Sunday, November 18, 2012

...Turning Thirty

Wait, what?!

I'm 25. Said that before. But there is something about a girl's thirtieth birthday that is both satisfying and terrifying. I figure I better start preparing for it now. :)

I stumbled across a woman's blog today and I read a post she wrote about her 30X30 list.  (Okay, I skimmed. I'm working in a limited time frame here. The leasing office, and therefore my internet access, closes at 5) A 30X30 list is like a bucket list that consists of 30 things that you want to achieve by the time you're 30. Easy peasy. The writer of the blog is 27 and she crossed off the first thing on her list this past week. She directed her own musical (!). I don't know her, but I am proud of her. For fairness in borrowing her idea, you can read the post here: (Mandee, if you somehow stumble upon this, thanks for the idea and I hope you don't mind me sharing your blog!)

I want a 30X30 list. I want it. I have 4 1/2 years to get this shit done so without further ado:

(And please feel free to comment on my awesome Paint skills. Old school.)

I think most of those are attainable... I tried not to pick anything too crazy. Except that "go a month without drinking soda" - That's gonna be a bitch. I really like a good fountain Pepsi.

Stay tuned to my 30X30 and wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

...Remembering Adam

Today is my nephew Adam's second birthday. But he's not here to celebrate with us.

Adam is an angel baby. He was taken away from us two days before his two month birthday, on 1-11-11.

My sister lives in a different state, so I never saw Adam. Never held him. Never played with him. But boy do I love him!

Here are some pictures of my sister's sweet boy:

                                                             Brand new! 11/13/2010

                                                  It's a little baby burrito! 11/15/2010

                                               Only 5 days old! Over achiever :) 11/18/2010

                                                 With big sister Natalie 12/04/2010
 The only birthday picture we have of him... 1 month old 12/13/2010

                                             Cute as a button in his holiday wear! 12/18/2010

                                                                Merry Christmas! 2010
                                                  Baby boy, so happy! 01/02/2011
Happy birthday little man. I love you!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

... A Little Girl Named Natalie Paige

Today is my niece's 4th birthday!

Here's a look at Natalie through the years:

Welcome to the world little lady! November 8, 2008
6 months old and so happy!

Big girl turned one on November 8, 2009 
                                     March 2010 - Check out the shirt!                                    May 2012 at Grant's Farm

Natalie's second birthday, November 8, 2010

     December 2010 with baby brother Adam                              May 2011 at STL Zoo                                     August 2011 at Ocean City, MD

Holy cow! Three years old on November 8, 2011
                                                              This picture cracks me up! So sassy!

                                             May 2012 with baby sister Lydia             June 2012 at the Baltimore Zoo

And now look who's FOUR!!!!

October 2012 At a fall festival with sister Lydia

Happy birthday Natalie!!! Aunt Katie loves you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

...A Nissan Altima

I do not drive an Altima. No, I drive a 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage named Theodore.

Here's the thing about Theo... He's an ass.

I bought this car in 2006, and it was (well, IS) my first car. Having it for 6 years is indeed impressive, but there are so many things wrong with the car that it's obnoxious. Aside from actually breaking down on the side of the highway *fingers crossed* everything that could have broke, has in fact broke.

A week before I left for vacation back in 2009, I had to get a new battery. Not a big deal. Expensive, but not an off-the-wall thing to happen to a car, especially one that was at the time 9 years old. Anyway, I took care of that, only to find out that replacing a battery apparently causes the radio to go into a sort of lockdown. It was asking me for a security code, which I didn't know. Even searching through all the paperwork I have for that car didn't provide me with the code. So, I figured I could call the dealership and they would give it to me.


They were going to charge SIXTY DOLLARS just to tell me the code. Ummm, no. Needless to say, 3 years have passed and I still don't have a radio in my car. I refuse to pay $60 for them to punch in a four digit code.

Things like the radio are precisely why this damn car is so irritating. The weirdest things keep happening! For example, I had to get 4 brand new tires because they all had slow leaks and were low on tread. Pretty standard maintenance procedure for a car, so again no big deal. Well, while my car was at the garage, one of my hubcaps committed suicide. The garage dude told me that when he took it off, the hubcap just completely shattered. I dunno, I guess it was embarrassed to be associated with a shitty Mitsubishi Mirage. Poor hubcap, I hope he's in a happier place. In a hubcap heaven full of Corvettes and Porsches.

But adding insult to the tire injury, less than a year later, one of those brand new tires had to be replaced. It was wintertime and my car had been parked outside the whole night. When I went out to warm it up, I noticed that one of the tires had a HUGE hole in it. I have absolutely no idea how it happened, but I believe my reaction included some display of my colorful and quite impressive language skills.

The list for other abnormalities with Theodore is enormous, and it ranges from somewhat ordinary to absolutely ridiculous: The driver side window sticks, the back window only defrosts halfway, the breaks squeak, the alignment is so off that I get pulled all over the road, the windows only defrost after the interior fogs up to the point of blindness, the check engine light goes on and off, the key doesn't turn in the lock, the windshield wiper fluid doesn't come out on the driver side even though I've had it check for clogs...

