Let Todays Be Our Somedays

This week has been perfect.

And the exciting thing is, it’s not done yet!

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Yesterday Brent and I celebrated our ONE YEAR anniversary! I can hardly believe it has been one year already, and we have been enjoying the most relaxing time at our favorite beach, Ocean Grove, New Jersey. In fact, right now my sweet husband is sacrifically watching Sports Center so that I can spend some time in our cozy room writin this blog… (or is it the other way around?).

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I love talking about memories dating back to 11th grade, like when I pretended I needed help with literature homework and “couldn’t text about it anymore,” a scheme to make “my future husband” call me. Another favorite was our senior missions trip to Latvia, when Brent participated in an interpretive dance. Enough said. I was nearly in tears as he retold that story, and have randomly laughed in public since then as I’ve pictured that scene.

More recent memories include the time Brent ran a half marathon with me, absolutely no training under his belt. Anything in the name of love. Or the time that he didn’t like the gift I got him on our first Christmas…and then I burst into tears…(now we’re getting more recent, and more vulnerable!)

I love talking about things like the highlights and challenges of marriage that we’ve experienced in the past 12 months, mainly how selfless we’ve both had to be, yet how fun sleepovers with your best friend really are.

Besides reminiscing our past, one of my favorite things to do with Brent is dream. We dream of the future, his love for business, my ideas for decor in our someday home, which beach house we’d buy if we had a million bucks, and what we’ll name our kids. I love that, to Brent, every empty lot holds potential and every abandoned house can be restored. He is a visionary and it causes me to think outside the box, not in want, but inspiration and creativity.

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Tonight I was thinking of where we’ve been and where we are now. I was thinking of my little sister, and how we just dropped her off at Eastern University this past weekend. She has a blank canvas ahead of her, four years at a gorgeous school, making new friends and deciding what she wants to do with her life. When we dropped her off I found myself envious of this new adventure she’s on (half of that may be her close proximity to Trader Joe’s, but I won’t confirm…) 😉

Then I thought back to myself in that moment, graduating senior trying to figure out what to do with life. In that moment all I wanted was to be done with school, to meet a nice guy, to know I was marrying him, and to not have to figure out my life. I was pretty concerned with the future, and high school seemed like a safe option to re-enter, while college seemed like a great option to skip.

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It’s so easy to look back and think how easy life was. Or to look to the future…how fun life will be.

Why is the moment never enough?

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I knew I had to write, nothing long or in depth, just some memories, some thoughts, and the phrase that has been playing in my brain all evening.

There’s always a someday…

but what if  that day is today?

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{Carolyn & her new home ❤ }

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{a couple snapshots of our week so far}

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xoxo K + B

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Monday Inspiration

 

 

 What’s on my mind this beautiful day…

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This weekend my mother-in-law surprised me with the most enormous bouquet of flowers ever.

Not many things bring me joy like fresh flowers do, and I had so many I created multiple arrangements with more to share!

My current favs are hydrangeas and garden roses. I’ve never loved roses but those pastel pinks totally inspire me.

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Saturday we got to celebrate the marriage of one of the sweetest girls I know and a member of my Wednesday night dinner club!

Court & Nathan’s wedding had the most elegant and laid back style, and there were so many friends to spend time with. It was the perfect night!

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Yesterday Brent and I went on a countryside run near his parents home.

We ran 5.5 miles, which totally shocked and excited me because I’ve definitely being feeling a little “out of shape.”

I’m so thankful for a husband who loves me enough to slow down to my pace and stick with me on runs like that one.

The weather was truly beautiful and I loved coming home to see the evening light shine through the trees onto the brick wall of our apartment.

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We ended the weekend with a delicious fresh & local dinner, (recipe compliments of Martha Stuart herself) and watching the World Cup with friends. (Although I couldn’t really tell you much about the game since Amber and I took a walk that lasted for it’s entirety haha!)

Lately I’m learning to see the beauty in little things, and to truly enjoy moments for what they are. Our days are hardly perfect, but I find that when I focus on the pieces that I love I can cultivate thankfullness within my own heart and that of my husband, and those around me.

