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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i’m here!

And what better time to kick start my re-entry to blogging but LENT – my own consistent blogging series. Mmhmm… missing my good friend Chrissy for this particular ‘event’ (see last year), especially in choosing what to give up, but I persevere.

First of all – I am going to make an effort to be on here more. I enjoy blogging a great deal, I just have too many hilarious and life changing moments that start with “Today, with my students, we…” and I have to watch it – for privacy and also for boredom…to you. I sound like a broken record most of the time but honestly. teaching is an honest-to-goodness-made-for-television style of entertainment. I will try to keep you in the loop much more.

So. Lent. Last year I gave up make up. It was a powerful time. While a time of healing, mostly for my face that had been covered up for over 10 years, the challenge/fast was habit forming and I haven’t touched foundation since, except to throw it away.

I also apparently gave up dessert. That didn’t happen very often though, there was always a justification and since I always wanted to reward myself for being so diligent in not wearing make up, it was a bad combo. Excuses, excuses. But seriously, that one was especially tough – largely in part due to my living situation at the time (coke floats that flowed…endlessly?).

So here we are, day one of the 2012 lenten fasting, and here are my sacrifices:

1. hitting the snooze button, even on weekends. A very good friend of mine is doing this and I think it is a great idea. It’ll be especially tough given the zero accountability but I’ve declared it, so here I go.

2. Staying at the school past 5. I know it’s crazy but some evenings I will be in my classroom until well into the evening and I need to work on this. It might be a “contradictory” sacrifice but any teachers out there, especially new ones, will understand this.

3. Watching TV shows/movies to fall asleep. I don’t remember when this habit started but I need to spend this time pleasure reading or with my devos or just thinking. When I consider how much of my day is filled with distractions, busyness, and talking to others, I need to bring in some quiet.

How’d I do today?


I hit snooze once. Oops

I left school at 5:10. BUT I was tutoring one of my kids later than planned so I think it was important for both of us.

I haven’t gone to bed yet. And I am blogging. But it’s quiet and there is hope for some committed success in this area.

What are you thinking of letting go of for this season?

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lent status update

So I am three weeks in. If you’ve forgotten – I gave up foundation (really, any type of powder, concealer, whatever) makeup and desserts.

Anyway. The make up has been awesome, rather – the lack of. I feel so good, I have not put ANYTHING on my face, save for mascara, in over three weeks. The first week was really rough, my skin went through a kind of detox so I had a lot of red splotches and breaking out a bit around my jaw. I figured that was minor pay back for covering it up for so many years (12 years, give or take). But now,  my skin is really evening out and it feels better than it ever has.  It’s funny, I never actually had bad skin to begin with so I am now wondering why I ever started wearing any makeup whatsoever. OH well. And at the recommendation of a friend, I’ve picked up a new moisturizer, the best one I’ve ever used (Dormer 211 — buy it) and that is making this whole fast thing awesome — at this rate, I have no plans to wear make up after this. Thanks Jes for the challenge. I think everyone should do this. I thought I’d see a direct correlation between clean and clear foundation-less skin and not eating desserts but I’d proven science and pore cleansing commercials, speaking about eating right for healthy skin, wrong becccccauuuseee….

I cheated on my dessert sacrifice about 5 days in. Let me explain. I don’t actually know why I gave up dessert to begin with. It’s not a crutch for me and it’s not something I have often enough to even notice if I don’t have it. As I thought about it more, I theorize that I only gave it up because Chrissy didn’t believe she has what it takes to give up something she’s passionate about (ice cream, graham crackers, chocolate, and bananas — yes, altogether. Amazing). So I guess when she suggested I give up dessert, it was actually so she could live vicariously through me and feel as though she is doing the fasting in her own small way. Maybe?

Not really, but I still don’t know why I gave it up. My dessert count it up to this:

1. sex in a pan (Sunday – 5 days in to lent)
2. sex in a pan leftovers (Monday – 6 days in to lent)
3. three bowls of ice cream at various times post-first cheat
4. Frozen yogurt with my almost-due preggo friend Rebecca (5 days ago)… we had to, she was craving! (I was craving? :))
5, Joy the Baker’s Butterscotch Pudding with Carmelized Bananas and Cream (2 nights ago)

PS Joy the Baker has changed my life. Anyway.

6. A piece of Connor’s birthday cake (yesterday)

Don’t ever say I am not accountable to my actions. And now that I’ve completed that list, it’s safe to say that three weeks in, I am officially giving up dessert for an extended-lent, possibly into my 26th year. I really don’t have  it often, I blame it on being influenced of those around me. So either the people or the dessert has to go. Bye bye deliciousness, here goes.

EXCEPT if I want frozen yogurt. Or Joy the [rockstar] Baker‘s grapefruit scones. Unreal. Lifechanging. Breakfast transforming. Amazing. Period.



So I missed lent.

Actually, I didn’t. I was all set to write about how I missed the season this year and subsequently, missed giving something up. However, upon some .25 second research, I learned that it actually starts tomorrow.


What should I give up this year? Last year I attempted to give up bread. That didn’t work, I kept forgetting about it. The year before I took a year off. My most successful lenten sacrifice was in ’08 when I gave up coffee for 40 days — no cheating whatsoever. And the year before that when I gave up milk/cream/sugar in my coffee and haven’t enjoyed it in my coffee since.

What should I give up this year?

Here are my current things:

1. facial foundation make up
2. desserts (every form…after dinner, after lunch, and after breakfast — sometimes, it happens)

My breast feeding cousin-in-law Chrissy, who wishes to remain anonymous yet isn’t, said she will not be joining me in giving up desserts because she says Kalli, her baby girl, needs them.

