Friday, November 23, 2012


Only days ago, I lay on my floor crying harder than I have in a long time. I was feeling hurt and rejected and generally down.

After several minutes of intense bawling, I decided I needed the kind of comfort that has only come to me through prayer and reaching out to my loving Father and by allowing His Son's Atonement heal my broken heart. I desperately needed the warmth and clarity that has come previously through the Comforter.

Habitually, I begin my prayers with the things I'm grateful for. When I began my first sentence, I paused at the silliness of it all. Here I was in a moment of great despair, and the first words I uttered were "I'm grateful for". Surely, there could be nothing in my current state worth feeling grateful for.

However, I quickly uttered, I'm grateful for these intense feelings. I realized that if I was feeling this much pain, it was because I had also felt love and acceptance just as intense or more so. As painful as it was, I was grateful to feel, to care, to be aware of my well-being.

I expressed gratitude for many other things and asked for things that eventually soothed my soul. I was grateful for the perspective I received in that moment and for the other events that day that were truly answers to my prayer.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


They say, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Our principal seemed to take it well.

Happy Halloween, Principal de la Cruz!

Of course, with a near record high today, he was the only one not sporting the usual sweater or sweater vest.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Lesson in Integrity

A 7th grade student walked into my classroom and insisted his friend not follow him in.  I could tell he was nervous about something.  With the quarter ending tomorrow, I asked him if he had late assignments to turn in.

He answered, "Well, sort of."  He explained that he had been dishonest and had reported inaccurate homework scores.  He gave me a handful of assignments that he had redone to make up for his error.

By his expression and his cracking voice, it seemed that it took most all of his courage to face me and admit that he had done wrong.

Without hesitation, I told him that I was so incredibly proud of him for admitting he was wrong and coming in to make it right.

This is one of the greatest moments in my teaching career so far.

As I told his mom via email, he is a great young man and will only grow to be more impressive as he works through things like this.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cleaning the Temple

I took the opportunity this weekend to clean part of the Salt Lake Temple with members of my church congregation.

Attending this Temple regularly, I was still hoping to see parts of the Temple that I never had before.

And I did: namely, the boys changing room for the Baptistry and the men's dressing room for other ordinance work.

Canning Jam

I canned jam for the first time this week.

My friend, Josh, posted on facebook that he had countless grapes up for grabs.  I decided then I would try making and canning jam for the first time.

I got excited but immediately got nervous.  I had never done anything like that.  It could be hard.

I kept telling myself that plenty of people have done it, so it can't be that difficult.  Fortunately, I have a friend about my age who has just started canning.  She seemed more real than the full-time homemakers that I imagined who effortlessly canned jam while planning a school event and teaching their 3 year-old to read.  I figured if this friend who has many similar interests and just as limited experience could maneuver this new task that I could, too.

Yet, I couldn't fight the nerves as I read online, purchased the supplies, and started the process.  Even after pulling the jam out of the boiling water, I was nervous that the jam wouldn't set or that the jars wouldn't seal.

Even as I listened to jar lids popping, I worried if the jam would even taste good.

Well, the good news is that the jam tastes delicious.  I added cinnamon and allspice because those were the only fall spices I could find in the pantry.  The spices definitely livened up the jam.

And the best part was that I felt rewarded and accomplished when I was done.  Not only had I performed a task, but I learned a new skill as well.  I also created something that wasn't there before.  It was a beautiful experience.

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.  No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

"Everyone can create.  You don't need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

"Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment.  We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty...

"...Remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe.  Isn't it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God?  Think about it--your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.

"...The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano.  Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before--colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

"...The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create.  That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come.  Trust and rely on the Spirit.  As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you."

