Heartgasm

Hi.

Sometimes, without warning or rhyme or reason, I am hit with the most intense wave of gratitude and love, and I feel like my heart will burst.

I have no idea when it is going to hit, or if it will come again, but it’s like my heart is having an orgasm.

It hit tonight after I moved out to the couch to watch an episode of Project Runway, and directly after eating a small handful of half melted Powerberries, with my love asleep in bed before going to work tonight at 2am.  Ten minutes before the heartgasm?  I was laying in bed worrying about how I would get the work I need over the next few months to pay bills.

(My) Life is funny that way.

 

August 25, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Boundaries

I’ve been thinking a lot about boundaries: how to set them and how to keep them.

This can be a really difficult thing to do. I worry about not being a “team player” or acting “selfish” when I set my boundaries and stick to them.  But in reality, no one (other than my husband) is going to look out for my best interests except for me.  Of course my friends and family love me, but they are also looking out for their best interests, and I want them to.  I want them to have their own set of boundaries and stick to them.  And when I stick to mine, I hope they will be happy for me, in the same way I will be happy for them when they stick to theirs.

Many of you know that I work three jobs, two of which have me on call every minute of my life.  It’s difficult to make plans, or go out of town, or get the combination of strep throat/migraine/body aches/fever that I had this week.  My third job is a little more 9-5, but not really because I think it about it all of the time.

You know what else I think about all of the time?

The fact that these jobs take up so much of my life and energy and I don’t even have kids yet.  And I hear those little dudes will require time and energy that I can’t even imagine….

It’s hard (read: scary) for me to imagine how I will do all of this and be a mom…a wife…a sister…a daughter…a doula…a childbirth educator…a friend…an aunt…a grand daughter…a niece…an individual…

Is that even possible? Other people have much steeper hills to climb and they do it…right?

Of course I have the most amazing partner on the planet, but he also has three jobs, and dreams, and so on.

This wheel of worry can move pretty fast once it gets to spinning, so for my first trick, I am setting this boundary:

“Kate will not allow worry and doubt to consume her because it serves no purpose”

And then immediately I will amend that boundary to read:

“Kate will be a human being and occasionally worry and doubt, but she will take deep breaths and remember that things work out as they are meant to, and that she must be very, very kind to herself.” 

So, I am new to this boundary setting thing, but I do believe that a big part of this is putting myself in the driver’s seat, and as the driver, I can change the direction as I see fit.  I believe that taking care of myself so that I can be an amazing wife/sister/daughter/friend/employee/doula/educator/aunt/grand daughter/niece/individual/eventual mom is good for everyone involved, and if that is seen as selfish…well, okay.  I guess I would rather been seen as “selfish” than a total crazy person, because that is what I will become if I don’t take care of myself.  And no one wants to see Krazy Kate.  And I do mean NO ONE.

May 11, 2012. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

katyamy

katyamy

May 4, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Birthing a New Mother

Found this and thought it was interesting:

Birthing A New Mother Home Study Program

I haven’t watched all the videos yet, but I have added it to my list (oh the growing list!) and hoping to combo it with some Friday Night Knitting tonight on my couch.

Have a great weekend!

September 23, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

List #11

List #11: Things I Will Miss About Summer

Being that, compared to Chicago, it always feels like summer in Southern California, I have a hard time thinking of things I will miss, but here goes:

  • Being able to call my friends and family that are teachers/students any time of day. 
  • Peaches
  • Feeling okay about being lazy
  • Basil
  • Tomatoes

I am going to stop here because I really cannot think of anything else.  I have been sitting here for almost an hour trying to think of things!  I don’t even LOVE summer that much!  I live in a part of the country that is warm MOST of the time and we don’t get those fantastic rain storms that I really love about summer.  I don’t own a bathing suit, and I fear skin cancer, so going to the beach isn’t something I’m really into.  I really love Fall, so I am actually pretty thrilled that summer is ending!

Maybe if the list was changed to “Things I really loved about this summer” I could do better…

  • Amy and Tommy’s wedding (which I still need to write about!)
  • Having the Duba- Mobley family out for a visit
  • Spending nearly every weekend of July with Zac
  • Seeing so many great movies
  • Going to San Diego for the first time
  • Making Doula Friends
  • Working on 100 Pushups with Buck
  • All the cooking I did
  • Reading The Hunger Games series
  • Wearing Dresses and skirts
  • New iPhone
  • Seeing my family and friends
  • Accepting my limitations
  • Setting boundaries I feel good about
  • The Beauty CULTure Exhibit
  • Hearing great news from my friends

Yeah, that’s more like it.

