Monday, July 30, 2012

For the past 25 years, I have gone to family camp every single August.  I was 8 months old at my first one, and I've never missed a year since. 

For the past 3 years, we have owned the soccer tournament.  So far, no one else has held the title.  And I'd really like it to stay that way. 

But this year, it's looking like I won't be able to make it.  Especially not for Thursday, which is of course the soccer tournament. 

I'd basically just accepted that is how it has to be.  But looking over these photos, I'm having a really hard time letting that sit.   Currently, I'm scheming...

Dreaming of a 4peat. : )

Boys, I hope you kept your yellow shorts.... teehee.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I found my way to this article today, by a blogger I've never read.  A friend posted another article on Facebook that caught my eye and lead me to her page.  It connected so well with what I've been pondering lately.  And it made me realize that what I'm learning today will only become more and more important in the years to come in my life. 

I'm good at doing.  I really am.  Meg, one of my closest friends through my college years and now roommate, sometimes refers to me as "Doer".  I like to think of it as a term of endearment.  But, I'm not entirely sure it is.  I earned it because of my tendency to get up a dozen times and do things, while we are sitting, relaxing and reading.  I'll fold laundry.  Clean my room.  Move stuff.  Go make us tea.  And more tea.  Start dinner.  Check email.  There is always so much to be done.  And I usually feel I have to at least have "all my maids running" (as my mom calls it) before I sit down.  I get stuff done.  And I like that.  I also like being able to do things for others.  Which means, when I'm with people, it almost kicks into hydro gear.  And quality time to me, can look like doing something for someone I care about.

Only, for most people, watching me do stuff, doesn't transfer.  :/ 

On top of that, I'll be doing so much throughout my week, I'll give the people I most want to invest in, a tired, warn out girl.  I know my mom's wishing I'd mastered all this years ago - especially since she's the one who gets the most warn out, tired version of me.  Yes, the most un-kind Kati. :(

And that, is a shame.  Gosh, I want to get good at this.  I know I'm not in danger of ever becoming that person who just let's it all go... so you probably don't need to balance me right now.  Because, that voice is already in my head.  I'm warned.  What I want to learn is how to get what needs to get done,  how to be generous with my time and abilities, and also how to say no enough to keep full.  Full enough to be kind, to be sowing intentional seeds.  To be more than just getting by, and more than just 'spending time.' 

The article I read today was amazing.  Great to hear what really matters to the people who love us.

But boy is this hard when you're feeling torn in a number of directions.  You can't determine people's expectations of you, and keeping people feeling loved and important is sometimes difficult.  I sometimes think it will get easier when I have a husband to help me say "no."  Your priorities become clearer too.  I just know I don't really want to wait until then to get good at this skill - there are a lot of people to be kind to today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You might have noticed there was no post yesterday.  That was because the only moments I was near a computer, was to watch a "show" in the morning with Auri, and to watch a movie in the evening with John. 

That's right! The countdown is over and John is back from Sweden.  I took the day off yesterday because I was having my 'best friend from birth' over for the night and her sweet girl Auri. I've had others over for pizza or drinks or what not, but this felt like my first official "dinner guests".  I had spent noon-9pm in the office Sunday and had worked 9 hours by 3:30pm on Monday.   So I headed home a bit early after turning in a big proposal for my firm.  I crawled into bed for a nap and woke to a phone call from Elise.  It was all heavenly.

I bought groceries and made dinner.  We drank "gin and sweet tea" with our chicken, pear, spinach and mushroom grilled wraps and then shared a bottle of wine and relished an amazing sour cream chocolate cake Elise had brought over.  Auri watched Peter Pan - and listening to her spontaneous giggles in the other room were a highlight of my night. 

We also enjoyed chalking up my sidewalk together.   The next morning that sweet doll was awake at 4:30am (bless all you moms out there - sweet Lord, how you do that every day I do not know!), Elise pulled her into bed with us and we slept for a few more hours.  At some point she decided to give me a "kiss" and fell asleep on top of me immediately.  For the next hour, Auri was stretched horizontally across with her head on me and her feet on Elise.  I didn't really sleep.  And I didn't really mind it.  When she woke up she looked up at my face and said, "I sorry" and then stretched out her little arm and smacked me in the face.  Premeditated if I do say so myself.  But she's a darling, and I'll let her get away with it.  

