As I write this we are 6 minutes away from the end of the day the world was supposed to end. It's 11:54 PM and today has been fairly unremarkable and mostly uneventful unless you count the massive mound of laundry I washed folded AND put away.

The hubs and I exchanged our christmas gifts tonight and his were much more thoughtful than mine considering he actually took time to purchase things and I just blurted out at lunch that were were buying him an iPhone 5 whether he agreed to it or not! We both wound up pretty happy - me with my new guitar pick-up, DI cord, DI box and him gushing over the sound on the headphones, loading apps, and getting to know his new BFF - Siri.

I have been watching my list of things to do before bébé arrives grow shorter and shorter and I'm not 100% sure if it's giving me a sense of ease or a sense of panic...Our nursery is mostly decorated. Attic, cupboards and closets purged and organized. Birth plan written. Doula hired. Christmas gifts bought. Birthing classes completed. And I know those things weren't keeping the little one at bay, but with each item crossed off my list it feels as if less and less is standing between the closing of this beautiful care-free married couple chapter and the completely new and mysterious chapter of parenthood. Being a mom and dad. Nurturing and raising up a little human that will have a life and a path of it's own and will flip our world upside down from it's very first breath on.

I. can't. wait.

I'm terrified and so excited all at once. Everything is so unknown, but I feel as ready as I possibly could and I am bursting to see the smushy newborn face of a half-me/half-Josh baby. Honestly, one of the things I'm looking forward to most is seeing what an amazing Dad Josh will be. He is the most thoughtful, caring, wise-beyond-his years man and I know I chose well when I married him 5.5 years ago. Seeing his giant man-hands gently holding a fragile newborn will melt my heart. And navigating this adventure side by side with him is a dream come true.

Come out, baby! But maybe wait till we get back from Bloomington, IL for Christmas...I really don't want to labor 6 hours in the car.

I leave you with a couple of pictures from our maternity shoot 4 weeks ago.

Happy Christmas.



The weekend started with the sound of rain sloshing under car tires on the street in front of our house and a gentle pitter patter on our bed room window. We slowly woke up around 10 am on Saturday facing one another, kissing good morning and realizing this may be one of our last times for such a lazy snuggly Saturday just the two of us.

Without schedule or agenda we left the house and wound up at Cracker Barrel for breakfast where we indulged in pancakes dripping in maple syrup, thick cut bacon, over easy eggs and fluffy biscuits. Then we spent the afternoon holding hands and moseying through the bustle of Christmas shoppers in Cool Springs. Impulse buying every holiday movie we saw, people watching, running errands and relishing in our two-ness.

In early evening we both dressed to the nines and stepped out on the town for Josh's Casino-themed work party. Side by side the whole night we learned the ropes of Black Jack, lost our chips in Roulette and crossed two pairs of fingers for an iPad mini during the final raffle drawing but, settled for a gift card for lunch for two at Maniacs.

As night turned the pages of the calendar we lost all sense of responsibility and stayed up to the wee hours watching "Home Alone" and writing thank you cards for those who love and support us as our two morphs to three in 5 short weeks.

Sunday our alarms went off too early for our liking, but we rose together to eggs and toast made with love, worship set final plans and cozy matching grey sweatshirts and cardigans. One broken car let us spend more time together on the way to the Vineyard Franklin where Advent celebrations and space for the King to come set peace in this pair of hearts.

Afternoon naps without alarms and no plans for the rest of the day. Sunday slipped into darkness barely noticed by these sleepy heads. Some finishing touches put on the room for the third member of our family and a clean kitchen were productivity enough for us before snuggling onto our couch for a late dinner and movie. Christmas lights reflected from our short, fat, pregnant-looking tree while big hands rested on a growing belly to feel little kicks and reflect on our past while dreaming of the future.

Heads meet pillows and fingers intertwine with the soft thump heartbeats in our fingertips, indistinguishable from each other. Breath rising and falling as rain grew heavy on our window pane and thunder rolled across our sky rocking the two of us to slumber. Closing a chapter with bright eyes for the great things that 2 + 1 will look like.



The last month has been a bit of a blur.

My parents were here for 10 days watching my wee nieces while my sister and her husband took a much needed extended vacation. I went to an NFL football game. We painted the Nursery. I dropped my computer and wound up with a new hard drive. I helped organize hospitality and favors for a special worship and Christ centered event called Wild Pear. Our little one continued to roll and punch the days away. Willow got a hair cut. Our Bradley Method birthing classes opened our eyes to what we can expect in 8 short weeks. We took our Maternity photos. And I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD).

There has been lots to give thanks for since my last post but I'm not going to lie...all the good felt muted by the cloud of being diagnosed with GD. I had found myself sobbing into my pillow for several nights. Feeling like I was living with some awful stigma that I hadn't taken care of myself (when before I truly felt like I had). Feeling frustrated that my body, which before I felt so proud and confident in to carry and nurture the growing life inside me, could somehow in the long run end up hurting baby or me. I found myself facing fears I thought I had overcome about motherhood, the health of my baby, my health, labor/delivery, and my ability to even take on the task of raising a child.

As with anything time helps with coping and processing, but honestly, I'm still dealing with these fears. It's really unfortunate. My spirit was crushed and my positive attitude about being able to deliver naturally was brought to a screeching halt. In spite of myself, yesterday I started speaking positively again. And I actually started believing again.

Believing that the Lord created my body to be able to carry and bring life. Believing that I am a Woman of Faith. Believing that I can overcome. Believing that I am strong, both mentally and physically. Believing that I am making the best choices for myself and for my baby. Believing that my baby will be healthy. Believing that God has a good plan. And eventually these mantra-truths resonated in my soul and my spirits began to lift.

