Posts from the “Thoughts” Category

Humbled

Posted on April 7, 2016

 


 I got home today and wrote thing long, pity-filled blog about life. About class being hard and exams stressing me out. About work getting busy. About feeling small and scared in situations I’m fortunate to be in. 

Last night, my last straw of mental peace broke and I yelled at Kent for trying to make his own dinner. Can’t make this stuff up, folks. Minor meltdown and a good night’s sleep later, today was a new day. 

But sometimes a sour attitude and a pity party can really go a long way, and I let it happen. Slumped through class and bitched & moaned about silly, inconsequential things all day. 

And then, tonight, I remembered how important and small I am. 

I watched Code Black, a documentary about ER doctors in a public hospital. Public hospitals make up 2% of medical institutions in America and serve more than 20% of our population. Their jobs are hard and important. My job can be hard and, at times, what I do is important. Not in an urgent way, but I have the chance on a daily basis to touch people and be kind. I sat and watched doctors work for endless shifts in impossible situations and I was humbled. 
Dad always talks about how God is important for kids because He teaches us that we are important and intentional. You can be important and do “small” work. You can impact the life of a single person – and it is important. Whatever you do in life, you are important, loved, intentional. 

So I bucked up and got over myself. I’m not solving global issues, but I’m doing it with intention and patience. Everything lately is a lesson in patience. Kent takes the gold for quietly backing out of the kitchen last night and giving me seven minutes of silence. Anyway, that’s all. Code Black is on Netflix & gave me beautiful perspective on a really grumpy, sassy day. 

101 in 1,001 | March ’16

Posted on March 18, 2016

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This little bucket list is coming to a close really soon, might as well give an update on what I’ve been up to! More than anything, it’s funny to look at where I was when I wrote this list and how life has unfolded since then. Some of my tasks are of zero interest to me anymore and I honestly wonder where my head was when I wrote some of them.

So, here we go! A 101 in 1,001 update:

5. Give up sweets for two weeks. This happened organically, actually. I’ve been thinking about cutting out added sugar from my diet for awhile. It’s harder than you think, but I’ve been avoiding it pretty well for the last couple weeks. No more kombucha and cookies from Earthfare, but my addiction to La Croix makes it a little easier.

14. Maintain a weight under 125. Don’t wanna jinx it here, but this one has been pretty constant over the last few years. Partially due to Kent’s healthy eating habits that I’ve picked up, but I’ve been really finding my vibe in the gym lately. I started the BBG program from Kayla Itsines recently and I’m wiped out after each workout.

20. Send 50 handwritten notes. This kinda happened on it’s own, we held a conference at work that had a bunch of panelists from the community. A few weeks ago, I wrote and mailed out around 30 thank-you notes. Plus, we’ve been sending snail mail to Kent’s grandpa in Kansas lately. He always sends back a note thanking us for the card and telling us he is always thinking of us.

27. Make a budget and stick to it. When I bought a new car, I had this panic to get all my finances in OCD order. I started using the envelope system in January, pulling out for different envelopes with different paychecks. It’s been really helpful and it’s easier when we grocery shop and I can give Kent cash rather than asking the cashier to run two cards. I’ve been really plugging away at my students loans and today my total went under $17,000. I started plugging away in Fall 2014 when my loans were just over $25,000. It’s SO gratifying to see that number drop every month.

35. Harvest my own vegetables. I may have blogged about this before and not crossed it off, but I’m a seasoned cucumber farmer now! Last spring I planted a few different seeds and the cucumbers TOOK OFF. Wrapped up around the porch railing and down the stairs. It even climbed up the utility line to my upstair neighbor’s apartment. THEN she stole one of my huge, beautiful cucumbers. But – can’t say I blame her.

42. Visit a factory. I literally did this TWO YEARS AGO and I haven’t marked it off. C’mon, Kate. We’re planning our Europe trip bit by bit and we’re signed up to tour the Carlsberg beer factory in Copenhagen, Denmark! Really excited for that.

53. Have perfect attendance for an entire semester. Considerably easier when you’re only taking two graduate courses as opposed to five undergrad classes. Last semester & this semester I’ve made it to eeeeevery lecture. Go me.

61. Take a picnic somewhere pretty. Yet another one I did 2.5 years ago and haven’t marked off. We had a picnic in Baldwin Park on our one-year dating anniversary.

73. Stop Cursing. Lol, what came over me when I wrote this one? Not happening.

85. Go back to New York City. I did this in October with my sisters! I blogged about it here.

98. Learn Calligraphy. Can we amend this to say “sorta learn calligraphy”? I’m definitely comfortable with the pens, but I’ve found I’m more into freehand lettering than using a traditional calligraphy pen.

 

 

The Mullens take Tallahassee

Posted on March 18, 2016

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After a year and a half in Tallahassee, the Mullen crew made a trip to visit me! We ventured up to Thomasville and around the capital. Ate pizza and binge watched 11.22.63 on Hulu (SO good!). Ate at my beloved Bada Bean. Poisoned by gluten-free sister with bread. It was a weekend for the books!

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I regret to share that we’ve permanently turned the A/C back on, the Tally weather promises that summer is just around the corner. Regardless, we tromped all over campus. Down to the Oglesby and up through my building. My mom cried when she saw my office (has a more “Mom” thing ever happened?). I drove up and down the streets and pointed out all my favorite places. That’s where I get my coffee most mornings. That’s where we go to Happy Hour. That’s where my car got smashed! You know, the good stuff.

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My family got in early Saturday morning. Once they got over the shock of how roomy our studio was, we went and checked out a new apartment complex since our lease is up in June. After that, we drove up to Thomasville for the second time in two weeks. But honestly it’s so cute up there – I could spend every weekend there.

