Monthly Archives: January 2013

Katie Confessions #8-13 “Solvang Edition”

I think and say and do a lot of weird things.  I suspect you do too.  So as I share my confessions, I’d love if you would share a “me too” every once in awhile so I don’t feel like quite such a spaz.


Two weekends ago I went on a trip to Solvang with some colleagues/friends, and since what happens in Solvang doesn’t have to stay in Solvang, now I’ve got some confessions to make.

# 8 I forgot that I had already made other plans for the weekend.

Have you ever done this?  Double-booking yourself is the worst. I felt TERRIBLE for standing up my dear friend, Lori.  Surely other people have had to send texts like this:

Not only did I stand her up, I made her share a bed with a cat who likes to sleep on top of people and pee in their suitcases.  I am the worst.

# 9 I went wine-tasting.

If you know me in real life, you understand why this is a confession.  I don’t drink wine.  Actually, I kind of hate it.

And yet, this was my SECOND time wine-tasting.

The first time was five years ago when I was in Cape Town over Spring Break.  (Ew, don’t I sound so pretentious?  I just can’t figure out a non-snooty way to start this story.)

Judith and Lisa are friends I met in Mozambique who are two of the smartest people I know.  They also happen to be super goofy, so naturally I love them.  Lisa’s boyfriend came to visit her and the four of us when to South Africa for the week.  Neither Lisa nor I enjoy wine, but somehow our group ended up at a vineyard.  While we probably should have been acting a bit more sophisticated at a fancy vineyard, we chose to show our true colors and had a grand ol’ time “sniffing” wine and sneaking grapes off the vine:

Five years later and I found myself on yet another wine-tasting trip.  And I actually drank the wine this time.  I  went because I love Solvang and the gang of women and because I didn’t have any other plans.  Oh wait.

Even though I still will choose an ice cold Coke over a fine glass of wine, I had a fabulous time wine-tasting.  I didn’t want to gag every time I tried a sip, so I suppose that is an improvement.  Plus, we got a tour of the vineyard and learned all about the wine-making process at the Firestone Winery.

That’s right, ladies, as in Andrew Firestone.  His family sold the winery right after his season of The Bachelor, but our tour guide knew Andrew and gave us the scoop on the show.  Apparently, the producers told him who to kiss and who to send home!  Are you as appalled by that news as I am?  I mean, sure, I always suspected it, but having it confirmed has really made me look at Sean’s season in a whole new way.  (Surely he’s being forced to keep Tierra, the drama queen.)

Saarloos and Sons was the next winery we went to, and it was awesome for a number of reasons.  First, Susan Saarloos is a friend from church and I want to be like her when I grow up. Her family owns the place and her son made us feel like VIPs.  And get this- instead of pairing wines with fruit and cheese, they use CUPCAKES!!! Pure genius.  Pure sugary, sweet genius!

Plus, they have this cool photo booth that takes fun pictures.

#10 I went in the hotel jacuzzi in a sports bra and undies.

In my defense, it was Erica’s idea.  And it was a brilliant one.  Luckily, no one joined us except one creepy middle-aged Asian woman who stood outside the pool smiling at us for an uncomfortable amount of time.

# 11 I imagined being murdered.

There are so many awful stories about runners being assaulted, so when I found myself on this path:

completely out of civilization and screaming distance, I couldn’t help but consider how easy it would be to kill me and hide my body. The upside to thinking about your impending death is that it forces you to run much faster.

# 12 I had this for breakfast:

Yes, that is a scoop of ice cream.  I want to hug whoever thought to serve ice cream with waffles.  And that’s saying a lot because I am NOT a hugger.

The next day’s breakfast consisted of Danish pancakes with cinnamon apples followed by a large chunk of peanut butter/chocolate fudge for the road and a cupcake in Santa Barbara.

I may require an intervention for my sugar problem.

# 13 I am this friend:

You know, the one who falls asleep on long car rides.  To quote Michelle Tanner, “How rude!”

Luckily, Becky is the type of friend who doesn’t begrudge us for sleeping while she drives.  Instead she took a picture of our drooling faces and put it on Instagram. Well-played.

