that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


proceed with caution

I am getting bitter about blogging. There is no action, not response, no feedback, no pressure, no drive, no ambition, no ideas, no insults, no raging excitement. Where have you all gone? My blog registers over 100 hits per day… and I hear no peep from anyone. Are you passive aggressively desiring a Kate-hiatus? Because I will. I will ‘go off the air’ so to speak. I will write more, if that’s what you want. I will tell you about my day rather than write about my thoughts. I will take photos of myself in my chair at work, if that will make you sleep better at night. I will re vamp, renovate, restructure, and even delete this thing if that’s what it takes. Consider this a cry for attention. Not really, but has blogging become a lost and dated art already?

Or have I peaked and I should go out while the tide is high?

The obituary might as well read

that perfect hand fought the good fight but when its author was feeling neglected through silence, it just became a battle the poor thing could not win”

Please, don’t make me a statistic. I want to survive… is that what you want?

(Like I said, 100 hits/day and not a peep. Consider this my tipping point… I want to know that there is a point to all of this. Otherwise I am going to play squash or something)Picture 79


a cure for grumps

Anybody got it? What are your best remedies for grumps (being crusty, grumpy, and feeling like you’re spending the entire day stifling a festering conniption slash rage blackout volcano)? I need insights, especially since I don’t know the roots of my dilemma…

Talk to me.

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reckless abandon

I stopped thinking for awhile, could you tell? I don’t remember the exact second it happened, but I do know it was a conscious decision. Leading my life with my head had kept me from feeling; I was being safe. But in the last few months, I really tried to do the opposite and let myself feel. Not just emo or happy or sad things… but anger and frustration and emotions that have been real and honest and joy-filled at their core. To be spontaneous and act on impulse and do things because I had an idea and decided to act on it. Instead of thinking about much, I’ve truly lived the last while with the adventure and fervor of the free spirit that I know is at the core of me; the spirit that needs no containment — at least, I’ve learned that now. I want to see and do and live parts of this life and this world for myself, not vicariously through the stories I love to read or the experiences of people I love to talk to. But living by instinct or impulse has sort of made me forget my responsibilities. For example, a friend asked me if I was actually even going to school this semester because there was no way someone with six courses had so much time for… fun. Someone else questioned my attendance to Sunago while someone else made a point to explain how little we’d seen each other all year. So my responsibility to commitments or others changed… so what is the balance? Because living through my head and brain made me closed off to feeling, getting excited about things, and simply living a life of joy that radiates through me and topples onto those around me. Yet living the opposite way, while reminding me of the beauty and awe-someness of my life (and each one of yours), also seems to be really selfish and impulsive or even at times disrespectful.

While I truly believe it is a brave and mighty thing to embrace the true character and nature of who you are and have that person be who you are, every moment of every day, it’s a powerful thing to feel that that said person or free spirit is acting out of ignorance or being irresponsible in relation to what or how you should be.

Are our responsibilities conditioned based on where our lives have been?

In other words, do you ever find that a responsibility is only such because we’ve been constrained by ‘duties’ or ‘norms’ that we’ve adhered to in the past?

What I am curious about is change — where is the room for change?

How can we give grace and room for people who change, or change itself, when we don’t trust grace for ourselves?

Or better yet, what if the change simply means you are finally acting or being the person you know you were created to be and that old version of you wasn’t real?

Let’s take me for example. As I am currently striving to live a life that is honest and real and so transparent that I don’t have to watch behind me for fear a lie or a reaction or an out-of-character moment will ever catch up to me, I am a little distracted by that fabulous and brilliant freedom that comes with choosing to just be. I am being selfish, I know… but you’ve read my blog, you’ve spent time with me, you know how hard I think about many things. It’s been fun to just go with it and be up for anything, not giving anything in the last 5 or 6 months much thought. It’s refreshing. I am happy. I am filled with joy for many God given reasons and blessings.

