Vacation Plans

Told you I would be back soon!! The good thing is I am currently on vacation, so I have lots and lots of time. I am with my boyfriend, Tucker’s family down in Cape Carteret, North Carolina. His grandparents live down here in a house by the water, it is absolutely beautiful.

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The only negative thing is that its supposed to be rainy all week. So we can’t go out swimming and boating like we normally would, but it does allow a lot of time for some relaxation! Which I definitely need right now. While I catch up on my rest, I hope to actually accomplish something along the way. As you may have noticed, my blog got a bit of a makeover! I think it looks cleaner, and a little cuter too 🙂 Also, I’m hoping the relaxing atmosphere around here will give me lots of thoughts, which will translate into good writing!

Actually, I’m taking part in something really cool starting tomorrow… Camp NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is November. Every November, thousands and thousands of writers gather together on the site with one common goal: complete a novel in one month. Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer special, and it takes place in the month of July! Pretty cool, huh? Writing a novel has always been a goal of mine, but is never something I have actually taken on. I’m hoping this will be a good place to start. I might not write a very good novel, and I might not finish it in the month allotted, but it is a cool challenge that will better my writing skills, so I am all in! If you are interested, you still have six and a half hours to sign up, so get on it people! Challenge yourselves 🙂

So I’m hoping this vacation will prove to be relaxing and productive, and hopefully the sun will come out soon! I’m looking forward to some good sun, fun, and writing 🙂

Until next time!

xoxo Katie Lou

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Frustrated

First, I have to apologize to those of you who actually read my blog. I haven’t written in over a week, I am pretty disappointed in myself. All week, I have been dealing with this sickness/injury/general pain. I work all day, and when I get home I’ve just been too tired to write. I have this condition called costochondritis, which is the inflammation of the chest wall and rib cage. It hurts really bad, the pain mimics that of a heart attack. The pain is worsened by deep breathing, exercise, eating, and just general moving. So it sucks. I mean it really sucks.
Its getting better everyday, and I’m happy I was well enough to leave for vacation, but it’s frustrating. Beyond just the everyday setbacks, it’s frustrating in another way for me as well. I think it’s about time I address my biggest passion, running.
I have been a competitive distance runner for five years now. I ran cross country and track throughout my four years in high school, and it meant everything to me. For those four years, I never took more than a day off. Everyday I went out and ran with all of my heart. For four years, I put all of my emotional being into that one thing. And I loved every second of it 🙂
Looking back, I’m really proud of my career. I definitely didn’t appreciate it at the time, and there are goals that I never accomplished. But as a whole, I really am proud of what I accomplished. My team won a cross country district title, I qualified for the state meet twice, and my PR was one of the top five times in school history.
That being said, there was still a lot I wanted to do outside of high school. Half way through my senior year, I was sidelined with a bad case of plantar fasciitis. For months I was in and out of a boot and crutches. It was sad to not be able to finish off my high school career, but I had my sights set on greater things: running at the University of South Carolina.
Well…. That didn’t really work out. At all. My plantar fasciitis never really got better, and between that and the pressure of being a NCAA athlete, it was just too much. In January I ended up quitting the team and decided to transfer to James Madison University, where I do not plan on competing. Since then, I have attempted to get back into running, on my own terms, but the plantar fasciitis always got in the way. I took a ton of time off just to let it heal, and honestly? Right now, it feels the best it has in two years. But then, the costochondritis came. And that means no physical activity until that clears up, which can take months 😦
So that’s why I’ve been frustrated. I miss running a whole lot. A lot of people think I’m crazy for being so obsessed with running, and I probably am. But running just has this effect on me, it’s makes me calm, inspired, and confident all at once. And as they say…

Running… Cheaper than therapy.

Haha, anyway I miss the feeling that I get from running. And lately, I just feel like I can’t catch a break, too many things keep getting in the way. I always kind of thought that running was my destiny, and maybe it still is, but that’s okay if it’s not too. The good thing is that these injuries (or whatever) have taught me a lot. There’s a lot more to life than running, and I’m good at a lot of other things. Plus, it’s never to good to invest too much of your being into a single thing.

