Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final Post Of '08

This is the last post for me in 2008 and it's a little weird. I feel some changesoming on in my life but that's a whole different post for another day. And it will be coming soon.

Right now, I'm enjoying the evening with my bff Bethany and we just got in from eating some fantastic seafood at a restaurant called Tin Top in Gulf Shores. We decided to forego The Wharf tonight since it's freakin' cold outside and we know it will be packed. No worries. We sent her parents out to check it out and they will report back. Good thing we are close enough to see the fireworks from her house.

Just finished watching the Rockin' New Year's Eve and I don't know about you, but sweet Dick Clark needs to hang it up, in my opinion. As much as Dick is a huge part of New Year's Eve, I felt like I needed closed-captioning to understand what he was saying tonight. Good thing Ryan Secrest, Dick Clark incarnate, is ready to step up to the plate once Dick decides to give it up for good.

What a motley crew they had on the platform with Secrest to watch the ball drop, eh?!? (And I think I just became Canadian there.) Lionel Richie, the Jones Bros, Taylor Swift and Demi Levoto (sp?). I think you could cut the tension with a knife between ex-lovas Joe Jonas and Taylor Swift (and it scares me how much I know about the Disney relationship drama).

And Kelly Pickler is too cute. No?

Okay, I must go watch this crazy Robbie Maddison guy try to jump over the moon. Death wish? Maybe.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My MSU Legacy

My mom just showed me this article written by Bob Hartley (pictured right), former Mississippi State sports information director and the person whom the Mississippi State football pressbox is named after. The article entitled "From the Hart", appeared in each issue of Dawgs' Bite, a small newspaper with eventually turned into a full-fledged magazine reporting the happenings of the Mississippi State athletics front.

The article contains several different parts to it and the last part is a sort of homage to my grandfather, my mom's father, my Boppie. Boppie died when I was in second grade, after losing his battle with prostate cancer. It didn't have much of an affect on me then, but the older I got and the more pictures and stories I was told, the more I grew to miss him more and more.

I wanted to share this article with my readers to give you a little more insight on why my blood is truely maroon. Besides the fact that I get to brag that my dad played for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, I get to brag that my Boppie did too, among other things.

So here goes...

"When former MSU classmate, fraternity brother and ex-star wing-back Collins Wohner called just before [the] 10 o'clock news Saturda night, Feb. 16, I had a premonition he was about to report some bad news. The call was appreciated, but [the] new of the death of one of Mississippi State University's all-time favorite graduates was saddening.

W.O. "Willie" STone has meant as much to MSU as any person I've ever known. He served the University and his fellow man in many ways. From the Hart will always treasure his memory of Willie Stone.

He is perhaps best remembered by many as the captain of Mississippi State's 1935 football team that shocked Army, 13-7. The upset startled the sports world. This game is regarded by many as the school's most important football victory. Not only was Willie Stone captain of the football team, he was president of the MSU student body. He was a 1936 grad. He was (is) also [a] member [of the] MSU Sports Hall of Fame.

Stone served as Alumni Secretary at his alma mater, 1939-41, returning after World War II. My first association with Willie was when I accompanied Coach Dudy Noble and Stone to a meeting in Tupelo, a week after joining [the] Athletic Department staff, Aug. 15, 1946. I [remember] stopping a Whitt's Cafe at Crosstown (Tupelo) while WIllie made a phone call. After the call, he reported news that Shorty McWilliams had resigned from West Point (U.S. Military Academy) and was returning to State.

One of six brothers to attend Mississippi State (five are graduates), Stone served on the Board of Instuations of Higher Learning (College Board), 1969-72, including [a] term as board president. He retired after 30 years with Mississippi Roadbuilders Supply as Vice President and Sales Manager in 1986."

The rest of the article just lists survivors and requests for memorials to Mississippi State's Development Foundation.

I share this because of my enormous pride in where I come from. My parents are the greatest and I can't imagine being a part of another family. God sure did a great job in picking parents for me and they are a true testament and result of great parents on their part as well.

(I wish I had a picture of my grandfather on my computer but I don't. Many could be scanned if I had access to a scanner.)

Praise God for amazing families!

My Most Favorite Reading Material

The day after Christmas, my mom presented to me my most favorite magazine (and probably the only magazine I read cover to cover), the Mississippi Magazine 2009 Wedding Register. I absolutely love this magazine because I love seeing people I know (and people I don't know) and just how their special day went down. This year was really fun because a fellow Kappa Delta sister Lindsey (Swedenburg) Pond and her cute beau were on the front with a most fantastic picture (The picture to the right is obviously not this year's cover).

I love reading where the events take place and about the dresses and who was in whose wedding. Seeing the pictures of the dresses and such is so fun too. Casey and I met at Pepper's that night to eat dinner and what to my surprise, she brought the same magazine with her. It was kind of funny. It made talk of her fast approaching nuptials even more exciting.

My mom and I were talking today, and I looked at a picture of her wedding day that is on the wall and commented how fantastic her wedding dress was and how that style is coming back in a major way. Then I remembered an advertisement I ran across the other day in the magazine of this company that restores/updates vintage (mom and grandmom's) wedding dresses. I've mentioned before how I would love to wear her dress if I ever were to get married, and then we started talking about what could be done to it while still keeping the original look to it.

I realized we were a million steps ahead of ourselves but said if I were to ever find someone to marry me, he wouldn't have to wait very long because I'd have the whole thing planned out already.

There's no harm in planning ahead, right?

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's Never Over

First of all...As hard as it is to believe that Christmas Day has come and gone, Christmas (and Easter for that matter), is never over for me. Both are year-round as far as I'm concerned. It's comforting to know what God did for us and what Jesus' birth and death and resurrection means for all of us and it gives a different meaning to the Apostle Paul's words, "Grace and peace to you all." Interesting, huh?

Now on to the less meaningful stuff...What did Katie get for Christmas?

