Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I should be writing. I really should. I had intended to finish a chapter by today. I was supposed to start writing it yesterday, but I had this interview thing, then I did this long run thing, then I made these tamales and salsa and guacamole, then I drove to the city.... And today, I was all about writing. Gonna do it. Gonna get this chapter done. But then I did this crying thing, then this long uphill run thing, then more of this crying thing, then took this crazy long nap, then went to work.... So now I should be writing. And I will. Swear to God. But first, here's a song from my favorite band, Sunny Day Real Estate.

It's from my #1 concert ever, September 24, 2009 (#2, if you're interested, was Built To Spill in 1999) and it's my favorite song by them.

Walking Elsie.

I went on a long run this morning. An hour. Is that long for real? It's long for me. Anyway, I needed it because I was feeling a little, um, emotional and it's my best defense against the cries. So I got home and was all about to write, when Elsie looked at me with her big brown dog eyes, mouth open in a smile, and I knew she wanted to go on a walk. Okay, fine. My right foot is still a mess and I never cool-down enough so I thought, Let's do this. I grabbed her leash, poop bags, and we headed out.

Walking with Elsie is always a challenge. She's not a huge dog- she's part black lab, part who knows what else, and weighs about 55lbs- but she's an excited dog, and she pulls when you walk with her. I've tried the Gentle Leader, tried the retractable leash, tried making her sit every time she pulls, none of those things work. The thing is, she's so happy to be outside. You can see in her eyes, her face, that she's filled with joy to be walking. And it sucks, because I know that about her. I want her to be happy and bound and run ahead. Except that my arm isn't retractable, and my foot is stiff and can't walk as fast as she wants to, and it's kinda painful for me. And then, out of nowhere, she smells something that intrigues her and stops. Abruptly. And can't be budged. So our walk is this combo of her pulling me and me pulling her and it feels like we're never in sync.

Because we aren't.

Walks with Elsie are just about her. A chance for her to get out and experience the world. To run, sniff, to chase after the bunnies she'll never catch. To pull the hell out of my arm. She's not thinking about my needs- that I might have to walk at at a slower pace, or that I have things I want to get done at home. She's not thinking about those things because she's a dog. I need to recognize that, and release my expectations of what walking with her could or should be like. Find joy in her joy.

Listening to: The Joy Formidable

xo. kb.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


First off, my period key is still broken, so punctuation will be *sigh* erratic If you don't see a period, but a word is followed by a capital letter then you know I meant one Okay? Okay

I haven't been to church in two weeks, and missing church for me feels a lot like missing a run- I feel all tense and like I'm missing something So I was very happy to be home and back in a routine and back there this morning

Every week, there is some part of the message that strikes a chord Some weeks more than others. Ooh! A period! Ooh! Another one. Yay!!!!!!

Anyway. (There it is again!)(.........)

We discussed Matthew 25, the parable of the talents, where a rich man entrusted his three servants with money. One five talents, another two talents, and the last with one talent. (A talent is a unit of weight, so we can't really translate how much money this actually was.) The servant with five talents invested and doubled his money. The same with the servant of two talents. "But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money." When the master returned, he was equally glad for the two servants who had invested in their talents. Even though one had earned much more than the other, the fact they had each put forth an effort was cause for joy. The third servant was called wicked and lazy, and was dismissed.

What's our point here? I quote my campus pastor Shawn Williams. "Everything in our lives is a gift from God. And not using them is a poverty of stewardship. Another poverty of stewardship: looking at what you have and comparing it to what others have, and feeling it to be less, to be insignificant, and allowing that to paralyze you to inactivity. It doesn't matter how much you're given, it matters what you do with what you have. There is no person who is insignificant."

I love this. My take-away here is that I do have talents that I'm under-utilizing. I've blogged about this before, but it was more in regards to my music and my writing. And I am getting better with those, am writing daily again, have written music as well, but I know those aren't my only skills.

I had an interview on Friday and the last question she asked me was, "If you could do anything, money was no object, what would it be?" I told her I wanted to do something community/customer service-based. She said, "No really, it could be anything. Don't tell me what you think I want to hear." I laughed, because it's the truth. I told her a very condensed version of my cafe idea, and admitted that interacting and connecting with other people is one of my greatest joys. And a gift that I feel I was given.

So this morning at church, we commissioned a new church. Mission Church, which will open in Roselle. We have a large group leaving the Yellow Box campus to start this church, to grow it, to build it into a community. Some of these people are small group leaders, music team members, youth leaders. Shawn asked us as a congregation to help fill their shoes. In my heart, I knew I needed to volunteer. And it freaked me out, because I never feel like I'm Christian enough to lead other people on their path, but I do know that I have gifts I need to use and will trust the Lord to help me with the rest.

xo. kb.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


My zinnias are making me really happy.