I could go on and on with this list! Oh you don't believe me? Okay,challenge accepted: The interior light only works when I open the passenger side door, turning to the right rubs the wheel on something but only sporadically, the engine idles violently when it's in park, the whole car takes on a high-pitched whine if it's been raining outside, and the tires squeal and don't grip the road when I turn out of any parking lot that happens to be on a hill, wet or dry.

The depressing thing is I am not exaggerating on any of this. Mitch and my family are all witnesses to the madness. AND all these little problems don't include the various large projects that HAD to be done and, not to mention, cost a lot of money. I live paycheck to paycheck as it is without all the car drama. Which means getting a new car isn't a feasible option. I don't have the money to get even the big things fixed, like the catalytic converter that needs to be replaced. The guys at the garage actually suggested that I just drive the car until it dies without fixing anything. They said it wasn't worth pumping anymore money into it.

Mitch and I decided that I should use my car only for going to work and grocery shopping. If I do need to do anything else that requires a lot of driving, we use his car and do it together on the weekend. This has been working well so far. Not an ideal situation, but it's not too bad.

The problem that arose today was that I had to drive about 45 minutes to St. Louis for a work training. Oh boy. I really didn't want to take Theo out on such a grand adventure, especially on a rainy day like today. Luckily, Mitch is super awesome and works nights, so I got to take his car. Mitch drives a gorgeous 2010 Nissan Altima. I love it and I'm going to steal it. It has tinted windows and a working radio (!), is entirely keyless, and it's in perfect working order. I feel so awesome when I drive this beauty. I totally geek out! There are radio controls ON THE STEERING WHEEL! Woahs. Exciting stuff for Katie.

I said this blog would be about simple pleasures. Today's post delivers just that because sometimes happiness is something as trivial as borrowing your boyfriend's car. But let's be fair, it's a totally kick ass car! ;)

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I don't have a lot of friends. 

I have a lot of acquaintances, but real friends are pretty hard to come by. I have parted ways from a lot of my friends in the last year or so. A lot of it comes from a difference in maturity level I think. That's not to say that those girls are immature... it's kind of hard to explain... it's like they haven't had to deal with real hardship as I have, as my family has. Because of that, I feel like we've grown apart. Because our worlds are so different.

Friendship can come in a lot of different forms:

There are those people that have always been in your life, who you've passed through every awkward stage of life with. Those people who have tested your patience and your limits. Those people who have moved states away and you go months, years, without seeing them, but nothing between you changes.

That's Amy.

With Amy, Halloween 1990 (?)
Amy is a friend I've known my entire life. We met in the womb, my mom started babysitting her when we were both one year old, and we went to the same schools kindergarten through senior year. I'm sure she's reading this now, wondering why I'm mentioning her. I wouldn't say we are the classic definition of "best friends," but she is someone I cherish deeply.We went from being inseparable, to rarely hanging out, to friends living hundreds of miles apart. I think being close with someone for 25 years is the very essence of friendship. This is someone who I won't see for several months, and during that span we still don't talk too much, even via Facebook. But when we do see each other, it's like nothing has changed. Just two good friends catching up over cheesecake on our annual mommy/daughter day.

With Amy, December 2011

Then there are those people who come in your life and help change your view on the world. Those people who know there's something wrong in your life before you do. Those people who want nothing more than to help you in any way that they can.
With Ruthie, December 2011

That's Ruth.

Ruth is my non-biological "mawmaw." She's my Ruthie: A 61 year old Puerto Rican woman from Jersey. That's an interesting combination. This woman is a hot mess, but I love her dearly. We met at work only about 2 years ago, but it feels like she knows me better than a lot of other people who I've known years and years. Ruth knows when something is wrong with someone without them having to say anything. She is rare in the fact that she doesn't ask what's wrong. She doesn't pry. She just wants to make you happy. No matter what.

And lastly, there are those people that will always be there to help you through the darkness. Those people who surprise you with their unwavering support and unconditional kindness. Those people who would give you the world just to see a smile on your face and never expect anything in return.

Alison and my sister Kelly
November 2011
That's Alison.

Alison grew up with my sister. I'm not sure that they were ever really close, but they were friends. I am 7 years younger than my sister, so quite honestly I didn't really remember Alison. I knew the name, but I didn't know the person to go with the name. But that changed in 2011. When all the bad things started happening to my family, a few friends proved themselves. I don't want those girls, Jenna, Mandi, and Lindsay, to think that they weren't as important to us, but Alison barely knew us, yet she was there for us in every way possible. She was one of the major support systems, even if it was just a friendly chat on Facebook. Alison is one of the few people who have shown me that there are genuinely good people in the world. I don't think she realizes that.

This post was a little more sentimental than I'll usually be. But, it was important to me that these 3 people know how important they are to me... even if I don't always tell them.