Thursday, December 31, 2009

No Junk Food January

My dear friend, Suzy, introduced me last year to 'No Junk Food January.' Since I love randomly giving up things and making everything in my life a competition, I've decided to partake in this adventure.

What is junk food?  That is an interesting question.  Everyone has their own little definition and of course there is even a wikipedia article about it.

My rules so far are:
-no fried food
-no soda
-no desserts, candy, ice cream or anything of the like
-no food with excessive amounts of cheese
-no muffins or scones from Caribou

Those are the big ones.  Overall my goal is to bring my lunch to work a whole lot more and make a lot more food at my house.  We'll see how this goes...

For my next competition, I thought about no processed food feb., but that might be a little to intense a little to quickly.  I guess I need to see how this month goes before I dive into such a giant task.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

bummer of a day...

I've officially turned into one of those people.  One of those people who puts their emotions and all onto a blog for people to read.  (Well Kelsey says I've always been one of those people, so if I have, I've stepped it up a notch now.)

Today was no fun.  My aunt, Melinda, who was my mom's closest sister had her first child, Mallari.  Usually this would be so exciting, but it has just sucked.  My mom waited years for Melinda to have her first child.  Melinda was constantly around us when we were growing up.  Christmas that we didn't have much, Melinda would bless us with so much.  My mom was so excited to return the favor.  But now she doesn't get to.

The week before my mom passed away she was able to buy my aunt Melinda a baby bed.  I remember talking about how excited she was to bless Melinda and Dave in that way.  And she was so excited to be able to continue to do that.  To continue to send her letters every day with a few dollars tucked inside just like she did for all four of her daughters.

I'm so excited for my aunt to finally experience the blessing of a child...but it hurt so much today.

The past two weeks I've cried very rarely.  Not because I haven't wanted to, just each time I had wanted to it had been an extremely inappropriate time to (like when working with a client), so I would push the thought out of my head as quickly as possible.  But today I've cried a lot.  A lot of tears for joy for my aunt Melinda but they have all quickly turned to tears of sadness.

Christmas parties have been so hard for me this past week.  I don't want to be in large groups of people where I don't know everybody.  I don't want to have to be social.  I don't want to have to answer the question 'how are you?'  When I know the person doesn't really want to hear the answer or I know my answer will just cause an extremely awkward moment.

In one way the holidays so close will be a blessing because all of my family will quickly be back together and no matter what the first holidays without a loved one suck.  But in another way, it sucks that they are so close.  I don't want to have to pretend I'm happy to be around lots of people.  I don't want to be super busy going from party to party.  I want to sit down on the couch, read, journal, relax, take a nap, spend time with Jesus.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Congratulations!

Kelsey has officially graduated college!!!!  Congrats!  Her non-plans of what she was to do after college were kind of blown to pieces 21 days ago, so if you know of any exciting or non-exciting jobs that pay anything, you should let her know over on her blog.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part XX)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
You were at Caribou today!  When I sat down across from you, I said 'good morning' and you said it back.  Then when I was getting ready to leave I commented how it is supposed to get warmer today (cause all older people like to talk about the weather, right?)

You then started to tell me lots of random stories about your life.  I learned today that you worked for the city of Des Moines for 31 years.  Everyday you prayed you would win the lottery cause you disliked your job that much.  You have been retired for 16 years.  You live six blocks away from Caribou and love to walk.  I asked how long you have been coming to Caribou and you told me about how you went to this place every day when it used to be a Burger King.

My favorite part was you pointed over at Mr. Mayo Man who was buying coffee and said "that's my friend over there."  It is funny that you didn't think I realized Mr. Mayo Man is your friend.  He does sit by you most days at Caribou.  Then you told me how you two met each other in sixth grade on the playground.  (so fun!)  You haven't always lived near each other but you have always stayed in touch and close.  You also were both in each other's wedding.  How darn cute, love it!

I'm excited Mr. Caribou Man that you are back in my life.  I'm also excited to stalk you more learn more about your life.

Until tomorrow,
kaci jo  

Mourning Etiquette

My sister, Kassie, wrote a great blog post.  You should read it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part XIX)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Why is it whenever I have a friend at Caribou you are not there?  It makes me sad.  I think then that people think I have made you up, but I know you are real.  Elected Official was there today, but you were not.
Until tomorrow,
kaci

Fight for Air Climb

My siblings and I decided to do the American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb in honor of our mom who passed away on Dec. 1st after a long battle with COPD.  It is a climb up 1,100 stairs of 801 Grand in Des Moines, IA on Feb. 28th.

Our team is called 'Out on the Prowl."  Because as we all know my mom loved to talk about how we were going out on the prowl.  If you want to join our team, we would absolutely love that!  And I promise there will be some pretty amazing tshirts involved too.  Click Here if you want to sign up.

We would also absolutely love if you would consider giving something to reach our team goal of $500.  It could $1, 5, 10, 20, 50.  Anything would help!!!!  If you want to give, click here.

Here is their little motivational spiel "Your support helps the American Lung Association in Iowa in the Fight for Air. With lung disease on the rise, we are fighting for research that will find a cure for tomorrow. We are fighting for those who can’t quit smoking and those who shouldn’t start. We are fighting for lungs that burn from exercise rather than from ozone. We are fighting for asthma education to stop children from dying from asthma attacks. We are fighting for laws that improve air quality both inside and out. And we won’t breathe easy until we win the fight."

Thanks everybody!!!

life in pics





I am blessed by many amazing people in my life.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (Part XVII)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
I feel like it has been so long since we have had good bonding time.  My schedule has been out of whack.  It been a couple of weeks since I have been able to spend every morning at Caribou.  I have hopes that the consistency will soon return, but then comes Christmas and New Year's.  So I hope to see you again everyday come Jan. until then I will be satisfied with my once a week appearances by you.