August 16, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Mentorship

I have had many mentors in my life.

Karen Hall was my high school theatre teacher.  She had short red hair and reminded me a lot of Sandra Bernhardt.  Her dad was a producer for the Bozo Show and I thought that was so cool!  She had us call her Karen and would let us swear if we needed to.  I took theatre as a class and auditioned for the plays because it sounded fun to me, and it was fun, but I didn’t expect more from it.  One morning during my Junior year I was standing in the cafeteria line before classes to get breakfast.  She hopped in behind me and said, “Good Morning Ms. Katy.  Have you begun thinking about where you are going to go to college?” I replied that I didn’t.  She said, “Well, when you are ready, come talk to me because there are some great acting programs that I want you to look into. ” I started laughing and told her that I didn’t intend to go to school for acting.  She asked me why, and when I didn’t have an answer (my truth was “I’m not good enough”) she saw right through it and said, “You are talented and it would be a waste if you don’t go for it.”  And then she was off.  And I stood in the lunch room feeling like a new door had opened in my life.  I started going to her office every week to talk, bounce ideas off of her, and figure out how to walk through this new door.

Wendi Whitman is the Director of Academic Advisement at Illinois Sate University, where I went to school.  I started working as a Peer Advisor on her caseload the summer after my freshman year.  It was a highly coveted job on campus and I stayed at it until the summer after I graduated.  Wendi taught me how to listen and remain calm and compassionate even when you want to throttle someone.  She encouraged me to study abroad, and to think outside the box.  She brought me into her home and I got to spend time with her amazing boys.  To this day she is a very good friend to me.

Sandi Zelinski was a mentor to SO many people in the theatre department at ISU, and I was among them.  Her focus was on Theatre Education, but as an Acting student, I gravitated to her energy and her level headedness.  She LOVED the work, but resisted the politics.  She recognized people’s strengths, and could smell bullshit a mile away.  When the Improv Mafia was getting it’s ass kicked by the administration (oh how things have changed!), she took us on and allowed us to stay afloat.  When I needed to hide and cry, she opened her office doors and listened.

When I moved up to Chicago and realized I had a knack for event planning, I did a google search for “wedding coordinators” and Keely’s name (and business at the time) came up.  I attended a class she was teaching on starting your own wedding planning business and knew immediately that I needed to be nestled under her wing if I was going to get anywhere.  So I started volunteering, and I kept calling and emailing and begging her to let me do stuff for her.  She did and eventually we were working side by side.  She saw something in me and that gave me confidence.  Keely is amazingly organized and her drive is something to see.  I learned that you can be a business woman, but still be friendly and open at the same time.  And that there is no shame in going after what you want because the worst anyone can say to you is, “no.”

In this new phase of my career, I find myself looking for another mentor.  I wish I was more like Keely and Wendi- unafraid of limits and of doing things wrong- more willing to just dive in head first and see what happens, but I am not.  I am more of a toe dipper.  Luckily, the Doula community is very open and friendly and the concept of mentorship is widely accepted here.

So, I guess this post is a Thank You to all the mentors that have shaped me thus far, and to future mentors that take me on.  I hope I can make you proud and continue the tradition by mentoring others when my time comes!

August 4, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Another Birth!

I might get to be a Doula at another birth this weekend- eeeeee!

I was asked to be a back up for another Doula this week, and didn’t think it would actually work out to where I’d be there, but it is quickly changing!  Send some love toward Hollywood, if you have some to spare, because this new mama is young and aiming for a birth free of intervention.  I haven’t met her or even spoken to her on the phone, so this is going to be an interesting experience for all.

I am feeling full of love and gratitude, and also scared and nervous.  I hope I can be the kind of support she needs.

This will be my second birth, if I am lucky enough to attend, and one step closer to getting my certification.

If you or anyone you know lives in the LA area and are going to have a baby sometime soon, let me know!

July 29, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

I Can’t Think of a Title for This Post

When I was living in Chicago I took Meisner classes at The Artistic Home.  I studied with Kathy Scambiatterra and Monica Payne- two very brave and smart and wonderful women who I respect a great deal.  You may not know a lot about this technique, so I’ll tell you as much about it as I can without making it sound too crazy.

Basically, it’s a class to teach actors how to follow their instincts so that they may react truthfully moment to moment on stage.  That may seem like a simple task, but it is not my friend…it is not.

So, for instance, if I had to play a character who had drowned her baby in the bathtub, it would be a difficult thing to relate to because I LOVE babies and I have never and don’t ever plan to drown any babies in a tub, or any other body of water.  BUT, if I get cast as that character, I have to be able to relate to that woman, embody that emotion, and carry out her actions, deplorable as they may be.  To tap into that, we turn to Meisner who suggests that we examine what emotions that character is going through- desperation, fear, love, guilt- and use our own life experiences to relate to them.

