Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As I sit...

At home tonight and contemplate this past year, I realize that I need to give thanks.  In spite of things not going how I planned, or things being crazy in the world (Middle East), no matter how terrible, how sucky, how great or wonderful things have been, I am reminded to give thanks in all situations and to be grateful for every experience that has shaped who I am today.  It's hard sometimes to be grateful for the different opportunities because we often don't see the product or fruit of our labor till afterwards or further along in the future.

I do know that this next year will bring a lot of new my own life and in the world.  On a global scale this next year will be interesting.  Poverty is still an issue, especially now that there is a recession.  Jobs are not secure and people are hurting all over the world.  There are still a lot of people who have yet to hear the Gospel, people who are fighting (whether it's a War or a dispute within the family).  People still suffer whether they've done good things or bad things.  Good things will still happen to people who don't deserve it and bad things will happen to good people.  Life isn't fair and often it feels like no one else feels the way I feel or knows what it's like.  Often we feel betrayed or alone at the end of the day.

It is my hope that this next year I will begin to live my life in such a way that I will make more of an impact in all of those areas.  I'm not sure how or what I will be doing in order to help, but I know that I want to start doing something because these are all things I care about and am passionate about.  I don't want to regret anything that I do or don't do in this life.  I only have one life to live and to give and I want to make it count.  Even if at the end of it all, no one knows who I's the idea that I did something.  It doesn't have to be on a large scale, but I don't want to be a bump on the log anymore and I don't want life to pass me by.  

New Year's Eve

Woo Hoo!  It's the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.  What's not to love?  It's a chance for a fresh start and for most people, a new outlook on life and everything in it.  Funny how that works...when something ends, something new begins.  

This year I'm not doing anything too spectacular.  Staying in and sleeping.  I may stay up long enough to watch the fireworks on TV, but I think I will be in my apartment for most of the evening.  Tomorrow I want to take more I may pick up some more film tonight and then work on filling up 5 rolls so I can get them developed. :) 

I must've done my celebrating early because last night I stayed up till 4:00 a.m. with friends.  It was a great night, but a bit over the top too...I think we all had too much, if you know what I mean.  I ended my night by crawling into a closet and sleeping there.  At least the closet had a mattress and a pillow.  

I am officially done moving and now have everything in the world to unpack and arrange.  Not sure how I'm going to decorate my apartment, but it's exciting to think that I get to choose how things are done.  Not that this place is going to look incredibly classy or sophisticated...just nice and homey.  Kind of like growing up...I'd love to get nice things, but instead I'll have mismatched furniture and random pieces of art all over the place.  And I'm excited for that.  

Anyway, Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope this new year brings a lot of surprises, great memories, new challenges and a lot of great relationships. :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008


You gotta love family, but man! Sometimes they can do some hurtful things without meaning to. Like playing board games. You'd think it was harmless fun...maybe I'm just overly sensitive. Either way though, it felt like my family was making fun of me. Little comments here and there about making poor choices, confusing people and doing the wrong thing. It all built up during a game of monopoly and I lost it. I started crying and went to my room.

Everyone came and apologized after I left the room mid-game, but it's hard to go back when you can hear them talking about the whole episode down the hall in the other room. I'm supposed to go back and join them for a viewing of Kung Fu Panda and I'm sure I'll make it back to the room. I just need a few minutes to clear my head.

Sigh...makes me wonder how many times I think I'm doing something harmless when it really is hurtful. Like all of the teasing I do. Makes one think...are the things I am doing and saying helping a person and making them feel loved or are they hurting those that I love?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Teh Internets

So my parents disable the internet every evening in their home in order to keep my oldest brother from playing online games (WOW) all night long. I suppose it's a good thing, but it's also frustrating to me.

Not only do they have an ISP filter that blocks Flickr, but they turn the router off so I can't chat online to friends, facebook, dink around and overall, just entertain myself when I'm bored at night and my other brother has taken over the TV. The joys of being the youngest!