From "Happiness, Your Heritage" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Maybe next time I'll take pictures of the process and post them with instructions to help out the next person.  (I found plenty of information on various sites, but I had to piece together the information from a few recipes and how-tos to come up with what I did.)  Until then, here's the final product:


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


One of our 7th graders painted this in her art class with Miss Bateman at Endeavor Hall.  (Check out other student projects at )
The art teacher selects one piece of work to hang in honor in the principal's office. This was the outstanding piece selected. It was announced in the morning, and I stopped by intentionally to view it. I was definitely impressed by her Impressionist work.
So impressed that I took a picture, posted it on facebook, and then walked around showing it to everyone else left in the building.
I like being involved in the lives of young people. I love feeling proud of their work and accomplishments. I can hardly wait to see this student and tell her how proud I was and am to know her.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Parallel to my life

I had a friend in college who would say that he was only interested in 18 and 19 year-old girls, because he wanted to train up his wife.  It used to irritate me to no end.  We discussed this and he shared his viewpoint in the semi-public forum of facebook one day.  He argued that older women (meaning girls in their 20s) were boring and didn't know how to have fun any longer.  I was 24 or 25 at the time and didn't feel like I was "no fun".

But finally today, what he said started to make sense.

I turned 30 a few weeks ago.  I am still quite young and adventurous.  During my work season, I spend my evenings socializing and attending events and am rarely home on the weekends.  During the summers, I've enjoyed going and coming as I please.  For example, a couple days ago I went on a 1.5 hour bike ride, changed, drove a couple hours to go sailing with a friend, spent a few hours on the water, made a late lunch with him, listened to him play a few songs on the guitar, drove back to the city and went straight to a party.  My days are full and my opportunities are endless.

However, I have noticed both this weekend and while vacationing for 3.5 weeks in Florida that I do have preferences for how I like to spend my time and am not nearly as willing to compromise.

My brother is visiting from Southern Utah.  I love him and his daughter, and I am so glad that they've come for a visit.  But if he were not here, my weekend would've been much different.  I had two enticing ways I could've spent my weekend.  I could've 1) spent two days in Moab camping and going on a river trip with a bunch of young people.  2) Had I opted to stay home, my weekend would've involved attending a party Friday night at a delightful friend's house, Saturday morning bike ride to the farmer's market, afternoon attendance at a folk/bluegrass festival, and an evening in Deer Valley at an outdoor concert featuring the Utah Symphony and Kansas with two friends that I really enjoy.

I did still choose my Friday night party despite my brother's evening arrival, but I returned home sooner than I would've otherwise chosen.  My Saturday consisted of going to the zoo (which I normally despise but I was hoping my niece's enjoyment would help...which it did to a certain extent), taking a nap, opting not to go thrift shopping so that I could go to a late lunch with a friend, sitting around the living room talking about what we should do, expressing an interest in going to the folk/bluegrass festival numerous times, finally going to the store instead of doing anything else so that my brother would stop complaining that he could no longer use the Wii due to our lack of replacement batteries.  And when I returned home, he was asleep.

Considering my markedly different day today, and reflecting on the varying priorities of each of my sisters' hopes for our Florida vacation, I realized that after all these years, I have created a particular life for myself that I do enjoy but is also somewhat of a niche.  I have my preferences and try to surround myself with people who have similar preferences.  I maintain numerous friendships so that I can pick the activity and then pick the company I would like for that particular activity.  I don't have one or more friends that does almost everything with me.  Instead, I have several friends who each do one or two things with me.

I expressed aloud to my late-lunch friend that when I was 18, my dating pool was huge.  I could've gone out with any boy and enjoyed what he offered.  With a serious prospect/companion, my and his interests could've grown together as we experienced what the world offered.  We could've tried new things together and found the things we both most enjoyed and begun spending our time that way and working toward those things.

That is no longer the case.  Now my dating pool is pretty limited.  Now that I've entered a career, established what I enjoy most, and determined priorities for my life, I have to find a boy whose life is parallel to mine.  The more refined and defined I become, the fewer boys are compatible.