But that’s not really reality for me either. I want to know the balance. I want to know what deserves reverent thoughts and attention and what just needs to be lived and experienced. I want unconditional grace during this time, but I also want to learn how to give grace and appreciate change freely for others. I want to learn how to feel deeply while living spontaneously and laughing uncontrollably and thinking hard about the things that matter the most. I don’t want to have to apologize for all the ways I don’t measure up but focus on the confidence in how I do. And on that topic, measure up to who any how? What right is that of any earthly human being to decide that… or set the bar for that matter…for others? I know that I am a work in progress, and I love that and the growth that comes along with it, but I think we spend far too much time trying to ‘fix’ or to ‘change’ or to ‘mold’ or to ‘be responsible’ rather than celebrating the very perfect nature of our imperfections. There is a reason it’s called amazing grace. I will try to be better at it.
There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well” –
Chris Tomlin

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ordinary miracle – sarah mclachlan

It’s not that usual when everything is beautiful
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sky knows when its time to snow
You don’t need to teach a seed to grow
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own

Isn’t it remarkable?
Like every time a raindrop falls
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Birds in winter have their fling
And always make it home by spring
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

When you wake up everyday
Please don’t throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle

Ordinary miracle
Do you want to see a miracle?

Its seems so exceptional
Things just work out after all
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sun comes up and shines so bright
It disappears again at night
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

It’s just another ordinary miracle today

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bittersweet harmony

At work I do countdowns in the GIS department on the white board. Most of these countdowns include ” x days until Kate’s birthday” or “x days until Kate’s work term ends” or “x days until so-and-so buys Kate lunch” and so on… just adding a little humour to the situation. Anyways, here is the countdown that I came to when I started back up at the RD on Monday (for my FOURTH summer… crazy):

“Days Remaining Kate-free:












Nice, huh? Yea, I am glad to be home too. Needless to say, the office hasn’t changed and my wickedly awesome sarcastic sense of humour seems to have rubbed off. I am glad, without a doubt, that this is my last term there. Bring on rural government, forest fires, and filing. Yay.

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for the love of rutherfords

Life is messy. We get concerned, confused, worried, fearful, overwhelmed, hesitant, and discouraged over something… before it even takes place simply because we just know it is not going to happen the way we imagine it will; that even the best case scenario will undoubtedly be messy, not wrapped in a perfectly wrapped package with a bow.

But then I moved in with the Rutherfords.

I was apprehensive and scared to do this — not because of them, but because I was afraid that the special friendships we had began in my first year in Victoria might be jeaopardized by living with them in my second. (We all have living experiences that go awry and I didn’t want to sacrifice these relationships on account of a bedroom and a washer and dryer!) I wasn’t pessimistic, I just was slightly afraid. So as excited as I was to move in with them, I opted to have zero expectations and see where the year took me.

And I can honestly say that it far exeeded any expectations I may have thought and I was genuinely shocked (and still am) about how much of a wonderfully awesome fulfilling fantastic special hilarious inspired oh-so-close-to-perfect time it was living with them! Maybe it was all of the jokes with Logan or the thoughtful discussions with Connor or playing witness to many-a-milestone in Miss Makenna’s life (particularly her melt your heart giggle). And talks around the dinner table, hearing about Scott’s days in the classroom and his wisdom and humour and speedy “landlord-ness” to my lightbulb and cable needs. And having a friend in Ky — conversations, dieting attempts, mid-afternoon latte’s, and gentle concern and care for my life and my heart while attending to everyone else’s in the house and around her as well.

Some particular highlights:

-An S and K date night consists of going to Wal-mart and getting sweet deals! Awesome!
-“Pow wow” club meetings in my room were when Logan and Connor came in to have a talk about “stuff”.
-Just havin’ a “chill out” meant you could find Connor, Makenna, and I huddled under my duvet while we waited for the “storm” to pass (my bed being the ship!).
-Saturday morning breakfasts reminded me of Sunday mornings with my very own family.
-My car being broken into and stolen did little to hinder my choice of living situation (although it did make me question the safety of the neighbourhood!)
-Reading week and having more time to just spend with them and cook for them
-Connor musing “I wonder what John and Kate are up to tonight?”
-Makenna walking
-Logan reading and how excited he got to tell jokes, especially to Luke, or talk about the Vancouver Grizzlies, even when Darcy’s team (Powell River) could’ve used a new fan!
-My last day — taking Logan to UVic and the awesome conversations along the way (and the sweet time in the moments before I left with the other three)

But more importantly, that feeling of home — of coming home to 5 people genuinely happy to see me, curious about my day and life, and who radiate with the kindness and compassion and endurance and respect of the unconditional love that is family. And I am so blessed by the time and acceptance of me into yours, I loved being a constant part of your lives! You all mean the absolute world to me and I am forever grateful for all of the moments that made this year the best one yet, particularly that it started and ended with you.

