Thursday, December 24, 2009

Totally Random Thoughts

The holidays always make me think.

As I churn my millionth batch of cookie dough. As I wrap presents. As I write Christmas cards. I just think about stuff. About people. About the world. I'm a reflective person anyway. But around the holidays....around Christmas....I usually end up pondering life more than usual.

I'm also pretty scatterbrained around the holidays-so this post will be random. Here are a few of the things that have been on my mind lately. This may be long. Again, please excuse my scatterbrained-ness.....

Sometimes, when I'm buying Christmas presents....I get this nagging feeling that the money I'm spending on silly gifts for people that already have everything could do a lot of good for people that have nothing. The same goes for Christmas decorations and stuff. I'm not saying that giving gifts and decorating your house is wrong.  I have presents under my tree and lights on my house right now, too. But sometimes....I wonder.

You know how everyone talks about the "terrible twos"? I have discovered that age 3 is much more.....interesting. Yes. Ever since my son turned 3....I have turned over a few gray hairs. 

I miss my family. And I think about them all the time. I've been blessed with some wonderful kin-folk, y'all. All of which live 1200 miles away. They pray for me. They send me cards and notes. They call or text when something is going on in my life. And while I wish that I could spend time with them around the holidays....I'm just thankful I have them at all. They are a special bunch. 

Speaking of special...I have some pretty neat grandmothers. My MawMaw sends me nice cards from time to time. The most recent (that she sent a little while after I gave birth to my daughter) said this: "Dearest Kate, I'm sure you are feeling a little overwhelmed at times....but you gotta know it's perfectly normal and this too shall pass! What a special time in your life - one of your 'making memories moments'- although it can be tough, you are learning so much. Take care of those sweet angels, but also take good care of yourself." She even included a scripture verse. (2 Peter 1:3) And my other grandmother? She prayed with me on the phone the other night. And when MeeMaw prays....she pretty much brings the house down. I had been telling her about a certain issue that has been a weakness of mine for as long as I can remember and right in the middle of it this is what she said: (Please, read in a Texas accent.) "Well Kate....I'm gonna pray about that RIIIIGHT NOW, girl. Father God, I just pray in THE-NAME-OF-JESUS that you take this away from Kate. You don't want her to deal with this anymore. I pray in THE-NAME-OF-JESUS- that you not let it be a problem for her anymore TODAY and that you don't let it be a problem for her anymore TOMORROW...and that you take it. Please remind Kate that you are all powerful and that you have good intentions for her. And I pray that you protect her mind and her thoughts and her words........In the powerful name of JESUS. Amen. And girl, I will pray that for you everyday. I surely will." My MeeMaw is special. She can be crazy as a bat...but she is a gem :) A godly one at that.

 Last night, I delivered a tin of cookies to a sweet couple from my husband's hometown. They go to our church and have just showered us with kindness. As I was getting ready to leave... I happened to mention that I miss my family very much...and do you know what that sweet woman said to me? In the most sincerest voice I've ever heard, she said, " Well we can be your family." I told her that I would let them. It was pretty precious.

I've been thinking here lately how I should really get more involved with what direction our country is heading in. I've been thinking about how I will probably be held accountable for what I did and did not do to help protect the unborn and the oppressed.  I should do something. Maybe even a lot of somethings. I'll be praying about this.

I have a little girl now. Sometimes, I can't even believe it. Oh my goodness. She has been such a sweet little addition to our family. She smiles A LOT. She grabs things now (including my hair) and she puts everything in her mouth. She babbles and 'talks' all day long and she will chat with anything that has a face. For example, we were sitting in church the other day and I had her standing up on my legs - facing the preacher. My baby girl must have thought that he was preaching to her because she started preaching back...loudly. My husband had to take her out - not because she was crying or anything - but because she was trying to have a conversation with the preacher-man in the middle of church. Lord help me.

I could go on and on. My mind is full.

Tomorrow is Christmas, friends! I wish each and every one of you a blessed time - celebrating the birth of our Lord with your loved ones! Consider yourselves hugged....every last one of you :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lessons from my Little One

Isn't it amazing how God can use a 3 year old to teach you awesome and lovely things about Himself...and about your walk with him?

It's pretty neat...and very humbling. Indeed, the least among us are the greatest......

Last night, I tucked my boy in bed. I made sure he had his monkey, airplane pillow, footballs, and stuffed OSU mascot, Brutus. I knelt down beside his bed and prayed for him. I prayed that he would stay healthy, that he would sleep well, that he would be safe, that he would have a good week, and so on. Then, as usual, it was his turn. I always sit quietly, grinning, as I listen to my 3 year old talk to God:

"Tank you for Mama and Daddy. Tank you for my baby sister. Tank you for Lala and Papa. Tank you for Grandma and Grandpa. Tank you for my room and the walls. Tank you for my toys. Tank you for my door and the doorknob. Tank you for the corn (that we grew this past summer.) Tank you for Jesus. Amen.

His prayers are always like that. Sometimes he "tanks" God for the floor, his bathtub, and grass. He has even been known to "tank" God for the dirt. Yes, even dirt.


But look at the difference between my prayers and his. My prayers consist of mainly requests. My son's prayers consist of mainly thanksgivings.

When my son talks to God.....the gratitude he shows his Maker is beautiful. It's real. There is no fluff. No fancy wording. No frills. Just a young heart that is thankful for what he has been given. And it blesses me. It humbles me. It teaches me.

So this week, as I prepare for Thanksgiving.... I'm making it a point to be thankful for the everyday things and people in my life. And..... I'm filling my prayers with a bit more praise. "Tanks" to my 3 year old :)

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. May you be blessed as you head into the holiday season!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Oh girls. I have been doing some darn good reading here lately. So good, in fact, that I just can't keep it all to myself!

Enjoy these powerful quotes and have a marvelous Monday, friends....

From More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst:
So I invite each of us into the possibility of seeing God. Not His actual physical form, but rather evidence of His activity. I want us to be women who lift our eyes up to God everyday and say, "Yes, God, there are some who seek you today! I understand it is possible to experience You; therefore, I want that more than anything else. I will seek to see You, hear You, know You, and follow hard after You in every part of my day." (p.173-174)

From Fearless by Max Lucado:
Become a worry-slapper. Treat frets like mosquitoes. Do you procrastinate when a bloodsucking bug lights on your skin? "I'll take care of it in a moment." Of course you don't! You give the critter the slap it deserves. Be equally decisive with anxiety. The moment a concern surfaces, deal with it. Don't dwell on it......Be a doer, not a stewer. (p.49)

From Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel:
Fear-based parenting is the surest way to create intimidated kids. (p.13)

From Autumn in the Country by Gooseberry Patch:
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (p. 24)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Unwrapped Tuesdays

Today....I'm gritting my teeth and trying my darnedest to celebrate beauty in the midst of all the chaos. I didn't come up with this little proclamation all on my own (If it were up to me,  I might be throwing a hissy fit instead.) I got the idea from Chatting at the Sky. For the first time ever I'm participating in Unwrapped Tuesdays.

An attitude of gratitude doesn't always come easy for me. It should. I've been blessed with awesome kids, a wonderful husband, and a pretty neat life. But somewhere in the messiness of things......the late nights, the early mornings, the runny noses, and botched batch of chocolate chip cookies I made last night - I lose my thankful spirit.

But for today...for a moment.....I'm gonna sit here and "unwrap" some things I CAN celebrate.....

*It's cold outside. I'm originally from Texas and I'm not real fond of frigid air. It is not my friend. But you know what? The sun is shining. There isn't a cloud in the sky. Just lots of blue-ness. The sun just makes me feel alive. And while it is cold out there....I'm gonna choose to celebrate the sun.