So here’s a recipe for you to try as you begin your week-

I really do love Martha Stewart…

A quote to inspire you-

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And a post to help you remember that Mondays aren’t so bad when you’re counting your blessings 🙂

LOVE YOU ALL!

(and sorry for the awful iPhone pics. Maybe I’ll get a camera someday!)

xoxo Katie

A Vow to Be Selfless

Two weekends ago we were at the wedding of some more dear friends of ours. (I may or may not start off every blog from now until December with this phrase. Like seriously, we’ve got one tomorrow. I’m in heaven.)

Anyway, we had the privilege of sitting next to an awesome couple who I have gotten to know through Brent’s family. Paul & Anita Keagy of JoyShop Ministries are just amazing, and you should definitely check out Anita’s story!

As we were waiting for the wedding to begin, Anita turned to me and asked how marriage was going (as is often the question when you’re almost a year in and don’t have kids to talk about 😉 ) I said great and smiled and talked about how much I just love marriage and adore Brent and blah blah blah and she goes, Marriage is hard isn’t it? I kind of looked at her and was like, “Well yea, it is…” and she continued, When you’re so used to looking out for yourself, and then you’ve got another person to work with, it just shows how selfish you are. I thought about what she was saying, and immediately my thoughts jumped to the evening before, when we were laying in bed, all settled in and the little dresser fan was perfectly positioned toward my face- Brent goes “Can you turn the fan towards me a little?” I, of course, responded in model wife fashion.

 “I don’t wanna turn the fan towards you, I’m hot. And I definitely don’t want to get out of bed to do it when you have two legs and can do it yourself.”

Contradictory to my words, I then slouched out of bed and made the 1/2 step journey to reach the fan (I really didn’t even need to get out of bed to do this difficult task), moved the fan an inch to the right, AND survived in the process. Pretty good right?

If it wasn’t obvious to you before this story, I am guessing it is very obvious now that I

a) am a drama queen

and

b) could win an award for my selfless attitude as a wife, and just a human being in general.

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But seriously- Selflessness is an area I find myself really struggling in when it comes to my relationships, and it is totally amplified in my marriage. It is easy to put your best face on for lots of people, but when it comes to your full-time roommate it gets a tad bit tedious.

“You need to ration those fresh strawberries to last our whole week of groceries.” (but I can eat them all if I’m hungry enough)

“UM, did you just drink the last of the filtered water? That was mine.” (as if we are experiencing a major drought here in downtown Lancaster.)

“That is not the movie had in mind…” (but I literally said in my vows we wouldn’t always watch chick-flicks)

or my current fav:

“Why don’t you wash your own baseball pants?”

(I made this comment right before a church softball game when Brent realized he had to wear dirty pants. We got there and I literally hear someone go, oh wow-that guy has already slid and they’re only warming up. he’s pretty intense.)

Nope, he just has a wife who didn’t wash his pants.

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As you can see, I have identified my “area with room to grow” for the week, or maybe for life. Marriage is fun and beautiful and I love it, but I’m also really bad at being a selfless person. By nature I care a lot about me, but my heart is to care for others, and totally to care for my husband. It takes a very conscious decision on my part to say yes I will go get you a glass of water or, yes I will make mashed potatoes which I don’t like or, fine I will watch that movie with fast cars and lots of explosions.

But I chose Brent on August 18, 2013, and when I gave him my heart on that day I promised to give him my heart again and again. To choose him over and over- I verbally stated I would make steak when I wanted vegetables, that I would watch action when I wanted comedy. I promised, and as my vows are being put to the test each day, I am realizing the conscious decision it takes love, to forgive, to choose selflessness.

Again, and again, and again.

{forever}

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It’s Hard Work Being Yourself

12:30 AM and I am wide awake. Tapping on my sleeping husband’s arm and whispering, “hey Brent, are you awake?” (I totally knew the answer to that one). “I think I’m overstimulated creatively.”

