Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Sometimes things to write pop in my head. Here's one of them I've written up today. Eventually I'd like to polish this up into something I could get published. It's very rough…read at your own risk.

I haven't been to the entire Midwest, but to me, Kansas is the best part of the entire country. A man old enough to be my grand dad told me that visitors to his farm in southwestern Kansas always think the drive there is boring. "They must not be looking around then," he says with a smile. I quietly agree thinking of the Flint Hills, the area that surrounds his acreage. The Flint Hills is an area with gently loping hills and limestone outcroppings that surround the highway that goes through them. The only two times I've driven through them I've been awed. The first time, it was autumn and most people might have thought it was dead land. But to me it was beautiful waves of gold and light brown. Cows graze and gaze at passing cars from behind wire and post fences. The sun was going down behind the hills and some of the leftover tall grass was waving in the wind. It was sparse, harsh and beautiful in the way that a lone soldier who has survived a terrible battle is beautiful. The second time it was summer and a rainstorm had just passed. The hills were covered in short vibrant green grass that looked like the algae that lies on top of dormant ponds. Between the grass covering rich black soil popped and tiny limestone crevices made their presence known by the color differentiation. There are no real cities in the Flint Hills, so no buildings obscured my view of the thunderstorm ahead of us. For miles and miles gray-blue clouds blanketed the sky and rich green grass lay on the land.

Sometimes I want to drive to the middle of Kansas to find out what's there. The thing you learn about this state is it's so different from place to place. While the Flint Hills is an obvious beauty to anyone with brains to look at it, the eastern part of the state can look barren year round. In summer, going south to Moran, KS I notice the whole earth seems to have come from a sepia toned photograph. The grass is parched and the same light yellow that aged linen has. The sky is a light blue even though it's 110 degrees out. The clouds are the only things that are noticeable. They're big, fluffy cotton balls floating around like the clouds you see in the Mario Brother's games, except in 3-D. I know that sounds silly, but that's really what they remind me of. The spring brings color to the east. Bright green corn stalks stand tall above the dark brown earth. Little soy sprouts come out of the dirt to play with the sun. Deer graze by the highway in the evening and the stars twinkle most bright in the evening blue sky.

That's the funny thing about seasons in Kansas. There are only two seasons where people can be outside all day, fall and spring. And boy, are they beautiful seasons. The air is a perfect 65 degrees, just right for a pumpkin patch or for bike riding in the park. But those seasons are over quickly, too quickly. Winter and summer are the eternity months. In winter, only crazy people go outside. It can be 20 below easy on any given day. We get ice storms in October. Summer is just the opposite. It's 120 degrees out and grandmas and grandpas with no a/c are dying in the heat. Going outside leads to unthinkably fast dehydration and overheating. But the funny thing is, it can be minus 20 one day or 120 and then the next day it's 75 degrees outside, sunny and perfect. That's what's the best about this place. The weather teaches us to be grateful for good days when we have them. On those rare perfect days in winter or summer, everyone goes back outside, everyone is in a good mood, and no one is impatient to wait on anyone else. It's a happier place and everyone who's the enjoying the day really takes time to slow down and soak in the deliciousness of the beauty, because they know it could easily be gone the next day. It's like the alternative Midwestern motto, "if you don't like the weather, wait two seconds and it'll change." But it's the inverse. "Enjoy what you have today, for tomorrow it will not be like this and then you'll have to wait another month or week to get it again."

I read Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I grew up and I remember when her family came to Kansas. She and her father looked out at the plains. "It looks endless, doesn't it?" He asked her. "Yes," she breathed, wondering where the earth met the sky.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

End of the honeymoon

I'm married. It's wonderful. That's all for now.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It’s a thriller…

I'm getting married tomorrow, which is awesome. I've spent the last two weeks running around like a mad woman getting everything finished for the wedding. Suffice it to say, I've been exhausted. We've both been exhausted. Too exhausted to even talk about our first dance until last night. We decided to do a waltz/slow dance type of thing, but not before looking up wedding dances on youtube.

And there we found and entire wedding party doing the Thriller dance. Now, I think this is adorable. The bride looked like she was having a real crappy time, but at least she did it. All I could think about was what if I had to learn and teach everyone those dance moves…on top of everything I've been doing?! Ack! My head hurt a little bit. I dunno how people pull off these crazy weddings; they must have a wedding planner.

Off to wedding la-la land!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I've got a job!

FINALLY after writing out 12 different resumes and writing ANOTHER damn cover letter and filling out a HUGE AmeriCorp application....drum roll please.....


I'm pretty excited about this job, if you can't tell. It's a salaried position with the Youth Volunteer Corp. I'm going to be a Leader of sorts. Basically, I work on several volunteer projects every week with kids 11-18. I organize events and kids, help form a youth advisory board and help write a newsletter, among other things. The people there seem very enthusiastic (which you get at a lot of non-profits) and I'm just super-pumped to start in September.

