Time.

So I’ve been MIA lately and I apologize for that. I feel like I have been really busy lately, and exhausted on top of that. I haven’t found much time to blog, and if I did find time, I usually just wanted to lie down.

This summer I am working for the first time. Well, its technically not my first gig, but I don’t really count the first job. I worked at a country club, I ran the “Kids Night Out.” Its basically where the kids get dropped off while their parents attend the club parties. I worked two nights, and they were two of the most chaotic nights of my life. Twenty young children, unlimited marshmallows, and a bouncy house are not a good mix. After my second night, they never called me in again, due to my cross country schedule taking up the majority of my weekends. They never actually fired me, so I guess I technically still work there. However, I haven’t worked a single hour there since October 2009.

Anyway, this summer I am working my first long-term job. Its not technically long-term… But I have made it longer than two days. In fact, I’ve been doing it since the beginning of May. NEW RECORD 🙂 Anyway, I’m working as a nanny to two little girls, aged seven and five. They are a fun age, and they are both really sweet… But still, its hard trying to keep them entertained all day. When I get home, I am usually pretty tired. 

This week was particularly busy, because I took my first camping trip! Tucker and I spent Thursday and Friday night at Bear Creek Lake State Park. Not gonna lie… I was a bit nervous. I am not an outdoorsy person. The only things I like to do outside are run and tan. That’s it. But I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed camping! It was really quite relaxing. We went swimming, paddle boating, hiking… And it was just beautiful out there. The view of the stars was remarkable. Plus, we had access to a bathroom so it really wasn’t so bad 🙂

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Tim McGraw

Then, yesterday night, I surprised Tucker with an early birthday present… tickets to a Tim McGraw concert! Tim McGraw has been his favorite singer since he was a baby, so he was very excited 🙂 He even got to high-five Mr. McGraw himself! And Tim was awesome! He put on a great show, and he can still really rock for a forty-six year old.

So, as you can now see. It has been a very busy week, and that’s why I haven’t been able to blog much. Or, at all, really. To be honest, I’ve also been a little down this week. The summer is going by really really fast and I just feel like time is slipping away from me. I’m excited to start up at JMU, but I just wish I had more time. Soon my time with my family and Tucker will be gone for a while.

Time is a difficult concept for me to grasp. Like where does it come from? And where does it go? And why, when you are waiting for something, time goes by achingly slow? But when you are in the midst of something exciting, something fun; time seems to fly by? And we all know that eventually, our time will run out. So we as humans are faced with the daunting task of making the most of the time that we are given. And that’s scary, because you’ll never know if you made the most of your time until its gone.

And this summer, that is the problem I have been facing. When the Fall begins, will I be able to look back at my summer and feel that I made the most of it? I just feel like there is so much to do: spend time with my family and friends and Tucker, work hard at my job, try to run, blog, relax, have fun… But there is so little time to do all these things! I don’t know exactly what I am trying to get at here… I guess I’m just struggling with the fact that my summer is quickly ending, and I’m really not ready for it.

One of my favorite songs is “Seasons of Love” from the musical, Rent. Throughout the song, the question is asked:

How do you measure, measure a year?

I always thought it was an interesting question. How do you measure time: a day or a week or a month or a year? I think it really is a difficult thing to grasp. For me, it sometimes seems like an individual day goes by slowly, but when you look back, time seems to have flown by. Its hard for me to believe that I have been living for close to nineteen years. It has gone by fast.

I suppose its an ancient struggle that humans will forever deal with. How do we measure our time here, and more importantly, make the most of that time? I didn’t mean to get so deep with this. Really all I’m wondering is how to have a fun final weeks of the summer… I tend to get a bit overdramatic. Nonetheless, I hope you all are making the most of your summers! I promise to blog again real soon 🙂

xoxo Katie Lou

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Detective Katie

I apologize for the corny and somewhat boring title of this post, but at this time of excitement I couldn’t think of anything better. Today, I accomplished something remarkable, if I do say so myself.

