How I Survived Totality!

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Wow! Can I just say, wow?! The study of our galaxy the sky, the clouds, and stars and planets have always kinda fascinated me growing up. I am so thankful to have witnessed something so beautiful and incredible. God is truly an amazing creator. It blows me away after witnessing something like that, it really humbles my thoughts that how could the God who created that, love me? Oh wretched person that I am! He is so big, these plants and our world, our galaxy fits in the palms of His hands! If that doesn’t wow you, honestly I don’t know what will?!

(In this picture I drew each segment that I saw. I hope to later go back and paint it).

My art instructor in college called me a “romantic realist”, I loved that because it’s so true. I tend to romanticize things but also believe the obvious and the true and real in life. I could never understand even at a young age, how anyone could not believe a Supreme Being, the Almighty Father God, created these masterpieces that we see every single day, if we simply look around us. Yes, there is ugliness in this world because of our sin but there is still a lot of beauty making declarations to our God; glorious praises to our King!

(We went hiking after the Eclipse at Rock Island State Park there in TN these are some snippets of the hike down).

(Who says you can’t hike in flip-flops?) 😎

The world did not end and yes there were nay Sayers that our eyes would be permanently damaged and irreversible. I was careful in my glances. I wasn’t stupid. I glanced for a few seconds and waited 10-30 seconds before looking at it again. I wore NASA approved glasses and didn’t just stare at it and watch it move. Though I saw it go from a fingernail to a tiny slit in 30sec or less, to Totality! And watched the sky around us go from light to dark, the weather went from a blazing hot to a nice cool breeze. It didn’t get down to 25 degrees but it was pretty cool. Like perfect Ala/TN weather. Almost a bit like fall. (Which by the way, I cannot wait for!) 🙌🏻🍁🍂

All I can say is that it was a breathtaking 2 minutes of my life! Much like my first kiss (though my first kiss was indescribable and totally amazing and was ten times better) 😘😍 Just wish I could have witnessed it with my husband. I definitely plan to go back to Rock Island with him and hike in REAL shoes. (And this is why you don’t wear flip flops while hiking. Oops). 😜😂

Did you leave your state to see the Eclipse in another? What was it like? I would love to hear what you thought about it in the comments!

Sincerely,

Katie

Me and my sis in our cool NASA approved glasses. 😎😎

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Totality is in the Air!

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Can you believe it’s been over a year since I wrote a blog post? Wow! How time flies! This year. Has been crazy. Will talk about life as I know it later. For now, let’s talk about exciting new things!

So we all know this great phenomenon is about to take place tomorrow, August 21st, 2017!

Here’s a little info on Eclipses and how often they occur. The last great Solar Eclipse to be seen in North America was 99 years ago in the year 1918!! Who would’ve thought I would live to see this! I’m so thankful I get to witness it! 😎

“During the 21st century, there will be 224 solar eclipses of which 77 will be partial, 72 will be annular, 68 will be total and 7 will be hybrids between total and annular eclipses. In the 21st century the greatest number of eclipses in one year is four, in 2011, 2029, 2047, 2065, 2076, and 2094. These predictions given here are by NASA.” — Wikipedia

A whole lotta Eclipses. 🌎🌝🌚🌞

So tomorrow is the day! I can’t wait! Where will you be tomorrow for the Eclipse? Do you have the proper eyewear protection? I hope to be outside of Nashville, TN. And my dad has lent me his pair, he plans to wear his welding helmet which I think is absolutely clever. My hubby thought of it first, though. 😉

We’ll talk again tomorrow. Promise.

Sincerely,

Katie

P.S. I won’t be taking any pictures of the actual eclipse because I don’t want to hurt my phone. Supposedly you can fry the camera in your phone. I don’t want to risk it with a new iPhone. 😖

What is #Mamagrief? 

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A friend of mine shared a post with me on Instagram recently of a brave young woman who lost her precious firstborn daughter, Florence. You can read all about her beautiful story here, #mamagrief.

She started a hashtag called #mamagrief a place where other grieving mothers who have lost children to death can go and share their stories and be encouraged by others. 

  
I never knew losing a child could be so rewarding yet so hard. It’s a world I never knew existed. A world I never knew was here! After losing our first son, people I had known all my life told me of the losses I never knew they endured! When they told me, I thought, “If they’ve lost a child or two, how do they seem so happy? How can they seem so joyful? Some of the most joyful people in the world are people who have suffered so much heartache. 

  
I read once “behind the happiest faces lay once the saddest of circumstances”. That has stuck to me like a bure. I want and long to be that kind of person. With God’s ever sustaining hand, He can help me be one of those many happy and loving people. 

