Friday, May 30, 2008

Preschool Graduation

The Proud Graduate, With Matching Footwear

Look Ma, A Diploma And Everything!

Proud Family

They played Pomp and Circumstance. I had flash-forwards to June 2021, when this scene will repeat itself, only the girl will be slightly taller and have adult teeth. I hope.

Next up in cap and gown for our family? ME!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Oh, Summer of Awesome, you have fruitfully blessed me, despite your youth. I shall sing your high praises and write ballads to your awesomeness. I shall remember that you have another 10 weeks of awesomeness to give, and I will not forget the awesomeness you have already given.

You are indeed, an Awesome Summer.

Round about Spring Break, my mother offered me a spot at her timeshare in Phoenix, right after finals. The idea was a girls' weekend, with no agenda. Fun and relaxation. No pressure. After confirming a spot was open for Kate to be included, we booked our plane tickets and reminded ourselves on a near-weekly basis of the impending trip. We also booked ourselves in at an amazingly awesome spa and counted down the days. "We're going to go sleep in the desert for four days!!" "And go to the SPA!!!" "And THAW OUT!!" Color these two Midwestern girls excited - and I doubt we could have done better in our reward for finishing up our first year of law school. The facial ALONE was worth the spa trip.

I will never forget laying under the shade umbrella, lounging next to the pool at the spa, drinking in the desert mountain scenery and feeling the warm, yet perfect weather. I took a lot of mental pictures that day - and the feeling of warmth that imbued my skin and head will be there in my head, bottled up for the winter days ahead. Ahhhhhhh...Phoenix.

The Mom and The Girl

The Kates on Vacation

Sassy Traveler Girl!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nine Years

Us, 2008.

I look at the picture over our mantle - black and white, wedding finery, a bouquet of flowers and two very young faces.

Our smiles are still the same, though.

Happy Anniversary, Boy. You always said life with me would be an adventure, and I simply say it's been an adventure I'd never want to share with anyone else.

You could hide beside me maybe for a while
And I won't tell no one your name
I won't tell 'em your name
- Name, Goo Goo Dolls

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lift Me Up

Rain, rain on my face
Hasn't stopped raining for days
My world is a flood
Slowly I become one with the mud

But if I can't swim after forty days
and my mind is crushed by the crashing waves
Lift me up so high that I cannot fall
Lift me up
Lift me up - When I'm falling
Lift me up - I'm weak and I'm dying
Lift me up - I need you to hold me
Lift me up - And keep me from drowning again

Downpour on my soul
Splashing in the ocean, I'm losing control
Dark sky all around
Can't feel my feet touching the ground

Calm the storms that drench my eyes
Dry the streams still flowing
Cast down all the waves of sin
And guilt that overthrow me

But if I can't swim after forty days
and my mind is crushed by the crashing waves
Lift me up so high that I cannot fall
Lift me up
Lift me up - When I'm falling
Lift me up - I'm weak and I'm dying
Lift me up - I need you to hold me
Lift me up - and keep me from drowning again

"Flood" - Jars of Clay

I'm not normally one for Christian music, but this particular song is one of my favorites, not only for the message (which as a Christian, I wholeheartedly believe, and need to hear on occasion), but for the music itself.

Sometimes my life becomes a flood, and I feel like I'm drowning - like there's nothing there to save me and all I have to do is stop fighting and eventually the pain will leave. All I have to do is sink down, watch the bubbles rise and let myself get pulled under by the currents and undertows.

Thing of it is, I know how to swim, and it takes a hell of a lot of effort to fight that particular reflex. In life, as in the water, you have to draw on your reserves, and fall back on your training to enable survival. And when you do survive, and the rain stops, and the skies clear, sometimes nothing is more beautiful than watching the seas calm from the relative safety of the beach.

Is self preservation a method of salvation? If you save yourself, do you save others as well? What do we rely on as humans to make our lives worth living?

Sometimes my life preserver is my family, sometimes it's my faith, sometimes (rarely) it is myself. Many times it's a combination of all of the above. At times, the flood is too much, and at times, it's a matter of remembering your umbrella.

I'm waiting for my spring grades, and the sooner I get them, the better. It kills me to not know.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Since Last We Spoke...