As for the pay, it's crapola. $11,400 for a year of service. That's what they call it in AmeriCorp. When you say you'll work for them, you basically sign a contract that says you will work for a full year and that you will put in so many hours on the job. I have to put in 1700 hours before Sept. 2, 2009. Then once I do that, I get a $4700 education voucher (which I'm going to use to pay off part of my loans). So that's a huge bonus at the end of the year. PLUS I get paid for mileage to an from the office and to and from job sites. This is a huge bonus as well because from the house that we will be moving into (hopefully), the drive to the office is 25 miles. So I'll be making a 50 mile commute every day (that's going to take an hour each way...wahoo).

I plan on keeping this blog. However, I' m going to write about the job and more personal things on here.

Now, there are biscuits and gravy waiting for me. On that note, I leave!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Already went to the mall…

Name that song and I'll give you a huge prize.

Obviously, I really suck at trying to keep a blog on one topic (you should know this because of how rarely I've been updating). I went for an interview last week with the Youth Volunteer Corp of America and it seems like a way cool job. Only drawbacks? I have to commit myself until next September to working there full-time and it only makes 11k for the whole year. However, they pay for mileage to and from job sites and the office, so there's a huuuuge perk. I'm still waiting to hear from the schools I applied to for teachers aide positions.

Alright, now I'm bored of talking about jobs. They're not interesting and anyway, I can't focus on this damn topic! Gah!

Dear readers (you probably number in the zeros), I'm getting married next Saturday and it's consumed my brain. Now I know how the wedding industry manages to squeeze an average of 23,000 from couples; they hire a very expensive wedding planner so they don't have to worry about it. Seriously, I barely have a job and all I can do is worry about the details for my wedding. Do you know what my job is? Tutoring! One person! Still, all I can think about is this wedding. Then my soon to be mother-in-law goes off the deep end, I totally lose my respect for her, she threatens not to come, then when we tell her that's ok if she doesn't come, she changes her mind. That's also all I can think about. How do I treat a woman who has insulted me, my family and my future husband?

Answer me that and I'll give you another huge prize…we're talking, a book or something. The book would be the book I want right now: The Quilters Complete Guide.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

10 years ago

10 years ago, I was 11 and in the summer between fifth and sixth grade. I had asked Mitch to be my boyfriend, FINALLY, after wishing on a star (literally) for many nights. 10 years ago, we were walking around a creek and he showed me his "secret path" to get to the creek faster. I was enjoying the sunny, warm day and entranced by the water moving slowly in the creek.

10 years later, I still remember where that path is and have frequently walked down it when in need of a spiritual lift. I still turn to the outdoors whenever I am feeling sad and need the world to remind me again that there are others out there and a lot more life to this planet than just mine, or even human life.

10 years later, I am getting married to the most wonderful man I have ever met (besides my daddy) in two weeks. We're getting a house soon and with that comes with a mortgage. I'm a little bewildered at how my life has turned into the normal get a husband, get a house, maybe have babies schtick, but then I remember the path it took to get here, then I don't think it's so normal. It has been a few very hard years emotionally as I have grown up too fast for my own good. At first, I learned the pain that comes with moving out of one's parents house and trying to fit your life in with another's seemingly alone. However, the pain has subsided and I have already learned so much from this wonderful man and can now enjoy our relationship knowing that it's one of the strongest I've ever been witness to. I know I will learn to accept the idea of having a house to take care of, instead of going on frequent vacations or traveling everywhere in the world. I know I can handle, and enjoy, whatever comes my way because I have this man beside me.

10 years later, I know my life has been and is amazing and it is something I'm grateful for every day. I hope I never lose this gratefulness, no matter what life throws my way.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


It's a very hard thing at 21 to know what you're passionate about, or to know what passion even is. You would think after living for two decades, I would know the definition of that word, but I'm not sure I do. However, if I dig deep, I can tell you what I refuse to give up in my life. It's one thing that's been incredibly important to me for as long as I can remember. I lose it every now and then in the face of obstacles, but it always returns to me.

It's my idealism. You see, I have very high expectations from life and the world in general. I expect to obtain a job that I love through and through. I expect that when I die, I will have no regrets and will have lived my life as I wanted to. I expect to see the world and to read every book. Finally, I expect to make an impact on the world and to be remembered long after I go.

I truly believe these things can happen. I am deeply unsettled when I find myself settling. I will not do what will just do for right now. I have had many people tell me I am setting myself up for disappointment. Especially in the career field. If I have enough money or am creative enough, I will surely see much of the world. If I have enough late night reading sessions, I will surely read all the books I think are most important. But no one can tell how a career will turn out. I had a career counselor tell me most people are happy 60 per cent of the time in their career. That's not good enough for me. I demand at least 80 per cent happiness, if not 90. I do not expect my job to be a moneymaker for me, but a vehicle to help me accomplish what I want in this life.