Today you were there when I got there.  My observation of today is it was the first time I have not seen you wear your trendy brown shoes.  You were wearing boots (very good idea by the way.)  They were work boots; they didn't really go with the trendy old man outfit you were sporting, but I think the look will grow on me.  Maybe you will be there tomorrow morning and maybe I'll get a picture to show the world.

Until later,
kaci

Sunday, December 13, 2009

facebook chat

So Kelsey had this gchat with Stephanie and I found it hilarious :)

background:  Steph made a vow to god that if he cancelled school on wednesday that she would go to church.  i (kelsey) reassured her that god doesn't like you making vows unless you keep them.
so she went to church. here is the FB convo we (stephanie and kelsey) just had... i figured you would appreciate it.


7:28pmStephanie

lol
so god remided me how many single guys go to church today
and then i was thinking ...
i wouldnt mind a kaci type relationship
7:29pmKelsey
omg. who are you
do you want me to tell her that
i'm sure she knows some nice boys.
but kaci type of boys wanna get married
7:30pmStephanie
no
no i want a catholic husband
not a whatever she is
7:30pmKelsey
hahaha
i wanna tell her that
lol
7:31pmStephanie
thats cool
they have a college bible study
i wouldnt mind going
lol

Thursday, December 10, 2009

today

The last two days were overall pretty good.  I got to spend a lot of time alone.  I needed that.  No friends, no family, no boyfriend, no coworkers...though I absolutely adore all those people; God knew this snowstorm would give me exactly what I needed.  Time with him alone.

Today was hard again.  The last two days were easy (easy in a very relative manner.)  I knew it couldn't always be that easy; I knew there would be more hard days to come.  But I don't want the hard days to come.  I don't want to have days were I'm on the brink of tears.

I don't want to have days like today.

Monday, December 7, 2009

hmmm

Two of my sisters, Kelsey and Kassie, named their last blog post with just a sound. I feel like that is totally appropriate.

blah

hmmm

sigh

ugh

I feel them all right now.  They actually probably describe the thoughts in my head better than words ever could.

It's hard because we have known it was coming for so long, and I always thought that would make it easier.  But it hasn't.  It's weird she went to the hospital last weekend, spent a night, was released.  Her being released gave me a sigh of relieve.  A sigh that maybe we would have a bit more time.  Then less than 24 hrs later, she passes away.  That sigh was but momentary.

I still want to cry a lot.  I still do cry a lot.

Today cleaning out her room, seeing Christmas presents she bought, seeing unopened books she meant to read...it sucked.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

my mom

My sisters, Kassie, Kelsey, Kinsey, and brother, Rick wrote this tonight because my mom loved her lists.

25 Things We Love About Mom


1. She wrote each of us diaries about our lives
2. She was always willing to talk on the phone and hear the pointless details of my life. She knew when I pulled into my garage that we would talk tomorrow.
3. She taught me to believe in God.
4. She would send you a handwritten letter that would only say “I love you,” “You are my favorite, but don’t tell your sisters,” or “I love you…the most.”
5. She encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do with my life.

6. She would be passionate about things because she knew it would make me happy.
7. Her stories…she would tell us to just listen and pretend to enjoy it unless we had already heard it five times.
8. She was obsessed with Graham looking like me. She only liked pictures of him that showed the resemblance.
9. She always told us “we were beautiful.”
10. She taught me how to be blunt. She always told it like it was.

11. She was a fighter. She was not willing to give up on living.
12. She was a hopeless romantic, and always told me how much I can be loved and never to put up with less.
13. Her stories were mostly random and disconnected…but always in an interesting way.
14. She loved our dad.
15. She never complained about driving hundreds of miles every week just so I could wrestle with the best.

16. She taught us and truly believed that the bond of sisters is bigger than any joys you encounter, bigger than any lies that are told, and bigger than any hardship.
17. She was crazy. Called her blog a blob, had to have a certain kind of ice, loved Clay Aiken, and always used different colored fonts in her emails.
18. She loved BINGO.
19. She has always allowed us to make our own decisions.
20. Her “love language” was gift giving. She showered us with love through gifts. Random packages from random catalogs, packages of candy for us and our roommates, and a five dollar bill in a letter. She was incredibly generous, with her children and those in need.

21. She would always go to our extracurricular activities, record them on the radio and write down the scores, so we could always remember them.
22. She taught us how to love our family by example; she visited her parents several times a week.
23. She was okay with us sleeping in when we were in high school just as long as we woke up before our dad got off of work.
24. She put a lot of thought into her letters, emails and blogs.
25. There is so much of her in me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

my mom

today my mom passed away.

pray please.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Give thanks...

Today I'm thankful for...

-an amazing family, I could go on an on about what a blessing they are, but trust me it is a blessing to have such a close family.

-amazing friends (so now the list is cliche, but it's true.)  I received so many phone calls and texts today of friends offering to visit me, visit my mom, bring me food, pray for me, pray for my mom, pray for my family. Times like these make me realized how deeply I am loved.

-an amazing church (still very cliche, but still so true), where people know me and pray sincerely for my family and I.

This isn't the most eloquent of thankful list or the most complete, but my heart is so filled with gratitude right now I felt the need to share.   

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part XVI)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,

Sorry it has been so long since I have written to you.  Last week I was privileged to see you several times.  I had the strangest thing happen to me on Friday that I thought I would share with you.  To set up the scene, I created a layout of the local Caribou comfy chair seating arrangement.










When I came into Caribou, you were sitting in chair C, so I sat in chair F.  Elected Official came in and then sat in chair B.  You showed him a newspaper article and asked him if he remembered the game in '53 when Iowa played Notre Dame. Elected Official said he was just a wee one then.  Mr. Mayo Man then arrived at Caribou.  So Elected Official moved to chair E beside me and Mr. Mayo Man sat in chair B besides you.  Mr. Caribou Man shows the same article to Mr. Mayo Man, and he remembered the game.