ImageFirst off, I’ll just say that the family trip to Chicago was awesome. We had an awesome time and I am still absolutely in love with that city. It was a really, really fun trip. If you read my previous post about my love of wrestling, then you may remember that the reason I started watching wrestling is because I constantly had CM Punk’s entrance song stuck in my head. Since then, CM Punk has become one of my favorite wrestlers. He was born, raised, and still living in Chicago, Illinois. When we began the trip, I mentioned that maybe we would see him while we were in town. It was almost more of a joke, the wrestlers are constantly traveling around the world, we figured there was no way he was in Chicago. Lo and behold, he tweeted that he was in fact in Chicago that weekend. My brother and I thought that was pretty cool, but again knew there was no way we would see him. In a city with a population of 2,714,856 people, not including the hundreds of thousands of tourists that roll in, we figured there was absolutely no chance that we would see that one man.

Nonetheless, when we embarked on our tourist activities Saturday morning, we joked about Imageaccomplishing our “mission” and I jokingly instructed everyone to keep an eye out for CM Punk. But I mean, we took a freaking speedboat tour of the Chicago River. A man who has lived in Chicago his whole life will certainly not spend his Saturday afternoon doing that. Even still, I rehearsed in my head what I would say on the off chance that we saw him. We didn’t. And I wasn’t disappointed by that, because I knew the chances of that happening were less than 1%.

This morning, Will checked his WWE app to see where Monday Night Raw was being filmed tomorrow. We then knew that at some point that day, if not already, CM Punk would be departing Chicago for Austin, Texas. Our less than 1% chance was now completely gone. Again, I wasn’t really that upset by this because my brain knew it wouldn’t happen. I was a little disappointed because my heart got all excited for nothing…

At approximately 5:00 PM CST at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport I texted Tucker…

Hahaha we never saw CM Punk 😦

At approximately 5:19 PM CST I read the following tweet from CM Punk…

If I were to tell y’all that I’m delayed because, “we are looking for another crew member”. Which airline would you guess I am on?

That was when my newfound, supreme detective skills came into action. I went into full on CSI mode and considered all of my clues thus far…

  • I knew that CM Punk was still in Chicago.
  • I knew that CM Punk was flying to Austin.
  • I knew that CM Punk’s flight was delayed due to a wait for a crew member.
  • I knew that he was flying on United Airlines, because that is the main airline at O’Hare, and he complains about them all the time

That was all I needed to know. I rushed to that board that displays all flights, terminals, and statuses. There was only one flight to Austin. It was United. It was delayed. They were “awaiting crew.” It was in terminal F1C. Suddenly, something I had joked about all weekend became extremely serious as I knew the exact location of CM Punk, former WWE champion and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. In this moment I had conflicting emotions. I felt like a bit of a creeper, a little stalkerish. But I knew that this opportunity would never present itself again. I knew that this was a once in a life time chance… And thus, Will and left terminal B11 in a dead sprint headed straight for terminal F1C. (I figured hey, he put all of his damn flight information on Twitter. It’s not stalkerish. Maybe a little but its his own fault.)

At approximately 5:40 PM CST, we arrived at terminal F1C in Chicago O’Hare International Airport. It was absolutely packed with people clearly pissed off about their delayed. We walked through the whole thing, and my hope really started to diminish. I figured I had missed something, read something wrong… maybe he gets to sit in some kind of elite passenger lounge… And then, there he was. I turned to my left in CM Punk, the man who made me become a WWE addict was sitting on floor of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, five feet away from me.

I haven’t been so nervous since…. Well honestly I can’t think of a time I had been so nervous. This was something we had talked about for so long and I had put so much work into getting to terminal F1C. I was not going back to B11 without having spoken to CM Punk. There was just one problem. He was wearing Beats headphones. Anyone who has worn Beats before knows that Dr. Dre was not kidding around, they are damn good headphones and you can’t hear anything but your music. I walked right up to him and back about fifteen times because I was so scared. I was at a loss. I didn’t want to tap him on the shoulder, because I thought that seemed a bit creepy and I didn’t want to startle him. I didn’t want to crouch down next to him because again, creepy.

