Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Sometimes I feel like life throws you things all at once. And that can be a bit overwhelming, which is why I've been pretty quiet in this space. I've been taking time to meet new people, get out of the house, and just be extra good to myself. Because I've realized that in the past, when I am sad, I tend to stay home and dwell on it. But that doesn't really change anything, and keeping busy allows me to enjoy every moment of life -- even the not so good ones.

I've also realized that I'm at a point in my life where I need to grow; to branch out. I've realized that some of the people in my life haven't been the healthiest for me at this time, and that letting them go is a whole lot more freeing than sad. I've realized that when you surround yourself with negative people, you become negative. And I don't want to be that way, when I am still so young and have so much to give of myself to those around me. I deserve to be respected, and those who do not offer that respect easily aren't worth my time or effort.

I've learned that I cannot control things. Things happen and the universe does not look to me before giving the 'ok'. Some things happen that I cannot possibly see the reason for, but I now understand that these things may allow another person to grow and change in the way that they have needed to. I can't take responsibility for a kidney failing or for a life long friend turning her back. It isn't all about me.

I think that this has been a long winter, but each day that passes brings us closer to the spring. And I am confident that when I look back at this moment, I will know that these lessons will carry me through adulthood. That although I am just at the beginning of understanding, I will continue to learn about life and my place in this universe. I won't try to change people, but rather see them as they are and let go if I need to. I won't take possession of bad feelings and circumstances, because they are not for me to control. The universe has a way of balancing things out in nature, and by letting her do just that I will learn to free my own spirit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My favorite place to go running ever is along the James River. Especially since the sun has been shining and the weather has been close to perfect. I always feel so good when I leave my boxy office and spend a little one on one time with mother nature herself!

Here are a few pictures I took a few days ago. I am so lucky to work and live so close to such a beautiful place!

Is there a special place that you like to escape to every now and then?

Monday, February 14, 2011

To My Sweet Husband.


Happy Valentine's Day. I love the way my hand fits perfectly into yours, the way you bring out the best in me, and the way you let me have your half of the dessert. I can't remember a time in my life that you weren't there, and I love that. You are the peanut butter to my jelly.

Love, Me

Happy Valentines Day!

So last week sucked. I got some pretty terrible news, Sean got the flu, and then I pulled a muscle in my back and was bed ridden for two days. OK... so two days watching movies on the couch with Sean didn't really suck........................ but the rest, definitely suck-y.

This is when I like to remember that my friends are really amazing at cheering me up! I had been planning to vist one of my best friends Denise, but towards the end of the week I was starting to think it wasn't going to happen. But, bad back and all, I forced myself into my car and drove an hour to see my friend. Best decision of the entire week.

Denise is one of the best cooks I've ever seen, and her and her husband Stuart greeted me with homemade nachos and some really good laughs! I was super bummed that Sean had to stay home, but it was sooooo nice to get out of the house for a little while and leave all of my drama at home. We got into our sweats pretty early in the night, and just had fun being together. It was nice to forget that a few hours prior I was at home feeling sorry for myself! I woke up Saturday morning to made-from-freaking-scratch cinnamon rolls and we walked around Charlottesville looking at houses and talking about the future. It was a breath of fresh air [literally].

Best part? Denise & Stuart just got the cutest little puppy I have ever seen! Meet: Godzilla [and big brother, Baboos]

I was having so much fun with Denise and Stuart that I almost forgot that Sean was stuck at home alone [oops!] and so I finally arrived back in Richmond by Saturday night. It felt really good to be missed, and we ordered a pizza and watched movies together... poor Sean didn't start feeling better until last night, just in time for work. Blehhh.

I had made reservations at this really fancy French resteraunt, however we both decided that it would be much more fun to cook at home in our pj's since Sean was still feeling kind of sick. We went to the grocery and picked out fresh roses, steak, crab cakes, french bread, asparagus, wine and this really amazing reeses-brownie-thing.

Sean doesn't even like sweets [more for me!] but...... we were both fighting over this baby. It was probably the best brownie we've both ever tasted!

