Henry & Emily: 10 Months

We’re in DOUBLE DIGIT months now! I can’t believe that in 8-ish weeks they’ll turn one year old. I put together another fun Flipgram of the past month! Wanna see?! Here’s their 9 month recap:

Continue reading Henry & Emily: 10 Months

Review: LuLaRoe w/ Sarah Crook

Here’s my average morning: It’s 6 a.m. and one of my…..no wait…ahhh…now both of my babies are awake. I now have about 90 seconds to get myself together for the day before one of them starts crying.

While Sean gets ready for work I quickly brush my teeth, wash my face, throw my hair in a messy bun, and change into something. Daaahhh what do I wear? Has to be comfy enough for crawling on the floor + being crawled on by two 9½ month old twins, handling a double stroller + a yellow lab on a walk, and making a public appearance with the twins while running errands where at least 5 strangers will stop me for a conversation about twins. 😐

Especially for running errands, I usually look for an outfit that doesn’t scream: “Help me.” or “I haven’t showered in 2 days.” or “What day is it?” I’d at least like to give off an illusion of looking decent without having to put much effort in. Is that too much to ask?

Luckily, there’s always LuLaRoe in my closet. Actually, jk…it’s most likely in that gigantic pile of clean laundry that I haven’t folded in days. But regardless – it’s clean, adorable and comfy. It’s PERFECT!

I’m running out of time as Emily’s precious baby babble goes from cute to authoritative, so I grab my LuLaRoe leggings (chosen for me by the lovely LLR consultant, Sarah Crook) and matching LLR “Perfect T”.

It’s a new mama miracle. I suddenly feel ready for the day!

I was super excited to write this honest review because I look to my LLR clothes for just about everything. I’m stay at home mom of twins. I desperately need versatile clothes for any occasion. What has given me the most joy from these clothes has been how undeniably comfortable they are. It doesn’t hurt that I get to also support a friend’s business, and that I’m purchasing products that I know she personally admires. LLR has been a major breath of fresh air for ladies like me who want a trusted one-stop-shop for all things cute and comfy. And when you’ve given birth to a baby or two within the past year…trust me…you too want cute and comfy, and you want it immediately.

The consultant that I follow the most, and am reviewing in this post, is the fabulous Sarah Crook. She is an amazing consultant, y’all. Check her out.

Sarah Crook - LLR Review

https://www.facebook.com/groups/QueenCityLuLaRoewithSarah 

Her genuine enthusiasm and attention to detail in her role as a LLR consultant makes being her customer reassuring and totally exciting. The majority of her pieces are showcased through Facebook Live sales on her private group page where you can tune in, message her with questions, and choose from her constantly refreshed inventory. She’s quick to say “Hey!!” to you as you join the video so that you don’t feel silly tuning in live to watch someone you don’t know. She’s also good about re-caping the details on how each piece (shirts, dresses, leggings, etc.) will fit various sizes.

I love her LLR live sales because they often take place mid-week, they’re usually right after Sean and I have put the twins to sleep, and when I’m in the mood to shop I just pour a glass of wine and tune in with my feet up from a long day of babies being babies. It has truly become my new favorite way to shop. If I’m not feelin’ any outfits, no biggie! I just tune out whenever I want. But that rarely happens 😉 She also posts photos of adooooorable outfit pairings throughout the week and adds ideas on how she accessorizes each of them.

To give you a sample of some of my latest 4 LLR pieces that Sarah sent me, check out a little photo shoot of yours truly below. Be sure to look at each caption to see what style I’m wearing:

Perfect T + matching Leggings – Perfect for being crawled on & snuggled with.

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Perfect T + matching Leggings – On the move! Cute crawling twins not included.

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Amelia Dress – Super serious faces aside, this dress might just be my favorite:

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Amelia Dress – Just a different angle. Pockets! Wine and belt not included 😉

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Cassie Skirt – Oh hey, working world! When I start working again, I’m bringing THIS outfit with me. That cup of tea can come too.

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I love love looove them! Every single piece. Not pictured: lots of other LLR outfits that I own, but I can only wear so many outfits before a baby starts hollerin ;).