...I survived my finals. Nowhere near a knock-out-of-the-ballpark, but I feel somewhat better about them than I did last semester. And now begins the waiting game - horrible to feel that uneasy queasiness in your feeling, for a good month.

...I am officially a rising 2L. That feels SO good. There is no station lowlier in life (beyond that of "freshman" in any circumstance) than that of a 1L. We hear all the time how life gets easier second year, and yet, we also hear how we will yearn for the easy days of Contracts and Torts. I don't think I will ever yearn for Contracts - sorry, Professor B.

...I turned 31. I had a fantastic birthday, courtesy of the boy and my law school besties. My SIL got me two tabloids with JM on the cover and a book. Yay for printed reading material!! We celebrated with a bowling party - something I've always wanted to do but never had the opportunity. Jon (and the lovely and talented Julia), Sooz, Kate, Derek, SIL, the boy and the girl all came out and rolled like The Big Lebowski. Good thing it wasn't Shabbos. Derek even ordered a White Russian in honor of the evening's theme.

...I celebrated Mother's Day. The girl was wonderful enough to wish me a very happy one, and the boy was kind enough to wrangle her so I could have a (relatively) peaceful morning before heading off to school for our last study session and final. It was a lovely spring Minnesota morning - just a touch of chill in the early morning air, but the sun was high and warm, and I had a smile on my face. Not much better than that.

After my final, most of the kids went on the party bus that had been rented for our after-1L debauchery. However, Kate and I chose to stay behind and head back to Casa Thompson for some pizza, R&R and Rock Band. It was all good.

...The girl had her preschool spring program. She was the narrator for her class, and she stood, dressed in one of her finest spring frocks, at the lecturn in the church, spoke clearly and slowly into the microphone and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar whilst her classmates acted out the book's actions. It was terribly cute and I was so amazingly proud of her - she's had her daddy's shy streak for ages and this was the first inclination I've had that she's got a touch of the outgoing. She basically memorized the book but she did it without any prompting from her teacher.

...JM got himself a new girlfriend. This one probably has the highest profile of all of them - and this is new territory because he is 9 years younger than she. He's always dated younger women, and by appearances, always seemed to be the more dominant personality in the relationship. Not that the women he's dated are wet noodles by any means - but this one is older, more experienced, and seems to know exactly what she wants. I think this might be what he needs - he's young and coltish, but he's been very public about his desire for a wife and family, and given his background, it's no surprise. I think if he falls hard enough, she might be the one to kick his ass and get him to settle down. I also think that if it's going to happen, it'll happen pretty quickly since she doesn't have kids and when you're 39, I'm told you can feel your ovaries shriveling.

...The Summer of Awesome has officially kicked off. As I write this, I am sitting at my mother's house in the hometown, the girl has had breakfast and I'm headed up to take a shower, and then go shopping. We arrived last night and I got to see Jordana for a bit, and I'm just relaxing. I think I'm going to head down to the lake today for some rejuvenation, and then the girl and I are going to just do some serious goofing off. We'll head home after the weekend - I have a feeling I will miss the boy too much if I stay any longer.

Next up? Phoenix, then Theories of Conflict for four days. In the meantime, spring cleaning the house - I'm going to try and reclaim another couple areas of the house. I'm also going to go through all the girl's clothes and thin the herd. (And trust me, it's a herd worth thinning. The child has more clothes than the law allows, and has since before she was born.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Well, you learn something new every day:

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. The date is perhaps best recognized in the United States as a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry, much as St. Patrick's Day, Oktoberfest, and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate those of Irish, German, and Chinese ancestry, respectively. Similar to those holidays, Cinco de Mayo is observed by many Americans regardless of ethnic origin. Celebrations tend to draw both from traditional Mexican symbols, such as the Vírgen de Guadalupe, and from prominent figures of Mexican descent in the United States, such as César Chávez.

To celebrate, many display Cinco de Mayo banners while school districts hold special events to educate pupils about its historical significance. Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture, especially in its music and regional dancing. Examples include ballet folklórico and mariachi demonstrations held annually at the Plaza del Pueblo de Los Angeles, near Olvera Street. Commercial interests in the United States have capitalized on the celebration, advertising Mexican products and services, with an emphasis on beverages, foods, and music.

