perder la vida

Learning to Live Missionally and Mindfully

Happy Golden Days December 25, 2006

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 6:53 pm

Carla Jean finds the best time-wasters!!!

1.) Where did you ring in 2006?
Spent the early evening at a party with Greg’s friends and then rang in the new year at the Church of the Highlands.

2.) What was your status on Valentine’s Day?

3.) Were you in school (anytime this year)?
yes… for a full semester!

4.) How did you earn your keep?
Supervising a department at a call center, mostly.

5.) Did you ever have to go to the hospital?
Not for myself, but to see others.

6.) Have you ever encountered the police?
Not that I can recall… unless the security guard that was at Gospel Supply on Saturday counts.

7.) Where did you go on vacation?
Atlanta (does that count?) and Colorado (in two days!)

8.) What did you purchase that was over $500?
A new car!

9.) Did you know anybody who got married?
Justin & Maggie, Mollie & Jarrod

10.) Did you know anybody who passed away?
My dad… my sister’s father-inlaw… my nephew’s nine-year old dog, Babe

11.) Have you run into anybody you graduated high school with?
I probably did, but none that I can recall of great significance.

12.) Did you move anywhere?
To Montevallo & back home

13.) What sporting events did you go to?
Atlanta Braves vs. the Mets! It was great!

14.) What concerts did you go to?
Chris Thile & Death Cab for Cutie… I think that’s it. Pretty sad, eh?

15.) Are you registered to vote?
Oh yes

16.) If so, did you do your patriotic duty on Nov. 7?

17.) Where do you live now?
at my hizzy with my mom

18.) Describe your birthday.
I spent my “birthday eve” at my parents’ and then we drove to Montevallo… where Greg had set up the most amazing birthday party ever! After the party, many of us went out for ice cream and then to Ryan & Josh’s place for drinks!

19.) What’s the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2006?
Go to my Dad’s funeral… go to a bar in Tuscaloosa the night before a big game… drive a stick shift… adopt a dog.

20.) What is one thing you regretted this year?
I don’t regret anything, really. Sounds cliche, but… God will show me why I did certain things and why certain things happened to me… in His time, and so there’s no reason to regret or second guess myself.

21.) What’s something you learned about yourself?
How much I adore my family and friends. That I love a good film – not just a movie. That I am the only person who sees the minor flaws in my appearance. How quickly life can change.

22.) Any new additions to your family?
Yes, I have a new cousin… her name is Julia Ann.

23.) What was your best month?
Uhhhh…. August?

24.) What from pop culture will you remember 2006 by?
That this is the year Brad & Angelina had a baby!!!

25.) How would you rate this year with a scale from 1 (shitty) to 10 (the shit)?
ehhh… I’d say about an eight. Despite the obvious dent in my year, God granted me a lot of really, really great moments to remember my Dad with – many of which occurred earlier this year.

IN 2007….
(It’ll be interesting to look back over this survey this time next year)

1. Will you be looking for a new job?
Who knows!

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship?

3. New house?

4. What will you do different in 07?
Live for today.

5. New Years resolution?
I have three:
1. Spend more time with my family (grandparents, mainly)
2. Start volunteering somewhere
3. Make the most of each day, each moment, and each opportunity.

6. What will you not be doing in 07?
Who can say?

7. Any trips planned?
My family and I are semi-planning a trip to Chicago for the summer – hopefully the plans will work out. I’ll also be going to Colorado again in June for Katie’s wedding… and I’m really, REALLY hoping for a spring time trip to North Carolina to visit Alisa.

8. Wedding plans?
Just to attend Katie’s!

9. Major things on your calendar?
Arnold’s “first birthday” (there will be a party!!), Mom’s 60th birthday…

10. What can’t you wait for?
Harry Potter V, Pirates of the Carribean II, and another year with Greg!

11. What would you like to see happen different?
That’s too much like regret.

12. What about yourself will you be changing?
Getting my priorities straight… and protecting what’s important to me.

13. What happened in 06 that you didn’t think would ever happen?
Dad dying… getting a “real” job… being free of college…

14. Will you be nicer to the people you care about?
If I get any nicer, they’d think I’m fake.

15. Will you dress differently this year then you did in 06?

16. Will you start or quit drinking alcohol?
I like my alochol intake

17. Will you better your relationship with your family?
It’s great as it is, but things could always get better!

18. Will you do charity work?
I hope so

19. Will you go to bars?

20. Will you be nice to people you don’t know?
Why not?

21. Do you expect 07 to be a good year for you?
It will be good, yes.

22. How much did you change from this time last year til now?
I have grown up more in the past few months than probably… ever.

