UK or bust...

Thursday, March 29 the cats out of the bag...

Kevin and I booked our tickets to the UK a few weeks ago!
i'm ecstatic!

one of the things I adore about my hubs is that he is so adventurous and spontaneous. he loves clicking "purchase" buttons on airfare websites, and so do I, so naturally we fit. I think this trip will take us up to our 35th country, or something like that!

our trip will take us to Ireland, Scotland and England, for 3 weeks baby! we wasted no time in ordering the master's guide...Rick Steve's UK and Ireland! and we've been sneaking in travel plans here and there (ie: on car rides, picnics, and embarrassingly enough, we spent dinner a few nights ago glued to a Rick Steve's Hulu show on Ireland. yes, you can say it, we are nerds!)

we are fleshing out plans, but let me give you some of my initial thoughts on things we want to see:

Keizy and Fam:
this whole trip was born out of the fact that my roommate from college (the lovely Keiz) now lives with her hubby and sweet pea in the North of England. She's only over there a few years, and Kevin and I were NOT going to miss the chance to visit them. So yes, she's my excuse to validate our reason to go:) And i'm SO excited to see her and the town she calls home:) and excited to laugh....I don't know what it is about this girl, but we get strange when we get together. so yes, let the giggles begin.

Highclere Castle in England:

if you've seen Downton Abbey, then you will recognize this castle as the Grantham's humble (errr not so humble) abode! OMG! When I figured out it was a 50 min train ride from London, I knew there was NO way we were going to miss it! I'm going to walk around like Lady Mary, and of course Kevin will have to assume the role of Matthew..ohhh it will b sooooo romantic:) And if you haven't seen Downton Abbey then you are missing out on the best show EVER. you should believe me too (even though I don't watch any tv.... or own one!)

Anything Jane Austin:

I have been a Jane Austin addict since I first picked up the dusty Pride and Prejudice from the library in high school. I'm THAT girl that adores the 5 hour P&P (to my husband and probably the world's chagrin), the 2005 P&P, Gwenie in Emma, and pretty much anything that has to do with Miss Austin herself! My BFF who lives in England just sent me a JA postcard, telling me there is a JA museum in the town close to where she lives. score!!! We are SO going. I'm also thinking we'll go to Bath too...maybe reenact some Persuasion? My goal before we leave for the UK is for Kevin to sit all 5 hours as we watch Elizabeth and Darcy fall in love...really, is there any better love story? Wish me luck and no fast forwarding!

Cliffs of Ireland!!:
let's be honest, that movie Leap Year was a tad (or MORE) ridiculous. But...I would watch that movie again just to see the scenery. fantastic it was by FAR my favorite character in that movie. when what's his name was proposing to what's her name, all I could focus on (obvi) is the cliffs over the ocean and the sun illuminating the green hillside. Gahh...maybe i'll make Kevin recreate that scene with me. Hmmm...another movie i'm going to have to coerce him into watching with me! (hmmm....i'm sensing a trend with recreating movie scenes. don't worry, it's probably more fun to imagine recreating it than actually recreating it and feeling really embarrassed when other tourists are embarrassed for you, and awkward laughter ensues...)

Irish Music

i'm not kidding, one of my fantasies has always been irish clogging. no joke. i used to watch Lord of the Dance for fun totally crushing on Michael Flatlley and wishing i get down with those crazy shoes. and this was like last year. my goal is to find a good irish pub, cement my rear to the seat, and tap my feat to some good ol' fashion irish jigs and live my dream. it will happen. and if you see my name featured on a lord of the dance youtube, don't be surprised. and don't watch it. please.

