So Long 2008 (And Thanks for All the Fish!)

January 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Relationships, Spiritual) (, , , , , , , , )

2008 has finally gone the way of every year and passed into memory. It was a long year. Okay, so it was only a day longer than three fourths of the others, but I’ve come a really long way. I mean, January 1, 2008 seems like a lifetime ago. I can barely remember it.

What was I doing last New Years? No idea. Maybe shopping. I know that I spent midnight at church, wondering why my phone had not rung with a New Year’s message and somewhat unconcerned with the sudden disappearance of every youth group couple. It was a great night with my friends. What it should have been.

So, what did 2008 hold for me? There was the end of one relationship, which led to a lot of growth on my part. I learned to lean on my friends, to find strength in God. I learned to rely on myself. There was a lot of sorting through issues that had not been completely resolved from the previous summer. I grew up a lot and finally discovered who I was. Now, I’m pretty happy with who that is. It took some breakdowns, some nights where I just shook my head and wondered who I had become. I had been trying really hard to succeed in life all on my own, and that wasn’t working. So, God tore me down to the foundation and I’ve been working to rebuild since then. This time, the right person has the blueprints. As long as I can keep myself from grabbing them out of His hands, I think I’ll be content with who I am.

I started a new relationship. It’s been one of the greatest blessings in my life to date. He accepts who I am and doesn’t ask me to be anyone else. He encourages me, inspires me, and makes me one of the happiest people alive. I couldn’t ask for anyone better. And I thank God for showing me someone so incredible,

I passed another semester of college and received my first B in five years. The perfectionist in me was upset for a time, but I’m really grateful for that B. Now, I’m not afraid of not being perfect. I want to do my best, but now I’m okay with the idea that my best may not always be perfect. In fact, it’s pretty arrogant to have thought it should be.

I had a great job working with two incredible children. I learned a lot about how families with small kids work, how a family is built. I learned a lot. They were a great example to me, since I’ve really never been old enough to notice the way a young family acts. It was a lot of fun.

I went to El Salvador again and learned that God is amazing, powerful, and always at work. I saw people brought together. I saw forgiveness. I felt my heartbreak, and felt a lot of hugs putting it back together. I saw examples of servants and I saw some things very opposite. I made a lot friends. I lost a few. That’s life. It sucks, but that’s life.

I got to go to Baltimore a couple of times. ☺ Definitely a fun experience.

I saw a new president elected. I got to watch all the conflicts and debates on campus, watch as people took their stands and began to care. I did see history, as the first black president was elected. And I pray that God blesses his term and our country.

I returned to Harding and had another incredible semester. I got good grades, even if there was another B. I learned some really great study habits. Spending 3-5 days of the week in the Library does that. My spiritual habits got a lot better as well. And I can thank the boy I’ve spent an amazing 9 ½ months with for both of those things. He encouraged me to study and to make sure that God was always number one in my life. It was a blessing of a semester. I got to live through my first Pledge week from the other side and it was great. I made a lot of friends and strengthened many relationships. Again, I lost some, but time and distance does that.

So. That was 2008. What do I want to see in 2009?

I want to see my anniversary and my year and a half with Sam. (Also the year and 9 ½ months, but that’s just not as concise).

I want to have an incredible trip to Italy and enjoy myself completely.

I want to continue growing closer to God by improving my prayer life and learning how to study His word better.

I want a good paying job for the summer.

I want to continue to strengthen my friendships and to always be a friend.

I want another two good semesters of college where I learn a lot.

So, we’ll see where life goes. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a ride. And I can’t wait.

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An Update

December 13, 2008 at 5:23 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Relationships) (, , , , )

It’s been forever, but it’s been pretty crazy busy. I made it through club week in one piece. I even kind of enjoyed it in the end. There were some rough spots, a whole lot of frustration, and a little bit of anger, but I made it. And it was worth it.

Thanksgiving break was wonderful with Sam in Nashville. It was incredibly relaxing and fun. My family was surprsingly tame, which shocked me to no end. I got to have a little Christmas spirit, getting the house ready. I love Christmas. Yay for Christmas songs!! It was a really great vacation.

