Friday, August 19, 2011

It's never quite what we expect, is it??

DAY 40!!!!!!!

I have draft posts of the last week that I have missed while traveling and moving. I will get to them soon hopefully but I wanted to post today because today is the end of my 40 Days to Colorado!

Holy crap did that go fast. But I am here, and well, I'm partially settled. You will read in my posts leading up to this (once I finish them) that the past two days were not quite what I expected. I was positive that me moving to Colorado was a mistake, but at the same time prudently hopeful that God would prove those feelings faulty. And... He... Did....

Tonight was my orientation for the MAC program at CCU. It began by one of the professors opening in prayer and I don't know why that took me by surprise, being that I'm attending a Christian school, but it did. It was refreshing. Then we did a 5 minute devotion that asked the question, do you truly believe that God loves you?.... 'Well, do you, Katie?' It was like God was talking directly to my heart. 'Do you really think I would bring you out here with no purpose or by mistake? Do you trust that I love you and have a plan for bringing you out to this strange place? I need you to know my love for you. Your uncertainty of my love will continue to cause doubt and inhibit you from completing the purposes I have for you. I love you, I NEED you to believe that even when you don't understand what's going on around you.'

Well, if that wasn't a way to start off orientation! Did the faculty know that I struggle to believe that, at times when I feel like God has forgotten me or neglected me??? Probably not. But I think their reason for asking that question is because when we don't believe that God loves us right where we are, not for who we are supposed to be, we preclude ourselves from being used completely by God. Yes, I know, He can use us no matter what we believe, but when we walk through this journey completely knowing and trusting that God truly loves us, my guess is, the experience is completely different and more vibrant than we could ever imagine. My prayer is to know that love in a deeper way than I have ever known and that God would use this experience out here to draw me to Him.

All that to be said, after hearing my professors talk about their heart for us as students, the program and what they expect from us my fears of this move being a mistake quickly faded. Yes, it's different here. Yes, it's not quite what I expected. Yes, I will have to find a new normal and I'm not quite certain what that will look like yet. But I am confident that God is good and He does love me. I pray that He will continue to allow me to know more of His love and to help me in my unbelief when I don't understand. This is going to be an interesting ride... but I'm in for the long haul and can't wait to see what it brings!

It seems like 40 days went by in the blink of an eye and I know I didn't blog EVERY day, but I was close and will be interested to look back on these entries next year at this time and see how I'm feeling. Hopefully I will continue to be more consistent with blogging as it's been a great stress relief for me, while also being able to record the different ups and downs of this journey! It's like my rock of rememberance! I'm not sure how much time I will have being that I know I will have a lot of reading and writing for my classes, but I hope to keep up with it at least weekly. Until next time....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The State That Never Ends....

Tuesday, Day 37:

We are soooo close. So close to our destination. So close to my new home. So close but so far away. Today we went through Missouri and some of Kansas. My good friend, Marcus, lives in Kansas, so we got to meet up with him for some down home Kansas City BBQ. It was so fun to see him again. He walked us through KU's campus and we got a quick glimpse of the Jayhawk's two-a-day practices for football. After Marcus took us around his stomping grounds at KU, Dad and I hit the road again. We wanted to get a few hours closer to Colorado so we won't have to wake up so early (my idea) tomorrow to meet the movers by 3.

Have you ever driven through Kansas? Let me tell you. Beautiful. But you can only look at corn fields, windmills, cow pastures and more fields for so long. It's amazing to think that about the men and women who tend to this beautiful land and how much work it takes to keep them producing for us city folk :D The land is so rich out here and while it is breath taking to see... I'm ready to see some mountains. AND SOON!!

Thanks Dad for road tripping with me! You've been a rock star... I couldn't have done it with out you!!!!!!

Reunited and it feels so good (lol)! All SMILES!! Good food and friends!

Road Trip Partners!
Longest Road... EVER.
Beautiful fields of Kansas
Just some of the windmills....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

COLORAD-HO!!!! Day 35

Let's go!!! Dad and I are on our way... WE ARE IN THE Uhaul now and he is currently driving over the bumps along side of the road (to make sure I'm awake, he claims). I have jotted thoughts down through out the week for each of the days I've missed from this last week but haven't had enough time to put them together quite yet...I'm hoping I will have a chance next week after I'm settled in COLORADO!

It's been a beautiful ride so far....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Buried Treasures... Kind of.

Day 32 and 33

These past two days has been when the manual preparation begins. A lot of sorting, trashing, packing, and more packing. Thank God about 70 percent of my stuff is in storage and already in boxes because the 30 percent that I've done in the last two days is enough for me. After going through this portion of my belongings I'm starting to feel like I belong on that show 'Hoarders' (gag me now please... I seriously could throw up when I watch that show). Let me explain. The stuff that I have here at the Campbell's house was all considered 'must have' when moving out of my condo in March so I really shouldn't have very much as far as supplementary items to go through. Must have... You mean the must have shin guards that I keep around just in case Pia Sundhage calls and wants me to come practice with the team? Yes. Well.... it could happen. And if it does, I will be prepared. That's all I'm saying.....I like to be prepared.

