Is there a social media outlet that has captivated our culture quite like Instagram has? I think we can all agree that Facebook is the most popular and widely used, considering many of our grandparents are plugged in to the site. Twitter would be a close second, but Instagram is in a class of its own.
We post every picture from every event we attend on Facebook. We share our every thought on Twitter. But Instagram is saved for the best of the best. We only post our favorite pictures on Instagram; usually accompanied by an ambiguous caption that gives the photo a bit of a mysterious edge, along with a filter that perfectly highlights the photo. Instagram is all about perfection.

Nowhere on Instagram will you find sloppy pictures of groups of friends that you may find on Facebook. Instead, any friend group photo will look like its been pulled straight from a Gap catalog. Instagram is filled with photos of freshly cut fruit, perfectly ironed outfits, beautifully painted nails, and the most creative, cute crafts you have ever seen. Instagram is a place where we only post the best moments of our lives in hopes that people will visit our profile and think “Wow, what a perfect life they have!”

I’ll admit it, I’m as big an Instagram addict as any. Honestly, I think it has taken a hindrance on my life. Whenever I go out, I’m constantly thinking of possible “Instagram moments.” And when I do think of one, I’m completely stressed until the photo is taken and posted. Once it’s posted, I am still stressed because I always want my photos to hit at least 11 “likes”, because then it shows a number count instead of just a list of the “liker’s” names. Okay, I know I sound like a self-obsessed freak, but this is what Instagram has done to us all! Fellow Instagrammers will know exactly what I’m talking about.

But to be honest, even I with my 426 Instagram photos, get annoyed with the constant strive for perfection. You know what I absolutely hate? When people post pictures of freshly cut fruits with the caption, “OMG my fav food ever. So perfect!!!” NO. It is not “so perfect!!!” Because it is a LIE. Nobody’s favorite food is a freaking kiwi. When people post pictures of their so called “favorite food,” it’s clear that they are just trying to appear as a healthy, active person. We all know that if given the choice between your beloved kiwi and an ice cream cone, you’d pick the ice cream. You ain’t fooling nobody. And honestly, I don’t think anyone really cares how healthy you eat, so I’m not exactly sure why this has become a trend. I’m going to start a new trend of posting pictures of big, greasy hamburgers with the caption, “OMG my fav food ever. So perfect!!!” At least that would be an honest trend.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if people posted pictures of all moments in their life, good and bad? An Instagram that displays, you know, real life? I think Instagram often makes people feel bad about themselves, because they look at other’s flawless profiles and wish their life, too, could be that “perfect.” What we don’t always realize is that nobody posts the bad hair days, the failed tests, the embarrassing moments… We only see the good in people’s lives, and assume that they have no bad moments. Truth is, we all have those bad moments, you’re just the only one who knows about them. Somebody is probably looking at your Instagram profile too, thinking that you have a perfect life.

But for now, Instagram will stay a haven of perfection. And we will enjoy it anyway. The photo I posted this morning currently has 28 likes. It’s a good day.

Until next time, everyone!

xoxo Katie Lou

This a Touchy Subject…


My mom & I at the Culdesac 5k

I’ve been avoiding writing about this for a while, but its time. Two weeks ago, I ran my first race in a very long time. It was absolutely horrible. I made a rookie mistake in assuming that I would run fast. That was just stupid. I had only trained for one week before the race. It was close to ninety degrees. I had spent the past two days walking around the city of Chicago. I was not hydrated nor well rested. This was just not an environment meant for success. And yet, my over-competitive stupid self believed that it was.

I am way too competitive for my own good. I take every race or competition incredibly serious. That was great when I was competing in the high school state meet, but when I’m running in the “Culdesac 5k,” I shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself. But I always do. When I race, I race hard. I race to win, or to run a personal best time. Which is STUPID when you have only been training for a week.

So, like I said before, the race was horrible. I ran my first mile way too fast, and thus began a long, slow, painful death… I felt like I could barely breathe and I was concerned that my legs could have given out at any moment. Once I lost that momentum, I lost all  of my mental stamina. I just completely gave up. It was hot, I was tired, and I wasn’t running fast. A recipe for disaster. 

It was the slowest 5k race I have ever run in my life. I’m embarrassed to even be writing this, but I ran the 5k in 23 minutes, 43 seconds. Oh God I am humiliated. I realize that that is a lot faster than a lot of people can run, and I am thankful for that. But you must realize that my best time for the 5k is 19 minutes, 20 seconds. So what I ran in the Culdesac 5k was WAY slower, and naturally I was very disappointed with it. God, I never ran that slow in high school. Now I know that some of my running friends will see this… That kind of scares me, which is why I held off on writing this for so long. But I realized this: what kind of writer am I if I don’t write honestly? And that’s why I have to share this experience with you all.

