Sunday, November 28, 2010
Unfortunately blog followers...it's pretty boring. Let's see...probably sunglasses, chapstick, lots of pens, wallet and because it was Sunday...my scriptures. :)
Day 26 - What I think about my friends
Well, if that's not a broad question, I don't know what is. I feel like everyone always says "I have the best friends in the world". I wanna put a bit of a different spin on that. I have the best friends for me! I've been consistently amazed with how I always seem to encounter the most amazing people and that along with them come incredible lessons. I've been blessed with awesome, stable friends who have hung in there with me for years. I also have new friends who have blessed my life incredibly in a short period of time. Then I have people who helped mold and shape me, and then life moved us in different directions.
The truth is that I'm so very grateful for all of them. We are the sum of our experiences. That being the case, the people who were a part of those experiences are also a part of us. Good or bad. Long term or new. My friends have changed me. And I'm lucky.
Day 27 - Why I'm doing the 30 day challenge
I've had this blog for years. I think I started it in 2008. And I've completely failed with updating it. I've had HUGE amounts of time pass where it was completely abandoned. I found where my friend Kaycie was doing this challenge. I thought it would be the perfect thing to get me in the swing of regularly posting. I've done better. But clearly still failed at posting everyday...I get points for trying, right?
Thursday, November 25, 2010
1. My Savior.
What can you say about the person who loves you more than anyone else? There aren't words for how grateful I am to Him. He provided the way for me to be forgiven of my sins and live with Him, Heavenly Father and my family for eternity. If that weren't enough, the way that he did it was by paying for the sins that I commit. He felt the pains, sadness, hurt, anxiety, fear...all of it. For each of us. He's real. What He did is real. It happened. And because of Him, I can be better.
2. The Gospel.
I know, I know. #1 and #2 go together, but I felt that they were deserving of individual numbers. I'm grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has made me who I am. Being a member of His church factors in to every choice I make. Having the teachings of true and living prophets helps guide me daily. Knowing there are inspired priesthood leaders who can provide direct assistance to me is incredible. Having access to another record which testifies of Jesus Christ, his ministry and divinity is an incredible blessing. I'm grateful that my parents were people who recognized truth when they heard it.
3. My Family.
Though we're all far from perfect, we're a lot of fun.
I'm grateful to know that if I ever needed them, I know they'd be there. I can count on them. They are stable forces. One of the few things that is unchanging in this life. I can't think of any other people I'd rather be with forever. :)
P.S. Look at their tender, young faces!
I've been extremely blessed over the years with good, reliable friends. That's not to say that I've always been the best at picking good friends. But it's through the struggle that you learn to appreciate what you have. I did go through a really rough patch where I learned a lot about myself and my friends...and what is important in a friendship. Through that I have found the people who are truly good friends. I've learned what a good friend is...and how to be one to others.
I'm grateful to Heavenly Father for sending me good people. People who are good examples to me. People who are honest and kind. It's so very appreciated.
(Sorry for no pictures here...see other blogs of friends. It's wayyyyyy too many pictures to post!)
5. Living in the USA.
I am increasingly grateful to live in the United States of America. I think as a younger person, it was very much taken for granted. But everyday I'm reminded of blessings I enjoy simply by living here. I can go to church without worrying that someone will injure me. I can hold a job, live by myself and own property. I can vote for individuals who want to hold public office. I go to bed at night and sleep without fear for my safety. This land is a special place. And I am immensely grateful to live here.
EFY changed my life as a participant when I was a youth. Now as an adult I've had the blessing of going back and working as a counselor. It's changed my life again. I get to spend a few weeks each summer working with amazing youth and incredible co-workers.
While working at AFLAC from 2008-2010 I was reminded how blessed I am to be healthy. As wonderful a gift as our mortal bodies are...because they're moral, they're not perfect. They get sick or injured. I've been so lucky to avoid major illness or injury. For that I am very grateful as I know many people who have many physical struggles.