Before I tell you about the one present on my Christmas list that I REALLY wanted and got, I'll tell you about everything else.

I got...

... a beautiful cross necklace from my mom. She really knows how to pick out great jewelry for me.

... several a couple of framed pictures of me and the nephew. One was from him. Sweet kid.

... a fantastic dress and cute cable-net sweater from Ann Taylor LOFT that I picked out myself. Now, I've just got to find somewhere to wear the dress. Maybe I'll crash a wedding or something.

... an awesome knee-length woolish maroon coat, also picked out by Yours Truly. I just wish it would be cold so I can wear it. This 70 degree weather in the heart of winter is killing me.

... a great yellow scarf from Casey which I just wear around the house for fun since it's too hot outside for it.

... PJ pants and slippers, a Third Day shirt and Jelly Bellies from Kel.

The next three things deserve their own separate paragraphs.

As many of you know, I've become quite obsessed with multiple births. I'm not really sure why. My mom says I should watch out lest I be cursed...ahem blessed...with more than one child at a time should I ever be given the chance to experience such an opportunity. I read several quad blogs -- the Steece's, the McNulty's, the Murray's, the Goerlich's and recently the Lambe's and Suzy (I don't know her last name but she just delivered her four bundle of joy on Christmas Eve). I also watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 every time it is on TLC. It's safe sto say, I'm obsessed. I talk about it all the time. It's insane.

So my sweet Daddy, being the observant one he is, got me this for Christmas.

I was so pumped. See, not only do I just love this TV show, I love this family for the testimony that they are living out day by day. Jon and Kate Gosselin have chosen to tell their story on television and in this book, along with various speaking engagements, without leaving out the most important writer of all, God Almighty. The parents of eight give God his due honor in every sentence that is written in this book. I started last night and I'm almost halfway through it.

One part that I've read so far was when the couple was urged to seriously consider "selective reduction". Both refused given their beliefs and Christian faith. They chose to play the hand God had dealt them and ended up with multiple blessings!

Last but not least, my mom and dad got me THE ONLY thing that I wished for this Christmas. Santa came through. I present to you...

The iPod Touch

I have not put this down. And to make it even better, my sister and bro-in-law gave me a leather case for it, considering my proneness to drop cetain expensive items (i.e. digital camera in Honduras).

I'm so pumped about this gift that all I've done for the past 30 hours (well, minus the 10 hours of sleep) is add free apps and play with my new gadget.

I think we've created a monster.

I hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas full of fun times with loved ones and true reflection on what the true meaning of this holiday season is all about.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Random Ramblings

Just because I'm on this movie quote kick, I'm giving this one to you for free. My dad and I are watching Spiderman 2 as I right and Mary Parker just said this and I felt it deep down in the core of my heart for the first time...

"I believe there's a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams. "

Totally unrelated to anything else I'm going to say, as will the rest of the stuff. Hence the title of this blog.

I told you about the friends' wedding I went to on Saturday. What I didn't tell you was that the groom was my elementary school boyfriend. Actually, he was my boyfriend in first grade and into second grade. Then we "broke up" and got back together in fifth grade into sixth grade until I came to my senses and realized what a boyfriend really was.

Back then, love and boyfriends seemed so simple. I mean, you went up to a boy on the playground and declared/told him that he was your boyfriend and that was that. And you didn't even have to talk to him ever again. He was still your boyfriend, just because you said so. You could even have more than one if you wanted with no questions asked.

Now there are all these rules and standard procedures to go by. It's so complicated. Can't I just find a cute boy I like and declare him my boyfriend? No? I would get laughed at? Ok.

Does anyone know why Mary always wears blue? Yeah, Mary. Like Jesus' mom. She's always wearing blue. All the pictures, all the videos, all the church Christmas plays, Mary is wearing blue, with a white headdress no less. Is that biblical? Does it say in Luke, "And Mary gave birth to her first born son while donning a beautiful 500 count cotton azure gown made by Rafiki from Nazareth"? No? Just checking. Although that would be cool, huh?

I think blue for Mary is pretty right one though. It brings out her eyes.

Dude, I so want to be a superhero right now. And Spiderman just tried to stop a train with is own legs and then grabbed his leg in pain. Spidey, it's gonna hurt. You're what...180 pounds. That train is about a billion tons and it's going probably 100 mph. Suck it up.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Who wants it? (Obama has no idea what he's gotten himself into.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm on my second day at home (well, my first full day at home) for the holidays, and I couldn't be more fulfilled right now.

I got home in time to go to a friend's wedding yesterday afternoon and what a wonderful event it was. It was such a display of what a wedding truly means and I was so grateful to have been there and seen people I haven't seen in such a long time.

From there we went to my sister and brother-in-law's church (First Baptist Florence) to see their Christmas program and it was fantastic. We even went back again tonight and it was even better. We were able to see some of Ross's family that I definitely haven't seen in a while and it was great to see them.

As I sat listening to the music of this wonderful program my amazing brother-in-law put together, I was overwhelmed with all that is associated with this season -- the birth of Christ, what it means, what it led to and what it has meant for my life.

And then it hit me, how many people don't even know this story or just don't even care. As I sat and listened to the words of the songs and watched the video of the birth of Christ and then the death of Christ, tears streamed down my face.

What an impact these two events have had on my life, even just in the past few years. I've been a Christian since I was seven, and I confirmed that fact when I was 14 and struggling with some doubts, but only recently have I fully grasped that Christ has completely transformed me from the sinful being that I was born as. Yes, I still struggle with sin. Everyday. We all do. But I now know that Christ in me can defeat, and has already defeated, any temptation that comes my way. I just have to trust and believe that with God, nothing is impossible.

The song that really struck a chord (no pun intended) with me tonight was originally sung by Natalie Grant, one of my favorite contemporary music singers. It's called, "I've Believe". Here are a few of the lyrics.

