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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merry christmas from the hagenstams!

“How can I stop from singing Your praise? How can I ever say enough, how amazing Your love?” …God’s greatest blessing is family… and here is a photographic tribute to my own… please, if you feel compelled to join in the Penticton festivities next year, by all means! And sorry for how huge these are..Wordpress and I are still getting acquainted.

xox

Derek and Me
Loving seeing Derek at the Kamloops Blazers game in Kelowna… Derek was a little hesitant to share the love!

New Years Fondue!

New Year’s Eve fondue!

Goofin’

Just before Putz left back for Invermere!

Hagenized

Putting the Hagen in Hagenstam…Mark and Jes

Biggest Fans!

More Kamloops Blazer action… there’s our favourite player right in the middle, in his Hugo Boss silk suit I might add! We sure had fun doing this and seeing the Huisman men (Uncle Pete is right behind Dad’s head)

 

The Tie that Binds

The lot of us…once a year…Dad in the hot seat…don’t you wish you were there?!

God sent SNOW

God sent us a beautiful abundance of snow…so we fought with it!

Nate and Kate

Normally Nate and I are relatively attractive… here, not so much!

Daddy’s girl!

Hey, she’s single?!!

Sister Love

Loving it!

The one where Jayme got hurt

Hating it! Right after Miss Jayme hurt herself.

Mom and Dad!

Where it all started! Beauty!

)

Traditional Poses…

Mom and her girls

Mom and her girls! I don’t know who is more proud…her of us or us of her!

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Rider Pride

I legitimately was confused, yet respectful, of Mark’s love for the Sakatchewan Roughriders… but in support of my brother in law, I sat loyally through the entire Grey Cup final today and by the end of it, I was excitedly yelling with the best of fans… I came by it innocently, wanting to watch the game just as BC-moral support for Mark’s favourite team (and Mark himself) but I’ve decided that it really doesn’t matter whether I understand it or not, football is the BEST sport to watch EVER. Oh yeah… AND THE RIDERS WON!!!!!!!!! For the first time in HOW long? I don’t know, I will have to ask Mark. Actually, way to go Mark, I really believe that your dedication to this team helped them through. I am not going to pretend to be hardcore because I am not, but that was unreal! I didn’t even answer the phone during it!! I guess it only makes sense to keep it in the family so I may be considered a convert or betraying BC but like Jes said “forget BC” and ultimately, forget the Lions… because today (and NOT only in the truest “only because they won the Grey Cup” form) I am now a Riders fan. Yeaa…


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flights are about 400$, I will keep checking for sales…

…to go back to Camrose. For real.

Honestly, I think God created Camrose and my sister and brother in law’s life there to be “my” place. I am kidding, as that is extremely selfish, but the last 7 days in Camrose, like every other trip there, has been so huge for me a in challenging way. See everything I am extremely stressed, hurting or broken, I find myself heading there…then leaving there with an entirely different perspective: On God. That’s it. I mean, I am quickly learning that my relationship with Christ can be deepened and fostered without going to Camrose, but this time, that’s what I needed from it. I will spare the “gory” details but my heart is soaring at what reading break brought for me.

I spent the week working at CLBI with Jes (and Mark) for the 75th Anniversary of the school’s existence. While it was tiring, and hard work, it also was the first opportunity for me to feel right at home… I love being at CLBI with Jes because it gives me insight into her world, particularly into her and Mark’s ministry there. While I marveled at the Norwegians and the Scandinavian food, I found a quiet comfort in the busyness of it all: they seem to like me here. 🙂 Coupled with some other special visits and connecting with Jes’ connections there…specifically her in-laws and old landlord, I really felt like I had come home. While, at this point in my life, home is anywhere someone will cook me a meal and offer some advice (I am kidding), I really felt like it was the first time I was able to talk in 3 months… about anything and everything. Which was unreal.

I also got to go horseback riding with Amy, Mark’s sister, which rocked. Many of you may have heard me say in the last couple months that I cannot compare Victoria and Alberta because they are completely different in every possible way. It’s true… because when I was riding the horse in the cold, wintry prairie winds, I realized how truly different the places are. And how much I miss being in Alberta. (I know what you guys are thinking…will she ever be content? But that’s not what this is about)

Simply put, I am blessed beyond words because a girl could only dream to find comfort in so many places, such as Penticton with Mom and the kids, Smithers with history, the island with family and friends, and Camrose Alberta with my sister’s world and God willing, maybe my future? But I am more blessed for these gentle reminders that show this girl the ultimate comfort is in God.

I don’t think how much I can emphasize how much of a wonderfully awesome time I had this past week. Or how much I already absolutely, completely miss it.

PS This was the verse at CLBI’s anniversary bash… while the skin-sagging part made Jes and I chuckle, I think it is extremely powerful:

“I’m still in Your presence, but You’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then You bless me. You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. . . . (Psalm 73:23-26 The Message).