So I'm entering the Thanksgiving holiday with more hope and a renewed confidence and for that I'm thankful.



I had a meltdown this week. My glucose screening came back 8 points high forcing me to schedule an appointment for the 3 hour test to determine if I have gestational diabetes. I felt like a complete and utter failure as a pregnant lady, mom and person. And I felt fear creeping in.

So far this pregnancy I haven't dealt with tons of morning sickness, fatigue, discomfort, or pain. I had even kept most of my negative thinking at bay and had peace that our babe would be healthy upon arrival. But, after my first bump in the road I started to let fear take hold of my heart and worry jumped out at like a giant troll that had been looming under the pregnancy bridge for 28 weeks. Needless to say, my hormones took over and I had a complete snotty-nosed-puffy-eyed meltdown. Crying to Josh for about 30 minutes about how "hard everything is going to be..." and how "I'm not ready for labor and motherhood..." and "what if...what if...what if..."

It was ugly. Josh did what he could for my out-of-left-field emotional breakdown and said "everything would be ok..." and "we still had time to get ready..." and "He would paint the nursery this weekend..."  But his kind words fell on deaf ears and I was still restless. I let each domino of negative thinking and fear slam into the next until it was too late to keep talking about it and I fell asleep staring into a dark abyss.

The next morning brought new mercy and sunshine. It was a lazy morning of eggs and toast, a few e-mails and a bit of time for a walk. God spoke to me. He nudged my heart as Willow rustled through piles of leaves and sniffed her way through 2 miles. "Speak love" He said. "Your words have power and life."

While the wind blew the orange and red trees into a dance around me, I asked for forgiveness about my pessimism and despair. With each gentle breeze it was as if He blew away fear and settled my heart.  Tethering it to truth, faith, and peace. I looked down at my belly and said "I love you baby. I can't wait to meet you". It shocked me at first as I said it, because I realized that was the first time I had spoken these words out loud to the little being growing inside me. Of course I had felt it in my heart, but these feelings, which are so important and so deep, had never been verbalized.

"I love you baby." I repeated. "I can't wait to meet you." And I made a promise, instead of negative thoughts, worry, confusion, stress and fear, above all there is one thing I want to surround my home, my little one, the rest of my pregnancy, and my entire journey as a Mom...Love.



An engagement photo and the engagement roses and ring.

Six years ago on October 25th I started my Wednesday as usual. Class. Loads of stress and homework the hope of a late afternoon nap. The day before my boyfriend of 1.5 years, Josh had mentioned grabbing a bite to eat together for dinner the next day. So I nestled into my nap around 4 with an alarm set to wake at 5:30 (intending to snooze till 6) to make it just in time for dinner.

At about 5:15 my roommate Natalie woke me from my slumber with a little note card and a deep red rose from Josh. On the notecard there was a picture of me and Josh at the beginning of our relationship, a line from our song (Until You, by Dave Barnes) and a riddle sending me to his house for the next clue.

I was used to Josh being sweet and romantic so I honestly just thought he was doing this to cheer me up because school had been so stressful lately. When I got to his house there was a similar set up with card and rose in his (very tidy) bedroom with one of our good friend waiting there. The notecard had a photo from about 6 months into our relationship on it, the next line of our song, and another riddle sending me to the on campus coffee house...where another friend was waiting with another rose and card with a picture from about 9 months in our relationship, the NEXT line of the song, and ANOTHER riddle...

I started to suspect this elaborate plan was more than just a "cheer-up" routine.

When I got to the 6th place and saw my best friend Liz sitting there holding a card and rose and she said "You look so beautiful!" I started crying and knew that Josh wouldn't have gone to such lengths if this was REALLY important. The final clue she gave me sent me to the place where Josh and I had our first kiss - in front of my dorm from Sophomore year.

I pulled into 30 minute parking at the dorm and saw Josh standing infront of the building with 6 more red roses in his hands. I ran up to him and gave him a huge hug. Before I knew it he was saying  "I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you..." kneel. (*Queue waterworks) "Will you marry me?" "Yes!" I exclaimed and hugged him and he slipped the perfect solitaire diamond on a white gold band onto my finger

Just like that this rock of a 6' 5" man who showed me unconditional love and  has the kindest heart of anyone I knew became my fiancée. I was giddy! We called family starting with our parents to tell them the good news and then siblings and then through out list of friends who weren't a part of the scavenger hunt and headed out for our special date at my all time favorite restaurant Bravo! in Indianapolis.

When we arrived the the best surprise of all was waiting - both of our families had driven 2.5 hours to celebrate and have dinner with us! It was a feast of the decades with gifts, and toasts and tears and hugs filling our private room. I'm pretty sure we all ate our weight in carbohydrates and left with our faces hurting from smiling so much.

Me and Josh at Bravo!

The Dads and my man! 

  My sisters were there, too! 

The feeling of happiness being surrounded by all the people I love and cherish was compounded because they were there to celebrate me and Josh! It was the best feeling ever. I honestly think that very night compared in joy to the day of our wedding.

Josh made my engagement story one that I will be proud to tell our kids and grandkids for years to come. He set (and continues to set) the bar high for how a lady should be treated and what a man needs to do to make her feel special. Tonight we dine at The Red Pony - one of the swankiest places in town.  6 years, 5 wedding anniversaries and one baby on the way later, he is still my ruddy, strong, handsome man and I'm his beloved princess. I love you, Josh.

Telling a good friend of our engagement at the local donut shop.   


