Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Return to the Simple Life

This weekend was Fall Break! Me, my sister Maren and my cousins Hannah and Mallory loaded up my car and drove to Ashton, Idaho to my Aunt Dede and Uncle Jeff's house. We spent the weekend playing with my cousin Jace (age 7) and my cousin Hilary (age 22) When we were younger Hannah, Hilary and I were very close. So this weekend we decided to remember the good times.

We pulled out all the old toys and games. We looked at the "My Littlest Pet Shop" toys and the "Little Kiddles" that we played with when we were little. And then... we got out the old board games. Who knew I'd still jump when I play "Don't Wake Daddy" and that I'd still not have the patience to figure out the real rules to "The Game of Life". We even tried to remember all of those silly girls camp games.

Saturday morning we got up and drove to where my family goes camping every summer. It was a beautiful Autumn day and the weather was suprisingly warm. We got to sit on my favorite rocks, my mermaid rocks. For as long as I can remember whenever we play in the river I always lounge on these rocks, when I was little I would pretend that I was a mermaid. So here are all the girls sitting on the rocks :)

After a few stressful months of work, school and a very active social life, I was in desperate need of a break. This weekend was perfect. We slept by a woodburning fire place. We ate delicious home cooked meals. We played games, visited with family, remembered old inside jokes and started a few new ones. It was nice just to stop thinking about papers, tests, research, residents and sporting events and just look at the Tetons (the view from Dede and Jeff's house is incredible).

It was a nice reality check of what is really important in life and a reminder to stop every now and then and smell the roses, consider the lillies, and/or fly a kite :D

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Love Your Body Day

Today is national Love Your Body Day.

Dove did an international study asking women how they felt about themselves. Only 2% of women thought that they were beautiful. I was shocked. We are bombarded with images of super models and celebrities who have such unhealthy weights and we are told that this, this unatainable image, is beauty.

So today, instead of looking in the mirror and counting the things wrong with you, smile and realize that you are beautiful!

Dove put together a series of ads following their study, you can watch them all at[cp-documentid=7049560]/. This one is my favorite, a nice reminder to not be so self-critical:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Chose Lois

I have 3 older brothers and as a natural consequence of this my entire life I have been subjected to nicknames. Some of these nicknames I’ve liked and others make my cringe. When I was little they called me KK and katydid, neither of which was too bad. When I was 6 the names went downhill, for a year or so my brothers called me Francis and Wishbone. They often teased by calling me Katherine or worse, Kathy. I hated all of their nicknames and would get very upset when they called me those names.

One night I somehow adopted the nickname of Lois. I have a very vague memory of this having something to do with the TV series Lois and Clark, but I really don’t remember the specifics. Somehow this name caught on and while at first I disliked it, I quickly realized it was much better than the alternatives Francis or Kathy. My brothers adopted the name easily and it soon became my identity. I was Lois. Maybe it’s just coincidence that I am majoring in journalism now, or maybe the Lois Lane reference is what led me to this career path.

When my brothers gave me the nickname they were too young to realize the benefits of it. Later in life all 3 would go on dates with girls named Katie, and 2 of the 3 seriously dated girls name Katie. It was a clear and simple distinction, those girls were Katies and I was Lois.

Over the years my brothers have had fun with the name, well mostly my oldest brother Justin. It began with the simple rhyme “nois, Lois” and adapted into games and funny texts rhyming Lois with everything from tow trucks “Tow-is, Lois” to Enya songs, “Orinoco Flow-is, Lois”.

The nickname which originated from my brothers quickly spread. My cousins and my brothers’ friends all took up the nickname. My sisters-in-law refer to me as Lois now and I fully expect my nephew to call me aunty-Lois when he learns how to talk. Often times people don’t realize that I am both Katie and Lois. My family once had some friends visiting and their grandson, who was only 4 looked at his grandpa, who had just called me Katie and said, “Grandpa, that’s not Katie, that’s Lois!”

My most memorable Lois experience was my senior year while on Orchestra tour in San Francisco. We walked into the hotel and throughout the lobby there were giant posters which said LOIS all over them. At first I thought it must stand for something, maybe some weird environmental group, but then I got into the elevator and was surrounded by elderly women who wore Lois name tags. It was an international Lois conference! Just for people named Lois. The next morning at breakfast I explained to them that Lois was my nickname, they were thrilled that I wasn’t just a Lois by birth, but that I chose to be Lois. One of the Lois’s whispered to me “you know Lois stands for ‘Look Out I’m Sexy.” I still have my Lois pin that they gave me.

Through the years my friends and my little sisters have given me numerous other nicknames including: Kat, Kate, Caffeine, Katarina Strofakova, Red, Kiki, Reeves, Reevers, Lowenstine (an adaptation of Lois), Fat Face, Katherine Hepburn and Kathy (only my sisters can ever call me Kathy). But none of these nicknames means as much to me as Lois does.