The best part of these confessions is when you make them too.  For instance, in THIS POST my friend Tom made a super funny confession.  To fully appreciate it, you must understand that Tom is a posh Brit and therefore he calls the bathroom the “loo.”

So how ’bout it?  Do you ever double-book yourself or drink wine even though you hate it? Have you gone swimming in a public pool in your undies or thought about your own murder?  Do you have a slight sugar addiction or fall asleep in cars?  This is a judge-free zone, so any and all confessions are welcome and appreciated.


Katie Confessions # 1-7

Last year I wrote 24 posts of “Sunday Morning Confessions.”  It was easy writing because I have something strange to confess just about every day.  I’ve missed writing regularly so I’m bringing back the confessions.  This time around they won’t be called “Sunday Morning Confessions” because I rarely was ready by Sunday morning.  I would always publish the post later in the week, and I hated living with the guilt.  Instead, “Katie Confessions” are coming at you any day of the week.  You never know when I’ll feel the need to tell you something that I probably should keep to myself.  Let’s see how long this series lasts…


I think and say and do a lot of weird things.  I suspect you do too.  So as I share my confessions, I’d love if you would share a “me too” every once in awhile so I don’t feel like quite such a spaz.

1. I don’t know how to pronounce Les Miserables.

I KNOW that I’m not alone in this.  My mom pronounced it a different way every time she said it.  She eventually resorted to calling it “the movie.”

Forcing Americans to pronounce French words must have been someone’s idea of a cruel joke.  Well played, Tom Hooper. I typically refer to it as Les Miz, not because I was one of those hardcore Les Miz musical fans, but rather so I wouldn’t sound like such a redneck.

2. I fell asleep during The Hobbit.

I’m embarrassed to confess my nap because I typically mock movie-sleepers. You paid $ 13 to take a nap in a dirty chair, surrounded by strangers?  Save your money and invest in Netflix, doofus.  But now I understand.  Sometimes even a giant screen with surround sound speakers and a box of Milk Duds can’t keep you awake during super long dwarf movies.

And while I’m confessing about movie scenes that I didn’t care for although most people loved them, I’ll admit that I could have done without at least 4 of those Les Miz songs.  While most of the theater was moved to tears, I found myself thinking, “Really?  They had to spend 7 minutes singing that scene when it could have been a 10 second conversation?” Clearly I’m not a true musical fan.

3. My left leg periodically falls asleep.

You know that moment when you stand after sitting in the same position for too long and you realize much too late that you have no feeling in your leg?  Trying to walk in this moment is similar to walking through a spiderweb or being chased by a bee.  You look like a complete fool, and no one else can see why you are being so spastic.

My problem is extenuated by the fact that my leg now falls asleep WHILE I’M WALKING.  One moment I’m walking normal, the next, my foot can’t find the ground.  This wouldn’t be quite as dreadful if it didn’t happen while 25 pairs of teenage eyes are on me, taking note of every stutter and stumble.

4. I wore the exact same outfit 4 days in a row.

Don’t you love when you see different groups of people who don’t realize you’ve been wearing that shirt and those pants all week?  I sure do.

5. In my refrigerator is a jar of a vanilla frosting that I’ve been working on all week.

I take a swipe of frosting with my finger and then chase it down with a gulp of milk, straight from the jug.  But then the milk leaves me wanting more frosting, so I’ll repeat the process at least 3 times.  Oftentimes, this is my breakfast.

6. I struggle to filter myself when leaving voice messages.

This is fine when I’m leaving a message for a friend.  They aren’t weirded out by me when I say things like, “Can we pretend I didn’t say that?”  But this becomes a problem when I’m trying to sound professional.

For instance, I had to call a counselor at Talbot and beg to get put on a waiting list.  It was crucial that I sounded adult and competent.  Here’s how it went down:

“Hi Dr. So-no-so, this is Katie Hardeman.  I already e-mailed you, so I probably don’t need to be calling as well, but I wanted to be sure that you got my e-mail and also see if I should come to Biola and hunt you down in your office. pause.  I’m sorry.  That sounded much creepier than I intended.  I’m not hunting you down.  Just looking to get into contact…”

For the record, she did respond to my e-mail later in the day, and there was no need to hunt her down.