Travels with Bébé

Bonjour Mon Petit Bébé,

We are 28 weeks this coming Saturday. Life has been busy but even before you've taken your first breath in this world you weave your way into each moment of my life. Your a fiesty kicker and seems to be most active right when I'm falling asleep or mid morning after breakfast while mommy is reading and working. Seeing and feeling your bumps, kicks, and hiccups still enthralls me and is one of the best parts of every day.

This last week we spent some time at a worship retreat in Asheville, NC. Making memories around camp fires, smelling mountain mist and soaking in the Lord's presence. You especially loved worship and would dance in my belly while I swayed to the rhythm. I felt encouraged by other worship leader moms and spent some much needed time before the throne.

Traveling from Asheville to Bloomington we spent the last weekend with your G-Ma, Aunt Drassy, and Aunt Jo in Bloomington, IL for your first shower. I don't think it has soaked in that the person I'm growing is the little person who will lay in our new pack and play and that your little arms and legs will  be the ones I squeeze into the onsies and stretchy pants we received. Being a first time Mom I'm totally unprepared for how your are going to turn my world upside down. I acknowledge it with my brain, but my heart hasn't quite stretched enough in this lifetime to understand the joy you will bring.

Now I have traveled my way to the top of IL in Chicago spending precious time with the littlest Ewing girl, my sister and your Auntie Em. You are going to love her. She is sarcastic, and whitty, and smart, and beautiful and is full of so much humor and life. Bring 8 years younger than me, I took her for granted growing up, but as with most family relationships, they grow stronger the older you are and I'm so thankful I get to spend some treasured moments with her just us two, bashing around the windy for a day.

But through all my travels I find myself trying to picture your little face more and more.  Will you have red hair like everyone suspects or will your surprise us with brown or blonde locks. Will your little noggin be long and oval shaped like mine or will you have a square face like your papa. You light up my dreams from time to time, but never long enough for me to soak in your button nose and rose bud lips. My heart aches for the day when we are finally face to face, my little bébé.

For now...avec un amour profond,


A Kick and a Soft Heart

I laid down on my freshly made bed after a shower with my hair in a towel and soft grey robe wrapped around me. Opening my robe, I looked down at my bare belly protruding with the life growing inside. "Kick me" I thought and poked my squishy side hoping for a reaction. "Come on..." I begged as I poked just above my belly button where some hard extremity of my growing child had come to rest.

The thumps, bumps, and jabs of this little one had come to be my favorite part of every day. They rarely ceased to pass by unnoticed without pause or an extended period of literal navel gazing hoping to catch some movement with the naked eye or shouting for Josh to come and put his hand on my belly to feel the movement and share in my joy.

As the silence of the house surrounded me chores and check lists all faded to the background and I remembered reading that around 25 weeks babies in the womb begin to recognize mama and papa's voice. Their ear drums are tuning into noises in the world outside the womb. So, with selfish motivation, I began to sing so I could catch another glimpse of my precious ones movements. I sang the first song that popped into my head. "Sing My Love" by Sarah McMillian. 

In 2008 when I started this blog I was going through what I now refer to as my season of personal spiritual awakening. God was stirring my heart with every day mundane things. The world around me felt alive and I ached to spend time in the Lord's presence. Worshipping. Resting. Reading. I wrote an entry which has become the highest trafficked page on my blog BY FAR and it was all about how the song "Sing My Love" impacted me. A simple phrase in that song "He always knew me..." ripped my heart from my chest and allowed me to see my life through God's eyes. 

I saw myself as a little girl with dandelion crown around my strawberry blonde hair paying in the back yard with my sister. I saw an awkward pre-teen singing wearing a red polo standing on the top row of sopranos in chamber choir. I saw a self-conscious teenager trying desperately to look thin and fit in at all costs. I saw a college girl lost and confused about new-found freedom wanting to be noticed by anyone polishing a "fun-girl" image every second of every day. And I saw God there at every. single. moment. loving me and smiling over my life. A proud Father, who was (and is) shaping me into the person I was born to be.

Selfishly singing this song on the bed last week, I got to the line "He always knew me..." and the baby kicked. A strong jab right in the middle of my abdomen that changed the atmosphere. Shifted my mind to the Lord and suddenly His presence was in the room so strongly I started weeping. Crying so hard I could barely finish singing the song which then morphed into another song, and then another, and then a strange lament-praise in my own words. Very "unpretty" in the technical sense. But lovely truth that flowed out of my mouth softening my heart drawing me back to the Father. 

Back to MY Father. Where I am unconditionally loved and accepted. Where grace soaks into the deepest parts of my bones and where I am known. Known not by my performance or talents. Known not by my salary or accomplishments. Known not by my attitude good or bad nor by my past clean or unclean. But known just because I of who I am. Because I am His. A daughter of the Creator. A daughter of light. A daughter of the King.

And my baby...my precious, beautiful, amazing child that hasn't even inhaled its first breath in this world yet, is already known by that same God. And there really isn't any amount of tiny baby jabs that add up to the amount of goodness that that truth holds.

My cup runs over.


A New Leaf

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I'm obsessed with all things Autumn. Starting at the beginning of September I constantly check the 5 and 10 day weather report to see when the temps will dip below 60 and plan boot wearing accordingly. But in the south my fixation on scarves, nutmeg spiced drinks and pumpkin flavored baked goods are thwarted by temperatures continuously meandering into the high 80s. I wake with hopes of crisp air,  steaming tea and cinnamon butter toast to start a productive day perfectly balanced between checking things off my to-do list and relishing creative moments. I'm caught off guard when I break a sweat walking Willow outside to do her business and find my enthusiasm for the day fading as the temperature rises.