Freedom's family:
our good friend Tony and Dayna are some of the coolest people we know. they love Jesus and live in a super diverse part of London where they just LOVE their neighbors well. and they have a daughter named Freedom, and she is pretty much the epitome of her name. we are staying with them, hoping to soak up London and learn and touch and feel and sense what Abba is doing in that city. so pumped for fellowship with them. did I mention they are like the coolest ever?


seriously, I know nothing about this country that's technically not a country but is a country. confusing right? i mean, i know all the neccessary info like that Prince William went to college there at St Andrews, and Nessie is roaming in a loch, and that William Wilbeforce did something in a kilt, and that scotch made it's debut there. the essentials, right? so yeah, I guess I still have EVERYTHING to learn about this mystical country.

thankfully our buddy Rick can fill in a few gaps. yes, yes we are SO excited to go. and thankful that sweet Jesus has provided so much for this trip already for us!

looking forward to adventure and sweet JOY with those that I love!!
and ps- travel tips are welcome!!

love katie

rooted and established in love

Tuesday, March 27

This past week, as I studied the holy scriptures on that dusty and painful walk to the cross, I was struck raw at this:

Jesus. Perfect, loving, tender, holy Jesus, was hated. I watched as he stood alone in the courtyard of the chief of priests, standing solo. I imagine his slender frame, standing eyes wide at his beloveds, hatred and accusations hurled against him.

But the Bible speaks not of a terrified Savior in the face of the crowd. No words scrawled of the Messiah fighting back, arguing, trying desperately to convince them of his Kingship, throwing down a miracle to convince the rabid mass. No.

"But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor." (Matt 27:14)
Why? Feebly I wonder how my Savior could stand it? The hurt, the pain, the hatred, the accusations. How? Didn't he want to PROVE himself? Or cry? For surely, I would have wanted to snap fingers and create a miracle that had them wishing they were rooting for me and not Barabas. Or more likely I would just break down in tears.

katie, said the great potter, here is the beauty of this passage...

King Jesus was fully rooted and established in the Father's love. Confident in the Father's love. Rooted from a place of approval of God, not approval of man. Life flowing from a place of freedom, not sown in soil of man's opinion.

And that is when the rawness began to bleed. How often am I dictated by the approval or opinions of man around me? Lord, rip the seams of this dysfunction, and bring me back to live out of a place of you and your love.

"Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the man who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out is roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

Jeremiah 17:5-8

So I say no, I do not want to live cursed under the approval of man.
I want to live blessed, keeping confidence in ONLY Him.

Sweet Jesus.
Thank you for walking this road for us.

If you want to walk the rest of these 2 weeks till Easter with us, email me and i'll send you the Lent devotions!!!

much love rooted in HIM,

our day with the sweet boys

Thursday, March 22

kevin and I have fallen in love.

the objects of our affection are 7 year old KC and 5 year old JT.

they live across the way from us, and today as we got home, they came rushing out of their house, screaming our names, and showing us with sweet hugs.

i love that as we keep our lives open for surprises, God does just that, he surprises us with treasures. these boys are our treasures, no doubt about it.

so today we set aside our plans, and spent the whole afternoon with these two cuties. i'm glad we did. we tasted the kingdom of God.

we decided to make pizza. the boys LOVE cooking with us. they are my sidekicks when i cook or bake. and let's be honest..have you ever seen a sidekick as cute as THIS? look at that smile...gahhh, so precious!
while i was doing the dishes, Kevin read to the boys, "taught" some guitar, and pointed out on the map where our sponsored children live. can i just say that i fell in love with my husband a little bit more today? handsome AND fatherly inclined! win win.

i'm dying laughing from this picture. JT was plugging his nose when I put the pesto on the pizza.....evidently pesto is not universally loved.
KC: Where's the cheese?
Me: I'm allergic to cheese!
KC: You're afraid of CHEESE? why? it's not scary.

and evidently olives look like humpty dumpty's hat. i'm not sure where that one came from, but they were insistent that i put his hat on our pizza.

