11.28.2004

Please call me...

Ahh…back to school, back to school. Thanksgiving was wonderful, filling, happy, everything that it should be. But, living at home is a different story. Let’s just say I’m glad to be back living with just one person. Christmas break will be really long. If anyone wants me to come visit them, especially people who live outside of Louisville, please tell me. I’ll be there faster than you can get the words out of your mouth.

please help

Can you believe it?

My first semester of college is about over. I cannot believe it. So many things have happened and I’ve grown up a lot. New friends, discovering my potential, boyfriend, heartbreak, studying harder than ever before, pursuing a major that is not quite socially acceptable for women, being on my own…all these things happened so quickly. I look back at all of it and smile. I haven’t had my greatest moments, but I wouldn’t change any of it. I think I like who I have become.



11.23.2004

Be Thankful

When I was in first grade, my whole class made turkeys and wrote something on the front of the turkey that we were thankful for. Then, we stood in line and took turns explaining what was on our turkey. As 6-year-olds, everyone pretty much put the same things: family, friends, food, you know, the usual. And if I think about it now, I am pretty much thankful for the same things, but for different reasons.

I am thankful for family. My family is extra special to me. We are a very close family and spending time with them is always wonderful. They are the reason that I am who I am and where I am today. Thank you.

I am thankful for friends. I have met some wonderful people in my life. Some have been in my life longer than others, but I have been so blessed with good friendships. It seems that most of the time I don’t realize how good my friends are until I really need them. Even in the short months that I have been at U of L, I have met some of the greatest people. They have given me the strength and joy that I need to fight my way through school. Thank you.

I am thankful for food. Never in my life have I been truly hungry. As much as I complain about having the biggest meal plan ever, I never wonder where my next meal will come from. As Thanksgiving approaches, one of the things that I look forward to is the mass amount of food that will be at my fingertips. I am so blessed to live in a place where I have that luxury available. Thank you.

I have so many opportunities and blessings in my life. I should be thankful everyday, but for some reason, I forget and take advantage of everything. And when the last Thursday in November rolls around every year, I am once again in awe of how much I have.

I am thankful.

11.20.2004

A Little Crazy

Most of you all know that I have a fairly large family.mi familia
Ok, well, I have the biggest family of anyone I know. Anyway, we are rarely together in the same place at the same time. Two kids ago, we could no longer ride in the same vehicle and now with two of us away at college and everyone having their own agenda, we don’t get together often.

Well, today was one of those few and far between times when all seven of us kids and Mom and Dad were all in the same place at the same time. My little sister made her first reconciliation today and then we went to lunch afterwards with the families of all her little classmates. As I looked around church at the other families, not only did I realize that Tony and I were at least ten years older than any of the other brothers and sisters present, I saw how much the other families loved our family. Now, mind you, I have been teased and had rude comments made to me my entire life for having a big family and was even voted “Most likely to have 10 kids” senior year. But I love the size of my family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are very close and each child has brought so much joy into everyone’s life. When we were eating lunch today at a buffet pizza place (my family had to sit in the middle of the restaurant because that was the only place there was a table big enough to accommodate us) there was never a moment when one of the other moms or dads was not over holding Will, the 5 month old, or playing with Claire (4 years old) and Natalie (7 years old).

I am not really sure what the draw to my family is. We’re a little crazy, but we are one of a kind and God has blessed us kids with two wonderful people who have devoted their lives to raising us. They have set the perfect example to all of us as to what a good marriage should be like. I guess having stares and comments made is the price we have to pay in our great American society in order to be the happy family that we are. But, I think all seven of us would agree (that is, if all of us could talk) that it’s worth it.

11.15.2004

Old Favorites

As my roommate and I sat in the quiet of our room, me working on calculus and Megan playing spider solitaire, I came to the realization that room was void of any kind of music. So, I busted out the old cds. I flipped through the Barenaked Ladies, Savage Garden, Westlife, Shawn Mullins, Semisonic and others to an old favorite. I popped it into the computer with a smile on my face telling Megan, “You’re in for a treat!” As she clung to her seat with anticipation of what was in store, the beautiful voices of Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough, and A.J. McLean filled the air. For those of you who don’t remember these wonders, they are The Backstreet Boys. The loves of my life in 6th grade (Mikey, you have nothing to be worried about, I promise I am over them!). So, as we listened to their number one hits, I realized that they really weren’t that good. All their songs sound the same. Mind you, I haven’t listened to this cd in about 6 years. As I listened more and sang along (because I, for some reason, still remember every single word of their songs) I began thinking about how much they lacked talent. All they could do was harmonize. They didn’t write their own music and they didn’t even play an instrument. They just sang and danced around the stage. And for some reason, little girls like me were completely obsessed with them. I mean, I was devastated because my mom wouldn’t let me cover my room with their beautiful faces. And that’s all they were, pretty faces, and that’s only a few of them. (And people wonder what happened to them, why they completely dropped off the face of the earth.) Alas, my world is shattered. To know that a whole year, at least, was spent dreaming about them, singing their bad songs and reading about them in YM and all those other stupid magazines with dreamy boys in them. Oh well…I guess that’s better than being into…whatever else 6th graders got into…

P.S.- If any of you want to borrow the Backstreet Boy’s cds, their self-titled one and Millenium, I have them at the dorm, just give me a call!!

11.14.2004

Sundays

So here it is. The end of another weekend. At the Harper house, Sundays were always the read the paper, go to church, do housework, sit around, family day. It was a nice close to a fun weekend. Now, I cling to Sundays, wanting them to last forever. They are not nearly as fun and relaxing as the rest of the weekend days (you know bowling, chili cook-offs, movies, just sitting and watching tv), but they are calming.

