a celebration of thanks: days 24-28


Had I planned this better, this post would have gone up yesterday, but I didn’t, so here it is today, wrapping up this celebration of thanks.

Day 24: Jewelry

This one is a toss up. I have three pieces of real jewelry. A sapphire ring Keith gave me for Christmas a few years ago, my engagement ring and a sapphire and diamond bracelet his grandma gave me. They are all very special and important. The sapphire ring is so pretty and perfect and Keith picked it out for me. My engagement ring, I ended up choosing and I adore it. I don’t think I will ever get sick of looking at it on my hand and all that it stands for. And the bracelet from his grandma is just amazing. I’ve never had anything like that handed down to me and the fact that it came from his grandma is awesome. She is such a wonderful lady and I adore her.

Day 25: A Talent You Have

I have always been sad that I didn’t have any crazy talents. I am okay at a lot of things. Maybe one of my talents is how fast I read. All except for the fact that pretty much a week after I read a book, I can’t remember what it was about haha. Maybe I read too fast.

Day 26: A Memory

So many memories to be thankful for. I’m thankful for all the memories I have of my dad. I remember every year when the Port Authority had its free ride day, he’d take us onto the T and we’d ride back and forth. No destination in mind, just enjoying the ride.

Day 27: Anything About Fall

This one is hard since it looks like February outside, how about warm apple cider, thick sweaters and electric blankets.

Day 28: A Day of Thanks

Thansgiving was yesterday and I am thankful that we were able to spend it with both my family and Keith’s family. I’m thankful that no one lives too far away so that we have to choose and we can see them both. It might get a little hectic driving from here to there but I wouldn’t miss either one for the world.


a celebration of thanks: day 19-23


Day 19: A Trip

In July of 2009, Keith took me to Cancun. It was a pretty magical trip. We had only been dating for about 2 months so it was very exciting. I loved every minute of that trip, but one of the most amazing things was after coming back, after 6 days with him, I got back to my own apartment and I missed him. I am a very introverted person, I love me time, so after 6 days of no me time and not basking in the glory of being alone? That was monumental.

fave picture.

One of my favorite memories from that trip was sitting at the outside bar one night, we met a British man named Kevin Angel. He was from Bath. He was an older gentleman and hilarious, he kept telling us how all British TV was rubbish, except he did like Skins. He also told me, when Keith went to the bathroom, that we were going to get married. And I told him if we did, he had to officiate the wedding. So it’s coming up Kevin, if you’re reading this, ya owe me one.

Day 20: A Project You Did

I am thankful for all projects that I do because they prove that I am awesome and can do anything. Probably the project that has made me the happiest in recent memory is my livingroom wallpaper debacle. I took the room from this:


martha stewart - zinc

Please pardon the fact that I still never finished painting the trim and the outlet covers are still missing. It’s my plan to finish that once my semester is over.

Day 21: Dessert

I am thankful for all dessert. Thanksgiving makes me think of apple pie. My favorite pie and the first kind I ever attempted. (Aside from lemon meringue, the only kind I’ve ever attempted.) Planning on some mini apple tarts for Thanksgiving so hopefully next week I’ll be thankful for those.

Day 22: Faith


Day 23: A Special Day in Your Life

July 4, 2011 was pretty special because that’s when Keith proposed. I always swore that I didn’t want a holiday/birthday proposal. I also didn’t want anything hugely public. Well Keith missed a little with the no-holiday, but we were in Mexico, so it’s not like it was a holiday there. I also probably never told him about that. It was funny, everyone thought Keith was going to propose in Mexico, except Keith. People at work, friends, even one of Keith’s friends asked if I thought he would do it there. I didn’t really think so, but then we are driving to the airport and he mentions something about my ring size and that was it. I was not on edge the whole time, but in the back of my mind, I half-expected it. But that was never the plan. Until he asked. It was impromptu and there was no ring and we were actually in a swimming pool, but it was perfect.

