Self Care.

People say “When you’re married and have a family, you really get to know what busy is” and I shudder every time. While that may be true, I’m hoping to be able to let some things go when I get married and have a family.

Guys, I. Am. BUSY.

Maybe it’s because I’m a people pleaser. Maybe it’s because I can’t say no. Maybe I’m just too capable. Maybe people think that I have no life and can do ALL THE THINGS.

Recently I was hanging out with a friend at Target (because that’s how we roll), venting a little bit about the whole single-life thing, and she challenged me with this:

“Why do you think that God would trust you with another person in your life when you can’t even take care of yourself?”

Um, ouch.

She’s not wrong though. I was sinking. Totally burned out with even more responsibilities coming in the spring months. Responsibilities that require me to pour myself out to lots of people. It can be very difficult to pour into people when you have nothing to give.

After that chat I talked with a couple people and cut back on some of the “extra-curriculars” that I was involved with. AND NOBOY WAS ANGRY.

I have this fear that if I don’t help out or don’t do what has been asked of me or have to cut back, that people will be angry-not gracious. Why? I have no clue. I’m gracious to people when they need to cut back, so why wouldn’t I expect the same from others?

You know what else helps you feel better? A snow day.

That gift of a day where you can do all the things you’ve been way to busy to do. Like clean your house. Or send 40 emails. Or shovel your driveway because a Prius is just too much of a Princess for 6 inches of snow.

I say a gift of a day, because that’s what it is. A gift of time. Time you didn’t have to bank on before. Time to take care of yourself.

So after a day of doing everything you had on your to do list, what do you do with ANOTHER SNOW DAY?!

You blog. Enjoy the clean house. Hang out with friends.

And enjoy your newfound sanity.

Don’t be afraid to say no-you’re not being selfish. You’re taking care of yourself.

Trust me, life will go on and nobody will hold it against you.

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Slow down and enjoy the ride.

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Mondays.

Mondays are my favorite day to work out. I’m not sure why-maybe it’s the general mood of the day and the burn of a workout that can make any day feel like Saturday. Or maybe I’m a crazy person-we’ll never know which.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I would keep her accountable to a workout program. I readily agreed and decided I would do it too as an extra support to her.

It started out great! The weather was beautiful-leaves changing colors and gorgeous sunsets. Then winter decided to hit in the beginning of NOVEMBER and today it was below zero with the windchill. The LAST thing I wanted to do was run outside.

Then I remembered that I have a gym membership that may be going completely un-used. Oops.

But who likes running on a dread-mill anyway? Not me.

Then these verses popped into my head:

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. [1 Cor 6:19-20]

I realize that these verses are referring to sexual immorality, but the point is the same.

I need to take care of myself by exercising. It improves my attitude and my physical health. I honor God when I work out. If my body is a temple, don’t I want it to be solid? How would I feel if God said something like ‘oh..I know Katie really needs me to be faithful right now but it’s too cold out and I really hate treadmills so she’s just going to have to deal with it’

Yea right. God never fails. He is always faithful. He follows through. So I’m pretty sure I can do half an hour on the treadmill with a joyful heart to honor Him and keep this temple healthy and strong.

So…happy Monday!

After: Bathrooms.

I’m going to show the ‘after’ of my house in three parts: bathrooms, living/dining/kitchen, and bedrooms. This is due in part to not having quality pictures of each area of my house, and my brother living in the guest room-so it’s not decorated how I want it-yet. I tried to list where I purchased everything. Many things (like the ikea mirrors) were bought a long time ago but updated for this space. I also tend to cash in on michaels ‘buy one get one free’ frame sales. The only things I bought new were the rugs and some extra towels for the full bath.

Without further ado: the bathrooms.

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before

 

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after (the mirrors are from ikea and were painted gold-less than $10 for the whole project!)