After the Culdesac 5k, I was extremely discouraged. I knew that I hadn’t been training much, and it was not ideal racing conditions, but I just felt like there was no way I would ever get back to the level I used to be at. I didn’t run again for the rest of the week. After some encouragement from my loved ones, I did start running again, albeit not very much.


My mom, brother, and I at the Village of Nags Head 5k

So two days ago, Thursday morning, I ran another 5k. We were down in Nags Head, and they have a series of races right in our neighborhood. Honestly, I wasn’t too excited about it, and I didn’t expect much either. But my mom and brother were running, and I knew it would be a fun event so I got up at 6:00 AM and went out there anyway. Much to my surprise, the race went really well! I ran the 5k in 21 minutes, 43 seconds; exactly two minutes faster than my race at the Culdesac 5k. In only two weeks, I dropped two whole minutes, which is huge progress! I was thrilled after I finished. Not only did I race that much faster, but I also raced a hell of a lot tougher, which is really important to me. I am still over two minutes off of my personal best, but that’s okay. I know there is a long road ahead of me, but I’m ready for that.

I now am extremely happy that I ran the Culdesac 5k. Had the Village of Nags Head 5k been my first race back, I would have been disappointed with 21:43. But now I know how far I have come, and I am more motivated than ever! Heck, if I keep up this dropping two minutes thing, I’ll be running personal bests in no time 😉

I am a sucker for a good quote, and there is one particular one I have kept in mind throughout my injury struggles and recovery process

Every setback is a setup for a comeback. God wants to bring you out better than you were before. -Joel Osteen

Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever be the runner I once was, but that quote keeps me motivated. Even if that day never comes, I’m happy that I’m able to still do what I love. What these past two races have taught me is perspective. I may not be the runner I want to be, but I’m extremely happy with my progress and I have to remember how far I have come.

I know a lot of people who regularly read my blog love reading about my running, so that’s why I wanted to share this. Hopefully one day I will be able to write about some more spectacular success, but this will do for now 🙂 Thank you everyone for all the support and encouragement I have received throughout this never-ending recovery process. The minimal success I have achieved thus far could not have been done without you.

Keep on running, my friends…

xoxo Katie 








I think this world would be a much better place if we all lived like a puppy.

I don’t mean that we should all walk around naked, pee on every street corner, and greet each other with a good butt sniff.

I mean that we need to live life with an outlook of a dog.


Gibby, age 8

Dogs don’t really do much in their days. They eat, sleep, and play. They live a simple life, but they certainly don’t act like it. Every meal is met with extreme enthusiasm and excitement. Dogs eat kibble, every day, but they act like they are being served a filet mignon complete with béarnaise sauce. When a dog is taken on a walk, they make the most of every step. They walk with a spring in their step the whole way, just happy to have been taken on a walk in the first place. Dogs love to nap. They find the comfiest spot in the house, and enjoy a nice sleep. Dogs really have a fine appreciation for the simpler things in life. It doesn’t take much to please them. Just some kibble, water, a good stick, and a nice place to sleep. Maybe a walk or two.


Dolly, age 1

Dog’s treat their owners with a genuine, overwhelming love. When their owner comes home from a long day of work, a dog reacts with such an extreme excitement. There will be lots of licks, jumps, barks, and love. They have this uncanny ability to make their owners feel appreciated… loved… and special. Dogs don’t care about race, gender, sexuality, wealth, size, or shape… If you love a dog, they will love you back. Simple as that.


The Wood Dogs

Dogs know that their time on Earth is short. They know that one day, their lives here will be over and it will time for them to move on. They take advantage of each day of their short lives. Above all, dogs know how to live. When they want to have fun, they pick up a ball. When they want to relax, they take a good nap. They stay close to one’s they love, and always remind them of that love. I’ve never had a dog pass away, but I hear that when their last day comes, they know that its time. And they are ready for it. Because they know they have lived a happy life.


Gibby, Dolly, and Will

We are so busy trying to figure out the many problems of the world. But I think we can learn a lot from our dogs. Maybe they’ve got it all figured out. Perhaps there isn’t some big, complicated reason as to why we are here. When it comes down to it, maybe life is just about happiness & love. Dogs live a lot shorter than we do, and maybe its because they figure that out so much sooner. So next time you’re down, or feeling like life is just too much, think about your dog. Their life is short, simple, and somewhat boring; but their tail is still wagging 🙂

xoxo Katie Lou (& Gibby & Dolly too)


Saturday’s a Rugby Day

Describe myself in five words? Easy.