I finally decided to just say “excuse me,” and hope that he could hear me. I said it once, about five people looked up and not one of them was him. I said it again, he looked up with a face of pure confusion that scared the living hell out of me. For a minute everything froze. Then I decided to crouch down next to him because I didn’t want to make a scene and I didn’t want him to crane his neck (I was very thoughtful towards his overall well-being, or at least I thought so). In a moment like this, I had always pictured myself saying something smooth, unforgettable, and different than every other fan. But instead, after about thirty five “umms” I stuttered through the most cliche fan saying ever.

We’re, like, really big fans of yours.

He smiled. I was encouraged.

We saw your flight was delayed on Twitter… We just wanted to come say hi…

He laughed. Again, I was encouraged.

You’re, like, the reason I watch wrestling.

He responded with…

I appreciate that. What’s your name?

We met, shook hands, took a quick picture, thanked him, and left. It took about thirty seconds because, again, I really just didn’t want to bother him. The picture was pretty much just a crappy selfie, he couldn’t stand because of an injury, and my hands were so shaky that I’m amazed that was able to take a picture even this clear. Nonetheless, I will cherish it forever.

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Seriously, is that not the coolest story you haver ever heard? I mean how crazy is it, that after talking about it all weekend, it ACTUALLY FREAKING HAPPENED. I feel like a character in a corny family vacation comedy. Plus, I am super impressed with my investigative skills. I also feel like a detective for the Chicago PD. I’m thinking about ditching this whole writing thing and pursuing a career as a detective who hunts down America’s Most Wanted. Kidding, I’ll keep the blog. I’m sure you all will love to hear my stories about tracking down criminals. OR MAYBE I could combine the two and write mystery novels. My first could be this story, this post is so freaking long it could already stand on its own as a novel.

In all seriousness, the whole thing was pretty awesome. CM Punk was very nice and I really appreciate that he took the time to talk to us. I can now scratch “Meet a WWE Champion” off of my bucket list. Pretty cool 🙂

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through, I hope you enjoyed 🙂

xoxo Katie

Katecations.

Hello everyone! I wanted to write today, but I wasn’t feeling very inspired. Luckily for me, I follow The Daily Post! Everyday they post a daily prompt to help motivate stuck bloggers, like myself. So I am honored and excited to be participating in my first daily prompt.

What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place — the food? The architecture? The people watching?

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My dad and I at the Cubs game

This is a fitting prompt because this weekend my family and I are taking a trip to Chicago, Illinois. This will not be my first trip to Chicago. My Dad and I went last year to spend some quality time together before I went off to South Carolina. We spent our time in Chicago visiting places signature to the town and doing “Chicagoan” things. We went to a Cubs game, ate deep-dish pizza, went to the Navy Pier, and shopped on the Magnificent Mile. We don’t have a ton planned for this weekend yet, but I know we are planning to take a speedboat tour of Lake Michigan.

So, when I think back to the initial question: “What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place?” I guess my answer would have to be, getting immersed in that place’s culture. Even if I’m only there for a few days, I like to hit all the “must-see” attractions.

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Bahamas trip #1 back in 2008

I guess everybody likes to do that when they travel. But, oh well. I really like to travel. The only bad thing about being a teacher one day is that it I will never get to travel for my job… I will pretty much just stay in the classroom at all times. One of my dreams in love is to fill my passport up with stamps from all over the world. So far, I have three stamps from the Bahamas, but that’s it. I do hope to see the world one day, if I get the opportunity to.

I love traveling so, so much. I love every part of it. I love packing. I love being in an airport. I love the little bag of airplane pretzels and the drinks with the cool looking ice. I love staying in a hotel and having my bed made for me. Oh, I just love every part of traveling. I love it so much, that my dream job has always been to have my own show on the Travel Channel. I have always pictured myself hosting a show titled something along the lines of Around the World with Katie or something more intense like Katie Wood: Abroad or maybe something quirky like Katecations. In my show, each episode would have a different travel destination, and everything I do in said place would be filmed! Then viewers would watch and not only learn about my featured destinations, but also become super jealous of my totally awesome career.

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Bahamas trip #3 in 2012. This could be such a good advertisement for “Katecations.”