That woke him.

I was met with a groggy, “you are so weird.” And he was out again.

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For those of you who know me, and therefore don’t believe this story, it is true. On Saturday I slept past 9 AM (which led to a major freak out because I never do that and my Saturday was completely wasted) and then I stayed up till 1. Another uncharacteristic move on my part. I spent my day loving the weather, sipping on the yummiest coconut breeze iced latte from cute little Corner Coffee Shop, strolling the grassy aisles of an inspirational craft show and planting flowers in my city garden. On top of that, I started reading an amazing book that encompassed, beauty, home decor, and all things I love.

Who needs caffeine when you’re hyped up on inspiration?

This is no exaggeration- once I finally did close my eyes that Saturday night, I was abruptly disrupted by my own dreams of rearranging the living room furniture, and could hardly stay in bed at 3 AM. Four hours of sleep later, we were up and I was jabbering about all the things I wanted to do. We took every picture off the wall and “re-did” our apartment, and it goes without saying that I totally crashed Sunday night.

I truly was overstimulated creatively.

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I am a creative person, and once my mind gets racing I just can’t stop. I breathe beauty, love life and want to hug everything for joy.

My creativity can make me feel alive and ridiculous all at the same time. While I can be creative, I can also get caught up in the details of things and fall into the trap of perfection. I can become almost paralyzed when I consider what others might think of what I create, write, decorate, wear, anything that speaks to my “style.” Being vulnerable and putting myself out there can be scary. I can feel silly- Like I choose to do things that have no meaning, or waste time with the menial. I can become insecure, that my brain doesn’t work as logically as some, or that I’m just coming across as over the top and ridiculous.

It is hard work being yourself. Especially when you care what others think.

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Just today I was thinking about all this- about life, our weekend, what was on my heart, blogging. I was feeling insecure, lost in the busyness of where we’re at right now and feeling like I have nothing to give or to say. The more I think, the more I spiral, and the more I spiral the worse my thought process gets. But I feel like that is exactly where the devil wants me.

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Do you ever feel like you use your gifts, be who you are, enjoy life (even if it seems “menial” or “silly”) and then have the worst day ever 12 hours later? Or you feel like you’re getting ahead only to fall back into whatever your “blah”-ness is all over again.

I have discovered, more and more, that the Lord totally wants us to

a. be who we are

b. have FUN!

Enjoy life! Creativity isn’t silly, beauty isn’t ridiculous, it is totally a gift. Being excited about life is ok, and not just ok, it is good for you. I just REALLY felt like I needed to write this to encourage whoever you are to BE who you are. It is so easy to fall into the fake-ness and false-self stuff, but nobody really believes or likes that side of you.

Don’t lose yourself to the pressures you feel or perceive.

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Some of the photographers at the studio where I work attended a workshop recently and came back with this quote. I feel like it pretty much sums up my heart in this perfectly-

If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and gave you the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation. Creativity is His gift to you and the ‘raw materials’ to be put together in various ways are His gift to you as well.”

The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life, Edith Schaeffer

❤ Katie

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things [recently]

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{watermelon, feta, & mint. sounds so strange, but seriously the best combo.

oh and Rice & Noodle’s macaroons.. YUM.}

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{this little antique peach pitcher I found at the craft show last Saturday. perfect for planting a succulent…but what isn’t perfect for a succulent?}

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{this watercolor print created by my friend Abbey of In Colour. I love to look at it hanging by my desk.}

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{the adorable craft show I went to last weekend, called The Cottonwood House.}

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{peonies, my recent flower of choice. and the dinner party I got to throw for my dear friend Court (soon-to-be MRS) and fellow dinner club members!}

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{the book I’m reading- which inspired me to take all the decor off my walls and rework my home. and the author’s blogamazing.}

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 {my workspace. I figure since I spend most of my days there it needs to look ‘me-ish’- and let’s not forget my recent favorite iced drink, introduced to me by my sweet friend Brittne. Prince Street coffee with a little chai! }

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Happy 9 Months of Memories

This weekend has been all about love. Brent and I kicked off the wedding season by witnessing our beautiful friends Travis & Kristin say i do on a perfect Saturday evening. All I kept saying was, love this, love this, I love this. On the way home I asked Brent what his favorite part of the wedding was, and follwed with, “Did you know I just love weddings?” I was met with, “Well if I didn’t know before tonight, I definitely do now.”