Growing up near Ft. Benning, GA I've had the opportunity to meet and become friends with many of the wonderful people serving our nation in the Armed Forces. The sacrifices these people make, all the way up to giving their lives are amazing. I currently have 2 friends serving in Afghanistan and 1 who just recently completed a tour of duty. I'm grateful to know that men like them exist and are protecting the freedoms I enjoy. I'm particularly mindful of them today as they aren't able to be with their loved ones. MANY thanks to Jordan Cross, Jesse Holmes and Domonique Anderson. I'm grateful for you, your service and glad to call you my friends.
8. Being from the South.
Growing up in GA is something I'm very proud of. I know the south sometimes gets a bad rep for. But I tell you what, some of the best people I know are from there! And there are a lot of great things that can be said for that area. I love that people are still respectful. "Ma'am" and "Sir" are still frequently used words. Your friend's parents are Mr. Steve and Ms. Jennifer. It's beautiful (see the picture below). People will say hello to you when you're walking down the street. But mostly, I'm grateful to have lived in a place that required me to decide at a young age if I was a believer or not. It's the best place.
9. My former Primary class.
Man, I love these kids. They have the sweetest spirits and would blow me away with the things they would say and the concepts they would understand. They taught me so much and I miss them!
11. My Missionary Brothers (and Friends!)
I still think it's such an amazing thing that we send 19 year old boys and 21 year old young women out to teach the gospel. I also think it's amazing that those young people so willingly leave their families and lives behind and devote 1.5 - 2 years of their lives to the Lord and doing his work. I'm super proud of my brother, Matt who is currently serving in the Idaho, Boise mission.
And there are many, many others.
I've been blessed more than I can say.
Mom and Dad,
Thank you. I don't really know how often I say it, but regardless I should probably say it more. You have been incredible parents to me (experimental child included and all :) ). You've done a lot for me...
You've provided me with all the necessities and many of the extras. You showed me what kind of person I want to be when I grow up (because even though I'm an "adult", let's face it...I'm not "grown up" yet). You've given me a great example of what I want my future marriage to look like. You've been wonderful examples and shown me great patience. You set boundaries and requirements, and you enforced consequences when I broke rules. Even though I didn't appreciate it at the time, I see the importance of it now. You said "no" and didn't give me everything I wanted. What a great life lesson! Like a Sister said at church a few weeks ago, "There were times when I got what I wanted and it was good. And there were times when I didn't get what I wanted, and it was better". You both found the gospel, and because you did the searching, I didn't have to. I'll forever be grateful to you for that. You taught me what it meant to be a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You taught me what was sacred and special and how to treat those things.
In short, everything I am and hope to be is because of you. You are wonderful. And I love you both.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
This one is a bit of a hard one just because it's such a broad statement. I mean, really? What makes me different from EVERYONE else? Intimidating much?
I think it's the total of all your qualities and experiences that make you unique and different from everyone else. No two people have the exact same life experiences. So, truly it's everything about me...all together...me as a complete unit that's different from everyone else.
That wasn't a cop out, I promise.
But if you really, really want me to say something specific that I think STANDS OUT about me in comparison to others it's that I have a desire to help people. It might be part of the whole oldest child complex. It might be a need to control something. It might be a million other things. But the simple truth is that I get great joy from helping someone. Putting a smile on someone's face when they've had a rough day. Giving someone a note/small gift just because. Listening while someone talks. I can honestly say that I love it. And I guess I do think that's special. :)
Day 23 - Cravings
I feel like the only thing I crave is Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup. But the best thing EVER is that I found the recipe for the soup online a few weeks ago. So whenever I really want it...I can just make it at home! Winner, winner!
Ok...so, I'm gonna knock out one more entry tonight (because it's after midnight I'm gonna do day 24 so I can write a special Thanksgiving entry tomorrow!)...
Monday, November 22, 2010
Look at that face! I mean, really. How can you look at that and NOT be happy?