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the pictures reflected in the mirror were made with frames, scrapbook paper and letters cut with my cricut

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flowers: ikea/ vase: michaels (and painted with gold glitter)/ candle: target/ towel: target

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panorama of the whole thing!

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before

 

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after. shower curtains: target/ towels: homegoods/ candle: target/ toothbrush holder: walmart/ rug (not pictured): homegoods

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poster: old-not sure where I bought it/ frame: michaels

 

 

Before and After.

So I’ve lived in my townhouse for almost 3 months now and am finally feeling like I have the decor and everything set (except a couple things that will be added or changed as my budget allows).

I’ve lived here for almost 3 months and have yet to share any real pictures of the place.

One of the keys to this townhouse is how beautiful it is WITHOUT anything in it. I mean, it has EXCELLENT bones. Wood laminate floors on the entire first level, maple kitchen cabinets (not builder’s grade oak stuff), tan (not stark white) walls, coordinating black appliances (including a dishwasher!!!)..I could go on and on. Point is this: the place is beautiful on its own.

It would be too easy for me to just show you the result of all my decorating, so I’m going to do this in two parts: the before and the after.

So, without further ado, my beautiful home without anything in it:

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The first floor in all of its kitchen/dining/living glory

 

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Gorgeous kitchen

 

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Part of the living area and the dining area

 

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Giant pantry

 

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First floor half bath

 

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Laundry in the second floor hall closet-quite possibly the most practical part of the entire place

 

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Entry to the full bath-do you SEE that storage?!

 

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The double vanity in the second floor full bath

 

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Rest of the giant bathroom

 

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Guest room (it is identical to my room)

 

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Each room has a walk-in closet *swoon*

 

So that’s it! I am so blessed to have been provided with this home (you can read about that journey here). Stay tuned for the decorated version! (And some DIY’s for the artwork!)

Gratitude.

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend when she asked me what my goal is for the summer. I hadn’t thought too much about summer, other than all the weddings, babysitting, pool time and summer school I would be teaching.

Later, as I was pondering her question, I was blindsided by my negative attitude. I love my job. I love where I work and the people I work with, but I was burnt out and ready to be done. My joy was quickly fading.

A few months ago (or maybe a year..) the Pastor at my church challenged us to think of a few things we were grateful for everyday for a few weeks. At the end of his challenge I noticed how my outlook had changed dramatically. I was looking for the joy in everything. I would ask myself,

“how can I be thankful in this situation?”

It was this memory and my friend’s challenge that brought me to not only my goal for the summer, but for the next year.

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Every day for the next year I will be writing down 10 things I am thankful for.

I’m about a month in at this point and I’ve already noticed a difference in my attitude and approach to potentially difficult situations. Interviewee canceled? No problem, I can catch up with some staff members with my extra time. The only bridge to work closed? Let me please enjoy God’s glorious creation along the detour.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

How can you give thanks today?

Provision.

walkThere’s something about this time of year-school is ending and new seasons of life begin. Last year at this time I was frantically searching for a job. I had just returned from a trip to Hawaii and was a substitute teaching 3-4 days a week. I was banking on a job where I had student taught subbed. All the teachers I talked to wanted me to work there. I thought it was a done deal.

Then I found out the job was offered to someone else.

Yikes.

Fortunately, God knew this was going to happen and I applied for a job in the district where I work shortly after my return from Hawaii. I had an interview within a week or two of turning in my application, and was offered the job the following morning. I asked if I could please take some time to think it over (I did NOT want to work an hour away from where I lived).

That following weekend was the Eau Claire half-marathon. It was during the half-marathon that I made the decision to accept the position in Arcadia. I will forever be thankful that I chose to accept that job.

God provides.

Back in March I toured some apartments in Eau Claire. I knew I wanted to live there. I had friends that lived in the same complex. They were nice. They had a good price. I was approved and needed to wait until April to find out what would be available.

