A collection

of a few happy moments around our new house lately.

Opening Gobble’s teapot to be surprised by a familiar handwriting. 20140614-110648-40008605.jpgBreakfast by a bearded man. 20140614-110649-40009167.jpgThanks to a generous couple, we now live in a log cabin in the woods. The kind where we watch the deer sashay through our yard. 20140614-110649-40009697.jpgThese two explorers. Particularly his ridiculous getup and her little sassy booty. I miss them. One’s away at camp and the other at her grandparents. 20140614-110650-40010333.jpgWe are headed to Europe on Monday! Although I’m not sure we yet believe it, the trip we’ve waited months for is finally in reach. I’m more than ready to roam the streets of Paris hand in hand with my husband. And finally introduce him to my friends in Madrid. Europe or Lufkin, we cherish every memory in our little collection and are grateful for each chance to gain another.

 

Advertisements

Dallas: Our real life wrecking ball

Before I begin, let me preface with this. Walker and I are completely aware of how fortunate we are to take any kind of trip. We recognize the privilege to drive even just down the road as we have cars and gas money and eyes that see. We know that. But we are human. And sometimes we show it…bigtime. I’m choosing to write every detail of the weekend, because I never want to forget. Nor do I want to “pull another October 11” as the new catchphrase around our house goes. Now, onto the story. 20131014-214625.jpgTwo weeks ago, Walker and I took a quick trip to Dallas to celebrate our 2-year anniversary and my birthday, and so the affectionate story of Birthversary weekend begins…

After racing home from work on Friday and being told to hurry and pack, my hormonal self lay on the floor of our closet atop dirty clothes and shoes poking me in the back. After five minutes of staring up at 2 full racks of fashionable attire, I heard myself lament, “I have nothing to wear.” And so began the 10 minute tantrum of no longer wanting to go because “I wouldn’t feel cute.” I’m sure Walker was questioning his desire to take me with him by this point, too.

I changed outfits 4 times before finally pulling a trustworthy chambray out of the dirty clothes and dressing myself in wrinkled desperation. I grabbed my antibiotics, threw my rain boots in the truck and positioned my body to the window. I’m such a good companion.

The ride was quiet with intermittent interruptions of Walker’s attempts to lighten the mood. He really is a good companion.

The situation plunged again as hunger pains arrived, and we thought it a good idea to grab a snack. We pulled off the road for that ‘quick snack,’ and before we knew it we each devoured 10 chicken nuggets followed by fries. We were stuffed and in no need of an actual dinner. Our lack of discipline and addiction to instant gratification left us frustrated angry we had wasted a Birthversary meal on McDonalds. McDonalds!

My horrible mood finally took its toll on Walker as he grew quiet with inner thoughts of having ‘ruined the weekend.’  He had waited ‘til Friday to book a hotel for Friday night. ON RED RIVER SHOOTOUT WEEKEND. While all of Austin and Oklahoma were trekking to Dallas, so were we. And we were paying for it, literally, in having to book the only open hotel room in Dallas—a club level room in the downtown Sheraton. So of course I said we just shouldn’t go because it was a waste of money.

Not only had I dampened the trip with my repulsive disposition, Walker now began sprinkling the weekend with gripes of self-loathing. Together we straight up drowned the trip.

Then, by some immaculate conception of higher hopes we unsteadily managed to gather ourselves into making a decision: “We will do better and enjoy this weekend.” As we drove into downtown Dallas we had no idea that Dallas was about to wreck us. And not in the ‘that worship service really wrecked me’ way, but more in the Miley Cyrus kind of way.7-11Sitting in the hotel lobby in black-rimmed glasses and cuffed jeans, I have never before felt like such a fun-hating, miserable grump. While Walker cut in front of 30 drunken college kids oblivious it was their turn to check in, I omnisciently sat assessing the situation in my head.

We had arrived at the Sheraton around 8 p.m. to find a mass of cars attempting to edge their way into parking garage numero dos. Parking garage numero uno was full. There were honks, near collisions, an excess of selfish attitudes and I’m sure a few middle fingers. After 45 minutes circling the same 6 parking levels including 10 minutes of trying to back out of a dead end with 5 cars behind us (who plans a parking lot with a dead end?) we finally made the decision to park illegally in a space for rent cars only. The situation only got better when a girl also trying to park told us she wasn’t even staying in the hotel. Must memorize license plate. Must memorize license plate.