  
All the while a big part of the world enjoys a life full of beauty and grace. Beauty, not etched with pain, beauty etched with joy and things that only look to be a dream to us who hurt. 

But a huge part of the world surprisingly enough, hurts and cries out in pain. Somedays, it’s too hard to trace the rainbow through the rain. Those days drag on like weights of heavy metal tying us down.

  
But there is hope! Yes, there is ALWAYS hope and like a superhero, our Father comes to the rescue with His chain breaker called, Grace! No more weight to tie us down. Believer, acquiesce all your saddness, all your pain, all you grief and lay it on his shoulders. Its ok to cry, its ok to be sad, its ok to grieve! But there is hope for everyone who hurts! 

 

No. More children will never replace them, I could have a half dozen more children and I would still have these hard days. Cause they matter. They. Matter. To. Me. And to Him. Every life matters, no matter how long they have lived. They matter. And more children, though my mama heart longs to have more, as much as I will love and cherrish them if God should grant this petition. They will never, could ever, replace my boys but they will help fill the void with more loving and kissing. (:

People are forever telling me, “God, I believe will bless you with children.” I’m grateful for those nice thoughts and prayers but what they don’t seem to realize is, this is my mama grief, and according to God, it’s ok. What they don’t seem to see is, God has already blessed me with children. No, they aren’t here for me to enjoy and love on, but they are alive and they do matter. And if God chooses to bless us with more, then praise God! But this mamagrief will never go away. It’s ok.
I’m so thankful I’m not alone in my grief. God has put me on this path of #mamagrief, and it’s ok. I have accepted it and I’m thankful for it. You cannot know how much. But that doesn’t mean, I won’t have bad days, really, really hard ones. But it’s ok. Just like we all have super amazing days, some of us have a lot of crapy days. But it’s ok. I will be ok. God has not abandoned me and He wont. He is walking down this path with me. He is strengthening me and stretching me. My grief is laid bare on the table for all to see. I cannot hide or bottle my grief up inside just like you shouldn’t bottle your happiness up inside just because one of us is grieving and hurting. 

Let it out! Your happiness and blessings are giving us who grieve, hope for the future! Will we run and cry at times if we see or hear to much? Yes! But don’t take it to heart. Don’t wish you had kept your mouth shut. Our hearts are tender. But please never act like our children never existed. Talk about them around us. Say their names. You have no idea how it feels to a mamagrief heart when we hear our babies names mentioned even in passing. 

   
So you ask what is #mamagrief? They are! My boys! Our Heaven kissed babies! But really. It’s ok. (:

Thank you for reading my heart tonight, God bless you, 

Katie

November Goals Report (week 1) 

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Well week one for November has almost flown by! Just three weeks and three days left! Crazy! I am getting excited about possibly moving into our new (to us) trailer this month sometime (we hope!). I may even have a room dedicated for my exercises/craft/photography studio/future nursery! We found out that its a three bedroom, two bath as a opposed to the two bedroom my hubby thought it was! I am excited! I’m excited about having a dishwasher!! Yes, I have been washing dishes by hand for 3 years straight! But no more! Or not as much! A bigger kitchen and living room!! Ah yes.  And having a bigger bedroom and bathroom will be nice and Hubby will get to have one of those bedrooms for his gunsmithing and ammo building. So I’m glad for him there. And we may actually have room to hang up all my clothes and all of his clothes! With room to spare! Closets are some of the best things in this life! And we wont have to trip over the washer and dryer in our bathroom cause there is a special place for them! I’m not wild about having two front doors and no back door but I guess we shall get more exercise! 😂

   
Lots of great things to look forward to in our future. I am rather excited! When you’ve lived in a shoebox for 3 years anything will seem bigger and better to you! And everything might actually have a place to go too. And the house will seem bigger even then since it will have less clutter! With all the rooms all my crafting/jewelry making/painting stuff will have a whole room to call its own! Yes! I am looking forward to a world with less clutter! 

  
Anyhoo! As far as this week goes. Monday I started doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred and switching out doing her 6week 6pack as well. Both are exceptional dvd’s. Even though I have a love/hate relationship with JM, I love her workouts. They are intense and they make my muscles sore. The 6pack one left me in a bit of pain but it was the best kind of pain, that burning pain. My fat was crying real bad on Tuesday. 😂 Yesterday, was the only day I didn’t exercise a ton. A smaller amount but I did some. Today will be better. About to go get my walking in. And then get some circuit training in. Hopefully get all that done before lunch. 

  
Hoping I can share another recipe with you all tomorrow!