Kind. Hard-working. Dramatic. Passionate. Ambitious. 

This is a story about my ambition.

You may have read my previous post talking about my year at USC. Let me refresh your memory… I was on the cross country team first semester and I really didn’t enjoy that. It put a lot of pressure and stress on me. Come Winter Break, I had decided to quit the cross country team and was considering transferring to JMU. But I before I made that decision, I really wanted to give the second semester a good go. I needed to experience USC without cross country and get involved around campus.

I considered joining all kind of organizations. Singing groups, sororities, interest clubs, even the Quidditch team… I attended the “Organization Fair” to get signed up for some of those groups, when one sign really caught my eye. It read…


Rugby was never a sport I paid attention to. I mean, I knew it existed but I didn’t know a thing about it except that it was supposedly “a mixture between soccer and football.” Well I love football. There aren’t many options for women to play football but here was the next best thing right in front of me! Plus, now that I was no longer running cross country, I needed some sort of competition in my life. And I imagined how totally badass I would seem to my friends back home… So on a total whim, I was signed up for the women’s rugby club.


Don’t I just scream “Rugby Player”?

Now this may not seem all that crazy or ambitious to you, but you must understand that I am not a big person. This isn’t customary for a woman to do, but I’ll throw it out there that I am 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weigh 115 pounds. That is not big by any means. Rugby is a sport for strong, muscular, athletic women…unlike myself. It is a sport in which you tackle one another while wearing no sort of padding. It is a sport that features the “scrum,” which has been described as the most dangerous play in sports. Its difficult to describe so if you click this link, you can experience it for yourself. I am NOT a person who was made for rugby. I mean, my legs look like they might snap in half with one good tackle. But nonetheless, I was determined to succeed in rugby and was stupid enough to believe I actually could. I have a lot of endurance, which I knew would help me in long games, and I’m pretty quick. I somehow justified this as a formula for rugby success.


First day of rugby practice. Honestly, don’t I look stupid?

I showed up on the first day of practice as eager as a kindergartner on the first day of school. Well that eagerness died pretty quickly, because I have never felt more out of place, stupid, and childish in my entire life. I was a girl among women. Luckily for me, the girls on the team were incredibly welcoming and helped me ease in to the sport of rugby. Plus there were several other newbies who had never played before, so I wasn’t alone. I was actually encouraged after the first day of practice!!! I succeeded on the running drills, and we just did walkthrough tackling drills. It was nothing I couldn’t handle, which for me felt like a huge win. I skipped back to my dorm with so much joy, because in my heart I believed that a new superstar was born.


The only picture taken of me in my rugby uniform. So intense.

Well then came full-on tackling. And games. And I very very quickly realized that rugby just wasn’t my thing. I was placed at the position where the smallest girls play: wing. Basically they catch the ball and run. That’s it. I barely played, and when I did play, I barely touched the ball. I was given the nickname “Twig” by my teammates, which is not a bad nickname to have in other aspects of life, but it is when you are playing a sport in which it is important to be big and strong. I did not make a single tackle all season. I SUCKED. And sucking at rugby was a hard pill for me to swallow. I was used to running, where I was on the Varsity Cross Country team for four years straight. I was used to being one of the best athletes at competitions, not one of the worst! Plus, the thing I was most excited for- looking like a badass to all of my friends back home- was also a complete and total fail. They did not find my rugby playing cool, they found it stupid. I found one particular exchange with a friend of mine rather amusing:

Friend: Why on Earth did you decide to play rugby?

Me: I just wanted to try something new.

Friend: Do drugs!!!

He was kidding, of course. But its not unreasonable to think that some of my friends thought that doing drugs was a better idea for me than playing rugby.