Hopefully the costochondritis will clear up soon and I get back to running. Right now I’m more focused on being able to eat solid foods… My plan is to run a half marathon on November 16. If I’m not ready by then, well that’s okay. I’ve learned it’s important to just enjoy the ride 🙂

Until next time, which I promise will be much sooner! xoxo Katie

Nothing a Cupcake Can’t Fix

My last two posts were a bit on the heavier side, so I decided to be a little more lighthearted today 🙂

I’ve been sick this past week with a sinus infection, I always happened to have the week off from work, so I’ve pretty much just been lying around. However the week was far from unproductive, because I discovered Food Network cooking competitions. And I am obsessed. My favorite one is called Chopped. As its described on the Food Network website:

“Chopped is a cooking competition show that is all about skill, speed and ingenuity.”

The description really doesn’t do the show justice. I mean the people who compete on this thing are freaking masterminds of the kitchen. The concept is simple, you are given a basket of four random ingredients, and in only 30 minutes you are expected to make a dish that brings these four ingredients together. Simple enough, right? Well the selected ingredients are far from simple. Those baskets always contain things you wouldn’t even think of putting together. Half of things selected are things I have never even heard of, and probably never would have otherwise. For an example we all should understand, on one episode they had to prepare a dish containing the following ingredients: hot dogs, beer, peanuts, and cotton candy. They had to make ONE dish that seamlessly used ALL of those ingredients, and it has to taste good! And the craziest part of it all is that they all manage to do it; they all somehow make a gourmet dish with four ingredients that should not be put together, and according to the judges, they usually taste amazing. Oh, and they do it in under 30 minutes. It takes me that long to microwave a frozen pot pie.

By the end of Tuesday afternoon, these culinary geniuses had me inspired. I was determined to become a gourmet chef. I pictured myself cooking in five-star restaurants for world-renowned critics who all raved over my delectable meals… But then I took a step back, as I remembered that the only thing I have ever cooked on my own is cupcakes. So I decided, maybe I need to be a bit more patient with this cooking thing.

So I did take a small step towards culinary greatness and attempted a more sophisticated cupcake. My mom & I made some Red Velvet Cupcakes and I don’t even care if I brag, they were delicious. Maybe not “Chopped” worthy yet, but I’m getting there. Hey, this really is a big step for me. It was my first time not using batter from a box, we actually made it from scratch!! Maybe one day I’ll have my own Food Network show… Or more realistically, maybe one day I’ll be able to make more than a cupcake… Eh, no matter what, not a bad way to spend a week home sick!

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Try not to drool too much over the pictures 😉 Until next time!!

xoxo Katie

Perspective from the “Entitled” Generation

This post is a response to another blogger, Kelly Williams Brown, whom may I add, is a big-time blogger and way above me when it comes to blogging. Anyway, she wrote a post that offers advice to the current generation trying to grow up. You can read it here. Her main point?

Accept that you are not that special.

Okay, I get what she is trying to say. And on its own, it probably wouldn’t bother me that much. The reason I got SO rilled up is because of the many ignorant comments left behind. Here is just a select few…

What????? But, mom said!!! And, I got 165 likes on my Instagram pic of my new high waisted shorts?

Generation “not my fault”

Yes! Stop acting like entitled little SNOTS!!!!

There are SO many comments like that, too many to post here, and thats what got me so heated. Our generation, known as “millennials,” is constantly being criticized for being too fat, too lazy, and this time too entitled. I think this one bothers me the most, because it is a hit to our character. Now, to solve this “problem” Ms. Brown believes we should accept that we are not special. Many of the commenters believe our parents should not treat us like we are special.

Frankly, I just think all of it is bullshit. Because, we are special. I know it sounds cliche, but everyone is special in their own way. We all have our strengths and talents. Some of us are made to be artists, some are made to be businessmen, some athletes, or musicians, or chefs, or parents; I could go on and on.

I firmly believe that the potential for greatness lies within all of us. It definitely takes a lot of hard work and diligence to reach that potential. However, it also takes a great deal of confidence. If you don’t believe you can accomplish something, you probably never will. So I happen to disagree with Ms. Brown. I believe that us “millennials” that are beginning to enter the real world should never forget that they ARE special. We shouldn’t settle for a cubicle job when we want to be a CEO. We need to believe we are great to accomplish great things. And as much as these same people complain about the current state of our country, our generation is going to need to do some pretty great things.

In a world where blog commenters are always putting us down, I think its okay for parents to point out the special things in their child. A kid’s confidence has a lot to do in what their parents say to them. I have been very lucky to have had parents who instilled a lot of confidence in me. They have always encouraged me to try new things and strive for the best. Because of them, I have realized that I have strong leadership and speaking skills, which is why I hope to be a pretty damn good teacher one day.