Then Mr. Mayo Man came over and stood in between Chair E and F (between Elected Official and I) and starts talking about the game.  He talks about how Notre Dame faked an injury that stopped the clock and in the end because the clock was stopped allowed Notre Dame to win the game.  He then talked about last week when Dowling who was undefeated lost to Marshalltown in the State Finals for football the players did not go to the center of the field to shake hands.  Rather the Dowling players turned their backs and so did the coaches.

Mr. Mayo Man (mind you he was standing two feet in front of me) went on a rant about how he believes religion ruins people.  Conversations like this don't usually bother me at all, but this one happened to be extremely awkward because I was sitting there reading my Bible and every thirty seconds Mr. Mayo Man would look directly at me while he was ranting.

Mr. Mayo Man had some really great points that I totally agreed with.  One being how Christians and religious people (he talked about Muslims also) often say they believe that you should treat others how you want to be treated, yet they don't do that in their own lives.  Religion to him appears to be a lot of talk but no real change in a person's life.  Mr. Mayo Man said 'if you don't practice it, then you really don't believe it.'  I think that is so true.  So many people in America call themselves Christians but it doesn't affect their life in any shape or form.  I don't want to be that person.  I desire to live my life all in for Jesus.  I know I mess up a whole lot though, but in that messing up, I hope that people can see that I why I know I need Jesus because I can't live a perfect life.

Mr. Caribou Man could you please tell your friend, Mr. Mayo Man, that I'm sorry.  I'm sorry for any Christian out there who has hurt him.  I'm sorry for Christians who claim they are doing things for God but then do horrible things to people.  I'm sorry for Christians who claim the name of Christ, yet they slander and spread gossip.  I'm sorry for Christians who don't know what it means to love others as you love yourself and don't care to even try.  I'm sorry for Christians who want the world to know what they are against rather than what they are for--loving God and loving people.  My heart breaks for Mr. Mayo Man because you could tell by the harshness of his voice that he has been hurt.  He has been hurt by people who did not care that they were hurting him.  I'm sorry Mr. Mayo Man.  Mr. Caribou Man, please tell him too that even though many people misrepresent Jesus that does not change the greatness of the message that Jesus brought to the world.

Thank you,
kaci  

  



Friday, November 13, 2009

Birthday Week

Overall I have had an absolutely amazing birthday week.  I would say since August it seems like every week I am blown away by how blessed I am.  This week just added more amazement to that fact.

Kassie and Graham came back to Iowa last weekend.  Kassie, Kinsey, Graham, Ryan and I went out to eat together on Friday night.  Then Kassie went to a Tastefully Simple party with me on Saturday and then we watched the Iowa game together.  I had so much baby holding time this weekend.  I'm pretty sure I got my fix for at least a week. (I need a lot of baby holding time each week apparently to get my fixes.)  Saturday evening I got to go to Stan's wedding.  After spending two years working closely with him, it was a blast to see him finally get married to someone who is perfect for him.

Sunday was probably a perfect Sunday.  Started off with Westwind.  Every week I'm reminded of the blessing of a local church.  They are my family, and it is my home.  Then Sarah and I hosted lunch for a 10-15 friends.  Wonderful food, even better conversation...so much laughter.  We then whipped out some Guess Who action and added some personality Guess Who to the mix. (You should try it, so much fun.)  Then of course Battlestar Galactica...oh so good.  Travis, Ryan, and I watched a couple of discs.  We only have five episodes left which of course will be finished this weekend!  Sarah and Sarah then joined us to end the night with a game night....a perfect Sunday....

The rest of the week was wonderful for so many reasons....tuesday, connection group (happy birthday sung, candles blown out, great conversation, tears shared, truth spoke)....wednesday, lunch goodbyes, a really productive day at work, high school connection group (lots of laughter, lives shared, tears cried, happy birthday sung), phone call with mom, so many birthday wishes....thursday, dinner at stella's (amazing gifts, amazing friends, kinsey, ice cream shakes, flowers, laughter, friendships formed), game night (so much more laughter, cuddles, lives shared.)....


life is good...

    

Dear Mr. Caribou man (part XV)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday you weren't at Caribou.  My heart is sad.  You missed out.  The three Mr. Movie Men where there, no worries.

Here's a picture of two of them a couple of weeks ago:


















Today they were hanging out at the table.  Talking about all the deep artistic things of the world....


















Okay I admit this picture is a bit creepy.  I tried to be sneaky, but I don't know how well that one worked out.  My favorite thing about the three Mr. Movie Men are that they look like men who would be really into movies and they look like men who would care about the tax credit given to movies produced in Iowa and I love the fact that I have heard them on multiple occasions talk about the tax credit.  And the icing on the cake is that a few weeks ago I heard them talking about a rally they were organizing to save the tax credit.  These men are passionate about their movies.

Hopefully I will see you soon Mr. Caribou Man,
kaci jo


p.s. I also love how the Mr. Movie Man with glasses always gets his diet coke.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part X!V)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Last Monday and Tuesday I attended a training for work, so I was unable to visit you at Caribou.  I got to meet another man though at my training who helped fill my grandpa crush need for a couple of days.  His name is George.  Don't worry George won't replace you and no need to be jealous.  He lives in southern Iowa, so there is a good chance I will never see him again.

George is a bit of a character.  At first, I will admit I was really a little bit annoyed with George.  He was a vocal man with a very definite opinion.  But then I was blessed to sit at George's table.  I learned George spent 11 years in the Army and spent a couple of years in Vietnam.  He was then an US Marshall (which he described as a sheriff for the Federal Gov't.)  He had some pretty good stories about his days working with fugitives.  I wish I sat by him all four days of the training because I know he would have kept me throughly entertained with his stories.  I wonder Mr. Caribou Man what kind of stories you have to tell about life.  I'm excited someday to hear about your adventures.

George was also great because of his belt buckle.  I've decided anyone who wears a large belt buckle has an entertaining story to tell.  They also have a personality to go along with the belt buckle.  I think I need more people in my life who wear belt buckles.

