"I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself." -CS Lewis, The Great Divorce


Thing #83: Being OVERprepared

We made it through a tough week.  Tuesday held my first Virginian earthquake, and Saturday held the "underachieving" Hurricane Irene.  It was tough, but we pulled through.  (Ok, I know that my jesting is very cruel for those who suffered true damage during both natural disasters)

Still, I was FREAKED OUT by all of the information about Hurricane Irene.  From Wednesday on, I felt as though doom was headed for Virginia Beach.  I spent Thursday packing up my books and desk area.  Let me explain this over-prepared freak out a bit - we're moving soon anyway, and the school year is starting, so I knew that this was a good excuse to filter through some junk and pack up the good stuff.  We also bought canned goods, water, and moved furniture away from windows, then went to the Andersons to camp out away from the oceanfront.

And part of a tree fell down.  Like, half a branch.  And there were a lot of leaves strewn about in the yard.  Yep, that's it.  Oh, and power went out for about 3 hours.

But I am SO happy that we are lucky.  Hurricane Irene's category 3 status fell to a category 1, and seems to have really only been a tropical storm.  The damage was minimal in Virginia Beach, and we are lucky.  I am convinced, however, if we had underprepared, it would have been an awful situation, full of the doom and destruction I anticipated.



Thing #82: A(n I live at the) Beach Day

Today, I was determined to do something "beachy," and I needed to run. I decided to grab my bike and head down to Seashore (really called First Landing State Park).  I hesitated and puttered around as I have been doing these past few weeks, but I knew I had to do it.  After all, we're moving soon (God - and Hurricane Irene - willing), and this is the last week of summer of my last summer at the beach.  "I will do this," I told myself.  And I did.

The bike ride was lovely.  There was a cool breeze off the water, and there weren't many people out yet at 9:30.  By the time I got to Seashore, I had worked up quite the sweat, but no matter, time to run.  I didn't run far, mostly because I fell and I felt demoralized.  Yep, I fell.  Ugh.  I was hot and sweaty and gross at this point so relaxing in the water and cooling off sounded perfect.  Time to hop back on the bike and head to the beach at 64th street.  When I got there, I was surprised to find...almost no one else.  This was perfect!  I quickly pealed down to the swimsuit I had put on underneath my running clothes and sprinted (yes, sprinted) into the surprisingly calm waters.  If the beach could always be this incredibly peaceful, I'd never leave.  The water was so calm, I even did a few swim strokes.  I do not "swim" (though I can flounder about if I need to), so this was perfect.  I thought, "I've done the beach triathlon today!"

Then, it was time to relax.  I settled in to my towel and looked out at the splendor of the ocean only to see a delightful group of dolphins playing not far from shore.  I even snapped the shot above when one jumped out of the water!  I love dolphins, and this seemed particularly perfect for one of the final beach days of summer.

I know some people hate the beach because of the sand and the smells and the people and such, but it's just so peaceful and rejuvenating to me.  It is certainly on my top things to be happy about, especially on the gorgeous and awe-inspiring day we're having.

Thing #81: teal and lime green

Today marked my first school supply excursion. I picked up several binders, but I was a little disappointed with my color choices. I made one last lap around the aisle, and there they were:  teal and lime green binders. I knew that I needed some fun colored binders, because these are destined to become my gradebooks for the 2011-2012 school year.  Anything destined for a life as a gradebook needs to be snazzy and bright.  These surely fit the bill.  Plus, these are just about my favorite colors ever in combination (navy blue and deep teal may rank higher - same general idea, just different shades).  Ahhh, victory.


Thing #80: Pinterest

Pinterest is Addictive.
 If you'd like an invite to addiction, let me know.
Hi.  My name is Katie.  I am addicted to Pinterest.

This lovely website - derived from putting together the verb "pin" and noun "interest" - is an incredible idea for the 21st century.  In eras gone by, (mostly) women would snip pictures from magazines and newspapers for inspiration, whether that be images that moved them, words that spoke to them, or furniture configurations that simply must be tried.  However, in the current era, there are so few opportunities for us to actually "clip" ideas from magazines.  We simply don't subscribe.  Instead, as we prepare for our weddings, first homes, and children, we obsessively scour the internet for photos that capture just what we want.  And then we store them in our heads or on Word documents.  (Mostly) Ladies, no longer.  Today, I bring you the joy of Pinterest.

Pinterest allows you to peruse the internet and "pin" these images you find inspiring or helpful to your own digital board.  Or, if you're lazy like me, you may simply "repin" what other people found inspiring or helpful before.  It's a dream for those of us who obsessively patrol the internet when we are stressed or overwhelmed.  It gives us an outlet.

Plus, these things that people post are SO cool and fun and perfect and I love them.

Ok, I guess I'm an addict, but I am so NOT ready to break my habit.  Not even close.


Thing #79: She's in Love with the Boy Take 2 or music through time or something

(Disclaimer - this is also technically the same entry as Thing #34, but this is different.)

Today was a good day, and it was a cool enough night to roll down windows and turn my country music up very loudly.  I decided  "She's in Love with the Boy" was necessary.  Pretty soon, my thoughts wandered to my senior college essay about  "She's in Love with the Boy," when I traced my life through the song, and I showed my growth through the what the song meant to me at every turn.

And as I'm driving, I'm thinking about all those memories.  There's little 5-year-old me, listening about Katie and Tommy and just really excited that my name is in a song!  There's middle-school Katie who is mortified to hear it come on the radio while mom drives.  "Someone might find out that I listen to country," she thinks as she sinks lower in the car.  There's a little older teenage Katie who hears the song on the Charity UMC bus during youth outreach week and sings it super loudly because, what the heck, it's my favorite!  There's senior Katie, looking for inspiration for her college essay, rocking to the radio in her (borrowed) Oldsmobile, realizing this is perfect!  There's 23-year-old Katie, finally dating the love of her life, thinking about how it should be Johnny, and maybe they'll play this at our wedding, and I guess what's meant to be WILL always find a way."  There's Katie in a wedding dress, dancing the second-to-last song with the love of her life, belting out words to the best song ever.  The song about her, her favorite, the song that reminds her "what's meant to be will always find a way."

And there's Katie today, who with the very same love of her life, put in a possible offer on their very first home thinking, "maybe I can blast this on the radio and dance while we paint and live a happy life."

And now Katie is crying.  Because I'm so damn lucky that everything has found a way.  And that I know it.  And that I have a little Trisha Yearwood to remind me.

Thing #78: the smell of campfire

After a summer of countless things to be happy about that I have utterly failed to account for you, I am just going to skip back into the blog world and ignore these past two wonderful months.  Yep, just like that.

As I drive down General Booth toward the oceanfront during the summers, there is a particular part of the drive I enjoy on nice evenings.  Just past Oceana, there is a KOA campground that is painfully close to the road (I often wonder what crazy fool would pitch a tent SO CLOSE to General Booth, then dare to hang their wash out to dry).  However, the major advantage to the campground's proximity to the road is the delicious smell of campfires.  Last night was a particularly mellow night (especially for August - this has been a week of gorgeous weather), and the smell was intoxicating.  It makes me think of Girl Scout bonfires and the summer after third grade when we went on the best family vacation ever (we camped in South Dakota and Wyoming...I promise it was AWESOME).  Like watermelon in my last post ages ago, it smells like summer, though it need not be relegated only to summer, of course.

I guess these little things about living near the beach and driving to my two-year home near the oceanfront have really struck me as John and I contemplate "big kid" decisions like buying a house.  Crazy.