My college friend was right.  I have become less fun in the sense that I like to do what I like to do and am less willing to waste my time on things I don't particularly enjoy or value, even if a potential date likes it.  Although I still would not define girls in their 20s as boring and less fun, I can understand how less enjoyable it must've been for my college friend to find a more established girl who either had numerous similar interests/goals as he or was flexible enough to alter her life to try out what he wanted for a little while.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I hope you have one, too

After unintentionally hurting my feelings, a friend cycled to my house to sort things out.  Meeting him outside, he said he had something for me.  He gave me a penny he had found on the road.  I asked him if he had found it heads up.  He said he found it just as it is.  I looked at it and found it to be tails up and immediately tossed it not wanting to be cursed with bad luck.  (When did this dramatic flair enter my life?)

He sweetly and kindly continued with the explanation.  He said the penny represented how he was approaching me, head down, in shame and sadness that he had caused me hurt.

I immediately began looking for the penny, but it was too dark.

He told me that when I found it, he wanted me to tape it to the fridge heads down so that every time I saw it, I would know that he will do his very best to never again cause me any pain.

Textual Transmission Excerpt
    Katie: It was one of the most sincere gestures I've been offered, and I threw it on the ground.
    Friend: But that was just because it wasn't Lincoln side up, and we all know how you feel about him.

I wish all the world had a friend like this one.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Juice-buying heebie jeebies

I parked on the street when I got home from my evening out, because I had the intention of running my rent check to my landlord's house and stopping by the store. However, I found that I was very tired. Tired enough to fall asleep awkwardly on the couch. You know, mouth agape. No drool this time, surprisingly.

Well, I woke up just after midnight, remembering that I promised my friend I'd buy some juice for Sunday Conference breakfast. I felt weird about leaving the house. I couldn't figure out if it was because I was tired or if my subconscious was trying to tell me that it was technically the Sabbath Day and the need for juice was no ox-in-the-mire.

I left for the store anyway.

The whole time I was gone, I felt weird inside, like something was wrong or something bad would happen.

When I got home, I parked in my usual spot in the back. As I was pulling in, I noticed that the door of the neighbor's car was open. I was sufficiently creeped. I wasn't sure if I should pull back out. I tried to look in the car to see if the neighbor was in it. I couldn't see anyone.

I sat paralyzed for several seconds trying to decide if it was safe to get out of my car.
Fortunately, there were two women on the porch of the next door neighbor's house. I figured if something went wrong, they'd hear my scream and call the police. Unless of course, they were involved in the crime scheme.

I considered knocking on my neighbor's door, but I figured it'd be safer to go straight inside.
Not sure entirely what to do, I called the Salt Lake City Police non-emergency line. I explained the scene and told them my car had been broken into last week. They sent a patrolman to check it out.
I heard the officer knock on the neighbor's door and ask him about his car. The neighbor sounded panicked and went out to his car. A few moments later, he returned to his apartment and closed the door, and the officer left. I assume that means that nothing was stolen.

I am trying to tell myself that it was simply an error on the part of the neighbor. He left his car door open on accident.

But, of course, I've watched enough crime dramas to imagine otherwise.

Now, my mind is imagining that someone was breaking into my neighbor's car. The deviant saw my headlights pulling in and hid behind one of the open carport storage doors beside the abandoned bbq grill or in one of the empty storage rooms. Fortunately, this deviant is non-violent, non-confrontational, so he/she waited for me to go inside and then left non-chalant, with the two women being unphased by his/her exit. (My short haircut made it impossible for them to know if driver of the vehicle that had just pulled in was a girl or boy. So the deviant could've been either sex and the women would've assumed that he/she was the car driver walking out of the alley.)

So, my conclusion. I am a hero. I stopped a burglary in action. My neighbor will never truly understand how blessed he is that I kept his vehicle from being robbed, stolen, or vandalized.
But my hero status doesn't make me any less scared. I wonder if Batman was scared every time he was involved in stopping a crime or remedying criminal action but followed through anyway because he's a hero and that's the expectation.

Thanks for listening (reading would be more appropriate unless you use a text reader and have the computer software read you all your internet text). This exercise helped me type out my fear and return to my sleepy state. Keep yourself safe this weekend, because this hero hasn't honed all of her superhuman skills yet. I don't know if I can do much beyond startle a would-be thief with my timing.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stereotypical, sure, but not racist

I had purchased tickets to the symphony recently hoping to make a date of it, since my usual guest—my sister—was out of town.  Upon asking, one boy politely declined—citing homework and project overload; it being the end of the semester.  (Yeah, I rolled my eyes, too.) 