No problem. I called the company the first week of April. No response. I wasn’t worried though, they said I would FOR SURE have an apartment. I called the second week in April. No response. Still not worried though, I was going to live there. The Monday pf the third week in April I got a call-they rented out all their apartments.

Are you kidding me?!

There were a lot of thoughts running through my mind-but when it came down to it, the company didn’t care. They rented out all their apartments. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t have a back up plan.

I began frantically searching for a place to live. I toured a few apartments, and applied for a few of them. I found one place I LOVED. It was beautiful and big and awesome. I found one that would work, but it wasn’t my favorite. I also found a few that would work in a pinch, but it was a hard pinch.

I called a couple times after my application for the place I loved was turned in just to see what my chances would be. Then I found out that the person who signs off on applications would be gone for a week. Not a problem, except that I needed a place to live.

The landlord for the place I liked but it wasn’t quite perfect called me and told me I got that place. Great! Not the one I really wanted but God was providing. I scheduled a signing for a time after I would hopefully hear about the place I loved.

That day came. I called about my favorite place. Still processing my application.

God was providing. It wasn’t awesome, but it was a place to live.

On faith (and the counsel of a few wise friends) I postponed the signing on the place I didn’t love but liked to the following Monday. If I didn’t hear about the place I loved by Monday night I was going to sign. God had provided.

The day before the impending signing was the Color Run.

The race was a blast this year and so fun to do with my sisters and brother.

After the race we all went out for breakfast at a local brunch place (a tradition for us). At breakfast I got a phone call-which was strange. Who would call me on a Sunday morning?

It was the rental agency for the place I loved.

They rented out the apartment I saw.

But, they had another one in the same complex open if I wanted it! YES!! I signed the lease the following day.

Sometimes it looks like we have no options and that we have to figure everything out for ourselves.

We don’t.

Matthew 6:33 says

“but seek for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

 

Was I seeking God and His kingdom in these season of life, or was I trying to figure everything out for myself?

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

 

I was carrying a burden (finding a job or housing) that I didn’t need to bear. If I would put all my trust in the Lord, He will provide.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

 

Was I asking, seeking and knocking? It’s not enough just to ask and hope for the best, or seek without first asking. Was I knocking and following up with what I had sought? The Lord wants to bless you-it gives Him glory. He is our Lord who is to be glorified, so why wouldn’t He want to provide?

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

 

God desires to provide for you. He desires to wow you with His provision. Life is better when you let Him take your burden.

Will you trust Him in this season of life? Will you let Him lead you and provide for you?

Trust me, he will do a much better job than you ever could.

4th and Goal.

Hi. I’m Katie. I blog supposedly here…that whole “third quarter slump” thing apparently manifested itself in a lack of posting..

Something crazy happened last week.

The 4th quarter started. Yes. The last quarter of my first year of teaching has begun.

As a student I always thought that the school year would drag on and on and was never going to end. Now I want to put the brakes on because it is going way too quickly.

I want to get more done.

I want to teach my students so much more-not just academically but about life.

I want to connect with the students that I haven’t had a chance to connect with yet.

I want I want I want.

This job is not about me. It never has been. When it starts to become about me, my teaching goes downhill quickly. This job is about my students. It is about their futures. Their livelihood after they leave this place, not about what I want.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 2.33.49 PMI can try to teach them about Spanish and conjugation and grammar until I’m blue in the face, but if I’m honest with myself, they probably won’t remember it. What they will remember is how I had an open door for them to come and go whenever they needed or wanted to. How they could come and talk about anything, even the hard stuff. How you don’t have to be my student for me to care about your life.

Teachers have a tendency of getting too caught up in the academic side of teaching. I’m not saying that grades and academics aren’t important, I’m saying that there are other things that matter more. We need to show our students that we care about them, so they will want to come back the next year or finish out the current year on a high note.

Think about the kind of legacy you want to leave-do you want to be known as someone who was all about the grade and the content, or someone who taught and cared about their students as people?