What kinds of stuff are yall doing lately? Exercise-wise? Would love to hear about them! 

Thanks for reading, 

Katie

(Fresh) Homemade Guacamole 

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Hello lovely people! I have had a pretty good week so far. Been working on lots of projects today which has been fun. 

  

Today I wanted to share with you one of my go to “snack” recipes that is very simple to make and so delicious! Plus the fact that it can be as fresh as you want it to be or not. Just whatever is easiest or works best for you. 

  
Ingredients 

2-3 ripe avacodos, pitted and mashed

1 can of rotelle with green chilli peppers or your own mixture of diced tomatoes and fresher chilli peppers

Salt and pepper to taste

Half of a lime

A handful of fresh cilantro leaves and sprigs, chopped

2-4 tsp of minced garlic 

1/2-1 red onion, chopped

  
Directions

Take all ingredients and mix each one together with the avacodos as your base. Though I always put the cilantro, lime and salt and pepper in at the end. So I have plenty of times to taste it to make sure it tastes right. This is really a no brainer recipe and if I left something out that you like in it, go for it, add it in there. Some people like putting cheese in it to for some added protein. 

I love eating it on romaine lettuce leaves with grilled chicken for a nice breadless lunch. 

  
Or for a snack in a bowl for dipping carrots, celery, cucumbers and peppers in or your favorite healthy blue corn chips.

 
Its also great on low carb tortilla shells with grilled fajitas, sautéed onions and goat cheese! Yum! 

Enjoy! 

Katie 

P.S. How do you eat Guacamole? Is there a certain ingredient that you prefer in yours? I would love to hear what it is! 😊

November Goals. (2015)

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I still cant believe tomorrow is the first day of November! What a wonderful day to start a new month, especially a month of Thanksgiving! 

    
That’s right folks I have a new list of goals! If you want to follow my Instagram account request a follow from The_Homestead_Artist, so you can follow my everyday postings with the hashtag #thethankfulchallenge day 1-30. This is a challenge to think of at least 5 things I am thankful for that day and have a cordinating picture to go with it. Let’s face it, the world would be better place if we were a more grateful people, God has given us so much, we just have to look around us and see what he has done for us! You can join me on this challenge if you wish, just use the hashtag above and lets see if we can’t find some things to be thankful for in our everyday lives this month (and beyond).

  
Since the Trim Healthy Mama isn’t an option for me this month either I have a very simple 14 day eating plan of clean eating, no processed or boxed foods of any kind in this meal. Sounded pretty simple and easy so I will be starting that on Monday. (I may like it so much that I may continue to eat that way the rest of the month). 

  
Along with my eating plan I will be doing at least 40min of working out everyday just like before. And will be using My Fitness Pal to keep track like last month. Sundays like always are my rest days. But there are 6 other days I will do lots of working out. And at least 3 days a week of walking three miles with or without weights. 

  
I hope to share everything on Fridays or Saturdays like before but at least once extra a week I will share my favorite recipes or foods I’m eating that are simple to fix. And all of them seem pretty simple. Some you can even make the night before so you can get extra sleep. 😊 

  
So I am looking forward to tomorrow and Monday with great anticipation!! My throat is doing a lil better but no more rest times for me. I’m through with laying in bed all day. Its time to get back on my feet and work off some of this flab that is hanging off the bed!

   

“I wonder how many calories I burn running away from commitment?”  –Anonymous 

How about you? What are your goals this month? Do you have any to add to the list?

Thanks for reading,

Katie

  

A chance to love. A chance to heal. 

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I have been so blessed lately. I really do feel blessed, now that I have finally gotten off of Facebook. Technically you could say I am “still on” but I never get on except to see if people have tried to contact me through my Photography/blog or jewelry pages. All three are still up and running just not as active as they were when I was “on”. I have a new fb account but I dont choose to have friends, at least not at present. I am kinda over Facebook for many reasons. But for one, it has given me a chance to love people again, and two, it has given me a chance to heal from our recent circumstances.

  

1). A chance to love again! 

Facebook as you may have already gathered brings out the very worst in a lot of people. It really does. I have seen a mean part of me, I never wanted anyone to see. It has ruined my chances for me to many people to be considered a respectable, kind and considerate kind of person. I really have been ashamed and wonder how anyone could love me or want to be my friend after seeing my bad side. Trust me, if you haven’t seen it, yet, you don’t want too. But I have seen other people’s bad sides too, because the affect Facebook can have on certain people. Especially us, who are very passionate about what we believe are true and real in this life. We tend to show all of our sides pretty regularly on FB, the place we feel at home pouring out our hearts to. But like the Bible says our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked who can know it?! So pouring out our hearts isn’t always the best thing on FB. 

