And now without the hyper-sensitive privacy disclaimer

I just enabled blogger on my phone so I'm just figgerin it out. Looks like SMS Blogging breaks up the message into 150 character bytes. Sent from my word email scares the bejesus out of any reader, so no one will want to comment or reblog (not that anyone does without the over-protective statement). Sent from my personal email? Let's see...

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Let's try this again

I woke up this morning to daybreak. Not the pretty kind where streams of light are streaking through mountaintops, spreading some mix of moonbeams and sunshine across the waters. The daybreak I woke up to is a sad and terrifying omen of mornings to come; mornings where stars are still out and the big dipper shining as I throw my phone (alarm) off the bed and beg to sleep til morning, which by this time of year (the omen time of year, not today) means something like 9 am or worse. I had to turn on my headlights today, the first time in months, and I'm not emotionally ready to do it every day. I am grateful every day when cloudy skies turn blue just in time for me to leave work. I don't have to turn my lights on for the drive home yet. Not yet.
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Drop everything now!

Every day this week I've woken up with this song in my head and every day I listen (on repeat) and love the fireworks (3:18, 3:34, 4:07), acrobatics (0:50, 1:59), and "hairography" (1:18,1:59, 2:08, 2:11, 2:20, 2:27, 2:54...etc) [and dress/sparklography for that matter (0:26..1:38)] of the video with the same dopey expression as this fully grown woman [Jennifer Garner?] at the concert (1:07). 
According to VEVO/YouTube, this video is most popular with three Gender Age groups: Female 13-17, Female 18-24, and.... Male 45-54. I've not quite reached this girl's desperation (2:33).  But I'm getting there.

Seriously, can't she (Taylor Swift, not the creepster on the left) just be my best friend? 


Knudson Kampout

(I usually adamantly refuse to spell C-words [as in, any words that start with C] with a K to match or for emphasis [I also usually avoid any establishments or services that to, i.e., Kuttin' Korner, KoolPak, etc.] but when my brother Brian sent out the first round of invites for our summer family weekend, he used the dreaded double-K, so my hands are tied.)

Not much to say about the family campout, except the obvious:

At Krescent Bar near Kwincy, the Knudsons kame to kamp
(for fear that on the West Kaskades, it might just be too damp)
Klear water and kool mountains were kwick to satisfy
With korn, kobbler, and non-K-foods, krackling on a fire nearby.
I krested a hill on my bicycle, and krossed the Kolumbia river,
and though temps were high as Kelvins, the water made me shiver.
Kroquet and sno-kones kept us busy, along with lots of rest
And I was reminded, again, that the kooky Knudson Klan is the best!


Deseret Painting [June 2011]

I just bought myself a real house and home painting! I went in for a Father's Day gift and came out with this mama jama, 50% off! This isn't a knick-knack, or a cheap poster, or from the home decor section at Bed Bath and Beyond. It's a real expensive-frame, takes-up-a-whole-wall painting and I LOVE IT. Love the colors, love the old-school halos, love the intensity with which everyone is watching Christ.

The inspiration encapsulates what I believe is the core of Christianity ( as well as most world religions) and purpose of life: to serve others:

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
John 13:14-16


My Katie('s) Baby (Shower)

You know those pregnant women who are itty bitty from the back, but from the front look like they have a basketball stuffed under their shirt? That's my Katie. Itty bitty beautiful with a basketball under her shirt. She was in town for just a weekend and I got to try my hand at the world of baby showers.

I've thrown my fair share of bridal showers in my day and I like to think I know how to pull one off by now but I'll tell you what, baby showers are a whole different ballgame! You can't count on inappropriate gifts or games to keep people interested in the event (that's just tacky anyway... right...) but when it comes down to it everyone hates baby shower games. Tasting baby food or guessing poop-looking chocolate bars melted into diapers is not my idea of fun. I just wanted everyone to be able to enjoy one another's company and ultimately, for the party to be lovely, just like Katie.

I'm happy to report that if I were to pick one word to describe the shower, lovely would be it. I couldn't have done it by myself. Financially, creatively, and culinarily (that's the adverb for culinary, thank you), I'm a bit of a deadbeat, but several attendees offered services at salads; Beth should be paid for her ability to make itty bitty pink cupcakes, meringues, and strawberry fudge; and I owe my mom and sister-in-law gold for pulling together decorations, including a delicate diaper cake and diaper wreathes on the front door.

As for activities, after a healthy amount of time lunching, I passed out these Wishes for Baby cards, which, I must say, turned out just wonderfully. I had to pester a few people to fill them out but some people were playful, some were serious, all were meaningful.