SUCH a guilty pleasure, but such an awesome movie! I mean, think about it. It's BEFORE Lindsey went crazy! It's what first made me LOVE Rachel! And how awesome was Amanda? Add Tina Fey and an incredible script? It's genius. Admit it. You know it's true.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I really love the stars. How can you look at that and think that everything is just a big BANG of an accident? No, no. It was all the workings of the Master Artist. And what an artist He is.
I love going out to the mailbox and seeing an envelope HANDWRITTEN to me. Super exciting!
It might sound crazy, but being from the south, I really love thunderstorms. It's something I've missed the past few months while I've been in UT.
Wint-O-Green Lifesavers.These guys are my FAVORITE candy! SO yummmm!
That was just a few, maybe I'll do more later? We'll see...
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Day 17 - Life switching
Truthfully, I don't know that there's anyone I would want to switch lives with. Someone else might seem to have things more together than you do, but underneath that they've got problems too. At least with me, I know what most of my problems are. :)
Day 18 - Dreams, Hopes, Wishes...
I think the biggest thing for right now is that I want to get in to a good counseling program AND last a solid assistantship. It would be awesome to not have to pay tuition (and with some of them, not pay room and board either).
Beyond that I can't wait to be licensed as a therapist and start helping people! Having a job I love going to! It's gonna be awesome!
Then also, of course I dream, hope and wish that I'll meet some wonderful man and get to spend eternity with him! I love the gospel and I love the concept of eternal families and can't wait to have my own! Now we just need the man...
Day 19 - Nicknameage
Oh dear. This could get embarrassing real quick. Let's see.
Well, first I don't think you should be reading this if you didn't know that Kate IS a nickname of mine. The real (on the birth certificate) name is Kathryn. You're special if you know the middle name. :)
An EFY friend of mine started calling me Kater Tot, and that has stuck with a few kids from home (who were in her group).
Katers and Katish were around back in the YW days. Oh, girls camp.
My darling brother, Spencer calls me Katee (said like Katie). He does this mostly to annoy me.
Rachel and Ashley have taken to calling me Sister Harrell. This is because I shared with them several stories from my primary kids who can't say Sister Harrell, it comes out SISTA HAWWO. So that's stuck, too.
Kate-dizzle happened in college. I truly don't remember how it came about, but I do remember that it was Adrienne who first started using it. I think I'm still in her phone that way, too.
Day 20 - Potential Husbands? Whaaa?
Ummm...the sad truth here is that I haven't dated many guys that I could actually see myself marrying. This is why I haven't dated any of them for a very long time (oh, the stories I could tell here...). There has been ONE who I think matched most closely the qualities I'm looking for. And I know that may sound like I'm being super selective or that I'm really very picky. It's not that at all. I'm looking for a kind, happy, worthy priesthood holder. From there, the rest is gravy (not that there aren't other things that I like or find attractive). Education is a major plus. Liking/being good with kids probably should be a requirement. Easy-going attitude. Fun. Good sense of humor.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
1. "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" -Aerosmith
2. "Stop This Train" -John Mayer
3. "Acorn Factory" -The Dodos
4. "Love On The Rocks" -Sara Bareilles
5. "Room On the 3rd Floor" -McFly
6. "Talking To The Moon" -Bruno Mars
7. "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" -James Taylor
8. "Toxic" - Glee Cast Version
9. "Big Blue Sea" -Bob Schneider
10. "December" -Norah Jones
Monday, November 15, 2010
I think I'm going to politely decline to write such a letter in such a public forum. Not really the way I want to address things. So sorry, blog fans. :)
Day 14 - Picture of the fam...
These are the 2 folks we have to thank for my existence. Really, how good looking are they?
The siblings (minus Jon).
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Day 10- Songs I listen to when I'm:
Bored- I don't know that I have a specific type of music that I listen to when I'm bored. I just open itunes and let it shuffle. Which means there's a chance of almost anything coming on. I've got soundtracks (Glee, Wicked, RENT, Chicago...), Country, Hip Hop, Top 40, Blues...you name it.
Happy- Hmmm...John Mayer, Glee, Ingrid Michaelson...