Well Mr. Caribou Man, here is a picture of my temporary grandpa crush.  He decided to take a bit of a nap during the training...oh old people...






















Until another day,
kaci jo

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part XIII)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Today my sister, Kassie, was in town, so she wanted to go stalk meet you.  Sadly, you weren't there.  She was bummed because she came all the way from Florida to hang out with her awesome sister meet you. Yet she didn't get to...sad day.  Luckily both Mr. Embittered Man and Mr. Pastor Man were there.  Mr. Pastor Man was rockin' his typical green sweater and Mr. Embittered Man was rocking his typical black vest.

Apparently Mr. Embittered Man had a hard weekend because Kassie heard him say 'All I want is someone to cuddle.'  I have a feeling having someone to cuddle is not going to solve all of any of his life problems.  That is just a hunch though.

Monday and Tuesday I have a training again, so hopefully I will see you on Wednesday.  I will anxiously await.
Until then,
kaci

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part XII)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
It was so exciting to see you today.  When I sat down, you waved at me--a cute little grandpa wave.  I then said "good morning" and you said "good morning" back.  I then sat down and read my Bible and you read your newspaper.  Good times it was.  Sidenote: You wore a cute little orange sweater today.  Then when it was time to leave I told you to have a great day and you said "you too."  I left feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.  Thanks for another great day Mr. Caribou Man.
Until tomorrow,
kaci




ps.  the three cribbage players were there today....Seriously I love when people are so predictable.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part XI)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
I have not seen you in a really long time.  Yesterday and today I had a training for my job, so I could not go to Caribou.  It is weird because I kind of miss you.  And I'm extra excited to see you tomorrow.  I'm also excited to see the four guys who play Cribbage every Wednesday morning.  I've realized through this all I like when things are predictable.  I like that I know I am going to see you every morning.  I like to know who will be sitting around me every morning.  I like to know that Mr. Embittered Man will be there every morning and so will Mr. Pastor Man and Mr. Math Man and Mr. Mayo Man, also the three Mr. Movie Men.
Until Tomorrow!
kaci

Sunday, November 1, 2009

ramblings

Random thoughts of the morning:

Yesterday I didn't set an alarm and was so excited to be able to sleep in for the first time in a long time, but my internal clock would have nothing of that.  I woke up at the same time I always wake up. But the good news is my body actually let me sleep the extra hour tonight.

I should be running right now, but I decided to write a ramble of a blog post to postpone the running.

I went and saw Paranormal Activity with some of my coworkers on Friday night.  It wasn't scary, just freaky.  (I promise that makes complete sense in my head.)  Freaky because it was all about demons and I really believe in that stuff.

Ever since my junior year of college, I've slowly gotten more and more motion sickness.  I remember the first time very distinctly, swinging in Washington with a friend at a retreat.  Then all of sudden I knew I had to get off of that swing or it would be very bad news bears.  Then that summer, I learned I can't ride school buses or it would be very bad news bears.  A couple of other things bother me to (some video games, Imax, etc), but I really learned of another one on Friday night.  Movies.  Well very low budget movies where the camera is not stationary.  Half way through Paranormal Activity, I left to go projectile vomit in the bathroom.  (I know that is a very nice visual, but I felt so horrible.)  I was able to sit and watch rest of the movie, but just had to have my head down and eyes closed every time the camera wasn't stationary (75% of the movie.)  Walking out to the car after the movie, I had a couple of other attacks of the motion sickness.  It made me so glad I did not have to drive home, but could sit in the passenger seat with my eyes closed.  So I learned my lessons to avoid movies like that or to take some Dramamine before it gets out of control.

Travis, Ryan and I finished season 4 of Battlestar Galactica yesterday.  Now on to last season, season 4.5.  It makes me a bit sad when I complete a tv series because you know it is done forever.

That's all I got, now I'm off to run...  

Friday, October 30, 2009

mr. caribou man (part X)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Sorry I have not written to you this week.  Today you were only at Caribou on Wednesday and Friday.  It was slightly disappointing.  There was no chair close to you today for me to read and attempt to talk to you, so I had to sit in the corner by myself.  But when I walked by you, you said 'good morning' and gave me a sweet grandpa smile.  It made my morning.  Thanks Mr. Caribou Man.
Until Monday,
kaci


ps So I think I've finally admitted that I may be a creepy stalker girl.  May be is the key words...I still hope that I will become your friend someday...soon....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forgotten God

"I don't want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit.  I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn't be doing this by my own power.  I want to live in such a way that I am desperate for Him to come through.  That if He doesn't come through, I am screwed."
Forgotten God by Francis Chan p.142

"I struggle to always and actually keep in step with the Spirit moment by moment.  To submit and give up everything truly is radical and terrifying.  However, when I think deeply about it, walking in my own wisdom, contrary to the Spirit's leading, is even more frightful.  Though I struggle, I know that ultimately I want nothing more than to live in total surrender and abandonment to the Spirit every moment I have left on this earth."  p.126

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Time

"Time can play all sorts of tricks on you.  In the blink of an eye, babies appear in carriages, coffins disappear into the ground, wars are won and lost, and children transform, like butterflies, into adults."

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Self-worth


I read a great article 'There's a Balloon Boy Inside All of Us."  Here's some of the article that made me think about where do I find my worth and why do I search in those place.