23. Do you plan on having a child?
Haha. God, I hope not! That’d be virgin birth number two for the big man upstairs!

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now?
I hope so.

25. Major lifestyle changes?
Not that I can forsee, other than the “living for the moment” thing.

26. Will you be moving?
Not if I can help it!

27. What will you make sure doesn’t happen in 07 that happened in 06?
overwhelming stress

28. What are your New Years Eve plans?
Cabin in the Rockies, I hope!

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight? absolutely

30. One wish for 07? 
World peace.



Defining Moment December 24, 2006

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 8:26 am

Everyone, no matter who they are, where they live, or what they do, has a “defining moment” in life.  It’s one of those make-or-break deals where you come upon a fork in the road and you are faced with a choice: you can either take the road to destruction and devastation or you can take the high road. The night my dad died, I chose to take the high road… and so far, I haven’t wanted to look back.

I’ll admit, the high road is not the easy road. Although I’m actually doing much better during the holiday season than I expected, the pain and frustration is still there. And “missing” my Dad is an understatement. It’s so much more than “missing” him – it’s longing, aching for just a little glimpse of his face or a faint laugh in the distance. 

But, when I woke up this morning – I had two immediate thoughts. (Well, three if you count “GEEZ – why do I have to wake up so early?!”). My first thought was “Yay! It’s Christmas Eve! I can’t wait to have lunch with my family and open a few presents.” My next thought was “Dad isn’t here.” It was an instant mood killer… suddenly, I was back to the night he died, reliving my last moments with him and the first hours after he passed away.

So, it’s a bittersweet Christmas. I have grown tremendously from my defining moment and I have a feeling that it won’t stop anytime soon – I am constantly learning more and appreciating more… but, I wish my Dad could be here today. I wish I could have another Christmas with him.


Countdown December 23, 2006

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 7:54 am

Not today… not tomorrow… not the day after tomorrow… not the day after the day after tomorrow… but, the day after the day after the day after tomorrow…. yes, that will be the day that I leave for Colorado!


All You Do Is Complain December 21, 2006

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 7:58 am

So, my boss at Gospel Supply (Mr. Thomason, the owner) told me that someone called to complain about me earlier this week. That’s probably the first time that someone has ever called to complain specifically about me and it made me just a wee bit mad! (Okay, really – I was a lot mad!)

Basically, the issue was that she came to pick up some gifts that had been wrapped and I couldn’t find them. Now, I was not the person who lost helped her the first time she came in, charged her for her gifts, or tagged her gifts to be wrapped. I was just the person that was walking through customer service when she happened to need assistance. Who was actually helping her the first time she came in will remain a mystery because that person failed to actually put names and information on her gifts and they were actually re-shelved and she had just purchased them thinking that they were in addition to what she already had — but, they were actually the items she’d already purchased.

Long story short – I was told to give her a refund or allow her to go back and pick out replacements (we didn’t have the exact thing, but had some that were similar) as well as an extra one for her troubles. She didn’t want any replacements… so, I said “So, you’d like your money back?” And then she said “no.” So, we went back and forth about how I couldn’t offer her anything other than those two options (really, what more could you offer?). 

So, I got a little frustrated with her, mainly because this wasn’t my fault and I was taking someone else’s heat for them – but it’s okay because I bounce back quickly from fussy customers. At one point, she snapped at me and I simply said “Ma’am, you don’t have to be frustrated at me – I am just as mad about this as you are – trust me.” Then, she started doing the one thing that no Gospel Supply associate can stand:

“I know Mr. Thomason. Is he here?”

My reply was honest, “He is here, but he’s very ill. I’d hate to bother him and he’s the one that told me what to offer you.” 

Big mistake – should have let him come then. Finally, the lady got her money back and I apologized for her troubles about a million times and tried to be as polite as possible. 

