Oct 11, 2011

fourteen.

something you want to do somewhere you want to go before you die:






 If only Jerusalem was a little bit closer.

Sep 29, 2011

day thirteen.





I have never known life without Led Zeppelin. We carved pumpkins, made dinner, played board games, and drove across the country while listening to their music when we were kids. My mom was just a ridiculously huge fan. In high school I fell asleep almost every night to The Song Remains the Same on my DVD player. I've never stopped loving and listening to their music, and I know I never will.  When I have babies some day, I plan on their nursery songs leading them to know Robert Plant's name before they can say "daddy"....if I had it my way, Robert Plant would BE their daddy.

Just kidding, grandma.

Sep 18, 2011

day 12: a picture of something you love.


Today, I realized my family eats cabbage...a lot. It's such a tasty vegetable. It's great raw (with a sprinkle of salt), as a soup, in bierocks (our lunch this afternoon), or paired with corned beef (yuuuuuuuuuuum). Any way you make it, I just love cabbage.

Sep 6, 2011

day eleven: a picture of something you hate

waiting.

in traffic...

at the grocery store...okay, any store...






for mail (always pay next day shipping, regardless of the importance of the product)....


for hair color to process....


tables...
 


 to board a flight...then to take off...then to land...and allthewaitinginbetween...





to be done with school...





I'm trying to become a patient woman.  I really am. But if I try to restrain from tapping my feet or rolling my eyes at the DMV, I begin to convulse.  The only solution has been for me to become an expert at short-cutting my way through life's little detours.  Let me know if you need any tips.


Sep 5, 2011

dia diez: the person you do the craziest things with

Aubrey Hudson-Brandt.


The girl everyone does the craziest things with.


Photos don't do her justice.




She's been my soul sister since the age of 14
You couldn't find two people as different as her and I
But we share a love for the same movies.literature.music.




I can't think of a single story regarding anything I've done with AH-B that wouldn't give my Grandma a heart attack...and considering she's the main person who reads this blog.... you'll just have to trust me.







xxxxooooobabygirl.

Jul 13, 2011

day nine: a picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

meet katelynn.

She's a fun gal.

We have known each other since we were eleven years old. You know those movies where the main characters can't stand each other in the beginning, but fall head over heels in love at the end and live happily ever after? (of course you do. that plot is used way too often.) Well, that's exactly how Kate and I evolved from middle school to where we are now.

In sixth grade, I was the bookworm with braces who kept to herself. I was a bit awkward in one-on-one conversations with my peers and spent my free time playing with my brothers and my one best friend. Surprisingly, I was always comfortable with speaking in front of the class and discovered that I really loved acting. Our middle school had a drama program and I definitely felt like I had found my niche. When our teacher, Mr.Hinz, announced that our class would be putting on The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, I was ecstatic. I had read the book and seen the movie before, and I knew exactly the role I wanted....Imogene Herdmen. She was the main character, a rough-around-the-edges tomboy chosen to play the role of Virgin Mary in her church's Christmas Pageant. She had all the funny lines. I'm telling you, I dreamed about playing that role. I knew I was born for it. Mr. Hinz told us that "auditions" for the different parts would be held during class. Any of us could try out for any of the roles, and our classmates would vote on who should play each part. Shy as I was, my classmates all liked me and thought I was funny when I did speak up. I felt a little too confident that I would be cast as Imogene. I was just ready to get started with rehearsals.

Then there was Katelynn Blosser. The tall, popular girl who I had always thought was much too loud and opinionated.  She was constantly raising her hand to make jokes and would just sit there with a big grin on her face as the class roared with laughter. Our teacher adored her. She had perfect hair. She played on the elite "Spooks" basketball team, and I couldn't dribble to save my life. I remember when her and another girl from our class did a choreographed dance to "Walk Like an Egyptian" during our Egypt history unit, I rolled my eyes so hard I'm surprised they didn't roll out of my head onto the floor.

The week we were supposed to be doing our in-class auditions for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, I came down with strep throat. I begged my mom to let me go to school. Begged. She couldn't, because I was extremely contagious. She insisted she was sure I would get a chance to audition the following week. I will never forget my little friend Hannah calling me to tell me that Katelynn. Blosser. had been cast as Imogene. I remember dramatically hanging up on her, pushing away my chicken noodle soup, and stomping to the next room to begin accusing my mom of ruining my life. I don't recall exactly what I was saying, only that we ended up in a typical mother-daughter argument, and as she was trying to console me (knowing her, she was also choking back a laugh) the last thing I sobbed before I fled back to my bed was, "I'm sorry you don't have Katelynn Blosser as your daughter!"

When I returned to school, I was given the only role still available, "Beverly the Schoolgirl." I had two lines in the whole production. Katelynn Blosser had become my arch nemesis.