*My son woke up with a runny nose today and he has sneezed exactly 10 times already.  I counted. If you know me at know that I'm not real good with illness - not even puny little colds.  But you know what? Every time I get something in the mail from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - my perspective on illness shifts a bit. All of a sudden - colds and viruses are absolutely nothing compared to what other babes are going through. And so I wipe my son's nose a dozen times....I'm gonna choose to praise God for my boy's overall well-being. 

*We bought our current home a little over a year ago. After we moved in - we realized that it needed A LOT of work....much to my dismay. Right now, my kitchen is in the middle of a remodel. One of the walls is cut in half, I'm missing a cabinet, the back splash is gone, the sink leaks, the floors are not finished, and I could go on and on. But ya know what? The oven works. It's old...but it gets the job done. The almost 20 year old frig's ugly but keeps things cold. And what's even that I actually have food in my refrigerator. Compared to millions of people across the globe - that is a luxury.

So right my son sneezes for the 15th time....and as I bake crescents for tonight's dinner in my crazy kitchen.............the sun IS shining. And I'm thankful for that.

How about you? Any beauty in the midst of your messiness?

Friday, October 30, 2009


Sometimes, the leopard-loving, soul-searching, civilization-craving girl inside of me...just wants to scream. But then the crumb-catching, tot-toting, modest mother in me hushes her up.


But not last night.

No Mam.

It's safe to say...I lost it a little yesterday. The kids and I have been having lots of "togetherness" lately. Which is wonderful....I LOVE staying home with my children and wouldn't trade it for anything. But after a while......

a Mama needs a moment.

So I had another Bob Evans night.

Whenever I need to get-away....that has to be the restaurant of choice. We live in a tiny town. It's either a bar or Bob's. My husband prefers for me to frequent the latter.

As I walked elderly lady was giving me this strange look. Almost like she was scolding me. "Weird", I thought. But then I realized what it was. You darling daughter is still drinking breast milk. And it had been a while since I pumped. (She wasn't a real enthusiastic breast now I pump. I feel like Kate the Cow.) I can leave the house with a normal looking chest....and by the time I'm on my way back home I look like I have implants. It's crazy. So when I put my shirt on before I left - I was revealing nothing. But by the time I made it to Bob Evans.....I was revealing everything. Sorry lady....I'm a milk machine. I think I will put my V-neck shirts away for a while.

Other than that...the evening was blissful. U2 was playing over the speaker. I thought that was a bit peculiar for a Bob Evan's....its more of a bluegrass kinda place....but I was happy about it. I decided that God had them play U2 just for my listening enjoyment.

 I ordered a very healthy meal: grilled chicken, with garden veggies, and a baked potato. And....I ate the baked potato dry. I felt so disciplined. I even ordered water instead of sweet tea. That is almost a sin for a southern girl. But then......

Yeah. I ordered dessert. Apple pie. Not only did I order apple pie...I ordered it with ice cream and caramel sauce. Yes, I did. And after that....I ate the whole thing. And I'm here to tell was worth it :)

After I scarfed down my dessert - I sat there and read for a while. It was so pleasant.

I went home with a rejuvenated brain, a full belly.....and VERY full boobs.

Thank you, Bob Evans. I'm sure it won't be long until you see me again. But next time...I think I might wear a turtle neck :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Be Encouraged

Oh Friends :)

I have sooooo many things I'd like to blog about! Soooooo many! Things about the kids, book reviews, recipes, recent adventures.... But for tonight - I'm gonna leave you with some neat quotes I've come across lately. Enjoy, Sweet Ones. And have a wonderful week!

"Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors. 

Wouldn't it be great to walk out?" - from Fearless by Max Lucado (p.5)

"God, I want to see You.
 God, I want to hear You
 God, I want to know You.
 So that I can follow hard after You every day." 
- from Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst (p.26)

"No person, possession, profession, or position ever fills the cup of a wounded, empty heart." - from Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst (p.30)

"Sometimes more can be learned from the passages of Scripture we ignore than those we underline." - from Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn (p.9)

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm There......Finally

And then there's Jesus.

Friends, since January 1st I've been reading through a Chronological Bible. This means that for the past 9 months - yes 9 MONTHS - I have been reading the Old Testament. Yep. I just now hit The New. And honestly, it took a toll on me.

For example, a couple of weeks ago my husband and I were having a conversation about some things that made us kinda sad - things like past sins and such. And these are the words that came out of my mouth:

"I feel like dressing in burlap and throwing ashes over my head." (Burlap and ashes are mentioned more than a few times in the OT.)

My husband looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Babe, have you read anything from the NEW Testament lately?........... Maybe you should."

(LOL. It was way funnier in person.)

Anyhow, I'm there. I've made it. There He is. Praise the Lord - Hallalujuah!!!! I'm in the New Testament...and so is Jesus.

While it was super difficult to read through the whole entire Old Testament writings - and while I didn't understand a lot of it - and while some of it made me mad and confused and bewildered - and while it made me want to dress in burlap and grab some ashes at times - I'm glad I did it. Why? Because it makes Jesus even bigger. It reminds me just how much we need Him. It makes Him even more refreshing. It makes His light even brighter. And it makes the cross just that much more amazing.

One of my favorite passages so far is John 1:51. In this verse, Jesus calls himself "the stairway between heaven and earth." Don't you just love that? After being in the Old Testament for sooooo long - I can't even begin to tell you how empowering it is to read the words of Jesus. I love how it's drawing me in.

So from now until the end of the year - I'll be in the New Testament - where The Savior is. 

Picture it this way : Remember in elementary school...when everyone would sit on the floor "Indian style" at the teacher's feet - as she read a story or taught a lesson? That's me. Over the next few months I'll be sitting at The Teacher's feet - soaking in every word. No burlap or ashes needed :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cleaning Corners

I'm sitting here looking at a spider web that's draped across the corner of my ceiling. Gross, I know.

One would think that I would just grab the broom and knock it down. But I haven't. Embarrassed as I am to admit this - it's been there for a few days. And all I do is look at it and think..."I should really get that spider web out of here" and then I just .....................don't.

Funny how that happens.

I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. (Romans 7: 19)

Kinda reminds me of some things I've been hashing out lately. Things that have been hangin' out in my life for a while that need some broom action. It's crazy how I can identify issues in my life that need some tending - only to let them sit there. Which of course, is never a good thing.

So this week....I'm cleaning up a few cob-webbed corners. The one's in my home - and the one's in my heart.

Grabbing my broom and my Bible,
Kate :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looking Up

"Lord, help me with THIS."

That's the prayer I uttered as I rocked my newborn in her room a few days ago.

Sometimes, when I sit and think about it - the responsibilities I have as a mother and a wife are overwhelming, and yes...even a little scary. I mean, think about it. You have little people depending on you for their every need. You are their example. You are their guide. You. It's all you. And you better have it somewhat together sister, or they will feel the effects of it.

Talk about pressure.

And then there is the whole wifey thing. You are their partner. Their go-to girl. Their prayer warrior. Their love. Their encourager. Their support. It's a tall order, ain't it girls? A wonderful one - but hefty, nonetheless!

So as I sat their in the silence of my daughter's nursery - with to-do lists, worries, doubts, and concerns in mind - my newborn rested comfortably on my shoulder - completely unaware. Every few minutes she would sleepily look up at me with her big blue eyes - almost as if she was just making sure I was still there - then she would drift confidently back to sleep. Watching her breath so sweetly and rest so peacefully in my arms - I couldn't help but want to feel that way myself. I couldn't help but look up and say - "Lord, help."