Now, the real news. I wantd to talk about my recent “fieldtrip” to Memphis with my Human Situation class. For anyoe unfamiliar, this is a class that mainly looks at the arts and their impact on the world. We’ve covered art, music, literature, theater, architecture, dance, film, and even ecology. (Which isn’t exactly an art, but it fit well in the course.) One week, we had publisher Holly Root in class and discussed issues of gender, sexuality, and religion in society today. Since Hopper is one of the most open-minded professors on campus, it was a really fun class.

So, this past Tuesday we went to Memphis. It was a lot of fun, even though I only had four hours of sleep and had to be on the bus at eight in the morning. In the rain. So, maybe that wasn’t fun. Well, it was a short(ish) ride to Memphis, and the rain had slackened off by the time we arrived. So, Dr. Hopper turned us loose in the city to look and analyze some of the surrounding architecture. I took some pictures, but they’re on Sam;s camera, so I can’t show any of the fun buildings. There was one very strange sculpture that was a funnel-like shape, seating on the inside. It was intersting. Well, after getting a good few blocks away from the bus, a monsoon sprung up and drenched us. So, it was a very wet day. We met a homeless man sittig in the burned out doorway of a church that we were hiding in. Interestingly, he had worked at the church before it burned down. And now he sleeps there, which seems very literary to me.

After getting soaked, we headed to the Brooks Art Museum. It was fun, though a rather small museum. And very maze-like. I finally found my way to most of the rooms, though not without a good deal of exploring. There were a few interesting galleries. A couple rooms were devoted to medieval and Rennaisance art which was interesting. So much was religious. In fact, almost all of it. And then there was a really strange African Art exhibit. There were some really awesome pieces in there. All very exotic, which is exactly what you’d expect.

From there, we went to lunch and everyone ate entirely too much food. It was just at Piccadilly’s Cafeteria, but I hadn’t eaten much taht day, so it was amazing. Then we were off again to study art.

We went to a music store and went upstairs to a recital hall. Hopper began playing, and it was amazing. He played Chopin, Scarlotti, Mozart, Schubert, and Lizst. it was incredible to listen to. He played this beautiful nocturne that left everyone in silence. Waltzes and minuets and all kinds of beautiful pieces. He was an amazing pianist. It made me wish I could play that well, but I simply do not have taht much time to work. Maybe one day.

Well, from there we went to a movie. We saw The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which sounds relatively light, but it really very depressing and dark. It’s about a boy whose father is in charge of one of the concentration camp. It shows how it appeared to an eight-year-old, and all the confusion and conflict that it caused. Very poignant. It left all of us touched, silent, and pensive. There was a good deal of talk about it over dinner. I would highly suggest the movie, but do not expect a happy tale.

We wrapped up the day with dinner at Rondezvous, a rib place in a dark alley in Memphis. It’s apparently pretty famous, and definitely should be. Delicious food. Sam had lamb, so I finally got to try that. It didn’t taste too much different. But, it was wonderful food, and we had a lot of fun just hanging out with classmates and passing the time.

It was an incredible trip, and so much fun. I got to spend a day enjoying art and not worrying about school. Now, it’s finals and I should be studying. But, I’m not too worried. I’ll make it. And in a month and a half, I’ll be chilling in a sixteenth century Italian villa. Sweet deal.

Love ya!

Katherine

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How I Ended Up at a Hotel For My Six Month Anniversary and Other Stories

September 16, 2008 at 10:14 pm (Real Life, Relationships) (, , , , , )

So, we’ll get to the title story later. I’m sure you’re all anxious to know what in the world I, Katherine Mitchell, mean by such a statement, but there is a time and a place. Part of me must maintain a normal flow of time.

So, yes. Sam and I have now officially been dating for six months. Which is a very long time, I think. And most people would agree–there are always the scoffers. Anyways, last Friday was our Six-Month date. And it was quite an adventure, as the title suggests. Before we even left, Sam met me with a bouquet of white daisies and a red rose. Gorgeous flowers from a wonderful boy. After I got those safely in my room, we left for dinner at a nice little Japanese Steakhouse in Little Rock. Much like Kobe’s, for those in Nashville who know what that is, but a little smaller and more cozy. The tables weren’t quite as big, so it was a little more personal. Incredible food, though. Oh my goodness, I have never seen so much food! I ate until I was ready to burst, and still had enough for lunch the next day. That was a lot of fun, and SO much better than caf food. Then again, most prison food is better than the caf….but that’s an entirely different post.

