Oh hi! Let's pretend the last 6 month silence didn't happen. Ok? ok.

2015 is right around the corner. My little boy will be two and we will very soon be welcoming our second little one into our home. 

Yup. I'm pregnant. 34 weeks, to be exact. 

Last year was tough for a lot of reasons. I actually got pregnant early last year and lost the baby in March. It was a devastating time for our family. Then we got pregnant again in May and our next sweet bébé will be arriving around February 11th. We aren't finding out the gender this time again, however, I waffled on this decision. Part of me really wanted a girl. Check off having both a boy and girl off the proverbial list of things to accomplish in my life. I thought I would be disappointed if it came out another boy (making that moment of birth anti-climatic). I wanted time to adjust to the idea. but the more I thought about it, giving Felix a little brother and having two little boys playing together for life made my heart swell. Now, honestly, finding out when the baby makes their appearance to the world is going to be thrilling - boy or girl.

This pregnancy is feeling very similar to my last pregnancy, but also very different. Similar because it's been easy. No major health surprises in the beginning. No massive morning sickness. Easy peasy. (I know, I know...I'm lucky.) But different in the following ways. I started out at a healthier weight and have been very conscience of my health throughout. Walking 3+ miles 5 times a week. Watching sugar intake to avoid gestational diabetes (Which I have - Praise God!) And it has made everything easier. No carpel tunnel - so I don't have to worry about guitar playing problems on sunday morning. Lovely low blood pressure. And over all just feeling good. Baby doesn't seem to move as much as Felix did, but when baby does move, it feels wild. More intense and close to the surface than I ever remember felix's kicks to be. Sometimes it will shock me into a gasp or yelp of pain. Alarm. Whoever is in there is a strong little one. 

We have been preparing Felix as much as we possibly can. His world is about to be rocked. He likes to point to my stomach and say "baby" and we play momma and baby with his big stuffed panda and his little stuffed panda. The big panda actually has a pouch on it's belly and we stuff the smaller one in there and I try and explain how that's like the baby in mommy. One day it will come out and be a part of our family. "Come out baby" Felix will reply - yelling at my bulging middle.

Yesterday he lined up all of his new hot wheels on my bare belly and then used it as a ramp for about 20 minutes. And he kept saying "gentle" and softly patting my stretch-marked skin. I was melting. I think he will be a stellar big brother.

Some adorable things Felix does lately. 

  • When ever josh leaves for work (at his new job, BTW) I say "Don't forget your coffee and your lunch." Felix picked up on this and has started yelling "Foffee! Lunch!" every time Josh (or anyone) leaves the house.
  • The christmas tree was a big hit this year. Lots of interest in taking the ornaments off the tree - typical toddler stuff. We let  him pick out his own 2014 ornament at Hobby Lobby and he chose a small red robot - a bop-boop as he likes to call it. (Every time I see one I say "beep bop boop")
  • Him and willow have a love hate relationship. He growls at her when she gets too close to his food, but also loves to chase her and feed her snacks all day long. He actually is quite good at giving commands - sit, down, off, back up. smart boy.
  • His language is budding. He is a total parrot of two word phrases. Yesterday as clear as day he said "mickey mouse" after seeing a picture of the beloved character.
  • He currently has a runny nose and has become an expert at saying "tissue" and blowing his nose. I'm not sure why, but this is adorable to me.
  • Over christmas in bloomington with the whole extended family we discovered Felix may be an introvert. Small groups of 1 or 2 playmates and he is engaged and playing. Anything more and he clings to me like a koala bear. 
  • At G-ma and D-pas house before everyone arrived, felix kept putting on a spiderman costume and an american flag hat and saying "argh. Pirate" So precious.
  • The last 24 hours felix has insisted on nudity. When he takes off his clothes he says "Freeee!" and runs around the house playing as usual. Soccer. Painting. Cars. Snack time. All in the buff. Hilarious. An added bonus to this is he seems to do a pretty good job of telling me when he needs to go potty on the toilet when he is diaperless. I wasn't planning to tackle potty training till after #2 is sleeping through the night (maybe in summer of 2015) but it seems like Felix is quite interested in the concept. Aaaaaand as I type that he pees on the couch. whoops.
  • Felix gets a daily vitamin. To keep him interested, we call it his vitamin treat. Works every time. When he gets it he also loves to feed willow her daily dental bone. It's a lovely healthy ritual. 
  • He turns everything into a phone. Holds it up to his ear and says "Hello. Mama. Papa. Daddy. Nana. Boy. Play?" So sweet.