Relieved and exhausted, we made it to the hotel lobby frat house. For one weekend and one weekend only, the downtown Sheraton transformed itself into the biggest frat party of all time.

So there I sat in a sea of toned, tanned thighs and high pitched squeals observing my surroundings. Every girl in TX and OK had vowed to wear cut off jean shorts paired with cowboy boots, unless they had already committed to mini skirts and wedges. As I watched cooler after cooler being rolled past (seriously though, even Wal-Mart doesn’t own the amount of rolling ice-chests I saw that night), I tried my best to relate. “They’re in college! They’re just having a good time! Who am I to think they’re annoying! I don’t want to be their kill-joy!” I’d like to think I’d succeeded in wishing them the best, until I witnessed a dude introduce himself to a girl and then ask her if she wanted to go upstairs with him.

And with that, Walker and I dodged our way to the elevator thinking the situation couldn’t have been worse, until we saw 2 young parents with 3 kids walk by, and we knew, yes, yes it could be worse.

Floor 27. Club level. We made it. Maybe it was destiny that ended us here on an expensive yet quiet, peaceful floor in the middle of collegiate chaos.

Walker decided he actually did need dinner, so after a quick check of the room, we wearily ventured back to ground level.

Waiting for the elevator Walker joked, “You know what would complete the night? Beer pong.”

No sooner did his vocal chords finish vibrating when we undeniably heard

Ping.

Pong.

Ping.

Followed by cheers and laughter.

Forget destiny. There was no escape.

Having dashed to poke my head around the corner, I turned back to Walker with my jaw on the floor. Someone had taken the time and effort to lug a Ping-Pong table from home, through the parking garage, to the 27th floor. And they were playing beer pong. Across the hall from our room. With the door open. On the club level.

Good thing I had time to pick my jaw off the floor before we got in the elevator, or I might have accidentally shared saliva with a stranger. The elevator floor was littered with leftover Jell-o shots. It was then we knew it was all out of our control. We could laugh. Or we could complain. We did both.

Knowing that we absolutely could in no circumstance move the car and knowing every restaurant would be a mirror image of our hotel lobby, we settled on walking to some place simple—Jimmy John’s seemed to be the only nearby establishment.

Closed.

So, for our 2nd attempt at a Birthversary meal, Walker purchased a hotdog and Funyuns from the only dining availability—SEVEN ELEVEN.

Let’s go back to the hotel. Get in bed. Watch TV. Forget this day all together.

Having forgotten my pajamas, before collapsing on the bed I stared at myself in the mirror wearing Walker’s sweat-stained undershirt with cut-off sleeves. See, it really was a Miley kind of weekend.

Around 9:30 with a mix of enthusiasm and despair, we jumped into bed unable to click the remote fast enough. Oh please let the TV take us to a land far away.

Half of our channels did not work.

But that’s ok. Because we found a modern family marathon. And by 9:45, my day was over.donutsOctober 12 proved to be evidence of the power of hormones as I awoke chipper and positive to take Dallas back. It wasn’t my doing, but thank goodness it was done. Overcast and dreary, Dallas seemed bright and beautiful as everyone had begun making their way to the stadium leaving us with a city to explore. We ate Hypnotic Donuts at White Rock Lake and visited a fun antique shop. We cried our way through the JFK 6th Floor Museum and did a little shopping in the afternoon. Our evening ended with pizza, which is always a great ending for us. We began our drive home Saturday night grateful that a bad day didn’t turn into a bad weekend. And realizing how much we just wanted to cuddle with Opal. hypnotic donuts dallasIt wasn’t what we imagined it would be…like, at all…but any time away together is good time. Or at least a growing experience in some way or another. Dallas, you wrecked us, but maybe our selfish, grumpy, materialistic, entitled selves need to be wrecked every once in a while. jfk museumsecond shotsixth floorMay we never ‘pull an October 11’ ever again. Happy Birthversary!

Happy Two!

Happy anniversary to us! 20130917-221408.jpgThere wasn’t much time in our day for any type of formal celebration. In between work and Bible study we managed to fit in a few minutes of alone time. We picked up a couple slices of cookie cake (OK, a slice for me and 3 cookies of variety for him) and took them to a nearby park to enjoy together. Between a sketchy truck and the little kids loving life, there was some quality people watching going on.