Sad- Depends, on what I'm sad about really. My favorite things to listen to when I'm sad is EFY music though. You can't beat songs like "I Am His Daughter" and "Let It Begin" to lift you when you're down.
Day 11- Another picture of my friends. I think I'll have to go with pictureS again! :)
The EFY crew at Mormon Night (2010).
Nina and I had literally JUST arrived in Atlanta a matter of minutes before this picture was taken. We were traveling back from our excursion to Massachusetts for EFY at Amherst. We pulled up at Ashley's house, dragged ourselves out of the car, changed, and went to the game! Crazy, huh? But OH SO FUN!! (pictured L to R: Rachel, Nina, Me, Ashley...not pictured, Kaycie. She was there in spirit!)
EFY Buddies dancing it out (Summer 2010).
There are seriously SO many of these pictures floating around out there! They're rarely ever cute...AT ALL...but I still love them major. Such fun memories doing crazy EFY line/orientation dances. Most recognizable in this one is me, Ashley and Dennis. :)
Me and Joseph (Halloween 2009).
Joseph Pate is one of my oldest and dearest friends. He's been around for nearly as long as I can remember. He's super fun, honest, trustworthy and a great person to talk to. Countless times I've gone to Joseph for some insight on the men-folk. He's a good boy. And I'm lucky to have him as a friend.
Nat, Tristan and I (New Years Eve 2007).
While Natalia needs no introduction on my blog, also pictured here is Tristan. Young Tristan first became friends with us when he was just a tender Freshman at CHS back in 2003. We were Seniors and Tristan was lucky enough to hang with us. Juuuuuuuust kidding. Tristan's brought a lot to our high school crew over the years. Many jokes and life conversations have been had with that kid. As my Dad would say, he's good people. :)
Day 12- How I found out about blogger...
I found out about blogger because many of my friends (mostly the married ones, as mentioned in one of the earlier blogs) had one. I decided to try it for myself. As you can see...I've not been very successful. I'm trying though! That counts for something, right? :)
Whew. Ok, we're caught up now. That was intense. Hope someone enjoyed all that...
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The crazy thing is that I went in to this fall knowing I had a year off to kinda do what I wanted. Just float. Go places. Try things. It all sounded super exciting. Yet somehow it's all been very, very stressful for me. I didn't realize how much I like having a plan, knowing (at least in a general way) which direction I'm going in. My dear friend SirMichael told me just a few days ago that he thought it would be hard for me to be ok "floating". Man is he right! I'm going crazy.
There's not much I can do planning-wise where school is concerned until I start getting admission decisions back from the schools. But what I'm doing until next fall has been stressing me out majorly. Especially since things have not been all that easy of late.
Anyway. I've spent the past couple of weeks feeling my way through a bit of an intense time. A blessing from my incredible Bishop helped in a big way. But just today I bounced the basics of the plan off the mom (whose opinion carries great weight), dad and the bestie. All sound super happy, proud and excited about it.
Before you ask, no. I'm not unveiling said plan yet. It'll be about another week and a half-ish before it's finalized. So, stay tuned... :)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
1. Grad school applications complete. (this one is a bit of cheater one because everything I can do has been done...all that's lacking now are letters of recommendation.) Will be complete by 12/1/10.
2. Get a job. ASAP.
3. Apply for assistantships (Depending on what schools I get in to)
4. Make a plan. (Depending on where I get in to school, I may be headed back to GA...)
More to come I'm sure...
Monday, November 8, 2010
The Green Lantern! He's freakin' awesome! AND Ryan Reynolds is playing him in the movie! Who's excited?? It's me!
As for someone who's had the biggest impact on me...
It'd have to be my mom. She's a wonderful example to me and she embodies so many qualities that I hope to have. She's patient and kind. She's thoughtful. She's made countless sacrifices for me and my siblings. She's a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She has a strong testimony. AND boy can she sing!
