September 26, 2011

Living Water International.

My friend Andres is in this short video. He's a stud, it's a good cause, watch it, think about it. I'm giving up my daily Arizona Green Tea tallboy. Shucks.

10.10.11 from Living Water International on Vimeo.

Grad School Diet.

Grad school is financially feasible if you are smart with your money. Pour your resources into important things like books and technology fees, and save in those areas that matter the least, like high-quality nutrition and cable.

I have found that the secret to keeping culinary costs low is carbs. Cheap, empty carbs. Ramen noodles are $0.19, while a box of spaghetti and jar of spaghetti sauce total $1.88 (if you watch the Kroger ads and go generic). Last week, I milked out a big pot of macaroni ($1.00) and tomato juice ($1.25). And by milked out, I mean it fed me eight times. I am currently making a school-cafeteria-sized batch of white flour-based spaghetti, which I will toss with a jar of tomato sauce chock full of high-fructose corn syrup to create a delicious bowl of calories and not a lot else. By day five, I can dress it up with some shredded cheese (a luxury not to be taken for granted), and by day seven, I can cover any foul taste with excessive amounts of salt.

Nifty and thrifty!

September 25, 2011

Big Hair and Neon Flare.

Or is it flair? I think it's flair. Either way...

Grateful for grad school friends.

September 18, 2011

It's Raining.

But not pouring. And there are a million things I'd rather be doing than writing this paper, including:

1. Anything.

September 17, 2011

I'm Alive.

Tailgating today. I enjoyed a 99 cent Arizona Green Tea as the Hoosiers finally took a W.

August 25, 2011

If I Could, I'd Send You a Bouquet of Pencils.

I really should be in bed right now, or at least on my way (do I mention this in every post?) but I won't be able to sleep. I know I won't. I went school supply shopping tonight, and even though I only walked out with body wash (props to Lauren D) and lotion (I'm so dry I've turned into a human etch-a-sketch), I got kinda giddy in the notebook aisle. School, oh it is upon us!

Today was just a great, great day. Nothing fantastic happened. It was actually a little more on the chaotic side. But I got to see over a hundred international students, heard some great stories, and got absolute reaffirmation that I'm doing what I need to be doing. I adore my coworkers more than I can express, I laugh until I cry every day, and when it's 5:00, I want to spend more time with them. Tonight, I did just that.

Aside from the getting-up-in-the-morning part of it all, I really look forward to going to work. There's not a lot more you can ask for.

Also got some pictures back from my Chicago trip in May. These girls are so important to me.

August 21, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again.

Per Dad's request (a text that said "I hope your blogging finger heals soon"), I will attempt to entertain you.

(ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? Name that movie.)

  • While helping my cousin move into the dorms today, an RA said, "So, is this your first year?" I said, "Yes. Of grad school." I suppose this should be similar to the joy of being carded that many middle-aged women experience, but it wasn't that joyful, just affirmation that my looks haven't progressed much since moving in six years ago, when I had braces and wore too much Abercrombie and Fitch.
  • My uncle also told said RA that I was single and looking for a man. To which said RA replied, "I'm in a relationship, but I appreciate the offer." To which said uncle said to said RA, "Well here's your chance to trade up." I told him that if he played his cards right, my uncle might even throw in a goat or two.
  • Speaking of awkward family moments, here's a little gem from the King archives: Growing up, we frequently played board games as a family and had a rule that the losers had to kiss the winners after each game. Here's where it gets a little cringe-worthy: winners had to lie on their backs, face up, in a row, and losers went down the line and kissed them. On the lips. A tradition I might not be passing down. Maybe. We'll see.
  • Orientation for my grad program was this week, and I survived multiple icebreakers. Forget anesthetics, icebreakers are my biggest fear. Especially ones that make you think fast. I'm not good at it, it gets messy, I get embarrassed, it's awkward for everyone...
  • Carrie and her boyfriend Matt stayed with me last night after a wedding. Matt has a fascination with the Midwest's fascination with cheese and ranch dressing. He honestly believes, given the choice, a Midwesterner would pick a cup of ranch over saving their mother's life, and their mother would be screaming, "For God's sake, choose the ranch!" from the gallows. This might be a not-so-far stretch because dang, ranch is good stuff, and right now we have four different kinds of cheese in our fridge, and that's really about all, and I am content.
  • I led a group of Chinese students around Bloomington for a scavenger hunt and they were just little darlings. I was especially proud of Hank, who caught on very quickly as was able to correctly identify the stoned gentlemen yelling at us about the evils of Starbucks as "hippies" in a matter of minutes. Next week I hope to cover "hipsters".
  • You might be thinking I used the name "Hank" to protect aforementioned student. In fact, I did not. Many students pick American names when they come to the U.S., and Hank chose his moniker. I also met a Dennis, a Gates and a Honey.
  • "Ni hao" is "Hello" in Chinese, pronounced "nee how". You can't say I never taught ya nothin.
  • Sally gets back from Dallas tonight! Praise the Lord.
  • Lizzie starts working at the OIS tomorrow! Praise the Lord twice.
  • I have clean sheets into which I can crawl! Praise the Lord thrice.
  • Good night, world.