That's all for now. A little update on our growing family. Cheers to new beginnings and many blessings in 2015 for you and yours. 


Refreshing Weekend

We are having just about the best weekend ever. It's our first weekend in over a month that we are both home and we have no real commitments to speak of, so our family of three is just enjoying each other's company. Garage sale shopping. Park play. Walks. Sushi. Pizza. World cup watching. Breakfast in bed for father's day. Long naps. Pool time. Friend time. All topped off with the tangible presence of the Holy Ghost and it is one that can't be beat.

I feel the JOY of the Lord so much! Honestly, last Sunday was pentecost Sunday and nothing really dramatic happened at our church service, but I walked away lighter and more peaceful than I have been in months. Then this weekend I felt butterflies in my chest and warmth on my face all throughout worship and I KNOW that Jesus was closer than my skin in that very moment. A feel a personal and maybe even a corporate revival stirring in my heart and out of that a strong desire to do bold things and to love the people around me. Not just be like Jesus, but BE Jesus to my friends, family, neighbors.

Like the river in Ezekiel 47 that streams east out of the temple into the land getting deeper and deeper as it flows out and turning salt water, marshes, and swamps into fresh pools of water, so will God's love and spirit be in me. No more shallow stagnant water here. But a fresh stream that flows out of me refresh and touch others with your peace and abundant life.

Oh, and happy father's day to my awesome Papa and my wonderful husband. 


Gentle Days

As a Mom I struggle with feelings of inadequacy. I am pretty sure every single mom in the history of moms has struggled with feelings of inadequacy. Am I working too much? Am I working too little? Do I give them enough time outside? Is he learning the right things? Is he eating the right foods? Am I enough? Do I have what it takes? Can I do this?

However, even among these doubts I am coming to a place in my motherhood journey where I'm gentler on myself. I'm trusting my instincts giving myself grace. Grace for a moment stolen on the couch snuggling and reading books by window light that turns into a game of tickle monster, then building blocks, then petting willow and an hour later instead of salmon it's frozen pizza for dinner. But also grace for, dinner needs to get on the table, so let's watch Finding Nemo!

So today when Felix woke from a long nap still cranky, I trusted my gut and set up a little creative space for him to channel some of his grouchy attitude. Then when he came to me holding up his sandals saying "Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!" I knew some puddle splashing and muddy hands were next on the agenda.

This soft embrace of each moment as it comes is changing my perspective. It has allowed for a very accepting version of my daily life. Whatever it looks like. Workout or no workout. Ice Cream or Tea. Salad or Pizza. Nap or dishes. This compassion and tenderness towards myself has resulted in a more balanced and happy heart and a more peaceful home.




No... I haven't forgotten. 

“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 14: I'm pretty sure this was easter sunday. Eating an afternoon cracker snack.


Squeeze Your Babies

This summer has been a strange one. Normally Nashville is all heat and humidity and sunshine come May, but here we are in mid-June with more rainy days than sunny. It makes a mama of a rambunctious energy filled toddler go a bit stir crazy and seek out lots of activities outside the house. The library - story hour and book reading. The gym (where Felix gets to play with other kids his age and I get much needed self-care time.) The mall playground (ironically the kids play area is a  "soap/water/bath" themed playground, but is most definitely the cause for at least two colds Felix has been on the receiving end of in the last 6 months - we go here sparingly). and Last, but not least - Barnes and Noble.

We love Barnes and Noble for it's glorious new-non-fiction section and cookbook section + well...choo choo trains. Felix has really grown to love toy train area. And this past Monday we took a spontaneous trip there to kill some time before Felix's nap and before I had to pick Josh up at the airport from a weekend away. When my son, who climbs on and often falls off of many things each day, climbed up on the short child's bench and fell, I wan't overly concerned. But he let out one loud cry so I rushed to him and scooped him up saying "I'm so sorry you are hurt. Shhhhh. Mama's here" (all the standard mommy comfort things) and I waited for his next cry. 

But it never came. 

I watched in horror as his eyes rolled back in his head and his body went floppy in my arms and all the blood drained from his face and mine. I screamed "Someone call 9-1-1!" and I ran toward the front desk. A mere 5-10 seconds later Felix was coming to (even though it felt longer). His lips were white and he was in a total daze. 

The paramedics came and checked his vitals then STRONGLY suggested let him go in the ambulance to the ER at Vanderbilt children's hospital. Felix was still subdued at this time, but a bit of the color was coming back in his face and an ambulance visit seemed unnecessary. I declined the ride in, but deep down knew I would take him. After a quick call to my sister (who is a doctor) and her urging to take him to get a head scan I texted Josh and told him he would need to find a ride to the hospital from the airport. 