The most calming part of my day is when I walk into the Interfaith Center for church. Usually by this time I have worked all day and I have homework due on Monday that I have not started on. Church at my home parish has never been calming. Actually, Fr. Bill, the pastor at St. Mary’s, is quite boring. I know that is mean to say about a holy man, but it’s hard to stay focused when the priest has a monotone voice and talks about things that don’t necessarily pertain to your life. Here, everything is the same, but completely different. Mass is still Mass, as it would be anywhere in the world. But I don’t know if it’s because I am worshiping with other people my age who have chosen to be practicing Catholics or Fr. Lou’s homilies or maybe it’s because I have further embraced my Catholic identity. Whatever it is, I hope that I continue to grow in God’s love.

P.S. This is completely off subject from everything I just talked about, but if you have not seen The Incredibles, I highly recommend it. It was fabulous. The best Pixar film yet. So, if you don’t spend your Sunday night at church, you should go to the movies!! Have a great week!

11.11.2004

Blah

Disclaimer: Before you read this I want to tell you that this won’t be a happy blog. I’m not in a very good mood. This is more of what Katie is feeling vs. creative writing.

Today is a bad day. I didn’t sleep very well last night because I had a lot on my mind and so I am really tired. On a normal day this wouldn’t be so bad, but since it’s a Thursday, aka Calculus test day, it’s not so good. The test went all right, not as well as I would have liked, but decent. I am completely worn out today, physically, mentally, emotionally, you name it, I’m worn out. Why is it that a conversation worth 2 minutes of words last for so long in your head? Why do I have to go over everything in my head and think the what ifs? Why can’t I just let things go and see where life takes me? I want things to work out so badly. I hate being a girl sometimes. I wish I could just let things happen and not think too much into them. But at least I am aware of it. That’s the first step to recovery, right? (That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be).

It’s rainy outside and I’m not in a good mood. So, if I don’t have the expected happy Katie face on today, it’s not you, it’s me. If you are reading this, thank you for being my friend and I love you. I probably don’t tell you that enough.

I need a hug.

11.08.2004

Chicago

Learning new things and having new experiences is always something that most people look forward to, to some extent that is. This weekend was full of those experiences for me. You see, I am a young, sheltered girl from Southern Indiana, and so a short trip to Chicago for a fraternity formal can be eye-opening in various ways.CHICAGO
Here are some of the things I saw/did for the first time:

I rode the subway. Not only did I have the privilege of riding Chicago’s pubic transportation, I got to run to my first ride. I learned from this experience that I do not wish to live in the city. It was fun for the day, but it wore me out. I cannot imagine having to do this everyday. Don’t get me wrong, public transportation is a great idea and it helps lots of people (including lost tourists, aka my group), but I that’s not what I want my life to be like. I want to live where I can walk outside, look up and see the stars.

I saw my first street/subway performer. I felt like I was in a movie. As we walked through a tunnel to the next subway platform, a young man was singing his heart out watching each person walk past. I didn’t know what to do. My heart went out to him and I didn’t know whether to make eye contact and smile without giving him money or just walk past and pretend like nothing is wrong. It made me uncomfortable. He knew that we were all trying to avoid his eyes. Was it because we were ashamed of not putting our money in his bucket or because we didn’t want to see the pain and sadness in his eyes?

I went on my first successful college “road trip” of sorts. Even though we had directions, we got there and back without getting lost!! (this may not impress many people, sorry)

I saw a lake as big as the ocean (or at least that’s what it looked like). Lake Michigan is HUGE. And beautiful.big water

I attended my first college formal dance. Not only did I have a good time, I saw the largest number of drunk people in one place at one time than I had seen ever before. It was…interesting. I felt like I needed to take a shower afterwards, not only because of the puddles of spilt beer I stepped in but because of the dancing around me… dirty dancing

Hmm…I know I did other things, but I can't remember them at the moment. Maybe they weren’t that exciting. I had a good time, but at the same time, I was happy to see the “Welcome to Kentucky: Where Education Pays” sign.

11.02.2004

Tomorrow

My plans for tomorrow, November 2, 2004: babysit my baby brother, do laundry and calculus simultaneously, vote, take a shower without flip-flops, write a program and many other unknown tasks and fun events.

Tomorrow...this word is used in so many ways. It can be used with a sense of anxiousness or dread, hopefulness or despair. And most of us have no doubt in our minds that tomorrow will arrive. That sun will rise and we will stumble, or maybe jump, out of bed, to see the day off to a good start. So, coffee in hand, we walk over to the table and realize that we can change to world today. Just like any other day, we will be faced with challenges and obstacles and decisions that affect countless people. And just like any other day, we will chose to make it a positive or negative experience.

Tomorrow…I get to vote in my first presidential election. I am an adult in the eyes of our country and therefore, as a 19 year old college student with close to no political background or political knowledge (other than what I have acquired to make an informed decision about the presidential election), I get to have a say in who will lead the greatest country in the world. How does that make me feel, to know that my generation has a large say in who will be the next president? It’s scary, but at the same time I want to have faith in a country that has given so much to so many. I want to believe that we will make informed decisions and elect the man who will be the best leader.

I, like many, am politically worn out and ready for this election to be over. I have seen the debates, read about the different sides and argued with many about my moral and political stance. I know that this election is personal and I know that many are passionate about their vote, as I am. And I pray that God continues to bless our great country and stays alive in the hearts of Americans.