Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blog Monday: That's So Katie.

What are 3-4 objects/things that, when seen by others, make them immediately think of you?

1. Coffee. Well, Starbucks.
I'm not sure if it was my one year of employment @ Starbucks or the years during high school when my dad would take me to Starbucks every Tuesday before Creative Writing class with Goshorn, but this is one of those things that is pretty much synonomous with my favorites. Hence the name of the entire blog. I'm known to get the Caramel Macchiato, or, more recently, the Misto. I'm also known for collecting coffee mugs, as my husband will tell you - maybe too many mugs. But I just love them. I'll take any opportunity or excuse to go to Starbucks for a quick coffee or a long chat over a well manicured Caramel Macchiato in a for-here mug.

2. Polka Dots / Black and White.
It was the wedding day signature, so I'm assuming it will stick for the rest of my lifetime. But I'm okay with that. Cuz obviously I LOVE them. Just last month, I was at a bridal shower for one of Bry's cousins and she was handed the next gift, wrapped in a polka dot bag and Bry's aunt shouts out - "oh, Katie!". Yep. That's me.

3. Heels.
Well you know I'ma shortie. And every time I wear flats I feel like a 12 year old. So, as much as possible, I try to wear heels 3 1/2 inches or higher. Combined with the fact that I LOVE shoes, I've had some pretty wild heels in my closet over the years. I usually wear heels to my own detriment, where I can no longer walk after a five hour concert of dancing and bouncing and my smart friend, who chose to wear flat flip flops (but she's 5'7''!) has to give me a piggy back ride through downtown Detroit to our car parked a quarter mile away. Let's just say my heels can also sometime be memory-making geniuses!

4. The Gap.
Ever since I can remember picking stores to shop at during my all-time favorite sprees with my Grandma, the Gap was my store of choice. I love anything Gap and find that their jeans are my favorite fit. Which takes a lot for a girl to claim. But I'm all about the classic, preppysometimeshippy, clean, comfy look that Gap offers. And I take it out of the store in hundred dollar increments if I'm shopping at Gap Chicago after a 5k, cuz a Moiseeff yelled out "Katie wants to go to Gap!" :) But it's my staple store - old reliable. And when I walk in those doors with my GapCreditCard in hand, Gap knows it's in for some good top fashion reliable business.

blessed by being know.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blog:Monday - So Much To Look Forward To.

What are four things/events on your calendar that you are anticipating?

I feel like, typically, I am a very calendar-checking, list-making, type A kinda person. So, while regularly checking my monthly pocket calendar, a leather bound 'planner,' a google calendar, and an iPod calendar, I find that there are always things that I am looking forward to.

I try to balance with this alwaysexcitedforthenextbigthing syndrome with enjoying the moment that I'm in and not wishing away the present. It's hard, but I'm trying.

So, looking at my collection of calendars/planners/electronic schedules, I have the following four things, that I am currently looking forward to.

1. August 11, 2010
This date will mark three years from the day that Bry and I said "I Do!" I love remembering this day. Although we don't have a traditional celebration that we've done consistently over the last two years, the one thing that usually takes place is that we watch our wedding DVD together. I LOVE doing this. We will probably go out for a nice dinner together or something more this year. But I will most look forward to watching the wedding DVD and to remembering that sweet day in 2007 when I walked down the aisle to a new life with my favorite boy.

2. August 20, 2010
Double birthday celebration for my two favorite nephews. Isaac will be turning 4 this year! I seriously can't even believe I just wrote that. Andrew will be turning 2. And that two year span means that it's time for baby #3! Coming November 15, 2010. Another date I can't wait for!

3. August 28, 2010
Veenstrapalooza. The Bangles are starting a new tradition of getting together as much of us as possible each summer. Last year we met in Cincinnati and this year we are meeting up in Grandville. I'm excited to host the big event this year, but I am just most excited to be together with some of my most favorite ladies on the planet. I've already thought of about 136 things that we can do together. Girls, be ready!

4. September 2, 2010
Epic concert event at Comerica Park - Jay Z and Eminem. Need I say more?! Well, actually, I kinda do. Not only is this concert going to be history-making, but it will be an event shared by 5/6 Bangles and associated husbands. Also, my brother Bri will be coming up from Florida to attend. With these performers and this group, it truly will be EPIC.

And these events only cover the next two months! Man, I could go on and on. But I'll stop there and enjoy the fact that, in this moment, the house is quiet, I'm sitting in the living room writing my heart out, my best pup is sawing logs next to me, and I'm about to go to sleep in a bed with clean sheets. Life is good now. And life will be good in the next two months.

blessed by the now and the what's yet to come.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blog Monday: Lovely Living.