Fast forward through four years of me continuing to build on my feelings of disdain for Katelynn. Meanwhile, she was oblivious to the fact that I couldn't stand her. I became more outgoing each year, and by the time we entered high school we had lots of mutual friends and would say "hi" to each other in the hallways, but never were in situations where we "hung out." I began to consider the idea that maybe Katelynn wasn't so bad. She was outspoken as ever in our classes, but she also seemed genuinely friendly. Just as I started to let go of my sixth grade grudge, the incident happened. My freshman year I was smitten with a junior boy. He was my first legitimate, rip-your-heart-out crush. I felt woozy around him. My friends teased me mercilessly because I would stumble on my words any time I was around him (AKA when I went through his check-out line at the grocery store). We "talked" for a few months, but nothing really came of it. One night, as my girlfriends and I were renting a movie, we ran into Katelynn. It was summertime, I was having fun, and in a great mood. I decided to "be the bigger person" (yeah right. after years of thinking mean thoughts about this innocent girl.) and strike up a chirpy conversation with her. Then her date turned around from selecting a movie. And it was the boy I had  loved for so long. I felt like I was going to puke. It was a very awkward thirty seconds. Again, Katelynn was totally oblivious to everything. I managed to squeak out a good-bye and had my friend's mom take me home so I could bawl my eyes out the rest of the night. I kept a journal in high school, and the whole thing is in there. Super-drama. I vowed that I was going to hate Katelynn the rest of my life.

Fast forward again to our junior year. I was totally "over" my former crush, and was busy with school and swim team and clubs and friends and boys. One of my best friends had a class with Katelynn and they spent their lunchtime together (which, in high school, is pretty significant) and I had become good friends with Katelynn's best friend, Aubrey. Aubrey always insisted that the four of us should hang out, and because I loved her so much, I finally gave in. Katelynn drove us all to Wichita to go shopping and out to eat. I remember trying really hard to find something to continue my dislike for her, but she was just so freakin funny. I couldn't. I decided that I maybe kind of liked her. The four of us started hanging out so often that we planned a trip to Kansas City over Spring Break.

Love blossomed. Everyone who went on the trip had fun, but Katelynn and I discovered that we had ten thousand things in common. Overnight, we were best friends. We started doing everything together, talked on the phone nonstop (my brother Eli once said that he could always tell when I was on the phone with Kate because I'd be talking so fast that my words were incomprehensible to anyone listening), were hired to work at the same restaurant, etc. We have been inseparable ever since.

Well....that's not exactly true. We have spent about a good length of our friendship living in different towns. As freshman, we went to different schools for a year and only saw each other once a semester. We ended up at KU together the following year and both lived in Lawrence until 2010 when I moved back to Newton to take care of my mom.

Regardless of the miles between us, we have always talked on the phone every. single. day.  With very few exceptions. I recently realized that there isn't one minuscule thing I can think of that Katelynn doesn't know about me. I simply have told her everything there is to know.  I know her reaction to things before I even have the chance to tell her about them. We know where each other is at all times. If one of us goes somewhere or does something without the other knowing (although we live hours away from each other), the other tends to take an accusatory tone. I realize our relationship is slightly creepy. We just love each other that much.

Along with the close tabs we keep on each other, there are several...strange? some would probably call them unhealthy?...quirks about the pair of us.
  • We can never admit to each other that we like something of ours that we actually do like. Confusing, right? Okay, here's an example: Katelynn gets a new cell phone. She takes a lot of time to pick out the phone--does hours of research to find the best possible option. Once she finds the model she can't live without, she then searches for even longer to find the cutest case available for her brand new phone. She calls me once she has it. I say, "oh, you got a new phone? What's it like?" She--literally-- can say NOTHING but: "Oh. I hate it. It's horrible. The case is hideous." Even though she's really bursting at the seams with joy because she loves her new phone so much. When I see it, I say, "um...that phone is really cute." She has to respond with "No it's not." This scenario has occurred in so many different situations over the years. We "hated" our prom dresses. Our cars. Clothes. Shoes. The only acceptable descriptions for our own material items were "ugly" or "ridiculous" or "weird". "Weird" is probably used the most. "You got a new sweater? What's it like?" "Ugh. It's weird." We realized several years ago that we have this problem. We are both very concerned for the day we have kids because it would be so like us claim that we don't like our own children when we actually love them to death. Katelynn thinks my dad is hilarious and my response always is, "No. No he's not. He's weird." My dad makes me laugh 24/7. The thing is, neither of us have this negative approach with any of our other friends. It has become a joke more than anything now. Katelynn just got an iPhone and she said kind of liked it and I told her she was being really cocky.
  • We never, ever hug each other. When my mom died, Katelynn squinched up her face as she opened her arms and approached me for an embrace. She said, "I'm sorry to do this to you but I kind of have to." We both shuddered when the .05-second-long hug was over. Again, this only applies to our friendship. Now, I'm not the huggiest person, but I snuggle with my other BFF Kimberly Julian like there's no tomorrow. For some unknown reason, Katelynn and I just cannot have physical contact. When we had sleepovers in high school (and still now when I visit her) and would have to share a bed, we would sleep the furthest possible distance from each other, facing opposite directions. And we'd wake up that way. The mere thought of hugging each other makes us both cringe. The day we left for college--the saddest day of our friendship, we were bawling our eyes out to the Jurassic Park soundtrack--we did not hug goodbye. We just gave each other a quick wave. That's it.
  •  One of our guy friends once pointed out that we look like a pair of cartoon characters. I haven't heard a more honest or accurate description since.

