Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jack's Mannequin

My freshman year of college I was introduced to a band called Jack’s Mannequin. I immediately feel in love with their piano rock sound and soulful lyrics. With each new song they released, I grew more attached to the band.

My sophomore year of college I saw JM perform at Elon College with a childhood friend who shared my love for the band. The lead singer banged around and danced while flawlessly playing the piano, jumped up on the piano and completely rocked out. It was a small show, as the band was still growing, but great.

2 years later, as my birthday present, my mom took me to Myrtle Beach for a girls weekend, and to see JM at the House of Blues. I don’t think she had ever seen “concert Katie” before, as I jumped up and down and sang all the words, danced like a maniac, and had one of the best nights of my life. Mom sat on the stairs with the bouncer, about to fall asleep in the middle of the show. It’s one of my favorite memories of us.

This summer I learned that Jack’s was releasing a new album in early October of this year, which would accompany their new tour. They have grown in popularity and reach, and are now performing several nights a week in cities all over the US and Canada. Tomorrow night JM will be performing in downtown Portland in a small venue off of Burnside Ave. I of course bought tickets the day they became available. I have a feeling that Ross’ response to the show is going to be quite similar to Mom’s a few years ago, but I can hardly contain my excitement!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Our little girl got dressed up a week early.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Catch up post

Since my lasting posting we….

Ate at the new Mellow Mushroom in Portland. Half House Special (tons of meat) and half Kosmic Karma (yummy veggies). Now that's compromise!

Took Henry to the vet for his annual shots, and found out he is slightly overweight (woops). He spent the rest of the day pouting.

Rode bikes to our favorite grocery store (true Portland style). Here is the beautiful flower department and Ross in the produce isles.

Got Eisley a new toy (stuffed skunk).

And went for an adventurous bike ride with Eisley. (She ran, we biked).

This shot shows me calm and collected. 99% of the time I was cringing and screaming “DEATH!”

What does this week hold in store for us?

Friday, October 21, 2011

For Eisley

A handy way to take your loved ones every where! Not their intended purpose, but I want to get one for Eisley.

Personal Shout Out

B. Strawberry. Are you out there?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Smashing Pumpkins (the activity, not the band)

Monday night we went to an Octoberfest event at a local brewery. They had dozens of pumpkin brews on tap, various pumpkin-themed snacks, and even two kegs pumping through giant pumpkins. It was a bit of a pumpkin overload. In the outside beer garden, there was an outdoor Pumpkin Bowling Lane set up. You had to roll a medium-sized pumpkin down the “lane” (2 lines drawn with chalk) and knock over 2 liter coke bottles that were half way full (so they would have some weight to them). Ross was pretty much a champ.


In the far corner of the bar was a Pumpkin Graveyard with tons of squashed pumpkins, guts, and seeds everywhere. I stepped right up to the plate and annihilated a pumpkin with a mallet hammer.

Don't worry, these weren't the pumpkins we raised in our garden! Well….. it took me three tries (they were slippery guys!)

Then we had a pumpkin seed spitting contest (yes, the same seeds we picked up off the ground from the Pumpkin Graveyard….EWW!) I lost, miserably. I guess my lady-like manners kicked in and I realized I didn’t know how to spit. Dang. A guy wearing a camouflage Clemson hat won…. Representing the south!

Stay tuned for more Halloween fun to come!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A fall weekend

Friday night we went to the last home game of the Timbers season. After an adidas pre-game party, we walked over to the stadium led by a bagpipe troop in kilts… so fun. It ended up raining most of the night, and we lost (dang), but it was a blast. Here is a glimpse of the crowd. (The first guy shown is Ross’ coworker Robert, then Ross, then me for a split second).

Saturday the gorgeous weather set in and we ventured out on the motorcycle. We rode around Sauvie’s Island (where I did my half marathon a few months ago). I must say, a motorcycle ride around the island was MUCH better than a 13 mile run. We saw cows, sheep, one llama, wooly worms, pumpkin patches (and the hundreds of people at them), and a sign for homemade jam. We pulled down the drive way back through apple trees, cow pastures, and eventually berry vines (where we later learned she grows all the berries for the jam). A hand written sign said “Honk for Jam”, but because the motorcycle was so loud she heard us coming. Amy (as we later learned her name), grew all berries for her jam without chemicals or pesticides, just a little love. She was kind of weird (late 50s, attractive woman, with 2 huge Doberman Pinschers, and a cat who killed a mouse while we were there). She also told us a story about how that same cat mauled a baby bird, and she prayed over it, and it flew away. A true miracle she said. I stood there in shock and Ross quickly changed the subject. It may be the natural course, but I don’t love hearing stories of baby animals getting attacked. Anyway, we haven’t tried the jam yet, but we did leave with 2 jars- Raspberry and Strawberry- preserved in mason jars. We didn’t carry enough cash with us to pay for it, so she asked us to mail her a check. She happily wrote down her address and didn’t think twice that perhaps we wouldn’t pay her back. I of course, popped a check for $6.00 in the mail today.