The fickle weather mirrors my attitude and I feel adrift.

My days fade in and out each quite similar to the last and I crave for the Lord to show me something new. My body aches to feel fire or ice. Something other than the tepid days I'm floating in. I yearn for my affections to awaken. For an ecstasy or an agony to lead my heart away from mediocre.

I desperately need my passions to be stirred once again.

I used to be a passionate person. I used to feel aweMusic. Art. the Lord. Food. Wine. Worship. Writing. I felt drawn and touched by these thing. I used to be teachable and moldable  I used to be  emotional for the right reasons allowing the Spirit to stretch me into a new understanding of His power. Letting his word show me new sides of His great love. but now...I'm afraid to admit it... now, I've become the person who is impossible to impress. I'm cynical and pessimistic. Nothing surprises me. Very little sparks me enough to move. 

I still deeply believe in God. I deeply believe He is moving all around the world. I vehemently know in my head that He is at work in my life and that I want to serve Him, but my heart hasn't gotten the message. I'm worried that the beating muscle that gives me life has actually become a lifeless blob in a coat of steel armor.

That's why I'm craving cooler weather. God always refreshes my soul when the air turns crisp. Leaves dry up and fall covering the ground preparing for winter and ultimate new life in the spring. Fall is time for a fresh beginning. The start of a new chapter. A reinvention and rejuvenation of my soul. A time to turn over a new leaf.

So that is my prayer this fall. That God would awaken my soul. Awaken my passions. Bring back humility and childlike awe. Scrape back the dragon scales and reveal a truly tender heart again. God knows, I'm ready.


Current Chronicles

Life has been filled to the brim lately and here are a few snip-its of what's been happening

Bébé has been kicking like a crazy person! It's so much fun. Last week one of the kicks was so hard you could see my belly jolt. It completely startled me. Then I spent the next 10 mins staring at and poking my abdomen to get the little one to do it again to no avail. Also, i've noticed a quasi unsettling pattern of Bébé really cranking up the kicks right when I lay down to bed. I'm hoping that habit will end post womb...but i'm not counting on it.

My brother in law turned 25. I made him a strawberries and cream pie since Cynthia (my sister) was on night shift at the hospital. While singing happy birthday and carrying the pie to JP for him to blow out the candles, Josh hit his head on the pull up bar that was hanging in the door way and the pull up bar dropped in the pie. I'm amazed the pie didn't end up on the ground. For the record, I would have eaten it off the ground Joey, Rachel and Chandler style if it did. 

I took Willow on a walk at the park and kept hearing a funny squeaking noise that I thought must be my shoe. When I stopped walking I realized the noise was Willow tooting every time she took a step. I didn't even think dog farts were possible. I died laughing.

Today at the supermarket 3 things happend.
  1. The guy behind me in line purchased an entire cart full...I mean to the brim full...of mountain dew.
  2. I realized I forgot my wallet in the car after I had unloaded all my stuff on the conveyer belt.
  3. Upon coming back in the store with my wallet, I unzipped the money section and was waiting to pay....and forgot the wallet was open when I went to brush my hair out of my face and dumped  $10 worth of coins all over the supermarket floor....fail...
I've been working nearly every waking moment the past 3 days on adding items to my store. Measuring. Writing descriptions. Photographing. Photo editing, etc. etc. Here are a few of the new items and there should be 50 more new items by the end of next week. Here's a sample of a few items.

It's a bit embarrassing, but for the first time I have a fantasy football team...and I check it regularly.

I stood in Bed Bath and Beyond for 15 minutes shamelessly smelling candles. I'm OBSESSED with fall scents....spiced pumpkin, pumpkin pie, autumn harvest, apple cinnamon. I die! However, $25 bucks for one candle? Maybe when I win the lottery I'll be able to afford you Woodwick. I then proceeded to use a 20% off coupon on $3 hair spray. Score.

I have a bit of a bump now, but not so big that random strangers should comment on it...or so I thought. Asian bankteller lady was the first to dive into the dangerous waters of asking a women she does not know how many weeks along she is. I was completely caught off guard, since she is the was the first person I don't know to ask me that question out of the blue. I guess a big belly is inevitable when you are carrying the child of a 6' 5" man.



Today is the last day in August. Today is a blue moon. Time...slow down, please.

This month flew by just as quickly as the last, but I'm satisfied.  I'm sitting here with a hazy cloud cover outside, a snuggly puppy by my hip, peach cobbler in the oven, dishes done, iced coffee in hand and Bon Iver on Spotify. I feel as if i'm finally finding my stay at home rhythm.

Willow-pup and I are getting used to an early morning walk to work out our sleepy kinks and move at least 30 mins each day. Often this is followed by time reading scripture which has been water to my soul. I found myself craving time away from a screen and Josh and I are trying a no TV week this week, which has resulted in some great discoveries, creativity, and much productivity. Dinners are still sporadic around here, but I managed to keep us home at least 2 times a week with a home cooked meal.  Bébé has been moving like a crazy gold fish and it's been easy to slow down when that happens and connect with little sweet at least once a day.

And I can honestly say, my heart is more joyful than it has been in months...maybe years.

It may seem like an obvious thing to some people, but I'm learning that I'm in control of my emotions. I'm the one who determines if a particular situation or stress will spiral me into the abyss or lift me to a place of calm and trusting in God.

I'd say my August goals were a success and at 21 weeks pregnant (tomorrow) I'm feeling thankful that I still have half my pregnancy to experience with fresh vision and excitement.

