12.02.2011

Release

Write something
Anything

It's better than swirling ideas
for a thousand years
and never facing the fears
of a pen on a page.

Be someone.
Anyone.

It's better than grasping for status
and needing compass
to guide you to oneness
with a version that's fake.

Go somewhere.
Anywhere.

it's better than living life static
with hope that's sporadic
wishing that magic
will change up your scene.

Create something.
Anything.

It's better than trapping the dreams
hardly letting them free

when you cut off their wings
just as they take flight.
Just do something.
Anything

Because this is your story.
and each moment you tarry
steals the treasure you carry
that the world needs to see.

10.07.2011

On Saving

Growing up as the 2nd of 4 girls, I know a little bit about hand-me-downs. My older sister is only 2 years my senior and we were about the same size all our life, so I would constantly be wearing the items she cast off or grew out of. I rocked out some old baggy t-shirts, worn-in tennis shoes, and gently used barbies as a child.

Only having the occasional birthday money and special allowance for mowing the lawn from time to time, I had no idea what it meant to have more than $20 on a regular basis. So, when I got my first job at Bob Evans as a server at age 16, Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 were never the same again, nor was my wardrobe.  Money flowed through my pockets like f-bombs in an uncensored Eminem song and I cycled through my new clothes in 1-2 wears and then booted them to the curb.

Now, as an adult with bills, a mortgage, and what seems like a lifetime of student loans, I know the importance of a buck and buying quality vs. quantity as well as the need to plan for larger expenses.

So, over the last year(ish) I've been saving fairly diligently for a Canon 50D and I'm happy to report that I'm about 80% to the amount I need for this camera. It really has been a long process, but i'm really proud of myself! I've only squeezed my hand into the piggy bank a couple of times for other shopping, but for the most part all my extra spending money is going straight to this fund. Looking forward to a day sometime in the near future where I can start snapping quality pics instead of the standard iPhone pictures i've gotten so used to.

10.03.2011

Recipes I'm Loving

I still can't bring myself to write anything really serious on here. After my unintentional blause earlier this year, sharing deep things seems harder than it was before. I'm can't say for certain, but I think it has something to do with the fact that serious posts seem like they have to be long posts...and long posts are hard to write. So I'm going to stay on the surface for a little while longer, if that's OK with you. :)

Here are a few fabulous recipes that i've made recently and I want to share them with you, the world wide interwebs, to enjoy as well...

Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
I like this soup because it's fairly healthy with minimal fat and animal products and SUPER yummy. It's most definitely a fall recipe.


Giada's fake accent every time she says an italian word annoys me. But this was just to fabulous to pass up. Her recipe skips the Mushrooms, but to bulk it up a bit a sauteed a few in olive oil and added them on top before sprinkling the gorgonzola. I made this at my recent wine night a few weeks ago, and it was a huge success!


I LOVE crispy buttery phyllo dough and you can't really go wrong with a Paula Dean recipe. If I were to do this again, I would cut the asparagus in bite size pieces before wrapping. Cutting through the phyllo with a knife makes it fall apart and loose the overall crunch.


Another Giada recipe - fake accent aside, this woman knows her italian cooking! This recipe is super simple, very rich, and SO good. We made ours with shrimp and angel hair pasta. The angel hair didn't work well because the sauce was so creamy it tore apart the noodles while stirring. 


Now that i've worked up a crazy appetite - i'm going to go make something fun for dinner!

8.30.2011

Addictions

This past week I received an invite to pinterest. I'm officially addicted.

From my browsing and play time on pinterest i stumbled upon polyvore and developed another addiction. Here are some of my creations/inspiration.

Summer smarts.



Idea for Becca's Wedding


I'm hoping these shiny outfits will distract you from the fact that i never gave a final update on the juice fast.

Bright.



Did it work?

Simple and Comfy


Fancy Bo-Ho


No.? ok...

Well, here's the update. We made it to day 6. I was emotionally dying inside (which is horrible that food had such a strong emotional connection to me - i think this post is appropriately titled.) Josh decided we needed to spend some quality time together and allow ourselves to be light hearted for the evening so we went out to dinner.

I don't regret breaking the fast early. I lost 15 lbs (and so far have kept off 8!) and truly felt like a "cleanse" took place. I obviously realized some unhealthy eating patterns (like my ridiculous mood swings, and constant eating when i'm not hungry + a carb heavy diet). Which I've tried to learn from and implement post-fast.

I think a more realistic plan moving forward would be green smoothie at breakfast (starting off the day right with tons of nutrients). A low sodium V8 at lunch + almonds as a snack throughout the day. and whatever I want for dinner (within reason).

This type of plan is much more feasible and would be a healthy structure/boundaries with lots of nutrients while still giving myself some wiggle room at dinner. I might actually give this a try sometime later this year for 20 or 30 days to see how it goes.

ANYWAY...onward to other things!

Classic Jean Green

8.21.2011

Oh...the weekend

Weekends are typically my favorite part of the week. Filled with eating out, relaxing, watching movies, reading, shopping Sunday morning church and time with friends. This weekend has been filled with all of the above mentioned things, with the exception of eating out, and i'm 2 degrees away from completely miserable.

