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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resolving to…

Here’s my list of resolutions, in no such order:

1. win iron chef 2010
2. listen more; talk less
3. run, run, run
4. spend more time alone; learn to enjoy the quiet
5. relax more; organize less
6. make some decisions about my future
7. eat more raw; eat less wheat
8. start saving for some trips i’m dreaming of
9. learn to understand grace
10. give myself a pedicure without cutting off my entire heel (like i did on sunday)

Luke’s resolutions, in no such order:

1. get in shape
2. use the word “chesterfield” instead of “couch” from now on and wherever it fits

We’re aspiring big this year. Look out.


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made with love…

I would like to acknowledge the following people for making the, well…following, photographs possible (or what is inside them):

Dad – for telling me they taste JUST LIKE MOM’s a couple years ago, making me persevere to make them again and again. YES.

Chrissy – for the generous lending of your cooling racks — for the very first time I made biberli not using an extra oven rack or overturned dish drying rack. Trav you get thanked just for your association with Chrissy. And your commentary to my life.

Ky – for you generous donation of icing sugar. I needed more BUT yours got me through round one 3 days ago.

Tim – the guy I work with and his honey bees — the honey he gave me this summer was exactly what I needed for these cookies.

Megan – for being the very first person I made biberli with, I think I’ve come a long way since then.

My Nana – for her legacy of incomparable Christmas cookie recipes.

My landlords — God bless them for the smells they have to put up with wafting through the vents.

Jes — for your patience over my questions over the years, I think this year I might’ve done it solely on my own? Wait, I did ask how long the dough could sit out I think — it’s tough to make these in one sitting!

Luke – for being my biggest fan and favourite ‘critic’… insisting it’s not enough to fairly judge by trying just one.

My dear Mom — whose heart probably broke when her second daughter did nothing but sit around and watch all of the Christmas baking being done… little did she know my baby blues were suffocating my brain with every last detail for making the softest, sweetest, most deliciously golden brown and delightful Christmas cookie the world will ever have the privilege of recognizing. To you mom, I tip my hat.

SUCCESS, friends…SUCCESS!


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breyers

Hi Trav, Chrissy, and Luke:

I did some re-con work at the store… and followed up with some google slash wikipedia-ing. There ya go. Bring on the inexpensive real ice cream!

Although promoting itself as a ‘natural ice cream’ in the past; like some of their competitors, many Breyers flavors have recently been reformulated with cheaper nontraditional ingredients. These changes include the addition of tara gum and replacement of real cream with skim milk. As these products now consist mainly of milk and skim milk rather than milk and cream they can no longer legally be called ‘ice cream’ and are instead labeled as ‘frozen dairy dessert’.

For example: All Natural- Uses all-natural ingredients derived from natural sources, however, not as natural as they used to be (for example, ‘Chocolate Flavored Chips’ and the addition of Tara Gum as a stabilizer to promote a creaminess for cost-cutting measures).

You’re welcome,

Kate


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of friends

Good friends. I hope that’s one of the most memorable parts of my life — good friends. My favourite friend Jocelyn and her favourite man, Jordie, came over for dinner with me and my other favourite friend, Luke and it was awe-some. I actually can’t say enough about it. I’m always looking for that first moment where Christmas truly begins and coming after the birth of my nephew, last night was the second of those catalysts for me.

There is such a blessing of watching someone bring out the best in another and watching Joce and Jordie be that for each other is so special. Or forever learning more about the person Luke is. And conversation fueled by not seeing each other often, good wine and lots and lots of laughter, makes it hard not to liken the mixture to the sweet taste of eggnog and the coziness of fireplaces and snow buried toes. Christmas is in the air, did you know?

I guess what I mean is that I want to make sure my life is accompanied by good friends, along with everything else that I dream of, live for, desire, or believe in. And I think metaphors that contain anything relating to Christmas rings success in life on a whole other level. Have I ever told you how blessed I am?

(We had lasagna and lava cakes if you were wondering. You can even come next time)

Cheers!


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a mess of things

It’s the end of week two and I am ready to take on  the world. I think I’ve peaked and learned everything I need to be a successful teacher.

Can you imagine it would be that way? Between raging disbelief that I am on the cusp of my dream-come-true and the intensity of the teaching program itself, already, it’s felt like a semester…not a few weeks…have passed already. It’s all very theoretical and practical and intelligent but what I forgot to add to the equation were two resounding things:

1. Other classmates. For the very first time ever I’m actually in a group/cohort of people that are doing the exact same thing I am. A little hard to fathom. And at other times, difficult to handle as I am learning, albeit very slowly, that other people’s opinions are exactly that — they don’t have to be mine.

2. Fear. All of a sudden I am trembling at the responsibility I am learning for. Can you believe in 15.5 months I will be teaching? I can’t. I am afraid. Excited, but afraid. Wow.

