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.


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twenty-four

For my birthday weekend I combined celebrating with visiting with househunting in the humid heat of Victoria, BC. Or home. Whatever you want to call it.

I arrived Thursday night around 9:00 to which Luke and I had dinner at Montana’s and went to see the latest installment of Harry Potter. I might’ve almost fallen asleep twice and jumped once but after the gorgeous day driving and ferry riding, it was so nice to be there and so nice to see him. The following day, my birthday, I had a delightful coffee with Auntie before melting at the minigolf course on my birthday date with Logan and Connor (and Ky too)! Not that it matters, but I won. :). The day got better as I got to meet Elias Riley later that afternoon before going to dinner with some friends at one of my favourite restaurants in Victoria. Either the Booster Juice portion of Luke’s gift to me or our continued celebration up on Mt. Tolmie where Luke and I got his car locked inside the parking lot (who knew it had a curfew?) and subsequently had to walk back to his house made 24 seem to foreshadow great things to come — a fantastic day!

Saturday found us hitting the house hunting trail pretty hard, even though I ended up renting the very first place we saw — success! I also saw Nadina and Ty’s new place right before Luke and I spent some time people watching at the breakwater café. So fun(ny?). That night we had a beach fire with Georg and it was so good to shoot the breeze, share some homebrew, and laugh in the company of great friends. After a trip to DQ and a hug goodbye, I went over to Brooke and Amanda’s for a little catch up and more laughs in their new-old suite.

And Sunday I signed my renter’s agreement, did more househunting in effort to find Luke a home as well, attempted to go have a scooter adventure which was a crushed dream when we found out the place was closed, had a caricature drawn in the inner harbour, bbq-ed at Scott and Ky’s, went to the Lagoon and then went to see Bedouin Soundclash (compliments of Amanda and Ry!). Though the concert came with high anticipation, my mood faltered when I was there for only a brief period of time before the cocktail waitress lost her footing and therefore, her drink tray, which came crashing down…and all over me. So I was soaked in a myriad of alcoholic beverages. And covered in sand from the Lagoon which I had forgotten about. They put on a good show but I think I was a bit of a downer — so not my fault. 😉

Then on Monday, I went to see my place one more time, PICKED UP MY UVIC DEGREE, and had lunch with Luke outside his work before calling it ‘a weekend’, going to pick up Kels, and hitting the ferry home. Now I am back and it doesn’t even feel like I was there two days ago.

I guess the point is that time and timing are everything. I think while being 24 I hope to get better at making the absolute most of the time that I’ve got. I’ll never know when an opportunity is sitting at my feet, a conversation needs to be had, a quiet moment is a fleeting breath, or that life is simply too short to waste or worry on the impossible — because nothing really is, if I am not paying attention. Maybe the greatest gift is not just life itself but the sweet surprises that are unexpected, unappreciated, and sometimes missed altogether. So for sage, insightful, 24 year old wisdom? I’ve got none. But this weekend was a lesson in the responsibility I have to myself and to the closest people/person/lives around me to be as open, honest, real, spunky, easygoing, and free-spirited as I can because that’s who I am. So anything less than that means I’ve lost sight of that in some way.

Reserving the absolute best parts of myself for the people that matter the most — doesn’t that make the most sense? But also be ok when there are times when being vulnerable or insecure or afraid is a part of me… at least it’s being honest or real. I think? Doesn’t mean I consider those the best parts of me, I guess in showing those parts means I’m getting better at being a little more transparent. Potentially?

Maybe ask me when I am 25 — hopefully by then I’ll have a better idea. I am so grateful for the weekend, the great times with some of the best people I know, and the pure reality that when I am measuring up what could happen being 24 against being 23, I have a hard time wondering how it truly can get any better — I think I would argue any of you that I have one of the very best lives and absolutely adore living it. And more than the appreciation I have for my own life, I am so overwhelmed by the gift that you’ve given me by allowing me to play a part in yours. So on my birthday weekend, more than remembering my dreams or the years I’ve had, I also remembered that some of the best parts of it have come from the company of the best people — it’s been an honour. And a favour I hope to return one day.

Happy birthday to me. And thanks.

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open letter to my secret reader

Dear Trav,

I  am coming to visit you this weekend, will you have time to see me and show off your little handsome man? I know he’s probably the most popular kid on the block but it would really mean a lot to me. My own popularity is peaking so my schedule is filling up but I really think Eli and I need to make up for lost time.

Talk to that sweet wife of yours and let me know. Thanks for hearing me out.

 

 

Kate


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i know i know

I blame what you are about to read on matcha green tea ice cream cravings and my age — I’ll be 24 in about 5 days, gross.

