm. Felt sorry for myself for just a minute because I.HAD.SO.MUCH.TO.DO. and Spring Break is only one week long (yeah, I know, for some that week doesn't exist anymore. Sorry). I did finally get in some good t.v. time but I'd like to state for the record that I was really working hard to avoid that all week. It was only because of this unseen event that the t.v. came on. Really. I'm serious.


  • I did get the chance to have a great visit with my KLK-Clack friends (they know who they are!) They are also my awesome visiting teachers who came over, shared a great spiritual message with me, and hung out to chat for awhile knowing that B was off to training and I was "pitifully" alone (well, except for the cat and she's ALWAYS around, even when I wish she'd go lay down somewhere else). You girls are AWESOME!


  • Had dinner with my sis who shared how excited, amazed, shocked the NICU moms and staff were with all of the scrapbook goodies I had donated.THAT made my day - in spite of the crawling, the shot, the medicine, the dusty baseboards.


  • Friday rolled around (Sake's Alive, it's Day 5!) and I ran some errands in the morning. Well, didn't really run (see bullet #1), it was more like hobbled, but hey - it wasn't crawling! Then I went to see "The Bounty Hunter" with Laura and Karin, who after visiting me (see bullet #3) on Thursday in my shot-induced state of pity, decided that my Spring Break could not end on that note. Told ya' they are awesome!


  • Got home from the movies and B was home from his week long training. Boy, I missed that boy! Of course, the cat was a pest as always, but that's how things roll in our little family!


  • Friday night was a blast with Mike, D, and the Madster. Grabbing Mexican food and delicious queso for dinner was a perk, but hanging out afterwards was even more fun. We headed back to my house and had a few fun-filled rounds of hunting for eggs! Even though the eggs were empty (to start with), Maddy was hilarious "hiding" them (in plain sight) and then hunting for them herself. I was cracking up (Get it, "cracking" up! Bwahaha!). Of course no evening at my house is complete without repeated readings of whatever book(s) have caught Maddy's attention, so we visited and revisited No, David! and David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon a few times and had to discuss "wha happent" with each illustration. I love being an aunt!

See, it really was a GREAT break!

18 March 2010

Hard to believe but... it's Day 3!

Day #3 of my Spring Break was another beautiful day and I have a pretty good "I Did-It!" List of events from the day...

  1. Finished the final sort of my scrapbook stash - organized it, labeled it, boxed it to go with Jenny tomorrow. It feels GREAT to help out in some small way to such a great activity as the scrapbook group for the moms who have babies in the NICU at Children's Medical!

  2. Put some more books into the hands of young readers and added to their personal libraries. It has been so much fun, actually it has been gratifying, to pass along books from my personal collection of children's lit and share my passion for reading with so many great families.

  3. Organized and cleaned the middle bedroom so that the door can actually stay open when people enter the house - amazing, I know! Also had room to set out the materials to finish a project that I kept moving around because my work table was more like "dump city" - now I know that I can get that journal done!

  4. Power washed the deck and back door - apparently a roosting bird has enjoyed flying over our deck after breakfast/lunch/dinner and left a bit of a mess that needed to be cleaned up. I don't think I'm really a fan of birds - especially when they leave a calling card!

  5. Went on a walk with my seester - BEAUTIFUL DAY for it!

  6. Ate a yummy dinner at Mi Cocina - the goal of eating at home has kind-of been blown this week. BUT... the weekend brings the opportunity to get back on track and have some meals at home.

  7. Oh yeah... did laundry again. I'm really bad at forgetting when I have a load in the dryer and so there are multiple times when after I suddenly remember, I end up having to do a fluff cycle, like today!

  8. No blog surfing today - just didn't have time (the horror!!!).

  9. Talked with B - we have THE BEST conversations. Actually, I think we have THE BEST marriage!

  10. Enjoyed the beauty of the day, the awesome weather, and my great neigborhood.

17 March 2010

Spring Break - Day 2

Today's Did-It List...


  1. Entertain the Madster while D is at a doctor's appointment. Oh wait, Maddy entertained me with her excitement over a really quick egg hunt I pulled out of the closet and how much she loved playing her own version of checkers: put Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird on the checkerboard and then stomp the board with your foot so they fall off. Don't forget to throw your head back and laugh hysterically at yourself!

  2. Talk with D while she "shops" my scrapbook supplies - Encourage/force her to take what she wants since I am "exfoliating" my stash of materials - Convince her that I'm not really using them right now so she should use them- Feel a surge of excitement to see the supplies I have purchased in the past going to someone I love!