"Why do we all obsessively check Facebook to see if someone has commented on our status or photo? Why do we measure the success of our existence by how many retweets it gets? Why do we Google ourselves?
It’s because we all want to be recognized; to have our existence affirmed. It’s a very basic human trait, actually. On Abraham Maslow’s famous “hierarchy of needs,” just above meeting basic survival/safety needs is the need to belong, to be loved, to be accepted, etc. And once we find “acceptance,” our next pursuit is usually to be “affirmed,” respected and regarded in a way that builds our self-esteem.
To put it simply, humans act in a large part for the acceptance of their peers. They want to be noticed. Humans are an image-conscious creation. Once our basic needs are met, we become increasingly concerned not just with ourselves, but ourselves through the eyes of others. Our own evaluation of self-worth is inextricably bound up in what others think of us.
But even if we can’t totally rid ourselves of the urge for fame and recognition, I think we can—and should—try to keep it under control. It’s healthy to want to be loved, to want to be affirmed. But where is that affirmation coming from? Other people? Tabloids? Google analytics? The number of Twitter followers we have?
As a Christian I believe that my ultimate value comes not from any earthly thing. I believe that my worth is found in Christ, who had nothing to gain from me and yet gave it all to save me. He sought me out and affirmed me as valuable, even if I don’t understand why or how. To know that, to believe it, is to be at peace with worldly anonymity. It’s freedom to live and create and strive for purposeful things without obsessing over who’s paying attention—to take risks and make mistakes, to be unattractive on occasion, and to take joy in flying in our little homemade balloons… even if there are no cameras around."

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part IIX)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Every time I walk into Caribou and see you sitting back and reading your newspaper, I get really excited.  Okay I'm a nerd, but you probably know that by now.  I like when things are predictable in my life; it gives me this strange sense of comfort.  So that being said, I was glad to see you on Monday and today, but just a little sad to not see you on Tuesday.  But your friend, Mr. Mayo Man, was there so that brought me a little bit of comfort.

Oh and I almost forgot, you wore jeans today!!!!  It was strange.  I have never seen you in jeans in the four months I have stalked known you.  Hmmm...why today?  I wonder if you wore them for a special occassion of sorts...maybe tomorrow you will tell me.

Until tomorrow my friend,
kaci

Last weekend....(a little late)



Kassie, Kelsey, and Kinsey all came into town for the weekend.  Can I say 'oh so much fun?'  Cause it was!  I absolutely love my sisters and I love them even more when all four of us get to hang out together.  We started off the Friday night by heading to the World Food Festival.  It was the first time that all four of us had had a drink together ever in our life....exciting times.  




We then headed off to the Miley Cyrus concert!!!  (Kassie was a great sister and bought us these for our Christmas present.)  Kelsey was gracious enough to burn each of us a cd of the concert set list, so we would know more than just two songs during the whole concert.  I realized (again cause I'm pretty sure I already knew this) that concerts are so much fun when you know all the songs.  Concerts are also so much fun when you can have a two hour dance party with your sisters!




After the concert since Kassie and I are old, we were wiped.  We made a quick stop at the not at all scary Walmart.  I forget why, but we took this cute picture to commemorate the experience and I thought I should share.




On Saturday my cousin's child had a benefit lunch, so my sisters, brother, dad and I went to that.  (Kelsey and Kinsey left right as I got there, so they did not get a beautiful picture with my face.)  Can I tell you that yet another reason why I love my dad is because the shirt he is wearing is by far his favorite shirt he owns.  He is a funny, funny man.  




Graham and I got to hang out to this weekend.  He also got to see and experience snow for his first time.  Kassie and Graham are coming back up in a couple of weeks, so I will get my baby fill again soon!!!  




Saturday afternoon I was hanging around the house with Kassie with not a whole lot to do and my mom was asleep, so I decided I should try on all my past prom dresses and bridesmaid dresses and try on Kelsey and Kinsey's past prom dresses.  I had a good hour dress up session.  I was pretty proud of myself that I could zip up almost all of them.  (I said I could zip them up, not that they necessarily looked pretty all the way zipped up.)  I'm glad that I can still find ways to easily amuse myself.



Finally Sat. morning I headed up to Hidden Acres to hear Ed Noble speak.  I ended up going back to hidden acres for the Sat. night session too. It was amazing to be back and give lots of hugs to women I love.  The sight above made me miss Salt company so much.  I know God gave me Salt for seven years for a reason and I know He has placed me somewhere else now for a reason, but I will always remember those seven years as a time where God used Salt to radically change me.

Random journal thoughts from the retreat....
-When you read the Bible, read it as it is your story, cause it is your story.
-Miracles are God saying 'no' to the darkness and death on and in this world.
-trust God, kaci, trust him
-Guilt and shame are overrated as forces for change in our lives...they can create conformity but not likely to bring transformation.
-What if I learned to run the race a little faster?
-We aren't too small that we won't have to fight great fights.
-Connecting with God when times feel dark....-quiet yourself...-God is doing way more through you than you think...-you really aren't alone...-believe that God is about to break through








Monday, October 19, 2009

Jess

I have a coworker, Jess, who really wants me to write a blog about her. 

This is my ode to her (yep it doesn't rhyme nor is it that clever, sorry this is all the creativity I have)...

So you're in a relationship
But you're in denial.

You like to say your non-relationship
is like a rhombus
But we all know it relates more to a stove.

You have 30 things you want to do before you are 30
You have 14 months today
That is 426 days.

I will be your cheerleader
Go fight win...
Well for most of them.

You live with your mom and grandma
What an interesting mix
Your eyes often see scary things.

I'm glad you sit near me
And I get to be your relationship counselor.

You make me smile
the end.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

...

Smiles

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part VIII)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
I got to sit right next to you today and say good morning to you.  It was wonderful.  You wore the same lime green sweater today.  You left ten minutes after I got there to go to Prarie Meadows.  Ten minutes later your sidekick friend came.  He was looking for you but was nowhere to be found.  He told me that you said you would be there today.  No worries, I informed him that he just missed you and you had to go to Prarie Meadows.
Until tomorrow,
kaci

Miley Concert

Kelsey wrote a great post about the Miley Concert, so you should check it out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thankful...

Why I'm thankful this week...
I'm really running a half marathon this weekend
my sisters and the arguments had and laughs we share
life routines
a connection group that I walk away thanking God for the gift of fellowship
prayers being answered in beautiful ways
jimmy john's #4
being able to part of something bigger than myself all because of a sacrifice of another
mr. caribou man
God wants to turn the dark places into holy places
being 25 and having a drink with my sisters for the first time
dance parties...oh how i love dance parties

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part 7)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Today Caribou was extra busy and there were no seats by you.  It made me a bit sad.  Today you had a new friend join you.  I did not recognize him.  I overheard his name was Scott.  You and Scott wear the same hats.  Where does one go about purchasing a hat like that?