 We spent the night watching Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind and cuddling with the two best puppies ever [yes, I forced Pete to wear a purple sweater. I am one of those people]. We love this movie, because secretly we both know that the main characters are an exaggerated version of ourselves. We may argue and sometimes we don't even act like we like eachother very much.... but at the end of the day, Sean is my soulmate and there isn't anyone else I could ever picture spending my life with! This was our 11th Valentines Day together, and I love knowing that it will not be our last!

 [hopefully next year we can try the fancy resteraunt]

Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


As many of you know, I donated my kidney to my god-brother last April. It's been a long, difficult, frustrating and altogether emotional rollercoaster since then. And these are just my emotions, I cannot even imagine what thoughts are going through Mitchell's mind or what pain is running through his body. It's been a very long year, and I can honestly say that it has changed my life. As much as my kidney has done for his body, he has done ten times over for my outlook on life and my faith in humanity. I will forever be greatful to Mitchell for that.

I always feel selfish when I get bad news about Mitchell, because I don't feel like I have the right to get angry or upset. And I realize how strange that much sound, but I honestly struggle with my emotions and what is and isn't the ''right feeling.'' Nevermind that there isn't a right or wrong way to feel, it's just that I feel like this area of my life is like walking through a dark room. And listening to a mother, my god-mother, holding back tears on the other end of the line, and breathing deeply trying to collect any ounce of strength that may be left just to hide the pain in her voice -------- how am I supposed to respond to that? I try to stay strong, but I fear that it comes off as cold and un-attached. And then when I actually listen to what she says, I have to pull the phone away and close my eyes shut as hard as I can and force the tears back. Because once they come, I can't make them stop.

All of this feels incredibly selfish to me, because even though my connection with Mitchell is one of the deepest I've ever felt... I am not in any pain. I can still go on vacations when I feel like it. I had my childhood and was able to enjoy it. I got to play sports when I was younger. The more I think about it, the madder I get until I am so consumed with frustration that there is nothing more I can do but cry. Sometimes I feel like I don't have the ''right'' to cry. That I need to be strong and positive and comforting to Mitchell and my god-mother. Sometimes I feel incredibly sorry for myself, because I feel like I let them down somehow. Saying that outloud doesn't really make sense, but I feel it.

Sometimes I think about the day that I decided that I would give my kidney to Mitchell. My god-mother says that I even spoke up the first time he needed help, but I remember two years ago. I was at one of those outdoor concerts in the summer and with a group of my friends, when I saw my god-sister. We talked for a little while and I asked about Mitchell, and she said he needed a kidney transplant. I can't really explain it, but I got this rush and I instantly knew that I wanted to do it -- I called my parents right there and told them I was going to do it, and I called my god-mother and told her that I was 110% ready and asked who I needed to contact to start testing. It's a long process, and not only do you have to have compatable blood (I'm 0-)... but you have to do cross-matches and all kinds of tests to make sure that your antogens ''get along'' and other things that I don't really understand.

Throughout the process, my parents and Sean's parent's had a really hard time. And honestly, so did my god-mother. Every day I was questioned about if it was something I really wanted to do. I had a million chances to back out, but it never once crossed my mind. Sometimes I think about what I know now, and I still feel that this is what I was meant to do. I have never once regretted my decision. If I could go back in time and do it all over again, I would.

Yesterday Mitchell had a doctor's visit and we were all trying to stay positive and hoping for good news. And as usual, it seems as though he can't catch a break. Something is now going on with Mitchell's blood and he needs a blood transfusion. They are also looking for another kidney donor. I don't really understand all of the details, and I don't ask as many questions as I should because it's overwhelming. But I am just asking that you think of Mitchell today and his family. All of us are really struggling right now.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

30 Things

I was reading over blog-land today for a little inspiration and noticed that Sometimes Sweet did something fun a few days called Thirty Things. So now it's my turn [please please please also share some fun things about yourself!] And for those of you that I owe homemade goodies... I bought the supplies and I will be sending those puppies out this week! Sorry I'm slacking a bit!

Thirty things I betcha didn't know...

[01] My full name is Kara Diane Workman Hooker. Diane Workman is my middle name. Awesome, I know ;)

[02] I have two adorable doggies names Pete & Samson. We cuddle often.

[03] I also have a ferrett named Imogen. She's 5 years old and I named her after the main character in the movie Down to You. She enjoys playing tag with Pete & Samson. Samson, my 70 pound boxer, is afraid of her.