What’s your fav? I wear the Perfect T and leggings ALL.THE.TIME. But I’m kinda head over heals for the Amelia dress for a date night. And I adore that Cassie skirt for something fun mid-day this spring. Heheee!

When Sarah sent me my order, here’s how it came:

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Pretty darn adorable if you ask me! If you’re new to shopping LLR, you can rest easy knowing that she has a 14 day return policy for LLR credit. You can message her details on what you want differently and she’ll steer you in the right direction for other pieces to consider. She personalizes it which, in today’s automated world, is so refreshing.

To sum up: I’m a big fan 🙂

If you have questions, want to join her group, or want more deets, check our her page and connect with her here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/QueenCityLuLaRoewithSarah

Big hugs!

Katherine

My Blog’s 2017

Last week I wrote about my personal goals for 2017 in the post, My 2017. It felt so good to acknowledge what I want to work on, then write about it to help stay accountable this year. So, I thought I’d keep this goal-party goin’ strong by doing the same for my blog!

This blog is such a special place for me and I really hope for you too. As a “new mom”… “twin mom”… &”stay-at-home mom” this has been a much needed outlet for me to stay reflective…and sane ;). Time moves SO fast and this helps me keep a memory of all the good stuff in writing.

So…what’s next?! For my blog’s 2017, here are my 4 goals:

  1. yay-for-the-day-newlieMore: on choosing joy

    • My “Yay for the Day” posts are more for me than anything, but I’ve heard from many of you that you appreciate reading them too. I’m SO happy to hear that! This practice of keeping a log of only the joyful, yay-worthy things that happened each day is just plain good for the soul. So, my goal? I just wanna write more of these each month. MANY more. Simple as that. Life is too short! Choosing joy is a beautiful and important mentality, but it takes daily exercises like these to keep it up.
  2. img_5733New: product reviews

    • Bottles, strollers, diaper bags, clothes, formula, activity centers, high chairs, play yards….oh my gosh it never endsssss! I remember Sean and I walking into Buy Buy Baby for the first time. It was SO overwhelming. We just followed the nice sales person around the store like little lost puppies, overwhelmed in a scary new world. 478 different types of high chairs, 8,381 different types of bottles, etc. Crazy. But…we made it 7 months! Know that I know a thing or two about the newborn and early infant stage, I would love to review the products that any of you want advice on.
      • Any specific advice you need for the 0-6 month age? Let me know! I’ll add it to the que 😉
  3. img_7638New: excursion reviews

    • From date nights, to airplane rides, to those spur of the moment “get me the heck outta the house” excursions with the twins, I’d love to review and share my experiences. I’m strongly swayed by other people’s opinion of a place or experience before heading anywhere (thanks, Yelp!), and figure this is a good way to do the same for any of you who could benefit from it.
  4. New: videos

    • I’m cringing a little as I write this one. This is one of those things that I want to do…but I also don’t want to do. Know what I mean? I typically don’t like being filmed and totally freeze up when it comes to talking to a camera, but when I was pregnant and on bed rest, ALL I did was search for videos of product reviews, real life motherhood dilemmas and recommendations, and a big one: what it’s like to be a twin mom for a day. I owe it to myself and any mama friends out there who are searching for the same things and maybe need a friendly face (not just a post) to help them through it. Fun times ahead! 😉

 

Thank you for following along all these years, friends! It means the world. Stay tuned 🙂

Big hugs,

Katherine

So Very Thankful

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, friends!!! Ohhhhh how I love this season. It builds a much needed anticipation of all things – good; in its purest, most honorable, and gorgeous meaning. The joy, hopefulness, hugs, prayer, laughter, and home-cooked meals that the holiday season delivers is just remarkable. I wish that wherever you are and whoever you’re with today, that the day fills your heart with all things good. You most certainly deserve that.

As for me, I couldn’t be happier. This has been an incredible year filled with so much good. There were of course some “downs” that snuck in there before and after some “ups” in the year, but that’s to be expected; this is life, after all. If anything, holidays like Thanksgiving remind me to look back on any disappointments yielded against my own silly agenda and to be so very thankful for where each moment led me in the end.