Kind of sucks that my parents have to resort to turning off teh internets every evening. I can understand the mentality behind it and it probably is a good thing for my oldest brother. I suppose it's a kick in the butt for me as well. It means I should be off reading a book or magazine; socializing with the family rather than doing everything online in a virtual world. It's the same concept of what they want my oldest brother to do. Get out and do something....interact with people.

Who knew human interaction is so important to our mental health and ability to be happy beings. God designed us this way. Cool, huh?!? The fact that we need community and the relationships that we form are things that can make us happy and feel good. We an buy things online, chat online, Skype or whatever, but nothing compares to the face-to-face interaction. Even talking on the phone these last few days with all of my friends has been more comforting than chatting online.

Home and Christmas and such...

It was great to fly home on Christmas day! I ran into someone who knew Phillip at SEATAC. Turns out he lives in Seattle and we're flying back on the same flight (Monday evening). Perhaps we'll see each other again...maybe even get together in Seattle for some havoc. :)

It's weird to not be at work...this has been an incredibly nice vacation and I have enjoyed not working. But it's also been hard because I haven't seen anyone in about a week and a half. Getting snowed in in Magnolia is kind of a PITA. The roads are closed and I can't take my car anywhere. That means I watch a lot of TV. Boooo! Some TV is good...I can enjoy bits and pieces, but to constantly be watching TV and different brain just dies. Thank goodness for the friends that could get around. They would pick me up and take me out. I'd get to visit people and play games and do something different.

So the new year is about to start. Crazy...I have some things I need to finish up before the end of the year. Taxes might be one of them...mostly getting my transcript in so I can finally graduate and submitting my address change to the DMV. Now that I live in Magnolia I apparently have to tell everyone so I don't get fined or summed or something weird and then they can't find me and life sucks. Oh well!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the second half

My best friend sent me a card today. It's amazing how inspite of the distance, the card came at the perfect time in which I've been feeling a little down. There has been a lack of genuine affection shown in my life...hugs, kisses on the cheek, cuddling, just sitting I miss being able to do these things with Jessica. No, I am not a lesbian and I am fully aware of the connotations that come with saying those things about Jessica. However, the thought is more directed at the fact that I think most people have a lack of affection in their lives no matter who they are. It's incredible how much a hug can do for you...just like a smile. It can be infectious and lift one's spirit right away.

I've been informed this week that Katie may be going overseas for 12 months and then moving to Sacramento and with Laura moving out, I will be on my own. I guess it's about time because then I can do the things I want to do with an apartment. Decorate it how I please, keep it clean to my own standards and everything else that comes with living alone. Alone. How weird is that? I've been living with someone since I was born. This would be the first time ever that I'd be doing things on my own. I feel so adult and yet at the same time so unready for the future. I think I'll move at the end of January. I just need to find a place now. I'll have to discuss things with my parents and my Aunt and Uncle since I'm one of their tennants.

I'm quite excited for this next week. Thanksgiving is coming around and I am always reminded that I am truly blessed. God is certainly the person I need to thank for all of the wonderful things in my life. I can't wait to see my family and to spend time with them this weekend. It's always an adventure.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On a side note...

I need to learn to be more patient and easy-going. Letting things slide, but also making sure things are still running efficiently and effectively at the HelpDesk.

I have a feeling it will be an uphill climb.
  • “Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”
  • There art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness.
    Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924)
  • I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
    Margaret Thatcher (1925 - ), in Observer April 4, 1989
Now that's my kind of patience! Just Kidding, but sometimes I think that's actually how I operate. Probably not a good thing right now.