August 14, 2011


Moved into my new place and waiting on my bookshelf, but now kind of wanting to keep this.

While unpacking, found my iPhone collection.

August 10, 2011

An Idle Mind is the Devil's Workshop.

Maybe a little dramatic, but somewhat fitting as I did nothing tonight. Plenty of things I should have done, but nothing I actually did do.

Unless you count eating salad and sweet potatoes for dinner while watching a movie in bed something.

That I did.

I watched Arthur tonight and was pleasantly surprised with the part of the movie where Naomi tells Arthur that Spaghettios are one of the few things better generic - I have always said this, and I'm glad the message has finally found a larger platform. Aldi brand Spaghettios are incredible, right up there with Chick-fil-a if you'd like some perspective, and I have been a big fan for years.

Let's see. In other news, my toothpaste (Pronamel, because I know you're wondering) tastes just like my Italian apartment smelled. A little fruity. I'm digging it.

London, my beloved city (not to be confused with my beloved's city, which would be Bottmingen, Switzerland), is being burned to the ground. An English student came into my office today and we were discussing British rioting and how it's their "thing" and how Americans are a little more civilized because we sue.

I move into my new place on Friday where I hope to stay until I die, because forget an idle mind, moving is the devil's workshop. Or at least the hobby he does in his workshop. This will be my tenth significant place of residency (three or more months) in six years (parents' home, freshman year dorm, Michigan lake house, Btown apartment #1, Italy apartment, London apartment, Btown apartment #2, Dallas apartment, summer sublet, grad school apartment #1). This is why I try to keep my belongings down to a carload...although it never really works out like that because my parents are stuck hauling things cross-country for me every time I shuffle around. Love you, John R. and Tam Tam.

Tomorrow my baby girl turns 18. My cousin Taylor was born when I was six, if I've done the math correctly, and has always been as close to a sister as I'll ever get. We have the same car, did the band geek/drum major thing and even dabbled in cheerleading. So we're pretty much the same person, except she's way more talented, prettier, nicer and funnier than I could ever hope to be. Girl knows her farm stuff, too. Love you, Tayloh. So proud of the woman (it's official!) you've become.

It's off to bed for me. You don't look this fly by staying up all night.

August 3, 2011

Laundry Day on the Farm.

Nature's dryer.


Sally and I like to take pictures of ourselves to send Cassie, her triplet. One of her triplets.

As I've been promised to their brother, Sam, these will one day be cherished family photos.

August 2, 2011

Strikes My Fancy.

(In no particular order)

Paris pink

and London tube stops

and raspberries

and Vespas

and French braids

and bubble baths

and coral lips

and Phoenix

and half-priced cherry limeades.

Oh Yes.

Don't Waste Your Life.

Click here to read convicting words from Pastor John Piper.

"Your life is in God’s hands and hangs by a thread of sovereign grace."

"One of the great tragedies of American culture is the way billions of dollars are invested to persuade people my age to waste the rest of their lives. It goes by the name of retirement, and the entire message is: you’ve worked for it, now enjoy it. And what is the “it”? Twenty years of play and leisure. While the world sinks under the weight of millions of healthy older people fishing, cruising, puttering, playing golf, bridge, bingo, shuffle board, and collecting shells. All of this in preparation for meeting Jesus Christ face to face with nail scars in his hands."

"Life is given to us so that we can use it to make much of Christ. Possessions are given to us so that by the way we use them, we can show that they are not our treasure, but Christ is our treasure. Money is given to us so that we will use it in a way that shows money is not treasure, but Christ is our treasure. "

July 26, 2011

I Love Weddings.