I believe
The wise men saw
The baby born that the angels called the son of God, Heaven’s child
The great I AM
Born to take away my sins through nailed pierced hands
Emmanuel has come

And I believe
Precious child
How can it be that God’s great plan
For his story
Would send you to the lonely tree
That you would come
For one like me

I believe
In a cross
I believe he came for one, he came for all
Heaven's child became a plan
Gave his life for me in spite of all I am
I believe

This is such a declaration that all Christians should be exclaiming to everyone they meet. This is such great news. This GOD became a man, suffered and took on the wrath of the Father for ALL people so that we would not have to suffer it ourselves. And for what? Because of love. WOW!

See I'm one of those people with whom it doesn't take a lot to convince me of something. I'm more prone to believe than not to believe. I believed in Santa until I was 11 years old. And I still love to believe in him. It just gives Christmas a completely different feeling. Like there's more hope or more to look forward to. I believe in GOD a billion times more than I believe in Santa Claus. I can't really explain it. There's just a completely different feeling. I've seen so much evidence of GOD in my own life and in many of my family members' and friends' lives that it's too hard not to believe. And he just keeps showing himself. It's so exciting!

My hope is that you are experiencing that same completely different feeling. And if you aren't, seek it. Be desperate for it. Find it. Or better yet, quit hiding and let God find you. And when he does, and you get that feelings, relish in it. Because that is as good as it gets...until we get to Heaven.
On a completely different note. I thought I should post the answers to my fun little movie quote quiz and then add a few bonus questions for good measures.

Here are the answers:
1. 10 Things I Hate About You
2. Elf
3. A Christmas Story
4. The Wizard Of Oz
5. Remember The Titans.
6. You've Got Mail
7. Christmas Vacation
8. My Fair Lady
9. Hoosiers
10. Shawshank Redemption
11. The Holiday
12. Polar Express
13. Rookie Of The Year
14. The Replacements
15. Dangerous Minds

And a few for good measure. Are you as good as you think you are?
1. You will be different, sometimes you'll feel like an outcast, but you'll never be alone. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son.

2. A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed, or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely.

3. Remember kid, there's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you'll never go wrong.

Leave your guesses in the comments!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bored much?

I've seen this going around and since I love movies so much (only 5 more days until the annual TBS Christmas Eve Marathon of A Christmas Story!), I thought I'd do my own version of the game.

I've picked some of my favorite movies and grabbed quotes out of each of them. Guess the movie quote. If you want to play, leave your answers in the comments.

1. Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you don't deserve what you want.

2. Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy.

3. Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl.

4. A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.

5. You take a look at her. Cause once you step on that bus you aint got your mama no more. You got your brothers on the team and you got your daddy. You know who your daddy is, doncha? Gary, if you want to play on this football team, you answer me when I ask you who is your daddy? Who's your daddy, Gary? Who's your daddy?

6. Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one. It got on at 42nd, and off at 59th, where, I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake - as almost all hats are.

7. I don't know if I oughta go sailin' down no hill with nothin' between the ground and my brains but a piece of government plastic.

8. Come on, Dover, move yer bloomin' arse!

9. Strap, God wants you on the floor.

10. I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

11. Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.

12. At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.

13. Hey, your mom has a pretty good arm! I ain't seen the floater pitch since Scuffy McGee!

14. I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.

15. What should i tell them? If they dont want to die remember to knock?


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Please Watch This And Laugh

How funny is this little girl?!? It sort of reminds me of myself, about 20 years ago...okay, okay, like maybe last night...except I danced to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Elvis Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes". Oh, and people, I do a mean "Louisiana Saturday Night".

I hope I have a little girl one day that is this entertaining. That's 24/7 action, right there.

OMG, and I totally forgot to mention that hightlight of my day yesterday in the last two posts (yes, folks, today may be a blogging record for Katie).

So, I went home for lunch yesterday because frankly, Katie has passed her money limit for the month and can no longer spend any money. I got to my house, got out of the car, went to the mailbox and there it was! My FREE Dave Barnes Comedy DVD from Mocha Club! Thanks Annie and Mocha Club for the best present ever!

I didn't have time to sit down and watch it then, but last night as I was winding down from a night full of free babysitting, I slapped that sucker in the DVD player and hit play. And I laughed for a good solid half-hour. Dude is freakin' hilarious! I don't know if he was that funny when I knew him when I was younger, but then again, the last time I saw him before three years ago in all his fame, was when I was two. So what do I know.

I wish I could through a big party to watch it again with everyone I know, but it's not my house.

Then again, what the hey?

Bring it on.

Letter to Darius Rucker

Dear Hootie,

I know your not really Hootie and that's part of the name of the band and all, but I can't help but call you that now that you've sold out and become a country artist. Why, Hootie, why? You don't even sound country. I saw you last night on Christmas In Washington and nothing about you seemed remotely "country". What is the deal? Why does every artist turn country when their career has turned south? Please Hootie, come back to me. Bring the old Hootie back. Let her cry, Hootie. Just let her cry.

Wondering what went wrong,


Kids Are Great...Especially When You Can Send Them Home With Someone Else

Last night, my roommate and I carried on our tradition of offering free babysitting to our neighbors and friends. We've done this for the past two years and although our schedules were jammed packed these past two weeks, we were able to find a night to offer our services.
We roped in some guys and girls from our Thursday night small group and ended up having seven people altogether who were willing to help, considering that we thought we would have quite a large showing of kids. Last year, we had about 10 kids with only about five people helping.

This year's turn out was quite smaller, only four kids were able to come. But one of those kids, equalled about four kids himself, energy-wise, so things worked out.

Out of the seven people that volunteered to work, only four of them showed up and one was an hour and a half late. It was no big deal. It was fun anyway.

(Melissa, sweet Denver (2), handful T.J. (almost 2), Kelly, Sam (7) and Amelia Grace (4)...everyone is intently watching Cinderella III, except for T.J. I think this was the most still he was all night. Notice no other guys in the picture. Dan showed up late. It was his idea, and he forgot.)