We took our time making breakfast, painting nails and getting ready and then headed down the street to the park.  What probably would be a 15 minute walk was something like a 30 minute walk - with a stop every few feet to "me hold?"  every flower, and examine every ant. 

At 10:30am, it was time to say goodbye - and for me to go say hello to someone else at the airport!! 

We spent the day relaxing and resting.  We took the bikes out for their first ride.  Flew a kite (or tried) at Gasworks park.  Ate dinner out on my lawn.  And just enjoyed that beautiful day, together.  We got some actual work done too - we both got laundry done, and I managed to find the Trader Joe's down the street and do a little grocery shopping. 

I cannot tell you how happy I am for it to be late July.  For my roommate to be home.  And my boyfriend back down the street. 

The last two days were lovely.  I only wish I could spend today doing the same things again. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why my office is basically empty right now.

Random memory: For a large portion of my childhood, I thought raccoons were pandas.  There used to be a lot of raccoons in the field behind the Sandstroms house.  And whenever anyone would see one through the window and try to point it out, I'd always get so frustrated why I couldn't see it.  I was looking for a panda.  Eventually I got it straight.  I think it had something to do with the little sets of animal families I played with as a kid.  There was a raccoon family and they were black and white, and the exact same size as the bear family.  :/  It made for a bit of a confusing childhood. 

Man I loved those little critter families. :)

Did any of you play with these as kids? Of all my friends, I don't think any of them had these actually.  I was in LOVE with them.  Especially the little babies in each family.  I still remember opening new ones at each pass on the way to "Antana" for Christmas when I was three or four.  I had the fox family, the bear family, the rabbit family and the raccoon family.  I loved them.  I had barbies, but these guys got way more play time.  Who wants to play with a tall thin blonde when you can play with a raccoon!?  I'm thinking I might pick up the foxes and elephants for my kids one day. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Head & The Heart's album is currently just $2.99 on Amazon. ;) 

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own', or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life—the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's 'real life' is a phantom of one's own imagination.

—CS Lewis, from a letter to Arthur Greeves, 20 December 1943

Bob n Lou n Me

Meet Bobbo and Lou Lou, my two oldest friends. I love these two with the deepest, oldest parts of my childlike heart! And I love their spouses, and their little baby girls. It's funny Elise just posted these photos, because last weekend I came across a photo board my sister Kim made me for high school graduation. There is a photo of Elise and I at the beach at about age 4. We've been doing the same thing for the 20 years since. There's also a photo of Robby and Me at about 2, sitting on my sisters' laps. I sat and stared at these photos, and the collection of others from over the years, and I thanked God for the friends in my life. For the times I wanted to slap them. And the times they slapped me. lol. ** The 4th member of "the neighborhood" is missing from these photos, but he's in a million others. The neighborhood would have been nothing without TyTy. ** Bobbo, LouLou, TyTy & Kate. I've been a very blessed girl over the years.

I feel like life lately is a daily lesson in being happy right where I am.  Not rushing.  Not pretending.  Just being content in this place.  And remembering that happiness is not a "one day" thing, it's a today thing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I suddenly find myself with a certain fella who reads to me as I fall asleep, sends me letters from Sweden, and when I catch him staying up way too late online and assume he's playing a game on his iPad, he puts me to shame when he tells me he's actually reading a certain poetry blog. 

How did this happen?  :)

He's super private, and might even be bugged by my posting this.  But he's asleep in Sweden, while I'm distracted at work thinking how lucky I am.  So, this is what you get.  Deal with it, Sir.
Sometimes you go through life for months and months, hoping for something to happen.  And other times, are very different.  In less than two months I've acquired a boyfriend, an apartment, a roommate, a couch, and a bike.  I'm sitting here pondering January and one Saturday morning when Esther, Morgan and I sat at a breakfast table and decided to start living, right then, with a new tenacity.  Morgan and I marked our decisions by what were in and of themselves rather meaningless things - but to us were decisive actions.  We were going to do what we'd been talking about for years.  I'd woken up that morning and just thought, today is the day.  I'm going to pierce my nose.  I've wanted to do it since I was 13. When I mentioned it to Morgan in the car on the way to breakfast, she responded, "Great. I'm going to get my tattoo."  An hour later, Esther was in on the plan and Morgan was sketching out what had been in her head and heart for many months.