a celebration of thanks: days 13-18


Day 13: Book

I have always been a reader. I don’t know when I learned to read but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love it. I would read everywhere: on the bus, in the bathtub, at the dinner table. (One of my favorite times to read, still, is while eating. Once books got banned from the table, I’d read cereal boxes – ingredients and everything. It’s pretty rude to read at the dinner table, but if Keith isn’t home, you can bet I have my kindle accompanying me.) I think it was about 3rd grade when I really got into books. I vividly remember reading Matilda for the first time. Oh, how that book spoke to me. Though our circumstances were not exact (no emotionally abuse parents/telekinesis over here) I really identified with her. And she loved to read too! I fell deeply in love with books then and 20 years later, we are still going strong. It was also my first experience with watching a book I loved be turned into a movie, which was a pretty magical thing for a child.

Day 14: A Life Lesson

I guess my failure from Day 7 was also a life lesson. I am a grown adult and I have to take responsibility for my actions, whether I want to or not. Sometimes I literally have to say to myself, “Katrina, you are an adult. No one is going to do this for you.” I think I’ve got a much better handle on things now.

Day 15: Charity

When I was 15 years old, my house caught fire. It was a few days before Christmas and we lost almost everything. We also were renters…with no insurance. Pretty terrible. But I will never forget the kindness of strangers. They took up a collection at school, there were collections at various places around town, people came in droves to my grandparents house to drop off donations, it was truly incredible. I look back and no longer care about the things we lost, I just think of how incredible people can be.

Day 16: A Shining Moment

Oh, geez. I don’t know. Maybe when I was re-accepted to Pitt? When I had to drop out at 20, my plan was always to go back at 24. But then the time came and I had no idea how it worked. Did I have to apply again? Would they take me back? Would I be better off re-applying elsewhere? And then I called and they told me it was a mere $40 reinstatement fee and tada! That was a shining moment. Realizing I could get back in right where I left off.

Day 17: Health

I am thankful for my health. Minus a bout of Pleurisy in 2005 and a few gallbladder attacks (which led to the removal of the jerk in 2010) – I’m pretty healthy! Keith has had pretty bad migraines for a long time but thanks to some changes in diet over the past year or two those aren’t nearly as frequent as they used to be and I’m thankful for that too.

Day 18: A Daily Indulgence

Calling back to Number 13, my consistent daily indulgence is reading. I try to spend my lunch breaks at work reading (which makes me pretty anti-social) and I also like to read for 30minutes – an hour before bed. I find it kind of amusing that I will hurry up and try to finish schoolwork (usually reading) so that I can relax and read. Haha.

a celebration of thanks: days 9-12

Day 9: Food

Can I just be thankful for all food? I guess I will say I am thankful for the fact that my grandma and mom are both incredible cooks and I like to think I inherited a tiny bit of that. I might not always love cooking, but as long as I’m not totally rushed, it’s something I enjoy. Especially trying out a new recipe (when it’s a success). I also love to feed people. If cooking skills aren’t inherited, that definitely is. So food, thanks for being delicious.

Day 10: Words of Wisdom

let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go

so comes love

So thankful for these words of wisdom by ee cummings I have them tattooed on my body as a reminder. Let it goooooooooo.

so comes love

Day 11: A Photo


I am thankful for this photo, many years in the making. This is from my Minnesota trip and my mini-family reunion. I am still so so thankful for that weekend and can’t wait for it to happen again. I’d love for my brothers to be able to join next time.

Day 12: Job

As crazy as it drives me some days, I am thankful for my current job. I’ve been here a little over 4 years now and it both feels like I just started and I’ve been here forever. It allows me some flexibility while going to school and pays a decent wage. I do wish I had an office with a door, but other than that, I’m pretty thankful for what I’ve got. Oh, I also get pretty cheap health insurance and all the goofy government holidays off, so I could have it a lot worse.

a celebration of thanks: days 6-8

See, I knew I’d fall behind.