From erasing the doubts and questions that all too often crowd out my faith - to erasing the blue marker that is now scribbled all over my back window. I need help with it all.

But more than anything...

" me to know that You are holding me...watching me breath..watching me drift in and out of my day - watching me look up - just to see if You are still there. Help me to confidently close my eyes - and KNOW that You are. Because just knowing that - will help me out with it all."

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will never fail you nor abandon you." Deuteronomy 31:8

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Blog

I feel like a bad blogger.

As I'm going about each day - I think of a zillion topics for blog posts. But since I'm usually smack dab in the middle of either changing a diaper or cleaning up messes - the neat little blog post ideas I come up with don't ever come to fruition.

I want so badly to be a happenin' blogger babe who regularly writes and who visits other happenin' blogger babe's blogs to see what they are up to. I'm gonna commit to it. I am. Just as soon as I get more than 3 hours of sleep a night - I plan on being a mighty fine and faithful blog lady.

Until then....I'm gonna leave you with some wise words that have encouraged me over the last few weeks. Enjoy them. I'll be back here in the next few days to post again. Thanks for sticking with me :)

"Sometimes we must stop praying for God's work and start doing His work."

"Complacency is a far more dangerous attitude than outrage." - Naomi Littlebear Morena"

"Blessed are those that give without remembering and take without forgetting." - Elizabeth Bibesco

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone expects of you. Never excuse yourself." - Henry Ward Beecher

Have a lovely week, friends :)

Monday, August 10, 2009


Oh my goodness.

I stumbled upon a gem of a website today. - It's a lovely little spot launched my Hallmark's DaySpring division. You should check it out.

The sweet ladies over at incourage are asking bloggers to write about what encourages them. This is right up my allie, y'all.

I wish we were plopped down on a comfy couch - iced tea in hand - talking about what encourages us.... face to face. Oh I'd love that. But since we are all scattered about the country - discussing encouragement on the old blog sounds like a good plan B.....

I'm super encouraged by witnessing people do crazy-awesome things with their lives. Things that make a difference. Things that other people have never done because it was considered too difficult. Things that force the doer to overcome obstacles and beat the odds. Things that would be virtually impossible without faith, tenacity, and endurance. Witnessing others using the talents God gave them to the fullest - is pretty inspiring. Seeing people make things happen really gives me the urge to do the same. When we choose to improve ourselves - no matter how small the change is - we are also choosing to improve those around us. And THAT is powerful.

Other encouragers?

Sunshine. Sports. Reading the autobiographies and stories of successful people. Blogs and my bloggy friends. My husband's college football manuel. Watermelon. My Mom's workout plan. Psalm 119. Warm weather. Spending time with girlfriends. Budding flowers in Spring. My son's laughter. Quotes. MeeMaw's prayers over the phone. My husband. Getting sweet greeting cards in the mail from Maw Maw Jan. My Dad's life story. Philanthropy. Music. Testimonies. Trips to Texas. Traveling. Dancing. And hugs...lots of them :)

What encourages YOU? What makes you feel alive? What gets you inspired? Do tell friends, do tell!

Saturday, August 1, 2009



So sorry if this post is all over the place - I've been a tinsy winsy bit sleep deprived :)

Why, you ask?

Because.....our baby girl is here!!!!

And oh my goodness. It hasn't even been two weeks since I had her - and she has given me SOOOO many sweet things to blog about. Simple things - like how I love kissing her cheeks and how fun it is to dress her up in cute little outfits. And deep things - like how I have such a strong desire for her to have faith and how I want her to be a confident and courageous lady.

My heart is just so full right now, y'all. The fact that I now have two healthy little ones- is a blessing that is not at all missed by this Mama - not for one second. Yes, I may be a bit sleepy and delirious at times - Yes, I may be typing this with one hand because my new little miracle insisted on being cuddled half-way through this post - And yes, I may be smack dab in the middle of potty training my first born - but friends - my cup runneth over.

The joyful laughter that fills our home - the high fives that go around when my son uses the potty - the cry heard in the middle of the night from my hungry infant - the playful bark I hear from our sweet dog outside, the smell of baby lotion, the bombardment of pink clothing that fills my daughters closet, the "ouch!" that comes out of my mouth every time I step on one of my son's little toy tractors, the sound of the front door opening when my husband gets home from work, the look on his face when he holds our kids, the comfort I feel when he embraces me, the precious words that come out of my son's mouth when he is asked to pray - yes - my cup is overflowing.

I just want to shout "Thank you, Lord!!!" But somehow, that just doesn't seem like enough.

I will be filled with joy because of you, I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
- Psalm 9: 2

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm There

I have officially given myself permission to waddle.

I've been fighting the urge for weeks now!

Just wanted y'all to know :)

Awaiting our baby girl's arrival,
Kate :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Withered to Watered

I've been watering my roots here lately :)

Just the other day I was outside watering my hanging plants - when my 3 year old decided that he wanted to "hep". I filled up the watering pale for him and he got busy. As I watched, I noticed that he was trying to water the actual flower - not the roots or the soil - and the water was pouring out all over the place. I quickly said, "Honey, you need to water the roots. If you do - our flowers will stay nice and pretty. There's no need to water the actual flower, Babe. When the roots are watered - the flowers are, too." And much to my delight - he has been watering the roots correctly ever since. He totally got it.

His Mama got it, too.

I've been realizing here lately that my roots need some tending. I need watered. I need to stop focusing so much on all the external things - what people see and such.

Like my flowers need healthy soil. I need a healthy soul.

Without it, my life will look like my flowers do when I fail to water them - pale, droopy, and lackluster. That's not what I want my hanging plants to look like - and it's dang sure not how I want my life to look either.

We have a baby girl coming in the next month. Yep. Just typing that makes the reality of it all set in. So I have really been asking the Lord to prepare my heart and household for her. Watering my roots. My son's life is about to change in some major ways with our newest addition. I've been asking God to help me serve my son and meet his needs correctly. Watering his roots. My husband has been very busy at work and the company he works for will be rearranging soon. I've been praying over the situation - asking God for guidance and peace and strength. Watering our roots.

And as I focus on nourishing the soil around here - please know that I'm hoping and praying that your soil is healthy, too. I know my blog has been a bit bla lately - but each of you are on my mind and heart so often :) Just know that :)

Busy getting watered,
Kate :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blueberry-Banana Bread

Hello Friends!

It has been a while, hasn't it?

Please forgive me for not posting something sooner :) Life has been very full lately!

To start off our week, I just want to post a bread recipe I made a couple of weeks ago. I think you'll enjoy it :) My cookbook has even labeled it "low-fat"! Sweet.

Blueberry-Banana Bread
from Betty Crocker's Cookbook - Bridal Edition p.50

1 1/4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of mashed very ripe bananas (3 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1) Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9 x 5 x 3 inches, with shortening. (I used a different sized pan - and it turned out fine!)

2) Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Stir in bananas, buttermilk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt just until moistened. Stir in blueberries. Pour into pan(s).

3) Bake 8 inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaves about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack.

4) Loosen sides of loaves from pan(s). Remove from pan(s) and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Enjoy, my Darlings :) And have a fabulous week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


What a busy last few weeks!

Don't you just love springtime? Doesn't it just make you want to fix up your house, clear out the clutter, get outside, and start anew? So refreshing.

Here lately, the handsome hubs and I have been hard at work on our home. We have been cleaning, painting, planting, and rearranging.....You know, all of those homeownerish things people do this time of year. Since this is our first home and since we have a baby girl coming this summer - we have been buzzing around here getting it all done. Whew.

