Always, Katie: May 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Proverbs 31 Series Intro...

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31:10-31

Ethan and I are both graduate students at Liberty University; Ethan is almost done with classes for his Ed.D in Teaching and Learning (next up: dissertation! Woo!), and I am about a year away from finishing my M.Ed. in School Counseling.  While the majority of our classes are online, we each have a few that are "intensives"--three credit hours crammed into five insane days, in residence.  I have two left, and Ethan has one, so... we are going to be in Lynchburg, VA for three weeks over the summer, starting toward the beginning of July.  (Actually, I'll have a class the first week, and we'll each have one the third week--the week in the middle, I can recuperate and we can celebrate our second wedding anniversary.)  So, to not become completely absent from the blogging scene, I'm going to work through a series of prompts, and set them to auto-post while we're away. I'll be exploring my identity as a wife and woman by answering these questions based on Proverbs 31:10-31 (found 'em on a new bloggy-friend's blog, love 'em).  I will definitely still be keeping up with the blogs I follow, and will try to post some jewelry and update posts, but I will probably not want to write much more than what my professors require!!

I would love for some of you to join me!  Any takers? Even though I won't be starting this for a little over another month, I thought I'd put it out there early to see if I could get any one to play and pray with me. :-)


Day 1. What does beauty mean to you?
Day 2. What makes you uniquely you?
Day 3. Who is someone you know who inspires beauty?
Day 4. Style 31. Post a pic of you in your favorite outfit.
Day 5. Write a blog thanking someone who has made your heart come alive.
Day 6. Jaded beauty. Has the world's definition of beauty ever jaded you?
Day 7. Write a blog to encourage another beautiful woman.
Day 8. Have a beauty secret (e.g. hair tip, make up tip)? Share, please!
Day 9. What virtues do you value in yourself?
Day 10. What is Jesus teaching you as a wife, mom, or friend? (Or just woman in general?)
Day 11. Post a recipe. Or if you don't cook, try a new recipe and write about how it turned out (pictures please!).
Day 12. Write about what wears you out as a woman.
Day 13. Write about something you would like to change about yourself for the better.
Day 14. Style 31. Post an outfit pic!
Day 15. Write to encourage a friend. Inspire her beauty.
Day 16. Write a letter to your daughter, or a young girl in your life. Tell her what beauty means.
Day 17. Write about 3 things that make you happy.
Day 18. Describe your personality.
Day 19. Write about your favorite comfort food (we are women- we ALL have comfort food!)
Day 20. Write about your job and why you love it or hate it.
Day 21. Write a letter to your husband to encourage him (or if you are single- your future husband.)
Day 22. What are some needs that need to be met in your community? Blog about how to extend your hand to those who need you.
Day 23. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
Day 24. What is Jesus teaching you presently?
Day 25. Style 31. Post a pic of your favorite comfy clothes.
Day 26. What do you hope your grandchildren will say about you someday when you are gone?
Day 27. Write a blog to encourage someone and build their confidence!
Day 28. Write about your insecurities as a woman.
Day 29. Write about "a day in the life of me." (Pics are great!)
Day 30. Who is your role model as a woman?
Day 31. Write about your dreams and goals as a beautiful woman!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Personal Mission Statement

Ethan and I are participating in a newcomer's class at the church we have been attending for several months.  This week, we did a little quiz to learn what spiritual gifts we have been given... which was really exciting for me, since I hadn't the foggiest notion what mine might be!  It turns out, my top three (in a three-way tie!) are: Craftsmanship, Hospitality and Mercy.  Now--to figure out how to use them as God intended :-)

We also had a little worksheet to write our own personal mission statement, which kinda made me tear up when I finished it.  Basically, it was a "pick three from this list that most resonate with you, pick two from here, and one from here..." kinda thing, then we plugged the words we chose into a form.  Voila, instant mission statement.  

Here it is:
My mission is to embrace, nurture and restore women and teens using my spiritual gifts of craftsmanship, hospitality and mercy and surrounding it with my core values of safety and hope.
Kinda cool, yeah?  If any of you are interested in doing either of these exercises, shoot me an email and I will  scan them in and send them to you! They have both provoked a lot of thought in me this week... I kinda feel like I'm at that point in my life when I need to be thinking this sort of thing through.  It is nice to have a mission statement that I think fits me so well, and that I can use as a focus for my service in and outside of the church.  Excited!!  :-)


Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Little--and Not So Little--Joys

Ahhh... have I mentioned that I am the happiest, luckiest girl in the world? 

I showed you my pajama pants a few days ago... just because they make me happy.  Over the past week or so, lots and lots of fun things are giving me a little bit of a spring in my step, and a perpetual smile.  :-)  You're going to need to get used to seeing this sign-- :-) 

First, and biggest:  I am on a new medicine cocktail.  And it's working.  A lot of the physical and emotional pain that has kept me from enjoying life to the fullest is just gone.  It. is. wonderful. :-)  But, that's another post.