Other than an important pair of shin guards, I also found something I was not prepared for; I found validity in a few letters lying underneath a pile of dust in my nightstand. As I began reading the first letter, an apology letter of sorts, I had to laugh. I started feeling crazy that I had ever let the author get to me the way he did. Even in his "apology" letter, I was being blamed for the disintegration of what might have been between us. I mean, who writes an apology letter and then blames you in the same breath...on the same piece of paper! I remember all the times he ran me in circles with his words when we disagreed and by the end I wouldn't even remember what we were arguing about. These moments use to make me feel like I was nuts. But there it was in BLACK AND WHITE. I wasn't crazy, and reading that letter with a clear head and no emotion tied to the words on that paper, reminded me of how blind love can be sometimes. Thank God for His protection!

I'm not sure why I ever kept those letters, but I'm glad that I did. I tossed the letters today, but kept the shin guards (just. in. case). I'm moving and need all the space I can get! They served their purpose and need not come with me on my journey to Colorado.... What's in the past, should stay in the past. No need to bring all the extra baggage with me!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pardon the Interruption but....

MY LITTLE SISTER IS ENGAGED!!!! I am thrilled for her and Jess (her fiance) and couldn't be more excited for them and the step they are about to take! I can only imagine the elation Meggo feels about getting to marry and do life with this amazing man that loves her so completely. I say completely because although I've only seen them together for the sum of a couple weeks, that's just what he does. I've not ever seen Megan so herself with someone and so confident in who she is. Megan was the free spirit in our family growing up and I'm thankful that with Jess she has felt the freedom to remain as such.

It makes my heart happy to know she will be marrying someone who lovingly encourages her to be 'Meggo,' cares enough to challenge her when she needs it (somehow he gets her to listen!), and will love her through the ups and downs of life, as they walk the path to which God has called them. Jess is a lucky guy because that Meggo, well, she's a good one! She's playful, and smart, funny and loyal and she's pretty much capable of doing anything she sets her mind to! There's no doubt in my mind that they will bring the best out in each other and double their joy as they join each other as husband and wife! Love you two! Jess, I can't wait for you to be a part of our family!!

Words_My sentiments...

Day 30: Tuesday

Ambivalent (about leaving the ones I love)
Excited (to start this new chapter).
Scared (that I quit my job in this volatile economy).
Hopeful (for all of the new possibilities).
Butterflies (about making new friends and the first day of school).
Curious (of the future unknowns in this move).
Ready (for ups and downs).
Confident (because I am NOT alone).

*yes, I'm a couple days behind. I'm going to blame it on two things. 1. Megan's engagement. and 2. Settlers of Catan (and 2a. Amy and David FORCING me to play Settlers of Catan EVERY night)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quality time :D

Day 29:

What a perfect Monday so far. Amy and I took M & W to the park today and it couldn't have been a more beautiful summer's day here in Virginia. We packed lunch too, so we had ourselves a little picnic to top it all off! It's one of those days I'm gonna store in my memory bank and let it call a smile to my face when I remember it. I know in my head there must be things I need to do in preparation for this move, but I honestly feel like I'm ready to go. Sans actually being packed up by the movers. I guess my mind knows I need to soak up all the quality time I can get with the people I love before I leave so the actual tasks are getting pushed to the back burner. They'll get done. They always do. And if they don't, well, I'll still end up in Colorado. Maybe I'll be missing a suitcase of clothes, but I can recover those.... What I can't get back are days like today, and getting to love on M & W, and spend time with my sis!

The other night M climbed up to where we had W positioned in the little nook of the couch. He almost squished her out of excitement to be sitting next to her. Then he put his finger into W's hand and looked at Amy with is hand out for her to grab. As she did, he looked at me and then David and said "other one." He wanted all of us to hold hands. Amy asked him, "are we going to pray?" His grin turned into a full blown smile and he closed his eyes. Then he followed with the sweetest voice he could possibly talk in, one that would melt anyone's heart. He said, "Dear God..... thank you (for) dede...... thank you (for) mommy....... thank you (for) W......... and thank you (for) daddy... ..... ALL DONE." I almost turned to mush right then and there. I love that little boy. I'm not sure what provoked him to do that but it was just one more little moment* to store in my memory bank and take with me to Colorado.

*David beat Amy and I in Settlers AGAIN tonight. This is a memory I would not mind forgetting!! GAH!!!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Let the count down begin (as if it hasn't already)...