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Today I celebrated the marriage of our sweet friends, Chad & Kate, through their perfect bridal shower at Commonwealth on Queen. Just more opportunity for me to gush over details and talk about Kitchen Aids and bridal bouquets (two topics that I enjoy a little too much). You can only imagine how close my head will be to exploding when my own sisters start getting engaged.

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Today also marks exactly nine months since Brent & I said we do and chose each other forever. I realized, as I listened to the words shared at last nights wedding, how much that committment meant. As I listened to the promises made, and thought back to our own vows and promises, the reality hit me- marriage is no picnic, those promises are no small feat to accomplish. At the same time, I have adored this almost year of marriage, and am humbled to be Brent’s wife, to love him, and to keep my promises to the best of my ability.

At 5 months Brent & I blogged the things we’d learned so far. Tonight I want to share some of the things I love most about my husband. In honor of 9 months, and remembering how lucky I am.

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-I cherish our evenings, whether watching a favorite “together show” (currently 24) or reading seperately but still together. I love the moments as we’re falling asleep, me talking and talking and talking and talking… unaware that he has been sleeping for an hour.

-I love when I’m crying, sometimes with purpose, sometimes for no reason at all, and Brent fakes a sad face and starts “crying” with me. And then I start to laugh. (or dramatically sigh and pout, which only makes him laugh harder).

-I will admit to the fact that half the times we run together I get mad because he is pushing me to run faster (which is really what I’m begging for) so I try to run ahead- only to result in a sprinting match.

-One of the things I appreciate most about Brent is his humor. He is weird. And I laugh at him all the time. When he’s imitating me he gives me these weird voices that only he can do, when he’s in a super good mood he sings so loud the neighbors hear him, and when he’s working out he likes techno music. He laughs at my (often pathetic) jokes, and takes me very “seriously” at times when I’m being dramatic, only to be followed by a dry comment that brings me back to reality.

-I married a super talented chef, not even kidding. His love Food Network and fresh, quality ingredients makes for fun weekends and delicious meals. He is also oddly talented at cutting fruit (I have his mama to thank for that). I promise, his fruit salads do not disappoint.

-Brent has diligently, throughout our marriage so far, agreed not to encroach on my spaces. By this I mean, he does not open the door to my closet and openly judge me for the disorganized mess he sees. He is super organized. I on the other hand, the primary driver of our car and caretaker of our home, am only organized in places people can see. Do not open drawers, do not look under the bed, do not ask me for a ride, and stay away from my closet.

-Brent loves me well. He is a romantic, and he takes note of what I enjoy. He writes me letters, shares my passion for good food, knows my obsession with fresh flowers, and appreciates (when in the mood) my love for shopping, big cities, new people and frozen yogurt.

-Brent’s got style. He puts up with my clothing drama in part cause he gets it, but also cause he’s just really nice like that. I love his fashion sense, and he has picked some of the cutest stuff I have, for real.

-I love that Brent talks things through. I realize more and more that he isn’t naturally a verbal processer, but when it comes to me needing advice, needing to work something out, or us disagreeing he has grown so much in that. As evidenced by my many tales of drama and imperfection, we have our share of disagreements. I feel blessed with a husband who leads me in working through them, and getting to the root of the issue (as opposed to my potential for emotional blow-ups). Brent is steady, and I love him for it.

-No one knows me like my husband. Not only did we go through some of the worst times in my life together, graduate high school together, and date on numerous occasions in the past five years, he makes an effort to know me. He invests in me, in what I love, he affirms me, he cherishes me.

He challenges me to be myself.