Last night, as we were wrapping up our painting project in the hallway, I started thinking about all of the things we had improved or redone over the last few months in our house: The kitchen remodel is underway. The carpet was replaced. New laminate was installed. We had to get a new roof. And the list goes on. But then I started thinking - Sure, our home is steadily improving and becoming more like the way we envisioned it when we bought it, but....

what about the people inside?

Hmmm. Are we concentrating at all on improving us, our relationships, our faith? Where are our hearts at the moment? What condition is our faith in? Do we need to do any remodeling and updating in our relationships? Do the walls of our hearts and souls need some fine-tuning? Any improvements needed?

Oh, yes.

So, I've decided to start going through Stormie Omartain's book The Power of Praying Together with my husband. What better way to work on improving our family than to turn to The One that knows how to improve us the best?

Sure. We will certainly continue to work on our house and get things accomplished. But, we are also going to work on us, too: Our relationships with the Lord, our marriage, our kids, our attitudes, our struggles, our prayer life, our friendships, our desires. Sometimes you just have to sit back, slow down, and evaluate where things are at the moment. Because while living in a home that is comfortable and updated is nice - living the life that God calls us to live is essential. We can paint pretty colors on the walls of our home all day long - but if the hardened walls of our hearts and lives aren't tended to on a steady bases (or just torn down completely!) - it doesn't really matter does it?

Revelations 2:19 encourages me onward in all this:

I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.

Yes. I want to be more like that.

I'm looking forward to sharing with you what we learn through all this. I love each of you dearly.

Lord, you know where we need improvement. You know what we need to work on. Please reveal to us the things that you want changed. Make yourself known to us. Be present in our home AND in our hearts. Thank you for being a God who is in the remodeling business. In Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Crater

As if I didn't already feel like a blimp, my almost 3 year old son sealed the deal for me today.....

Since the weather has been warm - my son and I have been hanging out on our back patio...which means I have been frequenting one of our cheap lawn chairs that we inherited from the home's previous owners. I had been noticing that the chair seemed a little loose lately - but didn't pay much attention to it. Today though, as we walked outside - my son walked over to the chair...examined it...and said:

"Whoaaaa Mommy! Did you do dat?"

I walked over to the chair and noticed that my big-as-a-barn pregnant bottom had formed a huge crater in the seat of the chair. Awesome.

So I simply replied, "Yes, Baby. Mommy did do that."

And then I almost cried.

So as if that wasn't enough - as we walked back inside I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the zillions of mirrors in our home - again - that we inherited from the previous owners. And at that moment, I decided that I would not ever look at my backside in a mirror again until this baby girl arrives. Unbelievable.

Don't get me wrong... I'm thankful for this pregnancy and the little diva that is making me grow and grow. Yes. I feel blessed that I am now in the third trimester of this whole ordeal and things are going well. But my goodness. I can't wait to throw on a pair of running shoes and go nuts again. That will be a happy day.

As for me and my large-and-in-charge self -I'm going to do two things until then: 1) take down all these dang mirrors that I never liked in the first place and 2) get a new lawn chair - a sturdy one to get me through the next few months.

Lord, help me.

Your big crater-making friend,
Kate :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gardening Girl

Can y'all believe it?

It turns out I'm crazy about gardening.

We started planting our veggie garden this past weekend and I will have you know that I'm totally into it. We planted peppers, squash, broccoli, lettuce, green beans, okra, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and watermelons. I even did some of it all by myself. My husband was swelling with pride in his never-planted-a garden-before-and-had-no-idea-how-to-do-it bride. I've come a long way, kids. The next time you see me, I might even have on a pair of those weird gardening shoes. I wonder if they come in leopard print?

Another thing I'm finding myself interested in? Flowers. Yep - I'm totally amazed. My country bumpkin of a husband has been teaching me all about annuals, perennials, planting and feeding. And I'm not bored. At all. I have even gone so far as to google about flower gardens. I purchased some hanging plants from one of our local farmer's market type places and I'm in love with them. They smell so good and they look so pretty and they just make me happy. I even got a steal of a deal for them. That makes me just love them even more.

Speaking of that....I'm amazed at how much cheaper it is to grow your own produce. It's unbelievable. Where has this whole gardening thing been my whole life? Goodness.

But I know what you might be thinking.... Gardening can be hard work. The weeds. Keeping out the rabbits. Plants dieing. The watering. The canning. I know, I know. I'm sure I'll run into some snags here and there. But I think I'll learn a lot too. Plus - I'm sensing that it will give me all sorts of blog posts ideas. There's so many comparisons to be made between tending a garden and tending a heart for Jesus. I'm getting all inspired and excited just thinking about it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to water my pink petunias :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Integrity in Me

The sweet little phrase "bloom where you are planted" is one that I've been concentrating on lately. It seems as if God has brought it to my attention one too many times for me to ignore it. For example, I opened up my Bible last night and randomly read Psalm 101. Another one of David's psalms - I quickly started to skim through it.....until I read the second part of verse 2:

I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.

It stopped me in my tracks. Seeing as though I'm a stay-at-home mama - it should.

This line from verse 2 makes me think about what integrity is and how I can put it on display even "in my own home". Even when no one is watching. To get a better grip on this - take a look with me at some synonyms for integrity. Wow....


And a few antonyms for integrity? Wow again....


(Ahem. One of the definitions of fragility is lacking substance; tenuous or flimsy. That very well could describe yours truly more often than I would care to admit. Is this hitting a little too close to home for anybody else? I'm squirming in my computer chair.)

To make this even more clear for myself - let's insert a few of those synonyms into the passage:

I will lead a life of my own home.
I will lead a life of my own home.
I will lead a life of my own home.
I will lead a life of my own home.
I will not lead a life of my own home.
I will not lead a life of my own home.

The whole "in my own home" thing is where this all gets serious. Living a life of virtue and purity and integrity while others are watching - is one thing. But living a life of virtue and purity and integrity in my own home with no one watching - is a God thing.

All this kinda kicks me square in my fanny.

So as I'm riding around this morning running errands, two songs I heard on our local Christian radio station totally captured the essence of all this integrity stuff.

The first one is "The Motions" by Matthew West.

I don't wanna go through the motions.
I don't want to go one more day
without your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't want to spend my whole life asking
what if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions.

Just going through the motions. All too often I just hurry my day along - going through my everyday grind - without pausing to see if I'm living my everyday life with passion. God's "all consuming passion" to be exact. How different my day might look if I approached my stay-at-home mom workday with conviction - giving it my utmost effort. It wouldn't only make a difference for me - but for all the other people and creatures living under my care. Something to think about.

The second one is a line from Life Light Up by Christy Nockels.

So let my life light up like the city lights
And let it burn for you in the darkest of night

And may I add...

in the dirtiest of laundry rooms
in the messiest of kitchens
in the weediest of gardens
on the most hectic playground
in the dustiest of living rooms
and so on...

I don't want to just go through the motions. I want to dance the heart out of every step I take. I want to thrive. I want to be a light. And as much as I'm able, I not only want to do my job with integrity and passion, but I want to do it joyfully. I want to be a Joyful JottinMama....everywhere. Yes, even in my own home.

I'm off to post Psalm 101:2 all over my house to help me do just that :)

Lord, make me good at what I do. Make me useful. Make me live a life of uprightness in my own home - with my own family - and even in my own mind. Let me be a light, Lord, to the ones I minister to day in and day out. Fill me with your all consuming passion. Help me to choose joy . Help me to choose soundness and purity and love and goodness over apathy and mediocrity. Help me to choose faith over flimsyness. Thank you for calling me out and chasing me down in the areas I need your guidance the most. In Jesus, Amen :)

*Synonyms and Antonyms from

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jottin About Dreams

My husband and I had the privilege of attending a Leadership Summit last night. It really lit a fire under my very, very pregnant butt - and I wanted to share with you some of the wisdom I jotted down. I am JottinMama, after all :)

Dr. John Maxwell was the speaker, and he spoke about dreams. As I sat in that auditorium last night listening to this man talk about commitment, stamina, and success - I realized just how much I'd changed in the past few years. In good ways - and in bad.