Anti Flirt Club

The code of guidance for the Anti-Flirt Club, as published in The Post, Feb 28, 1923:

  1. Don't flirt: those who flirt in haste oft repent in leisure.

  2. Don't accept rides from flirting motorists - they don't invite you in to save you a walk.

  3. Don't use your eyes for ogling - they were made for worthier purposes.

  4. Don't go out with men you don't know - they may be married, and you may be in for a hair-pulling match.

  5. Don't wink - a flutter of one eye may cause a tear in the other.

  6. Don't smile at flirtatious strangers- save them for people you know.

  7. Don't annex all the men you can get - by flirting with many you may lose out on the one.

  8. Don't fall for the slick, dandified cake eater - the unpolished gold of a real man is worth more than the gloss of a lounge lizard.

  9. Don't let elderly men with an eye to a flirtation pat you on the shoulder and take a fatherly interest in you. Those are usually the kind who want to forget they are fathers.

  10. Don't ignore the man you are sure of while you flirt with another. When you return to the first one you may find him gone.

That's some damn good advice.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I miss my family. It's been awhile since we've all been together. Maybe this Christmas everything will work out so I can go home and see everyone together.

It's so hard now because Phillip doesn't like to travel or leave home anymore. Paul lives in Boise now and really doesn't have the money to travel a lot and then there's me in Seattle and my parents in Lewiston. We're so spread out and the holidays just aren't the same.

There's a part of me that wishes we all lived in the same area. Wouldn't that be nice? The people I love the most being near each other and spending time with each other whenever possible?

I'm really going to miss our cat when she goes. Boots is the longest pet we've ever had and she's the cutest thing ever. Always demanding attention and pretending she's never been fed before in her entire life. She's a sneaky little cat.

Boots is now 16 or so...she's definitely on her last legs (no pun intended). She has personality for sure. I miss being able to play with her and rile her up in the mornings. My hands used to have scars from playing with her so much.

We never de-clawed our cat and if you got on her nerves too much you'd get a bite as well as the front and hind claws digging into your hand. It was never really bad enough to draw blood and I have to admit, I would pick on her for fun. She was just so much fun to antagonize. :)

Oh the memories of childhood. Getting hit in the head by basketballs, attending soccer games, learning to play instruments, sledding in the street, the car trips, the pranks pulled, launching golf balls with a slingshot, planting trees, playing in the backyard, walking on the fence...where has the time gone?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I started looking at my old houses today...locations on Google Maps and such and it reminded me of a lot of different memories from my childhood. Things that I haven't forgotten, good and bad and are forever etched in my memory. Jon mentioned that maybe I should keep a record of these memories and write things down. It never occurred to me to do that because they're all so vivid.

My brother being hit by a car, seeing the different fires in our neighborhood, sliding down the stairs on pillows, throwing walnuts at a concrete wall, getting a black eye, our dog dying and a multitude of other random things.

It's funny how these things, while they may be small, can still bring tears to your eyes and make you feel a certain way. Everytime I think about my brother getting hit, I think lucky we were that it wasn't more serious. He crashed head first into a cars windshield when he was in Jr. High. The ambulance came and my mom told me and my other brother to stay put. But we walked down the street anyway.

There wer emany times growing up where my parents would tell us to do one thing and my brothers and I would either do the exact opposite or something else. Funny how we all turned out inspite of doing the wrong thing sometimes. We all make mistakes and learn from them. Some of us take longer to learn than the others.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I went hiking this weekend with Jessica and it was a wonderful thing! It was nice to talk to her because we don't often get to spend hours and hours of time together. We also spent most of the day today (Sunday) together at Seward Park. It was great because we were able to take Patrick with us and we were able to talk about doubts that we have and things that are going on in our lives.

It's hard for me because I'm really going to miss this girl when she takes off for Kentucky in September. I wish her all the best and I know things will be great. She's one of those persons who will be amazing in life and sometimes I wish I had the fortitude to be like her and jump into the unknown.

Pastor Dahlstrom was preaching about "crossing divides" and "crossing over" today. It really hit me hard because he talked about how we often take the safe route because we're afraid of getting hurt or whatever else could come our way. It's particularly hard when things don't look good on the otherside. I guess that's one of the challenges I need to work on. Be willing to go when things aren't easy and jump into the unknown. It means I can't sit still on my ass anymore doing nothing. I need to get out there and find things to be actively involved in that I care about; things like Poverty and social/economic justice. It's not good enough to write a check or talk about it. If these are things I care about and people I care about then I should be out there forming relationships and start being more proactive.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What Now?

