Thursday, August 21, 2008

the case for the little black dress

so in the last month and a half i have had FOUR reasons to wear a little black dress. now, this could pose a problem for a woman who doesn't own one. i am not one of those women. i own an abundance of little black dresses or LBD's as people now call them. so, here you have it. the sad thing, i actually have more where this came from and i'm not afraid to use them. :)

merediths rehearsal. this is actually the same dress as the last photo, you just wear the dress different ways. (if you want a sales pitch i can give you one and then you'll have to buy this dress. i LOVE it and recommend it to any woman.)

this is from a wedding a went to last weekend which had a polish reception. it's a good thing i'm dutch, huh??? which, for a reception does that mean that i charge everyone for their dinner that night. i mean, we're supposed to split the tab, right??

this is las vegas, all the girls wore LBD's the first night. it's a vegas thing i suppose

and merediths wedding. this one is my favorite and again, the same dress as number one. did i mention it doesn't wrinkle and it looks good on ANYONE. that's all i'm going to say. if you have more questions, you just let me know.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Prepare yourself

i finally talked myself into blogging about the vacation. keep in mind that i've shared what i can, i've silenced what i shouldn't share and a blog can't do this trip justice. i wrote these in reverse order so you can just start reading and work your way down the blog.

i'm not one to quote song lyrics. however, john mayer sums up my point of view on this trip

I'm writing you to
catch you up on places I've been
You held this letter
probably got excited, but there's nothing else inside it
didn't have a camera by my side this time
hopping I would see the world with both my eyes
maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
in the mood to lose my way with words
Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy's cliche'
And strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky
are next to mountains anyway
Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world with both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
in the mood to lose my way
but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time I go outside
just no more 3x5's Guess you had to be there
Guess you had to be with me Today I finally overcame
tryin' to fit the world inside a picture frame
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to
lose my way but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time I go outside
no more 3x5's
just no more 3x5's


Thursday July 3rd - Ambers Anniversary :)

do you know how strange it is to go from camping one night to staying in the MGM Grand the next? it's... strange.

also, the MGM Grand is HUGE. i felt like i had to hike from the elevator to my room and i felt like i should have packed water! i got to the room and they had those luke warm bottles of fiji water that sell for $8 in a hotel room but $1.79 at 7-11.

and, if you've ever seen the MGM Grand, you know that it glows green on the outside... and apparently on the inside. i felt like i was sleeping in the jolly green giant!

we packed up and headed out. my sister and brother-in-law adam were nice enough to drive me from eagle river to green bay airport to catch my flight to las vegas.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday July 4th-6

Friday - i checked out of the mgm grand and headed for a $20 cab ride down the strip to the cancun village resort. it's normally a time share but they rent rooms as well. they shockingly let me check in early and i got my suit on and waited for the rest of the girls to arrive. they were all driving over from LA that morning. once they arrived it was like a girly bomb went off in that poor hotel room. there was make up and clothes and shoes everywhere! the room slept 7 comfortably and by comfortably i mean that they slept three girls in the king sized bed. but it was amazing! we laid by the pool the rest of the day and then got ready to go out for the night. leah flew in to meet us after a week at camp with her kids so once leah was present, we hit the strip. now. if you haven't been to vegas you need to understand that hotels are ALWAYS further away than they appear. i know this. i've known this for a while. HOWEVER, when there is a group of people who fight for control and who insist on being right about things, shockingly, lately, i just back out. i figure it's not even worth the time or effort of the battle so i just let this one go.

the shuttle let us off at the tropicana and we... ahem... WALKED the 1.8 miles from there to the venitian. not bad you say? yeah, we all wore heels too. i know. i should have known better! so we walk it. now, i don't know what time we left the shuttle, i should have looked but we sat down for dinner at 11pm. it's vegas right? you're supposed to be out all night, right? right. you are, except when you're normally in bed by 11. so, we were all exhausted. so after a mediocre dinner at the venitian's grand lux cafe, we were on our way back to the hotel. we were in bed by 130. woo hoo par-tay animals!