You see, I used to be a dreamer. I filled notebooks with plans, preparations, and possibilities. Famous quotes and snippy little phrases were plastered all over my dorm room walls, school binders, and bathroom mirror. I wasn't afraid to approach successful people - at all. I wasn't shy about sharing my hopes and dreams with others. I longed to be around other people wanting to do big things with their lives. And I so enjoyed recognizing potential in others - rooting them on in their pursuits.

But then, things began to change. I'm not exactly sure how - but they did. Somewhere between getting married, having a baby, working, moving, and becoming a stay at home mom - my optimism, my wherewithal, my hoopla.... diminished. Some of it needed to. Coming to terms with reality is a good thing. But, I kinda wish that more of the dreamer had stuck around. This brings me to last night's summit....

Listening to Dr. Maxwell - I realized, the girl who used to believe and conquer and actually cared enough to wash her hair once everyday - had become a woman who doubts, runs away, and washes her hair about once every week. The girl who believed, has turned into a woman who doubts. The girl who oozed optimism - has turned into a woman who produces pessimism. Yuck. But as I hurriedly scribbled notes on a scrap piece of paper last night - that girl began to emerge again. Maybe reading a few of my notes will bring her out in you, too.........

Random Wise Words from Dr. John Maxwell

Add value to people.

Do something that is a little bigger, a little better than you are.

Don't climb the ladder of success only to realize that once you've reached the top - the ladder is leaning against the wrong tower. Make sure your dream is yours - not someone else's.

At the beginning, the picture you have of your dream should be clear, but not total. The picture gets bigger only when you walk toward it.

Fuzzy leadership makes for fuzzy followership.

Understand that disappointment lives in the space between expectation and reality.

Are you a fantisizer or a dream builder? Fantisizers merely dream when dream-builders actually do.

Teamwork makes dreamwork. You can't achieve greatness by yourself. If you can achieve your dream all by yourself - you don't have a big dream.

Action changes our lives.

S: State all your positions.
E: Examine where you are.
C: Consider all your options.
U: Utilize all your resources.
R: Remove all non-essentials. They keep you from doing the essentials.
E: Embrace all of your challenges. Don't erase them.

The dream is free - the journey isn't.

As soon as you take action - the friction starts.

Have you ever heard a successful person say, "the journey was easier than I thought it would be."?

Sometimes successful people are no more gifted or talented than anyone else - but they ARE more committed.

It IS possible to pay too much for a dream.

A lot of you are closer than you think.

Waiting for everything to be right is wrong.

Do five things everyday that will help you achieve your dream.

Have passion and energy. Some people are already dead - they just haven't made it official yet.

You are a success when the people closest to you - admire you the most. There is something wrong when the people who know you the least, like you the best.

(That last one is a real good one, huh?)

Be blessed as you go about your day today, friends. And maybe do a little dreaming, too :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Trellis

I almost always read before drifting off to sleep. Last night, I nestled into bed and decided to start re-reading a small devotional book called The 100 Most Important Bible Verses for Mothers. Since I need all the help I can get when it comes to two things: faith and parenting - this little book really encourages me onward in my journey. I just want to share with you a little snippet from what I read last night:

"You wish for your children to grow up the best they can be. Picture them shooting up, like thriving green plants, strong and vigorous. Train them to trust completely in God for all things, for he is like the trellis around which their tender shoots wrap."

Don't those words draw such a beautiful picture? They touched me and I pray they touch you too :)

Lord, please encourage me in my own faith walk and help me to encourage my children to seek, and see, You in theirs. I feel so weak in these areas and I pray for your divine guidance in both. Please let me and my household grasp how high and how deep and how real your love is for us. In Jesus name, Amen

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. ~Robert Flatt

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. ~Clarence W. Hall

For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born. ~Alice Freeman Palmer

Be blessed as you celebrate Easter Sunday :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Pie

After a warm spring-like weekend, it is now snowing outside. To keep the spring-time love going, I made a strawberry pie yesterday. And it was yummy :) Here's the recipe...enjoy!

Fresh Strawberry Pie
from Taste of Home

1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon milk, divided
4 teaspoons water
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 to 1-1/2 quarts fresh strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Dash salt
1-3/4 cups water
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin

1) In a bowl, combine the flour and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine 4 teaspoons of milk and water; gradually add to crumb mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2) Roll out pastry to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Transfer pastry to pie plate. Trim pastry to half inch beyond edge of plate; flute edge of pastry. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 7 minutes longer. Cool completely on wire rack.

3)In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese. sugar and remaining milk until smooth. Spread over the bottom of crust; arrange strawberries over the top.

4)In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water until smooth. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Chill until partially set. Pour over berries. Refrigerate until set.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just Me

Her name is Trusty Rusty.

She's the car my parents so graciously gave me on my 16th birthday. She's a rusty orange 1999 Ford Escort. My husband uses her as his work car now - since he so sweetly sold his beloved Dodge pick-up truck to feed his very young and growing family a few years back. (God bless his diesel lovin' heart.) While she is now used as something to get back and forth to work in - old Rusty used to be pretty special, y'all.

Let me give you a mental picture of what she once was:

Rusty only had a couple hundred miles on her when I drove her home the first time. She had a sunroof and a cool six-disc CD player. She had ballet slippers hanging from her review mirror and a glittery "Daddy's Girl" sticker on the back window. The glove box was filled with notes and bubble gum. Her trunk was full of high-schooly things like a letterman's jacket, textbooks (that I probably should have cracked open a bit more), track spikes, dance clothes, blankets , and jumper cables (just in case). And, of course, she had a leopard print steering wheel cover.

I loved her.

This past weekend, my husband wanted to spend some time tinkering with some farm equipment while hanging out with our son. If you read this post, you will know that tinkering with farm equipment is not a hankerin' I get real often - so I decided to go shopping a bit. Since my husband had my son - I let him keep our family car with the toddler seat in it. This means that while my hubby was spending time with our son - I got to spend some time sportin' around town in old Rusty. I was pumped.

I put some work out clothes on (because these days that is what is comfortable AND that is what fits), braided my hair into pigtails (a hairstyle I dawned often in my Escort years), grabbed a couple of Peanut M&M's (a pregnant woman's fav), and hit the road. In my typical fashion, I turned up the music real loud, and sang my heart out - just like I used to. It made me feel like Kate again. Not the Mom. Not the wife. Not the pregnant lady. Just Kate.

And that was nice.

While I wouldn't trade being a wife or mommy for anything - it was nice to just be me for a few hours - listening to music as loud as I wanted and eating M&M's.

These days - it doesn't take much to make my day - its all about the little things. And just getting away for a few hours with Trusty Rusty made all the difference.

Have a nice Monday :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lift Us Up

I don't know about you - but I'm just in need of some encouragement.

Let's allow the wise words of others and the powerful word of God to lift us all up today:

"The best laughter, the laughter that can heal, the laughter that has the truest ring, is the laughter that flowers out of a love for life and its Giver." - Maxine Hancock

...Mary sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what [Jesus] taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, 'Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me."
But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her. - Luke 10:39-42

"A joyful heart is like a sunshine of God's love, the hope of eternal happiness, a burning flame of God...And if we pray, we will become that sunshine of God's love - in our own home, the place where we live, and in the world at large. " - Mother Teresa

...the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. - from 1 John 4:4

Enjoy the rest of your week, Sweet Ones :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Inspired by You

I have been so blessed by the blog world lately :)

Over the past several months I have come into contact with some wonderful ladies in bloggy land - Funny women. Sweet women. Super smart women. Athletic women. Godly women. Talented women. Courageous women.