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Nine months seems short and long all at once. Nine months flew, and I have already met challenges I’ve never faced, and felt parts of this journey I never imagined. I guess you could say that this love and wedding centered weekend made me reminiscent.

It made me realize not only how much I love love, but how loved I am.

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let me take a selfie.”

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Told you Brent’s got style.

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Most handsome date I ever had ❤

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No fruit salads today, but he did create this. #YUM

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Hello, I’m Barbie and this is Ken…(says no one, ever.)

Saturday morning dawned with clear skies and a crisp chill in the air…and like any other weekend I was up and at ’em at 6:00 AM. By 7 AM I had succesfully created the perfect “pre-game breakfast” and was ready to wake my husband for his basketball tournament. All this while attempting to look like I didn’t try to hard but just woke up perfectly in tact, which never really happens (I cannot defeat morning breath and bedhead without a toothbrush and a hair straightener). I woke Brent up and the day went downhill from there.

Brent- “I think I’ll get sick if I drink this chocolate milk before the game.”

Me- Oh my gosh, Katie you are an idiot. How could you mix this up. Chocolate milk is for post workout. You are the worst wife ever.

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One hour later, I’m in the midst of working out with my best pal Jillian Michaels and I recieve a text.

Brent- Where are you? I only have two games left.

Me- You are freaking kidding me. This is why I bugged you for two weeks straight about game times. 

and then

I am the worst wife ever. Not only did I try to poison him with pre-game dairy, now I’m missing the game altogether. FAIL FAIL FAIL. And there goes that shower…

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The day just went downhill from there. I won’t bore you with the details of me crying and Brent rolling his eyes, all over very petty things. Or the fact that I pulled the I am a brat and will sit here non-responsive until you apolgize act on my very own husband. Or even the threat to skip dinner because I knew it would make him mad.

I am embarrassed to say that I was not on the ball that Saturday, in fact, I think I totally missed the perfect-little-married-couple train. But I would be remiss if I didn’t say that, at the end of it all- the tears shed, the words shared, the obnoxiousness on both our parts, I was refreshed.

We got on each other’s nerves that whole entire day.

And it was ok.

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So many things were shared on our wedding day…I couldn’t begin to try and remember them all. But I will never forget an ever-recurring analogy shared by the friend who married us.

You cannot be Ken & Barbie. Nobody even wants that from you.

We all know Ken and Barbie. Unrealisticly fit bodies, painfully white teeth, neon blonde hair and (although I never really watched those Barbie movies), perfect date nights.

Brent is a perfectionist, I am a perfectionist (as established in many posts past). But this message isn’t limited to Brent and I.

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These past few months of marriage have shown me so much. Some times, I’m just going to seem annoying and I can’t do anything about it. Sometimes, pretending everything’s ok really just brings lifelessness. Simply going through the hollow motions doesnt bring joy, fulfillment or love to my marriage. It causes resentment, it causes judgment, it causes me to lose myself.

When I feel it, my husband feels it.

Marriage might be the best accountability I’ve ever had.

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Unfortunately this post is not a DIY on having a perfect new marriage… or a perfect marriage ever. It is not an outline on what to say or what to do when you mess up, when your husband thinks your acting like a child, or when you know that if you say one more word you have crossed the border from annoying to just plain mean. There’s now “How to Dig Yourself Out of Huge Holes” section and I still struggle with beating myself up over menial things.

This is me saying to you- I’m where you are. If you can relate with me, then I can relate with you. We’re on this ship together and sometimes all we can do is look at each other and say, “I give up. I release control.”

Barbie & Ken make it look so easy…I, however, would argue- It’s not.

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I also have yet to master the art of fresh breath and perfect hair upon awakening. So for those of you who’ve got this down to a science, please share your suggestions in the comments below.

This is a lesson to all my newly married friends- from another newly married friend. One day you’re feeling all honey-mooney, and then BAM. Life happens.