I have decided my goal is to work part time and have a little farm... a few chickens, a cow or 2, a couple of dogs, a barn cat, and maybe a couple of goats for Eisley to chase. I would work part time at a University and take care of my farm part time, selling my homemade jams, fresh local eggs, and raw milk. I can dream, right Ross?

Sunday was another beautiful day, and Ross had a cross race at Portland International Raceway. I sat on a cooler chair under the team tent and drank a cold beer while he zoomed around on his bike. Here he is going over one of the barriers. (The one in black and lime green. Number 56)

I heard President Obama was in Boone and Wilkes today. Did anyone go see him?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Remember the fairy tale of Cinderella, with the ball at the Royal Palace, and the carriage that turned to a pumpkin at midnight, and the prince on a white horse? Well... this isn't that story. But there are pumpkins. And dancing.

Ross and I have started taking ballroom dancing classes! As a birthday present, Ross got me a month's worth of ballroom dancing classes. They were intended to prepare us for the wedding, but amidst all of the planning and chaos, we did not have time to squeeze them in (hence why our first dance was so uncoordinated). But we have decided, that hey the weather is turning bad, why not spend every Friday night of October in a dance class? So we checked out the class schedule and signed up for Beginner's Samba. Oh man... what did we get ourselves into? Imagine Ross trying to put a Brazilian shimmy into EVERY step, and me fantasizing that we were Baby and Johnny from Dirty Dancing. Needless to say, I was consistently bobbing my head and Ross was consistently off beat. But we had a blast and are looking forward to our next class at Lenora's Ballroom.

Today turned out to be GORGEOUS weather, so we decided to spend as much of the day possible outside. Ross left for an early bike ride, with the plan that he would be back in 45 minutes to "pick me up" and then we would head out for a continuation of the ride together. Well Ross came back in 25 minutes. And he walked in the door and said "I may have done something bad." Oh geeze... you gotta love when a conversation starts that way. So I found out that Ross had stopped by a yard sale in one of the super nice neighborhoods near our house and had promised to buy a large loveseat/chair and a couch. We have a couch. And a chair. But it was "too good of a deal to pass up." So imagine Ross and I standing in our TINY living room trying to figure out WHERE IN THE HECK we were going to put an additional loveseat. (We have already decided the couch, which is also a queen sleeper sofa is going on Craigslist first thing tomorrow. We intend to make a profit). So we spent 10 minutes getting the chair through our front door, convinced Eisley not to freak out and bite the cushions, and stained it with door grease on our way through the storm door. Surprisingly I kept my calm as Ross continued to say "I'm an idiot" and walk around the house in a daze. Apparently he had just realized that we didn't need the couch and chair, despite how they were "too good of a deal to pass up." Long story short, our previous chair moved to a corner of the master bedroom (deemed my new reading nook) and the new loveseat has found a happy home in our re-arranged living room. And it is amazingly comfortable. And super cute. The GIANT couch is still living in the garage, and will stay there until a lucky someone responds to our post about an awesome For Sale Queen Sleeper Sofa. All in all, I don't think Ross did anything too bad. :)

Once we got all of the furniture shenanigans out of the way, we set out to enjoy a quick motorcycle ride and lunch date, followed by an evening at our favorite dog park. Eisley loved the ball time and running through the tall wheat grass.

And my husband was looking mighty handsome.

Oh yea, and I was there too.

And last but not least, here is a glimpse at our new "pet."

As you know, it is Pumpkin Patch time, but Ross and I were lucky enough to grow pumpkins in our amazonian garden this summer. We have two pumpkins (names are yet to be determined) and they are incredibly precious and quite large. One lives on our front stoop, and the other is a happy addition to our living room.

So maybe I don't have a fairy godmother, and maybe I didn't get to wear a crown, but I would say I am pretty close to living my own Happily Ever After.

The End!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wedding Announcement

Our wedding announcement is in today’s paper! Run to the store and buy your copy, or read the article online here:

The Facebook

I am going to take a brief break from my normal life updates, to go on a little rant. Stay with me here… there is a point (I think).

I remember my brother coming home from college during his freshman year and telling me about this illustrious website called It was a site only accessible by college students, with a registered University email address. The Facebook validated each person’s email with the college before the student was granted access to the site, and not every University had access quite yet. It was still in the growing phase. I remember Joseph showing me his page, that allowed basic contact information and one profile picture.

My freshman year at ASU, I remember the day that photo albums became live on Facebook (between Joseph’s freshman year and mine, the website dropped the “The” from their name). I remember my first album, and the silly pictures I posted of my roommate and me. The site was now open to anyone with a college email address, all colleges were now represented, and you could connect with friends around the country, if not world, as long as they were a college student.