By the time we arrived, I knew Felix would be OK, but I wanted to play it on the safe side. head injuries are nothing to mess with, especially with a small child who can't communicate pain or nausea. We sat under observation for 3 hours and left without a scan, but with the assurance of doctor that he should be OK, but to just keep an eye on him for any nausea, pupil issues, etc. etc. 

It was a terrifying episode. One that makes you squeeze your babe a little tighter. Let him nurse a little longer. Let him go outside one more time. Let him stay up a little later. And let him have one extra handful of popcorn while watching a movie of his choice that night.

My sad little buddy eating a cracker in the ER.


Stream of Consciousness

Summer. It has arrived. Although here in Nashville we aren't getting our typical super sunny days, the heat and mugginess has permeated every day since the beginning of May. The Michael family has been busy. Felix and I spend our days at the park, zoo, pool, and on play dates with friends and every free minute in between has been filled with sessions, editing and marketing for my new photography business which is now up and running full speed ahead. Plus, we have started the annual  summertime travel madness with trips to Florida and Ohio already under our belt before June.

Right now, josh just flew off to Chicago for the weekend to visit a friend, so Felix and I are having a fun weekend just the two of us! Plus, I will get some much needed quite time in the evenings to catch up on work, or watch weird foreign Rom-Com movies on Netflix that Josh would never be into.

Felix is growing like a weed. He is one week shy of 17 months, currently cutting 2 teeth (which makes for interesting/clingy days) and is learning SOOO many words. Its incredible. Please, book, cracker, thank you, dog, swing, shoe, and the sweetest little high-pitched drawn out "Bye-Bye" you have ever heard. He is already starting to parrot what we say (granted he doesn't quite have the pronunciation of most words down, but if we say a two syllable word, he will mimic with a two syllable similar sounding babble.)

I'm getting to the age where weaning him is a regular topic of conversation. Most go like this...
Me: "I think I'm ready to wean him. I'm done. I can't nurse any more. I want my boobs back"
Josh: "Yeah. Seems like it's been long enough."
Me: "But, I don't know how to do it? Like, how do I even start?"
Josh: "Humm..."
Me: "It would be nice to have someone else put him down for bed at night from time to time."
Josh: "Yeah, it would be good for you, that's for sure."
Me: "But he is so sweet when he nurses and I know it helps with his teething....Ah....maybe next month."

So any tips on that font, are welcome. When I really think about it beyond those fleeting conversations, I feel done. I feel like if we stopped, it would be hard for a week, but afterwards Felix would still thrive and my quality of life would go up. So that should be the direction we move in before the end of June.

One of our big life changes has been putting a stronger budget in place. At first it was difficult for me to grocery shop with constraints, but i'm sort of getting into this weird mode of seeing how far I can stretch our budget and what odd foods I can put together from the stuff in our pantry. It has actually spurred me to be more disciplined in other areas of my life. I hit the gym with more regularity and if I can't make it all the way there, Felix and I at least get a quick walk in. I am more discipled with my time and maximizing alone time so I feel accomplished, but still balanced and refreshed.

But, the biggest thing I've noticed is my weird desire to get rid of all our stuff. I want to sell everything. I posted a ton of stuff on craigslist to make a little extra cash, but also just to streamline into a simpler way of living. we don't need side drawers filled with things we look at maybe once a year. And we have way to many random appliences we never use. French press? I prefer our chemex. Air pop popcorn maker? Healthier, but honestly stovetop is yummier.

So I'm feeling like this summer is going to be a great one. I have a renewed vision for our family. I have a passion project I'm working towards with my photography. I feel excited watching Felix explore the outdoors as a little boy (Rather than a baby - like he was last year) and I'm feeling healthy, happy, and balanced.

Here are a few iPhone snap shots from the last month.

Row 1: Felix playing piano, Riding 4-wheelers, Playing in the pool, tickles with G-ma, family vacation selfie
Row 2: My sweet boy, mother's day feast, columbus aquarium, brothers enjoying a brew, Sisters at the zoo
Row 3: baby snuggles with theo, Trying smoothies, pool boy, high school friend reunion, sleeping elliot
Row 4: the Myrins, cousins, Precious annalee, fun in summer rain, just riding a dinosaur


Voyage Creatives Photography

Officially introducing Voyage Creatives Photography!

I've been toying around with really going after my photography business for a couple of  years now. But, after shooting my little sister's labor and delivery of her precious son Theo, I am 100% sure that capturing the story of family is what I want to do. And not just my family (all though I'm sure they will get sick of me asking them to meet for photo sessions over the years) but families of all shapes and sizes from all around the greater Nashville area.