We seem to have a couple of traditions we picked up for our anniversary–rain and sickness. Sadly, there was no rain today to make it 3 years in a row, but Walker is pretty sick so at least we were able to keep one alive! Today I won’t say too much about marriage and the past two years, as I still hold to what I said here. At times marriage is easy and at times it is crazy hard, but in all times I am thankful for the one I’m journeying with.

Last year’s anniversary posts here, here, and here.  20130917-221449.jpg

And now for a little Blogtember: A memory you would love to relive.

I guess for today it would be fitting to say our wedding, and yes, I would do that day again in a heartbeat. But I think this next picture (or four pictures) better represents the memories I would love to relive. Or at least remember really well. And hold on to. After devouring our cookie cake, we took a few minutes for some pictures to document our 2 year mark. This last set all started with that very first picture. You know, the one where Walker looks blind and REALLY excited about it! I think I eventually stopped laughing 5 minutes down the road somewhere. These are my favorite memories. Uninhibited responses of joy. It’s the ordinary, everyday moments that I would like to relive.

And when I could eat an entire box of Kraft Mac & Cheese without getting sick. I’d totally relive those days.

20130917-221505.jpg

Cheer ’em on!

Blog Every Day in May, Day 22: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel.

My vision for this space is to document an honest account of our life- to focus on the joy life brings while also being true to reality. The reality that life isn’t always as pretty as edited photos and crafted words. Here on this blog we choose to remember all of the emotions and circumstances that life presents, even the tough ones. But overall, I try to keep it positive, so I don’t feel comfortable or have any desire to rant. I’ve got people in my life that occassionally get an ear-full, but I’m not going to make you become those people!

So today, I choose not to rant. I choose to RAVE!

Cheer ’em on Round Deux!!

Husband, we might be the couple that is more likely to sarcastically make fun of each other rather than publicly ooh and aah over one another, but we just call it affection. So in rare form (and somewhat nervous/way to vulnerable for my comfort zone form) I will share with the world (or 81 followers) just a little bit of why I love you.

You get more excited than any person I know. Whether it be seeing new sights on a trip, bowling a strike or simply driving by a Chicken Express, you muster more enthusiasm than most people do over the birth of a baby. You make me laugh even when I try my hardest not to enjoy your jokes. With your job you don’t always make everyone happy, and let’s be honest- some people are just always mad at you, but you still manage to treat them with genuine kindness every day. You’re willing to say the first ‘I’m sorry’ even when I’m obviously the one at fault and you’re beyond loving to  your family, my family, our family. You cry at commercials, call all of my girlfriends your ‘ladies’ and even though you’re verbal with your feelings, you accept and support that I’m nonverbal. You’re always the first to help a stranger in need and you give so generously even when I’m like ‘put that money back in your pocket.’ So, Walker, I support you, I’m proud of you and I’m cheering you on! popsicles in the parkpopsicles in the park 2popsicles in the park 3popsicles in the park 4

Go cheer someone on today. It’ll make their day. And yours.

Walker the Talker

Walker likes to participate in what he calls ‘making memories.’ This isn’t the ‘let’s go on an adventure’ type memory. This is the ‘let me intentionally annoy Katelyn so she will always remember.’ One of his favorite settings is when we are laying in bed trying to fall asleep. Wait, let me back up, I mean when I’m already asleep and have been for a while. Sometimes he just goes for it and wakes me up for pillow talk. Then other times he nudges me until he knows I’m half awake and declares something along these lines…

W: Sometimes I just look over at you, and you’re just so beautiful.

W: And sometimes I look over, and you’re not there.

W: And then sometimes I look over, and you’re not beautiful.

And like usual, he has succeeded, in ‘making a memory’ I will never forget.daddy daughter dance

The weather made us do it

Winter came back to haunt us once this week, but today is making me believe that spring is here to stay forever. Like until 2015 at least. Most Sundays involve us coming home from church and racing to see who can get our pajamas back on the fastest, but the weather was begging us to spend some time with it today. And because we are so kind-hearted, we obliged. grapes and juicehe loves mayolettuce burgerplain hamburgeri'm gonna eat youAnd if there’s any question, I prefer my lettuce to meat ratio to be 75:1. Uh ya, I’m not a math person, so I have no idea what that even means. So I’ll just say lots o’ lettuce and less than lots o’ meat.