Speaking of Cinderella III, we watched it twice. I'm guessing this is the alternate ending of the original Cinderella movie. It picks up right after the Prince's ball and somehow the step-sisters get a hold of the fairy godmother's magic and Anastasia was able to make the glass slipper fit her. I'm not really sure how it ends, other than the fact that Cinderella and Prince Charming live happily ever after of course.

We watched Cars too. Well, half of it. Denver decided halfway through it that he would rather watch All About John Deere. This, from the looks of the box, is a sort of "Baby Einstein" take on John Deere tractors. Boy, was I mistaken. Some catchy tunes but this is in no way Baby Einstein-ish. The 10-year old boy that was narrating was throwing out some technical terms that I've never heard off and I'm almost positive he would have a hard time spelling. However, two-year old Denver seemed to know what was going on.

On a completely different note, Birmingham is hosting one of the first rounds of the Davis Cup. Yeah, the tennis championship between the U.S. and Great Britain. How does this happen?!?! First we bid for the Olympics. Then we get the Davis Cup. Read more here. I really wish I could go but I'm pretty sure I'll be in the Hub City (Hattiesburg, Miss.) March 6-8 for a softball tournament. Sadness.

Oh, and have you heard about Ole Miss head basketball coach Andy Kennedy being arrested for assault in Cincinnati. Read more about that here. I know Mississippi State hasn't had much to brag about with basketball coaches, especially after Richard Williams (except for the fact that we went to the Final Four under him, but doesn'ts sway my feeling of him either), BUT I still have to chuckle a little bit. Golden boy no more.

I'm pretty sure today may be a day full of blog posts. I've pretty much finished up the work that I need to do before the holidays and I'm not really motivated to start a new project. So look for more.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When In Doubt...Check Facebook.

So I stumbled upon this article today that was published like a year ago. It's funny. And so true.

It's about how, for many young adults, especially college students, a relationship isn't really a relationship until it's been confirmed on Facebook.

Most of you know what I'm talking about. It's not legit until you've changed your status to "in a relationship", "engaged", "married" or even "it's complicated" (which makes no sense to me whatsover).

I've often found out my friends were in relationships (or engaged) through Facebook. I'm guessing that's the line of communication these days (or a tell-tale sign that I'm not a very good friend).

"Don't bother telling anyone. They'll find out when we confirm it on Facebook anyway."

And what happens when your status changes to "single". The resounding, yet silent/make-believe sound, the "duhn duhn duuuuuuhn" rings loud and clear and immediately the questions start pouring in.

"What happened?"

"Why the change?"

"Trouble in LoveLand?"

And what if you are the requester of the relationship and you get rejected? I mean, I guess it's comforting to know that at least the whole world doesn't take notice until it's in bright blue or scrolls onto the news feed (but at least it doesn't say, rejected).

Many people try to cheat the system. They just don't fill in the blank. It's probably a good call for those of fickle mind, but I had a friend who tried this very thing. He was listed as single and then, all of a sudden, for some reason, was "no longer listed as single". (See this is where the news feed gets you.) As expected, the questions start pouring in, and in his own illusive way, dodged the question until eventually, it had been confirmed on Facebook. Of course, being his friend, I found out before Facebook did, but such is the situation.

It's sad when technology has the final say in our lives, well, at least our relationships. The world is truly coming to an end. Well, at least it will when I can no longer log onto Facebook.
Oh, and FYI...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Did you know?

It's all about the videos with me today. I don't know. I think I'm out of words.

I totally agree with the part that says that by the time a four-year student gets to their fourth year of study, everything they learned in their first year will be outdated. It totally is that way with a communications major, especially in broadcasting. Technology keeps a-changin'.

And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

This my favorite.

P.S. Linus has the cutest voice.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Are you trying to make a point, Sir?

(I know. I know. Two posts in two hours. I couldn't help it. This has been on my heart for a while.)

There are two songs that have been on mad circulation on my iPod lately. They are both titled, "Yahweh". Well, actually one is titled, "He Is Exalted," but in the parentheses next to the title it says Yahweh.

("Yahweh" is by Shawn McDonald and "He Is Exalted" is by Chris Tomlin, my favorite person right now. Google the lyrics to both of these songs. They hit right to the heart and bring you to your knees.)

We sing the latter at church quite frequently and most of the time brings me to tears or makes me want to fall on my face in adoration of who GOD is. The other I mistakenly downloaded because I thought it was the latter and instantly fell in love with it as well.

Recently, this name of GOD has been showing up everywhere for me. Literally and figuratively. I think GOD is really trying to make a point with this in my life. I hear it often, when I rarely did previously, and GOD just keeps showing himself to me as YAHWEH.

YAHWEH means He is the LORD. (Exodus 3:14-15, 6:2-8, 20:1-3, Isaiah 43:10-13, Jon 8:58, Acts 2:38)

In the Old Testament faith, under the old covenant with Moses, the people of GOD confessed Him as LORD. In the New Testament faith, under the new covenant with GOD's people, we confess Christ as LORD.