Maternity, Birth, Baby, and Family photography will be my specialty, but couples in love, monumental family events and even you with your fur babies would be a beautiful story to tell with my lens.

I just spent the last week working on my new website and would love to hear your feed back. Go parooze around and message me or send me an e-mail at kat@voyagecreatives.com with your thoughts.



Monday did not start well. I woke to Felix covered in vomit and feeling like a horrible mother for not hearing his cries till 6:30 am. I died a little when I went into his nursery and saw the tragic scene. Crying while Josh stripped the sheets from his bed I stripped my precious babe and drew up a warm shower for the two of us to rinse off.

Showers with Felix are my favorite. We normally only take them together when he isn't feeling well, but no matter when we get to take them he is always clings and snuggles close. Hooking his arm around my bicep and resting his head on my shoulder I let the stream of water spray his back. He looked up at me and sheepishly smiles. Showers are a treat.

Droplets form on the red fuzz covering head and long blonde eye lashes stick together with moisture. Silky baby skin pressed up against my soft squishy body. His hand playing carelessly with my hair, his necklace, the water, my breast. Humming and glancing up to lock eyes periodically. As I alternated our turns under the comforting warm stream.

The sickness manifested as diarrhea for four days. Mostly without much cause for panic and going about our usual routine. But, by the 4th day, he hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours and his stomach was obviously cramping to rid his body of the virus. He spent the morning screaming and writhing in pain.

We saw the doctor and she said it should pass on it's own in a few days but to call if things worsen. I cried again watching my little love in so much pain. Throwing himself to the ground in confusion and anguish. Nothing I did could help. Hugs, nursing, books, toys. Nothing.

It was horrible.

That afternoon he was so exhausted from the painful morning that we just laid in bed next to each other. Belly to belly. Him quietly crying but starring intensely in my eyes looking for answers or relief. I did the only thing I could think to do. Sing.

"Rain Drops on Roses" and "Do a Deer"....over and over again. Not sure why sound of Music was our soundtrack that afternoon, but I watched as his piercing stare turned into slow blinks and finally, much needed rest.

Those three moments - the shower, the pain, the rest - are engrained in my memory. Flashbulb memories if you will. In an instant I can close my eyes and feel the weight of my child on my hip in the shower. My heart breaks even when my minds eye sees him wander in confusion and agony and it melts when the afternoon sun pours across my bed and his cries turn to slow steady breath and sleep to the sound of music.

Funny, these moments. I didn't choose them. They were very much a part of normal life. Ordinary, yet poignant. It's strange to think that our everyday can stick with us for eternity.



I am definitely the mother of a toddler. My 15 month old sunshine baby keeps me busy. Most days you will find me unshowered in yoga pants and a baggy top with my hair in a messy bun on the top of my head and food from Felix's last meal stuck somewhere on my outfit. But, I love every. single. minute.

I think i've said this before, but these are my favorite days so far. Every stage has been so amazing, but for some reason heading into summer with a rambunctious little boy who loves dirt, playgrounds and discovering the outdoors has me all giddy about motherhood. I really feel like I've hit my stride. He is sleeping through the night. He naps regularly. Eats well. Plays well. Is smiley and happy most of the time. Loves to snuggle and read books, but also enjoys wandering and independent play.

Some of the recent new and sometimes funny things Felix is up to include, but aren't limited to:

  • Lifting any and everyone's shirt to see their bellybutton. ANY place. ANY time. The kid is obsessed with belly buttons, and maybe it has a little bit to do with mama and dada's belly's being squishy and fun to play with.
  • Singing. He love to sing "let it go" (Which sounds like willow, when he sings it) and What does the fox say. But, he will mimic any song I'm singing or humming around the house in his sweet high-pitched baby boy voice. Slow songs are oftentimes it's accompanied by raised hands and his face up to the sky as if he is in worship. Fast songs get a cute dance which is essentially him bouncing up and down.
  • He love finding things outside and bringing them to show me. Flowers, sticks, rocks, trash. You name it. It melts my heart. He is particularly drawn to the fluffy dandelions...we call them fluffers. He will bring it to me and we will blow the fuzzy parts away together. 
  • He and our dog willow have a love hate relationship. Felix just loves willow to pieces and wants to squeeze to smithereens. Which obviously isn't willow's favorite, but willow loves the enormous amount of treats Felix gives her. So far, willow makes it work by evading him till mealtime. It's a win-win.
  • Going down the slide is one of his favorite things. He even has ventured to the top and gone down all by himself a few times!
  • He has started really wanting to act like me and josh. Eating with a spoon and fork. Sitting in a normal chair instead of a high chair. walking instead of being held. It's so sweet. 
  • He is obsessed with his Daddy. He wakes up saying "Dada and rolls over to jump on him and give him hugs and kisses.When Josh gets home from work, Felix screams and runs to the door then won't let Josh put him down for the next 30 minutes. It is truly the sweetest thing.
  • Still no real hair to speak of, but his peach fuzz is coming in, and, well...it's peach! He is going to be a ginger for sure. It's strange to try and picture him with hair at some point, but I'm sure when He is a grown man he will sport lots of hair and a giant beard like his Dad.

