Category Archives: my friends.

Las Vegas Pics! (finally)

The Strip.

vegas_strip

We stayed at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. We each got suites, a little upgrade action thanks to Judi slippin’ the check-in lady a twenty. Seriously.

the-hotel-mandalay

the_hotel_mandalay_bay_lobby

thehotel_hallway

hotel_suite

room_bathroom

The pool

mandalay-bay-pool

Our cabana by the lazy river- special thanks to Mark and Judi.

cabana_time

The Coca Cola Store-Bear and I have never laughed so hard in our lives. That Judith can really tell a joke.

laughing_with_bear

Under water adventures at the Shark Reef!

under_water

Finding the courage to reach out and touch the stingray.

sting_ray

My husband was brave and put aside all thoughts about Steve Irwin.

dustin_with_stingray

Pretty, pretty jellies.

the_jellies

k&d_jellies

The Bellagio

bellagio_fountain1

Looking (sorta) normal next to the Bellagio fountain…but then…

bellagio_fountain2

THE FOUNTAIN TURNED ON!!! YYAAAA!!!

Lots of other stuff happened, but I hate being the trip photographer, so those events are not documented. Sorry! Guess you’ll have to just imagine me dominating the roulette table and taking the old men for all their money at Poker.

What a great trip.

::sigh::

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Filed under BABY, I love my husband, my friends., rad shizzz, right?, rockin' out

Where is Kate and Dustin, you ask?

Oh, we’re just here-

las_vegas_strip

Staying here-

madalay_bay

Relaxing here-

lazyrivercabana

With these 2 people-

judi_free

mark_thomas

That’s all. NBD.

Be back Thursday, ya’ll!!

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Filed under BABY, groupies, I love my husband, my friends., rad shizzz, right?, rockin' out

Jesus is not Ghandi

david_bazan

Last Thursday Dustin and I saw David Bazan perform a “house show” at our friend Josh’s place. There was about 50 of us nicely packed into the living room where Bazan strummed his guitar and played a great acoustic set that even included some classic Pedro the Lion songs.

Bazan always has a question and answer time at his shows. Dustin saw him a few years back and was really struck by some of the answers he gave. So I was really interested when someone asked him if he believed in an afterlife. I’m not going to write out the whole reply because I don’t remember it accurately enough to do it justice and also I’m a blogger not a reporter. But there was one part that stuck out to me- Bazan said that he is no longer afraid of death and hell. He said he has come to realize that hell is something that some mean people made up as a threat. (He didn’t talk about heaven so I don’t know if he feels that it is something nice people made up or not.) After stating some disgust at the state of the Evangelical church he went on to say that he would just like to see people follow what Jesus taught. There were supportive “yeahs” and light clapping around the room.

I’m not trying to single out Bazan, but he is a good example of a common theology among our culture. It has become popular to see Jesus as a sort of Ghandi figure, quoting the couple of verses that fit their personal idea of who Jesus is- love your neighbor as yourself, take care of the widows and the poor, turn the other cheek, ect.

I find that they often leave out the parts where Jesus talks about the divisive things: the kingdom of Heaven advancing by force, worshipping God and serving only Him, how Jesus will turn people away from heaven, how real hell is and how many will end up there, and don’t even get me started on the parts where Jesus starts predicting the future and talks about a final judgement. These are not the things that you hear when people reference how great Jesus was-WAS-and how we should all follow his example.

People think of Jesus as some really great guy who taught us how to live in love and peace with humanity. The ultimate hippie. That is partly true, in a very pathetic, watered down way. Jesus didn’t see himself that way. He said: “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace on the earth! No, I came to bring a sword.” Surprised? Read Matt 10:34-39.

Is this the Jesus that you know? If it’s not then it’s time to open a Bible and read who it is you claim to know and follow.

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Filed under aiming at heaven, church stuff, currently reading/listening to, groupies, i am feeling feisty., in my opionation, life questions, more like Him, my friends., right?, stuff I don't like

10 years ago.

All day I have debated whether or not to write about the 10 year anniversary of Columbine. I hate being on any bandwagon and I especially hate when people use large-scale tragedies as their own personal drama. I decided to go against my usual ways and just let myself write. Who cares if it will seem cliche and typical.

10 years ago I was a freshman at Christian Fellowship School. We were sitting at lunch when a rumor starting going around that someone had been shot at Columbine. We were a small Christian school but all had friends at Columbine. It was the public school that kids would leave CFS for, and all the rest of us would be jealous of their freedom. One of those students who left us for the cool, public school was Cassie Bernall.

Hearing that someone was shot could not have been more foreign or hard to understand to a bunch of kids from the suburbs. This was before cell phones, remember, and we were hearing crazy stuff about bombs and kids lying dead all over. Instead of feeling sadness it was more like an electric buzz of excitement.  Lunch ended and we all went back to class as usual. I was in my English class and it was about 12:30.  We were asked to write a paper about something I don’t remember when all of the sudden I felt a surge of fear and grief so strong that I started crying and couldn’t stop. They sent me to the Vice Principals office so I could talk to someone and calm down. No one else was crying at this point. We didn’t really know what was going on enough to take it in and cry. I didn’t know at that time that Cassie Bernall was in the library and had just been killed.

I wasn’t that close to Cassie. Her brother Chris was actually a close friend and the last time I had seen Chris and Cassie was when we all went to a OC Supertones concert. We all swore we would love Ska forever.

I don’t know why I was overwhelmed with sadness so strong at the same time that Cassie died. We wouldn’t find out that she had been killed until late that night when she never came home. Coincidence? I have no idea. There really is no connection that makes sense. All I know is that it is what I experienced.