From there we headed to a mall that had a Build-A-Bear. Sam had decided that we should go and make me a bear to keep Poptart company while I’m away studying with Sam. So, we went in and picked out a bear. Sam got to dance around during the Heart Ceremony. I wish I’d had a camera to tape it, because he was spinning and jumping and laughing like a crazy person. Since he is a crazy person, it makes much more sense. We picked out some clothes, and then dubbed the cute bear Strawberry. So, she’s now chilling with Poptart in my room while I sit in the lab and make sure Sam studies for his tests this week.

Well, from there we went to see “Burn After Reading,” the new Brad Pitt and George Clooney movie. I’ve heard it described as hilarious, which I wouldn’t really say. It had some very funny parts, but also some rather macabre scenes. In the end, I was confused as to what kind of movie it was really supposed to be. Plus, the characters weren’t all that likeable, making it a little difficult to grow attached to anyone. But, a decent movie, in the end. Likely to end up some cult classic or something. Or maybe a box office hit. Who knows? The public is weird. Let’s just say that, at the end of the movie, Sam and I were laughing as we asked each other what the heck had we just watched. So, mixed experience.

Well, at this point, we were far from the beaten path of Google maps. We had directions back, but they were from the other side of town. So, we asked someone before we left the theater, and she kindly gave us directions to the Interstate. Or I think it was the Interstate. This is probably why I don’t drive in unfamiliar places. So, we set off. And after driving a good ways away from any of the large developed areas, we decided it would probably be smart to stop and ask directions. But, it was about 11:30 at this point, and apparently most of Little Rock doesn’t stay open that late.

What to do? With crufew creeping up, we decided to stop at the next place we saw. An Embassy Suites. How fortunate. So, I didn’t want to sit in the creepy hotel parking lot at nearly midnight, and decided to walk in with Sam. I can only imagine how it appeared, especially given the extraordinary smile the guard gave us as we strolled in. Two young people, smiling, holding hands, walking up to the reception desk of the hotel at 11:30. Everyone seemed slightly disappointed when we only asked for directions.

We got back on the road (and then realized that we had, in fact, gone to a hotel for our six month anniversary. Something many of my friends found entirely too funny to let die), and made it back safe and sound minutes before curfew. It was an adventure, especially after one or two extra wrong turns that had us wandering the back roads of Arkansas for a little while. But, with company like that, who minds a few extra minutes of driving? Plus, I kinda learned how to read a map. Shocking, I know.

Well, that’s about all the news that’s fit to read. Nothing too wild going on, besides the insane tide of tests slowly drowning all of my friends. My test week was last week, so this one is a bit of a break. And by bit of a break, I mean only two tests. Isn’t the college life great?

Well, until I get a chance to write again…

Katherine

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Weekend Update

July 8, 2008 at 2:17 pm (Real Life, Relationships, Spiritual)

It’s a long and lazy day. A sad and lonely day. A Tuesday. I have the whole week free, but I wish more and more that I had something to do just to take my mind off things. Oh well. What doesn’t kill me must, by process of elimination, make me stronger.
Sam was here this past weekend. It was fantastic. One of the best weekends of my life. I’d probably say the best, but it’s hard to rank such diverse things. Of our waking moments, only a handful were spent apart. For a weekend, I was completely disconnected from the rest of the world. I didn’t worry about my phone, about checking facebook, about looking over my blog. The person I cared about was here.
You can ask me if you want to know anything. I really can’t bring myself to recount it all right now. I’m still trying to figure out how the world can be so perfect one day and so lackluster the next. I miss being far too happy.
In other news, El Salvador is quickly approaching. I just realized when I started counting days until school starts. I leave the 29th. That’s 21 days from now. (Which means life will be wonderful again in approx. 40 days.) This is going to be one interesting trip. Looking over the itinerary, we should be eating dinner/at the hotel by 7:00-8:00 every night. Of course, they aren’t on daylight savings time, so that’s an hour behind everyone in Nashville. But I’m going to try to keep a pretty good log of it this year. Online this time, since my journal from last year never quite made it out of my notebook. But I really need prayers for this. Some of you know the whole story, others only that it’s going to be rough. It’s been a struggle and it’s going to get much worse before it ever gets better. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. And the dawn’s a good ways off right now. Please pray.
Well, it’s a lovely day in Nashville. With my mom out of town, I’ve got dinner duty every night. Oh well. At least there’s plenty of flour lying around…..
Have a lovely week everyone. Give me a call if you’re free and we’ll see what’s going on.