I mean...how did I get so lucky? I'm not normally like this, but recently if I just think about my son I want to cry out of sheer joy. I feel abundantly grateful that I was given such a sweet child. My days are richer because of him, that's for sure.



I feel like I am finally catching my breath this week. Since late March we have had visitors and travel non stop. It has been wonderful and draining. This week will be our first full "normal" week at home without someone staying here or us leaving mid week to travel in over a month. I feel like I'll finally be able to catch my breath and get my house, health, and relationships back in order. Routine is soothing for my soul. When I'm not in a good rhythm everything in my life suffers and I become lazy....thus the blog absence and my expanding waist line.


The biggest news that has come about in the last three weeks is my little sister Emily had her precious son. I was honored to be present for a big part of my sisters labor and delivery to take photos. I can honestly say I have found my new passion in birth photography. I've always enjoyed all types of photo shoots, but the intimacy and spontaneity and miracle of capturing a woman as she becomes a mother in all its beauty makes my heart beat fast and my eyes well up with tears. Granted, this was my little sister in labor, but even so, I know I would feel similarly for anyone going through this process. I'm drawn to the love that surrounds and exudes from a pregnant women as she opens her body to bring new life into the world.

I was hoping to get the very first moments of my nephew's arrival, but alas, after 3 days of exhausting labor Emily ended up with a c-section and I wasn't allowed in the delivery room. However, I snapped a few photos of Gabriel with his new son right afterward and then the next day I took some of the whole family and a few newborn portraits of the little man.

Welcome Theodore Eldon Duane Myrin. Here are a couple of those photos. To see more, check out my photography blog here.

P.S. If you live in the Nashville area and are pregnant and interested in maternity, birth, newborn or family photos contact me at kat@voyagecreatives.com. I would love to buy you coffee to talk about what I can offer!



“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 13: Dirty knees. Outside. Every little boy's dream.



“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 12: Theo was born! I was on photography duty, but this is the only picture of I got of Felix this week. He was being spoiled by Grandpapa playing with the iPad. 


WLWL: When the Going Gets Tough

Being a worship leader is hard sometimes. I know I am called to it. I know I am skilled in it. I know the Lord has and will continue to use me in the the place of musical worship for the rest of my life. Even if it's just in small groups or for my mediate family. Singing praises to God is ingrained in the deepest part of my soul. 

But every now and then this place of leadership in congregational worship is hard. So hard it makes me question if I should just give it a rest for a season. Let someone else take over for a while. Throw in the towel and see what it's like to saunter in 10 minutes late to service, Starbucks in hand, well rested, and grab a seat in the last row. Maybe even leaving on my sunglasses.

The reason behind these passing desires nine times out of ten can be summed up in one word. Insecurity.

I start to second guess the identity that I am a daughter of the King. I second guess that I'm called. That I'm any good. I begin to feel inadequate and unskilled. And being in Music City I can easily conjure up excuses in my head that there are others out there who are better.

It gets pretty dark from there. 

Well a few weeks ago I started down one of these paths in my head and I was moments from calling up my pastor and telling him I was going to step down for a season (blame it on motherhood busyness). I actually told God - "Why is this so hard right now? You need to encourage me! Where are you?" 

Then I grabbed my phone and lo and behold...a text message from my pastor. Essentially it said that he was preaching on being a people that say "yes" to God. And I immediately knew it was the Lord telling me - you aren't going to quit. And even though this isn't the back stroking encouragement you wanted right now...you need to know that I am calling you to this and you need to say yes.

It felt like a direct order from the Lord on high. It was bizarre. I was actually a little peeved, because I didn't want an order...i wanted someone to tell me how awesome of a worship leader how God used me to change their life, etc, etc. 

But the message was received.