The juice/blended green smoothie diet has been very difficult on our free flowing no schedule weekends. We helped a friend move on Saturday so at the end of the 3 hours of lifting heavy boxes and sweating in the Tennessee heat, both Josh and I were completely drained of every ounce of energy that we had. All either of us could think about on the the way home was eating a HUGE meal - didn't matter if it was pizza, mexican, burgers, or some other ridiculously bad for you greasy meal - we just wanted solid food that filled us up in our bellies!

Alas, we got home and forced ourselves to drink the leftovers we had of tomato, parsley, garlic, puree. It wasn't good, but it sustained us.  Later that night we went over to my sisters house to play games and they had artichoke dip and crackers...I let my self smell the dip...it was heavenly.

This weekend has been a true test of our emotional and physical beings. I'm realizing that some of the eating habits I have - like automatically wanting horrible food after working out or socially snacking - are deep rooted attachments that are going to take serious will power to resist after coming off this diet.

Below are our sad little videos from day 4 and 5. Here's to hoping that day 6, 7, 8 are easier!

Day 4

Day 5

8.18.2011

Day 2 - Blended/Juice Fast

Just popping in to give you a quick post on how day 2 of the fast went. 

It was harder to drink my lunch and dinner today and I think i've discovered that I prefer my "smoothies" with more water so they are thinner and easier to drink quickly. Today I found myself feeling funny over the textures in my Berry/Banana/Spinach drink for breakfast and lunch. So for dinner I mixed up avocado  cucumber, spinach, lime, ginger, and garlic with LOADs of water. It actually helped a lot. I would even say I enjoyed the strong flavors of ginger and avocado...for about the first 8 oz, at least. The only thing that got me through the last bit was thinking about how I was doing something good for my body. I'm hoping it will get better as the fast goes on. 

We made some yummy orange juice today as well! It was so rich when we first strained out all the pulp so I added some water to tame it down a bit and now we have something other to drink besides water! Yippie!

Below is our reflection video! Enjoy!

8.17.2011

Day One of the Blended Juice "Fast"

I put quotes around the word "fast" in the title up there because so far it doesn't really feel like your typical fast. For breakfast I woke up and fired up the blender with 4 bananas, 1.5 cups of grapes, a 3 drops of stevia and about 5-8 cups of spinach (I didn't measure - i just filled up my strainer so i could rinse the greens) and ice. This made enough for josh and I both to have one 14-16 oz drink for breakfast and then me to take 32 oz with me for lunch/snacks throughout the day. The stevia was completely unnecessary because the grapes made the smoothie sooooo sweet! It truly was delicious. I was skeptical because the color came out bright green, but really all you could taste was the bananas and grapes. yummers!

For dinner i blended about 8 carrots, 1 large vine ripe tomato, about 3.5 cups of yellow grape tomatoes (from Real Food Farms!), one white onion, 1/2 a bushel of cilantro, 1 lemon, a VERY small amount of salt, and about a 1/2 cup of water. We ate this one like a soup rather than a drink. At first it was OK, but after a while it became hard to get down because there was so much onion! Whoops! Lesson learned - I will try green onion in the future.

Later that evening we were needing a little snack so we blended some pink lady apples with cinnamon and nutmeg and about 3 oz of water to make an apple saucy thing. It was pretty sour...i think next time I will buy Red Delicious apples so we can get that natural sweetness.

Overall, I didn't feel too hungry throughout the day and if i did i would just sip a bit of my breakfast/lunch drink and that would tide me over. I feel pretty satisfied and content at 11:39 pm. Looking forward to day 2!


8.16.2011

It's August 16th

And I'm thinking about coming off of my Blause.

Now that summer is practically over and all my crazy travels have subsided I feel the deep chambers of my spirit yearning to pluck away at these blogging keys once more.

We spent the summer with family and friends - but mostly with family - eating dinners around our table with a hodgepodge of broken chairs. Filled with laugher, wine, hookah smoke and summer veggies from Real Food Farms, but most of all - filled with moments that my thirsty soul tried to absorb for all eternity. To allow the moments to soak in without need for documentation (I even let my iPhone rest most of the time).

To let friendships with my sisters and brothers-in-law grow in the natural and accelerated way that happens when you live in community together and to watch as most of us enter seasons of complete newness. Engagements, college, graduations, babies. Morphing and stretching our idea of family.

Moving out of Summer into Autumn it's time for new things. Josh, Rebecca and I are starting a 10 day juice/green smoothie fast tomorrow to hopefully pull ourselves out of the summer junk-food eating habits and begin the fall on the right foot. I plan to break my blause but documenting some of that fast here...hopefully it isn't too awkward coming out of a 4 month silence with some semi-fluffy content! Eventually I will and dive back into my regular daily life musing-posts.

Here is a picture of all the veggies and fruit we got at whole foods.


Day Zero Video

Have any of you tried a juice fast or green smoothies? What did you think?