7. I pretended to know who “Macklemore” is.

If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m not cool.  Like at all.  Like I keep a book in my purse and listen to George Straight and Enya.

But sometimes, I pretend to be cool.

Last weekend I saw a bunch of college kids pitching their tents in a line on UCLA’s campus.  When I asked a girl what tickets they were waiting to buy, she said, “Macklemore.” I responded with, “Oh cool.”  But here’s what I thought:

Who or WHAT is that?

Could it be a magician?

Nah.  Magicians aren’t cool.

Well, isn’t that Blaine guy kind of cool?

Yeah I guess, as cool as magicians can be, but he’s still super weird and I doubt college kids would line up to see him.

Maybe I misheard her and she actually said, “Michael Moore.”

Could be.  But why would people buy tickets to see him?

Maybe to hear him talk.

Or maybe he sings now.

Or plays the fiddle.

No, Katie.  That’s just weird.  Plus, these kids look normal.  Definitely not like Michael Moore fans.

True.  You should probably just google “Mack more” and see what comes up.

So that’s what I did.  And when “Macklemore” came up as a suggestion, it all started making sense.  If you’re uncool like me, Macklemore is the stage name of Ben Haggerty, who apparently is a popular white hip-hop singer.  This of course reminded me of the time I fell asleep on a plane and woke up drooling on the shoulder of a white rapper.  I don’t think it was Macklemore.  But that’s another story for another time.

Now it’s your turn.  Do you pretend to know who the current celebrities are so you won’t look like a fool?  Do you struggle leaving voice messages?  Do you drink milk from the jug and/or wear the same clothes multiple times in one week? Do you fall asleep in theaters and struggle to pronounce French words?  Any and all confessions are welcome here!

Reasons I Love to Teach (#4)

No Fart Goes Unnoticed

In the adult world you can often get away with passing gas at work without fear of judgement or ridicule.  Other adults will silently endure your SBD’s.  They might want to gag and plug their noses; their instinct might be to cough and to cringe.

But they won’t.

They will sit in your cloud of stank and not utter a single complaint because that’s what adults are supposed to do. Some won’t even giggle if what you thought was going to be an SBD, turns out to be a not-so-silent-but-still-quite-deadly butt-hole emission.  (Because as my dad says, “When you get older, you can never trust a fart.)

I bet politicians and big-wig businessmen can get away with ripping a rapid fire of terrible toots without anyone even raising an eyebrow.

Adults are condemned to silently suffer when others emit pungent odors reminiscent of rotten eggs and sewage.  Age has taught us that is proper and polite to simply ignore the fact that a colleague has released odors so strong and so sour that one must breathe through their mouth to prevent fainting.  Social protocol is clear when it comes to farts in the workplace: “That fart never happened.”

But this is not the case in schools.

It’s quite the opposite really.

The great thing about farts in the classroom is that they don’t discriminate.  Farts don’t care if you’re male or female, a freshman or a senior, a jock or a band geek.  Farts are universal.  They can strike at any moment and plague both the tall and the small, the  rich and the poor, the popular and the socially awkward.  No one is safe when it comes to a surprise gas attack.

And when the attack happens in a high school, if just one little pop slips out or one simple waft of a future poop is released into the air,  it WILL be noticed.

There will be snickering.

There will be comments.

There might be students pretending to pass out.

And if the victim is a girl trying her hardest not to be noticed, she might be traumatized.

I would venture to say that at least 60 % of teenage girls would say their most embarrassing moment of high school was caused by a fart.

Because when you fart in a high school classroom, there is no social protocol.  And teenagers can be ruthless.

Just yesterday I had to pretend to rearrange the books in the back of the classroom so students wouldn’t notice my laughter after witnessing the after-effects of a deadly bottom blast.  The class was quizzing their partner on vocabulary words, and I noticed one boy with his shirt pulled up over his mouth and nose.  His parter had his head in his arm.  Both boys were shaking from laughter.

