Saturday, August 24, 2019

...and dirt don’t hurt.


My kids play in a sand pit. 

We moved about a year ago and our new back yard doesn’t have any of the outdoor play equipment we had at our old house. No swings. No inflatable pool in the summer. No fire pit. No fort. Not even a fence! (Yet.) 

We’d been in the new house approximately 17 minutes when the kids discovered that beneath a layer of pine straw in our backyard was...SAND. Soft and glorious and easy to dig into sand. 

Thank you, Florida Panhandle. 

Without a swing set or other outdoor weapons toys to play with- they went Classic Childhood and dug a hole. And dug. And dug. AND DUG. Y’all I’m here to tell you that no other three children IN THE HISTORY OF TIME have loved a sand pit more than mine. It’s a beautiful relationship. 

Except for one thing: SAND. 

Have you ever faced three dirt-and-sand-encrusted children knocking at your back door at 9:17am, wanting to come back inside to play after a glorious half hour of Hole Digging? I’ll tell you- it’s gross. There is sand in hair and ears and toes and shorts pockets. No matter how much they shake off their bodies, sand is going to leave a trail from the back door, through the living room, down the hallway and into the bathroom where it will be ground into your brand new bath rugs and crusted along the bottom of your freshly cleaned shower. 

It’s maddening. 

It drives you SO CRAZY that the next day, when your fresh faced cherub children ask if they can go outside for another expedition of Hold Digging, YOU TELL THEM NO. The thought of having another trail of Hold Digging Evidence to clean makes your eye twitch and you can’t summon the strength to face another gritty, grimy apocalypse. 

BUT THEN, three hours later when the volume level in your house rises and you’re eye is twitching for an entirely different reason- YOU TURN THEM LOSE. Watching them holler and howl with reckless abandon OUTSIDE WHERE JESUS LOVES THEM you break out the vacuum, shake out the bathroom rugs and get ready to hose them off on the back porch. 

‘Cause God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt. 







Thanks for stopping by, Katie. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

School is IN!



2019-2020

Yes, Luke’s shirt is backwards. 
And yes, Josie is in a princess dress. 
(Our dress code is very relaxed.)

4th Grade

2nd Grade

Kindergarten 

We’ve survived wrapped up our first week of school and it was great! 

Adding in Nathan to the mix with the other two felt massive and overwhelming but honestly, having him along with us at the table wasn’t very different from what things had been like these last years. I think I put a lot more stress on myself mentally about it than there really was- SHOCKING, I know. 

I do realize this is only Week 1 of 36 that we’ll navigate, but for now I’m feeling motivated and excited and encouraged for the year that’s before us. Our blessings and laundry hampers and pencil shavings overflow. Until next time! 



Thanks for stopping by, Katie. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Obligatory Curriculum Hyperventilation, bless.



It’s only been about a thousand days since I updated things here, BLESS MY HEART, but rest assured- nothing has changed. 

The kids are still loud and messy and awesome. 
Luke’s starting 4th grade, Josie is hitting 2nd and Nathan will be in KINDERGARTEN. 

::gasp:: 

I’m looking to start our new year in just about 10 days so I’m currently battling all the stress and the planning and the freaking out that I always do at the end of every summer before school starts. 
Good times.

I’m prayerfully planning on how to blog more and record more of our family memories/stories via this medium so if there’s a chance you’re still following along- don’t despair there will be more coming soon but right now I’ve got to go confiscate some butter knives. See y’all soon!!  

Thanks for stopping by- Katie. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

I Know What I Did This Summer


Sweet merciful heavens- WE SPENT THE SUMMER MOVING. 

It's nothing dramatic or earth shattering. We found a house that fits our lives better (Hello there, Office For Husband!) about five minutes down the highway from our old house so we decided to purge all our things, shove the rest into our garage, stage our home, list it, and KEEP IT SHOW READY while teaching and living in it with three kids, a dog, and a cat with a newfound affinity for Stress Diarrhea FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER. 

Then, once The Lord sent us a buyer after laying out some serious Gideon Level Fleeces, we decided to pack up and move during Labor Day weekend. In Florida. 
ALL THE HUMIDITY AND SWEATING, y'all. We have the greatest friends who helped us move. It was a miserable couple of days. And that's before an apocalyptic stomach flu infected us all. (That's another blog for another day. It was tragic.)

And now, after about a month, we're (mostly) unpacked and settled and situated. Hallelujah. However today I was looking for a framed picture from our old house and I'm preeeeeetty sure I've already opened all our "picture" boxes and it's still for sure MIA. ::shrug:: 

School is going well and the kids are awesome and our new house has a bathtub Noah could float The Ark in. I'll fill y'all in on all the details later, but for now know this: The only thing that kept me sane through this insane tornado of cardboard boxes has been Jesus. THE VERY LAST BOX THAT LEFT AND THE VERY FIRST BOX I UNPACKED was labeled "Katie's Bible Chair". 

It's true. 

I don't know what you're up to these days. You might be moving or schooling or working or nursing or potty training or teaching another human how to drive. Bless it. But whatever you're knee deep in, if you've got Jesus' hand firmly in yours- YOU HAVE SO GOT THIS. And I know this for a fact because I've just lived it. 