Before the boys leave, they always give kev a handshake and me a hug. it's like our little ritual. mmmm, i LOVE these boys!
thanking sweet Jesus for reminding me that life is about the journey, not about my to-do list. because had I put laundry or cleaning in front, i would have missed out on the laughter and joy of being in community with abba's most precious ones.

matthew 19:14
Jesus said "let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these"

enjoy today sweet friends, and delight in the unexpected and surprises of our loving God...
love Katie

the simple things

Tuesday, March 20

this weekend was so lovely
it was full of the simple things
letting go
having no agenda

kevin surprised me friday night and took me to the symphony. but it wasn't just listening to music. it was actually an epic movie screening of Casablanca, and the symphony was playing the live score. truly surreal.

we stayed by the beach in Dana Point. we slept in. we read. we drove to Laguna Beach down PCH, and soaked in the beauty of the rain falling on the ocean. we marveled at the gorgeous homes dotting the landscape and both picked out our favorite ones. we found an irish pub and watched ohio beat gonzaga, and ate delicious food. what are the odds that the one day we go eat at an irish pub it's their most famous holiday all year, and we had NO idea it was st. patty's. we laughed at ourselves, were impressed by all the crazy green clothes and facial hair, got pinched by an old man for not wearing green, and got down to the irish jigs. smiles all around.

that night we soaked in the hot tub. we watched a movie. we put the fire on and ate popcorn.

I thank God for the simple gifts he gives us. And I delight in them.

Psalm 136:1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.

What simple things are you thankful for this week?

Our Unique Call

Friday, March 16

a few years ago I posted a scribbled note on my desk at work. words of Henri. I posted it because it called out to the deep human condition of confusion regarding calling. Mainly this...

What am I called to do?

I liked it, Henri's words, because it made me balanced. It spoke life into the seemingly little things that Abba calls BIG. And so I share it with you this gray Friday, in hopes that deep will call out to deep in your soul, and you will be encouraged by the simplicity of the small and big paradox of life.

Thank you dear Henri...
Our Unique Call
So many terrible things happen every day that we start wondering whether the few things we do ourselves make any sense. When people are starving only a few thousand miles away, when wars are raging close to our borders, when countless people in our own cities have no homes to live in, our own activities look futile. Such considerations, however, can paralyse us and depress us.

Here the word call becomes important. We are not called to save the world, solve all problems, and help all people. But we each have our own unique call, in our families, in our work, in our world. We have to keep asking God to help us see clearly what our call is and to give us the strength to live out that call with trust. Then we will discover that our faithfulness to a small task is the most healing response to the illnesses of our time.

Let us be faithful to ask, faithful to live with God's strength, and faithful to be courageous to allow God to use our life to heal our world.

Yes. What a privilege.

...I am called to love God and love people....and I will do it each day, and if I fail, I will begin the next day...

Enjoy the weekend...i'm off to the symphony with Kev, as he surprised me with tickets to see Casablanca performed to live music!
Love Katie

thankful birthday fullness

Tuesday, March 13

thankful I am.

thankful for birthday phone calls emails and texts. thankful for birthday bike rides, and picnics and dinners in a blue bayou. thankful for birthday ladybug strawberries and sweet co-workers. thankful for a loving, gracious beautiful God that extends so much kindness in the form of relationships. thankful for a birthday husband who makes waffles and sings to me and give me breakfast in bed on a red "you are special plate". thankful to birthday friends who dress us in ridiculous costumes and play crazy games to honor me on my special day.

{how cute is this? my two favorites...dark dark chocolate and strawberries surprise from co-workers}
{we biked to the park, ate a yummy picnic, relaxed and planned our UK trip. perfect}
{ate at the blue bayou restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at D-land...
soooooooo romantic}
{does it surprise you that our birthday theme was international? people went all out...loved it}
{my sweet twinsie Chelsea...we share the same birthday}

thankful to be alive. thankful to be at peace. thankful for you.

(and thankful that I have one more birthday surprise waiting for me...Kev's stealing me away this weekend to a disclosed location..yippee I LOVE surprises!)

All things new...

Friday, March 9

Today is my day of birth.

I love March because to me, it seems to symbolize new life. Buds morph into blossoms, and heaven kisses life into spring. Sweet scents carry, and the loveliest and happiest of all flowers blooms, the daffodil, my favorite.

And every 9th day of March, the sun comes out and warms me deep from the inside:) So much thanks in me for life, and for the people and God who breathe life into me.