Tonight we dine with good friends. Tomorrow we celebrate the start of football season with early morning Irish Cream french toast and the Notre Dame game at 8 am. Tomorrow night we dine with more friends. Sunday and Monday we relish down time.

August iPhone Photo Features

 ROW 1. puppy profile, bébé profile, sock bun and red lipstick
ROW 2. Maddie, My loves, homemade iced coffee
ROW 3. peach cobbler, new hair cut, new entry way
ROW 4. anna + sand box, new nursery rocking chair, fancy willow


Mon Petit Bébé

Mon Petit Bébé,

I am 19 weeks and 4 days pregnant today. I have to resist the urge to round up my weekly progress all the time. Like right now, I want to say I'm 20 weeks pregnant and half way to seeing your sweet little face, but we still have 3 more days till we hit that milestone together.

G-ma (daddy's mom) calls you Jubilix (a combination of Jubilee and Felix) since we are waiting to find out if you are a boy or a girl. I think it's sweet, but I'm happy to just call you mon petit bébé.

It's been strange getting to know who you are in there. I don't really feel all that pregnant, which makes me feel guilty sometimes. I never really dealt with morning sickness or much nausea, I sleep well (thanks to the snoogle) and my baby bump is all but non existant. Most of the time I just feel hungry, emotional, and chubby. Unable to suck in enough to wear my regular skinny jeans so I've been sporting some great new maternity jeans and a few new maternity tops thanks to friends and family who have passed things along.

However,  this past week I have started to feel you move! I may have felt a few flutters earlier on, but they were non-descript I couldn't be sure. Now i'm feeling you flip and jab and roll and bump all over the place. It is so fun! I love feeling your little arms and legs flail about. I would be lying if I said I didn't worry that you are going to get tangled up in your umbilical cord.

The summer heat has made my cravings interesting. I can't get enough of sour lemon or citrus flavored things. Sending me straight to the fruit asile every time I'm in the grocery store. So far the best craving satisfying thing that I've had was a lemon italian ice from Rita's in Columbus, OH. Daddy didn't like it, but you better believe we will be headed back there when we go to Ohio for the baby shower in October! I'm counting down the days!

I love you bébé. Grow strong. We are close to the half way point!



Around the World in a Weekend

Last weekend I traveled around the world with friends. Friday night I went to China with my dear high school friend Stephanie and her precious eight and a half (not nine!) month old Rose Marie. We had grandiose plans of eating out after her 6 turned 8 hour drive in from Columbus, but realized little ones are better served with space for leg stretching outside of car seats - so take out from China Gourmet it was. While the food was much less than gourmet, the company was sweet and I was so happy to catch up with an old friend and snuggle her new red headed darling.

Saturday morning I brunched on french quiche with the franklin vineyard worship leaders and soaked in the sweet harmonies of "God Your Beautiful" while feeling the weighty presence of the Lord resting on and encouraging my heart.

Saturday night we gathered 10 of my all time favorite people into one place...at one time...with no constraints on schedules and we feasted italian style with fresh mozzarella, chorizo, prosciutto, spinach and tomatos on top of crispy flat bread pizzas at Brixx. Don't forget the amazing on tap collection of brews and brownies with a side of late night Catch Phrase for dessert at our place and it can be counted as one of the loudest and funniest nights with friends ever.
The guys all squeezed on to our couch.

Sunday afternoon we tasted a bit of mexico with good friends and their kiddos galore on the patio at Blue Coast Burrito. Steak quesadillas, fruit tea and sunshine - I couldn't ask for more.

Sunday night we had a fancy Indian food double date with Josh's brother Nathan and his wife Joanna who are back from Africa on a year furlough! Back when this bitty blog started in 2008 Nate and Jo were our first housemates! They lived with us for about a year and a half. Brought their first baby home to our condo and we grew to be so close to one another. Then we visited them when they lived in France (days 1 & 2, days 3 & 4, days 5 & 6, days 7 & 8)  right before their big - more permanent move to Cameroon Africa. Since then they have had another baby (my nephew Josiah) and now Jo is pregnant with baby number three due the week before me! We spent some time with them a couple weeks ago in Bloomington, IL when they first got back, but it was so nice to have dinner just the 4 of us eat delicious cuisine at Bombay Bistro followed by some yogurt from Sweet CeCes. yum!
 The Papas.

The Mamas.

It wasn't the healthiest of weekends, BUT it was a full weekend (pun intended) feeling rich in friendships, community, and the closeness of the Lord.


Well, Hello August

This is a strange post following my last one, but I'm a ball of pregnancy emotions and thoughts lately.  Forgive my mood swings, please.


July was a whirlwind. I found myself traveling less, doing less, and sort of feeling like I wasted an entire wild and sweet month of pregnancy and alone time prior to baby accomplishing menial tasks. I'm still thankful for a lot but this feeling of a thrown away month makes me a bit sad. I've always have an urgency in my spirit to not waste the time that I am given here. The time of much needed self-reflection/relaxing prior to bring another soul into the wide world, but also, just my time on planet earth.

In fact, I have an entire pinterest board dedicated to inspiring words that will give me hope and push me towards a life lived to the full. A well balanced and beautiful Carpe Diem life...if you will. Apparently these beautifully designed words were a momentary muse (at best) and forgotten for the most part in the month of July.

See my problem is not inspiration, for thousands of people are inspired millions of times a day and I'm one of them. Blogging, pinterest, stumble upon, and other creative sites across the internet have made sure there is no lack of the lovely, delicious, clutter-free, skinny, or cute to gaze upon. We browse and feel our spirits lift in a moment of - I could do that, have that, be that, wear that, make that. *Repin*

My problem is action. God gave me a desire to create. He even built in me a higher than average goal oriented personality that is driven and confident and strong enough to be creative (for it isn't a journey for the faint of heart.) Yet, somehow, I let entire months slip by as a blip on the screen of my one precious life.

