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.”

photo 2

 

photo 1

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.

photo 3

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

photo 1

let me take a selfie.”

photo 2

Told you Brent’s got style.

photo 4

Most handsome date I ever had ❤

photo 5

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

aad7e20a96ae067e7b89e20a0d248d13

perspective.

Some days I feel like my head is in a cloud. Not a pretty, fluffy, dreamy cloud. More like a dark, dense, stormy one.

Some nights I tell my husband, Brent- I wish it was just you & me on this earth becuase everyone else stresses me out. And other nights I think, I wish it was just me on this earth, ’cause even Brent stresses me out.

Some days it feel like I’m fighting just to get ahead, to pass myself and my grouchiness, my negative attitude and my complainy heart. I just want to go to bed and wake up with a clean slate, erase these feelings, this day.

perspective.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These past few weeks have been some of those weeks You know when you respond to “How are you?” with “Oh you know, it’s been one of those days.” ? Well multiply that day by about 12 and you’ve got me lately. Or at least my perspective on the situation.

When I allow my thoughts to spiral in a path of negativity suddenly life is a mess dotted with a few spots of beauty, rather than beauty dotted with a few spots of mess. I’ve recognized that the most dangerous thing with my thoughts is when I lose sight of reality because I’m so bogged down with details that I think I percieve.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Something I’ve dealt with throughout my life, and now more then ever in my marriage, is perspective.

“Are you sure the teacher was yelling at you, Katie, or was she speaking to the class?”

“Did your sister insult you, or was she just being matter-of-fact?”

“Did I say I hate you? No. I’m simply disappointed.”

and the list goes on…

In my marriage it looks even uglier…something more like…

“I don’t love that color on you.”

He thinks I’m so ugly.

“This isn’t my favorite meal you’ve made.”

He thinks I’m the worst cook that ever walked the earth.

“I wish you would organize your closet.”

He’s wondering what he got himself into, his wife is a messy disaster.

(Ok so, that last one may be true… 🙂 but you get the picture.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I’ve grown, learned to know myself and my tendencies better, there has been a consistent pattern to fight against.

warped perspective.

My natural tendency is not to hear what people are saying as it is, but to interpret what I believe they mean. Not to trust that they are being honest, saying it like it is. It is not to see life as a reality, but to worry about everything I’m doing wrong, everything that could happen.

If you can relate, then you know, this can be paralyzing.

But this is no way to live. In fact, this has got to be one of the worst ways to live. Living in assumption of the untrue, allowing days to pass unaware of the depth of beauty to be found.

perspective’s got the best of me

but what if I flipped it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank God, perspective is a choice. Just as I allow my mind to fly one direction, I can redirect it to reality, to truth, to blessings and joy and the fullness of life as I live it, not simply as I see it.

1. Be transparent. When you’re living in a big cloud, transparency seems practically opposite your natural tendency, but oh how refreshing it is to share. I experienced this even today, with a much needed phone call from a friend.  Often times a reality check and some encouragement is all I need to let go of stress, anxiety, whatever is weighing me down in the moment. And if you think you’re alone in the journey, you’re wrong. Each of us feels it at some point, whether it’s the struggle for contentment, the fear of people, or the disjointed view of a situation. We all need reality, and journeying together is way more fun then traveling alone.

2. Shut it down. For me, it’s become a conscious decision, sometimes daily, to be positive. To choose joy. To open my day with prayer and allow the Lord in so there’s no room for all the junk I can soak up, even unknowingly. Throughout my day if I’m keeping up communication with Him I feel so much more refreshed then when I stuff my emotions.

3. Readjust your focus. Thankfullness is the best choice you could ever make, I promise! When I start choosing, I find it contagious. Sometimes it means physically listing off the beauty of that day, other times it’s refocusing my thoughts on someone else. Who can I bless today? Who can I help?

I found this verse today and it’s packed full of what I needed to hear, and need to keep hearing.

Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.

This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.

It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it.

For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 

1 John 3:18 MSG

4. Treat yourself. As intentional as you are with your thoughts, there is always that moment when you just need a break. Perspective isn’t always warped, sometimes life is just that crazy. Take a break, even if it’s for the tiniest bit. Treat yourself to creamer laden coffee and an episode of something good, or at least sit down for a sec! If you’re like me, when productivity sets in there’s no stopping you, but I’m always amazed at how time multiplies and my image of what’s ahead changes by simply allowing myself to rest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blogging is cheap therapy. Writing helps me process, reminds me of what’s true and good, relays my thoughts when I can’t vocalize in any profound sense. This could be one of those moments,

because I’m feeling refreshed…

And thankful? I’m feeling that too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

sweet moments of time from this week alone.

[thankful]

Image

for this morning’s coffee and a microwave on constant reheat

Image

for the street light that reminds me of summer night moons

Image

for the snow covered park two blocks from home

Image

for dusting off the juicer and drinking my vegetables

Image

for a weekend trip to Philadelphia and my favorite flagship store

Image

for bagels on bagels on bagels [my favorite guilty pleasure]

Image

for folding laundry and friendship combined

photo 1

for the aftermath of yummy food and sweet memories

photo 3

for lavender & honey Yogi tea. experiencing “tension relief” together

photo 2

for the one I am privileged to do life with

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

for these things, I give thanks.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Less-Than-Perfect Life

I dedicate this post to the random five months we have been married. (Not six, or a year, but five). 

