Lessons from my sister’s bathroom

Lessons from my sister’s bathroom 8

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I’m in Seattle for work this week, which means I have the sincere pleasure of shacking up with my younger sister. It’s almost as if I’ve been transported back to 1997…we’re sharing a bed, a blow dryer, and (gasp!) even a bathroom.

Thankfully, we’ve matured significantly since adolescence. There’s far less screaming, hair pulling, and fingernail scratching than back in our middle school days. Although I have been known to bust out my freshly manicured claws in a few extreme cases.

(Like when Hayley eats the last Lara Bar.)

Still, I pride myself in how far I’ve come. The sixteen-year-old Katrina would have screamed and possibly thrown a flat-iron at someone upon seeing this on the bathroom floor.


The rational, grown-up Katrina simply filed a polite, yet slightly confused inquiry.

“Um…Hayley? Why are there pieces of oatmeal all over your bathroom floor? Did you try to make a face mask again?”

“Ha!” she giggled casually. “Nah. It’s for my hair. You know how you use baby powder as a dry shampoo on the days you don’t wash it?”

I nodded slowly. Hayley and I both inherited the incredibly greasy locks of our father, Mark. Imagine an oily, scalp-based version of the five-o-clock shadow, and you get the idea. As a result, my sister and have been buying baby powder in bulk for years.

“Okay. And you know how baby powder kind of tints your roots white?”

I nodded again. I really didn’t like where this was going.

“Well,” she continued. “Oatmeal does basically the same thing! The oats soak up all the grease from your hair. Plus…my hair is basically the same color as oatmeal, so I’m not stuck with a scalp that’s a weird, ashy color.”

I was shocked, to say the least.

“Do you eat the oats when you’re done?” I asked incredulously.

“No!” she screamed while gazing at me in horror. “That would be disgusting.”

Perhaps it’s the cheapskate in me, but this seems like a terrible waste of perfectly good breakfast food.

“You should try it sometime.” Hayley coaxed. “It works really great.”

“Thanks, but no thanks.” I replied. “I prefer to eat my oats out of a bowl. Plus…my hair’s way darker than yours. I’d probably have to use Coco Puffs or something.”

Hayley nodded in agreement.

“Plus,” I continued, “Aren’t you worried about…I don’t know…accidentally running out the door with a couple of stray oats in your weave, or something?”

(Truly, such a travesty would be even worse than the dreaded toilet paper stuck in the shoe calamity!)

“Meh…not really.” she shrugged. “This is Seattle, after all. And the oats are organic.”

Of course they are.

(Next thing you know, she’s going to be coloring her hair with all-natural beet juice grown by blind, vegan monks, or something.)

(Although as long as she stays away from those hair ties crafted from dried strands of free range beef, I suppose I’ll allow it.)

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Bundle of joy

Bundle of joy 9

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Scott and I are thrilled to announce that our happy little family is soon to be expanding!


Translation? I’m not preggo. (I am however slowly working my way towards a guest appearance on Confessions: Animal Hoarding.)

I’m know, I know…that was a mean trick to play. (Extra big apology to you, Mom.) Would you believe me if it I told you it was all Scott’s idea? Because it totally was. (Plus, I’ve always wanted to publicly share one of those “pregnancy reveal” photos…and as someone who may or may not ever have children, this may very well be my only shot!)

More details on Jolie’s furry little sibling on Monday. In the mean time, be prepared that we’re probably not adopting what you think we are…

While you ponder that little riddle, I’m off to prepare the birth announcements!

Uh…I mean…get some work done.

(P.S. We’re registered at Target if anyone wants to…I don’t know…throw us a pet shower or something.)

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Home 8

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Late last night, my brother returned home from an eight month tour in the Middle East.

The knowledge that he had arrived safely in the states was extremely cathartic. I felt gratitude, joy, pride, and most of all, relief. Out of my entire family, I took his recent deployment the worst. Truth be told, the stress I experienced after he left (among other warning signs) led me to discover that I suffer from an Anxiety Disorder. I’ve since received help (more on this later) and have noticed a huge difference in the way I function on a day-to-day basis. Still — having a younger sibling stationed on the other side of the world certainly isn’t easy, even if you don’t have a problem with Anxiety.

I haven’t yet had the chance to speak with my brother, but am so looking forward to our first conversation — I haven’t heard his voice since last September. I’ve missed him.

My brother is the first member of our family to join the military. Until I was directly affected, I never truly understood the difficult sacrifices made by the members of our Armed Services, as well as their loved ones. Each time I see a man or woman in uniform, I have a newfound respect and understanding of the beautiful commitment they have made to their country. Thank you to all of you who have, or currently are serving.

And thank you to everyone who sent kind words and prayers. I feel so blessed to have my brother in my life, extremely grateful that he returned home safely, and truly thankful that you all supported me while I was going through the stress of his deployment. It meant the world to me

Welcome home, bud. We love you and are so incredibly proud of you!

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Life of the party

Life of the party 1

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When Scott’s Saturday turkey hunt in Nebraska was postponed due to weather, we quickly adjusted our weekend plans. The cold, rainy day was a perfect opportunity to visit his sister and her family, who live just one hour south of where we were staying. The catch? Scott had forgotten to actually tell his sister we were coming to Nebraska–you can imagine her husband’s surprise when I called the house that morning.

“Hey!” I chirped energetically. “We’re in town! What are you guys up to today?”

And then it was my turn to be surprised.

Apparently, it was our niece’s fourth birthday party. (Cue the forgetful Aunt and Uncle of the year award!)


We rushed to Target and bought the frilliest, sparkliest gift we could find before rolling into the four-year-old fiesta just in the nick of time. The look on our nieces’ and nephew’s faces when we made our surprise debut was priceless. I was so glad we had been able to attend the gymnasium-themed party, and was really looking forward to spending the afternoon catching up with everyone.

I turned to express my excitement to Scott, but he was long gone. Apparently, a gym full of toys = his kind of party.

But the fun didn’t stop with Scott’s scooter antics. Moments later, I found him hula hooping with his new BFF.


The two were later spotted coloring in the cake room.

A bromance with a slightly inappropriate age gap.

A bromance with a slightly inappropriate age gap.

Much to my surprise, Scott is quite the coloring book prodigy. Although I suppose his art could be considered a little bit “dark”.

This could be worth a pretty penny someday.

Just go back to sleep, Aurora.

In a twist of irony, Scott had his own mentally unstable Disney princess moment at dinner later that night. Lipstick and all. In an attempt to fill the awkward silence with some laughter, he grabbed my new tube of MAC Ruby Woo and hastily started applying.

No offense honey, but that's not really your best color.

No offense honey, but I think you’d look better in “Candy Yum Yum”

The good news? His impromptu makeover broke the ice and put everyone in high spirits.

The bad news?

I’m married to the 30-year-old equivalent of a toddler with gender issues.

(But at least dinner’s always interesting.)

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