Monday, November 28, 2011

got my head in the clouds.

While I haven't loved the effect of daylight savings time on how pitch black dark it is when I leave work everyday...I swear Massachusetts fell off the mainland and is floating somewhere near Nova Scotia... I must admit that my 4:15 p.m. view today was rather nice...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

paw paw.

I want to apologize for the few posts this week, and take this opportunity to introduce some of you to a pretty awesome fella.

This last Saturday evening, my Paw Paw passed away. He's been feeling a few of the effects of old age the last two or so years now, but his final decline came and went pretty quickly. I want so badly for all of you who didn't know him to understand just how precious and wonderful this guy was and how much he meant to my family.

It's hard to explain to people that your grandfather is gone...and then explain to them that you weren't actually related to him by blood in the first place. It's hard because people think you're overreacting during the loss of a "family friend." It's hard because people are confused as to how you can be so upset. It's hard, mostly, because I've never had to defend the love or relationship our families have. But please hear me: This man, his wife and theirs are and will always be my family.

It's hard to quantify how much I love them...or justify why I do...but I think you should know that I saw my Maw Maw and Paw Paw every single day of the week but Saturday from the time I was six weeks old until the day I turned 16. Technically, yes, they are "neighbors." But I have honestly never thought of them that way or lived a day in my life that they were not a part of. They're just my Maw Maw and Paw Paw.

They came to every graduation. To every birthday. To every grandparents' day at school. My brother's and my senior pictures are hanging on their living room wall. I spend Christmas Eve with them every year. I sit with them at church every Sunday when I'm at home. They saw all of my plays and recitals. They saw all of my victories and helped me when I stumbled. They raised me to be strong and sweet and caring and giving. They're the most selfless people I've ever had the pleasure of loving. And they are both, in every imaginable way, my grandparents.

That being said, I really wish you all could have known Paw Paw LeRoy "Jack" Hull. He was just about the coolest guy I've ever known. He was a real cowboy. Like...for real! The hat, the boots, the bolo tie, the 'tude -- the real mccoy! He was our personal Texas Ranger. A man's man who was strong as an ox, smart as a whistle and as sweet as the candies he'd always carry around.

He was raised with absolutely nothing, served our country in two wars and was married to the sweetest woman in the world, Christine, for 52 years. If ever you need a picture of a marriage filled with selfless, unending and Godly love, look to them. The last time I saw them together was this passed August and they were still perfectly in love. He was a cross between John Wayne and Bill Cosby -- crazy cool, devilishly good-looking and madly in love with his wife.

Paw Paw was such a gentleman but he had the mouth of a sailor...if he needed to. (Looking for an example? Ask William about the one time he got run over by a car and Paw Paw nearly literally chewed the head off the guy who did it. Thinking of that story reminds me that I should also tell you that he could run fast...if ya ran over his grandchildren.) He loved eating and times of fellowship. He was hilarious and he loved to celebrate! He gave the greatest hugs and always made you feel welcome. He'd go out of his way to show you he loved you...and he never let William or me feel like anything but his own.

Part of the way Paw Paw would make you feel welcome was by talking to ya....a lot. That man could talk for hours, about anything! And, boy, he experienced enough in his life to have an anecdote for everything, so he was a wonderful (but long-winded) storyteller. If you'd sit with him for a little while, he'd tell you about his children, and grandchildren and great grandchildren. If you sat with him a little while longer, he'd tell ya about how he use to work at the river mill and growing up in Texas and how he got his name "Jack" from his dog with the same name (apparently, he always came when they called the dog). And if ya sit with him long enough, he'd start talking about the war and great books he was reading.

Paw Paw loved to read. And my favorite memory of him is when I would find him reading his Bible at the kitchen counter. I asked him once when I was younger how many times he'd read it, and he simply said he'd lost count. (That frustrated me so, back then, because I wanted to hear a quantifiable number so badly! Little did I know how impressive not knowing was, after all.) And then he encouraged me to read mine, too. And that's always stuck with me -- his desire to know the Lord and how earnestly he wanted us to know Him, too, by leading us by example. Don't get me wrong, he was stubborn and could get frustrated like anyone else. But his faith was strong in the Lord and everyone around him knew it.

Without a shadow of a doubt, that's what has gotten me, my family and my Maw Maw through this last week. Yes, it is certainly hard, and almost unbelievable, to live in a world that Paw Paw is not in anymore. And yes, we will all miss him dearly in every moment of every day. But truly, my friend, it takes my breath away to know that he is celebrating with the Lord right now in a new, perfect, painless body and that he was there within an instant of leaving this world. My heart aches because I probably won't get to see him as soon as I thought I would, but my family also knows a comfort and peace like no other as we continue day-to-day in our own lives.

I was able to go home this week to be with my family and Maw Maw. She's a resoundingly strong woman, but I know this is hitting her harder than she probably could have anticipated. She told me this week that after 52 years of marriage that it is just so hard to believe that he is so far away. Please pray for her during this time as she moves into a new phase when, for the first time in my whole life, she has no one to take care of but her self. It will be difficult, but I beg for your support through prayer and time with her (if you have the honor of knowing her).