We were more than happy to shake off the shivers and welcome the rays. But we promptly went inside as Walker declared, “I’ve gotta go watch the Masters. And I call laying on the couch all by myself all afternoon.” It didn’t quite go his way though, as the cutest little girl with tiny teeth and an underbite doesn’t care when her dad calls dibs. She always has dibs.too cute

Just the two of us

photoHave you ever seen publicity for an event and thought “I’m going even if I have to go by myself.”? These were my exact words when I saw a billboard for a Prado exhibit in Houston. Luckily, I didn’t have to go alone, and Walker and I used our first totally commitment free weekend of 2013 to go on an overnight getaway to Houston…or as my dad would say, Youston.

Our drive down was filled with a Pandora 90s rock station, prompting me to decide I’m grateful this music era is no more. Walker on the other hand now believes he could have made it as a 90s rocker and belted the whole. drive. down. At one point I actually pleaded with him to stop letting out such high pitched screams even saying, “Look, you have spit in your beard!” To which he quickly corrected me, “No, those are my tears. When I sing that high I cry.” Luckily, Carly Rae Jepsen saved our marriage by intervening with a little Call Me Maybe. Long story short, if you’ve never heard my husband perform ‘The Reason’ by Hoobastank, you’re missing out. So much so I’ll let you ride with him next time.agora cafeWe ate oh so well thanks to this girl. At our first cafe stop I experienced one of my top 5 sandwiches to date. I’ve already had two requests to hear more about my other 4, so with that kind of demand, I guess this sandwich lover will have to write more about that! We soaked up our carefree schedule strolling in and out of fun little shops, often commenting on how nice it was to relax just the two of us.  jar of spoolsvintage pyrexvintage pyrex 1thrift shop old radios true liesUntil Friday night I was naively under the assumption that chocolate chip cookies were a staple in the cookie category. Our hotel offered a cookies and milk bar and to say we were devoted to getting back in time to catch it is an understatement. We grabbed the remaining chocolate chip cookies, filled up with milk and raced back to the room. And by ‘raced’ I mean we rode an elevator in which the guy before us had pushed every single button. But patience is a virtue, and we finally made it back to our room for cookie time! Imagine my horror when I bit into a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. Fact #423–I hate peanut butter. I’m sure I dramatically overreacted wondering how I could live such a cursed life. milk and cookies mfahLuckily, our free weekend happened to be the last weekend Portrait of Spain was on exhibit at the Houston Museum of Art. Paintings by Goya, El Greco, Velásquez and many others gloriously hung throughout the rooms. I just knew when I left the building we would be walking the streets of Madrid. We loved it! While wandering around the other exhibits our stomachs started eating themselves, meaning we got cranky, so off to lunch we went. portrait of spainhouston museum of art 1 houston museum of art 2 houston museum of artlady in a red hat art museum escalator 1IMG_1806I was pumped about tasting my first macaroon at Revival Market, and Walker decided he will do all of his shopping here should he ever become a Houstonian. After a quick trip to a fun vintage shop followed by Ikea, we made our way home to Opal with our Call Me Maybe Pandora station playing loud and proud. You were good to us, Houston. Thanks for not being too humid yet!revival market macarooms relay on 19When my dad married us, he gave us a piece of advice handed down to him by his father on his wedding day–take a trip once a year. And while we hope our overnight getaway is not our only ‘trip’ of 2013, there is something beautiful in running away together for 24 hours. In this season of our lives the opportunity doesn’t come all that often, and we are grateful for that, because our schedules are blessedly full of youth and showers and family and weddings and church and parties and babies and mission trips and friends. But holding to our marriage-day advice, we plan on taking tiny travels whenever we get the chance!

P.S. We found this blog helpful for some fun ideas in Houston!

my twenties and learning to live

bubbles

Yesterday was a day for thoughts. These weren’t the daydreams that carry me to the coast of Greece; these were doubts of the future. Indian-style on the couch, I tried mindlessly surfing the Internet only bringing more frustration. Why am I wasting my time if one of my worries is that I too often waste my life? Am I behind? Am I doing enough?

Next thing I knew, me, myself and my peter-pan collar were pirouetting from kitchen tile to kitchen tile with Spanish worship music on maximum volume. How I got there I have no clue, but I was there whole-heartedly. With the gardening neighbor causing me inhibitions, I moved my party to the bathroom where my own winter formal continued until one spin landed me face to face in the mirror.