I'll be first to admit that there is a certain level of peer pressure involved.  That's not true - it's something more than peer pressure.  I've loved nose piercings.  I think they are beautiful.  And moreover, I love rings.  But moreover, I can recognize that part of why I love nose rings is I love the young women who I've known with them over the past 5 years.  Krista, Jill, and Kristin Rowles being among them.  Something about each of them is so sincere and alive and fearless.  They have these qualities I admire and connect with and want to cultivate in myself.  More than liking those qualities, there's something in me that knows it's part of who I'm called to be too.  So for me, my ring was more than just getting a new piece of jewelry that I found beautiful - it was also a sort of mark on the outside, a physical action that was helping move me I felt.  I know I don't need a ring to be that kind of woman, and for years I've been choosing to become that woman.  But of late, I felt I needed it to break through something.  These are the reasons I got a nose ring - why I'd wanted one since I was 13 - and why I think it has made a huge impact on the last 6 months of my life. 

I'm not sure that my decision to "start living" is what suddenly sparked all these changes.  I think God put this crazy unbearable frustration in me to live, so that I'd be ready to accept a lot of change in the coming months.  Linda Cline has been encouraging me to "Live with expectancy" for the past two years.  And I will not lie, I was starting to wonder what I was "expecting".   And get a bit worn down.  This morning, as I'm reflecting and trying to really grasp what the Lord has been doing and is doing in me, I'm recognizing that those two years of living in expectancy really have postured me and probably reshaped me some. 

I have friends moving all over right now, taking dream jobs, quitting good jobs, starting school, starting relationships, starting marriages - and every one of them is tasting the hard work of trusting, and the excitement of risking, and the goodness of believing.  Don't give in to the ever-looming anxiety and worries my friends - let's live in expectancy and drink up this season for all that it is worth.  The Lord really is doing new things in all of us, and He seems to be moving in very big and exciting ways.  If you're still in those months and months and years of waiting and hoping - don't give up.  I've still got my lists too - but I'm so grateful for all that the Lord has poured out all the sudden.  Reminds me that everything can change in a moment.  Really.  For better or for worse.  So live tenaciously right now.  And live in expectancy. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thank you Jesus (and Jobs) for FaceTime!!

John spent the weekend here.  Sleeping on the Baltic Sea.

And, I call her friend. : )  This is a comment to one of my posts last week.  It was far too compelling not to share with you all here.  Good thoughts on how to invest, how to love, how to be a friend at an age when so many people seem to be coming and going from our lives, yet our hearts are desiring to build real relationships.  (Also, EB gets another shout out.  No lie,  he is an amazing friend - that guys spent most of his Saturday helping me move into my new place!)
Well...I've only had one real relationship that's been 20 yrs long...thanks to Erik Byland. My bro. But I would like to respond to your musings because I feel like I have learned a lot about this subject,and unfortunately, in a lot of cases, a lot to late.
I haven't been the best of friend to people, yourself included and I'll be the first to admit I've shut people off where I've should have let them in. And now I've realized in order to have a friend that could last no matter what happens- whether proximity of space or the proximity of heart- you have to be that kind of friend.
So should we always love people until it hurts and invest in people until we have nothing left to lose? My answer is yes. Because that's what I would want done to me. And that's what Jesus did. He knew Judas would betray him and Peter would deny him, but he was still there for them. And I have to believe that until the day they died, they never once were unaffected by being with him.
So I think your question of how to invest in a way that lasts is right on. Because life takes us many directions and we meet so many different faces along the way, but if we only touch those who will never hurt us...then we can never fully love. Because perfect love casts out all fear. So maybe love is perfected in spite of our fear. That in what we may fear most- losing someone who means so much to us- we truly find a love that surpasses that.
anyways, that's my humble opinion, from someone whose half the friend they wish they've been but promises to be the friend I wish I've had.   [MEC]

Friday, July 13, 2012

Before I tell you this question, I'm going to tell you something even more important.

I'm not sure there's really an answer.

That said, I've been thinking a lot about investing.  How to invest in a way that lasts.  I won't be all coy about it, I'll just come out and say it:  We never know which relationships in our lives will last forever, and which will end tomorrow.  What seems most important today, may end up not tomorrow.  And what seems less important may in fact become a sort of lifeline to us one day. 

We can weigh the past.  We can consider who has stood beside us in previous trials, who has held our hand when we cried.  Who has woken us with coffee and who has fallen asleep to our most honest mumblings.  But ultimately, that is no promise.  And that's not even considering wrongs - just truths.  That some times we are called to be close, and sometimes we are not.  Some friendships are for seasons, and while our heart may ache for them one day we might be called different ways.  That's not to say our hearts won't stay close maybe, or that we wont look forward to a renewed friendship in a different season.  Or maybe we wont. Who knows.