The Hostetters {Established August 18, 2013}

Finally! I’ve built up the stamina to make it through ALL of our wedding pictures. My inspiration? WE NEED TO GET THAT CHRISTMAS CARD OUT! (Christmas is excellent inspiration for anyone). These photos, captured by my sweet friend Amber Martin and her JHP Team, are AWESOME! I hope you enjoy them close to as much as I have 🙂

Getting Ready

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The First Look

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Our Bridal Party

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Wedding and Reception

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Just Dance

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my story {restoration}.

 

everyone has a “hard thing.” a hurdle they jump through, whether big or small, that defines them. it is in these hurdles that we learn to jump. high and long, we leap as we run, and we not only imagine-but bring to reality the conquering of things we never knew possible. 

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As I entered 11th grade I specifically remember health class. I remember watching a documentary about the detrimental effects of a certain fast food chain (think Supersize Me and Mickey D’s). I remember that tennis is the said-best sport for a good cardio work out, right up there with running. I remember eating snacks.

One specific lesson I’ll never forget was on eating habits. We learned about healthy eating, overeating and disordered eating. I remember my health teacher discussing bullimia and anorexia as “teenage girls looking in the mirror and thinking they’re fat” and consequently starving or purging over it. I specifically remember thinking to myself-

I could never do that. I love food too

See. I was a normal high schooler. I loved my friends, my school activities, my cute clothes and the way I was percieved by others was extremely important to me. However, in the area of my weight I was relatively confident. I mean, my favorite meal was mashed potatoes and ham. The healthy aspect? Lima beans drowned in brown butter. Yum. 

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My junior year was major. I was taking SATs, choosing colleges, practically determing my future (or trying to). On top of all that I had just started “talking to” a new guy (my husband), and I was struggling with digestive issues and awful stomach pain. We prayed, we visited doctors, I had so many tests done I can’t even remember them all, but nothing seemed to give me answers for my pain. It was distracting, and seemed mostly caused my stress (which there was a lot of).

In January 2009 I started being “more careful” with what I ate…and I started feeling better. I had discovered a cure, the way that I could control what doctors seemingly could have. On a diet of salads I started to “feel better.” 

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It didn’t take long for my new eating habits to begin catching up with me. My weight loss was slight at first, and initially I got comments like “Have you been working out? You look great!” and “How do you keep that body? What’s your secret?” I ate this up, what had started in a seemingly harmless way was suddenly becoming my latest obession. I had always enjoyed running (short distances), but suddenly I couldn’t live without it. I began to pay attention to calories, a whole new world to me. I had a little notebook and a website I used. Each day was like a math problem- 5 mile run ( burning ____ calories) + eating hardly anything ( ______ calories) equals NEGATIVE _____ calories. That’s right, at the end of my day the goal was to go negative in caloric intake. I was a mess.

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Every story has a hero. My mom is the hero in this one. You never want to admit that you have a problem, much less that your own child does. But if my mom hadn’t admitted I had a problem, if she hadn’t taken me to that first doctor’s appointment, the one where my pediatrician said “you’re on the verge of an eating disorder,” who knows where I’d be. 

In two months I had gone from a happy and healthy 145 lb high school girl, to a sickly and depressed, awful and mean 119 lbs. At 5′ 8” I could not afford this. 

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By June of 2009 I had both dated and broke up with my (now) amazing husband. I had become an anti-social nightmare child. The summer of 2009 I don’t think I hung out with one friend. I was mean to my sisters, angry toward my parents and completely rude to my doctor, dietician and counseler. My mom didn’t waste any time getting me into treatement. We made countless trips to the eating disorder clinic at Hershey Med Center, my hero of a dietician here in Lancaster City and my amazing counseler on Lititz Pike. 

 

I remember my mom sending Carolyn out with me on my long runs, for fear that I’d pass out from lack of nutrition (or heat stroke considering I ran mid-day).

I remember when I was told I had to stop exercising for a time, I threatened to go out in the middle of the night, and I did sit-ups in the shower.

I remember Carolyn making me cookies, and writing me a note “I know you aren’t hungry very much, but here’s something I thought you might like.”