I really could go on and on about our....weirdness. But the point of this post isn't about that.


The last two years of my life, through everything--good and bad-- that has happened, I have learned so much. I learned of the endless support I have all surrounding me--my incredible family. My co-workers. My friends. And especially my Katelynn.


She was one of the very few people outside our family who knew what was happening with Seth before he died. He knew she knew. And he was okay with it. Katelynn and Seth had always loved each other to pieces. They shared a passion for food. She took a framed photo of him when she moved to the dorms--not of me, her best friend--but of my little brother. Whatever. The point is, I told Katelynn about Seth's situation because as I said before, I tell her everything. What I wasn't prepared for was for him to ask me who I had told aside from our family members. When I nervously said her name, he just nodded like it wasn't a big deal. I explained that she was just as concerned for him as our family was because she really did love him. He said he knew she did. A few weeks later when we found out mom was sick, and I shifted into "go" mode so I could take charge of both Seth and Mom's care, there was no way I could let either of them know how freaked. out. I was about everything. They were both so upset and anxious and struggling to hold on to reality that I had to be the calm and collected one. It was my job to keep them on solid ground. So Katelynn became the person I let everything out to. I remember one night in particular when I called and was just telling her everything that was going on in my head, and explaining that my brain felt like it was being violently ripped apart or exploding or something, then stopping for a moment to realize how stressful it must be for her to be my best friend.  I had received so many messages and cards and phone calls from loved ones who wanted to be there for me as I went through that year, but I chose to do 100% of  my venting to Katelynn (I have had many repeat vents to several other people. But Katelynn gets all of it before it goes to someone else). For someone who has never experienced what I did, she says all the right things all of the time. It's like she has experienced it before because she gives the best, best advice. She knows me so well that she just knows what I need to hear depending on what's happening and the mood I am in. Generally, she just mirrors my emotions. If I call her crying, she cries with me. If I call her in what I can only refer to as "analytic-mode," she will sit there and analyze every bit of mom's cancer or Seth's depression with me until we're both exhausted. She has never tried to make everything "okay" because she knows that isn't always what I want to hear. If I'm being positive and seeing the good that has come from the situation, she whips out the positive. She doesn't skip a beat. It's remarkable. I know I have caught her off guard several times when I've been having a hard day and call her sobbing but it just never phases her and she says the right thing.

Kate was there the morning Seth died. And the entire week leading up to his funeral. And the week after that. She took a ridiculous amount of time off of work and missed class and exams. It wasn't like she could use family bereavement to make anything up either. She drove back up to Lawrence to turn right around in order to drive all of my things home for me so I wouldn't have to worry about moving them. She didn't make a huge deal of being there that week, she was just...there. I was busy planning the funeral and taking care of mom and family coming into town and people dropping things off and didn't have time to give her attention while she was in town but I remember so well the feeling of comfort I received just looking across the room to see her sitting there quietly next to my mom. My mom needed to be able to grieve, but could only do so when she saw that I had my best friend there for when I needed to grieve. My mom always, always adored Katelynn, but the first night I saw her when she was diagnosed--and we stayed up late crying and talking--she told me she wouldn't be able to handle it if she didn't know I had Katelynn for support. My mom was my best friend. She always will be. I know I may not be making a lot of sense and it sounds complicated, but Katelynn's friendship towards me provided my mother with such peace and comfort during the most difficult time of her life, and I still haven't figured out how to explain how much that means to me.

My mom was only on hospice for one week. Kate came to say goodbye the day before she passed away. I remember just talking and talking in a monotone voice as we both sat in the room with my mother (I am still amazed at the fact that Katelynn would be willing to come by to see someone who was dying. So many people would find that uncomfortable and disturbing. But if it phased her at all, she didn't let it show. She just knew that I needed her there.), who had been unconscious most of the day. When Katelynn got up to go, I said loudly, "Mom, Kate is leaving." My mom stirred a bit, opened her eyes, smiled, and said "Katelynn..." That was the last word she said.  EVER! I was so shocked because she had only said one or two sentences in the previous two days and hadn't spoken at all that evening. I could tell she was struggling to say something to Katelynn and I know in my heart that it was regarding me. I simply know she wanted to tell Katelynn she loved her and to take care of me. I still tear up just thinking about that moment--even if I am a little offended that my mother's last actual word was NOT my name, but my best friend's. Hahah. Katelynn said once that it is her "claim to fame."

