Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ezra 3:13

"and no one could distinguish the sound of the joyful shouting from the sound of those who were weeping; for the people raised a mighty clamor which was hear afar off"

This is what life feels like to me most of the time

Listening to: wind through the trees shaking raindrops free

xo kb

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The kids and I took Elsie for a walk this afternoon The sun was perfect and I got some cute pictures




Strange occurances

I'm just going to log when these things happen, because it's weird

Or not

For two weeks now, I've been thinking about this guy I used to work with at Starbucks in downtown Wheaton Not like romantically thinking about him, just randomly remembered him and wondered where he was in his life His face would pop into my head now and again I haven't seen him in 9, maybe 10 years Strange, but whatever

Then this morning at church, I'm walking up the stairs after dropping off the kids at Sunday school, and I see the back of this guy in line for coffee Short hair, thinning spot in the back, slight build, hoodie, and I knew *I KNEW* that it was him Walked past him in line, glanced over my shoulder and, sure as shit, it was


After the service, I went down to pick up the kids and he was waiting outside the same room I was heading for Of course, I recognized him, but he saw me and said, "Kate?" and I never get recognized, not ever We chatted a bit about church, about where we were at in our lives, then went on our separate ways

I wonder what that was all about

The other thing: My best friend forgot my birthday I just knew she would text me about it today, and sure enough had a text from her while I was at work tonight, "Happy Belated Birthday"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Oh, the job search

So there are complications again, availability issues with one opportunity, pay issues with another

I'm remarkably unstressed

Maybe it's because I ran 8 miles today, or maybe because I'm used to this junk by now

Maybe not

I got the call from one company while I was in the shower, and took the time to get dressed (because that's not a call you want to take in a towel) and then said a prayer I asked God for things to go as they should I'm done expecting specific outcomes- I understand that I don't always know what's best for myself or what my future holds When my potential boss told me I needed to be able to work the 5am shift three days a week I sighed, because I truly don't know if I can He told me to take the weekend to think it over, that the job was mine if I could handle the availability needs, and he'd call on Monday I hung up frustrated, because nothing seems to be resolving easily

But that's never been my life, and I don't know why I'd expect things to change now My favorite quote is by Philip Pullman "What is worth having is worth working for" and I truly believe that Or as my mom used to say, "This is a character-building opportunity for you" *sigh*

So I'm going to do what I do when I'm running and at the base of a hill, keep my head down, keep my pace, keep moving forward

In the meantime, there will be a lot of praying over the weekend

Listening to: matt pond PA "Last Light"

xo kb

Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday 2011

I re-read my Birthday blog post from last year, and am amused because I could have just re-posted it again this year with a few minor changes

What's different:
I'm not as soft- in fact, I'm smaller now than I was at 23, so that's cool I guess
I made myself a carrot cake this year
I didn't read a book all day because I worked
I'm *gasp* even older now

What's the same:
I again made ravioli and drank a ton of red wine
I still hate my birthday
I still fake it for my kids
I still miss my mom the most on that day and the 16th

xo kb

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Update

I haven't been on my laptop in *gasp* two days, and I thought perhaps the period key would have magically fixed itself, that maybe it just needed a little rest, but that wasn't the case As you can see But the good news is that it's raining today, so at least there's that

It has been a whirlwind week, Matt Pond/Rocky Votolato on Monday, lots of working, my birthday on Thursday and a carrot cake, bacon cupcakes and St Louis on Friday and Saturday, getting lost on my drive home (and being helped back to the highway by two men with beers at a golf course, who had me follow their truck with Florida plates- not embarrassing for me at all, btw), wine with my neighbor Sandy last night (kinda forgot about that commitment and, ugh, I was tired), then getting the kids ready for a Cubs game and myself ready for church And I still have to run and work today

Yikes stripes

But in all, the best last few days I've had in ages and here are the highlights in pictures My only regret is that I didn't get a picture of the generous and lovely Steve Ulfelder at dinner- I was too in shock from being called old by our waitress to think of cameras

Me on my birthday, modeling my new black sports bra and Bon Iver CD

The card that came with my beautiful flowers from my stepmom, who said exactly the right thing at exactly the right time

Previously mentioned beautiful flowers and a slice of my birthday cake

The charming Bill Cameron and totally hawt Denise Swank at The Dubliner in St Louis

Dashing and not over-dressed Brooks Sherman, the knockout Trisha Leigh, and devastatingly handsome BC

Brooks in his new favorite hat

Breakfast of champions

The Mother Jones Monument

Listening to: matt pond PA "The Green Fury"

xo kb

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Carrot Cake

This recipe is a very modified version of the one made at the Palmer House in Chicago

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Dash ground allspice
4 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 cups shredded carrots
Apricot fruit spread or preserves
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350
Grease and flour three 8" round baking pans
In a bowl, mix the flours, sugars, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and allspice
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until light, reduce speed to medium, then add applesauce
Beat in flour mixture until batter is smooth
By hand, stir in carrots
Pour mixture into prepared pans, and bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
Leave in pans 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool on racks until room temperature
Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting
To assemble: Set cake layer on serving plate, spread preserves over it, top with next layer and repeat, cover with third layer, then coat top and sides with frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz softened cream cheese
1/3 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy
Reduce speed on mixer, and gradually add sugar until mixture is smooth, but slightly stiff