5.31.2011

Unintentional Blause

I have found myself in the middle of a Blause. In case you are wondering Blause = blog pause...a word I made up that means everything related to blogging has been put on the back burner... Other made up words that could work are blacation, (blog/vacation) or blazy (blog/lazy)

It's been approximately two months since my last blog post and since i've even considered logging into blogger to read through my ginormous blog roll... and I sort of have an excuse...life has been crazy busy. I know, I know...everyone's life is busy but all you fabulous people blog and read an comment with fervor! I fail. and I'm OK with that. There are only so many hours in a day and I found myself feeling the burden of blogging rather than enjoying my blogging so I went forth with things that made me feel like this :) and not this :(

Here are a few reasons why i haven't blogged...

At the end of March my boss at work moved on to greener pastures so things at work became a mad house. Exciting and fun, but a mad house none the less and that left me with little to no creative energy in my downtime for writing.

On Easter Sunday I staged a massive dinner party at my house with 14 adults and a massive adult Easter egg hunt complete with prizes like movie theatre gift certificates, wine, coffee and tons of candy. I, lamely, have zero photos of this, but here is a cute picture of my niece on Easter!

Participated in a worship confrence at my church and got to have sushi with the Hannah and Megan!


Got a new white iPhone - sha-wing!

Had to take willow to the Emergency Vet because of a scuffle over food with another dog.
Willow at the vet with a bloody eye. She pulled through just fine!

Went to Atlanta for an awesome e-mail marketing conference where I saw Richard Blaise do a cooking demo, met Gary Vaynerchuck, and stayed at a sweet hotel! Oh, and I learned a lot, too. :)
Liquid nitrogen shakes at Richard Blaise' Restaurant in Georgia.
Richard Blaise doing his thing with Liquid Nitrogen at the Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta.

2nd row listening to Gary Vaynerchuck speak at the client summit.

Had an amazing mexican feast/mexican train triple date.
 


Went to Washington D.C. for Michael family vacation where we ate amazing french food, rode segways, toured many museums, saw the national cathedral, saw charm city cakes, went to a baseball game, and got burnt by the pool.
Being nerds on our segway in front of the white house in DC.
A nun in the National Museum of Art.
The Capitol!
A baseball game in Baltimore
The national cathedral.
Enjoying dinner at La Forchette the French Restaurant in DC!
All that to say, I haven't given up on my blog. I've just been busy living life. I will still write here...things just might be slow for a little while.

4.10.2011

Presence

God's presence is the only thing that matters to me. He's always there, but I've been more aware of it in recent days.

I smelled him on Friday night while Josh lit up the grill for juicy burgers and ice cold beer with friends at our cozy little condo. Hot pink and orange sunset sky as our back drop.

I felt him smiling down on me while I cuddled with willow and hubs Saturday morning with sun streaming in our window and tasted Him in a perfectly cooked green pepper, onion and cheddar cheese omelet washed down with iced coffee.

I felt His love and provision in a diligent husband's turbo taxing for 5+ hours.

I hugged Him in my visiting little sister, if even for a brief passing-through visit on Saturday night.

I snuggled Him in my nephew Chris reading book after book before bed time, knowing that we were both heavy-lidded and ready to sleep, but loved the time so much that we re-read a christmas pop-up book 4 times in a row.

He strolled down a lamp lit main street on a late-night date with me and my lover. Pizza on a patio. precious pieces of our history woven together by moonlight and spontaneity.


He filled a Church building with the glory of His presence as we celebrated the VICTORY we have in the cross. Swells of thankful incense burning from the lips and hearts of the saints.

He is soaking my life right now and i'm overwhelmed. Let's your cloud rest and stay on my life, Holy Spirit. I'm in love.

4.07.2011

Holy Cardiac Arrest

There's an increase coming
I can feel it in the wind
swirling presence inside
that wraps around my skin

I crawl with desire
reveal the secrets of your heart
put your handprint upon me
Shape me into what you want

You see
stars in my eyes
the plans you have
brightly they shine
I can't contain
this Love so divine
cause your ways are
higher than mine

all my plotting and scheming
have been (w)hol(l)y wrecked
your seal is upon me
all my dreams now connect

Take scalpel to sternum
cut open my chest
put your Spirit inside me
holy cardiac arrest


You see 
stars in my eyes
the plans you have
brightly they shine
I can't contain
this Love so divine
cause your ways are
higher than mine

3.30.2011

Mish-Mash Life Update

I think the weather is sucking my creativity. I haven't felt inspired to write for about 2 weeks. So much is going on, but none feels worthy of an entire blog post...so rather than continue sporadic posts i'm breaking the silence with a family-fireside chat/a life update.

A Visit with the Fanchers

Last weekend my good friend Natalie came down to Nashville for a visit with her husband Ryan. Natalie and I were both music majors at Anderson University and were never super close until senior year when we decided on a whim to be roommates. Best. Decision. Ever. We have so many great memories from our last year of college, planning weddings, watching friends, drinking Oliver's Finest (my first introduction into the world of wine...now i'm ashamed to say how much I loved it cause it's so sweet!) eating real-ha, singing "your no good" at the top of our lungs till 2 in the morning and so much more. Josh and Ryan became friends that same year as a result of the mayhem.

Natalie and Ryan are expecting their first baby so we spent some time oooing and ahhhing over her adorable prego belly and the rest of the weekend was a completely relaxing playing games (Euchre, Scattegories and Clue) shopping, talking and eating. The good life.