So that’s my piece. Some of you may disagree with it, but I don’t write to make everyone happy. Now that I have this blog, I’m not gonna let this generation trashing go unnoticed! Until next time 🙂

xoxo Katie

A Million Thank Yous

To be honest, I was really scared to post the link to my Facebook page. I didn’t know what people would think, or if people would even read it at all! But I posted anyway, and now three hours later I am absolutely OVERWHELMED with all of the support I have received! I really didn’t think many people would visit, but I have over 200 hits in only one night! I am so appreciative of all of you for reading, and especially those of you who sent encouraging comments! I am so much more confident in my blogging future after tonight and I have each of you to thank for it!

Again, a HUGE thank you, and I hope to keep entertaining you with my stories. Until next time…

xoxo Katie Lou

Happy Father’s Day

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Today is the day we celebrate the father figures in our lives. Maybe it began as a ploy to raise Hallmark cards sales, but it has become a sincere and beloved holiday for many American families. In our current technological age, it has become somewhat tradition for everyone to post pictures of their fathers on every social media outlet available. I participate in this for pretty much every occasion celebrating someone in my family, because I love digging through old pictures and I believe in giving credit where credit is due.  Anyway, on this Father’s Day I have seen several people complaining about the sharing of photos; bothered by the photos taking up the majority of their News Feed. Honestly, people complaining about this really annoys me, and I’ll tell you why.

Father’s Day is one of the few days of the year that is all about love. It is defined as a celebration of “fatherhood”, which is one of the purest forms of love. Romantic relationships and friendships are never guaranteed, but fatherhood is something that never changes. Not everyone may have a biological father around, but most of us have a father figure in some form. Those figures are always there for us, we may get annoyed by their constant worries, but its all in love. I believe that some of the most selfless people in this world are fathers.

So when I see all of my Facebook friends posing with their fathers, it makes me smile. Today when I scroll up and down my News Feed all I see are smiles, hugs and most importantly, love. Our world experiences tragedies everyday, and while that does not stop on Father’s Day, it is so nice to see all the love that exists that we sometimes forget about.

So yeah, maybe this holiday was superficial in its roots. But look at what its become! Isn’t it nice to see the influence that so many people’s fathers have? I am extremely lucky to have been blessed with my amazing father, who I need to go spend some time with 🙂 So I’ll wrap this us with a message to all you naysayers, try not to be so negative when you see the last few father pictures that graze Facebook tonight. Don’t you at least find a little joy in it all? Well if not, here’s one more to piss you off.

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Happy Father’s Day to you, Daddy! I love you!!

xoxo Katie

Come One, Come All

Hello everyone and welcome to katie lou & other things too! Just the fact that you even clicked on this link means a lot to me, so thanks for visiting! For those of you who don’t already know, my name is Katie or “Katie Lou” as the title suggests. Katie Lou is a name my family has called me for years… It comes from my full name, Kathryn Louise. I have always loved it 🙂 The title is something cute I thought of… My little brother, Will thinks it sounds like the title of the newest Winnie the Pooh movie, but I am totally on board with that. Who doesn’t love Winnie the Pooh?

Winnie the Pooh

I’m really excited about this, because I have wanted to start a blog forever. I absolutely love to tell stories. My poor family has had to deal with my constant rattling off of stories (most of which have been repeated numerous times) throughout my entire life. I guess its about time to begin sharing those stories with someone else! Also, I am very passionate for writing. I have always loved to write, but a series of great high school English teachers really helped me improve my writing skills. In the future, I hope to teach high school English while pursuing writing on the side. Maybe this blog will help launch my writing career? Or maybe it will just help me improve my writing further… Either way is a win for me 🙂

So why did I decide to start a blog now? Well, I am in the midst of some big life changes. This Fall, I will be transferring from the University of South Carolina to James Madison University. I’m essentially getting a fresh start, so there’s no better time than this to begin! In the past, whenever I thought of writing a blog I always struggled with what to actually write about. I live the life of a typical 18 year old girl, there is nothing too exciting or interesting about it. I never really thought people would want to actually read about my life. But then I thought to myself, so what? This blog could become the next internet sensation, and would enjoy writing just as much if not a single person ever read it. I’m doing this for myself, to make me happy, and that’s the way it should be. Who cares if its just a simple blog about my life? I think my girl Pam Beasley said it best:

There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of ideas in my head that I’m just waiting to get out. And I’m really excited for this next journey in my life, and I’m hoping to share it with all of you (if there are actually any of you out there…) So if you’re reading, I hope you will join me on this ride! Until next time…

xoxo Katie Lou