Then I noticed the boys directly in front of them.  One was gagging.  With one hand he plugged his nose, while he used the other hand to wave away the invisible anal vapors.

The poor tooter was grinning and turning bright red, but there was nothing I could do to save him.

You can’t order teenagers not to laugh at a fart.

You just can’t.

And you’re asking for a mean case of the giggles to break out if you call any attention to the brown cloud.

As an adult, I know that I can’t laugh and point like all the others.  It is my duty as a teacher to change the subject and capture the class’ attention so they will forget about the flatulence and the poor fellow who released it.  But this is one of the hardest parts of my job.

Because when I hear or smell a fart, I am DYING inside.

And I love that high schoolers haven’t yet learned that you’re supposed to ignore the stank and the squeakers.  I love when I catch them exchanging silent glances across the aisle, saying with their eyes and a quick sniff, “Do you SMELL that?!”

You may think me rude for deriving such pleasure from these moments that must be sheer torture for some kids.  But students aren’t the only ones afflicted by attacks.  Teachers, on occasion, also have to squeeze our cheeks to hold one in.  And every once in awhile, we too lose control and let out a butt burp.

However, we are not trapped in our desks like the poor kiddos.

A friend and former flight attendant, who often suffered from the alti-tooties, taught me the beauty of crop-dusting an aisle.  It was one of the most valuable lessons I learned as a new teacher. Feel the sphincter’s song about to be sung?

No worries.

Simply walk up and down the aisles at a brisk pace leaving the students to bask in your fart cloud and wonder which classmate had done it.  All the while, they’ll remain completely oblivious to the pungent party in your pants.  This method has been tried and tested.  It works like a charm.

Sure, it’s probably pretty immature of me to enjoy others’ farts as much as I do.

And yeah, as a 30 year old, it’s a bit ridiculous how funny farts still are to me.

But with a sense of humor like mine, farts in the classroom are ALWAYS a highlight.

 Fellow teachers, have you found this to be true in your classrooms?  Non-teachers, do you silently suffer through others’ silent-but-deadlies?  Or perhaps you farted in class years ago and still haven’t forgotten about it, do us a favor and share your story here.    

December Wows

Each month I keep a running list of wow moments on my phone.  This month I checked my list to start writing “December Wows” and the list began with “peed my pants.”  Here was my thought process after reading that bullet point:

Peed my pants?  What the heck?  I didn’t pee my pants this month.

Or did I…?

No, surely I would remember that.

Maybe somebody else peed.

Then why would you write “my pants”?

Good point.  Maybe it wasn’t a bad pee.  Maybe it was more of a squirt and less of a “fill-your-socks” kind of pee.

But when would that have happened?

Come on, Katie.  Think!  Did something super funny happen this month?

Not that I can recall.  Nothing that would make me lose control of my bladder.

Are you sure?

No.  I’m really not.  And now I’m really getting mad at the aging process because not only do I pee myself, I can’t even remember doing it!

A few days later I remembered what had happened.  It’s a long story and it’s not that interesting, but yes, I did pee.  And no, it did not fill my socks.

My friend Lesley introduced me to two wow-wonderful treats this month:

I hate to brag, but I ate over 2,000 calories worth of those chocolates in one sitting.  And I love ordering a “winter dream chai latte” from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf because it is amazing and it makes me sound like an adult!  – said the girl who only drank hot chocolate until this December.

Thanks for those holiday pounds, Les!  They were well earned!

I took the three rascals to “Christmas Blvd” at my church and it was incredible.  Living in southern California, we miss out on the cold weather, but we know how to pretend.

At church we were able to hang out in a fake forest with real Christmas trees:

sled down a fake mountain with real snow:

(isn’t his face awesome?)

and even walk through a fake snow storm with real wonder:

There were several moments during the night when I was reminded yet again why it’s a good thing I’m not yet a mother.  For starters, we got kicked off the playground which apparently was closed.  (I played dumb with the security officer but had known it was closed since it was pitch black.)

Later, I pacified a cranky Logan with this:

which ended up all over his clothes and in my hair.  Wonderful.