I just completed my undergraduate degree at SPU and I'm in a weird place. Last year I decided to apply for a position within CIS. I've worked in CIS since I was a freshman in 2004 and during my senior year, while I was hesitant about working full-time and taking a full-load of classes, I decided to become staff. Who'd have thought this last year would be so hard and yet so fullfulling at the same time.

I certainly had my low points. Winter quarter was always the hardest quarter for me because it was hard to get motivated and be happy when the weather stayed so grey. It also seemed to be the time of the year that I took the hardest courses for the year and felt like I really needed to focus on studying. This year it was extremely difficult to be cheery. I felt like I was floundering and couldn't keep my head above water. I talked to my mom about it and she said something to the effect of, "Karen, if you feel like you're ahead of the game, then something isn't quite right. None of us ever feel like we're doing great. If we are, it's because we've not taken into account something important or we've stopped caring and trying to do our best." While that makes sense, it was difficult to see how that would help my situation. I honestly felt like I had nowhere to go. I was in a crowd and I was lost. I didn't know which direction to go or who to turn to. Now, I do believe in Jesus and I suppose the Christian response would be, pray and turn to Jesus. While I believe that's true and effective, I also believe that we're given brains and are capable of making choices. It meant that I couldn't just sit and wait to hear something or feel something. I needed to make decisions and keep going. It was a constant struggle and in the end, I certainly felt a sense of accomplishment. God gave me the fortitude to keep going when things didn't look pretty.

I pulled off one of the best quarters (GPA-wise) I've ever had during my four years at SPU. A great accomplishment for me considering my freshman year as an epic failure for me. Work-wise, things started falling into place during spring quarter and while things aren't perfect, they're not bad and I am grateful for the people around me in CIS. They're all encouraging in their own way and each member brings something different to the table.

However, as much as I love the job I do and the people I work with, there are times that I wonder if I should be doing something more or something different. It's hard because all of the friends I've made at SPU are going off to do amazing things and are leaving Seattle. It's a bittersweet feeling because you know these people are going to be great and do amazing things, but at the same time, they're moving on and away....away from me. It's a little lonely when I think about it. I'm all for meeting new people and making friends, but these are the people who supported me through some of the toughest situations in my life and have seen me at my best and worst. I'm staying put and they're traveling the world. There's a part of me that feels like I'm not really moving on. The reason that's not true though, is because I have so many challenges in being a staff member. My patience is put to the test daily and sometimes, I think I don't respond in the way I should; full of grace, mercy and justice. Micah 6:8 comes to mind. It's a difficult verse to live up to but you can't argue with these words:

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" - Micah 6:8 NIV

So, I have learned a multitude of things about who I am, what I believe, who I want to be and much more. I do not want my past to dictate who I become, but it will always be there. I can't totally get rid of it, but I can use everything I've learned to become someone better. I'm a work in progess. I hope and pray that the people who meet me realize I am just human. I want to be better, but that there will be times when I don't or can't meet people's expectations. I am me. I am Karen. I am someone who doesn't know where the end is and someone who struggles. Life isn't always beautiful. There is a darker side to life, but that doesn't mean I've lost hope and think that things can change and will be better. After all, check out my last year of college. I have a diploma and the doors are wide open. There's nothing I can't do and I can be who I want to be and most importantly, I can be the woman God intended me to be without embarassment. I am proud of my accomplishments and whatever the future holds, let it come. I'm ready to face the unknown.

First Post

I'm going to start using this blog as a place to get my thoughts out on any and all topics. I journal on the occassion and I suppose this is meant to replace my needo handwrite notes and things that go on in my life. Hopefully this will expand into much more the longer I have it...