So that’s school. I’ve met a couple really spectacular people that I am oh-so-excited about. You really do need like minded people to meld with, especially for group projects. Can you imagine teaching the joys of steak eating with a vegetarian for a partner? Exactly. So I am humbly blessed by the magnetic force that attracted us to one another. It’s great.

On the home front, my little apartment is quite the place. I am fully unpacked and organized which is fantastic but it’ll still take a bit to feel like home. In other words, it’s a bit of an adjustment being solely on my own. I have to pay for everything myself, clean entirely by myself, and then come home to no one. It’s very nice and I enjoy my own space but after spending the summer at home and the year before with some of my favourite people in the world, it just all feels so very quiet right now. I am hoping I will get used to it. Nicest part so far? Walking to school, snuggling into my comfy couches with a book, and having people over where they just feel totally at home. I like being a host — I think I get that from my mom! — so it is pretty fun to have people over and let them just relax. So feel free, I can guarantee quality conversation and cinnamon buns.

I got my practicum placement yesterday and I am pretty excited about it! It’s close to home so when I return for Thanksgiving, I will stay for two weeks to do an observation and meet my mentor teacher before the real deal comes in the spring. I will spare the details for this highly publicized domain but I am very excited about it. I had hoped to go out to Camrose but for whatever reason, the high school there was not taking student teachers. Maybe it’s the conditioner I use? Either way, the practicum advisor’s exact words were: “Sorry Kate, Camrose doesn’t want you” — maybe there is a lesson in that.

Up and coming? Trip to the mainland for a grand tour of Dad’s masterpiece renovation in Vancouver that has been completed and running further than the 5 ish k I am up to now.

And on top of all that, it’s so nice to be back. I miss home, for family and friends, but I am pretty excited about the possibility of everything here. I had a conversation yesterday with Luke where we were questioning each other’s motives and “styles” of living life (sort of what we’d want our legacy to be). With all that I am learning in school and doubly in my personal life I think I want my way of life to simply be this:

Authentic.

I want to know who I am and be okay being that. I am pretty sure that I am on the fast track to getting there. So stay tuned for more… and a lot less “update” styley (word?) posting. I just wanted to get in touch.

Cheers from one of the most beautiful places in the world!


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delicious

So one of my most favourite people had a presentation to do for work. It was a pretty big deal, actually the BIGGEST deal, so I wanted to make him some treats to fire him up for it. Unfortunately, photographs were the only way I could get these to him on time so it was the best I could do. I’d like to believe that it was the ‘thought that counts’ but I think it was a painful, terrible tease. 🙂 I ended up bringing them all to work, which was a total hit. It was the VERY first time I’ve ever made PASTRY and I was thoroughly happy with how it turned out!! Anyways, I thought I would extend these to you. Along with a humble invitation for coffee with me, I am always looking for a good chat and equal parts laughter. What do you think? Invitation worthy of acceptance? Hope so.
a variation of an apple danish bar... with bluberries and peaches!

a variation of an apple danish bar... with blueberries and peaches!

 

Beauty!

Beauty!

 

It was both flaky AND delicious....success!

It was both flaky AND delicious....success!

 

the public works crew's fav... even earned me a kiss. SCANDAL!

the public works crew's fav... even earned me a kiss. SCANDAL!

I think I've finally sorted it out and can make them without my mama! SUCCESS x2

I think I've finally sorted it out and can make them without my mama! SUCCESS x2

I saved one for you, Trav.

I saved one for you, Trav.


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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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i wish i was exaggerating pt. 2

In typical “bring Kate’s life” turn of events, my wallet has been returned to me withalmost everything in it. It was only missing my visa and cheque book and the loonie I keep in there for a rainy day when I think Americanos will finally cost less than a dollar.

 

I would just like to point out that when my car was stolen and then returned that this was the most annoying: why go through the adventure and heart attack factor of the theft and chase only to have it returned almost completely intact? I don’t get it?

Mom, Luke, my imaginary friend(s), and my coworkers seem to believe it so that I have stories to tell.

I like to believe that blessings in my life flow in abundance… even if they are as annoying as this, it’s still nice. And funny. And a nuisance. And a subject for a blog post.

 

Oh well.

Living vicariously through my own life is not giving me much clarity.


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one small step for kate, one giant leap for…

Thank you all for thinking of me — the interview was this morning and it went well! I was advised to Answer the questions with confidence and determination and to show my heart and honestly, I think my dream is pretty obvious so it wasn’t very hard. Plus, they were really, really nice… two older male professors. One reminded me of a stereotypical grandpa with white hair, full laugh, and smiling eyes. I didn’t actually want to leave, I was having too much fun. So two to three weeks I should know… awesome!!

Anyways, study break up at Mount Doug the other night… brilliant:dsc00435

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