The weeks that followed I now interpret through an adult mind. I was just such a child still. We would visit the make-shift memorials at Clement Park dropping off flowers and slowly walking by the TV booths where Tom Brokah or MTV was broadcasting. We attended Cassie’s funeral and for some reason all went bowling together after. We saw Michael W Smith and Amy Grant play a tribute concert on the steps of our local movie theater, down the street from Columbine. It was all so surreal and I don’t think I ever really have understood the depth and the horrible things that happened that day. It’s forever frozen in the mind of a 15 year old girl with limited understanding.

Cassie has become a living legend in my mind. Part of her reality and another part folklore or fantasy. If she were alive today I’m certain we would not even be in touch. But yet in her death she is important to me and I’ll never forget her. The deepness of death can sometimes take years to really set in. In my case it has taken about 10.

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Filed under aiming at heaven, my friends., sad stuff

Blog Birthday!

Today is the one year birthday of ThatGirlKate. Last year a group of blogging friends: Mark, Judi, and Josh Brage convinced me to give it a go. 180 posts and 50,000 hits later, this little blog has come a long way in just a year. Yes, most of those hits are from people searching “Lorenzo Lamas” or “pee pants” but still, they are hits, right Judi?

Blogging is an art form that is intimidating, alluring and challenging all at once, and it’s the author who is putting that kind of pressure on themselves. Just like any other art form, it takes time to grow and find your voice. Looking back over the last year of posts, I am a little stunned at some of the things I shared, some good and some bad. We all know what it’s like to post something that you regret, but that comes with the territory. You learn and move on. I am amazed at some of the posts that ended up being a real encouragement to others in their walk with Christ, making the scary transparency and vulnerability totally worth it. If God wants to use my insecurities, my downfalls and my questions to strengthen someone else, then so be it.

This year has been one of the hardest I have ever faced in my life. There have been some very dark, stormy seas. My prayer is that by 2nd birthday of my blog it will be filled with stories of life, hope, joy, miracles and maybe even a little new edition to our family. Something that we have been believing and praying for for a year and a half.

Thanks for reading my silly, little blog. I love each of you so much.

ThatGirlKate

guard-cat

Here is some of my favorite posts from this past year.

My hall of fame, if you will.

Snapshots from my childhood

Adrian Sudbury

Little Katy’s Summer To Do List

Music That Changed My Life

Chubby Girl vs Giant Pancake

Sleeping Man in Foyer

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Filed under aiming at heaven, arteest, i love cats. so what?, in my opionation, Life and Marriage, more like Him, my friends., my husband loves me, right?

forsaking righteousness for relationship

Today I was going through the check out stand at Wal Mart. The nice lady who was ringing me up had a black, messy cross on her forehead. I saw a mom and dad with their kids walk by with the same crosses on their foreheads. Never being Catholic, I have never seen or participated in the Ash Wednesday ceremonies, or even Lent, for that matter. Now, there is a part of me that is thankful that I am not under “religion” but instead am in relationship, but there is a part of me that felt a desire to be a part of this obviously special day. What would it be like to walk around with a cross of ash on my forehead? How would it change my thoughts and behaviors through the day? How would it change how others saw me? Would the outer representation translate into a heart change?

This reminds of me a conversation I had recently with my friends Kate and Chris. We were talking about how we have forgotten righteousness and justified it through relationship. We think since we have freedom in our relationship with Christ that there is now no need for religion pushing righteousness on us. I am guilty of seeing righteousness the same as religion, finding it dogmatic and bringing only condemnation.  So instead we use relationship to justify sin and habitual downfalls, knowing that no sin can separate us from Christ, that His love will always be there for us. I don’t want that in my life. I want the relationship to lead to righteousness. I want to spend time with my Savior, with my friend, and walk away with a cross of ash on the forehead of my heart in remembrance to carry righteousness with me everywhere I go.

I pray my heart is always in search for Christ, and always transformed in righteousness.

ash_wednesday

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Filed under aiming at heaven, in my opionation, more like Him, my friends., my opionion does matter, right?

a mix fit for a president

mix_for_obama

Dear Mr. President,

First off let me just say Congratulations on your historic nomination! I may or may not have voted for you, but it really doesn’t matter now, does it. I was thinking of ways to welcome you to your new role and to the White House, a plate-of-brownies-for-the-new-neighbor type of gesture. I personally enjoy receiving Mix CD’s from new friends, it helps to get to know them a little better. I decided I would create a Presidential Mix CD for you. It is quite eclectic, mixing a few things together. I’ve heard you really like “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones, so I made sure to include that one for you, Mr. President. Overall it has a political feel, but it doesn’t take itself very seriously. Kind of like me!

Thanks for serving our country. Wishing you all the best!

Kate Groeneman

P.S. check out my blog thatgirlkate.wordpress.com


My “Welcome President Obama” Mix:

  1. Panic-The Smiths
  2. Gimme Shelter-Rolling Stones
  3. Coldplay-Politik
  4. Under Pressure-Queen and David Bowie
  5. Blowin’ In The Wind- Bob Dylan
  6. Pride (In the Name of Love)- U2
  7. Ring of Fire-Johnny Cash
  8. Bonzo Goes to Bitburg- The Ramones
  9. Paper Planes- M.I.A.
  10. Michael Jackson- Bad
  11. Star Spangled Banner

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Filed under currently reading/listening to, funny ha ha, in my opionation, music, my friends., Nerd Alert!, rad shizzz, right?, rockin' out