In just one week, my dad and I will be on our way to Colorado!!! I started this series of blog posts so I could record this journey and have these posts jog my memory as to how the heck I got to Colorado. Lord knows, I need a little catalyst to spark my memory at times! In saying that, I'm sure that not every post has been SUPER intriguing or all that captivating. But hey, that's life isn't it? My life is not an action packed, non-stop thriller movie (every day), so I guess my posts will reflect that if I'm posting on a more regular basis. Hopefully by the end of this, I won't have run anyone off by some of the ridiculously unstimulating posts.

All that to say, I'm glad I'm doing this. Albeit, at times I don't have tons to say about this move other than it's happening and, at this point, it's happening soon, but I know I'll be glad I did it in the future. I want to get it all out on paper because I want to remember this. I want to remember what I'm feeling. Where God has led and continues to lead me. All of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly of this journey.... t-minus 6 days and a wake up!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The ups and DOWNS of change....

Day 27:

My move date is getting nearer, which means having to say good bye to the Campbell family is also quickly coming up. OH GAHHHHH. Tell me how am I supposed to say good bye to this little face:
.... or these kissable cheeks:

I'm not looking forward to that moment. NOT. ONE. BIT. I will undoubtedly be a basket case that day. Sorry Dad, but you'll be driving next to a blubbering psycho for the first few hours of our road trip!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Last day of work

Day 26:

Today I said good bye to my cubicle life (for now and hopefully forever) and hello to the unknown and opportunity! I truthfully don't know what this new life will bring, but for some reason today, that seems kind of exciting and surprisingly freeing. I wasn't doing cartwheels as I walked through the parking garage to my car, but almost shook my head in disbelief that I was finished. Finished with that chapter of my career, finished with this Virginia chapter of my least for now.

I don't know, maybe God will bring me back to this area. Maybe He won't. That's the exciting thing. There are so many options and so many variables that I couldn't possibly guess what will come out of this new chapter and where I will end up! I just have to keep walking, keep pursuing Him, keep chasing after this dream....just keep on keepin' on as they say, and hopefully, I'll come out of this knowing more of Him, more of myself, and how to let God love others through me in whatever way He sees fit.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just your average video conference....

Day 25:

Video conferences. I'm not sure how yours go down at work, but the ones I attend are some what comical. Not comical because of the content but more so because of the people attending. Normally I tend to get out of most of the video conferences that are held in my office because well, my boss is awesome, and he sees no point in wasting ALL of our time, so he only makes one or two of us attend. Being the only one in VA from our department, I guess some how I win out in the "who has to go to the video conference" category. WINNING. Although I will say I thoroughly enjoy watching certain people choose their seat based on which one they think will get their best angle (do they not know that the whole image is distorted at best and it doesn't matter who you are, you look like a pixelated blog half the time anyway?? I'm just sayin)... or when the loud inappropriate co-worker can't hold his tongue and you start playing the see-if-you-can-mute-it-before-he-gets-himself-fired game (for his sake). But those are about the only parts I actually enjoy.....

Except for today. Somehow I got roped into a video conference and I was thinking to myself "man, the day before I'm out of here and I gotta go to this thing! Well, at least I can say bye to the people in Texas, since I won't see them before I resign." I guess it should've seemed odd to me that I had NO idea what the meeting was about, but with all the out processing, cleaning and things whirling through right now, it just didn't dawn on me. I sat down and watched the said people do their norm... frantically get there 30 seconds before the call is supposed to happen and then painstakingly choose their seat (remember, we're all pixelated blogs...JUST SIT DOWN ALREADY).

As the meeting started, my boss instead of our director, took the lead and all of the sudden I could feel my stomach drop and my face get hot. They were throwing me a SURPRISE goodbye party!!! It was really so sweet and they were all so proud that they actually surprised me with their sneaky little plan. Here's the thing about me. I LOVE surprises. Or it's more I love the meaning behind surprises.... That someone is thinking about you and how to make you feel special and or appreciated in a playful way. But what I forget about surprises is, all of the sudden the spotlight is on me 100% and I honestly never know what to do. Everybody's watching and I can be so awkward in these kind of moments. I never know quite what to say when I feel like the world is staring at me. It didn't help that Ken started chanting "SPEECH SPEECH SPEECH!" Thanks Ken. But as much as the spotlight made my stomach drop and my face turn red, I felt loved and supported today. I couldn't believe how encouraging they were about me taking this next step and going back to school. It was awesome. I couldn't have ended my career there with a better video conference call! I would give them all a shout out and say thanks, but I'm pretty sure none (maybe ONE) of them read my blog because they don't know about it! What the heck, I'll do it anyway... Thank you FMWRC - CR! You are the best! I'll carry this with me for a long time....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A little fact for you...

Day 24:

Still closing out at work and starting to say good byes at work... I just want to throw out a statistic for all of you stat lovers.....