This a dream that I think and talk about way too much. But seriously, how awesome would that be? You get to travel to all of these amazing places, immerse yourself in the culture and get PAID for it? It really doesn’t get much better than that. My dad always tells me that the job would much harder than I think, because I would have to do a great deal of research and the trips would not be enjoyable because I would be working. But honestly, I don’t care how much research and work I would have to do if I got to go to, say, Australia. Why else would I go to Australia, anyway? No way I will ever go there with a teacher’s salary. I would research for ten years if I got to go to Australia (maybe not that long, but you get my point).

So if there are many Travel Channel execs out there reading this, please consider adding Katecations to your lineup. It may be a totally unoriginal and already done idea, but you would be making a young woman’s dream come true. I will do endless amounts of research for you.

Well, I guess I really got sidetracked from the original prompt. But hey, at least I wrote. And now I am inspired to take a Flip camera to Chicago this weekend and personally film Katecations: Chicago Edition.

I promise to remember you all when I become a Travel Channel icon 😉

xoxo Katie Lou

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One Month of Blogging!

As of today, I have officially been blogging for one month! And what a month it has been! When I first began, I had a goal of reaching 1,000 blog views in my first month. Well as I write this, I am standing at 2,576 views! I far exceeded my goal, and I owe that to those of you who have been consistently reading my posts. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement  I have received from everyone. Not only my from family; but friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers. I have received so many nice comments and I am extremely thankful for that…it makes me proud of what I’ve done so far, and more motivated to keep on writing.

I had wanted to start a blog for years, but I always put it off because I never knew what to write about. I never knew what should be the central theme of my blog… Running? Sports? Music? Etc, etc? Well, I never really picked one particular thing; and I just decided to write about my life, my stories, and my thoughts. This blog really has no identity; its just a big bunch of randomness. I didn’t really think people would be interested in reading my stories, but I guess some people are, based on my success this month. It really means a lot to me that people enjoy reading my stories and can relate to them in their own right. That’s all I’m really trying to do… Write about things that will make people smile, think, and reflect.

I’m going to keep writing about whatever the heck is on my mind that particular day. BUT I would like to accommodate my readers. I am posting a poll, and I want to know which topics you would like to see more of. I’m featuring the topics that have been popular, based on views, likes, and comments. Anyway, I would really appreciate your feedback! Let me know what you want to see more of!

Again, thank you all so much for joining me and supporting me on this ride! You all have made this such an enjoyable experience for me. Blogging has become my biggest hobby, writing is the highlight of my day, and most importantly this has become an outlet for me to express myself. I can’t wait for many, many more months of blogging! I hope they are all as great as the first!

All my love…

xoxo Katie

 

Post Vacation Blues

What is it about vacation that makes us as human beings so happy? Is it the all day relaxation? Is it the lack of worries or stress? Is it all the unhealthy eating that we don’t feel guilty about? Well, whatever the reason may be, vacation is certainly one of the most wonderful things in life. Perhaps that’s why you feel so freaking depressed when its all over.

The aforementioned luxuries are no more and it is back to the world of routines, schedules, and normalcy. Now we are obliged to actually get up and accomplish something with our days. We must go back to work, because two weeks off  was already pushing it. We now feel pressure to eat healthy and workout; things that are magically forgotten while on vacation.

That is what I am suffering from right now. I just feel like a big blob with motivation to do absolutely nothing. Its nice to be home after two weeks away, but I’m not completely happy about it. While I am not looking forward to returning to my daily routine, I am mostly just sad that vacation is over. I had such an amazing time with my family and Tucker, I am just really sad for it to be done. It went by way too fast, and the summer is going by even faster, which scares me.

But I still have over a month until my summer is over, so I won’t get too upset. But until I’m over my post vacation blues, I’ll just feel sorry for myself and constantly look over these pictures, the best from the vacation!

Not much to say today, but I hope you all are enjoying your summers! Until next time…

xoxo Katie Lou

Rest In Peace

I just posted two hours ago. But now I’m awake and I think I will be for a while. I just learned that the star of my favorite TV show Glee, Cory Monteith, has passed away.

I feel like I’m going to throw up.

I am absolutely devastated to hear about Cory’s passing. I’m feeling a little stupid that I am so upset about it, considering I never knew the man personally, or even met him. But I have watched Glee religiously since it first premiered. For four years I watched Cory every week.