I did absolutely nothing today. I woke up at 5:00 am with the intention of watching the sunrise from the trail above our house. Unfortunately due to the cleanse I am doing for a week, I can’t have coffee. At that hour, even the best of intentions fail and are less appealing if caffeine is not at the core. So I walked around for a bit sat on the couch. At about 7:15 I showered because I was a disaster and even I know that as counter-productive as it is, I would not go to the gym before having one. My eta for the gym was 9:30. I showered, put on my gear, drank the cleanse-brew, and sat on the couch again. This was quite unappealing so I went down to the den where I plugged in the latest ‘Brothers and Sisters’ episode (I’ve started watching the show — not bad). I woke up in my gym clothes at 11:45. At this point I realized my movie was due back at noon and I had 10 mins to get to the 20 min away location. I put my shoes on, walked out to my car, walked back into the house, and took off my shoes. I stripped down to my sportsbra (sorry) and shorts and sat on the chair outside in the heat — which reclines so I fell asleep until the heat woke me up. Then I went on facebook for all of 7 mins to respond to an e-mail, or message – whatever, and then realized my time allowance on megavideo was available so I watched another ep. of BaS. To which I fell asleep. Jes phoned at approximately 4:09 pm which was right around the time that I woke up and was fixing my next cleanse juice. And put a load of laundry in the dryer. When she called, I told her it felt like I just woke up from an 10.5 month coma (which started last September) but our conversation was so long and heated and passionate about the issues, the oh-so-rampant-issues, in my over-excited-life, I got plain exhausted and had to lay down. Now it is 7:18, and I just woke up. Oh, and I drank a calculated 24+ cups of water in the last 12 hours so there have been bathroom breaks in my day too.

I feel like 25 cents for not going to the gym because I love the gym and love what’s happening to me because of it, 4 bucks for not having coffee, $12.95 for watching 9.5 episodes of ‘Brothers and Sisters’, 17 dollars for dreaming about the new-to-me Counting Crows song I heard, and like I maxed my credit card for maxing on my sleep. A new day dawns, my friends, but the only thing I feel good about right now is that I have enough confidence in myself and my readership to be 100% honest with all of you. I know you’re jealous.

For someone who is never, ever this unproductive, I think I am handling the wasted-day with class. And a sunburn cause that 50 mins in the recliner just about did me in.

What did you do today? (I am going back to bed so I will check tomorrow.. :))


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to my niece or nephew, pending

Dear sweetie,

I am so excited to meet you, I feel like I’ve been waiting for this day for way too long. And even though there are still a few too many months before you come out to play, there are a couple of things I want you to know so that when you are here and take over our world, you will get started on the right foot:

First of all, I am head over heels in love with you already. I know that might not matter much all of the time but I also know that one day it might mean the world. If you need someone to remind you how much the world doesn’t stand a chance against you, that you are the most beautiful person in the room, or that you deserve to have your heart cherished and admired, I will be there. And before me, I am sure you’ll see your mom and dad ready to remind you first.

Sometimes, people are not very nice. Since you are going to be the coolest kid around, it will be your job to make sure that the other kids are not forgotten, that you include even the girls or boys that might not see things the same way you do. Find the best in everyone because if you’re patient, I am sure they will surprise you. And I promise you will learn more from the people who challenge you and question you rather than the ones who will always agree with you. Be kind, respectful, and bold with your heart and actions — and if you find yourself on the opposite side, forgotten by your peers, I pray someone kind and special will reach out to you.

Dave Matthews Band, Matt Wertz, Garth Brooks, Paul Brandt, Pearl Jam, Dave Barnes, Jewel, Patty Griffin, Hootie and the Blowfish, Bryan Adams, Matchbox 20, Sheree Plett, Kate Voegele, Counting Crows, Kings of Leon, Chris Tomlin — I am not saying that they have everything figured out, because they don’t, but they provide an awesome soundtrack to when you might be feeling particularly lost or joyful or afraid or expectant. And if you want, I will take you to any of their concerts, ever, because they will be classics by the time you’re old enough, and you will be the coolest for simply listening to some of the greats.

Speaking of having things figured out, please don’t forget that this is a goal that is impossible. So why not enjoy life and the spins it will send your way and embrace them as opportunities that will continue to mold, define, renovate, invigorate, and educate who you are. That way, when the end comes and you look back and wonder about those moments where you wish you had had it all figured out, at least you know you gave it your very best shot.