Saturday - we woke up around 930 and rolled on down to the pool. tried out the water slides, hung out on the rafts and enjoyed the heat. did i mention it was 112˚?? seriously! so, we were also layering the sun screen. i was the loser getting the non-alcoholic piña coladas from the hot bartender but it was worth it! they were cold and he was hot! we headed out a lot earlier on this night. we took the shuttle to the tropicana and then... wait for it... decided to have dinner at planet hollywood... which is really close to where we walked last night. so i said, "we should probably take a cab tonight so we are happier when we get to dinner." this is where it gets good. i actually heard one of the girls say, "well, i can see it from here, it can't be that far." are you flipping kidding me?? have you not learned from your mistakes? nope, guess not. we walked it. you want to know why i didn't fight? because the second night, i wore my flip flops. i could have walked miles. so we walked all the way to the buffet at the planet hollywood. now, i'm coming across as i wasn't having fun. i was having a lot of fun. i really was, i'm just someone who thinks things should be easier. so we are in line for the buffet - did i mention i HATE buffets? i HATE HATE HATE them. when something is made in quantity, it loses quality. i promise. i would rather eat pizza three meals a day than eat at a buffet. just fyi. - that being said, we're in line and i hear someone say, "well, this one is one of the more expensive ones but it's totally worth it." this is from one of the girls in our group so i lean in, a little worried. the most expensive buffet in vegas i've been to was 19.00 and that was a lot to me because i HATE THEM. so the girl who said that looks me dead in the face and says "$39.00" now, this is where i had expletives in my head and i think i threw up a little bit. i was at the beginning of a three week vacation and on a strict budget. this one meal blew TWO days of my food budget. i was not pleased. i ended up taking one for the team and just eating there... because i had no choice and went with the flow. we leave dinner, and we exit the hotel. now is when someone says we should go get those slushies from the NYNY hotel... down by the tropicana... are you ready for this... so we say, we should just take a cab, right? sure! so we first wanted to see the bellagio which is across the street so we walk over, see the fountains and as i start walking the group towards the cab stand, i hear THE SAME GIRL say, "we should probably just walk, it would save us money." at this point, my patience was gone, i had to distance myself. i am an adult... the oldest of the group and i was about to throw a crying hissy fit. wait for... we WALKED all the way back and then, AND THEN they were all in a bad mood because their feet hurt. and i know you won't believe me but i kept my mouth shut. i didn't say i told you so, i didn't slap the girl who lead the group. i let it go. but you better believe i did some sassing in my head!

Sunday - got up early and headed back to LA. turns out it was a good idea. the groom and the groomsmen were there all weekend too (no we didn't see them, much to the girls' dismay and the boys delight) and they left later in the afternoon. it took us 5.5 hours, it took them 9.5. lesson learned.

rachels goal for the weekend was to dance on a table. mission accomplished at tabú

reenacting the dance scene where a guy - played here by leah with a mustache - danced on rachels leg all night to the point of purelling her leg when we left. eww.

me, rachel and kristi

vegas sign

all of us with the sign

night one on the strip... during the hike

all of us with our mustaches

leah in the water slide WITH THE MUSTACHE so amazing.

me, steph and rach. can you tell i was annoyed?

all of us at tabú

all of us in front of the bellagio

leah, me, rachel, mer, steph all on a raft, that's asking a lot of that raft!

ingrid, me and kristi

me and mer

steph, rach, kristi and m


me and mer

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday July 7-10th

monday night we headed out to dodger stadium to see the dodgers play the braves. it was so much fun to go. we got great tickets for $11. we had so much fun laughing and avoiding drunk guys. also, i experienced garlic fries for the first time. i'm pretty confident that we could have scared away vampires just by walking to the car. wowza!

tuesday - we hung out at merediths house after not getting my rental car as planned. long story not worth telling but i had $400 cash, literally cash, in my hand and they said no. after they told me to go get cash. seriously. so that night, mike invited us down to downtown to california pizza kitchen for dinner. my favorite salad in the world is at CPK. it's the bbq chicken salad. AMAZING. then. THEN because meredith was marrying an incredible guy, he ordered us the red velvet cake to share. phenomenal! what was so funny was that we were moving meredith out of her house in LA all day, meredith worked out and didn't have time to shower before dinner so she sprayed some body spray before we left the house. when we got there, mike was hugging meredith from behind with his head on her shoulder and said, "mmm you smell like cupcakes." to which meredith said, "well that's awesome." and we all laughed and then a few minutes later, while sitting in the booth, mike leans over and puts his head on her shoulder and then looks at her and "wait, what happened to the cupcake smell??" to which meredith looked at us and said, "well shoot"

wednesday - we drove merediths stuff from LA to glendora. went to the cupcake place to pay and finalize the bill before the wedding and then to johnny carino's to finalize the catering stuff. had a lot of laughs. met rachel and steph for dinner. the manager there likes us so much that she gave us all of our food and everything for free. it was so great!

thursday - we headed to the mall for some errands and on our way home got a text from kristi that said, "be here at 7 and wear your best dress" so meredith and i dressed up in her old prom dresses and walked down main street in down town glendora to get to kristis house. turns out that her husband and her had never been to a prom so kristi got home from work and josh had set up a prom in their living room. he was all dressed up and she got dressed up and then we just laughed and danced and then went back to merediths parents house and watched a movie.

me, rachel, meredith and leah at the dodger game

dodger stadium

view from our seats

meredith and leah sad that meredith is moving out of their house. they were HYSTERICAL with these pictures!

this is the fake prom. amazing right???