So I continue to press on. Even when I am exhausted. Even when I struggle to find time and energy to create a set. When my fingers are too sore to play through the ministry time songs. When rehearsals fall apart and leave me on the verge of tears. When the devil tries to lie his way into crushing my call.

And in pushing through I find Jesus closer than before. Speaking encouragement. I'm only at the beginning of journey. He is just getting started with how he will uses me in the ways of musical worship. And I'm so glad that even in my weakness he pursues and calls after my heart once again.



“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 11: In the freezing cold in late March, but still in love with the outdoors.



“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 10: Outside playing with his yellow bucket. Happy as a clam.



“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 9: Reading one of his birthday books from Nana.


I grew up with a very elaborate and wonderful bedtime routine. My mom would tell us to "Go up the golden stairs" (which she was told as a child because of the carpet color, but the command worked just the same even with our blue carpet.) We would put on our PJs - which for me was usually just an oversized big t-shirt, brush our teeth and then we were allowed to pick out a "little stack of books" to read before the lights went out.

Oftentimes our stacks involved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, The Little Mouse and the Red Ripe Strawberry, and a collection of the books we picked out at the library. And usually the stack was too big and we would have to "put two back". But then she would read. My mom is an excellent out-loud reader. She actually does professional voice over work now, so you can imagine how amazing this was as a child. Every book had drama, special voices, accents and even dull narrative was captivating.

Then while stroking our hair and scratching our back with her perfectly rounded long adult fingernails - our heads would hit the pillow. And in the dark of the room she would sing to us. Lullaby after lullaby as we drifted off to sleep in our warm cozy rooms.

It was a dream. Pun intended.

 Felix has a similar routine. He is still young, but for consistency and to help regulate his nighttime sleep (Which we had such a hard time with for soo long) we followed it to a tee. Bathtime (long or short depending on how sleepy Felix is. A fresh diaper and slathered in lotion/coconut oil. Cozy PJs and then a quick read through Time for Bed book. Finally, family prayer time and then lights out for nursing and of course, lullabies.

Here is a list of the Lullabies I sing. I mix up the order and repeat each song a few times or sing multlpe verses of each song. Sometimes I add a few extra songs that have been playing in my heart to sing over my wee-one, but this is the standard list.

Down In the Valley
Amazing Grace
Irish Blessing
Godspeed Little Man
Baby Mine
Rain Drops on Roses

Actually - better than a list, here is a video of me singing a bit of each song. Unedited, and spontaneously done this morning with no planning and no makeup - eek! Of course, since they are lullabies, they aren't sung full voice.  Hope you find a good song in here that you can sing to your baby as you rock them to sleep while they are still small enough to want you to.




Outside (Warning: This Post May Contain References to Dog Poo)

The sunshine finally decided to come out and play! Vitamin D is good for my mental stability so we have spent the good part of two days outside. Plus, Felix is obsessed with the outdoors. Anytime someone comes in our out the back door he runs over and tries to escape and then spends a couple minutes looking longingly outside and then back and me pointing outside over and over with the occasional blood curdling scream thrown in for good measure. 

Oh the screaming. One of the more recent and less adorable traits of toddlerhood. His way of testing his lungs, trying to communicate and/or throwing a tantrum. I've read a lot about toddler screaming and it turns out it's a phase a lot of kids go through. So I have hope and a short bit of patience-rope left to get me through.

But I digress...

Felix has the most adorable toddler run you will ever see. He runs with little tiny steps - almost running in place - and puts his arms up in the air or out to the side and jiggles his booty. My sister-in-law has coined it the "jolly bear run" and I think that is the perfect description. 

Give the boy and open field and the freedom to go where he wants and he is happier than I would be if someone handed me a coupon for a spa day. Well...maybe not. You would probably see my ass do a jolly bear run if someone handed me a coupon for a spa day.

So today, we went to the park. Been feeling guilty willow has been left out of the outdoor fun recently so I let her come along. Also, I thought bringing a bucket for Felix to collect things in could also be fun. 

Oh naïvety. 

I quickly realized I was in over my head when I had the dog leash, my phone, my keys and the bucket in one hand and a a toddler all but hanging from the other. Of course I'm wearing a maxi skirt - cause you know...warm weather and all, but zero pockets. Before I could get to the doggy bags to take care of any messes Willow might make, she dropped a big one. Right. by. the playground.

So I drag willow and a now screaming felix (who wanted to play on the playground) about 100 yards further to grab a couple bags and go back to clean up. But then willow drops another and since I had let go of Felix to grab the bag he instantly stepped in it. 

Of course.