Today Kevin and spent the entire car ride to our Perspectives Class reminiscing about the most perfect day exactly a year ago. I spent my birthday in Bali. On a beach. At a water palace. Riding scooters around Ubud. And dreaming, dreaming the best of life with my best friend. Loveliness that is forever etched into my heart.
So this year I thank Abba for the aroma of sweet memories that flood my spirit and remind me that truly, I am loved. Despite my shortcomings and mistakes, GRACE is my birthday gift, a reminder that HE makes all things new. He is making me new. That today, sweet Savior reaches with tenderness and calls me Beloved, and tells me He's glad I was born.

Ah yes, i'm thankful to be alive. Another year to learn, to grow, to soak in HIS love, and to taste and see that
the Lord,
ah loving Abba,
HE is good.
with much hope on this lovely day,

la la la laughter

Friday, March 2

I love to laugh. I love that my husband is King at making me giggle like a child... sometimes I can't stop. Here are a few things that have made me double over with hysterics lately....

1) My brother in law's beard and rat tail...
now before you start thinking I like facial hair, I DON'T. I've forbidden my husband to have anything more than stubble. My rule is that for you to own the right of facial hair, you have to be a dad. Once you can grow a child, i'll let you grow a beard. Thankfully for me, my husband finds facial hair annoying and itchy, whew!

BUT...Kev's brother Nate-Dawg finds much delight in grossing me out with his nasty antics. Case in point- he grew a rat tail for 10 months. 10 months people! I'm pretty sure that's not allowed unless you are 5 years old (which is debatable) OR you live in a trailer park in the South. So yes, I'm the one who made Nate cut his little friend off...he was Kev's best man in our wedding and I forbade it to attend the glorious event. So a few days before the wedding he posted his sad face on instagram with the title "Rat-Tail Murderville". I laughed, a lot. and I didn't feel bad one tiny ounce.

And then after we were married...he wanted to grow this little number. The part that made me die laughing is that after months of grooming this grossness on his face, he told me he cut it because he was getting too much attention from guys. Ha! Ohhhhh Nate-dawg, you make us laugh!

2) This picture. Yeah, I know, weird right? I couldn't resist frightening my husband when we were dating by displaying how big his sweats really were on me. I'm glad he still married me despite this incriminating situation.
Evidently I did this more than once, because the other day I found THIS picture too. Weirdo.

3) My dad buying a neon green 1972 El Camino.

anyone buying an el camino lends itself to laugher because let's face it, those cars are weird- they look like slugs. But to begin, my dad owns a truck, and a car. There is no need for another vehicle. My mom had no answers. In it's maiden voyage to church it stalled on the freeway, yes the freeway. My sister sitting shot gun now has extremely mixed feelings about this purchase.

I asked him WHY and he thinks it would be great to transport his road bikes in. Hmmm, that will be a first for the world. And secondly, to his credit, he did say it only has 20,000 miles on it. I'm still not sure if that's a good trade off though.

Thanks for the laugh pops, i've never seen a grown man so excited to purchase something so...well...interesting!

4) Uses for the Dala Horse.
One of the symbols of our beloved homeland, Sweden, is the Dala Horse. I grew up amidst dala horse shrines (ie: dala horse collections). But no where have I seen the use for Dala horses more random as I did in the little town of Kingsburg. In my own opinion, the dentist went a little overboard....

5) fake western pictures
not gonna lie, doing those old western pictures is hilarious, and simultaneously creepy. Kev and I went up to Tahoe with our dear friends Patrick and Michelle. And one night, walking through downtown South Lake Tahoe, Michelle and I begged our husbands with gusto to do those western photo things. They relented. We may have had a quick relapse in excitement when the dresses we donned looked like they hadn't made an appearance in the washing machine in years, and the scuzzy fishnet stockings were a whole other story! And don't get me started on the camera man. Look buddy, we don't want a picture of us all shooting each other, thank you very much. So yes, we opted for the traditional western photo (if there is one...) and this is what we go. Giggles....

So laugh a lot today! It's one of God's best gifts, and he delights in our laughter!!
Love Katie