And while I'm not personally active on social media anymore, I'd still love to hear from you! If you leave a comment below directly here on the blog I'll see it for sure. I'd love to hear how y'all are and catch up on all the things!! 

Thanks for stopping by! ~Katie 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mary’s Motherhood



My life is currently one gigantic ball of stress. 
(Not that I’m being dramatic or anything.)

There are plates I am spinning that I didn’t even know existed. I’m sleeping less and less because I’m making mental To Do lists at 3:46am every morning and I’m drinking more coffee than I ever have. I’m breaking down and eating my feelings about once every fourteen days and last night they tasted like a buttery grilled cheese sandwich on sprouted bread at the kitchen table with Matt at 9pm after we got in from church and got the kids to bed. BLESS IT. 

It won’t be like this forever, but for this super crazy season, I feel like I’m struggling to keep one nostril above water some days. My biggest solace, my hugest sense of security and calm and assurance and encouragement is coming from my morning study and prayer time. I AM HERE TO MOST ASSUREDLY TELL YOU- there’s no way I could ever survive this stressful summer without having my coffee with Him every morning.  

I’m beginning the book of Luke, and I so much love the way he wrote his book. Consecutive order FOR THE WIN. Big shout out to Theophilus for being the initial recipient of this letter because I AM SO GLAD LUKE WROTE IT TO YOU. (So I could read it one day, too. ::wink::) 


“And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His Mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed- and a sword will pierce even your own soul- to the end that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” -Simeon to Mary when she and Joseph brought baby Jesus to the temple to be presented to the Lord. Luke 2:34-35


Ok, so here’s the deal: I always think of Mary as completing her ‘job requirement’ at the Jesus’ birth. She has the baby and then it’s like mentally BOOM! Jesus is 30 and beginning his ministry. BUT IT WAS SO NOT THAT WAY. 

Mary’s job was only beginning when she laid Him in that manger. She walked the entire road of motherhood with Jesus. Crawling, walking, spoon feeding, potty training, splinters from Joseph’s workshop. Sharing, bedtimes, breakfasts, games and jokes and favorite meals. Songs and holidays with relatives. Chores. Grocery shopping. Outgrowing clothes at break neck speed. New sandals. Skinned knees. Sunburns. Mary was there, SHE WAS HIS MOTHER, through it all. Just like me. 

Whoa. She washed never ending dishes, too. 

I’m raising my kids to learn and grow and love Christ as they develop personal relationships with Him. I’m training disciples. She was raising a sacrifice. My goal is to point my kids to Heaven. She was watching Him walk the road to the cross. Unreal. I can’t even imagine raising my baby while knowing what she knew. 

Simeon’s charge to her really hit me hard this morning. So whatever plates I’m going to try to keep spinning today, my job as a mother is what’s most important. And Mary showed me that. And for whatever reason, maybe it’s the stress- I found so much comfort there. 

Thanks for stopping by! ~ Katie. 

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And I'd still love to hear from you! I won't be able to meet you on social media, but if you leave a comment below here on the blog, I'd love to be able to chat and catch up!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Facebook WASN'T The Problem...


I haven't blogged in six or seven weeks. 
::gasp:: 

I broke up with Facebook and then inadvertently broke up with writing for a while. But in my defense, we have been busy. We've finished our school year. We've traveled. We've celebrated birthdays and graduations and anniversaries (13 years yesterday!) and wedding showers and eaten crawfish and avocado bruschetta and sushi and snowballs and about 55 gallons of coffee. I need a whole body cleanse because my skinny jeans currently make me feel like a busted can of biscuits. Bless. #worthit

"How is life sans social media, Katie? Are you churning butter while you recite poetry to the kids as they sit huddled by your feet and bask in your serene gaze? Are you centered and focused and relaxed?" 

Umm... No.
 I mean, Yes! 
But not quite.
 But things ARE different. 
And better in loads of ways. 
And it's been surprising, too. 

We traveled fairly soon after I'd deleted my Facebook/social media accounts. I can remember telling my friend Sara that it was bizarre to be in the car for a 4 hour drive while the kids splurged on a DVD in the back and my husband Matt listened to a podcast and I just....sat there. Like a pioneer woman in her bonnet on the front seat of the wagon. 

"This is so insane." I texted her. "I would normally be scrolling through my News Feed and now I've got nothing to do." Facebook had become such an ingrained habit of mine, I forgot how to "do" life without it. "You can just sit, Katie. Look out your window. THINK WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS for twenty minutes. Enjoy the peace." she replied. 

WHAT A NOVEL CONCEPT to just...be. 

In the car. With my brain, a notebook, a pen and my never ending mental To Do List. So I wrote it down. The things I wanted to accomplish through our last few weeks of school. Summer plans. Dates to remember. Ordering a new filter for our icebox and a lightbulb for the oven. Paperwork that needed to be submitted for our school year. VBS check lists. The car's registration renewal. I wrote all the things because I got to just sit there, in an air conditioned seat with a cup of coffee AND PROCESS LIFE. 

It rocked. 