There were somewhere near 25 guests at the shower, and any time you have that many presents, people get bored. Nothing against gift givers, there's just so many times you can ooh and ah over baby gear. So, to keep people busy, I pre-cut several yards worth of baby-colored tulle that would end up as a tutu (about 200 6-8 inch strips per skirt). Katie was a ballerina, so of course her little girl should be too! I sewed about a half yard of elastic as a waistband and, with the help of a baby-sized stuffed animal, got the skirts started prior to the shower, alternating different shades of pink on one and different shades of purple on another (I had already completed an example teal tutu that was worn around the waist of a teddy bear sitting on the piano). I gave instructions just before gift opening started and let people tie to their hearts content, passing the stuffed animal when they were ready to pay attention to gifts again. Both tutus were finished just as Katie was opening the last present. Perfect timing!

I wish I had taken better pictures, but I did get somehow manage to get a crystal-clear one with tutus on mine and the guest of honor's heads, Carnival-style. Of course!
Bring on the babies!


Prayer sent around the world [December 2006]

After trudging down a long, road filled with mangy dogs and up to the fifth floor of a sherbet orange apartment building, new converts Tik and her husband (whose name I don't recall) aren't home. Tik is one of at least four contacts on our list who lives on the top floor of elevator-less buildings and I am SO over it. My fanny pack waist pack feels like it's a hundred pounds even though all I have is a Thai Book of Mormon, mini English Book of Mormon and a few pens. It must be a hundred degrees outside and the air feels stale and heavy. What sounds nice is getting into Tik's apartment, a cool glass of water from a refilled Coke bottle. Tik and her husband have a huge Linkin Park poster on their wall, and a couch, accoutrements rare for the people we visited. Sometimes people have a bed, usually a small coffee table, but rarely a couch. A couch sounded great right about now, and cool tile on my hot feet. But no one's home and after we decide to wait for a minute for her to appear the long street we just walked up to get here. I lean my whole body against the balcony, sure that the bright orange building means it's clean enough, and internally complain about people who are late, flaky, or who, for whatever reason, make me have to wait outside for them when all I want to do is sit on their floor and drink their cold water so my brain will start to work again.

A few minutes into our grace period (slash my internal rant), my demeanor changes entirely and I'm ready to bound onward, ever onward, glorying in His name. It's a strange change and it comes quickly, like a well that was dried and cracking is now more than full, splashing over the edges that were brittle seconds prior, not filled drop by drop, or even by flash flood, but just in an instant.

The amazing part of this story, and why I still remember it more than the other thousands of times I was weary and over the heat is that I knew, and I mean it, I knew that my resurgence of energy and vigor came from a prayer my mom said. It was just obvious to me, no question about it. As Sister Sopa and I made our way back down the stairs to whatever backup plan we were going to follow, I counted backwards the hours from here to there, there to here. It was about 5 pm in Thailand, something like 7 am Seattle time, right when my mom would be up and about, getting ready for her day.

I'm sure my mom prayed hundreds of prayers on my behalf while I was on my mission, and at other times in my life, and I'm sure many of them bouyed me up and kept me safe. But this one prayer I know, again I emphasize that I know, certainly and honestly, that it made a difference that day, in that moment.


Reaching back

While my blog bounces around from rant and rave to travelogue, it mainly acts as a diary; 'a living memoir, so my posterity doesn't mess it up' as the tagline states. In the spirit of recording my personal history and capturing memories that stick with me, I'm going to start including belated posts from the near and distant past, the ones I've forgotten to write about.

Fair warning, time might get a little bendy


T-Mobile Customer Service

Everybody knows it: T-Mobile has the worst coverage of all the major cell phone carriers. Where Verizon can hear me from the depths of the mountains and AT&T has a map flooded in bold colors, put me in a basement or sadly, even my bedroom and my T-Mobile coverage goes out the window. Even still, I have been a proselytizing T-Mobile customer since the days of candy bar Nokias. Every time I was in trouble with my minutes, my bill, or anything related to my phone, T-Mobile was there for me, with saccharine greetings and quick fixes. Who cares if I can't make a phone call when I need to, I thought, when cheerful friends were there to bail me out when I underestimated my usage or couldn't figure out what plan was best for me.

But times have changed and I no longer laud T-Mobile. Their coverage hasn't changed but their service has plummeted. In the last four months, I have called T-Mobile Customer Service line more times than I have fingers and have only once hung up the phone without frustration curdling in my lungs and swear words rattling in my brain. I can't understand them, they can't understand me, miscommunication is at an all-time high. I'm not opposed to call centers in Mumbai, but when the last five people have told me I need a Change of Responsibility and you can't even pronounce that, I have a problem. When navigating the automated call system is like breaking into the Pentagon, I have a problem. When the autmated call system disconnects me three times in a row because I can't guess the right word for Operator, Customer Service, or Complaint, in the right order, I have a problem. When it takes four tries to cancel an AutoPay for an individual no longer on the account, to transfer responsibility to a new plan, to resolve issues deemed entirely my fault when Customer Service Representatives from bygone eras would have worked through them with me, I have a problem.

I have a problem with T-Mobile. And it's ruining my day.