I pick him up. Put my phone, keys and doggy bag in the bucket. Scream, scream, scream Felix screeeeeeeam...100 yards back to the crap. And pick it up. 

A guy slack lining nearby shouts over the screams..."cute dog."

"Thanks" i reply deadpan and toss the bag into the trash.

The rest of the trip was just as disastrous. Felix screaming, insisting on holding the leash, getting caught in the leash, lots of teenage on lookers, anther run in with felix touching poop and I'm pretty sure my ginger child ended up sun burnt because I'm mother-of-the-year and forgot sun screen or a hat during peek sun hours.

However, even a crappy visit to the park in the sunshine is WAAAAAYYY better than another day cooped up inside with ice and freezing temps outside. Am I right Stay-At-home-Moms or am I right?

Bring on summer!



“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 8: Climbing at the park.


I Will Not Be Shaken

The windows rattled and the wind howled as lightening lit up and sky and flashed though wooden slats of the nursery blinds. The strobe light effect and a hot muggy house kept Felix restless during his usually peaceful nighttime routine

I nursed my wiggly little boy and his sweaty skin stuck to my arm and eyes struggled to find sleep in the midst of the storm. He could sense my tension. He could feel my body stiffen every time the windows shook and his hand wandered up to my cheek pulling my gaze back down to his wide open eyes instead of trying to sneak a peak at the weather alerts on my phone or out the window at the swirling trees.

He was worried because I was worried. I did my best to relax. I closed my eyes and rested my head on the back of the rocker. A deep breath in and I began to sing a tried and true lullaby over him.

Down in the valley; the valley so low
hang your head over; hear the wind blow

He calmed and his eyes closed. I felt his breathing slow to a steady and slow rhythm and I let my mind wander gently stoking the back of his hand and letting my fingers dance around his still bald head, cheek and ear. He calmed as I calmed. He mimicked me. He followed my lead. In the eye of the storm his heart posture was reflecting mine. As his mother, care taker, the one he trusts most - if she is OK, I'm OK.

I thought about how nice that must be. How nice it would be to have someone leading you. Someone from whom you could take cues and be put at ease because they have it under control. You have that in loving parents as a child, but children grow up. Move away. Have lives of their own. And along with those lives comes decisions, questions, adversity, storms. It's hard.

The past few days I have had this heavy feeling looming over me. I can't shake it. I feel hopeless, useless, worthless and bored. It's taken a toll on my family and altered the peaceful home we usually have. I hate it. Sometimes I can see the bad mood from a distance drift like a dark storm cloud looming and other times it hits so quickly no one has the chance to prepare. The wreckage of a blow-out fight leaving days of me picking through wreckage.

And in the pit of this self-loathing and lashing out I was reminded of a verse I recently read that spoke to my heart and I read it again.

Psalm 16:5-11 
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me. 
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

I DO have someone leading me. Someone who I can rest in. I can grab his face and pull his eye to mine and listen to his lullaby over me. His singing over me. I will find Joy and a path of life in his presence!


It is always him. He is the ONLY thing I can boast in. He is my leader. My Peace. My lover. My friend. My comfort. My redeemer. My Everything.



Columbus was cold. We visited last weekend and stayed in the guest room at Rebecca and Teddy's house. Falling asleep to the flickering light of big white candles in large vases and the noises on the street below. They live in an area of town named Franklinton. Similar name to our cozy and quaint hometown in Franklin, TN but it couldn't be more different.

Franklinton is an area wrecked by drug use, prostitution, violence and poverty. Most middle class Americans would avoid living in such an area. But for Becca and Teddy, daily living and challenging the status quo to positive change is part of their calling. I know they might not say those exact words, but  their peaceful approach to community and spreading the gospel played out in small acts of love is changing the community from within. Watching the neighbors children. Offering a cup of tea to people needing warmth. A strong yet loving word to those in need of truth. It's amazing to watch unfold and see their humility and practical approach to all of it.

Within 24 hours of being in Franklinton I was propositioned as a prostitute and our car was broken into resulting in my purse being stolen. It was unsettling.

I was walking from Emily's to Becca's house with Felix on my hip and a man rolled down his window and asked if I needed a ride. I felt incredibly uneasy about him even stopping, but naively, I also thought "what a nice guy." I turned him down because I only had a block to go. As he drove away, I noticed his gas tank was open and almost chased him down to tell him, but he was gone before I had the chance. When I retold the story to Rebecca, her face dropped and she began apologizing.

"I'm so sorry, Katie. He thought you were a prostitute. Asking for a ride, asking if your going to work, or just stopping and rolling down the window is code for that in this part of town. Thirty percent of all prostitution arrests in columbus take place two blocks from here. I'm so sorry."