As a little sister, being teased is something you learn to put up with, at the time I resented the nicknames, but now being teased by brothers is something I miss most about being away from home. No matter what happens in my life whether I am a wife, a mother, a lawyer, a teacher, or even if I become president of the United States I fully expect the name Lois to come with me, because it is part of who I am.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Top 10 Favorite Movies

My Top 10 FAVORITE Movies:

10- Love Finds Andy Hardy-- Mickey Rooney is hilarious and Judy Garland is such an amazing singer. It's really a charming movie.

9- My Best Friend’s Wedding-- Julia Roberts at her best. The scene in the restaurant where they all sing 'I Say a Little Prayer for You' is simply hysterical.

8- The Mighty Ducks-- All 3 really... those movies are pretty much my childhood, I once watched the 2nd one 7 times in one weekend, I can still quote the entire movie.

7- Breakfast at Tiffany’s-- This movie is classic in every way. Drinking milk out of goblets, window shopping at Tiffany's and of course singing Moon River on the fire escape.

6- To Kill a Mockingbird-- It is one of my favorite books and the movie is really amazing. There is a reason Atticus Finch was the #1 movie hero of all time.

5- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-- This movie, like the one before it, is a reminder that people are good. That even though corruption is everywhere, people can rise above it. I think this should be required watching for every politician in Washington.

4- Better Off Dead-- "I know it's bacon, but what have you done to it?!" "I want my 2 dollars" "Sorry your mom blew up ricky." Seriously one of the most funny movies ever made.

3- Elizabethtown-- This movie is just different, which is why I love it. It stayed away from the cliche "romantic" gestures that are in most chick flicks and really re-invented the whole idea of love. If someone made me a road trip like the one in this movie, my life would be complete.

2- Dan in Real Life-- Everything about this movie is awkward and yet refreshing at the same time. Steve Carrell is a genius.

1- The Goonies-- No matter what mood I am in I can always watch the Goonies. It is an action/adventure/comedy/romance/drama/extended cyndi lauper music video. Really all I have to say is "Hey You GUYS!"

Honorable Mentions that didn't quite make it: Italian Job, All the President's Men, Anne of Green Gables, Mulan, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Karate Kid, Heavyweights, August Rush, Cinderella Story, Babysitter's Club, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Pride and Prejudice, She's the Man, 10 Things I Hate About You, Indiana Jones, and Back to the Future.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rainy Days

This weekend was amazing! Friday night I went to the Utah State vs. BYU football game, it was so good! I know we lost by 20 points, but what people don't understand is that scoring twice was a miracle. First of all BYU is a really good team and second we're not. The stadium was packed and we were all there to see if Utah State could do what UCLA and Wyoming could not, score... and we were amazed as we scored, TWICE! I'm proud of my Aggies. Let's be honest, I'd still go to games when we don't score because I like to sing the Scottsman (one of our fight songs)and our crowd is just too funny (big sign in the usu section said, "BYU- keeping ugly girls from Utah State since 1888) :D

After the game I went to Olive Garden with friends, my older brother, sister in-law, nephew and my little sister who came up to visit. After dinner my sisters and some friends stayed up late dying hair and watching the Sound of Music (such a great movie). I finally got to bed around 4.

I woke up bright and early, 8 am, Saturday morning so I could hit the last farmer's market of the season. I loaded up on fresh fruits and came home to make breakfast for my friends and family. The rest of the weekend has been spent cooking, cleaning and watching conference with friends and family. It has really been great. There were many conference talks that touched me and I feel reenergized and excited about life. I am so blessed with good friends and family. Even though I got no homework done all weekend, I'm feeling great about life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Used Bookstore

Every morning I wake up around 8, my days are filled with classes, homework, work, friends, family and research. I usually get to bed around 1 and then I get up the next day and do it all over again. Life has fallen into a very predictable pattern, and I have no real complaints. I love everything I am involved in and am finding plenty of time to hang out with friends. Somedays I feel like the energizer bunny though, the day just keeps going and going and so I go right along with it.

As much as I love everything I'm involved in there is one thing I've really missed the past few months and that is taking time for myself. I get plenty of time to hang out with friends and do fun things, but I feel like I never get to just go off on my own and so yesterday after class I got in my car and decided to check out the used book store I drive past so often. I ended up spending 2 hours in the store looking through old books.

I love used bookstores. Every book has a story, not just the one written within, but also where it came from and how it was used. I love looking through the classic children's books. Inside most of the books you can find a scribbled name and sometimes a phone number for lost books. I always wonder where those children ended up and how their once treasured books landed in the bookstore.

I spent a good 20 minutes looking through old history textbooks. It's funny to see how history has changed. The books I looked at were very politically incorrect. They reffered to Native Americans as the "red people". When talking about dinosaurs or the first people it was very careful to make broad and general statements that would not try to disprove creationism, Darwin wasn't even mentioned in these books.

One of my lifelong dreams is to have a personal library that has shelves filled with used books on every subject and from various time periods. It'd be cool if I had some of those ladders on wheels to get to the top shelves.