So what does this name of GOD reveal? The LORD emphasizes...
...GOD's personality (Hosea 3:1-5). His love never fails. It is unending. It is undconditional. There is nothing we can do to make him love us more or less. His pleasure is not based on our performance. If you have never read Redeeming Love, especially you girls, this book gives an amazing picture of this.
...GOD's goodness (Exodus 34:4-7). This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It is when GOD reveals himself to Moses on the mountain. He describes himself to Moses as "slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands". That's some kind of goodness.
...GOD's powers (Isaiah 46:3-4). No matter what we go through, our highs and our lows, GOD sustains us. Through Him we can do anything (Philippians 4:13). He gives us whatever we need to do whatever He wants us to do. We just have to ask for it (James 1:5).
...GOD's authority (Leviticus 18:1-5). GOD rules over everything. He made everything. Have you ever wondered why it takes so much out of us to obey him when the sea and the birds and sun in the sky obey his every command with no questions asked? Of course, that's a whole different post right there but it's interesting to think about. We don't MAKE GOD lord over our lives. HE IS LORD. Point blank period. The question is "Have you SUBMITTED to His LORDSHIP?"
...GOD's presence (Deuteronomy 4:7-8). We are so blessed to have a God that loves us so much that he comes running when we cry out to him just like a mother or father runs to her/his child. Whatever we ask, we receive. As long as it aligns with his will. Our prayer should be that the desires of our heart are his desires for each one of us so that we can take delight in knowing him more and more each day (Psalm 34:7).

In everything do we, everything trial that we face, we MUST remember that Jesus is LORD over everything. It's under his control and we will be blessed from it, no matter how devastating it is, if we keep our eyes on him. If we look for his fingerprints and meditate on his Word, He will reveal himself to us as the GOD we need at that time.

Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend was so great. It did my heart good.

I took the day off on Friday and drove home to go to Carols By Candlelight at church. This is something I loved doing when I was a kid and I know my mom loves participating in it. Usually she has a solo but this year, she just decided to forego the solo and enjoy just being up there.

She sang in an ensemble at the beginning and it was incredible. The sound was so great and the acoustics of the church made it even better.

This was one of my favorite shows in a while. Usually I can pick out my favorite parts but this year there were too many...

I loved when it snowed inside.
I love when the "brothas" come out and play the neat trumpets.
I loved the presentation of "Shine On Us" with the sign language and the lighting was incredible.
I always love when the ballet dancers dance. I can't believe Kathy Thibadeoux is 50 and she can still take my breath away.
I love hearing Joel sing.
I love watching Bonnie show everyone up in the dance parts.
I love seeing my mom's smiling face on the screen.
I love hearing and watching Derek sing. It's so soulful.
And most of all, I love how worshipful every part was. It wasn't a Christmas program. It was a time of worship and that's the best part.

Saturday, I got up and headed to New Orleans with Casey, Julie, Hollie, Allie and Teri for Casey's Bachelorette Weekend. It was so much fun and we have realized how old we really are. We were back at the hotel by midnight! Sheesh! And once our heads hit the pillow we were out!

We arrived at about 1:30 or 2 p.m. and headed to the mall to eat and browse a little bit. After a couple of hours, we headed to our hotel, the Dauphine Orleans. It's a beautiful hotel and I was surprised to realize that I had stayed in the same hotel about 15 years ago.

The Woman of the Night

The beautiful view from our cute little balcony at the hotel

Teri, me and Casey at the hotel

After doing the whole bachelorette shower thing, we got ready to head out on the town.

We got a parking attendant to take our picture by the pool
(L to R: Me, Julie, Casey, Allie, Teri and Hollye)

We ate a great place that Casey and I love to eat at and I, of course, got the friend shrimp. Yum!

We then headed to Pat O'Briens to hear the dualing pianos and spent most of our time there enjoying the entertainment.

Me and Julie at Pat O's. By the way, congratulations to Julie. She got engaged right before Thanksgiving and we couldn't say anything until all her family knew. So Congrats Julie and Marshall!

When we finally decided to leave, we walked down to Bourban Cowboy so Julie could ride the mechanical bull, just so she could say she did it. But, the line was too long so we left.

No one could decide what to do next, so we went to Cafe' Du Monde and got some beignets. As we were sitting around the table, the majority of us looked like we could fall asleep right there. We were exhausted. So we headed back to the hotel and went to bed.

It was a whirlwind trip, but it was worth it.

I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things Of Note

As I was flipping through the channels on my television last night (as I often do because I LOATHE commercials, except ESPN Sportscenter ones and those funny Payton Manning ones), I stumbled across something puzzling.

It was Boyz II Men, my much beloved childhood boy band (only second to NKOTB, of course...Jordan for life!). Except something was wrong. There were only three. The big bass who usually did all the speaking, Michael McCary, was absent. I was not informed (as of course I should've been) that he had left the group in 2003 due to cronic back problems or Scoliosis.

AND it seems as though, Wanya, the little guy, is now channeling Stevie Wonder. The guy was seriously doing his best impression of the soulful wonder (no pun intended), head sway included.

The "Boyz" were on tour, I guess, with their latest LP, Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA, and it seems as though, PBS thought that showing their live DVD of the same name would be a good way to spark interest in the channel and encourage people to give money. That's okay, PBS, I'll just go to Walmart and buy it if I want it that bad.

(Sidenote: PBS is shown in Alabama on the APT channel -- Alabama Public Television. When I first moved here, I thought it was really the APT channel, like a TV guide of real estate, until every time I tuned it they were showing Celtic Woman.)

Nevertheless, the guys ended the set with quite possibly the most popular B2M song and most definitely my favorite -- End of the Road. It warmed my heart, and you know I sang along.

Subject number two is Mississippi State's new head coach Dan Mullen. When I heard his name, I think I declared out loud that it would be a bust because why would you ever want to leave Florida, but I think I knew a little in my heart that he was the one. (Now I need to transfer that feeling over to finding someone to marry me.)

So, I left our Office Christmas Get-Together just in time to catch the introduction and press conference. I loved the maroon blazer and maroon and white striped tie. Again, my heart was warmed.

He's seems like a great guy, and anyone who works closely with Tim Tebow is a friend of mine. Maybe he'll convince Timmy to not go to the NFL, transfer to Mississippi State instead, and we shall finally meet and he will fall head over heels in love with me and I will eventually be Mrs. Tebow, missionary football wife. Hmmm, I like it.

FYI, and Maroon 2 the Max will have the streaming of last night's introduction at the basketball game and today's press conference available (for free I think) later on today. Catch it if you can!