Like most of my blog posts, this is all over the place. It's late and I'm sleepy. Since I've started a new job where I have to wake up at the crack of dawn, I've found that I cannot function properly after 10 p.m. I just hope I have conveyed how lucky I know I am to have Katelynn Beth Blosser as a friend. Heavenly Father has blessed me in so many ways through this entire experience. If I had enough blogging power in my bones to expand on each family member and friend who has been there fore me, I would. Maybe I will soon. But He really knew what he was doing when he placed her in my life. Love you babygirl.

Apr 27, 2011

Par.a.noia.

Okay, I have to interrupt the thirty day challenge to say something: I cannot wait to be done with pathophysiology.  My teacher is brilliant. The class is fascinating. I am stunned at how much I have learned in just one semester. But I have become the world's biggest hypochondriac.  Each week, as we move to a new organ system to learn the etiology of the associated diseases, I feel a sense of dread. I have to give myself a pep talk before we start the unit to restablish the fact that it isn't possible for me to have every single disease we study. When my mom was diagnosed, I had what I would like to think is a pretty common reaction in family members of people with cancer: a freak out. I announced that I would no longer be eating processed foods, or anything with sodium, and was going run at least eight miles every day. That lasted a few months. As my life got crazier and busier and all the other reasons (ahem, excuses, ahem) it is difficult for many Americans to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I went back to eating processed foods and quit running (although I plan to spend this summer breaking in my new asics). My paranoia, however, has been blown completely out of control. I have spent countless hours awake at night, convinced that I have (and I'm not exaggerating- I have friends who will testify): anemia, leukemia, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure AND low blood pressure, ulcers, thyroid disease, brain tumors, both types of diabetes, and every cancer under the sun. I contemplated purchasing a helmet because I felt like I may be susceptible to epilepsy. I just sent my brother a packet on prostate cancer. He's 21. The more I learn about the hundreds of things that can go wrong with each area of the body, I have become amazed that there are so many people walking around without any health problems at all. It's a real testimony builder to say the least.

Once I've taken the test over each unit, and am through with watching all the horrifying videos my teacher posts, reading about risk factors and doing all the self-diagnosis tests, I force myself  to block everything about those diseases out of my mind... so I don't think I have real hypochondria. The only thing that has really stuck with me is increased hand-washing and making sure I get my yearly check-up. Oh, and I take a million vitamins every morning.

 In case you're wondering: I really did have gout.

Apr 20, 2011

Busted.

Day Eight: A picture that will never fail to make you laugh.

This is from like five years ago. Yes, that's a stick of butter in Erica's hand. She and Katelynn used to have this little habit of snooping through their friend's refrigerator's until they found their favorite midnight snack...Country Crocker. Makes me gag and laugh at the same time.


In other news...only three-point-five weeks left of school. My raft is blown up and ready to go.

Apr 6, 2011

day 5: a picture of your favorite memory

March Madness can be a time of devastating heartbreak. You could just ask any Kansas basketball fan about how they've felt after our losses in the last two tournaments....but don't. It's too soon to go there right now. But March Madness has also given me my absolute favorite memory from the last 10 years.  This one is simply a no-brainer: KU winning the NCAA National Championship in 2008.



Thousands of people watched the game on the jumbotron in Allen Fieldhouse. I'm pretty sure the entire state of Kansas underwent a human produced earthquake when Mario made that Miracle 3. We won in overtime. We rushed Mass Street. It was a party for two days straight. There were people climbing trees and light posts. Everyone was hugging everyone.  Katelynn was planting huge kisses on stranger's foreheads. We danced from 17th street down to 6th. Drivers encouraged us to stand on the hood of their cars and cheer as they inched down the street. It was so, so, so happy.






Kate on some dude's shoulders. This is how I found her after we were seperated.









I really do love my Jayhawks. Next year boys, next year.

Mar 31, 2011

day four: a picture of your night

Celloooo everyone. Back from my blogging hiatus. Today I'm supposed to post a picture of my night. I've had some fun nights lately what with my best friend getting married and all the festivities her and Patrick's family provided us in Utah...it was just a blast. Alas...I am the worst, worst at whipping my camera out and snapping pictures during important events.  I literally have four from the entire trip, and not a single one with the bride. How sad is that? For this post I thought it might be better anyway to show a typical night of mine...in the workplace. Woohoo. Let's get this overwith, shall we?

Since I've moved back to Newton, I've come to terms with the fact that I have no social life. And I won't until I'm finished with school.  It's a time thing.  Work has become my social life.  I adore everyone I work with. There's only a few of us and we get along so well, we've become like a family.  Tricia is the best boss ever.  She's so understanding when things interfere with our schedules and insists that school comes first. I've worked in the restaurant biz since I was 16, and waiting tables has become so automatic to me: I could do it in my sleep.  I may not be the chit-chattiest waitress on the block, but I'm sure as heck efficient.