Today you were also sporting a lime green sweater.  Way to rock it and show your youthful side.

Then two more friends came and joined you.  You went and sat by them at a big table.  As you guys were walking over your Mayo friend waved at me.  It made my day.

Until tomorrow,
kaci


Monday, October 12, 2009

weekend update...

I'm being slow about writing up an update for the past weekend's festivities...in the mean time you can read Kassie's thoughts about it.















Here's a picture to get you excited about the sister bonding time :)

thought of the day...

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part 6)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
It has been a long time since I have written to you.  Last Wed. I saw you at Caribou, but you had to leave early because the plumber was coming.  On Thursday, you read your newspaper and then you went and sat by your friend.  I said good morning to you, but you didn't respond; I will admit I was a little sad.  Friday you were no where to be found. 

But today you spoke to me!!!!  You asked me if I knew if we got mail on Columbus Day.  And then a lady came inside and asked me for directions to the library, so you and I together gave her directions.  Later on your friend came and sat by you.  When he was getting his coffee you told me about how your friend was just up at the Mayo clinic a few weeks ago and said they had a Caribou there and it had the exact same fireplace.  You were a bit shocked by that.  I don't think you have been to any of the other Caribou's in town because they all have the same fireplace.  But I pretended to be suprised by that fact too.  I'm glad that we are real friends now.  And that I got a chance to tell you to have a great day on my way out.

Until tomorrow,
kaci



just chillin' reading your newspaper


you and your friend solving the world's problems

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man



Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Today you were at Caribou.  I was running a bit late and was scared I would miss you.  But I walk in and saw you relaxing back reading your newspaper.  I had a sigh of relief.  Mr. Caribou Man you were back in action.  I thought today would be the day.  I would say hello and ask how your weekend was going.  But then your friend came and you went and sat by him.  So I sadly didn't get the chance to say hi.
kaci

ps I promise I'm not creepy; I just wanted to show the rest of the world that you are real, so I took a creepy stalker photo with my phone.




bucket list

I wrote this list five years ago and just found it today.  It's interesting to look at it again and to see what was important to me back then. 

get a black eye
go to Canada
train for and complete a marathon (currently training for a half)
get a pedicure (completed)
swim in the Gulf of Mexico
visit anywhere in Asia (completed)
see the sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean (completed in New Hampshire)
write a memoir (Kassie, Kelsey, Kinsey, and I are working on this.)
sleep under the stars with my husband (definitely not married yet)
climb to the top of a mountain and camp out
ride in a hot air balloon
dance in the pouring rain (I'm sure I've completed this on multiple times.)
be a mom (yep, still not married.)
write a letter to Sam
spend a day at a spa
see the Northern Lights
go to Disney World (completed thanks to Kelsey.)
fly first class
kiss someone on top of a ferris wheel
take a 1,000 mile roadtrip without a map
sleep on a beach
shower under a waterfall
go and watch an event at the olympics
learn not to say yes when I really mean no (I think I'm pretty good at this now.)
sit on a jury
read the Bible cover to cover (I'm about 75% of the way done.)
find a job I love (completed multiple times over)
make bread from scratch (completed on multiple times.)
go campaniling and become a true Iowa Stater
love the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strenth, and with all my mind.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thankful

Why I'm thankful for this week....
new friends, new smiles, new laughs, new joys
a curious cousin who is always opening my eyes to view the world in a new way
a father who lavishes produce on me to show me his love
hope
friends who are right and don't let me believe lies
spending Sunday afternoon reading at B&N
a job i love and working with people who make me smile
my abs hurt every time i laugh
ending a long run and feeling like i could still run several more miles.
creative four-square rules

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Evening Blog

So I thought I'd join Elizabeth for her Saturday Evening Blog Post. The first Saturday of every month she invites interested bloggers to link to one their posts from the previous month, whichever post they liked best. It could be their most popular post, most linked to post, or just something they think is fun.

I decided to link to my post about my blow your face away God moment. Looking back at that night, still blows me away.  When I was ready to give up, when I was done running the race, when I had decided to live in hopelessness, God said 'no.'  Even though I was pushing him away, He held onto me tightly, showing me the truth I needed to believe and gently opened my eyes to it.

So now you should go and read some other amazing blog posts that other people posted for the Saturday Evening Blog Post.

uninspired

I am uninspired today. 

I have a feeling the twitter has ruined my blog posting abilities (not that they were ever that great to start with.)  I no longer think to myself 'oh that would be a good blog post,' but I now think 'how can I fit that into 140 characters.'

I hung out most of the day with my dad and cousin Jacob.  We picked apples at a random farmers house, canned some salsa, picked lots of gourds and pumpkins, went on a really long drive down gravel roads I've never been down before (classic dad move.)

Jacob and I also rocked out on some wii fit action.  I fell in love.  It is tempting to start saving up for a wii and the wii fit bundle for winter time.  But not tempting enough.  There are plenty of other things I need to buy with $300 before I could invest in a wii.  (That just reminded me of my desire to do Farell's extreme bodyshaping, maybe I'll save up for that and do that in Jan, that is a more tempting way to spend $300.)

Kassie will be back in Iowa on Friday!!!  Kelsey, Kinsey, Kassie and I will all be enjoying Miley Cyrus together.

I've saved up enough money to buy over-priced running shoes.  I'm hoping this will help with my knees throbbing in pain once I hit the 8 mile mark.  But here's the thing if I invest in these, I need to make it worth it.  By paying way too much for shoes, I definitely am going to make myself run at least through the end of December.  This is a really scary thought.   


Sorry about the lame and uninspired post, but I warned you.     

