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,


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 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,

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,

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!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


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...