…………
…………Miss you, Sammy.

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Some Must Be Left Behind With Every Step We Take

April 22, 2008 at 7:21 pm (Real Life, Relationships)

I was looking around today on Facebook (yeah, I spend way too much time there, but what else is there to do in boring classes?) and I saw some people from my old high school. A lot of them went to the same university, still hang out together all the time, and pretty much stayed in the world they knew. I look around at my friends now and…well…only one of them is from back home. Of course I plan on seeing all the old gang again over the summer, but they aren’t the people I hang out with every day. When you’re scattered across the country, it’s hard to do that.

And it’s not because I don’t love my old friends more than imaginable, but I’m kinda glad I’m not like those others who still have the exact same people. I’ve gotten a chance to grow a lot, to figure out who exactly I am, and to explore new things. Of course, I don’t think any less of the Lipscomb/MTSU crowd, since they are growing up and moving on anyways, but I am definitely thankful for the new opportunities I have been lucky enough to experience.

I can’t imagine life without all the wonderful friends I have now. Kim, Kris, Ashely, Amanda, Logan, Brandtley, Laura, Will, Robert, Paul, Bekah, Nathaniel, Joseph, Kylie, Jonathan, Alicia, Sam. So many people. I’ve listed a lot, but I know I’ve forgotten even more. And I think I could keep naming them and people who have helped me and taught me for more hours than there are in a day…or even a lifetime.

Leaving everyone back home was hard. Leaving everyone who’s here now will be even harder. It’s not a day i can bear to count down to…

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Blessings

April 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Relationships)

I have had a week so wonderful that I honestly can’t completely believe it. I mean, I have been so blessed and I’ve done nothing to deserve it. I mean, there was a point this semester where I was looking back at all the fun times of last semester and wondering if I would get a chance to make some again. And suddenly this week, it all came together. I got to hang out with friends and have more fun than is humanly possible.

Tuesday, as you might have gathered, was my one-month with Sam. I know, pretty serious… 😛 But, I had soccer until about 10:30, so I didn’t get to just spend the time with him. Which was a little disappointing…or so I originally thought. But, after the games, we made an emergency Walmart run to get coolant for Sammy’s car, then got some Frosty’s from Wendy’s and just spent the last remaining moments talking and hanging out. It was great. It was memorable.

Thursday was one of the most college experiences I have had. After walking to and from a game of Apples to Apples at Underground, a coffee shop in town, Sam and I went to watch a movie to wrap up the night. But they decided to close the building we were in. So, we decided to go and get triscuits. Why? I don’t know. We were hungry and it sounded like a wonderful idea. So, we made a trip to Walmart to buy a box of triscuits and two Vaults. I mean, how more random can you get. We were hyper, acting like fools, and loving every minute of it. Just not caring what the other person was going to think if you did whatever you wanted, but being who you were. I felt more alive than I have in a while.

Friday was my club’s formal. It was beautiful. They had it in a refurbished rail station in Little Rock, and the food was delicious. As it should be at all formals. Sam looked so handsome. He was wonderful, and it was all fun. I got to hang out with my club sisters and spend an evening pretending that we weren’t all broke college students. And everyone needs that willing suspension of disbelief sometimes. I think that’s why we have fancy dress occasions.