Now I'm not saying that life has been all sunshine and roses since I gave up social media. It turns out, Facebook was just a SYMPTOM of a problem: my habitual distraction. Social media had trained me to keep my phone in my hand nearly constantly. It trained me to reach for it as soon as I sat in my recliner. Or when I rode in the car. Or when the kids started an episode of Odd Squad. Or when I finally flopped onto the sofa at the end of the day. I had become so well trained that even after eliminating social media from my life, I WAS STILL REACHING FOR MY PHONE. 

However now, with my Digital Distraction options being vastly limited, I found myself spending lots of time tracking our weather and refreshing my email for more coupons to Bed, Bath and Beyond and BOGO sales from Yankee Candle. Bless.

It took time, I'd say a week or two at least, to stop reaching for my phone. Scrolling through that touch screen had become second nature. I went from looking at other people's kids and recipes for triple chocolate cookie dough brownies and live videos of people selling stuff on social media to tracking rain clouds and humidity levels and talking myself out of buying Christmas Cookie candles in May. Turns out Facebook wasn't my problem, I WAS. 

And it's been well over a month now since I've given up social media and now- THINGS REALLY ARE GREAT. I'm still not churning butter or anything, but I'm also not narcissisticly analyzing every picture I see myself in to decide whether or not I'd want to post it online. I'm reading the kids more books. And actually watching more shows with them instead of letting them sit in my lap while I scroll through my phone. I'm not consumed with coming up with things to post about our life- I'm just living it. 

And it turns out- I'm really, really happy with it this way.

Thanks for stopping by, y'all!  ~Katie. 

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And I'd still love to hear from you! I won't be able to meet you on social media, but if you leave a comment below here on the blog, I'd love to be able to chat and catch up! (I need someone to gush over The Greatest Showman with.)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Hello" -please be humming Adele right now.


I've been praying and marinating and stress eating for nearly a month while I think about how to talk about this. I'm still not super sure I'll be able to adequately express myself even now, but I believe it's time to tell y'all that I'm breaking up with Facebook. 

It's just too much, y'all. 

Too much self obsession. 
Too much time. 
Too much self loathing. 
Too much distraction. 
Too much analyzing what parts of my day I'll capture to share. 
Too heavy. 
Too posed. 
Too cropped out. 
Too filtered. 

I LOVE MY LIFE!! 
I've got an amazing husband and three fantastic kids and a faith in Jesus Christ which grows and molds and refines me more and more everyday. Seriously- I'm winning at ALL THE THINGS right now. (Well, maybe not at sewing or enjoying cardiovascular exercise; but I'm happy to let those slide, bless it.) 

I've literally been given the Greatest Days Ever and for me, I realized I wasn't capitalizing on their full potential. I'd limited my time on social media drastically in the recent months, and I'd put in some Marriage Preserving stopgaps from the very beginning- but it was invading my headspace more and more AND MORE than I'd realized. 

I was crafting photo captions as I was taking pictures.
 I was writing status updates while I was fixing lunches. 
I would sit down with my husband after the kids were in bed, most nights it would be the first time I'd seen him ALL DAY, and spend 45 minutes scrolling through random strangers opening oysters to make pearl jewelry that I'd never want or buy INSTEAD OF HANGING OUT WITH HIM. (I mean, come on y'all- those 20 year old episodes of Law and Order we have saved on our DVR- that's riveting stuff.::wink::) 

But seriously- I had a moment of self awareness. I realized how much I was allowing my social media feed to affect my heart. How I'd feel when I'd see myself in pictures that were flattering. How I'd feel when I'd see myself in pictures that weren't. How I'd feel when I'd see my friends in pictures that were flattering. How I'd feel when my friends would react (or not! ::gasp::) to things I was posting or sharing. I allowed those emotions to become an undercurrent that propelled me through my day. Good day online? GOOD DAY AT HOME. Gross day online? SO MUCH GROSSNESS IN MY HEAD AND HOUSE. 

And I can't do it anymore. I won't do it anymore. 
So about three weeks ago- I quit. 

I quit checking. 
I quit posting. 
I quit examining every picture I saw of myself to see if my face looked super round that day. 
And y'all- My heart and mind and brain are full of SO MUCH PEACE. 

My biggest dilemma has not been about deactivating my personal account (Which will happen shortly. THEY MAKE IT SO DIFFICULT.) but about how to handle Lather, Rinse and Repeat's page. I'm still processing how to move forward on a few areas, to be honest because the encouragement and community I've found there has been phenomenal. PHENOMENAL, Y'ALL. I've got a friend who will step in and Admin for me so that my current posts will still be shared. There's a comment feature at the end of every post (that I moderate) on the blog's website so I will still be able to talk and laugh and be encouraged by everyone, just on a slightly different platform than through social media feeds. 

This step is still surprising/not surprising me more and more everyday. It feels so good to exhale and enjoy everyday because it's His gift to me, and not my response to a little blue screen. Bless it all.

If you'd like to talk more about my decision or laugh about the fact that I found myself frequently sucked into News Feed video vortexes of people decorating cakes, send me a comment below! Big hugs and big cups of coffee and even bigger prayers~ Katie.