Time Alone
A couple weeks ago (March 16 - 19) Josh went to New Orleans for an ESL conference with his sister so I had a little down time by myself. Now, i know this is going to sound bad, but I actually enjoy time at the house when Josh is gone.

Things stay cleaner. I get the computer all to myself and don't have to feel bad about sitting in the comfy office chair while watch Hulu. I get to sleep with my legs and arms all sprawled out and willow snuggled against me and not in her usual Josh chin-chest nook. I eat 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. I play my guitar as loud as I want without feeling like i'm interrupting Josh's work or reading. I find myself talking to the dog more than a normal person should. I sing opera while washing the dishes. I blare music at ridiculous decibels. I light all the candles in the house and sometimes forget to blow them out before going to bed.

But near the end, I start to ache for josh's scruffy beard and sweet kisses. I start to realize that life without him is fun for a little while, but if I were to continue on with my home-alone routine i could quickly turn into that crazy-loud lady that smells like incense and always has jelly on her face, so I welcome him back with a clean house and hugs galore. He does, in fact, make me a better person in the end and I love him dearly for that.

Bowling
This past Sunday, Josh and I went bowling with some friends. I'm pretty sure my 4 year old nephew got a better bowling score than me. Granted he had a little help from one of those metal bowling ball roller thingys, and his dad...but that's still pretty impressive. 
 
Women's Retreat
This weekend i'm leading worship at the Franklin Vineyard Women's Retreat. Last year the the retreat was only one night and went by VERY fast. This year we are all skipping regular church on Sunday and having a fun two-night outing complete with time to soak in the Lords presence, spend time with other women, hear testimony and minister to one another.  I'm feeling expectant for God to show up.

I think 2011 has big things for our church body and I know the women will play a vital role during this season. I'm praying that God will be able to use me (and my very limited guitar skills) to open up hearts during worship. Allowing ladies to be tender, vulnerable and able to receive a fresh revelation of His love, peace, grace, and mercy during the retreat and beyond. (is it just me, or did that last part sound like buzz lightyear?)

What are you all getting into this weekend? How's life going. 

3.24.2011

Angry Bird Lessons

6.5 hours in the 3rd row and very back seat of a mountaineer with Willow on my lap and my 4 year old cute-as-a-button-but-full-of-energy nephew, Chris by my side.

Chris loves to ask questions. Let me rephrase that, Chris loves to ask repeated questions that are basically the same but with slightly different wording, hoping he will get a different answer.

"Can I play Angry Birds on your phone?"
"Not right now Chris, I don't want the battery to die at the beginning of the trip." (what Chris didn't realize is that I had just charged my phone all day before we left for the sole purpose of ME playing Angry Birds as a distraction from the 6.5 hour trip.)
"Do you have any other games I can play?"
"Sure, let's put this airplane together that we got in your Kids Meal."
"What about on your phone? Do you have any other games on your phone?"
"Same answer as before, Chris. I don't want the battery to die right now. Maybe later."

15 mins of more questions pass.
"Are we almost to mo-hi-o?"
"No, we still have about 6 hours left"
"What's an hour?"
"An hour is 60 minutes"
"What's a minute?"
"Well...a minute is 60 seconds which is this...One mississippi"
"A second isn't very long."

and on and on...until...



"Can I play Angry Birds on your phone?"
*sigh* "Sure."

Commence sticky fingers rubbing all over the screen of my iTouch and me learning the childhood lesson of sharing all over again.

A bit later we discovered mommy (aka my older sister) also had Angry Birds on her phone so we could both play. I could finally satisfy my addiction to those pissed off birds. About 30 mins in and I'm working hard on level 16 of the first episode which seems next to impossible to beat...

"Argh!" I half grunt/sigh/slightly shout when I miss that darn pig for the 1,029,568th time.
"What's wrong Aunt Katherine?"
"Oh, I'm just frustrated at the game."
"Why?"
"Well...i can't seem to beat this level."
"You shouldn't get mad at games. They aren't real life."

oh. my. gosh.
Complete words of wisdom from a 4 year old with doe eyes to this 26 year old with a competition problem.

"You're totally right, Chris. It won't happen again."
"Aunt Katherine, did God make my spiderman mask?"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."
1 Corinthians 1:27

3.17.2011

An Artist that Moves Me

I’m a musician. I live in music city. I’ve been here for nearly 4 years. I’ve been to tons of performances. Only count 4 of those performances have stuck with me. One was the 2nd to last show that Nickel Creek played on their final tour as a band. They are brilliant musicians and the fact that I saw them play one of their final performances as a group made and already gorgeous experience all the more epic.

The other three concerts were John Mark McMillan. Twice at a little church called the Anchor Fellowship and once this past Tuesday at 12th and Porter downtown Nashville.
Photo Credit my friend and fellow Franklin Vineyard Worship Leader, Mark Young.

I’ve been listening to John Mark since my sister-in-law casually put on the album Songs inside the Sound of Breaking Down during a road trips out west with the Michael clan in 2005. All that I thought I knew about worship and songwriting went right out the 15 passenger window when I heard JM shout/sing “Son of David, Don’t Pass me by. Cause I am naked. I’m poor and I’m Blind!” in his song “Closer” I couldn't stop listening to the album.