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But perhaps MOST importantly, my Mullen people ate at THE BADA BEAAAAAN! Otherwise known as Kent and I’s absolute favorite place to eat in Tallahassee. If they hadn’t liked it… I’m not sure what would have happened.

Sarah has gone gluten-free for the last few weeks to see if she noticed any difference. She’s been so strong and I ruined it all with a grilled cheese on Ezekiel bread. I kinda assumed it was GF and it definitely wasn’t – I honestly still feel bad about it :’) Eating out with her this weekend made me realize how difficult it is to avoid gluten. When we ate lunch in Thomasville and she couldn’t even order the soup because it’s base was a roux.

I could wax poetic about my fam all day. They are my favorite people in the world, nobody else I’d rather spend my time with. On Sunday night, we got (flourless) chocolate cake & ice cream at Bruster’s and we were crying we laughed so hard at the Snapchat faceswaps. We could do anything and it’d be a good time. We said our goodbyes on Monday morning and I’m already plannin’ my next trip to see them. File this one under #luckykate.

5 Food Documentaries on Netflix You’re Missing Out On

Posted on March 15, 2016

Food Chains


Watch it!
1 hour, 22 minutes

Kind of like how I thought my teacher slept at school, I always thought food came from nearby. In reality, the food at the store has traveled sometimes thousands of miles! Often, the people who harvest the food are treated terribly and could have their lives forever changes for pennies on the pound.

Cowspiracy


Watch it!
1 hour, 30 minutes

Global warming is a very real thing (Sorry, Rick Scott!) We’ve long known that our cars, factories and fossil fuels have contributed to the problem. But, it goes farther than our cars. One guy goes on a mission to unearth the truth behind agribusiness and it’s impact on our environment.

GMO OMG


Watch it!
1 hour, 24 minutes

Genetically modified organisms *shudder*. It’s a growing concern for consumers and it’s becoming a political issue as well. We have a basic understanding of what they are, but where are they? Meat? Fish? A father loads his wife & boys into a van and they take off in pursuit of the truth about GMOs and their presence in our day to day lives.

Pure Plant Nation


Watch it!
1 hour, 36 minutes

It just makes sense, plant-based food is what is best for our body. But in a nation of burgers & bacon, it’s easier said than done. Pure Plant Nation looks at the places on Earth that aren’t affected by the cancers and ailments that affect Americans. The answer to our health is in our food!

Fed Up


Watch it! 
1 hours, 35 minutes

Take a few days and count up the sugar you eat. Once you’re aware, it’s insane to realize all the places sugar hides. Check out this list of 56 different names for sugar – it’s no joke. Sugar isn’t kind to our bodies and causes a whole host of health issues. But it’s not just the food, the government and big business behind sugar is staggering. Fed Up digs into the political pressure behind our food.

International Women’s Day

Posted on March 8, 2016

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It’s International Women’s Day! We’ve been celebrating the strides women make as early as 1909. There are a lot of incredible women out there, but today my thoughts are with the strongest woman I know, the one who raised me and my sisters.

I can remember the night I realized that my Mom would be the best friend I ever had. I was in college, lying on my apartment floor talking through a tough day on the phone. She can talk me through the tallest mountains and the deepest valleys. It dawned on me then, that my Momma was the strongest, kindest person I knew. I’ve found that it’s such a difficult balance to keep, soft yet unapologetic. But, Mom was that, all the time. And now, years later, I’m still mystified by how this incredible balance she keeps in her life.

She’s unapologetic about being soft. In fact, she’s never made me feel like being emotional is a negative thing – ever. My Dad’s favorite story to tell revolves around it – my Grandpa told him when they started dating that “she cries in the cartoons”. I’m not sure she’s ever made it through an episode of Ellen without tears. But, that has never been stigmatized in our house. Feel it, feel it all, then figure it out.

She wakes up every day and gives herself to others. She pours her heart and energy into her classroom and it shows. She was out sick last week for a few days and her kids were over the moon when she came back. She gets invited to birthday parties and goes to watch their soccer games. She shows them the same firm love I got growing up and I know her thoughts are with them long after the bell rings.

Kent and I talk about how lucky we were to have Moms who were so devoted. In high school I would work nights at a restaurant and she’d be in the parking lot, like clockwork, at 9:45 PM. Even if I didn’t get out until 10:45, she’d be there.  From kindergarten to my senior year, she made my lunch every single day and she’d pack extra pumpkin bread for my friends. In college, she’d insist on driving me to a gas station so the person driving me back to UCF didn’t have to go out of their way. Then she’d cry, cry, cry as I drove away.

I realize now that there are very few people in life you can count on. Even fewer are the people you can count on implicitly. She could be anywhere and she would drop it in a second if I needed her. I had my moments as a bitchy teenager and I can remember the moments I tried my hardest to test her. Sometimes she’d get upset, but mostly I remember unwavering, sarcastic sass. She still is sassy as hell and I undoubtedly get my sarcasm from her.

My family has this incredible bond and it’s the labor of her love. People get paid huge money to build the kind of culture my Mom has built in our family. We ate dinner together every night and when my Dad worked the night shift, we’d bring him dinner and spend his dinner hour with him. Our best times are simply when we’re together. We could do anything and it would be the better than the most extravagant day apart. My parents have sacrificed so much to give my sisters and I the life we have and they do it with such grace. She is undoubtedly the most selfless person I know, and I can’t put into words how much I love her.

I got a note in the mail from my family today, the bit from my Mom read, “Please know I carry you around in my heart. You are always with me