Friday July 11th

friday morning merediths fiance mike drove me to union station so i could take a bus to LAX to get my rental car. surprisingly it went smoothly!

once i had the rental, i headed down to huntington beach and hung out with aunt eileen for a while and then went out with a group from apple for jessicas birthday. apple people are so much fun to hang out with and we laugh A LOT. jessica had quite a few drinks so she was tossed after not that long and she's a crying drinker so then it turned into sitting on the curb with jessica night. as seen in the picture below. it was still great to see everyone. i've miss them so much!

the group

jessica after being bamboozled by every drink in the place. notice i'm 100% sober. NICE

Saturday July 12th

i drove into LA to surprise my friend brian who works at a bar. i texted him and found out that he was 'working for a while' so i drive up there, i'm looking for a place to park and send him a message saying, i think i'll come visit later and he sends back, "oh, i left early." son of a gun! so i missed him. or, as i like to tease him with, he stood me up.

so then i drove down to steve and christinas house in mission viejo to hang out for a bit. very low key evening. played a lot of pool... and lost. i won one game... because gab hit the 8 ball in early. dang it!

low key day.

Sunday July 13th

i had a wonderful time with sharon, steve, ruth, kevin, kaela and becca! it was so great to get to see them! of course it seemed way to short. i met steve and sharon at their house and we headed out to pick up some lunch and head to the beach. and because they are amazing friends, we went to my favorite beach in the world! we had lunch and played smash ball - my new addiction! i bought one before i came home. i LOVE it. it's like ping pong but without the table. we played for a long time up in the grass on the bluff and then went down to the sandy part of the beach. it was so wonderful to spend time with them. kaela and becca are little surfer girls who you would think were southern california girls from birth! they are the future oakley and roxy models!

after the beach we went to Cherry On Top, my favorite ice cream place! you do your own soft serve and then add toppings as you want them and then pay by the weight. they have the tart yogurt like pinkberry and i LOVE it! you can't get that in indiana! steve thinks i should open one near notre dame. i think we'd make a killing if i did!

after that we hung out a bit at the hughes' house and then went to dinner. it was so great to spend time with my friends that i miss so much! and to think that we met all because we both had dogs! i miss them terribly and i am sure that i will live close to them again...

laguna beach, behind the montage resort

ruth, me and sharon after lunch and before the smashball shenanigans!

Monday July 14th - 911

on monday i didn't make any plans, i was going to drive to woodleaf tuesday morning so i wanted to get the video for merediths wedding done so i stayed home all day at my aunt eileens house (in my old room) editing the video. FOR HOURS. so, at one point, i took a break and went out to talk to my aunt eileen then went back to my room. after about 20 minutes i heard a faint voice so i opened my door and she was horizontal, on her bed, moaning in pain. within 20 minutes! she was fine when we were talking! so fred - her son - and i were in the room with her, she called her daughter to come over but she was in so much pain i asked if i should call 911.

now, a little family history lesson here. my grandpas side of the family is HORRIBLY stubborn (well, so is the holt side but that's neither here nor there!) i knew that by asking her if i should call 911 and if she says no, i would have to wait until she passed out OR she would wrestle the phone away from me. no kidding.

so she said no. i asked a couple minutes later. no... then it happened. she said, "you better just call katie because i don't think i'm going to make it." HOLY %$#%^ okay so i call. i hate 911. my family doesn't have good history with 911. so i fill them in, she says they are on their way and we're good, we just have to wait. then, aunt eileen starts throwing up. so she was perfectly fine, to horizontal and throwing up within 30 minutes. i'm not qualified for this.

the ambulance and fire truck show up and it was like an abercrombie commercial threw up on the front yard. you have got to be kidding me. the day i stay home, don't shower and i'm wearing yoga pants... spectacular.

her daughter paulette shows up and doesn't take any of it seriously. just says, "she'll be fine it's just gas." not gonna lie, i've had gas and it's never looked like that before. (i blame that on my holt side!)

sure enough they take her in. terrifying. i don't do well with this stuff.