Day 6: Your Children

I currently don’t have any people-children, by my Daisy is surely my child. (My child that I can leave home alone for several hours at a time, but my child none the less.) I always had dogs growing up, but I never had my own personal dog until Daisy. And don’t get me wrong, I loved all of our dogs growing up, but I never knew how much I could love a dog until Daisy. Keith and I really lucked out with her. She is so calm and quiet. She is very needy attention-wise, but refuses to be a lap dog. Or even a couch dog. You can get a few minutes of couch time with her but then she’s off to cooler pastures. But oh how I adore her. My heart is so full of love for her, I feel like it can explode at any time. If you’re not a dog person, or a cat person, you really don’t know what you are missing.



Day 7: A Failure You Have Had

How about my first semester of college? I was always a great student, teacher’s pet in elementary school. I graduated highschool with honors, I don’t have any idea what my GPA was, it wasn’t a 4.0 but maybe a 3.8? My senior year I took 4 AP classes (Stats, Lit, Spanish, Psych) along with other honors classes. And then I went to Pitt. And the siren song of my single dorm room and the complete freedom of being on my own for the first time ever (and depression, if we’re being honest) got to me and I chose to sleep through a lot of my classes. (As a high school senior I thought, “School starts at 7 now, I can handle 8am classes all week!” HA.) I wasn’t even out partying, which is probably the saddest part of all. I didn’t drink until I was 21, so my sleeping through classes was purely sleeping.

I even almost slept through my Stats final. Whoops. And then I got my grades for the semester. I can’t remember what the break-down was but my GPA for my first semester was under 2.0. I know this because I got put on academic probation and had to go to the Academic Resource Center where I sat there and felt smarter than everyone in the room. Which I may have been, but I was also lazier than everyone in the room and that was pretty damn stupid. The next semester my grades were up and continue to climb. I’ve retaken all of the failed classes, which wasted time and money but at least it helped repair my GPA some. I now have over a 3.0 and get mainly A’s with a few B’s thrown in. I can’t take back how stupid I was Freshman year, but I can make for damn sure I don’t let that happen again.


Day 8: A Success

I’d consider my entire life right now a success. I have a decent job, a wonderful fiance, a wonderful dog, a great house, some disposable income, good grades and my sanity. I’ve had a handful of rough patches in my life, but it has been pretty smooth sailing for the past few years and I have no one to thank for that but myself. Sure I have support of family and friends, but I have had that in the past and still managed to let depression get the best of me. At some point, shortly before I met Keith, I put my foot down. I don’t have time for that. I have always felt like depression was kind of like a blanket. A blanket that is so warm, so comforting, but is also slowly suffocating you. The more you wrap yourself up in that blanket, the harder it is to ever take it off. But you can! Once you take off the blanket, you realize it’s a balmy 75 outside and you didn’t need the blanket in the first place. But you know the blanket. I still have some bad days here and there, but they do no lay me up like they used to. I can also feel it coming on sometimes but refuse to let it. I may have reached some form of self-actualization, to be honest. I am a success.


(If you have never experienced depression, or even if you have, you should read this post over at hyperbole and a half. I have never read something that I have identified with so much. Except the corn. I’ve never had a corn moment. Mine has always been a slow spiral out just as it’s a slow spiral in. And I also didn’t really talk to people while depressed. I would just lock myself in my room. I was a real pleasure to live with.)

Okay this got a lot deeper than planned. Here’s a puppy chaser.


I spend a lot of time thinking about what Daisy would have looked like as a puppy. Probably like this.

a celebration of thanks: day 5


Day 5: Friends

I will be the first to admit that I don’t have a ton of friends, but I am 99%* okay with this. I am pretty introverted and honestly love nothing more than sitting at home with Keith and Daisy. I have a handful of friends that I see here and again. I probably should make an effort to see them more, but we are all pretty busy.

My best friend, Ryan, I have known since Mrs. Smutney’s AM Kindergarten. We lost touch for a few years when I moved out of the school district, but when I came back it was pretty much like nothing had changed. He worked at the Tiny Store with me in highschool and though we did go to different colleges we’d catch up nearly daily on the phone and on breaks. There have been a few occasions where we’ve gone a few weeks/months without talking but can get back together like nothing has changed. We currently email each other approximately 25 times a day.