I had begun considering other options when my mom called to remind me that my sister was flying home the same day as the symphony.  Of course, I asked her next.  She accepted with no hesitation.  (Why are not boys that easy to persuade?)

I told her the truth during intermission, telling her I had hoped the first boy I had asked would have come in her stead.  She asked me if I had considered [insert the name of boy of Indian descent].  I replied that I he might be too yellow for an event like this.

Yellow?!  He’s not Asian (well, at least not eastern Asian).  If anything, you would describe him as brown.

I quickly corrected her, telling her I was not referencing his skin color but rather the color code personality test.  It’s a totally different type of discrimination.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


My brother-in-law was quite excited to get a small package on Saturday.  It contained some parts for his gun.  He said that it was scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday.  I said with glee, "A Christmas Miracle!"  He got very quiet and a little awkward even as he said softly, "We should probably use our Christmas miracles for something more important."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Winter Lasts Past Christmas

Growing up a lot of the years of my life in St. George, Utah and in the Florida panhandle, winter was the time of the year when you wore sweatshirts on occasion.  I associated snow only with Christmas since it was sung about in Christmas songs and depicted on Christmas cards and in Christmas decorations.

During my student teaching in St. George, a first grade teacher had put a snowman on her bulletin board in December.  When we returned from winter break, I was surprised to see that it was still there and remained throughout January.  I remember thinking that the season of snowmen had passed with Christmas and that the snowman should have come down by now.  Of course, I caught the error in my thinking and tried to retrain my brain into associating snowmen with the entire season of winter that lasted much later than December 25.

Even as I've lived in northern Utah these past three winters, my brain has not adjusted.

I am determined to enjoy winter this year.  I plan to go ice skating frequently (if not weekly).  I even bought snowshoes to use this winter.

But I have found myself in a panic realizing that Christmas is fast approaching, and I haven't begun to enjoy my new winter hobbies.  I try to usher out the anxiety that I am going to miss my chance to enjoy the snow this year since my schedule is pretty busy between now and my winter break from school.  I keep trying to tell myself that winter will last [long] after Christmas and that I don't need to panic.  But it is evident that my brain still cannot fathom that winter continues after Christmas.  There will be snow when I return to Salt Lake after my break.  I will have months of opportunity to participate in the good that winter has to offer.

But to calm my heart and mind, I will go ice skating this week, drink plenty of hot chocolate, and enjoy the snowy sights of the nearby mountains before heading south for the break just in case these things are no longer possible or fashionable when I return.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tell Me That I'm Dreaming

Lately my dreams have been enough to make me think about them the rest of the day.  Read about the jealous fleeing of my dream man here.
Two night ago, I was reading blog postings in my Google reader.  I read this post over at The Lola Letters about The Bachelorette.  I don't know much about the show having never watched it.  Her post was the last I read before falling asleep.  So of course, I had my own Bachelor(ette)-style dream.  However, the setup of my show was much different.  We didn't go on all-expense paid dates in fancy clothing with all the difficult details hashed out by some tv intern.  On my show, the women were "auditioning" to be wives of these creepy, misogynistic men.  Our first task was to mop a floor.
Yes, I said "our".  I am on the show.  Don't ask me why.  I would never in sound mind and body participate in such a show or "competition".
I am no stranger to housework, but I realized I was up against women who had worked full-time as housekeepers.  I knew I was no competition for them.  I wasn't going to win this round, so I didn't waste my energy.  I mopped the floor well enough, but I didn't obsess over it.
In the mean time, I figured out my target.  There was a man on the show with a two year-old son.  I knew I could win him over by focusing my energy on my interaction with his son.