In 2007 John Mark played at the Call in Nashville. He told the story of how he wrote the song “How He Loves Us”. The story is intense. And powerful. I wasn’t there in 2007 as it was the day after my wedding, but I’ve seen the raw and gritty video of his performance and was deeply touched. Here's a "clip" (it's 10 mins. long but doesn't have the whole song)




About a year later my sister-in-law sent me a link to a video and said “you have to watch this.” Work was slow that day so I clicked the link. Turns out it was the same song “How He Loves Us” but sung by a girl named Kim Walker. By the end of the song I was sitting at my desk at work weeping (silently…which is pretty awkward... and another story altogether.) overwhelmed at what I had just heard. Rocked to my core I realized what true encounter with Jesus in worship was for the first time that day.

There is massive anointing on this song…and on this girl.



Since Kim recorded the song, John Mark has sky rocketed. He has put out another amazing album, The Medicine, and is working on a 4th to be released later this year. He is signed to Integrity Music. David Crowder has recorded “How He Loves Us” and the deeply poetic and emotional song with so much truth is sung in most churches today.


The concert on Tuesday was awesome. I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t have his new album available during his tour (so main stream of him to wait till after the tour to release it), but the bits he played during the show proved that it will not disappoint.

John Mark is not the greatest singer in the world, but i've decided thats part of what I like about him. He writes the truth of Jesus mixed with the ugly and gross parts of life that Christians often try and hide and in doing so, has opened up a whole new revelation of Grace mixed with passion. He has changed the way my generation worships and i freaking love it.


What music is moving you today?

3.15.2011

We're Breakfast People

Eggs and toast.
Bagels.
Omelets.
French toast.
Pancakes.
Oatmeal.
Cereal.
Muffins.
Fruit.
Coffee.
Tea.
Juice.
Milk.
Grits.

Ok ok, so we don't eat Grits, but all those other things we eat quite often. I can't remember a day in the last year - seriously) that i missed breakfast. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I LOVE breakfast!
Josh enjoying a beautiful breakfast spread on our honeymoon in Mexico, July 2007.

Josh and I love breakfast so much that we find ourselves having this conversation at least once a week...

Me: Hey babe, what do you want to do for dinner?
Josh: I dunno. Do we have anything to eat at home?
Me: Not really...we should probably save money and scrounge something up at home rather than eat out...
Josh: Yeah, you are right. Hey! What about B for D?
Me: HECK YEAH!

In case you were wondering B for D = Breakfast for Dinner? It seems that no matter how low the supplies in our cabinets get or how uninspired I am for dinner, B for D always pulls through.


I have so many memories growing up that revolve around breakfast. Saturday morning cartoons and papa's pancakes. Eggs in a Frame on the first day of school each year. Delicious sticky buns on Christmas morning. Meeting extended family half-way at the Amish-Breakfast buffet Der-Dutchman. Heck, my first job was at a little breakfast joint called Bob Evans
Eating breakfast out at the Pfunky Griddle


There is nothing better than eating breakfast out. When you eat a leisurely breakfast out with friends and family it sets the tone for the entire day. Laid back. No agenda. Plenty of time for sipping coffee and chatting away the morning hours. Some of my favorite breakfast-out places include First Watch (fresh fruit crepes!), Merridees in downtown Franklin, J. Christophers, and of course, the Bob.  
A culinary "break-feast" at our house when family was in town visiting. 

A typical weekday breakfast in the Michael house-hold consists of scrambled eggs (half regular eggs half egg whites) with a bit of cheese added to them and a side of health-nut bread turned into toast and topped with some smart balance.  Washed down with some orange juice or fat-free milk. yum yum! However, this morning the hubs made me oatmeal topped with a bit of brown sugar and slices of strawberries. 

Are you a breakfast person? What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

3.11.2011

A Bit Serious and a Bit Not

So I've been noticing a trend lately on my blog. All of the posts that are serious and take deep thought and bearing of my soul tend to resonate with the crickets and all of my frivolous/random/short/funny posts are the ones people tend to comment on and engage with.

Trust me. I get it.

I've noticed the exact same trend in my blog reading habits. Picture heavy, short blogs are easy to quickly "read" (slash look at) and you can pretty much comment whatever first pops into your head. "Cute outfit. the color green is awesome!" etc. etc.

On more serious blogs I tend to only read the first paragraph, first sentence of every middle paragraph and the last paragraph. Skimming them over looking for interesting pictures and juicy blog stalking details. Then when i reach the bottom i'm too nervous to comment because i'm afraid I will say something that has nothing to do with the real meat of the blog or I will ask a question that was clearly answered in the 8th paragraph, 5th sentence down.

So, I'm at a crossroads with my blog...Give people what they want (fluffy and fun) or continue on with occasional serious blogs that help me sort my thoughts and hope that i'm not just sending things out to echo eternally in the black hole of blogger.