I officially retired from rugby on February 25, 2013 after one month in the sport. I did not intend on retiring this early, but I was forced to. Earlier in the night, we were practicing as usual. However, that night we had to do a particularly frightening tackling drill that scared the living hell out of me. We all formed a line (tacklers), and one person would stand a few feet away facing the line (tacklees). The person at the front of the line would then tackle the loner and then stand in their position facing the line. The person who had just been tackled would move to the back of the line. Hopefully that made sense to you, because as I wrote it, it didn’t really make sense to me. Anyway, my turn came and I did a horrible tackle that did not move the tacklee an inch. My turn to tackle finally came, a moment I had been dreading. We were specifically instructed not to juke but to take the tackle head on. I was scared. And rightfully so, because my tackler delivered one hell of a tackle, and I went down hard with my neck and head snapping back onto the ground. I popped up pretty quick, but the tears were already flowing and I felt horrible. Soon after, I was diagnosed with a concussion. And that was that, my rugby career was over.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that upset about it. I wish it had happened in a different way, because the concussion sucked and it got me really behind in my classes, but I was glad to be done with rugby. It just wasn’t for me. That being said, it wasn’t a total fail. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and I think it was really good for me. First of all, it gave me a bit of a gut check. I also learned a lot about a really cool sport, and I really enjoy watching rugby now. I got to watch a lot of that really cool sport because I spent most of my time on the bench. But most importantly, it introduced me to a really awesome group of girls. Let me tell you, we had some really good rugby players on our team. These girls could kick some major ass. But even so, they were so welcoming to me and treated me as an equal part of the team, even though I totally wasn’t. They made practice fun, and never put any pressure on any of us newbies. They never made us feel like a bad player (even if we were), instead they were always trying to help us improve. The girls I met on the rugby team were the only thing that kept me wanting to stay at USC. I probably never see any of them again, but I will always appreciate what they did for me.

So thats my story of ambition. I tried something I knew I would totally suck at, I did totally suck, but I kept on trying until I screwed up my head (sometimes my neck still hurts from the damn whiplash). I wrote this post to be inspiring, but I’m sure most of you all will find it funny. Whatever. I could kill all of yall in rugby. Consider it a challenge 😉

Until next time!!!

xoxo Katie 

All Hail

Hello everyone. There is something important you all should know about me. I have been a Washington Redskins fan for as long as I can remember.


I believe this was my first Redskins game, I was five years old. Preseason, August 2000.

But to be honest, I never really had much of a choice. My dad is about as diehard of a fan as you’ll ever find. He bleeds burgundy and gold. And to be quite honest, he didn’t have much of a choice either. His father, my grandfather, is just as big of a fan. Washington football is a sacred Wood family tradition. My poor mother is a New York Giants fan, but she didn’t stand a chance against my dad’s love for her NFC East rival. Both my brother and I are diehard Washington fans, so for all twenty one years of her marriage, my mother has been surrounded by everything REDSKINS. By now though, she is used to it and puts up with it for the most part.

Redskins football was a major part of my childhood. I grew up going to games every Fall. When I was six years old, I was really upset because my dad couldn’t go to the Girl Scouts Daddy/Daughter Dance with me that year. He felt bad of course, and instead offered to take me to a Redskins game for my birthday. We have done it every year since then, as I grew older I got to go to more than one game a year. The games I’ve attended throughout the years have brought me some of my best and worst memories. I watched Darrell Greene win his final game. I watched Troy Vincent block a last-minute Dallas field goal attempt, Sean Taylor running it back leading to a successful Redskins FG for the win. However… I also watched the Redskins attempt two horrible fake field goals back-to-back in a game we lost 12-45. I watched our center fumble the ball on an extra point attempt that would have sent the game into overtime. I watched through excitement and heartbreak, and I cherish it all.


Redskins game during my awkward years…

I am not going to lie, in my lifetime, being a Redskins fan has not always been easy. In my near nineteen years of living, the Redskins have won 133 games and lost 170 games. They have only won the division two times, yet they have placed last in the division seven times. In my life the Redskins have travelled to the playoffs four times, only bringing home two playoff wins. Lackluster, at best. By the way you better appreciate those statistics because it took me a long-ass time to put that together. Anyway, being a Redskins fan has not always been the most glorious thing. I’ve taken a lot of crap for it. But I’ve never once faltered. I could never think of cheering for another team. Like my grandfather and father before me, I bleed burgundy & gold.


Tucker & I at last season’s playoff game against Seattle. We may have lost but we were damn proud to have been there.