  3. More laundry - Specifically the big blankets that need extra time to wash and dry. Isn't it nice to know that the laundry is always there, waiting anxiously for attention? Kinda makes me feel special.

  4. Clean the bathrooms - Scratch that, SCRUB the bathrooms - Hands and knees kind of scrub- The kind of clean that happens ...well, on Spring Break!

  5. Pick up the den - The goal is to actually see the coffee table (Random Question: why is it even called a "coffee" table?)

  6. Blog surf - But just for a little bit - Still trying to avoid BIC this week

  7. Have a great phone conversation with LaLaLaLeesa (who never really updates her blog... what, are ya busy or something?!?).

  8. Talk with Karin - Remind her of what a great friend I am because of the awe-some email I sent her today! No seriously, talk to her about books for her kids.

  9. Dinner with JoAnn - I love that even without B, I can go have a great dinner with his mom. She's an AWESOME mother-in-law (or she could be an out-law... if she wanted!).

  10. "Exfoliate" the remainder of my scrapbook stash for the NICU at Children's Medical Center where my seester is an intern. The moms who have babies in the NICU scrapbook each week and the supplies that they have available at the hospital come only through donations.

    I can't even imagine (for many reasons) having a baby in NICU - but my friend Sharla can and I think she totally earned ROCK STAR status for the level of strength she had during that time. So, I want to do something to help other moms in this situation and making a donation of scrapbook supplies is something I can do!

  11. Talk with B... talk with B... talk with B!

  12. Stay up too late - It's a tradition - Or maybe a bad habit - Whatever it is, it just happens!

16 March 2010

Spring Break - Day 1

Just to remind myself of how I've spent my Spring Break, today I...

  1. slept in (just a "tad" bit later than I planned!)

  2. chatted with my neighbor

  3. did laundry plus folded it AND put it away (I know... a-maze-ing!)

  4. went to the dry cleaners

  5. had a DELISH lunch at a new place - Yucatan Taco Stand on Magnolia (warning: the nachos are enormous - seriously enough for two or more)

  6. went to Target with my sister

  7. drove with my windows down and my sunroof open - BEAUTIFUL day!

  8. updated my blogs: Chatter That Matters, The Kingdom of Books, plus B&K (you should really click on the links and check out all my hard work!)

  9. made a homemade barbeque chicken pizza (yep, I made it - me - moi - K! Write it down, it's a memorable moment!)

  10. shopped my house for things to decorate my mantle (pics coming soon)

  11. watched "Surviving Survivor" (this was the ONLY show I watched tonight and that's because I was scrolling through our DVR to see what was recorded)

  12. did a little blog surfing, but avoided BIC (you know... Butt-in-Chair)

  13. read emails

  14. talked with B about lots of things - especially his exciting new job

  15. stayed up too late (ALWAYS a problem - not just during Spring Break!)

15 March 2010

Simply Superb Sunday

Beautiful weather...
Uplifting messages and lessons about the Savior...
A delicious dinner...
Sitting and chatting with my sister =

a Simply Superb Sunday!

06 March 2010

Keeping It Real

I don't know about anyone else, but my life is not nearly as neat and organized as the amazing sites I see when I am suffering from BIC Syndrome and spend too much time visiting the awesome sites over on "My Daily Drop-ins" list. But, I'm okay with my homemaker imperfections (most of the time!).

Sure, I want my house to be so put-together that if someone just dropped by, I wouldn't have to throw things into the front bedroom and slam the door before I let them in.

I would definitely love my kitchen and my bathroom and my sunroom and my master bedroom to be featured in some kind of "House Crashers" episode that leaves me speechless during the final reveal (anyone know how I can get on THAT list!).

While I'm thinking about it, I would love to highlight well-planned weekly menus that feature nutritious homemade meals made with food items already found in my pantry (anyone want to be my personal pantry-stocker and chef?).

And I can't forget that I would absolutely love to have the talent and time to magically transform thrift store finds into gorgeous works of art or repurposed masterpieces.

But, since I'm KEEPING IT REAL today, I acknowledge that I...

  • have to throw things into the front bedroom and slam the door before letting friends in
  • am as close to being featured on a "House Crashers" episode as I am to going to the moon
  • don't really cook (but I'm working on that)
  • lack the time (and usually the energy) to do anything with those thrift store finds but shove them into my garage

Now that I'm KEEPING IT REAL I guess I'll head back to the piles of laundry that have grown through the week, the kitchen table that collects all kinds of stuff until Saturday, and the blinds that I accidentally pulled out of the window frame in our bedroom when I was trying to open them to see the sun (B is going to love a reason to head to Lowe's!).