4 things I like about living where I do.

1. the coffee station.
Although Bry is NOT a coffee drinker - neverhasbeen. neverwillbe. -, he has never restricted or hindered my love for it. In fact, he never even put up a fight or objection to my, rather extensive, coffee station. It is in one of my favorite rooms of the house - the Brisk Olive kitchen - and it includes: a whole bean canister, a coffee bean grinder, a freshly ground bean canister, a coffee brewer, and, very often, my next bag of Starbucks coffee beans ready to make their way through the four step process. Each stainless steel piece has its own unique and equally valuable function. And I love coming down the stairs to it each morning.

2. the 1 mile loop.
Our street conveniently goes around the block in a nice, even, 1 mile fashion. If you go to the left you have a gradual downhill, with a steep uphill at the about mile .75. If you go right you have a steep downhill, with a gradual uphill from about mile .4 to mile .75. I go left. But this loop is great for a quick run, a one-mile time trial, a 2, 3, or 4 mile run, equally exactly those amounts, and (my favorite) a nice brisk walk with a pup that has short little legs. :)

3. the sun's greeting and departure.
This might be one of my favorite things about our house. And it was something that came as surprise after we moved in. The sun conveniently rises in front of our house, coming in the living room windows. Even the blinds can't contain it. It actually distracts me for a few seconds as I come down stairs with my single-minded thought - make it to the coffee station. Consequently, the sun sets in our backyard. Therefore, the sun room in the back of house fulfills is purpose each and every evening. This contribues to why we still have not gotten blinds in the sun room.

4. the storm door.
I blogged recently about Bry and I buying and installing a new storm door in the front of our house over Memorial Day weekend. And I've been loving the new door ever since. It's the kind of door that has a panel of glass on top and on bottom. However, you can pull the top glass down and there is instantly a screen! It's pretty awesome. (Note to reader: you know you are a true home-owner when you get excited about storm doors.) As I write this, we are enjoying the door this way, with a cool 70 degree breeze making its way through the living room. I think I like it so much because it reminds me of summers growing up. I loved just having the door open as it got dark after a long day of playing, falling asleep on the couch, and just that feeling of freedom and happiness. I also love this door, because it allows our home to be more open, figuratively and literally. And hospitality is something I strive for.

blessed by those things that make a house a home.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blog Monday: Aroma Therapy.

My four favorite aromas/smells.

1. Getting off the plane in Orlando. Headed to Disney. It's kinda hard to put this smell into any type of grammatical description. But if you're a Stolman, you know what I'm talking about.

2. Channel Chance. It's my staple perfume. Although I've strayed to try some different fragrances, I always go back to this one. It's just THAT good.

3. Popcorn. Who doesn't love the smell of popcorn? It's just buttery and sweet and makes you want to curl up in front of a good movie and devour the whole bag.

4. A freshly bathed dog. I think the value of this smell is relative to the smell of the pup before the bath. But for at least 24 hours, that clean dog is welcome on my lap every minute. But let's be honest...she really always is.

blessed by Channel.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blog Monday: Done by Friday.

Blog Monday: 4 Things I'd like to accomplish by Friday.

1. GET IN THE WATER! (12 pts. for whoever can name that movie!)
So, with the purchase of our new house in our new neighborhood, we were given a new monthly payment to use a new pool. I have mixed feelings about this. I don't like monthly payments. Especially when we are adding one to a list of so many other monthly payments. Also, it's an outdoor pool. So I'm not thrilled about paying $50 a month from October to April. But I'm suddenly okay with it in June. However, we have yet to use the pool on a sunny afternoon. Although Bry and I did sneak in after hours one night last week to use the hot tub, it doesn't really count. Cuz it was kinda illegal.

2. Watch SpellBound.
Do you ever put a movie on your Netflix Queue and then are kinda disappointed when it actually arrives? Well that's the case with the movie/documentary we have now. After college I lived with some friends who rented this documentary, which is essentially about a handful of kids who are extraordinary spellers and make it to the national spelling bee. Let's just say each one has their list of quirks. So while this film is fun/ny to watch, I'm just more anxious for the next one on our Queue - The Time Traveler's Wife.

3. Ride my bike (with no handle bars)
Do you remember that song? Well, I'm not quite to the level that I once was - I still need to hang onto the handle bars. But. I do still love to go on bike rides. It's just something I haven't gotten to yet this summer. Hence, it makes the list for this week.

4. CTS.
I hesitate to even write this one out fully, cuz then it means that I actually have to do it. But it's way overdue. And the longer that I wait to do it, the worse the task gets. Which furthers my hesitation to do it at all. And while these letters also stand for something that is on my list of wants (a Cadillac CTS), it is also frequently on my list of dreds (clean the shower).

blessed by productivity.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blog:Monday - Reasons to Smile.