Let's play a little game called "Which one of these doesn't belong?".

Hint: Look at the other bridesmaids. The other joyful bridesmaids.

Now look at me.

Despite what my expressions might say, I love weddings. I really do.

July 24, 2011


I seem to have developed the spiritual gift of no sleep. That's gonna be great in two months once school starts, but for now I'm happy to leave it undeveloped. We all know how much I hate arising in the morn.

Seeing as I might as well be useful, and my checkbook's balanced and my laundry's done and my lunch is packed for the morning and I even just cleaned my ears, here are some tasty morsels for you to savor:
  • I occasionally work in the three- and four-year old room at church, and this morning was real special. We taught the story of the fish and loaves feeding 5,000, which went according to plan. Towards the end of each session we let the kids play until their parents come to pick them up. Sweet little boys (who shall be called "G" and "B") decided to play bookstore with the fake cash register and money. This lasted about five minutes, at which point G and B started stealing money from each other. We quickly explained that stealing isn't really a celebrated biblical principal and thus shouldn't be done. They quit without much of a fight and went back to playing bookstore. Then G's dad picked him up and asked what he'd done during church today. G told him they played "steal the money." That's all. No mention of a snack or craft or God's provision through the story. Stealing his friend's money was all that stuck out to him. Something tells me his dad doesn't blame us.
  • I also do not possess the spiritual gifts required to work with children.
  • I went to a bike race in Indy with Daddy-O on Saturday. A good time was had by all - pictures and prose to come tomorrow.
  • I made Manwich today and it easily sits in my top ten favorite foods. Can I get an "Amen" for leftovers!
  • I regained respect in my family when I ate more watermelon today than I've ever consumed in my life. I used to not like it and I probably still don't, but Sally used her trickery and added some secret ingredients and froze it and made it magically delicious.
  • Upcoming contest. Stay tuned for more details.
I'll leave you with some patriotic pictures from the photo booth at Nicole's and Dan's wedding.

July 21, 2011

The Family Band.

Last night, when I went over to my brothers' house to pick some tomatoes from their garden to make fried green tomatoes for my roommate to try (she loved them, we can remain friends), I heard a real jam session coming from the house. As I followed the noise, I was led to the cellar door. I cautiously opened it (which really put off Buzzsaw the cat), and found this:

And this:

My brothers are rock stars. So I'm thinking about quitting school and joining the family band as the lead female vocalist.

You know, once they can play an entire song.

Rock on, bras.

July 19, 2011

Summer Means.

Bare feet and real tomatoes that taste a little like dirt.

Smaller bags when packing.

Baseball games.

Potato salad.


Drinking from a mason jar.

Unruly hair.

Unruly short shorts.

Fried green tomatoes.

Sleeping with the fan on and the windows open.

Summer music.

Water. Lots and lots of water.

Tan skin.

Summer-y nail polish colors.

Bicycle rides.

Cute little (and big) boys with their summer hair cuts.

Eating, concerts, everything outdoors.

Longer, unproductive days.

Summer love.

Summer nights.

Definitely summer nights.

Might as Well Cut Me A Social Security Check.

July 18, 2011

If I Die Young.

Never did I think that I would a) like a song with the lyrics "lay me down on a bed of roses" or b) have my faith challenged by a country song, but The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" has gone and changed that. Figures.

I'm sure you can figure out the song's subject matter based upon the title. It's something I think about a lot, especially in terms of my faith. I'm very aware that I'm not guaranteed my next breath. In fact, I probably don't really deserve it. I thought a lot of mean thoughts today, you know.

Sometimes, in the shower, I get bold and dare God to deny me my next breath. Why I do it in the shower, I don't know. Probably because it's where I do my best thinking. Really, it would make more sense in bed, because when God's finally had it up to *here* with my little challenges and finally knocks the life out of me, it would much more pleasant for someone to find me in an eternal nap in my bed rather than soaking in an extended bubble bath.

Anyway, songs about death - now or later - are sure to get you thinking about the purpose of life and what you want to accomplish and how you want to be remembered. I'm 24, and if things go well, I've got about two more of these 24 year chunks left. I suppose that's a decent amount of time, but not when you start to think in terms of eternity. It's a flash, really.