Maybe in the future I will split into two blogs - a lifestyle blog and a deep-thoughts-theological-poetry writing blog. For now, I will embrace the random and expect less comments and interaction on the blogs that take more effort to write. :)

Speaking of random...three things.
  1. Today I can't take my eyes off the coverage of what is happening in Japan. I'm praying that the Lord will miraculously stop the tsunami and aftershocks from causing further damage to the region, that families will be reunited quickly, and that recovery will be faster than anticipated. Donate to the cause at World Vision or the American Red Cross
  2. In case you were wondering from my post a few days ago, I decided to give up desserts for lent. No sweets for me till my easter basket! 
  3. I got my hair cut yesterday at a place called the Pink Mullet. Ever since I saw the name of the salon a few years ago, i've been highly intrigued so when the groupon for 59% off a cut/color landed in my inbox i jumped at the opportunity. Somehow, even with the groupon i ended up spending more than i'd like to admit just like I did last time...however, i really like the outcome! 
What do you think?

Hope you all have a great weekend!

3.09.2011

The Littlest Ewing

Emily, the littlest of the 4 Ewing sisters, is outstanding.

She's gorgeous, talented, smart, passionate, funny, fun, witty, and has a fierce heart for the Lord.

Emily is 8 years younger than me and was a tiny 10 year old when I moved away from home and headed to college. It's hard for me to picture her as an adult/grown-up person because I constantly remember her like she was the first day of kindergarten.

But alas, she is all grown up and in her final semester at the good old WKHS embarking on a Senior Project journey.   From what I can remember the Senior project is something a student can decide to do in their final few months of high school rather than attend usual classes every day. During the time normally spent in class the student will put together a large project that will then be graded by a panel of teachers at the end of the year. Usually the project has something to do with the career you want to head into after college.

My older sister, Cynthia, chose to go to Honduras to observe and assist in medical missions.

Rebecca, my other little sister and fellow middle child, put together a fundraiser for Invisible Children and raised gobs of money (over $6,000!) to support the cause.

Emily is wearing the same dress every day till graduation to raise awareness for sex trafficking in America. (Follow her journey documented on her blog)

And I...well...I...um...sang or something? How freaking unheroic is that?! The rest of my family is changing the world and I rounded out my Senior year by singing classic Italian love songs and show tunes. Epic FAIL!

Anyway! stop by Emily's blog and read a bit. She's a great writer. It will be worth it. Trust me.

3.08.2011

Fat Tuesday and Some Thoughts on Lent

Happy Fat Tuesday people.

Are any of you giving up anything for Lent? I know lent is typically assumed a Catholic tradition, but in recent years more and more of my non-denominational or evangelical friends have been making sacrifices during this season. I've never really participated seriously in the past, but for some reason fasting during the season leading up to Easter when Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice seems like a good idea this year.

Last Thursday I was continuing through my Read-the-Bible-in-a-year-three-years plan and somehow it snuck up on me. There I was plowing my way though Luke reading about  Zacchaeus-the wee little man- Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, Jesus getting all upset about the market in the Temple, Jesus teaching about the end times, yadda, yadda (is that sac-religious?) and before I knew it - BAM - I was swept into the Last Supper and Crucifixion story with a completely new perspective and a tender heart.

As I read, it felt entirely real and present, like I was there with Him, my feet covered in dust as I munched on bread, sipped wine, laughed and reclined at Jesus's breast in the upper room.

I was the one who Jesus invited to the Mount of Olives to pray, but fell asleep while danger for my beloved Lord lurked in the shadows.

I was the one who was so confident that I would stand by Jesus to the end, but  less than 24 hours later denied Him three times during His darkest hours. His eyes piercing mine on the 3rd denial.

I was in the crowd confused and overwhelmed as people shouted "Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!" Not quite sure how things took such a dramatic turn from the warm "Hosannas!" that filled the streets a week before.

And I wept and wept as I read how they hurled insults at Him, mocked Him, humiliated Him, and beat Him within an inch of His life as He hung naked, black-blue and blood soaked on the Cross.

I wept as I read that a few breaths away from death, He spoke mercy and love over his accusers. How His gentle heart showed grace and compassion for the criminal hanging next to him. How even as He stumbled to the place called "the skull," where he would be crucified he found a way to encourage the women weeping over His death.

And the lines on my Bible began to blur under the tears as I found myself literally gasping for breath and sobbing loudly at my dining room table. Overwhelmed by the price that my perfect, precious Jesus paid. Overwhelmed at how selfish and self-centered I am sometimes. And thankful beyond what prayers or useless words on a page can convey...

Willow stared at me, very concerned for her mama('s sanity). I glanced at the clock. Blew my nose from the runny snot-fest. Re-applied some mascara and some powder to my blotchy face. I needed to pull myself together. I was on my lunch break and had to go back to work and be somewhat presentable. How is that possible with the weight of the cross hanging on my shoulders?

Now, I know the story ends well. He doesn't stay on that tree forever, but I can't stop thinking about the sacrifice. All that Jesus did for me and I can't give up dessert/facebook/soda/TV/(Insert-distraction-here) for 40 days? I guess i've made my decision. I will be participating in Lent, it's just a matter of what small sacrifice can I make? I guess you all will find out tomorrow.

3.04.2011

Discoveries

I discovered a new way to accessorize/wear my hair! Scarf headband! I stole this idea from the lovely Jess at Boho Baby Bump. Check it out.


I also discovered that one of my eyes is bigger than the other. What is up with that?!

I mean...seriously. look at how small my left eye is compared to my right eye in the above picture?! Is this a common thing or am I just a freak...uh i mean special? 