In a typical Meisner class we would start out with tag: one person enters the space and just lives in it.  When a classmate feels compelled to join them, they can do so by entering the space with an observation, and they begin an exchange. There were many classes where an entire minute would go by with one person on stage…waiting…wondering…waiting…getting more self conscious by the minute…”why isn’t anyone joining me?” they are thinking…fearing.  Meanwhile, as a classmate in my seat, I am sitting there feeling fear, frustration, fear, stubbornness, fear, anger, fear.  Monica would always say, “When your head tells you, “I don’t want to go in” THAT is the time you MUST go in.  When you feel fear, break through it and it will dissolve.”

And I think about that all the time.  I used that guidance in class because it was easy.  Well, it was an easy cue to follow, but it wasn’t always easy to carry out.  But in life, when I feel fear or frustration or anger it’s not as easy to barge right through it and bust it up.  I tend to sit and stare at it and hope it doesn’t notice me and goes away soon.  I try to befriend it hoping that if I sit on the couch and give it tea that maybe it will move on.  But it doesn’t.  It just gets more comfortable and suggests OTHER things to be afraid of/frustrated by/angry over.

I’ve been afraid of writing lately.  Well, I’ve been afraid that I don’t have anything to write ABOUT.  This blog isn’t focused on any one thing so I don’t always know if what I have to say is worth putting down.  So, instead of walking away from the computer today, I sat down and wrote this post, and I am glad I did.  I can’t be the only one feeling this way, right?

I’ve been swimming in a pool of self doubt lately and it’s time to get out and dry off and jump into the pool of self love….but not the kind of self love pool that you find in Cancun on spring break.  That’s just yucky.

This is what came up when I searched "Self Love Pool" in Google Images. Yeah, I could find self love in that pool...

July 27, 2011. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

List #8

For this week’s list, I was asked to be a guest blogger over at Get the Words Out!  Click here to see the post and enjoy Kellie’s fun blog!

July 25, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Cabbage in your CSA?

When I lived in Chicago I belonged to a CSA through Growing Home.  I loved the experience so much and when we moved out to California, I figured these would be even more popular.  The CSA I belong to here is called Farm Fresh to You and I really like it.  They do use a little more packaging than I would like, but the produce is always fantastic.  Plus, it’s delivered to my door!

My BFF Kate just joined a CSA back in our hometown of Mundelein and I am thrilled about it, even if she isn’t  =)  I think a CSA forces you to get creative with your meals and try food you normally would not.  Plus, she has young kids that, whether they realize it or not, are expanding their repertoire just by SEEING a head of cabbage.  Seeing mom and dad eat it up?  Even BETTER!

So, in honor of Kate and her commitment to giving her family healthy, clean food, here is a recipe I like a lot that using cabbage and tastes DELICIOUS!  It’s even better as left overs the next day.

Fried Udon Noodles from The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 eight oz package of udon noodles (I like to buy fresh, buckwheat noodles from Whole Foods Market, but dried noodles work fine.  if you use fresh noodles, skip the first cooking step).

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups sliced green cabbage

1 cup half-moon onion slices (I use a white or yellow onion)

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

3/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 Tablespoon sweet paprika (I just use regular paprika because I already have too many varieties of paprika and just can’t buy another…)

Chopped parsley for garnish (I am not a fan of parsley, so I skip this)

**I also add some tofu to this dish so that there is a protein element, so feel free to do the same, or add any other kind of protein you like. **

***Got some bok choy you aren’t sure what to do with?  This dish is a great one to throw it into!***

Instructions:

1.  Prepare you udon noodles as directed on the package.  If you buy fresh noodles, you get to skip onto the next step!

2.  Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the cabbage and cook for about 15 minutes, until it is tender.  If the cabbage begins to stick, add a tablespoon of water.  I like when it gets a little stuck and “burnt.”

3.  In a separate pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat and ad the onions, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika.  Once the onions are translucent, add mixture to the cabbage and stir to combine.  If the onions start to stick while you are cooking them, add a touch of water.

4.  Once your noodles are cooked and drained, toss noodles into skillet with the onion mixture and cabbage.

5.  Add any protein you have prepared.  Toss together. Serve!

This dish is Asian inspired, but doesn’t have a lot of strong Asian flavor.  The cabbage releases a lot of flavor without making your home smell like stinky socks.

Enjoy!

July 19, 2011. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

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