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part 4)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
I could not go to Caribou this morning, but one of my friends thinks she saw you. That makes me happy. I will look forward to Monday now.
kaci

Thursday, October 1, 2009

day made

It makes my day when people admit to me that they read my blog. Today two random people randomly told me they stalk me at times. With every person that tells me that they read this blog, there's a little more pressure to actually write something that is entertaining or meaningful. But sorry to disappoint world, I'm not entertaining, cool or a good writer. I've come to terms with it, so I hope you have too.

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part3)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
You weren't at Caribou yesterday or today. I'm a bit sad. Today I was so ready to say hi to you and ask you how your morning was going, but I couldn't. Tomorrow morning I won't be at Caribou either because I have a training at 8am. I have this feeling that you may have found this blog and figured out that I have a secret grandpa crush on you. But I promise Mr. Caribou Man I am not creepy. So please keep visiting your local Caribou at 8am.
kaci

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (2)

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Today I went to Caribou at my normal 8am, and you were not there. I was a little worried at first and then a little sad. But no worries, you walked in at 8:20am. You got your normal coffee and glass of water. You sat across from me in the comfortable chairs and pulled up a foot rest like always. Today was a pondering day--no friends or newspaper. Maybe someday soon I will be brave enough to say hello to you, my caribou man.
kaci

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dear Mr. Caribou Man

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
Every Monday through Friday I see you at Caribou around 8am. You always sit in the comfortable chairs across from me. You take a sip of your coffee and then a sip of water and then you repeat. Sometimes you read the newspaper, some days you have a friend that joins you, some days you ponder into space. I wish I knew your story. That's all.



*I feel like I need to make it clear that my Mr. Caribou Man is at least in his 70's and not at all a secret crush of mine. But I do have a secret grandpa crush on him.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Capital Pursuit

I officially finished running the 10 mile Capital Pursuit race. I'm sure most of you don't care about the little details, so feel free not to actually read rest of this post. (Really I'm sure 90% of you don't really care about any of the lame details of my life, so I'm not really sure why you read this and 5% of you are my family so you feel like you have to read this because yes I will quiz you...hmmm...)

So back to the race. I started off way too fast which led to massive shin splints during the second mile. I then convinced myself in the pain that I was never going to run ever again in my life. I was done. Yes I am a wuss who does not like any sort of pain. Then the race route went right by my parked car and I was so tempted to be done, but my competitive nature would not have any of that. Luckily around mile 4 the shin splints were gone and I realized again that I really do enjoy running. Around that time I had a nice little chat with two ladies which made the run a little more enjoyable too.

A little after mile 5, my good friend Travis stood in his front yard to cheer me on. It made me smile and gave me a bit more energy. Then the real joy of the run came because we got to run down Ingersoll. (Sidenote: last week I ran up Ingersoll and decided it was one giant hill and I pretty much hated it. It's much more enjoyable to run down the big giant hill...much much more.)

I usually run 12.5 minute miles when I do my long runs (yes, I know I am slow. I think the Sloss gene wouldn't have it any other way.) But I ran 11.5 minute mile which totally made my day!!!!

In the end, I'm glad I did it. It got me really excited for the half marathon in 3 weeks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

links of the week

Falling in love with the Church
Derek Thomas brings me some conviction. "Something is terribly wrong when professing Christians do not identify with the church and love being a part of her. Something is wrong when professing Christians fail to be passionate about every aspect of the church and long to invest themselves in her, taking all that the church represents and does to heart."


107 miles
Did you know the farthest you can get from a McDonald's in the lower 48 states is 107 miles? I'm pretty sure the map on this page made me throw up just a little in my mouth.


When gmail is down...

Oh what should you do?

Wow

Winners in the inaugural British Wildlife Photography Awards.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

thankful

reasons while I'm thankful....

my mom actually feels good enough to blog.

i’m shielded by God’s power. 1 peter 1:5

for the feeling that something really good is happening right now.

in less than one month, all my sisters and i will all be in the same city. oh how i cherish sister bonding time.

amazing friends who encourage, challenge, rebuke, love deeply. friends who when they leave your jaw hurts from laughing so much.

hooded sweatshirts on rainy days.

my life is finally settling down yet still full of so many sweet adventures.

that my inheritance will never fade, spoil, or perish.

i’m filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

how much fun it is to learn the hoedown throwdown with women you can feel completely comfortable acting like a fool with.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ahhhh....

I officially registered for the Capital Pursuit 10 mile run this Sunday. I'm not doing this at all to be fast but to see if I can actually finish. But in not wanting to be fast, I also don't want to be last. My fear now is that I will be the last person to cross the finish line. Scary.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A week in review....



This was not from this week, but oh well. Crystal, Christina and I went up to tailgate before the Iowa v ISU game. So much fun. I absolutely love these two women. Sadly ISU lost, but all was okay because we had some amazing breakfast burritos.



Friday night I went with Sylvia and Brian to Ankeny high school homecoming game. Random things learned from the night....
-Sylvia played the clarinet in high school. Her sophomore year she marched, but never played her instrument and that's about the time she realized she should quit.
-The varsity cheer squad is a whole lot more tan than the sophomore cheer squad. I have theories about this, but I will spare you.
-High school football is actually kind of fun to watch.
-I had several other observations, but I don't remember them, sorry to disappoint.



I stalked this older couple at the game. Seriously so cute when old people hold hands.





Sat. morning Sarah and I went to the Beaverdale Festival parade. My favorite mascot was by far the Great Clips shampoo bottle. Classic.






Saturday night ended with an amazing dinner with some amazing women (Tracy, Katie, Mikaela, Eve, and Carrie) . We went out to Bravo for Mikaela's birthday. Then we relived high school memories by taking senior photos out at the pond at Jordan Creek. We went to Blue Moon too. Dueling pianos, so much fun. I'm thinking during the Sloss Sister family vacation in a few weeks to Des Moines, IA this would be a fun addition that is if we can convince the little girls to skip out on Iowa's homecoming or we might have to postpone it until Christmastime.