He can drive me absolutely crazy at times, but he can also crack me up like no one else. We have been friends for over 20 years and that just blows my mind. I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years of friendship hold for us, because I know we’re not going anywhere. So even though I know he will gloat on this for at least the next few days, I am thankful for you, Ryan. (Gross.)

Ryan and I in 1st or 2nd grade.

Ryan and I in 1st or 2nd grade.

a hilarious picture from 5-6 years ago. i chose this one because of how nice my hair looks, obviously.

a hilarious picture from 5-6 years ago. i obviously chose this one because of how nice my hair looks.


*Every once in a while I wish I had a few more friends, people to go to dinner with or hang out with, not to replace my current friends, but in addition. But then I remember how much I love sitting on my couch and forget all about it.

a celebration of thanks, days 1-4

I am a member of the Pittsburgh Blogger group on facebook and since I am pretty much the most slacker of bloggers, I don’t really have much to contribute. Several days late, I noticed a post from Nicole over at Champagne to Crayons about her plan to use the month of November to celebrate things for which she is thankful. Several other bloggers are joining in, so I decided to as well! I can’t promise that I will post every day, but I’ll complete all the prompts!


I think this is a great idea. Especially for when I am feeling crabby (like right now!) to remind myself that I have it pretty damn good.

So, let’s try and catch up.

Day 1: A Blessing

Would it be totally cheating to say the Internet? I really don’t know where my life would be without it. Through the internet I’ve found my job, my home, my future husband (and by proxy my dog), made friends, kept friends, found family, not to mention the fact that through the internet I am able to have a beef jerky subscription. A beef jerky subscription. Totally #blessed.

Day 2: A Time When You Were Strong

I’m going to toot my own horn and say daily, if not weekly. I have so much on my plate right now that past-Katrina would be in awe of me. Past-Katrina would get so bored/depressed with life she would flit around from part-time job to part-time job. I’ve now been at my current (full-time) job for 4 years and 3 of those years have also included me attending school part-time. I have very little free time, yet I have been able to keep it all together without getting fired/dropping out/failing out and I am pretty freaking stoked. Just a little over 1.5 years left.

Day 3: A Person That Lifts You Up

Keith and I don’t have a very mushy relationship. I am definitely the mushier one, but he is pretty solid. (Solid? I dunno, non-mushy = solid.) There’s no baby-talk or kissy faces (except for the emoji I send him) so it feels a little weird to say him, but it has to be him. He keeps me centered and grounded and also, in his own way, lifts me up. And thanks to all his weight lifting can probably actually physically lift me up though I’m not sure that has ever been attempted. Things just got weird, didn’t they?

Day 4: Family

Oh my family. My crazy, loud, gigantic, amazing family. I was thinking earlier today about the fact that my mom is the oldest of 7. SEVEN. And everyone gets together on Sundays at my grandparents house. ((Except me, because I am the black sheep of the North Hills (Just kidding, but I truly do live the furthest away by a good 30 minutes.)) This is just incredible. If I wasn’t so busy (See Day 2) I would be down there every Sunday as well. Everyone doesn’t get along 100% of the time, but there is still an incredible bond there between everyone and despite any arguments, people are always quick to forgive. I am confident that I could pick up my phone and dial any one of them for a favor and if it is in their power to help, they would not hesitate for a second. And I hope they know the same goes for me!

I also need to give a shoutout to my dad’s family too. After living most of my life not really knowing any of them, through the power of the internet, I’ve been able to be in contact with (and meet!) a few of them that I may not have otherwise. So to my giant concentrated in Canonsburg maternal family and my small, spread out across the country paternal family, I love you all dearly and am incredibly thankful for you.

Oh! And can’t forget my future in-laws. You are also the best. I seriously hit the in-law jackpot. From Keith’s parents to his aunts/uncles/cousins, they could not have been more welcoming and loving and truly treat me like I have always been a part of the family, which is awesome.