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Time keeps on tickin' tickin' tickin'.....

Day 23:

When did I get to the age that 5 years can slip right through your fingers like rushing waters of the Colorado River (wink)?? I guess it probably happened the same time my knees started falling apart and my neck started giving out. Or when I began opting for a glass of wine rather than a coke, rather a diet coke. I DRINK DIET COKE NOW FOR GOODNESS SAKE! I always said I would NEVER do that. Well, at least I've learned to never say never anymore....

Today I cleaned out my cubicle at work and was amazed at how quickly I could tear down, throw away and pack up 5 and a half years of work in about 8 hours. It's like it was nothing but a blink of an eye. I don't know how to explain it but the notion that I am about to move has seemed to hit me in waves. Or maybe something like peeling layers back from an onion. With each piece that gets pulled away, the skin gets thicker and more potent. Even when I started blogging my 40 days to Colorado it honestly felt.... almost like a dream or maybe a story I was telling and how I MIGHT feel IF I was moving to Colorado. But as my moving day inches closer minute by minute, things that I have known would change hit me in a different way. A very nostalgic way. My time here in VA was short... did I accomplish what I was supposed to do? Did I love well and let people see Jesus through my relationships with them? I hope so.

5 years use to seem like an eternity to me... Now I am wondering if 5 years will be enough time for me to gain the knowledge and experience that God wants me to have in order to care for the people brought into my life... But all of this thinking has also made me realize that I want to go at life with reckless abandon, soaking up everything it has to offer! The one thing I have the tendency to look back on thinking "I could've done so much more," is with my time. I will have plenty of time to waste or make good use of since I will be a student and possibly only working part time... My plan is to do more. Whether it's studying, working out, traveling, being intentional with my friends (new and old) and loved ones, serving others or just enjoying the moment in which God has me. I want this next five years to count. And there's no time to wait because before I know it, it'll be 2016 and time won't wait for me... We get this one life to live and I won't let myself be blogging about my shoulda, coulda, wouldas in 2016 (Lord willing)! I know I can't hold time in my hands and I'm fine with that. I kind of like that I prefer wine over (diet) coke now days as the days keep rolling over. It means I'm getting wiser, right? ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Wish It Were a Monday... 'Cause That's My Fun Day!

Day 22:

Monday....I love Mondays, well, I love every other Monday to be exact. And today was one of the Mondays I love because today was my last Monday off (of work). My last CWS (compressed work schedule, oh how I will miss you). Which means, THIS IS MY LAST WEEK OF WORK! That sounds crazy to me. The thought of the move gave me my first hint of butterflies today. I'm not sure if they are excited butterflies or, HOL-EEEY CRAP-I-Am-Moving-butterflies. Probably both. Who knows....But one thing is certain, Dad and I will be on the road in less than two weeks!

I spent my last Monday off to meet up with a friend that wasn't able to come to the bbq and then did a little shopping, had a great lunch and came home to hang with the Campbell clan (David's brother is here with his family too, so it was a full, high-energy house). I helped Amy cook dinner. By the way, cooking is so much more enjoyable when you cook with or for someone! And then got in a game of Settlers with A & D after the kids went down... It was a great day filled with no schedule and just quality time with people I love. I'm not sure I got much done for the move today but (none), but it'll get done some how. I'm not going to stress it, so you shouldn't either!

I am Full....

Days 19-21:

I had one crazy-busy weekend. Which is why I'm lumping days 19-21 together...don't judge me. I was busy prepping for a BBQ, enjoying the said BBQ and then relaxing after church on Sunday with my latest read, 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.' I could continue to make excuses as to why I didn't get around to blogging, and they would be good excuses, but excuses none the less. But the initial purpose of the '40 Days to Colorado' was for me to 1. become a more consistent blogger bye giving me some material to write about and 2. for me to record record this next step and transition in my life so I can look back and remember. Not for me to be so legalistic or concerned with blogging that I miss out on the moments in life that make you inhale a little deeper and exhale a little longer. And this weekend was filled with those moments.....

I had a BBQ with the intent of eating some good food, catching up and saying goodbye to friends that I may not have a chance to see prior to my move date. And it was... awesome. A bunch of friends came and I felt like I hardly sat down the whole night. I would jump from one person or group to another trying to make sure I got some quality time with everyone. By the end of the night, I was exhausted. Not just physically, but socially too! After getting up early to prepare (Amy and Julie M. helped too...thanks!) the appetiezers, sides, desserts and last minute items, eating too much, then hanging out at the BBQ until about 1130pm, I was ready to melt into my bed as soon as I got home. But I hadn't quite faded into lala land before a statement from the party resonated with me as it flashed through my mind, "My love tank is full." And it was. I think I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face, good food in my tummy and gratitude in my heart. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of friendship.