In true Katherine-fashion…I wanna make a list 🙂 You should try it too. It’s fun and even a little therapeutic! My unwavering love of list-making (happy things only, always…that’s the rule) is one that will stay with me into my older-than dirt years and I’m so excited to watch how these lists progress over time. For today, in no special order, here’s my random and lovely list of what I’m thankful for:

  1. traveling to new places with hubby
  2. laughter to the point of tears
  3. my Wilson, Mason, and extended families
  4. all my friends (old and new)
  5. Oklahoma!
  6. a job that makes my husband happy
  7. a job that humbles me and brings me joy each day
  8. answered prayers
  9. un-answered prayers that teach me patience and faith
  10. did I mention family and friends?! (seriously…love you all so much!)
  11. FOOD. All the food. Particularly home cooked meals; both healthy and unhealthy. Today especially: Mama’s homemade mashed potatoes (seriously y’all….Sean and I are going to eat ALL of her mashed potatoes…we’ve already decided)
  12. how hard parents work for their children’s happiness
  13. my husband (he’s my favorite person)
  14. coffee
  15. long, overdue hugs
  16. seeing someone shed a tear or two when they are so incredibly happy
  17. mountain scenery
  18. when people aren’t afraid to let their joy shine! Debbie-downers can’t hold us down! Nope 😉
  19. the joy of shopping for other people
  20. the joy of….shopping for yourself, hehe (let’s be real…it’s so awesome)
  21. Stella – the best dog in the entire universe
  22. indoor heating
  23. fires in the fireplace
  24. the anticipation of getting this year’s Christmas tree
  25. hiking, running, biking, walking, and dancing
  26. the ocean
  27. how my mom, sister, and I get each other’s humor (usually pun-worthy)
  28. remembering that happiness is a choice. Because it really is!
  29. pine trees
  30. America!!!
  31. The men and women who do everything in their power to defend, protect, and preserve this great country
  32. The smell of onions, garlic, and olive oil sizzling on the skillet (totally what I’m smelling right now, btw)
  33. a really good book, and the satisfaction of reading it cover to cover
  34. chocolate
  35. cheese. All the cheese. I love cheese
  36. gift-giving
  37. the inspiration I get from the people I choose to surround myself with
  38. the option to filter my Facebook newsfeed 🙂
  39. Instagram…and its simplicity
  40. snuggling with Stella, my lab
  41. going for long walks
  42. an unforgettable culinary experience
  43. fresh flowers
  44. meeting new people who are filled with joy
  45. time to myself to watch rom-coms
  46. the new craze of adult coloring books. I want one!
  47. seeing smoke pipe out of chimneys from a few distant houses in the mountains
  48. learning from a new perspective
  49. a feast at the table with family/friends
  50. Today! 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Wishing you so much laughter, so much food, a nice little walk afterwards, and a nap. Or…whatever makes you happy 🙂 Feel free to comment below with anything you’d add to your list, or anything on mine that you love love love!

Happy day,

Katherine

Thirty One

It’s my 31st birthday today! I’m spending the day with my hubby. He’s my favorite person 🙂 We’re exploring Austin, TX all weekend and are having the time of our lives!

A weekend getaway to a new place often heightens my senses to the world around me. The air, sights, and sounds all stand out a bit stronger because it’s new and different. That got me thinking – I hope I take enough time to appreciate the little things that I adore in life. I used to be better at that.

Throughout high school and college I’d escape for a few minutes (or hours) and add to a list of what I loved. Totally random things…like…how people tilt their head when they eat a taco, or a much needed outburst of laughter after something has gone horribly wrong and that poor moment needs some comedic relief. Before I knew it, my list had exceeded 1,400 things. The sad truth is that I have no idea where that book is now. But the idea of doing that, of writing down the little things that I love about life, well I think today’s a brilliant day to bring it back.