Six years later, Facebook is accessible by anyone and it is the most popular and widely used social media site in the world. College students are now joined by 5 year olds, grandparents, and dogs, all of which are eager to post their full contact information, interests and activities, education and employers, friends, family, and thousands of pictures. Facebook is accessible on your PC, laptop, iPad, BlackBerry, and cell phone… so you can stay updated with your “friends” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

And what defines a “friend” per say? Pre-Facebooka friend was a person you were attached to by strong affectionate feelings. Now thanks to Facebook, a “friend” is anyone who can access your full information on your “page”. They have access to every personal detail that you post, or anyone posts about you.

Psychology studies have shown that the generation below me (people currently in high school and younger) has stronger feelings of anxiety and less ability to socialize with people. The cause? Social media. Kids, and adults for that matter, have grown so accustomed to communicating only through Facebook, that when confronted face to face with a human interaction, their skills are lacking. Individuals are feeling high levels of anxiety in social situations and feel as if they must always be “connected” to others, hence why the Facebook application on phones is so popular.

Please don’t read this as a “I’m holier than thou because I don’t use Facebook” rant. I am on Facebook. I have it on my phone. What bothers me is that I have friends and family that I ONLY communicate with through Facebook. There were friends at our wedding who I had not actually spoken to since college or graduate school graduation, yet we had stayed updated with each other’s lives through Facebook. It’s sad and disheartening.

So here is where I make my point (I know you were waiting for it). I am challenging you, to challenge me, to step away from Facebook. Instead of writing on my Facebook wall, pick up the phone and call me. Instead of posting a picture to my wall, print it out and sent it in a card to me. I have a college friend who I am pen pals with. No not email, actual snail mail with a licked envelope and stamp. I send and receive about 2 letters per month. They are the highlight of my day. While it is not the same as a phone call or a lunch date, it is personal, unique, and it takes time and effort. Which aren’t these characteristics that build every solid friendship?

I am making a pledge to you. I am taking Facebook off of my phone. I just removed the application. I swear. That one small step will help me be a better friend, daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and wife. That is one less thing I will be addicted to on my phone. Slowly but surely, I will also delete my Facebook account. Maybe that will be my New Year’s resolution.

Just deleting Facebook off of my phone took a huge weight off of my shoulders. I encourage you to take the same step.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Katie Henderson Bowden

When playing with my friends as a little girl, I remember sitting and writing our names with different last names- either those of our school crushes or movie stars or members of boy bands (I had a slight obsession with the Backstreet Boys). A few weeks before the wedding, I relived this childhood memory when Ross asked me how I would sign my new name. It was a defining moment. I had signed my name the same way for 24 years- I didn’t know how to write it differently. We moved from Greensboro to Wilkesboro during elementary school, during the critically important time when I learned to write in cursive. My cursive writing has always been very shaky, but my name was the one thing I had mastered- and now I had new letters. The flow of H-e-n-d-e-r-s-o-n had become second nature to me, although I have to admit I am still pretty rocky at “r” and “s”. But now, I had new challenges… a “w” for one thing. How do you flow a “w”?!?! Ross isn’t much help, as his hand writing looks like he missed the penmanship lesson altogether (sorry hun!). So now I will have a new doodle to work on- Katie Bowden.

Today I legally changed my name to Katie Henderson Bowden. People have been calling me Katie Bowden or KB since we got married 1 month and 2 days ago (did you forget to wish us a happy anniversary?!?!) but it felt really real today when I submitted my application to the social security office and my new name entered into the federal system.

A new name means a lot of things to me- it legally binds me to Ross. It solidifies that the wedding rings I wear are a part of me and my new identity. I am now a member of two families, as I am now a Bowden as well. I represent the Bowden family now just as much as the Henderson name I grew up carrying. It’s a big step. I texted Ross’ mom and sisters this morning, and told them that they are now stuck with me since I made it legal. The responded with “YAY!” and “No you are stuck with us!” I think I fit in quite well! (And I think Ross fits in ours quite nicely as well!)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Welcome to Your Library

I have a new favorite winter spot in Portland- the Multnomah County Public Library. There are 17 branches throughout Portland, and with a little swipe of my free membership card, I have access to up to 150 books, 15 DVDs, and 15 CDs at a time. That’s a lot of literary material!! The Portland branch of the MCPL is only 3 miles from my front door, which means a quick little pedal over on my commuter bike and I am in book heaven. When I signed up for my membership Saturday afternoon, the librarian vibrantly smiled and said “Welcome to your library.” It was a magical moment. I pedaled home with a novel, a cookbook, and a self-help book on de-cluttering your home (I am pretty pumped about all three). I spent a large part of Saturday afternoon cuddled up in my reading chair with a cup of hot tea.

Sunday afternoon was the first Cross Crusade race of the year. Alpenrose Dairy saw 1800 riders compete throughout the day. It of course rained, but the spectators and racers alike toughed out the weather with the ever-present rain gear. Ross had a great race, and finished in the top half of the race. Pretty impressive!