Today I have a guest writer. Brent Hostetter has agreed to sit down with me and give his input on our lives over the past five months (It’s only fair that, if he thinks i’m embellishing anything which of course I never do, he add his own perspective).

So today, from the hearts of Brent & Katie Hostetter, I give you-

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Less-Than-Perfect Life

(*Disclaimer* While these aspects of our lives may fit us as a couple, they don’t describe everyone, and that is perfectly ok (you’re probably better off that way 🙂 )

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let’s begin with my perspective (As the more experienced writer on this team, I get to go first. And as the girl too.)

1. The difference between 1-ply and 2-ply toilet paper. Because there is one, and it is crucial to some people’s comfort and happiness. 

2. Men don’t like leftovers. Or to make it less of a generalization, a lot of men don’t prefer leftovers. (But we’re getting there. I’ve found that the old saying “Lasagna is always better the next day” really does apply in this situation. Is that an old saying?)

3. A dinner without meat is not an acceptable dinner. Period.

4. When I want to have a calendar meeting, I need to first guarantee that Brent is fully fed and hydrated. And in an excellent mood prior. 

5. Discount gorcery stores are NOT as appealing to men as they are to women… (“You got that where? Is it stale or something?”) Please note***This also applies to Trader Joe’s, which did not impress Brent when I dragged him an hour to grocery shop. 

6. Along the same lines, Brent will buy the first thing he sees. I will search seven stores and ten websites for the best deal before I end up buying the first thing I see. 

7. When there is a good opportunity to buy food, packing lunch is never an option (Think day trip to Philly with a lunch box in my purse.)

8. Talking during a movie, sports game, or anything else projected on a TV screen? Impossible. 

9. Although he IS my best friend, my husband is never going to be the one I curl up in front of chick flicks and drink hot cocoa with. (In other words, I need girls). 

10. When he suggests a trip to the mall, he is picturing Chinese food and the gumball machine. NOT browsing Gap’s latest line.

11. On a more serious note- Marriage means everything in me is exposed. What I feel is what Brent feels. I have the power to set the mood for my house, and for my family. My problems are no longer just mine, he is fully affected by them. It is the best accountability but also the hardest. And Brent has been a major trooper through all of it.

12. In areas that I find sensitive, he values honesty over sugar coating. Think opinions on dinners, birthday gifts and my fashion sense. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just a new thing. I admit I could benefit from more honesty on these subjects. 

13. I’m continually blessed (and shocked) that when my face is invaded by breakouts and my eyes are puffy from tears, Brent still loves me, holds me and says that I’m gorgeous. And I can tell he means it. 

14. Overall, I really do think that marriage is amazing. It’s this perfect balance of intense commitment and closeness, and the joy of living with my very best friend. (Even when that joy includes consistently reminding him to use air freshener in the bathroom).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now, a few words from my guest writer (I am super impressed, not only at his writing ability but also at the fact that he mustered up TEN THINGS for me! 🙂 )

1. Girls aren’t as intrigued with poop as guys are.

2. Katie’s idea of a fun day includes day trips and shopping. Mine is relaxing. At our house.

3. I consider a snack to be a piece of cheesecake or a sandwich. Katie considers these to be “dinner spoiling foods” and prefers kale chips.

4. Women are creatures of ambiance and scents. I don’t want to tell you how much we spend on Glade plug-ins. 

5. Events are a way bigger deal to my wife than they are to me. Parties and holidays are somehow the most exciting thing in the world.

6. It has been important for me to learn to love Katie in a way that speaks to HER not ME. Often that includes chocolate and coffee drinks.

7. Along that line- The same things that matter to you aren’t going to matter to her, and the same things that matter to her won’t always matter to you. Take time and listen.

8. Find something you enjoy doing together and do it. We love trying new recipes, entertaining, dreaming about the future, working out, and the occasional day trip.

9. The key to our marraige really is communcation. Sharing our hearts with each other is crucial. It’s easy to exist with your spouse, but that always lead to lifelessness, it seems.

10. Sometimes it’s best to just listen, not fix. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ultimately, it’s the differences between us that make us love each other all the more. It’s the laughing and the fighting over big and little things that create relationships. Easy is definitely not an adjective of marriage, and sometimes “What am I doing?” is the only phrase that comes to mind. But doing life together- being real with one another- is the most pure form of relationship we can imagine.

 

Love, B + K

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Image

 

Brent LET’S TAKE A PICTURE!”

KATIE I’M DRIVING.”

 

ImageI like to call this one the “Hello Husband” selfie.

 

Image

 

Not-so-glamorous ending of our first Christmas tree.

 

Image

 

Brent accompanies me to the treadmill section of the gym, only to watch ESPN. (Yes this was taken while running. And to his credit, he raced me at a six minute mile and I almost died right there).

