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.

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. 


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."
"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


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?


We're Breakfast People

Eggs and toast.
French toast.

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?

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?


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!


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.


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.



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.



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.


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.