Second: My husband planned a fun little getaway for us next weekend--Memorial Day weekend.  We're only traveling about 2.5 hours away from home, but it will be a wonderful change of scenery.  And, even better, Charley gets to come with us.  All of us were traumatized by his kennel stay when we went to Las Vegas last year, so we can't bear to leave him behind again, where he may or may not be taken care of.  (PS: If you'd like to know what kennel to NOT use, email me!) And, it will maybe, hopefully, include a couple's massage!  Sooo... I've been giddy at the prospect of a little escape with my two sweet redheads :-) Details and some pics when we get home!!

Third: I got to have some fun with my amazing mother-in-law tonight... we whipped up a photo collage poster for my husband's cousin's graduation party.  I love spending time with her, laughing and listening to stories about my angel when he was a munchkin. Here we are with the fruits of our labor:

For the past week, I have been obsessively controlling my blood sugars.  This has always stressed me out and overwhelmed me, but it is going really well.  I think the new medicine must be helping me out with that, too :-)  Check out this CGM graph.  (My CGM-continuous glucose monitor--is a 24/7 sensor under my skin that broadcasts to an external receiver... which shows what my blood sugar is at any given time, as well as a history up to 24 hours and the direction in which it is heading.)  Having some semblance of control of this incredibly crucial part of my life feels wonderful and is so good for my self-esteem not to mention a BIG step toward making my body safe for a baby.  :-)  See, 24 hours under 200 mg/dL! (Good is 70-120) So excited!

Ooh!  And--I love these shoes!  I'm so not a shoe person, but I looooove these.  They go with, literally, EVERYTHING.  We didn't buy them the first time we saw them at Kohl's, because I wanted to wait until we could use our 30% off coupon on them... then we couldn't find them online.  Or in the store... or in the other store... or the third store... we finally found a pair in the color I wanted, in a size that fits my small foot (and has already stretched to fit my larger foot) at the FOURTH Kohl's store.  I have the best, most patient husband in the world.  :-)  These just make me smile. Idk why, maybe it's the flower, the versatility, or the fact that they are a symbol of just how willing my husband is to go to the ends of the earth to make me happy :-) 

Also: My toenails are blue.  On purpose.  :-)  Even better: OPI "Yodel Me on My Cell" for 50% off at Kroger!!

So... from the ginormous gifts of love and happiness, to the little things like blue toenails... I am an incredibly blessed girl.  I'm so thankful, and am enjoying feeling all of the elation without the wet blanket of depression dampening my joy. :-)

Share the joy... what are y'all blissing out about lately?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Pretty Flutterbies

I have recently discovered and become addicted to IHeart Organizing.  Jen is awesome, and the pictures of her home are... omg.  I love our house and decorating style, and hers is completely different (but stunning!)... but I can still translate lots of her ideas into projects that work for us.  She wrote this post about inspiration, which totally inspired me!!

I love her butterfly artwork in this one, and had a blast adapting it to our bedroom.  It was quick and easy, and looks fantastic over our hampers :-)  Which... you will not see... because they're full... and kinda ugly, haha!  Maybe you can see the wall when we replace the hampers.  

This is hers:  

She's great, really fun and cool... go check her blog out.  You will loooove it!  Also, since I was so excited making these, I whipped 'em out in no time flat and forgot to take pictures... luckily, she has a tutorial if you're so inclined. :-)

Here are mine...

And close-ups...

Hope you like 'em!!  I'm pretty thrilled!!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's the Little Things

Quick post today! I got a new pair of jammies at Kohl's on clearance (+ an additional 30%, oh yeahh)... the pants were about $4.  THRILLED! Love jammies... the housewife's uniform :-)  They're capri length, my favorite color, and have butterflies.  Doesn't get much better than that.

But wait.  It DOES get better!

The little pocket on my left leg... is perfect for my insulin pump!  I don't have to worry about trying to make it stay put in a waistband or making sure I have it when I stand up, etc. I know some diabetics sew pockets in clothes for their pumps, but, um, I'm lazy. My crazy-cheap pj pants are now one of my awesome-est articles of clothing!!!

What little thing has made your day lately?


PS: If you ever want to bemuse your husband, ask him to take a picture of your jammie pants--just the pants, don't get my icky hair in there. :-) Of course, he totally got it when I told him why... must be starting to get used to his eccentric bride ;-)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Signs of Spring

The other day, I wrote that I wanted to take my new camera out and put it through its outdoor paces, while searching for signs that spring had indeed sprung in Southwest Ohio.  Today, I had to venture out for an eye doctor appointment anyway, so I toted my camera in my purse.  LOVE big purses!  