A cocked head with a slight grin, I glanced at my tangled curls stuck to my sweat-kissed cheeks and thought, ‘So this is what my twenties are for. Learning to love myself. Running after the things that matter and shamelessly releasing the things that don’t.’

I say learning because with all the social media, blogs and fantasylands that bombard us, surely this has got to be a process.

As much as I want to be, Walker and I will never be the couple who make the bed each morning, but we will keep our commitments to people and events. We won’t always leave the house in styled outfits and clean hair, but we will write sincere thank you notes. We can’t frolic under foggy streetlights in a city that doesn’t sleep, but we will drive long distances, often, to be present in the lives of our loved ones. And we might never have it all together, even in pictures, but we do practice the art of saying ‘I’m sorry.’

These are our twenties—discovering who we are and what we aren’t, learning to accept and appreciate ourselves, and stop longing for an idealistic reality. Our lives will never look like so many of the blogs we read, but I’m beginning to think theirs don’t really either. This is our time to learn that someone else’s highlights do not have to be our lowlights.

These are our twenties—there is no reason to worry. Only the wrong perspective can waste a life. Life is only fruitless when it goes unappreciated, when the small moments have no meaning and when our reality-the reality that we are alive- is no longer magical. Life is not passing me by. It’s all around me. I must notice the three ladies walking to church in beautiful hats, breathe in the faint smell of the cow pasture across the street and passionately participate in late night study for tomorrow’s culinary class. This, this is life.

These are our twenties—and I will make a choice to learn. To relish in the exhaustion and to rest hard when the time comes. To laugh at the dumb joke, to celebrate the crying baby and to cry just as deeply some days, to remember how I feel having written for no money or fame but for self. To dance offbeat, to sing off key, to walk to the rhythm of love. I want wrinkles formed from memories, victories fashioned by fears and triumphs created by failures. I want life.

At one point in time I’m pretty sure I sincerely believed I would be Katie Couric one day—travelling and telling the news of the world. But as life goes for now, I will happily write for this tiny blog instead of for NBC News, because these are my charmed days, not Katie’s.

I can’t wait to read this in 30 years. I’m sure my 50-something self—still clad in polka dots I hope—will let out a laugh and say ‘oh child, I’m still learning.’ Then she’ll find herself dancing in the kitchen just like the good ol’ days of her twenties.

picnic

Walker the Talker

After hanging out with our expectant friends…

K: I want a baby. Except without the responsibility. And I don’t want to give up our freedom. So never mind.

W: I’ve been thinking. Why don’t we start a program of baby sleepovers where we just invite a bunch of babies to come sleep at our house with us. You know how you have to have puppy play dates to socialize dogs? Well, we could introduce babies to other babies and get to hang out with them. What do you think?

K: I think you just made the blog.23 months

For Walker’s Love of Christmas Decor

This year I decided to do something I’ve never done before—decorate for Christmas! Walker loves Christmas décor, so I set out with my budget of $0 and attempted to bring some festivity to our home. I managed to stay close to my budget, only spending about $5 on three bags of marshmallows and some thread. Everything else I already had!

My aunt gave us the cutest tree last year with the most incredible vintage ornaments (that are totally out of Opal’s reach, thank goodness). I stole an idea from Danielle and Lynley and gathered paint samples from Lowe’s to make garlands. And I threaded marshmallows on string to look like snowfall in our living room. We made another tree out of mason jars and a string of lights, but I think our most prized decoration is our puppy walking around with a jingle bell around her neck. Her holiday name is Jingle Pup!

I accomplished my three goals: It was festive. It was cheap. And Walker liked it. Plus, I got some good experience for when I teach interior design this spring (yes, that is seriously happening).

snowtreecollagedeerdollcollage2Plus, this year I had the bright idea to make our own stockings. Me, the girl who has never touched a needle or thread. Thankfully, Walker’s mom has been sewing since she had barbies, so our stockings were in good hands. As an added bonus, Walker learned what herringbone is. All three of us cut patterns, pinned and stitched late into the night. Who would have thought Walker knew his way around a sewing machine?

Opal’s stocking was thoughtfully made pink, because oftentimes people forget she is a girl. 20121222-130827.jpg20121222-235557.jpg