I would do well to be half the woman that she is.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I first visited NYC during Spring Break my Sophomore year of college when I went to visit Natalia. I've taken several pictures on my trips there. A few of the highlights:
Is there really an explanation needed for this one? 'Nuff said.
The Brooklyn Bridge.
Some park we went to.
Subway station at Times Square.
It's kinda bad quality, but that's the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. Natalia and I actually went skating there for her birthday one year!
Fun times in NY! I miss it and can't wait to go visit again soon!
Friday, November 5, 2010
Ok, this isn't all that shocking, but I bite my nails. I have for as long as I can remember. I'd gotten better about it for a while and then this summer when contemplating moving, worrying about school/a job, stressing about not having a plan...I've started being bad about it again. Perhaps having talked about it here will be a motivator to change that....
This is the bestie.
Natalia and I met in high school. We had the same friends and had a lot of the same interests, but didn't really hit it off on an individual level until Senior year (that's what having class together ALL year will do for you!). A couple of years (and a few tough experiences) later, we realized just what an awesome friend we had in each other and the rest, as they say, is history. Natalia's one of those friends that you can literally talk to about anything. Often she knows what I'm thinking/how I'm feeling/how I will react before I even do. She's been around for some really tough times and some really incredible ones. I really appreciate her and the fact that Heavenly Father saw fit to put us in each other's paths.
The college crew (not pictured: Smitty, Agata and Rachel).
These fools were there and pulled me through some of the most stressful times at school. Adrienne (2nd from the left) and I linked up early on after declaring Communication as our major, so we had several classes together and graduated together in May of 2008. Nancy (in the purple) was a bit younger than us, but declared her major earlier in her college career and shared several classes and MANY laughs with us. The crew also included our wanna-be pirate, Smitty (many laughs were had during late night study sessions at her apartment), our foreign exchange student, Agata (tennis-pro extraordinaire! Adrienne had a lot of fun with the language barrier...Agata is from Poland) and our ring-leader (at least until she ditched us), Rachel. I'm SO lucky to have linked up with these ladies. We sure had some good times!
The EFY besties.
There really aren't words for how grateful I am for these girls (clockwise from the top: Nina, Rachel, Ashley and Kaycie). They remind me of what is truly important and constantly uplift me with the strength of their testimonies. They are proof in my life of how well Heavenly Father knows us, particularly knows our needs even when we don't. I needed some friends who were strong in the gospel...and I couldn't have asked for better ones. The example they set, the happiness they radiate, the strength of character and faith that they show make me SO LUCKY to call them my friends.
Summary: I'm pretty dang lucky in the friends department.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
And there you have it.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
1. When I was little, I wanted to be a clown when I grew up.
2. My first name is Kathryn, because my parents liked it. My middle name is Esther, for my Grandmother. I think Kate suits me best. :)
3. I love me some Atlanta Braves! I get that from my Grandfather.
4. I've broken the 2nd toe on my right foot and (pretty sure) at least 1 other bone in that same foot.
5. "Pretty sure" from above because I never went to the Doctor. Yikes!
6. I want to visit Italy and Greece ASAP!
7. I can quote the Canterbury Tales prologue in Middle English (thanks 11th grade British Lit and Mrs. Portwood).
8. I was at Bobby Cox's LAST win as a manager! Ding!
9. I LOVE Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup...but I won't be going there and buying it anymore. I know how to make it :)
10. My favorite candy is Wint-o-green Lifesavers. Weird, I know.
11. Music is one of my favorite things. I play the guitar, uke, trombone and (a little) piano.
12. I really do love singing...even though I don't think I'm very good at it.
13. I have an ex-step-grandpa. Pretty cool, huh?
14. Back in the day when kids used to play outside, my brothers and I created a fictional city that we ran in our (nearly 1 acre) yard (complete with a mayor, elections, currency, bank and other businesses). We were super creative so we called it...Harrelltown.
15. My brother Jon and I also had a particular interest in culture and languages. We created our own...called ChineseAfghan. Yes, it can be spoken and written.
And awayyyyyyyyy we go....