So, in honor of my 31st, here are 31 little random things that I love:

  1. Snuggling with my yellow lab, Stella.
  2. Stovetop popcorn.
  3. The entire experience of walking around an Anthropologie store.
  4. Slowly sipping red wine on a cold night.
  5. The 1st cup of coffee in the morning.
  6. Finishing a long run.
  7. Writing.
  8. Star gazing.
  9. Small town America.
  10. Getting positive results from using little pockets of time wisely.
  11. Country music.
  12. Cowgirl boots.
  13. An unforgettable culinary experience.
  14. Dark chocolate.
  15. Laughter from my favorite people.
  16. The distant smell of a campfire.
  17. Swivel chairs.
  18. HGTV & The Food Network.
  19. Needed hugs.
  20. A new dress.
  21. Baking.
  22. Stained glass windows.
  23. Coffee shops.
  24. Windows open, kinda weather.
  25. Sushi.
  26. Getting asked to take strangers’ group photos.
  27. When a baby smiles or yawns.
  28. Zumba. 
  29. Hearing perfectly beautiful harmony sung a cappella.
  30. People who don’t complain, appreciate life, and embrace each day.
  31. Choosing happiness.

More than any of these, more than anything in the world in fact, I love and adore my family and friends over all. I’m a very lucky lady to have such joy surrounding me all the time. Not quite sure how I got so lucky, but I thank God everyday for y’all.

So…what’s on your list?!

Happy day, friends!

Oat Choc-Chip Banana Bread

That right there’s a long title, but a scrumptiously simple recipe. I’m sending a virtual high five to the lady who submitted this recipe. I found it from Taste of Home. Check it out! I made a few changes though, so below is my own adaptation of it.

Changes:

  • I didn’t have the mini-chocolate chips that she calls for, so I used 1/2 cup of regular chips instead.
  • I substituted shortening for good ‘ol butter.
  • She recommends using instant oats but I love the look, texture, and durability of Old Fashioned Oats – so I used those instead as well. They held up beautifully in the baking process!

My version of this recipe: 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted softened Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 very ripe Bananas
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned Oats
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Here’s what happened:

STEP 1

In a bowl or mixer (low to medium speed) combine the sugar, softened butter, and eggs all until smooth.

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STEP 2

Peel and add the 3 over-ripe bananas to the sugar/butter mixture.6O9C2517

STEP 3

Add in the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 6O9C2522

STEP 4

Gradually add in the flour, then the oats, then finally the chocolate chips. 6O9C2524

STEP 5

Pour the mixture into a greased bread pan, and place in a pre-heated oven. 6O9C2528

STEP 6

Your timer should  be set to 40 minutes, then check on it for 10-15 minutes. 50-55 minutes total should do the trick, but as ovens vary – just check on it starting around 40 minutes.

STEP 7

Check the center to make sure it’s fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

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ENJOY! Hubby and I sure did. It should last the week if it’s just you and a spouse/roomie…but if you have a large household or lots of housemates, it’ll be gone by the end of the day.

Happy banana baking!

A Tale of Two Muffins

This morning I woke up, made myself a cup of coffee, and watched the 8:30 a.m. episode of The Pioneer Woman – pretty standard Saturday morning so far. Ree made her precious family  some cinnamon sugar muffins to kick off some hard work on their beautiful Oklahoma farm. And then it happened. My eyes widened…my caffeine-induced energy spiked…and I wanted to bake. There was no stopping me. I turned to Sean…

Me: So I wanna bake something. I think muffins.

Sean: Chocolate chip and banana.

Me: No bananas.

Sean: Chocolate chip and cinnamon.

Me: Hmmmm….I was thinking about apple cinnamon. I’m pretty sure I want apple cinnamon.

Sean: Chocolate chip…and….chocolate chip…….chocolate…….chip.

Hehe. He’s pretty cute. But oohhh it was ON! Who was gonna win this battle? Luckily – brilliance stepped in.

I researched a few simple apple cinnamon recipes scattered online and decided to adjust the basics to my own variation for the batter and then split it into two separate bowls right before adding the final key ingredient. Problem solved! One dozen muffins – 6 apple cinnamon, 6 cinnamon chocolate chip.

As Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, says, “Here’s the cast of characters:

Flour – 1 1/2 cups

White Sugar – 1/2 cup

Light Brown Sugar – 1/4 cup

Baking Powder – 1 1/2 teaspoons

Ground Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon

Ground Nutmeg – 1/8 teaspoon (or…just 3-5 sprinkles if it has a filter)

Milk – 1/2 cup

Unsalted Butter (melted) – 1/2 cup

Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

1 Egg (slightly beaten)

1 Apple (pealed, cored, and diced up into little cubes)

1/2 cup of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Penzeys Spices

I’ve gotta add a little shout out here to my girl Jeanne for her contribution to this recipe. For my 30th birthday back in February she and her husband, Travis, gave me some AMAZING Penzeys spices. You better believe I packed these bad boys up carefully when we moved from MD to OK last month. It was time to break out the Penzeys nutmeg and cinnamon for today’s little tale. Jeanne’s fellow blogger who loves to try new recipes, so be sure to check out her delicious recipes here: Jeanne’s Kitchen!

And there you have it! The entire “cast of characters” needed for my own little adjusted recipe for 6 apple cinnamon muffins and 6 cinnamon chocolate chip muffins. Be sure to PRE-HEAT your oven to 375 degrees. Now, here’s how “the tale of two muffins” unfolded:

STEP 1

Combine the flour, white sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl/mixer.

STEP 2

Add in the milk, melted butter, and slightly beaten egg to the dry ingredients. Stir slowly, or have the mixer on low. Combine until it looks all fabulous…like this:

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STEP 3

Are you on the edge of your seat!?! Here’s where the magic happens. Separate the batter evenly into two bowls. In one bowl add as much chocolate chips as you’d like. In the other, yes – very good, add the diced up cubes of apple. I didn’t use the whole apple by the way. I only really used like, half of it. You can use as much as you’d like…but be mindful of how the apple will create way more moisture in the muffins depending on how much you add.

STEP 4

Grease or spray a 12-cup muffin pan. Fill 6 with the apple cinnamon batter and the other 6 with the chocolate cinnamon batter. Then, into the oven it goes for 18 minutes.

6O9C1974STEP 5

Check on them periodically, but 18 minutes at 375 degrees should definitely do the trick. Take them out and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon of butter and brush it over ONLY the six apple cinnamon muffins. Then…sprinkle over a little sugar! Tehe!

STEP 6

Woooohoooo! Enjoy. We sure did. We each thought our original preference was the best. Sean loved the Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Muffins, while I loved the Apple Cinnamon Muffins.

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The beauty of this recipe is that you can add anything to it. There are so many possible variations to the key ingredient that you could play around with, like…blueberries with a little lemon or orange zest thrown in there? Heck yeah! Or maybe go a little crazy during the holidays and make some white chocolate chip and cranberry muffins with this batter. Ooohhhh the possibilities 🙂

Happy baking, friends!

 

Thank you’s & Love you’s

I’m not quite sure how to start this one.
How do you explain a weekend like that, filled with that much love and celebration?
I’m gonna give it a try…

Friday, July 27th 2012

Evening

My glowing, British as ever, soon-to-be-retired father has turned 66. If you haven’t gotten to know the Doctor Reverend Victor Munn Wilson, you should. Yes, I’m his daughter and a little biased, but good gracious he’s an amazing human being. He truly was born for his role as a dedicated and heartfelt Pastor, for his role as the best father that my sister and I could’ve ever asked for, for his role as a loving husband to my beautiful southern belle of a momma, and for his role as a very good friend to all others who have touched his heart and made him roar with laughter over the years. Sean and I raced up to Pennsylvania to join Mom and Carolyn (my sister who had flown in from SC that afternoon) to celebrate his birthday on the night of London’s Olympic opening ceremony. What a night for him. Sean and I bought him a new book about natural navigation (the stars, wind, moon, animal tracks) and how nature can guide your way. Pretty interesting stuff, and something that fits with his upcoming retirement quite well. We also bought him one of those book clips that lights up the page. He’ll spend hours reading, learning, and soaking up every last bit of knowledge from books…now he has something to keep the light on for him! And last but not least…cigars. Happy retirement, Dad.