Just to name a few of them:

Sandy at God Speaks Today
Debbie at Heart Choices
Tiffany at Laughing Amersons (She's my cousin!)
Zoe at Called By A New Name
Rachel at My Life in Chapter and Verse
Kimberly at A Planting of the Lord
Renee at The Journey of My Heart

And there are so many more! If I didn't have to make a grocery store run here in a few minutes, I would list every single one of them :)

Ladies (all of you - not just the ones listed above!), thanks so much for uplifting me time and time again. Thanks for being fearless enough to share your stories. I am a life that has been changed for the better because of it :)

"Insomuch as any one pushes you nearer to God, he or she is your friend." - French Proverb

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Texas Tears

I'm writing with tear-streaked cheeks today, y'all.

And I feel like a baby about it.

My Mama and Daddy came for a visit this past week - and they just pulled out of our driveway to head back to the airport. Pretty soon they will be on a big silver bird flying back to the Mother Ship....also known as Texas.

As my parents were leaving today - I tried my very very best to be a big girl. I really did. But as I watched my parents load up their rent car - that feeling came over me. Remember that feeling? The one you felt when your Mom walked out of your classroom on the first day of kindergarten? The one you felt when that mean girl on the playground called you "scar-face" after you returned to school from having chicken pox? The one that turns your nose red and makes your eyes all glassy as you try to hold back the tears? Yeah. That one. So as my Dad hugged me tight - I turned into that 5 year old girl again. Except this time the girl crying was 25.

Why was it so much harder to watch them leave this time? Maybe its because I'm expecting. Maybe its because our house is completely torn up due to some major remodeling that's going on. Maybe it's worries about work and finances. Maybe I've just become a big baby. Or maybe it is because I'm realizing just how much I need loved ones in my life. Yeah. Maybe I'm realizing that putting up with my Mom's Dr.Pepper addiction and my Dad's weird obsession with cinnamon scented candles could be worth it just to have them close. So worth it. And maybe I'm realizing that I'm not as strong as I thought I was - that its okay to need people. Hmmmm.

I don't know where life will take my little family. I don't know if we will stay put, return to the Homeland or move all over the country. But I do know that something is breaking inside of me from having to say "bye" - and it isn't just my heart. I feel like the " I have to act like I'm strong and can handle it all without any help" characteristic is crumbling. And that's not such a bad thing.

Yes. I sit here in this computer chair feeling like that little girl who used to sit on the porch waving bye to her Daddy leaving for a business trip. A little lonely. A little sad. Red-nosed and teary eyed. But also feeling blessed - knowing that the people flying away on the jet plane are a MUCH NEEDED gift - and that no amount of Dr. Pepper and cinnamon scented candles could ever erase that.

For all of you other Texans that I miss so much - please know that I feel like I need every last crazy one of you - yep - every last crazy one :)

"No body has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation." - Margaret Mead

"When you look at your life the greatest happiness's are family happiness's." - Joyce Brothers

Monday, March 16, 2009

Advice Anyone?

I hope this finds you enjoying a good start to your week.

Instead of sharing a fun story or letting you in on some cool spiritual lesson I've recently I need to turn the focus on you.

I need your advice :)

We recently found out some information from work that could potentially have a pretty big impact on our family and on our budget. This makes us no different than thousands of other families in the US right now - so chances are you or your loved ones are experiencing the same thing.

I was wondering.....

Do you have any cheap meal ideas that are still remotely on the healthy side?
Do you have any tips on how to cut corners and save more money?

A pretty broad topic, I know. But any and all advice is greatly appreciated from all of you savvy and sweet sisters (and misters?) out there :)I look forward to reading your ideas. I have a few budgeting ideas myself that I have been implementing for years now ....but I would love to hear yours! I need to hear yours! May you be blessed as you head into the rest of the week, friends.

"One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know." - John Kenneth Galbraith

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pull Back the Shades!

I opened a window and it made all the difference!

It has been a blistery and dreary winter here in my neck of the woods. Snow. Ice. Power outages. Below zero temps. Clouds. Wind. After a couple of months - it kinda starts to get to you.

Thankfully, we got a break this weekend! Seventy degree weather. Sunshine. No coats to wear. No snow. It was fabulous. And I actually got to open up some windows. I was delighted. As my boys played and worked outside in the yard - I took some time to read and relax. I nestled onto our couch and propped open the living room windows. The fresh air coming in smelled so good - like spring. Birds were singing. Children were playing. People were smiling. Life was good. It made me like the region I live in again. It made me want to have people over for a cookout. It made me want to sing "Let the light shine in! Face it with a grin!" And if that wasn't cheesy enough - It also made me want to put on an apron and make something springy like lemon bars.
After being shut in all winter - just opening a window brought life back into this home. And it just blessed me so.

All this window opening leaves me with feelings of hope - reminding me that life isn't just one big long winter - that there ARE seasons of warmth and life, too. It also leaves me inspired to share some quotes....

Let there be many windows in your soul, that all the glory of the universe may beautify it. - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"When a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade." - Tom Peters

"It's okay to open up. Go ahead and let the light shine through." - from Carrie Underwood's song, So Small

Have a beautiful Monday - and maybe open up a few windows, too.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Man

I married a country boy.

He likes wide-open spaces, John Deere tractors, loud pick-up trucks, hunting, working with his hands, waving at people as they drive by, and breathing in fresh hair.

So being an engineer doesn't always seem to tickle his fancy. It's a very corporate oriented job. There are no wide-open spaces and tractors involved. It's about numbers, efficiency, and problem solving. I'm pretty sure he knew this when he majored in mechanical engineering - but the smart, technical, and driven side of him convinced the country boy side of him to do it anyway. And he likes it okay. It helps that he is competitive and good at it. But he can't help but admit that he longs for the dirt roads and flannel shirts of country living.

And who did HE marry? Ahem.... While it's true that my sweet country boy married a Texan - it is also true that he did not exactly marry "country". Yes, I like country music. Yes, I like loud pick up trucks, eating steak, and waving at people as they drive by, but y'all let's face it - I'm not exactly a back-woods kind of girl. I like taking bubble baths. I like fashion. I even like hip-hop. I don't know if I would go to the extreme of calling myself a city girl - but I'm just not real red-neck.

You could sum it up this way: Growing up, while my husband was busy raising pigs, I was busy raising the roof in dance class.

Yep. That says it just right.

Here lately, with the economy weak and wobbly, we have been thinking a lot about what we would do if something happened to my hubby's job and/or what we would like to be doing for the rest of our lives....... And where.

Do you see the potential problem here? You guessed it. The hubs would be happy living in a tiny cabin in the middle of no where far, far away from the big city - farming, waving, and wearing flannels. I would be happy living in a neighborhood, in the middle of a suburb, very close to shopping, and good radio stations - running, having play-dates, and wearing something leopard print.


So as we discussed all this over the weekend - it was apparent that we might have to make a few compromises, to say the least. And it also became apparent that we needed to seek God's will for our lives in it, too.

As I listened to my husband talk about his desires and dreams and as I listened to him pray over our lives and destinations....I realized a little something.

I realized that I would follow that man anywhere. I love him that much. I might be carrying a boom-box and an animal print purse - but I'd be there. And God? Yeah, I'd like to think that I would follow Him anywhere, too.