*Note* There were so many instances here where I wanted to add "that's what she said" but I held back
*Note 2* I deserve a reward for my good behavior

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A list

I don't ever want to be rich No, I'm not just saying that to sound like a dirty hippie Or maybe I am Anyway, I don't know what I would do with a big house or cars or excess in general I'm a minimalist by nature (although if you saw my collection of shoes- and mind you, I don't like actually wearing shoes- you might think otherwise), and I prefer simple and necessary However, if I ever have money that I can use for fun things, here is what I would spend it on:

A real camera, with different kinds of lenses
Hardcover books
A new mattress, box springs, and sheet set
A down comforter
My big-ass back tattoo
A strap for my guitar (I've had it since I was 15 and have never had a strap)
John Fluevog shoes
One of those Crosley record players that has the CD/tape/mp3 option
A cool old-school bike with wide handle bars and a basket on the front
An upright piano

That's all

Matt Pond PA/ Rocky Votolato

I went to Lincoln Hall last night It's my favorite place to see a show because it's so clean, smells like (Metropolis) coffee, and the sound is amazing AMAZING

I wasn't disappointed I bought the ticket for myself as a birthday present (yeah, it's coming up, lurking, waiting for the right evil moment to pounce and make me older) I couldn't have picked a better show to go to Sure, the Bazan living room show in Wheaton would have been cool, but I've seen him and Wheaton quite a few times (and might be a little bitter for not having my living room chosen) and my heartfelt love for Matt Pond has grown so exponentially over the summer, I may have died if I didn't see him perform live

Oh God, it was a good show The crowd was a little quiet, and the words "tame" and "Monday" were used on a few occasions, but sometimes you're quiet because the music is too beautiful to add noise You need to show reverence Gentlemen, if you're reading this, I would have screamed and hollered, but it was just too pretty to deface with that static

Anyway, I love taking pictures and, while I am by no stretch a photographer, I think I caught some nice pictures and here they are

Listening to: the cricket in my house

xo kb

Sunday, September 11, 2011


*Please forgive my lack of punctuation The key stopped working again and I can't afford to have it fixed just yet*

We all have our stories, where we were when we first heard about the planes crashing, how we felt when we learned the buildings were collapsing, the senses, the emotions that bombarded us It was nearly impossible to grasp the reality of the day, of the chaos, and I say this as person who has never been to New York or the Pentagon, who didn't experience the terror first-hand But it affected me that day, and continues to- to the point that the coverage on TV this morning had me in tears and unable to eat

On September 11, 2001 I was managing the Starbucks in Downtown Wheaton, IL I don't remember who I opened with that morning, and it began like any other open- brew the coffee, prime the bar, put cash in the registers We always opened ten minutes early It's actually policy to open ten minutes early, but at Downtown Wheaton we really did it because Mark the Barber from next door needed his drink before he opened shop Our next customers were always two guys who worked at the Sears Tower I can't remember if they were the ones that told us the news that there had been a plane crash At first, we didn't think anything of it I mean, we thought, Oh God, that's horrible, but news began to trickle in quickly that it had crashed into the Twin Towers There was speculation it was intentional Then we learned it was two planes, both towers had been hit

I turned off the music streaming in our store and turned a radio on to WGN, placed it on the bar and we huddled and listened to the reports It was so quiet that morning, no talking or laughing as usual, no hustle or bustle of trying to get drinks out Customers ordered in whispers, we filled their orders in silence It was the one and only time I worked in that store where it ceased to feel like a Starbucks I can't find the words to describe what it felt like, something like a church, like a funeral, like a bomb shelter People passed around the information they'd heard in their cars on the drive over, what they'd seen on the news before they'd left their houses Those driving to work stayed a little longer than usual Those who commuted left to get on their trains, uncertain what they'd experience once they got to the Loop, if the Sears Tower would be hit, if there were bombs planted at the Merc, at the CBOT

My district manager called me at a point in the morning to tell me that Starbucks had decided to close all their stores I was to keep one volunteer to help me shut down, and we were to go home to our families as soon as we'd managed to clean things up My barista and friend Sarah chose to stay with me It was the longest close I'd ever had, did ever have Not because we were in the middle of the morning rush, but because by that point we'd learned the extent of the attacks and could barely see through our tears to clean Two hours later, Sarah and I hugged, and I walked down the street to where my husband was working selling cell phones and pagers No one came in and it was just fine because we were like zombies watching the news, the devastation

I was pregnant with my first child My good friend Carrie was in the hospital recovering from her C-section the day before, both of us left wondering what kind of a world we were bringing children into, a world where ideological differences leads to dehumanization, where lives are lost and it's seen as a triumph

That day was such a tragedy

But I see tragedy in every day, and I don't say this to in any way diminish the suffering that was experienced on 9/11, or that has resulted from that day, because it was- is- ungodly But it is a tragedy when we pretend the horrific drought that is affecting the people in the Horn of Africa doesn't affect us too It is a tragedy when we walk past the homeless man because his clothes are dirty and he smells awful A tragedy when our neighbor's home is foreclosed on and we thank God that we can still pay our mortgage

Perhaps the greatest thing that came out September 11, 2001 was the unity it inspired in so many We held each other, comforted each other Donated money, blood, sent our fire men and women to New York to help in any way they could We showed a rich compassion as a people I cry more over this than the loss of life, am struck by the beauty we have inside us

We just need to embrace it and live it every day

Listening to: Matt Pond PA

xo kb

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A prayer


I totally understand the lesson of rejection, so can we move on to something else now, please?