I remember my dad taking me to get my cartilidge pierced, in hopes that I would feel pretty.

 

Nothing worked. 

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There are SO many facets to my story. Obviously there is that “what happened with you and Brent?” (Maybe I’ll write a sequel). There is the me almost dropping out of Living Word and switching schools my senior year. There is the me finding value in anything and everything but the Lord.

BUT.

First I had to realize something. 

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There are moments of my journey that are just engrained in my mind. 

I was standing in my bedroom, looking in the mirror. I remember what I was wearing, a small white beater and my sister Amanda’s shorts. I was 17, Amanda was 10. I was staring at a family portrait hanging on my mirror. The picture had been taken for a church directory the summer before Junior year. We were so happy, I lookedhappy. I hadn’t seen a truly happy Me in a very long time. 

I looked in the mirror. I was sick. I was skin and bones, I was not pretty, I was sunken in and pale. There was no going up if I stayed on this path. I either get help or die. It was truly at that point. In that moment I made choice. I went to my mom bawling my eyes out. I needed help, I longed for help and I had been “recieving help” but not truly recieving. 

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Eating disorders are serious stuff. Anorexia is serious. There is so much more to it than just “a girl looking in the mirror and thinking she’s fat.” This Spring will mark four years since I was at my worst, lowest point. I cannot tell you that I don’t still struggle. Moments in life bring up fear in me. The thought of a wedding brought anxiety which brought control which ended with me in a too-big wedding dress four days before. That is not ok. 

 

SO many parts of my heart have been healed. SO many parts of my mind have been healed. But I am learning. I am on a journey, and I can’t give up. I can’t just give in and decide that I will let running get the best of me, or that I will stop eating out of control. Anorexia is complex, but it can no longer define me. We all have struggles, it’s part of that whole fallen world thing. But I want you, whoever “you” may be, to know that there is hope. I’m still on the journey. 

 

It’s a choice.

 

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letter to my someday daughter [and any girl in the world].

Disclaimer- This post is not to say my own mother didn’t tell me these things, but simiply that I chose to learn the hard way. These are some of my personal opinions, thoughts and lessons learned in my short 21-year-old life span. Some pertain to my battle with anorexia, some to my education, some just micellaneous life stuff. I have always dreamed of being able to share my store and impact someone, someday the way so many women in my life have impacted me.

So here they are…things I wish I never did, things I did and learned from, stuff that’s on my heart.

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1. The kissy face is NOT timeless, you will regret it. (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re either lying or should google “myspace kissy face”)

2. Just because two pretty people are in a relationship, does not mean they have pretty hearts. (outward appearances only hold up so long)

3. Stocking up on dirt-cheap Target clearance items that you “kind of like” is not being a good steward of your money- Save up for those leather boots you really want.

4. Belly button rings? Not really timeless either…and they leave a gaping hole above the already gaping hole in your stomach.

5. To guys, stick-thin-coat hanger-thin bodies are NOT all the rage.

6. If you starve yourself, your metabolism slows down. Any food your body can get ahold of is stored…as fat. So eat normally, proportionately, moerately, but normally. (and normal can include some ice cream every now and then!)

7. Along those lines…No matter how thin you are, you will think you should be thinner. Same goes for every area of your life. Being hard on yourself is a waste of time, drop the expectations. Choose to embrace your life.

8. Dating in high school is rough at best. I know I may seem hypocritical considering I did the cliche and married my high school sweetheart…but hey, we had to break up for two years before any of that happened.

9. Freshman year of college- NOT created soleley for skipping classes, slacking on assigments and then assuming you will pass. I almost didn’t.

10. The more you look in the mirror, the worse you will start to look.

11. Just because you survived freshman year of high school doesn’t mean you know everything- Mom still knows better.

12. Hiding the receipts does not mean you didn’t spend the money.

13. If you plan on going to college, do not feel the need to have a five year plan by 11th grade. I went from fashion design to interior design to business at Shippensburg (haha) to elementary education to undeclared to public relations to NOW. (I will not disclose which of those were actual majors vs. just dreams. It’s too embarrassing). There is hope, I am somehow graduating early, you are NORMAL. -or you have found someone else who is abnormal.