Then when we were making s’mores, I let Logan eat the marshmallow straight off the pointed skewer which had been in the fire.  A cute little old man ran over to stop him because he thought I hadn’t noticed.  I had.  I’m just not exactly “Miss Safety Aware.”

Case in point: one December day my projector in my class wasn’t working so I yanked out the cord and part of the plug got stuck in the outlet.  I told the tech lady (oxymoron?) so she could fix it, and after she fixed it she asked, “How did you get the broken part of the plug out of the outlet?”

Me: Oh I just pulled it out.

Her: With what?

Me: My hand.

Her: Katie?!?

Me: What?  I seriously didn’t know what the big deal was.

Her: You could have easily been electrocuted!

Me: Seriously?

Her: Yes!  People die that way!

Me: Whooops!  (I chose not to tell her that I actually had tried a second time to fix the plug and thus had to pull it out two times. Somehow I missed the “don’t put metal into outlets” lecture as a child.)

During spirit week this Christmas season, I wowed my fashion-conscious students by wearing the same green pants four days in a row:

My original goal was to wear them all five days of the week (because I like to set my goals high), but the butt got too saggy and I was too lazy to wash them.  And no one appreciates a saggy, green butt.

My family wowed everyone in Kimmi’s restaurant when we surprised our mom with a graduation party.  We do tend to make a bit of a scene when all 14 of us go out to eat.  One man asked me if we were mormons.

My mom had finished her BS in nursing (even though she’s been a nurse for 34 years), so we celebrated her with omelets and these signs:

Other signs read:

Our mom is too legit to quit. (She didn’t get the reference.)

“Just did it.”  – Nike (their dog)

Our mom’s da bomb.

and my personal favorite:

Our mom is greater.  Our mom is stronger. Mom, you are smarter than any other. (I’m banking on God having a good sense of humor.)

Speaking of humor in church, check out THIS BLOG POST from “Stuff Christians Like.”  It has a bulletin used by a Catholic church that is pretty awesome.

I was introduced to two new blogs this month which I highly recommend.  For all the single ladies, CHECK OUT THIS BLOG written by single women for single women.   Super encouraging.  Thanks for introducing me to it, Karin!

And for all the married moms, you can thank my friend Christy for introducing me to THIS HILARIOUS BLOG.  It’s one of the few mom blogs that enjoy because she is so stinking funny.

Christmas break has held several wow moments.  I didn’t go anywhere special but I had lots of family time and watched some GREAT tv.  I confess that a major highlight this break was watching the moment between Mary and Matthew at the end of Downton Abbey season two.  It was downright magical.

My brother introduced me to the show Go On, so one day I watched 6 straight episodes and didn’t get out of my pjs until two.

My dad’s brother and his family of six from the Philippines stayed with my parents for the break, making for some wonderful wowness.  We played lots of Dutch Blitz and Up and Down the River, but my favorite moments came while playing Celebrity.  It was hilarious watching the older folks try to describe “Bon Iver” and “One Direction.”  Likewise, we struggled to describe “Mark Spitz” and “Carl Lewis.”  I thought he was “C.S. Lewis.”

When I wasn’t reading blogs or watching TV or playing cards, I was probably running.  My highlight this month was when I turned the corner from my house and stumbled upon this:

It was basically the Indian rose parade!

Yes, there were small children dressed as peacocks and yes I was the only white person around.  Naturally I loved this moment.  If you want to see some wonderfully bizarre dancing in the streets of Little India (aka my neighborhood), WATCH THIS VIDEO.

The only other video I took this month was at Hudson’s Christmas Pageant where he was the “head angel” and had a speaking part.

 Heidi had no clue if he would get stage fright, but turns out that he rather enjoys the spotlight since he YELLED his lines into the microphone.  If you’re curious, HERE HE IS, but if you’re not family, you’ll probably think it’s boring.

This month I received several wow-inducing e-mails and text messages.  Here’s a snippet from my favorite e-mail from a friend who shall remain anonymous:

Anonymous friend, you’re the best.