I thank my God in all of my remembrance of you… for it is right for me to feel this way, since I hold you in my heart.

And thank you for the beautiful surprise that being there was — it was way better than I ever imagined it could be… the package wrapped and bowed in the utmost perfect care, making it way to hard to believe that it’s already over.

PS I miss you!



That’s actually AUNTIE Katie, BA… soon to be B.Ed! In the course of one week, I finished my degree, found out I am going to be an Auntie in November (who cares about due dates, I am totally an auntie already!), and got accepted into the teaching program! Talk about a tidal wave of awesome blessings and success. I knew 2009 was going to be the best year yet. 🙂


10 reasons a trip-to-smithers makes me smile large

…and laugh out loud.

10. Nana double-fisting red wine. She’s not actually drinking it, but she is a firecracker.DSC00647

9. Going for lunch with Shirley and Linda at Javas and then not leaving until 3 or 4 hours later because of table hopping after they left between Matt, Sue, Alana, Megan, Melissa, Cole, Janelle, and Kristin. It took a little while getting used to being in a town where you’re bound to run into people you know no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

8. Meeting some of the most beautiful “I’ve only ever heard about or seen pictures of” children: Gabriella, Riley John, Amya Annabelle, Grace Willow, Malia Ann, and Dayton Karl. It was so fun to meet and cuddle these kids. Here’s Riley making no secret who he’s supporting in the playoffs:DSC00626

And the new babies:


And Miss Amya, posing away:


7. Visits with my aunts. And cousins. And Uncles. 5 years changes people… and it was super cool to get to know my aunts as adults or fit into the life of my cousins, like Morgan (I stayed with the Marshalls), if only for a breath. Same with the Pedersons, it was awesome to spend time with them all as well, it had been forever since I had seen most of them.

6. Hiking. I wanted to get out and do more but being a visitor in your hometown is difficult and I find a whole week can pass just sitting on my butt visiting. It’s NOT a bad thing, but the day that Darcy and I went on a walk near the Silvern Lakes trail was the best.

5. Derek and Billy. I never knew how close (bordering awkward) those two are and they made me laugh the whole week I was there with their crib tournament, efforts to find Billy a job, and all around ridiculousness. On my last night they recorded themselves rapping a myriad of videos and they rapped one about Darcy, Auntie Carolene, Mallory, and I (who were eating ice cream downstairs). I wish they would let me have/post the video but they didn’t like that idea. Anyways, the line about me went something like this:

“Kate Stam, why are you even here?
You’re how old, still no career?

Your Civic blows,
I can go faster than it on my tippy toes”

And Mallory’s:

“We don’t have much time to talk about Mallory
Go to the gym, BURN SOME CALORIES!”

Hilarious. Ask them to see it.

4. Old friends. Period. Like Michael or Eric.. It takes a little bit sometimes but you find your way, some little way, to connect with eachother again. And new friends too.

3. Getting my car cleaned. Period. 😉 They treated Bella like the princess she is.


2. Going out to the farm. The farm always feels like my home away from home and I missed it. And I even got to go TWICE. Seems like a tease though, I don’t think I can ever get enough of my Uncle Orv’s wisdom and encouragement. Among all the other fun things about being there.

1. That no matter how stupid and frustrating it is to have BOTH front tires pop in Williams Lake and be delayed almost three hours of my drive home, a week in Smithers is exhausting, overwhelming, awesome, and busy… in the best way possible. Hopefully it won’t be another 2.5 years til I am back? 🙂 Fun, I recommend it.

Here’s some more:



And just because they might be new readers:


(Sorry, I am no Lucy when it comes to pictures so I have about 45 of Riley and Amya at lunch, and then never took anymore… I am not used to having a camera so I am a disappointment, I realize that now looking at these pictures. OH WELL)