Enough narcissism, Katherine. 

Moving on... 

This weekend my awesome in-laws are coming for a visit. We are going to spend some quality time with them chilling, drinkin wine, eating delicious food and hopefully popping over to Goodwill tomorrow morning for their first-weekend-of-the-month-50-percent-off sale. We have rain all weekend here, but hopefully you all can get out and enjoy some nice weather. Spring is almost here!

True Story: Awkward Conversations

The Character
26 year old business woman wearing a snazy dress and 5-inch-heals and feeling pretty awesome about herself.

The Scene
Woman is driving a Nissan Altima to a printing vendor to drop off blank envelopes for the vendor to print return addresses on for the high profile agriculture-tech company. Mumford and Sons' "Sigh No More" album is blaring from her speakers.

The Action
Altima screeches to a halt in front of print vendor shop. 26 year old woman decides to leave car running while she drops envelopes inside. 

Just jumps as quickly as she can from the car to access the giant box of envelopes from the back seat. In the mean time the guy from the print shop comes out to assist woman on wobbly heals.

26 Year Old Woman: (shouting over the Mumford CD) Hey, how's it going?
Print shop guy: (also shouting) Pretty Good. How are you?
26 Year Old Woman: (still shouting) Great. How are you?
Print shop guy: (not shouting as loudly and feeling kinda awkward) Doing well...

Woman pretends like she didn't just asked the guy the same question twice. Hands him the box and speeds away almost hitting an innocent bystander feeling much less awesome about herself.

3.03.2011

Confessions

I didn't buy any of josh's birthday presents till about 5:30 pm the night of his birthday.

I love coloring in coloring books. especially disney princess books. childish? maybe. Therapeutic? Yes.

I just found what I think was a tick on willow...we went camping 2 weeks ago and I'm pretty sure she has had it since then.

I haven't cooked a supper at home for about 2 weeks. Josh and I keep making up excuses to eat dinner out.

i've been wearing Josh's PJs to bed because willow at the "middle" area out of my only two pairs.

i'm slightly addicted to the Nintendo 64 Golden Eye game right now and sometimes play it during my lunch break. (that's loser with a capital L, folks).

i have the worst PMS mood swings you could ever imagine and i'm very thankful for a patient and understanding husband when 2 nights in a row i cry, nay, sob over seemingly meaningless things.

i'm jealous of pastors and missionaries. Serving the Lord and being paid, regardless of how hard/busy/stressful it is sounds amazing to me.

Our Altima has this horrible "buzzing" sound coming from it that makes it sound like a giant bumblebee driving around franklin.

9 times out of 10 i miss calls because my phone is lost in the abyss of my purse.

Our condo faces a main road and we hardly ever close our blinds. I'm OK with people spying.

3.02.2011

Yet still,

Here I am, beloved.
I brought you to this place and waited.
Waited for you to decide if it was I you truly seek.
Given you blessings beyond measure
I even made the sunset for you
yet still, i wait.

Here I am, beloved.
Opening windows for your dreams and listened.
listened for your song to come forth.
pressing my heart to yours hoping you will feel it's rhythm
and show the world my love
yet still, I'm listening, darling.

Here I am, beloved.
longing to show you my affection
Romance you with treasures from my kingdom
dance you to chambers of intimacy and throne room of majesty
and you deny all my adoration
yet still, i wait.

i see beauty where you see weakness.
i see diamonds where you see coal.
i see a faithful one longing for greatness.
i see my beloved, my heart, my soul.

2.25.2011

Day Dreaming and Penny Pinching

Today, i've been daydreaming about the camera i'm saving up for. I mentioned i was saving for said camera back in June of 2010 and that week I made an awesome piggy bank that is virtually indestructible. Basically, it's a giant plastic almond container from Costco and I cut a hole in the lid. Duct taped the entire thing shut. Then wrapped it in pretty wrapping paper.

behold.


This thing is great, because I can't cheat and take money from my camera savings to buy new shoes. to get into the container would mean I would have to take the entire thing apart which i'm sure will be semi-difficult considering it's that freakish plastic that is next to impossible to cut through. (as a child it seemed that EVERYTHING at christmas was packaged in this stuff!)

this set up is good for me because i have a habit of randomly blowing money on things I don't really need, like another pair of $6 leggings from target, some more black shirts, etc.

Anyway, I've decided I want a Canon 50D, plus a lens or two, a cool camera bag(maybe this one - or this one), a tri-pod, some UV filters, and a clip on flash.

Since i spent some time daydreaming about my camera today i decided it would be a good time to decorate my savings-almond-container to inspire me to continue to put my clothing fund in there every other week rather than blow it all at Target.

I sketched a camera!

Then, to spice it up, I added some stars!

and then willow wanted to jump on my lap. so we took some pictures too.



The only draw back to my almond-savings-container is I have no idea how much i have in there. In order to find out, i will need to rip the thing to shreds. Basically, i would rather wait too long and have too much then then get in there too soon not have enough and then not have a safe continer for my money thus tempting me to go thrifting with my hard-earned camera money.  I should have been keeping track how much i put in there on the side of the container or something, but alas, i was not smart enough to think of such a thing last June. I think I have about $750 in there...who knows. I think come April 1, i'm going to bust in there and see what kind of damage i can do.