About your Dad — he’s one of my favourite people on the planet. Use him for when you’re unsure or excited about something, because he’s one of the greatest listeners and greatest dreamers I know — I can’t think of anyone better to be vulnerable around or to find a sincere support for the dreams you have. And I promise that if you’re having a bad day or you are confused about something, your Dad’s laugh will make the day lighter and your curiosity for the world and all of its parts came from him.

And your mom? She’s my best friend. I want you to open your heart to her because there’s no better place to be than in her heart. Her ability to tell you the truth, always, in love is totally unmatched. And if some days it feels like there is no one who understands or cares or simply can’t relate, your Mom will — and if she’s unsure, she will try harder than anyone to make sure you know that you are the priority. She’ll carry you — your hurts will be hers, same with your successes, love, passions, and dreams. Just make sure that you make an effort to make her loves, passions, and dreams part of your own.

Read. Live vicariously through stories and adventures and experiences on paper. Not only will it teach you, but your own free spirit will crave the adventure that is your life. And if you ever want someone to live your adventure along side you, I might come along from time to time — I will try to be a cool aunt.

Be brave and take risks. Be honest with yourself but make sure that you will take a chance, especially if people are telling you not to. You need to be your greatest advocate, and I promise your support team of family will make sure everyone else knows that you are a force… life is simply a gift, make sure you appreciate it every day — and courage and bravery will make you do the things that other people might not.

Don’t ever forget that the world owes you nothing, that in fact — you owe something to the world. God has given you talents and gifts and treasures and time that as His child, makes you a servant-heart. Love Jesus, live your life and live it with joy, and everything will be ok.

While I can’t promise I will never embarrass, disappoint, lose focus, or not check in on you, I promise I will try my hardest to do it as little as possible. I also will help you with all of your English and Social Studies homework, and if I am your teacher, I can’t promise you won’t be the teacher’s pet.

I can promise I will always encourage you, remember you, and love you for all of the perfect and imperfect parts about you. I might get old and grumpy and fragile, but I will never, ever get tired of hearing your stories, looking at your pictures, watching you grow, cheering you on, and thanking God for the gift that you already are.

(And it would be in your best interests to be a Riders fan. Even if you become more in tune to your British Columbian heritage, and love the Lions more, this is the only avenue of your life that I will support you lying to your Dad. It might even be fun!)

I love you and am anticipating your arrival more than you might ever know…

Love, Auntie Katie,

–your biggest fan.


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this face

christmas-holidays-2008-09-077

Did you know she turned 12 today? My sweetest, littlest, spunkiest sister is officially old. No, really.

This face is the face of a miracle. Jayme got hit by a car on Monday, did you hear? She was walking across the cross walk after getting the mail and a lady didn’t see her, hit her, and sent her tumbling across the ground. Her road rash is extensive, her thigh is throbbing, her heart is scared, but she is alive. I asked her how she was doing, after the painkillers/Tylenol seemed to have kicked in, and she said “when I think about what could’ve happened, it scares me but then I think about how none of my friends can say they got hit by a car today, can they?” :). In other words, this is the face of a miracle but also a tough little lady who gave us quite the scare. We’re blessed, she’s blessed, and thankful doesn’t even start to cover the deep truth of what this accident could have been.

This is the face of the kindest, gentlest, funniest, most modern, fashionable, entertaining, independent, friendly, honest, loved girl I know who constantly reminds me that the best way to see the world is through her kind of eyes — ones hoping for the very best and expecting even better. I admire her and adore her soul… I didn’t know kids that size came with hearts that big.

Happy Birthday Peanut, you are the perfect sister for me — keep being you and the rest of us will try and keep up!

xo


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james joyce

As a pending English teacher, I’ve been trying to broaden my literary arsenal so-to-speak. This month is poetry. So I will share some of the poems that I am reading and reflecting on… I encourage you to do the same because there is something oh-so-beautiful about the words of those past that still have passion and meaning and a voice in our very-present-moments.

Here, is my good friend James Joyce’s ‘At That Hour’ (we’re not good friends, but I wish we had been – he was quite smart) to start off July, Kate’s poetry month:


At That Hour

At that hour when all things have repose,
O lonely watcher of the skies,
Do you hear the night wind and the sighs
Of harps playing unto Love to unclose
The pale gates of sunrise?

When all things repose, do you alone
Awake to hear the sweet harps play
To Love before him on his way,
And the night wind answering in antiphon
Till night is overgone?

Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,
Whose way in heaven is aglow
At that hour when soft lights come and go,
Soft sweet music in the air above
And in the earth below.

What did you think? Poetry ain’t half bad!


Happy Birthday my beloved Canada… I am watching your skies today.