- Wikipedia

As for me, I'm doing what any self-respecting gringa does on Cinco de Mayo: going to Chipotle for lunch. Normally, I might go to Taco Bell, but this being a holiday and all...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Civ Pro Review Session In The Faculty Study

a boy
sits on a bench
with a guitar and
plays and strums, his striped sweater
rolled up at the sleeves
a silent melody pantomimed

a girl
sits on a blanket
the grass green but the ground colder than it looks
listening and
reading her paperback novel

the sun
shines bright upon
her words his notes their passing music
sprinkling along the passersby on the path

from a second story window
i watch
the boy the girl
the sun
and i desire spring in minnesota
to warm my heart.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday Randomness

Contracts final today. We'll see.

Mint julep at Old Chicago with friends afterward. I hope I get to do this again with these wonderful friends.

It's Derby Day. Big Brown won (as predicted). Eight Belles came 2nd...and then broke both her front ankles and had to be put down on the track. Poor little girl. No commentary on the politics of horse racing. It happens. It's sad but it happens.

Song in my head, bringing up things I need to think about after this weekend. I can't wait for the next week to pass so I don't have to put anything off because I'm too busy with law school.

Sullivan Street - Counting Crows

Take the way home that leads back to Sullivan Street
Cross the water and home through the town
Past the shadows that fall down wherever we meet
Pretty soon I won't come around
I'm almost drowning in her sea
She's nearly fallen to her knees
Take the way home that leads back to Sullivan Street
Where all the bodies hang on the air
If she remembers, she hides it whenever we meet
Either way now, I don't really care
I'm almost drowning in her seas
She's nearly crawling on her knees
She's down on her knees
Take the way home that leads back to Sullivan Street
I'm just another rider burned to the ground
I'm almost drowning in her sea
She's nearly crawling on her knees
It's almost everything I need
I'm down on my knees
I'm down on my knees

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Five (Stolen From...Somewhere)

1. Describe where you grew up:
I grew up in the biggest small town in the world, on the western shore of Lake Michigan, north of Chicago.

2. Do you wear any jewelery?
On a regular basis, I wear my wedding ring. Occasionally I will wear the diamond stud earrings my sister bought for me, or my engagement or university rings. Do glasses count as jewelry?

3. What do you have too much of?
Homework. Clothing - definitely. Credit card debt, though that's being worked on, and rather diligently, I might add.

4. Who is a fool?
Hmmm...I can think of a few... Bush, Cheney, Pawlenty, Schwartzenegger, anyone who doesn't believe in choice (it's not going away), freedom to marry (it's going to happen in my lifetime), and equal rights for all under the law.

5. What's your nickname?
Hmmm...haven't had a steady nickname for a long time - people call me by my initials because that's how I generally sign emails (K-S-T). Anyone who knew me before high school might still call me Kati... my online buds usually shorten my preferred moniker to "K8". My sister calls me Katie-bear on occasion, sometimes "big sis" or sometimes we call each other "Sissy." And of course, I am the boy's "Boo" as he is mine. :)

Contracts final in 21 hours. But who's counting?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day, Mayday

I typed in the address of one of my old (failed) blogs - and lo and behold, it's still there! I perused the entries a bit, remembering that it helped the last time I wanted to lose weight. I think I will delete it, but I wanted to preserve a few of the old entries.

It's interesting to see what I thought of myself a few years ago. I remember that girl - the one who was starting a new job and taking a full year to train for her first triathlon. I also weigh 40 pounds more than that girl did when she stopped blogging, and a lot has happened since then. I'd like to remember a lot about who that girl was, and why she looked so great and felt so good about herself.

I am still active and working out, and food is still my drug. I need to get over the stress and anxiety (lo, that I had an attitude like Sooz - girl lets it all roll off her like water off a duck's back.) and get to doing.

Summer of Awesome = Summer of Awesome Me.

From the old blog:

June 7, 2005

Let me say this: I love McDonald's.