I'm determined for August to be more. Here are a few goals of mine to try and uphold through out the coming month.

  • Spend time with God and get my nose in the scriptures
  • Cook at least 3 dinners at home a week
  • Take time to bond with bébé every day
  • Move for 30 mins every day (pool, walk, elliptical, Yoga, bike)
  • Soak in one-on-one friend time at least 2 times a week
  • Create something every day. (paint, worship, write, take photos)
  • Figure out what it means to be joyful. Be it.
  • Put the iPhone away. Turn off the TV. Power down the computer. Be present.

Do you have high aspirations for August? I'd love to hear them.


Good and Perfect.

I'm finding it particularly easy to be thankful nowadays. I feel like the Lord is handing me my dreams, desires and even my self-indulgent wants on a silver platter and His goodness and promised blessing for life is undeniable. I have time galore to pursue music, creativity, reading, songwriting, even organizing and tidying up is a joy! Josh and I have been able to take elaborate vacations for a fraction of the typical cost through special circumstances. And in my pregnant state - unable to savor my beloved wine - food is taking on a whole new level of awesomeness.

It's times like these when normally my ridiculous human nature starts to kick in and I'm sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for some sneaky enemy to slink into the picture and rob me of my blessing. While I know this is entirely possible and there is in fact an enemy out there, i've decided this time I'm choosing a different path. I'm relishing in the blessing.

I'm treasuring the sweet moments that God is dropping into my lap prior to the craziness I know that a newborn will bring. I find myself more and more often sighing my prayers to God asking Him to stretch my heart and mind to be able to hold onto these moments so I can not only remember them for years and years to come but be able to truly appreciate, comprehend and soak in His infinite goodness in the moment of blessing

I know God is good apart from the circumstantial things of this life and I know a lot of people will think this mind frame is selfish, shallow, or needlessly extravagant, but right now, I'm choosing to praise instead of negativity. I'm choosing thanksgiving instead of grumbling. I'm choosing to celebrate the good life! Thanks God for good circumstances. Favor. Finances. Family. and above all - your abundant everlasting love. Shaba.

Giving thanks for:
My Hubby
Little Bébé
Good changing table/dresser finds for our nursery
Pretty hotels
Delicious food
Arrington Vineyards
Whole days spent at the pool
Painting with Water color
Songwriting inspiration
Musical ability
fairly cheap car repair
Sisters I'm friends with
Parents I cherish
In-laws I adore
Nieces and nephews galore
Plans for baby showers and trips with family in the fall
Long dinners catching up with friends
Cute vintage clothes
Chick-fil-a special promotions
My Etsy Store/a creative business outlet
DSLR cameras
Air conditioning
Learning French and dreams of a life
Elaborate displays of God's creation in sunrises and sunsets.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.



Hopefully not all of my posts will be baby related. In fact I'm kind of getting sick of them myself, but yesterday I spent way too much time playing on polyvore and exploring laybabylay.com for nursery inspiration.  (If you haven't been there - GO! It's amazing) 

Since we will be doing a gender neutral room we thought a Narnia theme would be perfect. Not just The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - cold winter Narnia, but all 7 books Narnia. I need to reread them for a bit more inspiration, but here is where I've landed to start. 

Kind of woodsy and natural but bright with brown and white as the base colors and green, yellow, and robins egg/turquoise as the accents. 

The Narnia map was the main inspiration for the room. It was a special garage sale find that Josh and I came across over a year ago. Bought it for $3 and found out later it's worth hundreds - Pretty exciting! It's much brighter in real life. The lake nearly matches the blue in the rug I chose. 

I have a question for other mamas though...

What do you recommend when it comes to a chair in the nursery? Did you find your glider/rocker super important or is it OK to have a normal non-rocking/gliding chair? I really like the green accent chair and think it would be practical for repurposing post-baby, but I don't want to regret it at 3 am 6 months from now when I have to stand and sway to get baby back to sleep. Advice?


The Names

When Josh and I got our fluffy puppy child 3 years ago it took us quite a bit of time to pick the name...and by us I mean me. Once we had a picture of our little pooch it was all I could to keep myself from scouring baby name websites every waking moment. I made lists like crazy. I'm pretty sure apple and peanut were on there right next to Chloe and Sophia. It was fairly absurd the sheer vastness and range of name types I had on my list. The prospect of naming something was sort of  fulfilling a childhood longing of mine....

You see, I have 3 sisters and I'm pretty sure none of us could ever agree on pet names no matter how many family meetings were held with the nameless animal in the center of the room. (Things got so bad at one point that we ended up calling our family cat - Kitty which then morphed into Ki Ki.) Most of the time my parents would default to one child...*Ahem*...emily! (Who i believe named tucker AND dolly)...or they would just name the animal themselves.

Anyways - Josh pretty much shot down every puppy name I came up with which was devastating but mostly motivating my search for the perfect name. A few days before we went to pick her up Josh and I were driving in the car and he said "what about willow?" 


I loved willow trees...the new pup had long willowy hair. it was a cute semi-uncommon name. Voila! Our dog was named willow...Willow Cotton to be exact. (Cotton came later once we discovered she liked to eat cotton balls...plus her chin kinda looks like a cotton ball)

So when we finally became pregnant it was sort of surprising that we settled on a boy and a girl name as quickly as we did. I know I had floated the names out there a while back, but never got a 100% yes or no response from Josh, so it was still up in the air. But once we joyfully celebrated the news of being pregnant and decided to wait to find out the sex of bébé these names just felt right. We are waiting on announce the middle names upon their arrival - mostly because they are pretty out there and hippie-like and we don't want ridicule or other opinions to sway our choice. 