I love our regulars. They always ask about tests I have coming up in school, questions about the house, and grill me to see if I'm getting enough sleep.  Most of them know my entire life story.  It's easier for me to talk about all that has happened with people I'm not close with or related to than it is with my actual family and friends. I'm not convinced it's a good thing- there have been way too many times where I've told complete strangers ev.er.y.thing. It's like I get the worst case of word vomit in the history of mankind.  In my defense, it always starts out with the other person asking questions! "How many siblings do you have?" I mean I don't know how to answer it. Because...I have TWO...so I usually just say TWO...but if I can tell the person is really interested, I'll say, "I had two brothers but one passed away"...and then that leads to more questions...and then I have to talk all about mom...okay, see? Here I go now! My therapist says she thinks it's just part of my own therapy-- to talk about it with as many people as I need to-- because I don't want to bring it up with the same person over and over again.  That all may be true...but I just feel bad. No one wants to hear all about that depressing stuff. Especially when they're just trying to eat their chicken wings.

Anyways.


My favorite cook Johnny. He hates when people call him Johnny. He makes bomb chimichangas.


Steph. Sweetest gal on the planet. I worked with her at Aggie's in high school as well. She's an excellent ear when you need one.



 Cody. Our front of house manager. He makes me laugh-hard-but he also knows how to get under my skin. For some reason he takes pleasure in watching me flip and freak out. But he gave me an awesome clicky KU pen the other day, so we're cool as a polar bear's toe nail...for now.


I get cold and apparently that's not okay...sorry Jeremy (scary back of house manager).


I created this swear jar to improve the quality of our work environment.  I became inspired to make it after someone swore and looked over at me and said "Sorry, Dani" in a not very sorry tone of voice. I realized maybe I should take initiative and start fining people for their profanities....and as a result, everyone would wind up with squeaky clean mouths. Then, I was struck with an even better idea that the profits could go to my WEDDING DRESS FUND (no I don't have a boyfriend but yes I have a bank account for my wedding dress fund. my grandma and I save our change and dump it off every couple months. don't make fun of me.) John tried to pre-pay with a $100 bill and I begrudgingly had to take it out because you can't form a good language habit that way..needless to say, my swear jar has been completely ignored and sits empty on the beverage counter.


 Best tip I've ever got. How did they know I love popcorn?

Mar 3, 2011

day tree


If you're not a fan of Lost, don't even bother reading this post. You might end up thinking I'm insane in the brain and will positively be annoyed because you just don't get what I'm talking about. Kind of like when Lost was still on, and I was working at Jefferson's, and the entire staff excluding three or so people watched it religiously.... and those three people would get beyond annoyed and testy when we would talk about the newest episodes because they weren't part of the awesome club that is LOST.

Our freshman year of college, my bff Katelynn and I spent one sad, long year apart because we ventured off to different schools. I was at KU, while she was at Baylor. I remember calling her second semester and listening to her rant and rave about this show she had started watching on DVD... and when this girl rants and raves about something, she rants and raves. Every time I talked to her on the phone for two months straight she would gush about the last episode she had watched and how she couldn't wait for the next one and what was she going to do when she was finished with Season 2 because Season 3 was over on TV but not relased on DVD yet and she was getting super irritated whenever a professor assigned homework because it would intervene with her watching of the show. Usually when she would ramble on and on to me about Lost, I'd be doing a cryptoquip or miserably failing at a Sudoku...aka TONING HER OUT. 

The next time I saw Katy, she literally shoved Seasons 1 and 2 in my face and threatened my life if I didn't watch it immediately. It was summertime, and aside from working part-time I didn't have much else to do. A few weeks after she leant me the seasons, I absent-mindedly popped the first disc in as I was getting ready to go somewhere. The first episode came on. My brothers happened to be in the room and with each passing minute we became less and less distracted by what we were doing and more and more intrigued with the pilot. It ran about an hour long, and by the end, the three of us were all sitting on the couch, mouths open, and naturally...wanting to know what was going to happen next.  (Having re-watched the first season twice, I now realize that the pilot wasn't THAT intense or THAT suspenseful...I was just so enthralled because, despite Katelynn's insistance, I wasn't expecting it to be so...fascinating.)  So we went on to watch the second episode. Then the third. Then we finished the disc. We cancelled everything we had planned that night.

Over the next several days, my brothers and I didn't sleep. We hardly bathed. We left the house ONLY when necessary and would grumble the entire time we were ever being deprived from another Lost episode. We would not-- could not-- stop until we had finished both seasons. Each episode is an hour long. Each season has 24 episodes. It took us a little less than a week to finish both seasons...that's a lot of TV people. At first Katelynn was a bit bugged that I had taken so long to join her obsession....for about 0.3 seconds. Next thing I knew, she was constructing discussion questions for my brothers and I to do after each disc (there simply isn't time for discussion between episodes. You HAVE to click "next" right, right away. You're lucky to get a bathroom break) and would cautiously time her phone calls so not to interrupt a showing. You may think I'm exaggerating...I wish I was.  The show got more and more and MORE intriguing with each episode. I remember somewhere in the haze of our Lost week, Katelynn calling and asking "have you met the 'others' yet?" and I said, "excuse me....there are 'others'?!?!?!?!?!" Like I thought the Island couldn't be any crazier than it already was. Bahahaha, was I in for a real shock.