Seriously. I have a massive addition to anything with the golden arches on its packaging. I love nothing better for breakfast than a Bacon, Egg and Cheese biscuit sandwich with a lovely golden brown hash brown. The drink can vary- if I'm feeling healthy (or guilty) it is usually a bottle of water or an orange juice. If I don't care, it's a small diet coke.

My standard order otherwise is a 10-piece chicken nugget value meal with a diet coke, and a double cheeseburger with ketchup only.

This is only part of the reason why I now weigh 253 pounds at this point in my life.

Yesterday, I read the "I have made a decision" essay over at, and while I can't say that Oprah's voice came down from the heavens, imbuing my soul with the will to change, all heavenly light beaming down and weight-loss cherubim harmonizing, it did make me think.

I feel like shit.

Previously, I'd lost about 25 pounds- I was about 229 or so and feeling pretty good. Then: new job, new stress, inability to keep working out on my prior schedule, holidays, the ever-present lure of Mickey D's, and a free employee cafeteria at lunch (Lord have mercy...the DESSERTS)...and here I am.

I've never been thin- the closest I can figure I was to a healthy weight was probably when I was working out in college (yes, true) and I lost 15 pounds in a semester that I took a weight-training and aerobics course for credit. I think I was about 195 at that point. Still in all, I was pretty healthy, and I gleaned from that course that I probably could be smaller if I worked at it.

Life got in the way.

Now, I have to get in the way of my life. College is long past and I've got a daughter to think about. My dad was just diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes, and my grandmother has had it for over 25 years. So we have some genetics going on here. I am also having digestive issues, a-plenty... but we won't get into the particulars of my biohazardous waste. Promise. I am, one of thousands out there with a diet blog. Maybe it will help to write down my thoughts, maybe not. I will probably try to write down what I eat, because in the past, it has helped...I just hate carrying around those little journal thingies they give you at Weight Watchers.

Speaking of the almighty WW: here's my first goal. We have an at-work program at my job. Next session starts June 26. It's 15 weeks long. I have to do the bridesmaid thing at a wedding in October. That's about the same time frame. Mo over at has set a WW goal for herself: 25 pounds in 12 weeks (averaging about a 2 pound loss).

I'm going to do the same: 30 pounds in 15 weeks.

God help me, I'm going to do this, once and for all. French fries be damned.

June 8, 2005


There are Oreos afoot in my office...double stuf Oreos and Golden Oreos and they are in the cube next to me and God help me I've resisited for over 2 hours.... and now it's 11AM and I'm hungry for lunch and I need to eat the chicken breast and not the pepperoni pizza...and I should go walking but I don't want to go and get all schvitzy in the 88 degree heat but I really should...

And it's somebody's birthday here in office land, and he's bringing treats very very soon...and I will resist. I will resist.

I have decided to resist. (Oh, shit. Now it's about Oprah again.)

June 9, 2005's so hard for me to keep control in social situations, but it's a weakness I need to get professional help with. Also: I had Reasoning on my side- I had a beer, I needed food to soak it up, and there were no healthy alternatives. Also? It was 5pm and I was hungry. And it counted as dinner.

July 12, 2005

As of yesterday on the WW scale, I'm now 251.2. That would be 10.6 pounds in 3 1/2 weeks. I've been to the gym no less than 3 times each week (and usually it's 4-5). I've discovered the absolute serenity and joy of a morning workout (joy in a 5am wakeup call? Who knew??)

The fitness center also overlooks a very benign piece of land- it's probably 40 x 50 of lawn surface that borders the building on one side, and the path around the lake on the other. Boring, right? Not if you see what I see.

I see the finish line for the Danskin Women's Triathlon 2006. I see cheering family members, a big sign that says "RUN FINISH", volunteers wearing red t-shirts, and a swarm of women competitors running in to the sound of victory. It is the actual finish area for the Danskin- not just a visualization.

When something chocolate screams my name, I say "triathlon" to myself. Turn. Walk away. Will I celebrate when an occasion presents itself? Of course. Just not to excess.

And I will compete in, and finish, the 2006 Chicagoland Danskin Women's Triathlon.

More old entries later - I'm having a good time rereading them. And thinking a lot about how I can recapture some of that momentum.