I'm faithful.  I love long, deep, true friendships.  I have many that I've had all my life.  And they've looked different in different seasons.  This isn't out of hurt, distrust, or disappointment that I say it.  It's just the truth that we don't know what tomorrow will look like, or who will be standing beside us.  And therefore, how do we know how to invest?  Who becomes the priorities in our life?

As I said, I don't think there's an answer.  Except that, to some degree, it's not about worrying if they will be there forever.  It's about investing today because you know God placed them in your today.  And that frees you both up to not put weird expectations on one another or act out of fear of losing each other.  Our investments reap broader than in that one direct line held on one side by you and the other by a friend.  We reap in our hearts so much more - so many lessons, so much change.  We learn to love and to forgive. We learn how to be a friend.  We learn how to listen and how to share.  What is our business and what is not.  What is our fight, and what is not.  And our friends learn the same.  We become blessings in each other's lives each day - and if we are lucky, we get that for the rest of our lives with them. 

But we don't know.  So from time to time I think we have to ask, how do I invest in a way that lasts?  And I think we do that by loving them in a way that will leave an investment in their life and in our own, even if we find ourselves in two very different places a year down the road.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I think healthy relationships grow when we focus on the other person and serving them, not so much on the relationship itself.  Because that relationship will change. Guarantee it.  But if your focus is on the other person, loving them, that relationship will almost always remain - and with the freedom to grow and change through the seasons as it must.  It will become a blessing to you both, rather than a rope that strangles you. ;)

I could be wrong - and some of you have relationships that have lasted 20 years longer than any of mine - so I'm more than eager to hear.  How do you invest in a way that lasts, especially through a time as turbulent as the twenties?
5 Tallest Buildings in Seattle 

1. Columbia Center 937 ft

2. 1201 Third Avenue Tower 772 ft

3. Two Union Square 740 ft

4. Seattle Municipal Tower 722 ft

5. Safeco Plaza 630 ft

Thursday, July 12, 2012

(for those of you who do not know - this is HP)
Erik just sent me this message - and because I know so many of you are fellow HG fans, I couldn't resist sharing.  I wish I'd thought of this! Nerdy and hilarious.

A friend posted that they were in starbucks the other day and a girl ordered a drink.  When it was done, they read the name out as "primrose everdeen".  The girl that ordered the drink stood up and shouted "I volunteer as tribute!"

June was the month of my crazy.... July is the month of John's crazy.  Somewhere in August, we hope to meet in something that resembles a "normal" life.  My crazy was just straight up busy, his looks more like world traveler.  You can guess which I'd prefer.  Little bit jealous of this handsome fella, little bit just sad to say another goodbye (and a real one this time), a LOT bit excited for him and his long-looked-forward-to adventure to Sweden.
 The guy showed me his passport yesterday - I've never seen such a full passport.  I found it rather attractive.  ;)  And it renewed my commitment to see the world, soon.

We started this morning with our favorite coffee... Milstead. :) And then, I braved two hours of traffic.  Luckily, it was beautiful and I had the radio and sunglasses and the last bit of a delicious vanilla latte by the great Andrew Milstead.

It helped me say goodbye to this guy.  What also made saying goodbye a bit easier?  Realizing at the airport that he's only gone 12 days, instead of the 2 1/2 weeks I've been telling myself (and others) for the past month!

(Putting up with my photo taking... in his own way)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I realized this morning:  I've accomplished another of my 25 goals for 25.  And a big one at that. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Puppy Pictures!

Here, watch this and it will make more sense. ;)

I got to spend the 4th of July in Nashville with a chunk of the Turner crew, swimming and eating and sweating our butts off.  It was in the low 100's with high humidity for most all of our stay.  The fireworks show is considered one of the top 3 in the country, and I'd believe it.  It was fantastic!  Before the show began, I walked up to Kim's office where they were hosting a big event and said hello to all the people I've met over the years.  Then her and Jason walked back with me to where the Turners were all camped out on blankets on the lawn. I was able to watch the fireworks with my sister, John, and his sister (not to mention a lot more).  It was maybe a little thing, but it was a wonderful moment.