Even though Sly is gone, Maroon is still all that matters but I guess they'll have to come up with a quirky new saying for Coach Mullen. I hope he's clever.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You say the sky is falling?

No..but gas prices are. Jesus must be coming back real soon, people, because I just got gas for $1.57 at the BP down the street (yes, it's the cheapest in town but still...) and I'm elated.

I filled up for $23.10. A month ago that would've been good for about a little less than half a tank. Yes, I drive a car and yes it's a Saturn so it doesn't use as much gas but wowza...once in October, I filled up for over $50!

PTL! PTL! (that means Praise the Lord for those who don't know) I can buy gas without having to offer my unborn first child as a sacrifice first.

(And yes, two posts in one day. Consider yourself blessed.)

No-Shave November

Have you heard of this phenomenon?

I've known of this for a while, or rather seen the look sported by many a male, but never heard of it referred to as the "No-Shave November" look until last week. Several people in a span of three days referred to the look, and since then I've noticed more and more guys with more facial hair than should be permitted.

I actually googled it. It a real thing.

"The cultural phenomenon, affectionately coined 'No-Shave November,' encourages young men to put the razor down, testing their will power to resist shaving. Women are also welcome to participate in the month-long movement." (Found here.)

(I think all women should avoid participating in this month-long movement. I get itchy enough after just four days. Unless you are a mountain woman. Then I guess it's okay. I once when whitewater rafting in the summer, and one of the guides, who was Sharon Stone's niece no less, had extremely hairy legs and said that she hadn't shaved in about four months. Gross. But I digress...)

Anyway, it seems as though this phenomenon has been tagged to charitable giving. (which is a site that is still a work in progress) takes the long-admired month of willpower and attaches it to a pledge driven fundraiser for a non-profit organization every year. This year, all participants will be collecting pledges for the Save Darfur Coalition.

I'm guessing you follow the same rules as the old school Read-A-Thons and Walk-A-Thons. Someone pledges a certain amount of money per day you don't shave. Pretty neat idea.

For guys, this seems like a pretty easy deal. Well at least for the non-wussy ones who can get past the itchiness. Most guys I know carry on the NSN look long past November throughout the winter months before finally shaving it all off mid-February...or at least until their mom's or girlfriends or wives talk some sense into them.

I'm not a big fan of facial hair. I can handle the scruffy look and I've dated guys with the goatee, but massive amounts of hair on the face really get to me.

But girls, is a charitable cause worth looking like a cave woman for a month? Maybe? Maybe not? I don't think I'm willing to try it out. There are definitely more avenues I can take to give to these causes.

The itchiness would drive me nutty. I can't even stand to were an itchy sweater for the sake of looking cute during the winter. What makes me think I could do this? Plus, I have a hard enough time landing a guy in the first place. What would I say? "It's all for the cause, honey! Just think of the children."

It would take a really strong man to get past that.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Are you going to wear that?


Love them or hate them, there's always one diamond in the rough.

Being a second child, I got my fair share of hand-me-downs. With seven older girl cousins and one older sister, I was bound to get some "gently worn clothing" soon enough, right? The problem was getting them while they were still in style.

I can remember getting bags full of unwanted clothing every so often. Sometimes it came from my mom's sisters' girls, sometimes my only cousin on my dad's side, and sometimes just friends of my mom's who were looking to get stuff out of their house (so they thought our house was the perfect place to send it).

When I was in elementary school, I was a cheerleader for Halloween three years in a row because I had inherited old Hillcrest cheerleading uniforms from some girls from our church (I guess?) and insisted on being a Cougar cheerleader over...and over...and over again.

Getting sacks of clothes from my cousins on my mom's side was like Christmas morning. I'm not saying that my family was poor by any means, but my cousins were definitely better off in the money area than we were. They had the "real" clothes. The "cool" clothes. The "pricey" brands like J. Crew and Banana Republic. (I didn't even know there was such a thing until later in life.) I was lucky to find a few outfits from those nig black garbage bags.

I remember one time we actually went to my aunt's house and raided her daughters' closets. It was like my own personal shopping spree. I was in fashion heaven.

Later on, when I was in middle school, maybe starting high school, my mom's friend's daughter, who had just finished her rounds for OT school, sent over a load of stuff for me. Just for me! I recall it contained a good amount of khaki shorts and skirts, from J. Crew no less. I was set for life. Or at least until the next year.

The giving went on through college. I had several friends who would just "get bored" with certain items of clothing, and in my own nonchalant, unselfish, non-mooching way, I would just suggest that I take the items off their hands. Score!

However, there was this one time, right after I graduated from undergrad and was starting grad school, a friend (or friend-of-a-friend or acquaitence...whatev) was getting rid of a pair of jeans. She had grown out of them for some reason, weight loss, weight gain, who cares. She gave them to my roommate/best friend and thus I was presented with a pair of "gently worn" jeans which became my new favorite pair of jeans.

The brand was L.E.I., a brand I was familiar with but had never worn before. But oh my, these jeans became a part of me. I wore them everywhere and with everything. They were so comfortable, I would take naps in them. And y'all, Katie does not nap in jeans. Sweatpants, yes. Jeans, no.

Then one day, this friend/acquaitence/friend-of-a-friend...(duh duh duh) ASKED FOR THEM BACK! It seemed that she had lost weight/gained weight and had no other pair of jeans to fit into.

I know what you are thinking...INDIAN GIVER!!!! I know I did. But I, in my humblest and most gracious attitude, obliged and gave them back. But not without a few tears shed first. (But for those who are wondering, I did find a new favorite pair of jeans. American Eagle. Mucho comfortable which we replaced with another pair of the same kind after my dog Randi chewed the crotch out of the original pair. But that's a WHOLE different post.)

In recent years, I've realized what a blessing it is to be the same size as my mom and have such a hip and trendy mom at that. We have our own little hand-me-down system. A little homeland trade, if you will.