WHOA!  I feel so gross inside as I type this.  I hope this is a reflection of how I feel about the show and not what I'd really do.  That previous paragraph says that I would manipulate someone by feigning a relationship with a child.  Revolting!
I can't finish this post.
Honestly, there wasn't much more to my dream.  Fortunately.  But regardless, I'm disgusted to think that this occurs.  People do this kind of thing.  My dream self did this kind of thing.  I've done this kind of thing.  Well, not this exact thing.
One time, in real life, a boy moved to town.  This boy soon caught the attention of several ladies, not because of his dashingly handsome good looks but because he was educated and had a real job.  (This type of guy was a rarity in the area.)  I was one of the first to talk to him and to befriend him.  And then these other girls found out about him and tried to lay claim.  I got caught up in the competition and decided, somewhat consciously, that I was going to win him over.  I charmed him in numerous ways, even feigning interest in a few things since they were among his greatest passions.  But then one day I (figuratively) stepped back and realized as quality of a guy he was, we really didn't have that much in common.  I wasn't pursuing him because I was interested.  I was pursuing him because I was determined to beat out these other ladies.  Ugh!
I'm glad I realized that when I did.  I hope and pray that I never get caught up in something fake like that again.

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

I have been having all sorts of life-like dreams lately.  That's how I usually dream.  I don't dream the bizarre.  I dream things that actually could happen.  And the stars of my dreams are the people who I interact with regularly.

Last night, I dreamed I met the guy of my dreams.  He was everything I've ever wanted (and many things I never knew I wanted).  We hit it off immediately.  I was totally into him.  He was totally into me.  The evening was progressing quite well.
My friend, Jared, happened to stop by. 
Jared and I have been friends for a little over a year.  He is one of my favorite people to talk with.  We can talk for hours.  And hours.  And hours.  He and my roommate used to spend a lot of time together and so often, he'd be at my house when I'd come home at night.  One of my favorite conversations occurred one night when I came home to a pitch black house.  (Supposedly they heard me pull up and turned off the tv to scare me.  Sure, I believe it.)  I followed my usual routine of getting a drink of water, never turning on the lights.  And then my roommate said my name.  Having seen Jared's Jeep out front, I greeted them both.  Jared and I started talking right there in the dark.  I don't remember what we talked about, but I remember it being a great conversation.  For several hours.  In the dark.  Needless to say, with all this conversing, Jared and I have formed a very solid bond.  We have talked each other through some challenging life experiences and have spent many a good hour out and about enjoying life.
Back to my dream.
Sometime during the evening, Jared got really sick.  I mean really sick.  The kind of sick that he needed the care and attention of someone else to endure this sickness.  I began tending to Jared's needs and almost entirely ignoring my dream guy.
Well, a dream guy can't be perfect.  This guy possessed some jealousy issues and maybe lacked some confidence.  Upon seeing the intimacy in the way I cared for Jared (being able to anticipate his needs and communicate with him without talking much), my dream guy assumed this meant that I was secretly and madly in love with Jared.  My dream guy abruptly left before we could naturally end the evening and before I could seal my fate (you know, by securing future dates and such).
Once I realized this, I got Jared taken care of well enough that I could dash out the door.  Of course, I was barefoot and there was snow on the ground.  (Because of my real-life distaste for snow, I think snow in my dreams symbolizes when something has gone awry.)  I ran as far as I could before my feet couldn't stand it.  I ran back and grabbed some shoes.  Of course the only shoes I could find were heels.  That didn't make for a quick journey in the snow.  He was already gone.
Now, I have to somehow convince the man of my dreams (literally and figuratively) that my compassion represented true charity and not passionate romantic love for Jared.  But I'm not worried.  If anyone can convince anyone of something, it's Jared.  (Most of the conversations I had with him were essentially debates.)  Jared will just convince my dream man that these actions speak volumes of my character and the kind of love he can anticipate throughout our relationship.

Too bad it was all just a dream.

I also dreamed last night that I was hiking in Zion National Park when an earthquake struck.  The roads were destroyed or covered in rocks, so my friends and I had to hike out of the park.  And for some reason, I was wearing Converse sneakers.  Not sound hiking shoes.

I probably shouldn't have gone to bed with sore feet last night.


Related Posts with Thumbnails