I realize it’s a lot to think about, and there’s only 1 quarter left to make sure my students know that even though I love Spanish and want them to excel in the Spanish language, their future as citizens of this country is far more important to me than their grade in my class.

What will you do today to show someone that you care about them as a person and not just about what they can or can’t do?

 

DIY: Kitchen Art

If you troll the Home Decor or Crafts sections of Pinterest, chances are that you’ve seen this pin:

http://www.thelaurenelizabeth.com/2012/07/diy-kitchen-art.html

So, turns out I didn’t actually pin this. I follow Lauren’s blog, so I saw it there.

Moving on. I loved it. And it’s easy. And cute. Here’s my take on it:

Lauren’s directions are VERY clear-plus this whole thing is kind of idiot proof. You just

-buy your canvas (mine was 40% off at Michaels), spoons (I got mine from Walmart for 88¢), thread, and some paint (or use the leftovers from your ombré dresser).

-grab a spoon

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-mark where you want paint it (I measured 3.5 inches from the bottom of each)

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-paint your spoons

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-let your spoons dry

-sew spoons onto your canvas (I used a yarn needle, but any strong needle will do!)

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-hang on your wall and enjoy!

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seriously. so easy.

Would you consider trying this DIY art in your kitchen? Would you adapt it in any way?

Posted in DIY

Lazy Saturday.

The following post has little to no real point, but I’m writing it anyway.

I had a rather stressful week.

These things happen sometimes, and I am extremely thankful that I’ve only been super stressed twice this whole school year. I’m also beyond grateful that I have a principal that will take the time to talk with me with I’m feeling overwhelmed and will problem solve with me.

Ultimately, it was just a bunch of things that hit at once. Students that are still running on high emotions, students that needed to be held accountable for their grades, students that were extra hyper.

What did I do this week to help? Got less sleep than normal and worried about tomorrow. How foolish. *Mental note, keep Matthew 6:34 in mind more often

Thursday I had my chat with the principal. Friday was better. Friday night I went to bed by 10. Living on the edge here people.

Saturday I woke up at 7, looked at my clock and went back to bed. When I woke up again at 11:30 the feeling I experienced was indescribable.

I felt refreshed. I felt happy. I felt like I could conquer the world.

So here’s to a day where I am intentionally being unproductive.

I’m kind of excited about it.

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Unprepared.

Something happened today that nothing could have prepared me for. We never talked about it in any of our education classes, and while it was mentioned as an occurrence-the way to handle it was never talked about.

I’m not sure anything learned in a classroom would have been adequate anyway.

I came into school this morning and noticed more cars in the lot than normal for that time on a Monday. It was odd. Then the principal came over the PA system and asked all staff to report to a room at 7:45. Also odd.

That’s when I heard someone crying in the hallway.

We went to the room at 7:45 and were informed that a student died over the weekend.

What?

Not just any student, a really popular kid. Star of the football team. Their whole life ahead of them.

Gone.

We were given a statement and asked to read it at the start of our first hour class. (This is protocol for any major event.)

Then my principal began to lose her composure and told us not to be afraid to show emotion. Our students need to know how we feel too.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got to my room, but my normally chatty class was completely silent. My heart ached for them. I began to read the statement and broke down into tears myself.

These kids shouldn’t know this kind of hurt already.

We spent our second to last day before finals watching a movie. My kids needed time to cry and process. Many went to see the counseling staff. Many just sat there and stared at the wall.

My heart goes out to the family of this child. They are gone too soon.

My heart goes out to my students. They are grieving. They are struggling.

My heart goes out to this community. They lost someone who will be dearly missed.

I am so thankful for a God who loves us and promises to be there for us. This has been running through my mind all morning:

But those who trust in The Lord will find new strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your weary souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Today may have seemed like a marathon to these kids and our staff. This week will be hard. Even more so with finals coming up.

But we will be ok.