 

Image

 

In our pajamas. Enough said…

let’s be real here. {a tribute to 2013}

 2013.

My Year in Review.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Big Move

With January came a whirlwind of change. In other words, I dived right into this whole new year. The first week of 2013 I moved from my parents’ home in Ronks to my little city apartment. The move was seven miles. That’s it. So you’re probably wondering, “why oh why did Katie spend night after night mourning the loss of her family and home when she could’ve literally run home?”  And it’s true. You have a very valid point.

This move was major for me, and I did cry. I actually would say I hyperventilated loudly. This move was neither the prettiest or the most graceful moment in my life. Other than our family migrating up from Baltimore, Maryland, (me at nine years old reacting the same way I did at the ripe old age of 21), I have never moved. I’m the girl who attaches herself to everything and the kitchen sink. At 10 years old my Dad too Carolyn and I to Chicago for a few days. Tea at the American Girl Doll Place, shopping, downtown Christmas decor and a fancy hotel. While my sister, (six at the time), waved goodbye to  Mom and walked out the door, I sobbed and stared backwards out the car windows the whole way to the airport (or at least until I became carsick), all while expressing my concerns about terrorists and airplanes. Family vacations (yes family meaning, with my family) still offered up homesick pangs over things such as my bathroom or my bed.

You get it. Moving out was a big deal. And it’s not even like I assumed I’d live with my parents ’till I was old and gray. I just didn’t picture it happening so fast. See, when Brent and I began to discuss possibilities of marriage I knew I had to start the separation process to spare him a sobbing wife to soothe him to sleep each night. As I approach one year of living on my own, I realize moving into Lancaster was the best possible thing I could’ve chose at that time. I grew in housekeeping, money managing, cooking, and of course, independence. While it was by no means easy, it was well worth it.

IMG_5867 IMG_5877 IMG_5883 IMG_5901

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mrs.

When I was a little girl I dreamed of marriage, I carried my doll-babies in a make-believe Ergo before I knew such things existed. I fed my daddy so many plastic hot dog and pancake sandwiches it probably made him sick. I passionately clung to a mini crush on the boy next door (who was ten years my senior), and I stated, time after time, “when I grow up, I want to be a MOMMY.” While this last statment has not come to fruition, yet, (And i’m ok with that right now), 2013 was the year that delivered me into this forever dream of mine.

Marrying my high school love was perfect. I gained a soul tie that can never be broken, and I can continue clinging to the dream of my youth, because I’m living it! But this dream is not all peaches and rose petals like my mini-mind envisioned. We fight, we snuggle, I cry, we make-up. Whoever coined the term “roller coaster ride” as it pertains to relationships was spot on. I mean seriously, doing life with another person is no simple task.

13Brent&KatieEngagement01

13_Katie&Brent_111

13_K&BEngagement_060

Screen shot 2013-12-31 at 1.53.48 PM

Screen shot 2013-12-31 at 1.55.20 PM

{Photos by Amber Martin, Jeremy Hess Photographers}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m an MU GRAD

Holy what the world. No words describe the feeling I get when I realize the fact that, come spring semester at Millersville University, Katie (Sigman) Hostetter will NOT be attending. As i’ve mentioned at numereous points in time, the beginning of my college years was rough to say the least. The past 3.5 years have taught me a thing or two, about myself, about others, and potentially about academic stuff. I learned that parking at Millersville is just as bad as the rumor mill says, that learning MLA format in high school was useless, because not one college professor cares ( AP ALL THE WAY), and that even just holding a cup of coffee in your hands really does make you feel more alert, and altogether more college-y.

As I raced around Millersville’s campus for the last time, trying to correct my minor forgetting-to-sign-up-for-graduation mistake, I realized something. I’m gonna miss that place, I’m going to miss the beautiful pond and the swans [ which I never saw but always seemed to magically appear on brochures and tour days]. I’m going to miss thw simple joy of finding parking in a central location on a rainy day. And I actually, believe it or not, am really going to miss the hours of paper writing punctuated by bathroom and snack breaks. I like writing papers. It’s weird.

All that to say, treasure life’s season. In the moment they may seem rough, at best, but they truly do only come once.

Screen shot 2013-12-31 at 1.59.54 PM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So here’s to 2013. A year of change upon change, of tears and of laughter, most importantly, of growth. It really is insane how looking back over one whole year so much has evolved. I’m still Kate Elisabeth yet I’m so different. I mean, even my last name has changed! My favorite thing in all of this is that, no matter what, through every season, the Lord has proven faithful to me.

My prayer is that, as I {as WE} enter 2014, we will continue to commit my ways to Him. Life is so messy, and at times nothing seems to be the way we envisioned. It’s crazy to look back and realize so much more than what we feel in the moments.

So a Happy New Year to YOU. A year full of following the Lord’s leading, of stepping out in things yet unseen, of trusting that, upon looking back, you will trace His faithfullness in all things!

43a3a427e0f8b989000ddde7ba8134ef

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

[NKJ]

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.