Not only that, but after surprising John the night before, I joined him, his sister Ann and his cousins for a fun night of honky tonking.  That's right: honky tonking.  My sis and Jason have taken me out for a bit of it, but most of the time we've really spent downtown at night, I wasn't 21.  That said, I've never really gone "out on the town" with a bunch of young people on any of my visits to that beloved city.  That has now been amended.  And I can't really imagine a better group of people to have done it with. 

John changed his flight and when all his family returned their separate ways, we got to spend some down time with my sister and brother-in-law.  It was amazing for both facts: I was with my sister.  And it was downtime.  And on top of all that, I was in Nashville. With John.  It was wild.  (That was for you, Meg & John.)  This genuinely has been one of the busiest past couple months of my life - with so much going on in so many aspects of my life.  Having time to just be was critical right now in many ways. More than I think I realized, until after seeing its affects.

Highlights of my trip were definitely the evening on the town, dinner with John, Kim & Jason at The Pharmacy, the drive-in, dinner with John at some amazing restaurant we found in East Nashville, the thunderstorms and all the other moments in between, relaxing. There are so many more favorite moments then I feel I can share.  Simple moments of conversation, games, walks, naps, reading, sleeping in, honest conversations with my sis as I fell asleep, etc.

As you go on, I think you realize you have more and more on the line.  More and more people may be watching.  And more and more you see that you've got no chance unless you are willing to risk it, even if it's in front of everyone.

Somehow, that is connected to my previous statement: Don't forsake what is right in front of you.  Because you can't be too worried about the onlookers. You can't be kicking yourself over what you could have done better before.  You can't be so obsessed with prospects in the future that you don't do a darn thing today.  Somewhere you have to start living.  And the best place to start is right where you are, with the person right in front of you.  There are too many wonderful people within my arms reach for me to be constantly peddling my phone.  That is what I am realizing.  And working on.  And maybe failing on (Instagram is just so gosh darn addicting!!), but I don't want to take people for granted when they are standing in the same room as me.  And I don't want to take any other opportunity for granted either. 

I'm having to literally re-train myself to focus on one thing.  Just one.  One person, right in front of me, and what they need, or need to tell me, in that moment.  And what a great learning season it has been for me - with weddings, work projects, a new apartment & moving, trips, family, friends, and a new relationship.

I know it's the same old thing said again: live in today.  But, somehow I wish I could make it new as this moment.  Make myself really grasp it - how to live today fully, as a means of fighting for all that's to come.  Live in a way that is powerful, focused and unreserved.  A way that helps ensure I don't miss the best parts and people in my life.  A way that helps me love better.
Last night, I bought my first carton of milk for my first apartment. :)

I also bought a bottle of wine, a box of sandwich bags, and a thing of cookie dough.  Just the necessities, you know.  And my boyfriend who was sitting on my front steps enjoying a beer when I pulled up, even helped me carry the groceries to my door.  I have nothing to complain about.  And a whole lot to be grateful for.  Including a beard.



Sunday, July 08, 2012

Just dropped this guy off at the airport.  Lame.

I'm off to enjoy my last evening with Kim & Jason.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

I know it has been over a week and I owe you all a lot of information by now, but you aren't going to get much of it for a few more days.  Monday was a long day.  So long that it became Tuesday.  As many of you knew, I was flying out Tuesday morning to see my sister and brother-in-law in Nashville and to surprise a special fella.  This also put a huge time crunch on a very major project at work.  Oh, and I was moving. 

Monday after work, Erik met Meg and I at my parents to help move my bed and dresser.  We spent the next 8 hours moving me. And, enjoying a bit of fun. Around 3am I slipped into bed for what was really a nap - showered at 4:30 and was back off to work to wrap up a few ends of my project before handing it off. I was back by 7am, which gave Meg and me 30 minutes to enjoy our first breakfast together at "our place".  It took some innovation. But, it became something tasty (and quick). After a very long day of travel, I got to squeeze my big sister and glimpse some of the Tennessee hills I love. By 7:30pm, John and Ann showed up and I got to watch his confused face stare at me, and then his sister, then my sister, then me. :) It was quite grand.  And what has been even more grand has been the 4 days since.  After this past month, this has been quite an incredible retreat and feast of good quality time.  Nashville is where I go to rest.  This time, I didn't even bring my laptop.  I knew why I was here, and all those reasons are sitting in the living room right now.... where I am about to return. 

So see you all soon - and I can't wait to connect with each of you and share plenty of thoughts and photos here too.

For now my focus is this:  Don't forsake what's in front of you.