Waiting for Season 3 was like torture. It came out on DVD at the end of the summer, so I was able to spend another few days of living in our own filth to catch up with my brothers before I went back up to Lawrence. Katelynn and I found some other Lost groupies, and Season 4 we had watch parties at this kid's house. They had a huge flat screen (when HD was new, peeps) and we would turn off all the lights and it felt like we were on the island. It was awesome.

I starting watching Season 5 on my own, but work intervened too often and I decided I liked watching them on DVD better anyways because you don't have to wait an entire week between episodes. So I waited for it to be available and watched it over Christmas break with my brothers, right before my mom got sick. We had purchased this projector so we could show it really huge on our basement wall and a lot of the time I fantisized about jumping in the picture and participating in all the drama with the islanders...you have no idea how many times Katelynn and I have wistfully talked about the amazing possibilities of one of our planes crashing and being stranded on an island...sigh.

Like I said, everyone at Jefferson's was obsessed with Lost, and one day the cooks decided to assign every staff member an identity of someone on the show.  I remember asking them, "who am I?!?!" thinking they would DEFINITELY cast me as Kate, no question, and one of them looked at me and said "hmmm...my first instinct is Shannon...but no, I definitely think you're a Rose." and the other cook nodded and said "oh yeah, she makes a perfect  Rose." I had started to object when they said Shannon (she's the brattiest character ever to be on TV) and then when they assigned me Rose?!?!?!  (they knew they'd get his sort of reaction out of me) I think I threw a spatula at the kitchen window and wouldn't speak to them for days.

Seth died before Season 6 was over.  A few weeks before, Katelynn had sent him a Dharma Initiative party package (it was totally cool. and yes I was totally livid that my best friend had sent my brother, and not me, a party package).  No one, and I mean no one could ever crack a joke about my brothers death--ever--period--besides Katelynn. Only because she loved him to pieces and because she gets my sense of humor and gets timing is key and all that good stuff. And this is the only "joke" she's ever made about it (actually,  she was extremely serious when she said it)...and it totally made me keel over with laughter. (I repeat: if anyone else said this, I would have beat the crud out of them.) A few days after he died, and my family and I were still in complete shock and struggling to understand why he had done it, and how he could have done it, and Katelynn and I were raking through the details for the hundredth time, she said, haha-I'm sorry Kate-she's going to ream me for putting this on here- "What I just cannot, cannot understand...is that how he could have done it without knowing how Lost ended." and then she went on to say, "Oh my gosh...do you think he already knows how it ends since he's in heaven???"  She didn't mean for it to be funny at all, but of course it was. It was definitely exactly the laugh break my mom and I needed at the time.

 I miss both of my baby brothers and it was so sad to watch the last season without them. Eli is on his mission obviously, so I'll get to watch it again when he gets home. I remember on the day of the season finale (which ended the show PERFECTLY, seriously, there couldn't have been a better ending) I sent him one taunting sentence in an email, "I know how Lost ends, and you don't." My mom got so mad that I was trying to torture him while he's on his mish but I couldn't resist.

Bottom line: Lost is, and always be, the best show ever to hit network television.

Mar 1, 2011

dos.






I've been best friends with Kimberly Noelle (not for long!) Julian since the two of us were in diapers. When my parents moved into the Newton Ward, our moms became fast friends once they realized their daughters were only a month apart in age. The two of us were dragged to Relief Society events as toddlers, played together in nursery, and entered our first Sunbeam class hand in hand, sporting identical bowl haircuts (it's times like this I really wish I had a picture scanner). Kimberly's family lived in McPherson (30 miles north of Newton) so when we'd have sleepovers over the years, our parents would pawn us off on each other for three or four days at a time, especially during the summer.

