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:

...it 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.

July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to YOU.

Since my super sweet little roommate turns 21 in the morning, I decided to bake a cake. I used a mix, don't get excited, but it was edible and she pretended she liked it and that, my friends, that's good enough for me.

This girl is a star - she's sweet talked a law professor into letting her take a final she missed, she makes killer headbands, and she could cook Giata under the table. She's an inspiration to us all.

Cutie pie.

My masterpiece. Disregard the fact that the cake looks like a casserole with ground beef - gentlemen, eat your hearts out.

Happy Birthday, Chelsie! Can't wait to celebrate.

July 11, 2011

Wah Wah Wah.

I complain.

Deal with it.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, can I just tell you how hot it was today? 94 F, 113 F with the heat index. (For my international readers, that's 45 C, which is not nearly as impressive, so switch to the Fahrenheit system.) Now I like to be a bronzed and golden and glowing and sun-kissed blonde as much as the next girl, but ayiyi. This is searing. But it's a great excuse not to run, and for that I am most thankful.

And speaking of wah wah wah, does anyone remember the babies people carried around in high
school? The ones that cried in the middle of the night and had microchips so the teacher could see who would be an abusive parent?

Someone at work recently told me that their school was poor, so they carried around dolls with sacks of flour tied to them. Because this is the most accurate way to determine which high schoolers would be good parent and which would not.

Actually, I think the point was to encourage abstinence (and yes, abstinence - I'm from small town Indiana).

I never had those. My home economics career ended in junior high (no surprise there if you know me), and the furthest I got was the hard boiled egg. I think it survived, I don't remember. I do remember 'accidentally' forgetting have my mom sign the permission slip to go on the "career choices" field trip to the funeral home.

July 7, 2011

You-a Make-a Me-a Verrry Happy.

An Italian man once told me this and then immediately brought me a piece of cake and a glass of champagne. He was a tennis instructor and loved Leffe and Federer and was ten years older than me. Sometimes we text.

There are so many thing that make-a me-a happy right now.

Lizzie and Sally are in Bloomington and I'm more grateful than they'll ever know to have them.

The Script. See ya in September, Danny.

Pictures of babies. Babies, babies everywhere. I love them all, and I love their mommies who send me regular pictoral updates. But mostly I love the babies.

Katie and Carrie and David Gray were exquisite
last night:
But I just can't help from thinking
If I had you by my side
That we could fall in love again tonight

So was the $5 wine I had.

"Party Rock Anthem" keeps me dancing.

My bank account didn't overdraft today just like Carrie said it wouldn't even though it absolutely should have. Poverty is fun!

Imagine if someone said, "What's your dream job?" and then - *poof* - you had it? I feel like that happened to me. I love my office and I love my coworkers and I love the students I meet and I love what I do.

My parents love each other. They both tell me this often, and I think about this often.

Once upon a time, two of my friends visited another friend they both met through me. And I wasn't there. And they were perfectly content because they were all friends anyway and everyone lived happily ever after. TJ and Kristi visited Katie in DC! This...this I love.

Good night, y'all. Here's to whatever adventure tomorrow brings.

July 5, 2011

Waking Up.

I hate it. Every morning. Every single morning.

I think about how much I hate it as hit my alarm six times and get six terrible seven-minute increments of half-sleep instead of actually getting up.

I think about how picking out an outfit is the bane of my existence and I wish I could just roll out of bed and wear my men's XL boxers with a legit hole in the front and an orange and black skull pattern to work. And my see-through t-shirt from the thrift shop that I'm pretty sure I never washed before wearing the first time. And no mascara even though when I don't put it on people think I'm sick because my eyelashes are blonde and basically invisible to the naked eye and I guess I'm pizzazzless without it.

I'd rather look like that than get up.

Sometimes I do look like that. And I have to rely on my wit and charm to get me through the day. And it often fails me.

July 4, 2011

Daniel + Nicole, Sittin' in a Tree.

I have many, many theories. My most famous theory is that there are three types of women in this world: "suit" women, "sweats" women and "scrub" women. I, myself, have a healthy respect for a man in a good suit. Ashley might marry a professional athlete. Katie loves her doctors.

I have a lesser-known theory that there is a direct ratio between the level of fun one has on a given night and the level of foot pain the next morning.

My feet are killing me.

Must have been a great wedding last night.

Let's talk getting ready.

A girl's gotta have options.

A girl's gotta have sparkle.

These are the little things that make it fun to be a girl.

Shoes. Need I say more? And don't be hatin' on the McDonald's coffee.

The finished products.

The sitting. And waiting. And eating.

And wishing. (Not much longer!)

Speaking of shoes...

Forget it. There's no more to say.

Even my allergies cooperated for these lovelies.


And then came the wedding. I don't have any pictures of it because, you see, I was standing up at the alter and Nicole wouldn't let me take my camera because it would be tacky.

Such a bridezilla.

Also, let it be known that I felt a little lump in my throat that COULD have developed into a tear.

My mom would argue otherwise - that I'm incapable.

Anyway, after that the real party started.

I got to sit at Table #4, which was perfect, because my favorite number is 16 (and 4x4=16!).

MOH? You blew us away with your Glee-like speech. I'd like to have my life translated into a musical, please.

I can toast to that.

And I can definitely toast to that.

Just in case you thought I was lying earlier.

We got the bride for a bit.

Until this guy stole her away. Tried to claim he was her "husband" or something.

Said this made it official.

And she tried to back him up and say this made it official.

Kids these days.

We danced like the Greeks.

And then it was all over and we blew bubbles.

And they sprinted towards the honeymoon.

Not that anyone's blaming them, patient souls.

I got to spend some great time with some great people. We wore matching dresses and it was very cute.

Kyle and Leezee. Peezee.

Congrats, Nicole and Dan. Nicole, I've loved you for a long time and Dan is even greater than I could have known to wish for you. And for that, I love him, too.

Here's to many many kisses, many many "discussions," and many, many years of His blessings.