Just the other day, my dad and I had a conversation about finishing books. I always get sad when I finish a book, because it feels like I know the characters, and now they are gone from my life. My dad commented that he thought the ending of a TV show was worse, because you follow the characters for so long.

So I guess that’s how I feel right now. After following the show so closely, I felt like I knew the characters, and that’s why it just breaks my heart that Cory Monteith is gone.

Cory Monteith was the heart and soul of Glee; the entire premise of the show revolved around his character, Finn. I always felt like Cory added another dynamic to the show. He was such a raw talent. Before beginning Glee, Cory had never received formal vocal training. His voice was raw and pure, and he brought innocence and freshness to the show. His voice improved throughout the run of the show and he had really become a formidable singer. So much potential untapped. So much life to live…

I’m afraid to watch Glee again or listen to Glee songs because I think I’ll just break into tears. I don’t want to watch and listen knowing that he is gone.

I’m sorry if I seem dramatic. I’m just really really upset and needed to get this off my chest…

From my understanding, Cory lived a pretty tough life. Hopefully now he is finally at peace. While I know his many fans, like myself, are devastated; prayers should go to his family and friends who lost Cory way too soon.

Rest in Peace, Cory. You will be so, so missed…

 

Back on Track

Today I ran for 23 minutes. For some people that’s barely a run at all, for others its more than they would ever like to run in their lifetime. For me, it’s somewhere in between. A little over a year ago, twenty three minutes would have been a short, easy recovery run for me. But now, its huge. Its huge just to be out there and doing it. I’ve learned to appreciate individual runs way more. I’m happy to be out there running, no matter how fast or slow it may be.

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Running the 1600m at Godwin

But still… It’s hard. It’s hard because I remember how fast I used to be able to run. 23 minutes used to be a cakewalk, but today I was exhausted. Sigh. At least the plantar fasciitis, sinus infection, and costochondritis have finally cleared up enough for me to run again. I do get discouraged though, thinking about how far I have left to get back to the point I used to be at. There is one bright point in all this. I am now beginning what I expect will be the “glory days” of my running career. I loved high school running, but I was not made for it. I am a long distance runner; the longer, the BETTER! I’m all endurance and no pure speed, which killed me when running the mile. I have always believed that I was destined for a road racing career; 10,000 meters and up. I hope to specialize in the half marathon and marathon. I always planned on beginning my marathon career after I graduated college, but now that I am no longer running track, my “glory days” can begin now!

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After the 2010 Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon

I have run one half marathon. It was in September 2010, I was 15 years old and I entered on a whim. It was the Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon, a few friends of mine had run it before and said it was awesome. Well I decided to give it a shot, and it was awesome. Don’t get me wrong, it hurt like hell. But it was also the most fun I had ever had while running a race. That’s when I discovered that my body was made to run half marathons. I loved it so much more than any event I ran in high school. I was so determined to keep running more half marathons and keep improving my time. Welp, shortly after the race I began suffering from a calf strain, and my coach axed any half marathon aspirations until I graduated high school. I’ve had plantar fasciitis since my graduation, so I’ve yet to run another half. BUT that’s all about to change this November! I have committed myself to run the Richmond Half Marathon on November 16th. I am so excited to get back on the roads again, but I’m nervous. I am nervous that my 19 year old self will lose to my 15 year old self. That would really bother me. At 15 I was only a girl and when I turn 19 in September I will be a WOMAN (I guess…) And the woman in me really does not want to lose to the girl. Right now I view 15 year old self as my greatest rival, the only one standing in my way. Oh 15 year old Katie, if only you knew the effect that you would have on your future self. If only you knew how fast and powerful you truly are. If only you knew how much I want to kick your little ass. I must run faster than 1 hour, 35 minutes, and 22 seconds. I must.

But, until November 16th arrives, I think I need to just focus on building up my mileage, because I sure as hell need to be able to run longer than 23 minutes. I’ve got a long way to go if I want to beat 15 year old self. But for now, 23 minutes will do. I’m back on track.

xoxo Katie Lou

P.S. I will add a widget counting down to the half marathon. You can follow the days until the race 🙂

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