I was his Katy Coo and he was my Paw Paw. This man has left such a mark on my heart, my character and my view of the world, and I will miss his sweet, precious spirit so incredibly much. I hope now you all know him a little better, and understand how much I was his and he was mine.

Love you, Paw Paw.
katy c.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2011: the year of j. lo

Jenny from the block is back, y’all.

Like, in and out and around it – all over the block. If you’ve watched any television this year, you’ve been hit over the head with Jennifer Lopez and, likely, something she’s selling.

From lip-gloss and razors to European compact cars and her own low-cost clothing line, Ms. Lopez is representing it. At any given moment today, more than ten commercials – that’s four brands – could be seen on television with J. Lo as the centerpiece. Not including other brand associations like Coca-Cola and Ford who sponsor “American Idol,” of which Lopez is a judge, she is currently a brand ambassador for Gillette Venus razors, L’Oreal cosmetics, the Fiat 500 automobile and Kohl’sdepartment store. (And, unfortunately, the on-screen time here does not include advertisements for her 2011-released “Love” album and tabloid-news scoops of her divorce from Mark Anthony.)

While research to back me up is pretty shallow, I feel confident saying that you’d be hard-pressed to find another celebrity out there right now with as many overlapping product spots to her name.
Honestly, I think the decision by advertisers to choose the beautiful Lopez as their campaign’s voice after, say, she already had two other companies under her belt is… uncreative?… lazy?… cheap?… stupid? Personally, whenever she pops up on the boob tube nowadays, I just exhale an unbelieving sigh and try to figure out what she’s selling me this time. It’s exhausting trying to remember what I should buy next from her and, quite frankly, it all just starts to blend together…which I’m thinking can’t be in the brands’ best interests. (Until this post, I could only recall one name of the brands she represents, though I’m fully aware of her current domination of the airwaves.)
She does look great driving what is probably a tough sell in SUV-loving America…and I’m sure every woman would love to use the same cosmetic products as one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful in 2011…and she does sell glam-garments-on-a-budget well (she is Jenny from the Block, after all). And while I don’t agree with how many spots are overlapping right now, I must throw some kudos to the one-strike marketers who have intelligently created a few online-appropriate behind-the-scenes, interviews and quirky-skit ads, found within their corporate YouTube channels.
Check ‘em out…
PS — She has an app.…is this real life?!

Friday, November 11, 2011

friday fun day!

No school or work Susan and I celebrated with FRIDAYYY FUN DAYYYY (ayyy, ayy, ay....)! And it was WONDERUL!

I used my Zipcar, which is conveniently housed in my back yard, for the first time and we were off to Peabody for some CFA -- my first since July!! And, as luck would have it, it was free peppermint milk shake we obviously took part in the free giveaway because, after all, it is FRIDAY FUN DAY!

With happy bellies, we popped over to the coastline in northeast Mass. One word: B-E-A-UUU-TIFUL! Wow. I'll let the photos speak for themselves, but basically the rest of the afternoon consisted of Susan and me driving a little bit, hopping out of the car to snag a pic and enjoy the view (repeat x10) and buying some fudge for our friends :)

The first group of photos are from Gloucester, MA, the setting for the movie "The Perfect Storm..."

See that little hiccup of something or other on the coastline, right in the middle? THAT'S BOSTON! We drove nearly an hour (half the state's width!) out of the city and could still see the buildings clear as day! This state is S-M-A-L-L!

And these next photos are from Rockport, MA, where the movie "The Proposal" was filmed and called Alaska. We even hung out in the Fudgery which is in the film!

Recognize that boat house and dock? We're 99% certain that that's where Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds board the boat after she scales that ladder in heels!

We topped off our day with a quick trip to Target and then I was off to community group at church! It was DEFINITELY a Friday Fun Day that will never be forgotten, and certainly one that must be repeated soon!!

say cheese,
katy c. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

mrs. piggle-wiggle.

Well, the inevitable has apparently happened. I've turned into one of my most favorite characters from one of my most favorite childhood books. The most unfortunate part?? The hickville-grocery-store-wannabe name...

Proof? Let's inspect the opening line...

"Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies."

Thus, I'm pretty sure I'm turning into Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Except, my house isn't upside down, it's just crooked. And it doesn't smell like cookies, but cake. Evidence?


So now our lovely Wednesday-night treat has morphed from an iced cake into a science project gone terribly wrong as all the icing has run of the top of that mountain and down the sides. You can just call me Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

(But not really, because I'll punch ya, just as I would if you made fun of my roommate's TV show selection and/or poster decor. Please and thank you).

say cheese,
katy c. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the great explainers.

Need a refresher course on what Health Communication is (ahem, William Capers...) and what in the world I'm setting out to do in this crazy world? Check out the fancy spread my program got in the school's alumni magazine, Expressions.

Monday, November 7, 2011

final countdown.

Final countdown to the final, real Christmas-break break of my life, courtesy of Jocelyn's very creative sister, Jenny. As she tears one off everyday, it's a very nice reminder of how soon I get to see my own family and friends again :)

say cheese,
katy c.