Sooooo drum roll please! 

The names we've chosen for our coming little one are......

Meaning: Happy or Fortunate.

Meaning:  Season of Rejoicing. Jubilation. Joy.

There you have it. Our new little one - boy or girl - will carry the name of gladness and cheer.




The rains have finally soaked the earth after a long dry season where the land seemed to constantly cry out in thirst. The long awaited quenching that finally covered middle Tennessee over the last few days in the form of scattered thunder storms parallels my heart and it's need for refreshing to come.

I really haven't spend much time in blogger land sharing the ache that was in my heart while Josh and I tried for over a year to get pregnant. I was afraid to bear that part of my soul for with me, once it's on paper it becomes real, and once it becomes real I have to allow God to poke in the place that hurts the most. When in reality being transparent and allowing God to touch the wound is really where healing begins.

So I ran from sharing. I ran from allowing others to be a part of my story and pretended like month after month didn't carry worry and devastation. I pretended like it was no big deal...and we were "trusting God" when really deep down He felt further from me than the moon and I wasn't sure if the promises that in good times seem so easy to cling to and spat off to others were really ment for me in the dark.

We were in limbo waiting for the next chapter of our lives to begin and like many of you know, you can't force your way into God's timing. I needed God to speak. I needed Him to give me a vision. I needed him to help me dream. And dream we did. He brought me out of the darkness and truly gave me a peace about the season I was in. I was in the simplest way of saying it - transformed. My heart became glad and I found purpose and life again through Love.

It was in this peace that God answered. The dessert was all but forgotten as Josh and I parachuted into a new land, with new jobs, and no jobs, and dreams, and creativity...when God opened the heavens and let it rain. And the land that we voyaged to was green and lush and full of life! He brought us into wholeness as individuals and as a family and then put the cherry on top and said - Oh and remember that baby you wanted? Here you go!

We're pregnant! 13 weeks and 3 days to be exact! In counting back to conception (if that's not awkward for you) God opened my womb when I finally truly had peace and really did trust in His will being good and perfect. Thank you Jesus for answered prayers and a season of Joy that is beyond comprehension. We are waiting to find out Boy or Girl till the bébé arrives - but we have perfect names picked out. (I'll reveal those soon!)

So I'm moving forward more than quenched, but actually full to the brim at this point and ready to let the inflow that God has given me become an outflow to the Kingdom. Learning that vulnerability with myself, others, and God is good because when authenticity and an open transparent heart combine...He comes like the rain.

I encourage you all to not shell up  your story, but share it. Share it with close friends and family. Share it with God and allow yourself to process in whatever way possible. And when it makes sense share it with the world - you never know who's heart may be touched by bearing a genuine heart.


Travel Bugs

Life has been full to the brim lately. I'm carrying my glass carefully so as not to let a single drip of the sweet nectar fall to the ground.

Josh and I have been travel bugs.

We celebrated our 5th anniversary with a road trip to New York City with several pit stops on the way to and from. Nashville to Columbus to drop off Willow with my parents. Columbus to Bethel, CT to visit a dear friend Chelsea and an added bonus of Matt stopping through from Boston, as well. Filled with a home cooked meal, late night talks, quaint town life, a ruckus polo match, and many trips down memory lane.

On a train from Bethel to NYC where Josh and I did everything under the sun in 3 nights and 4 days and savored every last moment together. Shopping, espresso shops, the staten island ferry, brooklyn bridge, times square, Rockefeller center, the statue of liberty, New York style pizza, metro rides galore, a broadway show (yay bucket list check off!), the 9/11 memorial, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, classic NY style bagels and so much walking my feet and legs may or may not have fallen off.

Back to Bethel from NYC to get our car and then onward to Philadelphia for a whirlwind 3 hour visit with my cousin Kira eating a philly cheese steak, seeing old town, the liberty bell and discovering Rita's Italian ice (i'm salivating thinking about it...). Then pressing on into the wee hours of the morning back to Columbus to rest a day from our travels and soak up some Mom and Dad time and pick up our dog-child before heading back to Nashville.

Our actual anniversary isn't till July 6th, and I know with only one income right now the trip was a bit of a stretch. But I'm so thankful that I'm married to a man who values the vagabond heart as much as i do and knows that while travel isn't always convenient, cheap, or easy to make happen, it is always worth the memories that are made.

Here's to 50 more years, my love. And a much bigger glass and heart to hold what is to come.


A Healthy Dose of Veggies

My brother-in-law John Paul is part-owner  of an organic farm - Real Food Farms - right here in Nashville. Cynthia and JP are some of our closest friends and we decided to start a food trade to try and eat healthier as a group.

The Process:
At the beginning of the week I pick up a load of veggies from JP and he takes a load of veggies back to his place. Monday and Tuesday each household cooks a unique, healthy, veggie-based and tasty meal for 4 adults. Then each couple eats 1/2  of what they made and packages up the other half for a swap on Wednesday resulting in local, organic, veggie dinners 4 nights a week, but only cooking 2 nights a week!

The Challenge
One of the hardest parts about cooking with real foods (foods not found in a box or a bag) and especially real foods that are freshly picked (read: local) is the prep work that goes into each meal. (washing and cutting the veggies). Also, sometimes then coming up with a filling meal that is also healthy and tastes good from what seems like a random assortment of veggies can sometimes be challenging.