It's good stuff.

I've got three sacks of hand-me-downs sitting in my trunk as we speak. I just have to find a good home for them.

Any takers?

I might just take them to Salvation Army or find a women's shelter give them to.

Who knows.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What Dreams May Come

Last night I dreamt that I was on So You Think You Can Dance. By this I was elated, of course, because obviously someone in my dream world thinks that I have some sort of dance ability worthy of being televised.

And I'm not saying I just tried out and appeared on TV. I was ON THE SHOW, folks! I'm talking I was in the top 10, people! And this guy below was my partner.

Yep, that's Mark. The kid I rooted against this whole season. Don't get me wrong. The guy is talented. It's just that...well...he was slightly too prissy for me...and I loved Twitch more. I guess this is my subconscious getting back at me for rooting against such talent.

This, however, is not the strangest part of my dream. To some of you, this is no surprise.

The weird part comes when I realized that a) the show was being filmed in my high school's auditorium and b) that I was semi-dating my partner Mark. And y'all, he was no where near prissy.

The only thing I really remember is the end. Mark was consoling me as I was upset by something, probably a crude remark by Niegel about how my crooked finger on my right hand completely throws off the line of my arms. Whatev.

The next thing I know, I'm walking up one of the back stairwells of my high school to the math hall with two girls who went to my school for two years and then left and we walk into the atrium... (drum roll please) of a mall! What the crap! Where is the coming from?!? Then everyone starts quoting lyrics from Legally Blonde: The Musical. Mind you, I haven't listened to that soundtrack in at least a month.

Oh wow, the things we dream.

On a completely different subject, I've decided to post my Christmas Wish list, just in case you want to by me something. (No? Okay. Just checking.) I will follow it by my Christmas Want list, which is a totally different thing.

Katie's Christmas Wish List
1. A MacBook
2. iPod Touch
3. The Bourne Trilogy (Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum)
4. The Ocean's Trilogy (Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen)
5. One or all of the following books: Now by Shannon Primicerio, Crowded Skies by Tara Lee Cobble, Here's To Hindsight: Letters To My Former Self
6. A GPS for my car
7. Nikon 6.1 MP Digital SLR D60 Camera

Katie's Christmas Want List
1. Lots of quality time spent with family and friends
2. Do something for someone with a servant's heart...just because
3. Eat at Pepper's (Mmmmmm!)

Those three things are a whole lot more valuable and worth it than the seven things listed above. There are so many things I would love for Christmas, but this year I've just been so grateful for what I have and for who I have been surrounded with that it doesn't really matter if I get anything on the first list along as the second list gets checked off.

Finally, just a little video to share for a chuckle. This has been making its way around the internet for the past couple of weeks and I saw it again today and had to share it, just in case you haven't seen it.

Beware of Charlie... (I love how Charlie just laughs it off. Too funny!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Little Drummer Boys

My sister sent this video to me yesterday. It's pretty cool. (And if you haven't figured it out by now, I love videos/YouTube and when I find a video that even remotely entertains me, I share it.)

I secretly (well...not secretly) have always wanted to play the drums. I often imagine what it would be like to have my own little rock band with me as the drummer. (And then I realize that I can't sing AND play the drums (that's too much for my mind to focus on), so I switch to the guitar.) Anyway, I still have been fascinated by people who play the drums. It just seems like a whole lot of fun, right? When I go to concerts, I often find that my eyes go right to the lead guitarist and stay there, usually fixating on what his hands are doing. When I watch marching bands, my eyes go straight to the drumline and stay there.

Good movie. I like the battles.

Stomp. Great show. Fascinating.

Anywho...I don't know what it is. It just fascinates me. I dated a drummer in high school. He was also the quarterback. Score! But that's neither here nor there and now I'm rambling AND off subject.

I think it may be the sycronicity (is this a word? synchronization? Perhaps?) of it all. It's all together. And that's so cool.

Anyway, take a look and enjoy.

P.S. I "shhh" the guy at the beginning every time. Never works.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Battle Is Not Yours

This is the devotion I got from my dad today. It's be Rick Warren. There's something about this guy that seems to speak the words that are floating around in my head and cuts right to the heart of what's going on in my life right now. Be blessed by what this says.

"But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord's victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!" 2 Chronicles 20:17 (NLT)

In today's passage, God is talking to King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites. They're about to be attacked by three enemies: the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Meunites.

Jehoshaphat had to be worried about how his people could defend themselves in such a battle, but God knew exactly what Jehoshaphat was thinking. He said, "You will not have to fight in this battle." Now, that's the kind of battle I like!

What God tells Jehoshaphat in this passage, and what he would remind us today, is this: "The battle is not yours; it's mine. You don't have to fight in it."

In other words, it's God's problem. Let him solve it.

The fact is if you are God's child, then your problems are his problems. And he's much better at fighting your battles and solving your problems than you will ever be. Your job is to trust him to work it all out. Perhaps the reason we have so many tired, fatigued, and discouraged Christians is because we think, "It all depends on me."

The day you resign as General Manager of the Universe, you're going to find that it doesn't fall apart. You can relax in faith, trusting that God is able to run things without your help.

Twice in this passage it says, "Don't be afraid," and "Don't be discouraged." When you face a seemingly impossible situation, don't be afraid and don't be discouraged. Has God ever lost a battle? No. He doesn't lose battles.

There's an important phrase in verse 17. God tells Jehoshaphat, "Take your positions and stand firm." What does it mean to stand firm? It means to have a mental attitude of quiet confidence. It is never God's will for you to run from a difficult situation. I've discovered that when I run from a difficult situation, inevitably God always brings it back around and gives me another chance. Why?

Because God wants us to learn - and he wants to teach us through experience - that in every situation he is sufficient. He is competent and capable and he will meet our needs in that situation. Don't be afraid; fear is the opposite of faith.