Saturday, July 28th 2012

Morning

7:30 a.m. I awoke with WAY too much joy in my heart to fall back asleep. “Get up, Katherine,” I told myself. So I tip-toed along the creaky hardwood floor as the rest of the house kept sleeping. Both carefully and thoughtfully I crept down the stairs, knowing that this would be my last full day in my childhood home. Mom & Dad will be moving to their new, beautiful home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in only a few days. In the kitchen I turn to the coffee pot, and it’s FULL! Carolyn’s been here! She sneaks around from the dining room into the kitchen and we hug, giggle, and jump right into discussing the craziness of this home of ours no longer being “ours” anymore. The next hour, I got to FINALLY catch up, face to face with my sister. I miss her. She and I are so similar, and it’s very hard to live so far away from her, her beautiful children and her wonderful husband. We catch up over coffee, face to face, for the first time in a long time. Then….we decided to take a walk. The walk lead us all throughout the towns of Devon and Berwyn, and I’m pretty sure that we woke up all of its residents with our unstoppable laughter. Discussing anything from my upcoming wedding, to her precious children, and somehow even over to what our ideal karaoke song would be if given the opportunity to proudly belt it out in public. We decided to take our walk on a breathtaking detour through Jenkins Arboretum before heading back home. If you haven’t been…please go. It’s such an uplifting place.

 Afternoon

My Pennsylvania Bridal Shower. “So THIS is what it feels like to be a bride!” I thought to myself. What a feeling. Momma, Carolyn, Cynthia, all of my lovely ladies of St. John’s Church who were there, my very dear friends who live in Pennsylvania, and my sweet ladies of Maryland’s Eastern Shore who drove up for this…I can’t thank you enough for that special afternoon. Between all of the love, the hugs, the sweet words of best wishes and wisdom, the laughter, and the BEAUTIFUL gifts…I was a hot mess!!! I really did try to keep my tears of love and thankfulness back, but it wasn’t possible. The tears started to attempt a breakout right around the time that Cynthia, a dear friend of our family and the sensational lady who hosted this shower, offered a prayer before the luncheon. My friends who have known me for years, my family, my Pediatritian growing up, my Confirmation Class mentor, my Sunday School teachers, and many more of my inspirations had taken over the entire living room, holding hands in prayer. “Amen” was said softly in unison between all of these dear ladies, only to look up at my teary eyes. It was gonna be that kind of day. So much love and appreciation that I can’t keep it in!

My next moment was brought on by my Momma. I can’t imagine life without a Mother like her. She has taught me that “happiness is a choice,” that joyfulness doesn’t need to be kept in a socially appropriate cage (if you’re joyful, girrrrlll you let it SHINE!), how to be a lady, how to be sassy but classy, and of course…how to be proud of the woman that I am. Something happend to me when I opened up her present, my very first FULL set of our very own china pattern…but I just broke down. It was the most beautiful mother to daughter gift, and it seemed to symbolize so much between us. I love you, Momma!

Many moments of explosive laughter, tears of joy, and numerous hugs later, Sean came in and stole the hearts of all ages in there. Luckily, he already has mine 🙂

Evening

After coming home to rest, sorting through piles and piles of our Grandmother’s linens, and Momma’s keep sakes, we all gathered for “the last supper” at the table. Dad to my left, Sean to my right. Momma by the window’s side of the head of the table, and Carolyn across from me. I’ll miss those meals in that room, but the beautiful thing about family is that there will be many more meals…the room is simply its venue. I’ll be just fine.

Around 8 o’clock we met up with friends in the PA area for drinks at Berwyn Tavern. It was such a refreshing night between a beautifully random assortment of my favorite people. Love you guys.

Sunday, July 30th 2012 

How do you get ready for your father’s final sermon, and a final service with the church that watched you grow up since you were 7 years old? It was weird that morning, getting ready for the last time. Everything appeared the same. Mom’s precious arrangement of breakfast for us was messed up as we ran through in the kitchen like mayhem that morning. The iron was hot and ready to go, typically only used by mom since she can iron even the most difficult pattern without a single wrinkle. Someone’s in the shower, someone else has the hair drier going, someone smells toast burning, and someone else is searching for their car keys. I guess that usual Sunday morning mayhem (at least when Carolyn and I were living there) made the sad morning feel a bit more comforted.