The next morning Josh and I woke early to go grab some coffee before breakfast. When we arrived at our car and as we approached the car I noticed that Felix's car seat had been tossed over the center console. When we opened the doors our trunk had been accessed by the back seat and everything in the car was scattered in disarray. And my purse was missing.

We spent the morning canceling credit cards and talking about what was missing.There wasn't much of value that was taken except for my new purse. I spent all my christmas money to buy it from Banana Republic. Shallow, i know, but I cried. I cried for my silly little purse that was taken. I cried for the inconvenience of it all. I cried thinking about someone rummaging through Felix's diaper bag and touching all the stuff in our car. I cried because it made me feel helpless. I cried because I felt violated. I felt abandoned and unprotected.

I know there are people, including some who are incredibly close to me, who have been through much, MUCH worse and this gave me a minuscule glimpse at the injustice of it all. I prayed that the purse would be found. I prayed that the Lord would meet the person who felt so desperate to tear through a middle-class car looking for anything of value. And I prayed for redemption of the situation. For a follow through on his promise of working all things together for my good.

About 6 hours later Josh got a phone call. A man found my purse by his truck and got our phone number off of a checkbook. Celebration ensued! Josh, Rebecca and Teddy went together to pick up the purse. Just a two block walk away my purse was found in tact and everything was still there except for a target giftcard, my iPhone charger, a box of golden grahams, and loose change.

I was sweeping in a quiet house while they were gone. Giving thanks for the Lord for what was lost being found and I was hit out of the blue with His voice speaking to my heart. "It's March 1st. This is the start of a new month and it's the beginning of restoration."

I cried. I cried tears of joy because so much as been stolen. So much as been taken from my family in recent months. We have felt abandoned by God. We have felt attacked - metaphorically and literally - without defense.  And seeing his Hand move in even the stolen purse situation has softened my heart towards him again. He is good. He does have a plan. He will pull all the pieces of this messed up world together and write a beautiful story. He will restore.



“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 7: Visiting Aunt Rebecca's house Felix spend 30 minutes playing with this tea canister. Taking the lid on and off. Rolling the canister across the floor. I love seeing him discover and learn.



“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 6: Fighting the stomach bug this week. Since the weather was warming up we kept him bare-skinned towards the end. It was just easier... 


At Present

  1. Josh and I started a new diet last week! It's a 30 day challenge we are doing through our chiropractor which includes a fat-burning diet and exercise program. Essentially it cuts out all carbs and focuses on organic meats/cheese/dairy, loads of veggies, and healthy fats, nuts and low sugar fruit and we do 20 minute burst exersise every day (except Thursday's when I do a Yoga class at the YMCA). It's been a BIG change for us because we are used to chowing down whole plates of pasta for dinner and cereal or bagels for breakfast. But 10 days in and Josh is down 15 lbs and I'm down 10lbs and our energy & happiness levels are through the roof. After the 30 days are up you start to introduce healthy carbs like whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, etc. But the idea is to make a life change from the SAD (Standard American Diet) path that we were on and keep us healthy for the long run. Here is what a few of our meals look like.

  2. Felix is sleeping better! This is HUGE news around here. YAY! I'm still going in once a night around 3:30/4 to nurse him, but that is a massive improvement from where we were 3 months ago - up ever 1.5-2 hrs. Here's my little love sleeping off the stomach bug in my arms the day after Valentines day. 
  3. 3. Josh and I have decided to set aside one night a week where TV isn't turned on and we focus solely on pursuing creative endeavors. Writing, design, playing guitar, editing photos, website tweaks for Voyage Creatives, Etsy store, etc, etc. Tonight is that night.  So you all get to be blessed with a random, disjointed blog post from me to keep my writing chops from getting too rusty. Last week I worked on some designs. I've been having fun with Save the Date designs lately.
  4. 4. My Sister-in-Law, Joanna, and her sweet 1 year old Finely are back in the U.S. for a month! She is Normally in Cameroon, but is back for some Doctor's visits and is staying with her parents here in Nashville so I get to see her all the time! Yay! Tomorrow we are headed to the zoo. Should be a nice outside so the Vitamin D will be much welcome.
  5. 5. Josh's Beard is now huge and it's a daily topic of discussion. Should he shave. Who commented on it at work. How it's sorta getting wavy. How the mustache gets too long and makes it annoying to smooch around. How he touches it way...waaaaaaay too often. How the beard is an instant conversation starter.  About how his beard needs to make it on the blog.