**flash forward she's fine, she was released after i came home. but she was in the hospital for close to two weeks.

i stayed home the rest of the day with fred. it's a good thing i was home for the day. everything happens for a reason!

Tuesday July 15th

visited aunt eileen in the hospital. she knew i was supposed to go to northern california that morning so when i saw her (and paulette was there too) she asked me, "you're still going up north, right?" and when i said, "i don't know if i should go now" she said, "you're going"

so i went home, packed a bag quickly and hit the road for northern california. let me just say that between LA and the bay area, it's pretty equal to iowa. honestly. it was so dull! saw more cows than i thought possible in one location. also, everything is brown this time of year. not pretty. so... six hours of nothing, then two hours of city and then one hour of mountains and i arrived at woodleaf.

my heart beat faster the closer i got to camp. literally. didn't know it would do that.

got there, walked into the dining hall to find my friend tim the medic, hung out there and then it was tableau (tablow) night. now, for you non-young-life-camp people, that means that everyone dresses country, they have a square dance - seriously - and then they all go in the pool in their clothes. for campers is so much fun. for staff it's a logistical nightmare.

**flash back, i remember one week when i was there that as the camera person, i set the camera down to go in after a camper. during one of the weeks that the kids from oakland were there, people started going in and then people started getting pushed and a lot of the kids couldn't swim and were getting pushed in the deep end. it was ugly. i think that's also the night we did the drug raid and there was a lock down. SO GREAT!**

so i just sat up on the pool deck and watched the square dance with my friend tim. he pointed out the interns. tim was an intern during one of the summers i was up there. so we were thinking back to when it was the cool kids that lived in the faulk house (seriously, that was the name of our house. it's historical. "faulk house. if you say it too fast, you're swearing!" it was so fun to be there and enjoy everything woodleaf is. it made me miss it. it made me miss camping ministry.

tim and i drove around a bit and stayed up talking about how i feel like a loser in life. seriously! it was such a great conversation!! ha ha ha he laughed at me, a lot. it was great!

Wednesday July 16th

i woke up to the song:

"good morning good morning good morning it's time to rise and shine"

which, when we lived there, our office inter dave parker actually sang every morning. these losers were using a recording! okay, they aren't losers. i wouldn't have sang it either but it made me miss the days when we were all there.

it's good waking up at woodleaf. even if it was stinking early in the morning.

hung out in the 'gauz pad' where my friend tim the medic was volunteering as the camp medic. had lunch in the dining hall. of all the days i was there, it was pizza day. woodleaf normally has amazing food. however, i hate pizza. HATE pizza. it's the core of all evil as far as i'm concerned.

made a visit to the camp store for some loot. stopped in the 'sugar barrel' for a 'whirley' and then had to say my good byes to get to san jose to meet my other friend tim for dinner. seriously the two people i go to visit in norcal (northern california) are both tim. sad i know. so i head down the mountain and head into the city. which, i actually love that drive too so that was fun.

met tim at his place which is IN-CREDIBLE. tim is very artsy and extremely talented musician so i wouldn't guess him to live in any old place but his place is great! it's a loft apartment that has concrete floors and HUGE windows that overlook san jose with his recording studio dead center in the room. it's very cool plus, he works for apple so he has more apple products in his place than majority of apple stores.

we headed out to dinner which was - hallelujah - sushi! it was incredible. however, i let him order. risky friends. risky. i heard him order 'spider rolls' which by name alone is just wrong. so they come to the table and they are sushi rolls with softshell crab legs sticking out of them like spider legs. no joke. but, i'll try anything once so i tried them, loved them and now i'm hooked.

after dinner, we tried to figure out what to do for desert and we decided to get something and go back to his place to watch a movie. he asked if there were any movies i wanted to see again and i reminded him that i'm the girl he made fun of for never seeing star wars. seriously. not one of them. he said, that just made him want to watch star wars, but said he wouldn't make me see it. i offered and said, we really don't have to and then he said, which was really funny, "when a girl is willing to watch star wars with you, you don't pass. you watch it. we are watching it!" so, we went to the grocery, picked up some lemon sorbet and raspberry sorbet and headed back to his place. and, ladies and gentlemen, i've seen star wars. well, one of them.

then, i slept on the couch and he went up to bed. because of how his apartment is, there are no walls, it was like a slumber party. i'm pretty sure we actually were giggling. it was pretty funny. but now i know exactly how i want my next apartment!