So sometime in my future - you might see me "with a basket full of chicken and a big old jug of sweet tea" thinking that my man's "tractor is sexy." And girls, as long as my husband is on it - I will.

Babe, I love you and I'm so blessed that I married a man who is strong enough to seek the Lord in every area of his life. Thank you for always wanting to do the right thing. Thank you for working so hard. Thank you for always being so honest and open about who you are. Thank you for being such a great God-fearing leader. And thank you for choosing me - despite the evidence. I really would follow you anywhere - and I'm blessed to do it. I will probably always like leopard print and hip hop music, but I'll always love you. Seeking His will right along with you, Kate :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Illumine Me

My Prayer for this week:

Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free;
Silently not I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!
- Clara H. Scott

I love sharing life with you. Have a wonderful week, sweet friends ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Nike's and My Maker say "Just Do It"

It's hard to workout when you are pregnant.

Not only are you tired, a bit nauseous, and out of your mind - but you are growing. The belly isn't the only thing that expands when you are expecting, y'all. I now have a fabulously bootyliscious bottom. My feet have gotten a tad longer. My fingernails are made of steel. My hair grows about an inch a day. And let's just say I had to go out and buy a much larger over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. And I'm here to tell you - that yes - they are absolute boulders. If ya know what I'm sayin'.

So yesterday, as my 2 year old was napping, I sat on the couch and thought about whether I should work out or just sleep. If I weren't currently growing a human - I would have no problems choosing to break a sweat. But I AM growing a human, and I was having a hard time choosing between sleep and sweat. Hmmmm. Finally my Mama, who is in town visiting, urged me to just workout. Simply because she thought it would make me feel better. Now please understand - my Mother is a red-headed firecracker who prefers to say that she is "glistening" rather than "sweating". And who isn't really the workout type - at all. So her saying this made me just giddy enough to throw on my Nike's and workout.

I turn some music on, put my hair in a pony, and I jump on the treadmill. I can't go very fast anymore - due to my ligaments expanding and all - but I know I can get a sweat (or a glisten, if you'd rather) going. I start out slow and I work up to a speed that is perfect. My goal for the day was just to be on the treadmill for 20 minutes - but as I got going I remembered how much my un-pregnant self likes fitness - and I kept at it. As I'm running, I start thinking about how easy I've been on myself during this pregnancy. It's true. Being pregnant can be hard and all - but I must face the facts. I haven't been that great about food, staying fit, or even trying to remotely make myself look pretty. In short - I've been lazy. So, I start praying about it. As I do - this thought came into my mind:

"Just get on the treadmill. After you do, the rest will take care of itself. Just get started. I'll meet you there."

Immediately I knew that this little lesson wasn't only for my workouts. It was clear that "Just get on the treadmill" also meant:

"Just open the Bible. I will meet you there."
"Just get on your knees and pray. I will meet you there."
"Just do that volunteering you've been wanting to do. I will meet you there."
"Just humble yourself at the foot of the cross. I will meet you there."
"Just surrender to my call. I will meet you there."
"Just chill and trust me. I will meet you there."
and so on.

In other words - I need to toughen up where it's necessary and just get myself to the starting line. All too often I look at myself as weak, feeble, and afraid. I'm not some fragile porcelain doll meant for the shelf - but I'm a child of God meant to do his will and live!

Yes. As I mentioned before, my belly isn't the only thing growing during this pregnancy. My resiliency is growing. My strength is increasing. My faith is inflating. And it's pretty amazing.

As I decide to show up, get started, and dive in - won't you come with me? The starting line is a lot less intimidating when others are accompanying you on the journey!

Be blessed as you head into the the weekend, friends :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mom has Arrived!

Mama is here!

My mother flew in for a visit this weekend :) She lives 1200 miles away from us and we miss her so much. We always enjoy having her stay for a week! Each time she comes -all three of us wait outside the baggage claim at the airport - looking for her bright red-head. We so look forward to her arrivals!

Every time she visits she is SUCH a big help - but since I'm expecting - she really pours on the TLC :) She does the dishes. She cleans our clothes. She plays with my 2 year old. She rubs my feet. She buys us "treats". And she even goes to the grocery store for me. It is divine.

But even though she stays busy doing all of those things while she visits - I have to say that it is just her presence in my home that makes all the difference. Just having my Mom around is the gift. Good, God-loving Mama's are like that. Just having them around makes things better. Yes - we get on each others nerves sometimes. But that is part of the fun. It's comfortable. It's what we know. It's familiar. Just knowing that she is in the next room is a blessing. I'm especially thankful she's here - because some serious health problems over the past few years have threatened that. I feel so grateful she is alive, doing well, and currently watching Barney with my son in the living room. (He gets to watch A LOT more TV when she's around!)

So this week, I may not be vacuuming as much or changing as many diapers as I normally would - but what I'm really thankful for is just her presence. As my southern Mama would say..."Galee y'all, it's such a gift!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Warmth! And Inspiration

It's in the 60's today. Cloudy and ready to storm. But y'all - it's in the 60's! I'll take whatever I can get. Just a few weeks ago the wind chill was below 0. This 60 degree weather stuff is a GOOD thing for pregnant girl.

Thank you, Lord.

All of this warmth has me all inspired. How about some quotes?

If my heart is right with God, every human being is my neighbor. - Oswald Chambers

He who is not contented with little, will never be satisfied with much. - Thomas Benton Brooks

As you travel on through life, whatever be your goal, keep you eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole. - Author Unknown

Mmmmm....donuts :)

Be encouraged, Sweet Ones. And have a wonderful rest of the week!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Monday Morning

Happy Monday, Y'all :) I hope this finds each of you feeling fine and starting off the week happy.

I woke up this morning a tad tired. I heard my little one beckoning me... "Mammmaaaaa!" I usually like to get up before my little man starts his day - but it's Monday and it just didn't happen :)

I walk into his room and he has already opened up his curtains to welcome the day. He has the sweetest little grin on his face and he is looking out the window. The sun was shining! That's a rare occasion this time of year in our neck of the woods. More times than not - it is overcast and cloudy in the winter. So when the sun comes out - we celebrate!

As I mozied on over to his bed to get my morning hugs - my sweet little 2 year old turned to me and said, "Ohhhhh Mama - a pretty day!"

I scooped him up and agreed with him. We looked out the window for a while and thanked God for the sun. Suddenly, I wasn't so tired and my case of the Monday's disappeared.

I hate to admit it - but if my little guy hadn't stopped to enjoy his sunny surroundings this morning - his Mommy might not have even noticed it. I probably would have let my cloudiness of mind hover over my day - completely ignoring the light outside. But thankfully - I have been given this little boy who is content to just stop and revel in God's creations. He set his mommy straight this morning....

And even though the sunshine is hiding behind the clouds now - we have been having a "pretty day" ever since :)

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. - Psalm 19:1-2

Friday, February 6, 2009

Laundry Laziness

I have been doing laundry like it's my job or somethin'.

Probably because it is.

Over the last few months though - I have to admit it. I haven't been the best worker bee around here. I've been more of a BUMble bee if you know what I'm sayin'. Since I'm growing a human and all - it's kinda like I gave myself a laziness license. And you know what suffered the most? Our wardrobes.

I just couldn't bring myself to doing the wash. The same thing happened during my last pregnancy. I hate to admit this - but it got so bad that when my hubby ran out of clean socks - instead of washing them - I just bought more. Can you believe that?

But here I am - in my second trimester, feeling MUCH better! (Thank you, Lord!) Therefore, I have been busy washing load after load of dirty clothes. And that's okay. I like having clothes in my closet. So does my husband. I'm happy to report that he has a drawer full of nicely folded socks - all ready to go!