The List

  • Swiss chard
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Green Onions
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cauliflower 

The Creations:
Each meal is supposed to utilize as many veggies as possible and is suppose to have limited non-organic extras. Here are a couple example of things I've made over the past few weeks.

Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Veggie Pizza

Homemade Pesto, Garlic, Mushroom and Broccoli Pasta

Spicy Veggie Tacos

Creamy Bean and Greens Soup

Mixed Veggie Feta Quiche

Mixed Veggie Thai Peanut Noodles

Black bean, Tomato, Carrot and Chard Jambalaya

The Results:
So far I FEEL way healthier. I haven't noticed much of a change on the scale, but my energy level is up and I really have enjoyed being creative in the kitchen - even though sometimes it's a grind to chop and clean all those earthy goods. The biggest payoff so far has been in our check-book. Before we were eating out 4 or 5 times a week and now we eat out only about 2 times a week and it's usually on the weekends! It's been perfect as a scaled back income family. :)

I'm thinking about starting a weekly series walking you all through one of my vegetable concoctions. Would that be of interest to anyone out there? Let me know!


Happy Bubbles

It's amazing how busy your life can be even with out a 9-5 job. I find my hours spent much differently than they were when I worked from a cube, but they are still jam-packed. Jam-packed loads of activities and loads of happy-bubbles. 

Def. Happy-Bubbles: little things that float around each day bringing moments of joy, blessing, inspiration, ah-ha's and other fabulous things for the creative mind. 

Some happy-bubbles floating my way recently:

Lace curtains found at Goodwill and turned into lace ribbon for Voyage packaging

Costco flowers in mason jars that are lasting an alarmingly long time

This adorable dog who dotes after me and follows me everywhere even though I have invaded "her" home during business hours.

My skirt mania fever being fed by super deals at thrift stores....now if we can only get some warmer weather.

Coffee, thrifting, and thai food dates with the fabulous Amy Dunn.

Teardrop Earrings from Target for $5!

My niece Annalee's new-found curly hair.

Indian and Cigars with friends

Exciting plans for these collected Hatch Show Print babies

Discovering Pueblo Real and their dish that rivals Aroz con Pollo in Anderson, IN

West Wing marathons with my stud.

picking up my groceries here and eating organic vegetarian dinners 4 nights a week.

cute Easter family iphone portraits

Oh...and let's not forget my surprise new computer from the stud.

any happy bubbles in your life?



God's timing is awesome. The post a few weeks ago where I divulge my reasons for avoiding blogging and some upcoming exciting news was a scheduled blog. I wrote it on a Wednesday and set it to post on a Friday morning at 10:37 am. That same Friday morning around 8:45 am I received a meeting request from my boss for a 4:00 pm meeting.

Anyone in the professional world knows that a meeting at 4:00 on a Friday is rarely good news and this particular meeting was no different. I was laid off from my job.

Most people we panic about such dramatic life changes and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a bit dizzy for a few hours after such a tense day/meeting. However, once my head cleared and I was able to hug Josh and talk to my mom, i realized this was just the push I needed to really pursue the creative side of Katherine that I had been bottling-up for a rainy day that never came.

Voyage Creatives (as I introduced to you here) was already in motion and had been since early 2012 when God helped me dream. Being released from my season in a cubicle has allowed me to fully pour myself into these new ventures and I'm loving it! Not to mention, this new set up should allow me more time to get back into blogging - so we all have that to look forward to! Here are a few items from my store - I would love it if you went on over and checked it out. :)

ALSO about 2 weeks before I heard my news Josh started interviewing for  new job. There was nothing horribly wrong with where he was working, but he was ready for the next step in his career and really wanted to work from an office closer to home. Well...God's timing again was hilarious and amazing...on my last day of work at IRON, Josh received an amazing job offer at a new company that came complete with closer location and a nice promotion!

I know I keep saying this, but I can't help myself - God is so good! I want to shout it from the rooftops! All of these shifts have made our home, relationships, health, attitudes and even income - though for now it's much smaller for me ;) - covered in blessing and favor. I feel so incredibly rich and I feel my soul stretching on a daily basis. Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!


A Voyage

For weeks I had been letting God be the captain of my imagination. I was a close first mate and apprentice as he showed me how to dream again. I’m still learning what it looks like, but I know that every bit of it is bigger than I could have first devised. Creativity felt like it was oozing out of me in every quiet moment. I would cherish these times and at first I would ponder ways to capture the creativity and put it to good use. Eventually, that effort became futile because it was more fun to soak in the moment of inspiration and let it flow through me into words or ideas on a piece of paper than it was to try and tame something out of raw unbridled vision.

Something as simple as walking my dog out late at night and through the hazy city night sky allowing the lights above to capture my eye. Causing an ache for the moon to speak to me! Tell me stories of the things she has seen! Even better, put it into a song, Moon! Oh, bright and beautiful Moon!

From this creative awakening I wound up with a handful of small plans. Seedlings, if you will. These plans did not come about by force, but they came purely from dreaming. Plans that have so smoothly and naturally fallen into place that no one BUT the creator of the world himself could be the author of (more on that later) They are tiny seeds for now, but I know God has Oak or Redwood paths for them to grow into.

Voyage Creatives is the name.  A personal business comprised of:
  • Vintage Resale on Etsy – Voyage Vintage
  • Semi Pro Photography – Voyage Photos
  • Graphic Design – Voyage Studios
  • And of course, music and worship…

We will see what sticks. What adventure God breathes upon and which one makes my heart sing. Praise Him.