Anyway... imagine my surprise when I left the house to discover... a fabulous spring day!  And not one where spring is thiiiiinking about starting, but a warm, sunny, fully spring day!!! I promise that it must have happened overnight, because I was expecting to scour the gloom for little glimmers of hope.

So, without further ado: Spring.

First: bird poo on our driveway.  Yeah... slightly gross, but it means the birds are home, and you can't really photograph chirping and singing.  Or birds, if you kinda stink at sneaking up on birds, like I do.

I drove to the appointment with the windows partly down and the radio way up.  Ahh... love it :-)  My car and I even got to go for a little run.  I rarely speed, but I DO like the roads with higher limits ;-)

An inside-out picture of the flag in front of my eye doctor's office through his window! The wind was just kinda blowing, real gently... very peaceful, and I tend to get all mushy about the American flag <3

And this is our precious little lilac bush.  We live on a gravel pit--like, seriously--so this little fella is a fighter.  When I was growing up, we had several big lilac bushes in our yard, and that smell is the most lovely smell I know... I had to get some for our home right away!  I'd love to have more, too... bunches and bunches, so the beautiful scent hits you as soon as you approach our lot or walk out of the house. I had been watching for blooms for a few days, and it looks like these buds are ready to explode any minute now... can't wait!

So, my search for spring turned out to be easier than expected!  I hope you like these few pictures.  I enjoyed having my camera with me, and felt a little quirky and fun taking random pictures, so I just might do it more often :-)


PS: Another sign of spring: pretty sure a skunk just got startled outside our house. Ew.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Minor Delay, but SO WORTH IT!

Oooookay.  So here's the thing.  I didn't go outside and take pictures because:
  1. It's stinkin' cold out there.I know I said no matter the weather, but... ugh.
  2. I was in a depression funk.  They're rare now, but they're kinda debilitating when they happen.
  3. I got a few emails from a friend that a) helped me shake the funk off and b) gave me something to blog. :-)
My friend Brianna is a super-talented amateur photographer, finishing up high school this year.  So I asked her if she would be interested/willing to take some pictures of me for bloggy-type purposes.  She said she would, and then I gave probably the most confusing description of what I needed: pictures of me... but featuring my jewelry... not like, focused on it... but... I dunno, like catalog shots? 
I hope you'll agree, she knocked it out of the park! 

I know--you can't see the jewelry too well in this one, but you CAN see how much fun I was having.  Somehow, I just felt young and pretty.  Granted, I AM technically young, but... y'know. ;-)

Kinda goofy of me, but awesome concept and colors!

This is "the look." I inherited it from my mom... this one say, "you're nutty." Remove the smile, arch the eyebrow a little higher, and it says, "Run." Hahaha!

Aaaand last, but not least, my FAVORITE!  She sent a bunch more pictures than the ones here, so let me tell you--it is hard to pick a fave, but I lovelovelove this one :-)

Thanks, B!!!!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where's Spring?

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
— Robert Frost
I. Need. Spring.
Who's with me?

It is May.  I feel like my area hasn't had any of those glorious spring days that are so good for morale... so I'm gonna go FIND it!  I have decided that tomorrow, I am going outside... no matter the weather... and taking the first natural light photos with my new camera.  I'm excited!  Hopefully, this helps give me "the pleasure in the flowers today" and stay "simply in the springing of the year." And hopefully, when I post those pictures, they will do the same for you, dear friends!

(I have a definite soft spot for Robert Frost's poetry... since he described the campus of Miami University in Oxford, OH (my alma mater) as "the most beautiful college there is.")

Hang in there, and keep sunshine-ing! 


PS: My last post was number 50! Yay for milestones... even if it's a pretty little number :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Perks of Being a Teacher's Wife (or, PROM 2011!)

First of all--WOOHOO for our troops and intelligence personnel! I meant to write this post last night--I almost always write late at night--to publish today... but was too distracted with the news to focus! 

My husband and I dropped in on prom at the high school where he teaches and I substitute, and of course we dressed to the nines!  I LOVE dressing up (have I mentioned that?) and it is such a treat to see my gorgeous honey in a suit and tie.  Yummm...

Whoops, distracted again.

Here we are... we swung by his parents' house to have them take some pictures of us. It's lucky that we did, because we didn't end up getting professional pictures at the dance like we usually do. 

And, true Katie fashion, I made jewelry to go along with the brand-new dress... that I HAD to get... teehee. 

I don't know why I couldn't get the purple Swarovski to show up correctly, but trust me--they're purple to match the dress ;-)

We loved seeing some of our students in their prom splendor!  They looked fantastic, and so grown-up... there is a ridiculous number of beautiful girls in Springboro!  Then, for an afterprom activity, Ethan and I went out for ice cream.  Perfect ending to a lovely night... with a cherry on top :-)

Did you guys have a good weekend? Anything fun?


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