Here you can see my hummingbird friend.

And this I found on a recent run. I sent the image over to @BoySeesHearts

Happy Thursday Folks.

xo. kb.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


"When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly."
Patrick Overton

Monday, August 22, 2011

First day of school.

Today was the first day of school. A sad and exciting day always, because summer and its late nights, lazy days, pool lounging, free-for-all is over, but fall and its crisp nights, crunchy leaves, new teachers, pencils, paper, classmates begins. I usually love the first day of school. After nearly three months of having all three kids at home, I'm ready to ship the older ones off and chill with my baby. Except my baby is five and headed off to kindergarten this morning.

I swear I'm not a sap.

I am not one of those cry all the time moms, who can't bear for her kids to grow up and says things like, "It goes so fast." Except this summer I've kind of been one of those moms who cries all the time and can't bear for my kids to grow up and says things like, "It goes so fast."

So I wasn't anticipating feeling emotional about taking MG to school for the first time, because it's not traditional me, but of course, I did. Let me be clear: I DID NOT CRY. But I felt a catch in my throat and sighed a little more than usual (if you know me, you understand the significance of the sigh). She did great, by the way. Found her chair, listened to her teacher give first day instructions, reminded me that dancing isn't appropriate in class (her words, swear to God). And then afterward, we went out for lunch and hung around like old times. Which was great for me, but she kept saying, "I wish it was tomorrow and I was still in school and could ride the bus home."


I honestly don't know when they got so big.

Listening to: Built To Spill "Keep It Like A Secret"

xo. kb.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


My mom was a single, working mother. That means a lot of things, but mostly it means that I had a lot of babysitters and was in a ton of daycare programs. For the most part, these caretakers were good people, but I had one experience that was just awful. Like I would cry before my mom would leave me there in the morning, and cry when we got in the car to go home, and beg that she wouldn't ever take me there again. Many reasons for this, and some of them pitiful, like she would put ketchup on my eggs without asking me first (I didn't like condiments until I was much, much older) and then make me eat them. Um, gross.

But more serious, right by the front door was a large jar filled with candy. Not just Starlight mints, or Jolly Ranchers, but beautiful, brightly colored ribbon candy. The kind you see at Christmas at a specialty store. This jar, a beacon of temptation, a siren of sugar, sat right in my field of vision as my mom would put my coat on me and get me ready to leave. I would look at it and want a piece and, because I was four, would ask for a piece. My babysitter would open the jar, pick out a candy, and hand it to me. It was the only good thing about going to her house.

Until one day. My mom had just dropped me off, and my babysitter's husband was home during the day for some reason. He turned to me, his face filled with fury, and said, "Who do you think you are, asking for candy? I almost took my belt right off last night and beat you in front of your mother for that. Don't you ever ask for candy again."

Okay, so dude was fucked up. I get that now, but as a little kid I was terrified and ashamed. I had no idea that it was a bad thing to ask for candy, and from there on out, I didn't ask. And when it was offered to me, I always turned it down.

I think about that experience sometimes. I'm not sure that it was this defining moment in my life, but I do have a very difficult time asking for what I want. I feel like I don't deserve it, or that it's improper, or sometimes I'm just afraid that someone will freak out at me for asking in the first place. I lack courage. I'm not saying that I'm a weak person. I can withstand, endure, pretty much anything. But I will almost always accommodate, give, and keep silent about my needs or desires.

I've been doing really well with high-diving. With taking chances when I wouldn't normally, with trying new things. I think I need to start taking chances with being open as well. With trusting that I can ask for the things I need and I won't be threatened with the belt.

Listening to: Pixies "Trompe le Monde"

xo. kb.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The fitting room.

Um, it was a strange night at work. First, let it be said that I am the jean queen. Maybe I should capitalize that. Jean Queen. I found proper pants for countless folks, all leaving with spectacular bottoms and long-looking legs. So I spent most of tonight in the fitting room. By the way, there's a divide between calling it "fitting room" and "dressing room" that I wonder could be like the "stuffing" and "dressing" divide. I may do research on this.

But I digress.

I spent tonight with customers. One-on-one. And that's my favorite because you get to see them all the way through their experience. One fellow came in looking for jeans. A middle-aged guy already wearing jeans and a tucked in polo. Shaved bald head. I'm guessing he works in sales. Maybe upper management, but not corporate. Anyway, he wanted jeans, and I found him two pair. Then he wanted a shirt to try on with the pants, so we looked around for that. I had his jeans in my arms, two shirts, and I said, "Can I start a room for you?"