And she called to complain on me. Well, this is what I have to say: “DON’T COME BACK, BIAAAAA!!!”

Just kidding…. sort-of. 


Break Tradition…. and I’ll Break You, Sucker! December 17, 2006

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 7:18 am

Since September 21 of this year, I knew that Christmas was going to be different. What I didn’t know was how different it will be. 

First of all, Greg and I will be spending Christmas apart…. like… hundreds of miles apart. He and his family are leaving for Colorado on Friday morning and I will not be flying out until the 27th. No big deal, though. We didn’t spend Christmas together last year, but… last year we had only been together for three months! But, that’s okay – I was perfectly fine with that.

Then, my sister’s (and nephews’) dog, Babe, died early in November. She was, I think, nine years old… pretty sad. She was the cutest little dog! Then, on Thanksgiving, my sister’s father-in-law passed away. So, three tragic deaths in just two months… not really something that is easy to handle.

So, my immediate family decided to break our annual Christmas Eve tradition (home-cooked dinner and gifts at my sister’s). Instead, we’re going to go out to eat and exchange gifts. At first, I was a little upset because, unlike many people, I actually enjoy doing the same thing every year. It gives me something to look forward to, and makes for some really good memories! But, considering all that my sister and my family has been through this fall, it’s perfectly fine with me. 

But, yesterday, I was completely sideswiped by my mom’s extended family. For the past twenty years or so, we have always had lunch at my Grandmother’s and then played Dirty Santa afterward. Sounds like it would get boring after awhile, but… not for our family. It is the most hilarious experience, year after year. But… this year, we’re not playing. It’s the one thing that I always looked forward to – I’ve had my gifts for several weeks. 

It’s just turning out to be a bummer of a Christmas. I am a tradition-type person. I like making traditions with my family and keeping them going, but… obviously I am the only one. It’s just sad…. very sad. 

So, I think I am boycotting my family’s Christmas from now on if they’re going to be tookey-butts about it. Not really, but… I want to. 

Christmas is usually my favorite time of year, and I’m really trying to not let everything get to me. But, it’s sort of a disappiontment. But, that’s what life is about, right? Dealing with disappointment and growing from it? 


A Brief Look Back at 2006 December 16, 2006

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 8:50 am

1. did you have a new year’s resolution this year?
I had three. One was to take enough classes to become a senior in the fall of ’06. I did quite the opposite – I just left school altogether! Two was to get rid of my credit cards and start getting rid of my debt – which I have done and am still doing! Three was to get more girl friends so that when I get married, I will actually have FEMALE bridesmaids. That one I didn’t do so well with!

2.Who kissed you at midnight?
Nobody… Greg & I were at church at midnight, so… it didn’t see appropriate!

3. did it snow where you live?
Oh, no! No snow in Bama.

4. do you like hot chocolate?
LOVE it.

5. have you ever been to times square to watch the ball drop?
No, but I will one day!

1. who was your valentine in 2006?

2. what did your valentine get you?
Nothing… but he did my dishes and gave me a back rub. It was the best

3. when you were little, did you buy valentines for your whole class?
Of course! I even did that in middle school!

1. are you Irish?
Umm…. I don’t know!

2. Did you wear green on St. Patty’s Day?
Yes, because the people I know really would pinch me if I didn’t.

3.what did you do for St. Patty’s Day in 2006?
Nothing that I remember… and if I did do something, it obviously wasn’t very fun!

1. Do you like the rain?
Not unless it’s serious rain… I had light rain… it only makes my hair frizz! I enjoy a good storm or two.

2. Did you play an April fool’s joke on anyone this year?
No… I’m not a good prankster.

3. did you get tons of candy on easter?
I don’t really eat candy, so… no. But I probably got a movie or something from my parents.

1. What’s your favorite kind of flower?
tea roses & cherry blossoms

3. Do you like the spring?
eh – it’s okay.

4. Finish the phrase: April showers bring may flowers, what do may flowers bring?
June bugs.

5. What would you think of as a spring color?

1. What year did you/will you graduate from school?
I graduated from high school in 2003… I probably won’t ever graduate from college at this rate!