Thank you and Amen

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mad Libs made more fun.

Ali can't spell. But she likes to do the Mad Libs app on my phone anyway, then has us read her entries back to her. Today, Julia read one back and, rather than editing as she went by adding real words and pretending Ali had written them on her own, she read each entry letter by letter. And found one heck of an actual word in the middle of the mess. Here's a look.

Listening to: A howling dog and tornado sirens.

xo. kb.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Listening to "Styrofoam Plates" and thinking about how we all have our parent issues.

I think about how my mom had a smile that could cheer a room. She could talk to anyone and make them feel comfortable. At the same time, was sad and always dreaming of something else. Literally dreaming of houses she would love to own, to decorate. I think about how she wanted to be a good mom, a homemaker, and yet was so strong-willed she couldn't be a wife. Needed to be recognized by other people. A husband's love wasn't enough for her. Neither was her children's. How her mother was always busy and trying to make everyone happy. How she was born when her parents were much older and she was used to being the cute one. She didn't know how to cook when she got married, only knew how to dance and be funny. I think about my grandpa. He was the product of an asshole, a drunken womanizer, and a saint, who raised four boys without thanks. How my grandpa recognized his mother's love and tried to live up to his mother's expectation, but couldn't help owning the anger of his father.

I think of my dad who was angry, always wanted us to follow his authority without question, but could be silly and hilarious. How his mother was his ideal woman. She married as a teen, and spent her life doing everything for everyone else. How his dad was short and had a short temper. Was a mean bastard to his family, but could play any song he heard by ear on the piano and tell a joke like no one's business. Was loved by all his friends.

I think of who my parents were, and how they affected me and how I am now. Who I am, who I want to be. We are all shits, products of the worst of our genealogy. And at the same time, we are those great things too.

I have a temper. I let things build and then freak out over nothing. I swear a lot when I'm driving and can be very mean if I don't watch myself. Then again, I am extremely calm in stressful situations and can think things through. I am hopeful and optimistic. A dreamer. I can play any instrument I pick up, I sing well, I tell great stories. And I remember everything.

My point? This line, "He was a bastard in life, was a bastard in death," gets to me. We are none of us all one thing. There are parts of us that are just the worst, and parts of us redemptive. Let's just acknowledge that.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I am a hat girl.

It's not always been this way- I remember being in grade/middle school and hating hats. They messed with my bangs. I only wore earmuffs. The word earmuffs bothers me now. Say it aloud. Earmuffs. It sounds weird. And the visual? Like some awful headband, or DJ-type who had a fur fetish. Yeah, um, no.


Somewhere in high school I began a love affair with hats. I say love affair loosely. I never actually did anything remotely sexual with a hat, merely put them on my head. But I loved the feel of a hat covering my head. I used to steal my boyfriend's baseball cap, all broken in and huge and smelling of him. It covered half my face. I'm sighing at the thought of it now, it was so great. My youth director bought me my own cap for my seventeenth birthday. A Yankees hat, God forgive him, but it was flannel, and he had the decency to rubber-band the bill before wrapping it. I wore it whenever I could.

Somewhere in my history, I got over the baseball cap and moved on to hats that are more fitting for a girl. Like ski caps, or newsboys, or bucket caps. Sunhats. All huge and covering much of my head, half of my eyes. To appear as some kind of enigma. Or because my head is small and I can wear a child's size. Whichever.

But I went through a period of time when I stopped wearing hats. Somehow, whenever I put one on it looked off. I couldn't figure it out, if my face had changed, or if my haircut was wrong, but the hats didn't work. And it was weird to look at myself in a mirror and think, "You used to be this hat person and now you're not. What's different?"

And the answer is a lot of things. Sometimes you look in the mirror and you don't recognize yourself. You see who you used to be, who you want to be, but can't for the life of you figure out who you are in that moment. I've had a lot of those moments. I will, I'm sure, continue to have them in the future. But for now, I'm a hat girl again. Bought one the other day. It's fancy. Gray felt. Soft. Big, of course, even though it's a small. I wear it cocked to the side, covering my right eye for that proper sense of mystery. Despite the fact that I'm the most obvious girl in the world. Even so, I love it. I feel like a badass in a hat. Like a woman with purpose, with intention. Because you don't wear a hat tentatively, you wear it with confidence.

Listening to: Death Cab For Cutie "Codes and Keys"

xo. kb.