He looked at me Crazy Eyes. Then he giggled. "A room? What do you mean?"

"A fitting room," I said, and tried to control my "What the hell kind of room did you think I meant?" Eyes.

*NOTE* I have an expression-y face. I can't help it. When I try to keep things neutral I look sinister. Now you know.

"A fitting room," he laughed. "Right!" Then he laughed again (creepy) and patted me on the back.

And then I really wondered what kind of room he thought I was starting for him.

*NOTE PART 2* My company provides fitting (dressing) rooms for our customers who would like to try on clothes. That's the extent of the services we provide in said rooms.

I pretended like I didn't know he'd thought I was offering a "special room" for him, and ha ha smiled my way through the rest of our interactions.

In return, he bought everything I suggested.

Listening to: the dishwasher.

xo. kb.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Random asides.

I am exclusively listening to "J" bands.

My lifelong obsession with the musical Annie has inspired me to name my newest MC after her. Yes, she has red hair.

Things in my life are not going at all how I wanted them to, but I don't think that means that they aren't going exactly as they should be.

That said, I'm still *sigh* unhappy about it.

That said, I'm trusting the Lord.

I do not like Mustangs. The cars. I know nothing about horses.

My shortest run now is a 5K. My average is 5 miles. My longest is until I fall over.

My neighbor called me a spinster. I need to accept that this may be true.

I love my twitter girlfriends.

I wish my kids didn't start school next week. I want to sell the house, move to the middle of nowhere, and homeschool.

That will never happen. Instead, I'm planning to use the time they're away to focus on writing.

I plan to finish my first draft by October.

I'm still actively looking for a job.

I'm still hopeful.

Listening to: The Joy Formidable- "Between the wreck there's heaven sent/ Between the choice I'd rather have/ And at the end a chapter goes/ And now the finish is the start"

xo. kb.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clothing woes.

I have issues with clothes.

From the very beginning, I was not a good dresser. Knickers, and sweatsuits, and, omg, stirrups. That mod phase in middle school. Or that time in high school when I only wore black, then later expanded it to include other clothes as long as there was some black. My favorite outfit: a black bodysuit, my stepfather's jeans, my blue/black zigzag cardigan and my docs. Um, yeah.

It took me a while to get some style. Like, forever. And since I've been dressing better, I've had horrible luck. Many a cute shirt has had a fresh batch of mocha spilled down its front. I nearly always forget to zip my fly. No, really. I don't always take off all tags, nothing I buy that's white is white longer than an hour on my body, and I have actually tucked my skirt into my underwear. Good fun, btw.

It's a joke at work that my girls are always on display, and sometimes my bra makes an appearance so it can share in the attention.

Just last week, I got up and dressed into a rather modest wrap dress (because I put a tank under so you couldn't see my cleavage), went to church, drove to Bloomington and hung out in the McDonald's with my kids for an hour, then drove home and went to work, only to find 30 minutes before close that my turquoise underwear was fully visible through my coral dress. All the livelong day.

And tonight, I was getting my bag out of my locker at work when my friend Megan said, "You have some kind of white substance on your dress. I'd get it for you, but it's dangerously close to your butt." I lifted my skirt and turned it so I could see. Yep. Big white splotch. I sit on the bathroom counter to do my eye makeup, and I guess I sat on some toothpaste. I don't even want to know what people were thinking of me.

Moral of the story: I'm kind of a mess. :)

Listening to: Jimmy Eat World

xo. kb.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Middle

I've been listening almost exclusively to Jimmy Eat World lately. Maybe I'm going through a "J" phase? Who knows. But man, it speaks to me. Especially this song. It's my 'on repeat' encouragement music and I kinda think it'll be the soundtrack to my wip.


I went out last night to celebrate my sister's birthday. She turned 31, and I'm not sure how that even happened, since she's younger than me and I certainly can't be older than 27. Still, we went to this hole in the wall bar Cody's that, strangely enough, I've been to before (this girl gets out, um, never) and sat out on the back patio and drank and socialized and attempted to keep my sister's dog Carly in check. At one point, we got all nostalgic and were talking old movies. I brought up The Boy Who Could Fly (one of the best movies ever) (or at least I remember it that way), which led to mentions of Powder and I Know My First Name Is Steven, which I think was made for tv. So then we started talking about our fav old tv shows. The Hogan Family came up. The Hogan Family? Does anyone remember that? We couldn't remember if Valerie Harper's character had been killed off or not, but certainly remembered that Sandy Duncan had replaced her as the aunt. Then, of course, we talked about her glass eye, and if Sandy Duncan's Glass Eye isn't a band name, it should be. This particular conversation ended with a rowdy sing-a-long of the Perfect Strangers theme-song, which is the best theme-song in the history of theme-songs.