And yesterday was idyllic. Sam and I met to study on the Front Lawn at two. But neither of us had that much homework, so I ended up falling asleep in the absolutely lovely weather. It was nice to spend some time together without homework hanging over our heads, but to just relax and enjoy the other’s company on one of the most beautiful days we have had in a while. Then, our whole group decided to go to the park. It was crazy. Wild. I don’t know what got into all of us (it was a full moon), but it was laughter and friendship. Good times, the times you’ll never forget. And then we all went to get five-dollar pizzas. Everyone else dispersed to their dorms, but Sam and I went to watch the most recent Office episode. And eat a large pizza. It was fun and relaxing and stressless and there aren’t enough words to explain it. You won’t understand unless you’ve had an evening like it.

And so, for some reason, I’ve been blessed. And I’m so thankful that I can have such friends and such a boyfriend. I know it’s about to get busy, hat with finals looming. But, at least this week, nothing else mattered. And I thank God for a calm before the storm.

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If You Haven’t Heard, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention…

April 15, 2008 at 11:42 am (Relationships)

So, you see, there’s this boy…and he’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.

Sure, he’d probably deny it (it’s what he does) but that’s only because he can’t see what I see. I see a wonderfully flawed individual who isn’t satisfied with where he is. He’s always moving forward, which inspires me to not become complacent. Because if I compare my life to his, I have forever to go. And he’s still not happy. I have to work. I see this incredibly handsome young man who is completely overshadowed by a huge and wonderful personality. I see someone smart, funny, considerate, and kind. I see someone who just makes me smile when he walks into a room

And there’s something in the way he looks at me that makes time stop and the world move on without us. His eyes are warm and safe, the perfect place to lose yourself. I know it’s cliched, but I do feel safe with him. I do trust him, which is not something I say lightly. It takes a lot to trust someone, but I’m going to take a risk. Because nothing in this world is worth it if you won’t risk something.

I look at him and see someone that accepts me as I am and forgives me when I need it (a lot, if I’m to be honest.) Someone who doesn’t make me self-conscious or nervous. He’s a friend, more than anything, and then something more. He’s a blessing that I don’t know how I got lucky enough to be given. It baffles me, that’s for sure. He’s so wonderful.

And he always makes me smile, makes my day brighter just by being there. He’s so concerned and caring. And when he calls me his girl, it just seems right. I know there are people who would whine and complain over something like that (rabid feminists, mainly), but it’s great to me. And he lets me call him my boy. I don’t know where this will go or for how long. I can’t see where we’ll end up anymore than anyone else can. But I know (or hope, at least, which is all you can do) that I have a lifelong true friend, if nothing else. And I know that everyday I get to spend with him will be a blessing, chance to grow, and an adventure. And I can’t wait to see the path life will lead us on.

Thanks, Sam, for letting me spend a month with you. It’s been more wonderful than I have words for. 🙂

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Of Fountains and Boyfriends

March 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm (Real Life, Relationships)

I am not stupid by any means. But, I am apparently too trusting. My lovely beau was able to quite completely fool me. You see, he discovered a way to get my cell phone in order to throw me into the fountain. Yes, I was unceremoniously tossed into the baptismal fountain last night, though I don’t believe salvation was on the table.

He was clever. I am never far from my phone, but the cell is the only thing that really protects anyone from the fountain. So, as we wandered to join our friends, he catches me. “Is that your phone ringing?” I shook my head, but still pulled it out to check. “Here, let me see something.” I didn’t think anything of handing it to him. Until, in the same motion, he took the device and swept me off my feet. Literally, not figuratively.

At first, I just thought he was being silly and carrying me. But when he didn’t set me down, I grew somewhat suspicious. I asked what he was doing. “Throwing you in the fountain.” He smiled down at me and continued walking. At this point, I really didn’t believe he would. Even when he climbed onto the edge of the fountain, I assumed he would just set me down and laugh at how he had fooled me. Admittedly, I had a death hold on his shoulders and neck, but i still thought it was a joke. He set me down, I found the edge, and assumed saftey.

Then he pushed my feet off and dropped me into the water.

The only thing that saved him, was the fact that it wasn’t cold. And that he jumped in behind. I mean, I kinda respect that he actually did it, and it’s good memories. But still. I. Was. Thrown. In. The. Fountain. I’m not sure how much I like that. And now, I have to come up with something really great to get him back. Like, unbelievably good. And since we worked together and threw his roommate in later, I think I’ll have some help in the guys’ dorms.

Now, for the master devious plot…

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