And you know what, as I head back to my homemaker tasks for today, I'm going to be thankful that I have a washer and dryer to clean my clothes, a kitchen table to stack things on, and a great husband who can put up new blinds because these are some of the things that help me to KEEP IT REAL!

28 February 2010

A Simply Superb Sunday

A simply superb Sunday is filled with experiences that bring me closer to my family, my Heavenly Father, and my Savior Jesus Christ.

Today's simply superb Sunday included:

  • A great message taught in a talk at Church about letting the light of Christ shine through me and being an example of faith and righteousness

  • A fantastic Sunday School lesson about the amazing faith and testimony of Abraham

  • The opportunity to teach the 16-17 year old girls

  • Being there to help a friend who needed a jump start when her car wouldn't start after Church

  • A delish dinner at home (spagetti squash, chicken caeser salad, and garlic toast) with my awesome husband and my rock star of a sister

  • The chance to talk with my sister about some of the upcoming changes in my life as B gets ready to start in a new position at work (Thanks, seester! I am so glad we are friends now!)

  • The peace of my home on a Sunday evening that helps me feel closer to Christ

All things things make today "A Simply Superb Sunday" and I am grateful to have my week start off in such a great way.

22 February 2010

"Hold on, hold on, hold on..."

"...gimme a minute..."

And now, a moment of rambling (brought to you by the overflowing mind of K, who needs a little brain drain!)...
  • There is just some music that makes you cry.
  • Some days are gloomy, even when you aren't.
  • A good book can make a gloomy day much better.

  • I miss my brother (thank you for serving our country)...
  • I am so honored that Gretchen has proclaimed me her "best friend!" (3 year olds make being a BFF easy!)

  • I miss my other brother (keep working hard in school)...
  • And I miss their families.

  • I am glad my youngest brother is close by...
  • I can't believe D would actually want me to be there, but yes, I will be there!
  • It makes me happy that Miss Maddy thinks I'm funny and that she "loves that Kirsten!"

  • I appreciate my parents (even when I still act bratty!)

  • I have the BEST sister in the world (but she needs to update her blog!)

  • I miss the San Antonio crew. They are some of the best in-laws (or outlaws!) a girl could have and I LURVE my nieces! They fill my bucket.

  • I have THE best husband in the world!
  • I have the BEST husband in the world!
  • I have THE BEST HUSBAND in the world!

And finally...

  • Life passes quickly, don't wait for an invitation to enjoy it. After all, this may be the only moment you have. Don't waste it.

01 February 2010

I'm having a "FIT"

I'm having a "FIT" but don't be scared - there is no foot stomping, hair pulling, or crying going on with this "FIT" - I'm just reflecting on my progress with my 2010 WOTY, which is... FITness!

I have to say that I am proud, pleased, and pleasantly surprised by the progress I am making. Still not perfect, still working on it, but I am giving myself a pat on the back for being focused, for doing a good job, and for continuing to move forward with my goals to improve.

One big accomplishment in January in being more financially "FIT" is how well B and I are doing creating weekly meal plans and then sticking to them. We can eat at home more - saving money in the process and hopefully eating a tad bit healthier - and after a month of really planning and persevering, it's almost easy (I said almost people, almost!).

Another goal where I have felt successful is having a home environment that is more "FIT." I have brainstormed a list of all the possible chores/tasks that come with owning a home and am in the process of catagorizing those chores/tasks into a schedule that doesn't overwhelm me. This way I don't always have to be like She-Ra and move mountains to get my home in order. A really big step for me in this area has been sorting through and finding new homes for many, many, many of the books I own.

And my final "FIT" reflection for today relates to my marriage and the incredible relationship upon which B&K is built. Brian and I have an amazing marriage! We have the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time together, which I LOVE! We work to have an incredibly strong relationship that is built on love, support, understanding, and communication (with just moments of irritation!). I am so grateful that Brian and I spend time together, that we talk about everything, that we are spiritually strong - individually and as a couple - and that each day our marriage becomes even more "FIT" than it was the day before.

So, I'm chalking January up to a month of great "FITness" and I'm moving into February with continued great expectations for myself and the "FITness" I will continue to accomplish.

28 January 2010

Wordless Wednesday (but on Thankful Thursday!)