This text came from my sister-in-law and made me laugh at the absurdity of it:

Someone had accidentally tagged me in a post on Facebook, and the thought of me dancing away at a nightclub in San Diego was quite comical- especially since I had actually been doing homework in my sweats all day.  I didn’t remove the tag so people might think I’m cooler than I am.

This next wow text arrived in the middle of the night:

Three pushes and Walker joined the world.

I love having friends like Megan who send me texts like that one and gifts like this one:

I know what you must be thinking.  But believe it or not, I actually don’t pee my pants on a regular basis.  This was pure coincidence.  Thanks again, Megan!

The final wow text was a heavy one.  Actually, it was the scariest text I have ever received.  It came from my sister, the person closest to me in the world, and arrived the day after the Sandy Hook shooting.

Two days in a row I hit my knees and cried out in desperation.

Thankfully, this time no one was hurt.  A homeless man had shot off 50 rounds into the air in the mall parking lot.  He probably had never even heard of Sandy Hook, and no idea the pandemonium he created in the mall.  Heidi was later able to laugh about the incident and recount how an Asian woman decked out in Coach attire screamed, “Tsunami!!!” as she raced out the door.

Sandy Hook obviously weighed heavy on everyone’s hearts during December.  My pastor was preaching on Luke 2 the next Sunday and did an incredible job explaining why the Christmas story is so important- especially after events like the one that had happened Friday.  Here were some of the lines I found powerful concerning his last main point that the good news brought JOY to the world, right when everything was falling apart:

* One of the juxtapositions of the Christian life is that even in the face of what happened Friday, we still sing “Joy to the World.”

* A baby in a manger changes everything. It’s good news of great joy EVEN in the midst of darkness.

* Our Jesus came in the midst of human tragedy and we can see His fingerprints in the midst of our tragedy.

* Joy is based on the knowledge of the presence of God-with-us at all times from the very beginning.

* The only condition for joy is the presence of God.

* In some crazy way, joy and suffering fit together.

* Sorrow hollows us out so we can be filled.

* The Christmas story means that human history is going somewhere.  So we grieve but not as those who have no hope.  Because we are waiting for Jesus to come and put the world back together.

Yes, I was scribbling like a madwoman during the sermon and had 5 pages of notes by the end.  I’m weird like that.

He ended the sermon with a personal story of a time he dealt with depression.  A friend came over and told him at least 30 times, “It’s not always going to be like this.”  Those words rang out over and over again in the sanctuary:

“It’s not ALWAYS going to be like this.”

“It’s NOT always going to be like this.”

“It’s not always going to be like THIS.”

That truth brought such comfort after Sandy Hook, and for anyone stuck in a situation they long to be out of.  The sermon is called JOY IN THE MIDST OF DESPAIR and can be found by clicking the link and then going to the 12/16 sermon.  He begins by explaining who the shepherds actually were (fascinating stuff that I had never heard!), but if you want to skip to the part where he talks about joy in the midst of despair, that starts at minute 25.

Rather than end on a heavy thought, I’ve saved the Christmas day wow moments for the end.

My thoughtful Aunt Robin had APU basketball uniforms made for the boys:

And Hudson insisted on wearing his super short shorts the entire day:

There was the usual chaos/awesomeness of gift-opening:

Then the girls stood outside and watched:

(missed you, Em!)

as the boys played with their new toys:

He’s a bike cop now!  (kidding)

Heidi and I tried to work off all the candy in our stockings by going for a run:

And in the afternoon, my dad, uncle, 2 cousins, sister-in-law and I went to the park and played full court 3-on-3.  I had to guard my 16 year old cousin TJ.  He was way too fast for me so I tried to slow him down by kicking him in the shins and blowing snot rockets on him.  Still didn’t work.

Vander wowed us with one of this favorite presents, fake teeth:

And Teri wowed us with her ability to fall asleep anywhere and any time:

But she learned her lesson.  If you fall asleep at the Hardeman’s, you WILL be on Instagram and you MIGHT have this happen:

 Who wouldn’t want a 112 pound dog to sit on their face?

Hope your December was full of lots of wows (of the good variety).

Here’s to 2013 being a year full of wows (of the great variety)!