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live from penticton it’s SATURDAY NIGHT

Looks like we’re having fun, huh? When Jes and Mark were here, one of the activities was a picnic at Sun-Oka Beach in Summerland, here’s pictographic representation of a moment with Dad. Not bad hey? I’d say ‘Kate lay off the eye make up’ but I really believe it’s a shadow because I did not layer on the M.A.C. that morning. Anyways, just wanted to share that with you.

For the record, my summer vacation is over in T-2 days. I figured I should pay homage to my work place and how desperately I am going to miss them and the lifestyle after four concentrated months… but I am not. The way I see it is that God grants us opportunity where He sees fit. By receipt of these opportunities do we cultivate experience, and only after which do we recognize the parts of an experience as invaluable. Or not.

I guess ultimately I am really trying to get to a place where my life and God’s plan go hand in hand. I am not saying that He didn’t desire me to work at the RDOS again this summer, I just know that He hasn’t planned regional government in my future. Or if He has, I am not aware of it yet. Basically, I believe that as I spend time really counselling with Him and in His word, His plan is revealing itself and I am more excited about the possibility in that than I am sad about what I am leaving behind. (Although none of my coworkers read this blog so they’d shoot me in the foot if they knew I wasn’t crying about it).

I take away some extremely invaluable experiences from the RDOS, specific to this summer. I learnt that I have a long way to go in ‘upping’ my patient quotient; expanding in my tolerance. My knowledge of customer service is extended beyond taking their bill payments and answering their phone calls. I recognize now that every person has a story, a feeling, a belief that they do not bring to the office, and that the human being is a unique creation beyond anything I will ever be able to comprehend. For each voice and personality at the RDOS are so different that I got to sample parts of them and add what I desired to my own character. I also got to recognize in myself what I would like to leave behind. For that, I am indebted to each one.

So here we go, off again, and probably back next summer. But, aside from seeing my crush, on that guy, I don’t think I will be looking in anticipation for my arrival to the office again. It’s time to go out, to a new school, new city, and I will take parts of those people, those experiences and create another chapter of my story. Maybe I will even let someone else take the pen for awhile. Either way, there’s no sadness in it. Merely anticipation of who I can share these people with.

How’s that for homage to my summer job, my friends, my crush (which is more like a full on ‘like’ now but that’s another story)?

Arrivederci mes amigos! (yes, I know that’s two different languages)


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time flies

Jes and Mark were just here for a week, and today I just remembered that I am NOT going back to Alberta so who knows when I will get to see them again! It is enough to make me question my decision a little bit, but not enough t orethink it entirely… plus Thanksgiving in Saskatchewan could be a wonderful event!

Aside from my minor melancholy, them leaving for Camrose again marks another moment: it’s the end of summer. In 8 days I will be leaving the regional district after another brilliant summer and in 9 days we will leave for the island and in 10 days I should be moving into my new home. That’s a lot of stuff going on if you ask me. This part of the year hits me in two ways, as I assume it does for everyone: sad to leave home but fired up about things to come. Aside from leaving my crush (which will be decidedly easy) and home, I feel like it’s shaping up to being a good move and a fantastic year. Who knows though, I can be overly optimistic. Just kidding.

So Jes and Mark, I promise it will be like it was when I was in Calgary… show up every available weekend and outstay way past my welcome. But it’s time to go! Yay!


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to my brother-in-law

Mark, I love you, you know that right? I mean, you’ve been a major pain- I mean PART – of my life for the last, what, 2.45 years? I feel like you and I have fostered a friendship that is going to weather many storms. I trust you with my fears and anxieties and excitement and feelings. You take care of my vehicle. I mean, we support eachother. You support me in wanting to go to Victoria, and I support you in wanting a VW bus from Washington. We get eachother, I mean, we both seem to think Jess is pretty great, that Prison Break is super intense, and that some things are better left unsaid. I feel like I can approach you about anything and that (potentially) you will respond in a way that I leave feeling as if I understand a little more. Basically, you’re like my Robin to my being Batman, in the event that I need some side-kickin’ (or savin’ the world). So Mark, can you please bring Jes home for my birthday? Please? That’s kinda all this is about. Heck, bring her down in your bus.


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plans

Hey guys, just a head’s up: I am going to Camrose for the weekend to see Jes and Mark!! I would appreciate your prayers as the last time I was there I spent $200+ on car repairs and I can’t afford that (nor do I want to) again. So pray that I get through the 3 hour drive there and the 3 hours back (Sunday night) in tip top shape.

PS Ok, Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) is not my boyfriend, but I appreciate the trickery I pulled on people like Auntie Sylvia. Gives me the confidence that one day, he WILL be mine. Or someone just as fabulous. 🙂