Today, like each day, is a day to be thankful for the blessings in life.

A few of the many things for which I am thankful include: my amazing husband, my family, my friends, my job, the opportunities I have, my home, my cat, my freedom, my health, my faith, and the love I feel each day from my Savior, Jesus Christ.


26 January 2010

What a week! (and it's ONLY Tuesday!)

Busy... busy... busy... the only word that really fits this week already. The interesting thing to me is that no matter how busy things are, life still happens - literally!

Our family has a new little niece to love, Adelaide Kai, born this morning at 4:30 am (way too bright and early!) at 7 lbs, 4 oz, 20 inches long, and in my brother's words: "beautiful!"

The miracles that happen on an ordinary day in an ordinary week astound me and make me feel a greater sense of love for the blessings God sends into our lives to make those ordinary days something extraordinary!

Congrats to my brother, my sister-in-law, and their precious little ones! I love you all.

Now... what could top that this week?!?

21 January 2010

To Jenny, Christi, and April

Jenny, Christi, & April...

I have finished your Word Of The Year (WOTY) reminder cards and have posted them here. You will also be getting a 4x6 framed version AND a wallet-sized version for... your wallet!

One more thing, here are my thoughts on your WOTY choices:


I think you are a "ROCKIN" group of girls...




...who have more "PATIENCE" than you might realize...



...who do an incredible job of keeping "BALANCE" in your lives...


...and who help me improve my "FITNESS" daily...



Thanks for sharing your 2010 Word of the Year.

20 January 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Create your own story (and add it in the comments!) ...





16 January 2010

LURVE IT!

Pause my music player at the bottom before watching this history-making video from American Idol's 62-year-old contestent... General Larry Platt... and then make sure you don't have your "Pants on the Ground!"

13 January 2010

Wordless Wednesday




10 January 2010

Word Of The Year Winner(s)!

Okay, so in looking at the responses to my challenge, I figured why just choose ONE winner when all 3 responses are good ones.

So, I am going to do WOTY reminder cards for all 3 of my peeps who came up with their own WOTY and told me what it is they are striving to accomplish during this year.

Here's what I need from Jenny (who's ROCKIN' this year), Christi (who's growing in PATIENCE), and April (who's on her way to being BALANCED)...

  • Some color choices
  • Size preference = 6x4 or 5x7

Thanks for participating in my challenge, and thanks for checking in on me and for keeping me honest with myself! Now I propose that we all continue to support each other in our efforts to accomplish the goals we have set with our 2010 WOTY.

04 January 2010

My "word" - it's my 100th post! (plus a giveaway)

A New Year...a New Layout... a New Word... AND I have made it to my 100th post! Who knew I'd blog enough to make it to 100!

Reaching this "milestone" number in blogland means I've been around longer than I thought, sharing more than anyone probably really ever wanted to know about the ordinary adventures of the extraordinary B&K - and what fun it has been every step of the way!

So, with a New Year (and a New Layout) comes my New Word for this year. It's a word that in my personal dictionary means living each day with meaning and purpose, and it is the word I am using in 2010 to help me focus on achieving the goals I have set for myself...

This year I want to "be fit" in many areas of my life and will be working to improve my personal fitness, mental fitness, spiritual fitness, marriage fitness, home fitness, family fitness, professional fitness, and of course, my physical fitness.

One of the things I will be doing to improve my "personal fitness" is journaling more often, and so I plan to record here (aka: "journal") the experiences I have as I work toward better fitness in all areas of my life.

To help myself remember my focus throughout the year, I am printing the lovely little reminder above as a 5X7 print and framing it for my dresser, plus I am printing out some wallet-sized copies as well - 1 for my wallet and 1 for my desk at work.


And now... just for fun (and since "everyone else is doing it")... a giveaway to celebrate this 100th post milestone in my blogging life.

What do I have to offer? How about your own "Word of the Year" reminder to help you stay focused on your goals this year. You pick your word, and I'll come up with a framed reminder just for you (frame size to be discussed).

Leave me a comment and let me know what your 2010 Word of the Year is and what the word means to you. I'll number all comments by the order they are posted and then B will close his eyes, reach into a bucket, and randomly choose one of those numbers (high-tech drawing technique over here!). Drawing will occur this coming Saturday (January 9).


As we move forward into a new year, here's to 100 more posts highlighting the continued adventures (no matter how ordinary or extraordinary they may be) in the lives of B&K! Thanks for following along!

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