She also is not hypocritical, stating that I cannot have exemptions. There is a new frozen yogurt joint in town that is AH-mazing so I want to visit it once or twice in the next 40 days — my only exception to my fast. Not only will Chrissy not partake in the fast, but she is ensuring that I only commit if I plan to commit 100%. I have visions of her sitting on the couch, eating espresso and ice cream and watching over her bowl as I suffer. No exemptions, no cheating. To quote:  “Kate, this is God we’re talking about. You can’t mess with him, God has no exemptions.” Wow. Okay.

Here’s the idea: I don’t really think anything I can give up for lent will in ANY way signify the greatest sacrifice of all, but relatively speaking – this will be a good challenge for me. Really good challenge and way to be reminded of why I am giving some things up to begin with.

Plus it’ll keep my breast feeding cousin-in-law entertained.


Any other suggestions?



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i am a failure

So for a year I’ve been telling people that I am going to give up wearing makeup for Lent. Jes suggested it when I was in Camrose a year ago and I figured by the time this Lent rolled along, I would be totally ready for the challenge.

I am not.

Granted, I don’t wear a ton of make up but I do wear foundation, mascara and a bit of eyeliner, and the odd dust of blush. More than being a fake face, it’s a matter of routine. I do well with routine. Plus I would have non existent eyelashes if I didn’t wear mascara and my eyebrows without a little clear mascara would be like a bad hair day on my face. So needless to say, I am STILL warming up to the idea and I don’t know what to think of myself. Maybe I will give up one category of make up per week until Easter, ie: no mascara on my left eye this week, graduate to right eye next week. That’d be fun hey?

In other words, I need something else to give up for Lent… any body have any ideas/challenges for me? I am thinking maybe facebook. Not that I am that hardcore about it either, I’ve been trying to quit, but yea. Ideas? Challenges? Double-dares?

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of what I’ve given up in the past:

-milk/cream and sugar in my coffee
-coffee in general
-wanting to be ‘in the loop’ of people’s lives/gos
-chips (I think that was dumb because I don’t eat them very often
-other vices not blog worthy

So give me ideas!

(For those of you confused, Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter and for the majority of my life, circa early 90s when the Pederson tradition caught on at the Stam house, we’ve picked to give up something (food, habit, vice) for those entire 40 days. A type of fasting. Last year I gave up coffee and I all but died. Thankfully, when I started my fast I started a week too early so when I cheated a week before Easter, I actually had completed a full 40 days. I rock.)

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lenten update 2

I made it to 32 days but I’ve given up. It’s un fortunate on two accounts: that I can’t do it and because it’s ’round the clock study time, I need the caffeine. If it’s any consolation to myself, I started Lent accidentally a week early because my calendar didn’t say when it was and then at church when he said something about Shrove Tuesday coming up the next week, I had already been fasting… so since Easter is next week, I really don’t feel that guilty. Sorry for letting you down.


lenten update/feeling my age

So it’s day 17 since I gave up coffee and took up minding my own business. It’s been successful thus far. I believe I had three cups of coffee at Mark and Jes’ home (as per my contingency) and haven’t had a drop since or before. Not bad considering I am a feign. As for the take up resolve, it’s been pretty easy considering I’ve locked myself in my room for homework purposes and have been very selective on who I hang out with during this 40 day stint. Just kidding. I think next year I am going to give up chocolate almonds (apparently I love those) and I am going to take up not assuming things. I like to say it’s not my fault, but when I observe someone from afar or expect certain things to happen, it’s in my second nature to assume things, unintentionally often the worst things. But I will have to chew on that for awhile, I am actively trying to understand that even though my best friend is the most beautiful girl from my home town or that I don’t have a figure like Hilary Swank, that I am worth attention and love too right? So before I start formulating my next Lent resolution, I think I actively need to understand that I rock for my own reasons.

(I just realized that is the most un-connected paragraph ever…)

Now for my age. Lately I like to call things I do, that are out of the ordinary, coming of age moments. I truly believe that as I begin to make the merger from student to educated adult, that it’s ok to commemorate “older” things…and there is no reason I can’t start now. For example, last year I popped a tired on the way to Camrose and didn’t even call me dad in a panic. I bought a Real Simple magazine the other day, convincing myself that just because I am not a homeowner and married, I still like simple ideas for things and recipes. I drove from Penticton to Calgary, back from Smithers to Penticton, to Drumheller and Camrose from home, all by myself at certain points in recent years. I finally got my full license. I bring homemade French Crescent rolls to a “party” for a friend where they are too intoxicated to appreciate it. All of these, I consider, are coming of age moments. I tend to embrace these… and rarely do I feel anymore that I am “too young” for things, until the other night.

I went to my first Tupperware party. Ever. The lady was so passionate for her cause, explaining and literally caressing the Tupperware that she brought to the party to show off. So passionate that I spent the entire time telling myself to get psyched up over the product because that’s clearly what I shouldve been doing, along with the lady who was showing it. But I couldn’t. Iwanted so badly to buy something (very expensive) just to embrace yet anoter age milestone I’ve met, but I didn’t. Instead, I felt too young to be there for the most part! Not that the people there were old, mind you. Maybe it’s because I thought my own Mom should’ve been there. Maybe it’s because I didn’t realize that recycled sour cream containers aren’t good enough for leftovers. Maybe it’s because I went to a Mary Kay party the night before (they operate on the same principle: sell, sell, sell). But I really just kept kicking myself to grow up because I didn’t want to admit…yet…that Tupperware excites me.