I really can't think of one time that Kimberly and I played Barbies or house or made up dances or bothered with any other kind of girly games growing up. Both of us were raised in households with only brothers so we were more interested in climbing trees, jumping from roof to roof on the houses in my neighborhood, riding bikes, or swimming in the creek a few blocks a few blocks away. One of our favorite (but strange) things to do was wade up to our knees in the creek and throw huge wads of moss up on the walls of the bridge above us. One particular summer day as we were making our way "back to shore" from a moss-tossing session, I felt a sharp pain on the bottom of my foot, lifted it out of the murky creek water, and saw that I had sliced it on a piece of broken glass. Of course I immediately started bawling, and Kimberly, who was already up on her bike, threw it down and yelled "I'll be right there!" She yanked off her sandles (I think they were those AWESOME gel shoes that were all the rage that summer) and ran down the hill back into the creek. A few leaps in, I saw her face change into a horrified, pained expression. She lifted her foot out of the water and I could see the blood dripping from a small cut on her heel. She had stepped on a different piece of broken glass (one of the million reasons why we were strictly forbidden to swim in this nasty creek). We both were sobbing and trying to hop out of the water, literally crawled on shore up to our bikes, and peddled with one foot all the way back to my house.  When we reached the front door, it was locked, so I ran the doorbell over and over (we were both still wailing in pain). My mom answered, saw both of us standing like flamingos with blood dripping down into a small pool on the porch, and started laughing. "You girls! Is that ketchup??? Wash it off with the hose, you know we just replaced the carpet!" and then she slammed the door shut. I rang the doorbell fifteen times again before she opened it back up to realize that we were seriously "injured" (they were just tiny cuts-- naturally, we were behaving like dramatic seven year old girls).  Of course she brought her neosporin OUTside to fix us up (new carpet, remember?) and we proceeded to skedaddle off to find some other tomboy activity.

I could tell so many stories about our adventures over the years; her attempt to save me from nearly drowning at the age of three ("use big arms, Dani, big arms!), us mooning all the cars that drove down our street (only to have our neighbor call my mom and tattle, causing us to collapse on the ground with remorse and worry ourselves sick over our eternal salvation), our awkward middle school phase, girls camp (where we thought we ruled the prairie), our first boy crushes, and dozens of moments from our freshman year at KU, where we were roommates in the dorms. She is such a loyal, compassionate friend.  We know each other so, so well. We have the quirkiest humor-especially when we're together- and she always knows how to get a laugh out of me even when I'm down in the dumps. She's smart (I call her whenever I'm faced with disgusting math problems), sarcastic, and gives the best recommendations at new restaurants (seriously. once she's suggested a dish to me, and I try it, I never order anything else on the menu).  I'm so grateful that, even though she lives far, far away in Utah, we can talk on the phone several times a day and know every little tidbit of what's going on in each other's lives. It feels like Christmas each time she comes home for a visit. In just a couple of weeks, I have the great privilege of being maid of honor at her wedding to the dashing Patrick Cannon. I can. not. wait! Love you Cranbarryl.
 our song:





I mean...what's not to love about this girl?

Feb 26, 2011

day one.



1.This picture includes three of my favorite things: sunshine, cryptograms, and cruise ships
2. I bounce a lot when I walk, and I walk really fast. Whenever Katelynn and I are shopping or walking down Mass or whatever, I'm walking twice as fast as her but we're still going at the same pace because her legs go up to my neck.
3. I have a lisp. And I hate it.
4. I change my hair color every six weeks. Drives my father insane.
5. I always feel really rushed when I do things. I am in and out of grocery stores like lightening. It's difficult for me to relax ever, (unless I'm literally on vacation) because I always feel like I need to go somewhere or do something. Rushed rushed rushed.
6. I am obsessed with the Kansas Jayhawks. Like you didn't know that already. My favorite player this season is Tyrel Reed (ty-reezy). He hits threes perfectly- when we need them the most. AGHHH I love March Madness!! Also, I'm awesome at bracketology. My dad calls me for my picks each year so he can use them for his work pool.
7. I love chinese food and greek food the most. If I had a constant supply of tzatziki, I would put it on anything everything. While I'm on the subject of food- I hate cake-and frosting.
8. I played the piano for 12 years, but haven't had one in the house for the last several years (kind of hard to fit one in an apartment). I miss it. I'm afraid I'll be awful if I sit down to play again.
9. I love all game shows- especially the bad ones like Don't Forget the Lyrics. Wheel of Fortune is my all time fave, with Jeopardy coming in at a close second. Cash Cab is great too. Ohhh, don't get me started.
10. I've had gout twice in the last year. The second time I had it, my friend Cody goes "Like what sailors get??" (he was thinking of scurvy.) It's totally an old man disease- in fact, I got rid of it by taking my GRANDFATHERS medication. It's usually caused by drinking a lot of beer or eating excessive amounts of red meat or being severely overweight. Since I don't drink, and hardly ever eat red meat, and I'm not obese....I dunno. I'm guessing it's genetic in my case. I need to get a doctor's appointment scheduled so I can figure out why I am susceptible to "gout attacks," as they're called. It was the most intense pain I've ever felt in my life- ever! Worse than dry sockets. My big toe was really swollen and red and it just throbbed and throbbed. I would have it propped up on pillow at night, and even the slightest breeze would send shooting pains through my leg. I'm not joking! My poor mother, who was sick from chemo and everything else, felt so sorry for me and was doing everything she could to make me feel better. I thought I had broken a bone in my foot and so I wore a boot around while I was working. The second day of my gout attack, a doctor was sitting at one of my tables and asked me why I was limping. I explained to him how something happened to my foot, but it didn't feel like a broken bone, that it felt more like a muscle injury. He asked to look at it, and I took my boot and sock off IN the restaurant (I realize I am grossing EVERYONE out with this story) and he took one look and said, "Girl, you got gout." He looked incredibly sympathetic because seriously, SERIOUSLY, it's so painful. He told me to go get a prescription asap. I called my dad crying and he happened to be with my Grandpa, who happens to suffer from chronic gout (really, all gout is chronic- once you have it, you're more likely to get it again and again, usually about once a year. I wrote a report about this for A & P. This fact makes me terrified about future gout attacks), and he brought me these amazing magic pills that got rid of the gout within 24 hours. I was so relieved he did, because this was on a Saturday and I couldn't wait another two days.