You stand firm on two things:

* The character of God - He's faithful. He does not bring us this far just to let us down. He doesn't bring you out on a limb and then cut off the limb. Have faith in the nature and character of God.

* The truth of his Word - God's Word is faithful. You can count on the promises found in the Bible.

Stand still. Remember Who the battle belongs to. Trust that he is able to deliver you. And then watch him do it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Grown-Up In Me Says No, No, No...

...but the teeny bopper in my says yes, yes, yes! What is the deal with all of these Disney kids getting their own record deals and becoming so popular. Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, Raven Simone, freakin' High School Musical Lalapalooza Extraveganza.

No matter how hard you try, you eventually get sucked in. Right? No? I'm the only one...okay. As I said before, the grown-up Katie says, "Puh-lease. Kids stuff. You're too old." But the teeny bopper in me says, "Yes! Yes! The Jonas Brothers rock!"

It pains me to admit it too. I'm 25. That's not really old, but that ain't young either. Is it just the music lover in me or is it really that I'm just a 25 year old teeny bopper.

I fought it for so long, Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. She's so annoying right. She doens't sing. She yells. That's not professional, right? But her songs are soooo catchy and they play them all the time. I caught five minutes of Hannah Montana about a month ago. I laughed. Out loud. Oops.

"Don't you wish that you could be a fly on the wall!" Yes. Yes I do.

The Jonas Brothers. I'm not so much for all the drama that surrounds them with the break-ups and make-ups and what not. But have you heard this "Love Bug" song. I downloaded it on iTunes the other day because it was so catchy and I started to like it. As I clicked the "Buy Song" button, I was thinking, "Am I really buying a Jonas Brothers song? Really?" And they're so stylish! It kills me!

High School Musical. (Cringe) I actually like the movies. I haven't seen the third one but just wait, I will secretly rent it when it comes out on video and watch it in my room, thinking the whole time, "I'm way too old for this stuff, but I can't help it!"

And worst of all, I actually like Taylor Swift. She annoyed me, big time, at first. Her song was on the radio everytime I got into my car (followed by Miley Cyrus of course), and soon it grew on me. I think the most annoying part of it was that she was supposed to be a "country singer" and they we playing her "country music" on a pop station. For the record, I LOATHE country music. (Unless it's Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill or old-school Dixie Chicks.) So, that was strike one against Miss Swift. But then I saw her on GMA. She was precious. Down to earth and talented. You gotta love that, right? And the more songs she drums out, the less country they sound. Gold star for Taylor Swift.

So, there you have it folks. I'm a self-proclaimed, 25-year-old teeny bopper. I can't wait until the next time I babysit my cousins so I can have an excuse to watch Hannah Montana without feeling weird about it.

On a completely different topic, my mom sent me this video this morning and it almost fell out of my chair from laughing so hard. Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Need Africa Part Deux

Last week, I blogged about the statement, "I need Africa more than Africa needs me," in conjuction with the start of a campaign initiated by Mocha Club. Click here to read the whole thing.

Today is the official lauch of the campaign and I wanted to comment on a few things that have been tugging on my heart lately.

The whole world has been consumed with "philanthropic duties" for the past several years, and it's sort of become the "cool thing to do" to give to charity or have a cause to fight for. Not one thing is wrong with this picture. I actually think it's great that the world has finally woken up and become a different kind of people who seem to care what is going on, and is rising up a generation who cares about world issues rather than getting the high score on a video game.

However, I just hope that these causes aren't backed up by empty feelings, by people who are just doing "good" because they think it makes them a "good person" or because it's, like I said before, "the cool thing to do" or "the right thing to do."

It is the "right thing to do" (Can quotations be overused?), but I hope people are doing the right thing for the right reason.

As a Christian, I have been commanded to look after the poor and widows. However, feeding the poor and looking after widows will not solely get me into Heaven. It's the heart with which I do it.

We are all saved by grace along, through faith, not by what we have done for God or by how good of a person we are, but only by what God has done for us (Ephesians 2:8, Walden paraphrase, of course). We CANNOT merit our own salvation. It is a free gift from God. A gift that frees us to be "good people".

No amount of money or clothes or toys we give, no amount of food we serve, no matter how many houses we build, none of that gets us into Heaven. God does.

The reason we do "philanthropy" should be evidence of what God has done for us. Our motivation for doing "good things" is that we are so overwhelmed with the blessings that God has given us that we want to share that with others.

We are a relational people. God made us to build relationships with others. The more we get to know people, the more we want to help them right? My whole outlook on people who are, and I hate to use this term now, less fortunate, than I am has been changed over the past few months. I no longer look at them as someone who I need to give money to, but as someone who I should take to a restaurant, buy a dinner for, and have a real conversation with. Ask them what their story is and how they got where they are which may, in turn, lead to an opportunity to share my story of how I got to where I am through the grace of God. (Some people jest about Tony Romo and his taking a homeless man to the movies. I say, well done Tony Romo. That's just what I'm talking about.)

I read this on the Mocha Club website today:

"Many in the west think Africa is simply an object of charity. This mindset does
not breed true compassion. And there’s something about truth… when it becomes
clear, it hits you in a way that is hard to ignore. The same is true with
people. If we invest in knowing someone, love is the automatic response. We
can’t all make a trip across the ocean, but we can seek to have a conversation
that recasts the damaging images that force pity over partnership."

Pity over partnership. It should be the other way around, right? We shouldn't pity the people of Africa. We shouldn't be sitting back saying, "Mmmm, that's a shame." We should stand up, reach out to our brothers and sisters, and build relationships that will last for eternity. We should do it with a heart that knows that they would do the same for us. We should do it with the heart of Christ, knowing that because Christ loved us first, we can love each other unconditionally.

With our philanthropic deeds, we build relationships with those whom we are serving, but we also build relationships with those with whom we are serving. And we realize that "possessions in our hands will never be as valuable as peace in our hearts."