2. Did you go on any vacations last June?
Not in June, no.


1. What did you do on the 4th of July?
Hung out with Greg’s family and missed the big fireworks show.

2. did you go on any vacations during this month?
Six Flags, maybe? But that’s it.

1. did you do anything special to end off your summer?
Umm… I had a kick-a birthday party!

2. what was your favorite summer memory of ‘06?
Birthday party, definitely! All of my good friends were there… my parents were there… Greg’s family was there… it was great!

3. did you go swimming a lot in the summer?
Not really.

4. did you go to the beach a lot?
Nope. I don’t like the beach.

1. Did you attend school/college in ‘06?
I went to one class… once.

2. who is/was your favorite teacher?
Mrs. Wickline, my eighth grade science teacher.

3. did you like fall better than summer?
Oh, yes! I LOVE fall!

1. what was your favorite halloween costume ever?
Umm… I was a pig once in high school! It was cute!

2. what’s your favorite candy?
anything dark chocolate, but I don’t really like candy.

3. what did you dress up like this year?

1. whose house do you usually go to for thanksgiving?
My Grandmother’s

2. Do you like stuffing?
Of course I do!

3. what are you thankful for?
My mom, Arnold, my whole family, Greg… sunshine… good friends.

4. Take any trips this month?

1. do you celebrate christmas?

2. have you ever been kissed under mistletoe?
Probably when I was a kid, but not any special kisses that I can remember!

3. what do you want this year for christmas?
Honestly, to see my dad’s face! He always had the greatest faces after opening gifts followed by a “Hey, that’s nice” line or two!

4. what’s the best present you ever got for Christmas?
Oh, definitely a pea coat from American Eagle. I talked about it for WEEKS before Christmas, but my parents said it was too expensive. It wasn’t under the tree on Christmas morning, but I was okay with it. Then, at my Grandmother’s, all the kids get to open one gift from Santa – I was sure that my parents would surprise me with the coat. They didn’t. So, I dealt with it… and that night, I went four-wheeler riding with all of my cousins, and when I got home, there was a thick box sitting on the hearth with my name on it – and it was the pea coat! I still have it, too!

5. do you like cold weather?
Not the weather, but I like the clothes you get to wear!

6. How would you rate your 06?
It was okay. A lot of really great things happened, and a few really awful things happened. It’s been a year filled with extreme joy and extreme grief, but that’s life, right?


How’s Louie? December 13, 2006

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 7:04 am

Last night, my mom and I were going to the mall to have dinner (at Applebee’s) and while we were in the parking lot, we were talking about Dad. I had mentioned the Christmas trees that were for sale next to the mall – that was where we bought our last real Christmas tree and Dad had told mom and I both “I’m not spending $50 on any more Christmas trees!” (He was cheap!) Mom told me how she’d had a “miss hubby day,” and we both talked about how some days are better than others, etc.

 Well, on our way into the mall, we were greeted by those friendly Salvation Army Bell Ringers – and we knew one of them. She went to church with us when I was a kid and lives just a few minutes away from us. It took us all a minute to recognize each other, but when we did, we exchanged our “How are you”‘s and then she said what we’ve never been asked before: “How’s Louie?” Mom and I just froze… I waited for mom to say something, but she didn’t.

So, I just said “Well, actually, he passed away a few months ago.” The look on this woman’s face made my heart break. It was a more painful experience for her than it was for us – she quickly started apologizing and saying “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know” and Mom and I both told her that it was perfectly fine. 

You see, most people think that the grieving don’t want you to say anything at all about their loved one, death, or hardships. But, it’s actually quite the opposite. Mom and I love to hear stories people have of Dad… memories, jokes, images. All of those things help us – not hurt us. It doesn’t bother me if someone mentions what has happened. I may not want to have a conversation about it, but, that’s understandable. 

So, “How’s Louie?” Oh, he’s really great. He’s enjoying himself and having a grand old time in the hereafter. Someone told us that while Mom & I were weeping the moment we heard that he had passed, that he was rejoicing because he was finally “home” – something he talked about often during his last hospital stay. He kept saying “Can’t I just go home?” So, yeah… he’s great. Mom & I aren’t so great, but… Dad’s great. And we will be great, too, eventually.