What do we do with this flash we're given? What's our purpose?

Here is what I know: the sole purpose of my life is to bring glory to God.

Not to be a good person.

Not to have fun and enjoy life.

(But I believe these things will inherently happen as I glorify the Lord and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I do.)

My faith in my salvation that comes from the cross and the cross alone should be reflected in every decision I make, every thought I entertain and every relationship I have.

And I struggle terribly with this.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am so easily attracted to the glitter of the world. The exotic places, the interesting people, the experiences I've had and want to have. I want to do it all and see it all. Trips are my currency - I convert dollars to plane tickets in my head. I'll sacrifice a few shopping trips here and if it means I'll gain a trip here or there. I spend too long dwelling on memories I've made and daydreaming about memories I'll make.

So somewhere along the way I convince myself that a passionate, whole-hearted attempt at a life serving the Lord will deny me of fully experiencing all that this world has to offer. I'm too immature and short-sighted to realize that not only will he allow me to experience life more fully, but that this just isn't as good as it gets. And praise God for that - we have something greater to anticipate.

Simply put, Christ is not a cosmic kill joy. He won't rob me of joy. It might not be joy on my terms, but nonetheless, it will be joy. Unfathomable joy.

God is good. He never lets me get my head too far into my own selfish pursuits before pulling me back towards him. Always in the strangest of ways, always at the most unexpected of times, always so appreciated. "If I Die Young" was His latest bait. And it won't be His last. In a few months, or even days, when I'm wandering once again, something small (or great) will come along and bring me back home, safe in his arms.

Until then, I will work to steer clear of the things that rob me of my love for my creator and continue to seek out things that stir my affections for Him: a good meal, a great conversation, a trip to the water. Anything that makes me feel small and humbled and in awe of His majesty.

God willing, I'll have more than 24 years. But if I don't, I pray my life reads not as a compilation of short stories that might be shared at my funeral and then forgotten; rather, an epic adventure that will last into eternity - one that will point people toward eternity themselves.

C. S. Lewis says it best: would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither."


1. Kyla met Kai and Kyle, the two masterminds behind Indosole, over sushi in Orange County last April. Their new company uses discarded tires from Indonesian motorbikes to create some pretty cool kicks. These guys have finally taken their website live, so check it out, will you? (And watch "The Process" video.)

2. In what might be the best mistake I've ever made, I left a bag of groceries at Sally's apartment before leaving for Chicago for the weekend. After discovering my mistake, I told her to use up what she could. And boy howdy, did she ever. She filled my freezer with baked goods that I've been too impatient to thaw out before eating (who'd have thought brownies were good frozen?). I don't know if her talent is learned or God-given, but she makes me want to be a better woman.

3. Mom has dubbed herself "The Bird Whisperer" after finding and approaching a dove on the back patio at home the past two nights.

"It's back. What does this mean?" she asked tonight.

4. In response to the bevy of emails and texts I got regarding my plasma scars, rest assured that what I'm doing is pretty much 100% safe and legal. In all likelihood, there are no negative immediate or long-term repercussions to my frequent, consistent donating. I'm pretty sure of this.

5. Big thank you to the Colborn family for sharing this intimate family portrait for my readers:

July 14, 2011

Dallas, This One's for You.

See those sketchy looking scars on my arms?

Those are for you.

Every needle poke and gallon of plasma sucked from my body brings me $30 closer to visiting.

I'm in grad school, and times are hard.

Scholarship money should probably go to food and books and other things of that nature.

But...we'll see.

Like I said. Times are hard.


I might have a problem.

It wasn't long into my new job when this showed up on my desk one morning:

In my defense, I started at the same time as Wimbledon and had one of my two screens showing live updates. It wasn't a good tournament for Roger, but never mind that. I didn't bring it up until I was asked for whom I was rooting.

They probably saw the sparkle in my eye.

Then came the notes:

"Kyla, I love watching you work."

"I think I should retire, Kyla."

I have a sneaking suspicion the Nadal fan in the office was behind this one.

"Tell me about your long day at work while I massage your feet with my strong tennis star hands."

"Kyla, you're a sweetheart. I want to take you to Dubai..."

"Your beautiful face has me paralyzed. Haven't swam a lap in weeks..."

"That lady was CRAY CRAY. Let's snuggle..."

Ridiculous, but it keeps me laughing and in love with my coworkers.