None of this is important.

There's that part in the evening when the group splinters and conversations get smaller and more intimate. This may have something to do with the alcohol, but I can't prove that. Anyway. My friend Mandy and I were talking about fashion, how July 5 is the kick-off for back-to-school in retail, and how neither of us were ready for wool.

One of the things I love most about living in the Midwest is the change of seasons. Every year is different, of course. Our summer started late this year, and last winter seemed to last forever. But we generally get all four, and I love it. Love all of them. Except the beginning of fall makes me nervous. I've always felt this way. Once in autumn, I'm fine. In fact, I'd say it's my favorite if you made me choose. The changing leaves, the crispness of the air, the cooler temperatures. I love wearing sweaters, love browns and oranges, love the transition from grill to soups. But the end of summer is tough. Because it feels like the end of freedom. The end of staying up late, of sleeping in, of days laid out in front of you filled with possibility. It signals the start of school. And I don't even go to school anymore, but I can't shake that tension, that anxiety. I don't know that I ever will.

Mandy said it best, "August is like a month of Sundays."


Listening to: outside sounds

xo. kb.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rise Above

I really like this song. Like it comes on and I find myself still and listening, can feel my emotions build with the tension in the song. It's sad and that's okay.

I'm not this huge U2 fan. I mean, I own most of their albums and love a lot of their songs, but if you asked me to list my top five bands, I wouldn't even think to include them. Definitely not a fangirl.


When I was at Starbucks, we had a leadership conference in New Orleans. It was post-Katrina, there were 10,000 of us and we had one day of company-related activities and classes, and one day doing volunteer activities in the community. 10,000 people swarming into a city to work with Rebuilding Together and get a shit ton done in the time they were there. (A drop in the bucket, I'm sure, but I still get choked up that Howard Schultz planned this kind of a leadership conference. Talk about corporate social responsibility.) Anyway, our last day in NOLA we had that big rally meeting where everyone piles into a stadium and there's a special speaker. Ours was a mystery and we were all wondering who it would be, and then Bono comes onstage.


And 10,000 of us were on our feet freaking out. Well, 9999 because my friend Roger was tcfs. But OMG! BONO! And then, why? What the heck does Bono have to do with Starbucks. It turned out that Starbucks had partnered with (Product)Red and Bono had come to speak with us about the organization and how our involvement would positively affect it. That man is an evangelist. And good lord, I respect that.

So today I'm thinking about what I'm going to do in the world. How can I rise above this little life in this little house with these little concerns?

"You see, idealism detached from action is just a dream. But idealism allied with pragmatism, with rolling up your sleeves and making the world bend a bit, is very exciting. It's very real. It's very strong."

xo. kb.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday night.

I have these moments. When I am overwhelmed with the urge to touch your face. To place my hands along your jawline, tap my fingers on your cheekbones, trace your brows. The fact you're not here doesn't make the urge any less urgent.

I touch my face instead. Cover my eyes with my hands and pretend the skin isn't so soft. Reach out and move my fingers like they're playing scales, arpeggios in the air. Touching skin, lips, hair...

I pretend well-enough with eyes closed, can feel it all. Can smile. Laugh and hope. But a breath and lids lifted, and I see I'm alone at a kitchen table, the abrasive light from the computer in my eyes, the living room filled, but only with furniture.

Listening to: matt pond PA "Last Light"

xo. kb.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


My mom was a huge fan of thunderstorms. This is genetic. Runs in my family like hair or eye color. She got it from her mom, who got it from her dad, and so on. Mom used to light up when the clouds would cover and get all excited. As soon as a rumble of thunder could be heard, she'd have us outside on the porch watching it. We'd count in between the lightning strike and the thunder's sound to judge the distance of the storm, tally our counts of lightning, and get soaked once the rain fell.

Thunderstorms are like the fireworks on the Fourth of July, except better because your best seat for viewing is anywhere and there are never any crowds.

I do this with my kids now. As soon as the sky turns a funky shade, we're running out barefoot, armed with the camera. We snap pictures of the clouds rolling in until they're above us and threatening, then race back inside. We keep the sliding glass door open, and line the floor with towels to catch the rain, then stand at attention and wait for the action. The louder the thunder, the better. That growl that grows into an explosion gets our cheers. The crack of the lightning, the kind that makes us jump, receives shouts of "Awesome!"

Life is little celebrations.