  

 
Now that I am off of this form of social media, can I just tell you, how free I feel? I feel like FB had me under a sort of spell, an enchantment, if you will, and now that I’m off, I feel so much more free! Like a bird escaped from the ensnared cage. I tell my God all my sorrows, joys, hopes and irritating moments that beset me from time to time. I’m no longer talking to a wall but talking to my Father. And isn’t that better or how it should be? 

  

 
I have been given the chance to love people again, truly love them and being with them, talking to them face to face and not screen to screen. Even voice to voice, when phone call is more convenient. I can love them like we were meant too. And I’m sure Facebook can be used for good too. I have used it for good, even when people misjudged me for using it for bad. But oh well. No matter. Its over and done with. Facebook is just not for everyone. 

  
2). A chance to heal! 

After much prayer and thought and when I finally disconnected myself and hit the delete button, after time, I have finally begun to heal.

  

 
 It wasnt an easy choice, I did have withdrawals and wondered what people were up to, but lately, if I wanted to know, I simply shot an email or a text or left a message on their phone, what they are up to? 

  

 
I found friends for accountability for exercising and more joined in wanting the same. I got back on My Fitness Pal and began getting serious about taking care of my health and body. Worked out consistently for two weeks the longest and most Ive ever taken interest in at one time. This past week I got sick…. And feeling better again. Can’t wait to get back to my daily exercise regimen. 

  
So many things to keep me busy, so many things to keep my mind occupied, to keep me keeping busy, not being idle, but keeping me busy to stay focused on the true and real. I have a photoshoot today where I hope to meet new people and a painting class tonight again, where I can meet new people. Facebook as you can see isn’t the only place to meet new people. Face to face, handshake to handshake, tangible people. I am so blessed! So very blessed! So thankful! God is so good! 

   

 
My healing is so much more easier, so much easier to bear. The everyday burdens are lighter, the grief not so deep as it was before. My hope is in my Lord who made me and formed me in my mothers womb. I have no reason to be fearful of the future, its planted in the palms of His hands. 

  
When I had a Facebook I was not given a chance to heal my broken heart. I was daily bombarded with thoughts and wishes that were crushed on a day to day basis, I was constantly reminded of my little ones who were no longer in my womb, no more to be wrapped in my aching arms, no more kisses from mama and daddy. Forever in my heart, forever wet, on my cheeks. I couldn’t get on without seeing something or someone talking about babies and their mamas and daddies, announcements and boy or girl this or that, baby camo, overalls, cowboy boots and hats, John Deere tractors, guns and hunting, black bear teddy bears, diapers and burp cloths galore. Things we will never get to do with our boys, places we’ll never get to take them, things we’ll never get to see them do… So many things that I couldn’t get away from, people I couldn’t stop talking too, I didn’t want to be bitter or rude. I was so happy for them, truly, but how do you tell people you’re happy for them when you’re choking back tears that are running down your face?

  

  
How can you say you’re happy for them when in reality you wish you could die a thousand deaths just so you could have a chance to hold and kiss your baby one last time? When they have it so easy, they can pick up their baby and cuddle them whenever they wish? 

  
You cant heal properly when you’re bombarded with all of this daily. It goes too deep, too hard to bear and still try to muster up a smile for them? It was too hard for me. I’m too weak. I have too big of a heart for my boys. They were part of my whole world! 

  
Finally, now that my Facebook account ceases to exist, no longer to be looked at or saught after. Finally my aching Mama heart is healing. I don’t daily have to be  bombarded with questions from people that have to know everything that is going on. I’m not bombarded with baby stuff day in and day out. Just on occasion seeing the little ones at church. Or the occasional photo I look forward to seeing of my neices and nephews on Instagram or those I keep in contact with. I don’t want to be cut off completely just not so heavily like FB has become. Instagram you can only share so much, Facebook is like a blog of ones entire daily life. 

   

 

I haven’t healed completely, but I cry less and less. And I rarely ever hold back tears. I try not too, but sometimes you don’t want to make a scene, ya know? I try not too. But sometimes its hard. 

  

 I’m thankful God gave me the courage to delete my FB. I am so thankful I am off. I only miss my workout accountability groups. They were something I got on for, everyday. But My Fitness Pal does a good job with that. And I have friends on there that are encouraging and hope I can be that for them as well.  

  
There are many more reasons I could share with you why I am off, but these are the main reasons, I am so thankful its working. 

   
Like, Smike, in his contentment (from Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby), “I can finally say it. I am happy!”

Thank you for reading and God bless you, 

Katie