Any of you out there have SLR cameras? Which do you use? Any advice for a camera novice?

2.23.2011

Feathers

"You had to be there." 

A phrase we have all undoubtedly spoken at least once in our past when trying to convey an impactful experience we've had to someone else. Mid-story you begin to realize the other person isn't quite getting it, and words aren't sufficient to convey the memory held in your heart. Be it a time when something so hilariously funny happened you found stomach muscles you didn't know existed because you were laughing so hard. Or a beautiful snapshot in time where you were left awestruck at a majestic sunset, powerful soloist, a stunning painting. Or even a moment where the Lord took a normal day and completely rocked your world by showing you a new side of His love. It's utterly futile to try and explain these experiences to other people so you find yourself giving up and ending the conversation with "you had to be there."

Well, this has recently happened to me. Even though I know it won't make a lot of sense, i'm going to try and explain. The Lord likes to show me how much he loves me by giving me feathers. During a season of my life in Jan - May 2010 I began to have more and more of a realization of God's presence in my life. Not just a guy I go to from time to time to throw up pray requests to, but someone that I do life with every single day. Sharing my hopes, dreams, desires and even failures, disappointments, and frustrations with.

During this Jan - March season and even still to this day I find feathers everywhere in the most obscure places. On my desk at work, under my windshield wiper, on me ALL the time. Any time I need encouragement or comfort God just plops a few feather into my day and it makes me smile. One time I even looked down to realize I was standing in a big PILE of feathers on the ground! Now do you understand why it's one of those "you had to be there" stories?

One particular day i really needed encouragement and a reminder of the promises that God has for me and I opened my bible to the next chapter I was slated to read in my read-through-the-bible-in-one/three-years program and this is what I read: Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness with be your shield and rampart. I was SO encouraged!

Anyway, I tell you all of this because I wanted a constant reminder of God's presence and this special symbol of His love for me, so I got a tattoo!




I didn't make this decision lightly. since 2008 I have wanted a particular tattoo on my hand, but feel like i should wait till i'm at a work place (or working from home) that is OK with this. So, after thinking about my feather tattoo for over a year, getting Josh's complete support and feeling total peace/excitement about my decision i took the plunge. This is my first tattoo, and I really really love how it turned out.

If you are in Nashville, I went to Ian White at Black 13.  My experience there was first rate. the place was clean. they were very friendly and professional. AND  it turns out Ian is a believer from Dayton, OH and actually did a lot of my sister Cynthia's friends tattoos when he lived there.

Do any of you out there have tattoos? Do they have a special meaning to you?

2.22.2011

Fall Creek Falls

In case you weren't aware, yesterday was presidents day. The day we celebrate all the past leaders of the great U-S of A by getting a perfectly timed day off giving many people an unusually warm long weekend in February. The man and I decided to fill said weekend/president's day with a camping trip to Fall Creek Falls state park a few hours outside of Nashville.

We had originally planned the camping trip as an extended Valentine's Day celebration, but then we realized camping is always better with friends and Cynthia (my older sis), her hubby - JP, and trooper-3-month-old-niece, Annalee came along as well.

We circled all the possible campsites several times trying to find the perfect fit.

We saw a deer at the camp site Josh and I stayed at a last year.


We (read: the guys) chopped wood.
hott!
 Willow was cute.

 Sadie (Cynthia and JP's dog) was cute.
We (read: the guys) started a fire.

We made hot dogs and smores. YUM!

We made fun of our neighbors and suspected them of "hot-boxing" in their tent when we caught whiff of some sneaky drug like scents...

Josh, Willow, and I slept horribly the first night in our ridiculously small tent with no ground padding, 40 degree weather, coons rooting around outside our tent all night.

We made eggs, sausage, and toast over the fire. They were ridiculously dried out, but they tasted good anyway because they were made in the wilderness...over a fire.

The guys whittled things embracing their inner-Samson hoping to slay 1000 men with a donkey's jawbone.

We hiked to the main falls and were amazed at how Annalee slept the whole way there and gazed silently from her baby bijorn at God's creation all the way back.

We wondered at God's creation with her.

We let the quietness of nature soak deep into our souls.

We crossed a precarious suspension bridge.

Cynthia and Willow were cute.

We ate pie irons. (yup...there's an official website for pie irons...)

I made myself sick on them, actually...i can't resist a good pie iron.

We stayed up late watching in awe as the fire the men built raged on for hours without ceasing. I was quite impressed.

We ate more smores.
I'm a little too excited about that smore.
We slept better the second night when the temperature rose about 15 degrees and we realized putting the dog food in the car was the solution to our coon problem.

Josh, Willow and I hiked to the bottom of the main falls Monday morning and we talked about how we would hike this every weekend multiple times if we ever were training for a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike again.


you wouldn't think it, but she's a natural hiker!

We took the stereotypical breaking the rules picture.

We used up an Olive Garden gift card on the ride home.

And took the best nap of our lives in our California King upon reaching the humble abode.

In case you were wondering, this is what a sleepy-worn-out puppy looks like. (Sorry for the bad audio and awkward sideways view! I had the windows down and didn't realize the video needed to be the other direction!!)
video