Between walking into church, the hugs from members passing out bulletins, and the jam-packed pews on that summer’s morning … it got to Carolyn first. I saw it in her eyes, it was going to be a tearful goodbye that morning. We sat in the front row (not usual for us, but it was kind of fitting for that final service). I was SO proud and grateful to have my handsome Sean holding my hand that morning. He’s such a rock for me. He truly loves that church too, and it meant so much to my family and the congregation that he was there. Dad’s sermon was … perfect. I don’t know how else to describe it. But you wanna know who describes it perfectly? Award winning author, and dear friend to our family, Beth Kephart, in her beautiful post: A final Sunday with the Wilsons. Read it. And please, read everything she has ever written if you haven’t already. She’s sensational. I will say one thing about Dad’s sermon though…and Beth says this too in her post…he took a careful pause at the right moment of his final farewell, looked down at mom, his “Janie-belle,” and said:

Jane, will you grow old with me?

“Love you’s, and “thank you’s” to all of you who were up there this past weekend. Wherever you are with your life (retirement, grad school, new jobs, uncertain but exciting new paths, etc.), thank you for being apart of mine.

Goodbye, 515 Forest Hills…thanks for being my home for over 20 years

Happy living, loving, and laughing!

 

The Flippidy Flop

Well hello youuuu! It’s been a while, am I right? I know…I know…I started a blog, was faithful each week, and then completely neglected it for a month. What’s happened to me?!

Spring season in college admissions. That’s what happened.

Every career has its busy season. Ours is … well, every season. I’m serious. Primarily though, Spring in our office is the busiest on a whole new level. This is truly a necessary moment to raise the roof, give a special shout out, sing praises from the mountain tops, and high five anyone working in college admissions. Summer = “wish list” achievement + fall planning season, Fall = travel season, Winter = application reading season, and Spring…..ooohhhhhh Spring….Spring = crazy season. Not only is this the season to begin traveling again for recruitment, but it’s also the time of year when you’re hosting admitted student events on and off campus, answering questions to both happy families whose children have been accepted AND extremely unhappy families whose children have been wait listed or denied, and about a million other tasks. We’re all tired.

I’m someone who is incredibly protective of my “Katherine time.” My time with Sean, my time to eagerly “pin” new ideas and pretty things on Pinterest, my time to wedding plan while embracing a delicious cup of coffee with a peaceful grin, my time to call my family and giggle with my niece about how she has a strawberry on her hand, my time to catch up with my best friends on how THEIR lives are…not just mine, or my time to be innovative with delicious dishes. When work gets busy…I begin to feel like I have less Katherine time…and I don’t like that. So what do I do?

I completely flip my priorities, when the time is right.

I give it the good ol’ flippidy flop. I flip my perspective from inside out, to outside in. The work moments that used to be priority before I arrived home for the day, is flipped so that my life at home is now priority. I take the small amounts of my time that I usually overwhelm my thoughts with of what’s next, where am I supposed to be tomorrow, what did I forget to do, or who did I forget to return an email/call to…and instead I make that into what it’s already designated, by life, to be: only mine. I just have to do “the flippidy flop,” in order to realize that it was my own time all along. Well THAT’S refreshing! I mean really…we all go through this, but this “flippidy flop” is like a splash of fresh water to the face, from God. It’s exactly what I need. I’m me all over again in a snap. I even cooked tonight…wanna know what? Pizza! It required flipping the dough. How fitting 😉 Watch what happens…

When new seasons and new responsibilities happen…there will never be a bad moment to take in all the joys of life. Never. This is a good lesson, among others, for me to remember.

Lots of love to all of you tonight! Thanks for reading.

Welcome to “Newlie!”

There’s always a new opportunity to learn more each day, so why not look at each moment as wide-eyed as possible? Typically I’m not the best at sticking to that philosophy. I might think I am, but let’s be honest – I go through my work day, maybe exercise…maybe not, cook, watch t.v., go on Facebook and Pinterest, sleep, and repeat! So, my blog “Newlie” is an archive of me devoting more positive attention to the time I can call my own:

my new adventures in cooking:

my new travel escapes:

being newly engaged:

living in a new house and neighborhood … with a boy : )

…and more newness to come!

I want to share the refreshing little day trip escapes that I normally would’ve never thought to visit. The heart warming restaurant service that made my day. The cooking experience gone horribly wrong, and the unbelievably tasty meal that came from learning my first mistake. The special deal on a kayaking adventure. The genius Pinterest inspiration that turned into a dinner party sensation. Life is too short not share it with each other…am I right?

Happy reading : )