14. Playing the dumb girl who doesn’t enjoy reading or writing and never knows answers-doesn’t pay off. Brent recently told me that if he had known that I actually enjoyed my times reading classics like The Great Gatsby and The Scarlet Letter, he may have liked me MORE in high school! (Not that it matters now 🙂 )

15. You cannot  love others until you love yourself, and you cannot love yourself until you embrace God’s love. {I’m crying as I write this.}

16. Your first heart break seems the worst-I can feel the pain for you. Break-ups are terrible, awful and I wouldn’t wish one on anyone (another case against high school dating) but I PROMISE you God’s got a plan beyond your own. Hang on to Him.

17. Back on the timeless theme- shirts that reveal cleavage, not cool, and not bringing any attention you want from any guy worth getting.

18. Guard your heart. This includes Snapchat, Facetime and texting. (In my day-not that long ago- it was IM, Myspace, Xanga).

19. I’ve had enough self-tanner faux pas to know, it doesn’t work. none of it.

20. There is always someone worse off than you. When you’re upset because you shrunk your favorite shirt, humiliated yourself in front of your friends or got grounded for something you think you didn’t do, consider others ahead of yourself. Create a gift, write a note, do SOMETHING for SOMEONE that is NOT YOU. I am always amazed at my perspective change.

21. Popularity is overrated.

22. Don’t limit yourself, start a dream journal and just let your ideas flow. Creativity is contagious, pass it on

23. Eat oatmeal when you have cramps. It helps, I promise (and chocolate actually makes you feel worse because your sugars spike and then crash. Crashing sugars=a pathetic, crying, grumpy Katie).

24. Above all else, realize you ARE not alone. There IS someone like you, someone who went through all the joys and crap of middle school, high school and beyond.

You WILL survive!

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Love, Katie

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real life | sweet fairytales | joy.

“maybe the good life isn’t a fairytale…”

-some random radio station

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That’s ridiculous, I thought, as I’m driving along at a painfully slow speed on Lititz Pike. (For those of you who ever
try to enter Lancaster City from this route, you understand me. It is however a great deterrent from frozen yogurt and craft stores.)

So i’m thinking, that quote is absurd, life is beautiful, life is a fairy tale, that is the good life.

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I am a girl who loves beauty, I love beautiful clothes, keeping a beautiful home, aiming to look beautiful.

I am a girl who loves perfection, I love perfect weather, perfect days, perfect meals in a perfectly clean kitchen.

sounds magical, right?

I am a girl who cries, I cry when I burn bread, I cry when I shrink a shirt, I cry when my face breaks out ( I am being very candid here.)

I am a girl who fears, I fear a messy home, I fear a failed dinner, I fear a fight or a bad day.

and just like that, the magic is gone.

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I am learning, slowly learning, that I can’t rely on a fairy tale life to bring me joy. I can’t avoid fights with my husband to keep us “happy,” I can’t always coordinate our outfits in public (and it’s not the end of the world if I don’t), and I can’t make perfect dinners from now until I die.

Where are my margins? Where is my room for mistakes?

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My mind…that quote…passing from immediate judgment and scorn to a breath, a thought, I wonder…

What if I changed my perspective of “the good life,” what if I redefined “fairytale?”

fair-y tale, noun ; a story about magical and imaginary beings and lands,

~

fair-y tale, noun ; a beautiful illusion, something that comes of dreaming, but nothing of substance. For true life, true magical living comes moment by moment- it is not an overarching image of perfection, it is living life with the ones you love…gracing yourself with room for imperfection…openness and honesty…experiencing the reality of life with a new frame of mind.

The good life is NOT fairytales.

The good life is raw, open, honest | joy.

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***for those of you curious about my scorned tone at points,

(specifically the mention of culinary disasters),

to you I say one thing-

never try bread in a crock pot. the crock pot is good, not that good.