I love sports in general. Sports can really be a genuinely amazing thing, no matter what team you cheer for. What exactly do I mean by that? Well, as I mentioned previously, the Redskins have only won the NFC East Division twice in my lifetime. The first was in 1999, I was only five and don’t remember it at all. Once I started getting into football, I watched us lose a lot and be average for years. We had our bright moments, but the majority of it all, as I stated before, was lackluster. I had gotten pretty used to the Redskins being mediocre, and I would usually expect it, but I always hoped that maybe this would be our year. Maybe this would be our year to shine. But it never was. My whole life, every year was… lackluster. But I guess that’s why last year felt so damn special. For those of you who live under a rock, the Redskins are now led by rookie quarterback sensation, Robert Griffin III. After a typical lackluster start to the season we stood at 3 wins and 6 losses. However, led by RGIII, the Redskins went on a stunning seven game win streak, leading them to an NFC East title and an automatic playoff berth. And let me tell you, it felt DAMN good for myself and Redskins fans everywhere! We have stuck around for years of countless dumb decisions, dropped passes, interceptions, missed kicks, high snaps, and whatever else. But watching them make that historical playoff run made all of that totally and completely worth it! And that is what I believe makes sports so amazing. You have your one team that you stick with through thick and thin, good times and bad times. The losses may be heart wrenching, frustrating, insufferable, or whatever else but the wins make your heart fill with so much joy. Being able to experience last season with my family, friends, and fellow Redskins fans everywhere was absolutely indescribable.


Me at the 2013 Redskins Training Camp right here in RVA 🙂

For once in my life, it is cool to be a Redskins fan. Throughout the years I have taken endless crap from my peers, but now they can’t say anything because we are good, and we are only gonna get better. On top of that, the Redskins have relocated their training camp to my hometown: Richmond, VA. It is the hottest, most talked about event in the city right now and I am absolutely loving it. I went down to training camp the other day and it made my heart soar. My beloved town is covered head to toe in burgundy & gold. The Redskins spirit is unbelievably high. Everyone is so excited and encouraged because we are actually GOOD! I just love it. It feels awesome to be a part of that community. It makes you feel like you are a part of something special, you know?

A lot of you by now may be rolling your eyes, if you have even made it this far. I know its only football, and in the grand scheme of things, its not all that important. I get it. But Washington Redskins football means so much to me. It’s about more than just the football. A lot of people don’t understand that. Redskins football brings back so many bright memories of my childhood. Redskins football brings me closer to my grandfather, father, brother, uncle, aunt, cousins, boyfriend… (Yes, Tucker is a Redskins fan. After reading all this do you really think I could date someone who was NOT a Redskins fan?) Redskins football has brought me some of my heroes, inspirations like Champ Bailey, Patrick Ramsey, Lavar Arrington, Chris Cooley, and Robert Griffin III. Redskins football gives me confidence, motivation, something to be excited about. Redskins football has given me so much, as stupid as you may think that sounds, its true. Redskins football is a huge part of my life, and it will be forever.  I wouldn’t want it any other way 🙂

Hail to the Redskins 🙂

xoxo Katie Lou


My blog has screwed up. Majorly.

I spent a lot of time writing a blog post that I was pretty proud of. I published it, shared it on my Facebook, and received some positive feedback. I go back on my blog today, and much to my confusion, I see that the post was never technically published and what I shared on Facebook was only a draft. None of my work was actually published and now for some reason over half of the post is missing from the draft so basically all of my work is gone 😦 So, sorry readers if you wanted to read about my fame dreams, YA CAN’T. NO ONE FREAKING CAN. Damn WordPress.

I hate the feeling of hard work going to waste. I spent a long time working on that post and now its just gone with nothing to show for it! I mean, yeah I got my feelings out and whatever, but this isn’t a freaking journal its a blog and I wanted people to read it! Plus it makes me look lazy because now I haven’t posted since Monday… Wait is was actually SUNDAY! Ugh. Damn you WordPress!

Not going to lie I’ve gotten used to the feeling of hard work going to waste. You’ve read about my running woes numerous times. I’ve been working my ass off trying to get back into running but I always end up getting sick or hurt and have to stop. I’m used to that happy feeling of hard work being sucked away in one quick moment of vulnerability.

But, what I have learned is that you have to find positivity in those low moments. It may be cliche, but its true. So tonight, I may be pissed that my blog f***ed up, but I’m not gonna let it bring me down! I’m gonna finish this whiny blog post, and write another, 10X BETTER post! Plus, times where you are knocked down are the best times to whip out a good quote. And boy, do I love a good quote. I find this one appropriate…

Every setback is a setup for a comeback. God wants to bring you out better than you were before.

Okay, you may be thinking that the trashed blog post is not that big of a setback. Get over it. I’m dramatic and pissed.

Alright enough of this negativity, it’s time to write a new kickass post! I’m not gonna let this one glitch bring me down.

Until next time! (And by next time, I mean like an hour from now…)

xoxo Katie Lou

P.S. To make this whiny post just a little bit brighter, here is an adorable picture of my dogs 🙂