Lasso's

Today I was doing my long run (a disappointing 10.5 miles. My knees were killing me, so I sadly decided to listen to my body and stop short of my 12 mile goal.) and I was running on MLK from Euclid down to Ingersoll. Somewhere after Hickman, I'm running along minding my own business and I see these three men in their 40's/50's wearing cowboy hats. One is holding a lasso. I thought to myself...hmmm interesting, not something you see everyday in this area of Des Moines.

Then all of a sudden the man holding the lasso run up the driveway towards me and throws his lasso at me. No worries with my lightening speed (yes that was funny.) I avoided him or he just had really bad aim and missed me.

Often when I'm running I think up ridiculous situations and try to decide what would I do if that happened. Would I call 911, would I call the dsm non-emergency police number (yes that number is programmed into my phone), would I try to play it cool and laugh it off. Who would have thought even with my very large imagination that I would have never thought of 'what should I do if some man throws a lasso and catches me. So now I am pondering if ever I am running along again and some man throws a lasso at me but this time actually catches me, what should I do? Should I play it cool and laugh it off, freak out and immediately call the police, or freeze up and do nothing cause I'm completely shocked.

Oh the things to ponder...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coping Skills

I was talking to a first grader at work about coping skills. Him and I were creating something out of play-dough that reminded us of a time when we really got angry. He told me about his, and we talked about the coping skills he used that time. I created a little man (he was red) and talked about a time when one of my really close friends lied to me. I then asked him what kind of coping skills I could have used in that situation. He quickly responded by saying "tell your dad." Oh little children, if only all of life's problems could still be solved by telling your dad.

Then I was thinking what do I use as a coping skill when I'm sad, angry, frustrated, or any other negative emotion. The number one thing I do is talk to God, my dad. It is amazing how much wisdom this little first grader spoke into my life. I think back to that experience where I was lied to and felt betrayed that I so beautifully replicated with play-dough. What did I do? I cried out to my daddy. He comforted me. He is my rock. He is my strong tower. He is my hope.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Who have I become?

Today after lunch I was pondering life and such and realized I am a whole lot different today than I was a year ago. It is really strange. Here's a look into my life changes.

-I have only one job. This is the first time in four years that I have only one job.

-I typically wake up now an hour or two before my alarm. This is strange. I used to hit the snooze button several times every morning. Now I've become a morning person.

-I've officially been caffeine free for two months and don't see myself going back at all or for a very, very long time. The first week of withdrawal kicked my butt a little too much.

-Today for lunch I had homemade peanut butter (that I bought at a farmer's market) on whole wheat bread, peaches I had canned, salsa I had canned with multi-grain chips, an apple I had picked off a tree, and baby yellow tomatoes I had also picked. Let's just say this diet is a whole lot different than my diet a year ago.

-I ran 11.5 miles yesterday. This is strange also. I am not an athlete and never have claimed to be, so this weirds me out a lot.

-I go to bed around 10pm on weeknights. A year ago my average bedtime was 1am. This makes me feel old.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Links of the week

Placebo buttons

I feel lied to. Apparently "In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn't work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button. That the door eventually closes reinforces their belief in the button's power. It's a little like prayer. Elevator design is rooted in deception--to disguise not only the bare fact of the box hanging by ropes but also the tethering of tenants to a system over which they have no command."

Top 100 Church Blogs

Kent Shaffer has created an updated list of his top 100 Christian blogs (by visitors, and other markers.) This is an interesting list to waste some time on if you have time to spare.

The Beatles

This sounds so tempting, but I'm pretty sure the $298.98 price tag does not fit into my budget this month or any month for that matter.

19th child

The Duggars are expecting their 19th child. Slightly (okay a whole lot) blows my mind away. This family continues to fascinate me in so many ways. This show alone makes me kind of want cable.





Google Reader

Google reader is amazing. If you check more than a couple of blogs a day, this will make your time on the internet a whole lot more efficient.

Here's a how-to.

Now go and do it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My week

Here's my week in pictures....



My sweet little cousin/Godchild turned 11. I got to go to his birthday party. It was a great reminder of the simple joys of childhood.



Kassie was in town on Friday night, so I got to hang out with her and Kinsey. (Is it sad that when I was going to write their names in the last sentence I started to type @kassie1001 and @slossyjr instead of their real names? I think our family might be a bit twitter obsessed.) Sadly though @ksloss was lame and couldn't join us too. So when Kassie comes in town that means she brings my favorite nephew, Graham. He was tired when I got there, so sadly no cute smiley pictures this time. The most exciting part of the evening though was my mom was feeling good enough that we were all able to go out to eat together! It was actually the first time that I have been around that she has felt good enough to go out to eat.




Christina and I took a day road trip up to South Dakota for LifeLight fest. I'm pretty sure we spent over half of the four hour drive confessing sin to each other. It's refreshing to be incredibly vulnerable to people. Even more refreshing when it is a two way street and you know you can trust that person with even the ugliest of ugliest things.



When we got to Sioux Falls, we got to have lunch and hang out all day with my good friend, Jason, who I met at Camp Hope in Connecticut back in the day. He goes to Moody and drove up for the weekend. We had fun reminiscing and laughing a whole lot.



Jason introduced Christina and I to our first official Quiverfull family. The two boys in the pic are two of twelve and their mom is still going. They aren't just a quiverfull, but the family also travels around half of the year doing traveling ministry stuff at NBA half-time shows, schools and lots of random place. I think I'm going write a post about them later. Needless to say, it was like learning about a whole new culture, yet so many of my preconceived judgements were proven wrong.




I'm pretty sure I have eaten this salad at least four times this week. It is like a little bit of heaven. Spinach, Gala apples, blueberries, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, feta cheese, raspberry vinaigrette dressing....simply amazing!


Overall it has been an amazing week where I enjoyed a lot of sweet people and God rocked my world on several occassions.