I'm even gonna bake some banana muffins today.

The homemaker is back, y'all. And everyone around here is VERY happy about it. :)

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fun Recipe

I just wanted to share a yummy pizza recipe with y'all - that will fill you up in a healthy way! If you end up trying it - let me know what ya think!

Chicken Pesto Pizza
from The Light and Tasty Magazine - March 2008 (Taste of Home)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees)
2-3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 each small green, sweet red, and yellow peppers, julienned (I usually just use 1 - those things are expensive!)
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (We aren't big on mushrooms - so I don't add these!)
3 tablespoons of prepared pesto
1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Beat in the flour, 1 tablespoon of oil, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of salt.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat top. Cover and light rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook the chicken, onion, peppers, and mushrooms in remaining oil until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat; set aside.
Punch dough down; roll into a 15 inch circle. Transfer to a 14 inch pizza pan. Build up edges slightly. Spread with pesto. Top with chicken mixture and cheese. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining salt.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until crust and cheese are lightly browned.

The kids will love helping you out with this one! Enjoy! And have a lovely rest of the week!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just Enough

God came near.

And that ain't all He did, friends.

He shook things up a bit. Knocked me completely on my big pregnant fanny. Probably laughed about it a bit. Set me straight on a few things. Picked me back up. Dusted me off. Rested me up. And then I hope He "looked over all He had made and saw that it was good!"

Because it WAS good. And it was VERY needed.

But I never would have invited Him to do some work in me in quite the manner he chose to do it in. (Doesn't it always seem to work that way?)

He is so mysterious. I like that about Him. (And then again sometimes I don't.) It's funny how out of no where, He's there. I can be in an intense season of real doubt and wondering - dealing with serious faith questions and mad about it - when all of a sudden He's just there. Just near. Sometimes He's not speaking. Sometimes He's not even coming close to doing things my way. But He's there. And that is enough. It's enough to quiet the questions, drown out the doubts and tote my tears for a while.

Through a series of weird and difficult events during the past few weeks - God has done A LOT in me. And ya know, there are times in my life where, if I read a statement like that one, I might be prone to doubt it or even scoff at it. Thinking that what happened to that person wasn't God at all - but just life. I have to tell you though - the next time I find myself doing that (and I know I will) I must remember the realness of His closeness right now.

God came near and it was enough, y'all. Just enough.

As Jeremy Camp puts it:

"All of you is more than enough for all of me

For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with your love
And all I have in You is more than enough"

Oh God, continue to be so real to me - to all of me. My mind. My heart. My soul. Let me be a woman who welcomes you in whatever way you like. Hush the worries and quiet the fears just enough for me to hear and see You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wash Your Hands

Hi Friends :)

I'm so sorry for not posting anything in over a week! Please forgive me. Last week, my son came down with a very nasty stomach virus. My husband and I got it this weekend, as well. We are doing better - but still very much recovering. It was a rough one.

I'll be back in action soon :)

It's a dirty germ-filled world out there kids...y'all thought I was obsessed with hand sanitizer before? should see me now.

Love and health to you all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Be Inspired

Let's start the week off with some encouragement :)

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow." from Words to Warm a Woman's Heart

"Faith means being sure of what we hope It means knowing something is real, this moment, all around you, even when you don't see it. Great faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His word and taking the next step."
-Joni Earechson Tada

"The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence." -Sue Atchly Ebaugh

All who seek the Lord will praise Him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. -Psalm 22:26

Have a good week, sweet friends.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It is freezin' outside, y'all.

So I have decided to whip up a little homemade goodness. This morning, I fired up the crock pot to make some White Chili Soup. I thought it would be very homemaker-ish of me to share the recipe with you :)

White Chili Soup from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

3 15-15 1/2 ounce cans of Great Northern, pinto, or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups of chopped sweet bell pepper
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of ground cumin (I never add this in!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, crushed
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (optional)
Broken Tortilla Chips (optional)

1) In a 3 1/2 or 4 quart crockery cooker combine the drained beans, chicken, onion, sweet pepper, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cumin (if you added it), salt, and oregano. Stir in chicken broth.

2) Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Ladle soup into bowls. If desired, top each serving with some of the cheese and tortilla chips.

It's yummy. And pretty good for you, too. Sure to warm up some cold and hungry bellies :)

And a little later, if I'm feelin' real froggy - I just might make some Carrot Cake. But I dunno - it may have to wait for tomorrow. I might have had enough of my inner Mrs. Cleaver for one day. But sounds so good :)

Stay warm, Sweet Ones.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cashier Crushes

There I stood.

Hot pink slippers. Heart-patterned bathrobe. Hair in a high bun. No makeup. Tired. And hungry.

In all my glory I watched my husband bring in the groceries. He does the grocery shopping these days. Thank the Lord. In my condition, if I were to go to the store - I would end up spending our entire budget on bags of Barbecued Fritos, ice cream sandwiches, kosher dill pickles, and orange pop. Because that is what I'm craving these days :)

So as my wonderful hubby is bringing in the groceries - I notice that he has a mischievous look on his rather handsome face. Hmmm. After he gets all of the food inside he takes off his coat, still grinning, and says, "I have a funny story for you."

"Alright", I say. "Let's here it."

He begins, "As I am putting the groceries in the back of the car, the boy that bagged my stuff walked up beside me."

At this point, I'm thinking, "Oh, he must have left something in the store and the nice bagger boy brought it out to him. How sweet."

But then he continued , "Now, don't get mad or anything, hahahaha.....but...."

Uh huh. "Go on", I say.

"Well, the bagger boy said that the cashier girl thought I was like hot or something and she wanted me to have her number. Hahahahahah! I told the bagger boy to tell the cashier girl that I am happily married and not at all interested. But isn't that hilarious?"

Ahem. Let's see here....I have a growing belly, acne on my face, dark circles under my eyes, hair in desperate need of some color, and crazy hormones raging. At any other time I might have laughed and said, "Awww that's cute! The little cashier thinks your handsome." But you see, I'm not exactly sane these days.

Soooo, after I downed a few of the snacks my hubs bought at the store, I went back to our room - actually got dressed (something that doesn't happen a lot these days), put concealer on all of my zits, brushed my hair (which doesn't happen all that often anymore, either) grabbed my purse (and a cookie) and headed for the door.

My husband says, "Oh no. Where are you going?"

I said, " Where do you THINK? The grocery store."

I pull into the parking lot - dab on a little lip gloss, of course - and head inside. I go through the store and grab some things my hubby forgot and I start looking for "Kaitlin the cashier." I know her name because I went so far as to look at who the cashier was on the receipt. Yeah. I did.

I didn't see her anywhere. "Darn it. She must be on break." So I buy my things and as I'm heading out the door I see "Kaitlin". I wanted so bad to stop her and say, "Didn't you see the wedding band on his hand, Miss Thing? Don't you think it was kinda childish to send the bagger boy out to the hot guys car to give him your number? Isn't it against company policy or something to hit on customers?"

But then, Jesus must have taken over or somethin', y'all. Because psycho pregnant chick wanted the cute little cashier to know who's husband she was messing with. But instead, I smiled at her and headed to the car. It would be a much more interesting story, I know, if I would have said something. But, it's good I didn't. We go to this grocery store a lot and I will probably run into little miss "hit on all the married guys" again. I'm sorry. That was uncalled for. I should just be thankful that I married a man who would never accept a phone number from a cashier (or anyone, for that matter) and who is hot enough to be pestered by one. Yeah. I'll take the high road on this one.

As long as I have me some fritos and orange pop to go along for the ride.