[04] I am deathy afraid of condensation and am probably the only one at the bar with my beer wrapped in napkins. I will cry if you touch me with condensation! {weird, I know}

[05] I always twist my can tops to the side. It's a habit, but it helps me always know which drink is mine.

[06] I am happiest outside. If I could live in a tree house I would. I would also sell my possessions in a heart beat if it meant I could free myself from capitolism and it's obsession with money.

[07] I am addicted to tattoos! I have a solar system themed quarter sleeve, the HRC campaigne logo on my left wrist, alpha & omega on my right wrist {getting covered soon}, stars on my lower back, a henna inspired flower on my food, a star and a swallow on my hip, some of the lyrics to Imagine on my shoulder blade, The Giving Tree up my side. I want more... I'm currently planning a chest piece :)

[08] I was on swim team for 10 years. I still miss the smell of the pool, however I do not miss the way it made my hair feel.

[09] I had dreadlocks for 7 months last year. My husband hated them, otherwise I would've kept them in longer.

[10] I have been married for 2.5 years. Our anniversary is August 8, 2008. I really want to go on a hot air balloon ride for our 5th!

[11] Sean and I picked out our future daughter's name while we were still in high school. Clementine.

[12] I have been with Sean for 10 years... he's my very best friend!

[13] I usually try to work out 3-4 times a week. My goal is 5. My workout usually consists of jogging and I really want to be able to run 5 miles straight by the end of the summer.

[14] My husband & I are thinking about buying our first house in August!!!!!

[15] When we move into a house, I want to get a cat and name him OR her ghandi. I already bought it a buddha-temple cat house.

[16] I consider myself to be a mix of Buddhist and Agnostic. I think when we die, our energy is recycled and we can be found in nature for eternity.

[17] I am a dreamer.

[18] I have a small obsession with kitchen plants. I'm always trying to plant herbs or grass... but it doesn't really work because our loft only has skylights. No windows.

[19] I have seasonal depression, and winter literally makes me sad.

[20] My favorite place ever is the river. I spend all of my weekends there when it's warm out.

[21] I used to rock climb in high school, and I really miss that. I think about starting again at least once or twice a week. I am afraid of failure.

[22] When I was little I had an imaginary friend named ''ghost''

[23] Halloween is my favorite holiday. Valentines Day is second. Obviously I have a candy obsession.

[24] I am in the process of applying to Grad School and I should find out any day now! I'm getting my Masters in Social Work with a Certificate in Gender Violence.

[25] I turn 25 on June 25th :) :) :)

[26] Speaking of birthday's.... Michael Jackson died on mine. Awesome.

[27] I currently work as a Substance Abuse Case Manager with teenagers. Part of me loves it, the other part hates it.

[28] I want to have kids in 3-4 years. Lots of them.... but I will settle with 2 unless I can convince Sean otherwise.

[29] When I was in high school I used to spend all of my extra time wandering around in the woods rather than going to parties or drinking. I used to pretend I was the only person for miles, and sometimes I would imagine what it would be like to actually live in the forest.

[30] I have the best friends in the world!!! {Really, I do!!!}

Friday, February 04, 2011

Dear Winter.

Dear Winter,

We had some really good times. I especially loved the white Christmas you gave us, and my first cup of hot cocoa of the season. I'm really trying to live in the present and not wish you away, but I think I really miss running through the grass in my bare feet, and swimming at the river on weekends. Also, my sun dresses are looking very lonely in my closet, and I'm pretty sure they are ready to come out and play.

Don't take it personally, but could you let Spring take over now? I love you, but only in small doses.

Love, Kara

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Today I saw this little guy while I was walking outside to meet my dad this afternoon {he surprised me with a father + daughter lunch date - so sweet!} It's a whopping 65 degrees today in Richmond, Va... and I couldn't be more excited for Spring!

... I guess today was a little teaser, and tomorrow will be back to wet, cold, winter not-so-awesomeness.

On a positive note, Valentine's Day is coming up! Only 12 more days! In case you were wondering, Valentine's Day is my second favorite holiday [the first being Halloween]...

I'm excited about dressing up and going out for a nice dinner with my hubby.
[Then coming home and cuddling with my puppies over a ginormous bowl of ice cream]

Here's a fun post I did last year, especially for my Valentine.

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