Topic: What are 4 things that made you smile today?

Today was an atypical Monday for me. After spending the weekend in the Detroit area to throw a surprise 60th birthday party for my dad on Saturday, Bry and I decided to take Monday (today) off and stay an extra day with the family on the East side. This allowed us to not be rushed to drive back on Sunday evening and also to spend all of Monday with our two nephews at my parent's house. Thus, the fact that I did not work today AND got to spend 12 hours with my nephews gave me lots to smile about. Here are a few specific moments.

1. The routine conversation that I have had at least once over each of the last 4 days with my one and a half year old nephew, Andrew. It goes something like this.
Me: Andrew, has anyone ever told you how cute you are?
Andrew: (Major head nod) ((he's not much of a talker quite yet))
Me: Okay, good. just checking.

2. Watching my three and a half nephew, Isaac, hunt for bad guys with my two friends, Em M. and Em S., who came to visit. After his second round of bad-guy-hunting with Em. S., I asked him how it went. Isaac said "Good! We found tails." And Em S. just laughed.

3. Playing baseball with Isaac and Bryan on the grass in the front yard. We had our socks and shoes off, Olive was on her lead playing (or demolishing) baseballs hit her way, and we were just enjoying a fine summer day in America.

4. Arriving back at our house tonight and feeling glad to be home. Walking in the door to see a note that my little brother left for us as a surprise, seeing Olive be happy to see some of her toys that we left behind, getting to write in my blog, and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight!

blessed by my family and friends.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blog:Monday - The Simple Moments.


So...Blog:Monday was postponed to Tuesday this week, due to Memorial Day Monday. Which was then postponed to Wednesday of this week for me. Cuz I'm a slacker.

Topic: If you had a camera at your side 24/7 this weekend (Friday night through Monday night), constantly taking pictures of your every moment, what were your four most favorite "snapshots"?

Snapshot #1
Focus: The Finish Line
Blurry Background: Summer Staff T-shirt

Saturday morning, Bry and I ran in the Eastern Ottawa Young Life 5k. It was a great way to start off our Memorial Day weekend. And in a way, the occasion was fitting for the holiday. After digging through my closet for the perfect running outfit, I was proud to cross the finish line in my Timber Wolf Lake Summer Staff (2002) T-shirt. It brought back awesome memories of a time that I served God by serving others, tried to "do everything with Excellence," learned lots of new things, and spent time meeting and getting to know lots of people, some old friends, some new acquaintances, and one special guy who eight years later would be running a 5k with me, as my husband. :)

Snapshot #2
Focus: A Sizzling Grill
Blurry Background: A BrandSpankingNew Grill

Saturday night, Joe and Tamra Martinez came over to grill out and chill out. They brought some veggies, we marinated some chicken (lime-pepper style), they brought ingredients for Joe's latest drink to master, I prepared an apple crisp, and we all came together around five for a splendid evening. After waiting almost three years to use a grill that we got as a wedding gift, Bry and I are determined to use our "new" grill as much as possible this summer. And we truly appreciate every opportunity and every friend that we can enjoy using it with.

Snapshot #3
Focus: The Sunset
Blurry Background: A Tired French Bulldog

Sunday night we got out to Grand Haven for the first time this year. Finally. We were so excited to take Olive with us and see if she could handle the three mile walk out to the end of the pier and back. And with her energy and curiosity for new things, we had complete faith that she could. We made it out to the end of pier just before 9:12 P.M. and were able to see the beautiful sun go down, but not quite to the horizon line due to clouds and fog. But it was beautiful nonetheless. And a tired French Bulldog sat on my lap as we watched the bright yellows, oranges, reds and purples become even more vibrant. Little did that pup know that she would have another 1.5 mile walk back to the car. But, as anticipated, she made it.

Snapshot #4
Focus: A Storm Door
Blurry Background: Ice Cold Beers on the Porch Ledge

Bry and I fell into the Memorial Day stereotype of doing house projects over the long weekend. But this is a stereotype that I think we were both happy to finally be able to fit into. We (well, mostly I) have been wanting a storm door (glass/screen door) to put in the front door frame, so that we can open it up and let in the light and cool breeze. We found an awesome deal on one, made a semi-impulse buy on Monday, and spent the rest of the afternoon putting it up. It was a true picture of an American summer day - boxes, tools and pieces all over the front lawn, dog on the lead running from the sound of the drill, couple making several (yes, several) attempts to put one door on a frame, and ice cold Coors Light on the ledge of the front porch. Mmmmm.

blessed by the simple moments.