Gross, huh?

There you have it.





Feb 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge

So this has been all over Facebook.
At first I thought it was kind of lame.
I still do.
But I like the idea of having daily blog prompts.
Especially because I'll get to talk about my favorite people.
Soo, tomorrow, I'm beginning....the THIRTY DAY CHALLENGE!
get excited.
or don't.

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show

Day 04 - A picture of your night

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day

Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most screwed up things with

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate

Day 12 - A picture of something you love

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist

Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently

Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity

Day 19 - A picture of you when you were little

Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel

Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget

Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change

Day 25 - A picture of your day

Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you

Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member

Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of

Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile

Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss

Feb 22, 2011

“Feliz Cumpleaños”

 That's how they say it in Spain.

“Fröhlicher Geburtstag,”
in German it means the same.


“Gratulerer med dagen,”  
Norwegians say it too.


But any way you say it, it means
"Happy Birthday to you!"

Can't believe my baby brother is 21. We don't have a scanner here so I'll have to wait until I go to my Grandma's next to put some of his mish pics up. He says he's already being spoiled there and has had several different families bake him birthday cakes. Here's a bit of an email he sent last week (hopefully he doesn't mind me sharing it with the blogging world. I'm sure he wouldn't..?!) Please note: when we email back in forth we are both incredibly rushed (especially him) so disregard the lack of punctuation/proper grammar. His letters are much more thoughtful but also more personal so I won't share them :) Also! I told him I spent 18 dollars on an envelope of an important legal document I sent him to have notarized (hence, his excitement about using a notary) so that he would NOT lose it, and his response cracks me up. What a goof.

sister sister,
that sounds real tough. Ive never felt so important! Using a notary! CAn i have my own body guard take me to and from the bank? And why did the envelope cost so much, i got like 50 for 4 bucks. just sayin you should work on your bargain shopping. I cant just go to the mission office though but they should send it quickly. I usually dont get mail untill tuesdays for some reason so i will probably get it tommorow. I am not worried about having you be my attorney. I remember when you should have gotten a ticket in front of the high school and you just cried and everything was okay. Seriously though i will be as speedy as grandma whippin out her camera for a snap shot. Im glad you are able to talk with grandma and grandpa, I hope they are doing okay! I worry about them and pray for them all the time.
I guess its good that your staying busy but dang, Even on the mission I dont have thaaaaaaaaaaat much to worry about. Patrick did get baptized yesterday though and confirmed all on the same day because of stake conference. his wife invited all of her family, so they were all there and then patrick and his brothers fam and some more of his freinds came and so ive never had a baptism with so many non members there. Afterwards he had a party at his house and made some delicious ribs and we all chilled. His brothers wife grew up mormon and wants to go back to church now and wants her husband (patricks brother) to join the church. Great things are happening. The G-Rods have had a tough week because of family problems. They have had a  lot of deaths in the family recently and have close relatives that are dying so its a sad time for them.  Transfers are next week so i will be emailing on tuesday. I will probably stay in elk grove but my companion will most likely change again. I am gonna try and send you pictures today.
relief society huh? haha I am picturing relief society arms right now. Thats gonna be you soon enough! Just kidding thats really really cool. My last area the Stake Presidents wife was our relief society president and we were tight! Its gonna be a lot of work and worry but you will get opportunities to serve thats for sure. Dont be afraid to use the missionaries to help lighten the load a little bit. Go shake some hell. we just made zone t shirts that say that :)
Valentines day isnt going to freak me out i dont think but i gotta admitt when i saw the stuff in walmart it reminded me that it has already been a year and then i thought about how it was about this time and it wasnt a good feeling. I figure im gonna have a little girl someday though and i dont want to take away valentines day for her so i guess im gonna be celebrating it anyways. 
had the spanish elders who live with us come to dinner at our members house and it was seroiusly the funniest dinner ive had out here. Its terrible but the people were just really wierd and we just talked about the craziest things and afterwards we all just started cracking up because the people were just crazy...
aaaaaaaaaaanyways i love you. i be prayin.
Elder Klein

And finally, a song that reminds me of Elijah. Happy Birthday broseph.